Showing posts from February, 2017

The 89th Annual Academy Awards (2017)

I won't be making any picks this year, due to my lack of viewing of nominated films but I felt as though I should get something up on the blog today ahead of tonight's ceremony.  Most followers of the blog are already aware that I managed to see significantly fewer films over the last eight months of 2016 between the part time job I picked up on the side and the craziness of the holidays.  Since then I've been able to slowly get back to my old habits, but still have not seen nearly as many nominated films as I usually do. After an at-home double feature yesterday, I have managed to see four of this year's nine Best Picture nominees ( Arrival , Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Manchester by the Sea ).  I have not had the opportunity to get thoughts 'on paper' for yesterday's viewing (Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water), but I enjoyed all of these films.  I have held off on La La Land primarily because my wife has expressed an interest, and not being a huge

Rental Review - Arrival

Arrival (2016), PG-13, 116 minutes - Despite being very intrigued by the trailer last fall, I missed this film in theaters due to the craziness of trying to prepare for the holidays.  Having seen that it was nominated for a number of Academy Awards this year, my wife and I picked it up from Redbox last weekend and were both really impressed with what we saw. The film begins with flashbacks of expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) with her daughter, who we are shown passes away from an unspecified ailment (presumably cancer of some sort).  We then shift to the present and where Louise is beginning a lecture for a University class she teaches.  Class is interrupted by the news that twelve extraterrestrial ships have appeared across the globe.  Shortly thereafter, Louise is visited by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker).  She had helped the military with some translations in the past and still had an acceptable security clearance level.  She politely turns down the Colonel's req

Rental Review - The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train (2016), R, 112 minutes - As many probably already know, The Girl on the Train is based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins.  I have not had the opportunity to read the book yet, but my wife has so we decided to go ahead and rent the movie from Redbox last weekend. The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller that is presented from Rachel's (Emily Blunt) point of view, beginning with her daily commute into the city and her observations of those that she sees from the train along the way. What is originally presented as being a completely third party observation driven by imagination, is revealed to be a bit of obsessiveness on Rachel's part with her old neighborhood.  The two houses that draw her attention the most are her former home, now inhabited by her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux), his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), and their baby, and another couple a few houses down the street - Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan (Haley Benn

Review - John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), R, 122 minutes - I may have been overly excited for this film due to finally having seen the first John Wick just last weekend, but John Wick: Chapter 2 definitely didn't disappoint. There's a bit more going on in this second installment, but it works well, fleshing out more details of the underground hitman network introduced in the first film.  Director Chad Stahelski wastes little time jumping into the action, kicking the film off with John (Keanu Reeves) charging into a Russian chop shop run by Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare) - brother of Viggo, uncle of Iosef from the first film - in search of his stolen 1969 Mustang.  After calling a truce with the Russian and retrieving his car (albeit virtually totaled), John returns home to what he thinks will be the quiet life of retirement.  Shortly thereafter, he is visited by Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who is calling in a marker on John (a blood-sworn debt).  We learn that John owes

Most Anticipated Films of 2017

I'm a little bit later in compiling this list than I have been in years past, but fortunately only one film on it has already been released (and that was just last weekend).  No need to ramble on here, so without further ado, my most anticipated films of 2017 are: Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):  Blade Runner 2049 (October 6) ,  The Dark Tower (July 28) ,  Ghost in the Shell (March 31) , Justice League (November 17) , Pitch Perfect 3 (December 22) , Thor: Ragnarok (November 3) 10) John Wick: Chapter 2 (February 10)   - This is an extremely last minute addition to my list this year.  I've been working on this post off and on for a couple of weeks now and in that time I finally had the chance to see the first John Wick  and I really dug it.  I'm very excited to check out this sequel, but since it has already been released (last weekend), I couldn't bring myself to place it any higher on this list.  I may be caught up in the moment, but I did feel the n

Review - The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie (2017), PG, 104 minutes - Do you like Batman?  Did you like 2014's The Lego Movie?  If you answered 'yes' to either of those questions, you will love this flick! The Lego Batman Movie accomplishes something that, on paper seems virtually impossible: it strips down the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman (Will Arnett) to the basics while at the same time cleverly and seamlessly referencing every era of the character's history from both film and print. Lego Batman is used to being the solo hero of Gotham.  No problem is too tough to handle on his own and he thrives on the city's adulation.  What he's quick to deny though, is that he is lonely and that his solitary existence at Wayne Manor/Island is beginning to weigh on him.  The more light-hearted nature of the Lego-based movies allows for the sometimes-over-the-top exploration of his relationships, not just with allies such as Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera), an

Rental Review - John Wick

John Wick (2014), R, 101 minutes - John Wick has been on my 'need to watch' list for quite a while.  Longer than I had realized actually.  I remember hearing good things about it shortly after it was released, but apparently time then got away from me.  I was aware that it was well received enough that a sequel was being made.  What I didn't realize was that the sequel was already completed and being released last weekend.  That's when I decided that it was about time to see what all of the buzz was about.  Nothing like being two years late to the party! John Wick is a fairly straight forward, but wonderfully made revenge flick.  Wick (Keanu Reeves) is an ex-hitman, known as 'The Boogeyman', who has retired to the quiet life and settled down with his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan).  As the film begins, we learn that Helen has recently passed due to an unspecified illness.  Knowing that John will require something to fill the void left in his life by her pass

Top 10 Most Anticipated Films That I Missed from 2016

Since I really didn't get to all that many movies over the last two thirds of 2016, I certainly didn't see enough to compile my standard annual Top 10 list.  So, this year I thought it'd be fun to do something a little different in its place.  Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you the Top 10 films that I missed from 2016 that I most want to see! Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):   The Accountant ,  The BFG , Inferno , Jason Bourne , The Magnificent Seven 10) Passengers - Even though this film doesn't seem to have done as well in theaters as one may have expected, I'm still very interested in checking it out.  Jennifer Lawrence?  Chris Pratt?  Sci-fi?  Yes please! 9) Sully - Anything starring Tom Hanks is worth giving a watch, so this film based on the amazing emergency landing from a few years ago makes the list. 8) The Secret Life of Pets - This film looks absolutely hilarious and is one that I missed last su

Daredevil Collected Editions Reference

Many who either know me or follow this blog know, Daredevil is my favorite comic book character. Over the years, I have found many wonderful resources across the web that are useful when one is looking to get into a particular comic book character, title, or creative team.  Where is a good place to start?  What issues are in a particular story arc?  Which stories are collected in which editions?  Are they trade paperbacks or hardcovers?  I decided that I wanted to piece together a file that would help answer these types of questions for others interested in my favorite character. What I naively believed would be a fairly simple project has, over the last three months, snowballed into the spreadsheet that I am calling the  Daredevil Collected Editions Reference  (screen shot below).  It took me a few attempts to figure out just how I wanted to lay things out, and even then there was a bit of a learning curve in regards to Google Sheets.  Who knew that the process for embedding an im