26 March 2015

Win 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' on Blu-ray


PartnersHub and Warner Bros. are giving away a blu-ray of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, all you have to do to win the copy is play the app below to find out if you're Brave like Bilbo. Once you have that, reply the answer  to @immersedinfilm with #TheHobbit. Leaving a comment below can't hurt your chances either.



Contest ends April 6th, so have all entries in before then.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
 

20 March 2015

Win 'The Battle of the Five Armies' on Digital


PartnersHub and Warner Bros. are giving away a digital copy of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, all you have to do to win the copy is play the app below to uncover your Middle-Earth Weapon of choice. Once you have that, reply the answer  to @immersedinfilm with #TheHobbit. Leaving a comment below can't hurt your chances either.



Contest ends April 1st, so have all entries in before then.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Digital Download Coupon for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
 

15 March 2015

Review: Cymbeline


Cymbeline is director Michael Almereyda’s second Shakespeare adaptation set in modern day, his last being 2000’s Hamlet, also starring Ethan Hawke. The Bard’s late work tragedy, previously set in the Royal Court of Olde England, receives a face-lift, updated to a war between the Roman police force and the Briton Motorcycle Club ran by Cymbeline (Ed Harris). The King trades in a crown for an Uzi and a leather jacket as a drug kingpin troubled by familial strife. His second wife (the serpentine Milla Jovovich) despises Cymbeline’s daughter, Imogen (Dakota Johnson, proving she has acting chops not found in Fifty Shades of Grey), for not marrying her son, Cloten (Anton Yelchin).

In secret, Imogen has pledged herself to Posthumus (Penn Badgley), much to Cymbeline’s displeasure. Posthumus, like all men freshly betrothed, proceeds to make a bet that his friend Iachimo (Hawke) cannot steal his love’s chastity; Hawke is evidently having a ball with the part of a man of very little moral fiber, slithering through his scenes, abusing the trust of all those who place such faith in him.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

27 February 2015

Review: The Salvation


Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out rather differently. A swap at the train station places two rowdy drunks in the same stagecoach as Jon and his family–and before audiences can really settle into their seats–his wife and son are killed.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

17 February 2015

The Theory of the Tortured Genius


There was a time when geniuses were professionals who were not only good at their jobs, but pleasant to others as well. The entrenched stereotype of geniuses once labeled them as shy outsiders or tongue-tied geeks, not arrogant narcissists. Somewhere down the line, Hollywood stopped telling stories of gifted individuals who were mild-mannered and jump-started the difficult genius routine.

Take television’s long-running tortured genius, Dr. Gregory House. House, starring Hugh Laurie as the highly critical medical genius, started a trend of anti-social geniuses and audiences ate it up. For all of the highly unusual medical cases and House’s wizardry in solving them, the reason viewers tuned in was to see what exactly the caustic doctor would say next. With all of his intellect and glee in exposing hypocrisy in others, House indulged his own demons early and often. A man so talented at saving others despite his own grand self-destruction made for unique television, the industry took notice, and more series about disgruntled intellectuals came along.

Read the rest at Movie Mezzanine!

16 February 2015

When 'Star Wars' Changed


I could barely contain my excitement. Star Wars, a film I had probably watched maybe 20 or 30 times was going to be re-released theatrically. My parents weren’t big movie fans, but my uncle had offered to take me and my best friend to see it. A fitting choice considering it had been my uncle who introduced me to the Star Wars universe. He gave me the trilogy box-set after I had watched his copy of Batman (1989) so many times that I could quote lines by heart. As much as I loved Batman, Star Wars completely overwhelmed my five year old self. I loved movies already at a young age, but this was a phenomenon that the entire world could tap into.

A New Hope was now dubbed the “The Special Edition” and the picture was rumored to have millions of dollars in special effects added following it’s 20th anniversary. The inspiration to re-release the trilogy came after George Lucas saw what Industrial Lights & Magic had done with computer-generated effects for Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Digital effects had finally caught up with the stories filmmakers wanted to make. Now was the right time, Lucas felt, to use ILM to create his original vision for Star Wars. What these changes could add to the film was a mystery in my mind, but I already loved A New Hope, so new digital effects could only be an improvement. Right?

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

13 February 2015

Lego Justice League Giveaway


Lego Justice League vs. Bizarro League hits shelves on DVD/Blu-ray soon and Warner Brothers is promoting the film with a giveaway. Never Mind Pop Film has been given a prize pack (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack + a Batzarro LEGO minifigure) to award to one lucky reader! To win, tweet use the #JusticeLeague and #BizarroLeague hashtags and follow/mention @nevermindpop on Twitter. Contest ends February 23rd.


Each household is only eligible to win LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

06 February 2015

Review: The Voices


Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) spends his days working the nine-to-five shift at his new job at the Milton Bathtub Factory. Jerry is chipper to the point that he may turn some people off, but he never stops trying to make friends. Friends are something that Jerry could use because the only other conversation he has is with his dog Bosco and his cat Mr. Whiskers. Things are looking up though, Jerry has been tasked with planning the company picnic and he’s asked a girl (Gemma Arterton) out on a date. Jerry is so excited to share the news he rushes home to tell his pets about Fiona. Oddly enough, both Bosco and Mr. Whiskers start talking back.

No need to go back and re-read that last sentence, yes, Ryan Reynolds has pets who talk back to him. His dog, Bosco, is quite affable, however, his cat, Mr. Whiskers, would feel right at home curled in the lap of Blofeld. Unfortunately for everyone around him, it’s the advice of the evil cat that Jerry heeds more often than not. For all of Jerry’s pleasantries, he has some severe anger issues behind that warm smile. So much so that he has a court-appointed psychiatrist (Jacki Weaver) to help him deal with his issues. So when Fiona stands him up that evening, it’s not a huge surprise that blood is shed.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

16 January 2015

The Obsessive World of Michael Mann


Michael Mann is fascinated by obsessives who work on opposite sides of the law. In fact, when you go over his filmography, it’s filled with them: loners who are hardened by choice and keep others at a constant arm’s-length, indulging in their skills instead. Starting in 1981, Mann made his first feature, Thief, about a professional safe-cracker who finds his way under the thumb of the mob. Frank (James Caan) wants what everyone else has, but can’t have it because his profession effectively keeps him on the outskirts of society.

Mann’s works always tend to lend a sympathetic eye to those perceived as criminals. Sure they break the law, yet they possess a strong value system and always abide by their respective codes. These men don’t waver, circumstances merely fail them and they adapt. It’s what makes them consummate professionals. Sure there is a thrill in watching these protagonists hone their craft, but there is more compulsion than pleasure in these acts.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

15 January 2015

Review: Vice


At this point of his career, Bruce Willis’ choices in parts are a crap shoot. While 50% of the films he makes are legitimately great (Looper and Moonrise Kingdom), the other half go straight to video and die. This latest project is a reminder that along with half-baked horror, the death knell of January is filled to the brim with bad actioners seeking a home.

With a decent cast in Willis and Thomas Jane, Vice might have been able to salvage something worth watching out of this mess, but there is no effort on the screen at all. The blame lays entirely at the feet of writers Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore and director Brian A. Miller, who worked with Willis previously on The Prince and shouldn’t have been given the chance to work again. The premise is the only interesting prospect of the film, but even that is copy and pasted from other works. Vice is two parts Westworld, one part Blade Runner and all parts awful.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

13 January 2015

'Edge of Tomorrow' Entertains Like a Video Game, but Doesn't Hesitate to Eviscerate the Genre


The premise seems familiar enough: it’s the not-too-distant future and Earth is under attack by aliens. The “Mimics” arrived by an errant asteroid and now they have taken over half of continental Europe. To help combat these hyper-intelligent aliens, humans wear armored combat suits fitted with rocket launchers and side-guns. One might even confuse the whole thing for a video game, if it didn’t have Tom Cruise’s face slapped on the poster.

Edge of Tomorrow replicates the experience of jumping into a video game through the eyes of untested combatant Major William Cage (Tom Cruise). Like most video game rookies, Cage is unfamiliar with his weaponry and panicked by the rushing hordes of attackers, he dies within minutes. And when he dies next he wakes up to the shouts of master sergeants (Bill Paxton in R. Lee Ermey mode). With each new life, Cage, mirrors other trepidatious gamers gathering their bearings in a new level, testing weapons in hopes of getting a feel before close quarters combat.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

10 January 2015

Review: Predestination


Walking into Predestination clean is perhaps the best advice to offer any cinephile willing to hunt down this likely future cult classic. It would be easy to just describe Predestination as Looper tossed in a blender with Minority Report, but the Spierig Brothers are going in a very different direction here. A direction that may lose a few viewers along the way.

Ethan Hawke plays a temporal agent, a time-traveling arm of the law that travels all through the ages to prevent killers from committing crimes. His next assignment, should it prove successful, will be the agent’s last. Problem with that is the criminal he is tasked with chasing is the one who has eluded him time after time. In his last tangle with the Fizzle Bomber (yes, the name sounds absurd, but roll with it), the agent momentarily apprehended his man, but the resulting blast left the agent disfigured. Now tasked with recruiting some help (played by Sarah Snook), the agent will be sent to 1975 to prevent the deaths of thousands.
Read the rest at Sound on Sight!