Saturday, July 9, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day - 'The New World' Review

Two years ago, the fate of Torchwood was up in the air. After the incredibly shocking finale of Children of Earth, Torchwood's series three miniseries, it almost seemed as if the show may be ending on a dark, and final note. Where did you go from there? Jack (played by the incredible John Barrowman) left earth and was on the run, trying to atone for his sins. Gwen (played by the always gorgeous Eve Myles) and Rhys ( the always dependable Kai Owen) were now parents of a little girl. And the Torchwood Hub was quite literally destroyed. It seemed as if Russel T. Davies, the creator of Torchwood, and the man who revived Doctor Who for the BBC, had penned his last adventure featuring Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper. But here we are, for the first time in two years, with the continuing adventures of what's left of the Torchwood team, fighting what may be their biggest threat yet. Did the co-financing of America hurt the return of the critically acclaimed British series, or did it manage to move across the pond in tact? Find out after the jump.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' Review - An Unexpectedly Solid Sequel

This is everything a summer blockbuster should be. Loud, fun, and full of action that knocks you back in your seat and barely lets you breathe! This is a huge step up from Revenge of the Fallen, and in many ways, better than the first. Michael Bay and the cast pulled out all the stops in their final outing with the Autobots and the Decepticons, and have proven that this series really is more than meets the eye. It's not just a series based off toys anymore, but a series with real characters, real fun, and real stakes. And I'm pleased to see that Bay and Co. went out with a bang.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

'Super 8' Review - An Incredible Nostalgic Adventure of Family and Friendship

I won't beat around the bush about this: I LOVED Super 8. From the opening moments of seeing the Amblin logo back on the screen, the music, the atmosphere, and the characters I couldn't help but have a big grin on my face while watching the movie. These are the kind of movies I grew up on. The Spielberg produced and directed films of the 80's which had amazing casts, great stories, and incredible special effects for good measure. If you put ET, The Goonies, and Close Encounters in a blender, Super 8 would be the outcome. Hollywood doesn't make movies like this anymore, and this was a big gamble for Paramount and those involved, and I'm glad to say that they hit this one out of the park. This is a very special little movie, and the must see of the summer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

'X-Men First Class' Review: A Return to Form for a Broken Series

It's been eight years since I've truly loved an X-Men movie. I'm a fan of the comics and I've been burned many times over the past few years by the series. So going into this, I was expecting the worst. The ads have been awful, the behind the scenes sounded disastrous, and the movie just seemed rushed. It wasn't since Bryan Singer's X-Men 2: X-Men United came out in 2003 that I really loved an X-Men film. Singer got the universe and the characters and took the series to new levels after the first movie, paving the way for a great third and final movie, but when 2006 came around Singer was gone and the series nearly imploded on itself with X-Men: The Last Stand. Fox decided to try and take the series in a new direction with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was also poorly received by fans and critics a like. It seems Fox realized what it was missing in the series without Singer and brought him back as a producer and got Matthew Vaughn, the director of Kick-Ass, behind the camera for this movie. The movie these two have crafted is really, really well done. Between the cast, story, and score, the film truly brings like to what I thought was a dying series. So much so that X-Men First Class has made me fall in love with the X-Men universe all over again, and may be the best movie in the series.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Does the Future Hold For Marvel Studios Post 'Avengers'?

Back in 2008, Marvel finally broke the shackles that had been holding them back from making great movies based off of their films. Recovering the rights to man of their characters (minus the big hitters of Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, DareDevil, and Ghost Ride), Marvel started their own production company so they could make their own movies based off their own characters. First up to bat was their adaption of Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr., that came out to critical and audience acclaim. For those who stayed until the end credits, they were hit with a stinger with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, director of SHIELD, who came to Tony Stark to talk to him about The Avengers Initiative. After four years and five movies of ground work (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America), Marvel's gamble for the ensemble film The Avengers will hit screens next May. So after that, what is in store for fans and audiences alike, and what does Marvel have in store for us? My thoughts and more after the break.

Friday, May 27, 2011

'Kung-Fu Panda 2' Review - A Very Touching Sequel That Surpasses the Original

I know for many, Dreamworks' films are hit and miss. It's hard to deny, because for every Shrek there is a Shark Tale and Monsters vs Aliens. But over the last few years, Dreamworks has upped their output and started producing a few movies of Pixar quality. The first to really, really touch that void for me was 2008's Kung-Fu Panda. It was incredibly fun, smart, beautifully animated, and had a great cast that really brought life to their characters. So when a Kung-Fu Panda sequel was announced, I was excited by the news, but also very hesitant. Sequels are very, very tough to pull off sometimes, and Dreamworks was always very hit and miss with them in the past. Going in tonight I wasn't sure if I should lower my expectations so I wouldn't walk out completely disappointed by the movie. And I'm glad to say, I walked out very, very impressed with the movie and that I really, really loved it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

'The Hangover Part 2' Review - Decent Sequel, Lazy Filmmaking

Back in 2009, a small R-rated comedy came out that the studio had very little belief in. They put it out against heavy competition and hoped for the best. Little did they know the movie would blow up to be the huge hundred million dollar hit that it became, and considered by some an instant classic. With a reaction like that, the studio saw the movie as franchise potential, and greenlit a sequel almost immediately. Two years later, almost to the weekend, Warner Bros., Todd Phillips, and the cast of the original, have released their second entry in the Hangover series onto the masses to mixed results.

Friday, May 20, 2011

'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' Review - A Fun, But Flawed Sequel to the Popular Series

I have to say, I liked Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In fact, I liked it a lot. I Thought it was much better than the second and third, and just a good time at the movies. Between the action, the music, and the cast, I just couldn't help but have a smile on my face during the movie. Going back to the basics, to me, was the best thing they did for the series, and may have saved it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

'Marvel's Thor' Review - The Superhero Genre Just Got a Lot More Mythical

I had a chance to see an early screening of Thor today, and I have to say, I'm very impressed. Thor is a character that could have been very hard to translate onto screen, and I know some people worry how it they could make it connect to Marvel's Universe of Iron Man and Hulk seemlessly.The short answer: They did it. But there will be more on that later. This movie was a lot of fun, and is nothing like you've seen before. Although the trailer suggests that most of the movie takes place on Earth, but the better portion of it actually takes place in Thor's home of Asgard. A bold move, but something that makes this movie stand apart from all the other comicbook based films, and in my opinion, elevates it. Along with its fantastic cast and great direction, Thor looks to be one of the biggest hits of the summer, and it deserves to be. Marvel once again proves why they are the best at making movies based off of comics: they stick to the source material and make it real. They don't take the comics for granted, and it works wonders in their favor. Other studios could learn from their example.

'Fast Five' Review - A Very Exciting and New Direction For An Aging Series

Alright, I went at midnight last night and all I have to say is.....WOW! Anyone who has any doubts about this movie, just let them go. Summer is starting off in a big, big way, and for me, this is going to be hard to top. This is a big and exciting as movies come guys. It was great having so many of the key members back, in addition to adding Dwayne Johnson. This one feels more like the first with a lot of the family dynamics that has been missing making a welcome return.

'Red State' Review - An Unexpected and Twisted Film From the Mind of Kevin Smith

I never thought I'd see a filmmaker reinvent themselves so much that the entire length of movie, I forgot who directed it. But Kevin Smith has absolutely done that with his new film Red State. Smith, who is best known for his wildly vulgar and geek friendly comedies such as Clerks, Dogma, and Chasing Amy, decided to take on some very dark material and has created a very bleak, unsettling movie that is much like an exploitation movies of the 70s. It took over four years for him to get this made, and in a way I can see why. But any studio who would have picked it up would have ruined what Smith was trying to do. Making this as an independent film was absolutely the way to go. Even more impressive was the cast he was able to assemble for this. You have Michael Park as Pastor Abin Cooper, leader of the Five Points Church, Academy award winner Melissa Leo as his daughter Sarah, John Goodman as ATF Agent Keenan, and a whose who of young up and coming Hollywood actors.