Geek For E!

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – Bay delivers the boom and bitterness of battle

13 hours“You can’t put a price on being able to live with yourself.”

If anyone has ever fist-pumped about a Michael Bay film, it’s this gal right here.  Let’s face it; Michael Bay Go Boom.  And it’s glorious.  Except when it’s heartbreaking too.  In 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (that I’m shortening to 13 Hours for this review because c’mon now) Bay and his cast dig deep, giving moviegoers not only the pomp and circumstance of war, but the pain, fear and uncertainty that goes along with all the ooh-rah.

For me, I’d only really heard about Benghazi in the news, usually when the city’s name was tossed like a grenade into some sort of political debate.  So for everyone else who needs a bit of a refresher?  On September 11th, 2012, a United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by Islamic militants, killing a United States Ambassador and a member of his staff.  Hours later, the militants attacked a CIA compound approximately a mile away from the first attack, killing two United States government contractors serving as the CIA’s Global Response Staff  (GRS).  13 Hours follows the story of the six GRS members — former US military — on the weeks before, and all through, the attacks. [Read more…]

TwitView: The Revenant (2016), B-

Actor Hardy’s awards nod is warranted, he’s really that good.  1800’s untamed West landscape will amaze you, most gorgeous display of outdoors I’ve ever seen. Extremely violent and gory, the bear mauling scene is amazing screen time (is it real or animatronic?).  Dicaprio’s character goes through hell, more than any man could or should have to bear in a lifetime.  Painful and loving performance in one, let’s hope the Academy shows him some love.  In the end, its exhausting and excruciatingly painful to watch to conclusion and the payoff you wait for still leaves you hollow.

Thank the stars we live in the 21st century...

Thank the stars we live in the 21st century…

“Concussion”: powerful, but not particularly hard-hitting

concussion

Nutshell: If anyone walks away from Concussion without grieving for those who suffered/are suffering from CTE?  They’re dead inside.  Amazing performances by actors playing affected football players (most especially David Morse as Mike Webster) bring this issue straight into the feel center of the brain.  The rest of the movie is too light a touch, possibly because it tries to cover CTE, Omalu’s love story with his now wife, and the Big Bad that is the business of sport.  Still, this film takes the real-life subject matter and makes it easy to understand, and Smith’s performance is genuine, if not a bit too heroic. Grade: B-

“I’m just asking back what I gave….Help me.”

I have to admit I’ve made my share of “bell-rung jock” jokes in my life.  Y’know, the whole “he’s barely coherent, look at him — one too many tackles” kinda jabs.  Ha ha funny, right?  Sure.  When it’s simply a jest at the expense of musclebound moneybags who are laughing all the way to the bank, with not a care in the world beyond a bone or muscle injury that could sideline them. [Read more…]

TwitView: Joy

Joy-Movie-Poster

An interesting premise that stalls upon execution.  Saved from complete dreck by Lawrence’s amazing performance.  Grade: C-

Just when you thought David O. Russell was getting better and better?  He delivers Joy, a film that proves you can take an interesting true story and turn it into a wobbly, scattered  mess.  Based on the real-life entrepreneur  Joy Mangano, the creator of the Miracle Mop, Huggable Hangers, and a slew of stuff you never knew you desperately needed ’til you saw them.  (Note: I am a Mangano gal that has nothing but HSN Huggables in all my closets.  What?  They were a bargain, the one-color look make my closets seem organized, and they’re fuzzy.) [Read more…]

TwitView: Sisters

sisters onsheetIn Sisters, Fey and Poehler show that just because you’ve got a few decades (or more) under your belt, you’re not necessarily a grown-up.  And while that could be a downer of a storyline, they keep it light and focus on the bonds you keep and the ones you’ve broken along the way.

A goofy, borderline tacky, gloriously out-there screenplay by Paula Pell turns Sisters into a glorious mash of The Big Chill, Superbad and every “this one goes to 11” house party you ever went to.  Add the light Pitch Perfect touch of director Jason Moore, and Sisters becomes Generation X slapstick in all its raunchy glory.

Poehler (Maura; kinda strange but kindhearted) and Fey (Kate; kinda slutty but fiercely loyal) riff off each other like you’d expect them to.  But they’ve surrounded themselves with other talented comedians, including Maya Rudolph (the girl who was never invited to anything), Rachel Dratch (the woman who has food as her FB profile pic), Samantha Bee (the wild child who settled down…kinda), Bobby Moynihan (the one with all the stupid, stupid jokes) and John Leguizamo (the big mistake guy who keeps hoping for a comeback.)  Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) plays Maura’s love interest with equal parts sweetness and serious comedic chops.  But he’s a MadTV alum, so that’s kind of a given.  Speaking of comedic chops being kind of a given, Kate McKinnon plays Sam, a fellow alum and Ellis Island house party regular from back in the day.  Even the lines McKinnon downplays are a hoot — man am I glad this woman is getting the recognition she so rightly deserves.

But what works best here are the truths Fey and Poehler show us.  Parents of grown-ups can get sick and tired of their failing-at-adulting kids.  Children of fully grown but still infantile adults are saddled with more maturity than they want, or can handle.  Parties for folks over 40 are all about getting a babysitter, talking about health stuff, and putting your damn feet up.  But when it comes right down to it, everyone wants just one more shot at Party Time.  When that happens, Sisters shows us that friendships can be mended, love connections made, and maybe even a little bit of growing up can make the scene…but cleanup the next day is gonna be hor-ren-dous.

Movie Review: Star Wars, The Force Awakens (2015)

Preface by Rock of GeekForE!:  Thanks so much to Matt Snider for contributing this review.  For all followers of GeekForE, below is an unfiltered (and unread by the Editor/me, straight from one of our finest.  As you can guess, I haven’t seen the film yet and I don’t want Matt’s review to spoil anything for my experience.  Here’s hoping I can stay free of ‘plot talk’ till this weekend. Enjoy if you dare….

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Weekend Roundup (11/30/15)

Hope everyone had a safe and fun Thanksgiving weekend. Two of the three new releases did great, that third one landed in the 12th spot. The Hunger Games still has the top spot with The Good Dinosaur and Creed all rounded out the top three.

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Trailer News – Captain America: Civil War

May 2016 is going to be a good month. -Alex

  • Chris Evans
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Jeremy Renner
  • Elizabeth Olsen
  • Paul Rudd
  • Paul Bettany
  • Sebastian Stan
  • Tom Holland

Weekly Round-up (11/23)

The column is back from a short delay…so let’s get this party started!!

Three new movies crack the top five for the weekend as the final entry into The Hunger Games took the number one spot with Seth Rogan’s latest, The Night Before opening in the number four spot and the new thriller staring Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, Secret in Their Eyes rounded out the top five.

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Full list follows: [Read more…]