A few months ago I celebrated a milestone for me with 50 followers here on Cinema Spotlight. Now that might not seem like much but for me it was an incredible accomplishment that I never thought I’d get to enjoy as a blog writer. It only took mere months for me to double that number and a few weeks ago I earned my 100th follower which means 100 of you are following what I write and have to say. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you all for making this blog more than just a hobby for me. It’s quickly become a passion of mine and I’ve enjoyed receiving more feedback from several of you on your thoughts concerning the lists and reviews I’ve been posting. This has inspired me to celebrate this success in September and October. Read on to find out how.
He was one of the most entertaining men of comedy, an inspiring personality and an iconic actor and performer like few the world has ever seen, and he just happened to be one of my personal favorites. Over the weekend we mourned the four-year anniversary of the passing of an icon, Robin Williams. I remember the day I found out Williams committed suicide. It changed my perspective on life as a movie fan and as a person as it did many others. His impact on the 90s generation is undeniable and his career spans well before, and well after, that decade as well. The Oscar winner and multi-Golden Globe winner has an extensive filmography of iconic and memorable performances even if he may have been the only good thing about some of his movies. To honor a man who is largely responsible for helping grow my interest in movies as a kid I decided to finally take a look at this actor’s best and most iconic roles. These are my picks for the Top 10 Robin Williams Performances.
It was a surprisingly busy week at the box office as a pair of new releases over performed and a limited release offering stirred the pot a bit shaking up the top five and threatening “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” two-week hold on the top spot. After even Disney couldn’t land the top spot at the box office last week over the action epic there were questions about how long “Fallout” could stand tall in the always bland month of August. Did “Fallout” rule for a third week? Let’s examine the numbers in this week’s Box office breakdown, August 10-12, 2018.
The legend of Slender Man has become one of the most famous creepypastas, and if you don’t know what a creepypasta is it’s pretty much an internet-based urban legend for the social media generation. In 2014 these legends came to a head when the Slender Man inspired a 12-year-old girl to kill two of her friends in real life. Naturally this created mass appeal and interest in the being which inevitably led a film to be green lit. Four years after the infamous Slender Man murders we finally have that film. However, the movie also comes several years after interest in creepypastas started to fade. All the same Slender Man seems like it would be a perfect subject for a horror movie with extensive mythology behind it. So, does this horror movie live up to the legacy of its namesake or does it spoil that potential on cheap thrills? Let’s take a look. This is my review of “Slender Man”.
Back in the 1990s Disney purchased the rights to a book that was expected to be the next big shark movie thriller through their Hollywood Pictures studio. Several studio changes and a stint in development hell late and we finally have “The Meg”. Starring Jason Statham and putting the focus on a massive prehistoric shark let loose on the world “The Meg” sounds like a really cool idea on paper, but it’s messy production and high budget had many wondering if this film would be any good or even be good enough to work as a campy B-movie. I’ll be honest I was excited to see it for myself and now that I have I’m ready to give my take. Is it as bad as many expected it to be or are there redeeming qualities that make “The Meg” a harmless attempt at the summer blockbuster? Let’s take a look. This is my review of “The Meg”.
Once in a generation a movie comes around that defines that era’s youth in such a way that it becomes more than just a timely cinematic feature, it becomes a time capsule of personality, pop culture and values for those ten, twenty, thirty, fifty years down the road to enjoy. For the current generation, those known as Generation Z, it appears we have found that film. Much like “The Breakfast Club” helped define the youth of the 80s and “Boyhood” focused on growing up in the 2000s “Eighth Grade” could go down in history as the ultimate defining picture for the new generation growing up in the 2010s. Written and directed by one of my all-time favorite comedians Bo Burnham “Eighth Grade” was a must see for me and a film I had very high expectations for. So naturally I went out to see it upon its wide release (as the only guy in a theater filled with tweens I might add…awkward) to see if this movie is truly up to snuff. So is “Eighth Grade” the masterpiece many have made it out to be? Let’s dive in. This is my review of “Eighth Grade”.
I LOVE shark movies. This predator has fascinated me for pretty much my entire life bringing fear and amazement to my brain every time I think about it. Hell, my first career goal in life was to become a marine biologist before I found my passion to be more in communications and writing than the sciences. Still I find myself drawn to films that put this legendary predator front and center. This weekend we see the shark’s great ancestor the Megalodon take center stage in “The Meg” giving us what could be one of the most innocently campy and entertaining shark films of all time. So naturally I went back and looked at other innocently campy shark movies of the past, and even ones that were pretty good as cinematic art. It’s a list I held on to specifically for the release of this film. These are my picks for the Top 10 Shark Movies.
The young adult novel adaptation was once at the pinnacle of cinematic popularity. “Harry Potter”, “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” helped turn the concept into one of the biggest guaranteed cash grabs in Hollywood with every studio trying to grab their own YA franchise the same way they’re trying to copy the Marvel Cinematic Universe now. But somewhere along the way things went wrong and now the YA adaptation is one of the hardest sells in the business with studios trying to revive it more than cash in on it. That brings me to “The Darkest Minds”, 20th Century Fox’s attempt to try and squeeze whatever’s life is left from the YA craze with a formulaic and derivative dystopian adventure that pretty much hits all the notes you would expect, for better or worse. So, does that make “The Darkest Minds” a truly boring retread or does this film stand on its own despite its clichés as a fun big-screen experience? Let’s find out. This is my review of “The Darkest Minds”.
Disney, Fox and Lionsgate all put forward offering this past weekend to try and dethrone last week’s champion, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”. The new releases resulted in mixed numbers as the summer blockbuster season comes to an end and the slower transition period between summer and fall takes hold in August. Were any of these new releases able to top the spy thriller? Let’s take a look. Here is my Box Office Breakdown for August 3-5, 2018.
What do you get when you put together a pair of top notch comedic actresses, a promising female director and a collection of spy genre cliches and action scenes then mix them up in a blender? Something like “The Spy Who Dumped Me”. Directed and co-written by Susanna Fogel and starring Mela Kunis and Kate McKinnon “The Spy Who Dumped Me” offers a bit of everything, melding humor and action with a fish-out-of-water female buddy story trying to tackle multiple genres at the same time. Some critics have even questions whether this movie’s creators knew the identity they wanted to incorporate into this film. So naturally I took a look for myself. How well does this action spy comedy stack up? Let’s find out. This is my review of “The Spy Who Dumped Me”.
Winnie-the-Pooh is by far one of Disney’s most bankable sources of guaranteed nostalgia. The silly old bear has been ingrained in the minds of young fans for several generations, so it was only a matter of time before the property got the inevitable live-action treatment as part of Disney’s continued efforts to present to bring their most valued properties to literal life. Thus, we have “Christopher Robin”, a film that doesn’t focus so much on the bear but rather his human best friend exploring how Robin reconnects with his childhood friends as an adult. The question is does this film capture the imagination of its source material or just phone in another live action attempt to make more money off of our childhoods? Let’s take a closer look and find out. This is my review of “Christopher Robin”.
I’m not going to lie even at 28 I still enjoy a good young adult novel series now and then. I even enjoy it when my favorite such books are turned into movies and let’s face it this is a formula that works because it targets growing movie fans looking for something to relate to. However, believe it or not these franchises fail more than they offer good returns. For every “Harry Potter” franchise there is an “Eragon”. For every “Maze Runner” there is a “Golden Compass”. Whether it’s due to an overuse of creative license or just simply poor filmmaking many young adult franchises fall long before they have the chance to reach their conclusion. With a new hopeful franchise launching this weekend in “The Darkest Minds” I decided to put together my own version of an overdone list many others before me have covered and explore those young adult franchises that tried and failed. These are my picks for the Top 10 Failed Film Franchises Based on YA Novels.