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Wild Review


Good

Reese Witherspoon gives a beautifully stripped-back performance in this epic journey based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed. The title has a double meaning, as it follows this wild child through the Wild West in a quest to find her centre. This metaphor is as obvious as Cheryl's badly over-loaded backpack, but while the messages are unmistakable the filmmaking and acting are raw and natural. And the settings are spectacular.

After a chaotic patch of wanton living, seen in flashback, Cheryl (Witherspoon) sets off to hike a thousand miles along the Pacific Crest Trail, from Mexico to Canada. She has no idea what she's doing, but bravely goes for it, overcoming feelings of loneliness before getting to know some fellow hikers along the trail as she traverses deserts, mountains and forests amid sunshine, rain and snow. All of this gives her a chance to make sense of a variety of memories involving her mother (Laura Dern), her ex-husband (Thomas Sadoski), her younger brother (Keene McRae) and her best friend (Gaby Hoffmann). And there are plenty of issues that need to be sorted out.

The film is structured in a way that lets us learn about Cheryl's past gradually. Important facts and events are dribbled in throughout the hike, shaping Cheryl's physical odyssey into a journey of self-discovery, which is more than a little gimmicky. Especially when "telling" quotes are printed right across the screen. Thankfully, Nick Hornby's script and Jean-Marc Vallee's direction never moralise about her history of promiscuity and drug abuse. These things are not the problem: they are symptoms of what's wrong with Cheryl. And this gives the film a maturity lacking in most Hollywood-studio films that are happy to find easy explanations and solutions.

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San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 4

Brian Van Holt - San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 4 - Celebrity Sightings - San Diego, California, United States - Sunday 27th July 2014

Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt

Celebrities attend NBCUniversal's 2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2 - Arrivals

Trician Helfer and Brian Van Holt - Celebrities attend NBCUniversal's 2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2 - Arrivals at THE Beverly Hilton Hotel. - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Monday 14th July 2014

Brian Van Holt

Wild Trailer


When young Cheryl Strayed loses her beloved mother, her entire world seems to come crashing down around her. With her family members distancing themselves from each other in their mourning, she feels she has no-one left to turn to and starts taking heroin and indulging in promiscuous behaviour to comfort herself - if only temporarily. As expected, she and her husband soon divorce as her antics do not improve and she decides that she needs to find another outlet for her grief. Despite having had no previous experience, she decides to embark on a solitary journey across the Pacific Crest Trail; a 1,100 mile hike from California to Canada across brutal mountains and savagely dry desert. Has Cheryl made the biggest mistake of her life? Or will she finally be able to find peace with the world?

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Jillian Michaels leads Flywheel class to Celebrate the Launch of EBOOST natural energy flavors for SodaStream

Brian Van Holt - Jillian Michaels leads Flywheel class to Celebrate the Launch of EBOOST natural energy flavors for SodaStream - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 28th May 2014

Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt and Terrell Owens
Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt

Courteney Cox directing an episode of 'Cougar Town'

Brian Van Holt and Ian Gomez - Courteney Cox directing an episode of 'Cougar Town' at a beach in Santa Monica - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Tuesday 22nd October 2013

Brian Van Holt and Ian Gomez

16th Annual Women in Film Malibu Golf Classic

Brittany McGowan, Brian Van Holt and Chloe Hope Hatfield - 16th Annual Women in Film Malibu Golf Classic at the Malibu Country Club - Malibu, California, United States - Saturday 13th July 2013

Brian Van Holt
Brian Van Holt
Brittany McGowan, Brian Van Holt and Chloe Hope Hatfield

Bullet To The Head - Trailer Trailer


Jimmy Bobo is a brutal hitman; the best of his kind, an expert in the convenient disposal of unwanted individuals. When his partner is killed in a ruthless attack by the formidable ex-mercenary Keegan, he vows to take him out but things get serious when he is approached by WDCPD detective Taylor Kwon who seeks his help to investigate the killer who has also murdered his colleague. Although reluctant and apprehensive at first, Jimmy accepts to work with him especially after his tattoo fanatic daughter Lisa is kidnapped by the enemy to lure him into the hands of Keegan who, not content with slaughtering Jimmy's partner, wants to kill him too.

This action thriller is based on the French graphic novel 'Du Plomb Dans La Tete' (which translates to the movie's title) by Alexis Nolent. Out of their usual main areas of filmmaking expertise, the movie has been directed by Walter Hill (producer of the 'Alien' film series and 'Prometheus') who co-wrote the screenplay with Alessandro Camon (co-producer of 'American Psycho' and executive producer of 'Bad Lieutenant'). 'Bullet To The Head' is sufficiently action packed, with a grand portion of humour thrown in there as Sylvester Stallone drops in the characteristic one-liners. It is set to be released on February 1st 2013.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Sung Kang, Jon Seda, Brian Van Holt, Holt McCallany, Weronika Rosati

Man of the House Review


Grim
Some films are so bad they bring shame even to the lowly reviewer who sits through them to make a lousy nickel. Man of the House is almost, but not quite, that bad.

The premise: Tommy Lee Jones plays a Texas Ranger who goes undercover in a girls' sorority house to protect five cheerleaders who have witnessed a murder -- is about as bad a concept as has ever been approved by a studio (at least until the Deuce Bigalow sequel comes out). But a funny thing about this film (about the only funny thing) is that the actors seem to be enjoying themselves -- especially Jones, whose droll, dry persona makes this film, if not a hoot, at least not a total travesty.

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S.W.A.T. Review


Unbearable
Is it that Samuel L. Jackson's character is nicknamed "Hondo"? Could it be the sequence where Colin Farrell goes running on the beach, appears to flirt with a dog and later explosively vomits, all of it set to the Rolling Stones' "Shattered"? Or maybe it's the time that the cast of S.W.A.T. all bust out with a rendition of the theme song from the TV show that the movie itself was based on. (Imagine Tom Cruise humming the Mission: Impossible theme while breaking into Langley.) You can pick from a variety of primary causes, but the end result is the same: S.W.A.T. is such an abominable waste of time and resources that I barely know where to begin.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but it should probably start with the script by David Ayer and David McKenna, which starts with your basic bank hostage scenario that can only be solved by (cue music) the S.W.A.T. team. Hotdoggers Jim Street (Colin Farrell) and Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner) move into the bank, disobeying orders, and Gamble ends up shooting (nonfatally) one of the hostages. Street gets demoted out of S.W.A.T., while Gamble quits the department entirely, holding a serious grudge.

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House of Wax (2005) Review


Terrible
At last count, summer 2005 has approximately 2,005 remakes on the slate, from a re-imagined Bewitched to a rejuvenated War of the Worlds. The parade of photocopies was supposed to begin this week with House of Wax, a marketable, MTV-friendly version of the original and far superior 1953 version, which starred Vincent Price.

But can you technically call this new House a remake? Helmed with vague sensibilities by music video director Jaume Serra, this vacant lot bears absolutely no resemblance to its predecessor, save for the fact that they both feature suspicious wax museums. That's like saying Titanic is a remake of The Poseidon Adventure because they both take place on capsized luxury liners.

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Whipped Review


Excellent
The time is the present, and the setting is New York: where everyone has game... or at least thinks they do. Brad (Brian Van Holt) thinks he's got game but is really an unabashedly sexist pig. Zeke (Zorie Barber) thinks he's got game but all he has are physical shortcomings. Jonathan (Jonathan Abrahams) knows he doesn't have game, but is forced to ante up stories as if he did because Zeke and Brad constantly brag over Sunday breakfasts about how they scammed during the week. And Eric (Judah Domke), a man who was designed to "jump on the grenade" at parties and ended up marrying the grenade, just wants to escape from his utterly pitiful life.

Enter into the story Mia (Amanda Peet), a girl who appears to be innocent but who we quickly discover to be playing all sides against the middle. Mia meets Brad, Zeke, and Jonathan one week, then schedules dates for the next week, only to be surprised by all three on the same night. Knowing that she is found out, she decides that it will be impossible to do a relationship with any single one of them because she likes them all too much and offers them the choice of each one having a relationship with her or having them all leave. Because all of them are too cocky to let Mia go, they all end up dating her... alternating nights, bumping into each other on the way out, and generally growing to hate each other rather quickly.

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Man Of The House Review


Zero
Friday, February 25, 2005

If you're looking for a review of "Cursed" or "Man of the House" in your newspaper this morning, you're not going to find one -- in any newspaper anywhere. Opening in theaters nationwide today, these two movies have been kept hidden from critics because, to be blunt, the studios think they're garbage and want to rake in as much money as they can before word gets out.

Of course, nobody will admit to this at Dimension Films or Columbia Pictures, which are releasing the junkers. But it's no coincidence that every movie Hollywood doesn't screen in advance -- either by not holding previews until the night before opening or not holding them at all -- is largely lambasted once critics and audiences have caught up with it.

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Basic Review


Grim

A Hollywood-slick military mystery-thriller packed with over-scripted, less than cogent twists, "Basic" is so full of cheap red herrings that watching it feels like gorging on a Long John Silver's all-you-can-eat buffet.

John Travolta stars as Tom Hardy, a cocky ex-Army Ranger turned possibly crooked DEA agent who is tapped by his former commander (Tim Daly) to interrogate survivors of a live-fire Special Forces training mission which went so badly awry that none of the survivors will talk about it with on-post investigators.

Of the nine soldiers that went into the Panama jungle during a hurricane under the command of hated, mercilessly hard-driving, order-barking Sgt. Nathan West (a perfectly cast Samuel L. Jackson), it seems only two came back alive. Everyone else, including the sergeant, was killed in either a friendly-fire accident or a heated showdown over command structure, West's psychological abuse and a possible drug-use cover-up.

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Whipped Review


Unbearable

The superficial modern sex farce "Whipped" takes place in a world where all women are beautiful, shallow, sex-mad and stupid.

It's a world populated by runway models and girls nicknamed "Heidi the Hoover" who happily go home two at a time with overconfident Melvins in leather pants and pleasure these pigs all night long. Then some of these Barbie dolls subsequently steal guys' TVs while they're in the shower the next morning, proving how untrustworthy chicks are, dude.It's a world where groups of guys gather in chromey corner diners in Manhattan on Sunday mornings to loudly compare detailed notes on the quantity and quality of the babes they bagged on Friday and Saturday nights.

It's a world that could appeal only to folks whose lives revolve around frat parties because in this world everyone -- everyone -- is utterly devoid of any qualities that make people worth knowing. It's "The East Village of the Damned Blackguard Bachelors."

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