Creed II (2018) Review

DEFININIG A LEGACY


 

In 2015, moviegoers everywhere were introduced to the film Creed, which was set to act as a continuation to the Rocky movie franchise as a sort of “offshoot” to the boxing cinematic series. The film, which was directed by Ryan Coogler and starred Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, and Tessa Thompson, told the story of Adonis Creed (the wayward son of the late Apollo Creed) and he followed in his father’s footsteps into the boxing ringing (with Rocky in his corner training him). Creed, which is the seventh installment in the Rocky franchise, was met with generally positive reviews from both critics and moviegoers, finding the movie to generally solid (with its story being predictable) as well as strong performances from both Stallone and Jordan. During its theatrical run, Creed was able to cultivate a little bit over $173 million at the box office worldwide (against its $40 million production budget) and did receive several nominations during the award season, with Stallone winning the National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actor, Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Golden Globe Award for Best Support Actor for his role as Rocky in the movie. Given the popular reception that the movie had, a follow-up sequel film was soon greenlit in the continuation of Adonis Creed’s boxing career. Now, three years after Creed’s release, it’s time to step back into the ring with Adonis and Rocky as Warner Bros. Pictures (as well as MGM Pictures) and director Steven Caple Jr. present the feature film Creed II. Does this next chapter in this Rocky spin-off endeavor stand tall and proud (in the ringing) or does it go “down and out” in the first round? Read more

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018) Review

A LACKLUSTER CONTINUATIION /

REBOOT INSTALLMENT


The world Steig Larsson’s literary crime series Millennium universe (originally dubbed the “The Millennium trilogy”) has fascinated million of readers around the world, with each installment becoming a “must read” bestseller. Thus, given the fascination and allure of this international crime novel series, it was almost a forgone conclusion that a movie adaptation of the novels would soon materialize, which they did in 2009 with the release of not one, or two, but three theatrical films. Released in Swedish, the films, which starred a Swedish cast including actor Michael Nvqvist and actress Noomi Rapace as main character Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, received critical praise and told Larsson’s novels (those written at the time as the series continued on after in 2015) from beginning to end. Two years later (2011), Hollywood took an interest in Larsson as Sony Pictures released a US version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the first installment in the series). While the movie, which was directed by David Fincher and starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the roles of Mikael and Lisbeth was well-received from critics and fans of Larsson’s novel, the movie itself did not perform well enough from what the studio expected it to be; grossing roughly $232 million at the box office against its $90 million production budget. It made its money back (and then some), but the film’s underwhelming performance at the box office put the follow-up sequel through development hell for years, with Sony Pictures mulling over the ideas of returning to the world of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander for some time. Seven years have passed since Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was released and now Sony Pictures (i.e. Columbia Pictures) and director Fede Alvarez present the next American cinematic chapter of Larsson’s novel with the movie The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Does this latest installment (which does a double stance as a continuation and soft reboot) prove something worth seeing or is it a failed relaunch of the “The Girl” franchise? Read more

The Grinch (2018) Review

A CHARMING, MODERN

RETELLING OF A HOLIDAY CLASSIC


 

The stories and books of Dr. Seuss have enchanted readers around the world, seeing multiple generations enjoying the imaginative worlds that Seuss created and of its playful rhyming tales and colorful characters. Of the plethora of books that have been published by him, none is more famously known that Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Since its initially publication release back in 1957, the children’s picture book has received critically praised from its readers, becoming one of the more beloved and recognizable books of Dr. Seuss’s catalogue. Additionally, the book (over the years) has received two adaptations in bringing to Seuss’s story of the Grinch and his wicked deed of stealing Christmas to a new media outlet. The first was the 1966 animated TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was directed by Chuck Jones, with narration by Boris Karloff and the first rendition of the now widely-recognizable “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” sung by Thurl Ravenscroft (with lyrics by Dr. Seuss himself). The second iteration of the Seuss’s book came in 2000 with the live-action adaptation titled How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was directed by Ron Howard and comedian actor Jim Carrey playing the role of the Grinch. The difference between the two iterations has been continuously debated with many favoring the 1966 TV special cartoon over the live-action theatrical motion picture, which did face mixed reviews from critics and moviegoers. Now, Illumination Entertainment (as well as Universal Pictures) and directors Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney present the third iteration of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas with the animated film The Grinch. Is it “third time’s a charm” for this well-known children’s story is it just simply a redundant holiday retread? Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »