In the overabundance of “white washing” complaints littering Hollywood these days one film has been at the center of it all for some time, “The Great Wall”. The Matt Damon-driven monster film is far from the worst attempt at an action epic you will probably see this year or anytime in the future. A little bland, but fun to watch, “The Great Wall” is a decent attempt at a popcorn action flick despite the controversies surrounding its casting, even if it does fall short of any real expectation set for it.
Warner Bros. took one heck of a chance bringing the popular Lego construction bricks to life with “The Lego Movie”. Three years later they have taken one of their own most valuable character rights and one of “The Lego Movie’s” most popular characters and gave him his own film, “The Lego Batman Movie”, which manages to take one of those ”they’re out of ideas” concepts and makes it a legitimate an fun adventure that is a surprising joy to watch. While seemingly box office bait and a cash grab with a ridiculous concept, “The Lego Batman Movie” is a hilarious and a well-displayed bit of child-safe and adult-friendly entertainment with enough cheeky references and heart for any moviegoer to enjoy.
Recent years have given us plenty of sequels and reboots that have made people wonder, “did we really need this”? Enter “Rings”, Paramount’s attempt at reviving one of the early 2000’s most iconic horror franchises to create an annual successor to the now complete “Paranormal Activity” saga. Although “Rings” breaths some new life into the series’ story, there’s little here to get excited about as it’s merely a generic popcorn horror flick that treads little new grounds even while adding to the mythos of “The Ring” and its central villain, Samara.
While he has certainly seen his share of critical failures, Director M. Night Shyamalan has seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent years with the under appreciated found-footage film “The Visit” shocking moviegoers in 2016 and “Devil”, which he wrote and produced, making its mark on modern horror in 2010. However many have waited for his true comeback film to arrive and it appears we finally have it in the form of the psychological horror thriller “Split”.
In 2014 Thunder Road Pictures released a modern action movie gem with “John Wick” which became a surprise success at the box office and reestablished Keanu Reeves as a legitimate cinematic badass. Now, three years later and joined with Lionsgate, the story continues in “John Wick: Chapter 2” which not only builds heavily on the characters and story from the first film, but proves to be a superior follow-up to the already excellent action thriller that came before it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, true stories can be a source for some of the best films on he silver screen. In today’s day and age it’s no surprise that one of the most intriguing stories is that of Ray Kroc and the beginning of an empire that is the McDonald’s fast food chain. With a powerfully talented cast, great pacing, and a strict avoidance of Hollywood tropes, “The Founder” may not be the most entertaining movie you’ll ever see, but in the style of similar films like “The Social Network” it takes a realistic and stripped down approach to telling a divisive origin story.
Being a journalist from Northeastern Connecticut and a fan of Boston sports the 2013 bombings of the Boston Marathon touched me on a very personal level. When I heard that a film would be made about the events it immediately became a must see for me as I wanted so much to see the emotion, fear, and aftermath of the bombings play out on screen in a way that showed an entire country how a city persevered and came together in the wake of a truly heinous act of violence. So naturally I came into “Patriots Day” with already high expectations and I can happily say I was not disappointed.
Horror films have seen somewhat of a resurgence in the last year, in both popularity and quality, with films like the second “Ouija” film, “The Green Room”, “Don’t Breath” and others upping the anti for the modern horror classic in 2016. The first major theatrical horror film of 2017 “The Bye Bye Man” looked to continue that trend with a mysterious figure and an intriguing plot to draw the audience in. For all that “The Bye Bye Man” promised in it impressive marketing however the film is nothing more than a dry, scare-free pool of clichés that not only adds nothing to the horror genre, but is borderline unwatchable even by the most basic standards.
After dominating the Golden Globes the public at large finally gets a chance to see what all the buzz is about with the wide release of the musical romance flick “La La Land”. On the outside the film may look unassuming, like any other relatively simple and colorful musical picture, but as much as some people may want to deny it “La La Land” is so much more. The film lives up to the hype in every way with an engaging story, magnificent writing, and memorable music that will make you not only believe in love and happiness in the face of adversity, but also restores faith in classical film styles and treads on creative and visual ground long thought outdated in a industry that certainly could use a bit of nostalgia.
It’s never easy to take material meant for a different medium and turn it into a successful motion picture. Video games, board games, television shows, and plays have all been the basis for films in the past, but in the case of the latest stage to silver screen adaptation, August Wilson’s Tony Award winning “Fences”, it’s as close to perfect as any film adaptation can be.
Video game movies aren’t necessarily a dime a dozen, but they have been growing in popularity in recent years with adaptations of “Angry Birds”, “Hitman”, “Ratchet & Clank”, “Need For Speed”, and “World of Warcraft” all being released since 2014 and yet another “Resident Evil” film on the horizon. Most of these are relatively bad movies in their own right and probably are not worth the time to pop them on the Blu-Ray or DVD player, but one new video game adaptation caught my attention. “Assassin’s Creed” is no masterpiece, but it’s a step in the right direction for a subgenre of films that, rightfully so, has gotten little respect. Still, that by no means makes it a “great” movie.
While the life of an actor or actress may seem like a glorious one, sometimes even the most talented of stars find themselves with regrets and moments they wish they could take back in their careers.
It’s not uncommon to find that an actor is not too crazy about their part in a horrendous film, or even a masterpiece. So for my latest countdown I decided to shine some light on the most infamous incidents of actors and actresses hating their own movies and movie roles.