Category Archives: Movies
Man Of Steel – Movie Review & Discussion (Spoilers)
Director Zack Synder’s Superman reboot delivered destruction, spectacle and a bold new take on a revered character. Man of Steel is a good summer blockbuster, breaking box office records with the biggest June opening ever in the U.S. but it’s missing something from making it great.
Continue reading my discussion with Cibarra as we give our uncensored thoughts on why ‘Man Of Steel’ is less than super, the humanity of Superman and on the controversial ending. Read the rest of this entry
This is a spoiler lite review of Christopher Nolan’s neo-noir classic titled ‘Following’, the first feature film from the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy.
“You ever um … been to a football match just to let your eyes rise, go over, drift across a crowd of people, and then slowly start to fix on one person and all of a sudden that person isn’t part of the crowd anymore? They’ve become an individual, just like that.” says a young man in the opening monologue of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Following’.
Back in 1998, before the success of ‘Memento’, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘Inception’, Nolan wrote and directed a no-budget movie he filmed with his friends over several weekends. The inspiration for ‘Following” comes from Nolan’s own experience of feeling isolated despite being surrounded by millions of people in his home city of London.
Zero Dark Thirty Movie Review: Under Cover Of Darkness
Many of us vividly remember what we were thinking and feeling when we first heard of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The opening minute of Zero Dark Thirty takes the audience back to the tragic events that brought to light the hidden evil of al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that claimed responsibility for the attacks, and its founder, Osama Bin laden. Against a pitch black screen, an audio montage captures emergency distress phone calls from 9/11; hitting a raw nerve that is still sensitive to many Americans. Similar to the visual motif of redaction used in an early movie trailer, the darkness soon gives way to a bright light.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 – Review
• DC Universe, Animated Original Movie
• Release Date: September 25, 2012
For many of us, there are times when we wish we could watch our favorite movies or read a book for the first time all over again. One of the joys of catching up on graphic novels and DVD/Blu-Rays is the excitement of experiencing something new. A lot of pop culture art/entertainment that appear to be new are actually recycled or reinterpreted from eras gone by. But there’s something about retelling the stories of enduring superheroes like Batman that holds meaning for each new generation. The following is a straightforward and spoiler free review of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1:
Can Peter Jackson recapture the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth more than ten years after the debut of Fellowship of the Ring? If the enthusiastic fan reaction at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Jackson’s hometown of Wellington, New Zealand is any indication, Hobbit Mania is about to set the world on fire … again.
The Hobbit Controversy
Despite being one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2012, the making of The Hobbit has been mired in controversy. After nearly two years of pre-production, Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) announced he was no longer directing the prequels to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. During production, disputes with the actors union over employment laws almost caused the movie to be filmed overseas.
In April 2012, early footage of The Hobbit sparked a heated debate over the use of 48 frames per second technology versus the standard 24 fps. At the world premiere, animal activists called for a boycott of the film and held posters saying ”3 horses died for this film” and ”Middle Earth unexpected cruelty” after allegations that more than 20 animals were killed in the movie’s production.
5 Reasons Why Hobbit Mania Is Taking Over
Middle Earth … Again
Bringing The Hobbit to the big screen has been a battle in and of itself for director Peter Jackson. Through the turmoil and controversy, the one thing that will continue to endure is J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic and the legacy of the Hobbit. If you are not already excited, here are some reasons why you are about to be infected with Hobbit Mania!:
Continue Reading for a Spoiler Free Discussion of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
The Avengers – Movie/Blu-Ray Review & Discussion
The Avengers was a box-office smash and will continue to rake in dollars through Blu-Ray & DVD sales. What’s also impressive about the ultimate superhero ensemble movie is how it generated some really insightful and passionate opinions on myIGN. If you’re like me, you just can’t get enough and could talk for hours about the greatness of the Avengers.
Big ass budget in special effects bonanza … take that away and what do you got? Uhh genius of Joss Whedon and the best screenplay featuring an enormous green rage monster.
Let’s talk Avengers and what we want from Avengers 2 with Cibarra and myIGN bloggers!
Avengers could have easily been a let down. Why do you think Avengers worked and what would you have changed?
Cibarra: I think the Avengers worked because the audience already knew the characters from the previous films. Almost everyone on the squad has their own origin film. If there were no background films it be tough to explain all the characters origins and try to fill it into a 3 hour film. Another big reason this movie worked out so well is because of Joss Whedon. If your toilet is backed up, you hire a f**king plumber. If you want to make a great comic book movie, you hire a comic book writer. I could only imagine how horrible this movie could have been if the reins were handed over to Michael Bay. There are few things i would have changed but one thing that bothers me is the death of Agent Coulson. I really felt a connection with him because he was as much in awe with these characters as I was. The Avengers didn’t need Coulson’s death to bring them together, they needed a good ass whooping. Them getting defeated individually would have been another way for them to see that they needed each other more than they realized.
Resident Evil: Retribution is a movie that plays like an action-horror video game: bereft of genuine psychological scares and meaningful character interactions but is bursting with head shots, explosions, hordes of undead cannibals and co-op boss fights. If you’ve seen any of the previous Resident Evil movies then you know exactly what’s in store. If you’ve also seen films like James Cameron’s Aliens or Len Wisemen’s Underworld, “Retribution” comes across as a pastiche of science fiction survival movies without bringing anything new to the genre in terms of action sequences, narrative scope or thematic elements. What “Retribution” semi-delivers is as escapist entertainment that attempts to pay homage to the popular video game franchise of the same name.
The Hunger Games: Movie/DVD Review (contains spoilers)
Directed by Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit), The Hunger Games is the first of not three but four movies to be based on the best-selling book trilogy by author Suzanne Collins. Set in the fictional nation of Panem, which once was North America, one teenage boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are chosen to fight to the death in a public arena until there is a lone victor. Rather than dwelling on the inevitable blood and massacre, The Hunger Games is a young heroine’s journey of exploring her identity, humanity, and will to survive in an unjust fascist world.
The Hunger Games shares many of the same motifs as Margaret Atwood’s (Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood) post-apocalyptic Madd Addam book trilogy. Atwood’s imagined future, like Collins’, is a bleak vision of tomorrow’s humanity: televised deaths (Painball – it’s like Paintball but the paint can blind the eye and corrode the skin), an authoritarian government corporation (CorpSeCorps – the secret meat ingredient in their SecretBurgers is you), and gene spliced creatures (Liobam – part lion, part lamb, cute but lethal). Where Madd Addam trilogy is a biting satire and dire warning, The Hunger Games speaks to the importance of libertarianism and rebelling against oppression while allowing the viewer to ponder the world of Panem which is not fully detailed or fleshed out.
Both The Hunger Games and Madd Addam series have been described as science fiction dystopias but Atwood has made a distinction in classifying her work as speculative fiction which could also be said for Collins’ series. Atwood explains that a science fiction narrative can happen on another planet, alternate universe, or on a spaceship with monsters; whereas, speculative fiction is a plausible reality used to explore human nature and what could actually happen. As far-fetched as Panem might seem at first, it’s not too far removed from the real-life concerns of today: economic disparities, erosion of personal freedoms, popularity of reality television, and devaluation of human life.
The Dark Knight Rises – Movie Review & Discussion
Watch the Dark Knight Trilogy before reading this post – Spoilers Ahead.
The Dark Knight Rises marks the end to Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie trilogy. Picking up eights years after the events of The Dark Knight (2008), Bruce Wayne has become a frail, cane-walking recluse, shunning any involvement with the outside world. But when a smart, alluring cat burgler infiltrates his mansion and a masked terrorist named Bane threatens Gotham City, Bruce Wayne decides to resurrect his crime fighting alter-ego even if it might cost him his life. The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) is a sprawling, thought-provoking and heroic conclusion to the trilogy. What did you think of Bane as a villain? How does TDKR compare with The Dark Knight (TDK)? Should the studio reboot the Batman franchise? Cibarra and I give our thoughts in the article below: Read the rest of this entry
“The Cabin In The Woods Movie Review (Spoiler Free) – Subverting the horror movie tropes in the world we live in.”
At one point or another, you’ve probably felt trapped in a world were the rules, conceptions and value systems were imposed on you. And no matter how hard you tried to break the social norm, stereotype or a commonly held belief, you feel there is some overwhelming force conspiring against you. Or maybe after a heated debate you realized all your arguments were from something you watched on TV or heard from someone else. As much as we might feel like a puppet on a string at times, we ultimately do have a choice. Or maybe we’re just missing the point? These are some of the questions posed in the smart, funny, horror movie ‘The Cabin In The Woods’, directed and cowritten by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, Lost).
You think you know the story. Five friends go on a weekend getaway of partying, mischief and possibly sex. Dana is not quite a virgin (Kristen Connolly), Curt is an alpha-male athlete (Chris Hemsworth), Jules is the libidinous blonde (Anna Hutchison), Marty is the stoner fool (Fran Kranz), and Holden is the scholar (Jesse Williams). Well not really. These young characters are quickly established as complex, morally conscious, multi-faceted individuals. However, as the story unfolds, characters devolve into caricatures we know from typical horror movies, igniting our inherent desire to see their demise. Archetypes are a shorthand way to understand and relate to people. It can also serve to marginalize people making it easier to objectify, dehumanize and even inflict pain on them.