Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Magnificent Seven Review: Stellar Remake, Magnificent Western

Remakes are a dime and a dozens these days. In recent years moviegoers have seen a wide variety of classic movies return to the silver screen with new renditions as genres such as action, horror and even musicals have played a part on this new trend. Even the likes of Westerns have been no stranger to remakes. Although the genre may not be as prevalent as other movie types some classic tales of the old west have received retelling in recent years; and another one can be added to that list as now in theaters is none other than The Magnificent Seven. Directed by Antoine Fuqua this new western is based on the 1960 film by John Sturges-which incidentally is based on the 1954 movie Seven Samurai. Like any remake the new Magnificent Seven has a lot to live up to as its predecessor is regarded as one of the best westerns ever made. So can this new take do justice to the name Magnificent Seven or is this western dead to rights?

The Magnificent Seven centers on bounty hunter Sam Chisolm(Denzel Washingtom). The outlaw is hired by Emma Cullen(Haley Bennett) and the resident of Rose Creek to protect their town from the villainous Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) who wants the town for its land. In order to fight Bogue’s army Sam gets the help from other outlaws which includes the gambler Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), the sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), an assassin named Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), the Mexican Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rufio), the comanche Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) and the tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio). Together the seven band together to run Bogue’s goons out of town and help the residents of Rose Creek to fight off the notorious industrialist.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blair Witch Review: A Thrilling Found Footage Experience

In 1999 the world of horror was forever changed thanks to the movie known as The Blair Witch Project. Not only was the film highly regarded by both critics and moviegoers, but the movie helped to pave the way for others found footage flicks (for better or for worse). With it being 17 years since the movie’s release, it felt like moviegoers would not be heading back into Black Hills any time soon; but then again it is best to never say never. Earlier this year a film entitled “The Woods” was advertised for a fall release. There was a great deal of mystery that surrounded this film, and apparently it was for good reason as during the San Diego Comic-Con Lionsgate revealed that this horror movie would no longer be “The Woods”-but rather Blair Witch. Directed by Adam Wingard, Blair Witch would be a direct sequel to the 1999 film. With the movie’s intention being revealed, one could only imagine what could be in store for this film. So is Blair Witch worthy of its name, or is this found footage sequel better off lost?

Blair Witch takes place years after the events of the first film as James (James Allen McCune) searches for his missing sister Heather: who was one of the member of the original Blair Witch Project. Being documented by fellow classmate Lisa (Callie Hernandez) James along with his friends Peter and Ashley (Brandon Scott and Corbin Reid) go into the Black Hills to find Heather. Aided by residents Lane and Talia (Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry) the group spends a night in the woods, and they soon discover that there is a reason why to fear the name Blair Witch.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Don't Breathe Review: Invades with Intense Thrills!

While it is not a tradition, it seems common for the summer season to end with a horror film hitting the scene. Perhaps it is fear of the season ending that gets the movie world into the horror spirit, but whatever the case  may be-it seems like a better time then any to get scared. The latest film in the genre does not deal with the likes of ghosts or demons but rather  pertains in the realm of the home invasion subgenre. This concept is no stranger to the likes of horror or thriller films, but it is rare to see a home invasion movie making the invaders the victims; and that is what precisely happens in Don't Breathe. Directed by Fede Alvarez Don't Breathe seek to be a different kind of home invasion film thanks to its unique premise. Yet could this horror film stand out from the rest or will the summer season end with thriveless scare?

Don't Breathe centers on three teenagers: Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zovatto). The trio have made a living robbing houses of their valuables so they can leave Detroit; particularly Rocky whom wants to get her sister away from her deadbeat parents. Luck comes the group's way when Money discovers a home with over 300k inside, and the only resident in the house is a blind man (Stephen Lang). Sure enough the three break into the home in the middle of the night expecting a simple score; but it turns out to be nightmare for the group as they discover that there is more to the Blind Man then meets the eye.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kubo and The Two Strings Review: An Adventurous Classic from Laika Entertainment

Since 2009 Laika Entertainment has graced the silver screen with their stop-motion animated features. It began with the craziness that was Coraline, continued with the spookiness of ParaNorman and followed by the zaniness of  The Boxtrolls. Now Laika takes moviegoers on a massive adventure with Kubo and the Two Strings. Directed by the CEO of Laika Entertainment, Travis Knight, Kubo and the Two Strings surrounded itself with supernatural themes and placed itself into realm of ancient Japan. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, Kubo and the Two Strings made an impression in its trailers by featuring a big time adventure with stellar animation. So does Kubo and the Two Strings do honor to Laika Entertainment, or does this animated feature get lost on its quest?

This animated feature centers on Kubo (Art Parkinson): a one eyed boy who lives in hiding with his mother. After staying out during the sunset, Kubo is discovers by his mother's sisters (Rooney Mara) whom are moon spirits that have come for Kubo other eye. After his mother sacrifices herself, Kubo is sent off to find his father's armor with the help of Monkey (Charlize Theron): a wooden charm brought to life thanks to the magic of Kubo's mother. On their quest the two meet up with a cursed warrior named Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) and together the three set off to find the magical armor that will protect Kubo from the Moon King.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pete's Dragon Review: Disney Remake Is A Charming Yet Tame Experience

Disney have been busy as of late with the likes of their retelling to their animated classics. This trend of films has been successful for the studio with movies such as The Jungle Book being a hit earlier this year. So perhaps it is easy enough to believe that Walt Disney would develop a straight up remake to one of their films. Such is the case for the latest adventure from Walt Disney Studios: Pete's Dragon. Pete's Dragon is based on the 1977 film about a boy named Pete who befriends a dragon that only appears to the young orphan. Judging from the remake's trailers, it would appear that the 2016 film would follow in similar footsteps to its predecessor; albeit with its own sense of direction. So is this remake a magical time at the movies or is Pete's Dragon unable to soar to great heights?

The film's story centers on Pete (Oakes Fegely): a boy who gets lost in the woods after an accident killed his parents. Yet Pete was able to survive thanks to meeting a dragon that he calls Elliott. For six years Pete and Elliot lived happily in the woods, but all of that changes when Pete encounters the forest ranger Grace Meacham (Bryce Dallas Howard). After Pete gets hurt, Grace takes the boy back to town where she hopes to find out more about Pete's background. With Pete not around Elliot finds himself in trouble when the hunter Gavin (Karl Urban) discovers the dragon and decides to catch Elliot in order to get famous.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Suicide Squad Review: Bad in all the Right Ways!

In this day and age when superhero films are a dime and a dozen, it can be difficult  for movie to stand out in this crowded genre. For sometime now moviegoers have seen an array concept from superhero movies such as origin stories and team up films. However of all the type of superhero movie filmmakers can possibly conceive,  one idea that yet transcend to the celluloid format has been the idea of a supervillain film. Supervillains play a major role in comics to the point where certain rogues have received their very own lineup of stories. So it only makes sense that this concept could one day be brought to the silver screen-and that day has finally come. Now in theaters is the next installment in the DC Extended Universe: Suicide Squad. Directed by David Ayer Sucide Sqaud is based on the popular team  from DC Comics that is made up  of an array of villains who are tasked by the government to take on covert missions. With its massive cast, dark humor and exciting action, Suicide Squad looked to be a blockbuster to enjoy this season; but is this supervillain film truly one of a kind or should it have remained behind bars?

Suicide Squad centers on Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) who seeks to bring some of the most notorious criminals together to become an elite task force. Sure enough Waller is successful as she requires villains such as Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez). Things go array though when one of Waller's recruits, June Moone/Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) goes rogue and awakens a mystical force in Midway City. To stop Enchantress Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) leads Task Force X into the city to deal with this supernatural threat; but that is easier said than done as the group not only has to deal with the witch's minions but also The Joker (Jared Leto)-who devises a crazy plan to get Harley back.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Star Trek Beyond Review: Exciting Installment in the Star Trek Franchise

When thinking of science fiction moviegoers commonly look towards the likes of Star Wars at being the shining representation of the genre. However there is another series that boldly goes to be the personification of science fiction and that franchise just so happens to be Star Trek. Since its inception on television, Star Trek has played a major role in pop culture with its various television series, books and of course film franchise. Since 2009 Star Trek has ventured on the silver screen with a reboot to the film series which has captured the story of a younger crew to the original Enterprise. Now, to commemorate the series' anniversary, the adventure that started  seven years ago continues again in the new film Star Trek Beyond. The third installment to the rebooted franchise see Justin Lin as the film's director; whom takes the helm from J.J Abrams. With star Simon Pegg helping with the script, Star Trek Beyond looked to be an exciting (albeit excessive) summer blockbuster; but does the new entry boldly take the series to new heights or does Star Trek Beyond find itself lost in space?

Star Trek Beyond centers on the crew of the Enterprise whom are continuing their five year journey through space. Contemplating his future in starfleet, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his fellow crew into an unknown nebula after receiving a distress call from another ship. However the Enterprise is lured into a trap which leads to the destruction of the famed starship. Stranded on an unknown planet, Kirk and the crew must find a way home; but that seems easier said than done as the villains Krall (Idris Elba) is determined to hunt them for an artifact that can help the alien to purge the galaxy.