Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fast & Furious 6 Review

It's hard to believe Fast & Furious 6 has already pulled in an impressive $317M (worldwide), even more so that this series has lasted this long. How is it that a series of this caliber gets better and better with age?  It's a little mind boggling. I don’t pretend to understand these movies, “bra.”  But I have to admit they are one spectacle of fun and jazzy proportions, not to mention a huge Guilty Pleasure of mine. It's fantastical, awful movie-crack.

The sixth installment in the never-ending-franchise brings together cast members from the first five movies, headed by muscle man , the car-crazed thief, pretty-boy , the cop turned outlaw and lest we forget the real law enforcer, . Of course we do have a few fresh faces who definitely kick a little A all on their own. The testosterone in this high-octane, souped-up engine simply permeates the entire theater.

What happens in the sixth chapter of F&F? Who cares.  You're not going to see this movie for its fine writing and Oscar winning talent. The only real difference is the scenery.  Taking to the streets of London this time around, so their insanely fast cars are driven recklessly on the other side of the road.  But they did up the ante and manage to top its predecessors with absurdly fast car chases that crash spectacularly, dope fights and of course scandalously clad women.  Dom's team ends up partnering with officer Hobbs in order to take down one heavy-hitting war-lord, with the caveat that afterwards Dom's team gets full pardons. The unexpected twist and turns take off from there.

The film is definitely ridiculous, but somehow it works, just as long as you check your brain at the door.  There are so many plot holes to drive a semi through (which these characters could and would do without hesitation), but fortunately the action is well choreographed and intense enough to take your mind off such things... sort of.  I fully enjoyed this movie for what it was.  It's definitly the best in the series, which isn't saying a whole lot, but who cares. It’s big, loud, stupid and fun. Without giving anything away, it'll be interesting to see how they roll-out the villain in Fast 7, which, if you haven't heard, is already in the works.  I'm sure I'll end up seeing that too. 
RATING: B+ 

Tell me what you thought? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Forbes List Of The Most Overpaid Actors In Hollywood

Source: CinemaBlend, Forbes

As we venture well into Blockbuster season it's easy to notice all the imperfections of Hollywood's finest.  After all these popcorn flicks aren't one for noticing fine, true talent. We're here to have fun and  enjoy some blow-em-up, bang-bang, instant gratifying entertainment. But for all the art these films may produce, it's essentially one huge movie-making business. 

Forbes  made this quite evident for us by looking back on the last three years and computing which of Hollywood's actors are overpaid in the bizz. To determine these top ten low-hitters, the financially minded reporters compared the amount of money grossed by a star's last three films to the star's paycheck for all three. They determined these profits by assuming a film would need to make several millions more than twice its production value to make a profit, plus the costs of advertising.

10. Sarah Jessica Parker ($7 for every $1 paid)
9. Ben Stiller ($6.50 for every $1 paid)
8. Denzel Washington ($6.30 for every $1 paid)
7. Adam Sandler ($6.30 for every $1 paid)
6. Nicolas Cage ($6 for every $1 paid)
5. Jack Black ($5.20 for every $1 paid) 
4. Sandra Bullock ($5 for every $1 paid) 
3. Reese Witherspoon ($3.90 for every $1 paid)
2. Katherine Heigl ($3.40 for every $1 paid)
1. Eddie Murphy (movies grossed $2.30 for every $1 paid) 


While some on the list seem completely obvious, I'm surprised Denzel Washington made the cut. I suppose the modest successes of The Book of Eli, Unstoppable, and Safe House proves that the two-time Oscar-winner demands too high a paycheck, at least according to Forbes. (Note: this list was compiled shortly after Flight hit theaters - totals are not in yet.) The rest of the list is noticeably dominated with actors associated with broad comedies and actresses associated with wacky romantic-comedies. But it's Eddie Murphy that takes the cake as the least valuable star, which doesn't I'm surprise me at all.  Long are his glory years in the 80's.  

Mind you Forbes did not take in account of any voice work when compiling this list. Murphy's last three starring films were Imagine That, Tower Heist, and A Thousand Words. Tower Heist, produced for $75 million and made $152 worldwide, barely turned a profit, while the other two - whose budgets combined came to about $95 million and earned only $42 worldwide... that is two films combined.  In other words they were complete and utter flops.In order to even come close to turning a profit, a movie has to earn twice its production budget in ticket sales, plus the millions spent on marketing. 

Forbes reveals other mind-boggling revelations, like how Heigl has demanded a salary of of about  $12M since the horrible The Ugly Truth, and that the darling Mrs. Witherspoon's ("Do you know who I am?!") completely forgettable rom-com How Do You Know cost an absurd $120M when it only grossed a low and embarrassing $50M.  Um, ouch. But even though this list is mostly full of beloved actors, it doesn't mean we're so inclined to see their sometimes cheesy, eye-rolling rom-coms and thrillers.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Man of Steel - Behind the Scenes

Source: Walmart

I know I said I wasn't going to blog about this movie until after it flew into theaters mid-June, but this is a behind the scenes look of Man of Steel - the promising return of Superman, directed by Zack Snyder, so I couldn't resist. This new clip features some rad new footage along with interviews with Clark Kent/Superman played by the gorgeous Henry Cavill, along with Snyder's wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder, The Dark Knight trilogy producer Charles Roven and a few other co-stars including Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne and the lovely Amy Adams. Check it!
  
Man of Steel, the new DC Comics Superman reboot, is being produced by legendary Christopher Nolan who co-wrote the story with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Unborn, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance). Warner Bros is bringing this movie to theaters everywhere on June 14, 2013.

Will you be seeing this in theaters?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

I wouldn’t call myself a Trekkie, and while I absolutely respect the Star Trek universe, I would simply classify myself a minor fan. That was until I saw  Star Trek Into Darkness. WOW!!! This movie is beyond the greatness it so effortlessly tries to be. There is no doubt Star Trek fans and non-fans alike will find sequel a glorious return to the Enterprise. This auctioned-packed Blockbuster is a sexy, funny, thrilling Rock N Roll version of the 1960’s television series that returns to its original roots adding style, humor and one killer villain who puts the rest of the world's villains to shame. This movie definitely tops its predecessor and boldly goes where… we have of course gone before, but who cares. 

Don't understand the references to Harry Mudd and Tribbles? No matter, there are more than enough expositions, action and humor to otherwise engage your senses. The special effects are astounding to say the very least! Nothing in this film is less than stellar – everything pops with action and thrills. The story is complex and extremely well written, with some nice conflict between Kirk () and Spock () and how their true natures unfolds during a dangerous mission at the beginning of the movie. But personal issues take a back seat once a terrorist attack desiccates a London building - enter John Harrison aka Khan played by . Kirk and crew are then ordered to take the Enterprise, track down Harrison into the depths of darkness where he is found hiding deep in the Klingon zone, and terminate him with the highest level of extreme brutality. From there, the story takes some excellent (semi-predictable) twists and turns, which lends an enormous amount of complexity to Khan while allowing the returning cast members to shine individually. But let's be honest the movie really belongs to Cumberbatch.  He kills it! 

Into Darkness beamed in more than $164.5M opening weekend (worldwide). And even though this amount is surprisingly low for a movie of this stature, it has strong lasting power and because of that it is bound to roll in even more hot money at the box office as the weeks ensue. Seeing this film on the gigantic IMAX screen was absolutely exhilarating, and on top everything else the 3D effects were a-may-zing! I found myself jumping and dodging the images at times. Don't think I've ever had this much fun watching a movie. I strongly recommend seeing it in IMAX/3D at least once.  

This movie is everything a Summer Blockbuster should be and more. It's full of life, wit, smarts, intense thrills and sheer gratifying entertainment. Not only did it seriously blow my collected mind to pieces, but it met every high expectation I had. I was surprised at the enormous amount of heart and soul this movie had as well. There were some very touching scenes that caused me to tear up a bit.  In closing, if you’re a fan of Star Trek on any level this Sequel will have you wrapped around its Sci-Fi finger by the end of the movie, leaving you smiling and wanting more.  
RATING: A

The Great Gatsby Review

I'll start off by staying this movie isn't great per se, but it is  good. But The Great Gatsby (or rather The "Good" Gatsby) was indeed beautifully stylized to perfection.  It was like being in a dream filled with immense soft, glowy, vibrant colors, fancy costumes, outlandish parties and dazzling set designs. The decadence of this film is to the extreme. And the whole style, at times, overcomes the lack of substance.

I've always been drawn to 's work, and whether the main plot is note worthy or not (in this case not so much), his films are still one huge senceary-overlouded rush.  Some might get a headache watching his movies, but I find them intoxicating. The novel’s themes of excess and delusions were ripe for a visual reinvention  (enter Baz Luhrmann). Without his magical touch I don't think I would have enjoyed this film at all. Luhrmann was able to transform F. Scott Fitzgerald classic into one hip and happenin' tale with one amazing soundtrack.   

I was taken back when Warner Bros. moved its 3D Gatsby from the award-seducing Christmas release date to a later summer slot.  Usually when this happens it's because the film simply... well sucks. But the more I thought about it the more sense it made to move this “splendid mirage” to summer.  After all the film takes place around summer time.

We find our Midwestern main character, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) become entangled with his wealthy neighbor Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who in turn will stop at nothing to pursue his one true love, the shallow beauty Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). As always Leo gives yet another spell-bounding performance, along with the rest of the cast.  But even with those "great" performances and Luhrmann's spin, the film as a whole still manages to fall short of its "great" ambitions.  It leaves you feeling cold, weary and somewhat disgusted.  But there's something about it that's hard to entirely resist, and the more I think about this movie the more I fall in love.
RATING: B 

Share with me your thoughts?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer Blockbuster Madness! Who Will Be #1?

I'll take my Summer hot with a side of Blockbuster. For movie fans, there are two distinct seasons: awards season and Summer time. And this Summer looks wildly fantastic! We've got non-stop action, mayhem, chaos, explosions, chases, monsters and zombies and Minions, oh my. While there is a wide variety of excellent movies to feast your eyes upon this season, the real heavy hitters are without doubt Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel. These movies will fo'sho' gross over $500M worldwide... easily. But which one will be this Summer's #1 Blockbuster? That answer remains to be seen. However, I do have my thoughts on the matter. Let the games begin...  

Director is back in the director's chair for the sequel to 2009's Star Trek, which was a massively popular hit and grossed over $385M worldwide. The whole crew is back for the sequel along with a few new faces and an intriguing new villain who is causing quite the stir online. Is it Khan? We shall see soon enough once it light speeds into theaters this weekend. I'm certainly excited for this film. I cannot wait to see it on the gigantic IMAX screen. This movie will easily top its predecessor in box office sales, no question.  
Release Date: 5/17/15 (3D/IMAX) 

Marve's Iron Man has already broken records, ranking in $174.1M opening weekend - a feat that would impress the likes of Tony Stark himself. This is the second highest domestic earning film, for an opening weekend, in box office history (second to The Avengers). Over all it's already cha-ching'd $980.3M. Tack on the 3D/IMAX element, back by one cocky, bad-A super hero and you've got yourself a blockbuster to be reckoned with. Still, it has one highly anticipated movie to beat to come in as #1. And as impressive as those earnings are (so far), I don't think it will pull it off. But we shall see.  
Release Date: 5/3/13 (3D/IMAX) 

While the former two movies will bring in their fair share of hot money, my bet for this Summer's #1 Blockbuster is on Man of Steel. Directed by and produced by Christopher Nolan, backed by an all star cast, including Henry Cavill as our man in red and blue, how can you lose. This Superman reboot looks like it’s doing everything just right. It's darker, grittier, more mysterious and just plain better than anything we've come to know from the squeaky-clean super hero. This movie definitely has what it takes to set "holy cow," ground breaking records. But we will find out for sure once Man of Steel flies into theaters mid-June.  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this movie the most this Summer.  
Release Date: 6/14/13 (3D/IMAX) 


There you have it my fellow movie-mania nerds. My prediction for this Summer's #1 blockbuster. But no matter the outcome one thing is for certain, these three heavy hitters will definitely rank in the dough. The floor is now yours. Share with me which movie you think will be #1?...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Iron Man 3 Review

In  Iron Man 3 we see a serious crisis for Tony Stark (). After almost dying in space at the end of The Avengers, he develops panic attacks and slowly comes to terms with the dangers of his job and how it can impact those closest to him. When a new terrorist known as The Mandarin () strikes in L.A. and puts Stark’s close friend Happy Hogan () in a coma, and kidnaps his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (), Stark sets out for revenge.

First and foremost, Tony Stark kind of annoys me. He's pompous, extremely arrogant, rude an highly obnoxious, so spending 2 hours plus with the playboy billionaire can wear on me a bit. But all that aside, I still enjoyed this full-of-fluff, action-packed, popcorn Blockbuster. Sure, the movie was a bit cheesy and holds very little depth (even for a super-hero movie), but if you check your brain at the door and take it for what it is, you'll have a good time. 

I do question why they took huge liberties regarding The Mandarin. In the comic books, the Mandarin is portrayed as a genius scientist and a super-humanly skilled martial artist. However, his primary source of power stems from ten power rings that he adapted from  alien technology after one of their spaceships crashed on Earth. Each ring has a different power and is worn on a specific finger. Without giving too much away, I'll just say that's not at all how he was portrayed in the film. It irritates me when they don't stick with the source martial, especially when the source material is awesome. Alas, one of this film's unexpected pleasures was Ben Kingsley. I had a blast watching Kingsley steal the show.  


The movie relies on the talent of Robert Downey, Jr. and its excellent supporting cast to light the screen. And while it's not a huge success as it is visually stunning, Iron Man 3 is still fun, engaging and worthy of the trilogy. It's just a shame that what appeared to be the conclusion in the Iron Man series ended with a "meh," instead of a "wow, that was awesome!" like it should have.
RATING: B-  

                                               What did think?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

10 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Henry Cavill

Fans most likely know Henry for his upcoming role as Clark Kent/Superman in the highly Anticipated Superman reboot, but prior to that this sexy Brit was more known as the studly Charles Brandon in Showtime's  The Tudors (great show, btw).

I have been following this fine actor ever since he landed the role as Albert in The Count of Monte Cristo, and knew it was only a matter of time before he became a household name - with those devastatingly good looks, charm and talent, it's easy to see why. Besides his growing resume - which will only get bigger as the years ensue - little is known about the UK native. I've come up with 10 Fun Facts about the talented actor that you may not know. The gem that is Henry Cavill just got a whole lot brighter. 


1. In addition to it being Cinco De Mayo, it is also this Sexy Brit's 30th birthday. Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on May 5th 1983, on the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency in the Channel Islands, just off the coast of Normandy, France.  And he is the second youngest of five brothers.


2. Henry went through grueling cardio-intense workouts every day starting at 4 a.m to get ripped in order to play the Greek warrior Theseus in  Immortals. He sculpted his 8 pack physique down to 6% body fat and followed a strict diet.

3. His interest in acting started at an early age with school play renditions of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and Sonny in "Grease". He also starred and directed Hamlet in "40 Minutes."  His dream role is to one day play Alexander the Great.  


4. Before getting the Superman gig, Henry was dubbed as the "Most Unluckiest Man in Hollywood," and for good reason! He was almost the new James Bond, but he lost the role to fellow Brit, . And interestingly enough, he was up for the Superman role in Superman Returns, but again lost out to Brandon Routh instead. All good things come to those who wait, right. 

5. Henry has knack for languages. He's fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian. That's one "strong" tongue. Smart and good looking! 

6. If he wasn't an actor, Henry would've enlisted in the British military to fulfill his "patriotic pride." 

7. Ironically, the 6'1" actor was nicknamed "Fat Cavill" as a youngster, but eventually became a skilled rugby player before an injury sidelined his athletic career for good. 

8. Robert Pattinson wasn't writer 's first choice for Edward Cullen (who was, right?). It was Henry! While the flick was in development, Meyer stated: "The only actor I've ever seen who I think could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen is Henry Cavill." But by the time the movie was in production he was considered too old to play the sexy, 17-year old vampire. He was definitely who I envisioned while reading the books as well.

9. His favorite actor is , who in turn will play Jor-El, aka his birth father in Man of Steel.

10. He actually had to fight for the role of Superman: It's no secret that the part of Superman in Snyder's reboot was one of the most sought-after roles around. Jon Hamm, True Blood's , The Lone Ranger's , and Matthew Goode were all interested in the part. I’m certainly pleased it went to Henry in the end. 

Henry definitely has what it takes to make it big in Hollywood.  And after this Summer I have no doubt he will become a household name. I definitely look forward to seeing what's in store for this beautiful Brit. I am also excited for Man of Steel - out June 14th.  Who isn't, right. The movie looks stellar! And should everything go according to plan (if the movie is a huge success), playing this iconic hero will be the groundbreaking role that sets him up for the greatness he deserves.   

Happy 30th, Henry!


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