Movies

Movies

Wed
11
Nov

The Spectre of Bond: Jeff and Chris Debate the Merits of the Latest Film in the Venerable Series!

James Bond Spectre debate Jeff Ritter Chris Delloiacono

The SPECTRE of Bond
by: Chris Delloiacono & Jeff Ritter

It’s time for the main event!

James Bond vs. Goldfinger?  Not today!

007 vs. 006?  See Goldeneye!

Blond Bond vs. Gary U.S. Bonds?  Uh, never!!!!

First, in the Bond corner, it’s Chris “Enjoys ‘em Shaken” Delloiacono!

Sat
07
Nov

The Peanuts Movie is an Instant Classic

GOOD GRIEF! The Peanuts are at it again! Once again Charles Shulz's beloved characters have been brought to life, this time in a feature-length film produced by Blue Sky Studios. Did it stay true to the core values of ole Chuck and the gang? Or was it made by a bunch of blockheads that don't understand the characters?

Let's find out!

 ^^^ THE PEANUTS MOVIE REVIEW ^^^

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've seen the previews and are wondering if you should take the kids to see THE PEANUTS movie. Or perhaps you're wondering if it's worth dropping money on an animated film to capture an hour and twenty-six minutes worth of nostalgia for yourself.

I'm here to tell you that regardless of your reason for going, you won't be disappointed!

Sat
07
Nov

James Bond Mythos Marred By Soulless SPECTRE

SPECTRE cures insomnia in theatres Nov. 6, 2015.

If you’re a regular reader of my film reviews you know I have a weakness for spy movies. The flagship franchise, of course, is Ian Fleming’s Secret Agent 007, James Bond. Starting with Sean Connery in DR. NO, through George Lazenby (if he counts), Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and now Daniel Craig, the venerable series has had its ups and downs through the years. Sometimes campy, sometimes serious, sometimes just plain weird, the exploits of the most beloved spy in the world has always given me some level of satisfaction. That is, until now. With SPECTRE, the sequel to director Sam Mendes’ ultra-popular 2012 installment SKYFALL, the sky is indeed falling on 007. This is easily the worst James Bond film in the series and one of the worst films I’ve seen regardless of genre in years.

Fri
06
Nov

First Look at Disney, Burton's Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through Looking Glass Disney Tim Burton

In Disney’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall.

Mon
02
Nov

Look Out Gotham: Here Comes Batkid!

Batkid Begins Batman Make-A-Wish Foundation San Francisco

BATKID BEGINS isn't an overly lengthy documentary. However, it did take me several atempts to watch it. I blame a manufacturer's defect in the disc, that caused the image to go blurry after five minutes or so of watching it (and which somehow made everything else I looked at blurry as well until I wiped my eyes).

Okay, I admit it -- I'm turning into a lachrymose old softie in my old age. Part of it has to do that I have a young boy of my own now, and when I see stories like this it's easier to put myself into their roles.

The story centers on young Miles, a little boy diagnosed with leukemia. During his treatment, he ends up qualifying for the Make-A-Wish program, and his wish is to be the real Batman. Superhero wishes are things that Make-A-Wish has worked out in the past, but this time they decided to think big -- and transform San Francisco into Gotham City for a day.

Mon
26
Oct

STAR WARS ON TRIAL--The Blog Tour Charges Star Wars with Dumbing Down Science Fiction

CriticalBlast.com prosecutes the charge of STAR WARS dumbing down science fiction with the STAR WARS ON TRIAL BLOG TOUR

The charge is "STAR WARS has dumbed down the perception of science fiction in the popular imagination." Jeff Ritter of CriticalBlast.com represents the Prosecution. 

The very notion of STAR WARS being somehow responsible for “dumbing down” modern science fiction seems preposterous. Of course, the notion is not entirely objective—how does one quantify merit or mediocrity in art, which by its very nature is subjective? How does one quantify the tangible effect of a film from 1977, that wasn’t expected to do much business itself, has had on movies, television, video games, novels, graphic  arts, American and even global pop culture more than 30 years later? I’m sure somebody with a better mind for statistical analysis could find numbers to crunch in this regard, but I find it to be less of a matter of arithmetic and more of a matter of personal taste. Since I can only speak for myself, allow me to take you on a little flashback to the halcyon days of my youth.

Sat
24
Oct

THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE Comes to Blu-ray and You Need to Own It!

In the past few weeks Paramount announced they were developing a remake of the THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE.  Say what you want about all of the remakes cinema churns out these days, most of them are pale copies of the originals.  Occasionally, though, you get a film that’s of comparable quality or even superior to the original.  I don’t know what the future holds for the VALANCE remake, but I’ll tell you, if the producers make a film that even approaches the original, well, look out, there’s a spectacular film in the offing.

Tue
20
Oct

Heaven Adores You: A Documentary about the Life and Music of Elliott Smith

Heaven Adores You Elliot Smith

It’s impossible to write a review of a documentary about Elliott Smith without it becoming deeply personal.  That’s apt, because his solo career was one of deeply personal lyrics and the intimacy of a man alone with only his guitar.

            I was really interested in viewing this documentary because my knowledge of Elliott Smith was rather limited.  I knew he had a rough adolescence, played in a band prior to his solo act, and had committed suicide.  Also, I was aware that he was struggling with his fame from his career.  On the album EITHER/OR, he sings, “I’m so sick and tired of all these pictures of me/Completely wrong/Totally wrong.”

Tue
20
Oct

Few Faults with San Andreas

San Andreas Blu-Ray Dennis Russo Critical Blast Dwayne Johnson

SAN ANDREAS on Blu-ray and DVD is a non-stop action movie that takes place basically in San Francisco and areas along the…you guessed it, San Andreas Fault line.

There is not a lot of back story here, as the movie starts with tremors happening within the first couple of minutes. Then the basics of the story are revealed through a college classroom dissertation on seismic activity by Caltech Seismologist Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti), talking about the biggest earthquakes in history, and that it is more important than ever to be able to predict where they will happen to save lives. A young associate of the professor figures out how the tremor felt at the beginning of the movie could possibly predict a larger one by using the model they developed, and while testing it at Hoover Dam…well, I don't want to spoil things, but I bet you can guess what happens next.

Tue
13
Oct

The Peanuts Gang Hits Europe in Feature-Length Animated DVD

Bon Voyage Charlie Brown DVD Charles Schulz Peanuts Snoopy Critical Blast

The Peanuts gang may not be the most intricately animated group of cartoon kids, but they're certainly enduring. Their somewhat sedate pacing and thoughtful observations have made them a mainstay of our Halloweens, Thanksgivings and Christmases for decades.

In 1980, the team of Bill Melendez and Phil Roman brought Charles Schulz's comic strip tykes to the big screen (although not for the first time) in a full length adventure, BON VOYAGE, CHARLIE BROWN (AND DON'T COME BACK). It's a tale that finds Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty and Marcie (and, of course, Snoopy and Woodstock) traveling to France as part of a student exchange program. This comes just after Charlie Brown has received a mysterious letter from a French girl named Violette, inviting him to come stay at the Chateau Mal Voisin -- the Home of the Bad Neighbor.

Fri
09
Oct

Greytober Reviews: Dark Was the Night

Dark Was the Night

I’m actually kinda tired tonight, so here’s hoping I can last through this. I had nothing queued up, and so I’m digging through Netflix, wishing I was using my PS4 so I could entertain myself by yelling at Max (the “help you find something” feature that never finds you anything that I’ve only used on PS3, so I’m actually not sure it works on PS4), but alas, on my Xbox, so I’m digging and I see something in the popular section called Dark Was the Night, and that will be the winner.

Lumberjacks. The movie opens up with trees being cut down and turned into sawdust, and I’m thinking, “IS DEXTER HERE?!” And now everything is all quiet, people are heading home for the weekend, and one guy is on his walkie looking for his buddy Jesse who isn’t answering. Zoom in on that walkie and it’s just laying on the ground. A hand reaches out to grab it, but there’s static and the dude gets in his car to go see what’s up.

Thu
08
Oct

Greytober Reviews: We Are Still Here

Time for my first haunted house movie of the season (because fuck The 13th Unit), and I can’t say I know much about this one, but hey, that’s half the fun of this. This one’s called We Are Still Here, and I’m hoping for something with legitimate horror.

Winter. That’s my takeaway from this opening scene, that it’s winter. Snow everywhere, and one car, so it’s winter in a really quiet area. Older couple, the woman looks like she’s been crying, and they’re moving. He looks like a high school science teacher. The house is old, middle of nowhere, and the wife finds a picture to hold on to tightly. She winds up putting it on a table in the hall, and it’s a younger guy that I’ll assume is their son.

What I really can’t tell is whether or not is how new this house is, since either that picture was there when they got there, she just used the frame, or I’m totally missing something.

Thu
08
Oct

Happy Birthday R.L. Stine

RL Stine Tavis Munro Happy Birthday

As GOOSEBUMPS prepares to roll out into theaters, today, October 8, is the birthday of the legendary author behind the series that's been chilling children for years, R.L. Stine.

So please join with us -- and Jack Black and Slappy -- in wishing Stine a happy (and someone creepy) birthday!

goosebumps-swat-Happy Birthday RL Stine JB Slappy 720_scc_h264 from Critical Blast on Vimeo.

Photo: (L-R) R.L. Stine, Jonathan Munro, and Critical Blast's own roving reporter, Tavis Munro.

Wed
07
Oct

EuropaCorp and Yahoo Style Launch Global Costume Design Contest for VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

Valerian City Thousand Planets Luc Besson Yahoo Costume Contest
EuropaCorp has teamed up with Yahoo Style on a global search for innovative and original costume designs to be featured in the upcoming science fiction epic, VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, and Clive Owen.
 
The contest launched earlier today and will run through November 27, 2015. Editor in Chief of Yahoo Style, Joe Zee will serve as one of the judges, along with the film’s writer/director Luc Besson and costume designer Olivier Bériot, who will choose up to twenty winners whose designs will appear in the film. Winners will be announced on December 14, 2015 and will also win $1,000.
Tue
06
Oct

Magic Mike XXL - More dancing than the original! Oh yeah, and some plot stuff too...

Magic Mike XXL Warner Brothers Blu-ray

Before I talk about Magic Mike XXL (Blu-ray combo pack, available now!), let’s talk about Magic Mike – the original movie that started it all.

I loved Magic Mike. The attempt at a plot was weak, and the story was dreary, but that didn’t stop me from loving the movie. After all, Channing Tatum? Stripping his clothes off and dancing? With a bunch of other ripped dudes? Sign. Me. Up.

So now fast forward three years to Magic Mike’s triumphant return in the form of Magic Mike XXL. This movie has more dancing, more hot guys, and a cheerier storyline that was both fun and heartfelt. Therefore, it’s safe to say that I liked this one even more!

Plot spoilers ahead. But let’s be real, you don’t watch Magic Mike XXL for the plot.

Mon
05
Oct

Greytober Reviews: ATM

Wow. That’s all I have to say about tonight’s choice, and the fact that I’m starting it at almost three in the morning. I’ve been doing this movie thing for a few years now, though without the reviews, and this is a movie I’ve been passing up since the beginning. No real reason, I mean, I always look at it and say “Eh, maybe tomorrow”, but you know what? IT’S TOMORROW RIGHT NOW! It’s time for ATM! No, it’s not a porn, it’s an actual horror movie about people at an ATM.

God help me.

Some dude is checking out maps of the highway and a parking lot, working out all the angles (literally, he’s even drawing lines with a ruler and pen). Like, dude is putting in the work for, what I assume, is murders at an ATM on this map. He’s all shadowy, and he puts on a hooded parka (like Cold in Flash) over a hoodie, for double the head covering. Dude is MYSTERIOUS.

Happy music and trains during the credits. And Santa jingling for the Salvation Army.

Sat
03
Oct

Greytober Reviews: Would You Rather

Day three! Otherwise known as the night I realized that I had yet to set up a queue on Netflix! Seriously, going through the list on my Xbox is one star this, PG-13 that. Fuck that. PG-13 horror is for kids. Though I will say that the storage unit movie sounds appealing, yes, I found another one called. This one is called Storage 24, and the bad guy is aliens, and maybe I’ll do it in a few days, but for now, Would You Rather!

Would You Rather, now that’s a game I haven’t played in years. Or sober.

Hot blonde interviewing at a restaurant, no experience, apparently had to come back home to take care of her brother. Job isn’t much, but she seems to get it.

Fri
02
Oct

Greytober Reviews: The 13th Unit

Day two of Greytober is upon us, and I’ve got another movie! I have not a damn clue what it’s about, and I don’t know if it’s any good, but hey, that’s half the fun, right? What is The 13th Unit?

Oh goody, the movie starts with ominous music over background text. Something about mutilated bodies in Chicago in 1937, and them all being suspects in a robbery. A robbery of ancient artifacts! The killer and artifacts were never found, and the case went unsolved. Fast forward to NOW!

Storage lockers and squeaky noises. Someone getting ready for an auction? Where’s Barry? Alright, this guy doesn’t look too happy, looks like he had a bad day at work. Then there’s a dude brushing his teeth, and now we’ve got a couple where the guy is getting kinda handsy for a public storage locker. Death must be imminent.

Fri
02
Oct

THE MARTIAN Reaches Early Oscar Orbit

Matt Damon blasts off in THE MARTIAN on 10-02-15.

Here’s a formula you wouldn’t expect to work very often in cinema and television: an entire show centered around one person trying to survive in a hostile environment with only his wits and found materials to help them through. And yet it’s been done before, notably by Tom Hanks in CAST AWAY and more recently by Sandra Bullock in GRAVITY. This time its acclaimed director Ridley Scott is putting the hero though hardship after hardship in THE MARTIAN, an adaption of the popular novel by Andy Weir. Starring Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney, a biologist who is part of a manned expedition to Mars, THE MARTIAN is fantastically crafted science fiction and proof that Ridley Scott still has the directorial chops to make must see cinema.

Thu
01
Oct

Greytober Reviews: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Welcome to Greytober! The annual celebration of my favorite month, where I watch my favorite genre to ridiculous excess and remind myself that I’m incredibly desensitized! Last year I managed fourteen movies, despite not starting my marathon until the second week of October. This year? This year I’m going to kill that. First up...The Town That Dreaded Sundown!


So apparently this is a sequel/remake to a movie I’d never heard of, which I didn’t know until I went to look up the opening scene of the town watching...The Town That Dreaded Sundown. I can dig it, meta-horror can be good; look at Scream and Scream 4.

The BH Productions animation before the movie is great, and I wasn’t aware of how many of their movies I’d already seen, or how many were on my ‘watch this month’ list.

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