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Rating History

Doctor Detroit
8 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Truly diversely talented actors are hard to find in the current era of entertainment. Sure, there are good actors, both male and female, but finding actors who show true diversity and talent within that diversity is difficult to say the very least. Thinking briefly, some of the names that come to this critic's mind are the likes of Meryl Streep, the late great Robin Williams, the legendary Katherine Hepburn, and as underappreciated as he is, Paul Giamatti among others. These actors showed time and again their ability to adapt to so many different styles of performances, and did so with such talent. As noted, they are just some of the people on that list. Another name that deserves to be discussed along with them is none other than Dan Akroyd. Akroyd, has shown just as much talent through his diverse roles as his counterparts and contemporaries. Ghostbusters, Driving Miss Daisy, My Stepmother Is An Alien, My Girl and so many other movies have allowed Akroyd to exhibit such range and talent therein. On April 24, another of Akroyd's classics - Doctor Detroit - will get new life thanks to Universal Pictures and Shout! Factory, thus serving as more proof of Akroyd's talents and abilities. Whether audiences are seeing it for the first time or first time in a long time, it proves in many ways not only Akroyd's talents, but in itself to be one of his best movies. It proves both statements first and foremost through its story, which will be discussed shortly. Speaking of Akroyd's talent and diversity, both show through clearly in his acting, which will be discussed later. The bonus material included with the movie's forthcoming Blu-ray re-issue put the final touch on the movie's presentation. Each element is important in its own right to the overall presentation of Doctor Detroit. All things considered, these elements make this movie (and its soon to be released re-issue) a work that any Dan Akroyd fan will appreciate and that proves Akroyd's place in the pantheon of great actors.

Shout! Factory's upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Universal Pictures' 1983 adult comedy Doctor Detroit is a work that will appeal to any Dan Akroyd fan while also proving just as much as Akroyd's other movies, why he is one of Hollywood's elite actors. Both of those statements are supported in part through the story at the center of this classic comedy. The story, which is at its heart an underdog story, sees mild-mannered (and very geeky) professor Clifford Skridlow unwittingly thrust into a world that is the polar opposite of his life of academia and the upper crust. It's really a fish-out-of-water element that when coupled with that underdog element gives this story so much heart. One could even argue that Skridlow having to take on an alter ego of sorts in order to free Walker's ladies - Monica, Jasmine, Thelma and Karen - even gives the movie a sort of super hero element even though it's not a super hero story. Through it all, Skridlow maintains his sense of honor, respecting the ladies and befriending Diavolo (T.K. Carter-Domino, Rush Hour, The Thing), again highlighting the story's underdog element. Considering that element, the super hero element, and the fish-out-of-water element all being so expertly balanced here, the writing team of Bruce Jay Friedman, Carl Gottlieb and Robert Boris deserve their own share of applause for their work. More often than not, the more hands in a proverbial pot, the more troubled things get, but that didn't happen here. What's more even with everything going on, the story's pacing still stayed solid throughout. What's more the elements themselves blended together just as well and in turn complimented each other quite well. In all honesty, if not for the drugs and sexual content, this movie would have been a great family movie. Director Michael Pressman even makes note of this in his new bonus interview included with the movie's re-issue. This will be discussed later in the discussion on the movie's bonus material. Getting back on track, the story itself and the elements tied into the story give the story so much heart that it alone makes this movie a standout work not just from Akroyd and Universal Pictures, but in general. It is just part of the reason that the movie stands out, too. Akroyd's work on camera is another way in which the movie stands out.

Akroyd's portrayal of Skridlow and his wild alter ego is so important to note because it keeps audiences just as engaged and entertained as the movie's story and its combined elements. The two characters so dramatically juxtapose each other throughout. One could almost argue that Akroyd took certain parts of his character from his Coneheads skits on Saturday Night Live and attributed it to his take on the "good doctor." Those familiar with his performance in those skits will hopefully see that comparison just as much as this critic. In the same breath, his presentation of Skridlow as a geeky, mild-mannered figure makes one wonder if that portrayal played - at least in part - to his portrayal of Ray Stanz in The Ghostbusters. That's because there is at least some similarity in those characters. Watching Akroyd's portrayal of Skridlow as he tries to balance the two personality types throughout is a laugh riot and makes suspension of disbelief so easy. Considering all of this, and the work of his supporting cast, those collective performances go a long way toward making the story even more interesting. They make their characters that entertaining with their comic and caring personas. While Akroyd's work, and that of his cast mates, clearly does plenty to add to Doctor Detroit's enjoyment, it still is not the last of the movie's most important elements. The bonus material included in the movie's upcoming re-issue rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included in Doctor Detroit's new re-issue is important to note because it combines some previous bonus material with some new material. The new material includes a feature length audio commentary with director Michael Pressman and Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball and a one-on-one interview with Pressman about the movie. The older material includes the familiar promotional radio interviews that the cast did for the movie, the trailers, TV spots, radio spots and photo gallery. The new material included in this release offers quite a bit of insight and entertainment. One of the most interesting comments that comes from Pressman's one-on-one interview is his hindsight revelation about the movie's drug and sexual content. He said in no uncertain terms of that content, that he was not fond of that content, looking back on the movie. Ironically, if that content had not been there, the movie's story might have been quite different. That's not to say a similar story could not have been told. But it would have likely ended up quite different, but probably still as entertaining in its own right. That sentiment is echoed in the feature-length audio commentary along with his discussion his decision to make the movie very cartoonish, right down to the wrecker running through the junkyard gate. Just as interesting to note in his interview and commentary is the note the connection of the drug content to the death of Akroyd's fellow actor and longtime friend John Belushi's death not long before the movie's filming from a drug overdose. Pressman openly ruminates that he was concerned how Akroyd would handle those references considering Belushi's passing so soon before work on the movie started. Bringing everything full circle, Dyball notes during the audio commentary that he personally thought this movie was the point at which Akroyd's star really started to rise, creatively speaking. He admitted The Blues Brothers and 1941 were both good movies, but that it wasn't until this movie that things really started moving for him. He has a point. Looking at the movies that came after Doctor Detroit - Trading Places, Ghostbusters, Spies Like Us, Dragnet, etc - it is a valid statement, at least to this critic.

As if the information shared in the new bonus material is not enough, the promotional radio interviews offer their own insight and entertainment. Akroyd talks about The Blues Brothers in one of the radio interviews, noting that he felt the movie was, at its heart, about separation of church and state. That is an interesting angle to take. He also notes the creative process for Doctor Detroit and a handful of other topics that are in themselves certain to keep audiences just as entertained and engaged as the information shared in the new bonus material. Between the information shared by Akroyd and the rest of the movie's cast in the radio interviews and the information and thoughts shared in the movie's new bonus material, the bonus material overall presents plenty of its own reason for audiences to watch this new re-issue. When all of the bonus material is considered along with the work of Akroyd (and his castmates) and the movie's fully entertaining story, the whole of those elements makes Doctor Detroit the right prescription (yes, this critic went there) for Akroyd's fans and for classic movie buffs alike.

Shout! Factory's upcoming re-issue of Universal Pictures' 1983 adult comedy Doctor Detroit is a wonderful watch for Dan Akroyd's fans and classic film buffs alike. It is the perfect prescription (yes, this critic went there again) for anyone looking for an alternative to all of the prequels, sequels, reboots, biopics and movies based on actual events currently filling theaters. That is proven in no small part to the movie's central story, which expertly balances so many story elements into one whole. Even being an adult comedy, those elements give the movie just enough heart that if not for the drug and sexual references (including the sexual content that makes up its central plot), this could easily be a family movie. The work of Akroyd and his fellow cast mates throughout does plenty in its own right to keep audiences entertained and engaged. The entertainment and insight offered through the movie's bonus material - both the familiar and the new - adds its own level of enjoyment here, too. Each element is important in its own right, as has hopefully been made clear in this review. All things considered, they make the upcoming re-issue of Doctor Detroit one of this year's top new movie re-issues. It will be available April 24 in stores and online. It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory's store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:







Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory







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The Paris Opera (L'Opéra)
32 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The Paris Opera is one of the most respected and famed cultural arts venues in the world. Period. It has been in operation for hundreds of years and has hosted some of the greatest performances in history, and early this month, Film Movement took audiences behind the scenes of the famed facility and its operations with the aptly titled new documentary The Paris Opera. Considering the rich history of the center, one would think that watching the happenings of just one season would be something truly enthralling for cultural arts fans. That single-season "ride-along" of sorts is what audiences get here, but sadly it comes up short of its potential even as interesting as the concept is at its heart. This will be discussed shortly. The bonus interview with the doc's director, Jean-Stephane Bron, does little to make up for the lack of interest generated through the main feature. He has some interesting insights in his brief interview, but even with those insights, there is not much to write home about. The "bonus" short film Les Indes Galantes, being separate entirely from the main feature is interesting, too, but is just interesting enough for maybe the occasional watch. Considering all that this documentary could have been yet all that it didn't turn out to be, it proves sadly to be a miss for Film Movement.

Independent film studio Film Movement's new documentary feature The Paris Opera is a work that could have offered so much for audiences to appreciate. This includes not only those who know the facility's rich history and everything that goes into keeping the facility such a respected venue year after year, but arts lovers in general. One cannot deny in watching the 111-minute (roughly 1-hour 51-minute) that it does generate at least a little bit of interest in all of that work. However, there is no one central story point to keep viewers engaged throughout. Yes, it is a documentary, but there is no anchor, no real point to keep viewers engaged. Rather, it jumps from one point to another with no clear transitions from scene to scene. In other words, there's no real reason for viewers to stay invested in the program. Rather, it will leave viewers occasionally checking in to see what's going on. That being the case, this doc's main feature, as entertaining and engaging as it could have been, falls short of those expectations, making it worth maybe one watch at best. That is not meant to be a slam at the program. Rather, it is just an observation and meant to be constructive criticism. Staying on that note, the program's main feature is not its only feature. The brief interview with its director, Jean-Stephane Bon deserves some discussion.

Bon's interview, which is included here as a bonus feature, is brief. Even with the questions and responses, it probably doesn't run more than five minutes, if that. During the course of his interview, Bon discusses what he hoped viewers will get out of the doc and the process of recording everything. Audiences will be intrigued to learn that one portion of the program took roughly two weeks of recording just for an 11-minute segment. Just as interesting to learn is the number of hoops through which Bon had to jump before even starting the first recording. That discussion in itself generates at least some respect for the work that was put in during each phase (pre, production and post). Those discussions and a couple of others offer some insight and appreciation for the work put in to bringing this doc to life, but other than that, doesn't do much more for the program's overall presentation. Taking this into consideration while Bon's bonus interview is interesting in its own right, it still is not enough to salvage The Paris Opera. Sadly, much the same can be said of the doc's bonus short film Les Indes Galantes.

Les Indes Galantes (The Galant Indies in English) is its own intriguing bonus feature. It takes a classic work of music and sets it against a modern dance that will definitely appeal to younger audiences who perhaps might otherwise not have any interest in opera or dance. Watching the dancers' rigid moves in time with the music is entertaining, and there's no denying it's something that will definitely appeal to dancers and dance enthusiasts. Again though, it's still not enough to make buying this whole DVD worth the money. Rather, it might just lead the noted audiences to look up the dance and similar dances on YouTube for their entertainment. Staying on that note, as entertaining as this element is in itself and alongside Bon's bonus interview, those bonuses are still not enough to make up for the passive viewing that audiences will find themselves doing with the program's main feature. Again, the main feature is not a total loss, but it is also sadly not enough to be worth more than maybe one watch.

The Paris Opera is a sad miss for independent film company Film Movement. This nearly two-hour doc, which follows the events of one season at the legendary arts venue, is an interesting program worth maybe one watch. Sadly though, it doesn't do a lot to keep viewers invested, instead leaving them watching more passively than actively as there's no real common thread throughout its run. It's interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes, but the program sadly doesn't do much more than show what goes on. The bonus interview with director Jean-Stephane Bon and the bonus short film make valiant efforts to make up for that general lack of interest generated through the main feature and deserve their share of credit. The problem is that as much as they work to make up for that issue, they ultimately fall short of making up for it. Keeping this in mind this program, in the end, proves to be worth maybe one watch among arts enthusiasts, but not much more. Hopefully Film Movement will take all of this to heart and be more selective before taking on its next documentary. For those willing to take the chance on the program, it is available for purchase online now via Film Movement's online store. More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available online now at:

Website: http://www.filmmovement.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FilmMovement

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Film_Movement

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The Apartment
The Apartment (1960)
39 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Romantic comedies, dramas and dramedies nowadays are not exactly the cream of the crop. From one to the next, they center on the boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end storyline with far too many similarities from one to the next. Even the execution of the stories far too often mirror one another, even while some movies are more light-hearted than others and vice versa. Keeping that in mind, having an original entry in that field come along is always welcome. Enter United Artists' 1960 dramedy The Apartment. Starring a laundry list of now famed actors including Jack Lemmon, Shirley Maclaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston and others, this heartfelt romantic dramedy is a true classic that every classic film buff should own, especially in its new re-issue from Arrow Academy. The movie's limited edition re-issue is a must have in part because it is a brand new opportunity to experience a story that is just as relevant today as it was more than 50 years ago when it originally premiered. This will be discussed shortly. Lead star Jack Lemmon's work on camera also makes the movie so entertaining. It will be discussed later. The bonus material included in this new re-issue rounds out the most important of its elements. Each item is important in its own way to the movie's presentation, as will be explained through this review. All things considered, they make Arrow Academy's recent re-issue of The Apartment more proof that re-issues are just as valuable for movie lovers as the prequels, sequels, reboots and over-the-top biopics that flood theaters today.

Arrow Academy's recently released re-issue of United Artists' 1960 Jack Lemmon romantic dramedy The Apartment is a must have for any true classic movie buff. It is one more example of why re-issues are just as important as viewing options as the prequels, sequels, reboots and over-the-top biopics that flood theaters today. That is proven in part through the story at the center of the movie. The story centers on Lemmon's character, C.C. Baxter as he tries to work his way up the corporate ladder by letting his superiors use his apartment for their illicit romantic trysts. As he proceeds, he eventually grows as a person and finally grows a spine, standing up to them (specifically to J.D. Sheldrake-played by Fred MacMurray (The Absent Minded Professor, Son of Flubber) ) and making his own way. To that end, it is a classic underdog story. Here is a man who just wants to make it, but has had to sacrifice his own dignity in order to do so. When he finally stands up to Sheldrake, He finally comes out on top, just in an unexpected fashion. That unexpected ending is another part of what makes the story so interesting. It won't be revealed here, for the sake of those who haven't yet seen the movie.

While it is, at its heart, a warm, entertaining underdog story, it is also a statement about corporate America; a statement that the culture that has for so long been accepted within that world, must change. As is noted in the bonus commentary (which will be discussed later), this is critical because this movie came along during the age of McCarthyism, yet still didn't land director and co-writer Billy Wilder on Hollywood's black list. Considering the ongoing discussions about the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements going on right now, this element of the story becomes that much more critical to its whole. It makes even more so, the story overall just as relevant today as it was in its 1960 premiere (nearly 60 years ago). That is a very telling statement. When this element is coupled with the story's more heartfelt, fun underdog story, the whole of those elements make the overall story a tale that insures audiences' entertainment and engagement from beginning to end. Of course, the story is only one key part of what makes this movie so entertaining so many decades after its original premiere. Lead star Jack Lemmon's work on camera plays its own critical part here, too.

Lemmon's work is so important to note in examining this movie because it is so entertaining in its own right. This movie, as audiences learn in the bonus content, was only the second time that Lemmon and Wilder had worked together. The first time was only a year prior in 1959's Some Like It Hot. Audiences see a lot of similarity in his portrayal of Baxter to that of Jerry (from the prior flick). In the same breath, one can also argue that Lemmon's take on Baxter here also could be where he got the inspiration for Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, which interestingly would not come along for another eight years after The Apartment. A close side-by-side comparison of those portrayals would seem to hint at that considering Baxter's at times semi neurotic behavior. The general sympathetic, underdog persona adds to the strength of that comparison. Of course, as audiences learn in the bonus material (again, this will be discussed later), this was nothing new for Lemmon by this time. To that end, maybe Felix's character wasn't influenced by Baxter, but it's interesting to consider the similarities regardless. Either way, Lemmon's take on Baxter is so entertaining that audiences will agree it is just as much of a strong point in this movie's presentation as the story itself. It is of course still not the last of the movie's most important elements. The bonus material that is included with the movie's new re-issue rounds out the most important of its elements.

The bonus material included in the movie's re-issue is extensive to say the very least. There is an archived one-on-one interview with Wilder from the Film Writers Guild in which Wilder talks film theory and how it related to how he helmed The Apartment. It comes complete with an audio introduction from Lemmon. Also included in the bonus material is an interview with Hope Holiday, who played Margie McDougall in which she shares her story of how she actually ended up in the movie almost by chance. The tears of joy that Holiday sheds as she shares her story make the story all the more engaging. That is because they are clearly not crocodile tears. She really is so thankful to have been able to have been in the movie. As if all of this isn't enough, the bonus feature-length commentary reveals its own share of interesting information. For example, audiences learn through that commentary that Fred MacMurray was not the original actor who portrayed Sheldrake. As a matter of fact, it turns out that he was under contract to Disney when he was called to replace the original actor who played Sheldrake, and was not exactly in favor of playing a character such as Sheldrake because of the characters he was playing for Disney. Obviously he ended up being convinced to play Sheldrake, and the rest (as the adage states) is history. The commentary also reveals that the scene in which Baxter had a cold was very real. He in fact had a cold when the scene in question was filmed. There is also discussion on the anti-capitalist themes presented in the movie and how Wilder and co-writer I.A.L. Diamond surprisingly got away with putting them into the movie without being black listed. This adds its own insight into the movie. Between all of this, the commentary about Wilder's distaste for television (and the contradiction thereof since he hired a bunch of television actors for his leads), and so much more, it becomes wholly clear why the bonus material included in The Apartment's new re-issue is so critical to its overall presentation. It adds just as much - if not more - to the re-issue's presentation as the movie's story and Lemmon's acting. When all three of those elements are considered together, they make this movie a work that should be in any true classic movie buff's movie library, and a work that shows once more that re-issues are just as important for audiences as all of the prequels, sequels, reboots and biopics out there today.

Arrow Academy's recent re-issue of The Apartment is a presentation that belongs in the home library of any true classic movie buff. That is because it is a re-issue done right. From the movie's look and sound to its very story alongside Lemmon's acting to the bonus material included this time, there is so much done right here. All things considered, this re-issue shows that re-issues are just as important as viewing options for audiences as the new theatrical offerings out there today. It is available now and can be ordered online direct via Arrow Academy's online store. More information on The Apartment and other titles from Arrow Academy is available online now at:

Website: http://arrowfilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ArrowAcademy

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

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Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados)
58 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Home entertainment company Shout! Factory and GKids have been quite busy as of late, prepping a hanful of new home releases. From Japan to France and even to Spain, the two companies have been bringing some rather interesting independent releases from around the world. Their next release, Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children, is set to be released March 13 in stores and online. Originally released theatrically in Spain in 2015, it made its American debut this past December. It goes without saying that this Spanish import is definitely not for children, despite being released in part via GKids. It is also a production that will appeal to a very specific audience as is evidenced through its story. That story will be discussed shortly. The artwork will also appeal to a very specific audience, meaning it plays its own important part to the movie's presentation that deserves discussion. That being the case, it will be discussed later. The bonus material rounds out the most notable of the movie's elements. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children. All things considered, they make this presentation one that is certain to appeal to its target audiences.

Shout! Factory and GKids' forth coming animated feature Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is an interesting new work that is certain to appeal to its very specific audience base. That is evident in part through the movie's rather dark story, which centers on a group of young animals on an island that is working to get off of the island. The youths are trying to get off of the island because life on the island had gotten so bad ever since a massive explosion destroyed so much life on the island. Bird Boy, the movie's title figure ends up playing directly into this dark, almost Tim Burton-esque story in a very big way in the story's final act. How he plays into the story won't be given away here for those who have not yet seen this movie. It definitely is a powerful role to say the very least. As director Alberto Vasquez notes in his bonus interview, it is a story that will resonate with older teenagers more so than any other audience group. This and other discussions will be discussed later as the bonus material is examined. Over the course of the youths' journey, there are interactions with a heroin addicted mouse and his friends, a group of bullies, and police dogs hell-bent on killing Bird Boy among much more. Considering the interactions and characters that the kids meet, it goes without saying that this story is not one for younger audiences. There is even a very brief scene during Dinki's flashback that shows what looks like her having sex with Bird Boy. Audiences even hear her saying to him as she is on top of him, "not like that" in a certain tone that clearly hints at what's going on. Again, it's one more example of why this story is not one for younger audiences, despite being released in part via GKids. That having been noted, the story's overtly dark vibe makes it one that will appeal to a very fixed audience, even with the happy ending portrayed in the movie's end credits. The story, with its foreboding vibes, is only one part of what makes this worth the watch among its target audiences. Its animation will appeal to said audiences just as much as the story.

The animation style exhibited in Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is a style that will easily appeal to anime fans. This is important to note considering the fact that the movie is a Spanish, not Japanese, import. At the same time that it boasts that blatantly anime style look, the animation style used in the graphic novel on which this movie is based is just as obvious. Considering this, the combination of those two styles gives the movie a look that actually has its own identity. While the old adage states to never judge a book by its cover, that almost storybook style animation here in itself gives audiences a strong first impression with its light penciling and rich colors - colors that serve to enhance the bleak, post-apocalyptic feel of the world created in the story. It's another nice change from the constant barrage of CG movies and TV shows that pollute theaters and airwaves today. Considering this, it becomes clear why the movie's animation style is just as important to its presentation as its story. It still is not the last of the movie's most important elements. The bonus material included in the movie is the last of its most important elements.

The bonus material featured in the forthcoming home release of Birdboy: The Forgotten Children includes interviews with co-directors Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero as well as two bonus shorts, one of which - Birdboy - is extremely important in the bigger picture of the full-length presentation. The Birdboy short is so important because it sets the stage for the full-length feature. It does this by presenting the story of the tragic explosion that essentially destroyed so much life on the island. It is just as unsettling as the story at the center of the bigger movie. The interviews with Vazquez and Rivero are important features because of the background that they provide for the story. It is through Vazquez's interview that audiences learn that Birdboy is based on a graphic novel that he himself created. He also explains the story's relation to the adolescent experience today. Given, it seems like a bit of stretch even as he makes his case, but it is still an interesting explanation. Rivero admits in his interview that he is actually colorblind, but still has quite the interesting insight into the movie's animation style. It's just one of the interesting discussions that he offers in his interview. Between that, the rest of his insights and those offered by Vazquez alongside the bonus Birdboy short, the bonus material shows clearly its importance to the overall presentation of Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children. The bonus Decorado short stands alone as its own artsy bonus short and honestly could have been kept or left. Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus material included in the upcoming home release of Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is proof yet again of the importance of bonus material in any movie or television show's home release. It can add so much to or detract from either presentation. In the case of this movie, it adds plenty to the movie's presentation. When it is set alongside the movie's story and animation, the whole of the elements makes the movie in whole a presentation that again, will certainly appeal to its key audiences.

Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is an interesting new offering from Shout! Factory and GKids. The roughly 76-minute (1 hour 16 minute) program is so interesting in that it is a work aimed at a very specific audience. Needless to say that target audience will openly accept the movie. That is due in part to the movie's story. While rather bleak, it does have some amount of hope. That balance of bleak and bright makes it perfect for its target audience. Its animation style gives it its own identity, making it that much more appealing to its target audience. The bonus material included in the movie's upcoming home release adds its own touch to the movie's presentation, too. Each element is clearly important in its own right to the movie's presentation, as has been noted here. All things considered, they make Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children a work that is certain to appeal to its target audiences. It will be available in stores and online March 13, 2018 and can be pre-ordered online now direct via Shout! Factory's online store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

More information on this and other titles from GKids is available online now at:

Website: http://www.gkids.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GKidsfilms

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GKidsfilms

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and "Like" it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil's Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Walking Out
Walking Out (2017)
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

IFC Films has, for the longest time, prided itself on releasing movies that strayed from the mainstream, opting for original content over copy cat flicks. Apparently all good things must come to an end, even for IFC Films, as has been proven in the studio's new wilderness drama Walking Out. This 96-minute movie is a work that can easily be likened to so many bigger name dramas of the same ilk including The Grey, The Edge, The Mountain Between Us among so many other major blockbusters. Taking this easy comparison into consideration, the movie's central story becomes a critical piece of its presentation - one that both succeeds and fails at the same time. It will be discussed shortly. The movie's cinematography is another key piece of its whole and proves quite impressive to say the very least. It will be discussed later. The bonus behind-the-scenes featurette included with the movie rounds out the movie's most important elements. It will also be addressed later. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Walking Out. This will be proven through this analysis. All things considered, they make Walking Out an interesting new effort from IFC Films, and hopefully its only attempt to compete with the mainstream.

IFC Films' new wilderness drama Walking Out is an interesting new effort from a studio that has made such a name for itself by creating movies that stand largely apart from the mainstream. That aside, it is still worth at least one watch. That statement is supported in part by the movie's story. More specifically, the subplot at the center of the story is what really makes the story stand out. The story's subplot centers on Cal's (Matt Bomer) attempt to reclaim the father son relationship that he lost with his own father, Clyde (Bill Pullman) by going out on a hunting trip with his son, David (Josh Wiggins). The duo's hunting trip starts as a search for game bird before somehow transforming into Cal's own almost "Mellvillian" hunt for a bull elk. The aspect of Cal trying to secretly trying to reclaim that bond that he lost with Clyde is an original setup for the wilderness drama genre, giving at least one reason to watch the movie. However, this aspect of the story is where the success ends.

At first, David doesn't seem to care in the least about hunting, but as soon as he even comes close to bagging his first kill (which ultimately escapes), David suddenly enjoys hunting and agrees to go on the fateful hunting tip in search of the elusive bull elk (just as Ahab went after the elusive white whale). this sudden change of heart so to speak is a bit bewildering. A couple of brief encounters with a grizzly bear during the hunt leads David to be injured and in turn accidentally shooting Cal, which sets up the fight for survival that takes up the rest of the movie. This is where the story starts to suffer. Viewers will note that Cal loses more blood every day as David carries him back down the mountain. This is despite the tourniquet applied to Cal's leg. Considering how much blood Cal had to have lost along the way, he should not have survived as long as he did. The ultimate outcome won't be revealed here, but it definitely leads to that unavoidable question of how Cal survived for such a long time. What's more, after the initial meetings with the bears that set off the fight for survival, there is no more threat from them for the rest of the movie's run. This means that the only real threat that David and Cal face on the journey back down the mountain is mother nature (a la the famous short story Open Boat). Ironically, one can't help but keep watching to see if father and son make it down the mountain and back to safety. To that end, even with the problems posed throughout the story, the ability of the story to still keep audiences engaged makes the story at least a partial success. It is only one part of what makes the movie worth at least one watch. The movie's stunning cinematography is just as important to its overall presentation as the story.

Walking Out's cinematography is so important to discuss in analyzing this movie because it really is the cornerstone of the movie's presentation. Shot entirely in the mountains of Montana, the sweeping shots of said mountains as a backdrop creates a sense of awe, heightening the story's drama. Honestly, one could argue to a point that the noted heightened drama is what in fact keeps audiences watching. It's a sort of subconscious element. Keeping that in mind, those behind the lenses are to be commended for their work. Of course the sweeping mountain backdrops and aerials are not the only impressive cinematic elements. The general scenery used in each act is just as impressive as those sweeping mountain backdrops. The very fact that the scenes were real instead of CG adds to the interest in their look. It was nice to see the effort and time taken to make the tension in each scene so believable even through something as simple as the snow-covered ground. Between that effort and the effort put into using the rest of the movie's cinematography to heighten the story's emotion (and in turn engagement) it can be said with ease that the cinematography at the center of Walking Out does more than enough to keep audiences from walking out on this movie. It is not the last of the movie's most important elements, either. The bonus material included in the movie's home release rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included in Walking Out's home release is so important because it is yet another example of how much bonus material can actually add to a movie's viewing experience. The behind-the-scenes featurette makes the overall viewing experience more enjoyable because of the back story that it gives the movie itself. Audiences learn that Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Spaceballs, Independence Day: Resurgence) agreed to star in this movie as a supporting actor because of his love for the mountains and for working with the movie's creative heads. The discussions with Matt Bomer and Josh Wiggins are interesting in their own right, too. Audiences will be interested to hear of the pair's dedication to making the movie believable, which shows throughout the movie. Considering the movie's plot, it would have been so easy for either man to ham it up. Luckily though, that did not happen at any point. Maybe that plays into keeping audiences engaged, too. Getting back on track, the interviews are not the only important bonuses included with the movie. The deleted scenes add their own depth to the story. One of the most important of the deleted scenes is a light-hearted moment between David and Cal in which the pair finally gets to smile for once. Considering the abundance of tension and drama throughout this movie, this is a scene that should not have been cut. It would have added so much to the movie, even as brief as it was. David and Cal's discussion about Cal's divorce with his wife (who is never named anywhere in the movie) is another moment that while minor, still could have added a little more to the movie. It's too bad that scene was left out. On the other hand, it was good to see the scene involving the tire blowout on the jeep was left out. That whole sequence, which partners with David's arrival at the airport, really was unnecessary (at least in this critic's eyes). All things considered, the deleted scenes and interviews that make up Walking Out's bonus material prove to be another positive to this movie's presentation, and gives even more reason to watch the movie at least once. When this is considered along with the importance of the movie's cinematography and even the story's rare positives, all three elements make this movie one that will, in the long run, just manage to keep audiences from walking out themselves.

IFC Films' new wilderness drama Walking Out was a big risk for the studio, which has for years prided itself on avoiding any movie similar to those in the mainstream. While it was a risk, it was a risk that paid of at least to a point. That is evidenced in a story whose problems cannot be ignored, but are not enough to make the movie completely unwatchable. The movie's cinematography is stunning to say the very least, and serves as the cornerstone of the movie's presentation. The bonus material included in its home release adds its own interest to the movie's presentation. Each element is important in its own right as has been pointed out here. All things considered, they make this movie a work that just manages to keep audiences from walking out themselves. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory's online store. More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available online at:

Website: http://www.IFCFilms.com

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More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

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