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Showing posts from November, 2016

Moonlight SPOILER-FREE Review

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Moonlight is a film I've been wanting to see for a while now. Everyone who's seen it has been raving nonstop that it's one of the best of the year, and that it's a masterpiece of a movie. When people talk like that, it's bound to get my hopes up. I walked into Moonlight expecting to walk out with it in my top three favorite movies of the year. That may have been a little presumptuous on my part, but from what everyone was saying, what was I supposed to think? So I went into Moonlight with very high expectations, and while I was disappointed in that respect, I appreciated a lot of the things Moonlight accomplishes. While I wouldn't put it in the top of my list of my favorite movies of the year, it does has incredible performances, a very interesting story structure and great cinematography. 
The movie follows one kid, Chiron, through three stages of his life: when he was a kid, when he was a teenager, and when he was an adult. Through these three stages, we see …

Nocturnal Animals SPOILER-FREE Review

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Going into Nocturnal Animals, I knew practically nothing about the film. I had purposely stayed away from any of the trailers, because I wanted the movie to be a blank slate for me. I was drawn in by the cast, and that's what got my attention. I didn't even know the basic plot of the film I until I saw Amy Adams promoting the movie on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. So I was very much looking forward to seeing the film. Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors working today, and I love him in pretty much everything he does. Amy Adams is also great, and Michael Shannon is a fantastic supporting actor. So I went into this movie, while knowing very little about it, with tremendous expectations, and ultimately I was let down. Nocturnal Animals is a complex movie, but it's various storylines and interconnections don't necessarily pay off in making it as smart of a movie as the film would like to believe it is.
While struggling through a loveless marriage, Susan (Ad…

Bad Santa 2 SPOILER-FREE Review

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I was really looking forward to seeing Bad Santa 2. I had seen the first one, and while I didn't love it, I thought there was a great opportunity to improve with a sequel. You can read our In Preparation For review for Bad Santahere. I also laughed throughout all the trailers for this sequel. So I went in hoping for the best. However, not a lot of comedy sequels are on part with the original, let alone better. Especially ones with large time gaps. Just look at Zoolander. So there was a lot standing in the way of Bad Santa 2 actually being good. And it's 22% on Rotten Tomatoes sure didn't help. But I went in hoping that it would be decent enough, with a lot of good laughs, and I wasn't disappointed. Bad Santa 2 is essentially the same movie as the original, but with more consistent laughs and added supporting characters that make it, for me, a more entertaining movie than the original Bad Santa.
Thirteen years after the events of the first one, Willie (Billy Bob Thornt…

The Movie Paradise Nerd Round-Up: November 26th

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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

It was confirmed this week that actress Angela Bassett will be playing T'Challa's (Chadwick Boseman) mother, Ramonda, in Black Panther. I…

Fences- Trailer 2

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Fences is a movie I was really surprised by when I first saw the trailer for it. I had no expectations, and yet I was blown away by how raw the performances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were. The fact that Washington and Davis performed the play on stage before gave me confidence that they knew these characters inside and out, and that Washington was familiar with this world enough to effectively direct the picture. Overall, it looked like a compelling story, and it had the Academy Awards written all over it! So I've been really looking forward to seeing this movie, and I didn't think we necessarily needed another trailer. I saw all I wanted to see, and I was locked in. I didn't need to know nor wanted to know anything else about the film. However, the movie needed to put out more than one trailer to promote it, so we got a second trailer for Fences.
I didn't like it as much as the first trailer we got, but it was still very good. We see a different side of W…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them SPOILER-FREE Review

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I am not a very big fan of Harry Potter. I read all the books and watched all the movies, but I just never got into the craze like everyone else did. It's something that just didn't have a ton of appeal for me. So with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Harry Potter spin-off film, set to come out, I didn't really have plans to see it. It wasn't something that interested me, so I planned just to skip this one. However, things worked out and I went to go see it, with modest expectations. I had heard a lot of good things about it from the critics, and I was just wanting to be entertained. Harry Potter wasn't my thing, but maybe Fantastic Beasts could do something for me. So I went in with moderate expectations, hoping that it would end up surprising me, and really it did. Fantastic Beasts has its problems, but it is incredibly accessible to those not steeped in Harry Potter lore, and is overall a very entertaining movie to watch. 
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmay…

In Preparation For: Bad Santa

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With Bad Santa 2 coming out this weekend, I thought I would review the original 2003 film. I hadn't seen it prior to the trailers coming out for the sequel. So I went out and found the original to catch up before I saw the sequel. I didn't really have expectations for for it. I just wanted to laugh. I wasn't expecting it to be one of the all time great comedies. I was just hoping for a half-decent movie to give me a reason to want to see the sequel, because I really liked the trailers I had seen up until then. So I watched the movie, and I liked it. Bad Santa is not a great movie, nor a great comedy, but it delivers on some good laughs and is entertaining enough. Keep in mind, this review will have spoilers, so make sure you have watched the film before you read this review. 
Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunkard conman working with his associate Marcus (Tony Cox) who pose as Santa and his Little Helper in order to rob malls after hours. But when Willie meets a girl (

Loving SPOILER-FREE Review

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I was really excited to see Loving. Not only was it getting fantastic reviews from the critics (it currently stands at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes), but it was an important story. It depicts an interracial couple going all the way up to the Supreme Court to fight for their right to be married. Especially in today's atmosphere, this is a story that needs to be told, and I was very interested in learning more about the Lovings. Joel Edgerton is a fantastic actor. He was great last year in The Gift, not just in his supporting role, but in directing as well. I wasn't as familiar with Ruth Negga's work, but I was nonetheless excited for this movie. It had great talent behind it, it was telling an important and powerful story, and it was getting outstanding reviews. All of that combined had me going in expecting to see a major Oscar contender. I was expecting to walk out thinking that Edgerton and Negga were both locks for nominations, as well as expecting award nominations for writ…

First Trailer for Silence

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It's funny, but Silence comes out in limited release in a matter of weeks, and this is our first trailer for the film. The Martin Scorsese directed epic has been stuck in post-production since, per usual, Scorsese turned in a really long cut of the movie and the studio wanted to trim it down. Last I heard, it clocked in just under three hours, which sounds about right for Martin Scorsese. But this issue has delayed the marketing for Silence, making its push be right before the film comes out. At first, this kind of delay can make someone nervous for the project, but I think the reasons behind it is legit. It wouldn't be the first time Scorsese has battled with the studio over the length of his movies. I've been really interested in Silence. Not only is it a Scorsese movie, but a lot of people have been buzzing that Andrew Garfield could possibly score two Oscar nominations this year for Best Lead Actor-- one for this film, and the other for Hacksaw Ridge. I'm not sure…

The Edge of Seventeen SPOILER-FREE Review

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The Edge of Seventeen is a movie that I had no plans nor intentions to see. The trailers never really caught my interest. It honestly looked like a mediocre chick flick, and I love movies, but I don't love them that much. All jokes aside, I couldn't have cared less about this movie, and then reviews began to pour in. Everyone had gone in thinking the exact same thing as me, but they were absolutely blown away by the film. They were saying it was relatable, it was funny, and it was well worth your time. So that, plus the 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, got my lazy ass up and out to go see this movie, and I am so glad I did. The Edge of Seventeen is a wonderful film that doesn't hold back in its honest and real depiction of high school and teenagers, front-lined by fantastic performances, steady direction and brilliant writing. 
Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is an awkward teenager just trying to survive high school. Her best (and only) friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) is dating her b…

Sing Street SPOILER-FREE Review

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For practically the entire year, I've been hearing that Sing Street is one of the best films of 2016. I've heard non-stop praise for this movie, and I really wanted to see it. But, it was such a small independent film that it was playing nowhere near me... until it dropped on Netflix last week. I was thrilled to see it pop up there, because I had honestly forgotten all about it. As we enter Oscar season, we're going to be ambushed with fantastic performances and great movies, and a film like Sing Street could easily go under the radar. It came out earlier in the year, it didn't get a very wide release. But now that it's on Netflix, it's going to be accessible to a lot more people now, including myself. So I watched it, expecting a really good movie, and I was not disappointed. Sing Street is a fantastic film, perfectly incorporating music into a compelling narrative, and giving us great performances all around.
When things get rough at home, Conor (Ferdia Wals…

Star Wars: Emilia Clarke Joins Cast of Han Solo Spin-Off Film

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With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story coming out in December and Star Wars Episode VIII coming out the following year, not much attention has been paid to the Han Solo spin-off film, currently set for a May 2018 release. We know that Alden Ehrenreich will be playing everyone's favorite smuggler, and Donald Glover will be playing Lando Calrissian, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller directing. Other than that, we know virtually nothing about this movie. Many people have different speculations as to what may occur, what may happen. But no one knows for sure what this film will entail, except for probably Lord and Miller. The one piece of casting news we have been waiting for has been the female lead. For months now, we've heard how they've been auditioning women, mainly non-white actresses. And I've been excited for that. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens delivered in giving us new characters that were diverse in their ethnicities, and had women in leading, powerful role…