Thursday, June 30, 2016

'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Being Adapted For the Screen

Image from PBS
By Darian Scalamoni
It’s been years in the making, but Paramount Pictures has announced today that Clifford the Big Red Dog is coming to theaters. Per Deadline, Justin Malen (Baywatch) is set to write the script for the movie that will be a live-action/CGI hybrid.

            Clifford the Big Red Dog is a major property that can do really well as a film if done right. Clifford launched in 1963 as a book series that follows a young girl named Emily Elizabeth who gets a red puppy for her birthday that grows to be 25 feet tall. The book series was so successful that it spawned a PBS television series.

No details have been revealed on a potential plot, cast or director along with a release date. Hopefully, the process could be quick and smooth for the story about the big red dog.

James Franco and Bryan Cranston Star in First Trailer for 'Why Him?'

Image from Slash Film
By Darian Scalamoni
            Bryan Cranston and James Franco…match made in heaven right? Well, John Hamburg (I Love You, Man, Along Came Polly) has brought them together in Why Him? We’re lucky enough to be able to bring you the red band trailer today.

            The movie follows Zoey Deutch as Ned’s (Cranston) daughter who is bringing her family to meet her boyfriend, Laird (Franco) in Silicon Valley. When Ned discovers how inappropriate Laird is for his daughter, a rivalry ensues. Though I’m not the biggest fan of this trailer, it has some good gags.

            Check out the red band trailer for the Why Him? below. The red band trailer is for MATURE audiences only. The film is set to be released on Christmas Day this year. 

'Wreck-It Ralph 2' Slated for 2018 Release

Image from Disney
By Darian Scalamoni
               Walt Disney Studios’ surprise hit Wreck-It Ralph was a fantastic film that brought video games to the forefront of a heartwarming picture. Today, Collider reports that Wreck-It Ralph 2 is officially in the works! The movie is set to be released on March 9th, 2018.

            Rich Moore, the director of the first film is set to return but this time co-directing alongside the co-writer of the first movie, Phil Johnston. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman are also set to return respectively to voice Ralph and Vanellope. Walt Disney Studios next project is Moana starring Dwayne Johnson that is due out in theaters in November. The studio is also working towards a sequel to their biggest hit in years, Frozen.

            The first image for the film can be seen above. Head back here to get more details about the plot, casting and images as they become available!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Official Trailer for Clint Eastwood's Next Film 'Sully' Starring Tom Hanks

Image from Entertainment Weekly
By Darian Scalamoni
            Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood making a movie together? It’s a match made in heaven, even more so, when the project they’re working together on is based on true events. Today, the trailer for Sully dropped which is based on the true story of Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger landing a disabled plane on the waters of the Hudson, saving the lives of all 155 people onboard. It was deemed by many as “The Miracle on the Hudson”. The movie not only features the landing, but also what happened after, an investigation into the event that almost destroyed Sully’s career as a pilot.

            The film looks to do more than just show the events of what happened back in 2009, but also goes more into the study of the man who was able to orchestrate the landing. He was given insane media coverage after the landing and had newfound and unwanted fame which led to accusations surrounding him. Clint Eastwood’s last film American Sniper was a fantastic film that was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2015. Tom Hanks was last seen in a movie that was also nominated for Best Picture but this was at the Academy Awards ceremony this year, titled Bridge of Spies directed by Steven Spielberg.

            Watch the first trailer for Sully below. The movie will be released on September 9th and also stars Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney.

'Preacher' Renewed by AMC For a Second Season

Image from Screen Rant
By Darian Scalamoni
            AMC has had plenty of hits on its hands in recent years. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul just to name a few; but today, The Playlist reports that AMC has renewed their newest series that is based on a comic, Preacher. I have loved Preacher every minute since the premiere and I’m happy they’ve given the show a second season.

Season two will run for 13 episodes as opposed to the 10 episodes season one will run for. All of the main stars are expected to return for the second season in 2017.

            If you haven’t checked out the show yet, I have no idea what you’re waiting for. Preacher is on Sundays at 9 PM on AMC. Check out all of our reviews for episodes 1-4 as well!

Ellen Page stars in 'Tallulah' Netflix Film

Image from The Verge
By Darian Scalamoni
            Sian Heder, the writer of Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black wrote her first feature titled Tallulah and the trailer was released by the streaming juggernaut today.

The film screened at Sundance earlier this year and stars Ellen Page and Allison Janney. Page plays Lu, a wandering young woman who survives day to day while scavenging for food wherever she can. The only adult in her life is Margo played by Janney, whose son, Lu claims, stole all of her money. It’s then when Lu takes an infant from a neglectful mother in a hotel room and bringing her to Margo claiming it’s her granddaughter.

            Zachary Quinto and Uzo Aduba also star in the film. Tallulah will be released exclusively on Netflix on July 29th.

Miles Teller enters the ring in first 'Bleed for This' Trailer

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            Some boxing movies can ultimately feel very familiar and stale because there are so many of them made nowadays, but when a film like Creed comes out, it makes you really appreciate a great boxing movie for what it is. Today, Sports Illustrated released the exclusive first trailer for Bleed for This based on the five-time world boxing champion Vinny Pazienza. Miles Teller plays Pazienza through his career-ending car accident and determination to make a comeback.

            The film looks promising to say the least; Teller is an enigma and a talent which was evident in films like Whiplash and The Spectacular Now but then you look at his last project Fantastic Four and it can make you skeptical. All I know is that I am excited for this movie, and I think it looks better than another boxing film to be released this year Hands of Stone starring Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro.

            Bleed for This opens in theaters on November 23rd. It also stars Aaron Eckhart and Katey Sagal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Daniel Craig to Star Opposite Halle Berry in L.A. Riots film 'Kings'

Image from Nerdist
By Darian Scalamoni
            It seems like any day now it will be official that Daniel Craig won’t be returning as James Bond, this is of course because his vocal persistence against starring as the legendary character again; and of course, he continues to add future projects on his plate. Per Deadline, Craig has signed on to another project about the L.A. Riots titled Kings. The film will also star Halle Berry.

            The film is described as a “dream project” from director Deniz Gamze Erguven (Mustang). This will be her first English language feature. The movie will follow Craig as one of the few white residents of South Central Los Angeles who falls for a mother (Berry) and helps her track down and protect her kids as the city erupts in chaos surrounding them.

            Erguven’s Mustang was a critical darling last year so it’s understandable why she’s working with such high level talent so soon. Craig is next set to be in Steven Soderbergh’s promising next film, Logan Lucky alongside Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Hilary Swank and that’s only naming a few of the stars. He’s also signed on to star in the upcoming Showtime series, Purity for Todd Field based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen.

Barkhad Abdi cast in untitled 'Blade Runner' Sequel

Image from ABC News
By Darian Scalamoni
            Oscar-nominated actor Barkhad Abdi was an unknown before auditioning to play a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips back in 2013. His dirty, instinctive portrayal led to him not only getting an Oscar nomination, but also a Golden Globe nom as well as winning the BAFTA Award. Now, it seems Abdi will be taking his talents to a franchise; according to Deadline, Abdi has been cast in the untitled sequel to Blade Runner.

            There are no current details on the plot of the film or his character yet but he’s joining a hell of a cast set for the sequel of the 1982 classic. He will be joining Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas and Dave Bautista in a movie that is heavy on everyone’s radar. Denis Villenueve (Prisoners, Sicario) is set to direct the movie which is set to be released on January 12th, 2018.

            Abdi was last seen alongside Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul in Eye in the Sky back in March. He will next be seen later this year in Where the White Man Runs Away with Al Pacino and Extortion.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ansel Elgort in talks to join 'Dungeons and Dragons'

Image from Huffington Post
By Darian Scalamoni
            We previously reported that there was an adaptation of Dungeons and Dragons happening soon which you can check out here ; but today Deadline reports that The Fault in Our Stars lead Ansel Elgort is in negotiations to join the film.

            As we said in our previous article, Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs. Aliens) is set to direct the movie and it is supposed to be released at some point next year. There are also rumors that Fast & Furious star, Vin Diesel has expressed interest in joining the film as well. He has been a fan of the property and played the game for more than 20 years.

            Elgort is a young adult star as I mentioned he was the lead in The Fault in Our Stars based on John Green’s bestselling novel, as well as the Divergent series. He is next set to appear in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver and also, Billionaire Boys Club which is set to be released later this year.

'Independence Day: Resurgence' Review

Image from Coming Soon
By Diego Coya
            For more than a decade, there have been discussion and speculation that a sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day would become a reality. After twenty years, the long anticipated sequel to Independence Day is finally here. Independence Day: Resurgence takes place several years after the first film, and the aliens have now come back to earth to wreak havoc once again. This time, earth has integrated alien technology with man-made technology which makes them more prepared for the battle. Like the first film, it has a very simple plot and it is the definition of a CGI fest with explosions and mindless fun. However, it lacks two important aspects from the first film, which is charisma and energy.

            Unfortunately, Independence Day: Resurgence was a completely unnecessary sequel. The first film was not a great film, but it is one that many have watched plenty of times because it so entertaining and Will Smith has fantastic charisma. The problem with this sequel is that it is not fun nor is it entertaining. While the film has very impressive visual effects and a great performance by Jeff Goldblum, there are no characters that are investing and it drags for an insanely long time. There also are some things that are never explained or just simply do not make any sense.

            As far as character development, this film does an awful job at making the viewer care for anyone in this film. Especially Jessie T. Usher, who plays Dylan Hiller whose father, was Will Smith’s character in the first film. He was so dull, and he is given absolutely nothing to do. Liam Hemsworth is Liam Hemsworth, he plays the same character in every movie, and it is hard to find any likeability to his character. The most unlikeable character was Dr. Brakish Okun, who was incredibly obnoxious and is given way too much screen time for his own good. Other than Jeff Goldblum, who seemed like he was the only one trying, everyone else is monotonous and it’s hard to get into the action scenes because the viewer does not care what happens to the character.

            The first film is undoubtedly a corny film with cheesy dialogue, but it is easy to get past it because of the energy and charisma that it has. On the other hand, the sequel has such terrible dialogue that it’s hard to get past it because it’s so bad. I have honestly forgotten about 95% of the film because it is so forgettable and nothing memorable happens. I feel awful for people who have waited twenty years for this movie because not only is it disappointing but it is really not a good film. Initially walking out of the film, it did not seem like it was truly awful but I acknowledged that it was not good at all. However, as time passes by, the more I really dislike it. I do not recommend this film, and if you are a huge fan of the original, just stick with that one.

Rating: 3/10


Psychological Mystery 'The 9th Life of Louis Drax' gets a Trailer

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni
               The first trailer for The 9th Life of Louis Drax was released today and boy was it an interesting one. The movie centers around a young boy named Louis (Aiden Longworth) who has survived many near-death experiences but he’s thrown off of a cliff on his ninth birthday. He’s able to survive the fall, is in a coma and it’s up to a fearless doctor (Jamie Dornan) to find out the truth about what happened to the young boy while also falling for the boy’s mother (Sarah Gadon).

            The trailer gives a look at a psychological thriller based on the bestselling novel and it looks to be a promising film. The movie is directed by Alexander Aja (Horns), though I wasn’t a fan of Horns, I’m excited to see what he can do with this movie.

Check out the trailer below for The 9th Life of Louis Drax below. The movie will be in theaters on September 2nd. It also stars Aaron Paul and Oliver Platt.

'Minecraft' Adaptation to be Released in May 2019

Image from Kotaku
By Darian Scalamoni
               With movies now being released based on toys like Legos and games like Tetris, it’s hard to say that people “can’t” make movies about anything. Well today, Collider reports that the Minecraft film will be made and it’s scheduled to be released on May 24th, 2019. The film is set to be directed by Rob McElhenney and for all those Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans, yes he plays the character of Mac.
            For those who are unfamiliar with the video game of Minecraft, it’s essentially digital Lego. You can build anything and let your imagination run free so that’s a tall order for a movie of this stature especially because The Lego Movie was done so well. I’m a big fan of McElhenney on Always Sunny though and I’m excited to see what he can offer when it comes to this film.

            The video game is an incredible success and appeals to so many people around the world that I see it doing a great job at the box office regardless. When we get more information about casting or the plot of the film, you’ll hear it here first. 

'Roadies' Series Premiere Review

Image from Variety
By Darian Scalamoni
            Cameron Crowe is a director who has such a distinct style that when you hear his name, you instantly jump back into one of his films. He’s had classic movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Jerry Maguire but for most people, it has to be Almost Famous. One of the best films of the 2000s (in my opinion) it follows a high school boy who is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone as he follows a new band along their tour. It’s the best Crowe has ever been, not only for his understanding of story-telling but also, his love of music. It’s so evident that the man knows so much about the art of music and everything that goes into that business; that’s why when I heard about him making Roadies, I was very excited. I’m sorry to tell you that like most of Crowe’s recent movies, I came out disappointed.

            Crowe co-wrote, directed and created this show that follows the people behind the scenes that are able to make concerts possible. The traveling crew that works behind the scenes, sets up the stage, the lights and everything else that you love about live music; it wouldn’t be possible without these men and women. The show stars Bill Hanson (Luke Wilson), an aging tour manager who recently is having troubles trying to unite the crew to put their best foot forward to creating the best environment for the talent and crew he heads. He’s also starting to feel the pressure and stress of work so he tries to solve that problem and even heartache with sex with young women, which most of the time, doesn’t solve anything and adds more to his plate. His right hand woman, the production manager, Shelli Anderson (Carla Gugino) is always there to lend a helping hand even though she’s got problems of her own. Between trying to make her marriage work and provide bad “compliments” towards the rest of the crew, Shelli understands that she has been doing her job too long and it may soon be time to move on. Along with that, Bill and Shelli have to take orders from the financial advisor, Reg Whitehead (Rafe Spall) who wants to cut the budget and start becoming more modern for younger audiences. But the character who steals the show in the premiere has to be Kelly Ann (Imogen Poots) the young woman who has a passion for the arts and eats off of other people’s plates who is leaving the crew to head to film school.

            When the first trailer for this show was released, people immediately tried to compare it the other premium network, music based show Vinyl, which was recently cancelled after one season, but that would be ignorant. The shows are polar opposites in terms of tone and the actual plot. While Vinyl mainly follows a record executive trying to make things work in a business sense, this show is about the passionate people that work ON the shows directly and want to do all they can to make it the best show possible night in and night out. There are things to look forward too with this show as the “Crowe”isms are definitely in there but they have a long way to go.

            In terms of performances, I’ve talked a little bit about Poots’s role as Kelly Ann but she really is a revelation. I’ve always been a fan of hers but this has to be my favorite. She has the passion of a young working woman who just loves what she does. Her passion is brought into the forefront when Rafe Spall’s future focused financial advisor tries to change the fun-filled and laid back environment of the roadies. Kelly Ann is able to get in his face and get him to modify his tune towards the end of the episode. Her twin brother, Wes (played surprisingly well by rapper Machine Gun Kelly) is also a very likable and relatable character. Luke Wilson’s Bill is the character that worries me the most. He’s not very likable and I don’t think he’s capable of heading this show. He seems to be a bland and not offer much but a mentor(ish?) like role to Kelly Ann. Gugino also didn’t do much for me in the premiere which makes me upset because I’m a big fan of her work. The relationship between Bill and Shelli isn’t all that believable but it’s only one episode so we’ll have to see if it builds over time.

            There is humor on this show and I care about some of the characters but as I said earlier, this program has a long way to go. With all the great shows already on Showtime, the network decided to go with a feel good show from Crowe and producer, JJ Abrams but it doesn’t hit on all fronts. For now, it’s definitely better than Crowe’s recent work, but it’s still disappointing that he can’t catch that same magic he had with Almost Famous.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Both Ends of the Spectrum: 'Last Years at Marienbad'

By David Eng 
            The film I will be reviewing this week will be a movie that is certainly not for everyone. My friends and I had to watch this movie for an assignment and while they did not like it, I loved it. This movie is called Last Year at Marienbad. This movie is a bit of a rough one and I certainly would not recommend this movie. If you do not believe me then watch it and judge it for yourself, but a lot of the plot is ambiguous and unanswered. This is part of the film of course, but nonetheless, not many people enjoy this style of film. The film is also colorless and the audio quality is not at top quality. This is because the movie is a bit dated due to the fact it was made in 1962. I try not to cover movies made this long ago, but this movie is special in its unique way.

            The film is directed by Alain Resnais, who is a French director. The movie proves this due to its rather avant-garde styling. The movie is framed in this odd and surreal way that is hard to explain. There are shots that pan over and end in these long hallways or on an unsettling statue. These make the viewers uncomfortable which I would imagine in the effect that Resnais was trying to achieve. The whole movie takes place in this enormous estate in which there appears to be a formal party. The party does not end throughout the movie which adds to the oddity because there are many scenes that happen which would normally imply that time jump would happen. The movie ignores these queues and continues on its own strange realm of reality. This strange realm that the movie resides in truly makes the movie something worth watching. Interpreting the ambiguity of the movie and the strangeness that it houses is the exact reason why someone would want to watch this movie. As backwards as this may sound, this is also the reason why this movie would be a movie to stay away from. Despite trying to decipher exactly what the plot is or what it is trying to say, many conclusions can be reached. This uncomfortable mixture of unusual cinematography combined with the lack of an extremely coherent story can make this movie a big turn off. To put it in the eloquent words of my friend, he says, “It fucks my head. I don’t know if I'm a fan”.

            The movie clearly is not for everyone, but is honestly one of the most intriguing films I have seen in my life. Everything about this film is crazy and despite its slow pacing, I found myself grasping my head in anticipation and disbelief is certain parts. On a personal and biased scale, this movie gets a 9/10 from me, but on an objective and scale of recommendation, I give this film a 5/10. It is the kind of film where you either love it for its uniqueness, or hate it for the exact reasons why people like it.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ewan McGregor's Directorial debut 'American Pastoral' Gets a Trailer

By Darian Scalamoni
            Ewan McGregor has been known to command the screen. Whether it’s singing on stage in Moulin Rouge, playing the memorable Obi-Wan Kenobi within the Star Wars prequels or even in his brilliant performance in the indie hit Beginners, he’s able to get the attention of anyone watching. Now, he is trying his own turn as a director.

            The trailer is cut brilliantly as it tells so much with very minimal dialogue throughout. American Pastoral is based on Philip Roth’s 1997 Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name and it will be McGregor’s directorial debut. The movie follows Merry (Dakota Fanning) as Seymour and Dawn Levov’s (McGregor and Jennifer Connelly) daughter who tears the family apart after she commits a violent act of political terrorism.

            After seeing the trailer for this film, it has skyrocketed to the top of my most anticipated for the remainder of the year, especially due to McGregor’s involvement. He has become one of my favorite actors of all-time for his performances of the past and I’m looking forward to checking out his directorial debut.

PLEASE check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

HBO series 'Vinyl' Cancelled After One Season

Image from Collider
By Darian Scalamoni
            It seemed like it was destined due to the disappointing numbers in the ratings, Vinyl has been cancelled by HBO. The rock period drama broadcast on the premium network has been shelled after only one season. The network said in a statement “After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl. Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.”

            The show was produced by legendary director Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, The Departed) as well as rock-n-roll legend Mick Jagger. The showrunner Terence Winter, who previously wrote projects like The Sopranos and The Wolf of Wall Street exited Vinyl after the first season and that just spelled trouble. The show revolved around drug-addicted record executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) in the 1970s in the diverse music scene. The show also starred Ray Romano, Juno Temple and PJ Byrne.

            Though, I didn’t watch much of the show, I did like what I had seen from the freshman HBO drama. It’s sad to see a creative original project like this cancelled; especially when its headed by movie and music legends in their own right.

First Trailer for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is Here!

Image from Coming Soon
By Darian Scalamoni
           Jack Reacher was released four years ago to mostly positive reviews in a film that saw Tom Cruise play a homicide investigator who dug deeper into a case against a military sniper who killed random victims. Today, we have the trailer for the sequel titled Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in which the title character is accused of a 16-year-old homicide.

            The movie is directed by Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) and also stars Cobie Smulders. Like most of Cruise’s films, this sure looks to be filled with tons of action and stunts. Check out the trailer below!

Bryan Cranston to join 'Power Rangers' as Zordon

Image from Time
By Darian Scalamoni
     When you think about some of the most popular television series of the 90s, especially for kids, one of the first things that come to my mind is the Power Rangers. The Power Rangers were a group of high school kids who are mostly ordinary but become something more than that to fight aliens, monsters and evil forces.

As young kids, there always needs to be a leader to put them in the right direction and within the show/movies there was Zordon. Zordon was a giant disembodied head who was the Rangers mentor from day one and now, he’s been cast for the new movie hitting theaters next year. Per Joblo, Bryan Cranston has been cast as Zordon in Power Rangers. It’s interesting to note that ever since Cranston was seen playing the meth-cooking, cancer ridden science teacher in Breaking Bad, he’s been looked at for many roles that would warrant his bald head from the show. One of the bigger roles he was courted for earlier was Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman before the role went to Jesse Eisenberg.

Saban’s Power Rangers will be released in theaters on March 24th, 2017. The cast also includes Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Becky G and Ludi Lin as the Rangers, as well as Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

John Boyega joins Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit Riot Film

Image from Just Jared
By Darian Scalamoni
            It was only recently that we covered John Boyega being cast in the Pacific Rim sequel playing the role of Idris Elba’s son, but now we have a report from Deadline in which Boyega has been cast in another high-profile project. He has been cast as the lead in Kathryn Bigelow’s (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) upcoming movie about the Detroit riots.

            The details for the currently untitled Detroit project are only that the film is set to be a crime drama set against the backdrop of the Detroit riots that took place in the summer of 1967. The movie is set to be produced and written with usual collaborator, Mark Boal. The current plan is for the film to be released some time in 2017 which would mark the 50th anniversary of said riots.

            Boyega will be seen next in James Ponsoldt’s The Circle alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks and also will return to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Oscar Favorite 'The Birth of a Nation' Second Trailer is Here

Image from Indiewire
By Darian Scalamoni
We just wrote an article providing you with a trailer for a festival hit from Cannes, but now we have a trailer for a movie that won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Other winners of this award include Like Crazy, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Precious and Whiplash. Today, we have for you the trailer for The Birth of a Nation directed, written and starring Nate Parker.

            The film follows Nat Turner (Parker), a literate slave and preacher who leads an uprising against his master and others in the antebellum South. The movie looks incredibly violent and emotional, similar to 2014 Best Picture winner, 12 Years a Slave. You can tell how much Parker dedicated to this film as it doesn’t shy away from reality or beat around the bush at all. It also is an Oscar favorite as of the current race and I believe it’ll be nominated for Best Picture based on the trailers. This is one of my most anticipated movies of the year.

            The Birth of a Nation also stars Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Dwight Henry and Gabrielle Union. The film opens on October 7th.

First Trailer for 'American Honey' Starring Shia LaBeouf

Image from A24
By Darian Scalamoni
            A24 has officially released the first trailer for a film that stunned at the Cannes Film Festival today with the preview for American Honey. The movie follows a group of teens, particularly a young woman named Star (played by breakout talent Sasha Lane) who work selling magazines on the road for the devious Jake (Shia LaBeouf). The film looks to be an adrenaline rush from start to finish and I’m incredibly impressed by the trailer.

            Andrea Arnold has also attained high praise for her directorial efforts for this film as she has for past films Red Road and Fish Tank. Also, no matter what you say about LaBeouf and his crazy antics, the guy can flat out act. If you haven't already check out David Ayer's last film, Fury and you'll see what I mean. American Honey is expected to be released in the fall. Everyone should check out the trailer RIGHT NOW.

'Preacher' Episode 4, Season 1 Review

Image from Hey U Guys
By Darian Scalamoni
       Preacher has been one of my favorite programs I’m currently watching. Between the acting, weird plot as well as the setting and being based on a comic book, it’s right up my alley. This week I’ll be covering episode 4 which unfortunately was my least favorite of the season thus far.

            Episode 4 starts with a weird local sport (at least that’s what it seemed like) where a group of meat-packing goons are hunting down girls with paintball guns in the middle of the night. We later discover that these are bad men because they’re Odin Quincannon’s men. Unfortunately as one of the girls is chased into the woods, she is hit by a paintball and then falls into a pit to her demise. This continues the pattern of interesting openings that the series has had week after week.

            Tulip, being the feminist that she is, doesn’t approve of Quincannon’s words blaming the young woman’s death on her running from his men. This leads to Tulip taking out her frustrations by throwing one of his men out of the town’s whorehouse before realizing that it was another man just enjoying himself. That man, luckily, was neighborhood vampire and fan favorite, Cassidy. As Cassidy is being rushed to the hospital, he asks Tulip to kiss him and after she does, Cassidy looks to be in similar fashion to a cartoon character with hearts in his eyes. Is this the start of a beautiful budding relationship between Cass and Tulip?

            Speaking of Cass, after his interaction with the angels in last week’s episode, he explains to Jesse that there are people after him for what seems to be “inside” of him. Custer mistakes this for his inner knowledge of the Lord to which Cassidy warns him but the preacher claims he has other things to worry about. One of the bigger things he has to worry about though is bringing Annville’s big bad Odin Quincannon (played brilliantly by Jackie Earle Haley) to church. Jesse believes if he could use his newfound powers to get Quincannon to believe in front of the whole town, then more people would come to church.

            Most of this was filler to set up future relationships and such, but it was Jesse’s sermon at the end along with the entertaining DeBlanc and Fiore this week that kept this episode afloat. It wasn’t a bad episode by any means but it was my least favorite of the series thus far.


'Orange is the New Black' Season 4 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Image from Master Herald
By Diego Coya
Orange is the New Black is back with its fourth season, and it has never been more dramatically effective. Picking off right after the season finale of season 3, Litchfield gets a new staff of Correctional Officers and we learn more about the background of the inmates. Additionally, there are tons of more inmates; the most notable is Judy King who is a celebrity. There are tons of story arcs that intertwine with each other, but the comedy is less present. Season 4 is by far the darkest season.

Even though I thought season 3 was a disappointment, I was looking forward to season 4 because there was a cliffhanger right after Season 3. After binge watching the whole season in three days, I can overall say that this might be the best season yet. I must admit that this was not my initial reaction, as I was watching the first half of the season I was not impressed. This is due to the fact that this season is vastly different than the previous three, not only in terms of its dark tone but the change in its characters.

            I blame my initial reaction due to the expectations that I had; I expected a season with the perfect blend of comedy and drama. I do feel that the first half is a little weak when compared to the second half. The first half focuses on Piper Chapman and her panty business. This leads her to have the idea that she is intimidating and tough, which to in an extent caused her to be somewhat unlikeable. Additionally, I found her story not nearly as investing as the other inmates. Because of this, I kind of struggled getting into it.

            After episode six, something happens which makes the season do a 180 and become truly fantastic. The performances from the ensemble cast have never been better. It also tackles themes such as social and racial issues. The inmates all go through something horrendous in their lives and the audience is able to see them battle their own demons. The new characters are also great. Judy King is someone who comes across as someone who is compassionate and caring, but as we learn more about her character we realize that she has some secrets of her own.

 The Correction Officers are led by Desi Piscatella, and we see a huge change in the lives of the inmates because of the new staff. The Correction Officers in this season are deplorable and despicable human beings; the actors genuinely made me hate them. Even though the previous correctional officers were tough, at the end of the day they had a heart and they cared for their job. These new correction officers are awful people who make the inmates go through hell.

            There is so emotion, and the last two episodes will for sure be upsetting for fans of the show. As stated before, the first five episodes are a little hard to get into, but once you see the payoff, it truly is amazing. This might be my favorite season, and fans of the show will for sure be pleased.  Season 4 left viewers on a huge cliffhanger as well, and I am eager for Season 5.


Official 'Justice League' Logo and Synopsis Revealed!

Image from Collider
By Darian Scalamoni
            Ever since Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was released in March, many people have been skeptical about what we would see next from the DC Cinematic Universe. Even more importantly, there were tons of questions based around the two upcoming team-up movies planned for the Justice League. Well today, according to Collider, it seems that the two movies will be combined for one and promptly be titled, Justice League.

            Though BvS included the first look at all of the upcoming members of the Justice League, we were only lucky enough to see half of the team in action. The synopsis for the potential blockbuster is as follows; Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand up against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash-it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

            That’s a hell of synopsis for a film that has a lot of cleaning up to do. I am in the majority when it comes to Batman v. Superman; yes there are good moments throughout the film including the performances of Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot as Batman and Wonder Woman respectively, but, the film is a mess for the whole first act. I will say though based on seeing the logo and reading the synopsis, I’ve become much more excited than I thought I could be.

            The movie opens in theaters on November 17th, 2017 and will be directed by Zack Snyder (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel). The cast includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard and Willem Dafoe. As soon as more information on this project becomes available, we’ll be sure to fill you in!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Both Ends of the Spectrum: Ed, Edd n Eddy

By David Eng 
            For this week, I will be talking about a show that has mixed reviews. A lot of my peers were not allowed to watch this show as a kid because their parents deemed the show too dumb. The show I am talking about is Ed, Edd n Eddy. This show was somewhat over the top due to the fact that while the show was based in reality, the show broke rules of reality too often. This was probably the reasoning why the show would be shielded from the minds of the children by their parents. Despite the reality breaking aspects of the cartoon, another reason why the show was disliked by parents was the main characters and their sense of humor. Ed was dumb as a brick, Eddy was a scam artist and Edd was a smart and nerdy kid who would get caught in the plans of Eddy. The humor was sometimes of a lower tier and relied on slap stick and randomness, but the show was not always this way. The story writers knew how to write a coherent story, mostly, with some more interesting humor involved throughout.

            Pinpointing a few episodes of the show is hard to do because the show is quite hit and miss. It also would not be fair to pick a bad and a good episode and compare and contrast them because all the episodes differ on the good-bad spectrum too much. So instead, attacking the show as a whole is the fairest and easiest way to approach this review. For those who do not know, the whole show's concept is that the Eds are all trying to scam the rest of the neighborhood out of their quarters so that they can buy jaw breakers. This is the basis of the show, but the show also tackles other subjects where they do other things. One is about Ed following a comic book's rendition of a demonic summoning, and other are the Eds just playing in the dump using their imagination. This aspect of the show is good as the writers do not feel the need to limit themselves to the basic premise of the show. A show that suffered from this, in my personal opinion, would be Scooby-Doo. Every episode was basically the same concept and did not really change between the episodes very much. Even in the episodes where the core concept is to steal money, often the episodes feel different from each other in important aspects rather than just scenery. In one they try to make a makeshift cruise to make money, this leads to other characters portraying themselves as pirates which makes comedy. In another episode Ed's little sister gives him money to get her fudge, Eddy wants Ed to use the money for jaw breakers instead. The concepts are vaguely similar because the end result is candy for themselves and gaining money, but the episodes are clearly very different.

            The writers of the show also know mostly how to right a good and funny show. Sometimes they slip up, but many of the episodes have an interesting plot, good comedic material and a good moral ending. The episode “Brother, Can You Spare an Ed?” is the one where Ed is given his little sister's allowance money to buy her fudge. I want to preface this part of the review by saying that this episode is probably one of the best in the series. I know I also said before I would not review single episodes, but this one shows Ed, Edd n Eddy at its highest point. The episode's comedy is not just slap stick, but full of jokes that after watching the episode again for this review, made me laugh. The moral dilemma of the episode is when Ed is convinced by Eddy to buy jaw breakers instead of her sister's fudge. The challenge of the episode comes now, what would make the situation right again? The episode does it very well. Eddy does some half effort scams that involved pain for Ed and Edd, this is to help give Sarah back her money while also causing pain to two of the characters that wronged Sarah. Eddy becomes angry in this scene because all the money he is making is going to the morally right cause of reimbursing Sarah. If this is the ending then it would be wrong because Eddy is never punished. However, Ed and Edd escape the pain and redirect it back at Eddy. This scam works the best and only causes pain for Eddy. Ed and Edd only charge a cent for a turn to hurt Eddy showing that he has the most pain coming his way because he does not believe in the morally right cause. This episode upholds all aspects of the show at its best.

            This show can be for everyone I believe. There are episodes that are dumb and not written well, just as there are with every cartoon literally ever. The inconsistency of the show helps to understand exactly why parents would not want their kids watching it. This and the obvious violence and occasional episodes seemingly dedicated to torturing certain characters would be good reason to have kids avoid watching. Being older, I think everyone can enjoy the show and can tell which episodes are bad and good. I give the show a 7.5/10 rating, but I do recommend that everyone tries the show for a few episodes. It was a great show that had the occasional fault, like any show.

JJ Abrams to Produce TV Series about Michael Jackson's Final Days

Image from MTV
By Darian Scalamoni
        Ever since Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, people have wondered when we’d see a version of the King of Pop on screen; well today we have details on a project involving Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams about Jackson. According to Collider, Abrams will produce a television series based on Tavis Smiley’s book, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days. The novel is based on the final days of Michael Jackson’s life before he passed away at the age of 50 due to cardiac arrest.

            Though other details are scarce at this point, the potential for this project is incredibly intriguing. The series is expected to be tragic but also memorable for adapting such a serious and important subject matter and with Abrams on board to produce it’s good to know that the novel adaptation is in good hands.

            Smiley is also working with Abrams on an adaptation on his book about Martin Luther King Jr. As soon as more information is known about the series and castings, we’ll be sure to inform you.

New Trailer for Tim Burton's 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'I

Image from Moviepilot
By Darian Scalamoni
               Tim Burton’s latest film seems like his version of X-Men and I’m incredibly excited for it. The new trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children looks fantastic and it follows the story based on the novel by Ransom Riggs. The movie stars Asa Butterfield as a young boy who comes across a secret refuge for supernatural, “gifted” children headed by a mysterious woman named Miss Peregrine, played by Eva Green. It looks like it’s going to be an interesting story and a perfect story for Burton to tackle.

            The movie also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Kim Dickens and Terence Stamp. It will be released in theaters on September 30th, check out the second trailer below!