Movies

Movies

Mon
26
Feb

Wonder Woman 2 in the Works: How the Franchise Tapped into the Need for Strong Female Characters

Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN was the superhero film no one expected, but we all agreed well deserved, reportedly earning more than $400,000,000, and was the 3rd highest grossing film of the year. It was tremendously well-received by audiences and critics alike, and it finally broke the DC curse of taking some of the most iconic and beloved comic book characters and producing severely underwhelming movies (the infamous Martha scene in the penultimate BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE movie arguably reached new levels of disappointing even diehard fans). It was immediately clear that WONDER WOMAN 2 had to happen. And it will.

Wonder Woman’s Unexpected Success

Fri
23
Feb

GAME NIGHT Is Farce Done Right

GAME NIGHT opens 2/23/18.

As an avid board game player and a fan of Jason Bateman, I was eager to see Game Night, the new comedy by directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, the fellows that brought you Horrible Bosses. As usual, I avoided previews so I wasn't really sure what I was going to see. The premise is actually pretty similar to the brilliant Michael Douglas thriller The Game, but this time done as a farce. As with most farcical films, they tend to be better if everyone goes all in on the conceit. Game Night does exactly that.

Fri
23
Feb

Alex Garland's ANNIHILATION Is Visually Stunning And Unfathomably Dull

ANNIHILATION starts 2/23/18.

Alex Garland, who received a lot of praise for his first directorial effort, Ex Machina (2015) and wrote and produced one of my favorite comic book adaptations with Dredd (2012), is a way ahead of me. I like to think I’m a pretty sharp guy. I can usually spot the twist nobody saw coming just before everyone else. I generally am aware of the nuanced use of the color palette and lighting to achieve mood and heighten tension.  I can appreciate a slow, thoughtful pace. I most certainly can applaud the predominant casting of strong, capable women in this film. Yet I cannot even begin to tell you what Garland’s latest picture, Annihilation, is really about. I just can’t. I didn’t get it. I mean, virtually none of it. So this is going to be one strange flick to discuss.

Wed
21
Feb

Same Kind of Different as Me Starts Slow, Becomes Captivating

Same Kind of Different as Me

When an art dealer (GREG KINNEAR) is discovered to be cheating on his wife (RENEE ZELLWEGER), she forgives him on the condition they try to fix their relationship. For Ron Hall, this means he will be joining Debbie in assisting at a homeless shelter, not by writing a check but by using his hands and putting in the effort to get to know the people there and help them one-on-one. It is here that they meet Denver Moore (DJIMON HOUNSOU), a violent man with a criminal past. He also looks exactly like the man Debbie has been having dreams about, and she focuses on finding out more about him.

Mon
19
Feb

Wonder Woman Takes Best Film, Gal Gadot Best Film Actor in Best of 2017 Readers' Poll

Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot take Best of 2017 for Wonder Woman

February is that month where we tell those we love how much we love them. Sure, some do that on Valentine's Day, and that's important. But here at Critical Blast, we use the whole month to pass the word along to those who create the movies, shows, comics and books we all hold so dear.

After taking votes all through January from you, our readers, the votes have been tabulated and we begin our series of announcements with the BEST FILM OF 2017. And since this year, the category shares so much with the BEST ACTOR OF 2017, we're offering them to you here as a two-fer!

 

 

 

Fri
26
Jan

Bale, Pike, Studi Make Uncomfortable HOSTILES An Instant Classic

HOSTILES opens everywhere Jan 26, 2017.

Hostiles, the new film by Scott Cooper, is not what the trailers I saw would lead you to believe. The clips make it look like it's an action-packed Tombstone-style romp. It is not. It's a thinking person's western, a parable about hate, xenophobia, and ultimately acceptance. It's about broken people just trying to survive. Hostiles (incidentally a terrible name for this film, as while there are indeed many hostiles in it, it’s not about them) is not an easy film to watch, but it's an emotional and gripping film that will have you dwelling on it for days afterward.

Thu
25
Jan

Wonder Woman's OSCAR Snub Means There is Still Work to Do

How is a movie that features a female director, and lead role, get snubbed by the very vocal Hollywood which recently crusaded for women's voices to be heard?

Just a few short days ago, women took to the streets all across America shouting claims of being treated unfairly. Just a few short weeks ago, the men and women who make up the Hollywood elite spoke to a national audience, during the Golden Globes, to praise women who have suffered abuse, just to make it in the industry.

It appears that the noise didn't equal results. How could it be that with all of the rabble rousing and table banging, the voices still weren't heard? Especially with an empowering movie such as WONDER WOMAN staring the committee down.

Mon
22
Jan

Geostorm a Solid Nail-Biting Action Thriller

GEOSTORM is one of those films that released in theaters and then found its way onto Blu-ray quickly thereafter. Which is a shame, because despite that the trailers had it looking like another DAY AFTER TOMORROW or (shudder) ICETASTROPHE), GEOSTORM, helmed by veteran director and producer DEAN DEVLIN, has some really good special effects that deserved a big-screen viewing as well as some real nail-biting suspense that retains its tension throughout the film.

Jake Lawson (GERARD BUTLER) is a scientist who developed a satellite network that sends corrective pulses into the atmosphere where needed to stave off extreme events of climate change. Shortly after setting up the system, nicknamed DUTCH BOY, he was fired by his brother, Max (JIM STURGESS).

Sat
20
Jan

Hollywood Looks for Wins with Game-Based Films

Game Based Movies

Adapt or die. It’s a maxim that means something different in Hollywood, where movies are adapted from television shows, books, comics, and even older movies.

But adapting a game to a film is an entirely different beast. A book or a television show has an accepted path. It can be shifted or seen from a different angle, but the audience knows what it’s getting going in. A game, by its very nature, is fluid, changing, never the same thing twice. So, when Hollywood goes to adapting a game into a film, they have both a blessing and a curse – a blessing, because they have such a wide array of choices, and a curse, because those choices can so easily lead writers away from producing something that carries the feel of the game.

Thu
18
Jan

Dense and Convoluted Sequel Makes Villeneuve "Blade Ruiner"

Blade Runner 2049

Has anybody nicknamed Director DENIS VILLENEUVE "Blade Ruiner" yet? Can I be the first?

After having sat through BLADE RUNNER 2049, I'm at a loss to tell you what it was really about, other than that it was about three hours where I sat wondering what was going on. Was it supposed to confuse me? (In cells interlinked. Respond.) Was I supposed to feel depressed? (In cells interlinked.) Was anyone in the show actually a human being with actual emotions?

Fri
12
Jan

Holy Lindsey Lohan Batman! The Perpetually Problematic Performer to Play Batgirl?

The often troubled Lindsey Lohan has thrown her cowl in the ring for consideration to play Barbara Gordon, aka BATGIRL.

Joss Whedon is set to direct the movie, announced months before the big shakeup at DC Films, which placed Walter Hamada as the new president. There's no guarantee that Hamada will continue with the project however, as we've seen many movies get cancelled or lose their directors.

Lindsey Lohan took to twitter last week asking her fans to "RT if I should star in the new BATGIRL movie and everyone tell (Joss Whedon)". After being in and out of re-hab, its nice to see that she feels stable enough to get back into Hollywood, but being a red-headed actress doesn't exactly give her an automatic look.

 

Fri
12
Jan

INFOGRAPHIC: How to Make a Blockbuster on a Budget

Fri
12
Jan

Liam Neeson Gets TAKEN On A Train In THE COMMUTER

THE COMMUTER arrives in theaters on Jan. 12, 2018.

I know a lot of people who find comfort in repetition. They drive to work the same way every morning. They eat the same thing for breakfast or lunch, or both. They go out for dinner and order the same thing at the same restaurant. Some people need that reliable stability in their lives. That is absolutely fine, I make no judgment here. For others, that’s a torturous existence. That’s like waking up every morning to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” going to work, getting soaked by a truck driving through a puddle along the curb, and thinking, “Really? Again? I swear this happens every time…” That’s how I’m beginning to feel myself. Repetition, déjà vu—but not quite a true “Groundhog Day” experience when I go to the movies to watch anew Liam Neeson action flick. There are some slight deviations from film to film. The Commuter, opening everywhere on January 12, 2018, is one such deviation, but by and large it’s exactly what you might suspect it is.

Wed
10
Jan

Stephen King's IT Creeps Onto Blu-ray

It on Blu-ray

In the town of Derry, Maine, children disappear. And nobody cares. Well, except for the kids, of course. And only some of them.

From the looks of things, Derry is a small town. Small enough to get just about everywhere in it via bicycle. Plus, we get to see a map of it later in the film, confirming its size. So one would think that if a couple of kids disappeared there, it would be a thing. But the only ones who pay all that much attention to it are a small band of misfit kids who are on persistent defense against a truly sociopathic bully who doesn't just give them wedgies and take their lunch money, but also carves his initials into them with a knife -- and receives no legal punishment for it.

Wed
27
Dec

LEGO Ninjago Movie Longer But More Shallow than Ninjago Episodes

Ninjago movie

What do you do if you're a teenager whose father is an evil villain intent on conquering the ciy, and everybody knows it? And what if you also lived a secret life as a masked ninja, looked up to by everyone because you're constantly thwarting your father's plans?

That's the life of Lloyd Garmadon, aka the Green Ninja. He's one member of an elite teenage fighting force that uses their giant mechs to ward off Garmadon's invasions (that usually have some sort of shark-theme to them). With his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya, and Zane (a robot who, for some reason, hides the fact that he's a robot), he fights the daily invasions that come across Ninjago bay from Garmadon's easily-visible volcanic island where he fires his failing generals -- literally.

Wed
20
Dec

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Is Great Fun For A Cinematic Musical

The Greatest Showman in theaters everywhere 12/20/2017.

Even Hollywood understands that there is just something special about the performance art known as “the musical.” There have been hit musical films almost as long as there have been films, period: The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Singin’ In The Rain, and most of Elvis Presley’s films involved a fair amount of singing, even if some might not regard them as musicals in the purest sense of the word. Grease was a big hit when I was young, as was The Jazz Singer. Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Hairspray, Les Misérables, La-La Land and others have garnered box office success and award nominations in recent years. This year is no exception as Australian heartthrob Hugh Jackman retires his Wolverine claws and dons a bright red coat with long tails and a dashing top hat for the role of P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman.

Mon
18
Dec

Star Wars Movies Ranked According to Rotten Tomatoes

Everyone has their own list. As soon as a new Star Wars movie is released, its success is immediately measured by where it ranks among the others that came before it.

And to say STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is as divisive as BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, would be a slight understatement. Not even Mustafar is as fiery as the passion of most Star Wars fans. And when they begin debating the merits of Rian Johnson's entry, much like a Jedi or a Sith, they choose a side and refuse to be tempted by the other.

While Rotten Tomatoes receives a fair amount of criticism from fans, one thing is true: it aggregates the average score of critics and fans alike. So taking that into consideration, let's do the math and find out how the critics rank the Star Wars saga with rating in parathesis:

Sun
17
Dec

Rian Johnson And J.J. Abrams Force-Choke Star Wars Fan Base With Epic Failure

The poster is as good as it gets, folks.

J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, please report to the Carbonite freezing chamber. You two have done the impossible. You've made me long for Jar Jar Binks. Heesa wooda being betta dan de bombad Bantha poodoo that is The Last Jedi. This is your only warning: there are a ton of spoilers ahead. 

Fri
15
Dec

THE LAST JEDI is STAR WARS at its Best

In a world where balance exists between the dark and light sides of the force, forshadowing casts a gray cloud over everything.

What does it all mean?

Hell if I know. THE LAST JEDI will be deconstructed until the next installment is released. This much I know for sure. The internet will be littered with articles that dissect the most miniscule moments. Have questions been answered? Yes. Do we have more questions now that we've seen it? Absolutely.

Rian Johnson delivers a movie that is both action packed, humorous, and full of depth. While some of the comedy is more over-the-top than we're used to for a Star Wars movie, it still meshes well and doesn't distract from the story that's being told around it.

Thu
14
Dec

THE SHAPE OF WATER May Well Be In The Shape Of Several Well-Deserved Oscars

In Theaters Now

Guillermo del Toro makes moves that no one else in Hollywood would ever even conceive of, and that should be considered high praise. The big blockbusters generally follow a pretty routine formula. Most films so. Very seldom does a director write and execute his own script with the clarity of vision and abundant originality of his latest film, The Shape of Water. It’s a love story, a monster movie, and a unique look at a creature that doesn’t belong in this world…and minor spoiler alert—only one of these three descriptions applies to the “monster.”

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