In a few days the final season of House of Cards will debut on Netflix. That show’s debut in 2013 transformed Netflix from primarily a disc-based rental service, to a streaming based provider of original content on par with premium cable channels like HBO. Netflix is moving even more toward original content, having gone hundreds of millions of dollars into the red, betting that by bagging big names, they can succeed in developing original films to rival the award-winning television series they consistently produce. War Machine, adapted from the best-selling non-fiction book The Operators, starring Brad Pitt, is the first “blockbuster” film of this new initiative. While House of Cards became something of a national phenomenon, War Machine will be forgotten in a few weeks. It’s an inauspicious beginning that primarily fails because the film is stunningly dull. Continue reading Movie Review: War Machine (2017) *Netflix Underwhelms at the Movies*
Well, after six movies and 15 years, the Resident Evil movie saga is finally ov….wait, they announced a week after the last movie hit Blu Ray that they’re rebooting the whole franchise? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! So….yes, Sony has already announced that Resident Evil is being rebooted and James Wan is talks to oversee. Why would this happen when this movie (which I promise we’ll actually get around to discussing soon) bombed spectacularly in the United States? Well, that would be entirely because the movie made a sarcastically absurd amount of money in China, bringing the overall gross of the franchise to $1.2 billion and Sony doesn’t do original ideas, so in a few years, we’ll have The Umbrella Corporation, the T-Virus, zombies, and people shooting zombies back in theaters. But since I am a completionist and made myself finish out the series with the “final” chapter. How did things go? We’re still waiting for that first great video game movie. But on the upside, you still have a few days left to find another way to celebrate National Zombie Awareness Month (yes, I’m serious). Continue reading Movie Review: Resident Evil 6 – The Final Chapter (2017) “It’s Over! Wait, What?”
Here’s my advice to you: if you’re going to go see Alien: Covenant in the theater and you have not watched Prometheus since it came out, you will be vastly better informed if you give yourself a refresher course. Now, if you hated Prometheus, that’s going to be a problem, because Alien: Covenant picks up 14 years after those events and the end of Prometheus spawns by far the most interesting parts of Covenant. The quick and dirty of my opinion on Covenant, because I am going to have to get into spoiler territory a bit, is that I think two episodes into Ridley Scott’s demystification of the origins of the xenomorphs have convinced me the entire endeavor is a mistake. Sometimes things become a lot less interesting the more you know about them (Wolverine’s origin should still be a mystery, for example). Prometheus was gorgeous, dreamed big, was massively flawed, but was admirable in its ambition. Covenant provides answers….eventually, but is criminally boring in getting to them with 75% of Prometheus‘ budget (no one will be calling this film “gorgeous”). It’s not Aliens 3 or Resurrection….but, honestly, it’s not even Prometheus. Continue reading Movie Review: Alien Covenant (2017) “Some Things Should Remain a Mystery”
Guardians of the Galaxy was the biggest surprise of the first two phases of the MCU, so it’s shouldn’t be a huge surprise that James Gunn took your expectations for where the stacefaring group may go next and stood them on their head. For all the amazing special F/X, Guardians 2 is a much smaller, character-driven movie than the first one was. It is undoubtedly Star Lord’s (Chrs Pratt) film, closing questions on his origin in the first film that will give birth to conflicts sure to pop up for the survivors of Infinity War. In the end, though, this film is about family. Not the families we’re born into, but the families we cobble together out of the people who share our mutual life damage and how they can be as strong and weird and wonderful as any biological bond. It’s a funny (probably funnier overall than the first film), screwball sci-fi family dramedy that makes issue #15 of the MCU as fresh as the first.
I have no idea how in its eighth installment The Fast and the Furious franchise has reached the box office clout of Star Wars. While it’s nowhere near as possible as THE SAGA in the US; globally, it seems there is a worldwide love of fast cars, pretty people, explosions, and increasingly humongous set pieces. The Fate of the Furious opened with the largest international opening in history, passing even Star Wars Episode VII to set the new record. The opening is bigger than Furious 7, but is F8 an improvement on the first movie in the series to be a legitimately great action movie? No. In no way is it a descent of epic proportions, but it feels a lot like the fifth and sixth installments: islands of cool moments, enjoyable enough, but bloated beyond justification and beginning to get mired down in its own mythology. Continue reading Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017) “CARMAGEDDON!!!”