Saturday, December 22, 2018
I watched Bumblebee at the theater earlier today, and needless to say, it was a terrific film! Well done to Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena and everyone else involved.
I'm a big fan of Michael Bay's live-action films (well, at least three of 'em: 2007's Transformers, 2011's Dark of the Moon and 2014's Age of Extinction), and I want to point out that Travis Knight needs to direct a few more Transformers movies of his own.
That opening scene on Cybertron: A-MAZING!
5 out of 5 stars. *****
Saturday, December 8, 2018
So I saw Green Book earlier today. Impressive film! And just as a heads-up, director Peter Farrelly also helmed the comedic masterpieces that are Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary 20 years ago. I reckon Green Book should get some nice recognition when the Oscar nominees are announced next month...and so will actors Viggo Mortensen (as Tony Lip) and Mahershala Ali (as Don Shirley).
"The world is filled with lots of lonely people afraid to make the first move."
- Tony Lip in Green Book
4.5 out of 5 stars. ****1/2
Monday, September 24, 2018
Thanks to the paparazzi (which director Todd Phillips is currently not very fond of), new set photos have been posted online showing a scene from Joker being filmed at a New York subway station this past weekend. In the video at the very bottom of this entry, we see background actors running for their lives as the Joker (Joaquin Phoenix sporting a suit that's reminiscent of the one worn by Cesar Romero in the 1966-'68 Batman TV show) emerges from a train and discards his clown mask while genially walking away. While it's clearly obvious that the Joker make-up that I typed about in this previous entry has obviously made it into the flick, it remains to be seen if the Clown Prince will appear this way for the whole movie...or if something horrible (like say, falling into a vat of acid) will occur that gives the Joker permanent white skin, green hair and sinister-looking red lips. We'll find out on October 4, 2019.
The photo below is an official behind-the-scenes snapshot of Phoenix (as pre-Joker Arthur Fleck) and Zazie Beetz (as Sophie Dumond) on the set of next year's crime drama. Happy Monday!
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Sometime tomorrow, Paramount Pictures will release the newest trailer for Bumblebee...which arrives in theaters nationwide on December 21. Along with new footage of the yellow Autobot himself, as well as his human sidekick Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), the latest Bumblebee trailer will also introduce us to earlier incarnations of Optimus Prime (once again voiced by Peter Cullen) as well as Soundwave and his Decepticon minion, Ravage (the latter was last seen in 2009's Revenge of the Fallen). As you can see in the three screenshots posted here, these earlier incarnations are a lot more faithful to the Generation 1 (G1) cartoon and toy designs that fans all know and love.
Seeing as how Bumblebee is part of the canon for the Michael Bay-directed film franchise, it's interesting how Optimus has his G1 truck mode on Cybertron in Bumblebee, but had a more alien robotic form when he, Ironhide, Jazz and Ratchet land on Earth in 2007's Transformers. Oh well. It's clearly obvious that director Travis Knight is willing to overlook that aspect of the live-action movies' storyline to give us a more faithful depiction of the Transformers in his flick. Carry on!
Friday, September 21, 2018
Several hours ago, the video below was posted online—courtesy of director Todd Phillips (of The Hangover trilogy and 2016's War Dogs) himself—of Joaquin Phoenix transforming into the Clown Prince of Crime for 2019's Joker. Personally speaking, I dig the look! Right off the bat he ranks above Jared Leto's version from 2016's Suicide Squad on the Joker scale. And I hope Arthur Fleck (the name of Phoenix's character before he dons the make-up) asks a hapless victim "Am I not merciful?" (if you watched 2000's Gladiator you'd get the reference) in the same manner that the late, great Heath Ledger would ask "Why...so...serious?"
Joker hits theaters on October 4, 2019 (which is when I um, celebrate my 40th birthday). Joining Joaquin Phoenix in this DC Comics standalone flick is Zazie Beetz (who played Domino in Deadpool 2) and Robert De Niro. And in case you're wondering, yes—Leto is set to get his own Joker movie as well. I'm more excited for the one starring Commodus, though. Have a great weekend!
First look at Joaquin Phoenix in makeup as the Joker via Todd Phillips pic.twitter.com/Xp8olpI8Gl— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) September 21, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Earlier today, Marvel Studios began the hype machine for its next film (before Avengers 4) when it unveiled the teaser poster and trailer for Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. As anticipated, the new preview gave us a glimpse of a young Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and two-eyed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), as well as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Carol Danvers' (Larson) teammates on her Starforce military team (including Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, seen below), the shape-shifting Skrulls and of course, Captain Marvel in her signature red, blue and gold suit. And if you stare closely at the poster above, you'll see Chewie the Cat—Danvers' furry extraterrestrial companion in the comic books—lurking in that hangar's shadow (towards the lower-left side of the image). Can't wait to see how this alien feline steals the show next year!
Captain Marvel arrives in theaters nationwide on March 8, 2019.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly (EW) released new photos showcasing next March's newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain Marvel. Along with getting our first glimpse of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in her red and blue superhero outfit (as well as the green Kree suit that she wears while fighting for an alien mercenary group known as Starforce), we also got promotional stills of Jude Law as Mar-Vell, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau (mother of Monica Rambeau...who originally referred to herself as Captain Marvel before going by the names of Photon and Spectrum, respectively). EW also unveiled images of a young, two-eyed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as well as Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) and Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace)...who made their on-screen debuts in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.
With the release of Captain Marvel about six months away (on March 8), we should also be getting a teaser trailer for this highly-anticipated film soon. Marvel president Kevin Feige has also hinted that the title for next April's Avengers 4 may be revealed not too long after we get our first footage of Carol Danvers in action. So as 2018 comes to a close, an exciting time awaits comic book fans as we should be getting previews and new info about two movies that mark the end of the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the beginning of the next decade of MCU flicks! Can't wait.
Monday, August 27, 2018
Last night, I drove down to Universal CityWalk in North Hollywood to watch The Dark Knight on IMAX for the first time since it opened at theaters nationwide in July of 2008. Needless to say, seeing the Christopher Nolan comic book/crime epic back on the (ultra-)big screen brought a smile to my face! From the opening aerial shot of that office building whose window is shattered by Joker goons as they prepare to conduct that bank heist, to Batman driving away on his Batpod after becoming a fugitive in the film's closing moments, The Dark Knight was as awesome to see at the theater yesterday as it was a decade ago. I'd go back if not for the fact that every single showing of the movie (it screened every night as of August 24; Warner Bros. extended its limited-engagement run through at least September 5) has been sold out for over a month! As it should be. We'll overlook the fact that I spent around $24 (excluding the online service fee) on the IMAX ticket!
2022 marks the 10-year anniversary since The Dark Knight Rises arrived in theaters. The movie's not a classic like the Batman Begins sequel before it, but I'd still see it on IMAX if Warner Bros. ever decides to show The Dark Knight Rises on this format four years from now. Happy Monday!
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
So for the past few days, the World Wide Web was abuzz with a rumored title for the final Star Wars episode that was conjured up by a user on Reddit before he/she deleted their account. The title that this person came up with is Star Wars: A New Order—which I actually like! Three reasons why:
2.) A New Order is a nice nod to the original Star Wars film, A New Hope...
3.) A New Order is consistent with the 3-worded title structure established by The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi before it.
Another rumored title for Episode IX is Spark of Hope—which is a term that actually appears in the opening crawl for the The Last Jedi. I like this title too...though it seems too feel-goody (does this phrase exist? It does now) and sounds a little obscure in regards to the story of Episode IX (which I obviously don't know yet). The Force Awakens applied to Rey unleashing her Jedi potential at the end of the film, and The Last Jedi was about Luke Skywalker...with Rey following in his footsteps by the end of this movie. Spark of Hope encompasses too many things: Rey finally becoming a Jedi, the Resistance prevailing over the First Order, Finn finally gettin' it on with Rose Tico(?), Finn finally gettin' it on with Rey(?), Ben Solo finally gettin' it on with Rey(?), or Rey finally gettin' it on with Poe Dameron. Or Poe Dameron finally gettin' it on with Fin— Nevermind.
So yea, if A New Order is the title that Lucasfilm announces as the name for the final episode in the Skywalker saga after it completes filming later this year, I'll be a happy camper. I'll be an even happier camper if J.J. Abrams chooses the title I came up with earlier this year: Battle of the Knights. (Not bloody likely!)
Hope you're having a great Tuesday.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Earlier today, I watched Alpha—an action-adventure film that depicts life in the last Ice Age, and how the canine became man's best friend. Alpha is one of those flicks that looked pretty mediocre in the trailer (which was shown in the theater for about two years before it was finally given a release date), but turned out to be a very crowd-pleasing and visually-stunning movie in the final cut. A similar flick that comes to mind is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World...which, ironically, was also released in August (of 2010). You can read my very quick review of that film here.
So the gist of this entry: I give Alpha two thumbs up. The morale of the movie's story: When in trouble, look for the nearest cave to hide in! That is all.