Tag Archives: Hailee Steinfeld

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Review

INTO SPIDER-VERSE WE GO!!!


 

The cinematic road for Spider-Man has been a bit of a rocky one, beginning first with the original Spider-Man trilogy, featuring actor Toby Maguire playing the title character as well as Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane and actor James Franco as Harry Osborne. The first cinematic iteration (released on 2002) of the so-called “Dawn of the superhero genre” we all know of today), received positive reviews and was highly successful at the box office (making $820 million globally), which green-lit the studio to churn out two more follow-up sequels with 2004’s Spider-Man 2 and 2007’s Spider-Man 3. After that, Sony / Columbia Pictures (the man studio behind this trilogy) went silent with the character of Spider-Man, observing (and watching) as the now popular juggernaut MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) began to grow and dominate the box office; amassing comic books rights for their films and gaining a steady incline of movie fandom. After sometime, Sony Pictures returned to the superhero genre by “rebooting” their Spider-Man franchise from scratch and released The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, with actor Andrew Garfield playing the role of Peter Parker / Spider-Man and actress Emma Stone playing his love interest of Gwen Stacey. The film did make splash with critics and fans alike and did gain a profitable return (over $750 million at the global box office), which prompted the studio make a sequel with 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After that, however, Sony Pictures had several ideas planned for Spider-Man (i.e. another sequel, spin-offs, and even a possible reboot franchise), but nothing ever materialized as Marvel’s MCU, which was under the control of parent company Disney, continued to flourish and expand. Eventually, many rumors and speculation, Sony / Columbia Pictures and Disney finally came to an agreement with the rights of Spider-Man, allowing the character to appear in the MCU franchise and did so in superhero ensembles films 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War as well 2017’s feature film Spider-Man: Homecoming, with actor Tom Holland playing the role of Spider-Man / Peter Parker in all three movies. The inclusion of Spider-Man in the MCU has brought a joyous celebration, with many praising Holland’s performance as the new younger Spider-Man as well as the character finally appearing alongside the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and other popular MCU superheroes. Now, Sony / Columbia Pictures (as well as Sony Pictures Animation) and directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman present the latest cinematic iteration of Spider-Man with the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Does this cartoon feature film bring its own heart and web-slinging fun to the proceedings or is it just a disappointing spin-off / off-shoot from Sony Pictures who’s desperately trying to find a seat at the superhero film genre? Read more

The Edge of Seventeen Review

A TEEN CLASSIC

FOR THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION


 

Being a teenager in high school. Everyone remembers that time and each person has their own personal experience. Some may look back on it with fond memories of their youth, while others wish that they could erase the time period from their memory (out of sight, out of mind). Back in the 80s, Hollywood took a closer look at the teenager years (albeit dramatized versions) and produced some memorable hits about those adolescent high school years with such films as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo’s Fire (all three were directed by John Hughes) and many others films. Since then Hollywood has revisited the insight into the drama of life of a teenager (in the 90s and 00s), but only partially examining it, playing up the stereotypical angst that’s (usually) muddles the movie’s narrative. Now STX Entertainment and director Kelly Fremon Craig, prepare to give a deeper insight into the modern (millennial) teen with the movie The Edge of Seventeen. Does this movie speak to the current generation (and maybe its past generations) or does it completely miss its mark (and its intended target audience)? Read more