Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week goes to:

Detroit (trailer #2)

You might have thought our trailer of the week this week might have been another black centric movie, but as much as I love the Black Panther trailer, I think this Detroit trailer is really something special. Detroit is the next film from acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow of Point Break (not that new one), The Hurt Locker, and Zero Dark Thirty fame. Set to star a stellar, all be it young cast with the likes of John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore, Hannah Murray, and even the likes of Anthony Mackie, plus so many more, this movie looks to deliver some great performances.

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The story is of course based on true events, with a script penned by Mark Boal who has worked with Bigelow before on The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark. It centers around a police raid that occurred in 1967 which then lead to some of the worst riots in American history, seeing even the National Guard being mobilized. I think this is going to be a really visceral and intense movie, made all the more difficult to watch knowing of how much truth lies behind its narrative. What do you think about the trailer? Does this movies look like something you’re going to want to see, or do you think it will be too much for you?

Review : Alien – Covenant

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“The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.”

5 movies deep into the franchise that Ridley Scott himself started, comes the sixth and newest installment in Alien: Covenant. Taking the franchise back to basics in many ways, but keeping the perks of modern day film making, Covenant manages to return he chills and thrills of the more horror based movies that started this all off. This movie definitely has its suspense, tension, and terror going off on full blast. There is more here though, as the movie being a prequel, does a lot more to add and build upon the mythology of the aliens themselves and there coming to be. The real stand out here though, is Michael Fassbender. He plays two roles here, and he plays them perfectly right down to a T. His portrayal of the androids, or synthetics as they are known here in David and Walter, allowed for him to play essentially the same character, but worlds apart that allow them to be truly unique and identifiable. Of course this wouldn’t be an Alien movie without the titular Xenomorphs, and they are here, and they are frightening. We also get a few different variations on them, but we do get the most from the Giger monster we know and are scared as hell off. you do kind of need to have seen prometheus for this movie to make the most sense, and for you to get the full impact of the story, but if you don’t need to go super deep, you can see this movie by itself. All in all, if you’re looking for a deep and interesting look at the beggings of the Alien franchise, or if you just want to see a more than well done space horror, then look no further.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

Why we love John Hughes

John Hughes had a long and storied history of films, that have reached out from across the annals of time and pop culture to become beloved classics, that never really seem to get old. But after 30+ years and 30+plus films (worked on in one way or another), what is it that we as the audience hold so dearly about these movies? Why do they stick? To answer in one word, it would be “Relatability”. The one thins that John Hughes movies did better than almost anyone else’s, especially during that time period, was his ability through a number of channels to make at the very least one of those channels strike a cord with viewers by finding that common human element. He achieved this in his casting, his music selection, his themes, and he portrayal teenage characters.

Casting:

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Throughout his career, but especially over his most beloved movies, John Hughes was always able to cast leads in his movies that were just as much a voice of their generation, as they were totally down to earth and relatable in their portrayals of their characters, and even in their looks. Now a definite argument can be made that a lot of these films feature a lack of at the very least ethnic diversity, but I think thats a discussion for another time. Lets take every boy’s (of that time) teenage crush, Molly Ringwald. When Sixteen Candles came out, she WAS 16, a seemingly simple and insignificant detail, but that lent so much authenticity to the role that when coupled with her looks and acting, made her seem so real to viewers, that we ALL knew a Samantha Baker. It’s no surprise why she would return in more of Hughes movies, which in itself was another of his genius moves. His use of actors for multiple roles was by no means ground breaking or something that had never been seen, but it did show his understanding how the connection these character and actors had with the audience. The likes of Matthew Broderick, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and later on his use of actors like Steve Martin and John Candy all played to intricately into his work and his ability to connect with the audience.

Music:

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“Don’t you, forget about meeee.” I’d wager more people than not, upon hearing that classic Simple Minds ballad, think first of the end scene of The Breakfast Club, than any other visuals that may be connected to that song. That song went on to be a number 1 hit thanks to the movie, and allowed both to cement themselves in pop culture history. He also knew when to implement much more mainstream songs into his movies, but always in ways and places that both fit and work with his narrative and characters. Ferris Bueller’s Day off features a pivotal scene set to the Beatles’ Twist and Shout that epitomizes the character of Ferris in his street parade rendition of the song, using the song not just for a cheap thrill, but to both fulfill a character moment and add that instant recognition of what had become at that point a classic already. Hughes is also never afraid to let his musical choices be bold and stand out as they become just as much of a character as the ones he wrote that we came to know and love.

Themes:

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Teen angst, love, sex, growing up, fantasies, harsh realities, risk and reward, and even more…such are the themes of John Hughes movies. This is most likely the largest single reason to the success and longevity of a lot of Hughes’ movies. For the first time on the big screen, teens felt like someone understood them, cared about them, didn’t pander to them, and didn’t feel the need to try and “parent” them. Movies like Weird Science, Sixteen Candles and the Breakfast Club (among many of his other movies), showed what being young and full of hormones was like, from the perspective of those who were actually going through it. It legitimized feels of despair and lust and all the other super emotions we go through as teens, but without making them out to be just some kind of phase. Everyone of us, has some kind of story to tell, some collection of experiences that define who we are, and for many of us those came in our teen years. A time in most peoples lives that becomes idolized at some point for one reason or the other, but no matter the experiences we all have the collective experience of having them, and thus we can all connect to a character who feels her world in ending when no one, not even her family remember its her sixteenth birthday. We can see eye to eye with anyone of the kids in Saturday detention who don’t want to be there, yet deep down know thats exactly where they needed to be. We all know what its like to be hungry for the opposite sex, even when we have zero experience and wouldn’t want to admit it either. These are universal themes, but when viewed through the lens youth, are something we can all relate to.

Characters:

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As I’ve mentioned before, one of the biggest parts of the John Hughes puzzle, are the characters he employs. In his movies we get characters that don’t have to feel like their issues are less than important, ones who don’t have to feel bad for being overwhelmed at times. We got these see these characters given just enough sympathy, and just enough legitimacy that allow for these characters and these movies to capture the thing which we truly all relate to, youth. That is the true and real essence of what made these movies so iconic, they gave us a real doorway back to our youth, and youth is powerful tonic. Couple that with the genuinely wide array of character to choose from and identify with, and no matter who you were as a teen, there’s something or someone for you to connect with, and take you on that ride.

Are you a fan of the late great John Hughes? Agree with my reasoning, or do you think I’m making some leaps? Either way comment and let me know.

Cheers.

Review : (Saban’s) Power Rangers

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“A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.”

I’m gonna be real with you guys, I almost cried three times in this movie, and got goose bumps twice…seriously. Its 2017 and our beloved Power Rangers have finally returned. Now this isn’t some 10 out of 10 masterpiece of cinema, but I think I got just about everything I could have wanted from this movie, delivered in a pretty well done package. The movie is directed by Project Almanacs’ Dean Israelite, and if he has shown us anything between these two movies, is he has a definite love for that Breakfast Club feel, mixed with all the teen drama of a 90s to early 2000s teen movie. This is mostly a good thing, as things like certain characters sexuality and other similar tricky subjects are handled surprisingly well for a movie like this. The nostalgia in this movie is also really, which explains me roller coaster of emotions while watching it. Any fan of the Power Rangers franchise I think is bound to enjoy this movie. None fans I think are gonna feel hit or miss as some of the more cheesy and champs bits than fans of the series have come to know and love, maybe not play as well with others. Power Rangers isn’t going to break any records, and it shouldn’t, but what it is, is in my opinion at least, the best on screen adaptation we’ve ever gotten of the material. The 5 “leads” here also have to get their praise as they are all more or less unknowns who really step up and flesh out these characters, making them feel real and grounded. All in all, this movie gave me everything I wanted to see from a big screen version of a childhood classic, sure some people might not be huge fans of the suits or to some of the changes made to the storyline but come on guys we got a big screen version of the Power Rangers and IT DOESN’T SUCK.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

Review : Kong – Skull Island 

“A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.”

Kong Skull Island is a stand alone King Kong story, that’s meant to serve as a building block for a new set of monster and monster mash up films to come in later years. As such it does do well to add to some of the myth and lure created by the 2014 Godzilla. This being a stand alone movie however does mean it needs to be able to be a good movie without any help and it does do so. This addition to the monster universe is much more of an in your face, action adventure that I think seeks to bring back some much missed fun to the genre. Kong himself is presented extremely well here and comes across as a great character on his own. The movie also does a great job at building up skull island to a place of real beauty and peril. The cast is fairly large, and that does lead to some pacing and character development issues, but nothing that get so in the way that you can’t enjoy what in display here. If you’re a fan of either these characters or this genre, Kong skull island should be a fun if not too serious ride. PS there is an after credit scene so you can stay till the very end if you’re interested.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

March Movie Madness

Many months of many years give us more than one great or greatly anticipated movie. Most of the time they’re one of the summer months of June, July or August. However, as time has gone on, and the summer movie block has gotten more and more competitive, movie studios have had to look all over the calendar for suitable dates that get their movie both space from other tent pole films, but also at a time of year that people are going to the cinema. Thus the start of the summer block has constantly been pushed more and more towards the start of the year than the middle. Studios started opening 100+ million dollar movies in May, and have been seeing good returns. But now, even that patch of time is getting too full and competitive. The Answer? EVEN EARLIER MY FRIEND. After The Avengers opened in May and destroyed the box office, Furious 7 opened in April and went on to break records itself. Then when Batman V Superman broke the bank opening in March, the flood gates for March releases opened wide. All of this culminating in the super stacked March that is March 2017. With a combination of highly anticipated sequels, remakes, new takes and first time live action movies, March 2017 seems to have something for everyone, and could go down as one of the greatest months in cinema.

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Logan

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Kong : Skull Island

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Beauty and the Beast

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Power Rangers

GHOST IN THE SHELL

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So what do you think about the March 2017 line up? What do you want to see the most, and how well do you think this month is gonna do.

Review : Logan

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“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.”

LOOOOOGGAANN! What a movie. So the aptly titled Logan is the final chapter in both the trilogy of Wolverine movies, and the supposed end to the characters portrayal by Hugh Jackman. After the first X-Men Origins Wolverine movie (which is trash) I didn’t have much hopes for the rest of the series, but The Wolverine actually got this franchise back on track, and now, we truly have a movie worthy of this beloved character. Logan is a real visceral, blood filled but yet surprisingly thoughtful movie that does a good job at touching on some complex issues in a very real world way. They also do well to setup a real beaten and broken down Logan, running from the exploits and legends of his past. They set him on a collision course for one last dive into the world of heroes for the former X-Man. This movie takes a lot of inspiration from classic westerns in more ways than one, and it does so subtly when they should be, and more overtly when it asks for it. Hugh Jackman has played this character for like 16 years or so, and honestly, he’s never been better, and that performance combined with Patrick Stewarts past his prime professor X, we get a real honest and unflattering representation of these characters like we’ve never seen before. I can’t personally go so far as to say this is the outright best X-Men movie ever made, but it damn well is up there. A real must see for anyone who’s a fan or even remotely interested in these characters.

Review Score : 9 out of 10