The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become somewhat of a social phenomenon, with a huge cult following and numerous cities that still hold live performances. Released back in 1975, the movie was initially wrote off by critics and audiences alike. It wasn’t until a 20th Century Fox executive convinces his superiors to run the movie at midnight showings as a cult film. The results of this decision have been incredible and continue to be seen today, with countless fans dressing up as each of the characters in their own live performances of the film.
The beginning of the film opens with a traditional church wedding. Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) and Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) are among those in attendance, bursting out in the song “Dammit Janet”, leading up to his proposal. Charles Gray narrates the film which occasionally cuts to him at a desk reading from an old book which looks like the kind you find old fairy tales in. Gray tells us pretty much everything we need to know in the beginning of the film, and wrapping it up at the very end.
Brad and Janet are driving to the home of Dr. Everett Scott (Jonathan Adams), the man whose college class the couple both took and first met in. On the way to Dr. Scott’s house though, they have some car trouble and start walking back to find a phone they can use to call for help. It doesn’t take long until the couple stumbles upon an old creepy-looking castle which looks like something straight out of an old cheesy horror film. Brad and Janet are invited in by Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien), the hunchback servant of the castle.
Shortly after entering the castle, the young soon-to-be married couple discover that there is definitely something strange going on. There is a “convention” of some sort happening at the castle, evidenced by the numerous people they saw ride in on motorcycles. This is the scene with the most famous “Timewarp” number, which has become a favorite of Rocky Horror fans. Janet is becoming increasingly scared, but Brad tries to assure his fiancé by explaining the odd tradition as “folk dancing”. It is in this scene that we also meet Dr. Frank N Furter (Tim Curry), a tale pasty transvestite who is the owner of the castle. Frank is clearly the man in charge, and tells the young couple he will help them out by calling a mechanic, but it doesn’t quite work out that way.
Curry’s performance in this film is possibly his best ever. There is something so perfect about him in the role of Dr. Frank N Furter that inexplicably works extremely well. This is also Sarandon’s first film, and she does an amazing job as Janet Weiss, the somewhat mousy and reserved fiancé of Brad Majors. The longer the couple stays in the castle though, the more it seems as if they are becoming corrupted by it. Continue Reading »
Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel The Shining offers a number of chilling visuals which really brings this book to life on screen. Although King himself has gone on record stating that he didn’t enjoy the film, it has received high praise from both critics and audiences for many years, becoming a classic in the horror genre. At the beginning of the film we meet Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who is interviewing for a job as a caretaker for the Overlook Hotel in rural Colorado for the winter while it is closed.
Although there were others who were called to cast for the role of Jack Torrance, Nicholson manages to pull off the role exceptionally well. In the first scene of the movie, prefaced as “The Interview”, Jack is speaking to his employer about the hotel and is told about its grisly history. The fact that a man murdered his entire family with an axe in the hotel doesn’t seem to dissuade Jack from taking on the job, and he actually comments that his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall), is a “confirmed ghost story and horror film addict”, so it won’t be a problem at all.
Jack, Wendy, and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd) all move into the Overlook Hotel for the winter. The family meets the head Chef at the hotel, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), who provides them with a guided tour of the hotel, including the freezer where most of the food is stored. Hallorann and Danny have a conversation of their own as they eat ice cream together in the kitchen, talking about the special gift of seeing both the past and future that they both seem to have. The chef warns Danny to stay away from Room 237, which is where the murders took place.
From the beginning of the film it is clear that there is something strange about Danny, the little boy with an imaginary friend named “Tony”. Danny’s imaginary friend appears to be his way of channeling psychic input, and it isn’t long before he starts seeing the horrors of the Overlook Hotel as he roams the halls in his tricycle, including two dead twin girls and an elevator filled with blood. The visions that Danny has throughout the movie may not be representative of what is actually going on in the hotel, though.
Wendy plays the shy and meek housewife who is also her son’s best friend and companion. When she tries to cheer up a grumpy Jack as he sits at his typewriter, he tells her in a not-so-subtle way that she has to leave him alone so he can do his work. It is at this point that we notice something strange is going on, and that Jack is acting highly out-of-character, at least compared to what we have seen of him so far. Wendy takes the verbal abuse from Jack, walking off to leave him to his work. Continue Reading »
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Zombieland is a delightfully entertaining comedy about the undead and a world where only the fastest and smartest can survive. Jesse Eisenberg plays the role of “Columbus”, which is the city where he is from, though we don’t actually learn his real name at any point in the film. At the beginning of the film, we see Eisenberg’s character running from zombies and going down a list of rules which he personally follows in order to survive in a world that is filled with the walking dead.
As Columbus is walking down a road littered with abandoned cars, he eventually encounters Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who is another survivor in Zombieland. Harrelson’s character is immediately chafed by Columbus, but the two eventually form a bond that brings them closer together. Tallahassee’s one obsession seems to be finding a Twinkie, checking in every store he can for the yellow spongy treat. Columbus and Tallahassee encounter two healthy and attractive girls, Wichita (Emma Stone) along with her little sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).
The millions of undead zombies that now walk the earth are the primary villains in this movie, and it all comes down to a matter of survival. Columbus has come up with a seemingly fool-proof set of rules to stay alive, but he continues to add new ones throughout the movie, such as “Enjoy the little things”, which is a recommendation that comes from Tallahassee. When Columbus and Tallahassee get tricked by the girls and have their car, as well as guns stolen, they are forced to continue on foot in search of another vehicle and new weapons to protect themselves with.
After getting duped by Little Rock and Wichita once again, the four survivors travel along in a Hummer together, discussing various topics which range from Hannah Montana to where they are each from. Columbus discovers that there is nothing left for him in his hometown, as it has been burnt to the ground. The group eventually gets to California where they end up going to Bill Murray’s house to take refuge. After looking around the house a little bit, it seems like nobody is there. Suddenly though, Murray shuffles out with full zombie makeup on, a measure he took to fit in with the real zombies that can’t seem to tell the difference.
Eisenberg delivers an excellent performance in Zombieland, and there is an undeniable on-screen chemistry between him and Harrelson. One of the best things about this film is the fact that it mixes action sequences with comedy quite well, so viewers are given just about everything they could ask for. Harrelson’s character relishes every zombie he kills, enjoying himself as much as possible. There is something that every character finds to appreciate in this new post-apocalyptic world, whether it is the simple joy of eating a Twinkie or going to an amusement park to enjoy the rides. Continue Reading »
Directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem’s Lot), Poltergeist is definitely a classic horror film, and for good reason. Steven Spielberg, who produced the film, has a reputation which precedes himself and is definitely one of the factors which has made this movie an overall triumph. Although the overall plot of the film may not be anything terribly original, it is definitely well done with excellent special effects which at times leave the movie’s human actors in the background.
Poltergeist is definitely a great thriller movie, primarily because of the amazing special effects which were really ahead of its time. In this film, we see a family who has started to experience supernatural occurrences from out of nowhere. Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) and (JoBeth Williams) have a beautiful house with two children, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) and Robbie (Oliver Robins). The scene in the film where Carol Anne is staring blankly in front of a television with nothing but static is perhaps one of the creepier parts, and it is just the beginning of things to come.
Right from the start of the movie we get some fairly ominous visuals, including a TV screen with a broadcast that includes some patriotic music and images. O’Rourke does an exceptional job in her role as the creepy child, who soon disappears after a violent storm, seemingly trapped inside the television with only the echo of her voice coming out. Spielberg has of course, been associated with many classic movies in a wide range of genres, and he certainly does not disappoint with his work on this one. Poltergeist is mostly about the special effects and how well they are done, but it manages to achieve a very unsettling mood through most of the film which is definitely one of its strong points.
The beginning of the film establishes each member of the Freeling family, giving us some sense as to what they are like as a whole. It’s clear this is a loving family, and the supernatural occurrences which begin to take place shake them to their core. All of the strange events which have been occurring in the home take a particularly harsh toll on Nelson’s character, who eventually stops working altogether after the mysterious disappearance of his daughter.
Desperate for answers, Steve and Diane turn to a spiritual medium named Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) to help them get their daughter back. Tangina seems to know what she is doing more or less, helping to come up with a plan to rescue Carol Anne from whatever parallel universe or dimension she seems to be trapped in. There is definitely a feeling of tension in the home as the family attempts to rescue Carol Anne, with an eerie silence settling over the house as they simply wait and talk in hushed tones. The overall mood of the film is what makes it such an effective thriller, and the acting is fairly good as well. Continue Reading »
Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead consists of a fairly cliché storyline as far as plots go, but it is possibly one of the most innovative horror movies in history. Fives friends named Scott (Richard DeManincor), Shelly (Theresa Tilly), Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Linda (Betsy Baker), and Ash (Bruce Campbell) all drive up to a cabin deep in the woods for a fun weekend getaway. The creepy winding roads with trees lining either side set the mood for this movie, and it is the perfect location to terrify its audience.
Soon after the five friends arrive at the cabin, they discover a cellar which contains, among other things, a book called The Necronomicon, which appears to be bound in human flesh. The book includes all sorts of spells and ancient words which are used to rouse an unspeakable evil in the forest. Soon after the words are uttered, strange things begin happening. There are quite a few horrifying and gross sequences throughout the movie, including one scene where one of the female characters is raped by a tree in the forest.
Those who enjoy horror movies with plenty of blood and guts will not be disappointed with The Evil Dead. Made on a very low budget in 1981, this film has gone on to spark numerous sequels as well as a 2013 remake. Part of what makes this movie so terrifying is the fact that its special effects rely mostly on skilled costume design and makeup rather than CGI, which has become far too prevalent in cinema today. With severed body parts flying everywhere along with chainsaws, axes, and shotguns, this movie is definitely a blood bath in the truest possible sense.
Campbell’s first role as the good guy-turned badass zombie slayer role is definitely what makes the film. There are plenty of scenes in this movie that will make you want to turn it off, but something keeps you watching it. Maybe it is the sheer ridiculousness of the movie, or perhaps it is the skillful way which Raimi has put together this frightening nightmare. The ending for this film is also excellent, which is yet another reason why it is so enjoyable to watch. Most anyone who likes horror movies will more than likely be able to appreciate, if not enjoy, this one.
The Evil Dead has been hailed as an indie horror masterpiece from a relatively unknown director who has gone to work on a number of movies with A-list actors. The way in which the movie is filmed, such as those scenes which are seen from the perspective of the possessed persons, are part of what make the film unique and build up the suspense throughout. There are a number of things about this movie which make it likable, including the fact that while the acting may not always be the best, the special effects, and the style in which it is shot, more than make up for this shortcoming. Continue Reading »
Philadelphia was a highly controversial film when it was made in 1993, more than a decade after the initial discovery of the AIDS virus. Even those who have somewhat of an aversion to watching a film about such heavy and depressing subject matter may find themselves drawn in by the extremely strong performances given by Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, a skilled attorney who has just made partner at his law firm, just before being given an extremely important case.
Beckett begins developing lesions on his face due to his infection with the AIDS virus, and shortly after, is told that he no longer has a future at the law firm. The young lawyer understands what has happened and begins looking for a good lawyer to take his case. After going to numerous lawyers in the city, he finally ends up at the office of Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), a civil suit attorney who is widely known for his television advertisements and willingness to take almost any case. When Beckett explains his situation to Miller though, he refuses to take the case because of “personal reasons”.
Miller clearly doesn’t like being around Andrew Beckett, both because of the fact that he is gay, and has the AIDS virus. Eventually, Miller comes around and ends up taking Andrew’s case. Despite the fact that Miller still doesn’t especially like being around Andrew because of the fact that he has AIDS and is gay, he forms a bond with him and puts aside his own personal feelings in pursuit of justice for his client.
Although the film does have numerous courtroom scenes as Andrew’s trial progresses, it also explores his disease and personal life. Andrew’s partner Miguel (Antonio Banderas) comes to court to support him, also keeping a strict record of all his doctors and hospital visits. It is clear the two men are in love, but Miguel has difficulty accepting the fact that he is soon going to lose his beloved partner to the terrible illness. We also meets his family who are extremely supportive of both him and Miguel. It is made abundantly clear that despite his illness, Andrew has a very full rich life, which is perhaps what makes the fact that he has AIDS so much more heartbreaking and tragic.
Hanks’ performance in Philadelphia is incredible, and there are numerous scenes in the movie which are highly evocative and pull at the heartstrings. The on-screen chemistry between Hanks and Washington is undeniable, and it works very well with the storyline that has been set up. Directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, The Manchurian Candidate), the film is most definitely a social commentary on the prejudice which exists in the world regarding both homosexuals and the AIDS virus. This movie is relevant even today, when things like prejudice and injustice still exist for those who have this virus, including those who are gay. Continue Reading »
The final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is quite the ambitious superhero movie which has a much darker feel to it than any of the others. Although Nolan chose to go in a much different (not to mention better) direction than previous directors with his Batman movies, this one wraps up the trilogy in a very epic way. While we don’t actually see our beloved caped superhero as much in the final installment of the series, it still has quite a few things going for it.
While Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane in this film may not even come close to that of Heath Ledger’s in The Dark Knight, he still brings something to the role. Although Bane may not be quite as charismatic as The Joker or any of the other Batman villains, he does get quite a bit of screen time and is a formidable opponent. Exiled from The League of Shadows, Bane has come to Gotham City to finish Ra’s Al Ghul’s work by offering hope to the city but with the true goal of destroying it completely with a large nuclear bomb.
Throughout the film, Bane destroys a Stock Exchange as well as blowing up an entire football stadium, the latter of which is an extremely visually dynamic scene. In this film, Batman has the help of a young cop (Joseph Gordon Levitt), who does whatever he can to help the caped hero in foiling Bane’s plan to destroy the city before it is too late. Catwoman, who is played by Anne Hathaway, also appears in the film. Marion Cotillard plays the role of Miranda Tate, a millionaire who offers Bruce Wayne a way to potentially save Wayne Enterprise from going broke after Bane’s hit on the stock exchange.
The Dark Knight Rises was perhaps one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and for good reason. Nolan has immensely improved upon the Batman that we have come to know on the big screen, giving him a little bit more of an edge and cutting down on the camp significantly. The Gotham City in this film is taken over by Bane and his large following for the better part of the movie, with all but one of the police officers in the entire city underground.
Gary Oldman returns as Commissioner Gordon, who is preparing to step down as Chief of Police because of the guilt that feels as a result of lying to the entire city about the actions of Batman and Harvey Dent which took place in the previous film. This Batman film is certainly heavier and somewhat dreary, but it still manages to be highly entertaining and captivating throughout. While some people with unrealistically high expectations about this final installment in Nolan’s Batman series may be disappointed, it is a solid film with a lot to offer audiences. Continue Reading »
Along with district attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Bruce Wayne tries to keep crime in Gotham City at bay. Of course, in his bat-costume and mask, people are none the wiser who Batman really is. The Dark Knight is an old story that director Christopher Nolan morphed into an epic movie with the help of such stars as Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and of course, Heath Ledger in his tragic last role.
The story begins when a psychotic super-criminal called The Joker (Heath Ledger) seemingly appears out of nowhere, whose only true vision and wish is to throw the city into mayhem. Batman seems to be the only one even remotely capable of trying to stop him. But until the last showdown, there will be lots of blood, fighting, and danger.
The most tragic of all dark heroes, Batman, is back following the first part of the trilogy which revealed some background on the whole batman story. In The Dark Knight the hero leads us into an even deeper abyss and the final tragedy of his life can be sensed, sadly without a hint of wit or irony which could have given the whole thing a lot more of an edge.
Where is the dry sarcasm Batman has used before, along with his other more fight related talents, to overpower his various criminal antagonists? That, in the original story, is almost just as necessary and powerful as his fighting. Only sometimes is there a glimmer of charm, and where it does shine through, it’s almost always thanks to the amazing supporting actors. Much to the advantage of the movie, these supporting roles were filled with very able and charismatic actors like Michael Caine (Alfred), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) and Gary Oldman (Lieutenant Gordon) – all known from the first part of the trilogy, and adding Aaron Eckhart (district attorney Harvey Dent) and Eric Roberts (mafia boss Maroni) to the second addition to the trilogy . Of course, one would imagine such able actors to contribute immensely to the film, and they certainly do.
In particular, the late Heath Ledger enriches the whole film with his amazing interpretation of the Joker; a clownesque chaotic criminal genius. Before him ,Jack Nicholson embodied the bat’s arch antagonist in 1989 and Heath Ledger fills these gigantic shoes with ease. Continue Reading »
While White House Down came into theaters after Olympus Has Fallen, but still holds it’s own as a great thriller. Both movies have the concept of the White House being taken over. In this movie, the people taking over are not terrorists, but rather ex military vigilantes who are after the President of the United States. What separates the two movies is the Incredible cast of White House Down and the humor they add to the situation.
The movie starts with the main character John Cale (Channing Tatum), who is a secret service agent for the Speaker of the House, picking up his daughter, Emily (Joey King). John doesn’t keep too many promises to Emily but this time he has passes for her to go to the White House with him. She is a real history buff and knows all kinds of things about the White House and the President. She is ecstatic to go. Little does she know the main reason why John is taking her there, is he wants to get an interview to be a Secret Service Agent for the President (Jamie Foxx). His dreams are derailed when he realizes he has to interview with an old college flame Carol (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Needless to say, she doesn’t even give him a chance for the position and turns him down right away. He does not tell Emily he didn’t get the job, instead he tells her he thinks he has a great chance at it. They decide since they’re in the White House, they might as well take the tour. Afterall, this is a chance of a lifetime for Emily. During the tour they also get to meet the President, and Emily tells him that her dad is going to be part of his Secret Service team very soon. The President leans over and whispers in John’s ear, quit telling your daughter lies.
While they are on the tour all of the alarms start going off and it is total chaos. Then anyone who was on the tour gets put into a room in the White House. but Emily has went to the bathroom downstairs by herself. This sends John into a fit to find his daughter.
The vigilantes start bombing and shooting up the White House and killing many people in their path. Their minds are on one thing; get the President who has been taken to a safe room within the White House. John refuses to listen to anyone, he is on a mission to find his daughter and keep the President safe at the same time. Fortunately, he knows where everything is in the White House and he gets a remote phone where he can communicate with other government officials on the outside, so he can give them updates and see what they want him to do to get to his daughter and the President. Meanwhile, Emily has her phone with her and is recording everything she sees. She uploades this to the outside and they are able to find out who some of the vigilantes are in the building. Unfortunately, she gets caught and is held hostage. They plan to use her to get John to come out, who does finally make it to the President and takes him on a rollercoaster mission to get out of the White House alive.
During their early days of making feature length animated movies Disney was king. Nothing could stand in their way of bringing absolutely epic storylines and brilliant soundtracks to the big screen. When Walt Disney died, however, this all changed. The animated movies that the studio put out, whilst brilliant, were nowhere close to what everybody knew Disney was capable of. As a result takings at the box office dwindled and animated movies started to lose their charm. In 1989 this all changed though. Disney had a huge hit at the box office which helped to revitalize the studio and helped to bring animation back to the forefront of cinema once again. This movie was ‘The Little Mermaid’ and it marked the start of the ‘Animation Golden Age’ for Disney. This movie is now being re-released by Disney on Blu-Ray and DVD.
So why is the movie being re-released now? Well, Disney is unique in the way in which it handles its animated movies. It has set aside some of them to be classed as ‘Disney Vault’ items. This means that they are only released for a limited period every seven years. The reason behind this is because they want children to experience their movies like they are a new release again. It really helps them to capture the magic. The Little Mermaid is one of these movies, and having not had a release since 2006 it is causing a bit of a fanfare.
I am pretty sure that if you are reading this review you know the story of the Little Mermaid. For those that don’t, however, it basically involves a young mermaid named Ariel. Now, as you can probably guess for a mermaid, she lives under the sea (cue dancing to that awesome song right now!). Of course, Ariel is absolutely obsessed with the human world (she collects gadgets and gizmos aplenty after all). Her mission is to walk amongst the humans. Cue a really evil sea witch that goes by the name of Ursula telling her that she can have this dream….providing she gives up her beautiful singing voice. Ariel agrees and she becomes a human. One catch though, she needs to be kissed by her one true love or she will never be able to return to the sea. Cue standard Disney story that will melt your hearts. Continue Reading »
Iron Man 3 is the first release from Marvel Studios since the epic ‘The Avengers’ movie. It is also the first movie that Disney had an active hand in when producing (The Avengers was well under development by the time Disney purchased the company). This meant that the movie has a lot to live up to. Does it? Let’s take a little look.
Firstly, if you are looking for some superb action like Iron Man and Iron Man 2 delivered then you may want to look elsewhere. To me, Iron Man 3 is a great deal more story driven. In fact, it is very rare that you will see the Iron Man suits in this incarnation (although they do make a pretty epic appearance near the end!). This movie is all about Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr. of course), going through a bit of a crisis due to his experiences in ‘The Avengers’. Basically he suffers from panic attacks, mainly because he is scared of aliens attacking him (i.e. what happened in the movie previous to this).
Now, whilst Tony Stark is contemplating his existence, things are happening around America. Mandarin-related things are happening around America (if you have read the Iron Man comics then you should know who the Mandarin is). Now, I don’t want to ruin the whole movie for you, so I am going to leave it there. Expect fantastic performances from the crazy scientist Guy Pearce and Sir Ben Kingsley though! Many fans of the comics don’t really like the portrayal of the Mandarin here, but I found it a particularly gripping storyline, as most people would do if they were not a fan of the comics. Let’s be honest, comic fans are hard to please anyway!
The action at the start is pretty intense, although it seems to slow down a little after Tony goes through his ‘existential’ crisis. In fact, for the whole middle portion of the movie we don’t see the Iron Man suit at all (it has lost its battery). Instead Tony is playing detective with a little kid (played by Ty Simpkins, a tremendous child actor). In my opinion this whole middle portion of the movie could have been sped up a little. I found the plot semi-interesting, but there were children around me in the cinema who were dozing off. The plot was of course necessary, but it is an action movie….it should have more action right? Continue Reading »
For those who don’t know it (and many of us don’t) The Great Gatsby is originally a 1925 novel authored by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In film, the novel has had 6 adaptations with director Baz Luhrmann’s version being the 6th and the latest, released earlier this year. Luhrmann’s interpretation of the novel is a far cry from the first film adaptation made, which was a silent movie suggested to be the most faithful adaptation of the novel so far.
The work of Baz Luhrmann is somewhat an acquired taste. You either love it or loathe it. For your information, I am a fan of it. Perhaps, being female has something to do with it but I do know several men who also enjoy Luhrmann films (hubby says he feels indifferent about them but deep down I know he’s quite amused by Luhrmann’s work). If you don’t know what I mean, let’s just say Baz Luhrmann is a very distinct creativity (refer to his past films – Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and Australia).
First, let’s lay out all the obligatory specs of the movie. The Great Gatsby is a film written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Tobey McGuire as Nick Carraway, and Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan.
Might I add, its cast also includes Amitabh Bachchan. It’s his first appearance in an all English language film. I just thought I’d put it out there for the Bollywood fans. Out of all films, I was pleasantly surprised seeing Bachchan in a Baz Luhrmann film. As you can tell, I am a big fan of Bollywood movies too. Perhaps, this is why I like the extravagant style of Luhrmann films. It’s something both genres have in common (yes, it seems Luhrmann is a genre on his own).
Let’s not get sidetracked. The Great Gatsby was released in May 2013 and it grossed over $50 million USD on its opening weekend. As with most of the Luhrmann film series, the movie is lengthy at 143 minutes long. It takes on themes of love, greed and corruption (typical Baz) set in the Jazz Age.
I won’t go much into what the movie is about. All you need to know is that it is set in the 1920s, an era where the American Dream was to live wealthily and lavishly in New York City. Luhrmann’s take on this movie is through the eyes of Nick Carraway who spent his summer befriending his mysteriously rich neighbour, Jay Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby is probably the sexiest, grooviest and most visually stimulating take; mixing old with modern. Despite this, he stays true to the novel and follows the book’s storyline quite well. Continue Reading »
Ready to jump into a world set in the future where society has been obliterated and fighting off aliens is the regular way of life? Then you should definitely check out Tom Cruise’s new sci-fi thriller Oblivion. From the visionary director of TRON: Legacy (Joseph Kosinski) and producers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the tale takes place in the year 2077, and follows security repairman man Jack Harper (Cruise.) His Job is to fly around the planet in order to find downed attack drones and repair them. The planet has been torn apart after a hostile alien species destroyed the Earth’s moon which lead to chaos across the planet. The humans won the war after breaking out and using nuclear weapons, but some aliens, which they call scavs, still roam the planet. The drones hunt down the remaining scavs and assist Cruise’s character whenever he needs it.
Him and his partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are only two weeks from finishing their tour on Earth and are preparing to join the rest of the human species on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan is now home to all survivors of our species aside for Jack and Victoria who must battle the scavs that are hell bent on destroying fusion farms set up in the oceans worldwide that are used for powering our new colony. (Not sure how the power would get all the way from Earth to Saturn, but that’s how they explain it.)
Action in the movie kicks off right away with Jack taking some blows almost immediately. There are some awesome suspenseful battles between him and the scavs which obviously outnumber him. But lucky for him, he has some high powered drones to use to his advantage. Powered on some sort of fuel-cell technology, the drones are killing machines that are incredibly stable during flight and extremely hard to take down. They have an insane amount of guns, explosive weapons, have highly sophisticated screening and targeting, and are ready to take down anything that gets in their path. On top of all that; they are also highly intelligent and demonstrate some pretty impressive aerial tactics throughout the movie.
Jack is anxious about leaving earth, even though it means rejoining society and ending his gruelling work on a planet that was desecrated by war over 50 years prior. But Jack still feels like it’s home on Earth. Jack and victoria generally live in a high standing sky command center where they get their orders from the space station orbiting Earth, but Jack also has built a home out on a beautiful lake where he occasionally sneaks off to when he’s out in the field. Continue Reading »
It’s truly amazing to see how much has changed in less than a century. At the end of World War II, racism and segregation wasn’t just accepted, it was actually required in certain parts of the United States. Black people and white people couldn’t share public things like bathrooms or schools. Today, that is obviously highly illegal in this country and it rightfully frowned upon. But it took a lot of maturing as a culture to get there. A change that didn’t come all at once, but one that took a lot of small things coming together that completely changed the opinions and ideals of the next — and future — generations. In the movie 42, we see one of these changes. The first black man to ever play in major league baseball; Jackie Robinson.
It started with the a baseball executive for the Brooklyn Dodgers named Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford.) Rickey didn’t like the fact that black baseball players were unfairly banned from playing major league baseball with white players and were forced to play in their own “negro” leagues, and pretty much single handedly ended racial segregation in major league baseball. Which is something that ended up being a huge turning point for American culture. Rickey was the first man to realize the talent of black players and was willing to take the risk and the flack for making such a bold move as signing a black player to his team. Therefore, he had the pick of pretty much any black baseball player in the entire world. After a long search that entailed looking over countless players, him and his team landed on Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman.)
Jackie played shortstop at the time and had an outstanding batting average. There was just one small problem; he was known for his bad temper. Rickey knew the person he chose had to be up for the task and needed to have the ability to take a lot of shit from a lot of hateful people while traveling around the country. So choosing someone known for their temper certainly wasn’t the ideal situation, but Rickey liked Robinson and decided to arrange a meeting. One in which Rickey made it abundantly clear to Robinson that he wanted black players on the Dodgers and the obstacles they’d be facing in order to make it happen. Getting people to accept a black man playing with white players in major league baseball would be much easier said than done. People weren’t going to like the idea and would do almost anything to stop it from happening, including purposely getting under Jackie’s skin. And if there star pupil loses his temper in the heat of the moment, the entire plan is ruined. Robinson knew the importance of the situation and what it meant for him, his family, and the entire American baseball culture. He decided that he was up for the challenge and was adamant that he could hold his cool if it meant playing major league baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Continue Reading »
I’ve always wondered what it was like tens of thousands of years ago when our primitive ancestors roamed the african savanna and had no education aside from what men before them drew on cave walls. If you’re like me, then you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of the animated comedy The Croods. With it’s star studded cast, the film does a great job of showing what it it may have been like living in a much older time period.
It wasn’t like today where the majority of people have access to food, shelter, and clean water; all things we consider necessities. But rather a life where everyday is a fight for survival; one wrong move and you’re dead. Especially in in this world where there’s a bit of a twit. This story doesn’t have the prehistoric animals we’re used to seeing in archaeology books or websites. There are giant versions of house cats, weird reptile dogs, and small birds that, when traveling in packs, can devour something as big as an elephant in the matter of seconds.
So, it makes sense that you would be very cautious and would follow what your ancestors that came before you had written in your version of a history book. After all, they lived long enough to draw the paintings, right? This is certainly the philosophy of one of the main characters of the movie, Grug (Nicolas Cage.) A man that doesn’t like to take risks and thinks anything new or interesting will cause near instant death. His Daughter Eep (Emma Stone) on the other hand, is a very curious adventurous woman who can’t help but investigate pretty much anything new or interesting with very little worry of the consequences.
Grug realizes this from the start and tries to persuade his family to follow the rules with a story he repeats almost every night before bed. The story goes like this; one day someone got curious and left the cave at night, after seeing something interesting, and splat; they died. (That’s the gist of it anyway.) Eep cares little about what her father says though, and seems like an outcast compared to the rest of her family which do everything Grug tells them without question. Her mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), grandmother Gran (Cloris Leachman), brother Thunk (Clark Duke), and ravage little sister Sandy (Randy Thom) would never dare to investigate something new and know to stay clear of curious things. Because if you don’t, splat; you die. Continue Reading »