New Trailer: OH MY GOD – ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

 This is going to be the blockbuster of the decade.

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 This is going to be the blockbuster of the decade.

Marvel released the trailer for highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War released today.  This movie is the culmination of 10 years of movie making for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The trailer definitely pulled out all the stops to get everyone as hype as humanly possible.  The Russo Brothers are in the director’s chair again, and it looks like this is going to be as epic as Captain America: Civil War ten fold.

This trailer has everything a comic book movie could want.  Iron Man. Captain America. Spider-Man AND his spidey sense. The Guardians.  Thanos.  Good lord, Thanos looks so good.  This is the team up comic book movie we need (#sorrynotsorry Justice League).  The action looks terrific.  The CGI is polished and seamless.

According to Kevin Feige, a bunch of stories from the past decade are coming to a close in this movie.  Expectations are high for this movie, as fans of the both the comics and the movies will expect this to be the true Citizen Kane of bad movies.  Hopefully this tops the Oscar-winning film Suicide Squad.

Illumination to Produce Mario Movie, and I’m Dead Inside

Here’s to hoping we don’t get a Mario/Minions crossover.

Here’s to hoping we don’t get a Mario/Minions crossover.

It seems that Nintendo, one of the oldest video game companies in the industry, has been working on a deal with Illumination Entertainment, the Comcast owned Studio that unleashed Minions upon the world.  This deal will give Illumination the rights to produce a feature length animated Mario movie, with Nintendo supervising the production. Shigeru Miyamoto, series creator, will serve as a producer for the film.

A Mario movie with Illumination will probably do well, as they can always turn a profit at the box office.  I think Illumination does some groundbreaking work with animation, but their films have almost no substance.  The plots are thin and stuffed with kid humor.  The main focus of their movies is to keep kids mindlessly entertained for 90 minutes at a time. Studios like Pixar actually produce a movie that works for both children and adults.

Video games movies are a terrible track record, with last year’s “Assassin’s Creed” being the most recent flop. “Warcraft” did terribly in the US but profited overseas.  With Mario being placed in the hands of a successful animation studio, we will more than likely see the first video game movie to make a serious profit at the box office.  Our beloved plumber just deserves a better studio to call its home for its first big studio outing.

Why Can’t Hollywood Consistently Make Good Adaptations?

Seriously, what’s the deal? 

Seriously, what’s the deal? 

The Snowman is hitting theaters this Friday and is already being panned badly by critics.  With a pretty awful Rotten Tomatoes score of 23% as of this morning, we can expect the film to not do so hot opening weekend.  I believe there is a reason why this movie is being perceived so poorly.

Hollywood is a business.  Movies are their product and they have to make movies to make money.  I get that.  However, the problem lies with production companies buying the rights to these best selling books and rushing through production of the film to try to hit theaters before the book has even been out for a year.

We saw this with last years The Girl On The Train.  That was a hit book that was put on best seller list pretty much a week after it’s release.  I couldn’t put the book down because of how outright suspenseful it was. So when I finally saw the movie, I felt wronged because some of my favorite moments from the book didn’t make it to the film. These were scenes that made for a complete story and shouldn’t have been left out. It was apparent to me that the film was rushed through production so that the movie could hit the big screen while the book was still relevant.

There has to be a similar issue with The Snowman.  Tomas Alfredson, the director, even said they didn’t shoot the whole script.  With the project being in production hell for four years, when they finally got a director on board they rushed through production to get the film out.  The film is based on a series of crime novels, so it’s clear to me they were hoping to start a film franchise.  If The Snowman is indeed as bad as they say, that franchise will be dead on arrival.

There are absolutely incredible film adaptations of books out there.  There are some that are able to bring to life the images and feelings the written word provokes better than thought possible.  The king of the adaptation, David Fincher, has directed three awesome films that make you forget the book even exists.  Maybe Hollywood should just let him direct all crime novel adaptations from here on out.

Jared Leto Cast as Hugh Hefner, Every Method Actors Dream Role

How method will Leto get when crawling into the skin of a millionaire playboy?

How method will Leto get when crawling into the skin of a millionaire playboy?

Jared Leto is a peculiar pop star.  During the 2000s, he had the reputation of a good musician with a bad acting problem.  Since he secured an Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, it seems like Leto is being cast in every big studio production since.

Look, I don’t hate Jared Leto.  Requiem for a Dream and Dallas Buyers Club are two great films with incredible performances from Leto.  However since all the horror stories of his method acting for the Joker in Suicide Squad, and then his performance being one of the most laughable interpretations of the clown prince of crime left a bad taste in my mouth.  When news broke of Leto actually blinding himself for the production of Blade Runner 2049, I’m pretty sure my reaction was “okay… and?”

Now that he is stepping into the shoes of the most notorious playboy on the planet, the world needs to brace itself for whatever method acting hijinks Leto is going to get himself into.  The project will be helmed by Brett Ratner, who has been eyeing the project since 2007. He and Hef have reportedly been friends for a long time, so hopefully that will lend some authenticity to the role.  Just the thought of Jared Leto playing the sex icon in his later years makes my skin crawl.

I hope this projects goes well.  I hope Jared Leto is able to add another great performance to his portfolio.  Ever since his Oscar, he has churned out some pretty laughable material.  To quote the ultimate joke from the latest season of Bojack Horseman, Honeydew is like the Jared Leto of fruit; the worst part of everything it’s in.

Review: ‘American Made’ is a Hit Tom Cruise Film Through and Through

A pilot’s career takes flight when he is launched into the world of covert CIA operations and drug smuggling.

A pilot’s career takes flight when he is launched into the world of covert CIA operations and drug smuggling.

RATING: ★★1/2 (out of four stars)

Tom Cruise is one of the most prominent faces of Hollywood.  From sliding across the floor in Risky Business to scaling building in Mission Impossible, audiences are more than familiar with his work.  While Cruise has seen most of his success in the 80s and 90s, he has seen mild success as of late with films like Edge of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher. His latest film, American Made, hit theaters this weekend and it is a welcome addition to his impressive portfolio.

Following the story of Barry Seal, who goes from a pilot for the TWA to a reconnaissance pilot for the CIA to a drug runner for the Columbian Cartel.  The movie is as fast paced as that synopsis makes it sound.  This film takes place over the course of several years, but things evolve so rapidly it feels like a couple days.  While most movies might get derailed by such fast pacing, American Made is better for it thanks to the adept directing style of Doug Liman (the Bourne Trilogy).

This is a Tom Cruise movie to down to every beat.  It’s flashy, action packed, and Tom Cruise is able to switch from serious to aloof at the snap of a finger.  This is one of the better roles Cruise has taken on in recent years.  The role demands a certain charming cockiness in these high stakes hijinks that only Cruise could provide.  While Cruise is top notch, the rest of the cast falls flat by comparison.  Domhall Gleeson (The Revenant) plays the CIA agent “Schaffer”, who seems hollow and unconvincing in most of his scenes.  Sarah Wright (Walk of Shame) as Barry’s wife is outright laughable with the delivery of a bunch of her lines.  These performances add to overall fun nature of the film, but do not stand out as an attractive quality of the film.

The film takes place in the late 70s and early 80s, and the film lends itself to this aesthetic from its opening logos.  One thing that sets this movie apart from other movies based around the drug cartel is they are quit heavy handed about the criminal aspects of the film.  That is not the case here, as the cartel lends itself to more hijinks than drama.  The cinematography and editing sells this film as one of the most convincing period pieces of recent memory.  The movie makes use of historical footage to ground scenes in a timeline with the war on drugs, which breathes life into the period not seen in any movie like this.  While some parts of the production can seem jarring as it’s not implemented in movies nowadays, it adds a degree of realism to the production value of this movie.

American Made is overall a solid film Cruise and Liman can add to their already impressive repertoire.  The film is fast paced and fun, and has an attractive aesthetic.  Cruise provides a stellar performance that helps this film standout from other cartel movies.  It hits theaters this Friday, and is definitely worth checking out!

Review: The “It” Reboot is the Perfect Adaptation of Stephen King’s Nightmare

This retelling of the Loser’s encounter with Pennywise the Clown brings the horror to new audiences.

This retelling of the Loser’s encounter with Pennywise the Clown brings the horror to new audiences.

RATING: ★★★★ (out of four stars)

The stories Stephen King tells have long been a staple of the horror genre.  His novels convey some of the most terrifying tales known to man.  There have been many film adaptations of his work over most of his career.  Perhaps his most acclaimed (and terrifying) novel is It.  Spanning almost 1200 pages, this beast of a novel had previously been adapted into a mini series in the 1990s. Now in 2017, It is receiving a reboot for the big screen with the first film in a two part series of a reboot, helmed by Mama director Andy Muschietti.

The book tells two stories; one from the main characters childhood and one in 27 years later.  This film tells the first story, that follows the kids adventure through the small Maine town of Derry in 1989.  Audiences are pulled in from the very first opening scene where Georgie meets Pennywise.  The same uneasy and terrified feelings that came with reading that first chapter are brought to life in cinematic glory.  It is one of the most faithful film adaptations of a book in recent memory.  All of the characters feel like they crawled right off the page to star in the movie.  There are subtle nods to other details, such as Bill’s bike.  The script takes a few liberties switching up some scenes from the book, but they are welcome here as it allows for a better story to be told in a visual medium.

The cast may have been the most perfect pairing of actors in a movie ever.  The kids that play the Losers are perfect.  Jaeden Lieberher as Stuttering Bill and Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier standout above the rest.  Jaeden brings a nervous charm that is required of the character while flawlessly nailing the dialogue through a tricky stutter, and Finn proves he is a capable young actor by bringing some genuine comedy that keeps the movie from getting so bogged down.  Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh brings a strong female character to the the gang of boys and makes her feel more essential to the story than a token girl in a horror story.  While the rest of the Losers may not get as fleshed out as they do in the book, the chemistry between the kids is definitely there.

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown gives one of the most terrifying performances ever to be given in a film.  Every scene he is in will send chills down every viewer’s spine.  While he does not have that much dialogue outside his fear inducing “you’ll float too” lines, the aura he brings to the character infects every scene with fear-inducing tension that lingers long after he has left the screen.  One of the genius qualities of the character, a clown who preys on the fear of children, is how he is able to seamlessly shift from an seemingly innocent friend to a horrifying demon at the snap of a finger.  It may be sacrilege to say, but Skarsgård’s may greatly overshadow Tim Curry’s classic performance in the original series.

The production quality of It overall is very sound.  The film has very clear and concise direction that realized the full potential of the source material.  That, coupled with the set design, allow for the town of Derry and it’s looming cloud of evil to come to life.  The cinematography elegantly captures a scene and, with the subtle tilt of a camera, transforms an innocent scene through the eyes of a child into a horrific nightmare.  The special effects and make up are used sparingly enough to elevate the otherworldly terror of Pennywise to a whole other level.  The film relies on is terrifying atmosphere to realize it’s horrific potential.  There are quite a bit of jump scares but they are welcome part of the movie since the play into the very nature of Pennywise’s character, who demands to be seen and feared.

While being both a reboot and a horror blockbuster, It feels fresh with both it’s source material and it’s genre.  Muschietti utilizes all of his resources to build a childlike story with his wonderful cast, and the twist it into something unholy with his perfect Pennywise.  The production quality is solid enough to create a fear-inducing atmosphere and while it does play into a few jump scare, none of them feel cheap.  This is a must see film for any horror fanatic, and opens in theaters everywhere this Friday!

Will ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Have the Longest Runtime of Any Recent Blockbuster?

Also, is it October yet? 

Also, is it October yet? 

One of the most anticipated movies of fall 2017 is Dennis Villeneuve’s follow-up to the beloved Blade Runner. Rumors have surfaced that the runtime of Blade Runner 2049 is an impressive 163 minutes.  That is just shy of being a three hour movie.  Audiences can expect to get comfortable with some gorgeous Roger Deakins cinematography portraying this impressive cast for a long haul *insert heart eyes emoji*.

Runtimes for blockbusters have been well over the 2-hour mark for sometime.  2014’s Interstellar clocked in at 169 minutes.  The longest Marvel film runs at about 147 minutes.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice original runtime was 151 minutes, with the Ultimate Edition bumping it up to over 3 hours.  Long movies are to be expected nowadays, so long as studios know what to do with the padded runtime.

Fingers crossed that Blade Runner 2049 is better for having a longer run time.  The original was 157 minutes, which is still a good amount of time.  Hopefully this means Villeneuve held it pretty close to the chest when it comes to the source material.  Having opted out of the festival circuit, audiences can expect to get their first look at the film when it hits theaters in October.