Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Coming Soon: July 2015

Hello all and welcome to the halfway point of the year thus far! 2015 has been a huge year for movies (and the box office) and there are have been some real gems. Seeing as how it's the halfway mark for the year, I've listed my 5 BEST and WORST films that I've seen so far before we break into the usual upcoming films. Click the title for my reviews!

5 WORST Films of 2015

5) Aloha -- Rath's Review Score 5.5/10
4) Tak3n -- RRS 5.5/10
3) Hot Pursuit -- RRS 5/10
2) Mortdecai -- RRS 5/10
1) Hot Tub Time Machine 2 -- RRS 1/10

5 BEST Films of 2015

Now let's recap last month's films!

Entourage: You'll notice a trend this month: I skipped A LOT of films. May was a busy month (I reviewed 8 films, a personal record) so I took some time off this month. I skipped Entourage and I didn't miss much. Fans enjoyed what was basically an extended, crammed episode for a film that was about 4 years too late.
Insidious: Chapter 3: This prequel was praised for being another decent entry in the ongoing horror franchise, but it didn't get warm enough reviews for me to really consider seeing it. Still clichéd, but for fans of the series it was worthwhile.
Spy: I got to see an advanced screening of this, and it was VERY enjoyable. It's very funny throughout and despite a few small issues, it's one of the year's better comedies. RRS: 8/10
Jurassic World: I enjoyed my time with it as it was a fun, but entirely too predictable, blockbuster. Given that I didn't love it, I'm VERY surprised with its box office success. One of those "It's good, but it's not THAT good" situations. RRS: 7.5/10
Inside Out: It's a delight to think about the notion that Pixar is back at the top of their game, and with Inside Out, all signs point to "YES!". It's one of their most imaginative films ever, and one of their best in years. Best Animated film thus far for 2015. RRS: 9/10
Dope: I really wish I could have found time for this one but it basically just boiled down to me being lazy. The story of a 90s loving teenager growing up in the hood during modern times sounded unique and most reviews for the film are very positive with only a few tonal issues weighing it down.
Ted 2: It has some of the year's funniest scenes, but as a whole Ted 2 is a disappointment. Many jokes crash hard and it loses a lot of the heart that made the original so special. RRS: 6.5/10

Most Disappointing: Ted 2
Most Surprising: Spy
Worst Film: Ted 2 by default, but I would guess it was Entourage
Best Film: Inside Out (yay Pixar!)

Let's take a look what's coming during a very busy July! Remember to click the titles/dates for the trailer.

Why It's Worth Seeing: James Cameron has given his approval and the world of Terminator is actually pretty rich. If it can tell an engrossing story that moves the franchise forward, it could be a winner. Also, having Arnold back is nice too.
What Could Go Wrong: Early reviews are pretty bad, and the films previous two trailers have been first, yawn-inducing, and second, spoiler-filled. Paramount Pictures is really trying to scrape together to make this one work.

Why It's Worth Seeing: First off, you're welcome ladies. Second, aside from having the corniest name this side of "Piranha 3DD", the first film was actually quite entertaining. If this film can continue the antics of Mike and his stripper gang, it could be a hoot. And yes males, you might actually find yourself enjoying it too.
What Could Go Wrong: I'm a tad concerned that this one isn't directed by Soderbergh, though he is producing it. Ultimately the question to be asked is, other than being titillating for a bunch of women, is there a reason for this film to exist? The first one answered with a "Yes", and hopefully this one does too.

Why It's Worth Seeing: The adorable, and arguably best, part from Despicable Me 1 and 2 are getting their own movie. Early trailers have been pretty funny and I'm hoping that this can work better than most other animated movie spin offs.
What Could Go Wrong: My biggest concern is the fact that these guys don't talk. Sure they're cute and their gibberish is funny, but 90 minutes of it might get old.

Why It's Worth Seeing: The premise is immediately intriguing and I think, at least from the previews, that Reynolds and Kingsley were solid picks for their roles.
What Could Go Wrong: Reynolds doesn't exactly have the best track record lately and it looks like this one might get a little confused for its own good by the time it's all said and done.

Why It's Worth Seeing: For some reason I'm shocked to see this film on this list because I thought it was coming out in August, but I digress. If there is any group that can make this film work, especially after its development hell, it's Marvel.
What Could Go Wrong: I'm sorry to say that I just don't have that much faith in this film. The trailers have been somewhat derivative and with Age of Ultron, as enjoyable as it was, the cracks in the Marvel formula are starting to show. Couple that with the troubled production and I think this might end up being Marvel's weakest film to date. I really hope that I'm wrong.

 Why It's Worth Seeing: I've really been digging Amy Schumer's comedy lately and this looks like a sweet, but hilarious comedy of the R-rated variety. It's early reviews are also stellar.
What Could Go Wrong: I wonder if it might be too raunchy to the point of being uncomfortable, especially if you aren't a female. Truthfully that would just be the tables turning on the guys as there are several male comedies like that, but Schumer does have some pretty dirty jokes.

Why It's Worth Seeing: It's a far departure from Sandler's previous, less than stellar work and it will definitely have a certain charm to it.
What Could Go Wrong: Every trailer has been incredibly repetitive and I think that we've probably already seen the best/funniest parts of the film. It would be nice for Sandler to have a win with this one, but my gut tells me it wont be.

Why It's Worth Seeing: Jake Gyllenhaal has become one of my favorite actors (you should really check out Nightcrawler from last year) and it seems like he went through some intense training for the boxing film.
What Could Go Wrong: Early reviews are so so, and I think this film is caught between trying to be Oscar bait and trying to be a summer sports blockbuster.

Why It's Worth Seeing: It's the "sequel" to National Lampoon's Vacation films from back in the day. The cast is certainly solid, and the early trailers have some funny moments.
What Could Go Wrong: Hopping on the nostalgia train that seems to be taking over film this year, Vacation seems like it was a shoehorned decision to try and get butts in seats. The humor from the trailers seems way off with the humor of the old films and I question if this is an actual attempt to revive a franchise.

Why It's Worth Seeing: I have to wait until the very last day of the month to see my most anticipated film, but I figure it will be worth it. I'd argue that there has never been a "bad" Mission Impossible film, and the most recent, Ghost Protocol, was the best in the series. This one looks to continue Ethan Hunt's crazy antics.
What Could Go Wrong: Every franchise has it's peaks and valleys. There is always the chance that Rogue Nation could be one of those, but I really don't see any indication yet that this will be anything less than awesome.

Must See (in order): Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Trainwreck, Ant-Man
On My Radar: Terminator Genisys, Magic Mike XXL, Minions, Self/less, Southpaw
Predicted Duds: Pixels, Vacation 

There's your recap of a PACKED July! Check back next month for the end of the summer movie season! As always, I'd be really appreciative if you came and followed me through Blogger at RATH'S REVIEWS and like me on Facebook HERE! I follow-for-follow 100%. Thanks again!

Hello everyone, James here. If you missed it, please vote on the yesterday's Reader's Choice post where you chose which movies and lists I will write and review. Also, be sure to check back later this week for a review of either Interstellar or Inside Out. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Reader's Choice

Reader's Choice returns yet again! Please vote from the following movies and list posts for which ones you want to see in the coming months.

New Movie Reviews:
3 Days to Kill
Bunny (Usagi) Drop
Draft Day
Olympus Has Fallen
The Fault in Our Stars

Older Movie Reviews:
12 Angry Men
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
The Expendables (1)
Metropolis (1927) 
Night of the Living Dead

Top Lists (vote for two or three of these):
Top 25 Action Movies
Top 25 Fantasy Movies
Top 25 Sci-Fi Movies
Top 10 Movie Heroes
Top 10 Soundtrack Composers

Other Posts:
Avengers: Age of Ultron Character Discussion
Daredevil Character Discussion

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Star Wars Knights of the Fallen Empire

Wow, this looks absolutely incredible! Seriously, this video alone should be an entire Star Wars spinoff film. Unfortunately, this is only the trailer for a Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion, titled "Knights of the Fallen," but it looks so good. The people behind these Old Republic cinematics need to be making animated films or something. The atmosphere and cinematography is top notch, and the visuals in Old Republic’s era style almost looks like what Abrams is doing with Episode 7. The trailer tells the story of, apparently, freelance Force Users that kill both Jedi and Sith, and in 5 minutes, it makes me wish I could see more. Disney really needs to make an Old Republic spinoff film since it provides them the freedom to do whatever they want without conflicting with the pre-existing cannon. What do you think of this? Should there be Old Republic films? Please comment below and let me know, and if you missed it, click here for my Jurassic World review.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World, the T-Rex sized box office giant that is breaking records, but is it worth the price of admission?
Going in, my expectations were high, yet not incredibly so. Unlike others, I never hyped up the film to expecting a "Modern Classic." Seriously, how could it match-up to the original Jurassic Park? Unless a new Jurassic film figures out a way to make the concept new and original, which Spielberg himself could not even accomplish, what do you expect? With that said, the trailers looked fun, but Chris Pratt was the only thing making me think this could be anything other than an entertaining blockbuster, so did it deliver? 

Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
Release Date: June 12, 2015
Running Time: 124 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Chris Pratt is excellent as expected, Genuinely thrilling, Impressive final action sequences, Entertaining kills, Iconic main theme, Likable lead characters, Raptor training is better than expected, High quality CGI, One decent brother moment, Owen Grady is an intelligent character,

The Bad: Silly subplot, Clichéd jerk older brother, The kids are unnecessary, Not enough practical effects, Various logical plot holes, Running in high heels?

Plot: 6.0/10- Jurassic World sets up a familiar plot that we all expected from the first two trailers. In the grand scheme of things, everything plays more or less out as expected with a few surprises. For one, the "Raptor Training" shown in the trailer actually works rather well and produces some of the best moments in the film (and a few of the worst) because there are certain aspects to it that defined my expectations.

Unfortunately, the film contains a plethora of logical flaws, plot holes, and a silly subplot. Let’s face it, at times, the movie is just dumb. Do these flaws detract from the entertainment? Thankfully, they do not, at least not too much, but many of the flaws are easily avoidable. With that said, compared to many modern action flicks, aside from the stellar comic book properties, the script is no worse than most.

Characterization: 7.0/10- Jurassic World's characters are a mixed bag. Owen Grady (Pratt's character) is one of the most sensible and intelligent characters that I have seen in a monster flick. He knows what to do and, even though he respects the dinosaurs, he knows that people are more important. Grady is the type of character that monster movies like this need. Claire Dearing is likable, yet her character is never defined well enough, and the romance is a little forced, but thankfully is not shoehorned too much.

The two Mitchell brothers are the typical clichéd annoying younger one and jerk older one that we have seen a hundred times. There are one or two good moments between the two, but, ultimately, the characters are unnecessary in the film, aside from one inconsequential side plot. D'Onofrio's character, Vic Hoskins, is terribly clichéd and should have been written differently. The rest of the supporting characters are decent, yet forgettable.

Direction: 8.5/10- Colin Trevorrow's direction might be a far cry from Spielberg's masterful direction in the original film, but he does an excellent job of creating the suspense and thrills that Jurassic World needs. There are scenes where I moved around in my seat as the characters were attacked by the dinosaurs, almost as if I was with them. With that said, the film lacks the threatening sense of suspense that one of the main characters will die.

As an action film, Trevorrow succeeds as well with the finale being insanely fun and entertaining to watch, even if it starts to turn into a Godzilla flick at one point. However, it did make me feel like a little kid watching these giant dinosaurs duking it out.

Acting: 7.9/10- Chris Pratt crews every second of screen time. He plays his character like a classic action hero, and it works so well. He is the reason the character is likable and the reason why any scene not involving a dinosaur is entertaining. Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire is adequate; she plays her role and that's just about it. Vincent D'Onofrio is, unfortunately, given weak material and asked to play a clichéd character on the verge of being corny at times. Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins are not the worst as the two brothers, yet still pretty bad. Compared to his role as Harley in Iron Man 3, Simpkins gives a noticeably weaker performance, although that is probably more of the material's fault. 

Special effects: 8.9/10- In today's age of CGI blockbusters, few films can dazzle audiences with its special effects and Jurassic World is no exception. With that said, the CGI is very impressive at times. It most definitely gets the job done, and the detail for the Raptors is especially well executed.

Jurassic Park's special effects redefined the industry with its use of CGI. However, it was the use of practical animatronics during many of the close-up scenes that truly brought the dinosaurs to life, and that is where Jurassic World's FXs falters. An animatronic T-Rex head attacking children in the original Jurassic Park is far more frightening than a CGI one, and while the few scenes that used practical effects are excellent, they are not used nearly often enough.

Soundtrack: 7.7/10- As soon as the original Jurassic Park theme started playing, I got literal chills! It is one of the all-time classic film themes. Other than the original tracks, Michael Giacchino's score is somewhat generic, yet still very good. After listening to it once on YouTube, I do not feel the need to listen to it again.

Humor: 7.2/10- Chris Pratt delivers every comedic line to perfect, and he even makes some of the corny one-liners bad*ss. Jake Johnson is the comedic relief, and he kills it with many of the funniest lines. On the other hand, many of the one-liners where the actors turn and look at the camera are unintentionally humorous.

Entertainment Value: 9.4/10- There is no denying that Jurassic World is a blast to watch! From beginning to end, it is a thoroughly entertained experience that engrossed me in the film.

Overall: 7.9/10- Ultimately, Jurassic World is exactly what I expected: an incredibly fun action/monster flick with Chris Pratt’s brilliant charm. Sure, the plot is full of holes and the subplot is silly, but it delivers the thrills, excitement, and action lacking in many films today. In a summer monster flick, what more could you ask for?

Closing comments: Aside from stellar comic book adaptations and Mad Max, exciting action films are few and far between, and Jurassic World, while dumb at times, is just as poorly written as many of the action movies that you will find today, yet so much more entertaining to watch.

Watch if you like: Chris Pratt, Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, Action, Fun, Entertainment,

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Jurassic World First Reaction

I finally got to see Jurassic World! Wow, I always open my reaction posts like that don’t I? I really need to think of something else, anyway.... First Reaction: I had a fun time. It is definitely worth seeing in the theater just for the spectacle alone. Otherwise, please check back for my review of the film tomorrow. Until my review, you can read reviews by fellow critics in the links below and if you wrote a review, please leave a link in the comments.

As for my moviegoing experience, it was good for the most part. After moving to a place where two kids were not behind, everything went fairly well until.... Apparently, some teens (between 14 and 16 years old) in the back of theaters were making so much of a raucous and cursing that the owner came out in the middle of the movie and told them to stop. At the end of the movie, someone else told them off too. Thankfully, I did not even hear them until before and after the movie, so it did not affect me at all. but it is something somewhat interesting. Has anything like this happened to you? Please let me know!

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Spider-Man Actor and Director Announced!

Tom Holland is officially cast as the new Spider-Man in the MCU! And Jon Watts is set to direct. Holland is 19 years old and his most notable film is The Impossible, a 2012 film where he was nominated for several up-and-coming actor awards. Having not seen any of his work myself, I cannot vouch for his acting skill; however, considering what others are saying, I think he has the potential to be a great Peter Parker. Interestingly, Holland uploads videos of himself performing stunt flips on his Instagram, so maybe he will be able to do some of his own stunts. As good as Butterfield is as an actor, he was never someone that I could see as Peter Parker, so casting a virtual unknown has worked in the past and there is no reason it should not work now. 

As for the director, Jon Watts, his only credits are for Clown and Cop Car. Clown is a horror film that received decent reviews from horror film websites. Cop Car is an upcoming Kevin Bacon drama thriller. Essentially, Watts has done almost nothing. Considering how many great films we have gotten from little known directors, I am not terribly worried. With that said, I am curious as to what made Sony decide on Watts to direct with his lack of experience. 

Right now, there is nothing to do but wait for Holland's appearance in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and let me know.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Movie Music and More #15: "The Mask of Zorro" (1998)

Hamlette here, with very sad tidings:  James Horner died in a plane crash on Monday.  

Words come to my mind like "tragic" and "avoidable" and "loss."  For decades now, Horner had made our movie-going experience richer, more fun, more emotionally resonant with his wonderful film scores.  Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan.  Willow.  The Journey of Natty Gann.  Aliens.  An American Tail.  Willow.  Field of Dreams.  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  The Rocketeer.  Thunderheart.  Patriot Games.  The Man Without a Face.  Braveheart.  Apollo 13.  Jumanji.  Titanic.  The Mask of Zorro.  A Beautiful Mind.  Troy.  Avatar.  Chances are, there are at least two or three movies there that you love.  I love 8 of those so much that I own them on DVD.  And those are just a handful of the films James Horner composed music for.  

Now, there won't be any more.

Today, to honor him even as I mourn his loss, I'm going to share some of the music from The Mask of Zorro.  This is one of the first soundtracks I ever bought, and my friends and I listened to it so very often when I was in college.  I can hear most of it in my head, track by track, without having to put the CD on -- it's ingrained in my memory, every clash and howl and clatter of drumbeats.  You can listen to the entire album here, and I recommend you do.  In fact, search YouTube for lots of Horner's music and sample as many as you can -- you're going to find some amazing treasures.

If you don't have time, though, here are my two favorite tracks from The Mask of Zorro:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Star Wars Rebels - Season 1 Review

Season two of Star Wars Rebels just started airing, so let's take a look back at the surprisingly good first season.
Taking place five years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Rebels follows the crew of the Ghost as they make attacks against the Empire as they try to spark a Rebellion. 

Before its release, Star Wars Rebels appeared to be a rushed replacement for the superb Clone Wars series. The trailers for the series made it look even worse than we all feared. However, to everyone's surprise, Star Wars Rebels turned out far better than we could have hoped.

Plot 7.0/10- Star Wars Rebels started a bit shaky with several weak episodes that started to lean towards the younger audience with its tone and content. At times, during the early, the series was a slog to get through, as the more childish tone in the first three episodes was more apparent. Thankfully, by the midway part of the series, Rebels' storylines improved with a stronger tie-in to the larger Star Wars universe and surprise cameos by classic characters.

In terms of tone, Rebels remained generally lighthearted throughout. However, it managed to almost capture the feel of the Original Trilogy at times. As the series headed towards the finale, the episodes continued to improve until the superb final episodes. With that said, Rebels fails to live up to the Clone Wars' dark and complex stories, yet it still had its moments of darkness.

Characterization: 7.2/10- The crew of misfits actually had some development, and to a degree, they reminded me of Firefly's crew of likable characters. 

Ezra Bridger is the main protagonist, and he is easily the least interesting. His character seems to be more aimed at the younger audience, and even though he progresses as a character, he is just an average character.

Kanan Jarrus is a human Jedi that survived Order 66, and due to circumstances, is cavalier and cowboy-ish in his attitude. Hera Syndulla is the Twi'lek owner and pilot of the Ghost, the ship that the team flies, and she has a romantic relationship with Kanan, although it is only vaguely hinted throughout the series. Both characters are fairly interesting as they remind me of Wash and Zoe from Firefly to a small degree.

Sabine Wren is the graffiti artist and Mandalorian explosive expert and one of the more fun characters on the crew. Based on the original concept art for Chewbacca, Zeb Orrelios is the muscle of the crew and one of the last of his race after Empire slaughtered his people. His backstory is interesting, although, due to the content restrictions of the series, his seemingly tragic backstory cannot be shown.

Lastly, The Inquisitor is the main antagonist of the series. Thankfully, despite the content restrictions of the series, he is allowed to kill people mercilessly to demonstrate his villainy when needed. 

Animation: 5.5/10- My main issue with the series is the awful character designs. Ezra, the main protagonist, looks absolutely ridiculous with his giant nose, and while the female characters look fine, it is hard to take the series seriously when the protagonist looks like that. Overall, the background art is where the series shines, yet it is a far cry from The Clone Wars' last two seasons in terms of quality and atmosphere, unfortunately. 

Acting: 7.8/10- The cast's strength is how many classic actors, like Frank Oz (Yoda) and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), return to create some amazing cameos. The main cast is okay, except for Jason Isaacs as The Inquisitor, who stands out as an impressive villain.

Entertainment Value: 7.3/10- The early episodes can be boring and the childish are annoying. However, towards the end, the classic Star Wars feel makes for an entertaining series to sit and enjoy.

Overall: 7.3/10- Star Wars Rebels is a fun and enjoyable series once you get past the slow start. It might not be nearly as dark or complex as we might have hoped, but with such an impressive season finale, it makes me excited to see what season two will deliver next and how it will tie-in to the overall Star Wars universe.

Watch if you like: Star Wars, Animation, 

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Guest Movie Reviews || Exodus, Big Hero 6, and More! By Jamie

Hello all! I'm Jamie from Through Two Blue Eyes and Jamie Talks Anime. James asked me if I'd share one of my classic Movies of Interest posts over here from my own blog. Every once and awhile I do a cluster of short reviews for movies I've watched from Netflix or at the theater. I express whatever the film left impressed on me and I have lots of fun! Hope you enjoy! :D

Unbroken | 2.5/5

Disappointed. Everyone was raving over this when it came out this past Christmas, and I’m sure the book is a lot better than the movie, but my mother and I were under the impression that it was supposed to be an inspiring film. We were not that inspired once we hit the end. We followed this young man through trauma and torture for two long hours, waiting and waiting and waiting for that triumphant ending. Instead, it just…ended. Flatly. There was no triumph. There was no emotional punch at the end, like “Wow! He survived! He made it! We’re so touched!” The film completely failed to communicate any positive emotion at the end other than exhaustion... which is how we felt when it FINALLY ended. No disrespect to the real man himself, please understand, I just think Angelina Jolie’s movie failed miserably at what it was trying to do. I’m rather glad I didn’t go see this on Christmas day.

Exodus: Gods and Kings | 3.5/5

I was nervous this might turn out to be a terrible adaption like Noah had. But I kept my fingers crossed, and was pleasantly surprised by the film that I got. Don't get me wrong, though, I don’t go into Hollywood adaptions of biblical tales and expect good adaptions anyway–but even from that perspective you can be pretty disappointed. *Stares at Noah*. Anywho, Exodus was a decent film! The cinematography and effects were gorgeous! I’ve been waiting for a movie to show the plagues and it be realistic, so that was definitely a home run. The overall technical parts of the film were simply fantastic. The only thing that really failed for me was the characters themselves. They were pretty flat and didn’t affect me as a viewer. To me, that’s marks the film down a peg. On an overall scale, it was an enjoyable movie for what it was.

Big Hero 6 | 3/5

I have A LOT of problems with Big Hero 6, I’m afraid, and I even went in with lowered expectations to see if Disney would surprise me. I guessed the villain immediately because of the shape of his nose--I blame Disney's animators for this.The side-characters were gross one-dimensional tropes--nobody felt like superheroes at the end, just glorified “LOOK AT US WE’RE COOL NERDS” with science-y things they’d made...and I thought I was getting a superhero film. Honey Lemon was a near carbon copy of Rapunzel except she dabbled in science instead of art (her personality, hair, and face looked so similar…) Disney, stop delivering such poor character quality already. One Big Pro: Baymax was cute. He was adorable. I want a Baymax. I need more Baymax. I need a stand-alone Baymax movie right now.

The Maze Runner | 4/5 

I’ve been curious about these other YA dystopian films the people always end up comparing against The Hunger Games. Well, I ended up enjoying The Maze Runner quite a bit! The lack of romance was very refreshing, the pacing was good, the maze setting was really cool (I admit I expected more than I got when it came to the maze, but what I did get was okay,) and the end reveal surprised me. I also enjoyed the characters--Runner and Hunger have an advantage against Divergent in that I can actually like the characters. The Maze Runner did leave me with more questions than when I started, so I’m fidgeting for the sequel with anticipation, especially after seeing the trailer for it! I hope the next movie answers my questions!
Jamie enjoys movies and writing about them in her spare time on her personal blog Through Two Blue Eyes, where anything under the sun is a viable topic for a blog post! She also writes reflections and reviews for anime on her second blog Jamie Talks Anime. She is currently working on the second draft of her science-fiction/high fantasy novel and trying not to dry out from the Arizona heat.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Top 5 Movie Fathers

Today is Father's Day, and to celebrate, it is time to rank the Best Dads in movies! My rankings are based on how memorable the character is, and less on how "good" a father they are. The qualification for the list is that the father in question is the biological father of characters in a story, which means no father figures, and the character's children must play a part in the film's story.

5: Bryan Mills (Taken)
One of Liam Neeson's most iconic roles, Bryan Mills is a man with a "very particular set of skills," and if he was not included on the list, you might never hear from me again. Aside from number one on the list, no other father has a more memorable quote (watch it above). With that said, the actual Taken films have not impressed me all that much. Sure, the first one is fun to watch with Neeson being all kinds of awesome, but it is an otherwise typical action flick. Regardless, Mills and his "particular skills" deserve a place on this list.

4: Clark Griswold (National Lampoon's Vacation)
 Easily the funniest father on the list, Clark Griswold just wants to have a fun vacation with family, and somehow, something, often times himself, just screws everything up! Clark is at his best towards the end of each film as he reaches the limits of his mental endurance and goes off on some of the most memorable comedic rants in cinema. My favorite being his rant at the end of Christmas Vacation, my favorite of the franchise.

3: Vito Corleone (The Godfather)
When constructing a list of film fathers, how could the Godfather not make the list!? If not, who knows, I might wake up with a horse’s head in my bed. All jokes aside, Vito Corleone, played by the brilliant Marlon Brando, is most definitely an unforgettable film father. Sure, you could make a case that his son should be on the list, but Michael rarely interacted with his children, whereas the entire plot of The Godfather revolves around Vito and his family. 

2: Professor Henry Jones
"Junior? It is you Junior!" Played by Sir Sean Connery, Professor Henry Jones Senior has been one of my favorite film fathers for many, many years. Of all the fathers on the list, no other is featured so prominently with his child than Henry Jones Senior. His banter with son is always entertaining to watch no matter how many times you watch it. The character added another layer of humanity to Indy's character, which made The Last Crusade almost as iconic as the original.

1: Darth Vader 
How could there be any other? If, for some absurd reason, you do not already know the most well known spoiler in the history of cinema, aka The Empire Strikes, do not continue reading. With that out of the way, Vader is easily the most iconic father in cinematic history. No other film father comes even close to Vader, or almost any character. Sure, Vader might not have exactly been the greatest father in the galaxy considering that he chopped off his son's hand, but we all make mistakes, right?  In the end, Vader sacrificed his own life for that of his son, and despite all of the pain he caused; he brought Balance to the Force.

Who are your favorite cinema dads? Please comment below and let me know!

Honorable Mention: Michael Corleone (The Godfather), Howard Stark, Jor El, Pa Kent, Joseph "Coop" Cooper (Interstellar),

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Daredevil News: Punisher has been Cast!

Exciting news for the upcoming season two of Netflix's Daredevil! The Punisher will be played by Jon Bernthal. Bernthal is most well known for playing Shane on The Walking Dead. Bernthal seems to be a good fit for the part, especially with the gritty tone of the Daredevil series. My only small issue, which is very much a personal thing, is that he one of the few actors that I cannot separate from his previous role as Shane, aka the most terrible scumbag in television. Other than that, I believe he will work well in the role. As for Punisher as a character, he is Marvel's vigilante that kills people with guns. He might show mercy sometimes, but once you are his target, often criminals, but occasionally heroes, he will take you down. In some ways, he is an interesting opposing force with similar goals to Daredevil, so I cannot wait for the next season. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and let me know! Also, check back tomorrow for my Father's Day special post of the Top 5 Fathers in Movies!

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Peanuts 2015 Official Trailer Review

Yet another promising trailer is here with the Peanuts! Peanuts is based on the popular comic strip of the name, although many know it more for Snoopy and Charlie Brown, the main characters of the comic. I have enjoyed the comic strip ever since childhood, so I am actually interested to see if this can capture the fun of the original comic. What also interests me is the unique art style. It looks like a blend of 3D, stop-motion, and the original comic strip. The use of textures is also unique and interesting to create a look different than the norm. As for the trailer itself, the use of The Who's song, "Baba O'Riley," and DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," stars with a good nostalgic tone and "All I Do Is Win" takes it for a comedic twist. The characters all seem to be the same ones that I grew up with, so let’s hope the humor will be just as good as well. What do you think of the trailer? For me, this is one of the only animated films that I might want to watch this year, what about you?

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Star Wars Battlefront: Gameplay and Local Co-op!

Wow! The first gameplay trailer of Star Wars: Battlefront just released at E3, and the Battle of Hoth looks amazing! Like the original Battlefront, the game will include both first-person and third-person gameplay and even Jedi! It looks as though there is now some sort of campaign to go along with the highly anticipated multiplayer. Dice, the head development studio, has added spit-screen to the game, which was surprising because split-screen was missing from their flagship franchise Battlefield. However, as huge fan of the original Battlefront franchise, I am so pleased that local multiplayer will be included. You have no idea how many hours my brother and I spent playing the first two games as kids, and beyond excited! We have been waiting for literally a decade! For me, this is the must-play video game of the year! What do you think of the gameplay? Please let me know in the comments, and check back soon for more movie news and reviews.

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