Bradley Cooper’s best role may be as an weapons-obsessed, semi-homicidal raccoon, but the actor has put together a solid list of performances in which he is not knee-high and betailed. When Alias exploded on ABC, everyone thought Jennifer Garner was going to be the breakout star from the cast, but, over the years, Cooper has emerged as the most talented member of that fantastic ensemble cast. He’s hit or miss as a leading man, with his best solo performance undoubtedly being sniper Chris Kyle in American Sniper. Where Cooper shines is as part of an ensemble. He works best when paired with other high caliber actors (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) and can easily do drama, comedy, or action. His achievement with Rocket is not glib praise. Cooper completely transforms his voice to play one of the MCU’s most popular characters and manages to make a character that is silly in concept, a hysterical, often moving example of voice acting at its finest. With A Star is Born, Cooper added A-list director to his repertoire, taking his career in a direction akin to that of Clint Eastwood. Cooper has a bright future in front of the camera and behind it.
It’s good that it was a great year for movies because we certainly needed the escapism in 2016. I cannot recall a year with more quality films, both inside franchises and standalone films. Exemplifying that most was Disney, which had the single greatest year of any studio in Hollywood history, grossing way over $7 billion, and doing it with quality. It’s no accident that The House of the Mouse will end up with the top 5 grossing movies of the year. Whether it be through their own animated and live action films, Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars, Disney put quality product after quality product out in 2016 and people responded in droves. It may be overly optimistic, but let’s hope that studios take note that the films that made the bucks were the films that were good.
And there’s so many films yet to see! I have to qualify this as a preliminary list. I’ve seen 64 movies in 2016 (normally I average 90 when all is said and done). With Oscar films releasing wide in January, this list may very well change, which is why my ultimate say on the year in film is our annual Renaissance Film Awards which will take place Oscar week. But as this year ends, it’s fitting and right that I single out the my top 10 (the quality is so deep, I may do a top 25 list later in February alongside the Rennys). My top two films have not changed since May and they are such a dead heat in my mind that they just swapped again last night. No surprise, both are Disney films. I gave out three perfect 10’s (thus far) for 2016 films, but more 9’s than any year I’ve been a reviewer. Yes, there were films we were counting on that fizzled (Batman vs. Superman, Jason Bourne, Assassin’s Creed, etc.), but many more films stood up and surpassed our wildest expectations. So, caveats in place here is my simple Top 10 as the year ends followed by a great 2016 Year in Film video put together by the talented people at We Got This Covered. May you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and I’ll catch you killing time in 2017. Continue reading Killing Time’s Top 10 Movies of 2016→
Hard as it is to believe, 2016 is halfway done. For moviegoers, 2016 has had its disappointments (Batman vs. Superman…really anything Warner Brothers made), but it’s also delivered flawless films, super hero awesomeness, animated classics, and some surprise gems. The story of the year so far, though, is Disney. The studio has manhandled the box office, winning nearly half the weeks in the year thus far. Yes, Alice: Through the Looking-Glass failed and The BFG isn’t looking like a winner, but the studio barely noticed because the films trampling those and still earning were OTHER Disney films. They’ve made my top three films of the year, to date, and four of the top seven. Disney is hitting it out of the park with all of its major weapons: Disney Animation (Zootopia), Live-Action Films (Jungle Book), Pixar (Finding Dory), and Marvel (Cap: Civil War). Not to mention that it still has another Marvel film in Dr. Strange this fall and that’s all before we get to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. They’re pretty much running a clinic on how to deliver quality and how that translates into monetary success. I’m looking forward to a lot of films in the year’s second half, and who knows what the final list will be, but here are my Top 5 Films of 2016 at halftime. Continue reading Top 5: Films of 2016 at the Midpoint→
Paramount Home Media Distribution has announced the Blu-ray release of producer J.J. Abrams and up-and-coming director Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher, Jr. The spiritual sequel/spin-off to Cloverfield (2008) arrives on Blu-ray combo pack on June 14th.
After a catastrophic car crash, a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) wakes up in a survivalist’s (John Goodman, Argo) underground bunker. He claims to have saved her from an apocalyptic attack that has left the outside world uninhabitable. His theories are supported by a mysterious stranger who is in the bunker with them (John Gallagher, Jr., The Newsroom), but as his increasingly suspicious actions lead her to question his motives, she’ll have to escape in order to discover the truth.
10 Cloverfield Lane is presented in 1080p with Dolby Atmos surround. For a limited time only, fans will receive a bonus Digital HD copy of the original Cloverfield with their purchase of the 10 Cloverfield Lane Blu-ray Combo Pack. Special features include:
Commentary by director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams
Over 30 minutes of Behind-The-Scenes Footage: Take an extensive look behind-the-scenes with Abrams and the cast as they revisit the legacy of 2008’s Cloverfield, and discuss how 10 Cloverfield Lane went from script to production. Continue with a tour of the ominous bunker, see how the costume designer was challenged to create a homemade Hazmat suit, follow the production team and sound designers as they work on the movie’s epic finale, and hear the unique scores composed for each character.
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. March 18th has four new releases, but your best bet for quality entertainment is probably to stay home and boot up Netflix. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (3/18/2016) – Daredevil, Divergent, and More!→