Monday, May 30, 2016

'X-Men: Apocalypse' Review

Image from Heroic Hollywood
By Diego Coya 
X-Men: Apocalpyse is the latest X-Men film that is directed by Bryan Singer and stars Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Oscar Issac, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, and Evan Peters. It is also the third film in the X-Men prequel trilogy, which also includes X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Apocalypse follows the story of the first mutant Apocalypse, and how he creates havoc on the planet after he is awakened after thousands of years. He recruits a team known as the four horsemen (Magneto, Storm, Psylocke, and Angel), and their goal is to create a new world order and to cleanse mankind. This leads to Professor X and Raven to lead a team of young superheroes to save mankind and to go against Apocalypse and the four horsemen.

As someone who has been a huge fan of Bryan Singer’s X-Men films, I was incredibly excited for X-Men: Apocalypse. It had really huge shoes to fill in, especially after X-Men: Days of Future Past which is not only the best X-Men movie, but it was one of the absolute best movies of 2014. After watching X-Men Apocalypse opening night, I can say that it was an overall decent film, but nothing spectacular. While there is a good amount of things that I liked about the film, there were some problems that I had with it as well. All of Bryan Singer’s X-Men films have had great acting, and this movie was no different when it came to that.

The performances for the most part, were excellent. Michael Fassbender nails the role of Magneto perfectly, in my opinion he is the actor who gives the best performance in the entire movie. There is a scene that takes place in the woods that involves his character, and it is easily one of the most memorable scenes in the X-Men franchise. James McAvoy who plays Professor Xavier, also does terrific work. The chemistry between Fassbender and McAvoy is brilliant because they play off each other so well. Oscar Issac, who plays Apocalypse does a very good job. Although I found the villain to be a bit clichéd, I thought Issac did a really good job at portraying him as menacing and I loved the voice they had for this character.

The newcomers are really great too, such as Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner, and Tye Sheridan. They all do a fantastic job at playing young characters of Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, and Cyclops; I am really excited to see them in the upcoming installments in the franchise. The action scenes are well done, and it had very good direction. The third act is action packed and it was really entertaining to watch. Evan Peters who plays Quicksilver, has a scene in this film that is really awesome and had the audience cheering and laughing throughout the entire scene, the song that was in the scene was perfect!

While there were certainly some things that I liked about the film, there were some negatives about it as well. My biggest problem with the movie is the pacing. The first act is actually kind of rough to sit through, at times I felt as if it was really dragging. There is a lot of setting up and it was kind of hard for me to get into it at times. After a certain scene, it really picks up and the pacing gets a lot better. I also had a problem with the four horsemen, I essentially found them to be very useless. Other than Magneto, I wasn’t fond of the other three characters, they were actually wasted. Another problem I had was Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in the movie. She gave a very weak performance and I felt as if she was phoning it in throughout the film. I also had a problem with Rose Byrne’s character in the movie. Her performance was solid, but after watching the film, I felt as if she did not make a huge impact at all. I felt the movie could have also worked without her character.

Even with the problems that I had with the film, I would still recommend it, especially if you’re an X-Men fan. I don’t believe that it deserves the 46% it currently has on Rotten Tomatoes, it is certainly better than that. It’s nowhere near as good as Captain America: Civil War or Deadpool, but it is better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in my opinion. The good outweigh the bad, and we ultimately get a solid film, rather than an excellent one.


Rating: 7/10

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Trailer Roundup Week 3


By Darian Scalamoni
Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of Trailer Roundup! This is the column of our blog that covers the week in movie trailers. This week has been FILLED with trailers of all genres and ratings so without further ado, let’s go ahead and get started.




Beauty and the Beast (Teaser)

Starring Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson

This trailer is my first 10 of the year and I don’t say that lightly. Beauty and the Beast is one of the best and most beloved Disney stories ever told on screen. With their recent success with live-action adaptations of their original animated films like Cinderella and The Jungle Book, they have pushed the envelope with the fact that their doing this movie in live-action. Though we don’t seen any of the object based characters in this trailer such as Lumiere or Cogsworth, we do get to hear their voices. We also get a glimpse of Belle, played by Emma Watson. All I can ask for now is well done renditions of everyone’s favorite songs like “Be Our Guest” and “Gaston”. The trailer is done in such an elegant way that it’s hard to argue that one is not excited for this movie.


10/10




Finding Dory (Trailer 3)

Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Idris Elba, Bill Hader

I am a HUGE fan of Finding Nemo. I believe it is one of Pixar’s greatest films and that’s saying a lot considering they have also created other amazing properties such as Toy Story, The Incredibles and Up. I was skeptical when I first heard that there was going to be a movie based around the blue tang fish with short term memory loss named Dory, but damn it, Disney keeps putting out amazing content with great results and this trailer is no different. This trailer gives me the same feeling in my heart I had when I saw the trailer for Nemo years ago. With DeGeneres and Albert Brooks returning as Dory and Marlin respectively, along with newcomers like Idris Elba, Bill Hader, Diane Keaton and Ed O’Neill, it is an All-Star cast of voice acting talent assembled for this beloved franchise. This trailer most importantly though, did its job. It made me want to see this movie more than I did previously before seeing this trailer. Disney steals it again.


9/10




Sing (Trailer 2)

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton, Reese Witherspoon, John C. Reilly

What an interesting concept by Illumination to create a singing competition with animals. It’s pretty remarkable when you think about all the original ideas stemming from animation nowadays and this is no different. The trailer is fun, though it’s not a Disney film, it’s still run by the company responsible for Despicable Me and Minions which were extremely popular. Along with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and rising star Taron Egerton, this movie seems like a good one for not only children of all ages but also fans of music and seeing animals sing their favorites. Though there were a few problems with pacing within this trailer, I still think it’s good and I’ll be seeing it in the theater!


7/10





Morgan (Teaser)

Starring Kate Mara, Toby Jones, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Jason Leigh

I’m not the biggest fan of the genre of Sci-Fi so I might be a little biased here but I don’t know how to feel about this trailer. It is only a tease but it leaves me asking so many more questions. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly what bothers me about this trailer though, the sanctuary in which Morgan is placed looks great but what does Kate Mara have to do with Morgan exactly? I need a bit more context to properly judge. Also, it worries me, though Mara is a good supporting actress, I haven’t seen her take on a leading role so hopefully she can prove me wrong but I don’t know if she is able to carry a movie herself like her sister, Rooney Mara. I want to see more though so it has me a bit intrigued but that’s all I can really say for now about this science fiction artificial being story.


5.5/10




The Space Between Us

Starring Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino

Now here is a sci-fi film I can get behind, The Space Between Us follows a young boy who is born on Mars and returns to Earth to find adventure and love. This movie seems to be filled with genre cross pollination. I sense Sci-Fi, Adventure, Coming of Age, Romance all in this one trailer. The thing that worries me is that the trailer is so filled with content in its 3+ minute runtime that I hope it didn’t give too much away. The same problem arose when the second trailer for The Martian was released and people thought that the preview gave away too much which it didn’t. Because of that main concern, it does bump down my score a little but I am still VERY excited about this movie, especially due to this brilliant trailer. Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson are also future stars in Hollywood and who doesn’t love to see Gary Oldman on screen in anything?


8.5/10




Collide

Starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins

Here we have an example of a movie that is filled with actors phoning it in to get a pay check. Sorry if that’s harsh but I have to call it like I see it. Nicholas Hoult, who’s best known for Mad Max: Fury Road or maybe in the most recent X-Men movies as Beast is a British actor who’s accent falls in and out throughout the trailer and it’s very noticeable. Along with that, Hopkins and Kingsley are brought on for the name recognition and Felicity Jones looks absolutely awful in this movie. It’s another action based movie with no real interesting/believable plot. This is an absolute failure of a trailer and I’m sure the movie won’t be any better.


1/10




The Infiltrator (Trailer 2)

Starring Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Amy Ryan

In a film that follows Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo as US Customs agents trying to take down Pablo Escobar, you would think this could be another potential Oscar bait film for Cranston after being nominated this past year for Trumbo; unfortunately, this seems to be not much else than a glorified DVD rental. The first trailer was intriguing and didn’t feature anywhere near as much action and I think that’s what threw me off. Cranston isn’t known for being a gun-toting outlaw and at times, he seemed to be marketed in this movie as such. This movie could surprise people but I ultimately think it will be nothing more than a good movie to catch on cable after it’s released.


6.5/10




Wiener-Dog

Starring Greta Gerwig, Ellen Burstyn, Danny DeVito, Zosia Mamet

Our indie trailer of the week is definitely an interesting one. Wiener-Dog is a movie that follows a dog’s journey as it travels around the world having different owners over time. With an eclectic cast including Greta Gerwig who is an enigma every time she is on screen, acting vets Danny DeVito and Ellen Burstyn and even Girls star Zosia Mamet; Wiener-Dog has a quirky tone to it by the trailer and even feels like it could’ve written/directed by Noah Baumbach or even the Duplass brothers. I’m excited to see what this film entails completely in terms of humor as the trailer was filled with great lines and comedic/awkward conversation


7/10



Deepwater Horizon (Trailer 2)

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Dylan O’Brien, Kurt Russell

Peter Berg is known to bring true stories to life and add spectacle; in movies like Lone Survivor and Friday Night Lights, Deepwater Horizon is a film that by the trailer, looks to be no different. With a fantastic cast behind it, which is evident in the trailer, the Drama/Thriller due out in September looks to be a realistic portrayal of what happened in the worst oil spill in US history back in 2010. You can actually see the horror in all of the crew’s eyes and even more so with Kate Hudson who plays lead character Mark Wahlberg’s wife in the film. Though I was more of a fan of the first trailer, this one provides an even better look in terms of scenes in the movie than the last one. I’m very excited to see what Peter Berg has accomplished with this film.


8/10

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tom Hiddleston, Jamie Bell in talks for James Bond

Image from Zimbio
By Darian Scalamoni
James Bond is one of those rules that is unbelievably iconic. Similar to Indiana Jones and Han Solo, but it seems that since Daniel Craig wants to walk away, the producers of the legendary franchise must find a new person to wear the suit. Though rumors had been circling around people like Idris Elba and Tom Hardy to take on the role, we have two reports of people that are in talks to play the role.

            According to Birth Movies Death, it seems that Tom Hiddleston is in advanced talks to play the role of James Bond. Hiddleston is best known for playing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also, recently starred in Ben Wheatley’s latest film, High-Rise. Hiddleston has been a top choice to play the role for a while now and it seems that this might become a reality.

            There is also a report from The Playlist, which claims that Jamie Bell has also met with Bond producers to play the coveted role. Bell was most recently seen in the Fantastic Four reboot that came out last year as The Thing, but he’s probably best known for playing Tintin in the 2011 Spielberg movie, The Adventures of Tintin or even way back sixteen years ago as Billy Elliot in the film of the same name.


            With both actors being in their 30’s, it appears that Bond might be going young as the last movie in the franchise, Spectre, disappointed most audiences after its predecessor, Skyfall was such a massive critical and box office hit.

Jeff Bridges to join 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle'

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni
   The first three months of the year are usually a dumping ground for studios and their feature films but last February, 20th Century Fox released Kingsman: The Secret Service which was a massive success. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise though as the movie was based on a comic book of the same name. Due to the $414 million gross in the box office, the studio had ordered a sequel turning Kingsman into a franchise, and the cast is rapidly growing.

According to Deadline, Jeff Bridges has signed on to Kingsman: The Golden Circle. No character details have surfaced thus far but the addition of “The Dude” is certainly a welcomed one. Bridges hasn’t appeared in a movie since the epic failure of The Seventh Son back in 2014. He also recently signed on to the untitled firefighter film also starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Taylor Kitsch. 

            Bridges joins an already electric cast featuring Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Elton John and the returning Taron Egerton and Mark Strong. The plot of the movie is as follows; Superspy Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) and his supervisor (Mark Strong) head to the US to join forces with the “Statesman”, the Kingsman agency in America after the destruction of Kingsman HQ at the hands of the evil Poppy (Julianne Moore).

            The film is due to hit theaters June 16th, 2017.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Both Ends of the Spectrum: 'The Mirror'


By David Eng


For my article this week, I will be talking about the Iranian film known as The Mirror, or in Iranian called Ayneh. A film made by Jafar Panahi which has a very interesting story. In this section of mine, I always try and stay spoiler free and will stay in touch with this ideal with this article also. I will, however, give a general overview of the movie and what to expect when watching. The basic plot of the film is a girl, around age seven, who just ended school. She waits for her mother, but she never shows up to pick her up. Because of this, the girl tries to find her own way home trying to have adults helps her. This plot sounds quite drab and not too exciting, but there are other aspects of the movie that make it something to remember.

            The biggest positive attribute of the film would have to be the cinematography. The camerawork is something to take note of as it tricks us as viewers into being scared for the girl in many moments in her quest home. The most memorable example of this happens during a scene when the girl crosses the road. This scene is not important, but is done very meticulously. The scene shows the traffic of the road. It portrays the traffic as hectic and volatile. Then a few scenes later, we watch the girl try and cross the street for herself. Now the interest comes in how the camera scares us into thinking that the girl might be hit by a car. Instead of showing the cars behind her close to hitting her, no cars actually come near her, or so we are shown. The camera films the girl in such a way as to not show any cars at all. Instead, the sound just becomes the sounds of traffic as we have a close/medium shot of the girl crossing the road. Any fear portrayed in the scene is created through one's imagination and is helped by the sounds of the traffic. The movie is filled with this level of not only camerawork but also sound design.


            Other than spoiling other aspects of the film, I really cannot talk about many more aspects of the film. A lot of the scenes become spoilers of one of the major aspects of the film, which is one of the reasons why this film is so strange and interesting. The film is a major recommendation because it has its merits in its cinematography and sound design, but mostly for its twist that happens in the movie. It is a scene so powerful that it itself gives the film a recommendation. Overall I would give the film a 7.5/10 due to the obvious care and consideration which has gone into the film. Despite not being a perfect score, I would highly recommend watching this film as it is short being only 95 minutes while also being a very good art film. 

Jake Gyllenhaal signs on for new Denis Villenueve project, 'The Son'

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
Denis Villenueve (Sicario, Prisoners) has had tremendous success with his crime thrillers in the past few years and now one of his stars will reunite with the director for the third time. According to Tracking Board, Jake Gyllenhaal has officially signed on to Villenueve’s newest film, The Son

           The film will follow the life of Sonny Lofthus, a once gifted 15-year-old and promising wrestler has a downward spiral after his police officer father commits suicide. Sonny has been in prison for twelve years and has been nurtured by a supply of heroin from a sleazy chaplain on the inside. When Sonny learns the truth about his father’s unexpected death, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his wrongful jail sentence.

            Gyllenhaal and Villenueve have worked together often lately starting with Prisoners, which if you haven’t seen is an amazing film. Also, they worked together in the 2013 movie, Enemy.


            These two guys have been insanely busy and successful in the film industry as of late. Villenueve has quickly become one of our best filmmakers in modern Hollywood. His next film is Story of Your Life starring Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams; after that, Villenueve is slated to direct Blade Runner 2 starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. Gyllenhaal has been putting in fantastic performances as of late with films like Nightcrawler and Southpaw but he also has tons of things in the works. Next up for him is Tom Ford’s sophomore directorial effort Nocturnal Animals starring Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Michael Shannon. Along with that, he will also star in Stronger, which has to deal with victim of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as he helps police track down the killers while dealing with his own trauma.

366 in 366 - Week 3


By Matt Cohen 
And this week’s selections are:

1) Babe (1995) - An orphaned piglet finds his home among the sheepdogs of a struggling farm, where he dreams of fulfilling his destiny as a “sheep-pig.” This was always one of my favorite movies when I was a young child, and I still adore it. Babe is far and away the cutest movie ever made, as the lead pig and his sheepdog-puppy brothers could melt even the coldest of hearts. One of the best family films out there, this movie is made all the better by the fact that it was made with heavy and direct involvement from Mad Max auteur George Miller. (9/10)

2) Maximum Overdrive (1986) - During an astronomical anomaly in which the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, all of the planet’s machines seem to become sentient and attack their creators. Stephen King, the legendary and untouchable writer, penned and directed this darkly comedic thriller. It is a pretty fun movie, although I found it a bit predictable and boring after the third or fourth attack by a killer possessed big rig. (6/10)

3) Knocked Up (2007) - Two late-twenty-somethings, who could not be any more different, find themselves in a sticky situation when a pregnancy is diagnosed after a one night stand. Typical, yet enjoyable, fare from Judd Apatow and his expected cast of Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, and more SNL and Freaks and Geeks regulars. This definitely wasn’t my favorite of his movies. Even though I appreciated the more serious tone it took with the relationship struggles and real-life problems of the characters, I prefer the absurd comedy and ridiculous of other similar films, like Superbad and Pineapple Express. (7.5/10)

4) Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) - Six teenagers with the power to “morph” into superhuman guardians must protect the city of Angel Grove from the ancient evil of the cosmic tyrant Ivan Ooze. Oh boy, was this a nostalgia trip. Power Rangers was my absolute favorite program when I was younger, and the movie just feels like one extended episode. The cheese is all there in its glory, which is fun to look back on. The giant monsters in the movie, unlike the show, were produced using CGI, rather than men in rubber suits. These effects, unfortunately, do not hold up (6.5/10)

This week’s standout: The Man With Two Brains (1983)


A brilliant neurosurgeon finds himself in love with a disembodied brain, and must struggle to keep his love for himself. Steve Martin is a goddamn national treasure. He was in his definite prime during the production of this film, only a few years after making a name for himself in The Jerk. Two Brains fits perfectly within the canon of absurd comedies of this era. It shares a distinct tone with films like Airplane!, Hot Shots, and the filmography of Mel Brooks. The plot is quite unimportant in a film like this, and basically serves solely as a device to move the characters along to the next joke. The story, however, in this film is very unique, and in some ways shares just as much with Rocky Horror Picture Show and Frankenhooker as it does with the aforementioned films.

The jokes are hard to explain on paper; I can only briefly describe the tone of the film and its general screwball style. While not the best or not even the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, Two Brains was an incredibly enjoyable and concise comedy that I can recommend to any fan of the genre. It would be best to watch this film with a bunch of friends and make a night of it, perhaps making it a double feature with any of the other films I’ve mentioned here. (8/10)

That's it for this week! Thanks for reading.

Naturally, I’ve watched way more movies than just these so far this year. For a full, up-to-date list on what movies I’ve watched so far, check out this link:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

'The Little Mermaid' Being Considered at Disney as a Live Action Film

Image from Moviefone
By Darian Scalamoni
Disney has had an incredible amount of success lately. Whether it be with Pixar, the Star Wars franchise or Marvel, they are all huge cash grabs for the entertainment juggernaut that started with a mouse, but their live action adaptations of their animated films have done huge business. Whether it be Maleficent, Cinderella and even the insane success of The Jungle Book, Disney has continued to knock it out of the park. According to Deadline, Disney is mulling a live-action version of their animated classic, The Little Mermaid.

            The Little Mermaid was a tremendous animated film for Disney as it jumpstarted the musical era with classic songs like “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World”. Seeing a live-action adaptation of this would be great and I have nothing but faith in Disney based on how amazing of a movie The Jungle Book was. They might have a bit of trouble with another live action Little Mermaid coming out starring Chloe Grace Moretz but that won’t be based on the Disney animated movie, but the original Danish fairy tale.


            No official announcement has been made yet when this film will be shot, along with cast and crew but Disney still has plenty of other live-action movies in the works. Alice Through the Looking Glass is being released worldwide this weekend, while Pete’s Dragon will be released on August 12th of this year. Along with those, Beauty and the Beast, whose trailer just broke the record for most views in the first 24 hours of its release will be released next year along with Cruella, Dumbo and A Wrinkle in Time just a few more of the mass amount of live-action projects in development for Disney.

Monday, May 23, 2016

'Preacher' Episode 1, Season 1 Review

Image from Screen Rant
By Darian Scalamoni
If I told you that a violent, bloody comic book adaption was being brought on screen by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg would you be interested? Well, you should be. Last night was the series premiere of the new AMC series, Preacher. The show follows a preacher named Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) who is starting to have a real crisis with faith in the small town that is Annville, Texas. Along with that, his ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) is asking for him to help out on a big score and the town’s newest resident is that of an Irish, binge-drinking vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) is looking for trouble.

            The show blasts onto your television screen (literally) as the opening scene shows a baby comet hitting an African preacher which promptly leads to him exploding as his blood spews all over his congregation. The fact that this was the first real death scene in the show, one should be able to tell it’s going to be gory. A comet very similar to the one that hit the African preacher then hits Custer and possesses him giving him the ability to make anyone do what he says to them.

            The show gets underway quickly by showcasing the town of Annville making it a character all its own filled with plenty of colorful personalities to keep an eye on. Whether it be Emily, who wilts for Jesse; the town sheriff (played brilliantly by W. Earl Brown) or his son Eugene, or better known in the comics as “Arseface” in which he has a face similar to that of an anus. Eugene actually gets the best scene within the pilot episode talking to Jesse about God and how he doesn’t forgive him. He gets a great amount of emotion across through a thick make-up job.

            Cooper does a fantastic job at conveying Jesse and his discouragement towards faith, but the title character might have been overshadowed by his co-stars, Negga and Gilgun as they glide onto the screen with amazing introductions that are filled with action. Negga is introduced as she battles two men in a car through a corn field just to get her hands on a map that leads to that score we touched upon earlier. While Gilgun battles vampire hunters thousands of feet in the air on an airplane.

            This show is filled with graphic violence, as well as humor but it’s definitely a thrilling ride until the end of the episode. I was extremely impressed by the launch of this new AMC series and looking forward to future episodes.


9.6/10

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trailer Roundup Week 2


By Darian Scalamoni 
Hello again everybody and welcome back to Trailer Roundup! The weekly column where we showcase movie trailers released this week. Not as many as last week but still a solid amount of trailers came out this week so without further ado…




Star Trek Beyond (Trailer 2)

Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba

I must say as a predecessor that I have never seen any of the previous Star Trek installments but I do plan on watching them at some point. Having said that, this trailer is MUCH better than the first one showed for the third film in the Star Trek rebooted movie universe. After the first two movies were directed by JJ Abrams (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Super 8), the series has been taken over by Justin Lin (Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6). In the first trailer, it seemed like a Fast & Furious movie within the Star Trek universe which scared a lot of fans and critics alike for the upcoming movie due on July 22nd of this year, but, this trailer is much more polished and at least (in my eyes) seems to be in the spirit of the previous films. It’s always nice to see Simon Pegg show up in anything so it’s good to see him return as well as most of the previous characters. We also get a better look at Idris Elba’s villainous character in this trailer. It made me very excited to want to catch up on the previous movies and it was a well done trailer.


8/10




The BFG (Trailer 2)

Starring Mark Rylance, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader

The first trailer for this film left me intrigued but ultimately wanting more, but THIS trailer for the new Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park) movie had me begging to see this adventure. In Spielberg’s second straight film with now Academy Award winning actor, Mark Rylance as the BFG (or the Big Friendly Giant), it tells the tale of a little girl befriending the giant who is teased by other giants because he doesn’t eat little boys or girls. This trailer shows how heartwarming and magical this film will be, as well as showcasing the true pleasant nature of the BFG with Sophie. Good news as well that this movie was very well received at the Cannes Film Festival. Look out for the film when it releases worldwide on July 1st.


9/10




Ghostbusters (Trailer 2)

Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones

Oh boy, this film looks like a mess. Though this trailer is a tiny bit better than the first, it is sad to see that in reality, this female led reboot of the 80’s classic looks like garbage. This trailer had one positive to it and that was, the effects. The effects on all of the ghosts actually looks fantastic but other than that, I don’t know how this movie is going to work. The humor hasn’t hit even a little bit in either trailer and now, with this new coming attraction, it basically gives away almost all of the movie in terms of plot. I wish that this film would work because I am a big fan of McKinnon and Wiig, but I have to be honest with my readers and based on these two trailers, I would NOT waste my money on this movie.


3/10




Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Trailer 2)

Starring Andy Samberg, Imogen Poots, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows

Comedy trailers are pretty straight forward in terms of judging it; if the preview makes you laugh and the plot seems like something you’re interested in then it’s usually a decent trailer. The thing that the Lonely Island is able to do in this trailer is break out hilarity in a unique way by showing some great gags but holding back their amazing supporting comedy guests such as Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and even Martin Sheen. I’m a fan of the Lonely Island comedic shtick, so I’m on board with a feature film created by the trio of musical comedians.


7.5/10




Don’t Think Twice

Starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia

Time for an indie. Mike Birbiglia stars, writes and directs this film about improv artists trying to make it in the world and make it on a sketch comedy show similar to SNL. Birbiglia, if he looks familiar to anyone, is great in the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. He’s joined by great comedic talent who also has dramatic range in Keegan Michael-Key, famous for being on his own incredibly successful sketch comedy show, Key and Peele. Along with them, Gillian Jacobs, best known for playing Brita on Community, plays Key’s girlfriend and another improv comedy player. This movie looks to have tons of potential and I am excited to see more.


8.5/10




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles: Out of the Shadows (Final Trailer)

Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney

Another movie that spurned into a franchise, though I didn’t see the first TMNT produced by Michael Bay, I am a huge fan of the property of heroes in a half shell. This film looks to play more towards the old cartoons in terms of action pieces and humor; the more I see previews for this movie, I anticipate it more and more. The turtles look to be in true spirits, the introduction of Casey Jones (perfectly casted with Arrow’s Stephen Amell), along with the first looks at villains Rocksteady, Bebop and Kraang are amazing moments for turtle fans everywhere.


8/10




Equity

Starring Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Alysia Reiner

I am a huge advocate for women being showcased more in media, including film and television; this trailer shows a film that does just that. Anna Gunn is in the forefront, known best for playing Skyler White on Breaking Bad, she tries her first leading role after the unbelievably successful show. Unfortunately, I don’t think she is leading lady material. With a meaty plot that has Gunn at the forefront in a female-driven Wall Street film, written and directed by women, it surely takes charge of that in its marketing technique. I think that was the wrong idea as it distracts the viewer from the movie trailer as a whole. To go along with that, Gunn was tremendous in her time on the Emmy darling for AMC, but, she doesn’t seem primed to demand that same type of screen presence on the silver screen. This trailer is a pass for me, as well as the movie as a whole.

5/10

Saturday, May 21, 2016

'The Nice Guys' Review

Image from Latino Review
By Diego Coya
The Nice Guys stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, and Matt Bomer. It is also written and directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3). The Nice Guys takes place in Los Angeles in 1977, and focuses on a licensed Private Investigator, Holland March (Gosling) who is hired to investigate the suicide of a pornography actress named Misty Mountains. The investigation leads him to meet an unlicensed Private Investigator Jackson Healey (Crowe), who is looking for Amelia, who in some way is involved with the death of Misty Mountains. The disappearance of Amelia leads to the investigation to take a turn for the worst, and we get a different take on the buddy cop comedy movie genre.

I was really excited for The Nice Guys because I found Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to be an underrated movie that was fantastic. In addition, the trailers for The Nice Guys were hilarious and ended up being one of my most anticipated movies of the year. After seeing the movie yesterday, I cannot stop thinking about it. The Nice Guys is a consistently entertaining movie that is a work of art in terms of cinema. Not only did The Nice Guys exceed my expectations, it’s a movie that reminded me why I love movies so much.

The chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe is absolutely amazing. They play off each other so well, and both actors were on the top of their game. The humor between these two characters was top notch, and it was great to see how well they worked together as PI’s. In most buddy cop movies, the two leading actors play characters that contrast with each other, but the leading actors in The Nice Guys are very similar to each other in regards to their troubled past and drinking problems. These two actors consistently had great dialogue and hilarious moments throughout the movie.

Angourie Rice, who plays Holland’s daughter, was so terrific. Her character was great and she was pretty much a sidekick to the private investigators. This is undoubtedly her breakthrough performance, and I am genuinely excited to see her in upcoming movies in the future. Shane Black did a brilliant job with the script; there are so many lines of dialogue that are so memorable, and they really hit home. The dialogue between the characters were so witty and clever. Not only was the comedy, writing, performances, and direction great, but the action scenes were surprisingly really well done. The shootout scenes were great and even though Matt Bomer is in the film briefly, he did a decent job in the action scenes.

The investigation was enthralling, I was really into the case and I wanted to know what was going to happen with these characters. The Nice Guys could have easily been a clichéd buddy cop comedy that would have been average at best. In reality, it’s one of the most fresh, original, and unconventional movies I’ve seen in years. It honestly felt like I was watching a movie from the 1970’s. I have no flaws with the movie, and if you are someone who appreciates movies as an art form, then please see The Nice Guys as soon as possible.


Rating: 10/10

'Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising' Review

Image from YouTube
By Darian Scalamoni

Comedy sequels are usually hit-or-miss but for the most part they are misses, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is able to do something that only films like 22 Jump Street and Wayne’s World 2 have done in the past; it is a great successor to the first movie. The movie starts with Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) trying to sell their house and move to a more suburban town to raise their daughter and other incoming child. They are then put in escrow before Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young freshman in college, decides to move in next door with her new sorority with a little help from an old friend from the first film, Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron). Teddy is struggling to find his place in the world as his friends have all moved on to bigger and better things after college.

 The first Neighbors movie was able to hit many different audiences and demographics with Seth Rogen hitting the stoner crowd along with Zac Efron and Dave Franco who helped the younger demographic. With the first film being filled with tons of laughs as well as showcasing brotherhood and friendship, Sorority Rising does the same with sisterhood, comedic elements but also a great feminist societal message for young women everywhere.

After Sanders is practically forced to move out of his apartment due to his best friend, Pete (Dave Franco), being engaged to be married, he winds up in the old Delta Psi house. He’s discovered by Shelby and her two best friends who are trying to rent the house to help bring in more young college women to join their sorority, Kappa Nu. The difference between Kappa Nu and other sororities is that they will be able to throw parties in their house, empowering women to do what they want to do and put them on equal ground with guys and their fraternities.

 Nicholas Stoller, Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien return as director and writers respectively with great results after helping craft the first Neighbors film. The movie is interestingly enough not just a laugh out loud comedy though; featuring great themes and sympathies throughout. Though the young women are fighting for equality and women’s rights, Mac and Kelly are still making racist and anti-Semitic comments while trying to raise their young daughter which leads to hilarity. The film does feel somewhat familiar which is only natural as a sequel, but it succeeds in more ways than it fails. Efron again shines with his comedy chops and delivery, while Rose Byrne is quickly becoming one of the better comedic actresses in Hollywood. Rogen still shows his charm as a young father doing his best, while his best friend Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) radiates off humor in the scenes he is featured.

 Though it may be true that no sequel to the original Neighbors film was exactly necessary, the stars and talent make what could have been another lackluster sequel in the comedy genre that disappoints like Zoolander 2 or The Hangover Part II, into a lovable, important comedy movie filled with tremendous gags. Efron, Rogen and Byrne are all top notch again and the main theme of identity helps make this one of the best comedies in a few years.

Overall I give this film a 7.7/10

Friday, May 20, 2016

Full Cast and Character Description for Thor: Ragnarok

Image from Marvel
By Darian Scalamoni
Thor: Ragnarok is one of the many upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe phase 3 movies but the anticipation level has gone up tremendously for the third Thor film as the full cast list has been released. Along with Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba returning, the Marvel film boasts a ton of new characters being played by fantastic acting talents in their own right.

Joining the cast is former Oscar winning actress, Cate Blanchett, as the villainous Hela. Hela is a powerful villainess who was appointed goddess and ruler of the northernmost realms of the dead, where she oversaw the souls of all who did not die in battle. Along with the addition of Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, known for her scene stealing role in Creed, will play Valkyrie. Valkyrie is the idealistic feminist leader of the Valkyrior which happens to be under the jurisdiction of Odin. Jeff Goldblum will also join the MCU as he will be playing a character by the name of Grandmaster, who is an eccentric being and one of the oldest living in the universe. He is also capable of traveling through time, space and dimensions which can connect this new Thor movie to Ant-Man and even the upcoming November release, Doctor Strange. Finally, Karl Urban will join the franchise as a minor villain known as Skurge being in the way of not only Thor but also, the Hulk, who will find his way in Thor: Ragnarok as well. Hulk will be played by Mark Ruffalo as he was in the last two Avengers movies.

Thor: Ragnarok will be directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) and the film’s will be released worldwide on November 3rd, 2017.

How do you guys feel about all of this casting news? Comment below and let us know how you feel!