Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Most Beautiful Shots in The History of Disney animation

Source: Firstshowing

Need a little pick-me-up?  Check out this awe-inspiring video! It will most-def. bring a smile to your face. The revolutionary Walt Disney brings magic, charm and wonder to the world and we are a better place because of him, his dream and perseverance. What he has done, in his realm, can never be replaced. Jorge Luengo Ruiz reminds us of that with a lovely montage he threw together titled "The Most Beautiful Shots in The History of Disney." It includes some the the most inspiring cinematography and beautiful moments from Disney movies only, which leaves out anything Pixar related. That could be its very own stellar video for another day. Have a look-see and enjoy!

The music in this video is by Jóhann Jóhannsson (also the composer for Arrival). See more of Jorge Luengo Ruiz work here. For a full list of the films featured in this, head to Vimeo. From hand-drawn features like Snow White, to CGI animated modern movies like Frozen, it's clear Disney has produced ah-mazing animated films over the years.  Disney's catalog is nothing short of spectacular, beautiful and inspiring. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Best & Worst Movies - 2016

Source: IMDb.com

The best of the best & worst of the worst are here at last! 2016 was a slightly different year than most, as I didn't see a lot of horrible movies, but then again, I also didn't see a ton of stellar movies either. So I was really reaching when it came to forming these lists.  And then there are the movies I sadly didn't view in time - Collateral Beauty, Passengers, Lion, Ghostbusters, Fences, Pete's Dragon, Everybody Wants Some!!, The Conjuring 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, Moana, Manchester by the Sea, Captain Fantastic, and The Edge of Seventeen. As you can see I missed a lot (ahem, or not). Who knows what these lists would have looked like if I had seen them all. With that said, here are my top picks. Enjoy!


10. Suicide Squad
It's a shame Warner Bros. throws too much attention on making their movies look cool instead of investing in decent plots.  

9. Bad Moms
It's a complete eye-roller with an extremely thin script. It just wasn't clever enough to overlook its over-the-top vulgarity.  #Basic 

8. Nerve
It's just not stylish enough to be a decent film and it’s not cool enough to distract us.  

7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 
One word, cluttered.  It's too much, Warner Bros. Stahp! Tone it down, bruh.  Two words, sexy Cavill.  The. End.

6. Hush 
This plot had no where to go.  Lack of depth with little intrigue. I mean we all knew how this was going to end anyway. No? You're right, who cares. 

5. Allegiant 
Did the studio-heads even read this book?! They completely changed the ending! I guess with a slew of dystopian, sci-fi cliches they were too busy to care. 

4. Money Monster 
The worst part about this lame crime thriller is the shame of how cool it thinks it really is. Sort of like the class dork posing as the class clown. 

Great premise, minor thrills, but in the end  you just wanted to die. #ICK

2. The Forest 
Rest assured your last camping trip had more thrills, twists and turns than this wannabe. #BringABook

1. Zoolander 2 
This painful sequel focused way too much on starlet cameos  that they completely forgot to insert a plot. By the end you really DO feel like you're taking crazy pills.


10. Deepwater Horizon
This movie actually surprised me. It's an eye opener to the real hero's behind this BP devastation. It's a slow build in the beginning but the tension soon rises and ultimately hooks you in. I really enjoyed it!

Best line: "My wife's name is Felicia and my daughter's Sydney and I will see them again. Do you understand me?"  

9. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Between all the dilated crap and reboots, this flick is proof Hollywood can still surprise us. It does an excellent job keeping you on the edge of your seat with loads of suspense.

Best line: "People are strange creatures. You can't always convince them that safety is in their best interest."

8. 13 Hours
Another true story that surprised me last year was 13 hours. Mostly because it's  a movie... WHAT?! But aside from that, it does a superb job chronicling what happened that night and proves can lead a great action/drama.

Best line: "Payback's a bitch and her stripper name is Karma."

7. Midnight Special
This sci-fi flick flew under the radar and I don't know why exactly. The unique plot unfolds so beautifully and does an excellent job keeping you intrigued until the very end. It's definitely an engaging story about family and what one would sacrifice for them.

Best line: "Is it too much to ask you to punch me in the face? No? Never mind."

6. Zootopia
This charming animation excels on so many levels and it most-def stands with the finest of the Disney classics. The underlining messages are so tender and sweet. It's modest with good old fashion storytelling. I also have a sneaky suspicion it will take the Oscar for Best Animation as well.

Best line: "Life's a little bit messy. We all make mistakes. No matter what type of animal you are, change starts with you."

5. Hidden Figures 
It's easy to see why this flick was nominated for Best Picture. This historic true story is a wonderful blend of Apollo 13 and The Help.  The assertion of humanity and civil rights is pure cinematic nourishment for soul. 

Best line: "Well, I don't own pearls. Lord knows you don't pay the colored enough to afford pearls!"

While I think this film is a tad overrated, I still fully enjoyed it! I thought this musical was entertaining and vibrant. It's light and extremely fun. It holds a beautiful mix of great acting and explosive musical numbers.  La La Land will leave you feeling refreshed and giddy about Hollywood.

Best line: "This is the dream! It's conflict and it's compromise, and it's very, very exciting!"

3. Nocturnal Animals 
This psychological thriller reveals director can play with the big boys.  It's dark and twisted, it's edgy, and it's incredibly gripping with mad intrigue. This well-wrought film explores penetrating questions and has an unbelievably poetic ending. 
Best line: "Do you ever feel like your life is turning into something you never intended?"  

2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This highly intense, space-opera, that pairs good vs. evil, is beyond a well-crafted Star Wars spin-off. It spins Star Wars into a whole new orbit. It has plenty of fantastic nuances that bring back fond memories of the original.  And it has to be said, that ending scene is probably thee best scene in SW history!! #AMIRIGHT

Best line: "Do you want to know the odds of her using that blaster on you? It's high. It's very high."

One of the few movies worth seeing in 3D, Doctor Strange delivers with thunderous applause! It captures some of the most impressive visual effects ever, mingled with head-spinning mythology. This Marvel crowd-pleaser will not disappoint! It's surprisingly soulful, funny and engaging. Seriously, movies don't get any more fun than this! So it's easy to see why it snags the #1 spot on my list.

Best line: "Your work saved the lives of thousands. What if I told you that reality is one of many?"

While I wasn't particularly super impressed with what 2016 had to offer, I still had a blast at the movies! I'm excited to see how 2017 unfolds.  The floor is now yours! Did your favorite movie of the year make the list? Something I missed? Let me know what your Best and Worst movies of 2016 were in the comment section below.

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...

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