We got a new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story today after a new poster was revealed yesterday on The Star Wars Show. This is the third and final trailer and definitely shows the most in terms of plot so for those who want to go in completely blind, stop reading here. I’ve really enjoyed the tone and feel the first two trailers established and despite some criticism I have on this trailer, December 16th can’t get here any sooner.
As I write this, I thought it wildly appropriate to listen to the trilogy soundtrack on Spotify, just to create a really awesome experience as I talk about one of the greatest cinematic achievements in film. Of course am talking about Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Filmed back to back, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King boasts a combined budget of around $300 million, a box office of almost $3 billion and being nominated for 30 Academy Awards, winning 17 in total, 11 of those for The Return of the King, including Best Picture. Pretty impressive.
The fall movie season gallops off to a fun start, thanks to the fun western that is Magnificent Seven. Unlike most recent westerns, like The Revenent or more modern interpretations like No Country for Old Men, Magnificent Seven is an up to date version of saloon shoot ’em ups and cowboy action, worthy of modern popcorn entertainment but not for deep insight into man’s psyche. But that’ not a bad thing.
Well I went there. I’ve watched the polarizing movie in recent memory. I watched it get dragged through the mud critically and commercially, seen both sides of the love and hate it debate and waited for the dust to settle. And you know what? I did not hate this movie. I didn’t love it either and the movie has a hefty amount of problems. But it also got a lot right and took chances where other superhero films have yet to delve into.
Spoiler alert for episode 1 and minor spoilers for the series as a whole.
The Night Of is the biggest television surprise and delight of 2016 so far for me. It came out no where, with little marketing and not much hype leading up to it. But damn, that was a good mini series and while everyone was (is) talking about Stranger Things (which I’ll get to eventually, I swear), HBO’s The Night Of slipped quietly by, racking up critical praise and a following of it’s own.
Now that September is upon us (insert “Wake Me Up” reference), it’s time for the Fall movie preview. After the huge meh and let down that was Summer 2016, here’s hoping the Fall offers some better quality films. This isn’t a list of every movie coming out, rather my 15 most anticipated of the year. The films are listed in order of release so what’s first is coming soon and last won’t be until near Christmas.
Back when it was initially released in 2005, Kingdom of Heaven was a poorly received film and a flop at the North American market, earning almost $48 million against a $130 million budget. The star power of Orlando Blood, fresh from Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean hype and Ridley Scott, who saw a recent string of critical and commercial success with Gladiator and Black Hawk Down was considered a fail. And rightly so, the theatrical cut just wasn’t that good. But a year later changed all that changed.
I remember when I was growing up that television shows were always secondary to film, that it was often the place actors go to die or those who will never hit it on the big screen. Television was dominated by soaps and sitcoms. Oh how times have changed. We are living in the Golden Age of television for the past decade or so with shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad hitting insane levels of appraisal and ratings. But with all that television to consume, some shows inventively fall under the cracks, which is a shame because there are some quality programs out there and I’m going to tell you about one right now.
For the longest time, I had this notion that the 1982 Conan the Barbarian film, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was a giant, laughable cheese-fest with bad acting, terrible hair and costumes with poor understanding of filmmaking. And while it is cheesy, laughable cheese-fest with some bad acting here and there and some even worse hair with mainly a lot of ho-hum costumes, the film actually really surprised me when I recently saw it for the first time. I figured, why not kill some time and watch it in the background. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover a well made, beautifully shot and sophisticated fantasy epic that took itself a lot more seriously for the better.
I think we can all agree,film adaptations of video games suck. They range from barely passable to down right garbage (say it with me, gah-bage). They are usually the cheap cash in, the rushes property or the poorly adapted films that we’ve been subjected to for the past few decades. There a few exceptions to this, the first Resident Evil is passable and Mortal Kombat is a campy fun time if you watch it with that in mind. But none are being awarded, becoming blockbusters or even modest hits. But it may be possible to see a game adaption succeed, just not as a film. Continue reading “Opinion: Stop making video movies, start making shows.”