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JJ Returns to Star Wars

By Paul Anthony

You hate him then you love him then you hate him again and honestly, I had to wonder why. I am of course talking about JJ Abrams. Now it was announced that Abrams will be returning to the Star Wars franchise and will be directing and co-writing episode 9. Soon as this was announced fans started a petition to get him out of the chair to direct I, have to say this love/hate relationship with him has to stop.

Let’s go back in time before the Force awakens and it was announced that he would be directing it, the fans started to boo that idea right off the bat and there was no other reason except he directed the Star Trek films and I guess you can’t direct both franchises. The show went on and The Force Awakens was released and it went on to gross two billion dollars worldwide, nearly a billion here alone, which is tough to do, the film ranked second only behind Avatar in the All-Time grossing films. Looking beyond the money fans loved the film and loved how he paid homage to the very first film, which I thought was a downfall but a minor one, fans loved the fact that there was very little CGI which has been a knock against the previous trilogy.

So, after all this success Abrams departed the franchise and it seemed like he was one and done. So why he come back? With Carrie Fisher passing away, it forced everyone to rewrite script because Fisher was a big part of the film. When they announced that Colin Trevorrow would be leaving the project due to creative difference, this is where Abrams was able to return to the franchise, so why are fans mad?

I don’t understand why they are, since he was able to lift this franchise off the ground to huge success. I do hope that he doesn’t pay homage to the Last Jedi since episode 9 is the last one in this trilogy. However, he seems like the best bet to end this trilogy. Disney will not replace him, they know he will bring them in a lot of money and filming is scheduled to start in the summer so they don’t want to keep searching and searching and hope they can find the right person. Once the film is released I say this much fans will be happy that JJ was directing it.

 

 

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The Mummy Ranking

By Paul Anthony

Remakes and sequels aren’t anything new in Hollywood, well not anymore at least. Some franchises have been rebooted or remade few times just look at the Spider-Man series, it has been rebooted twice with The Amazing Spider-Man to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will be another blog ranking those in a few weeks but in this blog, we are ranking the Mummy films. This year we saw the second remake of the classic film the Mummy, I had to wonder how did it rank against the other two films with the same name, I watched all three films and here, are our ranking.

In this ranking, we will be disregarding the 1959 British film because the plot was just from the previous American Film.

Number 3, which is the lowest number, the 2017 The Mummy was the worse and it’s hard to figure out why honestly, The Mummy started in 1932 as horror film in 2017 it was a full fledge action film, however the action was there, nothing else really was, Tom Cruise wanted more screen and the studio caved because he was going to be their Dark Universe franchise star, the movie catered to Cruise and The Mummy became nothing more than a side note that nearly served no purpose at all. This may have hurt the film the most but the Studio wanted Cruise and this was what they got.

Number two, 1932 The Mummy, usually the original is the best and by no means was this an easy choice but it’s number two. I enjoyed watching the horror Mummy, the slow jump scares, the feeling that someone going to sneak up on you and hoping the good guys win, this was a winning formula and executed greatly but the story was rushed, the film was just 73 minutes and I felt like I was watching  TV show, I get it maybe movies back then wasn’t that long but it could have been longer to make the plot more interesting but because of that it had to be number two.

And your Number one film is, 1999 The Mummy. I know a film starring Brendon Fraser but he put on a performance of his life and he never put the pressure on the studio to make the film about his character instead it was his team vs the mummy. The few jump scares were there but not much at this point it’s clear it was supposed to be a good action film and it was. The charm was there, the story was good, it made sense. Now money wise without inflation made 415 million off a 80 million budget, the 415 was lower than the 2017 film but with inflation it would have been a lot more than the 2017 film.

Do you agree with our ranking? If not let us know how you would rank the three or four films depending what you think if the 1959 The Mummy.

 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review

By Paul Anthony

A few years back there was a sleeper hit called Kingsman: The secret service, the film had a modest budget and had an opening weekend where it only made 30 million but then went on to gross 414 million overalls, this past weekend saw the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, so how did this one lived up to the first film.

The first filmed had a 70 percent critic rating where this film has 51 percent so why the 19- point drop? I watched the first film before I saw this film and the main thing I realized was if the film is good and meant to be a one and done film and then they decide to do a part two they will most likely do the same thing again in hopes of it working again, sometimes it works but it hurts the growth of the franchise. The potty humor was still there which provided the laughs of course, which makes you forget the weak story that follows, which are spoilers so please do not read unless you dare. So, the story goes a big-time drug dealer basically wants to return home but must poison her drugs which will poison the people forcing the President to allow her to sell drugs and be a free woman. She knew the Kingsman would stop her, which she has them killed basically which our hero must go to the states and get the help of the Statesman which are the American Brothers of the Kingsman.

The movie also stars Channing Tatum and this where I had a big problem with the film, In the trailers it seemed like he would have a big-time role instead we got a glorified cameo with the possibility of a bigger for part three. I will admit he’s overall talented with the right director he can shined with the not so good director, he looks bad. Look at the 21 jump street series, he truly shined in that series and not to mention he can be a good action star which would have been a great help with this movie.

The filmed made 39 million in it’s opening weekend a slight increase from the first film and made close to a 100 million worldwide already which was good to be number one at the domestic box office, in the end this is a film good enough to buy on video but truly isn’t worth seeing it in the movies with that being said I give this movie two out of five stars.

Kingman the golden circle movie review

By: Justin Hopkins 

 The much hyped for sequel for the surprise 2014 hit, The kingsman The Golden Circle hit theaters this past Friday.  Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and plenty more returned.  To avenge the attack on them and save the world, from the villainous Julianne Moore, with the help of newcomers Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges,  Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal, and have to say. Wasn’t to impressed. 

 Movie started out with Eggsy getting attacked by Charlie and hired guns. Resulting in an exciting fight and car chase.  Which was actually a rouse to get his robotic arm in place and find everyone’s address.  Allowing drug kingpin, Poppy, to fire missiles at them.  Clearing the way for her to taint her drugs with a virus and hold the world hostage till the president legalized drugs and allow her to rejoin society. Which brought up the question should it matter if drug addicts die.  While Eggsy and Merlin go to the US and get help from The Statesman. 

 This was all fine and would have made a great movie,  but then they brought in the resurrected Harry. This not only overloaded an already full story,  but spit in the face of his emotional demise in the first movie. Instead of focusing on the other characters they gave us a stupid explanation for his survival, but a pointless side story that went nowhere, and stole screen time from the others, and Channing Tatum was barely there. Which made his use in the trailer a waste.

 Besides that, there was a lot of fun moments.  Pedro Pascal’s fight scenes were excellent.  Taron Egerton was on par, and when Merlin was singing Country Road, while he stood on the land mine,  before sacrificing himself will live with us for years to come, and my god I can’t believe I’m going to say this,  but Elton John was straight up epic. Was so unbelievably funny.  Every time you think he’s done,  he’d come right back in true style, and his music was perfectly used. 

 Went in expecting more then what I got.  Just to much going on and bogged down the flow at times. I don’t suggest seeing this in theaters,  but definetly catch it on DVD. Has some good action and fight sequences.  Plus plenty of laughs to boot.  

Cleveland Indians bounce back

By: Justin Hopkins 

 With everything going on in the world of sports; all eyes were on the Cleveland Indians. The defending American League champions, were already well on their way to the playoffs, before August 24, when they embarked on a historic 22 game win streak.

 So much about this feat is impressive. May have missed out on the 1916 New York Giants 26 game streak, that included a tie, this was the closest a team came since the 2002 Oakland Athletics at 20. Can easily argue the tribe was the greatest. 

  They outscored their opponents 142-37, Seven shutouts, and three of the teams were always difficult division rivalries.  Went from simply leading their Division, to leading the American League.  All of this is impressive and should be a cherished accomplishment. What came next however; was far more impressive. 

 After a team goes on an extended run like that. A single loss can not only be a setback,  but can derail a team.  Seen it in 2007 with the Colorado Rookies. Batting, pitching,  fielding or all of the above can hit a wall.  Team runs out of momentum and fizzles out. Let the Indians turned right back around and beat the Kansas City Royals, 3 games to 4.

 This is the sign of a winning team. They had a very special run and all eyes watched. I’m sure they were sad to see it end, but struggled the loss off, and went right back to work.  Pitching is lights out. Dangerous hitters that can run up a score and as we saw with win 22. Down one with one strike out remaining and tied the game. They can perform under pressure. 

 Vegas has recently released the odds on favorite to win the World Series, and Cleveland Indians are leading, and they have earned that recognition on their way to become one of the most dangerous teams going into the playoffs.  

 

Divergent series Failure

By Paul Anthony

Have we seen the last of the young adult book to film series end? Let’s go back a few years when Harry Potter the film series started back in 2001, it truly started a trend, midway through Harry Potter came The Twilight saga, which we found to be annoying but we watched them, then came one of my favorites the Hungry Games, which was epic especially part two. Which brings us to my blog topic which The Divergent series and what happen to it?

I will say from my point of view I did enjoy the first film and believed it was good start to this series, I believe of the film series before it, The Divergent series was the smallest of the bunch so it had an uphill battle.  So, seeing this film I believed it would do great. The film had an 85-million-dollar budget and grossed nearly 290 million dollars. With a raising lead star in Shailene Woodley. The next film came out just a year later which was supposed to be the plan, a yearly plan which each film coming out a year later.

Insurgent made close to 300 million with a budget of 110 million, to the naked eye all you see is that the movie made more money than the last but the budget was higher, a 25 million dollar increase with a total gross only improving by 10 million. This isn’t good sign but still they decided to split the third book into two films which the idea has been hit and miss, Hollywood does this for the money, they use a budget for one film and make it into two films and basically double their profit, but fans realize the boring stuff will always be in the first film so why go see it?

The third film Allegiant was released and it had the biggest budget of 142 million and here’s the sad part, the filmed only grossed 179 million. Many blamed the failure on nothing more than the studio trying to stretch it out. The aftermath seems to have frozen this film series, the rumor has been that they want to cut the budget and make it into a TV movie which Woodley said if this is the case then she won’t return. The film was supposed to come this past March but now it’s under TBA and pretty much gone cold.

It’s sad to see a series that had such great promise just falter. Will the fourth film ever be made? I am guessing at this point if we don’t hear something soon, the studio just going to reboot it, which at this part may not be such a bad idea but of course they would need hold off a good while if they decide to take this route and at this point I do not know the film rights current state. If there is any update we will report it as soon as we find it!

Season 21 of South Park

By: Justin Hopkins 

 Season 21 of South Park has finally arrived. Following Season 20’s politically charged, member berries, and internet trolls. Saying they would go back to standalone episodes instead of season long stories. Stirring a little controversy when the synopsis showed it would revolve around protestors with tiki torches and confederate flags. That they still had politics in their sights. 

 The main storyline took a quick turn with Darryl and the rednecks protesting technology such as Amazon, Siri, and Google for taking their jobs.  Randy opposing them since their constant waving of the confederate flag was tarnishing his use of the name for his newest gig; White People Renovating Houses. Political message being a subtle metaphor. Which is where Matt and Trey do their best work. 

 Metaphor coming from a load barring wall in Darryl’s House being at the heart of his fear of changing.  That everything he knew would fall apart if he changed.  Which Randy would help him achieve. 

 Of course, one storyline thread from Season 20 had to be addressed,  and that was the relationship between Cartman and Heidi. Which showed the kids being kids again,  and Eric returning to his old devious way.  Twisting the conversations between them in his mind to make him the victim of verbal abuse, and break up being her fault. 

 Loved the start of this season.  Matt and Trey are geniuses at making great comedy with real life lessons behind it. Brilliance shows why they are up to season 21 and going strong.  Do yourselves a favor and check it out if you haven’t, cause it was a fun episode to lead off the new run.

First experience with movie pass.

By: Justin Hopkins 

 Last Saturday marked a fun little occasion for me.  Besides seeing the phenomenal re-telling of Steven Kings it. For those who don’t know, Movie Pass is a  subscription service that allows you to see any standard movie, one time a day for 10 dollars a month. Using a card they send and the app. Simply check in at the theater. They’ll load the card and have the thirty minutes to pay for it. 

 Going in I was a little worried about it.  Seeing all of the people’s negative reviews and issues they have had. Fact my card status on the app read shipped. Lingering question that I couldn’t find in their extensive FAQ section.  Going to the theater,  having no idea if it would work or not.  However,  once I went to check in,  everything fell into place and worked like a charm. 

  For those wondering how to activate the card.  Moment you check in.  They asked for the last four digits of the movie pass card, which will activate the card, and start the thirty minute clock. Which can be cancelled with a simple click of a button if your not ready or got to leave.

 Even the negative I have to say isn’t much of a negative.  It’s extremely difficult to get ahold of customer support, but can understand why.  Their numbers have blown up since the price change.  Even a slight delay in shipping my card.  They are working to bring in more help,  but it’s a problem that’ll obviously take time to sort out.  Luckily,  it’s pretty simple to use,  and the App answers alot of potential questions.

 I’m thrilled with my first experience with Movie Pass. For someone who goes to the theater two times a month, or more.  This will be a huge relief financially, while the theater still makes out through concessions. For movie lovers everywhere who are on the ropes about it; couldn’t suggest it more.  Works as easily as it claims, working through MasterCard,  which means it’ll be accepted in most places, and you won’t be disappointed. 

IT Review

By Paul Anthony

Let’s face the summer over and it was a dud to be honest, the summer ended and the fall season opened with a bang, this past weekend, saw the release of the Stephen’s Kings IT. Many may call it a remake but honestly it is not since the first IT was a mini tv series that came out in 1990. It was later put together in a film.

We recently went to go see it and see if it truly lived up to the hype and it totally did live up to the hype. First the movie has made 179 million off a budget that was only 36 million once again proving that small budgets can work. And here is how it worked so well.

Character development such a big part of any film because the audience can grow with the characters as the movie progresses, here in this movie we generally have a decent cast who all gets plenty of screen time, even with Jaeden Lieberher getting the most screen time out of the bunch, this is only because his character Bill is the main character. The beauty is good each cast member took their time and ran with it, which gave a good scene after good scene. Bill Skarsgard took over the role as pennywise/it and now that his character, we are no longer putting it with Tim Curry and that’s not in a disrespectful way.

We know the book is being broken into two parts, we saw the first part now with them fighting IT as kids the second half of the book is with them fighting IT as adults, the film decided to do Chapter one and the chapter 2 which should be out in 2019. For once splitting a book up into two films wasn’t a bad idea because the movie stayed closed to the book as possible giving us details from the book, which had to please the fan base.

With giving us more details the movie told the story well and made you forget that the movie was two hours and 15 minutes, to be honest well I was in there, I couldn’t believe it really was that long. Another thing that was positive about the film was since the story was told right, they didn’t need jump scares to sell the movie sure there was jump scares but you were focused on the story, sitting wondering what is next, that is what truly scared you.

In the end, I am giving this film a good rating, 4 out of 5 stars, now what is a good sign is that Stephen King’s stories can be turned into good modern movies, there was a part of me that feared that for this film after The Dark Tower which is based on one of his book series was a complete flop at the box office. Sure, they were made by two different studios but it was nice to see this film not being hurt by the Dark Tower.

It movie review

By: Justin Hopkins 

 Sure to form, 27 years after the first, It has made it triumphant debut to the big screen. Being that It has already taken down several records for horror movies, Steven King movies,  and September releases,  and tracking for a hundred million dollar opening weekend. Safe to say it’s a financial triumph for New Line,  and sitting at 89 on rotten tomatoes, it’s a critical one as well, and in my opinion; was an incredibly fantastic movie. 

 Where this movie really excelled for me was how the story was constructed and unfolded.  From taking classic scenes such as where Georgie fatal encounter with Pennywise in the catch basin, Beverly’s bathroom scene, and when Ben was caught by the bullies. They added details and depth. Made them more psychological and greatly improved them.  Each of the characters in their own right got plenty of time to flesh out and add to them. The seven felt like real kids, who were trusted into the fight for their lives,  and alone in doing so.  Surrounded by adults who either forced themselves to turn a blind eye to the evils going on around them, or had gone mad themselves in all of it.  Which is classic Steven King style writing. 

 The kid actors and actress all came in and blew all expectations away.  Sophia Lillis was stellar as Beverly Marsh. Heart and conscious of the group.  Showing bravery and willingness to stand up for them,  then made you feel her sorrow and desperate silent pleas of help due to being at the mercy of her father.  Jaeden Lieberher was golden as Billy.  His desperate search for his brother in the hopes of him still being alive,  and his performance alongside Jackson Roberts Scott was both heart wrenching and terrifying as that Jackson made for one hell of a scary kid.  Jeremy Ray Thomas, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff rounded out the other five and could go on and on about how good each were.  They were the perfect cast to have and friendship that radiated off the screen, but before I close,  have to mention the lead bully, Nicholas Hamilton’s Henry Bowers. He was such a stand out character for how despicable character he was, his downslide to psychotic was compelling and mesmerizing, as the scenes between him and his Father were some of the most powerful in the movie. 

 The million dollar question going in was how would Bill Skarsgard compare to the massive shoes left behind by Tim Curry. An unfair question to the young actor, but an inevitable one. Bill owned the character of Pennywise from the opening sequence.  Loved the mannerisms and constant movements. Everything about him was creepy and deranged.  Loved the prosthetics and make up. His interactions with the kids was off the charts with peril and intensity. Not only matching curry but for my money,  far surpassed him. 

This is the reason behind remakes. To take a classic and make it so much more. Everyone involved knew they had to deliver and brought it and then some.  They story was more fulfilling and upped the gore without over doing it. The scares were earned and psychologically charged roller coaster.  Felt like you watched a real classic and am excited for part 2.