Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekend Watch (June 20th-22nd)

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of:

Weekend Watch

This weekend looks to resurrect Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons via Client Eastwood while going up against the sequel to "Think Like a Man".

Up first: "Jersey Boys"

Synopsis: Clint Eastwood brings the Broadway smash to the big screen in this Warner Bros. musical telling the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher 

Next up: "Think Like a Man Too"

Synopsis: All the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas, but plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.

Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, Regina Hall, Meagan Good, Jenifer Lewis, Alani Vazquez

Next we have: "Third Person" (Limited Release)

Synopsis: Three love stories set in different cities explore the beginning, middle and end of a relationship

Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Adrien Brody, Kim Basinger 

Finally we have: "Coherence" (Limited Release)

Synopsis: On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events.

Hugo Armstrong, Emily Foxler, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen, Lauren Maher, Alex Manugian 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Despite What You Might Have Heard, Jason Mamoa is NOT yet confirmed as Aquaman

For months now, rumors have been swirling that Game of Thrones and Conan actor Jason Mamoa has been in talks with the powers that be at Warner Bros. and was close to taking the role of Aquaman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Justice League movie. Then last week, a website came out and said that according to "sources", Mamoa had been cast in the role. No official statements by WB and no press release by Zack Snyder, just one site claiming to be in the know. Fast forward one week and the internet is awash with articles screaming " CONFIRMED: Mamoa is Aquaman " all citing that one article in which no official confirmation was given. Everyone with a blog seems to have put up a post about this and I'm sure it's done great for their page views, however I have refrained from joining the crowd for one simple reason: nothing has been confirmed.

With every casting choice added to the DC/WB movie universe, the same formula has been followed: official WB announcement including a statement from director Zack Snyder. It happened for Afleck, it happened for Gadot, it happened for Eisenberg and it even happened for the lesser known actor set to play Cyborg. So far, however, the studio and the director have been completely silent about the Mamoa rumors. Why? Wouldn't the inclusion of such a fan favorite choice be something to be proud of?

And how about Mamoa himself? Have we heard any confirmation from the man himself? Nope. After posting a tongue in cheek image of himself holding a trident (more like a pitchfork) and flipping off the camera, Mamoa was next seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live where he was asked point blank about the report. His answer: "Those are just rumors".

So no, despite what you may have heard from everyone else on the internet, Jason Mamoa is not officially set to play Aquaman. Could the news still turn out to be true? Of course and I actually WANT it to be; but let's not put the cart before the seahorse.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekend Watch (June 13th-15th)

Hi everyone and welcome back to another edition of:

Weekend Watch

This weekend will prove interesting as Dreamworks and "How to Train Your Dragon 2", takes on the hilarity of "22 Jump Street", and Dave gets sentimental.

First up: "22 Jump Street"

Synopsis: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back, and with them is their comedy gold. Their chemistry is right on par, if not better than the first. Each scene with these two just rolls so naturally, allowing their personalities and comedy to be, in a word: pure. "22 Jump Street" also stars Ice Cube, Jimmy Tatro, and Wyatt Russell.

Verdict: If you were a fan of the first than chances are, you've already bought your ticket(s). If you didn't watch the first one, then watch that and I'd almost guarantee you, you'd be waiting in line at the box office, the next day.

Next up: "How to Train Your Dragon 2"

Synopsis: Hiccup and Toothless battle the power-hungry Drago. 

Dreamworks animated sensation is back, featuring a slightly older cast to match the slightly older audience(s). Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler are back as our main voice actors; also coming to the sequel is Kit Harington, Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, and Craig Ferguson.

Verdict: Dreamworks is bringing the "fire power" in this sequel, with ramped up action and beautiful looking graphics. If you were a fan of the first, the sequel is squared up to look just as good, if not better!

Next we have: "The Signal" (Limited Release) 

Synopsis: Three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults.

"The Signal" starring: Brenton Thwaites, Sarah Clarke, Olivia Cooke, Laurence Fishburne, and Jeffrey Grover, is clearly a sci-fi thriller. With inspiration from movies like "District 9", which turned "alien movies" on their heads, this is clearly another attempt at doing a lot of the same.

Verdict: If a sci-fi, mind-bending, thriller is more your cup of tea, then this is right up your alley. Even if you have your doubts about some of these "no-name" actors, you'll get a great performance out of Laurence Fishburne.

Next we have: "I Am I" (Limited Release)

Synopsis: A young woman meets her estranged father at her mother's funeral.

What if your father, doesn't remember he's your father? "I am I" tries to answer that very question. Starring Jocelyn Towne, Kevin Tighe, Jason Ritter, James Morrison, and Simon Helberg, "I am I" looks both heartfelt and powerful.

Verdict: Oftentimes we go to the movies for the triumphant hero, or to laugh along with the audience, or even get scared right along with the audience. It's a place we can go and for an hour or two, forget about "real life". "I am I" isn't one of those kinds of movies, it - much like "The Fault in Our Stars" from last week, gives us that stark reminder how sometimes cruel life can be. But there's always hope; hope in the good days and even hope in the bad. It's this hope that carries us through.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sofa Cinema Review: Haunter

It's the weekend which, for me, means its okay to stay up super late and watch movies! Ideally this would involve a night out at the local cinema seeing the latest blockbuster, but as a father gearing up for yet another child, ten bucks is a lot to throw down! So what is a financially challenged cinephile to do? Turn to Netflix of course where there a plethora of old and new films covering a wide range of genres. It is in that spirit that we've begun a new series of movie reviews called Sofa Cinema! These reviews will focus on anything we've watched from Netflix, Google Play or any other online streaming service. They may be older movies, newer movies or even those direct to streaming choices we all skip over in the company of others but secretly watch when we're alone. For our first ever Sofa Cinema review, we'll be talking about the little known horror flick Haunter starring Abigail Breslin.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weekend Watch (June 6th-8th)

Hi everybody and welcome back to another edition of Weekend Watch!!

This weekend asks the question: Can Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt's time looping, sci-fi action flick take down a powerful, teenage romance based off a best-selling novel? Only you can decide!

Up first: "Edge of Tomorrow"

Synopsis: Caught in a time loop, a soldier (Tom Cruise) repeatedly relives the battle in which he died.

So, I have to admit, this looks pretty cool - weird, but cool. It's very stylized and has an interesting concept: Tom Cruise's ability to "relive" the same day - like a more intense version of "Groundhog Day". Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Lara Pulver, Jeremy Piven, and Jonas Armstrong also star in the movie.

Verdict: If you're feeling more of an action flick this weekend, this is probably for you. With plenty of explosions, exo-suit battles, and a touch of comedy, "Edge of Tomorrow" could be a promising blockbuster.

Next up: "The Fault in Our Stars"

Synopsis: Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them – and us – on an unforgettable journey.

Man oh man, I can just tell this is going to be one of those movies that makes me cry. And I don't mind admitting I weep like a baby at these sappy-love-story-inspired-by-true-events-maybe movies. "The Fault in Our Stars" brings Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort back together (both performing in "Divergent" as brother and sister), and their chemistry looks amazing. The movie also stars Laura Dern, Nat Wolff, Sam Trammell, and Mike Birbiglia.

Verdict: I honestly can't think of a single person wouldn't be inspired, moved, or the like by this movie. So long as Shailene and Ansel's chemistry is strong throughout, you can bet your bottom dollar this is going to be an opening weekend winner.

*Next we have: "Trust Me"

Synopsis: Howard, a Hollywood agent, is unable to find any success until he signs a troubled teenager.

In a word, "Coulson!" And honestly that's what drew me to this movie/trailer. Marketed as a comedy, "Trust Me" follows the day in a life of Howard, played by Clark Gregg. And Howard's life, as it turns out, isn't going as planned - but with a lot of determination, a little luck,  and some witty humor, things might just turn around. "Trust Me" also stars Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet, Allison Janney, William H. Macy, and Molly Shannon.

Verdict: If a comedy is more your style this weekend, than this will hard to pass up. It'll be hard to see past the Agent Coulson character in Clark Gregg, but when you do - there's still that likeable actor there.

*Finally we have: "Anna"

Synopsis: John Washington is a detective with the unique ability to enter people’s minds and memories. Washington takes on the case of a troubled teenage girl named Anna, who is accused of an attempted triple homicide. To uncover the mystery surrounding Anna and her story, Washington will enter her mind and try to find out the truth: is Anna capable of killing, or is there something hidden in her memories that shows otherwise?

Quite the synopsis, eh? "Anna" is a thriller starring: Mark Strong, Taissa Farmiga, and Brian Cox and surrounds itself with an "Inception" kind of vibe. I like this idea of a kind of cat and mouse between Mark Strong and Taissa Farmiga, and I really like the idea of who's ultimately in control?

Verdict: If an unusual thriller is more you thing, than I would recommend checking this out. Especially since Mark Strong is playing the "good guy," a role I'm sure some of us aren't used to.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Weekend Watch (May 30th-June 1st)

Hi everybody, Dave here with another edition of Weekend Watch. This weekend's lineup features a retelling of a classic fairytale, going up against the comic genius of Seth MacFarlane and the old west.

Up first: "Maleficent"

Synopsis: “Maleficent,” the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty,” reveals the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora, only to later realize that the child may hold the key to peace in the land.

It's Angelina Jolie, looking almost evil, in a Disney classic remake. The movie also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, and Miranda Richardson. The CGI is rampant throughout this trailer and presumably throughout the movie, with an almost "Alice in Wonderland," meets "Snow White and the Huntsman" feel.

Verdict: I enjoy a good retelling of a classic story, especially one as unique as from the perspective of a notorious villain - but there's just something, I don't know, missing. It could just be my own cynical mind telling me, "Uhm, you know how this story ends, right?"

Next up: "A Million Ways to Die in the West"

Synopsis: When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love

If slapstick comedy is more your style this weekend, then look no further than Seth MacFarlane's "A Million Ways to Die in the West". I can take "action comedy" for a little while; you know, the kind of "comedy" that movies like "Jack Ass" bring us; but after an hour or two hours of people doing stupid stunts just to get a laugh - I'm done. I really hope that's not how this movie's going to pan out because there's such an amazing cast: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, and even Sarah Silverman.

Verdict: I have my worries but don't let that stop you from seeing this movie in theaters. For the times you find yourself board of the movie (if ever) you'd probably be too busy laughing at other people.

**Warning, the following may contain material not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised**

*Finally we have: "Filth"

Synopsis: Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson wants a promotion. He is clearly the best man for the job. Annoyingly, there's been a murder and Bruce's boss wants results.

I'm all for these kind of "underground," indie type of movies, but this - this is simply nuts! Basically following a day in the life of Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) as he goes about his "police business," with much needed quotation marks. I've watched this trailer twice now and I'm still not really sure what to make of it. McAvoy is amazing to watch though, and with his performance in "First Class," and last weekend's "Days of Future Past," he just keeps getting better. The movie also stars: Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Jim Broadbent, and Imogen Poots.

Verdict: Honestly, I wouldn't watch this in the theater, but possibly at home, long after my food has settled.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 Classic Movies That Are Ripe For A Remake

Good morning readers. You know, Hollywood gets a bad rap  these days for its constant cycle of remakes, sequels and reboots. Movie fans moan and complain about any remake, swearing that it's mere existence ruins the original.

I've talked at length about this topic before, but in a sentence: remakes and reboots don't bother me. If I don't like them, the original is in no way harmed or affected at all! That being said, I've come up with a few films that seem to be ripe for a revisit.