CinemAddicts Podcast Reviews ‘Never Goin’ Back’ And ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’

There are a ton of movie releases this August, and a few selections that may go under the radar are definitely worth checking out. Now playing in select theaters, Never Goin’ Back centers on two Texas based waitresses (Camila Morrone, Maia Mitchell) who are planning a vacation in Galveston. Their goal to work double shifts to make their money before the trip are thwarted by unforeseen circumstances and their irresponsible tomfoolery. Directed and written by Augustine Frizzell (whose narrative was inspired by her own misspent youth), Never Goin’ Back is a raunchy comedy that has its heart in the right place (even as it deliciously crosses the line of good taste).

Coming out August 10, A Prayer Before Dawn is the true story of Billy Moore (Joe Cole, in a riveting performance), a drug addicted boxer who attempts to fight his way out of Thai prison through his chosen craft. The flick, which has very little exposition, is as intense as they come, and the boxing scenes are absolutely riveting. Not one of its 116 minutes is wasted, and the picture had me on the edge of my seat from the get go. 

Both movies are profiled on the latest episode of CinemAddicts. Take a listen and feel free to comment below!

 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Is Ethan Hunt’s Crowning Moment

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF mates (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin) are back with Mission: Impossible – Fallout. the great news is Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie, who helmed Cruise in the first rate Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Jack Reacher, is behind the camera, and his top notch skills are on full display. Years ago McQuarrie penned the script for The Usual Suspects, and his adept touch at crafting twisty narratives is well suited for the M:I franchise.

Hunt’s nemesis Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), though imprisoned, continues to hold power thanks to three plutonium bombs that need to be retrieved. The IMF’s goal is to retrieve the bombs before they detonate, and as usual their mission has friction from the government, as CIA operative August Walker (a buff and ready to slug it out Henry Cavill) joins the team with his own agenda at the insistence of his boss (Angela Bassett). Scene stealer Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa, and like before her true motivations are unclear. The Crown actress Vanessa Kirby is thrown in for good measure as the White Widow, a powerful middle person who may hold the key to the IMF’s ultimate success or doom. 

The Paris and London locales are the backdrops from several of the movie’s stunning and immersive action sequences, while the climactic sequence serves as a slight nod to the second M:I flick. At 56, Cruise doesn’t look any worse for wear, even if he was seriously injured during the London building to building jump. To give away any other plot details would lead us into spoiler territory, and the only clue I’ll share is that Hunt’s personal life, and not just the actual mission, is given a ton of attention this go round.

While Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible was wonderful at delivering the double cross and intrigue (plus who could forget that train sequence?), Fallout is actually the most well rounded of the series. It’s great to see Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg fully engaged in the mission, and this time around Hunt is not just the star of the show, he’s really part of the team. Hunt’s taped messages may destruct in several seconds, but the franchise is currently at its peak, with no “fallout” in sight.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout opens July 27.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

CinemAddicts Podcast Reviews ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ And ‘Damsel’

Ant-Man and the Wasp and the revisionist Western Damsel are among the films that are discussed on the latest episode of CinemAddicts. If you were a fan of the first feature, Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn’t disappoint and is actually an improvement over the original. Be sure to stay for the end credits as it’s one of the most memorable closing sequences in Marvel history.

Robert Pattinson’s streak of excellent work continues with Damsel, a feature that, if you’ve seen the trailer, seems like a rollicking, quirky flick. Although there are some humorous moments in the feature, Damsel also has its share of dark and evocative moments, and it’s one of this year’s best films. Mia Wasikowska, if she gets a strong push from the heads at Magnolia Pictures, should be in the running from awards consideration (along with Pattinson).

Also covered in this podcast is co-host Anderson Cowan’s discussion of his feature directing debut Groupers and a few of my thoughts on the upcoming Keanu Reeves flick Siberia (opening July 13). Click on the media bar below our CinemAddicts discussion of July’s top releases:

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Is A Riveting Nature Vs. Nurture Mystery

Three Identical Strangers

Three Identical Strangers is the true story of triplets (Eddy Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran) who, at the age of 19, realize that they are triplets. Separated at birth and raised by three parents from different socio-economic backgrounds, the guys have a ton of catching up to do.

Their 1980 discovery immediately catapults them to fame, as they became the toast of New York and were featured in various news articles and television program (their talk with Phil Donahue is featured in the documentary. The trio even opened up their own restaurant some years later.

Finding your literal blood brothers had its drawbacks, especially when they discovered their respective adoptions were part of a bigger research study on the “nature vs. nurture” theory. While attempting to explore if individuals can expand beyond their genetic makeup thanks to their environment is intriguing, this research was absolutely inhumane.

To give further plot details on Three Identical Strangers wouldn’t do justice to the documentary, as director Tim Wardle (One Killer Punch) keeps us guessing on the inevitable fate of these tight knit siblings. You can find out their fate with a requisite google search, but that would be doing Three Identical Strangers a disservice.

An incisive and at times heartbreaking look at how lives can be changed by a simple decision, Three Identical Strangers is a compelling mystery that will keep you intrigued (and understandably distressed) until the film’s closing moments.

Three Identical Strangers opens in select theaters June 29.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Deadpool 2’ Review: Merc With A Mouth Is Better The Second Time Around

Deadpool 2

Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Though Deadpool proved Ryan Reynolds was tailor made for the titular role (actually he proved that in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the original film had its share of flaws. With respect to Ed Skrein, Ajax wasn’t the most memorable of villains, the non-linear structure, at least for me, was a bit too jarring.

With the origin story out of the way, Deadpool 2 flies in a much different and more liberating dimension. The merc with a mouth is still annoying (and at times funny) as can be, but this time out he has a worthy adversary in a tough guy from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin).

Determined to kill a powerful young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) for his own, understandable motivations, Cable is a force of nature who the seemingly indestructible Deadpool can’t even stop. After a botched mission with his X-Men buddies Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to reign in Russell, Deadpool eventually bonds with the kid. Vanessa’s (Morena Baccarin) desires to start her own family brings paternal yearnings from our hero, so it’s easy to see why he’ll risk life and limb for this troubled kid.

After assembling a ragtag group he calls X-Force (Zazie Beetz as the luck infused Domino is particularly memorable), Deadpool is ready to save Russell, defeat Cable, and become the ultimate team leader in the process. Since Deadpool is unpredictable as they come, things immediately go south, leading to a ton of destruction and carnage in the process.

Fans of the character will undoubtedly love both films, but even if you get annoyed by Deadpool’s constant chatter (like most of his colleagues), Deadpool 2 is engaging and often eye-popping action fare. David Leitch, who directed one can’t miss sequence from the otherwise blah Atomic Blonde, takes over the directing duties of original filmmaker Tim Miller and does an excellent job. A chase sequence spearheaded by Beetz is bordering on sensory overload, and it’s terrific (the final fight, though not as memorable as the chase, is also finely tuned). Thanks to an excellent ensemble (though Leitch pays a bit more attention to the newer characters, the Deadpool returnees each have their small moments to shine) and a first rate screenplay (Reynolds is a co-writer), Deadpool 2 is a creative highpoint in the comic book genre.

Unpredictable to the core and filled with more easter eggs and self-referential jokes than one can imagine, Deadpool 2 succeeds on all fronts (the end credits are also to die for), proving that the sophomore slump isn’t part of the merc’s verbose vocabulary. 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

David Tennant Gets “Giddy” Over “Bonkers” Role In ‘Bad Samaritan’

Bad Samaritan

David Tennant in BAD SAMARITAN. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Electric Entertainment

Bad Samaritan centers on a valet (Robert Sheehan) who burglarizes the homes of various rich customers. His plan goes awry after visiting a customer’s (David Tennant) home only to find a woman (Kerry Condon) being held captive in the residence. When the valet decides to do the right thing and call in the crime, his good deed doesn’t go unpunished!

“I just got this script and I just thought this is an amazing set-up, a bonkers story, and a bonkers character,” said Tennant. “I just jumped at the chance, really. I wasn’t specifically angling to play a psychotic monster but there is something rather delicious about exploring those darker corners of the human psyche.”

Click on the media bar to hear David Tennant talk about why he was “giddy” with his role in Bad Samaritan:

Bad Samaritan, directed by Geostorm filmmaker Dean Devlin, is now playing in select theaters.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi