The following reactions are from each of AZ Weekly Entertainment Magazine's film columnists Stan Robinson, Randy Montgomery, and Joseph J. Airdo in an effort to generate a well-rounded overview of this weekend's new movie releases.
Ken Marino plays a man whose mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction: a pint-sized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him. (R - 85 minutes)
Joseph: “Bad Milo!’s” joke’s juices run out quite quickly, boring viewers with a seemingly infinite flow of butt-gags. It may have been more fun had writer/director Jacob Vaughan allowed star Ken Marino’s character to bond a bit more with his materialized anxiety.
Filmmaker Jamie Meltzer meticulously constructs a picture of radical left-wing activist turned FBI informant Brandon Darby, posing complicated questions about trust and the nature of reality. (NR - 80 minutes)
Stan: Listed officially as a documentary, filmmaker Jamie Meltzer presents a multi-layered ‘Docu-Drama’, that play’s out like a contemporary ‘soap opera’ of an espionage thriller as the ‘Informant’ tightly stitches together the true events surrounding the central character. As the saying goes, ‘One just couldn’t dream up a scenario with so much intrigue’…
An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest. (PG - 98 minutes)
Stan: Young actress Waad Mohammed in the title role presents the enduring innocent qualities of the very young as writer/director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s story of the fervor of the young as they take in the events of the lives around them, shaping their own personalities into adulthood. In Arabic with English subtitles and well worth a view.
Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller and Suzanne Dengel play college friends who go to the biggest party of the year, where mysterious phenomenon disrupts the night, quickly descending into a chaos that challenges their friendships - and their ability to stay alive. (NR - 95 minutes)
Joseph: If you attempt to think about it too much, “+1” can quickly bring about a big headache. However, if you forget about trying to figure out what is happening and simply succumb to the existential experience, you are likely to be entertained.
Tequan Richmond plays an abandoned boy who is lured to America and drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure (Isaiah Washington). Inspired by the real life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks. (R - 93 minutes)
Joseph: “Blue Caprice” cruises along at a near crawl to a grand finale that, unfortunately, is neither exciting nor insightful. We merely observe obscurity as the new drama tries too hard to avoid anything that could be considered controversial.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play a medical engineer and an astronaut who works together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. (PG-13 - 90 minutes)
Stan: Director/co-writer Alfonso Cuarón and his production team delivers an on-screen magnificent environment that literally transports us into space as we see and feel the vastness of the universe as the realization encompasses us that space is truly the unknown frontier.
Joseph: “Gravity” is a must-see masterpiece that has got an awful lot of weight to it, packing a potent punch with a motivational message, astonishing special effects and a series of events that can only be survived by holding one’s breath.
About the Film Columnists
Stan Robinson’s reviews reflect the insights of an insider. With more than 22 years of experience in media production, Stan uses his behind-the-scenes expertise to survey a film’s technical attributes and considers the challenges that had to be overcome in order to cinematically present a story. E-mail him at Movies@StanRobinson.org.
Randy Montgomery’s reactions reveal the emotional intuition of an average moviegoer. With a master’s degree in counseling and education, Randy grounds his opinions in a unique combination of both a movie’s surface entertainment value and its ability to affect him on an even deeper level. E-mail him at Randyjay7694@yahoo.com.
Joseph J. Airdo’s remarks represent the analytical perspective. With a bachelor’s degree in media analysis and criticism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Joseph contemplates the real life implications and applications of a motion picture’s themes in order to determine its existential purpose. E-mail him at email@example.com.