Movie Review: Dunkirk


When the credits roll on Christopher Nolan's latest film - a cinematic experience that brings the full scale of the Battle of Dunkirk to the big screen for the first time - the audience is left speechless. Unlike nearly all of his other films, it's not because you're trying Read more

Dream-Casting a Live-Action Little Mermaid for Disney


Perhaps no task is more difficult for a studio than casting a well-known franchise to match the sky-high expectations of fans. From novels to comic books to animated film remakes, Hollywood has had mixed results with the task; some have spent the big bucks to get the demanded stars, Read more

Best Movies of 2016: The 3rd Annual Groucho Awards


Welcome to the Third Annual Groucho Awards! This is my own platform to nominate and award the movies of my choosing, because it seems that far too often, the movies with the biggest campaigns get Oscar nominations and the little guys are left out in the cold. This year Read more

A compelling case that Corinne is six-years-old, and other Bachelor nonsense


  Written by: @jeremywilson412 In the words of Chris Harrison, "Coming up on this week's episode (recap) of The Bachelor..." The ladies receive their first real test, we pause to remember those we lost this week, I present a theory about Corinne that is bulletproof, and we discuss the contenders and pretenders. But Read more

I was not going to write about The Bachelor, but then...


(Written by: @JeremyWilson412) I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl showed up in a shark costume convinced it was a dolphin costume. I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl showed up who hooked up with Nick at Read more

What I Learned about Chris Pratt's Faith


Most of us have loved Chris Pratt since we first met him as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec. Then he made his dramatic debuts in Academy Award Best Picture nominees Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. The latter revealed that he could be an action star, so it came as no surprise Read more

Movie Reviews

Top Five Albums of 2013

Posted on by Warner Russell in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Music | 1 Comment

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As we wrap up this year and begin a new one, our top music reviewer ranks his top five albums of 2013.

Honorable Mentions: Reflektor by Arcade Fire; Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend; The Lone Bellow by The Lone Bellow

5) Yeezus by Kanye West

Kanye is on a different level than other artists. He’s absolutely crazy, like insane, loose cannon crazy. But there is no question that he is a genius. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was great, one of my all time favorites, but Yeezus is transcendental. It will be the album people associate him with in 50 years.

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SAG Nominations put “12 Years” out front, give boost to “Dallas Buyers Club” & “Butler”

Posted on by Alex Beene in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

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Each year, a heavy amount of anticipation is given to the Screen Actors Guild nominations. They are in many ways the first “inside view” we get as to what the Academy is liking during the awards season. After all, the actors branch is the largest one in the Academy’s membership, and presumably most – if not all – of those actors are also in SAG.

Of course, it would be and is often a fault to take these nominations too seriously when assessing the Oscar race. Yes, they are a very good indicator for the actors and actresses who get nominated, but keep this in mind: (a) these nominations are made very early in the season, meaning most voters didn’t see every film in contention yet and (b) these are acting-based nominations, and “Best Ensemble” does not equate to “Best Picture.”

Still, they’re the first clues we get, so let’s put them under the magnifying glass.

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“American Hustle” and “Her” Kick Off 2014 Awards Season with Surprises

Posted on by Alex Beene in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movie Previews, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

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Welcome to another film awards season. I originally ran a site called “Awards Addict” which featured content on the road leading up to the Oscars. This year, I’m happy to say that content will be available at The Wise Guise for your reading pleasure. I know. You’re welcome.

As for those of you wondering about my credentials for covering the Oscar race, I’ve been doing so since 2005. I’ve got a pretty consistent record of knowing what the Academy likes and doesn’t like despite some of the more ludicrous choices we’ve seen grace the stage at the actual event. I’ve also personally been to Academy screenings and have an idea of who the typical Academy member is and what they like.

Now that you have an idea of my background, let’s get into this year’s race. For those of you unfamiliar with how the game is played (and the Oscar race is nothing more than a Hollywood game), the whole season begins with a slew of critic groups announcing their picks to garner buzz for contenders.

For the longest time, the general thought was “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” would be the critical darlings attracting the most top honors. But the first two Best Film awards of the season popped that consensus bubble quite rapidly. With the New York Film Critics’ choice of “American Hustle” and the National Board of Review’s stunning support of “Her,” this awards season has already gotten compelling in its infancy.

So what do these two choices ultimately mean?

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Movie Review – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Posted on by Alex Beene in Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | 1 Comment

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When the first “Hunger Games” film launched in March 2012, it was a massive success on all levels.  Crowds loved it, critics adored it and the box office was unreal, with the film bringing in over $400 million in the U.S. alone.

Flash-forward to a year-and-a-half later, and the second entry in the series, “Catching Fire,” has arrived. In that time, a new directior, Francis Lawrence, came on the scene, and the girl (Jennifer Lawrence) who played the girl on fire (Katniss Everdeen) has become a mega-star with an Oscar now in her possession.

Do either one of these factors make the new installment feel different? Actually no, not at all. “Catching Fire” shines in its consistency with the first film, with the same visual style and intensity in performance carrying over. Perhaps the fear for survival feels a tad diluted compared to the first go-around, but its replacement is the intrigue of a power struggle between rich and poor.

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Movie Reviews: 12 Years a Slave

Posted on by The Wise Guise in Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

One of the most-talked about films of the year and frontrunners for Best Picture is Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”. Starring a myriad of actors in small roles and based upon a true story of a free black man enslaved for 12 years in the 1840s and 1850s, it is a film unlike any other you’ve ever seen. Alex and Joseph each present their thoughts.

Alex Beene – Examining an Instant Classic: What makes “12 Years a Slave” Great

I suppose I should start with some elaborate explanation as to why you’re just now reading a Wise Guise recap of “12 Years a Slave.” Steve McQueen’s sprawling historical drama has been in theaters for weeks, garnering universal acclaim from critics, strong awards buzz and – not surprisingly – some walk-outs from audience members not anticipating such intensity in its filmmaking.

In reality, we’re just a group of busy Southerners who have a hard time being able to keep ourselves grounded at a computer long enough to reflect on such an experience. And yet, perhaps that additional time given to ponder on this masterpiece of a film helps in attempting to detail why this historical recap on one of slavery’s darkest stories is an essential lesson for Americans eager to get a brutally realistic take on a once-divided nation.

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For “12 Years a Slave’s” true accomplishment is not in providing a by-the-books overview of Civil War-era America, but rather in giving viewers a very intimate story of one man’s stunning story of survival. Once-free Northerner Solomon Northup, brilliantly portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, is drugged and thrown into the ownership of Southern landowners. The setting is perfect for a bombastic melodrama over the battle for rights and acceptance.

Yet, McQueen ignores the common plight of other films in the genre. More than anything, this is about survival. Northup spends little time screaming about his freedom and instead utilizes most of his life as a slave simply trying to live until the next day.

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Movie Review: The Counselor

Posted on by Guest in Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

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[Today, we’re honored to have a guest contributor review “The Counselor”, the Ridley Scott-directed, Cormac McCarthy-penned film with the all-star cast and less-than-stellar reviews. Don’t miss what R. Rooney Roux, CSA has to say about this movie dividing so many critics and viewers alike.]

Knowing how difficult it may be to pass up a Ridley Scott directed film featuring Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Michael Fassbender, I, nonetheless, encourage you, entreat you, implore you to do just that.

How does a premiere writer-director team take such incredible screen talent and produce such a travesty of a film?  Primarily, they use a tired, unoriginal plotline of pretty boy lawyer-type wants more.  The namesake of the film has it all.  Plenty of money from a successful law practice, brand new Bentley convertible coupe and the love of his life – the beautiful, sexy, you could even say “perfect” Laura, played by Cruz.  But of course, it’s not enough.  He’s got to have lots more and in the process places Laura in the crosshairs of all the Juans, Pedros, Manolitos and Chingons that work south and north of the Rio Grande.  So take on a couple more clients, you idiot.  No, I think I’ll make a big hit and jump in bed with some Mexican Drug Lords.  Even after he is told over and over not to do it by the guys who know what happens when one lies down in a bed of rattlesnakes, he smugly says, “I’m in.”   Everyone in the theatre knew he was thinking ‘how bad can they really be?’  How bad can these people be?  Can you say beheading and snuff film?

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