Category Archives: Drama

Cocktails and Movies Review: “Inferno” – A Hell Of A Letdown

by Mike Reyes

Perhaps the year’s greatest disappointment since Jason BourneInferno has one really good set-piece, some excellent performances, and no substantial film to prop them up with.

tom-hanks-inferno-2016

I remember when The DaVinci Code became the literary success of the year back in 2003, which was an event practically begging for two things to happen: for me to read the book, and for Hollywood to eventually make a movie. Both happened, and to a great extent, as The DaVinci Code and its literary predecessor Angels and Demons, were both excellent literary experiences that translated to equally good films. And yet, when I returned to read The Lost Symbol, I was so disenchanted with the series that I not only wanted the film to never exist, I didn’t even want to return to the world that I had once loved. Unfortunately I did, hoping that Inferno would impress, despite my not having completed the book before my screening. Sadly, I think I’ve grown out of this series, as this movie is a damned mess.

Cocktails And Movies Review: ”Sully” – A biopic that soars in some respects, but has its wings clipped in others.

by Mike Reyes

Clint Eastwood’s latest biopic, Sully, is another fine example of the director’s biopic prowess, but doesn’t rise above a certain level of brilliance.

brody-clint-eastwoods-sully-existential-burden-1200Despite being the man that revived the Western genre for all to know and love in the modern era, Clint Eastwood is a director who loves to tell a story about people. Focusing on notable and intriguing people, be they real life figures or fictional creations, Eastwood’s bread and butter is showing us one person’s life through the lens of the experiences they have. And he’s given us plenty of those films, for better or worse, past the last couple of decades. While Sully is a step up from the dull and unfocused American Sniper, shades of those mistakes still color a film that showcases Tom Hanks’ most restrained performance. 

Cocktails And Movies Review: “Nightcrawler” – A Dark, Dirty Rewrite Of The American Dream

By Mike ReyesNightcrawler_PayoffPoster

Jake Gyllenhaal racks up a performance of a lifetime in this seething directorial debut.

Remember the American dream we were promised as kids? Lou Bloom does, and he remembers it very well, right down to the last detail. The only problem is, the America we live in today has moved past that dream, leaving those who still believe in it to grow more and more disappointed with the world. Some simply give up the fight, while others adapt to the world around them. Not Lou Bloom though. Lou is ready to cash in on that American dream he was promised, and he’ll do anything to make it come true.

Cocktails And Movies Review: “A Most Wanted Man” – The Antidote To Blockbuster Fatigue

Most Wanted Man PosterBy Mike Reyes

The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman leads a cast of brilliance into another marvelous Le Carre adaptation.

For the past decade or so, Hollywood has been on a streak with its creative interpretations and adaptations of John Le Carre’s literary catalog. The Constant Gardener and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy were both thrilling and, thankfully, award nominated pictures that focused on the human price of intelligence operations. Sure, Le Carre’s work is meant to invoke such as theme, as that’s the way it’s written on the page. However,  for the Hollywood adaptations of those works to forgo overblowing an espionage story into an action spectacle of more entertainment value than moral resonance (much like the Bourne series did) is frankly something to behold. A Most Wanted Man not only lives up to the pedigree of such vaunted works in the cinematic canon of recent years, it is the perfect antithesis of everything a summer film represents. It’s also the last completed work of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who – as per usual – shines in this film’s ensemble.

Cocktails And Movies Review: “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” – A Thinking Person’s Blockbuster

By Mike Reyes

Matt Reeves completes the franchise’s transformation from campy sci-fi classic to a full blown cerebral spectacle!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes female-babyGrowing up as a movie geek, there would be certain movies I’d be all about when it came to getting excited. I’d read any tie-in novel you could throw at me, listen to the soundtrack a handful of times beforehand, and watch tons of behind the scenes featurettes to prime myself for the movie before me. I didn’t care about spoiling the movie, I cared about putting myself into the environment of the film so I could better enjoy everything that was about to unfold. I stopped doing that for a good long while, and it took a movie like Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes to put me back on that track. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes promised a sequel that would take what was once a running joke of pop culture and turn it into something much more serious. Matt Reeves not only does this, but he also crafts a film that could be considered The Godfather Part II of science fiction.