Archive for category Movies

Movie Mayhem – Alien: Covenant & Everything, Everything

Leaving something on the cutting room floor. The phrase has been around since the beginning of cinema, when editors would literally cut strips of film from the reel to leave lying on the floor until it was time to sweep up for the night. There are many things that would warrant a piece of dialogue or a scene be cut from a film, including shortening the length or removing unnecessary or repetitive sequences. For anyone who’s watched deleted scenes of their favorite movies, for the most part the choices the director, producer or studio make are for the better. But there are some things that are cut out that actually would have improved the film, and answered questions left, well, on the cutting room floor. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Snatched

When Goldie Hawn first broke onto the scene in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, she was a highly energetic performer who didn’t mind taking comedic risks. Yet compared to the majority of comedy we see today, her sensibilities were pretty conservative in their opulence. However you perceive her style, what made Hawn so funny was her maturity in how she delivered and reacted to whatever situation she might find herself in. Even if the ideas and characters around her were heightened, she was smart enough to know when to pull back on the comedy to keep it from becoming absurd.

Fast forward thirty years, where that line has moved so dramatically, comedy has become more about who can be the loudest, crudest or most abusive, pushing the limits for the sake of pushing the limits while stepping on eggshells to keep from offending any one person’s sensibilities. Amy Schumer fits comfortably in this new excessive style, specializing in laid-back crudeness that tries to be shocking but comes off as desperate. I’ll admit, Schumer is as smart a comedian as Hawn — she understands herself and her audience, expressing a subtle, knowing debasement of the world and her inconsequential place within it. This style worked well in Trainwreck, but was much more grounded in a genuine reality than Snatched, where these differing styles keep the film from finding a reliable foundation to build anything substantial. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

For a science fiction space adventure with both a talking raccoon and a talking tree (or in this case, a talking root), it may be hard to believe it when I say I felt Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at times felt a bit too cartoony. Let me explain. Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) aside, the original Guardians of the Galaxy was still grounded in the same Marvel realism that had been set up by all the previous films in the franchise, although with a subtle wink and vibe that differentiated it from the pack. Even if the stakes were a little over-exaggerated, it still felt as if they were part of the universe occupied by the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor.

Guardians Vol. 2, however, chips away slightly at that aesthetic. Peter Quill, aka Starlord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the rest of the ragtag team of misfits still bring the same acerbic wit and charm that we all fell in love with three years ago, and I can’t wait to see Rocket and Tony Stark bromancing it up with some sarcastic banter over a new technological marvel that will save the galaxy. But director James Gunn tends to take some of the silliness a little too far at times during this second outing, pushing the tone a bit too far into far-fetched goofiness and pulling you out of the movie, if only for a few brief moments. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – The Circle

What is your privacy worth to you? Would you be willing to give up your every moment of privacy if it meant nurturing world peace? Every minute of your day (except for a few minutes when using the facilities) would be recorded and stored and accessible to anyone. Not one moment, not one sentence, not one email or text or comment would be out of reach of a world ready to cannibalize and scrutinize every happy thought, every consumption of food, every last dark secret.

If you’re thinking we’re already there, you wouldn’t be completely wrong. With our current vitriolic political spectrum and the reliance of so many on social media to feel needed and important, lies and secrets are exploited to the nth degree, using every word, no matter how innocent, into a systematic war of opposing viewpoints. But The Circle, the new film based on Dave Eggers’s novel of the same the name, would have you believe that war and hostility could come to an end simply when everyone in the world becomes entirely transparent. Read Full Review

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Why Are Villains So Fun To Write?

The hero of any story is the hero for one simple reason — they triumph over evil. A hero (for all intents and purposes) fights the good fight and does everything they can within the limits of their own conscience to vanquish the men and women attempting to harm good, innocent people. They are strong and they are mighty and everyone cheers for them to win. So why is it, then, that the villain of the story is much more fun to write? It’s simple.

Villains are, for the most part, more complex than any other character and the majority of them represent the id lurking in the shadows of us all, waiting to be released. What type of Villains are there?

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RIP Bill Paxton; 1955 – 2017

“What are we gonna do, man? What are we gonna do?!?”

bill-paxton-tribute

Bill Paxton (1955 – 2017)

In Memoriam

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Chaos Movie Awards 2017

The Oscars are about to reign awards this weekend upon the best in cinema, and though I haven’t seen a few of the nominees this year (more so than usual, in fact), that’s not going to stop me from throwing out my picks for who will win the top six categories, who should win in those races, and a few awards of my own to lighten the mood for those who just finished watching one of the many dour contenders in the race. Herewith, my predictions for the 89th Academy Awards. Who Will Win?

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Movie Mayhem – Rings

It’s been 12 years since Samara last haunted cinemas, and it doesn’t seem much has changed. Those who watch Samara’s mysteriously creepy video are sentenced to death in seven days, electronics distort images of those who have been marked, everyone still waits until the very last minute to attempt to show a copy to someone, and communication is still nonexistent. That last example is the most frustrating. It’s a tactic a lot of writers (myself included) use in order to add suspense to a narrative, usually so that they can drive home an effective twist. After all, characters will only act on the information they’re provided, so when someone needs to go in a certain direction, omission (or the falsifying) of information leads them to where the writer needs to take them. However, director F. Javier Gutiérrez uses this tactic so blatantly in Rings, the third chapter in the remake of Japan’s Ringu, that the “twist” ending becomes nothing more than a manufactured attempt to prompt another sequel. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – A Dog’s Purpose

With so many distractions vying for a person’s attention, including a bevy of social media platforms, a mess of gaming apps for smart phones, and an overload of binge-worthy television, movie studios have had to alter how they advertise their films. From teaser trailers to teasers for teaser trailers, studios have tried everything this side of making an actual great film to vie for your attention. In so doing, they have opted to throw anything and everything into their trailers regardless of whether it spoils a twist that would have been better had viewers been able to live that moment while watching the actual film. (I mean, how would people have felt had Twentieth Century Fox revealed that Darth Vader was Luke’s father in the trailer for The Empire Strikes Back?) A recent film that did it right was Split — entice, excite and save the big surprise for the actual movie. A Dog’s Purpose, on the other hand, is an example of what not to do, which is reveal every major plot point in the trailer and leave nothing for the audience to discover. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Split

M. Night Shyamalan came onto the scene in 1999 with The Sixth Sense, an explosive film that blew the minds of most movie goers with one of the most shocking, clever twists in movie history. This quickly made his name synonymous with the big twist, setting a bar so high for himself, it was going to be near impossible to vault it. And though his next two films, Unbreakable and Signs, both delivered in one way or another, the quality of each consecutive film continued to drop until he hit an all-time low with the unwatchable mess, The Last Airbender. It’s no wonder he dropped out of sight for three years before returning with After Earth, a movie that refrained from promoting Shyamalan’s name in any of its marketing. Two years later, he took the reigns of his career by teaming up with Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions to formally reinvent of his brand. And if 2015’s The Visit was a return to form for Shyamalan, Split, his new psychological thriller, is the stamp that should reignite audience adoration for such a fascinating filmmaker. Read Full Review

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