Movies

Movies

Wed
24
Aug

HELL OR HIGH WATER Is Jeff Bridges At His Oscar-Worthy Best

HELL OR HIGH WATER starts Friday 8/19/16.

For my money, there may not be a finer American actor working today than Jeff Bridges. The man is always interesting to watch on the big screen. From earnest heroes in the first remake of KING KONG, TRON, and the wonderful animated film THE LAST UNICORN, to playing as or opposite the zany in films like THE FISHER KING and TH EBIG LEBOWSKI to managing to out-Duke the Duke in the excellent remake of TRUE GRIT, Bridges has consistently reinvented himself over a career spanning nearly every decade of his life. His latest film, HELL OR HIGH WATER, is a modern western noir hybrid, expertly written by Taylor Sheridan (2015’s acclaimed SICARIO) and directed by an Englishman or Scottish heritage named David Mackenzie, who won 16 awards for his 2013 film STARRED UP but has no credits that will be instantly familiar to American audiences. Until now, that is.

Sun
14
Aug

God's Not Dead 2 Not Quite as Alive as its Prequel

God's Not Dead 2 on DVD

With the first GOD'S NOT DEAD movie, the setting was the college campus, a forum of relatively free discourse even when pitting student against teacher. In GOD'S NOT DEAD 2, the stage shifts to the high school, where an A.P. history teacher known for her optimism is asked a question comparing the non-violent teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi to Jesus. When the teacher, Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart, MELISSA & JOEY), answers the question, quoting the teaching that would align with the philosophy, it gets recorded and sent to the world.

Thu
11
Aug

Sisters Doing It For Themselves, or Sloppy Seconds? The Coming Trend of Gender-Swap Remakes

Battle of the sexes in film

I'll admit it. I thought the remake of GHOSTBUSTERS, going out of it's way to gender-swap the characters, was a film with an idea shoehorned into it (quod vide: gimmick). I wasn't vehement about it, I didn't feel the need to pan it heavily before it even hit the screens. I was just overwhelmingly nonplussed by the concept. Then the reviews came out, and it turned out to be a good movie after all.

Sun
07
Aug

SUICIDE SQUAD: Margot Robbie Comes in Like a Wrecking Ball

Suicide Squad

From the initial trailers, I was hyped over SUICIDE SQUAD.  Unfortunately, I was over-hyped due to the star-studded cast of supervillains and because I grew up appreciating the DC universe.    I am from the era of Michael Keaton Batman, so I liked DC before Marvel ever came across my radar.  Because I was a teenager, I did not mind BATMAN FOREVER nor BATMAN AND ROBIN.  The "campy" aspect was at an all-time high, and big box office actors joined the cast which was great for a teen girl who was in love with Chris O'Donnell as Robin.  

Which brings me to SUICIDE SQUAD: it was okay.  It was entertaining for the first 75% of the movie before it becomes even too outlandish for me (and the great soundtrack also tapers off).  Robbie Margot steals the shows as Harley Quinn, but not many others are stand-out characters aside from her, Jay Hernandez as Diablo, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.  

Fri
05
Aug

Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn Is A Better Joker Than Jared Leto In Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad opens Aug 5, 2016.

What a drag it must be for DC Comics and their parent company, Warner Brothers, to constantly be chasing Marvel. Oh sure, DC is currently showing up in the top 10 of comic book title sales, but only because at their core, most collectors are obsessive compulsive individuals. Every five years, when DC relaunches their comic universe and throws continuity out the window, many ardent fans take to the internet chatroom and social media outlets, throw a fit about DC doesn’t respect their audience (and they don’t, but that’s another story) and still go out and buy all of the first issues of the new comics line every five years. So while their sales are up, their brand loyalty and consumer confidence are not close to what it should be. Marvel makes mistakes too, yes, but they’re often stories that just missed their mark for whatever reason, and they haven’t built their business model around a cycle of planned irrelevancy.

Thu
28
Jul

Is JASON BOURNE Back For Good Or Is This Matt Damon's Franchise Swan Song?

JASON BOURNE in theatres everywhere July 29, 2016.

You know how you absolutely love a show, or a comic book, or a film franchise, but they eventually start to wear out their welcome? The plots become rote, the twists become predictable, and you drift apart. Call it Prequel/Sequel Fatigue, call it milking it for all its worth, call it what you will, but Hollywood has settled into a routine of turning everything that makes a respectable profit into a franchise and then squeezing every last drop out of it. Such has been the case with the Jason Bourne character. Created in the novels of the late great thriller author Robert Ludlum, Bourne had a successful film run in the big screen adaptions of THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002), THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004), and THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007).

Tue
19
Jul

BATMAN V SUPERMAN v Fan ULTIMATE Expectations

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition on Blu-ray

Probably not since LORD OF THE RINGS have expectations for an extended edition of a film been so high as it has been with BATMAN V SUPERMAN:DAWN OF JUSTICE Ultimate Edition. With fans in a schism over their reviews on the theatrical release of the film, running the gamut from Batman's body count to Wonder Woman's too-short screen time, people are waiting to see if an extra 30 minutes of footage alters their perception of what they've already seen.

The answer? Probably not. If you liked it, there's more to like. If you hated it, there's more to hate. People are rather intractable about things once they've already made their minds up. (GHOSTBUSTERS, anybody?)

Fri
15
Jul

Ghostbusters, Sexism, and Ghostbros - A Review Wrapped in a Rant

Ghostbusters

 

            Buckle up – this review comes with a vent.
            By now, you’ve probably heard about Paul Feig’s summer Ghostbusters reboot, featuring the classic theme song, lots of pestering ghosts, and a quartet of newbie ghost hunters – oh yeah, did I mention that this time, the Ghostbusters are all ladies?
            Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon star as the Ghostbusters in this 2016 reboot of the 1984 classic. Three scientists and a street-smart subway worker team up to take down a man hell bent on releasing an army of ghosts all over NYC, all while proving their credibility amidst a sea of nonbelievers. Sounds awesome, right?

            Enter Ghostbros.

            What is a “Ghostbro?”

            When I spoke with my dad on the phone and told him I was going to see Ghostbusters, he responded with: “Well, I loved the original – but isn’t the new one getting really bad reviews?”

Thu
30
Jun

Bolster Your Firewalls: Wreck-It Ralph Wrecks the 'Net in 2018

In an announcement today from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the sequel to 2012's WRECK-IT RALPH is coming to theaters on March 9th, 2018!

Moving on from the arcade, Ralph and Venellope von Schweetz will be racing along the information highway via the internet. John C. Reilly and Sara Silverman are slated to return to voice their lovable, yet flawed, characters.

The movie will be directed by Rich Moore (ZOOTOPIA) and Phil Johnston (writer: ZOOTOPIA, WRECK-IT RALPH), and produced by Clark Spencer (ZOOTOPIA, BOLT) has yet to be given an official name.

Here are a few statements from their announcement on Facebook Live today:

Fri
17
Jun

Finding Dory is a Cute, Funny, and Heartfelt Sequel

Finding Dory Disney Pixar

I have a love-hate relationship with Disney sequels. On the one hand, I love getting to spend more time with my favorite characters. On the other hand, I find most Disney sequels to be terrible. The big exceptions for me are the TOY STORY sequels, and the MONSTERS INC sequel, MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, which is amazing and if you haven’t seen it, you totally need to. But if you go down the line of Disney sequels, most are direct to VHS/DVD – and for good reason. Nostalgia Chick sums it up better than me in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5QshzkOzvM

So I was conflicted when I learned they were making a sequel to one of my favorite Pixar movies, FINDING NEMO. My confidence was shattered after they botched another favorite franchise with CARS 2, but I love Dory and friends, so I decided to give FINDING DORY a shot.

Wed
15
Jun

10 Cloverfield Lane: Return to Sender

Cloverfield John Goodman Mary Elizabeth Winstead Blu-ray

There is so much to like about 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE that I almost hate to pick on it. Dan Trachtenberg's handling of a film that, for almost its entirety, has only three players, certainly adds that feeling of isolation that is key to the plot. And John Goodman is never better than when he's playing a serious role where he's always simmering on the edge of a blowup.

For those unfamiliar with the film, here's the lowdown: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has left her fiance and driven away. In a remote area of Louisiana, she has an accident and wakes up in an underground bunker owned by Howard (John Goodman) and also occupied by Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.). Howard tells her he saved her life and that the outside world has suffered an attack. It could be nuclear, it could be chemical -- but when he adds in that it could have been the Martians, you immediately get the sense that all is not right in Howard's head.

Wed
15
Jun

Go on a Date with Robbie Amell While Helping the ASPCA!

If you've ever wanted to attend an LA Premiere of a movie with a celebrity, EuropaCorp has partnered with Omaze to offer you a chance to do just that!

For a $10 entry fee, you will have the opportunity to win a photo shoot with the cats of NINE LIVES and meet Robbie Amell at the LA Premiere! All proceeds from the entry fee will go to the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society.

Animal lovers, like yourself, will pounce at the chance to spend time with Robbie Amell (The Flash, The Duff, Max) and donate to a good cause. It's also a purrr-fect opportunity to be one of the first to see the meow-vie, NINE LIVES!

For more information visit Omaze.com

Tue
14
Jun

Ranking the Razzies From Bad to Really Bad

Love Guru

Posted on June 9, 2016 by Dustin Clendenen

When the Golden Raspberry Awards (affectionately called the Razzies for short) were started in 1981 to honor the worst movies of the year, creator John J.B. Wilson probably didn’t expect them to catch on the way they did. But more than three decades later, the organization handing out annual awards for worst actor, worst screenplay, worst director, and of course, worst picture, has become a veritable institution.

Thu
09
Jun

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 Is Fun But Not As Clever As The Original

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 in theaters June 10, 2016.

Some films simply don't need sequels. When NOW YOU SEE ME hit theaters in 2013, it was something of a surprise hit. The premise was interesting enough: four magicians rob greedy, unscrupulous businessmen blind--live on stage! It featured a nice mix of up and coming actors (Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher) and familiar television stars (Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson) in important roles, surrounded by veteran talents such as Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. I thought it was one of the best films of the year and I would have been perfectly happy if it all ended there. Of course, they left room to turn it into a franchise, and Hollywood never passes on that kind of opportunity.

Fri
03
Jun

ME BEFORE YOU Encourages Viewers to "Live Boldly" - But Only If You're Able-Bodied

Before I review ME BEFORE YOU, I want to post a massive *SPOILER WARNING*!!!! There is no way for me to discuss my feelings about this movie without giving away the ending. So if you don’t want to know how it ends, here is my one-sentence, spoiler-free review: ME BEFORE YOU starts out as a cute romance, but its massive shortcoming arrives in the form of a seriously problematic message in the ending.

Okay, now here comes the long version. If you don’t want to be spoiled, ex out now!

Now that I’ve got that over with, here are my thoughts on ME BEFORE YOU.

Thu
26
May

Why America Will Never Tire of Superhero Movies

Superhero Movies Soar Marvels Avengers

Posted on May 25, 2016 by Natalie Morin

Hollywood thought young adult dystopian films were the next superhero franchises — and that gamble has cost it millions.

A mere four years ago, the first movie in the “Hunger Games” franchise made a whopping $421 million at the U.S. box office (inflation adjusted). Thereafter, movie producers everywhere raced to find the next big young adult dystopian cash cow. But hard as they tried, filmmakers could not recreate the initial success of "The Hunger Games" — not even in the final installment of the series itself, which saw almost a 50 percent drop in box office earnings.

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.

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