Friday, August 29, 2014

Transportation into an alternate universe marathon

Tonight's marathon is all about the transporting into alternate universes, whether inside a library, a submarine, golf course hole, toon town, or inside an Arnold Schwarzeneggar movie. It's about going into these worlds with all these animated lively characters and living the lifestyles that they go about in their fictional lively. The tragic part is how little do they know what we do about their predicaments. We have on tonight's glorious roaster of movies:
The Pagemaster 1993, Space Jam 1996, Last Action Hero 1993, Who Framed Roger Rabbit 1986

Now that's a great nostalgic marathon. My childhood lives again with this evenings lineup as I watch innocent bystanders such as the little kid in the library played by Macaulay Culkin, Michael Jordon retiring from basketball and getting sucked down a golf course, a lonely moviegoer getting sucked into a movie starring his favorite movie star of all time, and Bob Hoskin's traveling to Toon town to find the persons who framed Roger Rabbit, all coming together to battle the forces of evil. Growing up as a young boy who had an intense fascination with movies, this marathon has a special place in my heart. I grew up on all of these movies, and invested so many hours with these characters, even playing their video games on Sega Genesis. The way this marathon is designed is by starting at the lowest point of quality in the films with Pagemaster. Pagemaster is a classic but it also provides an opportunity for the scope to get bigger with each film and the stakes to get higher. Pagemaster begins the mystical adventure of a young boy being sent by his father on an errand to buy some nails from the local Ace Hardware store. Little does he know, a storm emerges and soon he ends up finding himself trapped in a library where he gets sucked into the universe hidden deep within the foundations of the millions of books stored inside. The Pagemaster is followed up by Space Jam where an older civilian played by then basketball star Michael Jordan, getting sucked into a hole in a golf course and helping the Looney Toon's battle a group of aliens for their freedom in a basketball tournament. The third film Last Action Hero has a young boy named Danny whose entire existence is focused around movies, and while watching the premiere of the next installment in a popular franchise involving hero Jack Slater, he ends up becoming apart of the film himself with Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Last Action Hero is the prelude to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a mystery thriller and adventure starring Bob Hoskin's, who is forced to protect Roger Rabbit after being framed for a murder he did not commit. A plus to this marathon is that Christopher Lloyd plays the librarian in Pagemaster who hands Culkin's character a library ticket and gets him sucked into the universe, as well as playing the main villain judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. A great parallel between the marathon is Pagemaster focusing around a library card, and Last Action Hero centering around a movie ticket.

The nostalgia of this marathon is amazing, and brings me back to my childhood roots before entering the days of young adulthood. It is true that memories can last a lifetime. Here's to tonight's fantastic marathon of great childhood memories.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Robin Williams Marathon Part lll: The Final Act

Tonight's marathon marks the third and final marathon in the Robin Williams tribute. It's time to bring in the nostalgia factor of his career with his childhood classics while also saying goodbye to a legend. Whereas the first night was an emotional journey with Mrs Doubtfire, What Dreams May Come, Dead Poets Society and Bicentennial Man, and night two was more about his quality of work with Good Morning Vietnam, Awakenings, Good Will Hunting, and One Hour Photo, tonight is the epic conclusion to a week of heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest movie actors of all time. We have on our menu for this evening:

Aladdin 1992, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest 1992, Aladdin: The King of Thieves 1996, Flubber 1997, and Jumanji 1995

We've seen Robin Williams talents in the genres of comedy and drama, but haven't explored his career that focused on the nostalgia aspect of his career focusing on family films.  It is within these films where Robin's heart truly lied and what helped make him an iconic figure for millions of children worldwide. Growing up, Aladdin was larger than life along with Beauty and the Beast and Lion King. Ferngully is the movie that inspired Avatar to plagiarize large portions of it's story arc. Flubber and Jumanji just showcase his playful side and sense of imagination and wonder.

All three of these marathons just confirm that we lost an actor who was totally fearless and carried a feeling of sincerity with his work. He can play any role he wanted to or dared, and followed his heart when picking movie parts knowing it would be fun to do but would also inspire millions of people. This is the final salute for the unforgettable performer named Robin Williams. It has been a great ride.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Clint Eastwood Night

With every Monday night comes another great serious and dramatic marathon of Oscar calibar. Tonight's lineup is no different and its got me excited as shit. Here are the movies on tonight's menu.

Trouble with the Curve 2012, Million Dollar Baby 2004, and Gran Tarino 2008

That's right folks, its Clint Eastwood night. This lineup is amazing and presents him as a fatherly type of figure. This is him at his most dramatic and emotional not to mention being badass at the same time. Trouble with the Curve is a strong start and introduces the conflict between father and estranged daughter with Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams acting opposite of each other. Million Dollar Baby continues this trend with Eastwood coaching Hilary Swanks character in boxing while at the same time developing a fatherly relationship with her. As great of a film as Million Dollar Baby is, i somewhat forgot how it ends in the final scenes. That's really good for me because I want to take in the emotions again as if i'm seeing it for the first time. Gran Tarino is the badass emotional finale to this evenings journey, and has Eastwood befriend and protect a Hmong family who lives next door to him and is getting terrorized by a Korean gang. He develops a special relationship with a young boy from the family named Thao who takes a liking for Eastwood's characters 1972 Gran Tarino.

Honestly, all three films compliment each other beautifully and ensure a fantastic night full of laughter, tears, lifelong lessons, and a bigoted mans pathway to redemption at the end of Gran Tarino. A toast to another great Monday night marathon, and a personal salute to a great American icon named Clint Eastwood.

Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

I finally got to lay eyes on Transformers The Age of Extinction


Where do I start. I have ALOT to say about this movie and I know im not alone on my feelings towards this film. First of all let me make it clear that I do not hate Michael Bay. I dont think he sucks in general as a filmmaker, just sometimes but thats becoming more of a common thing for him these days. Bad Boys was a pretty solid action and comedy. The Rock is a great action movie and one of the best of the 1990s. Armageddon was a fun disaster movie that was exciting as hell. I feel the hatred for Bay began at Pearl Harbor. If you look at it as a summer blockbuster, its a guilty pleasure. If you go into it looking for historical significance than its a bad movie. He did not do a good job in that aspect. Bad Boys ll is a fun but ok movie. The island was pretty good and I did like The first Transformers movie out of them all. Thats pretty much when my liking of Michael Bay stopped. Transformers 2 was terrible and insulting to everyone who looks for a quality film. Transformers Dark of the Moon was a slight improvement but only in the action aspect. The storyline and acting much like Transformers 2 was awful. Its become abundantly clear that Bay is clearly making movies for money now. And now we have Transformers The Age of Extinction.

I think everyone knows where this is going after the first paragraph. I did not like the film. No as a matter of fact, I despise it. This movie is a manifestation of everything im against in the realm of good filmmaking. This was garbage. Sure its got lots of nice explosions and the special effects and technology in the film is amazing, but thats about all that can be said about it thats good. There was absolutely no real character development in this movie and no real story arc. The introduction of Mark Wahlbergs daughters boyfriend was so painful and a slap in the face to the whole concept of a great character intro and setup. They just threw him in there in the middle of an action scene and expect no questions to be asked about his background. Not good enough for me. Another thing was the dialogue was so terrible. Whenever they talked about the seed plot device I chuckled unintentionally. This is not how people talk and not how you give proper exposition and information to the audience. Michael Bay has always had this problem with developing his characters and creating story arcs that has begun as early as Pearl Harbor and carried onto these films. Each Transformers movie has gotten worse with the character development and acting. Mark Walhberg was pretty bad here and often embarrassed himself at times such as the moment where he pops open a Bud Light and starts chugging it. WHAT THE. Product placement was all over this frigging movie and it was disgusting how much Bay used it and didnt care that it had nothing to do with the story. It was almost like Bay decided going into the making of this movie that he was fed up with all the hatred he gets from critics snd audiences and decided hes going to do whatever he wants. This is clearly a movie made by a man wno doesnt care anymore and as far as im concerned is an arrogant fool. Michael Bay, I have never seen so much racial stereotyping in movies before until I laid eyes on your Transformers series. Its disgusting. You created two twin robots in Revenge of the Fallen that was supposed to be a way to entertain the young audience but ended up becoming two of the most hated characters in film history next to Jar Jar Binks. You then went back on your word that you dont listen to critics and take them out of the third movie but NOW youve added an asian Transformer who not only looks like a samurai but speaks in a heavy accent. What the hell were you trying to accomplish with that. That was wrong in so many ways. You pretty much have shown people that you have no idea what youre doing wrong with these movies or that you dont care if people label you as a guy who loves to use racial stereotypes in his movies. You want to be taken seriously and respected as a filmmaker but how do you expect that to occur when you pull shit like that. That really says alot about you as a person and filmmaker.

Aside from the obvious horrible character development and ridiculous over the top afting from everyone including Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci, two high quality actors who deserve so much better than the script they received for this movie, Age of Extinction is a ridiculous, loud, and over the top action movie with no soul in it and its only objective is to make millions to billions of dollars by suckering people into watching it with flashy explosions and robotic battles. Sure they can be very impressive at times and the climax of the film takes the word insane to the next level, but that does not compensate for the shitty effort put into the story of the film and its characters. This was Wahlbergs worst acting performance since The Happening, and tbe whole film ranks as being so bad its fucking hilarious because of how absurd it allis. This is not a good movie. It will never be known as one. It has a much greater chance of sweeping the razzies for next year with virtual locks in the categories of worst picture, worst director, and screenplay. To me thats sad because its not that hard to have an even balance with great special effects wnd good storytdlling. True filmmakers put the first over the latter, Bay is not a true filmmaker anymore. He sees dollar signs and only wants to make movies for teenage boys and cover all his inadequacies as a filmmaker with mindless explosions. At this point I consider him a dangerous filmmaker because he knows now that he can make bad movies but people will still see them with the name Transformers on it. There were actually people who got up and walked out during my showing. I wouldve been right behind them if I wasnt in the company of my good friends.

This movie gets a huge thumbs down for me and has the mishonor of being the worst movie ive seen in theaters so far this summer. Michael Bay will not fool me again. Im onto him. This is this years After Earth with the only exception that its doing fantastic at the box office compared to how that film did. If you want mindless explosions then by all means, its waiting for you. Buf if you want deeper and more thought provoking movies, go see Days of the Future Past and Edge of Tomorrow. Hell even Fault in our Stars had a way more convincing love story than that half assed Romeo and Juliet shit they gave us here. Sigh. Ok im done.

2 out of 10

Wait one more thing, did it really need to be 3 fucking hours.

Robin Williams Night Part ll

And so the three night Robin Williams marathon continues with the second lineup of classic movies starring comedic and dramatic actor Robin Williams. Much like last night's lineup, tonight continues the awesome blend of comedy and drama from the extremely talented actor. This lineup consists of the following:

Good Morning Vietnam 1987, The Awakening 1990, Good Will Hunting 1997, and One Hour Photo 2002

Whereas this marathon is stronger than last night's is debatable. That one had a special feeling of magic and emotional power to it. This one is more about the quality of the scripts he took. His projects were very daring and carried with them emotional messages and unforgettable performances not just from Williams himself, but those around him. He inspired many actors to reach for the stars which he always sought after. Good Morning Vietnam once again shows his knack for comedic talent and intelligence at making fast talking punchlines and comments. The Awakening shows his sensitive side by pairing him up with the great Robert Deniro in a quest to help a few catatonic patients  by testing them with a new medicine. When the medicine begins to wear off and the patients begin to go back to their old selves, it's heartbreaking. Good Will Hunting is one of his finest hours in terms of acting as he won a best supporting actor Oscar as a psychiatrist who never stops in helping Matt Damon's character find his true self and realize his true potential. It was the film which launched the careers of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with the help of Robin Williams at the wheel. If you were to ask those two actors right now, they would say that they owe their careers and fame to him. That shows how great of a movie star and a person he was. And finally, the second lineup concludes with One Hour Photo. This is one of Williams most challenging roles and one that showed people that underneath the sincerity of his dramatic performances and his amazing comedic talent, was something dark and sinister that was looming. The later film called Insomnia fully explored his potential as an incredible vile villain and he rose to the occasion. Whereas part one was about showing the emotional side of his movies and his real personal issues, tonight shows how great of an actor he was in the genres of comedy, drama and ultimately thriller.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Robin Williams Night Part 1

Tonight's marathon is a heartfelt tribute to the great comedic and dramatic actor named Robin Williams. Robin Williams was a true gentlemen in the sense that he brought joy into the lives of millions of people and absolute sincerity in his dramatic performances. The loss of this great actor in our lives is heartbreaking and hits you right in the gut. I can't think of any greater way to spend the evening than reflecting back on the remarkable achievements of this actor. This is part 1 of a three movie night marathon featuring Robin Williams in the forms of drama, comedy, and nostalgia. We have on tonight's menu

 Mrs Doubtfire 1993, What Dreams May Come 1998, Dead Poets Society 1989, Bicentennial Man 1999

The whole point of this marathon is that it's designed to be a tearjerker while also reflecting on the type of person he was. This marathon taps into his issues in life such as being a loving father, his marriage troubles, wanting to be an inspiration for other young people, and his journey for acceptance. That's where these four movies come into the picture, and you get a wider grasp of his talents and real life issues. Mrs Doubtfire introduces him as a loving father with a great sense of humor, and someone who loves his children deeply. However, he has severe marriage troubles and ends up getting divorced and fighting for parent custody. The story arc begins of him learning to be less immature and more of a responsible father figure and inevitably becoming a children's icon. It also shows his knack for great comedic timing and balance of being humane during the court scenes. The final scene carries with it a powerful message about divorced marriage couples and having hope for the future for the kids. What Dreams May Come begins the story arc of him losing his wife through death and searching heaven and hell for her. Whereas Mrs Doubtfire resolved the story arc of him getting custody of his children and improving himself as a father figure, What Dreams May Come deals with him trying to find a way back to his wife through death. Dead Poets Society shows him as an inspirational figure, a great teacher who every person needs in their life to reflect on themselves, and remember what they really want in life. The final scene is one of the greatest movie endings in film history. Bicentennial Man is the emotional conclusion to the first night of the three part Robin Williams arc, beginning a story arc of a robots 200 year old journey to becoming a man. It is probably one of the best moments of Robin William's dramatic career, and the ending is a perfect blending fiction towards reality.

Tonight is all about experiencing the greatness of Robin Williams in a great blend of comedy and drama, and during the process, shed a few tears for a fantastic actor who went too soon. RIP. Robin Williams.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

As of right now, this is what my top 10 films for 2014 looks like as of today.

1. XMEN: Days of the Future Past
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Edge of Tomorrow
5. The Fault in Our Stars
6. Captain America 2 Winter Soldier
7. Legos The Movie
8. Get On Up
9. The Monuments Men
10.How to Train Your Dragon 2

How about the rest of you?

Other honorable mentions are Amazing Spiderman 2, Godzilla, Divergent

Get On Up Review

Finally got to see Get On Up


Chadwick Boseman scores again with Get On Up. First exploding onto the screen with a similar biography film titled 42, the Jackie Robinson story which also was met with positive results, we now
have the same actor playing the title role of the great musician icon James Brown. There is sincere hope that he doesn't end up becoming typecasted as the hollywood go to guy for making biographies on famous African American individuals. He should be given the chance to branch out and show a wider range of his talent. While his performances are not on the level of Oscar winning material just yet, he crafts very strong performances of the larger than life figures that he plays. Get On Up works as a biographical piece mainly due to the strong acting performances, and showing James Brown's rise to fame in the late 1960's to 1970's era. During this process we also get glimpses into his childhood and the conflict between him and his mother which was an unsettling one. This pattern is similar to the 2004 film Ray starring Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in which we also see flashbacks of his young life with the death of his brother, and his mother giving him subliminal messages during his heroin use. What both movies accomplish by doing this is they show that both men are human behind all the money and fame. They are flawed individuals as Get On Up shows with James Brown's drug use and defiance with the law. Dan Aykroyd provided a strong supporting role as one of Brown's backers, and their relationship is the heart of the film. This is a fitting homage to the iconic legend, and packs a great soundtrack from the legend himself to go with the great acting. If there any criticisms of this movie to mention, it would probably have to be that they focused alittle too much on the business side of his life, and not get more personal with his inner demons as he clearly had some. Ray did such a great job of balancing both his business and personal life,while also showing his issues behind the curtain. Get On Up wasn't quite as successful at following the same pattern, but it works as a piece of quality filmmaking and a fitting homage to the musical legend.

Note: This movie came out way too early in the year to be considered for an Oscar nom, but if it were to be considered for any nominations, Chadwick Bosemen deserves a nomination. One of the better films of the summer this far.

                                                                                                                                       8 out of 10

Friday, August 15, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Finally got to see Guardians of the Galaxy


That was really good. Very impressive not just for a piece of scfi entertainment, but also as a August summer blockbuster release. This movie had it all: impressive visual effects, lots of clever humor, decent storyline, appealing cast among the likes of Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Djimon Hounsou, Zoe Saldana, Glenn Close, John C Reilly, and Michael Rooker. Now that's a diverse cast with alot of pure talent there to generate enough magic to make this movie work. It carried with it alot of charm and high levels of energy within the action. It feels like the beginning of a very promising trilogy like A New Hope feel, Serenity, or Star Trek 2009. One of the main reasons why those three movies worked was because they had characters that were entertaining to watch and you cared about them. Humor really helped to flesh out the characters in those movies and making them relatable to the audience. The film moves at a pretty fast pace and never truly feels like it's going at a slow pace except within a few moments in the middle. The script is strong presenting a storyline that has the potential to expand into a universe of movies, instead of being generic like some other recent scfi flicks. Cough Avatar Cough. The storyline goes like this: Twenty six years after being abducted, Peter Quill finds himself the prime target of a manhunt after discovering an orb wanted by Ronan the Accuser. That's a premise that screams out adventure and plenty of thrills. It also allows for a romance to blossom between him and Zoe Saldana's character. Saldana is quickly turning into the new queen of science fiction having starred in the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movies, and Avatar. Here she remains just as appealing and brings a fresh new face to the picture. Chris Pratt does a very strong performance as the lead and makes the audience buy into his character's dilemma while also having lots of fun with it. The best moments are the one's where the character listens to his music, this movie has a great soundtrack. What makes this movie appealing to audiences and one of the reasons it's doing so well is that it gets the audience invested in the characters and plot. You care about them much like the ones in Star Trek and the original Star Wars trilogy.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy is a richly entertaining summer blockbuster that works really well because of a clever storyline, impressive visual effects, appealing actors and characters, tons of humor, and a soundtrack that just adds a sense of class to the film. There's alot of high level energy with this one, and it's not to be missed on the big screen.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

Finally got to catch Ninja Turtles


Let me start off by saying the original trilogy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a big part of my childhood growing up. The original 1990 film is a classic. The Secret of the Ooze is a decent sequel to the first movie and had some very cool moments such as the Super Shredder and Vanilla Ice's cameo. The third movie wasn't up to the standards set by the first two films and was easily the weakest, but having witnessed the atrocity of Michael Bay's reboot, I'll gladly revisit that entry anyday over this mess.

The reboot Ninja Turtles does very little to carry on the great legacy of the heroes in the half shell and actually manages to disgrace it by completely capturing the characters wrong, The biggest slap in the faces to fans of the original films are the characters of Splinter and Shredder. Splinters character was off in the fact that he wasn't the wise master that the original films and cartoons portrayed him as. Here he's freely pushing the turtles around and attacking them and the cops. Since when was Splinter such a hard ass to his sons? Shredder was a great villain in the turtles comics and cartoons but here he had virtually no personality. The actor playing him is barely visible for a few moments in the whole film, and just dons a slick suit and begins beating up the turtles. Another issue lied within the Ninja Turtles themselves. They don't feel like they have unique personalities like the original films showed them, and they come off as being hip and street thugs who are disguised as turtles and say a bunch of awful punch lines. They are rarely funny and make you hardly care about them. visually they look stunning as the look may feel awkward at time but eventually grows on you, but their personalities are all messed up. What was Whoopi Goldberg doing in this movie? She only had a few scenes in the movie and her character's story arc went nowhere. She did not get to see if the Turtles really exist nor choose to support them in a female Perry White style. Megan Fox is severely miscast is April O Neil, she is nowhere near the level of greatness that the character from the original films and the cartoon shows possessed. She only had one facial expression the entire time which was her clinching her teeth in shock, and her male sidekick ended up coming of as being annoying, pointless and irritating as few of his lines were funny,  The entire film felt like 4 to 5 big action set pieces slapped together and called a movie. The film hardly possesses a form of life and doesn't really have the dark atmosphere that the original film had. The little moments of tribute or homages to the 1990 film are noteworthy but the unsatisfactory result of the film hardly makes them worth mentioning.  It was pretty clear watching this movie that there wasn't a great deal of care being taken with the source material and it painfully shows in the movie. It had no heart and there isn't that sense of magic that the original film had that's present here, and just goes to show that Michael Bay has no regard for the fans or the source material. Ninja Turtles is a bland, uninspired reboot that's bound to piss off many of the purists of the Turtles legacy and add more fuel to the fire of his haters, that he is a huge contributor to the death of cinema.

In conclusion, if it's eye candy and special effects you want, then this movie should meet your requirements of being watchable popcorn entertainment. If you're a purist of the Ninja Turtles story then this movie will not only infuriate you, but inspire a divine hatred for Michael Bay. This movie has a lot of things in it that didn't work and wasn't needed, only making it feel bland and empty as a whole. It is not the colossal train wreck that was Age of Extinction but it isn't too far off. It's really that bad and that's the sad part. I wanted to like it.


Western movie night

Tonight's marathon is all about traveling back through time to the days of the wild west. The themes that make up tonight's marathon are corruption, justice, revenge, getting old deeds finished, good vs evil battles, doing what's right, and the morals between using a gun when necessary or as a form of corruption. We have on the platter for this evening...

Unforgiven 1992, The Quick and the Dead 1995, True Grit 2010, 310 to Yuma 2007, and Tombstone 1993

Now that's a western lineup. Five movies of five different story arcs of corruption in the wild west and justice being done to rid each town of it's enemies. The first movie Unforgiven starts off the marathon with an old gunslinger played by the legendary Clint Eastwood being recruited for one final job with the aid of his old partner Morgan Freeman to avenge the rape of a young girl, and overthrow a corrupt sheriff played by Gene Hackman. The marathon continues with The Quick and the Dead about a lady avenger returning to the western town owned by a ruthless gunslinger hosting an elimination tournament. This entry in the western marathon also stars Gene Hackman but has a supporting cast of Russell Crowe, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Sharon Stone as the female heroine. The third entry True Grit with Jeff Bridges is a remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic about a tough U.S Marshal helping a stubborn young woman tracking down the murderer of her father. The remake of True Grit is one of the few upgrades that lives up to the bar set by the original movie. The Coen Brothers makes this version exciting as well as funny and having an emotional punch to it. The next film, 310 to Yuma, is also an upgraded version of the 1957 classic about a small-time rancher played by Christian Bale who agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to take him to court in Yuma. The outlaw played by Russell Crowe, gets into a battle of wills in an attempt to psych out the rancher for an escape as his men close in on them. With each film the stakes get higher and higher until the grand finale is reached with Tombstone. The final film in the marathon has Wyatt Earp and his brothers played by Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton, banning together to take down the powerful gang called The Cowboys, who are terrorizing the small town of Tombstone Arizona. The best shootout of the entire marathon takes place at the O.K. Corral. The best casting ensemble goes to Tombstone with the likes of Michael Beihn, Dana Delany, Billy Zane, Powers Boothe, and Charlton Heston aiding the main stars in delivering the ultimate action packed western experience.

All five of these movies connect together to form one giant story arc about the battle between good vs evil in the old western times, as well as a battle between morals and the establishment of justice and the heroes who brought it to their respective towns.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Star Crossed Lovers Night

Tonight is all about experiencing the true romance and painful loss of five different story arcs featuring some of the screens most intriguing star crossed lovers. Major themes that play throughout the marathon are crime, war, rift between two families, suicide, loss of a loved one due to natural causes and going back in time to retell a classic love story to make the other person remember what matters most at such an old age. We have on the menu for this evening:

Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm 1993, Casablanca 1942, Romeo and Juliet 1996, A Walk to Remember 2002, and The Notebook 2005

Five different kinds of films but with five different story arcs of star crossed lovers who meet upon an act of fate but all relationships end in tragedy or at a great cost. In the case of Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm, Bruce Wayne meets Andrea Beaumont and form a romance that ends up becoming Bruce's first true love. Through flashbacks in the style of Citizen Kane and a breakup and reunion that screams Casablanca, he finds his way back to Andrea while at the same time battling an enemy closer to himself along with the Joker brilliantly voiced by Mark Hamil
l. The next film Casablanca continues the trend of a burning romance that ends and begins again but is ultimately ruined by the increasing global conflict of World War ll. This time Humprey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman reunite as former lovers in Africa during the war but face unusual circumstances due to the growing presence of the Nazis. The stakes are upped in Casablanca from where Mask of the Phantasm ends, whereas crime ended the relationship between Bruce and Andrea, war interrupts the romance between the lovers in Casablanca. The next film Romeo and Juliet 1996 with Claire Danes and Leonardo Dicaprio introduces the story arc of a rift between both lovers families that takes place in modern day setting with Shakespearean dialogue. The two young teenagers form a hot romance that gets so intense that they make the ultimate sacrifice to be together, since the families refuse to accept truth in the end. A Walk To Remember introduces the concept of two young teen lovers who are united in the mist of the others religious preference within her family. The Notebook ends the marathon essentially the way it began with an old couple reading about the story of two young lovers of different social classes who end up breaking up and reuniting later in life, while also appearing to have more in common with the older couple as the story goes on. This is a powerful marathon in the sense that it's about reflecting on how much one person can have an impact on the other, and how lives change when the other person isn't around or what happens if they do return unexpectedly.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Peter Pan Night

This evening is all about tracing the origins of the story of Peter Pan and the everlasting clashes between him and pirate Captain James Hook. The story arc will begin with the creation of the play and the family that inspired it, followed by the actual adventure itself, and the epic conclusion of the battle between good and evil. It also answers one of the most important questions of the marathon: Did Peter Pan really return to Neverland? We have on our menu for this evening.

                         Finding Neverland 2003, Peter Pan 2003, and Hook 1991

Whereas last week was about watching the battle between good vs evil in the quest to destroy the one ring in Lord of the Rings, tonight is all about watching the makings of a classic childrens play at the hands of Johnny Depp's character in Finding Neverland. The true heart of this film is within the family of Kate Winslet's character and the unfolding of the story of Peter Pan through his very eyes. Instead of going the route of the animated cartoon, Finding Neverland is proceeded by the live action adaptation of the story made in 2003 titled Peter Pan. In this film, Hook is played by the brilliant but underrated Jason Isaacs who rocked it in The Patriot as the sinister and brutal Colonel Tavington. We also see a young Peter Pan form a relationship with a young Wendy and the setup of the background taking place in Neverland. With these two movies, it's only logical that this marathon concludes with Steven Spielberg's massively underrated Hook. Spielberg has stated numerous times that he considers Hook to be one of the greatest movie disappointments of his career, yet it is a movie that possesses just as much magic or more than his earlier films leading up to it's 1991 release. Hook gets a lot of unfair bashing because expectations were so high for it coming off of Spielberg's other grand epics such as Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Temple of Doom, Empire of the Sun, The Last Crusade, and Always. With a resume like this one, Hook was bound to be looked at as inferior on some level as The Fog was considered one of Carpenters worst when he did Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, Escape from New York, and The Thing. It is still a great movie about an older and grumpier Peter Pan who finally grows up and becomes a workaholic, losing track of everything that made him the great man he started off as being when he was young. Through the story of Hook, he regains his past back and learns about how to be a better father and husband. It was a personal movie that was masked under such an iconic film, and one that speaks to all of us about what we value most in our lives which are memories and those we love. It also asks us to use our imagination and become a kid again, how many films ask us to do that?

P.S. I think it's pretty cool that Dustin Hoffman is in both Finding Neverland and Hook. What a terrific way to tie the both movies together and celebrate the origins of the story, the actual action packed adventure, and the aftermath of it. There will never be a better hook than Dustin Hoffman nor a better Peter Pan than Robin Williams. That will forever remain one of the most clever casting choices in movie history.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Epic romance night

Tonight's marathon is totally inspired by the Lord of the Rings marathon. When you do a marathon of that caliber and as amazing, you don't reduce the following one to something smaller in scope. You try and match that one as best as you can. Tonight's marathon reaches that height of success with three of the screens most tragic romances. We proudly have on tonight's menu

Beauty and the Beast 1991, King Kong 2005, and Titanic 1997

Now THAT'S epic. You start it off with the original Beauty and the Beast which was a breakthrough for animated films in 1991 landing the first academy award nomination for best picture to a cartoon. If Silence of the Lambs didn't win that year, this would've been my second choice for the Oscar. What Beauty and the Beast does is it introduces the story arc of a complicated romance between a normal well bred woman and a man turned beast. The beast has a dark heart full of bitterness and the woman named Belle has to make him love another person in order to defeat a dark spell that's turned everyone in the castle into furniture and silverware. Beauty and the Beast is more than just a great love story, its a real human drama. You totally buy into the plot, and care a great deal about the main characters. The lead character Gaston acts like Billy Zane in Titanic, creating the story arc of the jealous lover of the female character that inevitably turns out to be a mismatch. The real lovers are either looked down on society as being inferior with the beast being too hideous and fearful, King Kong being a giant ape, and Leonardo Dicaprio being viewed as third class throwaway by the rich. King Kong takes the story of the desireable woman in love with the beast to the next level which is reality. They both form a special connection but realize their love can never be in the mist of pure adventure and spectacle. This is essentially the Empire Strikes Back of the marathon, and ups the scope of it to spectacular heights which only Titanic can match in terms of grandeur. King Kong may be 3 hours long but its a fantastic 3 hours full of ill fated romance, adventure, and a true sense of wonder. Titanic is a great finish to the setup because even though it's not a romance between woman and beast, it has the same epic scale production that King Kong had, a jealous lover who decides to get revenge on the two leads, great special effects, good old fashioned melodrama, and three emotional climaxes that tug at your heart strings and make you feel the loss at the end of each journey.

This is one of the proudest marathons I've ever done, and one that has a powerful message behind it about true love, discrimination based on wealth or gender, and the will to prevail in the mist of a historical tragedy.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Deliver Us From Evil

Finally got to see Deliver Us From Evil


Anybody else sick of these horror movies which they claim to be based on true events and but in actuality, 97 percent of the story is completely fictionalized and the dramatic events are made out to be much more intense than they actually are. If you are then this film pretty much cements the fact that the time has come to end these streak of films. They are getting more and more boring by the minute as well as being something even more frightening than the storyline itself. THEY AREN'T SCARY. Alot of the jump scares in this one are cheap and really don't leave an impact on you. Someone needs to tell Eric Bana that if you go from starring in high profile movies such as Ang Lee's Hulk to Munich to Star Trek 2009 and now ending up at a cheap below average horror movie then somethings gone terribly wrong. Either he needs to fire his agent or he really isn't that great of an actor and hollywood knows it. His accent was not entirely convincing in this film and often came off as ridiculous. The whole demon possessed storyline and exorcism solution has been overdone by hollywood and it's overkill makes the storyline in this film to be generic and of little interest. You've seen this type of story before, you know what happens and how it ends. The Zoo scene was a cheap way of trying to be intense and creepy but really just comes off as being a desperate attempt to keep the audience interested in a weak subject matter. There aren't any true or compelling characters in this movie that you can latch onto or care about. There is no real sense of danger or possession, and most importantly, this movie lacks a heart. The great horror films of our time relied on these conventions of storytelling to succeed, and the reason why so many of them fail in today's generation is because they don't take the time to develop their characters or plot correctly.

There will always be a group of people who will always want to see a good scare or get a jump scare in the movie theater and I totally respect that. However, I feel that those people really deserve much better than mess like this, and that the filmmakers need to create more original concepts of horror stories instead of suckering people into think the events depicted in these movies are all 100 percent true. They arent. This is another cheap attempt at cashing in on a questionable plot and I sincerely hope that as time goes on, the audience gets smarter and catches onto them. Thumbs down.

                                                                                                                                                 4 out of 10


Finally got to see Hercules


Before going into this, I told myself there was absolutely no way this film could be worse than Legend of Hercules which came out in January of this year. That film has the honor of being one one of the very worst pictures of 2014 thus far next to I Frankenstein and Transformers: The Age of SHIT. Oh pardon me, I don't know where that came from. Looks like I still got some anger on the inside from watching that one. Anyways, I knew that no matter how good or bad this one turned out, it was always gonna be a step up from the trainwreck Renny Harlin gave us. Now that I have seen the movie I can confirm without a doubt that my theory is absolutely correct. This is an improvement over Legend of Hercules. HOWEVER....that doesn't mean it was very good. It was entertaining to almost being mediocre. An important thing to note is that this isn't a true Hercules movie, this is just a vehicle for Dwayne Johnson to do his thing just like how the Scorpion King was to him. Don't worry this movies better than The Scorpion King. Dwayne is one of the high points of the film and continues to demonstrate his charisma as an action star and giving you a reason to take whatever films he does seriously. Other pros are the supporting cast with Ian McShane stealing the show. I loved his bit with the arrows. The action scenes are fairly well done and go ridiculously over the top at times, and the costume and art-set decoration makes the film feel authentic. The negatives of the film stem from a weak script that makes the film come off as being far too short and lacking story and plot development in alot of areas. The dialogue isn't as crisp and clever as other epics like Gladiator, but the cast does the best job with what they had. The directing of this film by Brett Ratner, who helmed Rush Hour 1 2 3, Red Dragon, Money Talks, and XMEN 3 (Fuck that movie), doesn't feel suitable for a film of this epic scope and magnitude. It needs someone like Ridley Scott who knows how to make it thrilling but have a sense or wonder and authenticity to it. It just comes off as a mediocre piece of entertainment that lacks a true soul and is ultimately going to amount to only one rental from Redbox in the long run instead of having a run of being a well respected blockbuster with depth and style. Hercules is the kind of movie that you watch with a few friends and maybe have a few drinks while watching, but then you immediately disregard it afterwards as being nothing more than average popcorn entertainment. That may be fine for some audiences, but a story as epic as Hercules deserves so much better, especially after two misfired attempts at making the character appear larger than life. Hopefully someone will do proper justice to this character someday as the results currently are unsatisfactory.

                                                                                                                                               6 out of 10

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

So I finally got to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


That was very good. This is one of the rare blockbusters that outshines the original and lives up to the expectations of the first movie and surpasses them. The original Planet of the Apes from 1968 is a classic and the plot twist at the end still holds up to this day. The sequels after that one were not so good, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathed new life into this series for the newer generation. I really liked it. It had brains and the climax was just breathtaking. Going into this one, I knew it was going to be good but I was very impressed with the approach they went with it. This is the Empire Strikes Back of the Planet of the Apes series, and shows you the progression of the Apes after the spread of the virus and where Ceasar is at now. It was darker, more action packed, and more of a human drama, showing the chaos that the virus created. Speaking of which, Andy Serkis did an incredible job in this movie. You really liked Ceasar as a leader and the moments where he interacts with the humans carried with it a powerful message. I feel Andy is a very underrated actor who doesn't quite get his due from the award ceremonies. This guy played Gollum in Lord of the Rings and King Kong, that right there shows you how incredible he can be as an actor. Gary Oldman always does a great job and shows you a human leader whose experienced pain at the hands at the apes, and is only doing what he feels right for the better of humanity. His performance was brilliant and sympathetic. The best moments from this movie come from the second half and the climax, with the first half establishing the story and characters from where we left off at the end of Rise. One of my favorite moments from that film was the Golden Gate Bridge sequence. It's near impossible for me to not think about that movie when thinking about that bridge.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the years best movies hands down, and better than the average summer blockbuster. It carries with it a level of intelligence and wonder in the mist of the excitement. The moments where the apes communicate to each other is fantastic and risky given that the only characters in those scenes were just them. I really became engulfed in their whole society and in some areas I found myself rooting for them. If there's one flaw I found with the movie, it was that certain characters could've used more elaboration and development. The movie moved at a pretty good fast pace but I wouldn't have mind if they slowed it down a bit more to flesh out more of the plot. If you haven't seen this film yet, I recommend buying a ticket at the theater and allowing yourself to be blown away by whats on the screen. Thumbs up.


P.S. One more thing, Koba was AMAZING.

The Lord of the Rings marathon

Tonight's marathon is about going back to relive the journey of two great heroes, Frodo Baggins and Samwise The Brave in what is arguably the greatest pop culture phenomenon since the original Star Wars trilogy. Tonight's marathon is completely dedicated to the majesty and grand epic scope of The Lord of the Rings.

    The Fellowship of the Ring 2001, The Two Towers 2002, and Return of the King 2003

Lord of the Rings is a cinematic blessing and a miracle in an era where it's all about style over substance and the overuse of special effects. What Peter Jackson did with these three movies is he combined groundbreaking technology with masterful storytelling, and hiring fairly unknown actors at the time to bring such memorable characters to life like the characters of Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Gollum, Aragorn, Arwen, Legolas, Gimli, etc. No one could've pulled off Gandalf better than Ian Mckellen did and Elijah Wood was brilliant as Frodo Baggins. He is what Anakin Skywalker should've been in the star wars prequels. Andy Serkis was robbed of an oscar nominaton for Gollum in The Two Towers, he was absolutely stunning. The best cgi character created on film since Yoda in Empire Strikes Back. Sean Astin was remarkable as Sam and gave probably the best performance in Return of the King. He is what great characters are all about. It will always be argued on whether A Beautiful Mind and Chicago deserved the Oscars for best picture over Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. In my humble opinion, they didn't but that's not to say those movies weren't good. They just didn't have the technological breakthrough and the emotional punch in the story that these movies had. The best was definitely Return of the King followed by The Two Towers and Fellowship of the Ring. This was the rare trilogy where each film got better as they went and broke the curse of the second film being the best one and the third being the weakest link.

Lord of the Rings will always remain a purified trilogy which rarely had any flaws and didn't abuse it's tools of film-making such as overusing special effects like the new Hobbit trilogy has successfully fallen victim to. When generations pass, people will look back and realize how great these films were for their time.