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  • Top 10 Anticipated Films of 2017 By Jordan Mitchell

     

    2016 was a “so-so” year for big budgeted films. While movies like Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool were considered the greatest of the genre, there was also some huge disappointments…. (I’m looking at you Batman v Superman).
    This year is looking to be a pretty interesting year in terms of tent pole franchise films. Here are my Top 10 Anticipated Movies….(WARNING: YES, most of them are indeed superhero films)

     

     

     

    10. Blade Runner 2049
    Admittedly, I am not fan of the original Blade Runner, quite slow for my taste. This long awaited sequel is directed by Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) and stars Ryan Gosling (LaLa Land). My hope for this sequel is to be a bit faster paced than the original while still retaining the elements that made the original such a sci fi classic. Harrison Ford is also returning as the original character Rick Deckard, which is a good sign since he did an excellent job coming back as Han in Star Wars Force Awakens.

     

     

     

     

    9. Get Out
    A horror film about a black man feeling unwelcomed in an all -white rural town where the only black people act like zombies. This movie seems to be exactly what audiences are craving in a Post-Trump America. Directed by Jordan Peele from the Key and Peele comedic duo, this film looks creepy, thought provoking and eerily hilarious. Sign. Me. Up.

     

     

     

     

     

    8. Thor Ragnarok
    The third film in the Thor franchise, while I wasn’t a fan of the last one (Thor The Dark World), I have a lot of faith that Marvel Studios will knock this one out of the park. Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins return, along with newcomer Tessa Thompson (Creed) as Valkrie (another black actor playing a Viking, take that racist trolls). The best part is that Mark Ruffalo returns as the Hulk, and the film will surely draw inspiration from the Planet Hulk storyline (pretty much Gladiator, with the freaking Hulk). Did I mention Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban and Cate Blanchett play classic Marvel villains? Just about everything about this sounds wacky and awesome.

     

     

     

     

     

    7. Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi
    The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is because we know so little of the story. Rian Johnson (Looper) is in the directors chair and I have no doubt he’s going to bring some extra grit into the follow up to my second favorite Star Wars film (that’s right, I love Force Awakens). What I’m looking forward to the most is the development of Rey and Finn as characters of their own and how they fit into this grand universe.

     

     

     

     

    6. Lego Batman
    My prediction is that Lego Batman will be considered the second best Batman film of all time! From the trailers alone, it’s clear the creatives behind Lego Batman has a great love for Batman and his mythology. It’s also a spin off to one of my favorite animated films, The Lego Movie. This looks to be a really good time and it’s been a LONG time since I had fun in a Batman movie… speaking of which…

     

     

     

    5. Justice League
    I am one of the biggest critics of not just Batman v Superman but of the DC Extended Universe as a whole. Justice League, directed by Zack Synder (sigh), might very well be more of the same; paper thin characters, overtly dark visual aesthetic, muddled action, I could go on. However, I am looking forward to seeing more of Ben Affleck’s Batman and some interplay between him and the other Justice League characters, (I mean come on, look at Aquaman!) Does it bug me that Green Lantern isn’t there? Yes! Does it bug me that SteppenWolf, a C lister, is the main villain? Yes! Does it bug me that Synder is directing? YES!!! But it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic and we’ve ALL waited to see a Justice League film, so let’s just be thankful we’re finally getting one.

     

     

     

    4. Kong Skull Island
    Remember how Peter Jackson’s King Kong was good, but all the stuff on the island was BY FAR the best part? Well, this film is JUST about that island. Kong has a stellar cast; Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton). Judging from the trailers alone, this film looks like a wild ride.

     

     

     

    3. Fate of the Furious/War of the Planet of the Apes
    That’s right! It’s a tie! Both films are widely anticipated sequels in a franchise. Dominic Toretto and Ceasar are both roguish bad asses who care about only one thing…. FAMILY. Okay, I know that’s a stretch. Apes definitely is a character and story driven series with top notch CGI while the Fast and Furious franchise are more or less driven by action and bad Tyrese jokes. These both look to be great times at the theater but for completely different reasons.

     

     

     

     

    2. Logan
    Loosely based on Old Man Logan, one of the best Wolverine comic books, Logan is the last Wolverine film where Hugh Jackman stars as the iconic anti hero. This film looks like a gritty “Westernized” take on the X-Men mythology that has potential to be more character driven and personal. Plus, it’s the first rated R Wolverine film (thanks Ryan Reynolds). Not only is this looking to be one of the best X-Men related movies, but also perhaps one of the best in the genre

     

     

     

     

    Spiderman: Homecoming
    Look, I know it is the second Spiderman reboot. But this is the Spiderman film we have ALL been waiting for. Finally, everyone’s favorite superhero is being made by the studio that actually appreciates and understands the character. It was a miracle that Sony was able to join forces with Marvel/Disney to give us perhaps the best Spiderman portrayal yet in Tom Holland in Captain America Civil War. Michael Keaton is playing the Vulture and he looks to be the most frightening Spiderman villain we’ve seen on screen. Even though another Spiderman film might seem redundant to the casual movie viewer, Spiderman: Homecoming is a movie that looks to definitely capture the true essence of Spiderman and bring him to the greater cinematic universe where he belongs.

     

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  • My old love for Special Make-up Effects and John Carpenter's The Thing Movie Review!

     

     

    My love for Horror movies began as a child and in my teenage years I was learning sculpting, Art was my 1st love and in 1981 there was a big demand for Special Effects films.

    just a year after both Werewolves films, one was The Howling and An American Werewolf in London came out. Which the first time we seen and man on the screen change in front of our eyes. No disrespect to Lon Chaney Jr in change in the early Wolfman films nothing like this was ever seen before.

    A year later John Carpenter's The Thing came out, it went up against films like Cat People, Poltergiest, The Beast Within, also a cute little alien film E.T came out that summer. which is the real reason Carpenter's film was a commercial and critical failure. Movie critic Roger Ebert had called it a barf bag of a film!

    I didn't get a chance to see The Thing in the theaters, until It was released on beta video and I was in awed, this film blew every other effects film out the box that came after the Werewolves films, I remember hearing a protested for Carpenter's film because people really thought he mutilated real snow dogs for the film to get the effects. Being a fan of his Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog.

    Screenplay by Bill Lancaster based on John W Campbell story Who Goes There. Adapted for the 1951 film Howard Hawks The Thing from Another World. Carpenter's film follows closely to Campbell's novella.

    12 researchers out in the Antarctica discover an alien ship that landed in ice for thousands of years, a parasite that imitates other lifeforms. Carpenter's version creates the mood of paranoia in the film it develops within the group.

    Starring Kurt Russell who was in Carpenter's Escape From New York a year prior to this film, Russell as MacReady the leader that no one wants nor trust. MacReady prefers to play computer chess and get drunk in his cabin.

    The films score is by Ennio Morricone, and special makeup effects by Rob Bottin. fresh from his The Howling effects. Bottin was only 21 years old creating some the most memorable effects scenes in effects history! The head changing into a spider was the best next to the blood test scene. Bottin had wound up in the hospital for exhaustion. He talks about it on the special Dvd edition.

    My opinion Carpenter's best film! Next to They Live which you can read the review by writer Marshall Gordon on this on this site check it out!

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  • Watchmen, why i loved the comic book, but have mixed feelings about the movie! By Van Young

     

     

    Back in 1988 i work for a small Special Make-up company i came across the Graphic Novel Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons.  i immediately rush out to buy the book after reading it. being in love and being behind two years after it was published in 86. i always said to myself this would make a great movie. 

    After hearing rumours a movie version was in the works i was hyped! but hearing the great action producer Joel Silver brought the rights to it and was attaching cast name like Arnold Swarzenegger, Burt Reynolds, Kevin Costner and the first draft Scripted written by comic book writer Samm Hamm screenwriter for 89' Tim Burton's Batman. i got a hold of Hamm's Draft of the script. when i read it i was appalled! Hamm's draft had no character development to a graphic novel that was all about characters. especially to one of my favorite characters Rorschach a superhero who had no superpowers only a mask to hide his idenity, and a grapple gun, for those who read it, Rorschach is the main reason i loved the book! his character comes across as a Travis Bickle. like Batman he is psychologically damaged goods. if Hamm's version would have got produced. i would have protested, maybe being the only one.

    Thats why the book resonated with me for many years. Warner Brothers shelf the script. and sat on the shelf for years, until rumours resurfaced that director Terry Gilliam was interested in doing his adaptation of the book. Gilliam being a wise choice and one of my favorite directors i knew it couldn't go wrong from the man who gave us the movie Brazil and the Adventures of Baron Munchausen. i got a chance to attend a los angeles convention in the mid 90's he was telling his audience that he prefered doing Watchmen in a HBO mini series. which i thought would have been a good idea, you could cover the all of the 12 issues. but Gilliam's version never got off the ground either. i got a hold of his draft of the screenplay too! his version was way better, than Hamm's version. the only problem i had with Gilliam's version he changed the ending, for those who read the book know what i've been talking about.

    Flash to 2008, director Zack Snyder got a greenlit to do a movie version, coming off the success of the movie 300 which i didn't careful but i didn't like gladiator either so what the hell! when Watchmen came out, saw it the first weekend it came out my reaction was somewhat pleased but still numb over movie version. Alan Moore called Watchmen the unfilmable.  i disagree with the author. he later would come out and say Snyder's version was close to the book. my opinion Synder's was not the director for doing this movie! his adaptation was looking too much at the source material in the comic book instead of adding something on his own, which make a good director. take notes from Peter Jackson's Lord of Rings films although i liked the mood, costumes, production designs, even the acting in the film. all of the actors believable. Early Haley's Rorschach, Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, Patrick Wilson as the Nite Owl. Malin Ackerman as the Silk Spectrer 2. the miscast was Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt the Ozymandias my opinion they should went for a Tom Cruise, he did have a blond hair in the movie Collateral. i tryed watching Watchmen for a 2nd time, but my opinion still stays the same on the greatest comic book that could have been made into the greatest comic book film. which still hold 1978 Superman!

     

     

     

     

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  • Dope Movie Review! By Van Young

     

    Rick Famuyiwa's new movie Dope is coming of age story of three high school students from Inglewood. Malcolm played by Shameik Moore along with his two friends Diggy a lesbian played by Kiersy Clemons and Jib who's has a small percent of african american so he claims played by Tony Revolori.

    Lovers of 90's Hip Hop culture and have they're own punk rock band. Malcolm dream of going to Harvard university the three friends wind up going to nightclub for a underground party which he falls for a girl Nakia played by Zoe Kravitz. Malcolm and friends get in trouble when meeting a local drug dealer stash Ecstasy in malcolm's backpack which he must makes a choice. Having to deal with SAT test other drug dealers chasing him. His choice to be a geek or become Dope like the title of the movie!

     Famuyiwa's Dope movie is a Quirky comedy that's fun fresh with energy with unexpected twist. Along with a killer soundtrack, a must for 90's pop culture and Hip Hop fans.

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  • Rocky 3 Dvd Review By Marshall Gordon 3

     

     

    Rocky III is fantastic film on facing and overcoming the number one obstacle that holds back millions of people from achieving their goals…Fear. In the previous films, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone…also the writer & director of the film) was the “everyman”, the relatable “lug” with the issues that some and/or most of us have faced at some time or another at one point in our lives…In other words, in “Rocky’s  1 and 2”, Rocky was you, Rocky was me, Rocky was us. What made Rocky III stand out was that from the very beginning of the film starting with Rocky winning the ‘chip from Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) at the end of Rocky II, the film goes immediately into a montage of Rocky’s rise of fame, celebrity and wealth (…with Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” playing throughout the montage).

    All while that is happening, there are glimpses of a large brotha’ rockin’ a ‘hawk attending Rocky’s fights…Then the film shows him training with a determination and a fire like he is ready to do battle. Rocky has had 10 successful title defenses after defeating Apollo and someone else has been winning and steadily rising in the ranks…the mysterious ‘hawk rockin’ brotha’ known as Clubber Lang (Mr.T…In his acting debut) but Rocky’s trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith) has noticed and has been watching Clubber’s fights and Clubber in turn notices Mickey and then proceeds to tell the crowd and Mickey after he just knock a guy out through the ropes of the boxing ring, “I WANT BALBOA!!!...I WANT BALBOA!!!”…YOU HEAR DAT OLD MAN!!!...YOU TELL BALBOA I’M COMIN’ FOR HIM!!!...NOBODY CAN BEAT ME!!!...YOU TELL HIM WHAT I SAID!!!...HE’S NEXT!!!...I’M GONNA KILL HIM!!!” Damn…It’s a lot going on in that montage but still great and quite unusually bold to start a film like that. This is definitely a different Rocky from the previous films. Rocky III would probably be considered the “comic book” film of the Rocky series but that doesn’t make it any less of a film with a deep message behind it. Rocky’s rise, fall and rise again are a character study on complacency, narcissism, fear, doubt, drive and determination…Brilliantly written. Clubber Lang is easily top ten best villains in cinematic history but is he really a villain??? Clubber wasn’t evil…Clubber is a warrior…He was frustrated…He was hungry…A Beast that wants to be recognized as such…and he was simply put tired of being pushed to the side and being “ducked”. Hear was a very talented boxer with superior skills and consistently being over looked…Sound familiar???...Clubber is Rocky (before the wealth and fame)…A very angry and disrespectful Rocky but he is Rocky…He wants his shot…He deserves his shot. Clubber said it himself perfectly in another scene from the beginning of the film speaking to reporters after his fight, “I want a shot at the title and if Balboa got the guts he’ll meet me in the ring or anywhere else…My whole life has been directed towards this here title and nothing else…I live alone and I train alone and I win the title alone...I want him…He can’t duck me forever…He can run but he can’t hide.” That sounds like a man driven by pure fearlessness, conviction and tenacity not some villainous nature. Mr. T’s performance was fantastic…He stole the film from everybody and had the best lines. The scene where Clubber confronts/provokes Rocky while Rocky is receiving a statue from the city of Philadelphia is one of the best scenes in the entire Rocky series. The scene shows the audience exactly who Clubber Lang is and what Rocky will be dealing with later on in the film. Clubber not only calls Rocky out and hits him with some hard factual truths but he also hits on Rocky’s wife, Adrian (Talia Shire) right in front of him while questioning Rocky’s manhood…Like I said earlier…Disrespectful but great. Apollo gets some of that disrespect as well…Mickey got that disrespect in a couple of scenes then died later and not because of the disrespect but because he had a heart attack. As morbid as this may sound, Mickey had to be sacrificed in order for Rocky to reach a level of confidence he never had before.

    Every great heroic “comic book” character has traveled this  road…Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Daredevil…etc.…etc.…Losing Mickey and being pummeled by Clubber during the first fight destroyed Rocky on so many levels…His confidence, courage and persistence perished right along with Mickey and his Championship title reign. Apollo saw what Rocky was lacking and why he lost the way he did…Rocky didn’t have that hunger…As Apollo put it, “You lost that fight Rock for all the wrong reasons…You lost your edge.” Apollo then becomes the trainer that Rocky needs to defeat Clubber Lang but there is still several obstacles in his way…Rocky’s fear and self- doubt are the hurdles in the way of him truly receiving the knowledge and confidence to overcome his own uncertainty. This fight is more than just about regaining a title…This fight is about regaining what Rocky had…The eye of the tiger…The edge. They went back to square one with the training…back to the beginning…To Los Angeles…The hesitancy still lingers within Rocky even while training. Apollo notices and calls Rocky out on it…Apollo’s, “THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!!...THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!!” phrase toward Rocky is still a very chilling wake up call to anyone feeling down and out about themselves…”Never put off tomorrow, what you can do today.” Another fantastic scene right after that was the Rocky confronted by Adrian scene…Very powerful…Adrian gets “The Greatest Wife in Film” award from me for this scene.  We all know how the film concludes and in my version of the film Clubber Lang is STILL the Champ!!!... (I’m just sayin’)…but I could go on and on about this film and how fantastic it is. Rocky III is one the best part 3’s in cinema and definitely one of the most motivating films as well. Watch this film and get that edge. I guarantee Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” will be on the playlist afterward.  

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