Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Look At The Various Superhero Movie Universes

There's about four superhero cinematic universes running around right now, each with varying degrees of success and potential. Since two of them unleashed trailers of their newest features onto the world in the past month, I thought it was time to look at each of these four superhero universes and analyze how well they're doing currently and what ventures they have planned for film and television in the future.

Black Or White Review

A Race To The Bottom
Kevin Costner has had one of the more bizarre cinematic career resurgences I've seen in a while. while someone like Matthew McConaughey has built his comeback on the likes of True Detective, The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, Dallas Buyers Club and Interstellar, Costner seemed to get a massive boost solely from a Hatfields & McCoys miniseries. After appearing in only two movies from 2008-2012, he's managed to pop up in five different movies over the past year and a half, with two more to come this year. The reason such a comeback puzzles me is because none of the performances I've seen (I haven't watched the aforementioned Hatfields & McCoys miniseries) were that good. I've never seen him give a wretched performance or anything, but two of his 2014 films wound up being among the worst of last year.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fargo Review (Classic Write-Up)

The snowy environment of Fargo, North Dakota makes the landscape look massive, sprawling, unending. It's a winter dominated setting populated by folks whose vocabulary is as polite as it is upbeat. It seems like a cheerful, serene location....which makes a sudden kidnapping that escalates into murder all the more shocking. Juxtaposing this wholesome location with such a vicious crime is the framework of The Coen Brothers 1996 feature (which is directed solely by Joel Coen) Fargo, which has rightfully become a well-known classic.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chris Kyle Should Rule Over Time-Travelers And Kevin Costner (Box Office Predictions)

Another weekend, another opportunity for American Sniper to assume victory over your local movie theater. With February due to deliver several potentially huge hits, this last weekend of January seems to be the "calm before the storm", if you will, before some larger titles arrive. This means movie studios are not really releasing anything notable this weekend, but let's get to analyzing it anyway, shall we?

Grab Your Thunder Buddy And Watch The Trailer For Ted 2!!!

Alright, I know I'm going to alienate tons of people here, but honestly, I'm a huge fan of the Ted. The film hit just the right note of over-the-top humor and surprisingly fleshed out characters (the friendship between Ted and John was nicely realized). Seth MacFarlane's last film, A Million Ways To Die In The West, underwhelmed me, since it played into many of the filmmakers worst tendencies that Ted somehow managed to avoid. Still, I have been looking forward to MacFarlane's next film, Ted 2, which just got a trailer that you can you watch below!

American Snipers Lack Of Depth And Quality Is Reinforced By Its Crude Defenders (Editorial)

Some movies that make big bucks at the box office aren't really surprising in their financial glory. Was there anyone who really didn't think the last Harry Potter movie wouldn't shatter box office records? But then you've got your Avengers, your Frozens, those movies that wind up making way, way, way more money than anyone on the face of this Earth could have predicted. American Sniper is one such film, breaking every box office record in it's path and demolishing all expectations.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Melissa McCarthy Is The Lead In Ghostbusters 3

After many years and many many failed scripts, and even more numerous pushes from Dan Aykroyd, it looks like Ghostbusters 3 is finally taking form. Paul Feig signed on a while back to write and direct the movie, which would have a female group of Ghostbusters. It looks like that group is finally getting casted, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Three Actors Who'd Be Great At Playing Green Lantern

With the DC Cinematic Universe fully underway, it looks like we have the entire line up for the first Justice League film, due out in November 2017. Henry Cavill will be Superman, Ben Affleck will be Batman, Gal Godot will be Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa is underwater hero Aquaman, Ray Fisher will be Cyborg and the supremely underrated Ezra Miller will be speeding into the role of The Flash.

First Trailer For Fantastic Four Reboot Has Finally Arrived!!!

For ages, the new Fantastic Four movie has been surrounded in secrecy, and has drawn the ire of many on the internet not just because of that secrecy, but also because what little information has been released has become quite controversial. The movie has some kind of found-footage approach? Doctor Doom as a blogger? Cast members being urged not to read the comics that inspired the movie? Tons of stuff that's generated discussion, but I've tried to keep myself from passing too much of a judgement until some actual footage dropped.

That footage has arrived today in the form of a teaser trailer, which you can watch below!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Most Violent Year Review

Year And Loathing In New York City
You can be easily forgiven for not knowing the name of movie studio A24 right off the bat. Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox...who doesn't know the names, logo or theme music for those studios? But A24, despite the smaller box office it's films generate, has generated quite a reputation. They distribute very unorthodox cinematic fare (like Under The Skin or Spring Breakers) usually to glowing reviews. A Most Violent Year is the newest distribution effort from A24, a film that counts as the third directional effort of JC Chandor, who previously helmed All Is Lost and Margin Call.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Homegrown By Zac Brown Band Review

As country music continues to evolve into the new year of 2015, some interesting trends are starting to form. Bro-country is far from gone, but ballads driven by pathos from the likes of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have managed to top the country music charts all during January. Those kind of tunes managing to find dominance amongst the world of country music is encouraging to see, especially since it seems to be helping the newest tune from the Zac Brown Band find gigantic commercial success.

A Comprehensive Look At Johnny Depps Most Recent Movies

As I mentioned in my Mortdecai review yesterday, looking at the various twists and turns Johnny Depp's career has taken in recent years has been fascinating to watch. So fascinating in fact, that I've decided to take an in-depth look at the movies Johnny Depp has starred in from 2011-2014. This does not include his bit parts in Jack & Jill and Into The Woods, The Rum Diary will not be covered due to me not having seen it and I already looked at Mortdecai in the form of a movie review yesterday.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mortdecai Review

The Art Of War...On Quality Comedy
Watching the trajectory of Johnny Depp's career has, at this point, become far more entertaining than many of the features he chooses to star in. Aside from Into The Woods, he hasn't appeared in a feature that's grossed $100 million in four years (when the last Pirates of The Caribbean film was released), and while the forthcoming Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass holds potential to restore some luster to his body of work, Mortdecai isn't just another Johnny Depp misfire, it's an aimless clunker of a film in it's own right.

The Interview Review

An Interview To Remember
It's really not hyperbole to say that few features in 2014 have generated as much press as The Interview. There was of course the North Korea kerfuffle, which wound up resulting in nothing despite Sony releasing the film in over 500 theaters. Now the film gets to have one of the shortest windows between theatrical release and being available of Netflix instant streaming. It is by the mighty power of Netflix I was able to finally watch this film and see what Seth Rogens newest cinematic tale was all about.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Storm, Cyclops And Storm Have Been Cast In X-Men: Apocalypse!!

I was watching a stage production of Oklahoma! last night, so as one can imagine, I had my cellular device turned off during the play. An hour and a half into the story, intermission commenced, and I turned on my phone and amusingly discovered that a massive casting announcement had been unveiled just since I turned off my phone. That casting announcement, as you have likely guessed, is none other than the confirmation of who will be playing Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Melissa Benoist Will Star In Supergirl TV Show From The Makers Of Arrow

The DC Television Universe, which currently consists of Arrow and The Flash, is set to expand with Supergirl this fall, a new TV show that focuses on (SPOILER ALERT) Supergirl. She's a hero from Superman's human-resembling alien species who has similar powers (namely super strength and flying) to the Man Of Steel. There's been a massive hunt for the actress to play the hero, and now Melissa Benoist will be leading the program.

American Sniper Will Have No Problem Taking Down Jennifer Lopez And Johnny Depp (Box Office Predictions)

Well now, American Sniper pretty much shattered all expectations didn't it? More than doubling the previous highest grossing January weekend of all-time, the Chris Kyle biopic debuted to over $89 million last frame, an extraordinary result that means it'll have a massive second weekend that'll have no trouble keeping three newcomers out of the number one spot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Frank Review

Head To Head
A great artist can come from anywhere, as Ratatouille said so eloquently, and it's a statement brimming with truth. Who knows where the next great artist will come from? In the world of music, talent pops up all the time, with some artists being well and truly distinctive. The titular character Frank could give any given artist a run for their money in terms of idiosyncrasy, as you might expect considering he's a man who constantly wears a giant head over his normal head 24/7.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sarah Palin Attempts To Stay Relevant By Praising American Sniper While Spewing Some Insults

Did you see how much American Sniper took in this past weekend? My God, I had a hunch the movie would do well, but $106 million over one four-day weekend? Insane stuff that not only reveals January as an effective place to launch a mega-successful feature, but also has opened the floodgates for praise for the Clint Eastwood directed feature. The film received an A+ Cinemascore grade from audiences this weekend, which means of course plenty of words of praise are on the way from audiences seeing it.

Tom Hardy Leaves Suicide Squad Movie

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a huge step forward for the DC Cinematic Universe, but Suicide Squad may be even bigger in terms of helping to establish a cohesive universe between the numerous characters in the world of DC comics. Foes for superheroes like Batman, Superman and The Flash will unite in this feature, which has imprisoned supervillains recruited to do dangerous missions for the government.

Monday, January 19, 2015

FOX Wants To Believe The X-Files Could Return To Television

It's funny how quickly things can turn in the world of television. One minute you're on top of the world, the next you're struggling to get ratings momentum. FOX is in that kind of position right now, with the network that dominated the first decade of the 21st century hitting a rough patch last season that it hasn't recovered from. Hits like Gotham and Empire are offset by the crumbling American Idol empire and struggling comedies.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

This Week, The Oscars Demonstrated Extremely Troubling Regress

This week, perhaps the most notable and talked about snub (aside from The LEGO Movie bizarrely not getting into Best Animated Feature) was Ava Duvernay not getting into Best Director for her superb work in Selma. Many complained, noting that the Academy Awards had displayed sexist and racist tendencies in the past. Other retorted to this, stating 12 Years A Slave winning Best Picture last year eradicated any possibility of those voting for the awards demonstrating racist tendencies, while also noting that the Academy should focus on voting for quality films instead of looking to "fill some quota".

Friday, January 16, 2015

American Sniper Headed For Gargantuan Opening Weekend (Box Office Predictions)

Quite a jam-packed weekend, huh? A 2014 film with tons of hype headed for wide release, and three new releases trying to get as much cash as they possibly can. We got a lot to look at, so let's not waste any more time! Onto predicting this weekends box office winners and losers!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Editorial: The Academy Awards Showed Bold And Lackluster Choices In This Years Nominations

Has there been a year before now where there have been this many big snubs? Oh sure, each ceremony brings one or two actors that should have been there, but this year felt like a whole other level of disappointments.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man Films Are A Collision Of Promise And Tragedy

 Five years ago this month, Sony announced Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy would be rebooted. enraging fans of that trilogy around the globe. My reaction at the time was disappointment, but also open-mindedness; Spider-Man 3 was flawed (though quite a bit better than people give it credit for) and the bits and pieces that had come out about Raimi's purported Spider-Man 4 sounded iffy (though John Malkovich as The Vulture sounded awesome). So I kept a close track as a director (Marc Webb) and actors were hired for this new series of films focusing on the web-slinger dubbed The Amazing Spider-Man.

Final 2015 Oscar Nominees Predictions!!!

Two days from now, the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards will be announced, ending months of speculation over who will get into the massively prominent awards ceremony. Right now I'll be attempting to predict the nominees for 13 of the 24 categories at the Oscars. God knows how accurate I'll be, but let's get things started, shall we?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Try, Just Try, To Watch The New Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer And Not Get Chills

Last night there was a massively important college football game which carried a new trailer for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Giving the world the first new footage from the film since it's first trailer back in October, the new trailer has already raked up nearly 3 millions views in under 12 hours. Add to that hefty viewcount by watching the trailer below!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inherent Vice Review

Of Vice And Men
I had heard a lot of things about Inherent Vice prior to finally seeing it yesterday afternoon, namely about how, depending on who you talked about, the film was incoherent, too long or it was a masterpiece unlike anything else you'd ever seen. I love movies that create this kind of wide range of conversation, so I eagerly anticipated the newest feature from Paul Thomas Anderson, as if I wasn't already after seeing that impeccable trailer.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Selma Review

A King Among Men
Discussing the topic of racial inequality in America is pretty much one of the most hazardous things a person can do, right up there with swimming in nuclear waste and drinking paint. Whether the discussion takes place at a coffee shop or on the internet, you'll be lucky if the worst you encounter is someone minimizing brutal violence against African-Ameircans by noting "#alllivesmatter" It's an endlessly frustrating scenario, but it's far, far from the worst thing the tragedy of racial inequality has begat.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Five Of Taylor Swifts Best Songs

Taylor Swift has certainly become an icon in recent years, with the initial fame greeting her in 2007 with her initial songs never ceasing. On the contrary, her newest album, 1989, has recently been dubbed the biggest album of 2014. What is it about this girl that's so irresistible to the public? As a big fan of her music ever since Tim McGraw emerged on country music radio, I can attest her music is so popular due to how universal the lyrics and themes of her songs are.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Editorial: Avatar May Not Be 100% Original In Storytelling, But It Is Original In Its Majesty

Nathan Rabin of The Dissolve wrote an article in his Forgotsbuster column (which centers on films that made a ton of cash but wound up being forgotten) today about Avatar, the number one movie of all-time and a film always worthy of discussion, mainly because great reviews and massively positive responses from audiences have been drowned out by members of the internet who have disdain for the film.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The First Trailer For Marvel's Ant-Man Is A Second Chance For Paul Rudd

There's been tons of production drama for Ant-Man, Marvel's next film after The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but plenty of good movies had a speedy production schedule (X-Men: First Class anyone?). Now that we have some footage from the film, it's time to get down to brass tacks and see how the film looks. Check out the teaser trailer below!

Agent Carter Review

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands further outwards, out to the likes of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and the Netflix Defenders, it's interesting to see a more grounded character like Peggy Carter get the spotlight. Now, the world she inhabits in the show is far from grounded, which is a great thing, but she's certainly inhabiting a more down-to-Earth realm of espionage that makes her quite engaging as a lead character.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

American Sniper Review

Appreciate The Sniper Things In Life
Chris Kyle is a figure well known across America, a man whose life is brought to life in Clint Eastwoods newest feature American Sniper. Here was a fellow who, as a soldier, did so much in his life, which interestingly contrasts with this film that winds up doing very little of actual worth.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Foxcatcher Review

A Fox On Your House
"To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It's not about winning and losing; it's about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge." 

That passage of a famous quote from Summer Sanders fits well into the world of Foxcatcher, which is a movie depicting how much the drive to succeed can take a person.  And boy howdy does Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) want to succeed. Oh sure, he got a gold medal at the Olympics, but in his own words, he wants to be the best in the world. John Du Pont (Steve Carell) gives him a chance to do that, as he hires Schultz to lead his team of wrestlers to victory.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Current Best Supporting Acting Nominee Predictions!! (January 1, 2015 Edition)

Well, here's the final (for now!) set of my Oscar predictions. This time around, I'm covering the Supporting Acting categories, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress specifically. Shall we get this started then?

The Ten Worst Movies Of 2014

Well, the first article I write for Land Of The Nerds in 2015 should have some kind of significance, right? So, I've come to the decision of take a look at the ten worst movies I saw in 2014! Let's not waste any time, and get right to it!