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.