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Showing posts from 2016

Fences SPOILER-FREE Review

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With 2016 coming to a close, I thought it would be fitting for my final post of the year to be a movie review of the last film I saw this year, Fences. I saw this a few days ago, but I have procrastinated writing this review until the final hours of the year. I had really high expectations for Fences. The first trailer absolutely blew me away. It had so much raw power and emotion that I was overwhelmed. After seeing that trailer, I did a little more research into the film and found out the backstory. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis performed the play on stage, and even won Tony Awards for their performances. So they worked with the playwright, August Wilson, to adapt it for the big screen, with Washington directing. When I learned this, my excitement level immediately increased, because these people know this play inside and out. If anyone was going to deliver on a great film adaptation, it was going to be these guys. So I walked into Fences thinking it could very well end up being…

La La Land SPOILER-FREE Review

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La La Land has been one of my most anticipated films of the year for a while now. Writer/director Damien Chazelle stole 2014 for me with Whiplash, which turned out to be my favorite film of that year. So naturally, his next film was going to be up there for me in terms of anticipation. What struck me about Whiplash was not just how well he constructed the story and characters, but how embedded into the film his passion for music was. So it made sense that his next movie would be a full-out musical. In the past, I haven't been a huge fan of musicals. There are only a handful of ones that I actually like. But from what I had heard, this was a film that even non-musical people could enjoy and appreciate. So I went into La La Land with pretty high expectations. I went in thinking it was going to end up being one of my favorites of the year, and I wasn't proven wrong. La La Land is a masterfully directed film with a beautiful story, fantastic performances, and wonderful music. 
A j…

Jackie SPOILER-FREE Review

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When I first saw the trailers for Jackie, I could tell that Natalie Portman's performance was going to be fantastic, but I thought the movie itself was probably going to be kind of mediocre. It very much looked like an okay film with an amazing performance, and that's what I was expecting when I went to go see this movie. I wasn't anticipating an overly dynamic film, nor a complex or profound picture. Instead, I was simply there to see Portman's (most likely) Academy Award nominated performance. For the first half of the film, I was proven right. The film was kind of dull and moved at a very slow pace. But by the halfway mark, Jackie really turned itself around, becoming not only an incredibly competent film, but a rather engaging one as well-- all the while having a truly mesmerizing and captivating performance on Portman's part. Jackie really does work to transcend beyond being held captive to Portman's performance, and instead becomes it's own entity. 
J…

First Trailer for Alien: Covenant (REDBAND)

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**Warning: Contains Strong Language and Violence**
While I rather liked Prometheus, many casual fans and die-hard fans of the Alien franchise were disappointed by it. Rather than being a direct prequel to Alien, it was very confusing as to what it actually was, and seemed to ask more questions than it answered. It also had very little to do with Alien, except for giving us some insight into what the Space Jockey was, and giving us the birth of the first Xenomorph. From what we've seen so far of the sequel, it looks like director Ridley Scott has listened to the fans. First of all, this one is called Alien: Covenant, so I'm guessing we're going to get some aliens. Plus, from all the images we've seen, it looks like it's going back to the horror roots of the original; more than just the creepy atmosphere that Prometheus instilled. While I'd rather see Neill Blomkamp do his Alien 5, everything is in place for Alien: Covenant to be the best Alien movie since 1986&#…

The Movie Paradise Nerd Round-Up: December 24th

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Welcome to this week's The Movie Paradise Nerd Round-Up. Essentially what we do here is we take a look at all things nerdy. We break down everything in the world of nerdom, ranging from superheroes to Star Wars and every other geeky thing in between, and analyse the smaller bits of news that weren't big enough stories to necessarily warrant an entire article, but are still significant and important. Perhaps it's casting news, a contract detail, a set image, or something else that's more on the minor side, but is definitely worth checking out. Then we have a little bit of fun with some movie-related videos and clips. It's a time and place for all of us unabashed nerds to come together and talk about the things that we love so much. So, without further ado, let's get started with this week's Nerd Round-Up. 
The News

A new image from Justice League has dropped online, from a feature done in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Everyone knows that I wasn&#…

Assassin's Creed SPOILER-FREE Review

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I actually really like the Assassin's Creed video games. I've played a couple of them, and they're very entertaining games. So when I heard they were turning it into a movie, I was incredibly optimistic. There's a lot of rich material to pull from to make a really exhilarating and compelling film. But I really got on board when they announced the cast. Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons are incredible talents, and I thought they would definitely add an extra layer to this movie that would make it all the more special. We have yet to have a good video game movie adaptation, and it looked like all the pieces were in place for Assassin's Creed to become the first good one. But then the reviews came out and they said it was really bad. So I went in with my expectations checked, but still expecting to be entertained. I was not prepared for just how bad this movie is. I am not using hyperbole when I say this was the worst movie I've ever seen in t…

First Trailer for Blade Runner 2049

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I know that Blade Runner is revered as one of the all time great science fiction classics, but I'm not a big fan of it. When I saw it, at least, I wasn't as nearly struck as others by its ingenuity and creativity. I'm certainly a bigger fan of Ridley Scott's other science fiction films, such as Alien and The Martian. But I have been known to change my opinion on a film upon subsequent viewings, so I will definitely re-watch Blade Runner before the sequel hits theaters next summer. There's certainly a lot to be interested in with Blade Runner 2049. It sees the return of Harrison Ford, which we know from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens that he's still got it. It also sees Ryan Gosling take over as the lead, which is a compelling move. Gosling is a fantastic actor, and is especially getting multitudes of acclaim for his performance in La La Land this year. Denis Villeneuve is taking over the director's chair, and while I didn't love Arrival as mu…

Top 5 Favorite Moments From: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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This is the tenth installment of this editorial series, where I basically take a movie and pick my personal five favorite scenes from that movie. I'll talk about and analyse these scenes, dissecting them to figure out what exactly makes them so great and why they work so well in the context of the film. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in hype behind movies-- are the characters developed enough, how was the score, how does it fit into the larger universe-- that we forget to appreciate smaller things, such as an individual scene that can strike you in a certain way. After I've said my piece, please feel free to go into the comments section and say why you either agree or disagree with me. So after seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (which you can read our review for here), I thought I'd talk about Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Warning- there are spoilers!

(Make sure to check out our other "Top 5 Favorite Moments From" for The Dark Knight Rises, The Matrix, Ris…

Office Christmas Party SPOILER-FREE Review

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Office Christmas Party is a film that I didn't have very high expectations for. The trailers weren't overly funny to me. Sure, it was packed to the brim with amazing comedic talent, but the jokes in the trailers just didn't grab me. What did grab me was the incredible ensemble of cast members. Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry-- these are all huge comedy names, and that's what really attracted this to this movie. While the trailers weren't too funny to me, I had faith in the talent behind it and that was my main excitement for the film. I had similar expectations for Why Him?. I didn't find the trailers overly funny, but I loved the people working on the movie. I caught an early screening of the movie, and loved it! You can read my review for that film here. So I was hopeful that I would have a similar experience with Office Christmas Party. And in short, I didn't. Office Christmas Party is a pretty bad movie, that is …

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story SPOILER-FREE Review

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How could Rogue One: A Star Wars Story not be one of your most anticipated films of 2016? After Disney knocked it out of the park last year with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, fans were on the edge of their seat wondering if they could do it again this year. A lot rode on Rogue One. Not as much as The Force Awakens, but still a considerable amount. Rogue One is the first anthology spin-off film, meaning it's the first Star Wars movie to not be connected to the episodic storyline following the Skywalkers. The entire existence of a Star Wars franchise releasing one film a year hinged on fans accepting these anthology films. Is the mass audience actually interested in seeing movies about characters whose last names aren't Skywalker? It may seem like an obvious "yes", but it really isn't. If Rogue One failed as a film, Disney had a lot of rethinking to do. Luckily, I can tell you right now that Rogue One does not fail in any sense of the word. Rogue One: …