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THE MARTIAN: an Effective Sci-Fi Survivalist Tale

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Rating: ««« Out of 4

Running Time: 141 min.

We’ve all seen plenty of movies about astronauts encountering danger on other worlds, but The Martian is a bit different. Instead of aliens, it strands its lead on the red planet and forces him to endure the elements. Call it a sci-fi survivalist tale, if you like.

The story begins on Mars, where a NASA crew are conducting scientific experiments. When an unexpected sandstorm hits, the group is forced to evacuate. Unfortunately, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is hit and wounded by a flying antenna. Thinking him dead, the crew leaves. Watney soon wakes up to find himself alone on Mars with little oxygen or food and no means of...

SICARIO Is Complicated and Compelling

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Rating: ««« out of 4

Running Time: 121 min.

While there have been plenty of movies over the past few years depicting drug cartels, Sicario stands apart from the vast majority and adds several new wrinkles to the formula. It paints a more detailed and complicated picture of a disturbing situation, and asks serious questions about the tactics and methods used by its characters.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an idealistic FBI agent asked to volunteer as part of a special task force out to capture an unnamed figure in the Mexican drug trade. Hoping to make a bigger difference in the escalating trafficking battle, she dives in, but finds her superiors secretive and unwilling to elaborate...

EVEREST has spectacle, but could use a bit more focus

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Rating: «« out of 4

Running Time: 122 min.

Ever considered a perilous trek up the highest mountain on Earth? Everest may certainly dissuade any thoughts with a cold, harsh re-creation of what is perhaps the mountain’s most infamous tragedy. As disaster films go, it features some great visuals and several tense moments. Yet it occasionally suffers from a lack of focus on a central role. While the events as depicted are harrowing, the storytelling leaves some emotional distance between the viewer and the characters.

Based on the ill-fated 1996 excursion to the summit peak, the plot follows two commercial tour groups that assist adventure seekers up Everest. The focus is on...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for September 25, 2015

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It’s yet another busy week with tons of releases both new and old that should pique anyone’s interest. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

Big New Releases!

Alleluia - An introverted nurse falls for a charming womanizer in this French/Belgian thriller. She’s soon convinced into helping the man target and murder wealthy, single woman, and stealing their goods. Inspired on the real life “Lonely Hearts Killers” of the 1940s, plenty of graphic violence ensues. Notices were very good for this picture - it was described by most as disturbing and not for the faint of heart, but beautifully shot and compelling is its...

MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS: Slick and Efficient, But Unexceptional

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Rating: «« out of 4

Running Time: 131 min.

First things first - there are no mazes in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, although there is plenty of running. That might be a little peculiar to series newbies and will also disappoint any labyrinth enthusiasts. Instead, this film picks up right where the original ended, taking its hero on a dangerous journey to find a better life outside his confines.

As expected, there are plenty of similarities between this young adult series and other dystopia-themed titles of its genre. While the flick doesn’t offer a whole lot that is new, it is a slick and well-produced effort that, if nothing else, should appeal to its target...

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