I went into the 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast with certain expectations, given that the soundtrack of the 1991 animated version lit up my sixth Christmas… and most of the rest of that year. I played that VHS tape on repeat and knew every song by heart. It has a special place in my heart, and I desperately wanted this remake to hold the same magic and wonder. Sadly, it is a pale (if mostly entertaining) replica of a cinematic masterpiece.
Category: Movies Archives - The Loresworn Order
When you go to see a movie based on a comic, like Logan, you always hope that it does the source material justice. But more often than I’d like, fight scenes get added and lines get cut until the movie is an inferior version of the story. Logan is not one of those movies. A beautiful film with a palpable affection for the ink-and-paper original, it draws inspiration from classic westerns while presenting a new storyline that’s slimmed down, but takes care to allow the original’s themes to shine on screen.
It’s been a while since I actually hit a movie opening night, and the nerdy glory of Kong: Skull Island made it feel like too long. With set pieces designed by local artist WarWolf Projects and a green screen for Kong selfies provided by PopCulture Classroom*, The Alamo Draft House turned what I expected to be just another movie night into something a little more special.
When searching for one word to describe the aesthetic of A Cure for Wellness, “gothic” actually seems to fit the best. That was not what I expected going into a film billed as a sci-fi horror/thriller. But the unusual aesthetic choices framed a juicy mystery which left me wanting to watch it again.
“Bana nana nana nana – BATMAN!” sings Lego Batman several times through out The Lego Batman Movie. That pretty much sums up the attitude of the film, actually. If you saw The Lego Movie, you have a little bit of an idea what to expect in terms of tone and visuals. The story is simple: We follow the metal-loving, gadget-wielding, fan-enchanting reimagining of Batman who wants to be a superhero 24/7, and nothing else. He runs around saving Gotham, eating lobster thermidor, and refusing to go to bed in a determined attempt to avoid his own back story.
Some have called X-Men: Apocalypse the most epic X-Men movie yet. And it is an epic, in the sense of the ancient tradition of epic storytelling: long, archetypal tales with tons of characters, a simple plot, and little need for nuanced character development. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the movie a great deal. But my low expectations given the mostly repetitive nature of X-Men movie plots weren’t exactly subverted.
10 Cloverfield Lane is an astoundingly bold and gripping genre movie that exceeded my expectations in just about every area. Its layers run so deep that even being more specific about what genre, exactly, I’m referring to would be a potential spoiler. I’ll do my best to avoid any of those, because this is definitely an experience you owe it to yourself to go into with as little information as possible.
I’m probably the only person eagerly awaiting the Oscar nominations. Yes I’m that film nerd. But this time of year always makes me want to look back over the last year of movies and make sure I didn’t miss anything good. This year was a great year for women in film, in particular. We still have a ways to go—toy makers still leave us out of their franchise sets, and men still dominate casts, production teams and writing rooms. But there were a lot of silver screen stories featuring strong, awesome ladies in the past twelve months. These are my top ten favorite characters brought to life in 2015.
With school back in the swing of things, work piling in and the weather cooling down, free movies and shows quickly become our best friends. Need a break from the grind? Looking for a more economical date night? Pull up a sofa, pop some popcorn and check out these recommendations you can stream right now on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
I think it says a lot about me that nothing inspires nostalgia in my adult self like watching aliens get punched in the face.
I grew up on Dragonball Z. It was everything the action-obsessed preteen boy I was wanted in a cartoon: Grown men screaming, shooting energy blasts at each other, and just generally beating the tar out of anything that moved with no-brainer plots as the backdrop. It’s like animated pro-wrestling, but instead of title belts and avenging folding chair ambushes, the fate of the universe is at stake. As T.J. so aptly points out, “It’s really dumb, but you can’t help but love it.”
On my first day of editing class in grad school, the professor asked everyone what their favorite movie was. There were a lot of Citizen Kane fans and anything-Scorsese answers. To a man, everyone listed heavy dramas and art films. And then there was me. I said my favorite movie was Transformers (yes, the 2007 Michael Bay version). My professor looked so disappointed. Now, before you throw the book at me and stop reading in disgust, hear me out. I think we’ve developed an extremely strange attitude towards movies, and in my opinion, it’s killing the fun of film.
When you’ve got a dream to take your family (or yourself) to Wally World (or a raunchy summer comedy at 10 o’clock in the evening), never let that go. Or let it go just once, because you’re tired and the weekend is better for seeing movies anyway.
Advice taken, Mr. Griswold.
The original Vacation, starring Chevy Chase as the earnest and oafish Clark Griswold and Beverly D’Angelo as his excellent straight woman wife, Helen, is, quite frankly, one of the best comedy films in the history of American cinema. The saga of the Griswold clan as they travel through 2,000 miles of existential hell is still, to this day, laugh out loud funny (and that computer Clark plans their trip with? Watching that scene on Blu-Ray in 2015 is a bit of a mind melter). It is that classic which the new Vacation, borrowing the same title, seeks to both pay tribute to and emulate.
It succeeds, but only partially, on both counts.
Marvel’s Phase 2 has come to a close, not with the subplot-stuffed Whedon spectacle of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but with a quirky action comedy where Paul Rudd rides on a bug. With clever writing, clear and believable character motivations, and a desire to take itself just seriously enough that the titular character doesn’t become a Deadpool-caliber walking joke, Ant Man hits the mark of quality we’ve come to expect from Marvel Studios. It just doesn’t go very far beyond that.
Many advance critics were suggesting that the one phrase to describe the Amy Schumer/Judd Apatow summer super comedy should be “feminist gold”. Finally, everyone’s favorite snarky lady comic had her moment on the silver screen. If I had to pick one phrase, it would be “long”.