Category Archives: Genre Spotlight

Genre Spotlight: Secret Santa Selections Revealed

Earlier this month we mentioned that for the Genre Spotlight we decided to do a Secret Santa amongst us Advocates. Each Advocate secretly picked a movie for another to review.  Each week we released a review that was given to us. Below is a paragraph from each Advocate on what movie they picked and why.

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Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

My Secret Santa this holiday season is none other than Jonathan MacFarlane, our resident Batman expert.  And being a Batman expert he decided it would be best for me to review Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.  Receiving this film for Christmas, from Jonathan, actually stems from a debate that took place on an episode of our wildly popular podcast of the same name.  Our debate was whether Walk Hard was a strong enough selection to qualify as his favorite comedy or if he should submit to me and choose a time tested comedy such as Airplane, Ghostbusters, or Country Strong. Read the rest of this entry

Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): Super High Me

Most discussion of documentaries, like that of a historical/period biopic, seems centered more around the subject matter than the movies themselves. A lot of documentary filmmakers have gotten away with building entire careers on this fact – one in particular (whose name I won’t mention) has managed to create and popularize his own subgenre of shrill, “ambush”-style comedy-documentary, which has dominated the industry for over two decades now, based on the fact that people only discuss him in terms of the ideas he sets forth, not on the quality of movie he actually makes (and don’t even get me started on what I think of him as a human being). Me, I enjoy a good documentary as much as the next guy, but much prefer the interview-only or fly on the wall types to the ones with lots of voiceovers, Powerpoints, and “wacky” infographics, all of which I find a bit obvious, reductive and…well, cheesy.

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Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): MirrorMask

I’m torn on MirrorMask, my DAMRB Secret Santa gift this year. I can see how people can like it, even adore it (including, I’m assuming, my fellow reviewer who bestowed it upon me), but I can also see it as a clumsy, second-rate children’s tale.

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Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element is a weird movie. Almost every aspect of it is bizarre, and, for the most part, I can’t tell if it’s intentional or not. With a few caveats, it’s awesome. Read the rest of this entry

Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): Birdemic: Shock and Terror

I have seen a lot of movies. I like “bad” movies. One of my favorite movies of all time is Half-Baked. I can appreciate a B movie. Then, I watch something like Birdemic and my faith in humanity is tested to its limits. Birdemic has to be the worst movie I have ever seen on purpose. Coming from me, that speaks volumes. This makes Avatar look like Hamlet.

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Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): Almighty Thor

Before I start this review, I gotta say, I didn’t think I’d been THIS naughty this year. Cause the DAMR Secret Santa took a big ol’ poop in my stocking, let me tell ya!

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Cowboys & Aliens

Take one part James Bond, one part Indiana Jones and mix in some cowboys and throw in some aliens with a side of Olivia Wilde sex appeal and you get the latest Jon Favreau directed movie.

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Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): Go

Just so we’re clear, you stole a car, shot a bouncer, and had sex with two women?

When I found out that 1999’s Go was bestowed on me for this month’s spotlight my first thoughts were of excitement. Partly due to the fact that I haven’t viewed this film since that year and I do recall liking it and partly because I received what I deemed was a decent film in our Secret Santa genre month.  Truth be told, before reviewing it I wouldn’t be able to tell you nothing about the plot other than Katie Holmes and Sarah Polley being grocery store employees and Timothy Olyphant being a drug dealer, everything else was a complete blur.

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Genre Spotlight: Secret Santa Edition

Each and every month here on Devils Advocates Movie Reviews we dedicate a month to spotlighting an actor, director, or genre.  Getting into the holiday spirit, each available Advocate secretly picked a movie, which was randomly “gifted” to another Advocate.  Join us each week in December as our reviewers give their thoughts on the movie selected for them;  then join us on the last Friday of the month for the big reveal of who selected which movie and why.  Check out the schedule below to see what’s in-store.

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Genre Spotlight: Mystery, Alaska

I play hockey and I fornicate, ’cause those are the two most fun things to do in cold weather.

Those who know me know that I am a huge hockey lover beside a movie lover. So when we decided to do a month dedicated to sports, it was a no-brainer for me. The only question was “What hockey movie to review?” 2004’s Miracle about the 1980 USA Olympic team was a consideration. I even contemplated 1986’s Youngblood with Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze. Sure there are The Mighty Ducks movies as well. Ultimately I went with 1999’s Mystery, Alaska. Sure there is also 1977’s Slap Shot, but I felt I couldn’t do that movie enough justice with a review for that is the Holy Grail of hockey movies.

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Genre Spotlight: Driven

Driven is an open wheel racing film, directed by Renny Harlin and starring Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote and produced the thing. It centers on a young racing driver’s efforts to win the now defunct ChampCar World Series, while being aided by a retired veteran, and hindered by his own self doubt.

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Genre Spotlight: Homeboy

This was supposed to be a review of Raging Bull. I’d seen it before, but couldn’t remember if I liked it or not, so I figured, hey, why not revisit it for the theme month? Then I started watching it and remembered I really don’t like Raging Bull at all. So I hopped onto Netflix to find a different sports movie to watch; I settled on Mickey Rourke’s 1988 film Homeboy. You may be thinking, Homeboy? I’ve never heard of that. I assure you, there is a reason. In short, I had made a terrible mistake.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Thor

“I still don’t think you’re the god of thunder… but you ought to be”

Marvel Studios (the movie branch of the comic publisher) struck gold with Iron Man – a movie whose success they’ve been trying to replicate ever since. Does Thor once again capture lightning in a bottle, or is the thunder-god’s movie just a passing drizzle? Read the rest of this entry

Genre Spotlight: Bend It Like Beckham

“Honey, all I’m saying is there is a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one of them without a fella.”

Ah, the early 2000s, when David Beckham was king, the Spice Girls weren’t quite a distant memory, and Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were kicking ass and taking names in front of a world audience. It was a new millennium, the entire world appeared to be changing before our very eyes, and every soccer-playing teenage girl just knew in their hearts that it could be all theirs, if only given the chance.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: X-Men: First Class

Set to tell the tale of the early days of how the X-Men came to be is the prequel of sorts to the previous X films is X-Men: First Class. Matthew Vaughn directs this film to show the origins of the two main leaders of the warring factions in the mutant community Charles Xavier aka Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto.

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Genre Spotlight: Above The Rim

September is a genre month for our Spotlights and this month’s spotlight is on Sports Movies. I must confess to not being a fan of most traditional sports and even less of a fan of traditional sports movies. I think my favorite sports movie might be The Big Lebowski (bowling). See? Not a traditional sports movie. I find most professional sports in this country boring. There. I said it. I feel so much better. For Sports Month, I decided to do things a little differently and watch a movie that I would never have watched on my own and I am glad I did.

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Episode 82: Captain America

This week Mike C, Jonathan M, Rene A, and Mike P talks some Captain America.

This is the first in a two part episode, covering the super soldier serum, who has the best Avengers lead in, and dying a virgin.

This second part of the Captain America episode features a 3-2-1 list of Marvel movie favorites and bombs. Oh and Joe joined us as well.

Plus as an added bonus, a couple Devils talk trailers in a separate bonus episode discussing The Dark Knight Rises, Amazing Spider-Man, & Avengers.

Give us a listen because it’s better than watching Howard the Duck.

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Cowboys & Aliens

Take one part James Bond, one part Indiana Jones and mix in some cowboys and throw in some aliens with a side of Olivia Wilde sex appeal and you get the latest Jon Favreau directed movie.

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Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel Comics has been on quite a roll with their movies this year (Thor, X-Men: First Class) and Captain America: The First Avenger keeps that streak going. Directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji) and starring Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America and the great Hugo Weaving as his arch-villain the Red Skull, Captain America is a great thrill ride of a movie. It’s a comic book movie with the patented silliness that comes with the genre, but the movie is done with such style that you just go along for the ride regardless of how silly everything is.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

When the first Transformers hit I found myself having difficulty being objective.  Giant freaking robots were on the movie screen, fighting, flying, and falling all over.  Then the second film rolled into theaters, but for some reason I was able to resist its “charms” this time around. Now the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is out and I find myself somewhere between the first and second film, or, in other words, between a moon rock and a hard place. Read the rest of this entry

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Devil’s Advocate Review)

To say the hype and expectations for the third movie in the Transformers movie series were greater than the previous installment would be an understatement. After disappointing reactions from Revenge of the Fallen, even Michael Bay himself acknowledged that he was going to do what he can to make Dark of the Moon superior to its predecessor.

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Genre Spotlight: Constantine

Constantine, the final film in our Comic Book film spotlight, is adapted from the comic book “Hellblazer”.  The protagonist, John Constantine spun out of the pages of “Swamp Thing” due to his popularity and has been going strong ever since.  The series, while on the fringe of the DC comic book universe, grew in popularity under the Vertigo label.  Once the movie was a reality, the studio needed to differentiate “Hellblazer” from the horror film franchise Hellraiser, and thus Constantine was born. Read the rest of this entry

Green Lantern (Devil’s Advocate Review)

No film is perfect and even the really good ones are missing something. Green Lantern is missing quite a few things, which in the end are really the factors that keep it from being an interstellar hit. The one truly unforgivable thing is there was no rendition of (and there are quite a few to choose from) “You Light Up My Life”. Read the rest of this entry

Green Lantern

Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!

Warner Brothers’ latest attempt to transform a DC Comics’ property into a franchise scores, but Green Lanterns‘ light doesn’t burn as brightly as it could.

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Genre Spotlight: The Rocketeer

It’s a rocket.
A rocket?
Yeah. Like in the comic books

Based on a comic book series that first appeared in 1983 by Dave Stevens, and directed by Joe Johnston (who is helming the up coming Captain America movie), The Rocketeer recreates 1930’s Hollywood, complete with gangsters, Nazi spies, and the innovation and danger of the golden Age of Aviation. With a chisel-jawed hero that could have walked straight from the pages of a pulp comic from that same era, and featuring mid-air chicainary and amazing stunt flying that stuck in my mind at the impressionable age of thirteen, the film has always been one of my favourite fantasy adventure films. Read the rest of this entry

Genre Spotlight: 30 Days of Night

Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost city in the United States, one of the northernmost cities on Earth in fact, and as a dyed-in-the-wool city (and warm-weather) person, the mere act of typing the words “Barrow, Alaska” into Google Maps was enough to put me off my morning tea (you’ll notice that the airport is actually about as big as the entire town, which makes me wonder if the number one activity in Barrow, Alaska is getting the hell away from Barrow, Alaska). Just 1300 miles south of the North Pole, Barrow is well within the Arctic Circle, which affords it, every winter (at least in the world of the book and movie – you can look online for yourself to see how it really works), the titular 30 Days of Night.

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X-Men: First Class

Set to tell the tale of the early days of how the X-Men came to be is the prequel of sorts to the previous X films is X-Men: First Class.  Matthew Vaughn directs this film to show the origins of the two main leaders of the warring factions in the mutant community Charles Xavier aka Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto.

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Genre Spotlight: Sin City

Hey, everybody, remember when Robert Rodriguez made movies that weren’t supposed to be bad? Before he pretty single-handedly started this “ironic movie” thing that’s currently happening? Yeah, me neither. But at some point before these dark days, he made Sin City, based on the comic series of the same name. And it was fantastic.

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Thor

“I still don’t think you’re the god of thunder… but you ought to be”

Marvel Studios (the movie branch of the comic publisher) struck gold with Iron Man – a movie whose success they’ve been trying to replicate ever since. Does Thor once again capture lightning in a bottle, or is the thunder-god’s movie just a passing drizzle? Read the rest of this entry