Friday, October 9, 2015

The Future Has Arrived In The First Trailer For Hail Caesar!

Alright, let's just get past the introduction folks, I know what you wanna see. Behold, the first trailer for the next film from Ethan and Joel Coen, Hail Caesar!

Pan Review

Perhaps the worst thing about Pan is how even its own flaws aren't notable enough to warrant fiery indignation or scorn. Oh it's got an immeasurable amount of foibles in everything from plot structure to acting, but it's hard for me to work up any sort of extreme rage or disappointment towards this particular project. This is a film whose story is written and executed in such a perfunctory manner that I'm surprised an actual human being oversaw this entire production. It feels more like a sterile machine just organized the various pieces into place hoping to strike up a newfound franchise in the process.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Review (Classic Write-Up)

Just as the excellent Marvel Cinematic Universe has spawned wannabe imitators like The Amazing Spider-Man "saga" and a Transformers universe that promises to deliver new Autobot adventures into the next decade, the massive success of The Lord Of The Rings and the Star Wars prequels at the dawn of the 21st century gave birth to the trend of studios hoping to wring "epic trilogies" out of their most popular films. Various well-liked movies began to get stretched into grand sagas to rival that of Frodo Baggins or Luke Sykwalker, the star of another well-know and profitable trilogy that provided further inspiration for this rush of creating trilogies in a post-Lord of The Rings world.

Ant-Man 2 Confirmed For 2018 As The Marvel Cinematic Universe Updates Its Release Schedule!

I was pretty certain we'd get an Ant-Man 2 sometime down the road, but I was thinking they'd hold off on such a project until after the Avengers: Infinity War project was completed. After all, both of those movies will almost certainly feature Ant-Man, and his presence in those two films (as well as next year's Captain America: Civil War) could boost his profile significantly, leading to his solo movies performing at higher levels of box office, just like how Captain America, Iron Man and Thor's post-Avengers solo outings did far better business than they're pre-Avengers entries.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Terminator Franchise Takes A Cue From Karate Girl Foe Ferruh By Refusing To Die

After Terminator: Genisys went bust at the box office this past summer (it managed to sell fewer tickets than the 1984 Terminator film domestically), it's no shocker that the Chief Creative Officer at Skydance (the production house that was responsible for this newest Terminator film), Dana Goldberg, attempted to put a happy face on the whole debacle. She confirmed that Skydance was going forth on their effort to create a universe of Terminator related media. It seems to have been forgotten as Genisys came out, but the initial deal with Skydance and Terminator included not only a trilogy of new films, but also a TV show chronicling young Sarah Connor growing up with the Terminator sent back in time to protect her.

Film On The Television (10/7/2015): No Country For Old Men on Starz Edge

Many winners of the Best Picture Oscars see their reputations plummet after receiving such a prestigious award. The likes of Shakespeare In Love, Crash and A Beautiful Mind have become punchlines in the years since due to their being deemed the "unworthy" Best Picture winners by many pundits. One film that's managed to avoid such a fate (an impressive feat due to how much good cinema was released in 2007) is No Country For Old Men, a Coen Brothers effort that's overflowing with taut sequences of expertly crafted tension.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl Review (Classic Write-Up)

They said it couldn't be done. A live-action pirate movie in this day and age, and based on a theme park ride to boot?? Disney might as well be burning all the cash they were tossing into the production! It didn't help that the year prior to the release Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2002 to be precise), Disney released two box office bombs that seemed to be precursors to Pirates walking the plank at the box office. The Country Bears was based on a Disney theme park attraction as well as a box office bomb, while the underrated gem Treasure Planet seemed to reinforce the notion that pirates were box office poison, pure and simple.

Sam Elliot As A T-Rex Wanders Into The Final Trailer For The Good Dinosaur

If 20th Century Fox tends to advertise their family films in a hyperactive manner that tries to toss in as many references to modern pop culture as possible (the perfect proof of this is the placement of DJ Khaled's All I Do Is Win in the trailer for a freaking Charlie Brown movie), it seems Disney has decided to market the animated features from Walt Disney Animation Studios and PIXAR in a manner that allows them to embrace the fact that a number of the films from both studios are known to generate "feels". Notice how the trailers for Big Hero 6 and Inside Out had action and humor a-plenty, but also didn't shy away from displaying the more heart-tugging moments of the proceedings.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sicario Review

There are no easy answers to be found in Sicario and its examination of the War On Drugs, and believe you me, that's a good thing. It's lack of providing a concrete solution to this real life epidemic doesn't stem from a screenplay uninterested in providing a suitable resolution to its story. No, it's a symptom of the films bleak aesthetic depicting the ceaseless violence that's emerging from this conflict. There are no winners here, only people who miraculously survive one more day to continue the fight.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Martian Blasts Off At The Box Office While The Walk Stumbles

While Matt Damon was stranded on Mars, everyone seemed to be stranded at the movies this weekend, as The Martian did exceptional record-breaking business and holdovers like Hotel Transylvania 2, Sicario and The Intern also drew great business. Of course, the biggest of all releases this weekend was The Martian, scoring a $55 million opening weekend that makes it the second biggest opening of all-time in October (it may overtake the current October opening weekend record-holder Gravity and its $55.7 million opening if it outperforms box office estimates). With the feature drawing excellent word-of-mouth, it should have no problem sticking around at the box office for weeks to come.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian Review

Just before Mark Watney (Matt Damon) attempts to grow some food on the surface of Mars (the planet where he's been inadvertently stranded), he makes a video log where he declares that the planet "...will soon fear [his] botany skills". Some rock music follows that line immediately as he walks to a crate carrying human excrement that he'll use as soil for his crops. It's a moment that sounds preposterous when I describe it, but given how well the film, even this early on in the running time, has developed Mark as a protagonist more than worth rooting for, this potentially ludicrous occurrence instead becomes exceedingly exciting.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Duke Of Burgundy Review

Before the introduction of sound (first via an in-house band and then by pre-recorded music), film was a purely visual medium, and its reliance on imagery continues today, with numerous filmmakers (namely the likes of Terrence Malick) primarily use the art of visuals to advance their plots instead of relying on dialogue. Words are spoken in The Duke Of Burgundy, it isn't quite a silent film, but there are entire sequences where the art of speaking is tossed aside for purely visual storytelling.

65 Years Ago Today, Peanuts Debuted And Changed Both Comic Strips And The World Forever

Growing up, I absolutely loved pop culture (shocking, right?), but it was hard to discover pieces of media that really spoke to me, that really understood what I was going through. Being bestowed with Asperger's Syndrome from birth seemed to leave me at a disadvantage at every turn, especially in the realm of social activities. Looking for refugee in films, TV shows and books, it was near impossible to find something that resonated with what I was going for. Oh, it was typical to see characters experience bullying, but most of the time, there was a neat & conclusion involving either competence for the antagonistic characters, or more likely, the bully and the bullied character becoming friends.

Thursday Night Numbers Indicate Strong Opening Weekend For The Martian

Anticipation for The Martian has been high for a while now, ever since that first teaser lifted off and grabbed everyone's attention. It looks like all systems are go for the movie, as it just made $2.5 million last night at Thursday night screenings. That's up a whopping 76% from the $1.4 million Gravity made in its Thursday night showings, while also being 28% below the $3.5 million earned by Interstellar in those specific screenings.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Nightmare On Elm Street Review (Classic Write-Up)

To waltz through the human brain is to find a sprawling landscape of contradictions, mysteries and quandaries. The realm that is our own minds is such an important entity in our lives, retaining our own memories and desires throughout the ages, that it's no shocker that films for years have utilized it as the basis for all sorts of storylines. Just this year, Pete Doctor spun the inner workings of the human psyche into Inside Out, one of the largest American animated movies of all-time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Five Not-So-Great Trailers For Great Films

I love movie trailers. They can function as a way to get excited about a film you already know about, as a means to entice you into seeing something you previously had no knowledge about or even serve as singular works of art in their own right. But not every movie trailer can be a winner, even if they're promoting motion pictures of top caliber quality. Inspired by The AV Club's examination of what makes a good trailer, today I'll be examining five movie trailers that I find to be subpar, a sharp contrast to the excellent films they're supposed to be raising awareness for.