If you’re not familiar with the name M. Night Shyamalan, you should be. More recently, you would recognize his films like The Last Airbender or that one where trees take revenge on mankind by driving them all to suicide (I don’t recommend it). However, you should be familiar with this man’s name for his classics. As a writer/producer/director (and often actor in these same films), Shyamalan is a brilliant storyteller who has the ability to capture more than just the audience’s eye. He has the rare ability to brilliantly capture both the mind and the heart with his films.
Ever wondered why we (as an audience) accept certain things over others. For instance, I could not be more excited for Avengers: Age of Ultron and thought The Avengers was a masterpiece. At the same time, I have absolutely 0% interest in seeing a Power Rangers movie. Both feature teams of colorful heroes fighting bad guys, but the Rangers just seem more suited for a younger audience. The Marvel Cinematic Universe walks the line between big action for the whole family and storylines/character development that can be appreciated by older cinephiles. Whatever the answer is, this past week gave us updates on both those films, as well as some news from the creator of Middle-Earth. Continue reading →
This should be mildly entertaining. An American reviewing British things. I bet you are waiting to hear my revolutionary war joke. Don’t worry I don’t have one, because I’m actually a fan of the UK all around. I like their culture, their accents, their actors/actresses and their corgis (side note: good call on that one God).
Often Americans see the glorious mecca that is their film industry, which then often goes to our heads. And because of this we sometimes cannot appreciate other cultures when it comes to filmmaking. And in the case of the British, they have some great filmmaking chops.
When writing my Dawn of the Planet of the Apes review, I found myself exploring the film in a way that I would not have if I had not set out to write a review. I talked about the great story the film told, the themes it explored and the great visual effects. As I was getting near the end of the review I found that I had not really talked about the great direction from Matt Reeves. I toyed around with trying to fit in a paragraph talking about his skill as a director but found that it wouldn’t do him justice. Instead, let’s explore Dawn of Apes a little more, but also look at Reeve’s body of work and appreciate his filmmaking. Continue reading →
Certain types of movies set out to accomplish certain types of goals. It has been said that people watch movies for two different reasons. The first reason would be that of escape. When watching a movie on a huge screen with an enveloping sound system it is very easy to get sucked into the world the film creates. With 3D, IMAX, IMAX-3D and newly premiered 4DX it has never been easier to go to a theater and leave the real world for that of a fictional one. 3D experiences like Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon ended up having long legs at the box-office for the simple fact that those movies needed to be seen on a big screen. Summer blockbusters thrive in this first category. It is very easy to get caught up in the experience of other worlds, years of mythology and explosive action. Continue reading →
Challenge: Name one great movie that was adapted from a popular video game franchise. Go ahead, just one. Take a fifteen minute break if you have to, I know this is exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s been plenty of enjoyable video game flicks. I mean I still watch Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat every once in a while and no one has to tie me to a chair (Don’t get me started on the sequels of either of those franchises). That being said, there isn’t even one great video game movie on my shelf. Or your shelf. I promise. But in a few years that will be a very different story. Continue reading →
Gone Girl is the latest feature to be directed by prolific director David Fincher. The film is based on the book by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, which is a good sign for the quality of the story. GoneGirl will see Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as a couple in which the wife’s death is blamed on the husband. The new trailer has just been released and bears some discussion. Continue reading →
Before starting this blog, I had never really written anything outside of the academic arena. Outside of academia, my only real writing exposure was writing some “best of” lists for 2010 and 2011 in film. 2011 was a weird year for me (as far as movies go), I liked a lot of the movies to come out that year, but I didn’t love all that many. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a film that I truly loved and I named it my favorite film of 2011 (To read my thoughts from 2011 see the link at the bottom of the page). The first time I saw the movie I was hooked, I was able to see it in theaters a couple more times and I have re watched it on blu ray some more as well, this is my kind of film. With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes being released this week, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the first film and share with you some of the reasons I love it and why I think its one of the best sci-fi films of the decade.
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who walks into Starbucks, looks over the menu, and then leaves because there’s nothing new to be had. Even if they had their heart set on trying something “new” they probably walked out with the same cup of coffee 100 other people had ordered that day. Starbucks knows what will sell and they will keep selling it until it doesnt sell anymore. Based on the $13.29 billion revenue in 2012 and their steadily rising sales since, I think their strategy is working.
Why is it that we have such radically different expectations of Hollywood distribution companies? Is it wrong to have those different expectations? Continue reading →
With comedies like Anchorman, 21 Jump Street and 13 Going on 30, you may think you’ve got Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo all figured out. With the new trailer for Foxcatcher being released, prepare to have your preconceived notions about the actors blown away. This week also brought us some new looks for a popular superhero, as well as some great news regarding the future of the Bond franchise. Continue reading →