Monday, August 31, 2015

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Review

It's interesting that I watched A Clockwork Orange and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 in the span of a week, as both inhabit a realm fueled on cruelty. Clockwork is fully aware of the depravity that its characters and world thrive on and never try to disguise its main character, Alex, as anything other than a despicable figure we should deeply loathe. On the other hand, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has a similar streak of savagery, but it instead tries to pass off its various characters and their wicked actions as something we should find endearing.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Straight Outta Compton Tops Box Office Again, While War Room Overperforms And Zac Efrons Newest Movie Breaks Box Office Records

For the third weekend in a row, Straight Outta Compton conquered the box office, this time around with a $13.2 million haul, a 49% dip from last weekend which leads the N.W.A. box office to a current domestic box office total of $134 million. However, it wasn't the only major success story at the box office to discuss this weekend, no siree. The newest film from the team who brought the world Fireproof and Courageous unleashed a new Christian movie, War Room, on the populace this weekend.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The End Of The Tour Review

You know how they say to never meet your heroes? Well, that's just what David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) is off to do, as he's gotten the chance to interview David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) for the Rolling Stone magazine. Meeting the famous author at the tail end of a press tour for his newest book is an interesting experience for Lipsky, mainly because Wallace defies his expectations at every twist and turn in their brief but tremendous time together.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Footage Is Short, But Also Quite Impressive And Exciting!!

Is a 15 second teaser of Star Wars: The Force Awakens really enough for an entire article? Is this what we, the online media, have come to? Is this the nadir of journalism?

To all those questions I say: perhaps an argument could be made for all of those ideas. But frankly, the 15 second footage that us unveiled in this new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser is pretty damn exciting to me and I'm sure many of the readers of this piece, so why the hell shouldn't I share my thoughts on it? Maybe the length of the content traditionally wouldn't justify a piece, but the excitement surrounding this film most definitely does. Anywho, as you might have guessed, some new footage from that upcoming J.J. Abrams film has come online via Instagram and you can watch it below!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Clockwork Orange Review (Classic Write-Up)

One of the numerous elements of Stanley Kubricks films that has endured as a staple of cinematic discussion is the lofty ideas and themes present in his motion pictures. 2011: A Space Odyssey charted out the history of mankind while taking the fears that many in the 1960's had of newfound technology and personifying those fears into HAL. Dr. Strangelove hinges its entire plot on Cold War paranoia, and then came his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, which tackles ideas related to politics as well as the concept of free will.

First Image Of Michael Fassbender As The Lead Of The Assassins Creed Movie Revealed!

It's taken years of development, but it looks like the Michael Fassbender starring feature film based on the Assassins Creed video games is officially a-go. Set for a Christmas Day 2016 release, 20th Century Fox has today released the first image (via Yahoo Movies) of the films main character being played by Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender. Check out the image as well as the name of this new character (yes, he's all new to the universe of Assassin's Creed) below!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Love The Coopers Hopes You'll Love Their First Trailer

CBS Films (the beloved studio responsible for such films as Inside Llewyn Davis and The Back-Up Plan) released the first trailer for their upcoming Christmas comedy, Love The Coopers. This movie looks to play by the equation of "holiday+ensemble cast=money" that Garry Marshalls Valentines Day and New Years Eve played by (that director will return to that style of storytelling with next years Mothers Day). You can check out the trailer for the newest film from director Jessie Nelson (her last directorial effort was 2001 Sean Penn drama I Am Sam).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

American Ultra Review

Reuniting six years after the underrated 2009 feature Adventureland (and a year before the two again come together for Woody Allens 2016 effort), Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart have managed to become indie film mainstays in the years since, with especially Stewart developing a large following for her recent dramatic acting forays. Seeing the duo in the comedic feature American Ultra doesn't yield the best results either actors has ever seen, but it does work as a charming and inventive production, no denying that.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Straight Outta Compton Rules The Box Office Again While Sinister 2 And Hitman: Agent 47 Miss The Mark

Well, those late August doldrums have officially set in, with Straight Outta Compton ruling over one of the weakest weekends of the year. Though three new releases entered the marketplace, none of them got over $12 million and all underwhelmed relative to middling expectations. That meant F. Gary Grays rave-reviewed N.W.A. biopic got to hang onto the top of the box office again, dipping 56% and grossing $26.7 million in its second frame for a $111.4 million total.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

RoboCop Review (Classic Write-Up)

A year and a half after its release, the 2014 RoboCop remake has pretty much vanished from the public consensus, its reception neither being good enough to justify its existence nor bad enough to make it the sort of blockbuster catastrophe whose flaws one can't help but ponder. Instead, it got mixed marks from critics and audiences and bombed at the domestic box office while grossing a great $184 million internationally.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lionsgate Hopes To Prove With Future Movies They're More Than Just The Hunger Games Franchise

For eons now, six movie studios have been designated as the six "major" studios in town. Those six are as follows: Disney, Universal, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Sony/Columbia and Warner Bros. It's not that you can't have a movie studio beyond those six, on the contrary, there are a large amount of independent studios like The Weinstein Company, Open Road Films and STX Entertainment leaving their mark on the film industry. But those six are the ones who bring in the most revenue and release far more movies than typical independent studios (Warner Bros. typically releases 20+ movies a year).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Straight Outta Compton Review

My personal music taste runs a wide gamut from Broadway tunes to country music to 70's music to even a dabble of pop songs. Rap music isn't my forte, but I've enjoyed some of what I've come across in the genre. Yet, even without me being immersed in the world of rap, it's impossible to avoid the influence N.W.A. had on the world. This musical group still has its work sending ripple effects throughout the world, and with the band having an impact on that scale, it was inevitable that the group would one day receive a cinematic adaptation of their origins and career.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Can We Learn From This Summers Blockbusters?

Another summer has almost come and gone. Technically, the summer box office doesn't conclude until Labor Day graces our world, but unless We Are Your Friends becomes an Avatar-level box office phenomenon, I can pretty much guarantee you right now that Straight Outta Compton was the last moneymaker of this summer. In terms of summer blockbusters, there were highs and lows in terms of quality, with the more blatantly subpar projects like Terminator: Genisys and Pixels failing to lure in audiences, thank Heavens.

Die Hard Review (Classic Write-Up)

2012 looked like it was finally, finally, finally the year where Bruce Willis proved to the world that he was indeed a good actor. Wes Andersons Moonrise Kingdom delivered an excellent supporting performance from the actor while Rian Johnsons Looper took Willis to a darker, more antagonistic direction. The future looked bright for the actor...and then 2013 happened. Appearing in a trio of sequels (two of which he starred in) that consisted of A Good Day To Die Hard, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Red 2 showed an actor not on the cusp of a rebirth, but a guy who just doesn't like his job anymore (it didn't help that an infamous interview on the Red 2 press tour took the actors frustrations to new heights).

Survival Is Of The Utmost Important In New Trailer For The Martian

So many great looking movies are headed this way this fall and one of those is The Martian, the newest film from director Ridley Scott. Although his recent directorial efforts (namely Exodus: Of Gods And Kings and The Counselor) have been major misses,  this one's got such an interesting story (written by Drew Goddard to boot!) and one of the best casts I've ever seen that I can't help but be excited for it. Doesn't hurt that the trailers for this one have been incredible so far, including a new trailer just released this morning that you can watch below!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Celebrity Voice-Overs In Animated Movies Existed Looooong Before DreamWorks Animation

Casting some big name in your animated feature solely to boost ticket sales, regardless of if they fit the role whatsoever, is a practice mainly attributed to DreamWorks Animation and their practice of shoehorning as many celebrities into a film as possible. How many big names can you stuff into the likes of Shark Tale, Antz, Bee Movie or Monsters vs. Aliens? Only one way to find out! This method of casting has spread like wildfire to other American animation studios, especially Blue Sky Studios, which hired Nicki Minaj and Drake to play mammoths that had six lines each, tops, in Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Scooby-Doo Is Returning To The Big Screen In 2018

The two live-action Scooby-Doo films always confused me as a kid for a number of reasons; for one thing, as a young animation and Hanna-Barbara buff, I was always curious why Frank Welker couldn't come back to voice the titular pooch. Not the new guy did notably bad work as the hungry canine, but would it be too much to ask to get a talented guy like Welker to come aboard the project? Other notable queries that I wondered when watching the movies included why the movies went for actual scares instead of just goofiness and who on Earth was this wooden guy playing Fred.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review

From the get-go, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. feels enthralled with the world it inhabits. Guy Ritchies entertaining Sherlock Holmes movies took giddy pleasure in enhancing the detailed period setting with high-octane action, and while U.N.C.L.E. feels more subdued than those two films in terms of action, there's a similar spry sense of spirit in how it treats its 1960's time period. Old timey TV's, cars and music (which contains some unorthodox songs that typically aren't used in cinematic depictions of this time period) can be found around every corner, and it's hard not to be won over by that aspect of the movie.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Slow West Review

Shrubbery covers the land as the brisk air of the morning enters your lung. The sound of your boots crushing the dirt flows into your ears while you make your way across the unforgiving terrain. Thirst clenches your body, rendering your mind capable of only exerting one thought: survival. To make it to another day is a victory worthy of being encapsulated in poetry. Welcome to the West as it really was, a callous realm that Slow West depicts in an engrossing manner.

Straight Outta Compton Has An "Appetite For Destruction"...And Box Office Glory!w

27 years to the month after N.W.A. released the album Straight Outta Compton, the biopic of the band with the same name as that aforementioned album debuted to fantastic numbers at the box office. Grossing the second largest opening weekend for a live-action film since Jurassic World, Straight Outta Compton made $56.1 million for the weekend, which is the sixth biggest August opening weekend of all-time and the eighth biggest R-rated opening weekend of all-time. Oh, and did I mention that Compton doubled its $28 million budget in a single weekend?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sunset Blvd. Review (Classic Write-Up)

One of my favorite films of all-time is Singin' In The Rain, that's just a perfect cinematic musical if I ever saw one. Sunset Blvd. doesn't share much in the way of thematic content with that Gene Kelly motion picture, but both features do focus on one interesting facet; the way the transition from silent movies to motion pictures with sound affected the actors working in Hollywood. Whereas Singin' In The Rain took place right as sound was introduced into the world of cinema, Sunset Blvd. has a plot set decades later (presumably in 1950, the year the movie was released) where a legendary silent movie actress named Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) lives in the shambles of a failed career.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Here's All The News Announced At The Walt Disney Animation Studios/PIXAR Panel At D23

The bi-annual Disney centered convention D23 is going on this weekend and today they held one of two major panels centered on upcoming Disney motion pictures. Tomorrow they'll hold a panel centering on live-action films (which does include future Marvel and Star Wars movies), but today they're holding a panel solely focused on the upcoming features from Walt Disney Animation Studios and PIXAR.

Straight Outta Compton Gets Off To Strong Thursday Night Start, While Man From U.N.C.L.E. Has OK Thursday Night Numbers

After months of anticipation, Straight Outta Compton got off to a fantastic start last night, grossing $4.9 million at Thursday night showings. That's an incredible debut for an R-rated drama, and for comparisons sake, last weeks Fantastic Four movie, which cost more than four times as much as this $28 million music biopic, grossed 45% less at Thursday night showings. If Straight Outta Compton plays like the most recent summertime R-rated drama, Southpaw, it'll do about 13.9 times its Thursday night numbers, which would result in a $68 million opening weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Straight Outta Compton To Be Clear Winner Of the Box Office

Sometimes I feel conflicted about predicting who could win the box office, but this ain't one of those times. There's no question Straight Outta Compton will make huge amounts of cash this weekend, thanks to being based on musical figures who have a huge presence in pop culture as well as a marketing effort from Universal Pictures that's made all the right movies at every turn, especially with the films first trailer that put the movie on everyones radar.

Tangerine Review

Tangerine would likely merit being a notable film from 2015 if only because of its impressive achievement of being one of the rare feature-length motion pictures to be shot entirely on an iPhone, but interestingly, the filmmakers behind this feature don't just let that technological achievement serve as a substitute for sharp writing and directing. Instead, it's one of numerous aspects of Tangerine that has a tendency to linger in ones memory.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Quentin Tarantinos Next Movie, The Hateful Eight, Just Dropped A Cold Trailer

So many weren't sure if Quentin Tarantinos The Hateful Eight would even make it to the big screen for a while there, but it's certainly coming our way, and judging by the first footage from the movie, thank God it is!! Watch the first trailer for the forthcoming Tarantino movie below!

Eight Months After It Concluded, The Hobbit Trilogy Is A Rollercoaster (Or Barrell) Ride of Varying Levels of Quality

 As hard as it may be to believe, in about five days time, it'll officially have been eight months since that trilogy of Hobbit movies came to an end. Yet, even with it, y'know, ending and all, news of the franchise still lurks about, with a recent development confirming that an extended cut of the final film in the series, The Battle of The Five Armies, would be rated R. That seemed like a peculiar decision to me, but then again, The Hobbit trilogy hasn't been the kind of cinematic creation that adhered to the rules or expectations people set for them. In some ways, that's a virtue, and in other very blatant ways, it's certainly a foible for the massive three-film long endeavor.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Gift Review

You may have only noticed it in passing, if it all, but Warrior is one of the most underrated motion pictures of the decade so far, no joke. It's the film that truly put Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy on the map for me, as well as giving the world as commanding performance from Nick Nolte. In the years since, the two leads of the film have gone on different paths, with Hardy being a Batman villain and the new Mad Max while Edgerton hasn't struggled per se, he just hasn't had a breakout leading man performance in the four years since Warrior.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb) Review (Classic Write-Up)

Last year, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldbergs comedy The Interview generated an enormous amount of controversy by creating a film centering around the concept of assassinating of real-life world leader Kim Jong-Un. They certainly weren't the first filmmakers to utilize comedy as a way to lampoon similar story territory, as the likes of Trey Stone and Matt Parker and Charlie Chaplin can attest. Hell, Stanley Kubruck used the Cold War as the focus of his 1964 feature Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb).

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation Clobbers Fantastic Four At The Box Office

As The Thing might put it, "Ain't this a revolting development". Not only did 20th Century Foxs reboot of Fantastic Four not make $40 million this weekend like many projected, it failed to crack $30 million. To boot, it landed behind Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation, which secured its second straight weekend as the number one movie in America. It made $29 million for the weekend, losing only 47%, a terrific dip that shows that this ones got some incredible word-of-mouth working in its favor. Rogue Nation has now tallied up $108 million domestically, and with no other major blockbusters on the horizon, it actually should have no trouble getting to at least $175 million by the end of its run.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Four Ways To Drastically Improve The 2015 Fantastic Four Movie

Lockjaw fights The Thing in a classic Fantastic Four comic book storyline
Perhaps the most aggravating part of the newest attempt to turn the Fantastic Four into a film franchise is the way it wastes a tremendous talent, whether it's in director Josh Trank or a cast full of actors who have shown they deserve waaaaaaaaaaay better than this schlock. And of course, there's the waste of characters who have been a beloved part of the Marvel comics universe for decades now (hell, The Thing is one of my favorite superheroes of all-time!)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Mr. Holmes Review

For many people, there's a point where fictional characters become as real as their friends and family thanks to the kind of emotional connection they feel to these fictional creations. Maybe it stems from solid writing or some really funny one-liners, but whatever the case, such fictional entities suddenly take on a life of their own. Mr. Holmes takes this sort of phenomenon one step further, telling a tale of the real Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen), whose had his detective skills turned into books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Fantastic Four Off To Rocky Box Office Start With $2.7 Million At Thursday Night Screenings

Marvels first family lifted off last night at Thursday night showings that grossed $2.7 million. In terms of recent Thusday night grosses for this summers blockbusters, that's 32% below last weeks Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation, 57% below Ant-Mans tally three weeks back and 80% above the $1.5 million Pixels garnered two weeks ago. If it plays like Mission Impossible 5 over the weekend, it would make up about $37 million for its opening weekend.

Fantastic Four Review

There's a moment in the Fantastic Four that finally, oh finally, gave me a glimpse into the Fantastic Four as a group of people with distinctive personalities. Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and Ben (Jamie Bell) are sparring, Reed (Miles Teller) is protecting his o'l pal Ben and Sue (Kate Mara) is displaying some spun and personality. Their rapport is likable and in this interaction they finally work as a team. Alas, that comes at the very end of the film (and comes packed with a clunky as hell conversation resulting in their team name) and it serves as a stark contrast to the muddled mess that has previously unfolded.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How Much Will Fantastic Four Make This Weekend?

Marvels first family returns to the big screen this weekend, hoping to reinvigorate a franchise that's been dormant for eight years. Realizing some audiences might be hesitant to rejoin the Fantastic Four film series that once had scenes like the "Mr. Fantastic dances at his bachelor party" (NEVER FORGET), 20th Century Fox has smartly kept the budget smaller then typical 2015 blockbuster fare at only a meager $120 million cost. This way, the film doesn't need to hit Avengers sized grosses in order to justify that sequel the studio already dated for June 2017.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Release Dates For The Likes Of Barbie, Edgar Wrights New Movie And Bad Boys 3 (And 4!) Announced From Sony

It's been apparent for a while now that Sony is eager to get some major franchises going in the future, the kind that would generate more profits than current releases like Chappie and Pixels. Well, they just announced an onslaught of release dates today, several of which are for films that they obviously hope will generate massive franchises in the future. And yes, as the title of this piece notes, two of those dates for two Bad Boys sequels.

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation Review

The ballad of Ethan Hunt didn't really kick in until the third Mission: Impossible film, but boy howdy, once it did, the entire franchise suddenly took on an irresistible allure that made not watching these movies the real impossible mission (thanks folks, I'll be here all week!). After that third entry came its successor, Ghost Protocol, easily the best film in the saga in my book. I was sure nothing could top that Brad Bird directed feature, and while Rogue Nation doesn't quite top that 2011 effort, it comes pretty damn close, which is an impressive feat in and of itself!

First Deadpool Trailer Isn't Short On Blood Or Quips

I can't believe 2016 is the year where I get movies based on Doctor Strange, Apocalypse and Deadpool, like, how cool is that? I'm not even a huge Deadpool fan, but I just love that studios are embracing the more heightened material from the comic books we all know and love. After conquering Comic-Con, that Deadpool movie has just dropped a trailer that gives viewers a glimpse into the R-rated territory the feature will travel into. Check out the red band trailer below!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This Trailer For Rob Schneiders New Animated Movie, Norm Of The North, Broke My Spirit As A Human Being

You may not have been aware of it, but Rob Schneider has made a nice niche for himself doing voiceover work for foreign animated features dubbed over into English by studios looking to churn out a quick buck by selling the flicks at Wal-Mart. His IMDB profile of the last few years consists of all sorts of animated gems like Dino Time 3D, Top Cat: The Movie, Outback and two films in the Wings franchise. Now, another one of these films is on the way, but this's getting a theatrical release! The motion picture in question is Norm of The North, a feature which has languished for years and apparently will be released in movie theaters everywhere on January 15, 2016. Check out the trailer below for all the Schneider antics you can handle.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Vacation Review

Oh lordy was the opening sequence of Vacation dire. It was the sort of comedic misfire that filled my stomach with the sort of dread that kids feel when they've been sent to the principals office. The purpose of this opening was to introduce the personality of Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) in the confines of his airplane pilot job. While talking to a couple and their kid, some unexpected turbulence sends Rustys hands....straight onto the mothers breasts! Oh Rusty! You unintentional scamp! It was such a hokey sequence executed with negative amounts of flair that it left me wallowing in despair that the rest of the movie would be at this level of ineptitude.

Young Adult Review (Classic Write-Up)

"Money can't buy happiness" as that old saying goes, and Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) could not be a better example of this phrase. She isn't at a Bill Gates-level of financial prosperity, but she's got her own book series going on and she was quite popular in high school. Yet, she feels emptiness inside, which she tries to combat by projecting a "holier-than-thou" attitude on all that cross her path. In order to further outrun her inner despair, Mavis is returning to her hometown to reconnect with an old flame, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), who she's convinced is her soulmate. The only problem; Buddy is happily married with a kid. This is the sort of thing Mavis considers to be merely a bump in the road to her inevitable happiness.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rogue Nation Conquers The Box Office While Vacation Goes Nowhere

Both Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible proved their box office worth this weekend, with the franchises newest entry, Rogue Nation, garnering a great $56 million over the frame. That's just below the opening of Mission: Impossible II (which grossed $57 million, unadjusted for inflation, in 2000), and in terms of this summers blockbusters, is ahead of the $54 million debut of San Andreas and just behind the $57 million opening haul of Ant-Man.

Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol Review (Classic Write-Up)

An air of uncertainty hung over the release of Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol. Would audiences really come back to the franchise five-and-a-half years after the third Ethan Hunt adventure sunk to the lowest box office the series had ever seen? Could Brad Bird pull off his first ever live-action film? Could they compete in the Christmas 2011 timeframe against Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I Was Totally Wrong! Channing Tatum Will Be Gambit After All!

Earlier in the week, I published an article claiming Channing Tatum would be not playing Gambit in the X-Men franchise, a surprise to many considering his passion for the project. Frankly, I had heard from people the night the news broke that nothing was set in stone and that maybe Tatum would end up staying on the project, but in a rare move of pessimism from yours truly, I chalked that kind of chatter to just wishful thinking.