Showing posts from April, 2016

The Jungle Book SPOILER-FREE Review

The Jungle Book is a film that I have really been looking forward to, but not always. The movie wasn't even on my radar, until the D23 Expo last year when footage from the film was shown. We, the public, didn't get our first look at the movie until its first trailer, but the sheer amount of buzz coming out of the footage screening was enough to catch my attention. At a convention where Marvel and Star Wars dropped major news and screened footage, The Jungle Book stole the weekend. So ever since then, The Jungle Book has been one of my most anticipated films of 2016. The fact that, according to director Jon Favreau, it is the most technologically advanced movie ever made, that it was all filmed in Los Angeles, the voice talent behind it-- there was so much to be excited for. But I didn't get a chance to see the movie until now, a couple weeks after its release. It was worth the weight. Though The Jungle Book suffers from some story errors, it excels as being one of the best…

Alicia Vikander to Play Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

While the Tomb Raider video games have been really good, their cinematic adaptations haven't been met with the same love. The video game got two film adaptations starring Angelina Jolie, and both were less than desirable. But there really has yet to be a desirable video game movie. So with the reboot of the video game franchise in 2013, it was reported that a rebooted film series was to follow. But since the game's release, there has been little movement on the film. It will be directed by new filmmaker Roar Uthaug, but Lara Croft had yet to be cast. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakenss star Daisy Ridley was rumored to be in contention for the role, which I liked but didn't love. Ridley was fantastic in The Force Awakens, but it didn't seem like a match made in Heaven for me. But now we do officially have our Lara Croft.
Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina) will play Lara Croft in the rebooted Tomb Raider film.

I really like this cas…

Snowden- Trailer 2

I was really upset last year when I heard that Snowden was being pushed back from a December 2015 release into 2016. I really liked the teaser trailer the film put out, and it sounded very interesting. The story of Edward Snowden has a lot of cinematic potential, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic actor. So when Snowden moved, it put me off. But now it's back, and Snowden is looking at a September release. I don't think the film moved due to the quality; I think a certain Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens scared it away. So I don't have many doubts about this film. I think it could be something really cool, and I was looking forward to seeing a full length trailer to get a better sense about what director Oliver Stone is going for. And now we have it.
I really liked this trailer. It had a great, espionage type feel to it. It gave us a brief explanation behind the NSA spying, and then dived straight into Snowden's debatable treason. Even though this is a tr…

X-Men: Apocalypse- Trailer 3

It's hard to believe that X-Men: Apocalypse is just a month away. With all the focus being on the other big comic book movie coming out in May, Captain America: Civil War, Apocalypse seems to be off everybody's radar. But it's still coming, and the trailers have been great. My only one complaint has been that the past two trailers were so similar to each other. We had the teaser trailer and then the second one, which just seemed like an extension of the teaser, albeit still great. But we haven't had much diversity in the trailers. So with the third trailer, I hoped that we would see something a little bit different. Maybe a change-up in tone or style. Just something new to get me excited for this film. And this new trailer definitely delivered!
I think this may be my favorite trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, because of how different it feels. The first half is a rehash of what we've seen before, and that brings down this trailer a bit. But then it takes a turn and t…

First Trailer for The Founder

Michael Keaton has been on a role the past couple years. From being Oscar nominated in Birdman in 2014, to having a supporting role in the Best Picture winner Spotlight in 2015, Keaton has really had his foot in the Oscar door. And now he may have done it yet again. Keaton stars in The Founder, the true story behind the founding of McDonalds. Before I watched the trailer, I didn't know anything really about the film. I knew it was about McDonalds and Michael Keaton was the star, and that's about it. But the reaction from this trailer has been that Keaton could be prevalent at the Academy Awards again this year, so I watched the trailer, excited. And I had good reason to be excited, because the trailer is awesome.
I'm loving this trailer (sorry, I had to do it). Sometimes movies take a popular brand or item and make a movie out of it just to capitalize on the recognition, but this is actually an interesting story. Keaton plays an arrogant, self-centered asshole and really s…

Robert Downey Jr. Joins Spider-Man: Homecoming

Captain America: Civil War hits theaters in just two weeks, and the early reviews have already begun trickling in. Unanimously, they are all saying it's a fantastic film. The action is great. The character moments are heartfelt. But one persisting comment is that Tom Holland knocks Spider-Man out of the park. This is generating more and more buzz for the Webslinger's next solo outing in Spider-Man: Homecoming, due in theaters next summer. I am yet to like the title for the next film (you can read my initial thoughts on it here), but I can't wait for the actual film. And even more so, I am excited to see Spidey in Civil War, and how he interactions with the other superheroes. But one superhero interaction from Civil War, however, will continue into Homecoming
It has been confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

I am thrilled by this! The more performances of Downey Jr. as Iron Man as we can get the better, because I don…

Has the Time for Avatar Sequels Passed?

For years, ever since Avatar's release in 2009, we have been hearing that sequels are coming. Once upon a time, the second installment was set to be released in 2015. Of course, that never happened. But the proposed trilogy of sequels have never died, as James Cameron continuously develops them and pushes them back every year. But now, Cameron has said that the number of films have expanded to four sequels, making this a five part series, to be released annually beginning on Christmas of 2018. You can read our initial article about that here. Cameron has confirmed that he will film all four movies simultaneously, which is unprecedented. But doing one unprecedented thing doesn't justify four movies.   
So with Avatar films coming out over a decade after the original, we have to ask ourselves: has the time for more Avatar movies passed? 

Let's wind the clocks back to 2009. When Avatar opened in theaters, it offered something unique and different. It recreated the "even…

First Trailer for The Magnificent Seven

With every new remake and reboot of a Hollywood classic, there are always the people who gripe and complain. "Stop remaking the classics!" They scream into their computer monitors. I've never understood this mentality. It's a movie. Granted, many of these remade classics like Ben-Hur and The Magnificent Seven I haven't seen, so that may be a component of it. But even films that are close and dear to my heart I wouldn't have a problem if they remade it. Because nothing changes about the original. It simply is taking the film that you love and re-branding it for an audience who has never seen it. So now that I got that mini-rant out of the way, let's talk about the first trailer for the remake of the Hollywood classic, The Magnificent Seven!
I had no expectations going into it, and the trailer blew me away. Antoine Fuqua's directing style captured the trailer and really commanded it. Stylistically it was breathtaking, and had a great tone. Denzel Washi…

Jurassic World Sequel Finds Its Director

While many people had mixed feelings about last summer's biggest film, Jurassic World, I really liked the film. It paid homage to the original film, while being the next natural progression in the series. You can read my review for the movie here. But one thing we've known since the movie's release is that director Colin Trevorrow would not be returning. With the sequel slated for a 2018 release and all the main cast returning, the question of who would direct the epic has been in the air, until now. It has been announced that Spanish director J.A. Bayona will helm the next installment in the dinosaur series. 
I have not seen any of Bayona's films, so I cannot speak on behalf of his talent. But he did direct Naomi Watts to an Oscar nomination in The Impossible, and has a new movie coming out this fall called A Monster Calls starring Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver. You can watch the trailer for that film here, and the trailer looks great. I am now ver…

Justice League- Willem Dafoe Joins in Secret "Good Guy" Role

It was just yesterday that I published an article where J.K. Simmons talked about his role as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League, which you can read here. Simmons famously played the motor-mouthed J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. However, it looks like Simmons won't be the only actor from Spider-Man to join the DC Cinematic Universe. It has been reported today that Willem Dafoe, who played the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, has joined the cast of Justice League. However, it is not known who he will be playing. All that was said was that Dafoe will be playing a "good guy". 
I don't have any speculation as to who Dafoe could be playing, but I think he is a great addition. Dafoe is a great actor, and was obviously great as the Green Goblin. Since then he has had several supporting roles, more noticeably in Keanu Reeves' action film John Wick. I think he is a great actor, and will be a fantastic addition to the film. Now I want to know who he …

J.K. Simmons Talks Playing Commissioner Gordon in the DC Cinematic Universe

It wasn't too long ago that Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons would be playing Commissioner Jim Gordon in the DC Cinematic Universe. The actor will make his first appearance as the character in next year's Justice League Part One before continuing in Ben Affleck's solo Batman film. It's not known exactly how Gordon will fit into this new universe (especially Justice League) but he will be taking on the role famously played by Gary Oldman in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Oldman was the best Gordon I thought we were ever going to get. He brought a humanity to the role, and did the character the justice needed after being underdeveloped and underutilized in Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher's films. So Simmons has to fill very large shoes going into this. 
In a recent interview with Collider, Simmons talked about how he will prepare for the role, as well as taking over from Oldman. Simmons said:  "Well, to read the comics, yes, absolutely. I'm still a couple months o…

The Movie Paradise Nerd Round-Up: April 16th

In this editorial series, I will be doing a weekly collection of all things nerdy. Some of the article will be a wrap-up of some movie news, perhaps casting rumors or images; stuff that doesn't necessarily warrant an entire article but are still important. Then the rest will be different geek culture items, such as memes or videos. I will try my best to post these every Saturday. So let's get our hands nerdy (okay, that was terrible) and check out the geek picks of this week.
The News

James Cameron has been hard at work on developing a trilogy of sequels to follow his 2009 effort, Avatar, which became the highest grossing film of all time. These films have been continuously delayed, as he claims he needs more time to develop the story. And now, Cameron has stated that there will be four more films released annually starting on Christmas of 2018. I really think four sequels are too much. I even thought three sequels were too much. Avatar was well-liked, but I don't think peo…

First Trailer for Doctor Strange

So, sorry that this is a few days late, but I have been very busy in my personal life. But none of that really matters now, because we have the first trailer for Doctor Strange! I've been really looking forward to seeing this, because this film has so much potential. I have said from the very moment that Benedict Cumberbatch was even in consideration to play the character that he was absolutely perfect casting. And since then they've accumulated an incredible cast, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen. Plus, this film opens up a whole different world for Marvel. It will be exploring magic and alternate dimensions, and could visually look spectacular. And now that we have our first trailer for Doctor Strange, we can confirm that this film is really going to be something special.
I really like this trailer. The visuals are impeccable. There are many Inception-esque shots of reality bending and mirroring itself. It confirms for me that thi…

Hardcore Henry SPOILER-FREE Review

So far, we have yet to have a good video game adaptation movie. So why not just screw trying to adapt one, and make a movie that's a video game itself? That sounds confusing, until you see the marketing for Hardcore Henry, a first-person action film from first time director Ilya Naishuller. The film spawned from music video for the band Biting Elbows' song "Bad Motherf*cker" Naishuller directed, which you can watch here. After doing this music video, Naishuller was given the job of adapting the idea into a feature length film. So I was very excited sitting down to watch Hardcore Henry. I was excited to see what was really an experimental film. Could a first person action film actually work? Or would it just come off as gimmicky. Hardcore Henry excels at delievering heart-pounding action, but misses out on delivering character development or a half-way decent story. 
The film opens with Henry waking up. He had been in some sort of accident, where parts of his body we…

The Movie Paradise Nerd Round-Up: April 9th

In this editorial series, I will be doing a weekly collection of all things nerdy. Some of the article will be a wrap-up of some movie news, perhaps casting rumors or images; stuff that doesn't necessarily warrant an entire article but are still important. Then the rest will be different geek culture items, such as memes or videos. I will try my best to post these every Saturday. So let's get our hands nerdy (okay, that was terrible) and check out the geek picks of this week.
The News

With Marvel's Captain America: Civil War coming out next month, it's only natural that they would begin marketing their own 2016 release, Doctor Strange. We know very little about the film. Just the other day, set pictures were released revealing Mads Mikkelsen as the villain, yet we still don't know who he is (you can see those pictures here). But now we can expect to learn a little bit more about the film. The first official trailer for Doctor Strange will debut next Tuesday. I am r…

What Does Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Mean for the DC Cinematic Universe?

DC's latest blockbuster epic, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, was just released to the world a couple weeks ago, and was met with mediocre reviews. While I thought the film was good but not great (you can read our review here), it is in no way a "blow" to the impending DC Cinematic Universe. The films can certainly carry on, and Batman v. Superman actually does a decent job of setting up the larger universe, though its inclusion is a bit forced. But not everyone shares this mindset. There are many who think that Batman v. Superman sank the DC ship. So what exactly does Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, both in its content and reception, mean for the larger DC Cinematic Universe?

This editorial will contain spoilers for Batman v. Superman, so if you have not seen the film, then come back to this article later, because I will go in-depth with the film's spoilers and twists.

First let's talk about what the film itself means for the larger universe. A lot of …

First Trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has to be one of most anticipated films of this year. It is the first of many anthology films coming over the next few years, which will complement the episodes that follow the traditional story line. The first of these anthology films, Rogue One, will focus on the stealing of the Death Star plans, which kicks off the plot of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. We know very little about this film, other than the main cast. So there was a lot to learn going into this trailer. How would this look  comparative to the other films? Would this actually feel like a Star Wars movie, or something else? These were all unknowns when I hit play on the trailer, but now we have some semblance of answers.

This trailer is awesome! It definitely feels like Star Wars, but different. It has a darker, more serious tone than the other films. The look and design fits the universe perfectly. The battle scenes hinted at look incredible. I was surprised with how epic it looked, as I…