Friday, March 17, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review: Truly A Tale As Old As Time

Back in the 90's Walt Disney Pictures had one of its most successful periods with their animated films. This time for the company became known as the Disney Renaissance as each movie was one hit after another. Among these films was none other than Beauty and the Beast. Based on the french fairy tail Beauty and the Beast hit theaters in 1991 and was met with massive success even going so far to be nominated for an Academy Award. The film has played a major role for Disney as it is cherished by many moviegoers even to this day. So it is hard to imagine that Disney could reimagine this classic, but it seems studio has done just that with the new interpretation to Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Bill Condon Beauty and the Beast now joins several Disney films that have received a live action adaption. With its ensemble ,stellar design and seemingly homage to the original this new Beauty and the Beast looked to be a must see for the spring season; but is this tail as old as time enchanting enough to break into this new format?

As expected Beauty and the Beast centers on Belle(Emma Watson): a village girl who doesn't fit in and seeks an adventure in her life. Adventure eventually finds Belle after her father, Maurice(Kevin Kline), goes missing. Belle's search takes her to an enchanted castle where a cursed Beast(Dan Stevens) has imprisoned her father. Without hesitation Belle takes her father's place as the Beast's prisoner; although she has no intention remaining in her tough predicament. Eventually Belle meets the castle's residents including Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) and Mrs.Potts(Emma Thompson) whom warm to the girl very quickly. The castle's servants plan to get Belle and Beast together in order to break the spell; but their scheme is unnecessary as,after spending time together, the two strangers form a connection that could break the curse.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kong Skull Island: King Kong Reboot is A Entertaining/Messy Adventure!

There are many characters that have shaped pop culture but few are as big as King Kong. Since 1933 the Eighth Wonder of the World has helped to define the world of cinema in many ways; whether it be his various appearances or just the inspiration that he has had on filmmakers and movies. It has been many years since audiences have seen this colossal ape, but now this icon has made his return to silver screen in Kong:Skull Island. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island not only revitalizes the tale of King Kong but it also places the ape in the Monsterverse: a cinematic universe that homes other giant monsters including a certain lizard  The concepts behind this monster movie certainly has potential to bring something new to the franchise, but is Kong:Skull Island a new start for the icon or will it be ambition that kills the beast?

The movie takes place in the 70's as William Randa (John Goodman) seeks to explore an uncharted area called Skull Island. To pull off this expedition Randa forms a team which consist of Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) as well as his men, tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson). Together the group make their way to Skull Island, but upon their arrival they encounter a massive gorilla named Kong. After the expedition is destroyed, the team is separated as Packard leads his men to kill the ape and Conrad's group discovers more about the island. Upon discovering the islanders Conrad and Weaver meet Hank Marlow (John C.Reilly): a World War 2 fighter pilot who has been stranded on the island for 28 years; and that is when the group finds out that there are greater threats on Skull Island.

Logan Review: The Strongest X-Men Spin-Off Yet!

Since 2000's X-Men one character has helped to establish the franchise and become a prominent player in the movie world and that would be none other than Wolverine. This X-Men fan favorite character has appeared in eight films with Hugh Jackman taking up the claws on every occasion. However it is time for Hugh Jackman to complete his 16 year journey in the new X-Men spin-off Logan. Directed by James Mangold (whom directed The Wolverine) Logan inspired by the famous comic story Old Man Logan. To say that there is much riding on this film might be an understatement; so does Logan end this iconic portrayal in a blaze of glory?

The film centers in a distant future where an aged Logan (Hugh Jackman) continues to survive after the loss of the X-Men and taking care of a frail Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). However when a mysterious girl named Laura (Dafne Keene) arrives at Logan's door, the Wolverine is forced backed into things as he deals with cyborg mercenaries called the Reavers led the tenacious Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). After discovering that Laura has more in common with him that he thinks Logan find himself on the run with the girl and he, as well as Prof.X, must get X-23 to safety.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sing Review: Illumination's Latest Film is a Typical yet Stellar Musical Comedy!

Illumination Entertainment has certainly made a name for itself over the years. With hits such as the Despicable Me series, the animation studio has become a major player in its genre, and continues to do so for every movie season. Illumination has had one film in 2016 with The Secret Life of Pets, but it would not the studio's only appearance this year as in theaters this holiday season is Sing. Written and directed by Garth Jennings Sing centers on the concept of anthropomorphic characters competing in a singing contest. Although seeing animals dealing with human situations is nothing new (even for this year) there was something about this animated flick that I found compelling. So does Sing steal the spotlight or does this animated musical miss a few notes?

Sing tells the story of Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey): a down on his luck Koala who seeks to keep his dream alive by saving his theater from being repossessed. In one final scheme Buster decides to hold a singing competition for $1,000, which turns into a $100,000 contest after a mishap. Because of this prospect many of the city inhabitants head to the theater to perform: which includes the domestic pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), the young gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), the shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), the enthusiastic pig Gunter (Nick Kroll), the aspiring rock star porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johnasson) and the smooth talking mouse Mike (Seth McFarlane). After making through the auditions each of the contestants put together their acts while trying to balance the complications of their lives. As the singers have their issues to deal with, Buster does everything in his power to raise the $100,000 and make sure the show is a hit.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One A Star Wars Story Review: A Worthy Successor To The Name Star Wars!

Not so long ago in a galaxy nearby Star Wars returned to the silver screen.  Last year the acclaimed franchise came to theaters everywhere with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. No matter what attendees thought about the film there was no denying that Episode VII made a statement and left moviegoers pondering of what was to come next. Viewers will get those answers in Star Wars Episode VIII, but that chapter won't be arriving until next Christmas. However just because the Saga does not returned until 2018 does not mean the franchise is taking a break as hitting theaters this season is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Directed by Gareth Edwards Rogue One begins a new series of Star Wars films that tells standalone tales in the franchise. In the case of Rogue One it takes place between Episode III and Episode IV and tells the story of how the Rebels stole the Death Star plans. So with Star Wars taking a new direction in the celluloid system does Rogue One keep the franchise in hyper drive or us this mission a failure?

The story to Rogue One centers on Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones): an outcast who fights to survive. After being imprisoned by the Empire, Jyn is rescued by the Rebel Alliance who task with a mission to find her missing father Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson): whom is responsible for constructing the Empire's super weapon known The Death Star. With the help of Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his droid K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk), Jyn travels to find Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) who abducted Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed): a former Imperial pilot who knows the whereabouts of Galen. With the help of guardians Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), the unlikely crew set off on adventure that leads them to steal to the Death Star plans from Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and the rest of the Empire.

La La Land Review: A Stylish Musical and A Triumphant Film!

Coming to the end of the year we have now entered the pivotal season for film known as Oscar Season. This is the time where all the so-called great movies start hitting the scenes in order for them to see if they have what it takes to be best picture of the year. Among these movies is a little film known as La La Land. Directed by Damien Chazelle La La Land is a musical of all things that centers on two people trying to live their dreams in Hollywood. The film has received praise from many critics and has done fairly well in the film festival circuit. However I am not most critics-so does La La Land have me singing its praise?

La La Land centers on two people: an aspiring named actress Mia (Emma Stone) and the musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). After a series of events the two cross paths where they get to know each other's dreams. Mia wants to become a major actress in Hollywood while Sebastian wants to open his very own Jazz Club. Eventually through song and dance the two fall in love and set out to live out their dreams together. However Mia and Sebastian realize how difficult it is to live their dreams as the complications of life leads to conflict between the lovers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Moana Review: Sets Sail with Great Performances, Music and Adventure!

Disney has been on a roll when it comes to their animated features. Since 2010 Walt Disney Animations Studios has had hit after hit as movies like Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen have become new names to carry the title of Disney. This year has already seen one Disney animated feature with Zootopia, but it would not be the last as in theaters this holiday season is Moana. Directed by the team of John Musker and Ron Clements, Moana centers itself on the ancient legends of Maui. Seeing early content on Moana made the film look like a big time adventure, and the trailers for the movie only further this point; but can this holiday blockbuster continue momentum for Disney or does animated feature get lost at sea?

The film centers on Moana (Auil’i Cravalho): a young girl from the Motunui Island. All her life, as she is raised to be the next chieftain of her tribe, Moana constantly thinks about journeying the seas. However when a darkness begins to plague the Motunui Island Moana discovers the cause of it to be a 1000 year curse when the Heart of Te Fiti was stolen by the demigod Maui (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). To save her island Moana travels the seas to find Maui so he can help her put the Heart of Te Fiti back in its rightful place. After a harsh meeting, Maui reluctantly helps Moana on her mission as they travel the ocean to restore peace to the world.