Sunday, July 24, 2016

Shouldn’t Trump have accepted the nomination here as well? MonsterFestMania, July 29 and 30 in Akron

San Diego Comic-con is in full swing right now. But if you are reading this, you're probably not there. You're probably still stuck in the Cleveland area, with your own lonely action-figure collection and Hollywood fantasy/sci-fi/horror discs, and VHS tapes. Airfare to San Diego Comic-Con is quite outside your budget - not to mention admission at the door. You probably can barely afford to leave your parents' basement where you've been living for the last 30 years, like a forgotten Ariel Castro hostage in a state of Rust Belt permanent-recession squalor and minimum-wage poverty. A life in which the louche thrills of scary movies and canonical Bela Lugosi/Boris Karloff B-programmers emceed by Big Chuck were the only reliable escape.

No, even if you did sell a kidney or something to get money, San Diego Comic-Con would probably turn you away at the door anyway, just for being a homely Ohioan, not worthy of entry in a southern California public event. That Wonder Woman cosplay outfit is not fooling anybody.

But wait! There is a ray of hope for lonely genre fans here in flyover-land, and it resides in Akron.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

By George M. Thomas

Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), center, Ensign Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Lt. Sulu 
fight a mysterious alien in STAR TREK BEYOND.
STAR TREK BEYOND is a straight forward, thrilling action adventure featuring gorgeous visuals and very little of what made original fans of the TREK series geek out.

Directed by Justin Lin, who helmed several of the FAST AND FURIOUS films, from a script by Simon Pegg (who also plays engineer Montgomery Scott) and Don Jung, it possesses its own charms that those who hold a blasé attitude about this iconic franchise that is currently celebrating year 50 will find attractive.

First of all it gushes with action, with few moments bogging it down and it deftly balances it with humor. It’s by far the most balanced Star Trek film since STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME in that every character is given something substantive to do.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Win tickets to see 'Batman: The Killing Joke' on the big screen at Cinemark Mansfield

Fathom Events, Warner Bros. and DC Comics invite you to a special event, BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE! For your chance to win a pair of Cinemark Mansfield Theatre tickets valid July 25, enter here -
Based on the acclaimed DC Comics graphic novel, take a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime.

To purchase tickets, please visit or participating theater box offices. #TheKillingJoke

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lucha Mexico (opens in Cleveland July 22nd at the Capitol Theatre and on VOD)

[LUCHA MEXICO opens in Cleveland on Friday July 22nd exclusively at the Capitol Theatre. Also available on VOD.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

It's always fascinating to me when a documentary takes an unexpected turn. That's certainly the case in filmmakers Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz' LUCHA MEXICO. In this case, the turn proved tragic for two of the film's subjects who died during filming. Another two subjects given less screen time evidently passed away before the film was edited and released, as well. To preserve the film's impact, that's all the details I'll give. Regardless, it goes to underscore that wrestling, whether in Mexico or the U.S.A., may be scripted and choreographed, but it's still an extremely dangerous profession. And not all of the danger is in the ring.

Yarn (July 23rd and 24th at the Nightlight Cinema in Akron)

[YARN screens Saturday July 23rd at 5:00 pm and Sunday July 24th at 8:00 pm at the Nightlight Cinema in Akron, OH.]

Review by Candice Lee Catullo

YARN is the real-life global story of art, sheep and fuzzy string. But mostly it’s about people.

The fascinating study, which debuted at SXSW from Icelandic filmmaker Una Lorenzen, is a colorful treat for the crafty or the curious among us. Since I aspire to be both crafty and curious, I’ll admit to being predisposed to appreciate this documentary. That said, I think this film really does have a captivating and rosy quality that everyone can appreciate.

Ice Age

Review by Bob Ignizio

Wow, is ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE seriously the fifth film in the ICE AGE franchise? For those unfamiliar with the series, it involves a group of prehistoric mammals: mammoths Mannie (voiced by Ray Romano), Ellie (voiced by Queen Latifah), Peaches (Keke Palmer), and Julian (Adam Devine); saber tooth tigers Diego (Dennis Leary) and Shira (Jennifer Lopez); sloths Sid (John Leguizamo) and Granny (Wanda Sykes); opossums Crash (Sean William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck); and finally, somewhat unbalanced weasel Buck (Simon Pegg).

Monday, July 18, 2016

'Fargo' waffle wagon comes to Cleveland for the RNC

Hello! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has a tasty opportunity tied to the critically acclaimed FX Series, FARGO! The fictional true-crime story of Fargo is invading Cleveland during the RNC with the #FargoWaffleWagon, in celebration of the Blu-Ray and DVD release of Fargo (Year Two).

Here are some of the locations the truck will be popping up throughout the week for Clevelanders to enjoy FREE WAFFLES – they won’t want to miss it!

Tuesday, July 19th Capitol Theatre (Gordon Square) 4:00PM – 8:00PM
Wednesday, July 20th SouthPark Mall (Main entrance) 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Thursday, July 21th Liquid Cleveland (West 6th Street) 8:00PM – 12:00AM

Please welcome George M. Thomas to the Cleveland Movie Blog

It's been kind of rough around here lately. Having my five year old home from school has curtailed my movie watching and writing considerably, and some of our past writers have moved on. So it is with much happiness I announce that we have a new staff member joining the Cleveland Movie Blog: George M. Thomas. For those of you who don't know George, here's his bio.

George M. Thomas 

George M. Thomas reviewed movies and covered the business of movies for area newspapers for 13 years. For seven of those years, the Knight Ridder Tribune news service syndicated much of his work, including  two columns. An eight year member of the Broadcastt Film Critics Association (BFCA), he's interviewed stars that include Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and many other Oscar winners and nominees. He's a native of the Cleveland area. Please click here to contact George. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeThomasABJ.

All posts by George M. Thomas.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


'Ghostbusters' runs out of laughs, thrills despite cast's best efforts

By George M. Thomas

Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones star

“Who ya gonna call?” was a familiar question for those of us who caught the original GHOSTBUSTERS in 1984. That film provided an oasis of silliness along with a few thrills on its way to capturing the summer.

The current incarnation that features a group of talented comedians will likely do the same, just from sheer name recognition.  After all, any film that stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, will likely attract audiences.

And for most of the first half of GHOSTBUSTERS, they deliver the goods in their take on paranormal scientists looking to prove that they’re not quacks and, in the process, make New York City safer.

For that first hour or so GHOSTBUSTERS, which focuses on Abby (McCarthy), Erin (Wiig), Patty (Jones) and Holtz (McKinnon), zips along with clever one-liners and broader comedy.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (opening in Cleveland July 15th at the Cedar Lee Theatre)

[HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE opens in Cleveland on Friday July 15th exclusively at the Cedar Lee Theatre.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

Based on a novel by Barry Crump, Taika Waititi's HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is a slightly offbeat kid's adventure tale set in the New Zealand bush. The filmmaking is relatively straightforward, with only the affectation of chapter titles giving it any sort of artsy flourishes, and the story is easily relatable despite the different culture. If this were the seventies, it would be playing in mainstream theatres and might have had a chance at being a modest success.

These days, sadly, a movie like this is relegated to the arthouse circuit (no offense to arthouses intended). There it will be lucky to get more than a week-long run before heading to home video where it can easily get lost in the sea of crappy straight to video releases. Although in this case, it's already on VOD simultaneously with its theatrical release, so even if you don't want to leave the house in 90 degree heat, you can sit on your ass and watch it on TV. Either way, if you're overdosed on big budget summer blockbusters and hungry for something a little different, hopefully I can persuade you to give HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE your time and money.