End of the year lists are sprouting up around us, but by God… we still have so many films to watch! This week we’ll catch you up on a bunch of horror films, Brad Pitt’s latest and of course — some nice surprises. Welcome to 3SMR.


In Theaters Now


Killing Them Softly, (December 2012)


Genre: Drama


Possibly the strongest scene due to Pitt’s sexy face and Gandolfini’s disgusting labored breathing.

Characters vibrate with authenticity in their theater-esque back and forth dialogue scenes. These scenes are so strong you’ll wonder at times why they’re strung together. The equally vibrating and overt political commentary lends obtuse meaning to an otherwise actors acting character film.

The Story: C

Politics seemed shoehorned in and you’ll wonder if there was a full hour cut out.

Characters and Their Development: A

This is where the film thrives. Brad Pitt may be the only character that changes (or are we witnessing his true colors as the film goes on?) but there are so many subtle moments in the acting you’ll hardly notice.

Overall Grade: B

Recently Released on Disc


The Campaign, (August 2012)


Genre: Comedy


This film is largely about BS that comes out of mouths.

Ferrell and Galifianakis do well in their respective over the top characters, but you’ll chuckle more than laugh in this spoof on the stupidity of polls and the ability of politicians to get away with murder. Aside from that it’s a bit preachy as far as it’s corporate America buying elections.

The Story: B

There’s a message in there which is saying something for a comedy.

Characters and Their Development: C+

Galifianakis pulls off the character he uses on the stage (look it up!) and Ferrell is basically doing a Bush impression only more sexual.

Overall Grade: B-


Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, (June 2012)


Genre: Comedy


It’s never a good sign when the characters in a movie are having more fun than you.

Incredibly uneven flick about lost souls looking for love with days left before doomsday. Carell is acting as he did in Dan in Real Life but there’s no genuine love interest and too many montages. Me thinks it’s a script meant for younger actors… and Carrell can’t carry a so-so script.

The Story: D

It’s a freewheeling film with not much in the way of story.

Characters and Their Development: B-

Steve Carrell does…something, but it’s a limp character arc if I ever saw one.

Overall Grade: C


The Tall Man, (August 2012)


Genre: Mystery, (not) Horror


Shots like this would have saved this film!

This is one of those confusing triple twist mysteries where you’ll wonder how anyone in their right mind could think this is realistic. It’s not scary in the slightest, and while the twist is clever and plausible in somebody’s mind, it boils down to it being a big fat lie. Biel is good though…can’t wait to see how she looks in 5 years as her acting is only getting better.

The Story: B

The story might be its saving grace as it surprises and plays up the horror cliches nicely.

Characters and Their Development: D

Not much because it’s so obsessed with its plot..

Overall Grade: C


Entrance, (May 2012)


Genre: Horror


She will grow on you. Oh yes.

This movie lulls you into a “super slow, where is this going?’ doldrum…then well…it becomes a cliche of “why would you, stop doing that, what are you doing!?” I appreciate what they are going for though and you’ll have to take a blood pressure exam afterwards. It’s an experience. This film appeared 7th on Ain’t It Cool News‘ list of best horror of 2012.

T&A: F

This is played in the real world so no funbags for you.

Gore: B+

It’s in there alright, but saying anything will ruin the fun!

Overall Grade: B


Lovely Molly, (May 2012)


Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror


Molly…


…isn’t looking…


…so lovely.

Welcome to the creepy. I thought for sure I’d hate where this was going, but then it brought it all to a new level to unnerve you. Some might say it’s gimmicky with camcorder jerking scares (it’s not all camcorder), but you feel for the actors and end up believing it’s the real deal. That said, it’s a technically sound film over a psychologically sound film. This film appeared 3rd on Ain’t It Cool’s list of best horror films of 2012.

T&A: B-

A decent sex scene, some Molly nudity…but then you feel so dirty afterwards!

Gore: C+

A dead horse. Being stabbed over and over. Yummy.

Overall Grade: B+


Oldy, But Goody?


Braveheart, (May 1995)


Genre: Action, Drama


Imagine this guy on Black Friday.

Sure nearly 90% of this isn’t true (including the very idea of the freedom), but it’s good epic fun with plenty of gruesome “brutal medieval warfare” (the MPAA’s words not mine). Some of the touching moments are a bit cheesy, but overall it’s filmmaking at it’s best: telling a story well.

The Story: B+

Fake or real this flick has teeth and it’ll tear at your heart!

Characters and Their Development: B-

Wallace is a bit over the top as a superhero guerilla. Mark this as a fantasy and it works. His cohort who loses his father though…might be the strongest character when you think about it.

Overall Grade: B+


Kill List, (February 2012)


Genre: Horror, Suspense


Being a hitman is really, “bloody” tiring.

Genre bending at its best as we follow an unhinged hitman with an unnerving suburban life. Quite possibly the best use of sound and music I’ve encountered in a horror film to raise the hairs on your neck. There are different types and levels of horror here and it never gets boring. The ending is out, of, control. This film appeared 20th on aintitcool’s list of best horror of 2012.

T&A: C

Ritualistic topless women. If that is your thing you are in for a treat.

Gore: A-

All of the gore is practical, like hammers to the head and a truly disgusting conclusion.

Overall Grade: A


My Dog Tulip, (September 2010)


Genre:Drama


At the very least the art style is interesting.

This flick seems more interested in explaining what comes out of a dog. The animation, like the story, is sketchy and odd.

The message is clear; if you are a lonely 60 year old man the “intimate” interaction you build with your female dog is akin to a daughter. It’s hard to take this story as heartfelt since he’s a man who has never had friends and wraps up the film explaining the submissive relationship between dog and man is what we want from all our loved ones. Huh?

The Story: C

The ramblings of an old man are wistful and interesting. To a point.

Characters and Their Development: B

The man changes as he falls in love with his mutt.

Overall Grade: C