Sunday, November 30, 2014

Elf Finds The Joy In Both Christmas And Humanity

Welcome to 25 Days Of Christmas Pop Culture! From now until Christmas Eve, I'll be tackling one piece of Christmas pop culture! It could be a book, movie, TV special, long as it's festive for this time of the year, it'll be checked out in this daily column!
Elf is a prime example of a movie that shouldn't, under any circumstances, work. A comedian mugging it in a family movie? That always works out well. A sequence where the main character spies on a woman in the ladies locker room? Creep central. A lead character so optimistic and spunky should be aggravating. Instead, it's a treat of film, one of the very best features centered around the holiday of Christmas.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NSFW Unfinished Business Trailer Shows Drugs, Tears Gas And Dave Franco Nudity (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD)

Vince Vaughn's double dose of box office dudes in 2013 is leading him to restructure a comeback in 2015. The most buzzed about role for him next year is his major part in the second season of True Detective, but he's also got a new R-rated comedy being released as well. The feature just dropped a an extremely R-rated, nudity and swear filled, NSFW trailer, which you can watch below.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Some Thoughts On The Incredible Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer

Ever since October 2012 when Disney announced they purchased Lucasfilm, people like me had been waiting to see what the first film made under Disney's watch would look, sound and feel like. Now, that feature, Star Wars The Force Awakens, has dropped a trailer on all of us and man oh man is it great.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Classic Write-Up: Batman (1989) Review

Burton, Bats, Bamboozlement, Oh My!
While Batman's most notable modern day portrayal is the one Christopher Nolan brought to life from 2005-2012, it's Tim Burtons Batman feature from the 80's that truly brought the character to life. Becoming one of the biggest movies of all-time back in the day, the films 25th anniversary arriving this year makes it a good time to look back on the feature.

Box Office Predictions: Penguins And Jason Bateman Go Up Against Katniss

Plenty of movies will vie for box office glory over this coming Thanksgiving holiday, as Horrible Bosses 2 and The Penguins of Madagascar expand their franchises while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One will likely lead the box office again. Add in The Theory of Everything going into wide release, and there's plenty to talk about.

Some Thoughts On The Jurassic World Trailer

I love nothing more than a fun surprise, and getting the trailer for Jurassic World two whole days early certainly fits into that category. The first time footage from the feature had been shown, this was the world's first glimpse into what's to come for the beloved franchise. If the first trailer is any indication, we're all in for a treat come next summer.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Michelle Maclaren Officially Directing Wonder Woman Movie!

Yes folks, it's official, the Wonder Woman is really, really happening. While movies have gotten directors in the past only to fall apart, it does feel like this iconic superhero is finally getting to the big screen. The person in charge of handling her first solo appearance (she'll pop by in Batman v. Superman) is Michelle Maclaren, a director notable for her extraordinary work on Breaking Bad.

Oscar Isaac Cast As Villain Apocalypse In Next X-Men Movie!

If you told me back in early January when I saw Inside Llewyn Davis that Oscar Isaac would have been cast in two of the biggest franchises by the end of the year, I'd have said you were crazy. But the actor has fared well indeed by winding up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now has been cast as the major antagonist Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nine Actors Who Deserve Oscar Recognition This Year, But Won't Get It

The Academy Awards are a confounding presence in Hollywood, their awards have a major impact on any given winner or nominees life. However, the ceremony seems to have a stern refusal to give notice to anything that utilizes comedy, action or animation, a bizzare practice that means much of Hollywoods best features get no recognition. A similar lack of recognition is inevitable for these eight actors, whose roles this year were superb showcases of their talent, but due to numerous factors (release dates namely) won't be given proper recognition. Without further ado, here's Nine Actors Who Deserve Oscar Recognition This Year, But Won't Get It!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One Review

Mock (Yeah)...Ing (Yeah)....Jay (Yeah)

Cliffhangers are a tricky business. Do it one way, and it can become an entertaining way to simultaneously push the characters forward while giving a glimpse at the future (see: The Empire Strikes Back and The Hobbit films). But others really just do it in an abrupt fashion that manages to decrease the overall quality of the film. Thankfully, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One manages to avoid being a calamity. In fact, it's an entertaining movie filled with tension packed sequences.

Rosewater Review

A Rose By Any Other Name
When progressing to the world of directing, one has to wonder what one is trying to accomplish in this endeavor. Do you want to entertain? Do you want to say something profound? For Jon Stewart, his first directorial effort in the world of feature length cinema is Rosewater (a movie he also wrote), a feature centering around a story that does seem like it would particularly resonate with Stewart, considering his investment in not only politics matters but also journalism as a whole.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Box Office Analysis: Mockingjay Midnight Numbers Potentially Spell Financial Trouble

Part of me feels like I'm Chicken Little, saying "The Sky Is Falling!" by writing this, but I also feel like it's just sort of an interesting thing to talk about. The penultimate Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part One, opened in theaters everywhere last night in Thursday night screenings. The amount of cash it made from those though was a bit less than expected.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Zoolander 2 Is A-Go, With Penelope Cruz Joining Cast

But why male models? More like why a sequel, amirite? Bad puns aside, I'm a big fan of Zoolander, Ben Stillers odyssey into male modeling absurdity. It's an entertaining movie full of quotable lines, and a sequel to it has been in the works for ages now. After Anchorman 2 failed to recapture the laughs of the original, I kind hoped this long-in-the-works-comedy-sequel-from-Paramount would not come to fruition, but now it's on the way!

Pitch Perfect 2 Trailer Is Aca-Here!!

I haven't seen Pitch Perfect, which feels weird considering my adoration of musicals and Anna Kendrick. But I'll certainly check it out within the coming months, as a sequel is on the horizon that aims to take advantage of the massive audience that has found the film on home video and translate it into summertime box office success. Check out the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2 below!

Box Office Predictions: Katniss Everdeen Is Off To Financial Victory

Only one new movie opens this weekend, and boy is it a doozy. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One is unleashed onto the world, and no other movie has a chance to beat it. With that in mind, let's get this weeks box office predictions started, shall we?

Aaron Sorkin Written Steve Jobs Movie Loses Home At Sony, But All Hope Is Not Lost

It's been a rough road for the Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin. David Fincher was supposed to direct it, make it a nice Social Network reunion, but he passed. Then, Danny Boyle came on as director, only for lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio to pass. Christian Bale, who had been floated around as a lead for the project when Fincher was directing, reattached himself to the project, and then left it. Michael Fassbender was in talks to play the lead of Steve Jobs, while Seth Rogen, Jessica Chastain and Scarlett Johnansson were in discussions for roles in the feature.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trailer For Live-Action Cinderella Takes Classic Tale And...Doesn't Update It

Aside from a little teaser trailer that didn't show any footage from this past summer, Kenneth Branagh's take on Cinderella for Disney has been really quiet. That changes now, as a new trailer popped up this morning, just in time to be shown on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One this weekend. Check out the new trailer below.

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S2E8) Review: Attacking From The Back(stories)

Everybody's got a story is how the old saying goes, and Agents of SHIELD proved that this week with it's focus on backstories for many of it's characters. What I found interesting about these backstories is not only in how they're presented in an entertaining manner, but in how much they rely on the universe SHIELD has created for itself. Last season, it felt like everyone named dropped Thor or Iron Man every five minutes, and that was the extent of a larger world beyond the central cast, but now the show has developed itself to the point where there's much more to this show. And that makes for very interesting storytelling possibilities.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's A New Trailer For Your New Movie Charlie Brown!

The forthcoming The Peanuts Movie should be an abomination. It should be a film that takes certain beloved cartoon characters and turns them into freaky, overly realistic CGI concoctions solely to make a buck and spew fart gags (think of those hideous Scooby-Doo movies from 2002 and 2004). Instead though, it actually looks great. The characters have been translated to CGI animation in a successful manner that retains their distinctive hand-drawn look, creating a new kind of style I've never seen in a CGI-animated feature.

With Do You Want To Cook A Meth Lab, Breaking Bad And Frozen Come Together At Last!! (From The Interwebs)

Some things were always meant to come together. Peanut butter and jelly. Rolls and butter. Chocolate and more chocolate (I'm hungry as I'm writing this). I never would have thought Frozen and Breaking Bad would come together so well, but the Internet has a tendency to surprise me. Below, check out a parody that merges the two entitled Do You Want To Build A Meth Lab?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Star Wars Rebels (S1E6) Review: A Day Of Revelation

The past two episodes of Rebels have been it's best so far by focusing on character and effective atmosphere, two components that have been recurring aspects of great Star Wars mythology. Empire Day, the sixth episode for this series, isn't a revolutionary piece of television, but I feel comfortable in labeling it another successful outing for the show, which is quickly finding it's footing going more in-depth into the world of its characters.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Editorial: How Are The Networks Doing In This Falls Television Season?

Why does everyone on this poster look like their CGI?
Last night, word came in that Will Arnett starring sitcom The Millers had been cancelled. The show was only a few episodes into it's second season, but ratings were middling for the show, it's most recent episode bringing in only 6.47 million viewers. I suspect a similar fortune shall befall fellow CBS sitcom The McCarthy's, which brought in even lower viewership in its most recent endeavor with only 6.36 million viewers.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Paul Blart 2 Is Coming. You Can't Stop It. Here's It's First Trailer.

I'm sure you're expecting from that title to see some cynical fellow berating the original Paul Blart feature, but you know what? I liked that film, a lot actually. Blart was a likable enough protagonist, the movie had some solid laughs deriving from slapstick, overall, it made for an entertaining hour-and-a-half. When it debuted in January 2009, I was not the only one to have positive things to say about Blart, as his movie wound up shocking everyone and made $146 million at the domestic box office.

Classic Write-Up: Dumb And Dumber Review

Jim Carrey may have lost some of his luster in recent years, but to say he was a comedic titan in the 90's is a gross understatement. The man churned out hit after hit that engrossed audiences. Of his features from this era, I've only seen The Mask, but that finally changed when I caught Dumb and Dumber on Netflix. Perhaps his most famous film (though not his highest grossing), this Farrelly Brothers feature puts Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniel as a dim witted duo on a road trip to Aspen.

The New Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer Whips Up New Footage

So many big movies arrive in 2015 (The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) but one of the most anticipated easily has to be Fifty Shades of Grey, the film adaptation of the phenomenally popular book has been a source of constant buzz for months. A new trailer that you can watch below only heightens the hype.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Next Bond Movie Villain Will Be Played By Christoph Waltz!!

With Skyfall, the James Bond franchise just a double O boost, with critical, audience and financial reception at an all-time high. The next adventure for the super spy starts filming in December for a November 6, 2015 release date, and now casting is underway. While Dave Bautista had been previously cast in the film as a baddie, the newest Bond villain will be played by two time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz!

Wanna See Bradley Cooper Doing The Voice Work For Rocket Raccoon?? (From The Interwebs)

A slow news day today (nobody wanted to compete for media attention with the Paul Blart 2 trailer coming out later today) doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about in the world of pop culture. The super duper buzzed drama Whiplash finally enters over 400 theaters this coming weekend, and CBS Films is now getting some distribution help from Lionsgate. But here's something guaranteed to brighten up your day; Bradley Cooper doing some voice work for Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of The Galaxy. Check it out below!

Box Office Predictions: Dumb And Dumber To May Not Overcome Big Hero 6

Box office predictions is back from the dead! This is one of the most time consuming pieces to write for the website, and it's never gotten the high rate of viewership I'd like it to have, but screw it, I love writing about the box office, so let's do it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The First Trailer For Divergent Sequel Insurgent Tosses Tris Into Apocalyptic Action

Divergent sorta came and went for me earlier this year. It's not bad mind you, but it is mediocre, just sort of something not good enough to stand out in my mind, but also not bad enough to be noticeable either. It did make a nice amount of cash though, $150 million domestically alone, and so a sequel is underway, this time with 3D supercharges in order to boost international grosses. The Divergent Series: Insurgent has just debuted a teaser trailer that you can watch below.

Agents of SHIELD (S2E7) Review: Answers And Questions

One major flaw of Agents of SHIELD's first season was the way it constantly delayed giving the audience answers on pivotal questions, instead relying on lackluster storytelling to distract them from the fact that nothing of substance was getting answered. The major pivotal question that never got much resolution was Coulson's resurrection, which gets more clarity in this episode than it did in the entire first season.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ghostbusters And Mythbusters Engage In Rap Battle (From The Interwebs)

Who ya gonna call...for great internet entertainment? ERB of course! The YouTube channel (whose name stands for Epic Rap Battles) has been providing rap battles placing two famous opponents for a while now, and I've been a fan of the work for over three years now. The channel, which is led by NicePeter and EpicLloyd, has just returned from a brief hiatus to deliver a new season of fun rap related mayhem, and the first one, letting the Ghostbusters and Mythbusters duke it out, is superb. Check it out below!!

Editorial: Doctor Doom Will Be A Blogger In New Fantastic Four Film, And That's OK....For Now

While a fantastic trailer of Avengers: Age of Ultron has put that film on everyone's radar, the other two superhero movies for Summer 2015 have been flying a bit more under the radar so far. One of them, Ant-Man, has at least unveiled official photos from the production and some behind-the-scenes footage, while the other, The Fantastic Four, has given us zip, zilch, nada aside from a photo of a stand-in for the movies version of The Thing.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Suicide Squad Casts Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn, Maybe Jared Leto As The Joker

The first DC Comics feature after Batman V. Superman will be Suicide Squad, which will be released on August 5, 2016. The film involves a group of supervillains who are recruited by the government to go on dangerous missions. It's the project I'm most excited for out of DC's forthcoming movies (even if I wasn't crazy about the last film, Fury, from the director of Suicide Squad, David Ayer), and now it looks like the cast is taking shape.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Interstellar Review

Flawed In Space
Space is a glorious vessel for cinematic storytelling, whether it's Luke Skywalker's many voyages into the cosmos or Stanley Kubrick using space as a backdrop for a look at humanity. So many stories, of widely varying degrees of quality, have been told within those far off stars, so it was inevitable for Christopher Nolan to send his own sci-fi tale into orbit.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Big Hero 6 Review

A Heroic Achievement
As one of the biggest Disney animation nerds on the planet (my first word on this planet was Disney actually...I was doomed to this life from the start!), a new feature from the newly revitalized animation studio always gets me excited. Trailers for Big Hero 6 looked terrific, but I was worried, simply due to there being so few movies from the studio that were like this one. Heavy on action (the last time the studio tried that, *hooray!* Treasure Planet, though before that we got *shudder* Atlantis), based on an obscure Marvel character and a potential trainwreck of a lead character...these are the elements that filled me with worry as the movie approached. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Is Brought To The Silver Screen In Trailer For Selma

One of the greatest advocates for civil rights who ever lived, Martin Luther King Jr. was a tremendous human being, a man whose great legacy is known throughout the world. Several times, films centered on the man have been attempted, but few, if any, have come to fruition. That changes this January, when Selma debuts in wide release. Check out the trailer for this drama below.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Toy Story 4 Is Coming, Purely For Storytelling Reasons, We Assure You

The whole reaction to PIXAR making sequels in recent years has pretty much boiled down to people on the internet announcing the company is "losing its soul" or "selling out". I've felt that's more than a bit hyperbolic; sure, Cars 2 was underwhelming, but the Toy Story and Monsters Inc. continuations ranged from great to astoundingly incredible. But this newest sequel puts my faith in the company to the test. PIXAR is embarking on a fourth Toy Story.

Middle-Earths Fate Is In The Balance In Epic New Trailer For Final Hobbit Movie

Alright, I'm gonna say it. At the risk of alienating myself from the rest of the internet....I like The Hobbit movies. Yeah, they have a tendency to be overlong, and some of the CGI (namely those Orcs) is embarrassingly bad. But Middle-Earth is quite a wonderful place to spend two and a half hours, and actors like Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen really help make it come to life. The final entry in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies has gotten a trailer before it's Christmastime launch, check it out below!

Star Wars Episode VII Has A Title!!!

The day has come.

We've dreamed about it for two years ever since Disney bought Star Wars and announced more movies.

The title for Episode VII has arrived.

Eric Church's Talladega Does A Magnificent Job Reminiscing About The Past

I've made it no secret to say how much I enjoy Eric Church, and I'll keep up tradition and make it no secret in this review. The dude just oozes talent, especially in songs like Springsteen and Give Me Back My Hometown, and seeing him pop up looking like a badass biker on the Country Music Awards last night reaffirmed my admiration of the dude.

New Into The Woods Trailer Shows Off Songs, Characters, Bizzare Johnny Depp

Hollywoods treatment of musicals in things like trailers has always been peculiar. Very rarely are the actual songs from the film depicted in the advertising materials, a weird predicament considering the epic musical number Let It Go became one of the most beloved pieces of Frozen. After the smash hits Les Miserables and the aforementioned Frozen, the two big musicals for this Christmas have reversed this trend, with Annie trumpeting its tunes in its trailer, while Into The Woods makes up for its musical free teaser with this theatrical trailer that boasts plenty of singing. Check it out below!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Marvel's Winter/Spring 2015 TV Shows Have Airdates!

2015 will be a monumental year for Marvel Studios. The company is concluding the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with their features The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man, while also launching a series of shows on Netflix that start next year with Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Plus, I'm hoping the Marvel One-Shots make a triumphant return of some kind. But let's not forget about their TV offerings on ABC, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and forthcoming miniseries Agent Carter!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

See The Next Stage Of Robotics In Trailer For Chappie

I've always loved robots in entertainment. Jaegars from Pacific Rim, the Mech suits from Avatar, WALL-E from...well, y'know. My fascinating from these guys I think comes from how they seem like the ultimate progression of tools and technologies we have today. Plus, many of them look cool. Those two qualities are in full force in the trailer for Neil Blomkamp's (the director of District 9 and Elysium) next feature, Chappie. Watch the trailer below!

Nightcrawler Review

When The Lights, Go Down.....In The Ciiiiittttyyyyy
I've always had this terrifying fear of the dark, which I've come to believe stems from the natural human condition of not wanting to lose control. In the daytime, one can see everything and everyone, nothing can surprise me one thinks. But then nighttime arrives, and the entire world it seems has been covered in a shroud of mystery. Anything is possible in this darkened landscape, all bets are off. Being scared of such circumstances feels natural, but leave it to Jake Gyllenhaals main character in Nightcrawler, Lou, to embrace the dark and all the terror that comes with it.

The Minions Are Getting Their Own Movie. Enjoy The First Trailer For It.

I don't wanna sound like that guy, but I'm gonna do it anyway; I miss the Minions of old. In the first Despicable Me, a charming and fun adventure, they were a humorous bunch who did a good job being lovable supporting characters for the main plot. But in the extremely underwhelming Despicable Me 2, the plot revolved around them instead of the other way around. They had some funny moments, don't get me wrong, but at some point it felt tiring instead of humorous.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Star Wars Rebels (S1E4): Depth, Death-Defying And Delightful

If one were to even briefly approach me about Star Wars: Rebels, they'd know my biggest complaint with it (aside from an occasionally erratic tone) is Ezra. He's the protagonist of the show, but he's been more grating than endearing thus far in the show. His whiny tendencies and bland personality just haven't made him too compelling. But this weeks episode fixes that issue while also delivering the best episode so far from this program.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tom Hiddleston As Loki Will Return In Avengers: Age of Ultron!

You want to protect the world
But you don't want it to change
These ominous words are spoken by Ultron within the trailer for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and they do a superbly effective way of reminding one how much impact each of the individual heroes have had on the world at large. Since teaming up to protect New York, the Presidents been kidnapped, an Infinity Stone almost destroyed reality itself and HYDRA forces have come up again. The influence of Iron Man and the like are felt in numerous positive ways...but they also can have negative consequences on those they care about.

St. Vincent Review

After all of his party crashing, french fry thievery and Space Jam cameos, it sorta feels weird to see Bill Murray headline a by-the-numbers feature like St. Vincent. It's not that he's bad in it, or that the film is some monstrosity (it's really not), but it's just sorta routine and lacking in the inventive spark that marks the works of filmmakers Murray usually collaborates with like Wes Anderson.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Wheels On The Franchise Go Round And Round; Fast & Furious 7 Gets A Trailer

Similar to the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most recent entries in the Fast & Furious saga derive much of their success from engaging characters. While I'd easily few, if any, of these protagonists have had an arc comparable to the likes of Tony Stark (I couldn't tell you what the names of characters played by Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson off the top of my head), but like those superheroes, the cast have an excellent chemistry that makes adventures seen in Fast Five and Furious Six super enjoyable.

Birdman Review

On A Wing And A Prayer
Films have the power to say things of incomparable substance. Some of the greatest filmmakers of all-time have used the medium of cinema to bring to life the kind of movies that help shape a generation via their underlying subtext and themes. It's neat to see any person undertake the mission of making a film that says something truly important, and it's pretty obvious that Birdman director (who also serves as one of the features four writers) Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu truly believes with all of his heart and soul that he's saying something meaningful within each and every frame of Birdman. I'm sure it's meaningful to him, and more power to him if it is. But for me, the message of the motion picture is like the movie itself; cluttered and underwhelming.