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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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  • Top 10 Batman Moments on Screen Written by Jordan Mitchell

    In honor of The Lego version of Batman returning on theathers, I thought about all of the different incarnations of Batman on screen (and boy there are A LOT). After a lot of thinking, deep meditation, and a three hour nap, I have finally came up with what I believe to be the absolute best Batman moments.

     

     10. Bruce Wayne Running Towards Danger… Batman v Superman

     

    Say what you will about Batman v Superman, but the film does certainly start off strong. Ben Affleck is by far the best-looking Bruce Wayne, as if he stepped straight out of the Batman Animated Series. The scene of him running towards his Wayne Financial building as it’s crumbling down is a powerful image. It sets the tone, and was probably the most emotionally investing scene in the entire film.

     

    9. Shark Repellent Bat spray!.. Batman: The Movie 1968

     

     

    You’re not a true Batman fan if you can’t at least appreciate the sixties Batman TV series. This Batman might have been goofy, but he’s extremely intelligent and is prepared for virtually any scenario. In the beginning of the film, Batman is being attacked by a killer shark, which has grabbed hold of his leg. Robin, in his green hot pants, hands Batman his “shark repellant”. It’s ridiculous, it’s fun, and more importantly it’s a moment that perfectly demonstrates that Batman is indeed a comic book character and his world is NOT to be taken seriously.

    8. Robin’s Big Debut… Batman Forever

     

    Some Batfans totally dismiss the “Shumachuer era” of the Batman film franchise, and while they’re definitely not good, they do have some strong moments, Batman Forever in particular. In the midpoint of Batman Forever, Two Face has just buried Batman in a sandy grave. Suddenly, a gloved hand BURSTS into the sand, grabbing Batman’s arm and helping him up… it’s Robin, in his classic red and green suit. The movie overall is not good, but this was a kick ass moment and reminds us that Robin is a vital character in the mythos.

     

    7. Batplane in the Moonlight… Batman ‘89

     

    The 89’ Batman is an awesome film and helped define what Batman meant to a lot of people who saw it at the time. There are many great moments from Tim Burton’s classic, but most of them were Joker moments, not necessarily Batman moments. Jack Nicolson was awesome as the Joker, but he was damn near the main character in the film… he even had top billing. Michael Keaton did his fair share of ass kickerey, but the stand out “fuck yeah!” moment is when he flew the Batplane up to the moon, resembling the bat signal. It’s awesome AND it made no sense, honestly.. why did he do that? But who cares! It was cool.
     

    6. Moment: Warehouse fight… Batman v Superman

     

    Finally, the Batman hand to hand action every fan has been waiting for. Ben Affleck is undoubtedly the best looking Batman on screen. The classic Frank Miller inspired grey batsuit looks awesome in action. Seeing Batman single handedly beat down Luthor’s thugs (even murdering a couple of them) was actually the best part of Batman v Superman. Hopefully we can see more in the upcoming installment ‘The Batman’.
     

    5. Moment: “I’m Batman”… Batman Begins

     

    Batman Begins doesn’t get enough credit. Not only did it put Batman back on the big screen after a long hiatus, but it was the first big successful “gritty reboot”, Casino Royale coming out a year afterwards. The film took its time, showing us the origin of how Bruce Wayne trained with the League of Shadows and adopted the cape and cowl. After more than an hour, we finally see Batman on screen as he lifts crime boss Falcone from his cozy limo. It’s a cathartic moment and Batman’s debut, and it was damn cool. Showing off his ninja skills and disappearing into the shadows, this was a Batman we had never seen before at the time. To top the scene off, Batman decides to compliment the homeless man on his “nice coat”.

    4. Moment: The Batpod chase… The Dark Knight

     

    Christopher Nolan is a legend for this chase scene alone. Seriously, go on YouTube and just watch it again. There’s so much tension and the cinematography is amazing. Joker is trying to kill Harvey, Batman is trying to protect him, it’s thrilling, it’s funny, and shot damn good. Parts of this scene is almost reminiscent of a Looney Tunes cartoon, Joker using a machine gun, then a shotgun, then a rocket launcher in order to kill Harvey, the truck FLIPPING upside down… and Nolan makes it all look seamless.
     

    3. Moment: Coffee shop… The Dark Knight Rises

     

    The Dark Knight Rises certainly isn’t a perfect film, I would argue that it has a perfect ending. Batman/Bruce is presumed dead after saving Gotham from a nuclear explosion. Officer John Blake quits the police force, and Alfred is devastated following the apparent loss of his friend. As the film winds down, we see that Bruce was busy before his departure; leaving his enormous mansion to be a home for orphaned youth (a nod to Bruce Wayne adopting various boy orphans in the comics). As the film comes to a close, we see that Bruce Wayne is indeed alive, along with Selina Kyle… leaving John Blake to adopt the Batman legacy in Gotham. In almost every incarnation of the Bruce Wayne character, he’s never truly had a happy ending. In Dark Knight Rises, Bruce has finally gotten over the death of his parents and can finally move on with his new life…which includes banging Anne Hathaway in Ital


    2. Moment: Joker Interrogation… The Dark Knight

    This is quite possibly one of the best scenes in cinematic history. Batman having a conversation with the Joker and it’s more intense than you could imagine. In the light, you can see Joker’s gross make up juxtaposed against Batman’s dark, sleek bat-suit. Every line of dialogue is rich in texture and subtext. This scene highlights that the battle between Batman and Joker is an ideological one, not one of physical force or strength. Joker is a man without rules, a true anarchist who believes the worst in people… Batman is the opposite, a man bound by his rule not to kill and faced with moral dilemmas that challenge the very heart of Gotham. I’m sure a college student could write an entire thesis on this scene alone, it’s that freaking good.

     

    Moment: Batman and Ace… Justice League Unlimited

    This is kind of cheating, but dammit, I had to put it on the list. On the season finale of Justice League Unlimited titled “Epilogue”; set in the future, an elderly Amanda Waller is telling a story to Terry McGinnis, the new “Batman Beyond” about Bruce Wayne’s legacy. Basically, in a flashback, Batman briefly sits on the swings Ace a ten year old psychic, before she dies of an brain aneurysm. It’s a heartwrenching but small moment that demonstrates one of Batman’s greatest attributes… his compassion. This is by far the GREATEST BATMAN MOMENT, at least on screen.
    To truly get the emotional impact of this scene, check out the episode on Netflix. Warning. There is a 90% chance of waterworks.

     

     

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  • Logan Movie Review By Jordan Mitchell

     

     

     

     

    Logan is the latest and hopefully final entry in the X-Men franchise, more specifically, the Wolverine franchise. Hugh Jackman has been playing the character of Wolverine for seventeen years starting with Bryan Singers X-Men (2000), and Logan is by far his greatest performance in the role. The film takes place sometime in the near future, the vast majority of mutants are gone, and Logan is an old weary limo driver who takes care of the elderly Charles Xavier. Logan’s body is broken down and his claws and healing factor don’t work like they used to. Trouble comes when a mysterious little girl is being chased by a gang of mercenaries, Logan finds himself in a moral dilemma, to protect this girl or allow her to fall in the hands of dark forces.

     

    It is now official, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is the BEST portrayal of any superhero character on the big screen, surpassing Christopher Reeve’s Superman and even Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark aka IronMan. Not only is this is the Wolverine film that fans have been waiting for, but it’s almost too damn good to be true. This is on the cinematic level of the Dark Knight. There’s amazing well crafter character development, the relationship between Logan and Charles is heartwarming and heart breaking. The inclusion of X-23 is brilliant, Dafne Keen is an amazing young talent, while not as charismatic as Hit-Girl in the Kick Ass films, she does very well with her stunts. Spaghetti westerns of old inform the nature of this film, it rarely feels like a superhero movie.

     The action is bloody and beautiful. Be prepared to go on an epic emotional roller coaster with these characters. Logan is a film that has transcended its own genre. It is not since the Dark Knight will you ever feel a sense of danger and tension for all of characters involved.

    Logan is by far the best film of 2017, so far and quite possibly the best film of its genre. Both Marvel and DC are going to have to step up the quality of their respective superhero cinematic universes, because Logan has changed the game.

     

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  • The War Of The Planet Of The Apes In My Observation By Keith Henry

     

     

    This is not exactly a review of this film but more of a commentary of the mindset of some black people who saw the film, liked it, but didn't see the racial implications.

    The War Of The Planet of The Apes was one of the most blatant films I've ever seen as far as race relations in the U.S. The messages were not subtle at all. Director Matt Reeves obviously meant to tell the story that way. I've spoken to several black people who have easily connected the dots. But the ones that didn't were the ones that intrigued me.

    I pointed out to them how the film refereed to the treatment of Native Americans being on reservations the enslavement of  African Americans, hell even Mexican Americans, Trump said he was going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.

    There was a scene where the monkeys was building a wall for the humans. The people who refused to see the obvious were well represented in the film also that were called donkeys

     

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