Yay! More FREE Movies!

There are lots of new FREE movie offers out there.

Spongebob Movie

Regal sent me an email. For those Regal theaters that are still showing The Spongebob Movie – Sponge Out of Water, you can now buy two tickets and get two FREE until April 2nd.

Selma

For those Regal theaters showing Selma, tickets are buy one, get one FREE.

Home

 

Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target have FREE tickets for Home on various DVDs and Blu-Rays. Several of the DVDs at Wal-Mart are priced at $5 and include a $7.50 movie ticket making them a rather easy purchase.

Titles include: Bee Movie, The Croods, Flushed Away, How to Train Your Dragon 1&2, Joseph: King of Dreams, Kung Fu Panda 1&2, Madagascar 1-3, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Prince of Egypt, Rise of the Guardians, Shark Tale, the first two Shreks, Spirit, & Turbo. Make sure you get one with a sticker.

Furious 7

Best Buy and Target have FREE tickets to Furious 7 on various Blu-Rays, mostly the other Fast & Furious series. Target has a display of the movies on an endcap in their toy section. Again make sure that your copy has one of the stickers. The non Fast & Furious movies include 47 Ronin, Riddick, Non-Stop, Rush, Lone Survivor, and Death Race.

 

 

 

It Follows

It Follows is currently in theaters. Go catch it before it catches you!

It Follows

 

It Follows (2014) – Rated R

After a young girl gets involved in a sexual confrontation, she is followed by an unknown force.”

Wow! I found The Babadook to be creepy and an excellent horror movie but It Follows had me on the edge of my seat throughout the movie. The last movie that did that for me was The Descent (2005).

It Follows is brilliantly original and yet is a complete homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween, even down to the synth score. I have never seen a movie that was both so original and so much a copy (in a good way). Like Halloween, there is very little onscreen violence and only one memorably gory scene at the beginning of the film.

Again like Halloween, the huge amount of suspense comes from the stalking and sightings, not the kills – something the later slashers never understood. The other film this reminds me of is Ti West’s excellent House of the Devil, in that both capture the feel of a good 80s horror movie. It Follows is set in modern times as noted by various electronic devices but the feel is still 80s and a station wagon figures prominently in the proceedings.

It Follows takes place in suburban Detroit and the urban blight there adds quite a bit to the ambience. Just as Carpenter’s idyllic midwest is skewered in Halloween, the bleak and depressing Detroit setting is well used in It Follows. This is only David Robert Mitchell’s second feature film. His first film was The Myth of the American Sleepover (also set in Detroit) in 2010. I haven’t seen it but it won a jury award at SXSW.

Maika Monroe plays Jay, a young lady who sleeps with “Hugh”. Hugh then tells her that she has received a curse and that something implacable is coming to kill her. The thing can look like anyone. She must have sex with someone else to pass on the curse. but if the person she has sex with is killed then the monster will come after her again.

John Carpenter featured Forbidden Planet and The Thing from Another World on the television in Halloween. He would go on to remake The Thing. It Follows features scenes from Killers from Space (1954) on the television. No telling if David Robert Mitchell plans to remake that.

Mitchell also features the Redford Theater in Detroit as they’re showing a revival of Charade (1963) with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The theater is a wonderfully ornate reminder of a bygone era. They even have a Wurlitzer organ.

I definitely won’t post spoilers to this wonderful film but I will say that I found the ending tremendously satisfying. There is also an incredible scene about two thirds of the way through the film that truly shows what an artist Mitchell is. It is a scene with Jay at the beach. What happens there would have been explicitly shown under another director but Mitchell allows us to draw the obvious conclusion on our own.

Run All Night from the Gunman

Yay! After not going to the movies for weeks, I’ve seen four movies in three days. I got to see the delightful revival of Rear Window with my wife, Cinderella with my girls, and a day by myself with Run All Night and The Gunman.

Yay for the return of the R-rated action thriller! It’s not that PG or PG-13 is bad but it often seems like PG-13 films are shoehorned into a tight box. The filmmakers are either constrained by how much they can put in or have to cut out to maintain that rating.

Run All Night

 

Run All Night (2015) – Rated R

Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.”

You wouldn’t know it from any of the trailers but Liam Neeson starts the movie as a burned out, alcoholic loser. The trailers, of course, highlight Neeson as a tough guy, just like every other one of his movies. The problem with the trailers is that they are fairly indistinguishable from each other.

Run All Night is not great but is miles better than the crapfest that was Taken 3. It is also better than The Gunman. It is very story involved a la The Grey and Walk Among the Tombstones but the script doesn’t quite measure up. Still there is an enjoyable time to be had.

The Gunman

 

The Gunman (2015) – Rated R

A sniper on a mercenary assassination team, kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Terrier’s successful kill shot forces him into hiding. Returning to the Congo years later, he becomes the target of a hit squad himself.

Way back in 2004, Pierre Morel made his directorial debut with the outrageous District B13. District 13 brought parkour to the big screen and the stunts were incredible. It is still an enjoyable romp and is available on instant Netflix so go watch it! It was remade in 2014 as Brick Mansions but skip that very dumbed down and shaky cammed version.

In 2008, Morel followed District 13 up with the original Taken. This was yet another wonderful action film and reinvented Liam Neeson as an action star. After that was the amusing but deeply flawed From Paris With Love. It failed to reignite Travolta’s career.

The Gunman is Morel’s fourth feature film in the directors seat. This one seems tailor-made to reinvent Sean Penn as an action star, though that does not work. Since Penn is restrained by Morel, Morel allows Javier Bardem to egregiously overact. Our love interest is Annie, played by Italian actress Jasmine Trinca.

Supporting them are Ray Winstone as Terrier (Penn)’s friend, Stanley and Idris Elba as an enigmatic Interpol agent named DuPont. The only other actor of note is Mark Rylance as Cox.

Unfortunately there is no real artistry on display here. The Gunman is just fine if you need an action fix but not anything more. It all seems a paint-by-numbers globetrotting, professional seeks revenge for betrayal setup. The cast is good but not well used. Elba only has a few minutes of screen time. Somebody get that man a good role.

Avengers Assemble!

Obviously one of the movies that I am most looking forward to this year is Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

 

Well, I got my wish. They are doing a double feature of Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The double feature is playing on Thursday, April 30th. It is even playing at the Biltmore Grande in Asheville at 4:15 (time for your theater may vary). The double feature is offered through many theater chains, including Regal, AMC, and Cinemark.

So why am I bummed? Because I’m spoiled. I’ll be at the Biltmore Grande double feature and will enjoy it quite a bit. However this is what I want to see:

Ultimate Marvel Marathon

 

Now that is a marathon. Regal lists the run time as clocking in at 23 hours and 59 minutes. Unfortunately it is only being shown in 8 locations. AMC will be showing it in Downtown Disney (Orlando), Downtown Disney (Anaheim), Lincoln Square (New York), and AMC Studio 28 (Kansas City).

6:00 pm Iron Man

8:25 pm The Incredible Hulk

10:35 pm Iron Man 2

1:00 am Thor

3:10 am Captain America: The First Avenger

5:30 am The Avengers

8:48 am Iron Man 3

11:15 am Thor: The Dark World (aka time to catch a nap)

1:45 pm Captain America: The Winter Soldier

4:20 pm The Guardians of the Galaxy

7:00 pm Avengers: Age of Ultron

25 Years of Movie Magic

A quarter century of cinema excellence.

family1

 

Howard Hawks defined a good movie as one that contained three great scenes and no bad ones. After twenty-five years, a great film can be considered a classic.

family2

Fandango sent me an email celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pretty Woman. It detailed an upcoming interview reuniting Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Laura San Giacomo, Hector Elizondo, and director Gary Marshall.

family3

Now I am not leading up to calling Pretty Woman a classic. My wife and I found it quite laughable in its Disneyfied portrayal of prostitution. We had seriously sprained eyeballs after watching it together.

family4

Above, Jenny and I eating Le Big Mac in France! What is good, great, and wonderful is my marriage to my incredible wife, Jenny. It is also now classic as we are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary this week! Jenny has had to endure so many movies with me and, trooper that it is, did so with a smile. Well, except for that time I took her to Resident Evil for our anniversary…

Happy Classic Anniversary, Honey!

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 3/24/15

I guess the pick of the week here is the documentary, Life Itself.

Action & Adventure: Collateral Damage

Dummy

Comedy: Dummy, Hollidaysburg, Not Cool, The Foxy Merkins, Practical Magic

Documentary: Life Itself, Above All Else, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Before You Know It, Charlie Victor Romeo, Evolution of a Criminal

Mall

Drama: Mall, Three Night Stand, You’re Not You, And So It Goes, Amadeus, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Something Anything

Faith: God’s Not Dead

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Beyond

The Way He Looks

Foreign: The Way He Looks, Valley of Saints

Horror: animal, Deep Blue Sea

Musical: The Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition

Television: The Truth Behind Crystal Skulls, The Truth Behind UFOs, Bloodline

Thriller: Syriana, Water & Power

Goodbye Target Ticket, We Hardly Knew Ye

Target Ticket

Bizarrely, Target entered the UV/video on demand realm excessively late. Vudu (backed by Wal-Mart) is clearly the 800-lb gorilla in the UV market. Unfortunately iTunes, which is rapidly becoming irrelevant, refuses to sign on with UV. Same with Amazon which, adding insult to injury, has discontinued their download ability for those who “own” titles through them.

Target’s service was pretty terrible from the start. It didn’t have an ability to sort through owned films if you owned more than a couple dozen. This made the interface a nightmare for heavy users. They tried a handful of very half-hearted promotions and, predicatably, have now abandoned their service.

This still leaves plenty of UV providers (Vudu, M Go, Flixster, CinemaNow). Best Buy’s CinemaNow has never been much of a competitor to Vudu. They suffer from many of the same problems that plagued Target Ticket. Naturally Target has chosen them to carry on the films people owned on Ticket.

CinemaNow

I followed Target’s instructions and migrated my movies to CinemaNow and linked up with UV. They were unable to transfer one of the films so they issued me a $24 credit with CinemaNow.

Thank you for choosing Target Ticket for your digital entertainment. We hope that you’ve enjoyed your movies and TV shows with us. Target has made the difficult decision to end the services offered on Target Ticket effective March 7, 2015. After that time, Target Ticket will no longer be accessible on any device applications, gaming consoles, tablets, smartphones or the web.
If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, we have partnered with CinemaNow and Disney Movies Anywhere, leading providers of premium digital entertainment, to ensure a smooth and easy transition. Both services are available at no cost to you.
Your eligible Target Ticket titles and credit are available to transfer to CinemaNow on March 7, 2015.
  • If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, you may access your eligible purchased movies/TV shows on CinemaNow. For any purchased content that is not available or eligible to be transferred to CinemaNow, you will receive credit in your CinemaNow account in the amount that was paid for that content when you transfer your account from Target Ticket to CinemaNow.
  • If you choose to register with CinemaNow, you must agree to have your library of purchased titles and existing account credit transferred from Target Ticket to CinemaNow in order to maintain access to your titles purchased through Target Ticket.
  • UltraViolet movies purchased through Target Ticket can also be accessed through several other digital movie services.
Your eligible Disney, Pixar, and Marvel Target Ticket titles will be available to transfer to Disney Movies Anywhere.
  • If you have purchased eligible Disney, Pixar, and/or Marvel movies from Target Ticket, you will be able to unlock your eligible content with Disney Movies Anywhere codes that will be sent to you directly via email next week.
For additional information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions.
Thank you,
The Target Ticket Team

 

Movie Tchotchkes for my Home Theater

Vincent Price

The walls in our movie room (living room) are decorated with all kinds of movie posters. Most are standard small 11×17 with a few exceptions for prized items like my original The Last Man on Earth full-size poster (Thanks, Maya!)

Pennywise

Last year for my 50th birthday, my wife got everyone to give me those Funko Pop dolls so I have rows of those all over the movie room.

Alien

 

With apologies to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus 2, I am ridiculously looking forward to Neil Blomkamp’s Alien 5.

Sad Jason

 

Jason misses his mother

Back from vacation soon. Enjoy!

New Netflix Streaming Releases Mid-March

Mostly stand-up this update

Full Circle

Action/Adventure: Full Circle, Texas Rangers

Comedy: Akmal: Life of Akmal, Arj Barker: Joy Harvest, Carl Barron: A One Ended Stick, David Strassman: Careful What You Wish For, Hello Kitty Flanagan, Jimeoin: Something Smells Funny, The Umbilical Brothers: The Rehearsal, My Favorite Five

K2 Siren of the Himalayas

Documentary: K2: Siren of the Himalayas, Marvel & ESPN Films Present 1 Of 1 Genesis, Resistance, Tricked

Drama: W.

Family: Bratz: Starrin’ and Stylin’, Passover at Bubbe’s, Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened

Foreign: Dil To Pagal Hai, Lamhe, Maine Pyar Kiya, Miss Granny

Saw

Horror: Saw, Saw 2, Saw 3, Saw 4

Television: Aguila Roja, 3rd Rock from the Sun, A Different World, Empresses in the Palace, Lola & Virginia, Space Racers and new episodes of Rectify

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 3/17/15

Bibbety-boppety-boo! Yay for more Archer!

Comedy: The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie, Joe Rogan: Live, Standby, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Tyler Perry’s The Single Mom’s Club, Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden

Documentary: Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, 1 Way Up: The Story of Peckham BMX, Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story, My Own Man

Drama: May in the Summer, After the Fall, Cesar Chavez, Mr. Pip, Crash

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Family: Believe, How to Train Your Dragon 2

Force Majeure

Foreign: Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, Force Majeure, Faith Connections, Life of Riley

Horror: Hansel vs. Gretel

Archer

Television: One Child, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and new episodes of Rita, Danger 5, Glee, and Archer