After a modest showing in the domestic release of Jack Reacher (2012), I was surprised to learn of a sequel. Tom Cruise reprises his role as the ex Army Military Police Corps Major, turned lone wolf. We catch up with Reacher in the aftermath of brawl in the scene from the trailers. Still drifting through the countryside with only the clothes on his back, Reacher makes his way to Washington, D.C., to visit his successor and only friend Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders). He arrives at his old office, only to find Major Turner has been relieved of command. On trial for espionage, stemming from the suspicious deaths of two Army investigators in Afghanistan. Assuming the worst, Reacher looks to help exonerate Major Turner, but has problems of his own, as his past threatens his future.
As the third AVENGERS film steadily approaches its November production start, many pressing questions remain…Which characters (some of whom are still a mystery in the allegedly 60-characters film) in the MCU will appear? How will the story play out now that AVENGERS 4 will no longer be the second part of INFINITY WAR-subtitled third film? Well, thanks to some info provided by Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, we have more clarity regarding the title change for the two sequels. Continue reading “Kevin Feige Provides Reason For Newly Titled AVENGERS 3 & 4”
In the Summer of 1831 Nat Turner and several dozen of his cohorts launched the largest slave uprising in the nation. Sickened by the treatment of fellow slaves while traveling as a preacher in Southern Virginia, Turner secretly recruited the willing, for the upcoming rebellion. On the morning of August 21, 1831, the group led by Turner, killed in upwards of 60 white men, women and children in the two day long revolt. Though the uprising was brief, the impact had long lasting effects. My biggest concern for Nate Parker, the writer, director and star of the film Birth Of A Nation, was if he’d play it safe. The contentious subject matter in this racially charged climate is already a conversation starter. Continue reading “Movie Review- The Birth of a Nation”
The effects driven retelling of the largest man made environmental disaster in U.S. history; Deepwater Horizon is more akin to ‘Snakes on a Plane’ than the human interest story it tries to be. Minimalist in its storytelling, Deepwater Horizon is a bit confusing at times yet, it still is an effect no-nonsense thriller. That could be good or bad, depending on your expectations of the film. This isn’t an emotional docu-drama, nor is it a bloated CGI fest. (OK, maybe a little) Deepwater Horizon, like so many other calamity films places a bunch of likable characters on the precipice of sudden disaster. Though the film stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson, the real star of the show is the ill-fated semi-submersible oil rig.
Here we go again. Another lazily rehashed piece of American cinema, polished with a fresh coat of hi-res CGI. With a cast that tries to mimic the original, instead of actually updating the product for a modern audience; we have another reason to “Netflix and chill” instead of fighting traffic, exorbitant ticket prices, bland concessions, glowing phones, loud popcorn munchers and mouth breathers, just to see something that was better (in this case) 56 years ago. The story of The Magnificent Seven (1960) was conventional back then. The film, itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954); arguably the most retold story in cinema, has inspired countless adaptations. From Suicide Squad (2016) to The Wild Bunch (1966), the idea of hiring/forcing a band of misfits to protect/defend a town/village from an evil businessman/gang is old business. With classic Westerns sliding further away from the mainstream conscientiousness, the Magnificent Seven remake seems doomed to be future background noise when it premiers on cable TV next year. The Magnificent Seven however, makes a simple but effective changes to the story; effectively making the film feel like an update, and not a carbon copy remake. Replicating the sights and sounds of a film is loads easier than recreating the emotional content felt by my parent’s generation, yet director Antoine Fuqua manages the improbable. Continue reading “Movie Review: The Magnificent 7”
On January 15, 2009 US Airways flight 1549 departed from LaGuardia Airport in New York City for service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state via Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. At 3:27pm local time, just over 2 minutes since takeoff, during it’s initial climb to 15,ooo feet, the Airbus A320-214 jet crossed paths with a flock of Canadian Geese at 2,800 feet. The multiple bird strikes killed both of the plane’s engines. Flight 1549 was losing speed though still gaining altitude and at its highest altitude of 3,060 feet, the plane began to fall. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) took control of the plane and with only a few moments to decide on where (or how) to land. Sully and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) made the call to land in the Hudson River and the rest is history.
The Flight Crash Investigators of the National transportation Safety Board is tasked with recreating that history to determine to cause and best solutions to any accident. On the surface it seems like a witch hunt, but the NTSB has a job to do and while Sully is a national hero in the press, the fate of his 40 year career in the cockpit, is in the hands of a team of government investigators.
Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) came from humble beginnings. Growing up in the slums of the El Chorrillo section of Panama City during a tumultuous time in the country’s history; Duran learned to fight at an early age. Undisciplined, but with a surprising amount of raw talent, Duran made his professional début at the age of 16 in 1968. Outside of Panama, Duran is more infamous for his 1980 forfeit of the WBC Welterweight Title during his rematch with former Welterweight champion, Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond IV). Hands of Stone chronicles Duran’s life and times up to the infamous title fight. Continue reading “Movie Review – Hands of Stone”
Set in ancient Japan, we first meet the young Kubo in his cliff side cave outside of a seaside town, as he tends to his sickly mother. Mom is ill, but has enough strength to tell stories of the past to Kubo; including how Kubo lost his eye. Without spoiling things, it’s easier to say that the past is unforgiving and Kubo shouldn’t stay out after dark. Though it wasn’t his fault, Kubo is caught out past curfew which, endangers the entire town. In the aftermath, that sends Kubo on the run, he tries to remember the tales his mother told. The stories of Hanzo’s enchanted armour are true and waiting to be claimed. This mystical armour is the only thing that can protect Kubo from the forces looking to destroy him.
Day 2 of Otakon 2016 kicked off under sweltering conditions that seemed worse than yesterday. Though it was 8am leaving Essex, Maryland for Downtown Baltimore; the temperatures had to be in the mid 80s, yet it felt like the mid 90s. My thoughts were with the cosplayers that had elaborate costumes. I wondered how many would abandon their all black or full body costumes for something more appropriate for the weather. Not many. The Baltimore Convention Center was consistently more crowded than Friday and featured more elaborate costumes. Continue reading “Otakon 2016: Day 2”
Aside from providing audiences with a hilarious look “behind the curtain” at fan conventions, Comic Con HQ will also have a series geared toward movie news titled Film HQ. Hosted by film expert, John Campea and friends, the weekly series will tackle all things film-from info about the latest releases to interviews with Hollywood’s biggest players. Chief among these friends tackling the latest film news will be frequent Campea-collaborator, Jon Schnepp. With that in mind, I took the opportunity to speak with him info about the show. However, over the course of the interview, we also discussed the ongoing controversy surrounding footage being leaked from Comic Con. Check out the interview below…Continue reading “2016 San Diego Comic Con EXCLUSIVE: Jon Schnepp Talks Comic Con HQ’s FILM HQ”
When it was first announced, 2014’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXYwas oftentimes labeled as the 1st film to possibly dismantle that the financial juggernaut that is the MCU (or Marvel Cinematic Universe, for the uninitiated). However, thanks to memorable characters (see: Groot) and terrific nostalgic and original musical choices, it went on to become one of the stand out entries from Marvel Studios (both critically and financially). Now, flash forward 2 years later, its sequel, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2, suddenly finds itself in an unexpected position, that of the hotly anticipated blockbuster. Will it promise great character moment like its predecessor? Additionally, will it again-like its predecessor-feature great music? Continue reading “2016 San Diego Comic Con EXCLUSIVE: Composer Tyler Bates Talks Music of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2”
Ever heard of Blake Neely? If you haven’t, you should, as he provides the music scores for practically all of the superhero shows on The CW. Seeing that he has become somewhat of a perennial guest of Comic Con, it’s always fascinating to pick his brain about his work with music on the various shows. This year was no different as I inquired about the challenges of working on a show that is long running vs. a series entering its sophomore season (such as Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl). In addition, Blake also shared with me some another activity he planned to get into over the course of the Con. Check out of this and more in the interview below… Continue reading “2016 San Diego Comic Con EXCLUSIVE: Composer Blake Neely Talks Scoring Music For The CW’s Superheroes”
John McClane’s Badge. Kane’s Spacesuit. The Alien Warrior Costume. What do all of these items have in common? Well, they’re props from arguably some of the most iconic films of all time! At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, I had the opportunity to chat with Prop Store CEO, Stephen Lane, about some of the rare props that his company has its possession. Curious to know what specific props you may the opportunity to have in your collection? Then check the interview below to find out…Continue reading “2016 San Diego Comic Con EXCLUSIVE: PROP STORE CEO Stephen Lane Talks Props Collectibles”
In addition to taking part in the STAR TREK BEYOND Premiere, attendees at this year’s Comic Con were also treated to a special Ale to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. Created from a collaboration between Shmaltz Brewery & Federation of Beer, the Ale, subtitled “The Trouble with Tribbles,” will soon be available in select stores across the country. Curious to know more? Well, you’re in luck, because I asked Dan Curry & Vern Raincock, from Shmatlz Brewery & Federation of Beer, respectively, to tell us more. Check it out below….Continue reading “2016 San Diego Comic Con EXCLUSIVE: Shmaltz & Federation of Beer Talk Collaboration on 50th ANNIVERSARY GOLDEN ALE”
Not too long following my time at Awesome Con, I was given the opportunity to attend a Press Junket for CBS‘ summer shows. Among the shows on tap for the junket were AmericanGothic, Braindead, Zoo, along with many others. Seeing that the first two shows mentioned had yet to see their respective series premieres on television, many of the folks on hand (i.e. actors, creators, etc.) at the junket were relatively hush-hush on details. However, what they DID reveal about each show and its characters, was still intriguing nevertheless. You can check out the respective junkets for American Gothic and Braindead below. Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: CBS Summer Press Junket – AMERICAN GOTHIC & BRAINDEAD”
It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine…)
There’s a touch of trepidation in the air after the phrase “I’m going to Baltimore”. High profile, racially charged incidents has sullied the reputation of the nicknamed “Charm City”. The industrial blue collar town, 40 miles from the nation’s capital is a city on edge, as seen in the riots of 2015 and the protests of 2016. Yet, even if the contentious attitudes towards the city’s officials aren’t universally shared, everyone in town can agree that it was freaking hot out. The combination of sun and stifling humidity turned Baltimore into a sauna. The high temperature was 96, very close to a record, but had a heat index of well over 100. As I arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) this afternoon, none of the world’s problems mattered. The late summer tradition is once again upon us as Otakon weekend begins today. Continue reading “Otakon 2016: The 1st Day”
Let’s rewind the clock back to 2013, shall we? That spring (April, to be exact) a little event called Awesome Con unveiled itself to fans in the nation’s capital. Having attended various comic book conventions prior to that (at the time), the prospect of having a comic convention right in my back yard to was too awesome (pun intended) to pass up. Despite its humble beginnings in terms of scale (during that first year), the event, even then, showed promise of what it could be (or arguably is, now), thanks to its format of panels, exhibitors, and special guests. One particular highlight that 1st year, for me, was attending Billy West’s panel.
Being the voice behind many of my favorite animated characters, I thought it be worth checking him out, and boy was I right! Equally irreverent and transparent with his thoughts about life and the trajectory of his career, in radio and voice work, it was a moment, that I captured, which left a lasting impression on me. Not surprisingly, it was quite special for me to come “full circle” and have the opportunity to moderate his panel at this year’s event 3 years later. In the first two-thirds of the panel, we chatted about his transition into voice work for children’s cartoons, his work on The Oblongs, as well as Futurama. Afterwards, during the Q& A segment with the audience, he reveals a bit more! Check it out….Continue reading “2016 Awesome Con EXCLUSIVE: Billy West Panel”
The Howard brothers are in a tough position. They need to raise more than $40k to pay back the debt on their family farm before the bank forecloses. Toby (Chris Pine) is trying to save the farm for his kids and ex-wife, while Tanner (Ben Foster) is just happy to be out of jail. Out of both time and options, Toby and Tanner decide to raise the necessary capital by robbing local banks. Without taking large sums of cash, the string of heist aren’t enough to send the FBI, so it’s up to local Texas Rangers to catch the thieves. Soon to be retired Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his half Comanche partner Ranger Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) take up the case. Continue reading “Movie Review – Hell or High Water”
A shadowy arm of the government want to be proactive against threats against the land. Realizing the futility of conventional means against these threats, the agency uses an unconventional weapon. The baddest of the bad, worst of the worst criminals ever would fight (begrudgingly) against those that threaten our existence. Set to a trippy set list of memorable songs that act almost as a commentator throughout the film, surely this will be the experience that shapes your summer. Unfortunately for Warner Brothers and DC Comics, 2014 happened and Guardians of the Galaxy was released to positive reviews. With two lackluster entrants for the DC Extended Universe preceding Suicide Squad, the WB and DC needs this film to do well. At this moment Suicide Squad has a 27% positive rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes.com; which was down from 31% 12 hours ago. Despite the vitriol for Suicide Squad, the battle at the box office is ultimately decided by the value of your movie ticket. It’s not that Suicide Squad isn’t worth seeing but, with ticket prices steadily increasing and the added costs of 3D and IMAX (also in 3D); how much is it worth seeing to you?Continue reading “Movie Review – Suicide Squad”
Max (Larenz Tate) is a pro gamer. After the awards and accolades, Max finds himself as the lead beta tester for Seattle based gaming juggernaut Sentinel. Max’s latest assignment is an unnamed first-person simulation set in the present day. Guided by “Tech Support” over speakerphone, Max is under the assumption that he’s checking the game for inconsistencies, as a beta tester would. Max’s first mission is to sneak into a bank that is being robbed and retrieve the contents of a specific safe deposit box. After killing the robbers and presumably saving the day, Max is satisfied with his efforts and the game is seemingly a success. Unknowingly, Max is not playing a game. He suddenly learns that robbery he thwarted happened in real life. The character Max has been controlling is former Sentinel executive Orson Creed (Manu Bennett). Creed was kidnapped by Sentinel and was implanted with a chip that is synchronized with Max’s game controller. Innocents will die if Max keeps playing, but bigger powers are in play that could have global ramifications. Also, there’s the matter of Orson Creed who is enslaved by the game he help create.