What do you get when you package everything you loved about the original Star Wars trilogy with a new mysterious adventure? You get Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first of the new trilogy and Disney’s first production of the movie. The Force Awakens is the perfect early Christmas gift to any Star Wars fan as it stays true to what we love about the original films, while adding just enough intrigue to keep us wanting more. I don’t want to spoil the movie so I will keep this post to impressions, which is fine since this movie made quite an impression. The film begins on an action packed note that continues throughout, and any possible lulls in the film are there for story telling purposes. As a big time Star Wars fan, I welcomed the slow downs as I watched very closely for the deeper story, but the action was never too far around the next corner. The Force Awakens is a perfect example of how other franchises should model their sequels, it takes all of the spectacular elements of the prior movies and builds on them without losing touch with its roots. The Force Awakens has the ability to stand on its own as a great film without relying on the past of the franchise. The Star Wars movies are well know for throwing in surprises, and while this newest film had its share of surprises, I left the theatre with just as many questions as I had answered in the film. I definitely recommend this movie to any Star Wars fans who still haven’t seen it, and to all movie goers. It has been hours since I saw this film and I already can’t wait to see it again, hopefully the writers will be able to continue the strong storytelling in the impending sequels.
It is becoming all too common an occurrence for blockbuster movies to release their initial trailers online only these days. It seems like the Internet revolution has finally begun to take over cinema. I am convinced that in the near future films will be simultaneously released in theaters and online but I guess that is a topic for another day. Today Fox released the trailer for their upcoming X-men film, and while I found it to be quite underwhelming, it doesn’t change the fact that more and more film makers are putting their initial trailers on the Internet for fans to get excited about. I was always used to catching the premiere of a trailer during the viewing of another blockbuster, and I always felt as though tying anticipated trailers to a current release helped drive ticket sales, but I guess the numbers just didn’t stack up. With sites like YouTube, it was becoming impossible for companies to keep their trailers from being leaked, so now it seems they are willing to post them directly to the source. By releasing trailers online, these film makers are not only controlling the hype around their film, but also creating extra publicity via social media. It is clear that the Internet has had a huge effect on media consumption in general, and as we shift to a more web based society, I expect to see much less of the old guard techniques in advertising and much more web only productions.
The Martian was an interesting film, this movie is based on a 2011 novel, and it was pretty cool to see how quickly and effectively it has been adapted to film. While I enjoyed this movie, I felt as though a few aspects of the film were somewhat sped through. I understand that this was a long movie with a solid pace, and that a cinematic release will never be able to convey the intricacies of written literature, but I still felt like I was forced to know more than what they were telling me in the film. I love space travel, and I especially love that this movie deals with the matter of the possible colonization of Mars, but I wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much if I was ignorant to the film’s subject matter. The Martian is a good science fiction film, it packs enough suspense to keep most movie goers interested, while not over doing it in the dialogue with too much jargon. The visuals of the film, while someone plain, perfectly express the idea of total planetary isolation, and the special effects of the movie are top rate. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking for an interesting and thought provoking action film. If you like a somewhat mindless suspense movie that throws in a bit of science for flavor, then this is definitely the film for you.
Fantastic Four is the most recent superhero movie released, and due to reviews from my friends, I stayed far away from watching this movie. My curiosity and desire to watch any recent superhero film finally got the best of me, and I decided to watch the “terrible movie” that my friends warned me about. I have stated before in this blog that I generally like to watch movies without reading a review, since I don’t want to watch with a tainted impression. I decided to watch this movie months after its release and unfortunately I have heard nothing but bad things about it, so my expectations were very low. My honest impression of Fantastic Four, is that it is a good movie, not great, but definitely better than what I expected. When I say this movie is good, I mean it does what an action movie should, it has great effects and a couple of decent fight scenes, nothing that is award worthy. The issue with this movie is its pace, it is an extremely short movie that tries to do too much in a short time, and ends up leaving far too many unanswered questions. The characters are not correctly developed, and the major villain is not even introduced as such until there is 20 minutes left in the film. I have read that the director wanted a much longer film, and that he was upset about the cuts the producers made. Now that I have seen the film, I fully understand the director’s displeasure with the finished product. This movie had a lot of potential, and based on what I saw, it really just needed more time to explain itself in order to be a great movie. I am not sure if this movie was a product of low expectations, but I believe this movie could have been much better than it was if they took the directors advice and made it a bit longer and more developed. For what the movie was, I think it was fine, it is a very short action movie that quickly pushes viewers through a hallway without answering questions. I am the type of viewer who likes to understand the story behind a movie in order to enjoy it, but I was still satisfied enough with this film due to my understanding that the director did not mean for it to be so rushed. Fantastic Four is not the greatest superhero movie but it is not the worst, if you are looking for a quick, mindless, action film to watch, it is definitely worth at least a rental.
I enjoy any kind of fiction that contains the vehicle of time travel. I call time travel a vehicle because once you introduce it into any story, you simply can not toss it aside as just another means to deliver a narrative. Time travel, once introduced, brings with it a litany of other issues that can only be explained or corrected with time travel. This brings me to my review of Terminator Genisys, this film is the fifth film in the Terminator franchise, a series that is known for using time travel to tell the compelling story of how robots conquered the human race. As a fan of both time travel and Terminator I loved this film, this movie was made for fans of the original Terminator, it even had a few scenes that were almost direct copies of the original film, as well as plenty of Easter eggs that long time fans would enjoy. I generally don’t like reading reviews or previews of films I plan on watching, I love to go to the theatre and blindly watch a film so my view of it isn’t tainted or skewed by the reviews of others, so as always I entered the theatre knowing almost nothing about the plot of this film. As I was watching the start of this film I honestly hoped it would be a frame by frame remake of the first Terminator movie, but I was happy with the product I was met with nonetheless. Terminator Genisys gives a pseudo prequel to the Terminator series, as well as reboots it, since it treats the original films as another timeline that has not been altered by an unknown friend or foe from further in the future. This movie takes time travel to a whole new level as it plays with multiple realities while keeping them within the same plane of existence, as a time traveling fan this could be a bit annoying since it tended to contradict its own set timeline, but as a terminator fan I was more forgiving of the strange use of the vehicle. This movie was full of great dialogue and action, I really enjoyed the pace of this film, but I feel as though the story could have been helped by a little more character development for some of the supporting cast. This film is clearly the start of a new set of films in the Terminator franchise, hopefully they will build on the momentum this movie will surely gain and use time travel more coherently in the future films. If you are a fan of time travel, I would suggest watching the first couple of Terminator movies before this one to get a feel for how the series treats the fictional mode of travel. If you are a fan of the Terminator franchise or of action movies in general, you will most definitely love this film, it builds on what is loved about the series and creates a new way of expanding on the struggle between humans and machines.
Dope was an interesting movie to say the least. I went into the theatre expecting to see a slightly cheesy comedy, but I was met by an interesting drama with some surprising social commentary. This film follows a young African American boy named Malcolm as he navigates life as an intelligent young man in the “hood.” Malcolm is faced with many trials and circumstances that are uncommon to an average high schooler, but he manages to use his intelligence to his benefit and get the best out of his environment without compromising himself. The writing in this film was brilliant, with enough humor mixed into the story to keep me laughing, but not so much that it detracted from the serious issues of the drama. The story flowed seamlessly and the characters in the film were all connected in unique ways that kept each scenario interesting and relevant. This movie had a very satisfying ending, and while some elements were slightly outlandish, the film asked serious questions about our country and how we view culture. This movie had quite a bit of vulgarity, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 18, but it was definitely well written, and perfect if you want to watch a thought provoking narrative of the life of the youth of America.
Over the past weekend two major events took place in entertainment, both were drenched in an unbelievable amount of publicity, and both events received plenty of criticism for not living up to the hype. The two events I am referring two are “The Fight of the Century: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao,” and the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. I feel as though many people today are actually more interested in the publicity value of an event than the actual event, and this was shown perfectly by the amount of non boxing fans willing to spend 100 dollars to watch a sport in which they have no interest. Many people were upset with the lack of “action” in the boxing match, many people tuned in expecting to see Rocky 6, but were upset with the tactical nature of the match. I have watched many Mayweather fights, and he fought the same way he always does, he was never much of a puncher, and he eludes as many punches as he can. This boxing match was classic Mayweather, I feel as though the individuals who were disappointed in the match were just betrayed by the hype. The new Avengers movie had the same issue as the fight, many were unhappy with the action of the movie after all of the build up. I understand the poor reviews of the Avengers film since the last one was extremely action packed, but given the amount of characters they had to introduce, it would’ve been too hard to make the movie more action packed without splitting it into two films. I enjoyed both the boxing match and the film that was released this weekend, and while I respect the opinions of others, I think people need to taper their expectations and not give into the hype so easily. Hype is a machine used to get people excited for events, but it is ultimately the individual that must decide whether the event is worth their time and money.
At the end of this week, Marvel will be releasing their newest film to the United States. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the newest superhero team movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and early reviews have stated it lives up to the hype nicely. I was never the biggest comic book reader, but I was always intrigued by superheroes, and I love seeing any kind of literature brought to life on the “big screen.” Marvel and Disney have found a way to legitimize the comic book movie world by creating a central universe in which all of the characters from several different comics exist concurrently. In this Marvel Cinematic Universe, characters and elements of comic books interact seamlessly on the screen, effectively bringing life to the pictures from the childhood comics of many. The films based in the Marvel universe are usually written beautifully and often use ingenious methods to explain how it is possible for certain heroes to coexist. I love watching films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I am eagerly anticipating this week’s release as well as the next phase of marvel movies. Marvel is looking to monopolize the comic book movie world with their abundance of excellent titles, and I as a fan am nothing but excited for the future of these films.
Furious 7 was a “thrill ride” from start to finish. The Fast and The Furious movie franchise, which was once about cars, is now completely action, and I must say I couldn’t be more excited about the switch. I started watching this movie series around the forth installment, after it took the turn from a driving movie to more of a heist movie, and I was instantly hooked. I will not be releasing any spoilers about the film, all I will say is any Fast and Furious fan will love this movie. One of the stars of this film, Paul Walker, passed away during the making of this film, and I came into the theatre wondering how they would portray his character and how his final performance would honor his legacy. This movie was an inspiring tribute to Paul and the filmmakers perfectly captured his character, and the man behind the character. As for the film, it was just as anyone would expect, an overly dramatic, high energy action movie, full of unbelievable stunts, and physics defying movements that left me both awestruck and saying “how?” The action scenes and the writing of this movie perfectly blended all seven movies into what could possible be the final film in the franchise. The movie flowed smoothly, weaving in action and drama, leaving few if any lulls, and keeping me glued to the screen throughout. I honestly have no problems with the film, and I would recommend it to any adult who enjoys action movies, if you are on the fence about Furious 7, see it, it is well worth the money.