With the final week of 2017 upon us it’s time once again to take a look back at the year in review. This is always one of my favorite recurring columns to do. As always I will miss a few things that appear in many other “Best/Worst lists”. I have not seen Blade Runner, Dunkirk or Lady Bird, nor have I binged Handmaiden’s tale or The Good Place. I was smart enough to avoid going to the theater to catch movies like Justice League, The Mummy nor did I bother watching Inhumans. I am a generation behind on gaming so I didn’t get to spend time with Cappy on Mario Oddessy nor did I run away from Jason Vorhees and I played only a moment of Cuphead with my Nephew on Christmas. In my car I largely listened to the news rather than some of the year’s top hits so no music made my list either. Everything I rank is based on things I watched, read or played and unlike most Best/Worst end of year lists, I like to do a “In-Between Section” (returning this year) of things I didn’t love but didn’t hate but felt like they were worth a mention.
2017 was a highly politically charged year, a year of investigations, a year that talking emojis became a thing and for me personally it was a year of winning homebrew medals, taking my wife to see Metallica live for the first time (an “agreement” we made when we started dating 10ish years ago) and our last year to be kid-free (2018 is going to be a game-changer!). So I can’t wait to review this year
So without further hesitation let’s take a look at my year in review
Continue reading 2017: The Best, Worst and “In Betweens”
Captain America: Civil War has been a box office juggernaut since releasing 3 weeks ago and now that I’ve seen it, it’s time to talk about it. The movie takes its name from a 2006 Marvel Comics event in which a team of superheroes destroys a small town. A superhero registration act immediately passes in congress requiring all super-powered individuals to come forward, publicly revealing their identities and register as a super-powered individual and work for the government. The movie follows it somewhat but instead following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers are made to be held accountable for their actions since most of their identities are already known. Like the comic, those in favor join Iron Man and those opposed joined Captain America. Some fighting happens naturally. This in a nutshell is how the 3rd Captain America film gets rolling (or Avengers 2.5 as it really felt like). I couldn’t recommend the movie enough as a fan and since I’m still in crazy fanboy mode I wanted to talk about the 5 moments that made me lose my shit while watching! Spoilers obviously follow so if you haven’t seen it just come back and read after. (FULL ARTICLE)
22 years ago, a 9 year old version of me watched what would become my favorite movie in my hometown movie theater (along with my way too young brothers). 1993 was the year that ushered Jurassic Park onto the silver screen and to a 9 year old boy that was already crazy for dinosaurs that slept on a bed with a headboard covered in dinosaur toys, this came at the exact right time for me. The years that followed the merchandising was incredible: my dinosaur toys were joined by velociraptors, Jurassic Park characters and vehicles and the awesome Compound Center to contain them in…not nearly enough fencing though. As I grew, the sequels followed as did video games where I’d hunt as a velociraptor or use stun weapons against them and in recent years, I’ve re-created my childhood vision of Jurassic Park with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis or the mobile game where you create a functional Jurassic Park (while pleasing bitchy guests that don’t appreciate what you have made for them or get all pissy if someone gets eaten). Needless to say, like many kids Jurassic Park was literally my childhood. So when it was announced that Jurassic World was going back to Isla Nublar (the first island from the first movie) and would involve a functional park, I was overjoyed! In fact WAYYY back in 2011 when I did a Jurassic Park Week on this site, I made a column of the pros and cons of making a 4th film. I more or less begged that we should go back to the first island! So now that a new box office record has been crushed here’s my overview of Jurassic World now that I’ve had time to breathe: (READ FULL ARTICLE)
Summer is often times a beloved time of year. It’s when we trade out pullovers and scarves for shorts and flip-flops, winter hats for sunglasses and we start to see less dramatic movies and more movies with explosions and superheroes. While the Academy Awards typically focus on the holiday movie releases and ultra-dramatic films, I feel that summer is when the movies are the most fun. This is typically when all the big guns come out figuratively in the form of mega-blockbusters and literally in the form of explosive action movies. With Summer just starting, I thought that I would weigh in on what movies already came out and maybe touch on some that I’m looking forward to. I have yet to see a few other films such as Neighbors, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Maleficent, or Edge of Tomorrow. However, I did see some of the big movies so far, of course 75% of them in this review are based on Marvel super-heroes, but really in the last few years superhero movies have dominated the theaters. Here’s part one of my summer movie reviews: (READ MORE)
Orson Scott Card’s 1985 Hugo award winning novel Ender’s Game is by far one of the best books of the genre as well as a personal favorite book of mine. Naturally I became excited when Ender’s Game, a work that Card himself saw as “un-filmable” was being released as a movie. But did the end result clear the bar on expectations?
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This week, Marvel Studios gave Entertainment Weekly a few hints of what to expect during their “Phase 3” slate of movies. To get you up to speed: “Phase One” started with Iron Man then continued on with The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and concluded with The Avengers. We are now entering “Phase 2” which will include Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and then like before, will end with the follow-up to The Avengers. After Avengers 2, Marvel studios will launch “Phase 3”. Some titles have already been announced, others are merely rumored. Having read the article, here’s my take on what I think of the announcements:
When it comes to cult movies, Evil Dead is as big as they come. From its shoe string budget and the filming process of making the movie (more entertaining than the movie itself), to its fantastic sequels Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and the always incredible Army of Darkness it’s a very beloved movie. So naturally when the remake was announced, I was quick to write it off. I’m a firm believer in the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” rule and even though an Evil Dead remake with a decent budget made sense, I still wasn’t sold as I’ve had remakes that made sense let me down before (Clash of the Titans). Above all, I was ready to light some torches if they even dared to have the character of Ash recast (Bruce Campbell is the ONLY person that should ever play Ash if you ever ask me). I even felt conflicted not wanting to see it when it was revealed that both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell were producers. However, the real push for me to want to see it was when early screenings revealed that there would be no Ash in the movie and that the film follows a different set of characters to that wonderfully spooky cabin in the woods. Plus it was getting great reviews coming out of SXSW. (READ MORE)
(Minor spoiler alert: Photo of Neville near the bottom)
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your story. Thank you for Harry.
In it I – we – are lost in an excitement that always presents itself each time we open “Philosopher’s Stone” to start a re-read of the series. An excitement that takes us on a joyride of emotions as we turn the page and find friendships, heartarche, pain and sorrow, the bliss of a Quidditch victory for Gryffindor and the first kiss of a beloved character.
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When it comes to movie franchises; automatically visions of Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Batman comes to mind. One that probably doesn’t, is the Highlander franchise. It had the makings of an awesome film franchise: Immortal swordsmen engage in mortal combat until only one remains….and the only way to kill them is by beheading!!! Totally sounds badass right? I don’t know about you, but watching a series of movies about bloodthirsty swordsmen sounds awesome! Sadly, the Highlander franchise represents all the things that can go wrong in launching a film franchise. It had a strong start, but churned out a franchise that not only gave us very muddy, confusing and horrible sequels and spin-offs, but like the immortals peppered throughout, it’s a franchise that simply won’t die. I took advantage of the movies being available on Netflix and wrote an in-depth essay on the franchise! If you haven’t been introduced to this world, my advice is this: Watch and love the first movie, become a fan, but for the love of God, do NOT watch the sequels. Without further adieu: here’s my movie-by-movie analysis of Highlander..
The movie “Due Date” starring Robert Downey Jr & Zach Galifianakis may not be an official re-make of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, but it’s exactly what one in this decade would most certainly feel like. However whereas in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” you get a little heart to the story, “Due Date” substitutes heart for laughs.