Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Honeymoon Is Over

 When I initially started this blog, it was basically an outlet for my movie reviews. I also would sometimes redirect people to bigger movie news anytime it was relevant. I'm writing this post not to say that I'm quitting, granted post are few and far between, but to say phase one is basically complete. Blogspot was only meant to be a temporary. I primarily now post on WordPress, switch is equally temporarily solution. I personally like interface and layout of WordPress over Blogspot. Quite frankly, it takes a bit of work to post the same post on both sites. So for now, I think I'm going to stick to just posting WordPress. 

If you somehow have stumbled upon this blog and want to see you current content you may check out my WordPress version of this blog, here

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

End of the Year Review 2020

This year was an exceptionally bad year for the film business because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Films with scheduled release dates in March and beyond, were either delayed or realsed on streaming sites. Most of delays were pushed into 2021. This disease may have sped up the inevitable fate of movie thesters dying. I look foward to watching movies on a large movie screen agian. Until then, here is my "End of the Year Review" list. 

The Best:

1. The Trial Chicago 7
2. Soul
3. Mank
4. Tenet
5. The Invisible Man

Broken Down By Genre: 

Action: Extraction
Adventure: N/A
Animation: Soul
Comedy: Guns Akimbo
Comic Book: Wonder Woman 1984
Crime / Mystery: Enola Holmes
Drama: The Way Back
Fantasy: Onward
Historical or Bio Pic: The Trial Chicago 7
Horror: N/A
Indie Film: N/A
Musical: Hamilton
Sci-Fi: Tenet
Thriller: The Invisible Man
War: "Greyhound"

Commentary & Notes: With a very light release schedule, Im only doing a top 5. These lists in the past have been a top 10. Not goona lie, I only wanted to fill my movie viewings with films that would bring me joy or make me feel good. There was more than enough negative things happening in real life.

The Worst: 

1. Dolittle
2. Artemis Fowl
3. Fantasy Island
4. Bloodshot
5. The New Mutants

Commentary & Notes: These films wernt really all that bad. Some of these films I enjoyed but they just dont hold up.

Most Anticipated of 2021

1. Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel
2. No Time To Die
3. Black Widow
4. Dune (2020)
5. The Suicide Squad
6. Eternals (2021)
7. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
8. Last Night in Soho
9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
10. The Matrix 4

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Oscar Predictions 2017

I challenge you to fill out an Oscar ballot. Here are my predictions for this years Oscars

Best Picture

Winner (1st Pick): The Shape of Water
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Dark Horse: Get Out
My Vote: The Shape of Water

Actor in a Leading Role

Winner (1st Pick): Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Timothee Chalamet -Call Me By Your Name
Dark Horse: Daniel Kaluuta - Get Out
My Vote: Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour

Actress in a Leading Role

Winner (1st Pick): Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird
Dark Horse: Margot Robbie - I, Tonya
My Vote: Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird

Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner (1st Pick): Allison Janney - I, Tonya
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird
Dark Horse: Mary J. Blige - Mudbound
My Vote: Allison Janney - I, Tonya

Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner (1st Pick): Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project
Dark Horse: Richard Jenkins - The Shape of Water
My Vote: Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Winner (1st Pick): Guillermo Del Toro - The Shape of Water
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk
Dark Horse: Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird
My Vote: Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk

Writing: Adapted Screenplay

Winner (1st Pick): Call Me By Your Name
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Mudbound
Dark Horse: Logan
My Vote: Logan

Writing: Original Screenplay

Winner (1st Pick): Get Out
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Dark Horse: The Big Sick
My Vote: The Big Sick


Winner (1st Pick): Blade Runner 2049 
Runner-Up (2nd pick): The Shape of Water
Dark Horse: Dunkirk
My Vote: Blade Runner 2049

Film Editing

Winner (1st Pick): Baby Driver
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Dunkirk
Dark Horse: I, Tonya
My Vote: Baby Driver

Visual Effects

Winner (1st Pick): War for the Planet of the Apes
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Blade Runner 2049
Dark Horse: Kong: Skull Island
My Vote: War for the Planet of the Apes

Production Design

Winner (1st Pick): The Shape of Water
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Blade Runner 2049
Dark Horse: Beauty and the Beast
My Vote: The Shape of Water

Costume Design

Winner (1st Pick): Phantom Thread
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Beauty and the Beast
Dark Horse: Darkest Hour
My Vote: Beauty and the Beast

Makeup and Hairstyling

Winner (1st Pick): Darkest Hour
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Wonder
Dark Horse: Victoria and Abdul
My Vote: Darkest Hour

Sound Editing

Winner (1st Pick): Dunkirk
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Baby Driver
Dark Horse: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
My Vote: Baby Driver

Sound Mixing

Winner (1st Pick): Dunkirk
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Baby Driver
Dark Horse: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
My Vote: Baby Driver

Music: Original Score

Winner (1st Pick): The Shape of Water
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Phantom Thread
Dark Horse: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
My Vote: The Shape of Water

Music: Original Song

Winner (1st Pick): "Remember Me" - Coco
Runner-Up (2nd pick): "This Is Me" -  The Greatest Showman
Dark Horse: "The Mystery of Love" - Call Me By Your Name
My Vote: "This Is Me" -  The Greatest Showman

Animated Feature Film

Winner (1st Pick): Coco
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Loving Vincent
Dark Horse: Ferdinand
My Vote: Coco

Animated Short Film

Winner (1st Pick): Dear Basketball
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Lou
Dark Horse: Revolting Rhymes
My Vote: Lou

Documentary Feature

Winner (1st Pick): Icarus
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Faces Places
Dark Horse: Last Men in Aleppo
My Vote: Haven't seen any of these films, so no vote

Documentary Short

Winner (1st Pick): Edith+Eddie
Runner-Up (2nd pick): Heroine(e)
Dark Horse: Traffic Stop
My Vote: Haven't seen any of these films, so no vote

Foreign Language Film

Winner (1st Pick): A Fantastic Women
Runner-Up (2nd pick): The Square
Dark Horse: Loveless
My Vote: Haven't seen any of these films, so no vote

Short Film

Winner (1st Pick): DeKalb Elementry
Runner-Up (2nd pick): The Eleven O'Clock
Dark Horse: The Silent Child
My Vote: Haven't seen any of these films, so no vote 

Monday, January 1, 2018

End of the Year Review 2017

It’s that time of year again where I tell you, the internet, what movies were my favorite this past year and what movies I thought were stinkers. I’m not a professional blogger, vlogger, or movie critic, so I’m not privileged to early / press screenings. I also live in a small city that only has one 12 screen multiplex theater, meaning I usually have to wait for the national wide release date to watch any independent/low-budget films. With that being said, I’m limited on how many movies I can watch a year. The films on my lists may not be the absolute best films of the year because I see fewer movies than a professional. 

The Best:

  1. Dunkirk  
  2. Wind River 
  3. Baby Driver 
  4. Wonder Woman 
  5. Logan 
  6. The Big Sick 
  7. War for the Planet of the Apes 
  8. Coco 
  9. Spider-Man: Homecoming  
  10. Blade Runner 2049 
Broken Down By Genre: 

Action:  Logan 

Adventure: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword 
Animation: Coco 
Comedy: The Big Sick 
Comic Book: Wonder Woman 
Crime / Mystery: Baby Driver 
Fantasy: Star Wars: The Last Jedi 
Historical or Bio Pic: Dunkirk  
Horror: It 
Indie Film: Lady Bird 
Musical: The Greatest Showman 
Sci-Fi: War for the Planet of the Apes 
Thriller: Wind River 
War: Dunkirk  

Commentary & Notes: Any film highlighted in red is a film still on my need to watch list. If I don't get around to updating this list my current best Indie Film is I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore. The Beauty and Beast is favorite Musical at this time, but I'm sure The Greatest Showman will top once I get a chance to see the film. I have a feeling The Shape of Water may bump Star Wars: The Last Jedi off my list completely. Other films that may affect this list are The Darkest Hour, Detroit, The Disaster Artist, and The Post.       

The Worst: 

  1. The Belko Experiment 
  2. The Emoji Movie 
  3. The Dark Tower 
  4. A Cure for Wellness 
  5. Fifty Shades Darker 
  6. Transformers: The Last Knight 
  7. The Mummy 
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 
  9. Death Note (Netflix) 
  10. The Great Wall

Commentary & Notes: Most of the film on this list I have watched, the ones that I haven't are indicated in red. I didn't watch such films because of three reasons. One: It's not at all my type of movie, Two: There was a better movie out that I was willing to pay for, Three: It had bad reviews, word of mouth, and opening box office number, that I skipped.  

Most Anticipated of 2018: 

  1. Solo: A Star Wars Story 
  2. Avengers: Infinity War 
  3. Black Panther 
  4. The Incredibles 2 
  5. Ready Player One 
  6. Deadpool 2 
  7. Annihilation 
  8. Ant-Man and the Wasp 
  9. Aquaman 
  10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Title: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Distributor: Lucasfilm (Disney)
Director:  Rian Johnson
Writer(s): Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Running Time: 152 min
Synopsis: Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% "Fresh", Top Critics: 96% "Fresh", Audience: 57% "Liked It"
Metacritic: Critics: 86 out of 100, Users: 5.1

My Review

Preface: At the time this goes up I’m sure a lot of you have already seen the movie, but for those of you that haven’t this review may contain SPOILERS. I would like to freely talk about the movie in my review.

Source Material:
 A continuation of the Star Wars saga. Some story elements are clearly inspired by to the original trilogy.

Entertaining Value: 
  • Action Elements: This movie is jammed packed with action. It has three or four big action set pieces, each taking up a good chunk of the film. The film also sprinkles in a few smaller action scenes for good measure.
  • Comedy Elements: The humor in this film felt fairly Marvel-esk. A good amount of the jokes were direct references to other Star Wars films, which were more or less “inside jokes.” The film also had some characters that should be the “straight man” telling jokes. Adding this type of humor was the least of my problems.
  • Dramatic Elements: I think the dramatic tension was one of weakest parts of the movie. There were a few scenes that got me choked up and made feel true sadness because they involved Carrie Fisher and nostalgia to the original trilogy. All those scenes were through the filter knowing that Carrie Fisher isn’t with us anymore.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This film like all other Star Wars films before it, showcases both fantasy and sci-fi elements. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some visual effect accolades be given to this film.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 6.5: To be honest this may be both Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill’s best on-screen performance. Granted that’s not saying much because our sample size for both of them is basically Star Wars. There were a few times I distinctively heard hints of the Joker’s voice coming out of Luke. Personally, I think the new character that we were introduced in The Force Awakens did a good job in their respective roles. I didn’t much care for any of the new character introduced in this film, but that is more of a writing issue. For me, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and Domhnall Gleeson were the performers that stood out the most.
  • Cinematography: 8: Rian Johnson is more of a visual storyteller and knows how to compose beautiful cinematic shots. I also appreciated the attention to details that were happing on screen. Being a filmmaking nerd, stylized or cool camera tricks, turns my crank. A films composition can affect how much I enjoy a film or not. This film delivers on that department.
  • Direction: 6: Rian Johnson filmography is short, most of them leaning more on the side of a lower budgeted indie movie, which includes Looper. With that being said, he wouldn’t have been my first choice to direct a Star Wars film. During the early stages of this film, I remember reports say this film was going to be darker in tone, like how Empire Strikes Back is darker in tone to A New Hope. I think Rian Johnson overall did a decent job capturing those darker tones.
  • Editing: 5: Editing is where the story comes together. It’s the editor’s job to keep the flow of the story moving. This film is paced a bit on the slow side. I think that the slow pacing is due to two factors. Frist, there’s no focus on the main character and their journey through the film. The film has three or four different viewpoint/storylines happening relatively at the same time. They cut between Rey & Luke, Poe &The Resistance, Finn& Rose, and Kylo & The First Order. All These storylines do converge in the third act, but by that time I was a bit worn out. The second is one to many large action set piece. I would have cut the Finn & Rose side adventure on Canto Bight aka the casino planet. I felt what they “accomplished” during that scene didn’t press the story forward.
  • Screenplay: 5: The overall story was okay at best. The major problem I had with this film is it didn’t feel 100% like a Star Wars story. I’m okay with a genre film set in the Star Wars universe that type of idea gave birth to one of the best Star Wars films ever, Rouge One. I can even get behind a director/writer who wants to bring something new to the universe. I’m okay with expanding upon / exploring an old concept in said universe i.e. The Force. I’m okay with averting some of our expectations, but I’m not pleased with throwing away story tropes that are at the heart of Star Wars. When I go to a Star Wars film I want a “Hero’s Journey” type story. Call me a purist if you want, but that’s what I expect from a Star Wars film. I have the most faith in a filmmaker who can be original but still play in the confines of the Star Wars sandbox, especially when dealing with the saga films. I wanted/needed a “No, Luke I’m your father” type moment. I know others will argue that there where multiple moments like that in this film, but I believe all the payoffs to those big reveals were cheap. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  • Sound and Music: 9: I always love the score to Star Wars. It was nice actually hearing John Willimas’ scoring Star Wars again. The only real negative I can think of is I don’t really have a rememberable theme in this film like The Imperial March, or Duel of Fates. The sound design was fantastic. There is one scene where one of the new characters destroys another ship by jumping into hyperspace. They cut the sound completely and it was one of those defining moments of the film.
  • VFX: 7: The visual effect was top notch. I said it before, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see some visual effect accolades be given to this film.” You may be asking, "If they are that good, why the score of a 7 then." Well, I personally didn’t like all the overly CGI creatures, like the space cows or native species on Ahch-To. I also didn’t much care for the Porgs in general. They didn’t ruin the movie like the “Roger-Roger” battle droids, and the Gungans from the prequels. I was fine with them being space puffins on Ahch-To, but they began to annoy me later on in the film. Out of all the new creatures, I enjoyed the crystalline foxes on Crait.
Overall: 6.5: Overall I thought the movie was good but as a Star Wars film it was very disappointing.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ranking Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Now that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters, I thought it would be fitting to let you know where it ranks on my list of "best" MCU films. 

  1. The Avengers
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. Captain America: Civil War
  4. Doctor Strange
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  7. Ant-Man
  8. Iron Man
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  10. Thor
  11. Captain America: The First Avenger
  12. Thor: The Dark World
  13. The Incredible Hulk
  14. Iron Man 3
  15. Iron Man 2

Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the Year Review: 2016

Well, it is that time of year again, where I reflect on the movies I watched this past year. My goal in 2016 was to watch at least 52 new movies, one per week. I didn't quite make that goal, even with binge watching movies through this holiday season. Before I get into my best and worst films of the year, I would like to share the films that are still on my "Watch List." In no particular orde, those films are Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Silence, La La Land, Moana, Hacksaw Ridge, Fences, and Nocturnal Animals.

Best (by genre):

Action: Captain America: Civil War

Adventure: The Jungle Book
Animation: Kubo and the Two Strings
Comedy: Deadpool
Comic Book: Doctor Strange
Crime / Mystery: The Nice Guys
Drama: (Moonlight tentatively, need to watch)
Fantasy: Warcraft
Historical or Bio Pic: Sully (Hacksaw Ridge could usurp)
Horror: Green Room
Indie Film: Sing Street
Musical: (La La Land tentatively, need to watch)
Sci-Fi: Arrival
Thriller: Deepwater Horizon
Western: Hell or High Water
War: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

My Top 10 Best

  1. Arrival
  2. Hell or High Water
  3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  4. Captain America: Civil War
  5. Zootopia
  6. Deepwater Horizon
  7. Sully
  8. The Nice Guys
  9. Sing Street
  10. Deadpool
When it comes to the "worst" films of the year, for me these are the films that just missed the mark. Some of these films were decent films overall but bad compared to those on my best of the year list. Since I don't get paid to watch movies and have a limited cinema budget, SOME of the films on this list are drawn from other critics whose taste in film usually align with mine. These films were so bad in their opinion, that I didn't give them the time of day.

Worst (by genre):

Action: Hardcore Henry

Adventure: Gods of Egypt
Animation: Norm of the North
Comedy: Zoolander 2
Comic Book: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Crime / Mystery: Now You See Me 2
Drama: Ben-Hur
Fantasy: The Huntsman: Winter's War
Historical or Bio Pic: The Finest Hour
Horror: Cabin Fever
Indie Film: (NA)
Musical: (NA)
Sci-Fi: Independence Day: Resurgence
Thriller: Money Monster
Western: (NA)

War: Man Down

My Top 10 Worst

  1. Independence Day: Resurgence
  2. Norm of the North
  3. Zoolander 2
  4. The Huntsman: Winter's War
  5. Gods of Egypt
  6. Ben-Hur
  7. Hardcore Henry
  8. Now You See Me 2
  9. Money Monster
  10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Now it is time to look forward to 2017 and the movies I'm most anticipating on seeing.

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

  1. Star Wars Episode 8
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Spider-Man Homecoming
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  5. Justice League
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Ghost in the Shell
  8. The Circle
  9. Thor: Ragnarok
  10. Power Rangers