Saturday, November 20, 2021

Movie Review - GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE...

With Ecto-1 driven by her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) sits in the gunner seat as they chase after a spirit named Muncher (off-screen) in GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Earlier today, I went to the local AMC theater to watch Ghostbusters: Afterlife...the fourth Ghostbusters flick to hit the big screen (if you count the 2016 reboot directed by Paul Feig) and third installment to continue the exploits of Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and company.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife started off a bit slow, but began to really pick up steam once Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) entered the picture, and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) stumbled upon the hidden office where her late grandfather Egon Spengler (portrayed by Harold Ramis...who's given the Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia CGI treatment from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) continued his work as a Ghostbuster.

Afterlife finishes what the original 1984 Ghostbusters movie started—with Gozer (this time played by both Olivia Wilde and Emma Portner) and his/her Gatekeeper and Keymaster making a comeback. Whereas Gozer was forced back into his/her dimension before it was sealed off by the Ghostbusters in the 1984 film, his/her fate is more definitive in Afterlife. I obviously won't divulge how Phoebe and her gang defeat the Sumerian demigod.

Professional film critics attacked Afterlife for its excessive fan service...but I dug the appearance of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Men, the return of Gozer, and of course, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) making their grand entrance in the movie's climax.

Of course, let's not forget that Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) and Dana Barrett Venkman (Sigourney Weaver) make a fun return in the second Ghostbusters sequel as well! But sadly, Louis Tully (played by Rick Moranis) is nowhere to be found.

Also missing from Afterlife is the lovable and ravenous spirit Slimer, who was aptly replaced by Muncher—a ghost (voiced by Josh Gad) that chews on metal before rapidly spitting fragments of it out like an ectoplasmic AR-15. No, this colorful desciption isn't in the movie itself.

Also missing from the new film is a cool hit song like On Our Own by Bobby Brown, which was featured in 1989's Ghostbusters II.

The second of two end credits scene in Afterlife seems to suggest that we'll be seeing a sequel to the Jason Reitman-directed supernatural comedy. I'm all for it!

It was cool to watch the return of Peter, Ray, Winston, Janine and Dana on the big screen, but I want to see how Grooberson, Phoebe, her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), their mother Callie (Carrie Coon), Lucky (Celeste O'Connor) and Podcast (Logan Kim) expand their mark on the Ghostbusters mythology! That is all.

Trevor, Phoebe and Podcast (Logan Kim) with Ecto-1 behind them, in GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) stares at a ghost trap in GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Callie (Carrie Coon), Phoebe and Trevor take cover underneath a table during a mysterious earthquake that strikes the small town of Summerville in GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Men make an appearance in GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Muncher loiters near a fire hydrant in GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Final SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Trailer Is Here!

Willem Dafoe is back as the Green Goblin in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.

Welcome back, Green Goblin and Doc Ock! The two villains made famous by Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina in Sam Raimi's 2002 and '04 Spider-Man films, respectively, will return to the big screen in next month's Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Joining these evildoers will be Sandman (from 2007's Spider-Man 3), The Lizard (from 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man) and Electro (once again portrayed by Jamie Foxx from 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

Also returning in Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios' third co-produced Spidey flick will be none other than Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprising their own versions of Peter Parker...though their highly-anticipated appearances have understandably been excluded from the new preview (or were they?).

I can't wait till No Way Home gets unleashed nationwide in theaters on December 17! Hopefully, this Marvel Studios flick will be as enjoyable as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings—and not close to being dull like Eternals.

I was so underwhelmed by Eternals that I didn't even care to post its own "quick review" like I did with Dune and The Last Duel. Carry on.

Alfred Molina is back as Doc Ock in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.

Jamie Foxx is back as Electro in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.

Electro, Sandman and The Lizard combine forces to take on Tom Holland's Peter Parker in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Image of the Day: Gettin' Ready for GUNDAM on Netflix...

Concept artwork of a Gundam mobile suit from Netflix's upcoming live-action GUNDAM movie.

A few hours ago, Legendary Entertainment tweeted this cool concept artwork (courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic's art department) from the Gundam live-action movie that is currently under development for Netflix.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who directed 2017's Kong: Skull Island, will be helming the upcoming film. Brian K. Vaughan, who wrote episodes for the hit TV show Lost, will be penning the script.

No release date has been set for the Gundam movie, but I'll be sure to subscribe to Netflix (again) for when the giant mechas are unleashed on the popular streaming service! That is all.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Quick Review: LAST NIGHT IN SOHO...

Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), an aspiring fashion designer who can see dead people, has visions of a 1960s-era singer named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy)...who ominously gets involved with a mysterious man named Jack (Matt Smith) in LAST NIGHT IN SOHO.

Earlier today, I watched Edgar Wright's supernatural thriller Last Night in Soho at the local AMC theater, and needless to say, it was another well-made film by the director of the exciting 2017 flick, Baby Driver!

Thomasin McKenzie did a great job playing Eloise...an aspiring fashion designer who also had the ability to see dead people. Ironically, McKenzie was born in 2000—one year after Haley Joel Osment saw dead people on the big screen as well in M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 hit film, The Sixth Sense.

Speaking of M. Night Shyamalan, one of the cast members in his movies, Anya Taylor-Joy (who appeared in Shyamalan's two thrillers Split and Glass, respectively) was amazing in Last Night as Sandie...a young singer who would sadly get involved with the wrong crowd (starting with a man named Jack, aptly played by former Dr. Who alum Matt Smith) in her quest to further her career.

Not to be overlooked in this exciting horror drama were talented thespians like Diana Rigg, Aimee Cassettari, Synnøve Karlsen, Michael Ajao and the venerable Terence Stamp—whose character was involved in one of Last Night in Soho's best plot twists.

Last Night in Soho had two great twists at the end; I was able to figure out one of them beforehand!

Can't wait to see what Edgar Wright has in store for the cinema next... Baby Driver 2 would be awesome. Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Quick Review: THE LAST DUEL...

Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) and Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) are caught up in a medieval love triangle that would lead to the final government-sanctioned duel in France in THE LAST DUEL.

A few hours ago, I watched the Ridley Scott-directed film The Last Duel...which was about the final government-sanctioned duel in France.

I enjoyed this flick for the most part...as it was fairly accurate to what I read about the actual event on Wikipedia beforehand.

I liked how this movie was divided into three chapters to tell the story of how this duel came to be from the perspective of the three individuals caught up in this medieval love triangle: Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer, who was awesome in this summer's hit comedy flick Free Guy) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver).

As mentioned above, the duel was fairly accurate to historical accounts—though I read in the actual story that Carrouges and Le Gris had their helmets on till the very bloody end. Oh well.

And in case you were expecting the medieval battles that were peppered throughout this movie to be as exciting as those in Scott's Oscar-winning epic Gladiator, think again.

Just re-watch Gladiator for the amazing combat scenes, as well as Hans Zimmer's steering music in that film.

See The Last Duel to find out what happened in 14th-century France when you were accused of adultery and wanted to defend (to the death) what little honor you had. Carry on.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Quick Review: DUNE (Part One)...

Chani (Zendaya) and Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) on the desert world of Arrakis in DUNE: Part One.

Earlier today, I went to my local AMC theater to watch director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune.

Just like his previous movies such as Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, Sicario and Prisoners, Dune was a well-made and great-looking film...with an amazing cast to boot.

Like The Lord of the Rings trilogy for New Line Cinema, Dune was obviously meant to be Warner Bros' own version of the Star Wars saga (even though there's only going to be one more Dune film in this series). This is clearly the case as the original 1965 novel Dune, written by American author Frank Herbert, was one of George Lucas' major inspirations for the Original Trilogy.

Like in Star Wars, Dune's main character (Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet) possesses special powers like the ability to control other people's minds, and has a huge destiny that awaits him, like Luke Skywalker. And of course, you have the Imperial Army that invades the desert world of Tatooine—err, Arrakis...with an Emperor manipulating scenes from behind the curtain.

Oh, and Jason Mamoa's Duncan Idaho was supposed to be that movie's equivalent of Han Solo...however briefly.

I look forward to Dune: Part Two, which arrives in theaters nationwide two years from now. Will Paul Atreides build his own lightsaber and find out that Chani (portrayed by Zendaya) is his long-lost sister? We'll see.

Just kidding about that last part.

A giant sandworm confronts Paul Atreides and his mother Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson) on Arrakis, in DUNE: Part One.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Filming Has Wrapped on TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS!

Optimus Prime is ready for battle on the planet Cybertron in 2018's BUMBLEBEE. He'll fight for Earth (again) in next year's TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS.

Yesterday, it was revealed on social media that principal photography has wrapped on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts...which is a direct sequel to the 2018 Transformers spin-off flick Bumblebee.

In this movie, there is no direct war between the Autobots and Decepticons, but a conflict that arises between the Maximals, Predacons and Terrorcons after they come to Earth.

Optimus Prime, once again voiced by the venerable Peter Cullen, learns to become a leader of the Autobot resistance as he finds himself caught in the middle of this robotic alien war.

Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and John Cena will not reprise their roles from Bumblebee in this new movie. Instead, Rise of the Beasts features a new cast that includes Ron Perlman (who voices Optimus Primal), Luna Lauren Velez, Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos.

Lorne Balfe, who created the music for 2017's The Lego Batman Movie as well as this year's Marvel film Black Widow, will compose the score for Rise of the Beasts.

Directed by Steven Caple Jr. (who helmed 2018's Creed II and 2016's The Land), Transformers: Rise of the Beasts arrives in theaters nationwide on June 24, 2022.

A screenshot of an Instagram post where director Steven Caple Jr. revealed that filming has wrapped on TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS...on October 19, 2021.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Video of the Day: The Newest Trailer for THE BATMAN...

Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) is battle-worn as the Dark Knight Detective in 2022's THE BATMAN.

"It’s not just a call... It’s a warning."

So says Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) of the Bat-Signal that beckons him to be the hero that Gotham deserves in next year's The Batman.

Check out the newest preview for the Matt Reeves-directed film—which is about the Dark Knight Detective's quest to uncover a nefarious plot being hatched by Edward Nygma (Paul Dano) in Gotham City.

The Batman also brings in other classic foes such as Oswald Cobblepot (Colin Farrell) and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), as well as allies like Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and trusty sidekick Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis).

Just like with every other Batman film (well, except 1997's Batman & Robin), I'm absolutely stoked for The Batman! Not just because of the amazing cast and the gritty look of this movie, but also because of the cool music score that Michael Giacchino composed for the upcoming Bat flick!

I definitely plan to get The Batman's music score on compact disc next year...and yes, I still buy CDs.

The Batman arrives in theaters nationwide on March 4, 2022.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Movie Review: HALLOWEEN KILLS...

Michael Myers is about to lay a brutal smackdown on a couple of firefighters (off-screen) in HALLOWEEN KILLS.

Earlier today, I went to the local AMC theater to watch Halloween Kills...the sequel to 2018's Halloween.

Clearly, this installment was supposed to be The Empire Strikes Back of this trilogy—with Michael Myers prevailing at the end of this flick and Jamie Lee Curtis being the Jedi who returns in next year's Halloween Ends, which I didn't know was already in production before I started working on this review!

As far as Halloween Kills is concerned, this movie was not scary but definitely gory. I felt bad for those firefighters who were the first ones to confront Myers as he remained trapped in that burning house [which is where Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen Nelson (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left him to die at the end of the 2018 film].

Well, I felt bad for all the characters who became Myers' hapless victims in this sequel. Myers came up with the most thorough and violent ways to dispatch each of the poor souls who dared confront him... One example being Allyson's ex-boyfriend Cameron (Dylan Arnold), whose noggin received a brutal thrashing against those stair banisters in Myers' childhood home before finally getting his neck snapped!

I look forward to Halloween Ends. Halloween Kills made it appear that Michael Myers got his supernatural strength and immortality through his mask (like Jim Carrey's character Stanley Ipkiss did in 1994's The Mask, shown below)—which I think will be his undoing.

I reckon that Myers' fate will hitch on Laurie Strode or Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) removing his mask in Halloween End's climax before finally ending his reign of terror...or simply beheading Myers with the mask still on.

We'll find out on October 14, 2022: Halloween End's nationwide release date!

HALLOWEEN KILLS made it look like Michael Myers got his supernatural strength and immortality through his mask, like Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) did in 1994's THE MASK.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Movie Review: NO TIME TO DIE...

Daniel Craig leaps into action as James Bond for the fifth and final time in NO TIME TO DIE.

Earlier today, I watched the newest James Bond flick, No Time to Die, at my local AMC theater. And needless to say, it was a very action-packed and emotional end to the Daniel Craig era as agent 007!

No Time to Die is the fifth and final installment where Craig played "Commander Bond" and worked with his buddy Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) as well as fellow MI6 cohorts Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), M (Ralph Fiennes), Tanner (Rory Kinnear) and Q (Ben Whishaw). And this is the first and final time that Bond worked with Nomi (Lashana Lynch)...who became the new 007 while Bond was off the grid for 5 years.

And why was Bond off the grid for 5 years? He was laying low after feeling betrayed by the love of his life, Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux)—whose past would literally come back to haunt and threaten her, plus Bond and the rest of the world, after hiding in the shadows since Madeleine was a child. More on this later.

Along with Moneypenny, Nomi and Madeleine Swann, another butt-kicking Bond girl appeared in No Time to Die through Paloma (Ana de Armas)...who will hopefully return in future Bond films! Though I reckon she won't continue to beat the crud out of the bad buys while wearing a lovely black cocktail dress.

Going back to Madeleine's past, No Time to Die's main villain was a man named Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek). The opening scene of the film did a very suspenseful and scary job introducting this antagonist—who, surprisingly, wasn't initially after James Bond but Swann, her father Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) and his Spectre organization.

[No Time to Die also continued the unofficial tradition of having a newly-minted Academy Award winner as the Bond villain. Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Django Unchained in 2013 before appearing in 2015's Spectre, while Rami Malek won the Best Actor Oscar for Bohemian Rhapsody in 2019 before landing the role of Safin in No Time to Die.]

In regards to the music, No Time to Die's film score felt more epic than those in previous Bond flicks...and that's because none other than the great Hans Zimmer composed the music for the new installment! David Arnold, who conducted the music for 1996's Independence Day (one of my all-time favorite scores), worked on previous Bond flicks beginning with 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies and ending with 2008's Quantum of Solace, respectively.

Arnold's music in the Bond movies was commendable, but you can never go wrong with Zimmer! I'm thinking about buying No Time to Die's music score on compact disc soon.

In regards to the movie's opening song, I like Billie Eilish's No Time to Die...but Adele's Skyfall from the 2012 film of the same name will always be my favorite Bond song! I put Skyfall on loop through my Winamp MP3 player while I typed this review.

All-in-all, No Time To Die is a terrific film. It obviously remains to be seen who will replace Craig as James Bond. But once MGM Studios makes the announcment, here's hoping that the replacement will bring the same kind of grittiness and sauve to the role that Craig did since he first appeared in 2006's Casino Royale.

And as I said earlier, I hope Ana de Armas' Paloma will join Moneypenny, Nomi, M and Q in the next Bond sequel! Have a great weekend.

Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) seeks revenge in NO TIME TO DIE.

James Bond and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) share an intimate moment in NO TIME TO DIE.

Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is the new agent 007 in NO TIME TO DIE.

M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Tanner (Rory Kinnear) in NO TIME TO DIE.

James Bond, Moneypenny and Q (Ben Whishaw) try to uncover a secret weapon that was used to eliminate Spectre agents in NO TIME TO DIE.

James Bond is offered a new mission by his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) in NO TIME TO DIE.

James Bond and undercover agent Paloma (Ana de Armas) have a drink in NO TIME TO DIE.

Paloma shows her combat skills in NO TIME TO DIE.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) confronts his old foe James Bond for the final time in NO TIME TO DIE.

Lyutsifer Safin confronts his new foe James Bond for the first and final time in NO TIME TO DIE.

Who will replace Daniel Craig as agent 007 in the next James Bond movie? We'll see.