INSIDIOUS “Into The Further 4D Virtual Reality Experience”

Dallas is one of a few select markets who will host the INSIDIOUS “Into The Further 4D Virtual Reality Experience” across the country. It will be held Friday, May 29th – Sunday, May 31st at the Fan Expo Dallas (http://www.fanexpodallas.com ) inside the Dallas Convention Center.

We are offering up FREE (admit one) codes for you to use! As an added bonus, since the Experience is located inside the Fan Expo Dallas, winners also gets free admission into the Expo.

Winners simply use the code to go online to reserve the day/time (within a one-hour window) that they want to go through the Experience. Then their names will be on the Will Call list at the convention center for a free one-day admittance to the Expo.

Experience the world of INSIDIOUS like you never have before. The “Into The Further 4D Virtual Reality Experience” is a free, fully-immersive experience that will take you physically and virtually into the world of INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) will be your guide on an intense 4D oculus rift experience that will bend your perception of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘the further.’  http://www.intothefurther.me/

Send an email to giveaway@mungleshow.com with "INSIDIOUS" in the subject line. In the email include your FULL NAME and the email address you would like your CODE sent to. 30 winners will be selected at random from all official entries. Winners will be notified no later than May 22nd 2015.

Good luck!

Matt Mungle


NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. All federal, state and local regulations apply. Entries must be received by May 19 2015. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by email. One prize per person per household. Employees of all promotional partners and their agencies are not eligible. The MungleShow, Matt Mungle, and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of a prize. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part.

The D Train - Review

R  |  97 min  |  Comedy 
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

In theaters May 8th. 

When Jack Black is on his game there is no one funnier. And he is hilarious in the new adult comedy THE D TRAIN

Dan Landsman (Black) is the self appointed Chairman of the High School Reunion committee. When he has a hard time getting alumni to say yes he tracks down Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) the popular guy from his graduating class in hopes that his attendance will get everyone else to come. 

Marsden and Black are a powerful comedic duo. Jack with his awkward self depreciation mixes with James' cool guy demeanor perfectly. Dan wants so bad to pull this off that he will do anything and go to any measure to get Oliver to attend this reunion. The task is more daunting then first thought. Lawless is a wanna be actor in LA while Landsman has never moved more than a few miles from home. Things get even hairier when Dan puts his job at risk to get to LA. 

Marsden embraces the role and goes full bore into making the character over the top memorable. I could go into the "hows" and "whys" but that would only spoil the surprises and jaw dropping "whaaaats". The supporting cast is full of funny peeps. Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, add some comic icing on this cake of fun. 

THE D TRAIN is rated R for strong sexual material, nudity, language and drug use. It is certainly an adult comedy and one that is best watched with your bro's. The language is raunchy and inappropriate. But it is hilarious and at times salaciously awkward. You will literally see things that you will not soon forget. I give it 4 out or 5 year book photos. Black is better than ever and Marsden goes the full mile to make the comedy happen. But keep in mind that you have to truly enjoy this type of humor. 


5 Flights Up - Review

PG-13  |   |Drama
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

Ruth (Diane Keaton) and Alex (Morgan Freeman) have lived in the same Brooklyn apartment building for over 40 years. When they moved in it was the 1970s and these newlyweds were ready to take the world by storm. Now that they are older the 5 FLIGHTS UP leading to their apartment seems to get longer and steeper each day. They are both still in decent shape but what about in the next few years? This leads them to the tough decision of selling and finding a place they can afford, and that has an elevator.

Though a dramatic film there are lots of light hearted moments and some comedic characters. As Ruth and Alex begin to show their apartment they run into all sorts of zany house hunters and over zealous Realtors. Alex doesn't really want to move and is concerned about the finances. Ruth is thinking f the future and wants to find something they can live in comfortably. These conversations are well written and effectively acted.

There are some interesting side plots that happen in this film. Along with the hectic buying and selling of apartments it seems a possible terrorist is on the run in NY. This of course causes the market to dip slightly and everyone is preoccupied with the story. Also Ruth and Alex's dog needs medical treatment and the discussion of where the money would be better spent, on the move of an aged dog, adds to their stress level. 

Freeman always seems comfortable in any role he plays. As expected he is endearing and lovable; even in his most crotchety moments. Keaton too is her normal spastic almost ditzy scatterbrained self. Some may like that while others will be annoyed. She delivers her lines like she is making it up as she goes. You wonder if she is acting or just trying to keep up. Luckily Freeman is there to keep her grounded and bring some solidity to each scene.

There are many flashback moments as we see Ruth and Alex begin their lives together. Many of these happen as one of them is caught up in a memory. It is hard not to reflect on your life when leaving a residence after that length of time. Their story is a happy one and we see two people who truly love and compliment each other. This is a film that will certainly connect with New Yorkers. Those who live outside the city and especially those unfamiliar with apartment living will often shake their head in bewilderment. Why would these two not head south to retire and get a nice home for half of what they are paying? You would have to live in NY to understand.

5 FLIGHTS UP is rated PG-13 for language and some nude images. Alex is a painter and some of his art depicts the nude female form. It isn't gratuitous or salacious. But be aware that it is there. The language is mild but every now and then a expletive will slip. This is a film made for older adults and so t is perfectly clean for the audiences it is intended for. I give it 3 out of 5 offers. It has a decent pace and the story is intriguing enough. It is refreshing to watch talented actors in roles that are age appropriate.

Bravetown - Review

R  |  112 min  |  Drama, Music
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

In theaters May 8th. 

If Step Up and Goodwill Hunting had a baby it would look a lot like BRAVETOWN. Part dance movie, part post war healing this film has a little bit of everything and manages to pull of some strong emotional moments. Just not exactly sure who it's for. 

Josh (Lucas Till) is a troubled teen from NY who spends most of his time DJ'ing dance clubs. He is somewhat of a phenom and on the rise to be one of the best.  After a run in with the law and the court system he is sent to live in a small anywhere USA town with the father (Tom Everett Scott) he never knew. His punishment also includes weekly therapy sessions with a court appointed shrink, Alex. (Josh Duhamel)

As luck would have it the small high school he now attends has a horrible dance team looking for that one element to make them great.. a talented DJ. Question is will Josh open himself up enough to help others? Probably. 

Josh is one of those kids you want to see get his head on straight. His mom (Maria Bello) is a piece of work who never really gave him anything positive. His dad left him. He has been on his own since he was a youngster. Till does a standout job of bringing multi-dimensions to the character. He is closed off and aloof most of the time but comes alive whenever he gets behind the turntables. You can tell he truly wants to let people in and feel something but is far too afraid. It is that likability that keeps you invested in the film. 

There would be enough of a story if it revolved around Josh and the rag tag dance troupe. Seeing them bring him out of his shell would be a pretty solid payoff. But the heart of the film also lies in the relationship he has with a family there who lost a son in the war. It is a family torn apart and dealing with their own hurt and struggles. Alex may hold the key to helping them mend if only Josh can get him to talk about what is really going on. 

Needless to say there are a lot of story arcs weaved throughout. This gives depth but also leaves unresolved questions in its wake. For one when we meet Josh's dad he is not the character his mom painted him to be. But they never go back and visit that. Maybe it is because Tom Everett Scott is such an endearing guy that it is hard to think of him as a loser. You get the idea that he would have been there for Josh given the chance. 

The film would be a great watch for high schoolers due to the young characters and the dance numbers. There is plenty of teen angst and romance buzzing around. But the R rating will keep many from experiencing it. And while the older audiences can handle the adult themes and may appreciate the focus on war torn families they will have to suffer through all the teenage antics and dance choreography. So it is two films in one and not sure what it wants to be. 

The cast does a splendid job. Laura Dern is also in this as a mom grieving her son's death. She has two other kids that are trying to keep the family together. One of those kids is played by Jae Head who first one us over as the outgoing youngster in THE BLINDSIDE. He again tackles this role with gusto and you love him from the start. 

BRAVETOWN is Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality. It is a hard one to recommend for families due to the language and themes. As mentioned it is split between two audiences. I would be more apt to say see it then don't.I give it 3 out of 5 bass drops. It has a powerful story and the acting/cast is spot on. I think if older viewers are willing to stomach the few dance moments they will be able to get into the strong message of healing and forgiveness. 

Maggie - Review

PG-13  |  95 min  |  Drama, Horror, Thriller
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

In theaters May 8th. 

It is hard to think of Arnold Schwarzenegger and not immediately hear the thick accent and picture him fighting bad guys and cyborgs. But how will he do against an infectious disease? We find out in MAGGIE. 

Wade (Schwarzenegger) is a simple Midwest farmer dealing with a zombie apocalypse as well as any of us could. A current outbreak of an incurably disease is slowly turning the effected into cannibalistic flesh eaters. When his young daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) is bitten and starts to turn, he has some hard decisions to make. But one choice he is dead set on is never leaving her side. Government officials have set up quarantined facilities that "aid" the dying in their last stages. Wade thinks he can take care of her at home. A tough call that could cost him everything. 

Zombie's have a strong selling point when it comes to TV and movies. The walking dead are both intriguing and terrifying. The thought of something turning you or your loved one into an unstoppable monster that must be destroyed is scary. They still resemble the person you once knew but gone is any sense of human understanding and connection.  That is what Wade and Maggie are facing. Once she starts to show signs of turning it is just a matter of time. How do you spend the last days? At what point do you give your child over to a government that is going to show no sort of compassion? As a child what do you expect your parents to do? So many questions are faced in a film that is more emotional and intellectual than it is horror driven. 

Still, it is creepy and there are some intense moments that add some scares. But for the most part it is a drama that could easily have been set around non-zombie elements. Bottom line is a young girl is sick and dying and a father has no way of controlling it. Arnold does a good job of being sentimental yet strong willed. There is a quiet solidness about him. He has resigned to the fact that his daughter will change but how/where/why it plays out is his call. Or he wants it to be. 

Breslin wowed us early on in her career so I keep expecting something more from her. She seems to just walk through a role - which seems fitting for a zombie - but here we needed a bit more emotion and connection. Here is a young girl facing a horrible death right in the face yet she seems melancholy. Even when she is talking to her friends she is detached. I wanted more anger, frustration, denial. Something. Maybe it wasn't in the script. 

This film moves as slow as a zombie walks. You get the feeling that the characters are walking around in a daze. I am sure if this happened in real life we would all be in a clueless funk. The dialogue is sparse and they say only what needs to be said. There is a lot of contemplating, reflecting, and worry. There is a gray tone to it that adds to the somber foreboding. From start to finish you feel the tension and are anxious for the final act. Many will revel in this sea of angst while others will want the band aid ripped off a tad faster. 

MAGGIE is rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including bloody images, and some language. It is a far cry from the blood guts zombie flicks you are used to. In fact this one has very few zombies in it. And those that are there are shown in a much more human likeness than normal. This adds to the emotional aspect of the film for sure. I give it 3.5 out of 5 eye drops. It was what I expected but not much more than that.


Far From The Madding Crowd - Review

PG-13  |  119 min  |  Drama
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is a the new period drama based on the Thomas Hardy novel and directed by Thomas Vinterberg. It is a well made film full of lush landscapes, oozing with 1800's romance, and a cast of men all longing to capture one woman's heart. 

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a headstrong, single woman in 1850's Victorian England. She is capable of managing life and needs little help, so she thinks, from the male species. It isn't that she hasn't thought of marriage. In her own words, "She has often thought of being a bride at a wedding, but doesn't want the husband part." It only figures that she would have three very different men wanting nothing more than to be her husband. 

When she inherits the family farm things don't get any easier. She still believes that she can handle the responsibilities of running such a vast estate. But the men in her life know better and constantly feel the need to come to her rescue. The question is if she will choose love, convenience, or simple desire in her decision making.  

Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts) is the level headed shepherd who has no problem putting Bathsheba in her place. He cares for her greatly but will not allow himself to be run over by her. Mr. William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) is the wealthy neighboring farmer. He too would love nothing more than to protect her and allow her to spend her life in ease by his side. Then there is the young brash, Sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge). Will his charm and bold ways be too much for her to ignore? 

The film is a solid addition to the period dramas that have popped up over the years. They often get lost in the sea of action packed blockbusters and regurgitated comedies. But when done well they deserve some recognition. And this one does. Absolutely it is not made for everyone and the target audience is women. But that is fine. It in no way diminishes the quality of the film or the perfect performances by Mulligan and her boys. Schoenaerts is superb as the strong, quiet force that keeps everything and everyone together. Sheen and Sturridge are nice complimentary book ends to his character. 

I am quite sure the novel is rich in character development and allows the story to unfold more purely than what we get in 119 minutes of screen time.  If there is fault to be found it is in how some plot lines quickly play out and move on leaving the viewer wondering if there wasn't a bit more to the story. Mulligan makes decisions that seem rushed but in reality were more then likely arrived at in a more deliberate pace. 

The cinematography and custom design are musts in a film like this. You have to be swept away to another time and place and feel like you are entrenched in that world. This one succeeds in that. Also, it depicts how rough life was in that age, especially for women. Mulligan conveys the emotion well of a woman trying to make it on her own in a time when few wanted to, or could. 

Far From The Madding Crowd is rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence. It is a very safe film for the target audience. Back then most people were polite and well behaved. Most of these characters reflect that. There are a few heart-wrenching moments of loss and some adult themes. But nothing to be offended by. I give it 3.75 out of 5 sheep pens. A nice addition to the art house fair and those looking for strong characters not wearing capes and tights. 

PERNICIOUS Interview - James Cullen Bressack and review

Matt Mungle chatted with James Cullen Bressack (Hate Crime, To Jennifer, My Pure Joy) about his new film PERNICIOUS

The writer/director talked about the story, what makes for good horror, and the loyal fans. 


Releases: Now on Blu-ray DVD

Synopsis: Pernicious, starring Emmy-nominated Emily O’Brien (Young and the Restless), Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers) and Jackie Moore (100 Ghost Street), is “a carnival for the eyes” (Dread Central)  and “sexy, bloody, and heinous” (Horror News). The movie tells of three young girls, holidaying in Thailand, who unleash the spirit of a murdered child with only one thing on her mind - revenge. 

Review: Rusty Ryan - Pernicious is a low budget, but ambitious horror film from writer/director James Cullen Bressack. 
It does have an attention-getting opening that features the murder/sacrifice of a man and a child. Not to worry, it’s handled in a creative way that is not bloody or gratuitous. The hard core stuff comes later.

Fast forward to three American girls showing up at a remote Thai house for a teaching job. The three actresses are beautiful but unfortunately their dialogue and delivery of such, leave much to be desired.

They quickly and unwittingly help to release the spirit of the dead child that is being held inside a life-size golden statute that just happens to be in their house. The film escalates into a ghostly possession mystery that features lots of torture porn. The special effects are actually very creative and very bloody. Now toss in a few ghostly appearances of the girl’s spirit that will immediately remind horror fans of Ringu and The Grudge. Really, it will IMMEDIATELY remind you of those movies. I will leave it at that.

I will say that the location shots are beautiful and I did note how the director keeps the camera moving to add a little more interest to overhead and tracking shots. He is trying hard and that is noticeable.

The film contains some foul language but no sex or nudity. The torture and scenes of violence are gory and extremely bloody.

In short, Pernicious is a messy ghost/torture-porn horror film with questionable acting and dialogue. It does contains a few slightly scary scenes. It’s special effects involving torture are bloody, explicit and technically well done. The three female leads are easy on the eyes but unfortunately the cinematic goings-on are just too distracting to pull the viewer in. It never has a sense of dread and it is hard to take the torture scenes too seriously.

It’s worth a rental if this happens to be your cup of tea. But I seriously doubt if most people will be coming back for multiple viewings.

2 out of 5 stars.


Screening Pass - Mad Max: Fury Road

Hey Dallas! Put your movie watching gear into overdrive at the MAD MAX: FURY ROAD pre-screening! All you have to do is CLICK HERE and download/print your admit two pass. Once you do be sure and tweet your thanks including @themungle #mungleshow

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 13
AMC NorthPark Rated R
(Have your pass ready to show at the door)

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.

Ride - Review

R  |  93 min  |  Comedy
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

Helen Hunt wrote, directed, and stars in the new mother/son film, RIDE

When Jackie's (Hunt) son Angelo (Brenton Thwaites) would rather drop out of school and move to the other side of the continent than have to endure his mother's smothering ways she knows there has to be an issue. And it is not so much that she smothers him but that she pushes her son to achieve his potential instead of nurturing him on the journey. The concept of doing what makes you happy is lost on her. Angelo wants to be a great writer and so he moves from NY to CA to live with his dad, surf, and find himself. When Jackie heads out west to track him down and hopefully mend their relationship she discovers what it means to actually live. 

The film is a comedy but with lots of drama added by Jackie's personality. She is a New Yorker to the core and can't understand the Santa Monica mindset. She immediately takes control of whoever is around her, starting with her hired driver Ramon (David Zayas). He thinks she is nuts but at the same time has a job to do. They eventually form an unlikely friendship that adds a lot of humor throughout the movie. Jackie wants to learn to surf to prove to her son that she is capable of doing anything. She hires a local instructor (Luke Wilson) to "teach" her and learns that she doesn't know it all. It is through this process of surfing that her walls are torn down and she finally gets outside of her head enough to think straight. 

The character of Jackie is very complex. Hunt does a good job of portraying her as the obsessive workaholic who is obviously trying to bury her emotions in busyness. As the story unfolds you get a glimpse into her past and start to realize what causes her to be the mom and woman she is. Jackie and Angelo both grow in an understanding of each other. But more importantly they find a lot out about themselves. The film doesn't try and fix everything in 91 minutes. Instead it creates a foundation of healing so that you can rest easy knowing the characters will move forward in a positive manner. 

Thwaites is an up and comer who knows how to grab a role and flesh it out. At times he might seem a tad overly angry with his mom but the emotion also lets you know that this has been building for most of his life. He is looking for something inwardly and outwardly and Jackie has no idea how to direct him. Wilson's character is the only one who seems to know how to put Jackie in her place. Luke is the same as we would expect. He seems at home in the surfing world and is believable as the laid back CA surfer. But at the same time he doesn't try and "Jeff Spicoli" it up but keeps it appropriate to his age. 

Hunt is a terrific actress and here she proves she can write and direct as well. This isn't a powerhouse movie to be studied and modeled after. But it is a solid piece of film-making and delivers its point in an entertaining fashion. It has heart and you see the characters move in the emotion. RIDE is rated R for language and some drug use. It is an adult film that tackles adult situations. Neither the language nor the drug use is rampant and the redeeming qualities far outweigh the negative. I give it 3 out of 5 Jelly Fish stings. Fans of Hunt will be pleased with the offering and others will enjoy the ride as well.