Time plays tricks on us. We look back at childhood, as adults, and think how easy it was. We remember high school and being a teenager and paint both, depending on how high school was for us. If you recall them as being halcyon days, you forget how scared you were all the time; trapped in an adult’s body with no life experience and the common sense of a pinto bean. If you hated high school, you forget how there were days when anything seemed possible, that there was (for the lucky) little baggage, little life weight, and you could just grab your friends and go anywhere just for the hell of it.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is perpetual mainstay on the American Library Association’s “Most Banned Books” because Stephen Chbosky’s masterpiece is unflinching. He remembers. The good. The bad. The awful. You’re in there somewhere. I was a wallflower, though I was fortunate enough to have friends who made me feel like I wasn’t, and we’d sometimes just….drive. And I remember those moments, the people in those cars, the music that played, and just like in this clip, I swear at that moment….we WERE infinite.
Justice League has seemingly been on the way forever and has endured one of the more tortured roads to the screen of any blockbuster in recent memory. First it was two films; then it was one. Then backlash from Batman vs. Superman changed things; then success from Wonder Woman and input from the always meddlesome WB demanded reshoots. Then director Zack Snyder’s family tragedy caused him to drop off the picture. Then Joss Whedon (who was already on-board to do the reshoots) took over the picture and cut the running time by 50 minutes, and then the tone was changed to be more in line with the hopeful note set by Wonder Woman. Take a second to breathe. So after all of that, what is the dominant impression walking away from Justice League? There isn’t one. It’s a film that makes no impact, has no presence, or lasting punch. So many cooks have been in its kitchen that the final product is just an average, bland waste of an opportunity. Continue reading Movie Review: Justice League (2017) *Just Mediocre*
I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to think going into Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The book of the same name is a 40 page bestiary that was published during the course of the original Harry Potter series with the conceit that it was Harry’s actual Care of Magical Creatures textbook from Hogwarts. That a five-film series was being planned based on that, set 80 years or so before the events of the Potter series, with a completely new cast, set in America not the integral Britain of the books, and that Rowling herself was going to write the screenplay (her first, and screenplays are very different from massive novels, another beast entirely you could…yes I hear you, no more puns)…..all this uncertainty lowered my expectations. I thought the film would be good. I really shouldn’t have doubted Rowling. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is definitely in Harry Potter’s world but creates a detailed, charming, and-at times-frightening first installment in a brand-new saga. Continue reading Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) *A Triumphant Return to the Wizarding World!*
The story opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
Comic Con 2016 continues to deliver huge trailers with the second full look at the next installment in the Wizarding World: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Set 100 years before Harry Potter in America, this trailer really gives the first good look at what Beasts is going to deliver. The period feel really comes through, and if Rowling can write screenplays as well as her Potter books, we’ll have a treat this fall. Beasts will release November 18, 2016.