Jurassic Wold sequel gets a title, AND a new poster!

We are now exactly one year away from the release of the sequel to Jurassic World, and to commemorate this we now have a title as well as a new poster.

The upcoming film has been given the title Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  If the title was not cryptic enough, the tagline on the new poster reads, “Life finds a way.” Check out the poster below

Obviously, this is a quote made famous by Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm character in the original 1993 Jurassic Park.  This seems a very appropriate tag since it has already been confirmed that Goldblum would reprise his role as Malcolm in this sequel.

I have to admit that this poster combined with the new title has already gotten me more excited for this film than I ever was for its predecessor.

A Monster Calls director, J.A Bayona, is set as the director for the new installment in this Jurassic Park franchise.  Chris Pratt as well as Bryce Dallas Howard are also returning.  It is not known yet if Pratt will continue to calm Raptors with his hands or if Howard will be running from dinosaurs in high heels.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is set for a June 22, 2018 release date. 

‘Alien: Covenant’ Review!

Alien: Covenant is another film in the Alien franchise that features everyone’s favorite Xenomorph, as well as acting as a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus. Ridley Scott is back in the director’s chair – telling the story of the colony ship Covenant and the unfortunate fate of its crew. On their colony mission, they stop on what they believe to be an uncharted paradise. A planet better suited for their colony than the one they were originally bound for. However, it’s a very dark and dangerous world. After learning the fate of the planet’s previous inhibitors, the remaining crew members attempt a harrowing escape. It’s a fight for survival against the seemingly unstoppable Xenomorphs.

Full disclosure – I was not a fan of Prometheus. It was way too long, had terribly written characters, and nothing happens in it. However, I must admit that I enjoyed Alien: Covenant a lot more than its predecessor. It still feels like a companion-piece with Prometheus, lots of talking and heavy-handed themes of creation, but it also manages to feel like an actual Alien movie at the same time.

I’m not going to say this is perfect Alien movie, in fact it is far from it. What I will say is that Alien: Covenant is an upgrade from Prometheus able to deliver on gory thrills and chills, but unfortunately unable to establish a memorable crew or memorable scares.

The Covenant crew are extremely inter-changeable. At one point in the middle of the movie I was pulled out of the film because I had to count how many crew members had died so far. I had forgot about two of them. It happened again toward the end when down to the final few and I could have sworn there were more people still alive. Not only does show zero character development or attachment, it shows that there was no weight to their deaths. It just happened in a beautifully gory and disturbing fashion, then the plot just moves along.

There are some stand-outs though. Danny McBride‘s Tennessee character was the most human among the crew. Surprisingly, McBride was able to strike the perfect balance of showing a man struggling with the brutal death of his wife, the brutal death of his crewmates, and the tenacity to stay alive. Not an easy feat for an actor to pull off, and yet he does it beautifully. Michael Fassbender also manages to impress with his portrayal of both David and Walter, two synthetic androids built by Weyland Industries to help humans in their colony missions in space.

Overall, Alien: Covenant manages to feel like an Alien movie as well as a sequel to Prometheus, but does not quite meet the expectations set by being a part of the Alien franchise. The scary atmosphere and sense of dread that Alien is well known for is non-excitant I this film. There is also no real attachment to any of the characters. However, despite all these negativities, Alien Covenant manages to entertain with its gory kills and stunning visuals. Ridley Scott is very well known for creating beautiful films and Alien: Covenant is no exception.

I would say that despite not quite holding up to previous films in the Alien franchise, it is does give me enough to want to see the next movie – and I do recommend seeing it in theaters. If you are a fan of the Alien franchise you will like this movie.

Alien: Covenant is getting a score of 3.75/5

What do you think of Alien: Covenant? What is your favorite Alien movie in the franchise? Leave a comment below and let’s make a discussion about it.

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‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ Non-Spoiler Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is the newest, and most unique, telling of the story of King Arthur and his mystical sword Excalibur.  After Arthur is robbed of his birthright, he is raised in a brothel in the back-alley streets of Londinium.  However, after pulling the magical sword, Excalibur, from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his legacy and take is rightful place as the true King of England.

This is by far the most different, and supernatural, telling of the famous story of Arthur’s rise to becoming a King.  Directed by Guy Richie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes), the film feels nearly like a superhero origin story.  Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up a nobody, but through unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances gains immeasurable power in wielding the sword, Excalibur.  He must then use this power to overthrow the evil false King, Vortigern (Jude Law).  How does this not sound like a superhero film? (more…)

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Non-Spoiler Review

Everyone’s favorite Guardians of the Galaxy are back in Volume Two – continuing the teams adventures as they travel the cosmos using their newly acquired fame to get lucrative mercenary work. In their travels The Guardians must fight to keep their family together while unraveling the mysteries that surround Peter Quill’s aka Star Lord’s father.  Familiar characters return, old enemies become allies, and friends become foes.

Following 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy certainly applied a lot of pressure to returning director James Gunn as he worked to create a worthy follow-up. Characters that 95% of the movie going audience had never heard of quickly became the most loved within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  While this follow-up just crosses the threshold into entertaining, it is not on the same level as its predecessor.
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‘Free Fire’ Review (non-spoiler)

If you haven’t heard of Free Fire then you are not alone; as the film could’t even cross $1 Million on its opening weekend at the Box Office.  I missed its opening weekend as well and had to catch it in the middle of the week following the film’s initial release.

Free Fire is an adrenaline filled black comedy directed by Ben Wheatley and stars Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, and Sharito Copley.  Set in Boston (1978), Free Fire tells the story of an Irish gang and a group of arms dealers meeting up at an abandoned warehouse to make a trade.  After personal agendas and personalities clash things go south very fast.  Resulting in everyone shooting at each other.  As the night goes on, the odds of making it out of the warehouse alive gradually decrease.

Right off the bat I must say I enjoyed the film very much.  Wheatley is able to turn the premise of a paid-by-the-numbers shootout film on its head by showing this assortment of idiots and weirdoes forced to crawl around on a warehouse floor through dust and broken glass, randomly shooting at whoever they see near them.  And while that seems like a very simple movie, it really is.  But Wheatley is able to keep the film engaging by sprinkling dark humor throughout the entirety of the film.  I almost feel bad about how much fun I had watching these poor thugs and gun runners get shot at for almost 90 minutes straight.

The acting is great in this movie as well.  Every one of the well-known, and most of not so well-known, actors manage to portray characters that are desperate to survive, determined to kill, and yet have their own standout personalities.  Out of all the actors, Armie Hammer is the standout – probably giving his best performance to date; portraying a stone-cold hit man for hire stuck among a bunch of basic idiots with guns and no guts.

While the prospect of following a group of the same characters in the same situation in the same place and having it take only 90 minutes to tell can sound like it would get old, it doesn’t.  Wheatley’s formula of building up a character’s confidence, then cutting them off at the kneecaps (or literally blowing off the kneecaps) manages to draw out the intensity of the shootout for as long as possible, while also showing character development as the situation intensifies.  This formula also makes the film feel random and chaotic – something a film would normally get destroyed for doing.  However, since the film is almost entirely the one shootout, making it chaotic is the best way to build suspense in this situation.

Now, Free Fire is not a perfect movie by any means.  There are two things in particular that stand out.

The first is that not 100% of the characters are likeable, or even necessary.  There are two or three that probably could have not even been in the movie and nothing would have changed.  Most of the time I would forget they were even there until the camera showed them hiding behind small slaps of concrete.  Then Id be pulled out of the movie because I couldn’t remember who’s side they were on.

The second thing is something that a lot of shooting based films suffer from, and that is characters having nearly an unlimited supply of bullets.  Wheatley is not shy about showing the characters as they franticly reload their guns when the clips run out, but it happens over and over and over again.  And at some point, it makes no sense the number of bullets being shot by some of the characters.  At the very beginning of the movie they are seen being frisked for wires by Hammer’s characters, but no mention is made of the fact that each person apparently has enough rounds in their pockets for a 90-minute shootout.  Eventually a few characters do manage run out, but only when it conveniently fits to movie the plot along.  Unlimited ammunition at the end of the day is a very small nitpick but it still manages to take away from the overall very realistic feel the rest of the movie manages to convey

However, like I said before, I enjoyed Free Fire.  Its real world, shoot out scenario is a breath of fresh air among big CGI blockbusters. I highly recommend checking this film out if you are a fan of dark humor, or shootouts.  My score for Free Fire is 3.75/5.

Are you one of the few that have seen Free Fire? If you haven’t seen it, does it seem like something you’d be interested in? Leave a comment below and we can make a discussion about it.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ Review (Non-Spoiler)

By this time if you are not familiar with The Fast and the Furious franchise then you may need to crawl back under that rock you’ve been living under for the past decade before the sun blinds you.  The Fate of the Furious is the eighth film in what seems to be an infinite film series.  A series that started off as a rip-off of Point Break, but with street cars, and has somehow evolved into a bond-esk espionage film still involving cars.  The Fate of the Furious (henceforth abbreviated F8) continues that trend – be it a more Pierce Brosnan type of bond when considering the lunacy in which the street racers continue to save the world. Only this time it needs to be saved from a sexy superhacker/cyber terrorist (Charlize Theron) who has strong-armed Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), the family driven leader of the F8 crew, to go rogue and help her steal weapons of mass destruction in order to achieve world domination.

Overall I have enjoyed the franchise thus far – I even finding myself defending the not so beloved The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift from time to time.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I walked out of this film and people felt they needed to defend F8 from me.  The movie is not great – it’s not terrible, there are things to enjoy in it, but I honestly believe it is weakest Fast and the Furious movie to date.

The worst thing about the movie is how forgettable it is.  I had to go back and re-watch trailers just so I could be reminded of some of the events that took place.  You’d think I would remember an army of hundreds of electric cars being hacked and driving around Manhattan like a horde of zombies and falling of rooftops like rain – nope.  I had forgot that ever happened until I re-watched the trailer after seeing the movie.  And that’s just one example of many forgettable moments.  Characters are just as forgettable as well.  I couldn’t tell you the names of anybody who is not part of the already established crew from previous films without going to the F8 IMDB page.

The movie also doesn’t flow at all.  Every scene just happens for the sake of happening and there is nothing that ties the scenes together.  The past films were beloved due to the journey they took the audience on – whether that journey be throughout the underground street racing world of L.A. or internationally to exotic places around the world.   F8’s journey, while still international, feels more like taking a trip through rush hour traffic while riding a city bus.

Now, as stated previously, not all of the movie is terrible.  Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s characters steal the spotlight with their quips and their action scenes are a lot of fun to watch.  And, somehow, Vin Diesel manages to give a near tear jerking performance in a few scenes.  So hats off to him.

However, it wasn’t enough to save the movie.  Between the lack of storytelling, flat and forgettable characters, and sub-par dialogue (even by Fast and the Furious standards) all due to a very weak script I have to admit it is the weakest in the franchise.  Fate of the Furious gets a rating of 2.75/5.

Sony Releases 2nd ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer

A new trailer for the much anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming arrived this morning and it gives audiences a closer look at the newest version of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.  It also confirms that Iron Man/Tony Stark is probably going to have a much bigger role than people originally guessed. Check out the trailer below!

In this newest trailer we are not only getting a better look at the web-head and Stark, but also of Michael Keaton‘s Vulture/Adrian Tooms. (more…)

‘Life’ Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

If you heard me say to you, “Hey, let’s go see this claustrophobic horror/thriller in space,” you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that I was referring to Ridley Scott’s Alien or at least a sequel.  However, in this case, I would be talking about the newly released Life staring Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Arlyon Bakare.  Life does use similar plot points to Alien, being that it takes place in a claustrophobic area as a team of astronauts and scientists try to survive as an evolving alien lifeform hunts and kills them off one by one, however it still manages to feel fresh and entertaining despite its similarities to the 1979 classic.

One of the biggest differences from Alien is that Life does not have one protagonist, rather it follows all the astronauts equally without any defining lead.  This allows you to be able to attach to the characters a bit more, as well as add an extra level of unpredictability.  If they had one defining protagonist (like Ripley) then it is a safe bet that that character would be safe, or at least not be the first to bite it.  Throughout the film, I was unable to pinpoint who would be the lifeform’s next victim.  And that really adds to the atmosphere and terror. (more…)

March 24-26 Box Office Results!

Summer is not yet here, but this past weekend is already showing “summer blockbuster” type numbers.  Beauty and the Beast was able to surpass expectations for its second weekend of release, and the newly released Power Rangers managed to blow past the estimated projections as well.

After just having been out for two weeks Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast managed to have an opening just exceeding $90 Million.  Most movies would love to have that number as their opening weekend, not to mention its second. The fact that this movie could make this kind of money, with just less than a 50% drop from its opening weekend, goes to show why Disney will continue to release more live action movies based off their beloved animated properties.   However, Disney is not the only studio to have an impressive show at the box office.

Lionsgate’s Power Rangers managed to beat expectations that predicted the film would only make $30 Million.  But is was able to successfully make just over $40 Million, showing that the Power Ranger brand is still strong, and that fans will come out and support their beloved franchise.  It was rumored that Lionsgate was planning on making six more Power Ranger films, and while these numbers support the ability to make a sequel, it may not be enough to justify a seven-film franchise.

Check out how the rest of the films faired in the top spots below!

No 1. Beauty and the Beast – $90,426,717.  Bringing its total gross in its 2nd weekend to $319,032,604.

No 2. Power Rangers – $40,300,288 in its first weekend of release.

No 3. Kong: Skull Island – $14,670,653.  Bringing its total gross in its 3rd weekend to $133,502,238.

No 4. Life – $12,501,936 in its first weekend of release.

No 5. Logan$10,334,390.  Bringing its total gross in its 4th weekend to 201,455,596. (more…)

We got 3 new ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Posters!

It’s been a while since we heard anything coming out of Sony/Disney about the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, the silence has been broken.  Yesterday, via the official Spider-Man: Homecoming twitter account, two new posters were released of the webslinger, and this morning we got one more.

The first photo shows Spider-Man lying next to the East River with the very well-known Avengers Tower in the background with the caption, “Homework can wait. The city can’t.”  The second shows the web-head attached to the side of the same tower, and the third a little of the same, however Spidey attached to a sign for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway with a caption that reads, “Quickest way to get home.” Check out all three posters below!

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