Deadpool trailer

“We can make you better…”  And rebuild him.  Better, stronger, faster.  Wait, that was this guy.

This latest spin-off from Marvel Comics, “Deadpool”  brings us former Special Forces BAMF Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) undergoing experimental healing powers that allows him back in the game of revenge.

Roll the tape…

Ready for another MARVEL roll-out film?  Too soon?  At least it doesn’t come out until February.  But this trailer looks fantastic!

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Movie Review – ‘Sicario’

“One of 2015’s most eye-opening and raw suspense stories.” – Patrick King, REEL BRIEF


A gripping and intense standoff, “Sicario” is a two-hour adrenaline rush that will invoke a fight or flight response from most viewers.  This drug cartel story isn’t just ripped from today’s headlines.  No, it’s bigger than that.  Much bigger. “Sicario” is an electrifying action thriller that enlightens and educates us on the violent crime that already exists—and operates—inside our southern border.

Emily Blunt (“Edge of Tomorrow”), as a naïve FBI agent, tops off a superb cast that includes Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro (“Traffic”, 2000) as a government consultant, and Oscar-nominated Josh Brolin (for 2008’s “Milk”) as the leader of a U.S. clandestine unit.  The trio meet along the blurred desert borders of corruption, deception and hitmen to fight drug lords and a jurisdiction system that still tilts in favor of the criminal minds.

The frustrated Blunt wants to play by the rule of law. Except the only U.S. move left is to toss the game board upside down–creating chaos and noise in a cartel family business led by ruthless killers.  A once eager FBI agent, Blunt’s Kate Macer character finds herself embedded between a tough CIA operations chief and a mercenary who tends to lean in the direction of the highest player.

An exemplary collection of performances with an edgy script is bookended by a spectacular music score.  A heart-pounding film experience on the frontlines where rules get thrown aside without apology or trepidation.  “Sicario” is not about curbing the drug war by the time the credits roll. It’s about savvy street smarts and keen instincts necessary in a dangerous environment where nothing is as it appears to be. Talk about trust issues.

Filmed mostly in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June of 2014, “Sicario” made the shortlist for the top prize (Palme d’Or) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. This movie is easily one of 2015’s most eye-opening and raw suspense stories, benefiting from stellar performances throughout the entire film.  Look for “Sicario” to make an Oscar splash when nominations are announced in January.

Grade: A+

“Sicario” is rated R with a running time of 2 hours.

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Clint Eastwood & Tom Hanks filming “Sully”


As I mentioned on this website back in early July, Tom Hanks will play U.S. Airways Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in the motion picture of the true story, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Now we have the first pictures of Eastwood and Hanks filming in New York along the Hudson River yesterday.


Here’s the Daily Mall story on Wednesday’s filming in New York.


My previously posted thoughts on “Sully” and that fateful day:

To common airline travelers and television viewers, they watched Captain Sully’s actions with an eye towards a miraculous water landing in Manhattan’s Hudson River.  For pilots, we saw so much more.  We saw the split-second decisions that needed to be made in successive, rapid-fire fashion.  Decisions that kept possibilities and opportunities available as options for an aircrew that was losing precious altitude and time with every second.  As aviators, we saw an immediate transfer of aircraft control from the copilot to Captain Sullenberger–who was sitting in the left seat and now at the airplane’s controls, flying and talking–to Air Traffic Controllers, his copilot and even the passengers to brace for impact.

When it comes to aircraft emergencies, there are moments when it’s acceptable to have the more junior pilot (copilot) fly the aircraft while the older head(s) on the flight deck decide what appropriate actions must be taken to handle the in-flight malfunction or problem.  At other times, when the circumstances are the most dire and time constraining, the senior pilot, the captain or aircraft commander, must fly the aircraft and exhibit their A-game skills formulated over thousands of flying hours and years of experience to allow for the best odds of survival.  Pilots following this true story about the  “Miracle on the Hudson” know that the copilot was performing checklist items and backing up Sully from the right seat the entire time.  They watched an aircrew–a team really–perform and interact like a well-oiled machine–the direct result of a profession that prides itself on preparation for all possibilities…always attempting to make the unexpected emergency more expected through rote checklists procedures, in-depth systems knowledge and continued simulator training.

What non-pilots see in the U.S. Airways’ “Cactus 1549” flight…

It seems like every time Tom Hanks portrays a Captain on-screen bad things happen to him.  And this.  Or taking this guy down also.  Now we learn that negotiations have all but concluded with Hanks slated to play Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in director Clint Eastwood’s next project.  The film, originally expected to be called Miracle on the Hudson, is going to be titled Sully according to The Guardian.


From an actual Cactus 1549 passenger statement to the National Transportation Safety Board:

Sully flight1549_passenger_statement


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‘The Revenant’ trailer

Academy Award-winning director, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (Birdman) joins up with Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) to explore the great American wilderness.  DiCaprio plays hunter Hugh Glass, who is left behind by the members of his own team–including Tom Hardy’s (from Mad Max: Fury Road) character.

DiCaprio must use his wits and will to survive another day.  He must also navigate unforgiving territory and harsh winter; think of Kevin Costner in 1990’s Oscar-winning Best Picture Dances with Wolves.  Now, multiply Costner’s Army officer/Indian survival difficulty by a factor of about 10.  Answer: Hugh Glass.  This movie smartly combines brutal conditions, warring tribes and a compelling Revenge Factor for the trifecta success formula that everyone will want to see post-Christmas dinner.

With Iñárritu and DiCaprio telling this story, The Revenant should be on everyone’s “Must See” watch list.

It’s obvious DiCaprio’s character never got this piece of bear-fighting advice.

Release date – Christmas Day.  Mark your calendars.

Other Films with Oscar Potential

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The new McConaughey….Trend Setter!

Lincoln spokesman Jim Carrey Matthew McConaughey has changed up his looks for the upcoming mining movie “Gold”.

Matthew McConaughey

Photograph by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images

You can read more about “Gold” here.

I still think McConaughey’s weight-loss for “Dallas Buyers Club” was more shocking.  And we’ve seen our share of Hollywood make-overs.  Like this guy, who happens to be playing opposite McConaughey in “Tropic Thunder”:

NSFW and 1,749 f-bombs dropped in this clip.

Or more recently, how about the change from suave pirate to mobster leader in South Boston? Hollywood make-up artists – as important to the final big-screen product as cinematography, editing and sound.


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Follow on Twitter @REEL_BRIEF

Stay connected with the latest movie reviews pushed directly to you 24/7.  We’re now available on #Twitter @REEL_BRIEF



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Reader of the Week

This week’s submitted photo comes from Ryan D., who is originally from Iowa, but now resides in Tucson, Arizona.


Ryan, seen here supporting REEL BRIEF with our mug, served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and is now a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, having served 10 additional years with that military branch.  Great picture and thank you for your service to our nation!

If you have a photo from a movie theater experience or one of you enjoying a REEL BRIEF sweatshirt or coffee mug, please email your submission to me at

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Rental Recommendation – ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Available to watch now at Amazon, or to rent later this week at Netflix and Redbox

Age of Ultron

With an action-packed opening scene that begins at full-throttle, viewers must move just as quickly to understand the villain known as Ultron–and his two formidable threats; Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Be prepared, though, the frantic Olympic pace set early on for the mind-numbing adventure is maintained nearly throughout the 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Despite the heavy doses of computer generated imagery (CGI) typically found in these comic book movies, “Age of Ultron” settles down long enough to allow us to enjoy the best part of the Marvel collection—the odd assortment of Avengers: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Besides Ultron, the voice provided by James Spader from NBC’s hit smash TV show “The Blacklist”, Whedon also brings together some old, regular Marvel characters as well as some new faces.

In “Ultron”, the best scenes use heavy amounts of banter and laughs to establish a good-natured rapport between the super heroes. Continuing that camaraderie will be key to a franchise expected to launch at least ten more Marvel movies within the next decade. To get a snippet into how that may be done, be sure to watch the mid-credits scene at the end of this blockbuster hit.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action.  Its running time is 2 hours and 21 minutes.

You can read my entire movie review of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” here.


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Full Review – ‘The Martian’

“The Martian” is this fall’s first must-see film that’s one small step for food rationing, one giant leap for botany science.” – REEL

The Martian lead2

Director Ridley Scott (“Alien”, 1979) has once again created an impressive outer space saga.  Based upon the first published novel by American Andy Weir in 2011, “The Martian” is a fascinating Petri dish study into one’s will to survive.  The nucleus to this sci-fi journey is the combing of the Red Planet of Mars for anything to extend life and hope to one astronaut left behind.

“The Martian” is a jaw-dropping study on human ingenuity and brilliance that doesn’t end with Matt Damon’s character, Astronaut Mark Watney.  This endurance test expands the entire 4-year distance between survivor and help, pushing the human mental and physical limits of even Earth’s smartest minds.

The film exults Damon’s survivalist instincts and his inner fight to seek victory over loneliness.  Viewers see how far improvising of supplies, keeping a positive attitude through humor and planning for the long haul can make the difference between life and death.

An inspiring and unique movie, “The Martian” draws immediate comparisons to two highly successful, epic Tom Hanks’ films; 1995’s “Apollo 13” – the true story of NASA plans going afoul in space, and “Castaway” in 2000, about survival at sea over several years following an aircraft accident.


Notably, the single biggest challenge Ridley Scott and this film faced was telling a story that covered several years but still sidestepped any slow parts showing mundane, day-to-day life on Mars.  Admirably “The Martian” keeps viewers glued to the big-screen throughout, continually changing conditions and obstacles for Damon’s crafty character to overcome.

“The Martian” is an intense, powerful scientific story told from 90 million miles away using a complex blend of state-of-the-art technology, archaic means of communications and orbiting remote satellites. Already with the second best October box office opening in history, look for this movie to garner Oscar talk for Damon and director Scott.  “The Martian” is this fall’s first must-see film that’s one small step for food rationing, one giant leap for botany science.

Grade: A

“The Martian” is rated PG-13 with a running time of 2 hours and 14 minutes.

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Preview: ‘Joy’

“Joy” will be included in all the Academy Award nomination talk later this year…

“I’m placing “Joy” as the first film on my official Oscar Watch list. ” 


Inspired by the true life story of Joy Mangano, this movie chronicles the discovery of the “Miracle Mop” and how a woman’s invention leads to her rise to the top of a powerful family business dynasty.

We now have a synopsis of the film’s soundtrack to get you in the spirit of the movie and premature Christmas shopping.  Sorry, Target and Walmart, but I just beat you to the jump on the upcoming holiday season. BAM!  You’re welcome.

Director David O. Russell is overdue for an Academy Award and always brings his A-game to the set; Russell has earned three Oscar nominations as director for “The Fighter (2010), “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) and “American Hustle (2013).  Additionally, he’s been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (“Silver Linings Playbook) and Best Original Screenplay (“American Hustle).

Although Russell is O-for-5 at taking home an Academy Award, he’s got a proven track record of quality films–and recent big hits.  He also seems to get the best actors and actresses to work with him again (another good indication).  For Joy, Russell teams up again with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper“) and Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games” trilogy) from “Silver Linings Playbook”. The film also stars Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini and Diane Ladd.

Here’s the trailer…

Filmed in Boston and throughout Massachusetts, “Joy will make the Academy Award nomination list in several categories…acting, screenplay and, more than likely, director to name just a few.  “Best Picture” is not out of the question either come next year’s awards season.  In fact, with this American Dream story and exceptional cast and director, I’m placing “Joy as the first film on my official Oscar Watch list.

Joy is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day.

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