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  • Justin 9:29 pm on January 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    From Avengers to Star Wars, 2015 will be Bigger than 2014 

    2014 was a typical in-between type year for movies. 2015 will be anything but, when it comes to movies. In one year, we’ll get the return of our favorite park with dinosaurs in Jurassic World, the return of our favorite terminator with a Austrian-accent in Terminator Genisys (terrible name…), the return of the Avengers in Age of Ultron, and of course the return of Cinema’s biggest franchise (hopefully to bring greatness back to Star Wars) in Star Wars The Force Awakens.

    The other big sequels will be Furious 7The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, and Sam Mendes’ Bond flick Spectre. Honorable mention to Mission Impossible 5 (who knew that MI 4 Ghost Protocol would be great) to close out the year.

    There’s also a lot of new movies to mention as well, such as Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret ServiceMad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy, Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, Ridley Scott’s The Martian, and of course Marvel’s Ant-Man.

    Finally, Pixar is premiering two brand new movies, Inside Out, and The Good Dinosaur. And just to cover all bases.., there’s also Pitch Perfect 2, Ted 2, Minions, The Wachowski siblings’ Jupiter Ascending, and Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella.

    See, that’s a lot of movies…

    (Pics/writeups courtesy of Collider)

    Kingsman: The Secret Service
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    Release Date: February 13th
    Director: Matthew Vaughn
    Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, and Mark Hamill
    This is the film that Vaughn gave up directing X-Men: Days of Future Past in order to tackle.

    Furious 7

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    Release Date: April 3rd
    Director: James Wan
    Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Kurt Russell, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Djimon Hounsou, Lucas Black, and John Brotherton
    Due to the tragic death of Paul Walker during production, this was no doubt one of the toughest films to get completed. But after regrouping and finding a way to finish the movie while also honoring Walker and his work in the franchise, Furious 7 is poised to be unveiled to the world this spring. Somewhat impossibly, this series is the strongest its ever been six films deep, and with The Conjuring and Insidious director James Wan making his action genre debut on Furious 7, many are eager to see both if this seventh entry keeps the winning streak alive.

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron

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    Release Date: May 1st
    Director: Joss Whedon
    Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany, and James Spader
    Were it not for a little thing called Star Wars, this would probably be the no contest winner for the most anticipated film of the year.

    Mad Max: Fury Road

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    Release Date: May 15th
    Director: George Miller
    Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Nathan Jones
    In a marketplace filled with sequels and reboots, here’s something that’s in between. Director George Miller returns to the franchise that helped jumpstart his career with something wonderfully rare: a franchise blockbuster that refuses to stick to the formula. The post-apocalyptic actioner follows a single chase for its entire runtime of 110 minutes, with Hardy’s lead character appearing to be a man of very few words.

    Tomorrowland

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    Release Date: May 22nd
    Director: Brad Bird
    Cast: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, and Pierce Gagnon
    In a world filled with sequels, reboots, and adaptations, the mere prospect of an original studio blockbuster is somewhat mind-blowing. With regards to Tomorrowland, on top of that unique foundation we’ve got a script by Damon Lindelof, an eclectic ensemble cast, and a mysteriously futuristic sci-fi premise. Not to mention animation veteran Brad Bird in the director’s chair, whose live-action debut was the immensely satisfying Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

    Jurassic World

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    Release Date: June 12th
    Director: Colin Trevorrow
    Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, and Vincent D’Onofrio
    The potential for a fourth Jurassic Park movie has loomed large for years now, but the sequel is now finally in the can and set for release. Personally developed by Steven Spielberg himself, the follow-up finds the dream of a dinosaur theme park fully realized when–surprise!–something goes terribly wrong. Safety Not Guaranteed director Trevorrow makes a big step up from independent dramas to franchise filmmaking, and it appears that he’s swinging for the fences when it comes to switching things up.

    Inside Out

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    Release Date: June 19th
    Director: Pete Docter
    Voice Cast: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, and Kaitlyn Dias
    The folks at Pixar took 2014 off entirely due to the last-minute delay of The Good Dinosaur, so Inside Out will act as our first new Pixar film since the summer of 2013. The feature marks the triumphant return of director Pete Docter, whose past two Pixar features Up and Monsters, Inc. still rank among the studio’s very best. This time he sets his sights on a uniquely told story that revolves around the anthropomorphized emotions that live inside us all. If the first trailer is any indication, we’re in for a delightful ride.

    Terminator: Genisys

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    Release Date: July 1st
    Director: Alan Taylor
    Cast: Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Smith, Byung-hun Lee, Dayo Okeniyi, Courtney B. Vance, and J.K. Simmons
    Here’s a film that is both a reboot and a sequel. Essentially pretending that Terminator: Salvation never existed, Genisys treads familiar territory by finding Kyle Reese (Courtney) once again being sent back in time by John Connor (Jason Clarke) in order to prevent his mother’s death by Terminator. However, when Reese gets to his destination (ie. the setting of the original The Terminator) things are very, very different. The first trailer for this one didn’t really go over all that well, but it’s possible Genisys packs more surprises that make this a franchise worth continuing.

    Ant-Man

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    Release Date: July 17th
    Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, and Judy Greer
    We once again get a double dose of Marvel outings in 2015, and if Avengers: Age of Ultron acts as the big Phase Two finale, Ant-Man is the postscript. You’re no doubt well aware of the rocky road to production of this film, but Marvel recovered rather quickly after Edgar Wright’s departure and the July 2015 release date stuck, so everyone is eager to see what director Peyton Reed brings to the MCU in what serves as Paul Rudd’s superhero movie debut.

    The Fantastic Four

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    Release Date: August 7th
    Director: Josh Trank
    Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, and Tim Blake Nelson
    This is an odd scenario in which we still know next-to-nothing about this film—we haven’t even seen an official (or non-official) image of anyone in costume. Odds are Trank has put together a very different kind of superhero film and Fox is being careful with the way they introduce this reboot to audiences; we’ll know soon enough.

    Spectre

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    Release Date: November 6th
    Director: Sam Mendes
    Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, and Monica Bellucci
    With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes crafted one of the most successful James Bond installments of all time, so it’s safe to say expectations are high for his return to the franchise.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II

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    Release Date: November 20th
    Director: Francis Lawrence
    Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Natalie Dormer, Gwendoline Christie, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, and Donald Sutherland
    The Hunger Games is one of the most popular franchises in recent memory, with it finally coming to an end with the final installment this fall.

    The Good Dinosaur

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    Release Date: November 25th
    Director: Peter Sohn
    Voice Cast: Lucas Neff, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, and Judy Greer
    While 2014 went without a new Pixar film, 2015 may be the first year that we get two if things go according to plan. The Good Dinosaur suffered some significant creative changes behind-the-scenes, but all now seems to be running smoothly with a story that answers the question: what would happen if the dinosaurs never went extinct? Described as a buddy comedy, the film follows the adventures of a dinosaur named Arlo and his unlikely human companion.

    The Martian

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    Release Date: November 25th
    Director: Ridley Scott
    Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sebastian Stan, Mackenzie Davis, Michael Pena, and Sean Bean
    Boasting a script by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), this adaptation tells the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars who must find his way home. That’s a simple enough premise, but Scott has put together a pretty stellar ensemble cast and will no doubt be crafting some impressive visual set pieces. Will the film be different enough to avoid Gravity comparisons? We’ll find out this fall.

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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    Release Date: December 18th
    Director: J.J. Abrams
    Cast: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, and Max von Sydow
    J.J. Abrams kicks things off by setting up this new series of sequels and spinoffs, but the strong connection to the franchise’s history comes from the involvement of the original trio: Ford, Hamill, and Fisher. The first teaser was a fantastic glimpse at this 21st century Star Wars, and there will no doubt be a fever pitch of anticipation come December.

    Mission Impossible 5

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    Release Date: December 25th
    Director: Christopher McQuarrie
    Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, and Simon McBurney
    Star Wars isn’t the only film coming out this December, as the next entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise is also poised for release. McQuarrie most recently did a fantastic job helming Cruise in the underrated Jack Reacher, so everyone is curious to see what sort of POV he brings to the Mission: Impossible series. Ghost Protocol is going to be tough to top in the set piece territory, but McQuarrie’s a gifted writer and penned the screenplay for M:I 5 as well, so we’re hopefully in for a wonderfully compelling story.

     
  • Jay 2:20 am on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dexter, Jennifer Carpenter, Michael C Hall   

    In Support of Dexter’s End (yes, spoilers ahead) 

    Dexter is as close to a comic book superhero as we’ve gotten on television … that is, a comic book superhero who isn’t already a “comic book superhero” (i.e. The Hulk, Wonder Woman, Batman, etc).

    By day, he’s a blood analyst on the Miami Metro Police force. By night, he dispatches bad guys with a syringe, knives, and often hand-to-hand combat. Dexter even has a costume: the cargo pants, skin tight brown shirt, the occasional butcher’s apron, and the black gloves.

    “But he’s a sociopath,” you say. “Not right in the head.” Well, I would venture to say, so our most of our comic book superheroes, who prance around in tights, exacting justice, living dual lives; they are dysfunctional individuals who don’t just resist integration, they are incapable of such assimilation into society.

    What does this have to do with my thoughts on Dexter’s appropriate end? Sorry, very little. It’s just an interpretation of the show I’ve wanted to share for some time.

    Moving on.

    Juliet and I are sad to see one of our favorite television shows end. With the loss of Breaking Bad on the horizon, this is going to be a tough year for us (yeah yeah, woe is me and my first world problems). For many, the Dexter series finale is an unsatisfying conclusion. Some have dubbed it … “worst finale since Seinfeld!” Wow. Harsh.

    But seriously. Could it have gone any other way? (DO NOT READ ANYMORE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW DEXTER ENDS)

     

    (OK, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED …)

     

    Death would have been too good for Dexter.  And life with Hannah and Harrison? C’mon, that’s too easy. Prison for Dexter? Too appropriate.

    In retrospect, of course Deb dies. The result? We see Dexter experience pain, the kind he’s been aspiring to on his trek towards humanity. It’s the kind of pain that comes from having loved … and, wait for it … lost. With the loss of Deb, we see Dexter cry for the first time. Folks … that’s HUGE! And how tragic that Deb might be his last “kill?” For all the “good” reasons (or alibis) for his prior kills, this is the one we perhaps empathize with the most. It’s also a fitting end to the series … a tribute to the central relationship on the show. It would be a mistake to argue that Dexter is solely about Dexter. It is as much about Deb. And through the eight seasons, Deb and Dexter have been a mirror for each other’s struggles.

    As a general rule, we don’t change. We adapt. We grow.  But that’s different from becoming something we’re not (there’s a reason why we can’t just go out and date anyone and live happily after; we’re not so malleable. Think about it.) So who is Dexter now? Unhinged, without the code, without Harry in his head, without Harrison to care for, without Deb in his life? Surprise! He is as he always was. A sociopath. A serial killer. And what of his self-imposed exile? It’s acceptance. It’s even a little selfless, perhaps the most unselfish act of his eight season run. What a torturous end for Dexter, but one that is far more self-aware and enlightened than many of us will ever have.

    Dexter

     

     
  • Justin 3:00 am on January 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Justin Reviews Homeland Season 2 

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    [spoilers ahead]

    As I mentioned to many before, I was waiting to watch all of Homeland season 2 at one go, once the season had finished its run. I began watching Homeland from day 1; while the show’s popularity grew, mine actually diminished. I thought the show was a bit slow and just couldn’t hold my attention to the end.

    Season 2 was a huge improvement over season 1; at first glance.  The first few episodes certainly got my attention and are very well done. And I was very happy that the articles I had stumbled upon by accident were not correct on the ending of season 2, and that Brody doesn’t die. Again, great acting, and some of the sequences were just excellent.

    Maybe a year ago I read a Rolling Stone article that called Homeland “24 for Smart People.” Why? Because the main three writers of the show Alex Gansa, Michael Klick, and Howard Gordon (credited as the lead writers for every episode of Homeland) were the longtime executive producers and co-writers on 24. They also take care of producing, writing, and often directing season 2 of Homeland. And as they put it, Carrie Matheson is Jack Bauer with brains and boobs… If you think about it, it’s pretty accurate; CARRIES FIGURES OUT EVERYTHING, just like Jack, except she isn’t holding a gun (Bonus points: even the music for Homeland is done by 24 veteran Sean Callery; and for those who know me, I definitely noticed this…).

    There are plenty of “come on…give me a break” moments in season 2 that I put up with where the show clearly went cliché most likely for drama reasons, that made me think, that’s kinda 24 …but ya know, whatever, tv is tv, I was along for the ride and the ride has been overall pretty good this season. And btw, if you think Im crazy, everyone knows, even The New Yorker: “Wouldn’t terrorists realize that a black van following them is not a good thing? A full-service, well-stocked tailor shop on the main street in Gettysburg? Maybe don’t take a phone call from your wife when you are about to break someone’s neck? Wait, what, Carrie is going into the tunnel herself to get Nazir? It’s easy to pick up any loose thread in “Homeland” and quickly find yourself in a laughable scenario.”

    And I was okay with it until the end: the assassination plot on Brody planned by Estes, a car bomb from Brody’s car, the framing of brody, and finally, Carrie getting Brody to Canada…This is classic 24 i.e. The show has officially truly gone off the rails. With that in mind, I may come back this fall and enjoy what’s to come; may.

    Verdict: B. I feel like going and starting The Wire up (which would then make me give this season a C, but The Wire does that…).

    Okay decent season with a crazy ending that is going in a direction I am not interested in; happy to be completely wrong, but this is looking like 24 with a NPR facelift…

    We’ll see what happens next with season 3 which begins this September but I am now highly skeptical.

    Episode 211

     
    • paulywalnuts 4:47 am on January 14, 2013 Permalink

      Great review. BTW, there are too many good shows on television now for me to watch bad tv. I’ll be skipping season 3.

  • Justin 3:43 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage Lena Headey   

    Those Are Brave Men Out There Knocking On Our Door; Lets Go Kill Them | Game of Thrones Blackwater Review 

    If you haven’t watched the episode, read no further.

    I have to say this season has been okay. Im not expecting too much honestly; just good entertainment. This season has just been a bit slow, which is not helped when there are only 10 episodes.

    So finally the forever-talked about Blackwater battle happened; supposedly what the entire season has built to. Overall the episode was stronger, def faster pace with a couple cool scenes (Bronn’s arrow igniting the wildfire was pretty cool) and some great lines, though it plays out pretty much as expected, its entertaining. We’re shown once again that Stannis while being pretty brave in going in first, is kind of a idiot when it comes to military tactics; that Tyrion is awesome; Joffrey was going to run away (obviously…) and that Tywin Lannister has to come and save the day cause his children are all pretty lame (except again for Tyrion).

    There’s a cool scene at the end with Cersei and her youngest son Tommen—who is nearly euthanized by his mother in the face of a Lannister defeat. Cersei has always been one of Game of Thrones’ more interesting villains, and she gets several of the best moments as she drunkenly alternates between advising and tormenting Sansa..

    The episode ends a bit abruptly, would have liked to have seen a bit more. Curious to see whats to come in the last episode (which will be 70 minutes) of the season.

     
  • paulywalnuts 5:10 am on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Homeland, Mandy Patinkin, , Netflix sucks, Showtime   

    Homeland: Season 1 

    Movie fare in theaters right now range from Warhorse (which I won’t see if they don’t give a damn about the movie enough to say what the plot is, or anything other than I’ll love it) to the Sitter (which I’ll see soon … probably with Jay). Best bet in the theaters is probably the Muppets, which is the best unexpected musical since South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut.

    If you’ve spent enough on gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, or my birthday last month – the best bet for staying home is on Showtime. It’s called Homeland, starring Damian Lewis (Life, Band of Brothers, Dreamcatcher), Claire Danes (Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, most 30something boys’ fantasies), and Morena Baccarin (V, Firefly). A couple tv execs that I don’t have time to cite have called it the best show on television right now. I’m a little partial to the Walking Dead, but this is quickly jumping to the top.

    Long story short, a CIA Agent (Danes) has intel that says an American POW has been turned. Incidentally, an American POW in Iraq (Lewis) returns home to a hero’s welcome and is acting all kinds of weird. The agent – who might or might not be clinically crazy – is the only one that believes he is a terrorist threat, and has to protect the … wait for it … Homeland … while convincing her co-workers that the threat is real.

    All or part of it was was filmed in Charlotte, NC and the seventh episode “Weekend” should win all kinds of awards come Emmy time. The best acting on tv, a crazy plot executed in the most believable fashion possible, and it’s on Showtime, so we get to see all of the scenes with Morena Baccarin that the networks had to cut away from. I mean, I’m just saying …

    Go watch it. To hell with Netflix for not warning me how terrible Whiteout would be. They may as well have recommended me watch the making of War Horse, You’d think we’d get a built in Siri with our queues after they raised my rate 60%.

    Homeland: Season 1, Episode 1

     
  • Justin 4:46 pm on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Once Upon a Time Series Premiere | Review 

    I have to say I was not interested in the show and the premise even with a LOST and Tron Legacy writer. Now for the, “But.”

    First episode was intriguing, and Im def interested now. Im sure this has been tried before, but never been very successful. Will give the first season a try. Episode starts kinda tacky, but prob inherent given the content/context the show begins in. Overall, interesting/fun entertainment.

    Anyone else watch it?

    The obvious nod to LOST during one of the shots was of course nice.

     
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