Westworld Season 2 Trailers #1 & 2 (2018 – HBO) *Chaos Takes Control*

After a mind-blowing season one finale, Westworld is finally back on April 22nd at 9 p.m. EST.  Westworld, originally a feature film written by Jurassic Park’s Michael Crichton and starring Yul Bruyner, was decompressed into a sprawling epic TV series about a theme park world full of android hosts.  Season one saw those android gain more and more self-awareness and freedom from their controllers, until we see that season two is going to be a completely new ballgame.  Westworld’s teaser was the best trailer from the Super Bowl back in February, and now it has released a fantastic full trailer for its second season.  The player pianos in Westworld all play player piano versions of rock songs; the full trailer is accompanied by Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”.  The finale left a lot of directions in which the show can go.  I can’t wait to see what Jonathan Nolan has in store.Westworld Season 2 Poster

Movie Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) *A Disgrace to All Jaegers*

John Boyega in Pacific Rim: Uprising
When Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim came out,  I didn’t initially love it, but over the years the earnest joy with which del Toro embraced his concept and owned it won me over.  While both Pacific Rim and Transformers feature giant robots, I honestly wouldn’t think to compare them, but Pacific Rim: Uprising reminded me of a Transformers sequel.  Eye-rollingly dumb and awful enough to diminish your appreciation for the original source material, and assuming more sequels without the capacity to even succeed in one.  This wasn’t just disappointing; this was the worst film I’ve seen in 2018 so far. Continue reading Movie Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) *A Disgrace to All Jaegers*

In Theaters This Week (3/30/2018): Ready Player One, Acrimony, God’s Not Dead 3

Taraji P. Henson in Tyler Perry's Acrimony

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  Easter weekend gets a Spielberg film, and two vastly different other wide releases. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (3/30/2018): Ready Player One, Acrimony, God’s Not Dead 3

Top 10: Movie Fistfights

 

WatchMojo’s back with another movie list: this time featuring the Top 10 Movie Fistfights of all-time.  Bit of a violence warning on this, but if you hadn’t figured that out from the category title, then the warning probably won’t be read until after the video.  The guidelines for the list were that the fight had to be fist-intensive so too much kicking got it tossed, and fights could not take place within the confines of sports, so no boxing matches (but then they include bare knuckles brawling from Sherlock Holmes, which smacks of self-rule breaking….ANARCHY!).  I’m not exactly sure when WM put this out, but I think it’s at least three years old, but it does have some great selections….and a few that I think could easily be improved upon.  Die Hard, Fight Club, The Winter Solider, and The Dark Knight Rises?  Absolutely.  Picking a Rowdy Roddy Piper movie over the fight on the tarmac from Raiders of the Lost Ark?  That seems a bit dodgy to me.  CineFix is the king of movie lists as far as I’m concerned, and WatchMojo’s are always entertaining, but seem to have always room for improvement.  I think Raiders is a clear inclusion.  What do you think needs to go on this list?Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving in The Matrix

My Favorite Scene: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) “Musical Conversation”

While I give Steven Spielberg plenty of flak for the turn his career has taken over the last 15 years, that in no way diminishes from his early masterpieces.  I don’t know that Close Encounters of the Third Kind would be the hit today that it was back in 1977.  It’s a very deliberately paced film for Spielberg, and the fascination with UFOs isn’t near today what it was even back during the heyday of The X-Files.  We’ve all but shuttered the exploration of space.  We’re a very inward looking species, rather than looking to the stars and thinking about what or who might be out there, and how we might talk to them were they to someday show up.

Today’s planet would almost certainly start lobbing nukes at anything it didn’t understand, and maybe 1977’s would have too, but I love Spielberg’s optimistic and beautiful take on a first encounter with extraterrestrials.  Math is the universal language, and music, at its core, is math.  It’s logical that would be a way to communicate, and if you have John Williams as your composer, you can have a five-minute sequence of simple notes building into a cacophony of musical dialogue that is as spellbinding as any written words could be.  The five tones of initial communication are the most easily iconic thing about Close Encounters.  Over 40 years after its release, this sequence is still chillingly beautiful….and then Richard Dreyfus gets on a spaceship and leaves his family behind (that part I never quite got).

Close Encounters of the Third Kind