Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindelwald First Trailer

The wizarding world is all a tingle today because the first trailer for the next step in the Harry Potter prequels has been revealed. All of our favorite characters from the first film are back with the added drama of revealing Jude Law as the younger and, one could say darker, Dumbledore. This trailer that shows off settings in New York, London and Paris is certainly the visually stunning teaser that will excite Harry Potter fans.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rejected Oscars Song - Could This Have Saved the Ratings Just a Little Bit?

Just in case you didn't get enough of the Oscars in that 3 hour and 7 minute broadcast, check this out. The comedy trio The Lonely Island which we all know from those fantastic SNL Digital Shorts was asked to create a parody song for the Oscars but unfortunately it didn't make the cut due to time issues. Well here is an idea of what it would've looked like as it gave a voice to all of those Sunday night who were crying to the heavens, "Why not me?".

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Thoroughbreds Preview With Director's Commentary

If you're like me and enjoy delving into the geeky side of filmmaking, director's commentary can be really enjoyable. For others I completely understand it's just boring enough to put you out like a shot of NyQuil. If interested though, here is a preview for the new movie Thoroughbreds with commentary by first time director/writer Cory Finley. It's a sharp, witty tale of tangled deception and dark humor.

Thoroughbreds starring Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin and Paul Sparks will be in theaters March 9th.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Train to Busan

We've all been there. You spend more time looking for something to watch on Netflix than you do actually watching something on Netflix. I need to come up with a catch phrase for that. Perhaps I can coin the new "binge watching". Until then, I'll take some time each week to point out some worthy Netflix movies. This week's is a zombie flick coming to us from South Korea.

I may be preaching to the choir about Train to Busan because after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, it became an international hit and created quite a bit of buzz in the U.S. The story is mostly told through the experiences of a father and daughter traveling on the high speed train from Seoul to Busan. The early set up has all the usual hints that something terrible is lurking around the edges but fortunately a bulk of the movie is set on the crowded train once the zombie outbreak reaches a terrifying frenzy.

In a genre that is filled to the brim with a lot of noise, Train to Busan is a frantic and claustrophobic ride that will have you holding your breath in anticipation. The model seems borrowed from another favorite of mine, World War Z, but while that movie takes an approach that is almost clinical, Train to Busan zeroes in on the emotion of the story. So, whether you are a fast moving zombie fan, a slow moving zombie fan or even a fan with zombie fatigue, check out Train to Busan while it's still on Netflix.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

I Kill Giants

Gift of new. Gift of old. Bless the righteousness. Guide my hand against the darkness, my final stand
Now that is some serious sounding mojo. I like it. I'll admit that when I saw the first trailer for I Kill Giants last year it felt too much like 2016's A Monster Calls. The plot and visual style were so similar that, at best, it would exist in the shadow of the previous movie. However this second trailer has me rethinking that snap judgement. There is something darker and more mysterious at work in I Kill Giants.

Based on a 2009 graphic novel by Joe Kelly (known for work on Deadpool, Daredevil and X-Men) and starring Madison Wolfe, Jennifer Ehle, Imogen Poots and Zoe Saldana I Kill Giants lands in theaters on March 23rd.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Radius Review - A Compelling Sci-fi Indie

I'm back! Have not been posting a lot because I was being a whiny sick person for the past couple of weeks. On the plus side I did discover how much fun binge watching Netflix can be while slightly high on cold medicine and the occasional hot toddy. On that journey, I discovered the recently released movie Radius on Netflix and it's premise alone is so compelling that I must tell you about it.

Radius starts much like a classic Twilight Zone episode with a supposed everyman suddenly cast as the grim reaper. Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes up from a car accident with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. He makes his way along the highway to the nearest town and begins encountering dead bodies. When he finally discovers living people who could help him, he realizes to his horror that he is causing the deaths. With some very grim and unintended experimenting, he figures out that any living creature coming within 50 feet of him instantly drops dead. Eventually through some standard plot devices, Liam meets Jane (Charlotte Sullivan) who has no memories either and seems able to negate Liam's death zone entirely. What follows is a chase type of story with them trying to find some answers, avoid law enforcement and keep the body count to a minimum.

Radius most definitely has a low budget feel that limits the scope of the story but nothing so much that will make you cringe. Klattenhoff (from NBC's hit The Blacklist) and Sullivan (who I mostly recognize from NBC's Chicago Fire) are steadfast and reliable in their roles which is important since they carry most of the story. Sounds mediocre so far, doesn't it? I'm happy to say that is not the case. I am a stickler for movies that follow the "rules". If you're going to pull some Sixth Sense stunts and tell me that the color red means a ghost is around, then you had better do it consistently. If not, I will demand the movie be paused and explain to everyone how a movie is breaking the "rules". It's an annoying habit but fortunately my movie watching companions are mostly forgiving. I bring this up to let you know that Radius follows the "rules" and manages to have moments of realistic dread and suspense. You'll be impressed with the situations that threaten to pull Liam and Jane at least 50 feet apart and put unwitting people around them in jeopardy. I'll not spoil even a bit of the ending except to say that it is both frustrating and satisfying. Radius gets a well deserved B. You know in some more well monied hands, the result would've been much grander but Radius does well with what it was working with.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Trailer for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Will there ever be a Downton Abbey movie? Who knows but in this long titled movie we get a reunion of sorts with five main characters being played by Downton Abbey alumni.

Based on a best selling novel, the story here is about a young, struggling writer in 1946 who decides to write about the residents of Guernsey and their experiences while under German occupation during most of WWII. I think it all looks fantastic. You've got the historical drama of the war, an obvious dash of romance and an over arching theme of how the love of literature tends to bring people together. The actual potato peel pie however seems to be an issue of contention.

Starring Lilly James, Jessica Brown Findlay (we will never forget you Sybil), Matthew Goode and so many other examples of great British acting, Guernsey (I think the studio has decided to shorten the title) premiers in the UK on April 19th with a wider release date to be announced.