Movie News

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Concert Movie Lists

Dan Here:

Time for another round of Best Of Lists.

Previously we have listed the Best Of Movie BarsMatt DamonJohnny DeppTony Scott,

Today, much to the delight of Chris and screaming girls everywhere, UK boy band One Direction, release their concert film, THIS IS US. For some of the new generation, this is like seeing The Beatles on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' and possibly, better than Miley at the VMAs. 

This monumental event has prompted Chris and I to comb through all of the concert movies and music docs we have ever seen. We picked a Combined Top 5 and then each chose 5 more favorites. Sadly, CYPRESS HILL: STILL SMOKIN' did not make the cut, but still, we present: 
The Best Concert Movie Lists!

The Combined All-Time Top 5


"These go to eleven."
It may not be a "real" music documentary, but THIS IS SPINAL TAP had to make the Top 5.
For my money, it's the best mockumentary ever made and possibly Rob Reiner's best film.
There are too many classic lines and scenes to recap, but certainly in the topsy-turvy world of heavy rock, having a good solid piece of wood in your hand is quite often useful. 
TAP is a 10. Or an 11.


Talking Heads and famed director Jonathan Demme's iconic, 1984 independent film.
We get an amazing solo version of "Psycho Killer", lead signer David Byrne doing the "big suit" routine and a great performance of "Genius Of Love" by Tom Tom Club. If you want an introduction to one of the coolest bands in history, crank up the surround sound and start here.


"If you remember it, then you weren't there."
Well, I am glad somebody kept it together long enough to film this documentary!
Woodstock was the cultural pinnacle of a generation and this film captured it very well considering the circumstances. While Jimi Hendrix's "Star-Spangled Banner" is the best remembered song of the festival (even though barely anybody was there to hear it), the real gem is Richie Havens doing "Freedom". It's very powerful and gets to the root of the Woodstock spirit. 
Also, most of it was an improvisation, as he was riffing off an old spiritual to fill time.


Watching GIMME SHELTER, when you know the outcome of the event is almost painful.
You see managers, lawyers, promoters and The Rolling Stones jockey for position on a sinking ship. They all tried to create "Woodstock West", but failed miserably. The movie and cast of characters is so good, it's hard to believe it's all genuine. But there is no way to fake the awesomeness of Mick Jagger in this flick. Love when they debut "Brown Sugar" in their hotel room. 


A band so good they were simply called, The Band. Throw in some of the biggest names in music and you have the perfection that is, THE LAST WALTZ. I've seen this movie and listened to the album more times than I can count, but it never gets old. My favorite part: Bob Dylan joining The Band for "I Don't Believe You". Dylan had been out of the spotlight for a little while, but he was in top form here. Definitely one of my favorite live Dylan performances in history. 
Plus, it's Martin Scorsese, so you know it's good.

Click The link Below For More Of The Best Concert Movies!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


For this Dan's Discs, I've got a full review of Baz Luhrmann's THE GREAT GATSBY.
It was one of the year's most anticipated films, but it just did not deliver on the screen.
Now, I've heard some praise the film's use of 3D and I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was brilliant as always, but the final product did not do justice to one of America's most beloved novels. 
Below is my original review, as it appeared on North/South, 5/24/13.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chris's Review: Woody Allen shines again with ‘Blue Jasmine’


Woody Allen has been on a pretty consistent one-film-a-year streak for the past two-plus decades. Sometimes great, sometimes not, sometimes just okay, Allen has been more miss-than-hit later in his career. Either way, as soon as those trademark black-and-white titles appear and the jazz music kicks in, you know you are settling in to watch a Woody Allen film. The only question is: which way it will go?

The Movie Bar Lists

Dan Here:

It's time for another round of Best Of Lists.

Previously we have listed the Best Of Matt DamonJohnny DeppTonyScott, Michael Bay, 

Today, THE WORLD'S END is in theaters everywhere.
It is directed by Edgar Wright and is the third film of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy.
The film centers around old friends on an epic pub crawl through their hometown.
However, something sinister in going down with the town's residents and they are thrust into action.
If it's anything like SHAUN OF THE DEAD or HOT FUZZ, we should be in for a real treat.

We've seen great films centered around the local watering hole and it's patrons (BARFLY comes to mind), along with many classic showdowns playing out inside (Han shot first!). 
From Westerns to Sci-Fi, bars and film have a long and storied history. 
This time around, Chris and I chose a mutual Top 5 and then each picked 5 more favorites. 
It took a while to narrow down this list, so if your best didn't make the cut, know that it was probably considered (and discarded).

So "Now yous can't leave." because it's time for the Best Movie Bar Lists!


The Combined All-Time Top 5

#5. The Gold Room-- THE SHINING

You can bet that The Gold Room was one hoppin' bar, you know, when it was actually in business.
Either way, Jack Torrance didn't seem to mind the wide open spaces of The Overlook Hotel's gem.
It's a classy spot, Lloyd the bartender is a good listener and always has the Jack Daniels ready.

#4. Rick’s Café Americain-- CASABLANCA

I would have been shocked, shocked, if this had not made the Top 5.
Rick's is the setting for some of the most famous scenes in film history.
It's got booze, gambling and patriotism for days.
My kind of joint.

#3. TIE- The Bamboo Lounge and Copacabana-- GOODFELLAS

The Bamboo Lounge, where Pesci does, "How am I funny?", somehow burned down.
You never had to pay your bill and you could hit the owner over the head with a glass.
Good times.
Anyway, The Copacabana was the actual dope spot. 
Ballers got previously non-existent tables in the front row and used the side door because 
"It's better than waiting in a line.".
And who knows, maybe one night, Bobby Vinton will send you champagne.
There's nothing like it.

#2. Mos Eisley Cantina-- STAR WARS

You can already hear the music in your head.
The tavern for wanted men through out the galaxy is definitely one of the best in film history.
It's an incredible gallery of costume and make-up work,resulting in one of the most memorable sequences in the Star Wars Saga. I absolutely love when Obi-Wan Kenobi starts getting loose with the lightsaber. If you step inside the pirate city's beloved bar, you'd better mind your manners. Or shoot first. Han style.

#1. The Korova Milk Bar-- A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

The only place to pre and post game your ultraviolence!
The Korova Milk Bar is one of the most recognizable sets in film history.
Has everybody watched this in the dark while drinking White Russians?
That's a thing, right?
Chris and I both love Kubrick and this is some of his best work.
So spike your Moloko how ever you'd like, because it's time to go tolchocking.

Click The Link Below For More Of The Best Movie Bars!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This Week in Movie Trailers: American Hustle, Walter Mitty, Her, Lone Survivor, Monuments Men, Kill Your Darlings, Jayne Mansfield’s Car & much more . . .

So many trailers, so little time. I have admittedly been a little lazy and late to post this edition, so there is a tremendous amount to cover. And because of that (and even though it kills me to do so), no commentary will be provided just the trailer and bare bones info (title, director, cast, release date). 

American Hustle (Dir. David O. Russell)

Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, and Robert De Niro, plus Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., and more.

Release Date: December 25

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Dir. Ben Stiller)

Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine.

Release Date: December 25

The Monuments Men (Dir. George Clooney)

Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray

Release Date: December 18

Her (Dir. Spike Jonze)

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, and the sultry voice of Scarlett Johansson

Release Date: November 20

Muppets Most Wanted (Dir. James Bobin)

Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Christoph Waltz, Danny Trejo, Tom Hiddleston, Salma Hayak, Ray Liotta, plus The Muppets and tons more celebrity cameos

Release Date:  March 21, 2014

Check out even more trailers for films like Lone Survivor, Jayne Mansfield's Car, Kill Your Darlings, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, and more . . . plus new trailers for films we have covered before like Thor: The Dark World, Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Counselor, and others. 

Check them all out after the jump . . .

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chris's Review: ‘Elysium’ offers solid action & dazzling visuals

Neill Blomkamp's ELYSIUM, starring Matt Damon

Science-fiction is a genre you almost certainly always have to take with a sizable grain of salt. If not, then we should all be outraged at not having flying cars and robot butlers – or in Elysium’s case, personal cure-all medical tubes. Unfortunately, we do not and will not for the foreseeable future.

Where is my Rosie?
In Elysium, the new sci-fi action film from director Neill Blomkamp (District 9), the world is polluted and vastly overpopulated. In an effort to preserve their way of life, the wealthiest of the wealthy have made for themselves a new home on Elysium, a floating, circular space station hovering just above Earth like out of Kubrick’s 2001. It is close enough to remain connected, but far enough to escape the hardships and unpleasantries. Despite its apparent ruined nature, the film’s camera amazingly captures the vast blue-tinted planet at its most gorgeous, just off the horizon of Elysium. For most on Elysium, the Earth is nothing but an ignored memory and a window dressing.

 Whoops, wrong movie and wrong "Elysium"

Back on Earth, a ripped, bald-headed, and tatted up Matt Damon stars as Max, a criminal turned reluctant factory worker. He lives in the crowded, multi-racial slum that is Los Angeles coated with a permanent cloud of dust, graffiti, and trash – an extremely similar destitute setting as District 9’s Johannesburg (minus the aliens).

The Matt Damon Lists

Dan Here:

It's time for another round of Best Of Lists.

Check out our previous lists for the Best Of Johnny DeppStanley Kubrick, Michael Bay,

ELYSIUM, a new sci-fi, action film from writer/director, Neill Blomkamp is now in theaters (Read Chris's review for ELYSIUM here). His first feature, DISTRICT 9 was a well received, surprise hit in 2009 and it garnered four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay. 

ELYSIUM stars the great Matt Damon, making it a perfect time to take a brief look back at our favorite films of his long and varied career. I have always respected Damon for his talent and his ability to poke fun at himself. I know that in TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE he was the butt of the joke, but I thought that was unwarranted (even though it was hilarious). He's done some good ones, some great ones and some that you'd rather forget, but for my money, he is one of the best working actors. Please enjoy,


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chris's Review: 2 GUNS

The "buddy-cop" film is an important staple of the action genre, especially if that relationship is between two mismatched characters. The whole idea of “The Odd Couple saves the day” is rife with opportunities for both action and comedy – Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Bad Boys, Men in Black, Rush Hour, and basically any other movie written by Shane Black in the ‘90s.

Even as an action flick on the surface, much of these films’ success lives or dies on the chemistry between the actors – Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, etc.

With the new buddy-action film 2 Guns, perhaps you can add Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg to that list. Both proven tough guy heavyweights, but neither necessarily with comedic backgrounds (though Wahlberg does have a slight edge), the two play off of each other so well you would think they had been doing this for years. Unfortunately, while their playful back-and-forth is the highlight, the rest of the film is a rather lackluster action affair.

Unbeknownst to one another, an undercover DEA agent (Washington) and an undercover naval intelligence officer (Wahlberg) find themselves on the run after a botched attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel. While fleeing, they learn the secret of their shaky alliance, and ultimately team up (for real this time) to take down those who betrayed them.


It's Tuesday again, and we have a New Release Day worth talking about.
Anytime you can get Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise to share anything, even a DVD release date, it's big news. So big, that for the first time in Dan's Discs, I will be joined by The South of North/South Film, Chris Henson. He's the talented one who made the awesome new Movie Duos header at the top of the site. This week, we've got two of the year's best films and one that couldn't quite deliver. However, between the three, I think we could see one Oscar nomination, so enjoy:


In our Best of 2013 So Far, I ranked this as my second favorite film of the year, behind STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Chris gave it his number one spot, making it North/South's mutually highest rated film of the year, with only five months of releases left. Gosling and Cooper star in this powerful drama that takes place in three separated, but connected stories. The trailers may have led people to believe that this was a typical cops and robbers movie, but really that's is just the background for a well-rounded character piece. It's a film about fathers, sons, pasts and futures. It's poignant, beautifully shot and definitely a welcome departure from the formula films that have dominated 2013 so far. 
Read my full, four-star review, here.


Chris here:

I really enjoyed director Jeff Nichols’ debut film SHOTGUN STORIES (2007) and absolutely loved his follow-up TAKE SHELTER (2011) – so I had super high hopes for his latest feature MUD. A Southern Gothic fable akin to a modern day Huckleberry Finn, the film is an engrossing coming-of-age tale that tackles love, friendship, and the often thin and blurred line between right-and-wrong.

Though a bigger budget movie than his previous works, Nichols’ indie sensibilities worked to great advantage for the low-key story and the picturesque remote setting. MUD boasts an understated and enigmatic performance from a resurgent Matthew McConaughey and also rising young star Tye Sheridan. Supporting turns from Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, and Sam Shepard are all great as well.

It was my second favorite movie of the year so far, trailing only THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES.
McConaughey has gotten some major Oscar buzz from this film, so definitely check it out as soon as possible.


OBLIVION does a lot of things well, but emotion is not one of them. It comes off as stilted and more often than not, distant. The film tries to be thought-provoking, but ultimately it retreads a lot of well worn sci-fi territory. There are attempts to be poetic and deal with some heady issues like memory, duty, and sacrifice, but often these ideas are sold short for action and easy resolutions. However, Oblivion accomplishes its #1 goal – to be an entertaining summer action movie. The effects and cinematography were very good and there are some decent twists and turns so it's not great, but it's not terrible.
Check out my full review here.

Thank You For Reading! 
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