Crimson Peak is Guillermo del Toro’s apology for making us sit through Pacific Rim. Where Pacific Rim was designed by the 12 year old boy in him; Crimson Peak was designed by the 12 year old girl in him. A gothic romance, Crimson Peak is all about decaying mansions and withered aristocracy, sweeping heroic love and bitter villainous betrayal. It’s Penny Dreadful meets Jane Eyre. It’s more my speed than Pacific Rim ever was.
Nightcrawler is a cynical and satirical look at the media. It takes place in L.A. but this isn’t the sunny City of Angels, it’s the dark, seedy, unethical side of it. Its hero runs a small successful business by exploiting, deceiving and manipulating everyone who gets in his way. It fully commits to delivering the media slogan of, “If it bleeds, it leads,” to horrifying heights, never feeling the need to let the audience off easy. Oh and it’s a comedy.
I tend to enjoy Luc Besson’s films. There’s something so endlessly watchable about his brand of dumbness. However, Lucy is the dumbest movie about smart people I’ve ever seen. The character in the movie uses a 100% of her brain by the end of the film which results in the film using 0% of it’s brain. It’s the type of movie that expects its audiences to turn off their brains at the door.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the most depressing blockbuster movie of the summer. It’s an absolute bummer and I loved every minute of it.
That’s what the Planet of the Apes franchise has always been. They’ve always offered us social commentary on our world, while giving us a nihilistic gut punch in the end. They were always a true bummer.
I go into every comedy sequel with low expectations. Why? Because there has never been a good comedy sequel. It’s always the studio saying look how much money so and so movie made; let’s make another one that’s the exact same movie but not as funny and original. So, when 21 Jump Street became the sleeper box office hit in the summer of 2012, a sequel was inevitable.
22 Jump Street is the best comedy sequel ever made!
Well damn, another exorcism movie! We’ve seen so many movies and shows approach this concept without offering anything new to the formula. It’s still chilling to watch an exorcism take place on screen but we can always predict the elements involved. Nonetheless, no one loves exorcisms as much as Scott Derrickson. His first big budget film was The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a film that divided audiences when it was first released. That film combined a traditional court room drama with the conventions of a horror/exorcism film. Similar to The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Derrickson approaches Deliver Us From Evil by combining the horror genre with another one, a cop drama.
The X-Men films are our last connection to the superhero films of the early 2000s. The films weren’t particularly great, with the series hitting a low point beginning with X-Men: The Last Stand and being followed with the absolutely awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Whatever good the first two movies had done, disappeared, and no one could understand why 20th Century Fox just didn’t reboot the franchise.
When we first see Spider-Man in, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he is free falling through the city of New York. He’s in his classic red, and blue suit, he’s web-slinging like I’ve never seen Spidey web-sling like before. You hear the news chopper talk about a hijacking turned car chase, and you see Spider-Man head towards the scene. The scene gives us the wise-cracking Spidey, who’s not only worried about stopping the chase, but also protecting the random citizens who are getting caught in the middle of everything. This is the Spider-Man we’ve have not seen in any of the movies before, at least not one that is portrayed, and executed this perfectly.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gave me the Spider-Man I’ve always wanted to see on screen, and for that I’m thankful. However, that is as far as my compliments go. Because, after that scene, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, turns into an inconsistent, bloated, and nonsensical mess.
The summer movie season is about to start this week with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which didn’t make my list. It’s the blockbuster movie season, where studios put out big bucks in order to make an even bigger investment. Like every year, this is the season where we find a big mix of movies, ranging from comedies, to super hero movies, to monster movies, to disaster films, to action-packed thrill rides. Many will turn out to be absolute crap, but a few should blow our minds.
You’ve never seen a Bible story done quiet like Noah before. This is not an adaptation, or a big budget retelling of the classic Biblical tale, this is the story of Genesis after a page one rewrite. It combines fantasy the way you see in Greek Myths, and big blockbuster films, with theological debates you usually find in smaller, more independent films. It is a flawed film, but even when it stumbles the moments it succeeds are truly remarkable. It’s basically a Bible film made for me.
300 became an unknown sleeper hit back in 2006. Director Zack Snyder created a wholly stylized world, and filled it with six packs, testosterone, and some of the most quotable lines of movie dialogue. That was 2006, this is 2014, and we have a prequel/sequel/parallel story to the original, in, 300: Rise of an Empire. So, after eight years, was anyone even clamouring for another 300 movie? Well, certainly not me, I was not even a big fan of the first movie. Loved the stylized violence, but hated the simple-minded, and male driven nature of it’s story-telling. However, I was curious, Snyder wasn’t directing it, and Eva Green was the movie’s female lead, and villain.
I never liked Captain America growing up. Always found him boring and a bit of a square, basically, I felt that he was just a way for America to show off their patriotism, and to compete with Superman for being the moral compass of their comics. I mean, the guy’s wearing the American flag on his chest. However, my opinion on Captain America changed after I watched Captain America: The First Avenger.
Captain America’s first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe turned out to be the Marvel’s best Phase One movie but also turned out to be my favourite Marvel movie. It was just a great movie from to start to finish; filled with with great character moments, a lot of heart, and is the only marvel film to earn it’s love story.
Kickstarted from cancelation, the Veronica Mars movie, had a lot riding on its shoulders. Not only did it have appease the show’s diehard fans and newcomers but also appease the over 90,000 backers, who, altogether chipped in a total of $5.7 million to fund the movie on Kickstarter. Creator and in this case writer and director, Rob Thomas, made a promise to fans, “We will deliver the Veronica Mars follow-up that you’ve always wanted,” and as a fan of the TV show, I think he and his team delivered on that promise.
The LEGO Movie could have easily been a hundred minute commercial but, instead, becomes an ode to imagination and creativity. It manages to be a film, that has incredible substance, but also has the ability to get audiences to buy LEGO products. At times, frantic fun and, at other times, a heartfelt love letter to the LEGO brand itself. Part Toy Story and part South Park, The LEGO Movie perfectly encapsulates the spirit and fun of LEGO and why so many adults and children, alike, are in love with the brand.
In the film Wall Street, Gordon Gekko says, “The point is ladies and gentleman that greed, for a lack of a better word, is good.” No one understands this quote than Jordan Belfort. A stockbroker, who in the 1980s and 90s gained his fortunes by selling penny stocks to wealthy, middle and working class investors. Unlike Wall Street, which showed you the character of Gordon Gekko through the eyes of Bud Fox; Director, Martin Scorsese, approaches The Wolf of Wall Street through the character of Jordan Belfort by having Belfort himself tell his story. The result is an abashed, exciting, disgusting, exhausting, eye-opening and entertaining film about a loathsome man and his friends.
The retelling of classic fairytales is what Disney does best. There was a period where they attempted to do away with that formula and create wholly original films such as Dinosaur, Treasure Planet, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, just to name a few. The problems with those films was that everything was dumbed down. Stories were forgetful, sense of heart and adventure was lost and most of all, no songs or the songs were forgetful.
Back in 09 Disney jumped back into the fairytale pool with The Princess and the Frog. Then moved onto Tangled, which was loosely based on the story of Rapunzel. Now they’re back with another loosely based retelling of Christian Anderson’s The Ice Queen with Frozen.
When a film like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes along, it brings out my inner feminist. Films like this are rare. We are so used to seeing women be the lead in romantic comedies, that when you see one wielding a bow and murdering people for survival, it’s jarring. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may not be the best film of 2013, it is far from perfect, but it is one of the most important films of 2013.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the middle child of the trilogy, so you’d expect it to be forgetful, a placeholder for the more explosive conclusion. However, that is not the case. Catching Fire is a darker, deeper and more action-packed than the first film. It builds upon what the first film already created and adds more layers, to its characters, and the world they inhabit.
The Carrie remake has gotten a bad rep since it came out. With critics and audiences, saying that it was ok or just plain bad. The original is so great and so iconic, that doing a remake seems unnecessary. That would be unfair to director, Kimberly Pierce, who constructs Carrie with universal notes of sympathy, that were missing in the 1976 version.
Gravity is a dazzling film. From its start, right up to its end; it will have you in awe. One moment you will be admiring the scenery, the next you will be gasping for breath. Gravity is suspenseful, full of wonder, impressive in scale but most of all, Gravity, has a heart.
I was expecting Gravity to amaze me. Have you seen those trailers? I knew it would be a visual feast but I didn’t expect the simple but deep themes that Gravity tries to instil in its viewers. Themes of survival, loss, and the human response to disasters.
Sequels are always tough. Not only do you have to create a film that is a follow up to the original but it has to have it’s own identity. It will always be compared to the original and even the most die hard of fans will scrutinize it. No one fucks with the original, a phrase echoed by fanboys through the years. Kick-Ass 2 is envious of the original film. It wants to live up to the original so bad you can sense its eagerness to do so. This causes the film to loose it’s heart, wit and joyful energy that the original has become synonymous with.