Movies

Movies

Tue
02
Jun

Marvel Movies Ranked (Infographic)

MorphCostumes Marvel Movies Ranked Infographic

So just how much of Hollywood has Marvel taken over?

The folks at MorphCostumes have put together this handy-dandy infographic ranking Marvel Comic Book adaptations that have made it to the silver screen (including Disney's BIG HERO SIX and FOX's X-MEN movies, among others). While some of these won't surprise you, there's certainly fodder for conversation here to fuel a good fan rant about which movies deserved to make more money.

(Having trouble viewing? Click to enlarge)

Click to enlarge

Tue
02
Jun

Focus Has Sharp Scenes But Astigmatic Plot

I love a good con movie. From THE STING through LEVERAGE, if it's done well, I'm pulled in.

FOCUS starts off with great promise, and the fact that the filmmaker's brought in the master, Apollo Robbins, as a consultant, shows they at least had their hearts in the right place going into this. The film stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie (who will pair up again in the already overexposed SUICIDE SQUAD next year) as Nicky, a master con man, and Jess, a would-be pickpocket who crosses his path. He takes her in, mentors her in the finer points of the grift, and lets her take part in some of his current cons. And then, without notice, he cuts her loose. All that buildup, all those wonderfully filmed scenes just go poof as we realize this was just backstory to the film that's only just now getting started well into the movie.

Sat
30
May

Jupiter Ascending a Sci-Fi Mash Up Lacking Cohesion

Jupiter Ascending Mila Kunis Channing Tatum Critical Blast

There's a certain mathematical elegance to the Wachowski's JUPITER ASCENDING. Given infinite space and infinite time, someone will be born somewhere with the exact same genetic sequence as someone who already existed. Multiply those infinite chances out, and that previous person might have been the Queen of the universe, who owned the Earth and willed it back to herself should she ever be genetically reassembled.

Of course, if the Queen of the Universe had children who covet the Earth because they're getting ready to harvest the people there to make their special water of life (the daughter is over 14 millennia old), then you might want to watch your royal back.

Sun
24
May

Internet Learns: Don't Start a Flame War with the Human Torch

Michael B Jordan Human Torch Fantastic Four Critical Blast

It's been said that every comic book is somebody's first comic book. I guess a corollary to that is that every superhero is somebody's favorite superhero.

Case in point: The Human Torch. This hotheaded member of the Fantastic Four started out as a teenaged, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian, just like his timid sister. And he's been that way pretty much since the 1960s, save for some very minor adjustments to his age.

Fri
22
May

Get Cooties this Fall

Cooties Elijah Wood Rainn Wilson

Elijah Wood’s career can best be described as…..mercurial. With credits ranging from the terrible The Bumblebee Flies Anyway all the way to the pinnacle of his career as the voice of Spyro in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, it can safely be said that the entertainment industry hasn’t typecast him. Doing the heavy lifting in television shows such as Adventures from the Book of Virtues, lending his voice to the part of Mumble in the video game “Happy Feet”, and of course, he is most well known for playing the title role in the coming-of-age movie North.

Fri
22
May

"Tomorrowland" A Finely Acted Cautionary Tale Too Mature For The "Frozen" Audience

Tomorrowland starts 5/22/2015

“Tomorrowland” is an interesting film for Disney Pictures. It’s based on the Tomorrowland theme parks found within the greater Disney World and Disneyland campuses, and is very exciting visually. It also a PG movie, which surprises me a little, as profanity is sometimes hinted at and there are occasional moments of unexpected violence that could leave the little ones in a bit of shock. In fact, the movie’s message itself probably would be lost on the kids that get excited for films like “Frozen” and “Despicable Me” (I know, not Disney, not the point).

Tue
19
May

Blast of the Week - The Future of Superhero Movies

Blast of the Week -  What do you think about Marvel and DC’s upcoming film projects?

Mike Maillaro: After all that talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron last week, I couldn’t help but think about all the movies Marvel and DC have already announced over the next five years.  These slates are pretty ambitious to say the least….21 movies already announced and scheduled.  

Fri
15
May

Pitch Perfect 2: The Pitches are Back

Pitch Perfect 2 Critical Blast Movie Review

PITCH PERFECT 2 hit a high note with me.  I tried not to set my expectations too high—I just wanted a light-hearted comedy that I could take at face value, and PP2 delivered!  Elizabeth Banks, who apparently likes to announce for both a capalla competitions and Hunger Games, directs this fun and fancy free sequel.  The movie starts out with the Barden Bellas going back to school in their senior year of college.  They have already won three national a capella titles after PITCH PERFECT, and end up in a more exhilarating singing competition faced with formidable German opponents Das Sound Machine. 

Wed
13
May

Critical Blast Best Movie of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

Critical Blast Best Film 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel

It really shouldn't have worked. I mean, none of it fits: The Guardians of the Galaxy comic book has always been something of a mish-mash of incongruent characters that don't fit anywhere else. The cast of the film included an unlikely lead in Chris Pratt, a professional wrestler and MMA fighter in Dave Bautsta, and two of the sexiest actors around--so the lades tell me--in Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel doing voce-over work! Impossible? Not for James Gunn, the director who turned this crazy dea into yet another Marvel cinematic success. Mr. Gunn shouldn't bill himself as "director" anymore. His credit should read "Alchemist." Who else could turn this leaden concept into pure gold?

The votiing for this one wasn't even close, with Guardians pulling in a whopping 46% of all votes. The only one that came close was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with 23%.

Mon
11
May

LucasFilm's Strange Magic Not That Enchanting

Strange Magic DVD George Lucas Fairies Evan Rachel Wood Alan Cumming

George Lucas gets a lot of Internet anger directed his way. In fact, I've made some choice criticisms about his work over the years.  Still, it's hard to argue that for many of us he created our favorite fictional world.  It doesn't just stop with STAR WARS either. My God, the Indiana Jones trilogy is amongst my most loved films, as well.

While most of the work he's created in the past twenty years doesn't stand up to those classics I mentioned above, he did release the wonderful RED TAILS a few years ago.  Like any creator, Lucas is hit or miss, but his highs are so far above most others, it boggles the mind.

Mon
11
May

Blast of the Week - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Blast of the Week -  What did you think of Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Sat
09
May

Critical Blast Best Actor in a Film of 2014: Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton Birdman Best Actor 2014 Critical Blast

For my generation, Christopher Reeve will always be the best Superman, and Michael Keaton will always be the best Batman. Taking on an iconic superhero role always runs the risk of stereotyping the actor, but Michael Keaton had already made a name for himself before donning the cape and cowl, with a string of comedies like JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY, MR. MOM, and BEETLEJUICE, contrasted with incredible dramatic performances in shows like CLEAN AND SOBER and, later, PACIFIC HEIGHTS.

As Riggan Thomson, the lead character of BIRDMAN (subtitled THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE), Keaton portrays a washed-up actor, best known for having played the titular superhero, Birdman. While Keaton may have had some experience to draw on for part of this, he's never been "washed up" and has kept busy his entire career. With BIRDMAN, Keaton delivers a disturbing performance of a man mocked by his past and taking incredible risks to redeem his status, even if it takes suicide.

Wed
06
May

Disney Infinity 3.0 News and Commentary (STAR WARS!)

Disney has finally started to release some information on their forthcoming Disney Infinity 3.0.   What we know so far is that the game will be very Star Wars heavy.  The new starter pack will come with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano.   I am actually surprised they didn't got a little heavier on Rebels or The Force Awakens...but the variety of figures here is pretty cool. 

We also got a pretty cool trailer, which features a lot of vehicle action and lightsaber duels, which makes sense for Star Wars.  Hopefully they will have decent controls for the flying:
 

On the Marvel side, the only new character they have shown is Hulkbuster Ironman.

Fri
01
May

Goodfellas 25th Anniversary Blu-ray

Goodfellas 25th Anniversary Blu-ray review Critical Blast Chris Delloiacono

Sometimes you're lucky to review an item that simply put, you know going in you already love. I mean, what can I tell you about the film Goodfellas that hasn't already been said? It's up there with the first two Godfather films as one of the greatest achievements in gangster cinema. So glorious is this film that it transcends the genre and isn't JUST a gangster film. It's simply a masterful piece of storytelling. Beautifully written, masterfully directed, and featuring some of the best performances of the past quarter century. It's fingerprint is upon so many films that have come since. Goodfellas has created stereotypes and tropes of the genre, yet when it was released it was original and vibrant. The only question to be pondered: does it hold up twenty-five years later.

Fri
01
May

Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron -- Too Many Characters Trumps The Fun Factor

Avengers 2 Age of Ultron Fan ARt made by dDsign of DeviantArt.com

By now you know the main players: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner are back in “Marvel’s The Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron,” reprising their roles as Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye, respectively. The S.H.I.E.L.D. brass, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill are also back, along with Anthony Mackie as The Falcon and Don Cheadle as War Machine. Idris Elba appears as Heimdall but Tom Hiddleston does not reprise Loki in this installment.

That’s already a rather ponderous list and we haven’t even got to the bad guys yet.

Mon
20
Apr

From The Dark Sheds New Light on Familiar Genre

From the Dark Horror review Blu-ray Critical Blast

FROM THE DARK, available on Blu-ray, tells the haunting tale of a young couple who are on a road trip around the Irish country side. When they develop car trouble, they seek help at a nearby farm house and it isn’t long before they discover a terrible evil is lurking in the dark.  A creature has been awakened from a thousand year slumber by the owner of the house who unearthed it while digging in the bog, and the couple soon learn the only safety they have from it lies in the light. But night is falling quickly, and the darker it gets the more powerful the creature becomes.

The movie has a very limited cast and stars Niamh Algar and Stephen Cromwell as the young couple Sarah and Mark.

Thu
16
Apr

Jonah Hill And James Franco Shine But "True Story" Is Still A Dull Story

True Story opens in limited release on 4/17/15.

Whenever I hear the phrase “based on a true story,” I often wonder, “Which part?” Take “Titanic” for example. I know the boat is going to sink. I wonder if there was a romance between the characters played by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio or if that was contrived to distract the audience from the inevitable disaster that nearly everyone on Earth knew was coming in that film. I suppose if Hollywood didn’t spice it up they’d be making documentaries, not blockbusters.

Thu
16
Apr

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer debuts at Star Wars Celebration (see it here!)

JJ Abrams debuted a new teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Star Wars Celebration today.  I guess to prevent crappy bootleg versions from showing up online, they actually posted it online, which was pretty decent of them. 

I do have some quick comments about it, but I'm sure you are much more excited to watch the trailer than read to what I have to say, so here it is.  Meet me below to read my thoughts on it:

Wed
15
Apr

Cheap Pops - Wrestling News and Views - April 15, 2015

by Chris Delloiacono, Mike Maillaro and Jeff Ritter

This week!

Wed
15
Apr

Super Powers, Shoestring Budget: The Posthuman Project Appeals Despite Flaws

The Posthuman Project Director Kyle Roberts superhero indie film

THE POSTHUMAN PROJECT is an idea we've seen before, any number of times with varying degrees of success, with outings like X-MEN and GEN-13. In this particular version of the trope, the teens are a group of Oklahoma high school kids nearing graduation. To celebrate, they're going to climb a mountain. Denny Burke (Kyle Whalen) is still recovering from falling off a mountain, in a freak accident which also saw his father disappear.

All is not as it seems, however, as Denny and his beleaguered brother, Archie (Collin Place), meet their long-lost Uncle Billy (Jason Leyva), and his unusual offer. Soon enough, the Burke brothers, joined by their friends Adam (Josh Bonzie), Lisa (Alexandra Harris) and Gwen (Lindsay Sawyer) pile into the SUV and drive off to conquer Mount Dominick, which Uncle Billy now owns.

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