Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Da Vinci Code Is The Worst Kind Of Nonsense...Boring Nonsense

At the dawn of the 21st century, The Da Vinci Code was everywhere. That 2003 Dan Brown novel was pervasive in its presence and it was only a matter of time before a feature film adaptation. And who better to handle such an adaptation than recent Best Director Oscar winner Ron Howard who was also coming off the biggest movie of his career, How The Grinch Stol Christmas. Reunite him with Tom Hanks, his lead actor from the 1995 hit Apollo 13, and you've got a surefire recipe for a major blockbuster right?

Monday, October 24, 2016

I Spy, With My Little Eye, A Subpar Comedy Entitled Keeping Up With The Joneses

With James Bond and Jason Bourne being more popular than ever in the 21st century, not to mention Austin Powers becoming a pop culture phenomenon in the last few years of the 20th century, spies have been prime fodder for American comedies in the past decade or so. But man, the last five years have put the pedal to the metal when it comes to spy comedies, ranging from family comedies (Cars 2, Despicable Me 2 and Penguins Of Madagascar), action-comedies (The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Kingsman: The Secret Service) and general comedies (Spy, Central Intelligence and The Brothers Grimsby all come out in a 54 week span). And now there's Keeping Up With The Joneses, whose greatest accomplishment is ensuring that The Brothers Grimsby isn't the worst spy comedy of 2016.

Madea Frightens Her Way To The Top Of The Box Office, Jack Reacher Does Alright, Oujia Underwhelms And Moonlight Gets Off To Bright Start

After three years away from multiplexes across the country, Madea returned to movie theaters with a strong showing in Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween, which grossed a fantastic $27.6 million over the weekend. That's the third-best opening weekend for a Madea movie and the fourth biggest opening weekend ever for Tyler Perry as a director. It's also the first movie from Lionsgate to be the number one movie in America in 11 months. The last time that happened was with the very last Hunger Games movie.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Scariest Thing About Boo! A Madea Halloween Is Its Overlong Running Time

Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween was quite the momentous movie for me, for you see, I have never watched any other entries in the Madea saga (aside from the opening five minutes of Madea Goes To Jail) or any Tyler Perry directorial effort for that matter. With the release of this new Madea feature (the first new Tyler Perry film since Land Of The Nerds started, believe it or not), it was time for me to get better acquainted with a filmmaker whose been met with non-stop critical derision over the past decade unless he's appearing in a David Fincher drama.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Five Days Of Crazy Good Music: West Covina

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns to The CW tonight, and in honor of its return, I've decided to do a column each weekday this week chronicling noteworthy songs from the first season. 

And now, for the last entry in this column, let's go all the way back to the very first musical number on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a little ditty entitled West Covina. Now, in my piece on The Sexy Getting Ready Song (which, like West Covina, also appeared in the first episode of the series), I mentioned how that song had a sort of confidence and assuredness that immediately gave Crazy Ex-Girlfriend its own unique vibe and the same can very much be said for West Covina, a tune that also reinforces the fresh spirit that flows throughout Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as well as helps illuminate who exactly lead character Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) is.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Five Days Of Crazy Good Music: Cold Shower and Flooded With Justice

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns to The CW Friday night, and in honor of its return, I've decided to do a column each weekday this week chronicling noteworthy songs from the first season. 

Yes, this one's a tiny bit of a cheat since it covers two songs instead of the typical one, but whatever. Anywho, both of these musical numbers come during a storyline wherein Rebecca's (Rachel Bloom) newest way of garnering extended periods of time with Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) is to help spearhead a lawsuit against his apartment complex regarding the faulty plumbing system that is making showers a chilly nightmare for Josh and numerous other individuals. It's the kind of storyline that expertly combines numerous facets of Rebecca's complex personality, namely her infatuation with Josh, her desire to be seen as a good person who crusades for the little guy and the legitimate talent she carries in her profession.

The First Teaser Trailer For Logan Makes Hugh Jackman's Last Wolverine Movie Look Very Different And Emotional

The final X-Men movie to feature Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is on its way for March. It's got a title (Logan, a nice little contrast with the title of the last solo Wolverine movie The Wolverine), a cast that includes Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant and Boyd Holbrook and now it's got a teaser trailer. Check it out below and prepare to see something very different from past X-Men movies and American blockbusters in general.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Five Days Of Crazy Good Music: Settle For Me

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns to The CW Friday night, and in honor of its return, I've decided to do a column each weekday this week chronicling noteworthy songs from the first season. 

Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) is very much the focus of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, hence why the show has its title. But one of the best aspects of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in its initial season is how fully fleshed-out its supporting cast felt from the get-go. Rebecca's best pal Paula is a great example of this trait and Greg (Santino Fontana) is another shining showcase for how well Crazy Ex-Girlfriend depicted that Rebecca was not the only person residing in West Covina (Californiiiiiaaaaa!!) that was a tad bit off-kilter.

I Cannot Stress Enough Just How Exceptionally Dumb The 5th Wave Is

So much idiocy is crammed into the running time of The 5th Wave that I wondered at the end what screenwriter could possibly be responsible for this disaster. Then I saw in the credits that none other than Akiva Goldsman was one of the three credited screenwriters. Now it all made sense. Of course the man responsible for Batman Forever and Insurgent would be in charge of this project. Clarity washed over my body and suddenly the reason for why this project had gone so horribly off the rails was clear as day, though the script is far from the only thing that simply doesn't work in any way shape or form in The 5th Wave, believe you me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Space Jam Is Returning to Theaters Next Month Because You Couldn't Keep Your Nostalgia In Your Pants

Well, I hope you're happy. Yes, I'm talking to you specifically readers who adore Space Jam. I know my generation loves this movie something awful, but even before I became a snooty film critic, I obtained a particular disdain for this Joe Pytka "movie" because of how it shoved all the Looney Tune characters I loved to the sidelines in favor of a corny biopic about Michael Jordan. Now that I'm older, my feelings for the film have manifested into just resentment more than anything else. Yeah, I guess the theme song is kinda catchy but Space Jam really has nothing else going for it. It's a 90-minute commercial for Michael Jordan and that's it.

Five Days Of Crazy Good Music: I Love My Daughter

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns to The CW Friday night, and in honor of its return, I've decided to do a column each weekday this week chronicling noteworthy songs from the first season. 

While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend definitely has a foot firmly placed in the world of Broadway musicals (just look at West Covina, the very first tune of the whole show), the great thing about the program is how it explores a wide gamut of musical genres and differing artists. While this wouldn't be the first time country music showed up on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (we'd also have Valencia's Women Gotta Stick Together song coming our way eventually), the tune I Love My Daughter does perfectly encapsulate a side of country music that could exist as its own subgenre; songs about dads harmonizing about their obsession with their daughter.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Five Days Of Crazy Good Music: The Sexy Getting Ready Song

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns to The CW Friday night, and in honor of its return, I've decided to do a column each weekday this week chronicling noteworthy songs from the first season. First up....

The practice of women taking elongated amounts of time to prepare for going out has been the butt of jokes for ages, typically in the form of shallow jabs consisting solely of dudes asking "Why are women so slow?!??! LOLZ!" Leave it to Rachel Bloom to add some humanity to this endeavor from the perspective of the gender that actually goes through the extended rituals to match societies narrow vision of what constitutes beauty. This is The Sexy Getting Ready Song, a tune that dropped in the middle of the first episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and established right off the bat that this would be program that explored concepts and ideas not frequently seen on American television.

The Accountant Is Plenty Watchable But Also Sort Of A Mess

The Accountant is kind of an oddball movie. There's a lot of big actors wriggling around on-screen inhabiting a script that feels like it could have easily belonged to some sort of Steven Seagal and Charles Bronson action vehicle in the 1980's. It's an interesting dichotomy that actually makes the film watchable but it's kept from being truly as fun as it could have been by a script that seems to be hopping all over the place tonally and there's also the problem of the story being plagued by pervasive predictability.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Accountant Adds Up To Solid Box Office, Kevin Hart: What Now? Does Record-Breaking Business And Bad Box Office (Not Jet Fuel) Melts Max Steel

Ben Affleck scored another box office win this weekend with The Accountant, which grossed $24.7 million in its bow.  That's a considerably larger opening weekend than other like-minded action movies such as Alex Cross and John Wick. The advantage The Accountant had was the presence of post-Argo/Gone Girl Ben Affleck and a strong marketing campaign from Warner Bros. that gave the feature a vibe quite unlike anything else in the marketplace. Doesn't hurt that there aren't too many action movies out right now, giving The Accountant another reason it our-performed expectations. With an A CinemaScore under its belt, it wouldn't be surprising to see The Accountant end up over $70 million domestically.

Deepwater Horizon Has Peter Berg Finally Breaking Through As A Filmmaker

Peter Berg belongs with the likes of Antoine Faqua, Michael Bay and Zack Snyder in the category of directors I shall henceforth refer to as "Macho Dudes Making Macho Movies For Macho Moviegoers". Individuals belonging to this classification frequently make motion pictures that adhere to the most primal definition of what constitutes masculinity, with pervasive attempts to appear "rugged" and "extreme" typically coming at the cost of coherent storytelling and interesting characters. Those are certainly two elements missing in spades in Peter Berg's past work, especially in the 2012 disaster Battleship.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Disturbing Nadir Of Humanity Is Seen In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Right off the bat, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre plainly informs its audience that this is not going to be a movie for the faint of heart. A narrator reads off a title crawl in a manner that avoids going too over-the-top while still retaining an air of menace. After this we get our first visual in the feature, the sight of dug up corpses sprawled out on top of some sort of fixture in a commentary. No jump scares or anything like that occur here, it's simply the camera panning out on this shot of this atrocity. The full horrifying nature of this visual is allowed to sink into the viewer and helps set the tone of what's to come in this motion picture.