Month: November 2018

Review: “Green Book”

“Green Book” has been touted as a front runner for awards season and as one of the best movies of 2018. Many have compared it (favorably) to the Best Picture winning 1989 classic “Driving Miss Daisy”, although in the case of “Green Book” it’s a real-life story and the roles of the races are reversed with a white man chauffeuring a black man. With so much buzz surrounding it and some amazing names in the cast I had to give it a watch to see for myself if “Green Book” was really up to snuff especially in a year where race relations seems to have been a hot topic in the world of film. That said is this movie worth all of the praise it’s been receiving or is “Green Book” and epic miss? Let’s take a look. This is my review of “Green Book”.

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Top 10 Possession Horror Movies

Possession is one of the most common story elements in horror films. Some of the most iconic in history revolve around the concept whether it’s due to a demon, a ghost or even the devil himself taking control of a physical human being. It’s so common in fact you could make an entire subgenre out of it and thus we have my list today. This weekend’s only new major release is a horror film that embraces this very premise called “The Possession of Hannah Grace” and I thought it would be fun to close out the month of November with a look at some of the best horror movies to work possession elements into their stories. These are my picks for the Top 10 Possession Horror Movies.

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Review: “Beautiful Boy”

Drug addiction is one of the most controversial yet destructive vices impacting society today. Here is America opioids have become one of the most damaging mainstream drugs on the market, used to treat mental and physical illness but also highly addictive due to their euphoric and relaxing properties. A lot of films have tried to capture the impact such drugs and addiction in general have on someone’s life and family, but surprisingly not a lot of them are grounded in the real world which is probably why “Beautiful Boy” has gained so much attention in recent weeks. An early Oscar favorite, this biographical drama is based on the duel struggles of father and son Dave and Nic Sheff whose memoirs provided looks at the different sides of addiction, the addict and the loved ones affected by the addiction. I finally got the chance to see the film myself. Is “Beautiful Boy” the emotionally charged experience is needs to be or is it a pandering drama that misses the mark? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Beautiful Boy”.

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Box Office Breakdown Thanksgiving Weekend 2018

Thanksgiving is always a HUGE Box Office weekend for Hollywood with films releasing days earlier than normal to take advantage of the extended holiday vacation. In 2018 this past weekend was more competitive than normal with three big releases looking to score the top spot, including two highly anticipated sequels, which threatened Thanksgiving records in one of the year’s most competitive weekends to date. So, who ended up coming out on top? Let’s dive in and find out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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Review: “Boy Erased”

Homosexuality and transgender identity have become major hot button topics in recent years as acceptance of those who identify as such has become the social justice movement of a generation. A lot of this debate is driven by how these sexualities differ from the morals of religion and surprisingly this relationship of ideals has seldom been captured effectively on the big screen. A recently released potential awards season project looks to change that, “Boy Erased”. Based on the memoir of Gerrard Conley “Boy Erased” depicts his real-life experience in a gay conversion therapy program. Frankly it’s a powerful and overdue theme for a film and with several great actors and writer/director/producer/co-star Joel Edgerton at the helm “Boy Erased” had a lot of promise. So, is this the eye-opening look at atrocity it was meant to be or does “Boy Erased” missed the mark in tackling its real life premise? Let’s take a closer look. This is my review of “Boy Erased”.

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Review: “Creed II”

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday!

The Best Picture winning “Rocky” has spawned many sequels over the years, but with the series’ popularity weaning MGM, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. decided to reboot the series with a new lead, an apprentice to Rocky named Adonis Creed, the son of one of the franchise’s most popular characters Apollo Creed. And thus, a new franchise was born with the 2015 “Creed” being a massive hit and spawning award season buzz. So, it was natural that a sequel would follow and many expected it to connect the story of the younger Creed to his father’s legacy even more. That’s exactly what we got with “Creed II” which builds on the younger Creed’s journey by pitting him against the son of his father’s killer Ivan Drago. With such an epic rematch as it’s base and an amazing predecessor to succeed does “Creed II” live up to expectations? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Creed II”.

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Review: “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (“Wreck-It Ralph 2”)

Disney has proven over the years that while subsidiary Pixar may still be THE name in computer animation the company’s home studio Walt Disney Animation Studios can still churn out credible works on their own. We’ve seen is with the likes of “Frozen”, “Tangled”, “Big Hero 6” and others but one film that still stands out in the crowd for it’s fun and unique premise is “Wreck-It Ralph” which this weekend became the first movie in the studio’s modern CGI animation collection to receive a sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet”. There was a lot of promise for this film with director Rich Moore returning to the helm, this time joined by his fellow story writer from the original Phil Johnston who wrote the screenplay along with Pamela Robin for this followup. A lot of the same characters return to the movie as well while the film expands the universe beyond the limits of the arcade into the internet. With so much promise and a much larger scale for the story this was a risky sequel to make seeing as the original is so beloved among modern fans. So, does this follow-up succeed in building on a modern animated classic or is it a simple retread? Let’s take a look in my review of “Ralph Breaks the Internet”.

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Review: “Robin Hood” (2018)

Robin Hood is one of the most legendary characters in film and literature being the subject of numerous movies and books across several decades. With so many big screen adaptations of his story keeping his popularity afloat it’s no wonder a new cinematic version has been released for 2018 as well. However, this new “Robin Hood” takes a similar approach to storytelling to many other modern retellings of literary legends by updating the material for a new generation with more lighthearted action and a more “hip” and “relatable” hero. The problem with this approach is it almost NEVER works, but that doesn’t necessarily mean “Robin Hood” couldn’t be the exception. After all it was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, so you’d think there would be some merit to it right? So, does this new version of the famed archer and outlaw buck the trend and add to its legendary source material or is “Robin Hood” only the latest in a growing line of bland retellings of tired stories? Let’s find out. This is my review of “Robin Hood” (2018).

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Box Office Breakdown: Nov. 16-18, 2018

The box office is heating up with two holidays and the final weeks of 2018 still on the calendar and big-name films making their debut hoping to steal some thunder. Last week Universal and Illumination managed to come out on top with their Christmas offering “The Grinch” but three new films came around this past weekend to challenge that film with mixed results. Was “The Grinch” able to hold on for a second week or did a newcomer take the win? Let’s take a closer look in this week’s Box Office breakdown, Nov. 16-18, 2018.

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Review: “Widows”

Back in 1983 ITV in Britain released a series called “Widows” that chronicled the exploits of a group of wives whose husbands died in a botched robbery leaving them to pick up the pieces and perform their own heist. Now, 35-years later, that story is the basis of a film, also called “Widows”, that is said to have been a passion project for Oscar-winning Director and co-writer Steve McQueen. It’s received a bit of award season buzz and has been on my watch list for some time with the premise serving as somewhat of a more serious take on the gender-swapped heist movie similar to “Ocean’s 8” earlier this year. The film intrigued me enough to take a look and see if it’s worth all the buzz surrounding it or if it’s just an overrated heist movie that should be skipped. So, without further ado, this is my review of “Widows”.

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Review: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

The “Harry Potter” franchise and the Wizarding World universe has to be one of the most popular series of all time in any medium. While the adventures of the Boy Who Lived concluded with eight films years ago it didn’t take long for J.K. Rowling to spearhead a continuation of the her series exploring one of the most popular side stories from the original saga, the story of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald. That journey began in 2016 with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, based on the spinoff book by Rowling. The idea has sense expanded into a multi-film prequel story arc that continued this weekend with the second entry, “The Crimes of Grindelwald”. Despite controversy over the casting of Johnny Depp as the main villain and some believing the franchise lost its luster long ago it looks like “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is going to be yet another smash hit for the franchise, but where does it stand when compared to the previous nine films? Is it a worthy return to the Wizarding World or proof that J.K. Rowling’s popular series may finally be losing steam? Let’s take a look in my review of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”.

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Top 10 “Harry Potter” Movie Villains

The world of Harry Potter has many great characters including some of the best villains in modern literature and film. Some stand out because of their despicable nature, others are more prominent as iconic pieces to the story of Harry and the Wizarding World. Regardless it’s safe to say that on paper or on film fans have grown to love and appreciate the villains that challenged the Boy Who Lived and his allies time and time again and even those who came before Harry’s time. This weekend we receive a movie centered around one of those villains in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and having been a fan of the “Harry Potter” series myself over the years I wanted to honor the baddies that made this series so entertaining from the start. So in honor of the new movie this weekend I picked my favorite villains from the series, at least the ones that impacted the films. These are my picks for the Top 10 “Harry Potter” Movie Villains.

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