Tag Archives: Motion Pictures

The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Watch as Jacob Tiranno reviews The Divergent Series: Allegiant. To watch more video reviews go to www.youtube.com/chasingcinema

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which is based on the Mitchell Zuckoff’s book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, follows the tragic death of American Ambassador, Chris Stevens. Stevens was killed on September 11, 2012, during an attack at the United States Consulate in Benghazi, and now a security team made up of men from different military branches have to defend their base and try to piece together how this was allowed to happened.

John Krasinski in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

John Krasinski in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

It is genuinely hard to critique a film like 13 Hours. No matter how bad or good it may be, at the back of your mind sits the acknowledgment that the events that are depicted on screen have actually occurred. The objectives of war films like 13 Hours and recently Lone Survivor and American Sniper are to remind us that these are the true stories of brave men and women fighting for our country. And in the last 15 minutes of 13 Hours, the movie hits its goal in stride as it bridges the pain and emotions felt by the characters to their real life counterparts. This is when the movie is at its most honest and impactful. After watching nonstop combat for mostly the entire duration of the film, and seeing the pictures of the very men who the characters are based on, the movie stops being an action spectacle and briefly becomes a sincere tribute to those men depicted in the film. Unfortunately, these emotions are not always present.

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Jacob Tiranno Accepts the 365 Day Movie Challenge

Happy New Years Everyone!

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and had a great time ringing in the new year. Like most of you, I compiled a list of resolutions for the year of 2016. But, when I was writing that list that we all know too well, I thought for this year I needed a real challenge. Something to test my will power and my never give up attitude. But instead of choosing something silly, I decided to take on the 365 Day Movie Challenge.

Jacob Tiranno accepts 365 Day Movie Challenge

Jacob Tiranno

Now for those who are unfamiliar with this 365 Day Movie Challenge, I am committing to watching one film a day, that I’ve never seen before. To some of you, this doesn’t sound very challenging. To you, nay I say. This is probably one of the hardest things to do. The 365 Day Movie Challenge will be a part of my life for one whole year. Every day my life for the next year will be revolving around the question of when can I sit down and watch a movie before the day ends. That not only intrigued me, it genuinely excited me.

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Joy Movie Review & Film Summary

Throughout cinema’s history, there have been numerous director/actor collaborations, and when these collaborative efforts are truly symbiotic, we get some of the most memorable films and performances. Whether it is Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, or Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, these types of director/actor pairs have made some of the most iconic films of the last century. Now, it appears that we have another director/actor collaboration in the making. While it is way too early to even mention this new pair in the same sentence as the examples above, it feels like this new cinematic relationship can develop into something exciting and unforgettable.

Jennifer Lawrence in JOY

Jennifer Lawrence in JOY

This new pair is of course writer and director David O. Russell and America’s favorite star Jennifer Lawrence. They have made two films already, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, and their third effort is opening up on Christmas day. Joy is based on the life of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence)- the woman that invented the miracle mop. The film takes us on a wild journey inside Joy’s personal life as we watch Joy grow from a young, imaginative child into a strong woman who becomes the matriarch of her own business.

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Concussion Movie Review

As I sit here and brainstorm about what I want to say about Will Smith’s new football drama, Concussion, I am currently watching the New England Patriots take on the Houston Texans. Now, the original plan was first to write about how millions of Americans- myself included- will spend every Sunday watching a full day’s worth of football for 17 consecutive weeks. In addition to Sundays, there are also Monday, Thursday, and the occasional Saturday night football games, and we must not forget about the four weeks of playoffs that ends with America’s new favorite holiday, Super Bowl Sunday. However, something happened during the game that has always been a costly price for playing this sport but has only become a prominent concern in recent years. Can you guess what it is?

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith in Concussion

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith in Concussion

The quarterback for the Texans, Brian Hoyer, left during the fourth quarter after possibly suffering another concussion (he was diagnosed with one less than a month ago). Concussions are definitely not a new risk for these players; however, understanding the actual risks of these types of head injuries are. Along with the growing concerns about the dangers of head on collisions, the National Football League is now being held accountable for the player’s safety on the field. Because of this, the league has enforced a more extensive concussion protocol; however, concussions have not been prevented. According to PBS and their “Concussion Watch”, the NFL had 171 concussions in 2012, 152 in 2013, 123 in 2014, and 166 so far in the 2015 season. It is safe to say that Concussion is being released at a pivotal time.

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The Big Short Movie Review

I am sure all of us can remember the financial crisis of 2008, but can any of us really explain what exactly happened? Do we actually know why the government bailed-out the national banks and why the housing market practically imploded? The answer is most likely no, and it is okay neither can I. So, take this opportunity now and drop what you are doing and see The Big Short. It is a brilliant indictment of the financial systems of America and allows you to see what exactly the banks did and got away with.

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in THE BIG SHORT

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in THE BIG SHORT

The Big Short, which is based on Michael Lewis book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, follows a group of outsiders that were able to predict the build-up and eventual collapse of the financial and housing bubble. More specifically, the film follows Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), Ben Rickert (Pitt), and Mark Baum (Steve Carell) as they all begin to take on the big banks and prove that the most stable investment, the housing market, is destined to blow.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review

**The following reviews doesn’t reveal any spoilers and avoids revealing the story except a brief synopsis. **

I can’t imagine the audience sitting in the theater in 1977 for the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, could have predicted that they were about to see the beginning one of the biggest forces in pop culture arrive. The movie spawned five sequels, and each one came with a wave of toys, backpacks, lunch bags, and anything you can think of. Star Wars has one of the biggest culture impacts we’ve ever seen. I just read an article, that a person could survive off Star Wars products alone because they have nearly every product imaginable. Now, almost 40 years later comes the seventh installment, and the buzz is louder than ever. But, this time, the franchise isn’t in the hands of creator, George Lucas. In 2012 he sold Star Wars to Disney, so not only are we getting fresh faces but a whole new creative team.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and BB8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and BB8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, takes places three decades after the fall of the Galactic Empire, but now, a new threat arises. The First Order follows in the steps of the Empire to rule the galaxy, but a group of heroes and The Resistance will do everything to stop them.

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Sisters Movie Review & Film Summary

2 out of 4 stars

In the last decade or so, the great Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have become one of our most beloved and celebrated comedic actresses and duos. This great team has been close friends for 20 years after meeting at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic, but they first cemented their place in popular culture and TV history in 2004 when the duo became the first female co-anchors of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live. That same year also proved to be productive for the both of them on the big screen.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters

Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for the Lindsay Lohan led Mean Girls, which also featured Poehler. Fast forward to a couple of years after they left SNL (Tina in 2006 and Amy in 2008), Fey and Poehler both went on to star in two of NBC’s most successful sitcoms of the 2000s, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation respectively. However, their friendship and comedy pairing continued in other projects. In 2008, they starred in the comedy, Baby Mamma, and more recently they hosted the Golden Globes three times from 2013-2015. Now, they are returning to the big screen once again in the comedy Sisters.

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The Good Dinosaur Movie Review

Earlier this year, I watched Disney and Pixar’s film Inside Out. “[It] is one of the best movies of 2015 and one of greatest animated films ever made. It brought me joy, sadness, and fear, making it the emotional roller-coaster of a lifetime,” I wrote. The film struck me very strongly and in the back of my head I doubted that Pixar would ever be able to top it. That is until I sat down with a directing animator on The Good Dinosaur, named Rob Thompson. I landed the interview because Thompson visited the University of Nevada Las Vegas and gave a behind the scenes presentation of the movie. It was there that I got a sneak peek of the latest animated film, and for a second, I wondered, “Could this movie be better than Inside Out?”

Arlo & Spot in The Good Dinosaur

Arlo & Spot in The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur asks the great question, what if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed Earth? But more specifically, it follows the story of a young Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), who is accidentally separated from his family. In order to make it home, Arlo goes on an epic journey, meeting an unlikely, human friend named Spot (Jack Bright), along the way. The movie was originally supposed to be directed by Bob Peterson, but in October of 2014, Pete Sohn took control of the film. Sohn had been working with Peterson on the movie since 2009 until Peterson was removed from the project in 2013. The cast and story were nearly changed in its entirety. During my interview with Thompson, he was sure to mention it the huge change of story and how it was reimagined, “When that happened, the whole movie changed.”

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

I still remember lining up at a local theater for the midnight screening of The Hunger Games. I had just started Chasing Cinema, and I still wasn’t on any lists for press screenings. The line was crazy long; people were dressed up and even holding Suzanne Collins’s books. It was in 2008 when Collins published the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy, and all three were done by 2010. They had gained significant popularity, hence the studios quickly buying the rights and releasing a film only two years later. Now, seven years after the book was published comes the final chapter in this incredibly popular film franchise.

Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Dormer in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Dormer in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is the concluding chapter of the war against Panem. The districts, led by Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), must all stand together as an army to take down President Snow (Donald Sutherland). All while everything Katniss loves and has fought for, hangs in the balance. The picture was directed by Francis Lawrence, who has directed every Hunger Games film besides the first. Catching Fire was my favorite of the series, but my least favorite was Mockingjay Part 1. So, going into this movie, my expectations were mixed. Will Lawrence bring it hard for the finale? Or is he over it? Because that’s what it seemed like with Part 1.

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