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Win The Dark Knight Rises OR Magic Mike!!! - South Florida Movie Reviews by I Rate Films

Win The Dark Knight Rises OR Magic Mike!!!
Rick Swift's insight:

If you send us a tweet – using #ChristmasStockingIRF and mention your favorite scene from The Dark Knight Rises and/or Magic Mike, you could be the selected, lucky winner that will be getting EITHER The Dark Knight Rises OR Magic Mike on Blu-ray/DVD! It’s Christmas, so I don’t know which one the Santas at Warner Bros. are going to send. That is the fun of Christmas, folks.

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Justice League - Film Grouch

Justice League - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
Batman forms his league comprising of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and others mentioned above, so that they can stop Steppenwolf from getting the boxes and destroying our planet. Can they learn to work together in time to stop the threat or will they fail? Will the team bring hope again? Seeing this may answer that for you.

Overall I was disappointed the most by the characters of this film. Aquaman wasn't portrayed as King of Atlantis but more like just a dude who has special powers. While The Flash was funny, it was mostly by him being in the presence of superheroes and him showing us why he shouldn't be there. The laughs were more about him being pretty much a coward. While I don't know much about Cyborg, he was the most level headed one of the new characters. His character arc is probably the best option, yet his character seemed pretty mechanical. (No pun intended.)

The film’s most exciting part for me was a side scene where we see the Amazon’s defend one of the three boxes in question. The Amazons are just so fun to watch. I wish I could have said the same for the rest of the cast. I'm still feeling the disappointment.
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The Snowman - Film Grouch

The Snowman - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
As a three year resident of Norway, I had high hopes for this film, and I have been hearing from my Norwegian friends how good the Jo Nesbo Harry Hole series is . . . to read. I was expecting something like Silence of the Lambs meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, what I got was just a convoluted mess of ideas that should have been handled much better! The word that will forever haunt Director Alfredson in regards to The Snowman is "potential." This story had potential, the characters had potential, the editing . . . well, the editing had no potential, it was an utter failure. Right up there with the piss-poor editing of Seven Pounds, in fact.

I recognize that making a film is challenging, and I hate to just crap all over anyone's work, but there was just almost nothing redeeming about The Snowman. This director has two strikes and one home run, for me: his breakout masterpiece, the original Let the Right One In, which still kinda freaks me out and his miss being the boring as hell Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. 
Rick Swift's insight:
The Snowman: I recognize that making a film is challenging, and I hate to just crap all over anyone's work, but there was just almost nothing redeeming about The Snowman. This director has two strikes and one home run, for me: his breakout masterpiece, the original Let the Right One In, which still kinda freaks me out and his miss being the boring as hell Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
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Halloween Wars (Season 7) - Film Grouch

Halloween Wars (Season 7) - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
Halloween is probably my favorite time of the year, because it focuses on the grim specter of death, which none of us are escaping. I guess there is a possibility we could go on as just floating heads in jars like in Futurama, but that doesn't sound like much fun to me. Imagine floating in brine, stuck in a drawer with someone you despise for eternity.  So, as we wonder about how it's all going to end, we can at least enjoy some spectacular creations by the best pumpkin carvers and cake and sugar artists who haven't shoved off this mortal coil . . . yet.   

Each weekend judges Shinmin Li (renowned pastry chef) and Todd Tucker (famous horror makeup artist) will be joined by different guest judges to determine who will go on to take home the grand prize $50,000. The competition is going to be vicious this year! 
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The Hitman's Bodyguard - Film Grouch

The Hitman's Bodyguard - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
One of my all-time favorite movies is Die Hard. It’s a great flick, packed with action, sprinkled with humor, with good guys and bad guys and a great ending. During my viewing of The Hitman’s Bodyguard I thought to myself “Wow, this is almost as good as Die Hard! The Hitman’s Bodyguard has lots of action, car chases, a boat chase, gunfire, two super funny characters, profanity galore, and Samuel L. Jackson being, quite frankly, a bad ass.

Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is, as he refers to himself, a AAA-level special protection agent. He is very good at his job. Until one of his high-profile clients is assassinated right in front of him. This leads him on a downward spiral until two years later, when he is still doing his job, but living in his car, separated from his girlfriend, Interpol Agent Amelia Roussel (Yung), with a kind of dead look in his eyes. It’s like he is just going through the motions, living from one day to the next.

Darius Kincaid (Jackson) is a hit man. THE hit man, and he needs a bodyguard to protect him as he travels from the United Kingdom to the International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands) to attend the trial of Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman), a truly evil man. Darius is a witness for the prosecution in the case against Dukhovich, a brutal and bloodthirsty dictator who will walk free if Darius does not testify against him.

While only in a few scenes, Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) definitely made an impression. Wow. A spicy Mexican, Sonia is Darius’s wife. She is in jail in the Netherlands, but I wasn’t sure if she was being held on charges or if it was just for her protection. I think it was a little of both. Ryan Reynolds has the role of Exasperated Guy down pat, and he is the perfect foil to Samuel L. Jackson and his special brand of crazy.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard had it all: action, gunfights, physical comedy, comedy in general, and an exciting race against time. This will definitely be on my Blu-ray shelf when it’s released. I’ve heard some complaints about a cliched plot but really, hasn’t everything been done already? I appreciated this for what it was, pure entertainment. Go see it for yourself and enjoy!
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Death Wish | Official Trailer

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures presents director Eli Roth’s reimagining of the classic 1974 revenge thriller DEATH WISH. Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is
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The Dark Tower - Film Grouch

The Dark Tower - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
The Josh Chop: It’s never fair to compare a book to a film. Even to compare a screenplay to its final film would be to compare colors of paint in a tube to a final Michelangelo piece. It’s hard to say how this film compares to the novels because, I never read them. When going into this one, I kept an open mind that this film would be unlike other Stephen King novels made for the big screen. Stephen King is of course well known to write fiction that deals with the macabre and horrors only his mind can make up. While The Dark Tower gives us a reason to have nightmares at night, horror is not an overall theme of the film.

I really did enjoy it and would most likely watch it again to see if I could catch things I missed the first time around. My only wish with future Dark Tower films is that the Gunslinger show more emotion and that events be slowed down a bit. They really did fit a TON inside the hour and a half run time. Either way, I definitely think people should see The Dark Tower as it was a pretty decent story overall.
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Atomic Blonde - Film Grouch

Atomic Blonde - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
Swift shot: Set just as the Berlin Wall is about to collapse in 1989, Atomic Blonde delivers style and sexuality with a taste of neon punk and an immersive soundtrack inspired by David Bowie's so-called Berlin Trilogy. This slow but sweet spy thriller does a marvelous job capturing feminine force whilst balancing the nuanced vulnerability that keeps the story from becoming a complete farce of reality. Our Atomic Blonde doesn't always come out of her battles unscathed. But, damn is it fun to watch her turn set pieces into kindling as she messes up the bad guys!

Atomic Blonde also has the added pleasure of being a film you can watch twice to get a better appreciation of each character's motives the second time around, once everything is revealed. If you like slow burn spy thrillers and beautiful women, you'd be a damned fool to miss this one in theaters!
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PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN | Official Trailer

In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr
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Veboli brings back the video store clerk - Film Grouch

Veboli brings back the video store clerk - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
If you are a fan of Seinfeld, you’ll be familiar with the episode called “The Comeback”, wherein Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) happens upon a video store clerk’s recommendations. The clerk, Vincent, seems to really speak to her. His ability to pick the movies she loves resonates with her on every level, and before long she is …
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Nocturne - Trailer - Coming to DVD on 7/25!

A girl running from her past is forced to confront her future when her friends perform an impromptu seance. Dirty secrets are revealed and an uninvite
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - Film Grouch

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
I set the bar very low for Valerian, just keep me entertained. On that point, the film was a success, because Besson is a master at creating worlds and his imagination on screen is certainly praiseworthy. But, the kids, we need to talk about these kids. You know those commercials where you see kids pretending to be adults? That is exactly what was wrong with Valerian, every time they did something that had an air of maturity, it was like watching kids pretending to be cool, or mature. And, it was painful to watch the lack of any chemistry between DeHaan and Delevinge. But, luckily Rihanna comes in to provide some much needed relief.
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The Book of Henry - Film Grouch

The Book of Henry - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
The thing I like most in a movie is when it takes a spectacular turn into the unanticipated or unexpected. The Book Of Henry is just such a film, filled with the best twists and turns I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s also a darn good family drama that accompanies its theme with some very exciting suspense thriller elements.

It’s this brotherly relationship, the way it plays out, and how they interface with the world around them that traps you comfortably into the story. It’s something to behold.

So my take… the film is a true winner. It’s a not-to-be missed sentimental drama in the best sense of the word, which will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. See it by all means.
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Spectral - Film Grouch

Spectral - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
Like many people, I'm (slightly) addicted to Netflix. It doesn't help that they keep coming up with so many good things to watch, like this one for instance. Apparently, Spectral was originally going to come out through Universal Pictures in August 2016, but they changed their minds and transferred the rights to Netflix, who released it in December 2016. I think the way everything turned out was better for the film in the long run. Sci-fi films are a hard sell to audiences in the first place, and this one doesn't have any "big" names in the cast line-up to help push it. Whereas sitting on Netflix gives it a chance to (slowly) find its audience and let word of mouth from the Netflix junkies (like myself) help its name get around without spending tons of money trying to advertise.

The story that Nic Mathieu, Ian Fried, and George Nolfi came up with is pretty cool. It's about US forces that are engaging insurgents over a European country of Moldova. During a mission, a soldier gets separated from his team and runs into what appears to be a ghost. Fortunately, the camera goggles the soldier was wearing recorded the event. Soon, more and more sightings of these things are reported, and before long people are wanting answers. The US military brings in Dr. Mark Clyne (Dale), a researcher from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), who invented the goggles the troops use in the field to see if he came explain what these things are and why they can only be seen through the goggles and not by the naked eye.
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Blade Runner 2049 - Film Grouch

Blade Runner 2049 - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
SPOILERS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN THIS REVIEW!

Blade Runner 2049 is a melancholic noir that follows replicant K as he pursues knowledge of a miracle replicant birth in a sequel that thoughtfully continues the exploration of what it means to be human with what it means to live and love. The designation "K," while short for a serial number, hearkens to The Trial, a film by Orson Welles based on a story of the same name by Kafka. In it an accused man, Joseph K, attempts to discover the crime for which he is accused and defend himself against said undefined accusation. This inkling of pursuing the unknown in the dystopian The Trial can be felt in Blade Runner 2049, as well.

Definitely worth seeing, Blade Runner 2049 is a towering example of how to make movies with a big dash of how not to make movies. I credit the makers with respecting the audience in their quest to combine art and accessibility. As it turns out, however, the opening weekend was a box office disappointment, in some part due to the R-rating, doubtlessly required for the unnecessary and weak sex scenes. What works in this film is fantastic, which makes what doesn't work that much more inexplicable and agitating.

Blade Runner 2049 might subjectively look better, or perhaps offer more of what we all love, but it's not better than the original, nor does it need to be. Where the original sequel fears were justified, and while Villeneuve, himself, said that the chance of success was narrow, Blade Runner 2049 has justified its existence on its own merit by being a very beautiful and worthy addition. In the meantime, before it gets edited seven times, enjoy Blade Runner 2049 for what it is: a torn masterpiece, like its predecessor.
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IT - Film Grouch

IT - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
It isn't necessarily the IT you remember, but it is something you won't ever forget!

Stephen King has often said he never really felt that his novels translate well into full length movies, and with few exceptions, I agree with him. But when I heard he was making the miniseries for regular TV back in the '80s, I wasn't too thrilled. Nevertheless, despite the censoring, that iteration of IT has always remained a favorite, because I really loved the book. And regardless of what your millennial friends are pushing, Tim Curry is, and always will be, Pennywise the Dancing Clown. However, Bill Skarsgård certainly impressed me as his honorable heir, and this full-length feature film lives up to the  hype, IT is a must watch film!
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Nocturne - Film Grouch

Nocturne - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
A non-linear, slick horror film that bends the limits of reality but makes sense when everything comes together. Also, I have said this in many reviews, never mess around with a Ouija board, and if you do . . . always, ALWAYS say good bye! Otherwise you have just invited in any spirit that wants to come in. Think of it like your house, you wouldn't just leave your front door open and not kick out unruly guests, would you? Especially not invisible guests with terrible dark powers! If only these "high school" kids had gotten the memo. The question isn't if they'll all die, it's when and if you'll even realize when it is happening.

If you are looking for a fresh perspective on the somewhat overdone Ouija board horror genre, Nocturne provides it with a compelling, and a bit confusing story-line. There are moments where nothing will make sense, until the very end, and the film never gets boring. I was definitely entertained.
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Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars - Film Grouch

Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
Some old friends are back in this animated, kick-ass film about legendary Space Marines, err I mean the Mobile Infantry (MI). If you aren't familiar with the characters, they are loosely based on the classic bildungsroman about a group of high school kids thrust into a war for survival of their species. An invading swarm of giant, spider-like bugs mercilessly slaughters anything in their path. Traitor of Mars is the latest film to feature many of the original characters from the 1997 film Starship Troopers, also written by Edward Neumeier. Because Traitor of Mars is an animated film, there is no limit to the amount of effects. And we finally get to see the power suits that Heinlein introduced to our world back in 1959, which arguably launched the mecha armor craze that is still strong today.

Overall it was just a fun film that I will definitely be adding to my Blu-ray collection. The addition of the much missed power suits alone makes it a must watch for fans of Heinlein's work. And I had to scour the NET to find the old Microprose PC game from 2000 that I used to play that I swear heavily influenced certain elements of the film. Many times while watching the movie, I kept having flashbacks of playing it and wondering how long the Lost Patrol would last under my command. [Incidentally, there was a 2005 Starship Troopers PC game that apparently stunk.] 

If you are a fan of Neumeier's other writing, I think this one holds up to his style, and I really loved the end credits metal adaption of Basil Poledouris' original score from 1997. It made me want to suit up and jump - because, after all nobody lives forever!
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mother! movie (2017) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer star in mother!, directed by Darren Aronofsky. See it in theatres 9.15. A couple'
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Suburbicon (2017) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

There goes the neighborhood. Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac star in #Suburbicon, directed by George Clooney. Watch the new trailer now, and se
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XX (2017) - Film Grouch

XX (2017) - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
Now, XX came out in February 2017 and it takes about eighty minutes to tell it's four stories, which are: The Box, The Birthday Party, Don't Fall and Her Only Living Son. XX fills in the spots between the stories with this creepy (stop-motion) walking dollhouse that goes around interacting with different things in the room. Instead of using the whole movie to tie everything together, like one big story, the dollhouse ends up being like a fifth story that doesn't really end up being anything, but a creepy walking dollhouse.

Overall, it's not my favorite anthology by any means and it's definitely in my one and done pile, but a couple of the stories are cool. Since I found this one on Netflix (as of 7/14/2017) if you're having a sleepless night, give it a spin.
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Wonderstruck - Teaser [HD] | Amazon Studios

Based on Brian Selznick’s critically acclaimed novel, Ben and Rose are children from two different eras who secretly wish their lives were different. Be
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Puppet Killer Trailer

Puppet Killer: Where one pink mother fucker stains the ground red. While celebrating Christmas at a cabin in the woods, a group of high school students ar
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Dunkirk - Film Grouch

Dunkirk - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
This was supposed to be a film about the suffering and enduring spirit of the incredible evacuation at Dunkirk, but instead all of the emotion was sapped out of it and lost in a ridiculous attempt to make a slick non-linear film that was poorly edited, albeit incredibly shot. There is so much left to wonder about Dunkirk, after viewing it, that it becomes annoying and perturbing when you consider this is supposed to be a film about the heroes of Dunkirk. To be quite brutal, this movie ran-aground in the editing.

It wasn't a god-awful film, though. There were moments I liked.

The spitfire sequences were incredible, hearing the rattling, the attention to detail was amazing throughout the film, the fighters and bombers and ships and uniforms. The sinking sequences and the gun-shots were all technically remarkable, but when you have no idea who these people are, or what ship they are on, or well, anything, you end up losing a lot of the emotion! Like with Cillian Murphy, as I said at the beginning, the cinematography was impeccable, without equal, maybe, but much like a science fiction film with great effects, if the story is bad, the film will be bad overall.
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Road to the Well - Film Grouch

Road to the Well - Film Grouch | Film reviews | Scoop.it
An independent thriller about choices that we make and the consequences we face based on the company we keep and how it's rarely ever as black and white as we would like to pretend.

Frank (Fuller) is by all outward appearances a very unhappy guy, he is stuck in a dead-end job where he really has no authority over anyone. He's a kind of nutless nobody, that can't even deal with the guy who is sticking it to his woman right under his nose. But as luck, or twisted fate, would have it, Frank is visited by an old friend who helps him clarify what life is all about.

This is definitely one of those, "I wonder how I would have handled that" films, where you can't completely take yourself out of the story. Because depending on the company you keep, you just might find yourself a victim of similar dark choices. If there is any message to draw out of Road to the Well, it is that, be wary of those you let into your life.
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