Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Best Movie Trailers of the Week

nightcrawlerWelcome back to Best Movie Trailers of the Week, a column where we handpick the best new movie trailers that have arrived online over the past week.


Nightcrawler

That quick teaser for Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler caught our eye and now the film’s first official trailer locked it in. We need to know more about Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal). The two pieces work exceptionally well together. The first introduces you to the idea that Lou’s a guy in desperate need of a job and the second builds upon that by showing you how he winds up making that happen. Getting the opportunity to watch a guy navigate the world of L.A. crime journalism is inherently fascinating, but rather than lean on that appeal, these pieces put the focus on what could make Nightcrawler a true standout – a downright fascinating main character. Lou’s passionate and determined, but incredibly unhinged and volatile. Put someone like that in this line of work and you’re bound to have explosive results.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 3

Mia-Maestro_The_Strain_Epsiode_3

The Strain started strong with “Night Zero,” slowed a bit during “The Box,” but began building characters and storylines in the process, and now “Gone Smoother” continues that progression. It still doesn’t have the momentum of the first episode, but the pace is picking up and we’re getting some solid plot and character development along with it.

First off, hooray for Mia Maestro finally getting something to do! “Gone Smoother” merely introduces a connection between Nora and Abraham Setrakian, but at least it finally pulls her out of Ephraim’s shadow and proves she’s got some ideas of her own as well as the gall to act on them. It could be great to see her, of all people, step up and take Abraham’s advice – “Being good means nothing, unless you’re willing to do what needs to be done.” Eph’s been leading the charge thus far, but if she takes the reins on this one, it could be one heck of a turnaround for the character.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 2

Mia-Maestro-Corey-Stoll-The-Strain-Episode-2The second episode of The Strain doesn’t come anywhere close to matching the thrill of the plane investigation or the massacre at the morgue in the first, but it does function as a solid and very necessary character and world-building episode. “Night Zero” benefited from the novelty of the inciting incident, but now that that’s done, it’s got to beef up both the main players and the core story to ensure the longevity of the show, and that’s exactly what “The Box” does.

Ephraim gets a nice balance this episode. Roughly half of the time he’s discovering new things pertaining to the case, but then the other half, he’s with his family, just being an average person. “Night Zero” laid out the basics of Ephraim’s situation with his wife and son, but “The Box” digs a little deeper, and not just in terms of blurting out new details on their predicament, but rather by letting them behave like normal people.

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Review: Hemlock Grove Season 2, Part 2

Hemlock_Grove_Season_2_ReviewI can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m really going to miss Hemlock Grove. After failing to make it through season 1 last year, I forced myself through all 13 episodes in preparation for season 2 and while I wasn’t too happy about it at the time, now I’m thrilled I did it. Hemlock Groveseason 2 is so much fun it made the dull and nonsensical first season well worth sitting through.

There are still quite a few plot holes and logic issues, and at times, the narratives don’t flow particularly well, but overall, this is some highly engaging and entertaining material, and it’s largely due to the fact that many of the main characters are far more developed now.

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The YA Countdown: Comic-Con, ‘The 5th Wave’ Release Date, ‘Frostbite’ Fundraising and More

SDCC_LogoVampire Academy, Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars have already come and gone, but there’s still quite a bit coming up in the YA movie realm. Not only is The Giver due out in just about a month with The Maze Runner arriving soon thereafter, but both of those movies and more are mere days away from showing off what they’ve got at San Diego Comic-Con.

YA at San Diego Comic-Con

Last year was a big year for YA at SDCC. Even though there won’t be as much going on this time around, there are a few young-adult entries worth keeping an eye on.

Thursday, July 24: The Giver in Hall H at 1:30 p.m. with stars Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, director Phillip Noyce, author Lois Lowry and some brand new exclusive footage.

Friday, July 25: The Maze Runner in Hall H at 4:20 p.m. as part of the 20th Century Fox panel.

Saturday, July 26: Entertainment Weekly: Women Who Kick Ass at 4:10 p.m. with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’s Natalie Dormer.

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The Best Movie Trailers of the Week

laggiesWelcome back to Best Movie Trailers of the Week, a column where we handpick the best new movie trailers that have arrived online over the past week.


Laggies

The new trailer for Lynn Shelton’s Laggies does stumble into cheesy territory quite a bit, but the characters are so charming and the piece rocks such an upbeat, energetic pace that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the material. It’s also particularly well structured. In fact, the trailer has three acts. There’s the character-building portion that focuses on who Keira Knightley is and what’s going on in her world; there’s her effort to get away from it all, and then she comes to terms with it. Yes, there is a chance a format like that could spoil some twists and turns in the actual movie, but as far as this trailer goes, getting the opportunity to go on this little journey with Knightley makes the idea of spending more time with her character incredibly appealing.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 1

corey-stoll-the-strain-epsiode-1When you’re plastering posters of a worm digging its way into an eyeball all over the place, you better earn that eerie imagery and Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain absolutely does.

There’s a small handful of clichéd characters spitting out tacky dialogue like “This is bad, real bad,” but for the most part, the show’s first episode, ‘Night Zero,’ is brimming with solid scares, remarkably detailed visuals and a highly intriguing scenario to back it all up.

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