Movies

Movies

Thu
05
Mar

Burton and Depp's Chocolate Factory Less Dream, More Nightmare in 10th Anniversary Blu-Ray

Tim Burton Johnny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tenth Anniversary Blu-ray

I'm a Tim Burton fan. Flat out, I've loved everything of his I've seen, from the Michael Keaton BATMAN film through the black and white FRANKENWEENIE short. Even SWEENEY TODD is on my list of Burton masterpieces.

But until recently, I had not seen CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which puts a slight dent in what I considered a perfect record.

If you've read the Roald Dahl book, or seen the slightly renamed Gene Wilder film WILLIE WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, then you may be somewhat taken aback by the deviations made in this version of the film. Oh, for the most part, it's the same story: Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) is a good kid from a poor family; Willie Wonka (Johnny Depp) agrees to open his mysterious factory to those who find hidden Golden Tickets; rotten kids from around the world make the cut; cue the Oompa-Loompas for every lesson learned as the rotten kids become victims of their own flaws.

Fri
27
Feb

He Lived Long and Prospered: Leonard Nimoy, 83

Leonard Nimoy 2015 Age 83 Spock Star Trek Critical Blast

Leonard Nimoy, star of stage and screen, and idol to millions of science fiction fans everywhere for his portrayal of the logical Vulcan, Spock, on STAR TREK, has passed away at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

There will be numerous articles appearing almost immediately detailing Nimoy's illustrious career. This isn't one of those. This is rather my personal remembrances of this actor, author, photographer and -- yes -- singer and musician.

Fri
27
Feb

Will Smith Regains His "Focus" In This Smart, Sexy Con Artist Caper

Focus opens in theaters 2/27/15.

Will Smith is an easy actor to like. He doesn't interrupt award shows pining for Beyoncé like some people we could mention. He hasn't had a major meltdown on the set or in public. He's gone about his film career about as well as any top drawing actor truly could and yet he hasn't really had a huge hit at the box office for some time, at least in my opinion—2008’s “Hancock” was the last Smith movie I really enjoyed. That's about to change.

Tue
24
Feb

Not-So-Horrible Bosses 2 Arrives on Blu-Ray

Horrible Bosses 2 Blu Ray Warner Brothers Jason Bateman Critical Blast

As I sit to watch Horrible Bosses 2, I remember the first one being pretty amusing. Jason Sudeikis was one of my favorite recent SNL members, Charlie Day is genius in It's Always Sunny in Philly, and who doesn't love Jason Bateman, the only (fairly) sane Bluth. It's this casting adoration that drew me to the first movie and made me return for the second. However, it IS a sequel. With trepidation, I hit play, knowing sequels are generally regurgitated humor posing as original wit.

The movie opens with the Clash singing Police on My Back, so at least we know someone involved has good musical taste. We jump right in with the lead trio having witty banter, an Austin Powers-seque visual penis gag and vaguely racist humor, that is a strong start so far and sets the tone. There will be no high-minded comedy hiding around here. If only they could shoehorn in a fart joke, we would be set.

Mon
23
Feb

Why Hollywood is Slowly Dying

Richard Reichel Why Hollywood is slowly dying Critical Blast

editorial by Dr. Richard R. Reichel

Hollywood and the entire United States are missing out on huge opportunities that not only could improve the entertainment industry, but greatly benefit our nation financially and add thousands of jobs.

Remember what happened to our automotive industry because of foreign imports? Something similar is occurring with America’s film industry. Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries are slowly but surely taking our movie and TV business away. China is rapidly building up a significant film enterprise.

In the U.S., California is no longer No. 1 for filmmaking. Louisiana does more production. California says it will triple its tax-credit dollars to $330 million, but this is too little too late.

Fri
20
Feb

First look at Jason Momoa as Aquaman (Where's Vinnie Chase?)

From Variety:

Aquaman has officially landed.

Director Zack Snyder tweeted the first photo of Jason Momoa as DC Comics superhero Aquaman on Thursday night.

Momoa, ex-star of “Game of Thrones,” will appear in Snyder’s upcoming film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as well as the future Justice League films.

In the DC comic books, Aquaman is the king of the seven seas, hence the poster slogan.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” hits theaters March 25, 2016.

Here’s the full photo:

Source: Variety

Fri
13
Feb

Kingsman: The Secret Service May Be The Best Dressed Action Comedy You'll Ever See

Kingsman starts 2/13/15.

My favorite moments as a film critic are the times when I take my seat at a theater and think, “Good grief, why on earth did I accept this review opportunity? This is gonna be awful!” And then I’m completely wrong and I couldn’t be happier. The first time I can really remember this happening was when I saw “Scott Pilgrim vs The World,” a film adaption of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Ameri-manga comic. I sat that mumbling to myself about how bad that movie was going to be, and by the time it was over I declared it the best thing I’d seen in years.

Thu
12
Feb

Ferran's Bird People Doesn't Quite Take Flight

Bird People on DVD Critical Blast

BIRD PEOPLE, directed by Pascale Ferran, is what I call a “boutique” movie: one that will appeal to a select audience, an audience that loves independent, off the beaten path foreign movies filmed outside the realm of traditional Hollywood style; movies that are thick on imagery and symbolism, have periods of no dialog to make you think, subtitles, and in which almost everyone smokes cigarettes.

BIRD PEOPLE centers on Gary Newman (Josh Charles), an American from Silicon Valley U.S.A. in France for business, and Audrey Camuzet (Anais Demoustier), a maid at the Hilton airport hotel Gary is staying at. Gary is burnt out and fed up with everything and, while staying in the hotel, comes to the realization that he’s done with it all and leaves his wife and his job. Audrey it seems is just as tired of the same old life she has too.

Thu
12
Feb

LEGO Wins Again With Justice League vs Bizarro League

LEGO DC SUPER HEROES JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE CRITICAL BLAST

LEGO does it again with this humorous treatment of our favorite super heroes.

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE opens with an introduction to who Bizarro is and what his motivations are, as well as how Superman thought he had dealt with the simple-minded creature for good. But a year later, the Justice League -- Superman (Nolan North), Batman (Troy Baker), Wonder Woman (Kari Wahlgren), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Guy Gardner (Diedrich Bader), Plastic Man (Tom Kenny), Flash (James Arnold Taylor), Hawkman and Green Arrow (both voiced by Phil Morris) -- are up against Gorilla Grodd (Kevin Michael Richardson) and his mind-controlled crew of Giganta (April Winchell), Penguin, Deathstroke, and Captain Cold. This was a fun melee battle scene that brings in characters we've never seen in LEGO minifig version before, creating an immediate want in the market for some figures that don't exist yet. Genius! (Because I want my Plastic Man minifig!)

Tue
10
Feb

Internet Officially Blows-up! Spider-Man to debut in Marvel Cinematic Universe

You know, being a comic journalist is always a pretty fun gig...but then there are days you get to announce things like this, and it becomes the best job in the world:

 

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.

Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

Tue
10
Feb

To Kink or Not to Kink

Kink Documentary Bondage BDSM

When I got the movie, my first thought was, “Well, I'm definitely not watching this in front of my parents!” Just look at the box adorned with a cat-o'tails and fuzzy handcuffs! I'm sure the average viewer runs screaming and innocent women swoon. Or do they? With the recent popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and normalization of alternative sex ideas, it seems like kink interests are on the rise. The average housewife now knows all about the other uses of a necktie. With all that in mind and ensuring the youth of the household was safely tucked away in bed, I popped in the documentary, Kink, and buckled myself in.

Thu
05
Feb

"Jupiter Ascending" Fails To Achieve Escape Velocity

Jupiter Ascending

I recently reviewed Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and enjoyed it immensely. I then watched the Wachowski siblings' "Jupiter Ascending" and found that Cinderella in outer space without catchy songs, strong dialogue, an interesting antagonist or a heroic hero figure is nowhere near as enjoyable.

Tue
03
Feb

First look at Disney's "Frozen Fever"

Disney sent us over some promotional material for the upcoming Frozen short "Frozen Fever" which will be screening in theaters before the live-action Cinderella, starting in March 13, 2015.

In “Frozen Fever,” it's Anna's birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk.

Starring:Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad

Directors:    Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Here is a First Look video:

Thu
29
Jan

If you have an extra $350 to spend, might I suggest a LEGO Helicarrier?

LEGO SHIELD Helicarrier Marvel Super Heroes CriticalBlast.com

Over at Newsarama, I saw this:

The phrase "Avengers Assemble!" may never be more apt than when talking about products like these. On Thursday Marvel and LEGO Group announced new products on two fronts -- a new console video game and a lush new S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier playset.

Tue
27
Jan

Why We're Nonplussed Over the Fantastic Four Trailer

The Fantastic Four

With all the hoopla over the assured blockbuster status of Marvel's upcoming THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, it's easy to forget that another Marvel property is coming to theaters this year as well. Granted, it's a franchise tainted by two previous lackluster releases (three for the purists who pretend the Roger Corman version counts), but Hulk's first two films weren't exactly critical accomplishments, and the big green guy is doing alright for himself in Avengers.

I'd like to say that the Fantastic Four could follow in Hulk's crater-like footsteps, but my confidence level hasn't been high, and this trailer has done little to change that.

Before we discuss that, though, let's take a quick look at the trailer, released today, for FANTASTIC FOUR:

Okay, now, all the non-comics fans only please: What is this movie about?

Tue
20
Jan

Passing Judgment on David Dobkin's "The Judge"

The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall, now on Blu-ray and DVD.

In a Best Supporting Actor category this year that pits Hulk against Hulk (Edward Norton vs. Mark Ruffalo), the true giant to beat may be Robert Duvall, who was nominated by the Academy for his performance as Judge Joseph Palmer in this gripping, emotional drama, THE JUDGE.

The story from director David Dobkin and screenwriter Nick Schenk plays on the popular trope of the big city professional doing his job in small-town America. In this case, it's Robert Downey Jr. who portrays Hank Palmer, a hotshot lawyer who specializes in defending rich clients who are completely guilty. When he is notified of his mother's death, he travels back to his home town in Indiana, where old tensions still exist between himself and his estranged father, who is also the town judge.

Sun
18
Jan

Throne of Atlantis Gives DC Fans Violent Origin of Aquaman

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS is the direct follow-up to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR, hinting that there may start being some continuity to the DC Universe Original Movie universe (and yes, I know that's a redundant use of 'universe'). With Darkseid's forces turned back, the world was introduced to a superhero team. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to tell the team that they were a team -- and as a result, when Steve Trevor (George Newbern) comes to Cyborg (Shemar Moore) with a mission to find a missing submarine carrying nuclear missiles, he is set up for a sore disappointment.

Meanwhile, on the coastal New England town of Mercy Reef, Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter) is getting drunk over the recent death of his father. He gets into a brawl with a group of heavies, and displays just how strong he is -- and is observed by an Atlantean bodyguard to Queen Atlanna.

Fri
16
Jan

Eastwood and Cooper Hit The Bullseye With "American Sniper"

"American Sniper" starts Friday, Jan 16, 2015.

I could use clichéd terms like “mesmerizing,” “stunning,” and “incredible” to describe Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, “American Sniper.” They would be fitting adjectives, but they wouldn’t quite do the film justice. You see, Clint Eastwood doesn’t make bad movies. He makes near-perfect movies, each one simple and straightforward in presentation, yet featuring complete and complex characters. The man is a living legend, just like Chris Kyle, the subject of this challenging but wholly worthwhile film was during his service to his country.

Mon
12
Jan

Second Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Officially Released

Avengers: Age of Ultron, in theaters May 1.

I could tell you about my thoughts... but you're only going to scroll down past these words and view it anyway.

Anyway, Marvel has released the latest trailer for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, a trailer that's been almost as hotly anticipated as the movie itself. And do we learn anything new? Maybe. It appears that Ultron may have the capability of controlling some of the heroes -- or, maybe not. Who is he going to take down from the inside out? How does he get Thor to attack Tony Stark? How does he get Hulk to battle Iron Man? Is it some bizarre kind of AI nanotechnology? Is it the Soul Gem put into his possession by Thanos?

Share your favorite conspiracies in our comments section. And enjoy the trailer! It's just going to make the time between now and May 1 seem that much longer.

Fri
09
Jan

Inherent Vice Is Inherently Broken

Inherent Vice opens Jan 9, 2015

Joaquin Phoenix. Benicio Del Toro. Josh Brolin. Reese Witherspoon. Martin Short. Sounds like a cast that could be quite entertaining, doesn’t it? You have Oscar candidates and winners here, established star power. Add director Paul Thomas Anderson of “Boogie Nights” fame and a script based on a novel by popular author Thomas Pynchon. This has “can’t miss Hollywood blockbuster” written all over it, right?

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