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
Villains are among us and hero are within us as Universal Pictures releases the second official trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming crossover film Glass. View trailer below. Read more
The X-Men faces their greatest enemy (one of their own) as 20th Century Fox releases the first official trailer for their upcoming film X-Men: Dark Phoenix. View trailer below. Read more
Get ready to step into M. Night Shyamlan’s superhero universe as Universal Pictures releases the official trailer for his upcoming crossover film Glass. View trailer below. Read more
THE GNOMES ARE BACK (AGAIN)?
At the beginning of 2014, Gnomeo & Juliet, a relatively unknown animated feature, made a soft impact during its initial release. Released (nationally) alongside the romance comedy Just Go with It, the historical war drama The Eagle, and musical concert of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Gnomeo & Juliet, which was directed by Kelly Asbury and starred the voice talents of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, and Michael Caine, told colorful animated tale of star-crossed garden gnome lovers (Gnomeo and Juliet) and how there love for one another was strong, despite them being part of different gnome clans (i.e. the red-hate gnomes and the blue-hate gnomes). The film itself (by design) was an animated retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (told through the eyes and lives of backyard garden gnomes) and was infused with an English sense of humor as well music from legendary British musician Elton John, who also produced the film. Despite the mixed reviews from what critics might’ve initial thought of this movie, Gnomeo & Juliet, which was released on January 23rd, 2011 but didn’t go nationwide until February 11th, 2011, did make a surprising splash with moviegoers, collecting roughly $194 million at the box office against its $36 million production budget. Of course, that number didn’t break any type of box office records, but it still made over five times its creation budget, which is a really good thing and down during a January theatrical release (a time when movie usually don’t earn the big bucks). Now, almost seven years later since it’s release, Paramount Pictures (Paramount Animation) and director John Stevenson finally unveil the sequel to Gnomeo & Juliet with the film Sherlock Gnomes? Does this second garden gnome adventure surpass it predecessor or has the magic gone out in this whimsical animated retelling of classic literature? Read more
In 2014, the action genre of the movie world had an intriguing newest addition with the motion picture John Wick. The movie, which starred Keanu Reeves and was directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, followed the story of John Wick as a one-man army against the Russian mob for stealing his car and killing his dog. Surprisingly, John Wick was quite an unexpected “sleeper” hit that year, especially with all the big powerhouse / blockbusters film that also came out in 2014, and gained $86 million at the box office against its $20 million production budget. The fanbase of the film, which cried out for a sequel, got their wish several years later when John Wick: Chapter 2 was released in early 2017. Naturally, the film was success and gained a little bit over what the first film was able to make at the box office. Unfortunately, while Chad Stahelski returned to direct Chapter 2, David Leitch did not return to the project. Now, in a spiritual successor to John Wick, Focus Features and director David Leitch present the film Atomic Blonde. Does this newest film, which stars Charlize Theron, have enough entertainment value within the action / spy genre or is it just a generic and hollow action movie? Read more
Me, Myself & I-Scream.
Split is the latest from infamous director M. Night Shyamalan, who was really good in the late 90s/early 00s, then flopped gloriously on his face throughout the 2000s, with a string of awful movies including The Happening, The Last Airbender and, oh God, After Earth. It follows the disturbing life of Kevin, who has 23 different personalities, as he kidnaps three “impure” girls to be sacrificed to his 24th, or The Beast. As well as a fair bit of hype (the cinema was packed with dickheads who didn’t know what they got themselves into), the film also amounted quite a bit of controversy due to its themes of mental health. I, personally, have been riding the aforementioned hype train for this flick ever since I saw the first trailer, which peaked my interest (my initial reaction here) thanks to its ominous and interesting premise, so I was excited to see if this film had just as much personality as its main character(s). Read more
THE END IS NIGH
Back in 2011, X-Men movie franchise and interesting turn towards the past, with the movie X-Men: First Class, being the starting point of a newly planned trilogy (dubbed “The First Class” trilogy). Directed by Matthew Vaughn, this installment told the story of the fragile relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr (Magneto), the turmoil of the shapeshifting mutant Raven (Mystique), and the formation of Xavier’s X-Men team. Using the backdrop of the historical events (US’s escalating tension with Russia and the Cuban Missile Crisis), the movie was met with mostly positive reviews and big dollars at the box office. Three years later, a sequel arrived to First Class in the form of X-Men: Days of Future Past. This time-traveling movie, directed by Bryan Singer, saw the return of the most of the principle cast from First Class as well as veterans from the original X-Men trilogy. Similar to its predecessor, Days of Future Past focuses on Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique and again used a historical event (the Vietnam War) as it’s backdrop as mutants fight to save the past and the future as well. Now, two years after Days of Future Past was released (with box office success and critical praise), 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer close out this “First Class” trilogy with the film X-Men: Apocalypse? Does this superhero movie bring a proper ending to this cinematic story or is it just a visual blockbuster flop?
Xavier’s X-Men face their greatest challenge as 20th Century Fox releases the final trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse. View trailer below. Read more
Mutants go to war with Apocalypse as 20th Century Fox releases the new trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse. View trailer below. Read more