Rampage (2018) Review

BIG MEETS MINDLESSLY DUMB FUN


 

It’s almost commonplace to say that video games have evolved with the changing of times and the new generation of gamers that play them. However, adapting video games into feature length movies has been always being a bumpy road, plague with multiple reasons that make the film itself falter from being truly great cinematic representation of its source material. Some of have called it the “video game movie curse”, suggesting that any feature of which is adapted from a video game is doomed right from the start and it’s been an ongoing continuation with every new video game movie release. Looking back there has been many popular video games that have been adapted to the big screen, including Nintendo’s classic Super Mario Bros (1993’s Super Mario Bros.), Capcom’s survival horror Resident Evil (2002-2016’s Resident Evil series), Blizzard’s fantasy strategy Warcraft (2016’s Warcraft or Warcraft: The Beginning in international territories), Core Design / Square Enix’s action adventure platforming Tomb Raider (2001-2018’s Tomb Raider films series), Ubisoft’s time-traveling action adventures Assassin’s Creed (2016’s Assassin’s Creed), Square Enix’s immersive JRPG Final Fantasy (2001, 2005, and 2016’s Final Fantasy movies), and many others. There are multiple reasons as to why these features mostly fail and / or don’t fully pan out with critics and moviegoers with different variations and reasons behind each one. Whether too gimmicky, lack of characterization, too much exposition plot, too much world-building, or even completely changing everything to make the film almost unrecognizable to its video game counterpoint. Regardless, movies based on video games are still being produced, with each one trying to break the infamous “video game movie curse” and appeal to both its fans and to general moviegoers everywhere. Now, Warner Bros. Pictures / New Line Cinema and director Brad Peyton give the classic Midway Games arcade game a cinematic representation with the film Rampage. Does this movie finally break the curse on video game adaptations or is it just a mindless and dumb endeavor? Read more

A Quiet Place (2018) Review

WITHIN THE SOUND OF SILENCE


 

Since the days of filmmaking began many, many years ago, motion pictures have flourished into a wide array of genres that tackle many moods, tone, and emotions to give its viewers an entertaining experience. Some makes us laugh, some make us, cry, some make us fascinated, and some, most notably within the horror genre, make us scared. The film genre of horror has been around for quite some time, creating a plenitude of feature films that scary, creep, and sometimes downright horrify its viewers, drawing up on the fears and dark imaginations that go “bump” in the night. Like many genres out there, horror movies have slightly different variations in their narrative and context, expanding upon many things from monster creature features like 1935’s Frankenstein, 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1984’s Gremlins, to the teen slashers like 1978’s Halloween, 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, and 1996’s Scream, to paranormal flicks like 1982’s Poltergeist, 2002’s The Ring, and 2013’s The Conjuring, and to even supernatural nightmarish tales like 1973’s The Exorcist, 1976’s Carrie, and 1980’s The Shining, Nowadays, the horror genre, much like a lot things, has to evolve, producing more features that had the heavy usage of “jump scare tactics” as well as bountiful disturbing sequences of bloody / gory within its cinematic context, trying to appease and cater to its more “modern” demographic of horror viewers. Still, the genre continues to grow and expand, creating some memorable recent hits like 2016’s The Witch and Spilt, and 2017’s IT being some of the prime examples. Now, Paramount Pictures and actor / director John Krasinki present the next intriguing tale from the horror genre with the film A Quiet Place. Does this movie truly find its “scares” in its suspenseful tale or does it fail to impress, relying too much on its “gimmicky” premise?  Read more

Blockers (2018) Review

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW


 

Speaking in general terms, it’s a commonplace theme / mantra (almost a “rite of passage” to some) for teenagers to (or to simply attempt) in losing their virginity sometime before their high school years come to an end. Whether good or bad (depending on the circumstances of things in reality), its usually during this point when teenage individuals are “discovering themselves” and want to experience new things and becoming more acutely aware of the sexual identity and pleasures. Thus, before heading into their post-high school world (college, military service, job, etc.), it’s a ripe time (in a young adult’s mind) to experience such things before heading into their stage of life (i.e. adulthood). Of course, Hollywood has taken their stance with this many story / narrative premises over the years and (naturally) has touched upon this subject in several feature films. While some are a bit grounded and serious, most feature films that tackle teens seeking to lose their virginity have been played for laughs, making a somewhat lighthearted and / or comedic aspect of the situation. While many of these films were created back during the 80s and 90s, 1999’s American Pie and 2007’s Superbad are arguably some of the most memorable ones in this niche, playing up the teen sexual angst (broadly) in R-rated raunchy comedy playing field. Of late, however, Hollywood has somewhat moved beyond its premise (mostly like to the change in attitude towards the concept of virginity nowadays, refocusing on different topic / subject matters to poke fun at and / or perform satire parodies of with its new audience of moviegoers. Now, Universal Pictures and director Kay Cannon sees the return of the teen sex comedy niche with the film Blockers. Does new R-rated comedy stand on solid ground for this narrative to return to the big screen or does it outdated premise and subject material fail to connect with the current generation of viewers? Read more

Chappaquiddick (2018) Review

TRUTH IS STRANGER

(AND SCANDALOUS) THAN FICTION


 

There have been many things people have been fascinated with; a variety of peoples, places, things, and events that are “coveted” in talking, discussing, debating, or just simply to be intrigued about from the past to something prevalent in today’s world (and society). Perhaps one of the most “intriguing” in United States history is the allure / fascination of the legacy of the Kennedy family. The Kennedys, a powerful and famed family, have always been a subject to talk about and to marvel over, examining the highs and lows that they’ve faced over the years and that somewhat “guarded” history that the family keeps shrouded in mystified secrecy. Additionally, the family has had a “one foot” in US politics, including John F. Kennedy serving in the oval office as the 35th President of the United States. Even Jackie Kennedy, president JFK’s wife, coined the phrase “Camelot” (a reference to the mythical kingdom from Arthurian legend) for the Kennedys, a name referring to their glory and marking the family’s place on US history. It’s also been said that the Kennedy family has been cursed (the now infamous “Kennedy curse), with the family facing many tragedies (i.e. assassinations and unexpected deaths) that have stained and lined their legacy’s path. Of course, Hollywood has also taken a shine and fascination to the Kennedy’s legacy as well, producing a plethora of documentaries on the subject of the “Kennedys” as well as theatrical motion pictures, with most gravitating towards JFK’s presidency and his assassination (and its immediate aftermath). This includes movies like 1991’s JFK, 1993’s In the Line of Fire, 2011’s Lee Daniel’s The Butler, 2013’s Parkland, and 2016’s Jackie. Now, Hollywood gears up for a new cinematic tale on the subject of the Kennedys as Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures and director John Curran present the movie Chappaquiddick, the famous story revolving around Ted Kennedy. Does this latest bio-pic shed light on the 1969 incident or is just another run-of-the-mill Kennedy movie? Read more

« Older Entries