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New Releases and Upcoming Movies

New & Upcoming Movie Releases

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Release: November 20th
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth 
Genre: Adventure | Sci-Fi
Synopsis: After being symbolized as the "Mockingjay", Katniss Everdeen and District 13 engage in an all-out revolution against the autocratic Capitol.
The Night Before
Release: November 20th
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lizzy Caplan, Miley Cyrus 
Genre: Comedy
Synopsis: In New York City for their annual tradition of Christmas Eve debauchery, three lifelong best friends set out to find the Holy Grail of Christmas parties since their yearly reunion might be coming to an end.
The Good Dinosaur
Release: November 25th
Cast: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn 
Genre: Animation | Adventure | Comedy Synopsis: An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.
Release: December 4th
Cast: Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Allison Tolman
Genre: Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
Synopsis: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.
Release: December 4th
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Michael Fassbender, Elizabeth Debicki
Genre: Drama | War
Synopsis: Macbeth, a Thane of Scotland, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Release: December 18th
Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Synopsis: A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi(1983).
Daddy's Home
Release: December 25th
Cast: Linda Cardellini, Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell
Genre: Comedy
Synopsis: A step dads life is turned upside down, when his step kids father comes back into their life.

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Interview: Cary Elwes
Listen to Gavin's interview with actor Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw) about his new TV series The Art of More:
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The Good Dinosaur
The funny thing about Pixar movies is that people think they're all good. I love Pixar and I'm not here to cut them down in anyway but I'm also not here to blow smoke up their ass. It's true that over half of the greatest animated films of all time were done them but they're not all good. Cars 2 and Brave are terrible films. Many argue that Monsters University is equally as bad, although I disagree with that. Ratatouille is a Pixar film that is completely forgotten about by most people altogether. So where will The Good Dinosaur fall on that list? I have a feeling that this will be the subject of debate among Disnerds for years to come as it seemed to split the room. As far as I'm concerned, the lofty, abstract concept about a boy and his dog should have been called The Not-So-Good Dinosaur because that's what it was. In the movie's defense, it's hard to come on the heels of Inside Out. It was just five months ago that Pixar released one of their greatest accomplishments with that film and I would imagine the shadow it casts will be long and dark. So it was an uphill battle for The Good Dinosaur from the start. However, every other misstep it took was the film's fault. None of the trailers did a great job explaining what the hell this movie was about and there is a good reason - it's strange. Basically, it's a Western film told with every cliche in the genre. It poses the question, "what if the dinosaurs never died out." Great premise! However, it says that if that happened, dinosaurs would exist still today and humans would be low on the evolutionary scale for some reason. On top of that, dinosaurs also would have developed language skills, discovered agriculture and even built structures that look like ours. I know this is a children's film but don't pretend to be clever with stuff adults would only care about but still be stupid enough that only children would accept. "But you said it's a Western?" That's right, in every way. The soundtrack, the characters, the gorgeous animated landscapes that look real; everything is plucked straight from the pages of any John Wayne script except instead of humans, the film is about dinosaurs. I want to give The Good Dinosaur credit for being clever and creative for blending two things that have nothing to do with each other but I can't because it feels so forced. It seemed like the executives at Pixar knew they wanted to make a Western but saw the research that dinosaurs test very well with boys age 4-12, so they came up with this ludacrous plot as a way to "achieve" both an artistic goal for the company and lucrative marketing as well. (It worked, my son wants all the toys.) Pixar keeps it in the family like the mafia. There are a few Made Men that have earned the right to be untouchable - John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars), Pete Doctor (Monsters Inc, Inside Out), Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) and Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille). Every once in a while they let a rookie take a shot at directing and sometimes it's their best film ever like when Lee Unkrich directed Toy Story 3 but usually it's a mess. The Good Dinosaur was directed by Peter Sohn who's been a behind-the-scenes guy for a while and lent his voice to many characters, most notably Squishy in Monsters University. The guy knew how to make a gorgeous looking film but didn't know how to make it feel original or all that entertaining. There are some really funny moments in The Good Dinosaur. There is animation that truly astounds how realistic and gorgeous it is. But at its core it must be solid storytelling and this simply is not. The moments that it wants us to feel a human connection and emotional pull is not quite enough to get us there. If the goal was simply to be a profitable film that's no different than anything Dreamworks or Sony puts out, it achieved that. However, the problem with being the standard for superb cinematic animation is that it makes your average films feel like letdowns. Perhaps this was a script that should have gone extinct.
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Interview with Bobcat Goldthwait
To the lesser informed, Bobcat Goldthwait is the crazy, screamer guy from the Police Academy movies, Hot to Trot, Scrooged and many other '80s films. That's true but there's so much more to him. He is one of the greatest working stand-up comics today and always has been but what's even better is where he's at in his film career. The man is an amazing writer and director and tackled so many genres. Films like World's Greatest Dad, God Bless America, Willow Creek and his latest, a documentary called Call Me Lucky are breaking cinematic molds and ballsy as hell. Check out this conversation I got to have with him and then watch all those movies.
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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2
When a beloved franchise comes to an end it's usually a sad event. I remember when Harry Potter finally concluded, it was not just an end to books and movies but an end to a chunk of our lives that made us feel youthful. I enjoyed The Hunger Games books and thought the movies were good but never great. But with the conclusion of the series on the big screen, am I the only person who has a feeling of relief? After seeing Mockingjay Part 2, my thought was "well, thank God that's over with." I don't even know why I felt that way? Maybe because it's such a bleak series or maybe it's because the movies never ever captured the excitement of the books but for whatever reason here we are and thank God that's over with. Jennifer Lawerence is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, actresses in Hollywood right now and it's safe to say that The Hunger Games put her there. Sure, she was nominated for an Oscar at 19-years-old for Winter's Bone but nobody saw it. Sure, she was great in X-Men: First Class but that movie was so overall amazing that she blended into the background. No, it was The Hunger Games that made people take notice and cast her in more challenging roles that won her Oscars. She is a great actress but I never felt like she was great in any of The Hunger Games films. Mockingjay Part 2 is no different as she plays the melancholy role of Katniss one last time in the sluggish and underwhelming final film. Everyone is back, including director Francis Lawrence who did the last two Hunger Games films and Phillip Seymour Hoffman for his final performance. By the time four movies are made with the exact same cast, you expect a feeling of organic closeness to come from everyone but this cast feels as disjointed and distant from each other as they did in the first one. The relationship between Lawerence and her two love interests, Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are Alright, Red Dawn) and Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song, Expendibles 2), still doesn't feel authentic. Award-winners like Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Jeffrey Wright (the James Bond films, Source Code) churn out lukewarm performances. In fact, if you never heard of anyone in this cast, you'd never believe that it's made up of some of the greatest actors working today. The only performance that FINALLY stretches out and shines is from Donald Sutherland who shows us just how evil President Snow can be. Splitting a book into two films has worked only one time and that was with the final Harry Potter installment. In every other case, it's evidence that Hollywood would rather make money than make quality. The Hobbit will always be the best example of that but Mockingjay might be the second. Splitting The Deathly Hallows into two films made sense because it's over 700 pages and so much happens! Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay is not even 400 pages and is arguably the worst in the series. I was impressed with Mockingjay Part 1 because they managed to do more with the boring text than I thought anyone could but Mockingjay Part 2 proved to be the exact opposite. It's punishingly slow and spends over 20 minutes ending which is a kiss of death when the ending is as poorly written as it is. If Mockingjay was made as one film that was around 140-minutes-long you would have had a better product and everyone knows it. This is making me sound like a hater of The Hunger Games and I'm not. Those books will always remind me of a time in my life before becoming a parent when I had time to binge-read books and I was thrilled to devour them. However, the movies never made me feel like they were respectable adaptations and the conclusion of the films proves that I'm right. I will forever insist people read the books for a great time but watch the movies only if they have nothing better to do. Perhaps this was a story that will always seem like a great idea to behold on the big screen but never actually is. Nonetheless, thank God it's over with.
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