New reviews and videos of “Born in China,” “Phoenix Forgotten,” “Unforgettable,” and “Free Fire” from Influx Magazine’s Steve Pulaski

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“FREE FIRE”

Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire is moderately fun, but given its premise and idea, it should be a lot more fun. From the looks of it, it appears that the corrupt and cancerous politicians and gangsters in American Hustle decided to quit their day-job and embrace the life and exhilaration of dodging bullets from unknown directions and shooters in a grungy Boston warehouse. It has glimmers of inspiration, including some amusing quips, and fun performances, by Sam Riley and Brie Larson most notably, but it leaves one with the fulfillment of your average fast food meal.

“UNFORGETTABLE”

I feel I have seen and reviewed far more Fatal Attraction-esque, love-triangle, crazy-ex drama/thrillers than any person ever should. Between Swimfan, Obsessed, The Perfect Guy, When the Bough Breaks, and now Unforgettable, I’ve decided to conduct this review a little differently in order not to evoke monotony on my loyal readers weary of me venturing out into this genre of film yet again.

I’ve comprised a list of musings about Unforgettable that stemmed from nearly illegible notes I took on a napkin at the movie theater, and I’ve reworked them a tad so that the first word of my sentences start with a letter of the film’s title. That’s my effort to at least make this reading experience more memorable than this film.

“PHOENIX FORGOTTEN”

The “Phoenix Lights” conspiracy theory practically loans itself to being adapted into a film by way of the found footage genre. Last year, The Phoenix Incidentwas released in theaters in conjunction with the nineteenth anniversary of the 1997 event where thousands witnessed several glowing orbs break through the night sky and eventually dissolve into nothingness. That film drummed up little in the way of press or box office receipts, and with the way the found footage stock has fallen considerably in the last couple years, I don’t expect Phoenix Forgotten – a film with a budget and a marketing push not much larger than it similarly conducted counterpart – to be much more commercially successful.

“BORN IN CHINA”

By now, Disneynature – with its yearly film installments that are part nature documentary and part-kid friendly entertainment starring adorable animals – has manifested its product not only into a formula but into another brand under the Disney empire itself. It’s a brand that involves donating opening weekend proceeds to wildlife preservation companies while throwing audiences into a new and often never-before-seen environment brimful with interesting animals to anthropomorphize.

 

CLICK ON THE TITLES TO READ STEVE’S FULL REVIEWS!

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