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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 22, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
Bettie Page Reveals All. Rating: 4 (out of 5). The world’s greatest pinup model, Bettie Page, shares the true story of how free expression became the target of government witch-hunts and how she overcame them to help launch America’s sexual revolution. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, April 22. While some of the reviews note that the film is lacking in production value, virtually all are impressed with the content of the film. As the Los Angeles Times notes, the film is a “highly watchable portrait.” Starring: Bettie Page, Dita Von Tease, Todd Oldham, Hugh Hefner. Director: Mark Mori. Rating: R. Genre: Documentary. Reviews, video and more.
Blue Ruin. Rating: 4 (out of 5). A beach bum finds his quiet life turned upside down by a very upsetting news, and travels back to his childhood home to seek revenge. Proving to be an ineffective assassin, he ends up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, April 25. The critics are very impressed with the film, the majority citing Saulnier’s direction as promising. As ScreenDaily says, “Blue Ruin is distinguished by the way it allies solid storytelling to fine craftsmanship.” Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, Eve Plumb, David W. Thompson, Brent Werzner, Stacy Rock, Sidne Anderson. Director: Jeremy Saulnier. Rating: Unrated. Genre: Thriller. Reviews, video and more.
Escape From Tomorrow comes to DVD and Blu-ray on April 29. The film tells the story of a middle-aged American husband and father of two who lost his job. To escape from reality and to keep the news from his family, he decides not to forgo their trip to the happiest place on Earth. But things turn bad when his sanity is challenged and their trip is turned into a nightmare. Interesting if, for no other reason, than to see what a film that was surreptitiously shot at Disney World looks like. Best Buy has the Blu-ray (and DVD) or, if you prefer Amazon for the DVD, click here.
Filth. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is a corrupt cop who desperately wants a promotion. He will do absolutely anything to get that promotion, even stealing his colleagues’ wives and exposing their secrets. But when his past begins to catch up to him, he begins to lose control. Watch for Filth on VOD starting Thursday, April 24. The critics were mixed on the film but many were impressed with James McAvoy performance and, according to The Times, “James McAvoy gives his best performance to date as a morally and physically decaying detective in this hallucinogenic adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel.” Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Joanne Froggatt, Shirley Henderson, Eddie Marsan, John Sessions. Director: Jon S. Baird. Rating: R Genre: Drama, Comedy, Crime. Reviews, video and more.
Gambit. Rating: 2 (out of 5). A remake of the 1966 action film, Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz stars in this film about a British thief who discovers that no plan is infallible after he recruits a beautiful woman to help him steal a statue from a wealthy widower. Although his accomplice resembles the target’s late wife, things start to go wrong once their plans begin. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, April 25, and has not won much (if any) praise from the critics. According to The Guardian, “An awful lot of talent has been put to waste here.” Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci. Director: Michael Hoffmann. Rating: PG-13. Genre: Drama. Reviews, video and more.