Monday, July 27, 2015

Double Review: Paper Towns and Pixels.

Hello everyone, and as the month of July begins coming to a close, and Oscar season will be in full effect come September, I decided to lend my attention to a few more notable summer flicks, with more like Trainwreck and Mr. Holmes to follow I hope. Today, I’ll be taking a look at two very different but much anticipated new releases. The first is the latest adaptation of one of Fault in Our Stars author John Green’s books, and the other is the latest Adam Sandler vehicle Pixels. Enjoy reading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Southpaw movie review.

Antoine Fuqua is something of a one hit wonder. After bursting onto the scene with his 2001 smash hit Training Day, pretty much all of his follow up films have ranged from mixed to outright deplorable critical reception. Fuqua is a case of director very comparable to Ridley Scott, in that he’s a technically proficient and uniquely stylish director with a tendency to pick poor screenplays.

For this reason, there was always a sense of justified skepticism over his boxing-centric drama Southpaw. Originally intended to be a star vehicle for Eminem, the film would have been his first major film role since 2002’s 8 Mile. In the end, though, Eminem exited the project (while still contributing to its soundtrack), and the lead role instead went to Jake Gyllenhaal, who has been on a recent hot streak culminating with last year’s Nightcrawler. So, it’s with a heavy heart that Southpaw turns out to be a disappointment. It’s Fuqua’s best film since Training Day, but with his output, that’s not setting a high bar.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ant-Man movie review.

Ever since Marvel began producing films independently with their continually growing cinematic universe, along with some of their modestly known franchises such as Captain America and Iron Man, they’ve also began to introduce more obscure franchises such as last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s something of a risk that has no guarantee of paying off, but provides a welcome shake up to the usual formula.

And so we come to Ant-Man, which has actually been in development since the company’s early days as a movie studio in 2008. Originally intended to be directed by Edgar Wright, best known for kinetic cult comedies such as Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, it suffered from a few hiccups in production, including Wright himself exiting the project. The movie moved forward into production with new director Peyton Reed, and acts as the official conclusion of Marvel’s second phase of films (and unofficially the start of its third). While it may not pay off as well as Guardians of the Galaxy did, it is an incredibly fun shake up to Marvel’s ongoing film series.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Terminator Genisys movie review.

James Cameron turned into something of an overnight sensation in the 1980’s. His first true director’s credit came in the form of 1984 classic The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the iconic title character. Soon after came Aliens, The Abyss, and in 1991, Cameron returned to the looming threat of Skynet with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was both bigger and better than the original, and stands as one of the greatest action films of all time.

However, much like the Alien franchise that Cameron played a part in, the Terminator films to follow suffered an inevitable decline in quality. 22 years and two lazy sequels after Terminator 2, the franchise returns with Terminator Genisys (I hope I’m spelling that right). Acting as an X-Men: Days of Future Past continuation and reboot to the series, the film is intended to jump start a brand new trilogy of Terminator films. And as a huge fan of this series, if this is how they want to start that trilogy, I have no hope for anything that’s going to follow.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Brief thoughts on Minions.

I don’t consider myself a fan of the Despicable Me films. I typically find their Looney Tunes style manic humor utterly vapid and inconsistently written. However, if there’s anything I’ve enjoyed about these films, its Gru’s scene-stealing yellow minions. Without their delightful gibberish talk and slapstick antics, I doubt either of those films would have been half as successful as they were.

It would appear even Illumination Entertainment was aware of this, as distributor Universal Pictures has essentially milked the characters for all they’re worth with t-shirts, toys, short films, theme park rides and meet and greets, all the way down to a real-time strategy mobile game from Electronic Arts. So, it’s with all that in mind that Minions feels exactly like all of that; a marketing scheme that further capitalizes on the success of the characters.