Sunday, May 31, 2015

San Andreas Review

The Fault In Our City
Allow me to declare myself as a disaster movie aficionado, which, as you can likely surmise, means I know my way around a Roland Emmerich feature. It's neat to see a new entry added to this subegenre, courtesy of Brad Peyton, whose experience with disaster movies mainly extends to his 2010 film Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore, which was certainly a box office disaster. Now, he's unleashing an earthquake on San Francisco, one which offers untold opportunities for cataclysmic mayhem.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mary And Max Review (Classic Write-Up)

Mary Did You Know
While Aardman and LAIKA are the companies most known for feature-length stop-motion animation features, they're not the only ones using this technique on the big screen. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie were made outside of those two companies, but Mary And Max stands apart from most other features of its ilk by not being a family film. Instead, it's a drama dealing with much more adult content such as alcoholism and the wistful nature of existence.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dwayne Johnson Is About To Rock Out With A Lot Of Cash

Dwayne Johnson has had surprisingly few opportunities to headline movies on his own, instead typically being part of an ensemble cast in Get Smart, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Fast & Furious movies. His few times being the sole focus point of a films marketing (Snitch, Faster and Hercules) have ranged from underwhelming to OK. San Andreas will try to buck that trend a bit, and it may just do solid enough business in its opening week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Inglourious Basterds Review (Classic Write-Up)

Inglourious Road
Quentin Tarantinos penchant for depicting violence of a most gruesome sort makes him a natural fit for a war movie, so it's shocking it took him 17 years into his career before he brought a cinematic depiction of combat to life. That kind of wait was more than worth it though, as Basterds is insanely riveting cinema, chock full of smart screenwriting and excellent acting. Those elements serve a tale spanning numerous characters, with the most prominent being Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), the leader of a squadron dubbed the Basterds, and Shosanna (Melanie Laurent), the owner of a movie theater who wants violent vengeance against the Nazis.

The Rise And Fall Of Fully Motion-Captured Animated Movies

Filmmakers love to tout that their films have technology that will change things forever. James Cameron was right on the money when it came to how his creation, Avatar, would revolutionize cinema via 3D, while Peter Jacksons prediction that High Frame Rate projection would work like gangbusters turned out to be laughably off-the-mark. The way Robert Zemeckis championed motion-capture would change visual effects forever turned out to be true...just not in the way he tried, time and time again, to prove that statements validity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Deleted Scene From Tomorrowland Could Have Been A Far Superior Alternate Opening To That Film

I had a number of qualms with Tomorrowland, which saddened me considering how much I adored the past features Brad Bird directed. And while there scenes of success in the film, it's, frankly, an extremely poorly written movie, a surprise considering how excellent Birds past endeavors are in terms of storytelling. What's shocking is that there is a way the film could have improved its opening scene, solely by letting this deleted scene, which you can watch below, start the movie off.

Land Of The Nerds Is One Year Old!

Technically, Saturday was the day that it had been a year since the very first article got published on this website, but that was an introduction piece. The first traditional piece of writing, covering Adam Sandlers dwindling box office returns, got published a year ago today. Ah, those were the days. As you likely noticed if you read that introduction piece, most of those regular columns have been discontinued. Why is that? Well, I always wanted this site to be like some of the film websites I've loved all my life, which put quality content over all else. I didn't want to churn out substandard writing if I didn't have something to talk about solely because I needed to talk about movie trailers on Thursday.

Mission: Impossible III Review (Classic Write-Up)

It's Only Impossible If You Stop To Think About It
Back in the era of 2006, a year where The Da Vinci Code ruled the box office and a flood of computer animated comedies entered the marketplace, a little director named J.J. Abrams entered the cinematic landscape with a dream; to direct films of high quality. The man who would revive Star Trek and create Super 8, one of the best films of 2011, started that prestigious career handling the third cinematic Ethan Hunt (still played by Tom Cruise) adventure, appropriately titled Mission: Impossible III.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Where Hope Grows Review

Where My Hope Grows, Where My Rosemary Grows
I should note right off the bat that, much to my disappointment, nobody within Where Hope Grows utters the titular phrase in an overtly dramatic fashion. Alas, audiences will not get the pleasure of having Kristoffer Polaha state those three immortal words in the middle of an inspirational speech of some sort. Thankfully, even with that bamboozling gaffe, Where Hope Grows does manage to have its charms, even in the face of a script that's, well, let's just say it's got problems, shall we?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mission: Impossible Review (Classic Write-Up)

19 years later, Paramounts epic spy franchise Mission: Impossible is not only still around, it's in the best shape of its life. The last film, Ghost Protocol, was only the second entry to make over $200 million domestically and became the highest grossing picture in the saga on a worldwide box office basis. And to think it all started with the 1996 feature promptly titled Mission: Impossible, which would become the only movie in Tom Cruises career that would get a sequel (though Jack Reacher is likely to become the only other movie of his to get a follow-up).

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why I Hate The Minions

I'm sure just one glimpse at that headline is enough to make many of you conclude that I have no soul, hate joy in any form and am a remorseless monster. But my reasoning behind my hatred for these yellow creations is more complex than all that. No, it derives from how these things are such blatant ploys for marketing without contributing to the stories they feature in a notable manner. Now, I'm not naive; looking at fellow modern day animated comic sidekicks like Baymax, Toothless and Olaf, those characters are obviously adorable, in part, so they can look good on a toy shelf.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Covering Don't Stop Believing Is Nothing New, But Rock Of Ages Gave It A Go Anyhow

Welcome to a new edition of my 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.
It had existed within pop culture for numerous years prior to Glee, but that TV Shows rendition of Don't Stop Believing introduced the Journey song for a whole new generation to belt out their own vocal takes on the legendary choruses of that tune. And of course, why wouldn't it resonate with people in 2010 just as it had in 1981? The title of the song alone radiates hope, a theme everyone, regardless of age, can relate to as a necessity, and the lyrics frame a tale of a small town girl (living in a lonely world, don'tcha know) and a city boy (who I heard was born and raised in South Detroit) just trying to survive in harsh circumstances while that titular axiom gets them through another day.

Tomorrowland Review

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, There's Always Tomorrow.....For A Better Brad Bird Movie
In the world of Tomorrowland, Blast To The Past is a comic book store run by Kathryn Han and Keegan-Michael Key that plays a critical role within the plot of this movie, and boy howdy, is it fun to search for easter eggs within this setting. Just by nature of being a comic book store, there's plenty of opportunities for fun cameos of characters from other movies, some obvious (R2-D2, and his most notable sound effect, get tossed around) and some subtle (some Simpsons toys are hanging on a shelf, a nice nod to Brad Birds first foray into directing).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tomorrow, Tomorrowland Should Rule The Box Office

Disney's rollicking 2015 continues this weekend with the release of Tomorrowland, the newest film from Brad Bird, a director whose last three movies (two of which were from Disney) made over $200 million at the domestic box office. It's highly unlikely that trend continues with this new movie, but I also doubt this becomes a mega-dud for all those involved, primarily because of the lack of family movies out right now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

T-Rex's Run Rampant In First New Images From PIXAR's 2015 Film The Good Dinosaur

After a production that had, like with many films, animated or otherwise, its share of problems, PIXAR's Thanksgiving 2015 movie, The Good Dinosaur, seems to be finally coming together. Footage from the movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival recently, and response to it was extremely positive. And now, some new promo images (which are poses of the characters used for toys and other pieces of merchandise) for the movie have come online via the PIXAR Wiki!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Evolution (Classic Write-Up Review)

Evolutionary Road
I think we take for granted how complex comedy is as an artform, especially quality comedy. Edgar Wright populates his films not only with laughs but also the kind of expert filmmaking that leaves people in awe. Ivan Reitman pulled off a great comedy with Ghostbusters, which also had groundbreaking visual effects and a terrific performance from Bill Murray. Advanced, the 2001 film from Reitman, can only claim being one of the more high-profile projects for Ty Burrel prior to his fame on Modern Family as an accomplishment.

New Pixels Trailer Contains Adam Sandler And Smurf Murder

I mentioned a while back that I thought Pixels would be one of the box office bombs of this summer, but now I'm not so sure. What's reversed my thought process? This new trailer. It's not something I like, but I could see it being a huge hit with general audiences. Check it out below, let me know if I'm on the wrong track here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Music Video For Taylor Swifts Bad Blood Goes Big On Spectacle And Nonsense

The Good, The Bad And The Swift
Being a huge fan of Taylor Swift, you can imagine my excitement over her debuting the music video for her new single, Bad Bloods. My anticipation was likely heightened due to how much I enjoy the song itself; every time it popped up on my iTunes Radio Top 50 Pop station, I couldn't help but get giddy and/or dance. It's a shame then that this music video is just so incoherent. I mean, what the hell just happened here?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road Review

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Max World
Let me start out this review by saying one simple phrase: George Miller, Happy Feet Two is totally forgiven and then some. His directorial followup to that 2011 feature (and in fact only his third film he's directed in the 21st century) returns him to the franchise that made him a household name. Sometimes, returning to old cinematic stomping grounds reaps lackluster results (namely in regards to the ambitious but underwhelming fourth season of Arrested Development), but Millers doesn't stumble telling another Mad Max tale, instead soaring with one of the best action films in ages.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Audiences Are Gonna Go Mad For Pitch Perfect 2 (Box Office Predictions)

Sequels to bigger movies (such as The Empire Strikes Back, Age of Ultron, The Hangover: Part II and The Dark Knight Rises) are inevitably gonna make less money than their predecessors, mainly because those enormous grosses are the exception, not the norm. On the other hand, sequels to lower grossing films (such as 22 Jump Street or T2) tend to make more, due to both audience demand and the final gross of the first film leave room for growth.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

You Will Believe That The First Trailer For Supergirl Is Awesome!!

Continuing to grow the DC Television Universe (which also contains The CW shows Arrow and The Flash), CBS will be airing the third show in this franchise, Supergirl, in the fall. Wanna see the first trailer? Well you can do so below!

Fault In Our Stars Director To Tackle X-Men Spin-Off, The New Mutants!

As the X-Men cinematic franchise prepares to expand next year, hopes are high for this 15 year old film series. In addition to a new X-Men feature (Apocalypse) due out next May, new spin-offs centered on Deadpool and Channing Tatum as Gambit will help take advantage of all the storytelling possibilities this universe has. Now a new project has emerged; a film centered on The New Mutants!

Young Frankenstein Review (Classic Write-Up)

I, Frankenstein
With the recent release of the likes of The Starving Games and SuperFast, the art of the spoof movie has considerably deteriorated in the modern age, a far cry from the 70's and 80's when films like Airplane! garnered immensely positive critical and audience reception as well as financial success. Young Frankenstein, a feature from an obscure filmmaker named Mel Brooks, was made in that specific age when spoof features were held in higher regard, and while it's far from perfect, it is at least amusing enough to understand why its earned the reputation it has.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jem And The Holograms Sings Their Way To Stardom In Their First Trailer

I know nothing of Jem And The Holograms. I'm sorry to say that, but that's one piece of pop culture has just escaped me. I'm completely unfamiliar with the mythology of this entity, so my very first exposure to the realm of Jem came through the first trailer for the 1980's TV programs live-action feature film. That trailer, as well as my thoughts on it, you can see below.

The Five Best Disney Villains

Writing about Treasure Planet last week got me to thinking about those wonderful animated Disney films that left such an impression on me on as a person After thinking about the topic over the course of the past few days, as well as reading Entertainment Weekly's ranking of 20 Disney villains songs, which insanely undervalued Hellfire), I thought I'd write about a crucial part of the movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios; the villains.

The First Trailer For ABC's New Muppet Show Is Here!!

I loved the 2011 Muppets (I still stand by my opinion that it was the best film of that year), but Muppets Most Wanted was a much more heavily flawed, if still mostly entertaining film that sputtered at the box office. Luckily, this has given these assorted Jim Henson creations the chance to go back to TV with a new show on ABC this fall, which just debuted its first trailer, which you can watch below!

Monday, May 11, 2015

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story Review

Bird Of A Feather
News spread like wildfire across the world this week once ABC announced a new Muppet TV show would be on the channel this Fall, and why shouldn't such news have been greeted with excitement? The various felt creations of geniuses like Jim Henson and Frank Oz have become among the most well-known characters in all and for good reason. Inside these stylized critters, such as a wise-cracking bear or a monster who loves cookies, one can see real human emotions,  a few of which aren't routinely discussed in typical film or television programming.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ex Machina Review

My Super Ex-Machina
Robots tend to permeate pop culture for good reason; they're so flexible from a storytelling perspective that they can be used for pretty much any plotline you can imagine. Robots can crack wise about low quality movies, fight Kaiju or ask you to bite their shiny metal ass. Everybody from Philip K. Dick to Tobias Carlson have dealt with the idea of robotics and how they'll affect the human psyche, and now Alex Garland throws his hat into the ring with the film Ex Machina.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Treasure Planet Failed At The Box Office, But It Managed to Find Success With A Song

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.
My past four entries in this series have focused on films that I personally found lackluster, but today, the definition of "bad movies" stretches to include features that underwhelmed at the box office. For you see, I'm quite a big fan of Treasure Planet, a movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios that absolutely bombed in 2002, and I felt contrasting that sort of financial performance with a high quality song contained within the film would make for quite an interesting column.

Another Three Stooges Movie On The Way

Considering Fox has made direct-to-video continuations of Flicka and Marley & Me (which I presume involves a zombie doggie considering how the original film ended), I'm actually surprised Fox never made some sort of DTV spin-off of their 2012 Three Stooges films. After all, Larry, Curly & Moe have been doing adventures for nearly 70 years now, you'd think it'd be easy as pie to get another one movie going. Well, another Three Stooges movie is happening, with the cast of the 2012 movie intact.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Captain America: Civil War Cast Grows To Include Ant-Man, War Machine And More!

The cast for Captain America: Civil War is gonna be huge, and so it's no shocker that, even with developments earlier in the week with Martin Freeman and Emily VanCamp entering the film, that more cast members for the gargantuan movie would be announced.

Tony Stark And Crew To Topple Reese Witherspoon And Duo Of Indie Releases

It's all but certain that The Avengers will win the box office again, but how will Hot Pursuit, The D-Train and Ex Machina (which is massively expanding its theater count) fare this weekend? Well, I've got some thoughts!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Poster For Ant-Man Continues Marvels Trouble With Posters

Much as I love Marvel Studios, whose films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of The Galaxy have provided endless amounts of entertainment for me and moviegoers worldwide, it must be said that their posters for their movies, frankly, tend to suck. Oh sure, the teaser posters for Ant-Man, Guardians of The Galaxy and Iron Man 3 had an effective use of simplicity to it, but just look at the main poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron. That things got so much damn stuff going on, and very little of it makes sense (I still can't figure out what Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are standing on in that poster). That kind of cluttered atmosphere runs rampant in most Marvel posters, and that tradition somewhat continues today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Martin Freeman To Go On An Unexpected Journey Into Captain America: Civil War!


Star Wars Is Coming To Disney Infinity!

The June 2015 Game Informer cover announcing the Disney Infinity Star Wars action figures
Disney Infinity is quite a fun game, way more so than I thought it would be. The action figures are well made and the Toy Box mode that allows you to go hogwild with the characters and environments are quite fun. Now, the next version of the game has been announced via Game Informer, who have announced all the details on Disney Infinity 3.0, which brings Star Wars into the realm of Disney Infinity.

The Counselor Review (Classic Write-Up)

No Counselor For Old Men
The Counselor might be the greatest sign that Ridley Scott has Cate Blanchett, excuse me, carte blanche with 20th Century Fox. The dude can make any movie he wants for the studio, which makes sense considering his influential career (he's of course responsible for directing Alien and Gladiator) and the fact that he can handle big-budget potential blockbusters like Prometheus, Exodus: Gods And Kings and the upcoming movie The Martian.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Final San Andreas Trailer Shakes Things Up

I love me a good disaster movie, and I similarly love me a good action film featuring The Rock (hello Fast & Furious 5-7!), so frankly, I feel like I should be more excited for San Andreas than I currently am. But the first two trailers haven't been that compelling, with The Rock being in a more restrained mode that zaps him of the kind of charisma and charm that made him so famous, and none of the spectacle being that memorable. So I watched the newest trailer for San Andreas, which is below, with great interest, hoping it'd boost my anticipation for the film.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Suicide Squad Is Ready To Roll In This First Image of Full Cast!

Since we got a photo of Jared Letos Joker last week, it does make some sense that we'd see some official imagery of the rest of the Suicide Squad cast soon. David Ayer has once again unveiled this reveal on his Twitter page, giving the world the first full look at the Suicide Squad, which you can see below!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Age, Age Against The Dying Of The Light
One of the worlds most prolific authors, Ernest Hemingway, once wrote how "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." It's those broken places that The Avengers: Age of Ultron likes to focus on in its main heroes, specifically in how the damage they experience on both an emotional and physical level affects those around him. Heady stuff for a summer blockbuster? Well, just because your a movie that has several moments of big things going boom, that doesn't mean you can't have some thoughtful ideas to go with your spectacle. Hulk smashing buildings isn't nearly as fun if I can't get into his psyche after all.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultrons Record Breaking Thursday Night Numbers Point To A Huge Weekend

Yesterday, I predicted The Avengers: Age of Ultron would take in a whopping $22 million from Thursday night screenings, which proved to be off by about 25%. It turns out that the newest Avengers adventure wound up making $27.6 million last night, 48% up from the first Avengers movie and by far the biggest Thursday night numbers for any MCU movie. To boot, it's the sixth biggest Thursday night grosser of all-time, behind the final Harry Potter movie, The Dark Knight Rises and the last three Twilight films.