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I Declare War – VOD
Rating: 3 (out of 5). I Declare War. A group of 12-year olds, armed with nothing more than twigs, their imaginations and a simple set of rules, play a game of Capture the Flag in the nearby woods, and start blurring the dangerous lines of make-believe and reality. They soon get a glimpse of the dark side of humanity as they are submerged into an adventure where fantasy combat collides with the real world. Most of the critics appreciate the allegorical story told in this film. The reviews are below.
VOD release is Friday, August 30, the same day as its theatrical release. Also available on Amazon.
Starring: Michael Friend, Gage Munroe, Siam Yu, Mackenzie Munro, Aidan Gouveia, Alex Cardillo, Dyson Fyke, Spencer Howes, Andy Reid, Kolton Stewart, Mackenzue Munro
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Movie Nation gives the movie 3 out of 4 stars, and thinks, “…it’s engrossing, violent, frightening and funny in the ways it captures the way kids speak with no adults around, and the way kids act when society’s rules take a back seat in time of war.”
The Globe and Mail writes, “…like the little soldiers tiptoeing through the brush, the film creeps up on us – the message may be loud, but its manner is quietly disturbing.”
The Hollywood Reporter says, “Co-directors Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson balance humor and fun with a little fear in a thoroughly accessible way; with the right attention, commercial prospects are good.”
TheDissolve.com notes, “… I Declare War seems edgier and more violent than The Hunger Games, despite the lack of bullets in the chambers, fire in the grenades, or kids trying to kill each other, at least deliberately. Such is the power of the movies that their illusions become ours.”
Slant Magazine thinks, “The result is a film whose boldness of conception isn’t sustained by any equally intriguing insights, or at least none that will come as a surprise to anyone at all familiar with The Lord of the Flies.”
We Got This Covered notes, “It’s no Saving Private Ryan, and luckily there’s no gore or silliness in that respect, but there’s a beautiful metaphor at play here – one that’s unexpected and all too pertinent.”
Crave Online writes, “There are some real character moments revealed through the mounting tension of the “battle,” and each of the characters in Skinner and PK’s armies is distinct. I appreciate going the extra mile to make I Declare War about something relevant to kids and adult viewers, but the real feat is making a thrilling war movie without any actual bullets or explosions where you’re totally invested in who wins.”
BadAss Digest relates, “Watching I Declare War is like being transported back to being a kid playing manhunt on the old block, but seeing it all with adult eyes. The film touches on war movie stuff, but isn’t a reference-heavy clusterfuck. It’s a loving, fun, extraordinarily well made celebration of the imagination and worldview of being 12. It’s sweet but never sentimental. I loved it.”
The Toronto Star thinks, “The picture disturbs more than it amuses, but the overall effect is ultimately as scattershot as the ammo. Is I Declare War horror or comedy? I wanted the filmmakers to pick a mood, any mood, and stick with it. But they’ve assembled a great cast.”
The Grid writes, “It’s almost a bonus that I Declare War works so well as an action flick, given how sharp and savage it is as an allegory about less obviously explosive varieties of teenage combat.”
Now Toronto says, “What should be PG material shoots straight for R territory with slick, bloody effects, eardrum-ringing sound and the kind of cussing you’d hear on Xbox Live. This is deadpan humour that stretches out one good joke, where not so innocent kids pass the time between strategic kills discussing schoolyard politics – or maybe grabbing a juice.”
Scene Stealers calls it “a strange hybrid film that works as a war parody and also a painful examination of the heightened reality and growing pains of puberty.”
According to Nerdist, the movie is “Worth a look, but better liked by others than me.”
Reel Film Reviews gives the show 2 out of 4 stars, and writes, “the film comes off as an inconsequential drama revolving around a bunch of kids and their weekend exploits) – which finally cements the movie’s place as a promising yet disappointing piece of work.”
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New on VOD
Here are the new VOD films for the week of March 4, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
12 Years a Slave. Rating: 5 (out of 5). Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, is abducted and sold to slavery in the 1800s. This year's Oscar Winner for Best Picture (amongst other awards) comes to VOD on March 4. Critics loved this movie, New York Post calls it “The "Schindler's List" of slavery films.” Reviews, video and more.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Rating: 4 (out of 5). Katniss Everdeen is back on the big screen in this second installment of the Hunger Games series. She returns home safe with fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, but their reunion with their families and friends is cut short when they learn that they have to compete in the Hunger Games for the second time. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, March 7, and has been positively received by critics. The Boston Globe thinks, “Book’s good. Movie’s better.” Reviews, video and more.
After The Dark. Rating: 3 (out of 5). A philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty students with a thought experiment: faced with a nuclear apocalypse, they must determine which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race. The experiment turns deadly as everyone in the group turns against each other in a fight for survival. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, March 4. It has received mixed reviews from the critics, but Los Angeles Times thinks, “While the story's conceit brims with metaphor and symbolism, it rarely comes off as didactic or heavy-handed. Instead, it's smart and provocative. The movie's late-breaking twist also feels about right.” Reviews, video and more.
Oldboy. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Joe Doucette, an advertising executive, was kidnapped and held in solitary confinement for 20 years. When he is released without any explanation, he begins to search for answers as to who and why he captured, only to find out that the bigger question is to why he was released. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, March 4. The critics gave Spike Lee’s remake of a South Korean film mixed reviews, with inevitable comparisons to the original Oldboy. But according to Chicago Sun-Times, “It’s generally a respectful homage that has every bit as much stylishness and visual flair.” Reviews, video and more.
The Bag Man. Rating: 1 (out of 5). Jack is hired by Dragna, a legendary crime boss, to complete a simple but unusual task, and is made to wait for the latter’s arrival in a remote location. While waiting for the crime boss, Jack meets Rivka, a stunningly beautiful woman who becomes emotionally and physically entangled with Jack. When Dragna finally makes it to the location, there are sudden and extreme consequences for all involved. The film will be premiering on VOD on Tuesday, March 4. Most critics were not pleased with the film, and Los Angeles Times thinks, “"The Bag Man," starring John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Rebecca Da Costa, is a brutally violent, misogynistic mind game gone wrong.” Reviews, video and more.
Perfect Sisters. No Rating. Tired of their mother’s dependence on alcohol and abusive boyfriends, two sisters devise a plot to kill her. The film premires on VOD on Monday, March 10. No critic reviews are available as of writing.
Missing William. No Rating. A 30-something artist based in Rhode Island, Abby, is caring for her husband, William, who got injured in a bar fight. While nursing her husband back to health, her childhood sweetheart, James, tries to show her that life can be enjoyable again. The movie will be available on VOD starting Friday, March 7. No critic reviews available as of writing. Video and more.