Movie Review – ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Isn’t Monkeying Around

After the roaring success of Godzilla, the resurgence of the monster movie was officially in full swing, giving studios the green light to release several more remakes and reboots of classic monster films. And while we wait for them to unearth Steve McQueen’s The Blob (crosses fingers), we’ll have to settle for more popular franchises like King Kong.

Kong: Skull Island does everything it needs to be a crowd pleaser minus one pretty important piece. It’s heavy on the action and comedy, providing a fun escape to the theater, but the overflowing humor and lack of solid, likable three-dimensional characters weaken the stakes. It has great potential, but it doesn’t seem to care to go any further.

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‘Dunkirk’ PG-13 Rating is Nolan’s Boldest Move Yet

Christopher Nolan has never shied away from bold decisions, creating unique cinematic effects like Inception‘s mind-bending hallway scene, casting oddball actors like Heath Ledger as The Joker, and telling stories in mostly non-linear and splintered fashions. In the past, his creative instincts have led him to great success both critically and financially. Now, he’s making another bold move, and no it’s not casting One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles (though, that is head scratching), it’s creating a PG-13 war movie.[Continue Reading]

A Case Against Disney Cartoon Remakes

Originally, I was going to write up a review about the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, but the more I considered it, the more I realized it was better to take a different direction.

The Beauty and the Beast remake is essentially a frame-for-frame copy of the cartoon. That isn’t to say that changes weren’t made, but overall, the cartoon to live-action transfer is fully complete to ignite millennial nostalgia. It’s a gorgeous CGI-display of Emma Watson’s Beauty prancing in the open fields and Dan Steven’s Beast growling and mostly being angry until he’s not supposed to be anymore. Musical lovers will gush at all the wonderfully choreographed singing and dancing scenes and Disney fanatics will be perfectly happy accepting this newly repackaged gift. In other words, there’s nothing I’m going to tell you that will change your mind about seeing Beauty and the Beast, with one exception.

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Movie Review – ‘Table 19’ is a Great Idea, But Never Lands

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who gets to parade around in the bride and groom inner circle, weddings are atrocious affairs, filled with sitting, waiting and talking with strangers you’d more than likely avoid in everyday life. And, much like the seven circles of hell, the further you get away from the wedding party, the more the torment increases until you’re just not sure why you showed up in the first place.

This is the genius behind the idea of Table 19, a quirky and awkward indie-wannabe comedy starring Anna Kendrick. Unfortunately, any initial greatness the idea possessed dies upon implementation and is tossed in its own leper colony along the way.

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89th Academy Awards Ends with Awkward Mix Up

The 89th Academy Awards made history last night and not in the way you might expect. Of course, there were plenty of political jokes, commentary, and hijinks, including a moment when Jimmy Kimmel tweeted President Trump. The whole night, Kimmel made sure to make things uncomfortable and weird, too, like bringing in a real Hollywood tourist group to take pictures of all the celebrities and dropping food from the ceiling attached to parachutes. However, in one epic, awkward, and gut-wrenching twist that Kimmel couldn’t have dreamed up, the Academy Award for Best Picture was given to the wrong movie.

Here’s how everything went down. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, looking like two drunk wedding crashers, presented the nominees for Best Picture. When Warren Beatty opened the envelope and read the winner, he looked puzzled, smiled, and didn’t say anything, keeping the audience in suspense. He looked over at Faye Dunaway and handed her the envelope. She read the name and immediately said, “La La Land.” Everyone cheered and all the winners of La La Land came up to the stage.

Just as they were making their speeches, Justin Horowitz, the producer of La La Land, gets word that they read the wrong card and he immediately interjects. “Sorry, guys, hold on. There’s a mistake. Moonlight. You won Best Picture. This is not a joke,” he said, holding the Oscar over to them. Ouch.

It was one of those sickening, bitter-sweet moments that I’m sure everyone on stage wasn’t sure how to handle in the moment, but Jimmy Kimmel and the cast of La La Land handled it with class, charm, and a lot of grace.

The mix-up occurred when Warren Beatty was given the wrong envelope from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, a prestigious accounting firm out of London that handles the security of the envelopes. As a precaution, they make duplicates of the envelopes. Warren Beatty took the Best Actress in a Leading Role envelope instead of Best Picture. PriceWaterhouseCoopers deeply apologized for the flub and is investigating.

After the ruckus died down, Kimmel ended up the show with this. “Well, I don’t know what happened; I blame myself for this,” he said. “Let’s remember, it’s just an awards show. I mean, we hate to see people disappointed, but the good news is, we got to see some extra speeches. We had some great movies. I knew I would screw this show up, I really did. Thank you for watching. I’m back to work tomorrow night at my regular show. I promise I’ll never come back. Good night.”

 

Source: Washingtonpost.com

Movie Review – ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ is Hilarious, Awesome Fun

When The Lego Movie came out, I was honestly skeptical. The idea of throwing a popular toy franchise on to the big screen reeked of a get-rich-quick scheme by Hollywood producers, hoping to capitalize only on the brand name and not put much effort into the cinematic experience. Fortunately, I was very wrong, and admittedly, I fell for the same thinking trap again with The LEGO Batman Movie.

I figured The LEGO Movie’s success was nostalgia driven and wouldn’t be able to be replicated in future spin-offs. However, The LEGO Batman Movie proved you can make a great movie on two massive franchises (Batman and LEGOs) without feeling like a cheap cash grab. With fun and hilarious comedy, lovable characters, fast pacing and emotional stakes, The LEGO Batman Movie is well worth the trip to the theater.

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Movie Review – You’ll Wish You Were Dead by the End of ‘Rings’

Released in 2002, The Ring is a solid horror mystery directed by Gore Verbinksi with a terrific performance by Naomi Watts. It is a simple, effective story about a detective who needs to solve a murder mystery before she dies in seven days. You care about her character and feel the weight of time as she struggles to piece things together. Alas, I am not reviewing The Ringbut it’s ugly, unwanted stepchild.

Rings is the antithesis of its predecessor, and not in any good or admiring ways. It’s atrociously awful. Its only virtue is the cinematography from Sharone Meir (Whiplash) which frankly it doesn’t deserve.

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Movie Review – ‘Gold’ Fools Everyone with Sloppy Storytelling

If you take a 1000-piece puzzle, put it in front of a small child and watch said child put it together for two hours, that’s what it’s like to watch the movie Gold.

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Movie Review – Affleck Stretches Himself Too Thin in ‘Live by Night’

It’s hard to deny that after years out in the desert of bad movies, Ben Affleck has returned like a phoenix, winning the hearts of movie-goers and critics alike. Even with the recent flop of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck still rose above with a stellar portrayal of Bruce Wayne. However, with every victorious comeback there’s the liability of ego and with Live by Night, Affleck stretches himself too thin, producing, directing, writing, and acting. While there’s plenty to like, the bland main character and quiet acting by Affleck ultimately can’t hold up the long and intricate story.

Live by Night follows Joe Coughlin (Affleck) after he returns fighting in World War I and has had enough of people telling him what to do. Putting together a group of gangsters, Coughlin holds up banks and underground casinos in Prohibition-era Boston. After a run in with the Irish mob, Coughlin heads down to Florida to set up shop and faces off against the local competition.

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Movie Review — Row the Boat, Please: ‘Manchester By the Sea’ is Good, But Too Slow to be Great

manchester-by-the-sea-casey-affleck-lucas-hedges-promo

Though it ain’t Jimmy Stewart finding life’s true meaning is in the small pleasures, it’s not that far off.

Manchester By the Sea is a grim tale — we see Casey Affleck as Lee grinding it out as a maintenance man for a Boston slumlord, not much going right for him. His daily life consists of getting hammered after a day of drudging work before collapsing in his one room, cell-like apartment. Casey is obviously damaged, and though we don’t yet know what caused it, we are shown glimpses of his gristly past in a series of flashbacks throughout the film.

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