If you’ve seen a trailer for Nobody, I’m sure you’ve already thought, “This looks just like John Wick.” And you would be right, to an extent, and you’ll likely see the comparisons in other reviews of the movie. Sure, there are a handful of John Wick-esque action sequences and plenty of mystery unfolds regarding just who the main character is in this action flick. But make no mistake: the two action entries, this being just one (for now), and the John Wick franchise are still completely different animals in their own respects. Where the John Wick franchise is all about a man who turned out to be part of a group of skilled assassins, Nobody feels isolated to just one man with some sort of violent past (at least in this entry). And isolated is exactly what the doctor ordered thanks to Bob Odenkirk, who needs no assistance star-wise when it comes to delivering brute force and making Nobody an enjoyable thrill ride up until the credits roll.
In today’s age of television, there are so many options available to choose from on several streaming services and network channels. And when a new television show makes its debut, I have to decide whether I’m going to add it to the ever-growing catalogue of my entertainment menu. For me, at least, with television, since there is so much to choose from, the first episode of any television show must hook me right away to keep me invested. I get that some shows have this thing where, they seem to be saying, “Just watch a few episodes and then it really gets going.” However, with so much to see in so little time, I have to be reeled in by the time the credits roll at the end of the first episode. And not only did the first episode of Amazon’s Invincible meet this criteria, I had to watch the other two episodes I received immediately afterwards. After watching the first three episodes of Invincible, I think it’s already 2021’s best new television show of the year (so far).
It’s hard to believe that a little over three years ago, a theatrical version of Justice League was released and panned by critics, given “meh” responses from audiences, and then ultimately became a colossal box office disappointment for what should’ve been a huge celebration of DC Comics’ mightiest heroes. What happened leading up to the release of that version of the movie in theaters back in 2017 and what came afterwards has been well documented by numerous people across the globe. Hell, there’s even a recently published book with all the details. Every bit of the story from what happened during production, to the reshoots with a new director, to the theatrical release, the movement from a single hashtag on Twitter (#ReleaseTheSnyderCut) to today’s release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is crazy. And in the end, one thing is for certain: director Zack Snyder was right all along. Snyder’s fully-realized vision here is a heroic triumph of a comic-book-come-to-life that makes for one of the best superhero movies in recent years, without a doubt, and the proper introduction of DC’s best coming together to save the world.
As the pandemic continues to linger, the state of seeing big releases in movie theaters remains in purgatory. COVID-19 case numbers are going down, seemingly causing box office numbers to go up to the point that theaters are beginning to show signs of a pulse, albeit not a strong one. Studios are still keeping a close eye on the pandemic on a week-to-week basis with movie dates changing at a moderate pace. When we will see blockbuster movies exclusively on the big screen rather than accompanied by same-day releases on streaming services at no extra cost (like Warner Brothers and HBO Max), nobody knows. But Disney, as they did with their Mulan remake, is dropping Raya and the Last Dragon not only in theaters, but also on Premier Access on Disney+ this Friday for $30, giving families the option to watch it at home. Not only is Raya and the Last Dragon the first good movie of 2021, but it’s also one of the best animated movies from Disney in recent memory.
The Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, are some of the best filmmakers in the business right now. Aside from helping shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past decade, they also have their hands on several other interesting projects both in television and film that are enjoyable or well-respected. I’ve certainly been curious to see what this brotherly duo would do as directors post-Avengers: Endgame (and especially something that’s not superhero related). And with Cherry being their first directorial project since then, it is certainly something outside of their box and unlike anything we’ve seen them make before. However, the results in this odyssey are disastrous.
If you had guessed that a grainy black and white film with a scene involving macaroni and cheese would eventually sell for $30 million during the middle of a pandemic, please reach out to me to collect your prize. Conceived and shot during the middle of the pandemic, Malcom & Marie is another drama you can file under “a story that entirely takes place in one setting with no more than two actors that appear on screen.” Approved by multiple organizations that greenlight the shooting of films, the production was scaled back in order to follow COVID-19 protocols. While the production itself may be more fascinating than the film itself when it’s all said and done, Malcolm & Marie is still a drama worth sitting through. Sure, it may not be the awards contender Netflix was hoping it would be, but it’s still a fine film with two great performances from two actors who are currently on hot trails in Hollywood.
We all have dreams growing up as children. For me, I always wanted to be a major league baseball player. However, our life’s purpose eventually collides with our dreams. Sometimes, children’s dreams mesh with life’s purpose. But for most people (like myself), our lives take another direction as we grow up. This isn’t a bad thing however, as we are meant to live every minute by making the most of it. That, among other things, is the purpose of life and the message Pixar’s Soul gives audiences. Dealing with thematic elements for people of all ages, Soul takes us on a spiritual journey that is both beautiful and touching, which makes for one of the year’s best movies. The end results will differ for kids and adults, but Pixar veteran director Pete Doctor delivers another movie that is in the top half of Pixar’s entire catalogue.
Spooky season is officially here. And no, we’re not talking about the upcoming election, which is less than a month away now. It’s October, officially fall, and we have chilly weather. And with all those things coming together, chilling tales about things that go bump in the night also have arrived. While the well for new horror content is a little shallow this year due to the ongoing pandemic, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Mike Flanagan’s follow-up series to The Haunting of Hill House, was able to finish production just before the onset of the pandemic. Read more
Minutes into the opening of Tenet, you get a small sense of adrenaline. You’re strapped in for another Christopher Nolan thrill ride full of twists, turns, and spectacle. And for many moviegoers (myself included), it’s the first movie you’ll have seen in a theater in months due to the ongoing pandemic. While the excitement of watching another movie from Nolan accompanied by your return to the theater begins to settle in, so does confusion to a varying degree. In terms of story, Tenet is Nolan’s most inspiring movie to date; it’s easy to view this movie as the filmmaker’s attempt at making a James Bond movie (he’s always wanted to make a Bond movie). But with that comes the see-saw battle of being able to fully comprehend everything that’s happening. But even though Tenet can be dizzying at times, it’s still another exciting blockbuster from Nolan.
British literature can be a tough nut to crack when adapting for film or television. Stay too close or linear to the source material, and you risk tuning out your audience. Loosely adapt the source material, and you open a Pandora’s box; it may be inviting to change things around, but you risk tainting the legacy of the characters in the story and its author. Thankfully, The Personal History of David Copperfield is more than just a respectable adaptation of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. It is a refreshing adaptation from director (and co-writer) Armando Iannucci that is so full of charm that only an antagonist from one of Dickens’ classic stories would not like this film. You would be quite a Scrooge not to enjoy this movie from start to finish.
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Who better to welcome audiences back to the theaters than Russell Crowe? Well, I’m sure that question could spur so many different answers. But hey, it’s a new world where, for now, everything is day-to-day. For example, weeks ago, we had Tenet and Mulan being the first movies to welcome us back to the theater. But with things being so uncertain, that changed. Tenet is now opening Labor Day weekend and Mulan is skipping theaters (in the US) and hitting premium video on demand. So, with the dominoes falling back into different places, Solstice Studios’ Unhinged is the first new release for viewers in a majority of theaters reopening in the US today. Thankfully, Unhinged is not some leftover movie in the bin that gets an opportunity to be the “first” major release in theaters since March. Unhinged is exactly what you pay for: it’s a B-level thriller that lets a two-time Academy Award-winner go nuts in the lead role.
These past few weeks certainly have been challenging, stressful, and, well pick your synonym, for most people around the world. So much uncertainty and despair has left many of us isolated at home instead of being out socially, going to the movies among other things. With movie theaters closed until the curve is flattened on the current pandemic, millions, like myself, are left with streaming as the only way to watch new movies in place of our theatrical experiences at our local multiplexes. Thankfully, Netflix is still rolling out new content on a daily basis, including original movies like Uncorked, which drops today. From director Prentice Penny, this dramadey about wine and family is just what the doctor ordered during these uncertain times.
2019 was a good year at the movies. Sure, 2019 brought us a handful of movies that I’ll surely revisit in the near future, but I honestly feel like it was a letdown year. But still, there were some great movies that came out in 2019. We experienced movies that acted like love letters to Hollywood. We experienced movies from a streaming service that turned in arguably more quality movies than any movie studio (their quantity also outweighed everyone else). We experienced movies that made Film Twitter mad. And finally, we experienced more movies that created all sorts of emotions, which continued to help us, the moviegoers, escape reality. These experiences are a part of why we love movies so much, and that is why we should always talk about the best of the best every year. Talk about the ones that deserve the attention. Ones that you may have not heard about that absolutely deserve your time (and money).
If you thought Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk was intense, director Sam Mendes’ 1917 is here to say, “Hold my beer.” That’s not a diss to Dunkirk, which was one of the best movies of 2017. But after witnessing another staggering war epic in the case of 1917, it feels like it’s in a league of its own. This largely is due to 1917 playing out like a one-shot movie. If you’re not familiar with that term, a one-shot movie is “a full-length movie filmed in one long take by a single camera, or manufactured to give the impression it was” (according to Wikipedia). And thanks to a combination of other impressive achievements that come together on the big screen, 1917 is not only filmmaking at its best, but it’s also the best movie of 2019, period.