By Paul Anthony
Its never easy to write a blog about someone passing even if we don’t know the person, the loss of life is just sad and it never gets any easier reporting another actor or actress death. But here we are talking about the death of a another actor. Ronald Lee Ermey.
On April 15th we learn that he had passed away at the age of 74 in Santa Monica, California. The cause of death was from complications from Pneumonia.
Ermey was born in 1944 in Emporia Kansas and by the time he was 14 he and his family moved to the state of Washington where he would end up being a trouble teen. when he was arrested for the second time at the age of 17 the judge gave him two options either go to jail or join the service, well it was not a hard choice, he went and join the service where he would make the ranking of staff sergeant and after 14 months of duty he was discharged due to injures and then that’s when he started his acting career. At first he had minor roles but then he got his big break which was never suppose to happen. He was cast as Sergeant Hartman in full Metal Jacket where he was nominated for a golden globe. After that his career took off and he ended up starring in over sixty films. With his most recent film being in 2012 in the animated film Kung fu Panda: Legends of awesomeness.
In he end he may be gone but like the legends before him he won’t be forgotten. To his family, we are truly sorry for your loss and understand he will be missed by millions.
By Justin Hopkins
I have been stoked for Ready Player One ever since I saw the trailer for it. Everything about it appealed to me right from the start. So much so that I went out of my way to avoid any sort of spoilers. With all the nostalgia and cultural icons shown in the trailers. Wanted the surprise factor as high as it could be. Letting the hype fuel my excitement. Going in with high hopes and Ready Player One delivered on it and then some. Creating twists and turns and complex storytelling and excellent foreshadowing. As well as characters people could relate to.
Starting off with the real world was the perfect way to go. Allowing them to both explain about the Oasis and how the creator put his whole inheritance to whoever found his hidden Easter Egg. You got to see some of how tough life was for some people were, and how the Oasis became as important to them as a chance to get away from the bad parts and be who they wanted to be, and how finding that Easter Egg would be the biggest moment in not just the game or whoever found it, but would effect everyone.
To wade it’s a way to make his life better and make Oasis the way he thought it should. To the Villain Sorrento, who employees gamers to play for him, you learn as the movie goes on. He doesn’t just look at it to squeeze as much cash out of the players it can, but would in turn control the world. Then the rebels like Art3mis who does everything they can to stop him and what his company does to people in the real world.
That’s where this movie did so well. For someone such as myself who didn’t know much of the story going in. You really feel like you’re growing and learn the details along with Wade. That this may have been an escape from his reality. How much more was riding on the line in the real world.
As great as the storytelling was, big credit goes to the actors and actresses who made it all possible. Tye Sheridon was immediately likable as Wade/Parzival. As much as one wanted to pull for him at the start. Hard not to route for Olivia Cooke’s depiction of Art3mis. Wanted to see her get the win after all she had to fight through. Ben Mendelsohn was perfect as the diabolical corporate villain and Lena Waithe turning out to be Aech was a great twist.
The nostalgia and video game references were not only fun but added much more to the movie. Didn’t know what to expect next and used to get the best they could from them. The brawl pitting Gundam and Iron Giant against Mecha Godzilla was epic, Chucky as a weapon was hysterical, and The Shining level was thrilling. There was so much in this film that you’ll find something new every time you watch it.
There was one flaw and it was a minor one. Was so much fun to see the chemistry between the characters and feel they could have gotten more had they gotten more time. Stretch it into two movies or even done a trilogy. That said this is a movie that got to be seen on the big screen and done sooner then later.
By Paul Anthony
Marvel studios now has been going strong for ten years and doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. This past weekend we saw the release of The Black Panther an in it’s opening weekend we saw the film make 235 million dollars and of course opened as the number one film, now we are five days into the film release and the film has nearly made 470 million. Sure, enough marvel has made another hit but now after watching the film I have to say I am stunned by this film having so much success.
First and fore most let start by saying that by no means am I saying this film wasn’t good because it was, however what I am saying is that the film might have been over hyped, and I can’t say this is the greatest Marvel film ever, though that title is always in great debate. Now let’s talk about the film, the talent was there, and it was on full display. The cast included the likes of Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett and Chad Boseman and I can’t forget Michael B. Jordan as the main villain. These four truly did shine with Jordan in my eyes shining the most. This kid can act and will be a main stay for years to come. Chad served as the weakest among them but still a great performance nonetheless.
You can’t have a good marvel film without action and the fight scenes were good but not great, what ruins it is honestly the CGI aspect of it, these guys were in great shape and didn’t really need it, but we are truly cursed with this technology. This why the action was downgraded from great to good.
Here is where the film takes a hit and that part is the story. The story was average which is fine but once again the overhyped made it seem like we were getting a better story. Certain parts were good the emotions were there but other times it seemed like they got lazy and just fell off. The villain seemed like he wanted revenge on all white people instead of the country and his own family that done him wrong. This aspect to me made no sense, why was his anger directed at white people and not at the country of Wakanda? Yes he was mad at them but it seemed like that was second to white people and in my eyes I thought that aspect was just not needed and was lazy on their part.
Now in the end how do I rank this film? Well I am giving it a solid three stars and would recommend watching it but sadly I am not going to label it as the greatest marvel film ever, so please go see it and let us know what you think.
By: Justin Hopkins
2018 is well under way. Start of the new year is all about recollection. To look back and build off the great moment and leave behind the bad from the year prior. Just have to take a glance at the year to see there is still alot of big bucks around the Comic Book Genre. Marvel got better with each passing movie. Logan was tremendous. D.C finally had a hit with Wonder Woman and Justice League was pretty good. These six movie alone brought in over over five billion dollars worldwide. Not even counting the Arrowverse, Netflix, and various others. So, it’s still a ripe market place. While it’s always exciting to see Marvel about to set the stage for new Superheroes to come up in the next few years, and D.C is trying to bring up some fresher faces with Black Lightning and Cyborg, but there are so many in their library that deserve a push forward and of course, these are not the only two comic book companies out there. There is a wide world out there full of characters that come with depth and emotion. Worlds that scream out for live action treatment. So, I present to you, my top five list of comic that should be developed into live action, and the forum that I think will serve them and their fans the best.
Honorable Mention- Spawn due to his show being in the works. Black Widow due to believing she will get her own movie one day, and Miles Morales, since he is getting the animated movie and pressure from fans will see him apart of the MCU before the end of this new run.
1. She-Hulk – Netflix
Jennifer Walters, cousin of Bruce who became She-Hulk after a blood transfusion. While we may all still be longing for a solo Hulk Movie, there is no reason why they can’t pull the trigger on her being in the Netflix world. The differences between her and her cousin is what makes her realy special. Fact that she prefers to be She Hulk then Jennifer. Able to retain her intelligence in that form. The way she gets stronger is through training while being Jennifer. Works hard to be a lawyer, with a fun ensamble of support casts and has history with the Defenders. Netflix would be perfect home for the more adult themes of her character and She-Hulk show would be a breath of fresh air and can be unique on its own.
2. Prometha- Trilogy
Hollywood has not been neccessarily kind to Alan Moore’s work, but that should not sway anyone away from the mind blowing story of Promethea. Created by the great Alan Moore and Illustrated by the steller J.H Williams III. Telling the story of Sophia Bangs, looking up folklore on the fabled Promethea. To turn around and be possessed by the very same. Prometha being the embodiment of Imagination. J.H creating stunning immagery of Imaginative lands and different planes of existence. In the hands of Guillermo Del Toro or even The Wachowskis. Could present a great story and visual masterpiece that would be remembered for a lifetime.
3. Saga – Trilogy
The epic Fantasy Space Opera by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples has garnered praise and build a massive fan base since its debut. Telling the love story of Marko and Alana. Two different warring races long at love with each other. Story opening to the birth of their Child Hazel, and the run for their safety. Trying to escape capture from both sides of their lineage. Story and characters out of an adult only Star Wars universe. with multiple planets and vast Alien Races. Only reason it ranks where it does is due to Brian a movie is not a very high priority, but until it does. Saga fans will long to see it happen.
2. Batwoman – Arrowverse
Batman may be getting a little stale to see. Seeing a different actor stepping in and seeing almost the same story told. Katherine ‘Kate’ Kane though has been building herself as a pretty popular member of the fanbase. Forgetting about the controversial handling and dismal ending of the New 52 run. Hydrology series was a fantastic tale and her dealing with the supernatural makes her a perfect fit within Arrowverse on The CW. With all the subtle hints at Wayne within Arrow. It would be a fantastic shock to reveal Katherine Kane’s Batwoman instead, and spin her off from there.
1. The Darness – Theatrical
Garth Enis’s creation has the making of a great film. Jackie Estacado being a tortured, ruthless sole, possesing an all-powerful being, The Darkness. That awakens in the Mafia Hitman on his 21st Birthday. The world is dark and dreary. Death and demises, with a softer side with the relationship he has with his lifelong friend Jenny. Watching him struggle to succumb to the Darknesses wimb or using his powers to try and do some good. Can either be one movie and done, or draw it out. Either way The Darkness’s long wait to the big screen deserves to be pushed forward and the sooner the better.
As always, this list is my personal choices. Sure there are plenty of others who will disagree with the order or have one that should have made it. By all means, comment yours down below. That is one of the joys of dealing with Comics and top five lists. Thanks for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Star Wars The Last Jedi came out with not only more hype, but more fan theories then I have ever seen surrounding one movie before. Everyone sharing their ideas as to who Snoke was, who was Rey’s Parents, and was there going to be a turning from good to bad or bad to good. Not beeing a Stars Wars fans myself seemed to work out for me, cause I had no expectations going in. Leaving the theater, believing that the Last Jedi is the best so far.
It starts with the trailer. Expertly weaving a misdirecting tale. Making us believe that we may be seein Rey take a turn toward the Dark Side of the Force. Showing just enough to pique our curiosities, without showing their hand. Exactly what a trailer needs to be more of.
The main story with Rey was tremendous. Her determination and drive being the focal point. Wanting to learn the force from Luke, and not accepting no for an answer. Then believing in the good still being alive in Kylo to the point she went to find him. Daisy Ridley deserves the glory for this movie being as good as it was. Has chenistry with everyone she performs with, and has showing real character growth as Rey. Being a breath of fresh air that they would be dead without.
As good as the A story was, the B side had some major issue. Showing the rebels trying to flee from the First Order, but running out of fuel and just staying clear of decimation. Finn and newcommer Rose making a desperate race against time to collect a Code Breaker to come back to the chase and sneak into the enemy’s ship and disable their tracking devise. It started out as a pretty decent side story to Rey and Luke’s, but all came undone, by one one minue scene. The Code Breaker turned out to be a member of the first order, but that mattered little because the Commander in charge for an injured Liela plan, was a far surperior one then their’s. Turned them into brave, play by their own rules rebels, into foolish, immature degenerates. That may have wasted Captain Plasma all together. One redeeming scene was when they set it up to look like Finn was going to sacrafice himself, only for Rose to knock him out of the way. A scene that was interresting, but could have done without to do away with the B-Story all together.
Mark Hamill’s Return to the character he is most known for was brilliant. Showing a Jedi who was beyond defeated. Believing his greatest failure, was the reason Kylo Ren was born. Hiding out on the Island to simply fade away. He got to show his comedic side, and at the end, show off how powerful of a Jedi Luke Skywalker is. May not have been the big lightsaber battle people were expecting, but at his age, may have looked bad. Instead his acting ability led the way here. Like Obi-Wan, this would be his demise, but not at the hands of his pupil. In fact he showed up his student. That he was still nothing but a Pupil and great reveal, after everything Kylo thrown at him, to be nothing more then a Force Driven Vision. If this was Mark’s final go as Luke, great way to go and pass off the torch to Rey in the process.
This movie left a ton of questions for Episode 9. Snoke, is dead. The First Order and Rebellion are both in shambles, and is the perfect way to go. Leave everyone shell shocked and wandering what does the future hold in store for everyone, and just because they said her parents were nobodies, do I believe it won’t be exposed as a lie.
By Paul Anthony
How bad can it be? I am sure D.C. and Warner Brothers kept asking themselves when they saw the numbers for Justice League. There were rumors that they wanted to have a better opening than Thor which they failed to even come close to the numbers Thor has put up and at this point they were even hoping to be on Par with Batman V Superman, which they aren’t even close and what the saddest part is, Batman V Superman is probably the worse movie in the DCEU, yet it is the highest grossing film of the franchise. Justice league had a 300-million-dollar budget which doesn’t include the money they spent on marketing and the film has only grossed 570 million worldwide, sure it has only been out for a few weeks but each week the numbers keep dropping and Star Wars is just right around the corner, this might as well end up a big flop for warner brothers.
So, what happen? Well the problem has been mostly behind the camera, with Zach Snyder being in charges things were doomed to begin with, he wasn’t the right choice to lead this franchise and catch up to Marvel, finally Zach left the project because of family reasons which may have been a cover up because shortly after that Warner Bros basically fired him shortly after that, then they brought in Joss Whedon, which they saw the success he had with Marvel why not, so bring in the reshoots and script changes, the situation seems like the one Fox had with Fantastic Four. Joss did his best but the damage has been done. Then you add in the fact that Ben Affleck keeps jumping ship and showing signs, he might want to bail because this franchise is just a mess and it is clear as day this isn’t working. Are fans getting sick of him after like three movies? I sure would be sick of it.
The final version that we saw at the theaters wasn’t bad and was much better than Batman V Superman, The story was okay at best but there was too much CGI, the acting was alright but there was no real character development. But the action better. So with that being sad we are here wondering, what happen!
Warner bros have a plan B case Affleck wants to bail, the rumor is if Justice league flops, then they are doing the Flash point storyline in the Flash which changes everything even characters. I believe before they focus on another film, they might want to get everything situated behind the scenes and write a good script and get everyone on board for the long term build everything up the right way. There is hope with the Wonder Woman series which seems to be the only film they have going for them.
By: Justin Hopkins
For all the troubles the DCEU have had. The Arrowverse has been red hot. They took there time to build and let the audience love and enjoy their build. The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and of course, Arrow. They hit on all spectrums; dark and gritty, to light hearted and comedic, but always have powerful and moments of awe, leading up to the epic, 2 day Crisis of Earth-X, and it truly was that. An epic crossover event.
The writing staff deserves a big congratulations for this. For how many different storylines they had running. Everyone coming together for the wedding between Barry Allen and Iris West. Alex and Supergirl trying to get back on track after losing their loves. More focus on Alex, who feels tremendous guilt over her one night stand with Sara Lance. Stein and Jefferson getting the cure for Firestorm and Jefferson needing to come to terms that the man he looks to as a Father, will be leaving the Waverider. Felicity telling Oliver that she may love him, but rejected his proposal. All before the major villains arrived from Earth-X. Earth 53, a world were the Nazis won the War, and the new Fueher was Oliver Queen, wife Kara Zor-El, working with Tommy Merlin, and Earth 1, Reverse Flash. Invade not just to take over, but to kidnap Supergirl and put her heart into a dying evil Supergirl.
Never once did any of it seem overbloated or to much. Over 21 heroes, from each of the shows, plus returning characters that were Earth-X versions. Such as Winn as the Rebel General. Weaponized Red Tornado, Citizen Cold and Paul Blackthorne’s Quentin Lance being a diabolical Nazi General. Loved Diggle’s contribution, and a shocking death of a “Legend” and the funneral that was even more emotional. Almost impossible to highlight just one particular performance, because they were all stellar. Each character had time to showcase their abilities and what brings them to the table, and ran with all they got. Leaving each show with running starts to grow from.
This is how to do a crossover. Everyone from actors, directors, and writers who care and wanting the absolute best for everyone. The DCEU and even Marvel to a point can look to this and learn, as Crisis on Earth-X set the bar for what could be years to come.
By: Justin Hopkins
When The Punisher was first announced for his own solo show. Had little hope of it being any good. Sure Jon Bernthal did a tremendous job as Frank Castle in Daredevil, but was support to Matt Murdoch. With how he is, didn’t think The Punisher could be a main character, and be done with justice. Should really not doubt the Marvel machine right, as once again delivered. Going right into the dark, grungy world that is Frank Castle and stayed true to character. Displaying his ultra violent, tougher then nails, unlikable side, and his broken guilt ridden, anti hero form. While the support went through the emotional rides.
The story was raw and unforgiving. Not pulling any punches from start to finish. From Frank trying to move on after he thought he was successful and getting pulled back in when it turns out the death of his family was a far bigger conspiracy then he could ever imagine. Detective Madani desperate investigation into finding her answers. Heartbreaking journey Micro goes through to reunite with his family and them trying to adjust to his fake death and the solders in group and the painful reality of PTSD. They never pull back on the emotions no matter how bad the situation had gotten for the character in question, and always solicited a strong emotional response in watching it happen. Slowly building to an explosive conclusion.
Jon Bernthal did a tremendous job with an extremely tough character to bring to life. Had to show so much pain and guilt. Was a good man still who was still there to do right by those who needed help and never hurt an innocent person, but also closed off and cold. Would stop at nothing to exact kill those who took his family’s lives, no matter what happens to himself in the process, or at what cost. Walking the precarious line between likeable Anti-Hero and full blown villain.
Bringing Karen, played by the excellent Deborah Ann Woll, was a great way to keep him connected to the rest of the shows, but give him an emotional tie. Someone who torn up by grief over what may happen and wanting to see better for him, while he won’t show it. She represents someone he cares for in return. Which may become relevant in his return to Daredevil if Bullseye is set to premier.
The emotional turmoil showed by Micro and his family was spectacular by everyone involved. Ripley Sobo, Kobi Frumer, and Jamie Ray Newman felt like a really family breaking apart from the loss of their Father and Husband, while his sorrow leapt off the screen. Keeping you in suspense and hoping for the happy reunion this poor family deserved. Hats off to all four of them for their performance.
Lastly, have to give a round of applause to the stunt and fight choreographers. The Punisher is brutal and smash mouth, and they lived up to snuff. Especially, the fight in the first episode where he fight off the three would be murderers with the sledgehammer. Memorable fight that set the tone for things to come.
The Punisher is right up there with Jessica Jones and Daredevil in quality and execution. Staying true to his nature and great addition to the Netflix library. Hoping to see Jon Bernthal return to the character sooner rather then later and fingers crossed to see Ben Barnes rise to Jigsaw in what I’m sure will be an even more action packed Season 2.
By: Justin Hopkins
Justice League rolled into theaters with a slew of bad press behind it. From questions over the re-shoots and what was cut. The jokes about them having to CGI out Henry Cavill’s mustache. The never-ending drama over whether Ben Affleck was going to continue playing Batman or not. So much so that they might have hurt themselves a bit, which was a shame because Justice League turned out to be an entertaining movie and huge step forward.
The team forming by Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman recruiting them to defend the Earth from Steppenwolf and the Parademons as they searched for the Mother boxes that would be used to conquer the world. Pretty standard movie that worked nicely for them. They had to introduce three of the members and resurrect Superman on top of it. Any more and the story becomes to convoluted. A simple story was needed to give them momentum and this worked perfectly.
Ben Affleck and Galbot did a terrific job once again with Bruce and Diana. Especially when it came to building chemistry between them and learning from each other. Henry Cavill may not have had much screen time but from what I took away was that they are finally getting the Man of Steel right and Ray Fischer knocked it out of the park as Cyborg.
The one I was looking forward to seeing, and believed he had the toughest role was Ezra Miller. Grant Gustin has been nothing short of phenomenal as Barry Allen in the Arrowverse. Ezra came out running on all cylinders though. Playing him as a rookie superhero with a heart of gold. Came across as whiney at times, but am looking forward to see him continue with the role for years to come.
The CGI was a bit lackluster at times, but the fight sequences were well choreographed. Allowing everyone to show off what they can do. Loved the scenes with The Flash running and the fight scene he had with Superman. One camera shot in particular was tremendous and that was at the start where Batman had trapped the parademon, and camera went crooked. Capturing the two in dark, gritty fashion that screamed comic book. Big shout out to everyone working behind the camera.
There are plenty of things that could have been better. Aquaman could have had more, but with his movie coming up next year. Less we know the more we have to look forward to. Justice League was a good, enjoyable movie all around that the DCEU needed. Better then both Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad, and for once. Showed hope for the future.
By Paul Anthony
Over the years the prices of tickets to see a movie have gone up and they did it quietly. I am sure you have notice the price but said screw it anyway and bought a ticket to go see your favorite movie. Theaters try to justify the pricing by giving you better seats or a bigger screen with a sharper image, we call that Imax. But like many things times have change and the people aren’t flocking to see movies as they once did. Now there are reasons for that, the movies haven’t been that good and people have other ways of seeing it, either through streaming it or bootleg it, so a theatre chain has found a solution or so they hope.
Regal theater has announced in 2018 that will raise the price of their tickets base on the demand and time. Now this is a tactic that sports use. So, this is how it will go, so let’s use justice league for example, so the film is popular now during the peak hours which is usually 5 pm to close will now cost you more, and even more on the weekends, now let’s say the movie like Jigsaw, which right now isn’t that popular will be much cheaper regardless of the time.
Now obviously this supply and demand idea is very new and we may have a few questions. In movies we have sleeper hits which are films that critics believe have no hope but comes out of nowhere and becomes a big hit. Will a movie status change from week to week? Which would be the same for a film that is protected to be a hit but turns into a flop.
Will this idea actually work? I am predicting no and here is why. The cost for one, ticket prices have gone up and people right now are getting tired of it, sure there are people out there that love the flops and will enjoy the films being much cheaper than their usually prices but will people spend more to see the big hits? Sure, in the short term they will spend their hard-working money but won’t be able to keep pace with the popular films.
Regal is taking a risk there no doubt about it, to me it’s a risk that won’t pay off, yes, they will make money in the short term but once the crowd gets sick the prices, they will soon stop going to a regal theater and go somewhere else. Well the prices will take place in 2018 and see how long it will last.