Monday, July 27, 2015

Southpaw Review

This is a pretty straightforward sports movie that doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table, but what Southpaw lacks in originality, it makes up for in rhythm and fortitude. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this movie, but that's exactly what happened here. It's a lot more raw and emotional than one would expect.  

Billy Hope () seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife (), an adorable daughter ( - who is unbelievably magnificent in this film, btw) and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend (Curtis "" Jackson) leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis (), a retired fighter and trainer to the city's toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on Tick's guidance, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves. 

I always liked Gyllehaal, but I was never a huge fan until this movie. He completely blew me away with his edgy, heart-wrenching performance. While watching the film I never really saw him, but rather his character - a true sign of a great method actor. Southpaw is basically a story of a modern day tragic hero who rises from the ashes and fights his way back to his daughter and proves he can be the man his late wife envisioned and hoped for. Now that's not to say the film is a bit predictable and features a slew of cliches, which can't be helped in this genre, unfortunately. However, director (Training Day) does a decent job making sure the film stays edgy enough to compensate. I will say though, I would have liked a little more character development between Billy Hope and Tick Willis, but that's minor.

All in all this Summer Blockbuster packs one satisfying, powerful punch both inside the ring and out, and will resonate even with non-boxing fans. It has stellar performances by  the entire A-list cast - that scene when Billy Hope is holding his wife Maureen in the hotel lobby is truly Oscar winning remarkable. Southpaw is simply a fun, entertaining and exhilarating summer ride.
RATING: B+

What's your take? 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Trailer

Source: Firstshowing

"Nothing good is safe while he's alive." 

Witness the epic conclusion to the Hunger Games. Lionsgate unveiled thier trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. Mockingjay finally pits an angry Katniss against a very pissed-off President Snow,  in a showdown on his own turf no less. The trailer gives a glimpse of the entire Capitol turned into one bad-a booby-trapped crazy-maze filled with nasty turns left and right, including some very odd zombie-like creatures (what?), all in an overblown effort to get our heroes and destroy them before they take over once and for all. I'm loving the way this looks.  It's intense and dark backed by some stellar, sleek cinematography.  Join Katniss!
  
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is once again directed by and written by & . With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss () confronts President Snow () in the final showdown. Teamed with Gale (), Finnick (), and Peeta () – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced before. The epic finale to this worldwide phenomenon hits theaters November 20, 2015.

Are you pumped?!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Spectre Trailer

Source: Firstshowing

"I think you're just getting started."
Sony Pictures has finally debuted their trailer for Spectre - the 24th James Bond movie, starring as the legendary 007. This trailer really dives into the story and all of the characters he encounters along the way. From Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, to the new Bond girls Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux and Stephanie Sigman, as well as bad guys Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser and Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx.  The last two Bond films left little to be desired, and this looks no different. I mean it does look 'kind of' cool, but will it be? That remains to be seen. While I feel it's a little too dark and gloomy, with little to no glam for a Bond film, I will have to see it anyway.  Being such a huge Bond fan how could I not.  Have a look-see for yourself.

Spectre is directed by (Skyfall, Revolutionary Road, Road to Perdition, American Beauty) and written by John Logan. A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization, Spectre. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre. Daniel Craig returns as 007 along with Ralph Fiennes as the new M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw as Q. New cast members include Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista and Lea Seydoux. Sony Pictures will release Spectre in theaters November 6th, 2015.

Are you excited to see this? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mad Max + Star Wars Movie Trailer Mash-Up

Source: FirstShowing

Ever wondered what a Mad Max and Star Wars movie would look like?  Me either.  But I suspect if the two franchises had a baby Road Wars: The Imperator Strikes Back would be the offspring.  Created by Krishna Shenoi, this fun mash-up YouTube trailer combines the full insane Mad Max: Fury Road trailer with sleek Star Wars clips. It's actually a pretty rad movie trailer mash-up! Furiosa is on Tatooine complete with Sand people, Tie Fighters, lightsabers, and the Sarlacc pit.  Take a look and enjoy!

Thanks to FirstShowing for the tip on this. Description from YouTube: What if the world of Mad Max: Fury Road was part of the Star Wars universe? Created/edited by Krishna Shenoi on YouTube. This trailer just makes me more excited for  Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Only 150 more days to go. Some of the shots used in this mash-up come directly from the footage in the new Star Wars film.  I can't even wait!

What did you think of this mash-up?

Ant-Man Review

The next edition in the Marvel Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Ant-Man. One might think even by comic-book movie standards, a thief who can shrink himself to the size of an insect – as well as telepathically control ants – is a totally bonkers premise for a Blockbuster. But somehow that concept translates beautifully on the silver screen. 

Just like all comic-book movies - particularly Marvel films - the movie has jaw dropping effects and tons of action sequences. Ant-Man doesn't go over the top, like so many other Marvel films do. In a world in which comic book-movie plots have become increasingly complex and rely on an enormous amount of preexisting knowledge, this script is refreshingly straightforward and clear. The movie is fun and simple, and it knows it. It doesn't try to over complicate things.

The movie's plot is as follows: Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang () must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against insurmountable odds, Pym and Lang must pull off a heist that will save the world (du-du-duuuun).


Don't get me wrong, I was just like everyone else when news hit they were going to bring the comic-book superhero to the big screen. "Psh, there's no way I'm seeing that." And even when they announced the all-star cast I was still leery. I'm in love with , but can he pull this type of character off?! The answer is YES, YES, YES. His comedic timing is always on point (and he always has me rolling), and this role was no different. I don't believe this movie could have been nearly as fun and funny without him. Lang's lovable and hilarious criminal gang adds a lot of comedic relief as well.  Sadly, they do not get a great deal of screen time. Pym and Lang both have family issues, non of which the audience cares enough about to matter though. Unfortunately, those plot-lines were weak and underdeveloped. I could tell they wanted us to give a hoot, but I just didn't. 


All in all, I had a fascistic movie experience.  Ant-Man delivers on fun, humor, special effects and action. They definitely set it up nicely for another sequel (what, are you surprised). Side note: Be sure to stay after the credits roll, there's a little Marvel morsel for all you fanboys out there.

RATING: B-

The floor is now yours... Tell me what you thought? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

Source: Firstshowing

"People hate what they don't understand."
I know I'm a little late in posting this, but being such a huge fan of both of these super-heroes I couldn't resist. Warner Bros debuted their latest trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last weekend at Comic-Con 2015. This time they didn't hold back, although I wish they had. Even though this looks stellar, I feel it's entirely too long and reveals entirely too much (too soon). Still, it gives me a little more hope that this movie could be every bit as awesome as I want it to be. I still have my doubts, though. In this trailer we get glimpses of the battles and it introduces us to the new characters we've come to love (and hate). Regardless of how well it's received by the critics/fans, this movie is bound to be a HUGE blockbuster. I love how they tie-in the Metroplois destruction from Man of Steel. Nice touch. One can definitely understand the motivation that drives Bruce Wayne into the bat-suit. I have always been way more interested in DC comics, so move over Marvel, DC's set of movies are going blow you away!  Take a look!

's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in the DC Comics Universe, will bring back Henry Cavill as Superman and introduce as Batman. , and will all return as well. New additions include: as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, (LOVE him) as Alfred, and in a role newly created for the film. will also appear as Aquaman and as Barry Allen/The Flash. This blockbuster will hit theaters next spring, March 25th, 2016. For more info on the film, visit the official website at:  batmanvsupermandawnofjustice.com

What do you think? Will you be seeing this in theaters? 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Suicide Squad Teaser

Source: Firstshowing

 "I put 'em in a hole and threw away the hole."
Justice has a bad side.... Warner Bros just released the Comic-Con teaser for Suicide Squad.  Apparently it was leaked on line over the weekend. Regardless, This. Looks. Awesome.  It's dark & gritty, creepy & chilling. It's everything a super-villain movie should be. But more importantly it has my attention.  I was definitely leery about this movie at first... until now. I'm absolutely blown away.  People love their super-heroes, and people love to hate their villains.  We've got Deadshot, Harley Quinn, The Joker, Enchantress, Killer Croc and Rick Flagg.  This trailer is beautifully edited to perfection. Adding the eerie yet angelic remake of the 1968 Bee Gee's hit titled "I Started a Joke" is a stroke of genius.  If you're a real fanboy (or simply a fan of awesome trailers) take a look...

Suicide Squad is a DC Comics movie from Warner Bros, directed by (End of Watch, Sabotage, Fury). Ayer also wrote the script based on the comic books. is Deadshot, is Rick Flagg, is Harley Quinn, is Joker, plays Boomerang, plays Amanda Waller, is Enchantress, and is supposedly playing Killer Croc. All of these characters are part of a super villain team recruited by the government for secret missions. This bad-A movie hits theaters everywhere on August 5th, 2016

How excited, intrigued, scared are you?!!...

Magic Mike XXL Review

First of all, was there more story to tell after Magic Mike (2012)? Absolutely not, but who cares, CHANNING!  

This time around the story is even thinner than before. It's barely an L, let alone an XXL. However, Magic Mike XXL definitely contains more bro-time than its predecessor, which is naturally a lot more fun and funny. One can certainly tell this pointless sequel was solely made for the benefit of the fans and nothing more. Sadly, it was a lot lighter on the rich, character-driven aspect of the original - but hey, you probably didn’t come for that, right?  Which leads me to my next point - stripping.  Where was it?!

Mike (), who has been out of the stripping game for a few years, reconnects with the The Kings Of Tampa to join them on one last road-trip to, you guested it, a stripper convention, all before they hang up their leopard-print g-strings for good. Now one expects a few "staples" when venturing a stripper movie, that being the most obvious... stripping. Call me crazy, but shouldn't there be TONS-O-STRIPPING at a stripper convention?! Psh, this movie might as well be PG-13. C'mon.

The storyline between Mike and Zoe () is completely irrelevant and with no resolve. They should have taken out that entire weak storyline altogether. I will say, however, the best part of this movie is Big Dick Rickie (). His comedic performance mixed in with those hilarious facial expressions were unbelievably priceless. And despite the slightness of the lame story, I still had a fun time. XXL works as a fun road-trip movie because the main characters are good in value and the naturalistic dialogue carries plenty of laughs throughout.
RATING: C-

What did you think? 

Inside Out Review

Finally Hollywood throws us a bone with Inside Out.  Originality happens so infrequent I almost missed it. And Disney/Pixar's latest efforts certainly did not disappoint. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith - love her!). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. 
 
What's most brilliant about this luminous movie, is how director Pete Docter not only connects beautifully to those emotions, but he turns them into relatable characters. Inside Out is easily the most high-concept piece Pixar has ever done. More than just talking toys or cars, it’s extremely abstract. It's playfully funny, thought-provoking and mood-moving all in one. The stellar animation not only speaks volumes, but its powerful message is everything. That is to say there is opposition in all things - light & dark, day & night, Joy & Sadness. You cannot have one without the other. 
Rating: B+ 

Tell me your thoughts?...


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