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Archive | August 2017

WWE No Mercy

By: Justin Hopkins 

 With No Mercy still weeks away, on September 24th. Still a lot of things can occur between now and Raw’s first PPV since Summerslam,  but with the 2 matches that are set,  is already creating massive buzz. Getting right to it,  with Raw Universal Title Match, featuring the Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar defending against the Monster Among Men,  Braun Stroman. 

 All of this year and most of last. Would be hard pressed to find someone more dominate then Braun Stroman.  Minuses a few losses that he immediately rebound from in huge fashions. He has a menacing presence, physicality,  size, strength,  and a surprising amount of speed. That’ll bring out the absolute best.  With Heyman’s awesome mic skills as the mouthpiece. This match is going to be intense, hard hitting, and spectacular.

 “I’m still here because you can’t do your job!”

 The shocking words from John Cena to Roman Reigns last night. If you missed this promo,  then you got to go check it out.  Easily the best promo of the year,  and best in a long time. Felt raw and real.  Cena reminding everyone why he is a legend on the mic and Roman’s best ever.  Entirety based around complaints people make about them.  Roman accusing him of being phony and burying young talent.  Cena straight out said the fans look at Roman as a bootleg version of himself,  and he was better part time then he was full time. This promo energized and hyped a match many weren’t excited for,  and got fans around the world wondering what will they say next. 

 Throw in potential rematch between “The Demon” Fin Baylor vs “The Eater of Worlds” and Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defending the tag belts against Sheamus and Cesaro. Along with a strong women’s division and whoever goes against the Intercontinental champion The Miz, who has been on fire.  No Mercy is shaping up to be the best Raw Pay Per View in sometime. 

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Joker origin movie

By: Justin Hopkins 

 Last week was a whirlwind of news from the DCEC front.  From whether or not certain movies were cancelled. The Batman movie went from being a standalone to back in the cinematic universe. The most centered around the Clown Prince of Crime.  Starting with Jared Leto returning for Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, and continue his Bella and Edward… I mean Joker and Harley relationship in a Joker and Harley movie.  Still, the biggest bit of news is the Joker Origin movie.  Which has left more then a few fans scratching their heads. I’m pretty open to any kind of movie. Remakes, sequels,  or prequels; sure lets see what they got, but is a Joker Origin more of a blemish on a character who is better off without one, and is the DCEU really worthy storyteller for it?

 The Joker debuted in the comics in 1940. Becoming one of the most infamous characters in all of fiction. Has a body count in the tens of thousands, crippled batgirl, killed robin,  and has become a God. Yet the only thing known is that his past is a mystery.  His mystique is built around everything discovered is a lie. Nothing to gain from taking it from him besides money,  and they’ll gain that just by putting him in a movie. 

  Say what you will about the DCEU, but they are terrible storytellers.  Wonder Woman was a great turnaround,  but that was after three divisive movies, and hardly bother sticking to the source material. Why on earth should they handle something as cataclysmic as the Joker’s Backstory.

 After 77 years, the Joker’s story would be better told in the comics.  Where guys like Paul Dini have been telling amazing stories and know and love the characters. Who could tell the story the way it should be done,  for the Comic Book fans. 

Lawsuit over Jason Voorhees 

By: Justin Hopkins 

 There is not many more symbolic faces to a movie genre then Jason Voorhees. One of the all time great monsters.  Since 1980 he has been a namesake. From motivating his Mother in the first,  to becoming the main antagonist in part 2. From Crystal Lake to New York.  Space to Elm Street.  Jumping medias to Simpsons and South Park. Three video games under his belt and slashed his way through Mortal Kombat X, but Who owns him?  That is the question facing a Connecticut Judge.  Was it Victor Miller or Sean S. Cunningham. Both making a compelling case,  and a decision that can rock the franchise we all love.

 Victor is using a clause from the 1976 Copyright Act to claim ownership over it including the title Friday the 13th and the character Jason. Being that he wrote the script for Friday the 13th part one. Proclaiming that he worked as an independent writer when he penned the script. That barring a few minor changes.  It was primarily his vision. 

 On the flipside;  you got the writer/director, Sean S. Cunningham. He is recount of the situation is quite different. That Victor was hired to write the script.  Which would put ownership with Cunningham. Second and third,  that his script was called Long Night At Camp Blood, and Jason was dead in his script. The title was changed afterward to Friday the 13th after they got the script. Meaning Sean holds the rights.

 Here’s where things get tricky.  Depending on the evidence brought forward.  The judge has a third choice. That being to split the ownership.  Miller would get the credit for the first movie, including Camp Crystal Lake and the title Friday the 13th, but Sean would get credit for Jason Voorhees and what happened from part 2 on. Since he was not truly introduced till after Miller was gone. 

 How could a sequel be made like this? Unless the two can make an arrangement and agree to share. Sean would be without Jason’s Mother, his backstory and Camp Crystal Lake. He could make a sequel or reboot with all of that,  but would be banned in the United States and Miller would be without the monster that gets people into the theater.

 In my opinion,  ownership belongs to Sean S. Cunningham. Forgetting for a moment that it has been 37 years. You just got to go back to the first movie. Crazy Ralph and the citizens referred to Crystal Lake as Camp Blood. Thinking about his title, that line seems like a call back to what would have been the original title,  which would mean there was more then just minor changes, and he wouldn’t qualify for ownership of the title Friday the 13th, and Jason was dead throughout the first movie. His death was the motivation for Pamela. 

 After 37 years, Jason still has a bright future. Go onto a fan site on Facebook and many would love to see him come back to the silver screen in another movie,  and would jump at the bits to see him interact with another horror legend. How popular his newest game is shows that he still draws big.  Hate to see it end over something as petty as this. 

Bye Netflix

By Paul Anthony

Who doesn’t have Netflix these days, right? I know I love Netflix, their online content may be small compared to their DVD collection, now many have noticed that there are more Disney owned films showed up on Netflix. I remember when I saw Captain America: Civil War on there, little did I know, 2016 was the first year Disney and Netflix began an awesome partnership. However, we all know that all good things must end and sure enough this partnership might be ending as fast as it begun because last week Disney dropped a Bombshell and they announced they are pulling their films at the end of 2019.

When they announced that which was only the beginning, they announced from that point on that they would have their own streaming service, of course it comes with a monthly fee just like Netflix has. Now at this point we are to believe it’s just their movies but then it was reported that Netflix was trying to keep the Disney owned shows, now at this point we don’t know what will happen to the marvel Netflix shows, I assume those are safe since Netflix help co-produce them and has been a big hit for both parties.

If the shows go to this will be a big blow to Netflix, if you just think about all that Disney owns, the classic movies, the new movies, the hits from Pixar and Marvel and even Star Wars are just few things Disney owns and makes billions from. This could be the start of more film studios doing the same and that would pretty doom Netflix the same way they doomed video stores.

If Netflix manages to keeps Disney owned shows, the hit wouldn’t be such a death blow, for now that is. This partnership was short lived one, total of three years to be an exact.

I doubt there is anything Netflix can say or to do to bargain with Disney because they hold all the chips, they know that with starting their streaming service people will buy into and that is a fact, Netflix has nothing to change Disney’s mind about doing this.

We still have a few more years left to see all our favorite movies and T.V shows. Pricing has yet to be determined but my best guess is it will be around 9.99 for the basic package and more for the better plans, so for now enjoy your Disney stuff that is on Netflix.

Star Wars Movie Debate

By Paul Anthony

Last week Disney announced a new Star Wars film and much to my disappointment it wasn’t the film I was expecting. They announced Obi-Wan Kenobi story, yes let’s watch a movie about a jedi whose greatest battle and victory came when he defeated a young Darth Vader and basically put him in his black suit that he is now famous for.

Now it may seem like I am hating on this famous character but the truth is I am not, I adore the character but the truth is the character’s story ends basically after his battle with Darth Vader and he basically does nothing until the events of New Hope takes place, so why give him a full movie? I was asking myself that question and sure he’s a popular character but there are more popular characters that have better stories to tell, just look no further then Darth Vader himself.

Vader, not Anakin story begins with the lost to Obi-Wan, a good movie would be seeing how he had to learn to rebuild himself and he’s fighting and lightsaber styles and his missions that he was sent on. I do believe we will get this film or films one day, but instead they announced this film.

I can deal with a Han Solo film because we know there are stories to and adventures to go on, we know Han wasn’t a kid in New Hope. Obi-Wan a different case though, he’s adventures basically end once Luke is born.

I am sure they will give him something to do before the film comes out, to justify this film. If the story makes sense, no doubt I will support it, after all I am a big fan of Star Wars, I Just believe a Darth Vader film should come first.

The best part of Rogue One was the scenes where Darth Vader was in them. From him in his healing tank which is where he was at his weakest to him killing those rebels and showing us why people feared him.

We know the rumors are there about there being a Boba Fett film and even a Yoda film. I am okay with a Yoda movie but not a Boba fett film, he had what like twenty minutes of total screen time in all the films. I get it we all want spin-offs but the truth is not every character needs or deserves one, this does go for Obi-Wan.

I know this won’t change Disney’s mind, they are going to keep making films with all the properties they own. At this point we really don’t know much about this film except that it is coming, this film could be years away, we will just have to wait and see.

The Defender’s Review  

By: Justin Hopkins 

 The time has finally come.  How great the shows were and all the hype.  The Defenders  have officially debuted on Netflix. Uniting the team of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist to save New York. Facing a bit of pressure after some mixed reviews from season 1 of Iron Fist,  but with almost no surprise, The Defenders was absolutely worth the wait. Blowing away all of my expectations, and creating an epic team up show. 

 The story came together in the absolute best way.  Show each character where their shows left off. Matt Murdoch trying to create a new normal life after he revealed his secret to Karen,  but having trouble putting it out of mind.  Torn apart by the loss of Electra. Jessica Jones struggling to get past her encounter with Kilgrave. Luke returning home from prison,  and wondering what he’ll do next. Danny and Colleen serching the world for The Hand, and his guilt for failing Ku Long. What they really did right,  was have all four stories naturally collide together. Not rush or have it feel forced.  All of them staying true to who they are the entire time.  Each of them having their own goals,  on top of a coming together story. Their chemistry was apparent.  Seeing the friendship forming between Danny and Cage. The hints of romance that Cage and Jessica have in the comics and anytime Jessica and Murdoch were together was guaranteed entertainment. 

 Krysten Ritter showed why she is the gold standard in the Netflix universe.  Jessica Jones steals almost every scene she is in, her smart mouthed, powerhouse ways,  may seem out matched at times,  but always brings it, displays a reluctant,  larger then persona, but Charlie Cox and Mike Colter keep pace right with her. While Fin Jones got an unfair shake in his first go around as the Immortal Iron Fist. He did a splendid job,  showing his growth throughout,  and after the seismic finale,  has a big future ahead as the Cities newest Hero. 

 The villain side of the card was stacked, as it should be for a show of this caliber.  Sigourney Weaver was every bit the bona fide star she is, played Alexandria,  the leader of The Hand. Elodie Yung played a riveting and emotional reborn Electra,  now The Hand’s weapon,  know as the Black Sky, especially since she has to pull off emotional turmoil,  with no dialogue. The real winner was Wing Ching Ho playing Madame Gao. Her third around as the powerful member of The Hand. Improving each time she’s played the roll. Her presence alone puts all the spotlight on her. Great communicator and having you wonder what she has planned at all times.  Can’t say enough good things about her performance. 

 By the end,  they not only tell a great Defenders story,  but 4 separate stories on top of it. Ending with plenty of growth for all their heroes, and future is  looking bright. 

The Movie Pass controversy 

By: Justin Hopkins 

 In 2011, a subscription service known as Movie Pass debuted, with the CEO Mitch Lowe. For packages ranging up to fifty dollars,  they send a subscriber a MasterCard,  and using their smartphone can go to any 2D movie, one time a day.  Six years later,  they made a massive move to increase numbers by offering their service’s for $9.95 a month.  A move that has drawn the wrath of the largest movie theater chain, AMC. Their reasons go from bad for movie business, hurting traffic, and has even talked down on movie passes business plan. Going as far as seeking legal way to ban Movie passes from working in their chains. None of which are close to an actuality.

 For starters, movie pass works with MasterCard. They’d end up having to ban MasterCard users,  which would cost them way more then just allowing the service.

 Movie pass isn’t going to be for everyone.  Since they only work on 2D movies. People who want to see the major hits and blockbusters in 3d or IMAX, will still pay to see them that way. Even card users will still play for IMAX movies like, Marvel and DC, and kids will want to see their movies in 3D.

 Die hard movie buffs will look at this like a god send. Instead of being picky about which movies to see or skip we’ll go more.  Instead of 2 movies,  can become 4 or more. Each time, we’ll spend more money at the concession stand, where theaters make most of their money,   because we saved for the price of the ticket,and the casual fans who but into it. Will go more as well, like in January where for traffic is dead at the movies.

 With more and more complaints over foot traffic at theaters dropping. Movie pass is giving die hard and the casual fans a real break here.  Since the price of a movie ticket can range up to fifteen dollars or more in some areas. It could be a huge boost to it,  even if some don’t want to see it that way.  

Hayes gets the ax!

By Paul Anthony

CBS seems to have hit after hit when it comes to their T.V. shows and this past year they once again had a hit show in Kevin Can Wait which stars Kevin James as Kevin Gable, who after twenty years on the police force retires to see his family more. Now his wife which Erinn Hayes plays as Donna Gable, the show a hit but as crazy as it sounds Hayes will no longer be a part of the show when it returns in the fall for their second full season, and it has nothing to do with Hayes wanting to leave but more with Kevin former T.V. wife from King of Queens Leah Remini who played Carrie.

During the two-part season finale, Remini guest starred as Kevin former partner of sorts the audience loved the magic that they brought, revealing after so many years, they still had chemistry on screen. Sure, we loved the reunion and so did the studio executives, in fact they loved it so much that they decided for season two, that she would become a full-time cast member, sweet, right? Sure, but it came with a cost, a cost that doesn’t make sense. For Remini to become full-time, Erinn Hayes must go.

Hayes character will be killed off, which will happen off screen during the season breaks, which means she doesn’t even get a farewell episode, nope she is gone. Now we don’t know if Kevin falls in love with Remini character or anything like that. At this point, all we really know is that she is a full-time cast member. When I heard the news, I had to wonder how much screen time is Remini really getting to the point where someone else had to leave? Not to mention this a big Gamble on CBS part to jump the gun so fast.

They did this without thinking about a few things, for starters, how will the audience react? Sure, they loved it but they also waited many years to see this happen and it finally did, but what worked many years ago may not work again. I am curious to see the ratings after many of realize we are just now watching The King of Queens all over again.

As I mention before, this makes no sense, great you have her but did you really need to cut ties with Erinn Hayes to do so? The show returns in late September, from that point we will see what they plan on doing with these characters.

 

Studios vs Directors

By: Justin Hopkins 

 Making a movie is tough business. Finding a director who can work on scripts, perfect cast selection,  places to film,  make up stunts, CGI, music, editing and so much more to make sure they are on time and on budget. Then you got on a set and making sure that things runs smooth. Would think that they would get more help from the studio, but as it seems. Alot of movies that seem to be sure fire successes. End up being due to constant arguments between studio and director.  With the studos going as far as cutting away allot of the movie that would have made it better or gave it a better shot in the least.  With the internet connecting us more and more.  These disputes are often enough to scare an audience away before the movie even debuts. 

 The 2015 Fantastic Four comes to mind pretty quickly. Went big on the return of Marvels First Family, and having found financial success behind two subpar ones. Hard not seeing this one doing so as well, but weeks before it was due out.  The finger pointing had begun.  Josh Tran accusing them of gutting his work and making life dismal behind the scenes. Never know how things could have turned out if they’d left him alone to make his movie,  but safe to assume it would have been better then what we got. 

 Even when they do manage to get lucky,  can’t be considered a good thing.  Suicide Squad managed to pull in a lot of money, but is easily one of the most divisive. It was rushed from the start,  heavily edited, script was heavily alerted. At one point,  there was multiple versions competed. Suicide Squad should have been so much better, and was gutted by studio involvement. 

 On the flip side, there are times that studio involvement does work. People panicked over them getting involved with Rogue One,  but ended up being loved by fans. Sometimes there is a grander plan behind it all. Such as the problems between Edgar Wright and Marvel. Yet if the studio wants it done a certain way; why not make it known up front. To avoid these issues and find someone who shares the same vision. 

 The Director is going to be the one who catches heat when a movie goes wrong. When a studio hires them, they are saying they trust them to treat the movie the way it needs to be done. Instead of forcing them change their vision or editing their work to nothing.  Let them make the movie they hired them to do.

 

The Dark Tower review

By: Justin Hopkins 

 Steven King is viewed as one of the best authors of all time.  His books have been adapted to celebrated movies for over thirty years. Which is a surprise that it took till now to see one of his best creations come to the movies; that being The Dark Tower. Eight stories that tells of a Gunslinger, Roland, chasing down the man in black AKA Walter. The Dark Tower being the center of the entire universe. Webbing together old school western,  fantasy,  and adventure that has screamed out to be made into a film.  That finally debuted on Friday, staring Idris Elba as The Gunslinger, Matthew McConaughey taking on The man in black,  and youngster Thomas Taylor playing Jake Chambers. These three being the only good part of a movie that was a shell of what could have been.

 Instead of going for a straight adaption of the stories.  They chose to go with a sequel. That made somewhat sense. Last book ending right where it began,  but this time Ronald has the Horn of Eld. Meaning this time around would be different.  A fact that would be lost on those who didn’t read the book,  but for those who did read it. May be disappointed by too much being changed. Instead of going for a unique story.  They went with clich tropes we’ve seen numerous times over dressed in The Dark Tower. Making everything feeling shallow.

 They made a great casting decisions. Idris Elba was fantastic as Roland.  Tired and rundown after years of defending the Tower. All he longed for was vengeance,  and cared about little less. Matthew McConaughey was terrifyingly compelling as The Man in Black. He was smooth and pure evil. Sole purpose to tear down the Tower made you long for the confrontation between him and the Gunslinger. The chemistry between him and Idris made their scenes pop. Even Thomas Taylor put in a great performance, as Jake Chambers. Being the glue that brought the story together.  They made this movie fun to watch and better then what it was.

 This movie didn’t feel like the start of a franchise or the start of anything good. Felt like a movie the studio threw together to bank off name value alone.  Cared little about the story they were trying to tell. Whether because of fear of something new,  or not wanting to interfere with the TV Series in the works, or just another Steven King book being twisted and contorted for the movie, which is far from the first time. The movie is just a shell of what could have been.  

 Personally, would suggest watching it on DVD or on demand cause the cast was excellent. Put their A Games in, but in my opinion, walked out feeling like this movie missed the mark, of what Dark Tower should have been.