Movies

Movies

Wed
25
May

Best Actor of 2015 Goes to a Face Fresh as a Daisy

Daisy Ridley Star Wars Force Awakens Best Actor 2015 Critical Blast

There was never a doubt that Daisy Ridley was going to be an actress. It was in her blood. What couldn't have been seen was how quickly all that study and hard work would pay off once it was put into practice. In relatively no time she was acting on British television, starring across from such names as Jeremy Piven.

That may have made her a passing name in England, but it was her role as Rey in STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS that propelled her to stardom faster than the Millennium Falcom making the Kesel Run.

Wed
25
May

Star Wars Episode VII Takes Best of 2015 by Force

Star Wars Episode VII Force Awakens Best Movie 2015 Critical Blast

Not that long ago, in a theater very near you, the legacy created by George Lucas took its next giant leap forward in its cinematic evolution. And fans around the world responded resoundingly.

 

Bringing back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in the roles they made iconic in the 1977 STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (yes, starting with Episode IV confused us old timers even back then), STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS carried the story forward, creating new villains in the person of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), new heroes like Finn (Jon Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) -- and introducing a whole new generation of fans to Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and Jedi Luke Skywalker, not to mention the ever-present droids C-3PO and R2-D2..

 

Fri
20
May

ELSTREE 1976 brings you to a time before A Long Time Ago

Whether it be countless interviews, numerous books, or through documentaries, the making of the first STAR WARS film has been told in exhaustive detail.  It's really difficult to frame the film’s making in a novel way.  We've heard the details from George Lucas, the principal cast, most of the supporting players, as well as many of the folks that worked behind the cameras.  Unless you've been to conventions, a less frequently told tale is from the point of view of the tertiary cast and bit players.  ELSTREE 1976 attempts to remedy that omission with the story of ten cast members mostly from the first film.  

Fri
06
May

Despite the Hype, Captain America: Civil War Falls to Batman v Superman

With all the hype surrounding CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, and a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, all expectations for the latest Marvel blockbuster were very high.

Many movie-goers were punch drunk from the brutal reviews and controversy that surrounded BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. There was excitement growing to attend a 'fun' Marvel movie once again, after the dark WB offering left people feeling as though they had the life sucked out of them.

Apparently the hype and anticipation wasn't enough to drive domestic audiences to the theater for Thursday previews.

Fri
06
May

Marvel's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Forces Audiences to Choose Sides

Captain America Civil War

I've written and rewritten this first paragraph numerous times and can't seem to find what I want to say. But now I've got it: this review is brought to you against the best efforts of Charter-Spectrum, the worst internet service provider in the Midwest. If you enjoy paying full price for partial service, inept technicians, frustrating automated systems and bring harassed for weeks about not having their equally atrocious television service, give Charter-Spectrum a call today. Now, about Captain America 3...

Thu
05
May

First look at new Power Rangers costumes from movie reboot

From Entertainment Weekly:

When the Power Rangers revival morphs into theaters, the five teenagers with attitude won’t be wearing the original series’ campy costumes to battle Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Instead, the new cast — singer Becky G as Yellow Ranger Trini, Ludi Lin as Black Ranger Zack, Dacre Montgomery as Red Ranger Jason, Naomi Scott as Pink Ranger Kimberly, and RJ Cyler as Blue Ranger Billy — will don translucent extraterrestrial armor that crystallizes around their bodies.

Wed
04
May

Ranking the Star Wars Movies: Worst to First

In a 'worst to first' ranking, I give unto you, the Star Wars movies ranked with nothing to quantify it other than my personal preference.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace - With a child actor who delivers dialogue as bland as the plot and an amphibious alien whose attempts at comedy relief are more distracting than anything else, The Phantom Menace is clearly the weakest of the franchise. Even the fast-paced intensity of the duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Darth Maul can't save this movie from being the worst of the bunch.
When they retconned the force into bacteria, the magic was destroyed.

Tue
03
May

Bitten, Not Smitten, with Scream Factory's BITE

Bite horror movie review Dennis Russo

BITE, written and directed by Chad Archibald from Scream Factory Films, and opening in select theaters and VOD on May 6, is a “body-horror” film that wants to play on the fear that one, if not all of us, have had at some point in our lives growing up: What if we were bitten by something and we started to change into that thing?

Sound familiar? Well, yeah, this modus operandi is somewhat of a staple among the horror genre, but the movie has enough going for it--mainly on the back of its star, Elma Begovic--to keep you interested to the end.

Fri
29
Apr

The 50 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Avatar 20th Century Fox

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Natalie Morin

Making a successful movie is no easy task. Though audiences and critics laude films with elaborate visual effects, stunning views and star-studded casts, all of those elements cost millions of dollars.

And movies are only getting more expensive. Back in 1991, "Terminator 2" garnered buzz by becoming the most expensive film ever produced, costing $178 million (inflation-adjusted). The following installment in 2003, "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," cost over $250 million to produce (inflation-adjusted) — and it doesn't even crack the current top 10 most expensive films.

Thu
28
Apr

Actors With the Biggest Box Office Declines

Haley Joel Osment Bruce Willis Sixth Sense

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Ben Taylor

If you want to know about Hollywood peaks, just ask Bruce Willis. After annihilating terrorists as Officer John McClane in “Die Hard,” Willis exploded into outer space with Michael Bay’s 1998 smash hit, “Armageddon.”

Wed
27
Apr

Strange Directions: One Billion Chinese Can't Be Wong

Ancient One Doctor Strange Tilda Swinton Benedict Cumberbatch Wong

Marvel comics hasn't been shy about making movies that stray from the comic book canon. And with the degree of success they've been having, one can hardly fault their logic.

None of which truly explains away the rationale behind the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in the upcoming sure-to-be-blockbuster DOCTOR STRANGE.

In the comics, Doctor Stephen Strange is a brilliant but obnoxiously arrogant surgeon. He's Tony Stark with an M.D. (Although since Tony did heart surgery on himself during his origin, his own medical credentials are more than trifling). When Strange suffers a horrible, deadly accident, he encounters the spirit of The Ancient One, a mystic Tibetan who sees potential in Strange to become the next Sorcerer Supreme.

Wed
13
Apr

First Look at Marvel's Doctor Strange Trailer

Doctor Strange will be in theaters November 4, 2016, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen,  and Tilda Swinton.  Here's a first look at the trailer!


Commentary: Is it just me, or does it seem like Benedict Cumberbatch is speaking with an American accent throughout the trailer?  I was a little surprised by that, but he seems to make it work.  Personally, you can probably get away with Strange speaking with a British accent, he just seems pretentious enough that you almost expect him to have a British accent, even if he is from the United States.

Fri
08
Apr

Solid Independent Film FOUR COLOR EULOGY Hits Big Screen in St. Louis April 8-14

FOUR COLOR EULOGY runs April 8-11 at Ronnie's Theater

There are some things you never bring up in polite conversation with mixed company: politics and religion at the forefront. Everyone has very personal views on both matters and anything contrary to those views can draw ridicule, exasperation or outright anger from the opposite party. Then there are topics that even within a tight circle of friends and family can be contentious. Mortality is a good example. What if someone in the family doesn’t want to be buried but cremated? What if they don’t want to be resuscitated or live solely on life support? What if they don’t want to fight a difficult but potentially beatable disease like cancer? Coming to grips with how a loved one wishes to meet their end on their own terms is an emotional and difficult experience. Now you might think this is a crazy notion, but comic books can be almost as emotional and contentious as death itself. Don’t believe me?

Thu
07
Apr

Star Wars: Rogue One Teaser!

After the runaway success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was not particularly looking forward to waiting 2 years for the next Star Wars movie.  Fortunately, Disney will be filling the gap years with side stories set in the Star Wars universe.  On December 26, they will release ROGUE ONE, directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz.  ROGUE ONE stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Neil Breen and Alan Tudyk. From what we know about the movie, it focuses on a group of Rebel spies working to steal the Death Star plans prior to A NEW HOPE.  

Here's the teaser they posted up this morning on Star Wars.com


 

Wed
06
Apr

Mockingjay Part 2 Expects Up to Speed Audience

Mockingjay Part 2 BD

I count myself among those who discovered Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAME series organically. I was there from the first printing, and I was immediately drawn into the first novel. When the second novel came out, I was just as drawn into that, surprised that I could be as solidly hooked again into this world.

And, like many readers, I found the third novel, MOCKINGJAY, to be less-than-thrilling, and was rather cynical that the movie makers (not to be confused with the game makers -- although...) planned on splitting the least of the series into two parts. To me, that plan could only have made the screen adaptation twice as boring.

Wed
06
Apr

Stephen Amell to Appear at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in July

The star of the hit CW series ARROW, and playing Casey Jones in the upcoming TMNT sequel, will headline the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest, as the first wave of guests are announced.

Joining Stephen Amell, on the early short-list of guests, are ARROW co-stars: David Ramsey (John Diggle) and Willa Holland (Thea Queen).

The Heroes & Villains Fan Fest is a 2-day event that occurs at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ during the first weekend of July.

Thu
31
Mar

Hateful Eight Not Great But Will Satiate

Hateful Eight Blu-ray Dennis Russo Critical Blast

THE HATEFUL EIGHT on Blu Ray/DVD and Digital copy is Quentin Tarantino’s Eighth movie. It takes place in Wyoming 6 or 8 or 12 years after the civil war. It tells the story of 8 people…8 hateful, untrusting, uncouth, belligerent individuals thrown together by fate into a one room haberdashery in the middle of a blizzard. Somehow these 8 individuals have more in common than we are first led to believe, and as they all antagonize each other and “stir the pot,” we find out just how hateful these individuals are.

Fri
25
Mar

Batman v Superman Will Leave You Breathless

You may have noticed that one of my fellow writers, here at Critical Blast, has posted a review of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Caution: there are spoilers, but you can read it here if you'd like; you may agree with his viewpoint. That being said, I would like to offer my own thoughts on this epic presentation of two of the world's finest heroes.

This review will NOT include spoilers. I try to take an open-minded and objective approach when offering my opinion on whether or not a movie should be seen. Ultimately it's up to you to decide whether your hard-earned dollars are worth the price of admission.

Thu
24
Mar

Snyder And Eisenberg Bludgeon Your Senses In BATMAN vs SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

So much Eisenberg, all of it bad.

BATMAN vs SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is a great example of the leadership problems with DC Comics/Warner Brothers. They don’t really know how to build a unified brand with a clear, well-defined vision. The result is a cinematic universe that doesn’t echo the comics nearly enough, and doesn’t dovetail with the CW/DC Television universe either. The earnest young Bruce Wayne of GOTHAM does not grow up to be Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. The happy-go-lucky scarlet speedster that team’s up with Green Arrow on television is not the Flash briefly glimpsed in this film. The characterizations of Batman and Superman are inconsistent with the near-century of back issues that the hardcore comic fans have absorbed. If you don’t want to risk spoilers, I’ll leave you with this: BATMAN vs SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is overlong, overloud, and overkill. It’s also borderline boring despite the relentless violence and videogame fight sequences. Thank you for visiting CriticalBlast.com.

Tue
22
Mar

Top 10 Superhero Standoffs

Top 10 Superhero Standoffs

Everyone who has ever read superhero comic books knows that the creators always cut loose for the fight scenes -- and there have been some slobberknockers over the past decades! Superman vs. Doomsday. The Thing vs. The Hulk. Superman vs. Captain Marvel. And does anybody remember the standalone independent nothing-but-a-fight-scene comic called DESTROY?

Now with BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE hitting the theaters, we -- with help from the fine folks at www.morphsuits.com -- want to provide a look back at some of the greatest superhero standoffs that have happened on film. So without further ado, Critical Blast is proud to present:

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