Tag Archives: Films

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Review

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KID


 

The names of Camelot, Excalibur, Lancelot, Morgana, Merlin, and Arthur Pendragon are some of the main staples to the many different iterations of the Arthurian legends of King Arthur. Taking inspiration from many the tales of British folklore, the legend of King Arthur has been told and retold through a multitude of accounts, finding its origins within 12th century medieval England. With the passing of the tale, the story of Arthur has passed through the ages, reimagined and refined the British figure into a legend in both folklore and in literary. While many novels and books have written on the legend of King Arthur, none is more famous than version written by English novelist T.H. White titled “The Once and Future King”, which consist of the widely and well-known part of the Arthurian tale (i.e. The Sword in the Stone). Much like the literary world, Hollywood as a plethora of cinematic tales (made for the big and small screen) that represent the legend of King Arthur. This includes Disney’s 1963 animated feature The Sword in the Stone and 1998’s Quest for Camelot, the films 1995’s First Knight and 2004’s King Arthur, 2017’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and 1998’s television movie Merlin amongst many others. Now, 20th Century Fox and director Joe Cornish present the latest variation of the King Arthur legend with the YA film The Kid Who Would Be King. Is this new cinematic take on the old legend worth seeing or is it just another “run-of-the-mill” endeavor from the illustrious Arthurian lore? Read more

Glass (2019) Review

AN ORIGIN STORY FINALE


 

Director M. Night Shyamalan has always been the case of cinematic scrutiny and sometimes movie frustration when it comes to his feature films. While he had directed movies like 1992’s Praying with Anger and 1998’s Wide Awake, many moviegoers were introduced to Shyamalan with his 1999 supernatural horror The Sixth Sense, which starred actor Bruce Willis and young upcoming actor Haley Hoe Osmond. From his critical acclaim from both critics and moviegoers of that movie, Shyamalan followed The Sixth Sense with the 2000 superhero movie Unbreakable, which starred Bruce Willis again as well as actor Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles. While not as met with universal acclaim as he did his previous film, Shyamalan’s Unbreakable was well-received and has gain quite a cult following amongst its viewers. After Unbreakable, however, Shyamalan’s movies were less-than satisfactory, with many (critics and moviegoing audience viewers alike) finding the films like 2002’s sci-fi thriller Signs, 2004’s psychological mystery The Village, 2006’s fantasy drama The Lady in the Water, and 2008’s post-apocalyptic psychological film The Happening to be subpar and weaker movies to what both The Sixth Sense and (to a lesser extent) Unbreakable were able to achieve in movie entertainment, with some sighting that Shyamalan’s weak story / script handling as well as his commonplace “twists” that appear at the end of the film. Even worse were some completely deplorable cinematic motion pictures, including 2010’s The Last Airbender and 2013’s After Earth, which were met with both critical and commercial box office failures. In 2016, Shyamalan released Split, a psychological horror film that starred actor James McAvoy, that regained the public’s interest in the director’s movie, citing the feature as a welcomed “returned to form” for Shyamalan’s works as well as receiving critical positive reviews and praise alike and garnishing roughly $278 million against its $9 million production budget. Now, two years after the success of Spilt, Universal Pictures (along with Blinding Edge Pictures and Blumhouse Productions) and director M. Night Shyamalan present the follow-up sequel to both Unbreakable and Spilt with the crossover motion picture titled Glass. Does Shyamalan’s latest feature find strength within superhero origins or does the director’s ambition exceeds the narrative story he wished to tell. Read more

Mortal Engines (2018) Review

A VISUAL (YET PREPLEXINGLY BLAND)

DYSTOPIAN EPIC


 

Director Peter Jackson has quickly become a recognizable name in Hollywood. The New Zealand born native began his film career by developing horror-ish comedy features like 1987’s Bad Taste and 1989’s Meet the Feebles before heading into other venues, including 1992’s zombie comedy Braindead and 1995’s the psychological drama Heavenly Creatures. While those particular feature films were created by him and gave him some credibility as a film director, Jackson’s career didn’t skyrocket off until he was given the opportunity to direct The Lord of the Rings trilogy; a cinematic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic. Acting as a passion project, Jackson helmed not one, not two, but three feature films (consisting of the three installments of Tolkien’s novelized trilogy of Hobbits, Elves, Orcs, Wizards, and the Ring of Power). To his credit, Jackson succeeded in bringing Tolkien’s immersive fantasy world to the big screen with the releases of The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, The Two Towers in 2002, and The Return of the King in 2003, creating a massively huge fans base amongst moviegoers everywhere and universal acclaim. From there, Jackson worked on other projects such as 2005 remake of King Kong and 2009’s supernatural drama The Lovely Bones before returning back to Tolkien’s fantasy world once again to create The Hobbit trilogy; a cinematic three film adaptation of Tolkien’s prequel installment to The Lord of the Rings (i.e. An Unexpected Journey in 2012, The Desolation of Smaug in 2013, and The Battle of the Five Armies in 2014). In addition to his directorial work, Jackson has also dabbled in being a screenplay writer (for several of his directorial projects) as well as acting as a producer for several movies, including 2009’s small-scale sci-fi drama District 9, 2011’s animated feature The Adventure of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, and 2012’s documentary film West of Memphis. Now, Universal Pictures (and Jackson’s Wingnut Films) and director Christian Rivers presents the latest big-budgeted epic motion picture (with Jackson producing the feature) with the movie Mortal Engines, based on the book of the same name by Phillip Reeve. Does this movie find its cinematic footing within its immersive world or does it flounder within its lofty ideas and barrage of CG visuals? Read more

Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Review

A MOSTLY “PRACTICAL

PERFECT” SEQUEL


 

Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ‘bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store. But I feel what’s to happen all happened before”. Such is one of the first lines uttered in Disney’s 1964 live-action film Mary Poppins. Based on the children’s novels by English author P.L. Travers, the movie, which was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred actor Dick Van Dyke and actress Julie Andrews, tells the story of a magical nanny (named Marry Poppins) who visits a dysfunctional family (the Banks family) in London and employs her unique and whimsical brand of lifestyle to improve the family’s dynamics through a series of events. The film was met with critical acclaim, with many praising the feature for its narrative heart and imaginative nuances throughout the feature (the combination of live-action and animation) as well as the acting talents from Andrews and Dyke in the movie. Mary Poppins also received 13 Academy Awards nomination (setting a record for any other film released by the Walt Disney studios) and won five of those wards, including Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. Since it’s theatrical release back in 1964, Mary Poppins continues to enchant viewers new and old on various home video releases, receiving many prestigious awards throughout the years, including being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Now, almost 54 years since Mary Poppins graced the silver screen, it’s time to everyone’s favorite nanny to return as Walt Disney Studios and director Rob Marshall presents Mary Poppins Returns. Is this log belated sequel from the “house of mouse” worth a glance or is it a far cry from the beloved classic? Read more

Bumblebee (2018) Review

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE


 

The Transformers live-action movie franchise has been somewhat of a “slippery slope” since it began back in 2007. Overseeing by director Michael Bay, the cinematic saga (based on Hasbro’s classic toys line of “robots in disguise”) has been called many things, including loud. bloated, slightly racist / stereotyping, nonsensical, too silly, repetitive, mindless, etc. However, despite these glaring problems, the films have never been boring, creating a big visual spectacle worthy of the very definition of what man would consider a classic summer “popcorn” blockbuster from Hollywood. The first film (2007’s Transformers), the first installment in the live-action franchise) was met with problematic scrutiny and criticism from both moviegoers and critics alike, but was still able to garnish the most positive acceptance from its viewers (of the entire film franchise no less) and did score big at the worldwide box office. Naturally, this prompted the studio hivemind to green light future installments, further continuing the adventures of the Autobots, the Decepticons, and their alien conflict on Earth. Unfortunately, after the success of the first film (setting the cinematic foundation for the large-scale sci-fi tale of giant alien robots with their war brought to Earth, the Transformers sequels (2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, and 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight) missed their mark, with series director Michael Bay helming each installment and ultimately pulling the saga down with his signature barrage of explosions, excessive action, and other senseless elements. Thus, the Transformers franchise has been “on the decline” of movie popularity, with many loosening interests in the cinematic series altogether. Even series director Michael Bay has lost interest in directing the franchise, stepping down the role and moving on to other projects and endeavors. Now, a year after the release of 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight, Paramount Pictures and director Travis Knight return to Bay’s movie world of Autobots and Decepticons with the prequel / spin-off film Bumblebee. Does this latest Transformers movie bring the franchise back to its former glory or is it a failed spin-off endeavor from a failing cinematic saga? Read more

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