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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 April 15, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
Philomena. Rating: 5 (out of 5). A political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago, after she gave birth and was forced to live in a convent. The film, based on a true story, will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, April 15. The critics are enamored with this film with New York Observer saying, “Philomena is not only my favorite film of 2013, but one of the most eloquent, powerful and perfect movies I have ever seen.” Reviews, video and more.
The Invisible Woman. Rating: 4 (out of 5). A happily married mother and schoolteacher, Nelly, is haunted by her past, when she had a complicated and fragile, yet exciting, relationship with Charles Dickens. This period drama premieres on VOD on Tuesday, April 15. The critics are impressed with the film and especially the acting though some note that it has a "leisurely pace." As Variety says, “So tastefully mounted and brilliantly acted that it wears down even the corset-phobic’s innate resistance to such things.” Reviews, video and more.
Patrick: Evil Awakens. Rating: 3 (out of 5). A young nurse, who just started working in an isolated psychiatric ward, takes an interest in Patrick, a seemingly comatose patient who is actually a subject of a mad scientist’s experiments. Her innocent fascination turns sinister as Patrick begins using his psychic powers to manipulate her every move, sending her life into a terrifying spiral. Watch for it on VOD starting Tuesday, April 15. Most of the critics enjoyed (though did not love) this remake of the 1978 movie, and FearNet calls the film "a good example of how to remake an obscure but admired horror flick." Reviews, video and more.
Wolf Creek 2. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Another tourist becomes the prey for the serial killer Mick Taylor. The critics have given mixed reviews to this horror film that comes to VOD on Thursday, April 17. Reviews, video and more.
Beneath The Harvest Sky. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Casper and Dominic have been best friends since childhood. Wanting to get out of their quiet hometown on the Maine-Canada border, the boys make a pact to pool their earnings on a car and hit the road. But when Casper is drawn into drug smuggling with his outlaw father to pay his share, their friendship gets strained and both are forced to make adult choices too soon. The film premieres on VOD on Tuesday, April 15. There were more positive than negative reviews on the film and according to Variety, “”Beneath the Harvest Sky” offers a heartbreakingly authentic, vividly realized account of adolescent frustration and yearning.” Reviews, video and more.
Small Time. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Freddy Klein decides not to go to College, and instead joins his father in his used-car business. Premiering on VOD on Friday, April 18, The Village Voice thinks, “The film isn't without mirth and charm: Norris steals a number of scenes as the charismatic Ash, and the banter between Norris and Meloni is charmingly convivial. But as Surnow steers into serious waters, the direction of the storytelling becomes increasingly misguided.” Reviews, video and more.
Ride Along. Rating: 2 (out of 5). Ben, a security guard, joins a cop, James, on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying the latter’s sister. Premiering on VOD on Tuesday, April 15, most of the critics are not impressed with this one. New York Magazine (Vulture) is one of the better reviews when they write, “It all mostly works, but you can’t help but wonder at times if it could have been a lot funnier if it had just a bit more edge.” Reviews, video and more.
The Nut Job. Rating: 2 (out of 5). Surly is banished from the park he lives in, and is forced to live in the dangerous city. Lucky for him, he comes across the only thing that can save not only his life, but the rest of the park community as well as winter approaches: Maury’s Nut Store. The film premieres on VOD on April 15. Most of the critics were unimpressed with this animated film, as The Arizona Republic says, “Ever had one of those artificially sweetened candies that taste OK at first but leaves a lingering, bitter aftertaste? That’s sort of how it goes with “The Nut Job.” Reviews, video and more.
A Promise. Rating: 1 (out of 5). Adapted from Stefan Zweig’s Journey into the Past, this film by French director Patrice Leconte centers on the affair between a handsome male secretary and the wife of a wealthy industrialist. Coming to VOD on Friday, April 18, this film has not won the heart of the critics, and IndieWire (The Playlist) thinks, “Leconte’s never been the edgiest of filmmakers, but “A Promise” is so free of anything close to an edge that it’s like watching a beige sphere for ninety-odd minutes—and it feels much longer.” Reviews, video and more.
Kid Cannabis. No rating. A dramatic film that tells the true story of a teen dropout based in Idaho, who builds a multimillion-dollar marijuana ring by trafficking drugs through the woods across the Canadian border. But his many vices may just leave this kid in way over his head. The film comes to VOD on Friday, April 18, the same day as its theatrical release, and no reviews are available as of writing. Video and more.
Bright Days Ahead (Les Beaux Jours). No Rating. A recently retired woman, eager to devote some free time to herself, begins taking part in some events at a local seniors center. When she becomes involved with a man decades younger than herself, she keeps this from her husband, and she soon begins to experience life in ways that she has not in a long time. The film premieres on the same day as its theatrical release, April 15, in French with English subtitles. No critic reviews are available as of time of writing. Video and more.