RSS

Archive | Film RSS feed for this section

Movie Breakdown: Guardians Of The Galaxy

July 31, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Marvel momentarily tosses the Avengers aside to focus on a team made up of Chris Pratt, a Vin Diesel-voiced tree, a Bradley Cooper-voiced raccoon and a green Zoe Saldana.  James Gunn (PG-Porn) directs.

The Reality:

I really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy.  It’s director James Gunn’s best work, the “a-holes turned reluctantly heroic a-holes” storyline is a lot of fun, pretty much all of the characters are immensely likeable, and its less than overt ties to the rest of Marvel’s universe means it feels (refreshingly, I might add) more like a standalone entry than a setup film.  If you’ve been looking forward to it, then you will not be disappointed.

And what about those of you who haven’t been anxiously awaiting its arrival?  Well, that depends.  If you’re open to a quirky space adventure (imagine a more over the top Fifth Element), then the answer is a definite yes.  If you’re hoping for a superhero-centric time at the theater, then I feel as though I should warn you that Guardians of the Galaxy is not that kind of movie.  It is very much its own colorful load of sci fi that’s complete with a full-on bizarro deep space vibe, and you won’t find a costumed hero anywhere in it.  Hopefully that doesn’t sound too bad to you though, as the super fun time that is Guardians of the Galaxy shouldn’t be missed.

The Lesson:

And the Marvel machine rolls on.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Get On Up

July 30, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Tate Taylor (The Help) directs the James Brown story.  Chadwick Boseman (42) stars.

The Reality:

When I saw that Get On Up had a runtime of 138 minutes, I figured I was in for a thorough look at the life of the man known as The Godfather of Funk, Mr. Dynamite and The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.  This, as it turns out, was a rather silly expectation.  Get On Up is nothing more than a bunch of incoherent glimpses into the story of James Brown.  And to make matters worse, director Tate Taylor’s only consistent thread in the film is the one that showcases the famed musician as a colossal asshole.  Now, I actually do think this approach could have worked (because let’s face it, biopics often sugarcoat a lot about their subjects), but Taylor doesn’t take the time to dive into anything.  The movie largely plays like a montage of terrible things that James Brown did, and that’s just sort of unfortunate.  No one who sees Get On Up will learn anything about the songs that Brown wrote or why he sang or danced the way that he did, and when it comes to who he was as a person, they’ll walk out of the theater ready to label him as nothing but an egotistical dick.  What a bummer.  He very well may have been an intolerable person, but that still isn’t stopping me from feeling as though the musician part of him deserved a lot better than what is offered in Get On Up.

The Lesson:

Where’s the music?

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

July 26, 2014

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

James Gunn has officially signed on to write and direct Guardians Of The Galaxy 2.

Patrick Wilson has dropped out Ant-Man due to scheduling issues.  Matt Gerard and Kevin Weisman have also left the film, but their departures are said to be due to their characters being omitted in rewrites.

Marvel is said to be interested in having Joaquin Phoenix star in their Doctor Strange film.

Edgar Wright is set to direct Baby Driver.  The exact plot isn’t known, but the film is said to be a collision of crime, action, music and sound.  He’s also said to be looking at directing an adaptation of Grasshopper Jungle.  It’s said to be Stand By Me meets Attack The Block.

Michael Finch (Predators) has been hired to pen the script for the adaptation of the game Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Chris Terrio is said to be wanted to write the script for the Justice League movie.  He wrote Batman VS Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

Dwayne Johnson recently hinted that he may be playing Shazam in Warner Bros’ upcoming slate of DC films.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts are set to star in Jean-Mar Vallee’s Demolition.  The film is said to follow a banker trying to put his life back together after the death of his wife.

Maisie Williams (Game Of Thrones) is reportedly being considered for one of the lead roles in the Sam Raimi-produced adaptation of the game The Last Of Us.

Idris Elba has landed a role in Guy Ritchie’s Knights Of The Roundtable: King Author.

Michael Caine has signed on for a role in the Vin Diesel-lead The Last Witch Hunter.

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are set to produce an adaptation of Manimal.  The TV show was about a man who mastered the ability to morph into various animals to fight crime.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Lucy

July 24, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Luc Besson gives Scarlett Johansson the ability to use 100% of her brain.  Morgan Freeman watches what happens.

The Reality:

Unfortunately, Lucy and I didn’t see eye to eye.  I figured the combo of director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The Transporter, District B13) and Scarlett Johansson (the Black Widow-portraying badass) would provide me a wonderfully explosive time, but Lucy is actually short on the action and heavy on the philosophizing.  No thanks.  Maybe it’s because I only use the minimum amount of my brain capacity, but I just didn’t have any interest in watching Johansson slightly tilt her head to side, stare off into space and then ramble on about what it means to exist.  I just wanted to watch her walk into a room and kick ass.  Then after that I wanted to watch her walk into a bigger room and kick more ass.  Sure, there’s some of this in Lucy, but Besson doesn’t let it build into anything.  Every time there’s a cool moment he immediately kills any momentum it generated with a closeup of Johansson thinking or making some elaborate heady statement.  Again, no thanks.

I won’t say I hated Lucy, but it certainly was disappointing.  Instead of showing me something worth remembering, the film focuses on delivering the sort of conversations that drunk philosophy majors have at parties.

The Lesson:

Never go full brain.

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

July 20, 2014

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Mark Romanek is reportedly in talks to direct Overlook Hotel, the prequel to The Shining, for Warner Bros.

F. Javier Guiterrez (from the upcoming remake of The Crow) has been hired to direct The Ring 3.

Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell are set to produce an adaptation of the game Space Invaders.

Christina Chong (24: Live Another Day) has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Ron Howard will direct a documentary on the Beatles’ early touring years.

Christian Bale may star in James Mangold’s adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s The Deep Blue Goodbye.

Jon Favreau has cast newcomer Neel Sethi as Mogli in his live action version of The Jungle Book.

Angelina Jolie will direct Brad Pitt in By The Sea.  The movie is said to be a character-driven drama.

Darren Aronofsky may direct Moonfall.  The film is said to be a Fargo-esque thriller set on the moon.

Simon West (Con-Air) will direct Tolkien & Lewis, which will detail the relationship between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Matt Reeves recently noted that he hopes to follow up the next Apes entry with Invisible Woman.  The film is said to be a Hitchcock-style intimate character story.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Boyhood

July 16, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The same cast and a 12 year (intermittently, of course) production schedule.  With Boyhood, Richard Linklater presents the ultimate coming of age film.

The Reality:

The last time that a high concept coming of age film came tumbling down upon us it was Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life.  Now, I know a lot of people weren’t a fan of that movie, but I liked it – mostly because I loved the way Malick shot all of the kid’s scenes.  It made me vividly remember what it was like to play outside, to hangout with the less strict parent, to get in trouble, and so on.  Boyhood, to much of my delight, is essentially nothing but these sort of moments.  In other words, there are no sweeping segments of pretentious philosophizing in Boyhood – you simply follow a boy (played by Ellar Coltrane) as he moves along from first grade to high school and goes through the various highs and lows of growing up, and it’s all just an unbelievably accessible and enjoyable experience.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is an incredible effort, and I’ll be surprised if anything manages to supplant it as my top film of 2014.

The Lesson:

Time to give Richard Linklater one of those fancy Oscars.

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

July 12, 2014

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Scarlett Johnasson and Jonah Hill have joined the cast of the Coen Brothers’ Hail Caesar.  Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes are already set to appear in the comedy.

Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) are in talks to star in Mission Impossible 5.

Disney is set to turn Dumbo into a live action film.  Ehren Kruger (Transformers) will pen the script.

Ridley Scott is said to be looking at making a film based on the story of David and Goliath.

Die In A Gunfight writers Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer have been hired to revise the Ant-Man script.  Adam McKay recently did some work on it.

Peter Berg may direct Mark Wahlberg in an adaptation of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Guillermo Del Toro recently noted that he’s pretty certain that Hellboy 3 will never happen.  He also said that he plans to shoot a small black and white film before he does Pacific Rim 2.

Penelope Cruz has landed a role in Sacha Baron Cohen’s spy comedy Grimsby.

Kevin Smith has said that the Weinsteins have passed on financing Clerks III.

There’s a rumor floating around that Gus Van Sant may replace Shane Black as the director of the Death Note adaptation.

Dwayne Johnson may star in the adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Directive.

Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) will star opposite Vin Diesel in The Last Witch Hunter.

Rachel Weisz may join Michael Fassbender in the adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans.

Robert Redford will portray Dan Rather in Truth.  Cate Blanchett is also attached to the film, which details the fallout after Rather incorrectly reported that George W. Bush had received special treatment when he was in the Air National Guard.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

July 10, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The genetically evolved/enhanced ape Caesar tries to keep the peace between his own kind and a ragtag group of human survivors.  Gary Oldman refuses to help.

The Reality:

Unlike its predecessor, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes does not arrive in theaters flying ever so slightly under the radar.  Nope, Rupert Wyatt’s Rise expanded and refreshed the Planet of the Apes brand, and now audiences are excited for more.  So, does Dawn deliver enough ape-centric fun to please the masses?  Oh, it most definitely does.

Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) confidently steps in for Wyatt and directs Dawn like it might be the last film he’ll ever get to make.  He clearly wants it to impress and dazzle at every turn, and there are very few moments where he doesn’t accomplish this.  His Dawn is truly what it had to be – a smart, well made and wildly entertaining effort.  See it immediately, and be sure to note that it will more than likely re-energize any part of you that was on the verge of being done with the summer blockbuster season.

One last note, the FX work on the apes in Dawn is something that has to be considered award-worthy.  Or, if anything, someone should at least give Andy Serkis a plaque.  The man is a damn marvel in the film.

The Lesson:

Ape movies great.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Tammy

July 1, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Melissa McCarthy is funny.

The Reality:

There are three things about Tammy that are very odd.  The first is that it’s really similar to Identity Thief, the movie that Melissa McCarthy did with Jason Bateman last year.  She is practically the same character (bad hair and all), there’s a wacky road trip involved, and it even ends in essentially the exact same way.

The second oddball item is that the film features a never-ending stream of famous faces, and yet none of them ever really do anything or actually matter.  They just show up, say something to sort of help move Tammy to the next plot point, and then they’re gone.  I honestly couldn’t tell if the movie was heavily edited by director Ben Falcone or if it was McCarthy calling in a lot of favors just for the hell of it.

And speaking of McCarthy, she’s the third and most important part of the oddities trifecta – she just really isn’t all that funny in the film.  She’s definitely the heart of Tammy, but the laughs aren’t delivered consistently enough, and I actually walked out of the theater feeling as though the McCarthy-shtick had officially flatlined.

So will you find Tammy to be a total waste of your time and money if you happen to catch it at the theater?  No, but you won’t be overly impressed with it either.

The Lesson:

Melissa McCarthy is sort of funny.

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

June 29, 2014

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Casino Royale and other Bond films) have reportedly been brought in to rework the script for the next Bond entry.

Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) is reportedly in talks with Warner Bros. to direct a remake of Victory.  The original film followed a group of POWs who have to play a soccer match against the German Nation Team.

Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead) has been hired to direct Snow White And The Huntsman 2.

Pacific Rim 2 has been given the release date of April 7, 2017.

Shane Black has been hired to direct a new Predator sequel.

The WarGames remake is starting to come together.  Dean Israelite (Grace of Monaco) is expected to direct, and Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars) and Tye Sheridan (Mud) are said to be the main two up for the lead role.

Ridley Scott has officially committed to make this next film The Martian.  Matt Damon will star.  The movie is said to follow an astronaut who is stranded on Mars.

Sylvester Stallone is reportedly set to star in Rambo V.  The film is said to feature the titular star against a Mexican drug cartel.

Star Wars: Episode VII is said to be keeping its December 2015 release date and will not be bumped to May 2016.

Joe Carnahan (The Grey) is set to direct Five Against A Bullet.  The movie is said to center around a Mexican politician who hires the world’s five best bodyguards to protect him during an election.

Ben Kingsley will voice Bagheera in Jon Favreau’s version of The Jungle Book. The cast already includes Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, and Lupita Nyong’o as Rakcha.

John Turturro is reportedly trying to get permission to write and direct a Jesus (from The Big Lebowski) a spin-off film.

Director Breck Eisner (Sahara) has dropped out of The Karate Kid 2.  He apparently had a scheduling issue.  No word yet on who will replace him.

Zak Penn (The Avengers) has been hired to rewrite Ready Player One.  The film is said to be about a young teen trying to complete a treasure hunt in his favorite game so that he can take over the company behind it.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Snowpiercer

June 27, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The US finally gets a chance to watch Captain America participate in the train-centric version of The Hunger Games.  Bong Joon Ho (The Host) directs.

The Reality:

The world is frozen and a huge train houses humanity’s last survivors.  The poor reside in terrible conditions in the tail section while the rich live it up in the front cars, and the only person that can end this injustice is CHRIS EVANS.  If that has you jazzed up, then prepare to be disappointed, as Snowpiercer is not the latest summer spectacle.  Sure, it has a variety of slick moments, but the movie never really shifts into some big sci-fi adventure.  Director Bong Joon Ho keeps everything tightly packed inside of the Snowpiercer and instead focuses on letting the actors shine (Evans and Tilda Swinton are particularly great) and slowly unveiling exactly what is going on throughout the train.  I personally loved the way that the action takes a backseat to an actual story, but I can see how it would be a downer for anyone looking for an adrenaline-fueled time at the theater.  See Snowpiercer if you’re open to an experience hat’s a little more cerebral than shiny.

The Lesson:

I’m Team Bong Joon Ho.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Transformers: Age Of Extinction (Noah)

June 26, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Every time I watch a new Transformers film I tell myself “never going to do that again” and then enough years go by where the portion of my brain irrevocably damaged in the process ceases to exist and a new Transformers film comes out and I’m like, “Can’t be worse than the last one.” That’s where I am now.

The Reality:

Transformers: The Age of Extinction is a perhaps the very first 700 hour film about a United Nations of robots coming together to stab things with giant swords. Seriously, I think Michael Bay has broken some sort of robot movie record, as his newest entry into the film-series-based-on-a-toyline-based-on-a-cartoon tops out at almost three hours, and oh man, if you could cram another second of robot-fighting-robot-fighting-building-fighting-car I don’t know exactly where. Not that it matters, but Transformers 4 (though I’m counting this as the 5th, 6th, and 7th entry) sees the Autobots, now enemies of the state, once again joining with the humans (bitterly though) to fight off aliens and other bad robots. This time the hulking robots are joined by Mark Wahlberg (playing an inventor who clearly never got the shit kicked out of him in high school), his jailbait daughter, an Irish rally car driver (seriously, who thinks this shit up?), the annoying guy from Silicon Valley, Stanley Tucci (in the budget they have a line that says “talented actor”), Frasier, and a whole host of voice-over talent (not that it matters as the movie is so bombastically loud, any and all voices just sound like the screams of innocence, or my neuron receptors dying). This film is better than the other three films, as the story, for the most part, makes sense, and Stanley Tucci is less annoying than the other famous people they clutter into the other entries. And that’s perhaps the best thing I can say for it. It’s better than three of the worst films ever made. It’s also loud and long and looks and feels like every other Michael Bay film (borderline racism included) and when the last six hours of robot destruction came to an end, I felt like the survivor of some sort of natural disaster. And maybe that’s just what Michael Bay is going for, to pound me in the face with so many explosions, moving parts, and vaguely patriotic one-liners that when you exit the theater you’ve actually experienced both the mental damage and the numbing shock that actually getting stomped on by a 30-foot robot would feel like. Always depend on Michael Bay to take you to the next level of filmmaking.

The Lesson:

I will never see another Transformers film again.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Transformers: Age Of Extinction

June 26, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impresssion:

MICHAEL BAY.  TRANSFORMERS.  MARK WAHLBERG.  EXPLOSIONS.

The Reality:

Transformers: Age of Extinction is a work of art.  Yep, a chaotic, nonsensical, super flashy and bizarre work of art.  I’m not at all sure what the movie was actually about, as the story, the characters, and even the action scenes all completely transform (sorry for the pun, but it’s somehow the only appropriate word to describe it) into something else whenever Michael Bay gets bored with them.  I assume he did all of this so that at no point is his 165-minute long endeavor not FULL ON ENTERTAINMENT, but he instead achieved the total opposite – Transformers: Age of Extinction is a tedious experience.  I wouldn’t recommend seeing it unless you’re just really in the mood for a needless eternity of sensory overload.

The Lesson:

I do what I want. – MICHAEL BAY

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

June 21, 2014

0 Comments

Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Rian Johnson is said to be set to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII.  His deal reportedly also allows him to write the treatment for Star Wars: Episode IX.

Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) has been hired to rewrite the script for Doctor Strange.

Colin Firth is no longer set to lend his voice to Paddington.

Rumor has it that a standalone Batman film will arrive in 2019.

The next Bourne movie has been delayed to 2016.  Justin Lin is still set to direct.  Matt Damon is not expected to appear in the film.

Scott Derrickson (Sinister) has been hired to direct a big screen version of The Outer Limits.

Aaron Sorkin is talks to write the adaptation of Flash Boys.  The book deals with the practice of high-frequency trading on Wall Street and how it became a way to rig the system.

Mark Ruffalo recently noted that Marvel is once again considering ways to do a Hulk standalone film.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Jersey Boys

June 18, 2014

0 Comments

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has been a hit on Broadway, so of course it’s time for a big screen version.  Dirty Harry directs.

The Reality:

I’m not at all sure what Clint Eastwood was trying to do with Jersey Boys.  The film is so all over the place that around halfway through it I realized I couldn’t figure out who or what I was supposed to be interested in.  Was it the music?  Maybe.  Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons certainly had a zillion hits, but the film itself isn’t a musical, and the music that is there isn’t really explored much.  But perhaps the music wasn’t the point, right?  After all, the film is called Jersey Boys, so maybe I was actually supposed to latch onto the dynamics of the group and how their Jersey upbringing affected them?  Unlikely, I think, since the majority of the dramatic and interesting character moments throughout the movie are diffused by poorly timed segments that break the fourth wall.  You know what, though?  Now that I think about it, maybe I was just supposed to glance at the act’s music and briefly look at the people behind it all and just enjoy the ride.  Well, I couldn’t exactly do that, because Jersey Boys has one of those particularly drab Clint Eastwood color palettes and there isn’t a single scene in the film that is vibrant or fun.  So, unfortunately, I have no idea what Eastwood wanted me as a viewer to take away from his monotone music biography other than the fact that Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons existed.

I can’t say that Jersey Boys is the worst film to come along in 2014, but it’s definitely the most unfocused.

The Lesson:

Pick a lane, Eastwood!

Continue reading...