By Liz Lopez

Rating: B

Board games are still very popular after many decades and in fact, game night is alive and well in Austin in many homes – and not just among the elderly. Various types of games are not only for entertainment, as families and friends enjoy the competition, showing off how much an individual knows about a certain topic and perhaps more. When I first heard the title of the Warner Bros. film, “Game Night,” starring Jason Bateman (“Horrible Bosses,” “Office Christmas Party”) I was not expecting much more in comedic entertainment than the usual “party” fare with some raunchy humor I can do without. I then saw the trailer, and the cast of actors that really changed my mind about viewing the film. The screenplay by Mark Perez (“Accepted,” “Back Nine”) is an action comedy with a twist – including suspense and crime – that is really laugh out loud funny in some scenes. There is more to this story than just the games played among friends, as Bateman’s character Max is married to Annie (Rachel McAdams). Without revealing too much more, this couple has a bit of game playing between them as to how to deal with a topic that may resonate with people of a certain age. The lead and supporting cast has great chemistry, produce excellent comedic work and Jesse Plemons has some scene stealing moments – some of his best work with his character. I left the theater wanting to view it again! Read more »


By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

Alex Garland, the brilliantly innovative mind behind 28 Days Later and Ex Machina, uses his visionary talents to adapt the first novel of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.  With Annihilation, Garland takes his audiences through another disturbing, science fiction journey and does so with gorgeously realized visuals and tense, haunting sequences of both horrific and metaphysical natures.  The film is quite a remarkable experience that will leave fans of heady sci fi in absolute awe, but might leave casual viewers quite bewildered. Read more »


By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

With Office Christmas Party, Horrible Bosses 1 & 2, Identity Thief, and a handful of other comedy films, actor Jason Bateman has found a comfortable niche portraying a likable, and sometimes flippant straight man reacting to outrageous situations and wildly comedic characters.  With a few exceptions here and there, most of his films have either been just good or not-so-good.  However with Game Night, Bateman has chosen a comedy that is hilariously written and performed, and is superbly directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.  As talented as Bateman is, it makes me happy to report that he is in a comedic film which utilizes his chops well, and can boast a fantastic supporting cast as well. Read more »

Movie Trailer: PANDAS

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

IMAX invites you to experience the world of PANDAS – narrated by Kristen Bell. The journey begins this April. #IMAXPandas 🐼

Pandas are beloved around the world, and now they are coming to the big screen in the IMAX® original film “Pandas,” a breathtaking documentary adventure and amazing experience for the whole family. At Chengdu Panda Base in China, scientists are dedicated to protecting the species by breeding adult Giant Pandas in order to introduce cubs into the wild. This film follows one such researcher, whose passion leads her to initiate a new technique inspired by a black bear program in rural New Hampshire. What starts as a cross-culture collaboration becomes a life-changing journey for an American biologist who crosses an ocean to join her; a scientist from Inner Mongolia; and a very curious female cub named Qian Qian, born in captivity. Read more »

Movie Trailer: ON CHESIL BEACH

Source: Bleecker Street

Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan stars in ON CHESIL BEACH, based on Ian McEwan’s bestseller. Watch the official trailer – in select theaters May 18.

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