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”.
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).
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.
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”.
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”.
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.
I LOVE Pokémon! Growing up in the 90s this fad took off right as I was getting old enough to even be INTO a fad and for the last two decades fans have enjoyed numerous animated theatrical films to tide us over. However, for the first time Pokémon is officially going live action and maybe not in the way we all expected. Enter “Detective Pikachu”, a movie based on a spinoff game of the franchise about a Pikachu and his human friend who solve crimes together. Yes, this quirky little cash grab of a game is going to be the first Pokémon property to receive an official live-action treatment and we got our first look at the project earlier this week with a trailer. It took me a couple days to really sit down and sift through it, but I finally found the time and now I’m ready to see what this neat little sneak peak has to offer. Let’s break down the trailer for “Detective Pikachu”.
Yesterday we lost a true legend in pop culture, Stan Lee. A personal idol of mine and the former chairman of Marvel who helped the company become a comic book juggernaut Lee was an icon to many, helping originate countless superheroes many of which have earned cinematic adaptations. I thought hard about how I was going to honor this man and legend on my blog. This is a movie blog after all and I like to keep things pretty on topic. That said Stan Lee was not a movie star, but many did consider him a master of the cameo as he appeared in all 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date as well as other Marvel-based properties that have hit theaters. While it has been confirmed we will see Lee at least one more time in the MCU in next years’ “Avengers 4” I felt the most appropriate way to honor this man and have a little fun at the same time was to put these cameos front and center. So, to honor Stan Lee and his legacy here are my picks for the Top 10 Stan Lee Cameos on Marvel Movies.
Last week we saw “Bohemian Rhapsody” make a statement with a box office win kicking off the penultimate month of 2018. November doesn’t look to be slowing down either with Oscar season offerings and big budget projects all being churned out over the next six weeks or so. This past weekend was no different with three new major releases attempting to draw crowds, all from different genres. Were any of these films able to defeat the Queen biopic or did they fall flat with audiences? Let’s take a look in this week’s Box Office Breakdown, Nov. 9-11, 2018.
I was eleven years old when the first feature length adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” hit theaters in 2000. Since then that live action version has become the quintessential classic for my generation while those from older generations still hold tightly to the impact of the original television cartoon. Now the current generation of children will have their own adaptation of the famous Christmas story to embrace with “The Grinch”, a computer animated take of the tale of the titular grump and his war on Christmas. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know or enjoy the story of the Grinch in one form or another so this new take on the tale certainly had a lot to live up to. That begs the question, does this new animated version of “The Grinch” hold up and add something new to the legacy or is it a carbon copy retread worth skipping over? Well I’m late on making this post as it is so let’s get to it. This is my review of “The Grinch”.
Earlier this year we got an underwhelming “Cloverfield” universe addition called “The Cloverfield Paradox” that left fans wanting more from the J.J. Abrams produced franchise that explores different genres in science fiction with each film. With Abrams producing another movie released this weekend called “Overlord” many believed this would be the SECOND “Cloverfield” tie-in movie to be released in 2018, alas it is not. “Overlord” is an intriguing movie though, one that melds war film and zombie horror into a single project with the full intent of being a no-holds-barred cinematic experience of gore and fun. But how well does it actually do the job? Well I’m here to fill you in. This is my review of “Overlord”.
There are countless movies based on books that are released year in and year out and many of them are based on some pretty lengthy works. But not every book that inspires a film is 500 pages long. Heck some aren’t even 100 pages long. For example, Dr. Seuss’ classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is only 69 pages and yet this weekend we get our second theatrical film adaptation of the legendary picture book with “The Grinch”. You’d be surprised how many of these short picture books have indeed been the subject of theatrical films and since “The Grinch” does grace the big screen this weekend I decided to take a closer look at these products and pick out the best movies that have captured, or at least tried to capture, the magic of our favorite childhood stories. These are my picks for the Top 10 Movies Based on Children’s Picture Books.