Trailer of the Week!

This week we have a trailer that came out of no where, but is looking to make a big splash:

Suburbicon (Trailer #1)

Suburbicon is film, written by the Coen brothers, and directed by one of their favorites in George Clooney. It stars Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore, and more, and centers around the central plot of a home invasion gone awry, but of course with the quirks and flare of every Coen script ever. Just from what we see in the trailer here, its so full of the Coen-isms, that it will also be really interesting to see how much of Clooney’s directing we can see though this mist of Coen.

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Matt Damon of course is a consummate professional as always. He does ever seem to phone in a role, and he can really can excel when asked to play roles so varied as this one seems. Setting him between the like of a Julianna Moore, and a Oscar Isaac, will also allow him perfect sparing partners to work off of when he tries to flex his acting muscles here. We’re going to need a more story oriented trailer to get a real better idea of what the real narrative here is, but so far, I know I’m hooked.

Understanding Rotten Tomatoes

Launched in 1998, Rotten Tomatoes has become one of the largest websites in the world in the space of movies and movie reviews. But even with its 20 years in the business, many of us still don’t fully understand how the site and its metrics work, which isn’t a great thing. Over the last few years especially, the ability of Rotten Tomatoes to add to or take away from movie’s box office revenue has only increased, and seems to keep doing so. This increase in the “power” the website has on the average movie fan, is one I think is both good and bad. It’s great that audiences see it as a tool, that empowers them to avoid Hollywood’s less than best works, while in turn giving those films they deem deserving of, that extra boost. This power however, can be used unfairly, and it is especially used that way when its numbers are played against many peoples ignorance of the way the site really works. So how does it really work, and what do the numbers really mean?

To start with, the most fundamental thing to be understood about the site, is that it is an aggregator for reviews, and does not itself review anything. What that means, is that the site itself collects reviews from reviewers that it approves, and brings all those reviews to one place that is easy to find for anyone who’d like to see what these critics have to say. All of these reviews can be found along with some audience reviews on every movie that they score.

The second thing we have to discuss is the “Tomatometer”, which is where the site gets its famous percentage “scores” of films, only its not actually a score. As we stated earlier, this is an aggregator site, and the Tomatometer score is just that, its and aggregate of all the reviews the site recognizes, which it then converts to a simple and easy to see percentage out of 100. The way the site does this is two fold. First it must judge every review as either “Fresh” or “Rotten”. For a score to be granted a fresh, it must simply register as 60% or higher on its scale (3 or higher out of 5, 6 our higher out of 10 and so on). Conversely, any review that score 59% or less, is granted a Rotten. Now, once all the reviews are categorized as either fresh of rotten, they are all tallied together, and the ratio of fresh to rotten reviews is represented as a percentage, which represents the numbers we have grown accustomed to attaching to a films worth. Lets take two films to example. ┬áThe recent Wonder Woman movie currently has a Tomatometer score of 92% and is considered Certified Fresh (this just means it received over a certain of scored reviews). Many people may think, that this score means, the movie is 92 out of 100 in terms of reviews or in quality, but that isn’t the case. If we look at the break down from the critics, we see that the movie has had 298 official scored reviews, of which, 274 were considered fresh, or over 60%, and only 24 where considered rotten, or under 60%. So we can get a better understanding, that that 92% means that 92 out of every 100 critics, had a positive review of this movie, but if we look at their averaged review score, the movie is rated at 7.5 out of 10 based on all the reviews they tallied. 92% and 75% are not insanely off of each other, but you can imagine the headlines if this movie’s Tomatometer score was 75%. Our second example is The Mummy, which currently has a 16% rating. With 215 reviews, 34 of which were fresh and 181 rotten, we get our 16 out of ever 100 critics gave this movie a less than positive review, however, if again we look at the average review score we get a 4.2 out of 10. 42% is more than double 16%, and it certainly looks a hell of a lot better than 16%, no matter if each is still a failed grade.

So I hope we can see that while the Tomatometer and Rotten Tomatoes on a whole is a great and powerful tool, that we can have a better understanding of how it works, and why sometimes we should be less concerned with simply attaching a Tomatometer rating to a movies quality, and thats for better and for worse. Did you know how the Tomatometer and Rotten Tomatoes worked before, or is this all new information to you? Comment and let me know what you think about their system and how much power they should or shouldn’t have on audience opinion of movies.

 

Cheers.

Incase You Missed It!

American Honey :

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How can I explain the film that is American Honey…Firstly, I’m not sure there is anyway to really know what you’re getting into going this movie. American Honey to me really feels like an experiment more than anything else. Its almost like a case study, in character studies, in character journeys.

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One part of this movie, is its road trip of misfits. Like if the Goonies were teenagers, but also gutter rats, really poor, had no general direction in life, and were stranded in middle America. The movie does a very interesting job at presenting the dynamic between such a group of youths. And as over the top as some of their personalities might be, their interaction comes across in such a sincere manner, like they really have been sharing the same van and motel rooms for months together.

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Another major aspect of this movie is love, but love in a few ways. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a representation of love like this movie portrays in any other movie. For one, it goes after the concept of love when contextualized by your financial stature, but it goes further also and looks at both young love, and the way in which that can shape our lives. It doesn’t try ever to romanticise it or make it seem like something to fight for, but more as this force of nature that sometimes we just can’t fight, and we can’t leave alone.

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Thats why I say its so hard to describe or explain what this movie is to people. I don’t think I know myself, but, I don’t think that means that this movie shouldn’t be seen. I think there needs to be some warning that this movie can be very explicit and its done in such a real and honest manner that some people might not be expecting based on what I’ve said before. American Honey I think is a movie about ideas and experimentation, and if you’re a fan on film and film making on a whole, then give this movie a look.

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week is:

Okja (official trailer)

This week brings our first real surprise winning trailer, and it isnt just the kind of movie we’re talking about here, but also who made this movie. We have our first Netflix entry here with the first main trailer for Okja. Okja is the nest entry from writer, director Bong Joon Ho of Snowpiercer fame, and he manages to stack another impressive cast here. The movie stars Tilda Swindon, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, and a many more. The movie centers around the idea of a near future cooperation, that through scientific advnaces, creates an entirely new breed of animal, called a super pig in the trailer as a new means to feed the world. Problems soon arise when a young girl who becomes best friends with one of the animals has it taken from here.

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The movie deals with many different concepts from factory farming to our thoughts on even eating meat. But more than that, the movie uses its narrative to tell what should be a heart warming story that has these higher more complex ideas weave around and through it to keep it grounded. So what do you think about Okja? Does the concept intrigue you, and what do you think about the visuals? That will no doubt be one of the biggest points on which this movie will likely live or die, but it is our trailer of the week, give it a look and tell me what you think.

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 : Deepwater Horizon

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“A dramatization of the April 2010 disaster when the offshore drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.”

Based on the 2010 disaster, Deepwater Horizon gives us our first real look at the personal side and impact of one of the worst oil spills in human history. It follows some of the key crew members that were on board during events that lead to the catastrophic failure of the entire rig. The film also does a really good job of making you feel what its like to be on a rig like that, and it also does well to immerse you into the mind and technical aspects of such a job. That’s more or less the first half of movie, and it gets you acquainted with the cast and crew here before the movie totally ramps up, and then doesn’t stop till right before the end. That same first half of the film, while slower, still does a really good job of building up all this tension that then literally explodes on the screen as the movie gets into the fear and absolute terror that being on a rig like that during something like this would be like. Just the way the film is filmed, really gives you a sense of the danger, and the claustrophobia of the environment. Your heart rate will elevate, and it will stay there till this movie comes to an end, at which point you might be crying because this movie really ends off with a very well done and well earned emotional gut punch. Yes there may be some portrayals and some things than were done a little differently to make this movie a better movie, but looking at this solely as a movie, there really isn’t much wrong with it.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

Sony Marvel SpiderMan controversy

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Unless you have probably been under a rock, you would have heard of the big time scandal that was the Sony Leaks. Over time, more and more information has been steadily leaking out ever since. One such leak is in the form of information about a contract between Sony and Marvel, detailing the constraints on or around the “Spiderman” and “Peter Parker” characters. The contract stipulates that basically Peter Parker/Spiderman can’t torture anyone, he can’t kill unless in self defense, he can’t drink in excess or smoke and similar stuff….but the issue here is that it also says that he can’t be gay, and he can’t be anything but white.

This is the controversy starts of course, the real question is…should it?

So lets look at the negatives first. This contract makes Marvel have no choice but to exclude many demographics, and to not be able to truly revitalize the character by updating him to more current times. It also seems like a slap in the face to anyone who isn’t white or straight by appearing to say that being anything else, is somehow a bad thing. That having any such characteristics would make the character less or worse of a person.

Lets also try and find some positives here. Sony now owns this character, so by right, they are allowed to protect their character from anyone who might misuse said character. Imagine if you had this precious egg of a character, and someone wanted to change it, just for changing it sake, you might not want that to happen. It can be argued also that some (not all) of the stipulated character traits are totally vital and a defining part of the Spidey/Petey character and mythos.

Either way you look at it, its a complex issue. To some people this will be racism, to others bigotry, to some it will be an example of how Hollywood simply wants to “blackwash” everything now after years of “whitewashing”. Some will say they have the right to do whatever they like with their property, others will contend that the character really belongs to the fans, because without them he wouldn’t be around. And really, no one is right or wrong here really, it’s all opinion. What do you think? Is this more good or bad to you? Do you even care?

Cheers

Here’s a link with the article btw…http://gawker.com/spider-man-cant-be-gay-or-black-1712401879