Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trailer Park - 2016

Source: YouTube

A big part of Hollywood film is the build-up that drives anticipation, which is why it is a common practice to release trailers for trailers these days. Over the years movie trailers have become their own magnificent works of art, reaching new heights and bounds of excellence. Trailers are a huge deal - their popularity is really only second to the movies themselves. Some might even say trailers are better than the real McCoy (ahem, Suicide Squad, anyone?). And, of course, there are trailers that are simply the tip of the iceberg of stellar things to come. 

So what makes a trailer great? Great trailers "tease" without revealing too much. They build excitement for the movie while giving the audience an alluring taste of the final product, and they always leave you wanting more. Here are some key ingredients for a great trailer:
1. The two minute mark. Trailers now-a-days can give WAY too much upfront. If by the end you feel you saw the whole movie then what's the point in actually seeing the whole movie? Keep it tight, keep it simple. Less is more. (We're looking at you, Fast & Furious 8)
2. The set up. Too often trailers give us too much information regarding the plot or not enough. Successful trailers find that sweet spot right in between.
3. Introduction. If you have a star studded cast, it's easy to get wrapped up in giving everyone face time. Instead, great trailers focus on two or thee characters that will get the audience excited.
4. Music. Music is crucial! Music evokes emotion and emotion drives movement. If the music genuinely reflects the mood of the movie, you’re golden.
5. Capture the mood. Great trailers focus on emotion instead of just plot points. It gets the audience excited to enter whatever world they're trying to sell you.     

With a plethora of excellent trailers to choose from this year, it was a difficult task to pick just ten. However, I feel confident with my selection. In no particular order, here are my Top Ten Best Movie Trailers of 2016Enjoy!

Honorable Mentions:
Dunkirk (trailer 1)
The Legend of Tarzan (trailer 1)
A Monster Calls (trailer 1)
The Huntsman: Winter War (trailer 2)
Justice League (trailer 1)

Life (trailer 2)

Sure, this plot appears a little been-there-done-that, but from a marketing perspective and as a stand alone work of art, this has everything you could want from a trailer - space, aliens, danger, friendship, intrigue. Threading JFK's 1962 speech - "We choose to go to the moon" - throughout was a fantastic touch. It adds a realistic vibe to it.
Release Date: March 24th 

Wonder Woman (trailer 2)

Wonder. Courage. Power.  I "wonder" if this movie will be as good as it looks? Aside from the super-duper slow-mo bullet flying scenes it looks pretty stellar.  I love how they added a strong sense of humor in the mix as well. It feels exotic and exciting. The killer WW theme music at the end is a nice little awesome morsel.  Can't wait!
Release Date: June 2nd

Suicide Squad (trailer 2)

Put aside what you remember from the movie (ahem, or don't remember because you blocked it out), and just look at this trailer on its own. This is one well-crafted, souped-up, action-packed, phenomenal work of art.  It's exciting, mysterious, funny, mixed with some dope action sequences... all backed by some serious awesome tunage.  Definitely one of my all time favorite trailers to date!
Release Date: Currently on Blu-Ray/DVD

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (trailer 2)

You had me at hello. But did we really need a trailer to sell this flick? I mean s'rsly, the main purpose of a trailer is to hook you in and get you to say "Yeah, I'd see that."  They literally could have shown us a black screen accompanied with the Star Wars theme music and we'd still go see this movie... twice.  I loved how this trailer builds - it's hauntingly seductive, it's mysterious, alluring even, and then BAM! Vader?!!  Gotta love the iconic film score too.  SOLD.
Release Date: Currently in theaters

Beauty and the Beast (trailer 1)

A tale as old as time breaths new life into a favorite Disney classic. This magically whimsical trailer has it all, down to the set designs, costumes and casting. Everything about this trailer screams magnificent. We have the trailer's soundtrack to thank for that. Nothing moves this trailer along as much as the impactful, heart-warming music.  I got chills... they're multiplying.
Release Date: March 17th

La La Land (trailer 1)

I love how fresh this trailer feels.  It's fun, it's bright and it's certainly different from anything we've seen in a long while. I adore the old Hollywood glam-vibes throughout this trailer.  The eye-popping, vibrant colors, matched with the incredible catchy, fast-paced music is why this trailer is an absolute gem.
Release Date: Currently in theaters  

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (trailer 2)

"I am Groooooot!"  More like I am fully impressed! It's not too difficult to sell us on this odd looking crew of misfits, but just when you thought it couldn't get any better this trailer hits the scene. Marvel wins on all accounts.  This killer trailer has it all, but baby Groot is the real treasure here - too adorable for words. I can't even right now. 
Release Date: May 5th

The Neon Demon (trailer 2)

This provocative trailer is stylized to perfection. It starts off slow and gradually builds to a heart-pounding roar. I love the slinky feel to this entire trailer. It definitely intrigues, yet keeps you guessing. Those who cry it's shallow and ugly won't be wrong, but others will love it for those very reasons. 
Release Date: Currently on Amazon Prime/RedBox   

A Cure for Wellness (trailer 2)

This trailer is a bucket full of WTH's, fasho.  Dane DeHaan reading his bosses letter at the beginning, mixed in with heart-pounding, pulsating music fully captures the mood, and sets the stage of horrors to come. I love the filter they used, it almost feels like a live-action oil painting.  It's dark, eery and mysterious. I'm intrigued.
Release Date: February 17th

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
(trailer 1)

I love the look and feel of this entire trailer!  It's PURE Guy Rickie.  It opens on an awesome action beat, with characters running and screaming, and that energy never really descends from that high.  I love the whole cast as well - specifically Charlie Hunnam - but the action, set pieces and choreography steal the focus.  By the end of the trailer you are definitely screaming for more.  Well done.   
Release Date: May 12th

Trailer editing is very much a work of art. The end product can motivate, captivate and generate major buzz-feed. Outside of the movie itself, was there a particular trailer in 2016 that you remember being wicked-awesome?  Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Cure for Wellness Trailer


Whoa. This looks intense. 20th Century Fox just released their latest trailer for A Cure for Wellness, which is an American-German psychological horror thriller from visionary director . The story revolves around an ambitious young executive ( - love) who is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic yet mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps.  However, he soon suspects the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem. The intrigue, the madness, the originality, all paired with the hauntingly seductive remake of a Romones' song "I Wanna be Sedated," definitely captures my my attention.  Have a look-see...

A Cure for Wellness is an upcoming 2017 thriller directed by (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Ring) and written by . The film stars Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth and Jason Isaacs. An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. 20th Century Fox is set to release this movie next year, February 17, 2017

You down?...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

'Space Story - A Bad Day' Movie Mashup

Source: Firstshowing 

This is pretty dope, yo! Editor and filmmaker Luc Bergeron, also known as Zapatou, released this rad movie mashup over the summer, featuring scenes from some of the coolest space movies ever. They are meshed together to tell a 5-minute story. It's pretty amusing, especially once things get going. The video includes footage from pretty much every great sci-fi/space movie ever made - from Star Wars to The Fifth Element to 2001: A Space Odyssey to Apollo 13 to Moon to Armageddon to Avatar to Guardians of the Galaxy to Alien, and many more. Enjoy! 
Zapatou writes: "Here is my new Mashup. 25 movies in 4 minutes. The action starts at 1.40, but you have to watch the start for understanding story." For more from Zapatou, follow him on Twitter. The video features music composed by Ivan Torrent, with the track "Wars Of Faith" by Audiomachine. For more info on the short and the list of all the sci-fi films referenced, visit the  YouTube page.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Top Ten Favorite 80s Childhood *Adventure* Movies!

Source: Youtube & IMDb

Whether you were born in the 80s, grew up in the 80s, or never set foot in this decade, hearing the term “80s” probably makes you think of something rad. I have already waxed nostalgia over my favorite childhood fantasy & sci-fi films, this time I'm throwing love to the dopest, illest and freshest adventure movies from the 80s.
What exactly constitutes an adventure movie? In short, they revolve around a journey filled with unexpected thrills and surprises. But for my purposes, they are also relatively plausible story-lines as well, with little to no fantasy elements or sci-fi technology involvement. The top ten movies below brought unadulterated joy to my heart and soul forever and for always. Bear in mind these are movies I was obsessed with as a kid.

Honorable Mentions: 
Romancing the Stone (1984) 
The Land Before Time (1988)  
The Bear (1988)
An American Tail (1986)

10. Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Plot: Phyllis Nefler, a soon to be divorced Beverly Hills society wife is determined to prove to her husband Freddy and herself that she can finish what she starts out to do. She soon realizes that being a Wilderness Girls' den mother to a troop of Beverly Hills-bred girls is not as easy as buying cookies.

Why I loved it: This over-the-top comedy about a down and out divorced house wife, with a passion for fashion, becoming a girl's scout leader is hilarious, exciting and thoroughly entertaining. I always thought it would be so rad to have a mah like Shelley Long. Ha! As a young pre-teen girl I utterly adored this movie for all it's worth, and I remember it being on replay at my house (which my brothers loved #sarcasm). Sure, on the surface this movie is light and full of fluff at best, but dig a little deeper and we explore life-long lessons filled with optimism, courage, strength and follow-through.  Can't beat that.

Favorite Quote: "Girls, I'm coming and I've got the fondue!"

9. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Plot: A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that. 

Why I loved it: I thought Ferris was sooooo cool growing up. Chill as a cucumber in a bowl of hot-sauce, amiright? We all could use a little Ferris in our lives.  He was just so cute and lovable, carefree and dying for a little adventure before entering adulthood.  This is an 80s masterpiece full of brilliance for obvious reasons, but for all of its pitch-perfect performances, stunts and maneuvers, the film’s singular pivotal-point is the friendship between Cameron and Ferris. 

Favorite Quote: "Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?"

8. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
Plot: Janey is new in town, and soon meets Lynne, who shares her passion for dancing in general, and "Dance TV" in particular. When a competition is announced to find a new Dance TV regular 

Why I loved it:  Thirty-one years later this movie is still a ridiculously fun dance party that keeps on giving.  As a young girl I couldn't get enough of those besties - Lynne and Janey!  And boy, did I have thee biggest crush on Jeff Malene (be still my heart). The dancing and music is a thing of beauty, though extremely dated now, but man, every time I see this movie nostalgia wraps me up like a warm blanket. It's such a feel-good movie to say the very least.  

Favorite Quote: "Velcro. Next to the Walkman and tab it is the coolest invention of the 20th century!"

7. Stand by Me (1986) 
Plot: After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Why I loved: There 'did' seem to be a certain fascination or fondness for the 1950s throughout American cinema in the 1980s, more specifically with teenage life in the 1950s. But having a true love for both decades I didn't mind one bit. This quintessential coming-of-age movie works so well and manages to stand the test of time solely due to great/original story telling, directing and mad chemistry between the young leads. This move is funny, thrilling, sad, full of adventure, but most importantly it's relatable. I heart, rainbow, palm tree this flick!

Favorite Quote: "Do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?"

6. The 'Burbs (1989)
Plot: An overstressed suburbanite and two of his neighbors struggle to prove their paranoid theory that the new family on the block are part of a murderous cult.

Why I loved it: I can't 'even'... with this movie. Like O.M.G.! As a kid I could not stop laughing at all the hilarious twists and turns. One right after the other, amiright?!  Sure, the doctor freaked me out as a kid, but whatever. This movie still manages to hold up even by today's standards. Not only because it bursts us into gut-busting laughter, but how it strategically tackles so many endless themes -  normality, provincial threats, suspicion, paranoia, friendship, love... man, they are all explored. This favorite of mine is laced with loads of intricacy humor with a dash of spooky. 

Favorite Quote: "Whoa, 'bout a nine on the tension scale, eh Reub."

5. Adventures in Babysitting (1987) 
Plot: A babysitter leaves her suburban surroundings for the big city  to rescue a stranded friend, unaware of the perilous adventures that await her and the kids she's looking after who have tagged along. 

Why I loved it: As a young girl I looked up to Chris Parker so much.  She was everything I hoped to be - smart, crafty, beautiful, resourceful, brave and daring. This lightweight comedic adventure is effective in what it sets out to do - entertain. Just when they seem to hop one hurdle, three more obstacles arise. Can you stand it?! It most-def. had me clued to my seat with bated breath. Would Chris and the kiddies make it home in time?! Eeek! There's tons of adventure, friendship, romance, revenge and lest we forget... "babysitting blues."

Favorite Quote:  "Don't listen to him, he says you're a homo."

4. Caveman (1981) 
Plot: A cave-man seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cave-woman. 

Why I loved it: Some movies are to be taken seriously, this is not one of them. It's a comical look at prehistoric life. It's not supposed to be accurate in historic detail.  I mean obvi. It's simply supposed to make you laugh and it certainly delivers on that promise and with thunderous applause. This ridiculously hysterical movie is considered a family favorite in my house. Try 'not' smiling when watching this gem... I dare ya!

Favorite Quote:"Atouk Aluna Lana."

3.  Crocodile Dundee (1986) 
Plot: An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City. 

Why I loved it: The Aussie from down under is your typical fish out of water scenario, yet with a number of truly comedic sequences and a lovable lead, played by Paul Hogan, it became a monster smash hit that the cinema-watching-public lapped up with glee. I s'rsly couldn't get enough of this movie as a kid.  Summer nights were the best!  Just me and my friends reenacting scenes from the movie till the wee hours in the mornin', laughing so hard till our sides hurt. And that sexy red cutout party dress... oh, how I wanted that!  I wanted all her fashionable clothes.

Favorite Quote: "That's not a knife... That's a knife."

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 
Plot: Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. 

Why I loved it: I mean aside from that freaky ghost, laser-light show at the end, this flick had me hooked as a kid, and it still remains a glorious movie even now. It worked so well because we all long for adventure. We want to travel the world, see crazy things, get into life threatening situations, and woo members of the opposite sex. Indy and the supporting cast all become so enriched, lovable, and quotable with multiple viewings. On a scale of one to even... I just can't!

Favorite Quote:  "Throw me the idol. No time to argue! Throw me idol, I'll throw you the whip!"

1. The Goonies (1985)
Plot: In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure.  

Why I loved it: One word, Chunk. He seriously made this movie - the truffle-shuffle, spilling his guts to the Fratelli's, breaking things, etc. I LA-HUUUVED him! This movie had everything you could want, from thrills, spills, pirates, freaks, bad guys and dashing adventure lurking around every corner. I wanted to be a Goonie or go on a Goonie type adventures when I was young(er). Even the place where they lived was cool - a big old house in a picturesque bay town. This movie will forever be a favorite among the masses, which is why it snagged the #1 spot on my list. 

Favorite Quote: "In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog..."

When you're young everything's an adventure. And the 80s saw some of the greatest adventure films ever made. This genre instantly attracts and captivates everyone, but especially the kiddos. Kids love the sense of journeying into the unknown, the mystery, the challenges along the way, good vs. evil, triumph over hardships, etc. Adventure movies tend to trigger positive energy as well, leaving you feeling happy in the end. It's one of the many reasons studios pay big-time money on this genre.  The floor is now yours. Share your favorite childhood adventure flicks from the 80s in the comment section below... 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

This summer blockbuster isn't as good as you would have hoped for, but also, it isn't nearly as bad as you have heard. How in evil-fresh-hell does a wretched movie like Twilight get a higher rating than Suicide Squad is beyond me. "What a ride!" exclaims Harley Quinn. This movie isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's exactly that - one fantastic neon-laser-light-show ride from beginning to end. And I fully enjoyed this movie despite its many flaws. 

The plot goes like this; the cold-hard government operative Amanda Waller () secures approval to create a task-force of the worst-of-the-worst criminals who might be able to do some good, aka perform a rescue operation in Midway City, where an entity known as the Enchantress ( - love) is fashioning a super-weapon that could destroy earth. Leading the team is red, white & blue Rick Flag ( - love), a soldier who is romantically involved with the Enchantress's alter-human ego June Moone. Oh, and Quinn's boy-toy-thug the Joker () is also lurking around. 

The strong aspects of the movie include (some of the) performances and (some of the) characters. and definitely shined. Smith's Deadshot is the closest thing the group has to a leader. His backstory with his daughter, however, was nonsensical and melodramatic, but I can let that slide. Robbie on the other hand steals the entire movie. She plays Harley Quinn with just the right amount of peppy lunacy. Whenever the movie got too cheesy, she was there to lighten the mood with clever quips. The tone of her character is the tone the entire movie should have strived for. It was dark, sexy, fresh, a little twisted, and extremely fun. The chemistry between Deadshot and Quinn was electrifying and funny. 

The idea behind SS was a good one, but as is the case with most DC inspired comic book movies, the plot was overly stuffed, rushed and messy. There were a few characters we could have completely done without. Slipnot was most likely there to establish Flag's authority, so we'll let that slide. But Katana and Killer Croc were the biggest wasted opportunities (Boomerang is a close runner up even though he was super funny). If Katana isn't going to trap anyone's soul with her sword and/or find a way to bring her hubby back to life, don't even bring it up! And why wasn't Killer Croc ripping those bad guys to shreds?! Rick Flagg and June Moone's relationship was bland and unnecessary, with a cheese-ball ending. And even though I liked the crazy-zany portrayal of the Joker, his character seemed like a huge afterthought. He was most likely there to develop Quinn's backstory, which I'm OK with, but it almost would have been better for them to 'not' show him fully until the very end. 

It's a shame Warner Bros. threw too much attention on making this movie look fantastic they forgot to invest in a structured plot. DC has a long way to go in terms of churning out undeniably great comic-book movies outside of The Dark Knight trilogy. But with that said, SS isn’t deserving of the curb-stomping, poo-stain it received. It still manages to fully entertain, excite and thrill. It's fun, funny and definitely worth seeing (sans 3D).
Rating: C-

The floor is now yours.  What did you think? 

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