Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunshine Review (Classic Write-Up)

Before Sunshine
I've seen a lot, and I mean, a LOT of crappy movies lately. Chappie, Unfinished Business, Insurgent, Get Hard, all miserable movies released in just the last month! It can get a bit wearing as one might imagine to watch so many shoddy films in such a short period of time, but it does make one appreciate a motion picture like Sunshine that much more. Experiencing this movie for the first time after seeing so many lackluster endeavors recently was like getting multiple gallons of water in the middle of the Sahara dessert.

Stephen Amell Will Become A New Kind Of Vigilante, Casey Jones, In New Ninja Turtles Movie

A sequel to last years Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was announced on the previous movies third day of existence. The humongous box office that followed proved such a decision was a smart one financially, and the newest film is set to start filming ASAP. It's long been noted how a sequel would likely introduce notable TMNT characters like Casey Jones or Bebop and Rocksteady, and at least one of those entities, Jones, will be coming to the big screen next summer.

Things Get Madly Awesome In New Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer

It's been nearly three years since Max Max: Fury Road started filming, but the film is almost ready to arrive to movie theaters everywhere. Seven weeks are left until the feature graces our eyeballs, and I for one can't wait any longer. The newest trailer for the movie has arrived and you can watch it below, and I seriously urge you to watch this bad boy in 1080 picture quality. You'll thank me later.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Planes: Fire And Rescue Review (Classic Write-Up)

As Plane As The Ann On Noses Face
The entire Cars franchise fascinates me to a degree that would easily perplex 98% of the human population. I love the first movie, which is the most underrated PIXAR film in my book, but Cars 2 was a messy feature that was made solely for toys and commercial tie-ins. But here's the thing; John Lasseter, who directed the first two Cars movies and produces both Planes features, genuinely loves this franchise. The first movie originated from a very personal place inside of him, and his love for toys and marketing is why this franchise has such a high level of presence in the world of marketing (well, that and of course the fact that Cars stuff sells like hotcakes).

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Get Hard Review

It's A Hard Knock Life, For Us Viewers
Will Ferrell's a great comedic mind, there's truly no denying. Anchorman and The Other Guys are two of my favorite comedies, while his various appearances on late night talk shows (namely on Conan) are always a hoot, thanks to his remarkable ability to keep a straight face no matter the situation, even when he's carrying a bird named Professor Feathers on his shoulder. In his newest movie, Get Hard, Ferrell manages to get a few moments of humor, though those bits and pieces of effective comedy just aren't enough to salvage this dire film.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

First Spectre Trailer Brings The Christoph Waltz And Some Beautiful Imagery

Skyfall was such a damn good movie that I've been on the edge of my seat in anticipation for it's follow up, which is entitled Spectre. They may still be filming the entry (I think they've only got a week or so of shooting to go though), but MGM dropped a trailer last night for the next 007 adventure, Spectre! Check it out below!

Home Review

Home (But Not So) Alone
The world of sci-fi animaton is surprisingly sparse of huge successes, despite the presence of huge hits like WALL-E and Big Hero 6. Some of the biggest box office bombs of modern animation, whether they be deserved (Mars Needs Moms and Planet 51) or unwarranted (Titan A.E.) can be found here, and while early box office returns suggest Home will easily find it's way into the former category, it's also got more than enough flaws to come up as lacking entry in this subgenre of the animation medium.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Brace Yourself Humanity, Transformers Is Becoming A Cinematic Universe

I've said it before, but it always bears repeating: cinematic universe aren't inherently bad, they just can be in the hands of poor storytelling, just like any other aspect of cinema. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is how to do this tactic right, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which shoehorned in countless characters in an effort to establish potential spin-offs) is obviously how to do it wrong. Call me crazy, but I have a hunch the newly announced Transformers cinematic universe might not be a recipe for artistic brilliance.

First Photo Of Ryan Reynolds As Deadpool Is All Kinds Of Sexy

Deadpool's been a long time in the making (to say the least!) but it's filming now and Ryan Reynolds just dropped the first official image of the wonky superhero! Thanks to El Mayimbe on Twitter for pointing out this photo had been posted!

Trailer For Southpaw Puts Jake Gyllenhaal In The Boxing Ring

Nightcrawler is an incredible movie and to say Jake Gyllenhaal is a major reason why is a vast understatement. The guy was incredible in this role and going into 2015, I was excited as hell for three (yes, three) movies he's got lined up this year, After his turn as Louis Bloom, anything he stars in I anticipate. My anticipation for one of his projects, Southpaw, just went up considerably when I saw this trailer for it, which you can watch below.

Taxi Driver Review (Classic Write-Up)

Drive Crazy
Crime litters the sidewalk, as rain comes slipping down from the heavens. Droplets of liquid plummet onto the street while an atmosphere of depravity hangs over the entire neighborhood. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) feels he doesn't belong here, the scumbags around here make him sick. But his psychopathic actions make him a perfect fit for this part of New York City, even if his delusional mind makes him think otherwise.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Can Kevin Hart Claim Victory Over Animated Aliens? (Box Office Predictions)

Two major features (and one expanding limited release) close out March, and both look like they're in close competition for the number one spot at the box office this weekend. It's tough at first to figure out which of the movies, Get Hard and Home, will be the bigger film, so let's get down to an in-depth analysis of these features,shall we?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel Review

Lobbying For This Extraordinary Film
There are some directors who have such a presence in their projects that it's impossible to imagine the stories they tell being brought to life by any other storyteller. Wes Anderson is easily one such director, and his 2014 effort The Grand Budapest Hotel (a film he takes sole directing and screenwriting credit for) may be the best showcase for why he's the kind of filmmaker so widely admired by cinema obsessives (that's me!) and casual moviegoers alike.

Gaze At The First Picture Of Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor

A year from today, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will arrive into theaters. It feels like the movies been in production for ages, so it's crazy to think we've got another year of waiting to go, but it looks like Warner Bros. is letting some crucial details about the movie be revealed (via Entertainment Weekly) to celebrate the movie being only a year away. One such detail can be seen above, which is the first picture of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Michael Fassbender Goes West In Trailer For Slow West

Michael Fassbender has been on a roll for pretty much his entire career. Whether it's been a great complicated villain in the X-Men movies, having a terrifying presence in 12 Years A Slave or being the star of one of last year's most underrated movies, Frank, the guy is usually quite compelling in his acting work. His next venture is Slow West, a film that debuted at Sundance and one A24 (with help from DirectTV, which does movies now too I guess?) is distributing. Check out the trailer for the movie below!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Russo Brothers Are Going To War...The Avengers: Infinity War That Is!

It's pretty much a given that Joss Whedon is out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe once Age Of Ultron is released (can't imagine how writing & directing two $220+ million budget movies PLUS being a showrunner on Agents of SHIELD could tire a guy out enough to make him want a break!), so the hunt has been on for a director for the next Avengers adventure, Infinity War (Parts One & Two).

Mission: Impossible 5's First Trailer Has Tom Cruise Catching A Plane In The Most Tom Cruise Way Possible

After the critical and financial success of Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a sequel was inevitable, and even anticipated. This newest entry, with the subtitle Rogue Nation, ditches Brad Bird, but keeps Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner from past MI features. Check out the first trailer for it below!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Divergent Series: Insurgent Review

To Live And Divergent In LA
In the year since Divergent was released, so much has changed for the cast. Shailiene Woodley (along with Divergent co-star Ansel Elgort) dazzle in The Fault In Our Stars, Miles Teller starred in one of the best movies of the past few years, Whiplash, and Theo James did.....uh, I think he signed on to star in a reboot of the Underworld movies. Simply put, these guys have done some great work since the first Divergent film, which makes seeing them return to this franchise disappointing, especially considering how lackluster it is.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lana Del Rey Deserved Better Than The 2013 Great Gatsby (When Good Songs Happen To Bad Movies)

Welcome to a new bi-weekly column called When Good Songs Happen To Bad Movies, in which I look at pretty well done songs that just so happened to debut in more subpar features.

Lots can be said about Baz Luhrmann's 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, but one can never say that the feature had a shortage of bombastic elements. Whether such elements were actually good or not is another debate (I'd say mostly not), but it is one of the more audacious movies made in recent years, with 3D being utilized to help fully sell the absorbing atmosphere of the era while rap music populates 1920's environments.

Get Lost In The Trailer For Paper Towns

Few movies took me as much by surprise last year as The Fault In Our Stars. I thought that movie would be a cliche ridden mess (though an extended trailer actually convinced me that the movie may have something more to it), not a thoughtful exploration of pain and grief. As one might imagine, that sort of quality makes me eager to see the next adaptation of piece of work by John Green (the man who wrote The Fault In Our Stars book). It turns out that such a film is one the way, this one called Paper Towns. It comes out July 24th, but the first trailer can be viewed below now!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Frozen Fever Review

Frozen Fever is a short film playing only on Cinderella in it's theatrical release. I originally was just going to write a paragraph about this short, but decided I had more than enough thoughts over it to warrant a separate review.
Disney's two animation studios (Walt Disney Animation Studios and PIXAR) have been using short films as a way to continue the adventures of some of their most beloved films, like Tangled and Toy Story, for a while now, but Frozen Fever may be the most hyped of these shorts. It's been prominently pumped up in ads for Cinderella, and why not? Frozen is the fifth biggest movie of all-time, it's not exactly a shocker that Disney thinks audiences might have an appetite for more adventures with Elsa and Anna.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Teaser Trailer For Final Hunger Games Movie Is Uber Secretive

The final Hunger Games movie is on it's way, but there's still eight months to go until Katniss Everdeen goes off on her final adventure (though who knows if those Hunger Games prequels and sequels Lionsgate is mulling will involve her). So it's not a shocker that the first trailer, which you can watch below, for the production plays things close to the chest, though the complete lack of any footage from any of the Hunger Games movies is a mild surprise.

Cinderella Review

A Cinderella Story
It's interesting to look at how the treatment of fairy tales in pop culture has changed in such a short period of time. At the dawn of the 21st century, Shrek became a phenomenon, and soon, a flood of content was made revolving around lampooning fairy tales. Then, in 2010, Tangled and Alice In Wonderland brought well-known fairy tales to life in a far less cynical manner to huge box office numbers. This had led to such popular entities like Once Upon A Time, Frozen, and the subject of this review, Cinderella, which treat fairy tales with more reverence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Adam Sandler Fights Pac-Man In Trailer For Pixels

In 2016, a number of video game movies (such as Assassin's Creed and Uncharted) will attempt to reverse the poor track record such films have had both critically and financially. Until then, this summer's Pixels will similarly try to bring some success to video game cinema, as well as Adam Sandler's troubled film career (which has seen some low points in recent years, to say the least). Catch the trailer for Pixels below.

Monday, March 16, 2015

LEGO Jurassic Park Trailer Adds Humor To The Dino-centric Franchise

LEGO video games are about to celebrate an entire decade of prosperity and success, as it was back in 2005 that the first video game to take an existing property and bring it to life via LEGO's (that first game, by the by, was LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game). This approach has been done to massively popular pop culture entities such as Harry Potter, Marvel superheroes and Indiana Jones, but in honor of the release of this summers new movie Jurassic World, the Jurassic Park franchise will be the next to get a LEGO video game. A trailer for that game has been released this morning, which you can watch below!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Where The Star Trek Franchise Should Go Next

A while back, I wrote an article about shared universes, in which I noted a bunch of proposed shared cinematic universes (such as one commissioned by Sony revolving around Robin Hood) made me weary of the craze and hoping lackluster shared universes would die out. But notice that I mention lackluster; shared universes aren't bad inherently, and as Marvel and Star Wars have shown, can bring in untold possibilities from a storytelling perspective. Frankly, I felt like I should have emphasized that more in my original editorial, as I didn't want to come off as dismissive of an entire form of storytelling (when the usually incredible website The Dissolve did a surprisingly snooty takedown of cinematic universes, it burned my cinders, I just didn't want to make that same mistake).

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

Heartwarming Hotel
There's no shortage of extremely pleasing scenery in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is to be expected considering the majority of the film (aside from an opening scene involving two characters in America) takes place in a location in India meant to be a serene place for those in their elderly years to spend their remaining days. Those older residents are played by a number of well known actors, such as Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith, who help make this two hours of one's life that you won't fall in love with or even be that entertained by, but I also doubt anyone could really find this movie to be that painful of an experience.

Galaxy Quest Review (Classic Write-Up)

A Successful Quest For Comedy
A quality cast can make a world of difference in a film, especially when other crucial elements of the movie (like a script, directing or the score) are similarly firing on all cylinders. Galaxy Quest, thankfully, assembles a roster of talented names and then gives them a super fun story to work with that manages to work as a Star Trek homage, an exciting sci-fi adventure, a send-up/love letter to nerds and one of the best projects Tim Allen has ever been in (it's obviously never as good as the Toy Story movies, but it does circles around those terrible Santa Claus movies).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Frozen 2 Confirms That Disney Won't Let It Go

You know what? Frozen's awesome. I know the backlash on the film (which gets really vicious, sexist and nonsensical) has overtaken it's reputation and reduced the feature to be known as "the flick with that one song" in it, but a revisit of the film last fall confirmed to me that the 2013 feature is actually extremely well made and engaging. The songs are well-written, Olaf is excellent comic relief (it's smart how his gags never derive from being loud or obnoxious, but rather from his sincere optimism) and the emotional moments of the film are excellently executed.

Star Wars 2016 Spin-Off Film Named Rogue One, Plus Episode 8 Release Date!

Well, some big news from that galaxy far far away just dropped today, as some crucial details about the next Star Wars films has been unveiled!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Unfinished Business Review

How to Not Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Well Vince Vaughn, here you are again. After starring in two big duds in 2013 (namely, The Delivery Man, one of the worst films of that year), you've returned to movie theaters...for some reason. His newest feature, Unfinished Business, has no problem continuing his streak for creating low-quality comedic films, despite a cast full of well known and talented names that could have brought the laughs in another, more competently produced film. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tim Burton Is Directing A Live-Action Dumbo Movie. I Swear, This Isn't An Onion Headline

Disney's recent surge of converting their classic animated films to live-action/CGI features has only been done twice (I'd say count Oz The Great And Powerful, but it's not technically an extension of a Disney movie), but those two films were Alice In Wonderland and Maleficent, which both made big bucks at the box office. Hell, Alice managed to gross over billion dollars, paving the way for a sequel to that 2010 film (which arrives in 2016), as well as a cavalcade of updates to classic Disney movies.

New Trailer For PIXAR's Inside Out Is Loaded With Emotions

Summer 2015 is just around the corner now, and that time of the years will unleash tons of much anticipated films. One such feature is the newest endeavor from PIXAR, a little animation studio you might have heard of who are responsible for the likes of Ratatouille, Toy Story, WALL-E, Up, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. The newest movie, entitled Inside Out, has just released a new trailer that you can watch below!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chappie Review

I (Didn't Care For This), Robot
My gut instinct is to say that Chappie goes off the rails, but that would imply the film was on the rails in the first place. Here is the kind of bad film that isn't just low on quality, but constantly left me gobsmacked at the poor decisions every aspect of it's production made. The newest film from director Neil Blomkamp is a cataclysmic and unfocused disaster that's I do feel comfortable dubbing memorable, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Look At The Earliest Biggest Box Office Bombs Of 2015

2015, thus far, has been a year of contradictions, at least in terms of what's been going down at the box office. In between box office bonanzas like American Sniper and Fifty Shades of Grey, a number of duds have popped up. Chappie, Project Almanac and Seventh Son have become disappointing ventures, but those ventures at least have either a small budget or solid enough international box office to make up for their massive domestic box office shortcomings. But there are three movies released over the course of the past eight weeks that have become the kind of box office bombs that truly live up to the word legendary.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Some Like It Hot Review (Classic Write-Up)

Starting with the opening sequence of Some Like It Hot, the film has a palpable sense of assuredness, with no dialogue being used in a car chase scene that utilizes escalation excellently in order to establish the movies primary antagonists and their menacing nature. That assuredness continues throughout the rest of the film, whether it's tackling the backstories of it's characters or the way the film embraces it farcical sensibilities.

The Newest Song From Carly Rae Jespen Brings The Fun, Energy And Tom Hanks

I've never been fond of referring to a piece of pop culture I enjoy as a "guilty pleasure". If I enjoy something, chances are I want to express that enjoyment, not be plagued by guilt over it. So while many will only sheepishly admit to enjoying Carly Rae Jespen's 2012 smash hit Call Me Maybe, I'll be glad to speak about my love for that song, a tune that uses simplicity and catchy lyrics to gigantic success.

The First Photo Of Supergirl Has Landed!

CBS's new superhero program Supergirl started filming this week, and to commemorate the occasion, the first official picture of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl has been unveiled! Check it out below!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby (Classic Write-Up)

Two Days, One Talladega Night
Some movies are intentionally time capsules of certain eras, period pieces obviously falling under such a distinction, but other movies unintentionally serve as a great reminder of what the film industry was like in a certain place and time. Flash back to August 2006 with me, won't you, when Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby was released into theaters to large financial success.

A Robot, Vince Vaughn And Judi Dench Are Going To War For Your Box Office Dollars (Box Office Predictions)

Yeah, that's one of the weirder headlines I've written, I freely admit. But it's also one of the most accurate, as three new movies open this weekend in hopes of achieving financial success. I have a hunch there will be a wide variety in their box office performance, so let's dive right into this weekends release and their box office potential, shall we?

The Newest Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Is Beyond Compare

My God, the promotional campaign for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is truly the gift that keeps on giving. That first trailer with a creepy rendition of "I've Got No Strings On Me" would be more than enough to get any person excited for the film, but then Marvel dropped this trailer yesterday that just continued to amp up my excitement for the feature.  Check out the trailer below!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Look At The Highest Grossing Movies Of The 21st Century

In the first 14 years of the 21st century, a wide variety of films have come around to arise as champions, in that they became the biggest movies of their respective years of release. Looking over the movies that have managed to achieve such a feat, I was surprised to see high quality features usually (emphasis on usually) top the years box office. The Avengers, Toy Story 3, The Dark Knight, The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King and Avatar (yes, I know I lost respect from many of you right there) are all excellent films that managed to make untold amounts of moolah.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Focus Review

The Con, The Chef, The Wife And His Lover
There's a lot of money stolen, exchanged and gambled in Focus, a con artist feature that's kind of a drama, sort of a comedy at times, and mostly functional without ever being memorable. I doubt anyone will get bored by it, but I also doubt you'll be quoting it weeks later or contemplating the more intricate aspects of it's performances. It's the kind of movie that's born to be sold for five dollars at your local Kroger, but that doesn't mean Focus is without it's distinctive charms.

How DreamWorks Animation Lost Its Way

Last night, I gave one of 2014's most delightful films, Big Hero 6, a rewatch, and found it be such a glorious experience, especially since I watched it with two viewers who hadn't seen the film in theaters. That rewatch got me thinking about the American animation landscape, and my mind eventually turn it's attention to one particular studio that's been facing some "troubles", to put it lightly, lately: DreamWorks Animation.