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.
By Paul Anthony
When the Harvey Weinstein case happen a few weeks ago, we all knew this would only be the beginning and sure enough we were right. People started to come forward accusing actors left and right. Now nothing really came about with those actors but now another actor came is being accused of sexual Harassing people. That actor is none other than Kevin Spacey, who now being accused by 14 people to date.
The flood gates opened on Spacey when last month Anthony Rapp accused him some three decades ago and here’s the thing, this happened when Rapp was only a 14. Spacey sexual orientation has been a mystery for years while some figured he was gay and others thought he was straight. When Rapp came out told the story how Spacey was drunk came to his room and started to fondle him and Spacey said in return that he didn’t remember this ever happening and if it did he is truly sorry and that’s when he confirmed that he was indeed gay. Him coming out didn’t sit well with other gay Actors and Actresses, many believed he was using his sexual orientation to get sympathy or to excuse what he did. Since the 13 other men have come out and stated Spacy has sexual harass them.
Before Rapp came out, Netflix announced the sixth season of House of cards would be its last but this drama happened and they quickly stopped production then just days later canceled the show all together so Netflix wanted to cut ties with him altogether and even opted to not release his film Gore, they decided to cut all the ties with him. Netflix wasn’t the only one that cut ties, Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World had Spacey starring in it but Scott decided to have Christopher Plummer do Spacey scenes and reshoot the ones he has already done.
I must wonder what made Spacey do what he did so many years ago, he fondled a kid and we are left wondering if there were more kids that felt his wrath. It’s hard to believe he did this just one kid usually there is more than one.
How will Spacey move forward? Well at this point his career is over, no studio going to hire him and bring all the drama with him. It’s sad that such a promising career ended the way it did. But he did it to himself so he can only blame himself. This is an ongoing story, so there will more updates as the weeks go on but we will see.
By Paul Anthony
We are now 9 years deep in the MCU and to this day Marvel studios has yet to have a dud, the closes we gotten to a failure would Thor: The Dark World which still made money but the bright spot was a Villain, who is a fan favorite that pretty stole each scene that he was in. That person is of course being Loki played by Tom Hiddleston. The series hasn’t been the strongest which is understandable because it has to do with mythology, which is difficult to mix in with science but Marvel did it. Now let’s move on from The Dark World and three years later we get Thor: Ragnarok, which is a complete 360 from The Dark World.
In this film, it’s truly a fun space Adventure, they are only on earth for maybe 5 minutes of the entire film, now let’s touch on something that is different from the previous Thor films and I am talking about the comedy. In the previous films we did have a bunch of punch lines but nothing like we have in this film. For the first time in the entire series there is comedy from the beginning to the end. In the first film when he arrived on earth the comedy made sense since he was so new to earth, we seen the comedy in the Avengers films. So why did Thor bring the laughs? Well Chris Hemsworth showed he can make people laugh, just watch Ghostbusters and Vacation, so why not cut him loose and show us what he got and sure enough he brought the laughs but he wasn’t the only one, we got laughs from the Hulk and the grandmaster as well as Korg.
The comedy wasn’t the lone bright spots, Jeff Goldblum played a brilliant Grandmaster with his wits and his comedy and Cate Blanchett and Anthony Hopkins, all were brilliant in their roles. The music was good as well which was important because if music off so is the flow of the film. Now I am going to combine the action and graphics because in this case it goes hand and hand. With Disney’s money, you know the graphics are the best and the fight scenes aren’t bad we are starting to see Thor’s true power yet we didn’t see that much but I am sure we will see his full strength in the infinity war that is coming up next year. With I am giving it 4.5 stars. Why not 5? Well to be honest as much as I think this movie was great, it didn’t feel like a Thor movie instead I felt like I was watching another Guardians of the galaxy film which isn’t a bad thing but it just didn’t feel original.
Now the film will be facing real competition in the weeks to follow with Justice League and the of course Star Wars but for now I highly recommend seeing this film!
By: Justin Hopkins
Thor has always been the sore thumb of the MCU. The actors and actresses have always turned out good performances, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleson leading the pact. Story wise though, have always come up short. Ragnarok turned that all around. Giving us a fun, suspenseful, action filled movie, with a surprise ending.
When utilized correctly, foreshadowing is a wonderful writing tool. Done so subtle that you hardly notice that Surtur and Odin have given hints on the ending till its over and those scenes are that much powerful for it. Big thumbs up for it.
Chris Hemsworth’s Thor comes full circle in this film. Better then anyone in the Marvel cinematic universe at this point. Introduced in the first film as a bratty, arrogant child and we’ve watched him continuously grow from there into the character we see here. One who enjoys life, humble and still maintains the heart of a warrior. If this is his final solo Thor movie. Glad it ended with him earning the title King of Asgard.
Cate Blanchett gave us a villain like we haven’t seen much of at this point. Diabolical, heinous, powerhouse Hela. Thor’s sister and Goddess of death. She held herself throughout as a woman with no fear and took down anything that got in her way. Had you hanging on to every word she said and anticipating her next move. The speech between her and Thor in the Throne room was adrenaline pounding and chilling at the same moment.
Newcomers and support cast all brought in new elements that made this movie what it was. Tessa Roberts Valkyrie was tremendous as the fallen solider working up the courage to face the cause of her downward spiral. Finally got to see Idris Elba’s show Heimdall as the tougher then nails warrior protecting the innocents. Can’t say enough about how good Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth working together. The short Hulk arc was just enough to answer some questions and leave us wanting more. Throw in the fun and charismatic Jeff Goldblum and Taika Waititiall. Making this top of the MCU Library.
The last thing I need to bring up was how well the Doctor Strange cameo was. Alot of cameos can come across as forced, but his was seemless. Showing that in the time since he took the mantle, he had become a guardian of the Earth and more powerful sorcerer.
Thor Ragnarok is an MCU must see in theaters. Great performances and story. CGI was top notch. Fun and witty. Fight scenes were exciting and heart to spare.
By: Justin Hopkins
Jeepers Creepers was terrifying when I was a kid. Presenting us with a new monster that was bone chilling and mysterious. Fed off people’s fear and ate what he liked off the ones he chose. Completely relentless, taking everything they could throw and it was the first time I watched a monster movie where the monster won, and in not some last second resurrection for the jump scare, but got exactly what he wanted. Then the second one came out giving us an even more exciting chapter, and have been patiently waiting on pins and needles ever since. The monster had so much more story to tell, and couldn’t just end there. Took 14 years but we finally got the part 3, and the wait was well worth it. Bringing the Creeper back in hellacious fashion and gave a great story to run forward as well as end the period of time that eclipsed between the three movies.
The story was pretty solid at times. Showing us a farming community who’d heard stories of The Creeper, but chalked it up to folklore and legends. Shifting between the talented Gabrielle Haugh’s character Addison Brandon who was living with her tormented Grandmother who was being haunted by the ghost and victim of the Creeper. Warning her to run. That he was coming to retrieve the hand he lost and the son had buried. Meanwhile you have Sheriff Dan Tashtego (Stan Shaw) and returning Sgt. Davis Tubbs (Brandon Smith) leading a group of men to finally put an end to the Creepers rampage before the 23 days run up.
These movie seemlessly bucked a massive horror tend, by filming primarily in the day light, in wide open areas at times. Allowing us to see the creature throughout the movie. Those on make up and prosthetics deserve all the credit in the world because it was their hard work that made that happen. Sculpting a chilling mask and got every little detail but was thin enough to allow Jonathon Breck to create facial movements at the same time.
Jonathon Breck has really etched himself in horror movie elite with his performance as the Creeper. Taking him to a whole other level in the film since he was on display so much. Carrying himself like the dominate force of nature he is suppose to be. While showing a surprising ammount of charisma that complement the Creeper. Breck enjoyment of playing this character again was apparent and the Creeper was that much better for it.
Minus a few poor CGI shots and a needles slow motion sequence. Thought very highly of this long awaited sequel. The twist at the end putting the events of this movie between part 1 and 2 may be a little off putting to some but I liked it. Knowledge of knowing what was going to happen next. Tying up these three and with Gina Philips cameo and closing monologue. Am ecstatic over the prospects of a part 4. Giving this movie a 3.75 out of 5.
By Paul Anthony
We are now approaching Halloween, in fact we are only a few days away now, so what is a better time to look at the big three horror icons remakes. For those who don’t know, we have reached ten years since the release of Rob Zombie Halloween film. At this point I was like wow it’s been ten years already, in this blog in honor of that we will look at what worked in that film and Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm and what didn’t work. We will start with Friday the 13th first and finish with Halloween last so let’s begin!
The previous decade was a roller coaster ride for Jason with release of Jason X which pretty much ruin him and made him into a joke, really Uber Jason get real. It did rebound with Freddy vs Jason which is the highest film in the Friday the 13th franchise, but they decided to reboot the franchise and six years later we got our next solo film. The film was supposed to be a true remake but instead become reimaging, they decided to do put four films into one, which was a smart idea, no need to have a franchise to go 8 or 9 movies deep with very little story. Showing Jason there witnessing his mother being killed made us give him just a little sympathy. Making him be quick and running was a homage to his debut in part two, which people forget about, and him wearing the bag then finding the mask was perfect. Now let’s add in the brother/sister storyline to give the film a story was much needed. Things that didn’t work pretty much the acting and writing and making the teens as dumb and horny as possible and I don’t understand making Jason so big which seems to be theme with horror remakes. We are now left with wonder what the next reboot will give us, if it will truly happen.
The following year in 2010, we saw another legend return and his name was Freddy, the first film not to feature Robert Englund which didn’t please fans at all, but having a new Freddy was needed, the film tone down the campy comedy and made the humor dark and dry which was much needed, after all it was supposed to be a nightmare not a dream. Outside of that it goes downhill, with the writing and acting and even changing the characters last names was just wrong. Then you got the use of CGI for Freddy instead using make up was a big letdown. Sure, the make up for Freddy was getting cheesy and truly so fake but still. At this point the franchise is on ice with no word of a sequel or a reboot.
Now let’s get to Michael shall we, 2002 we saw Halloween resurrection which just killed the franchise like Jason X did. Five short years later Rob Zombie stepped up and directed a film that brought Michael back to the spotlight. First giving us a little insight to his backstory helped us understand why he was the way he was and a look at his family though from the original his family was never that crazy which hurt the point he was trying to make about Michael upbringings. Rob has a style that is like no other and at times it can be a problem. Michael returning to get his mask made the mask that much more important and keeping it the same and creepy was a true plus on his part. A new view on Dr. Loomis was brighten having him be corrupted by the fame added a good twist onto the character. Now here was didn’t work, too much time on Michael back story, we don’t see the Michael we know until roughly an hour into the film which was too long not to feature him. Having Michael be a giant was big mistake, Michael was normal size and wasn’t that strong which truly made you afraid, this Michael however you just knew what he could do. Haddonfield being filled with crazy people truly made Michael seem like he was normal living in that town. Haddonfield was a nice little town, changing it just wasn’t right. This was Rob Zombie style, which made him famous, so you couldn’t expect any less. We are now waiting for the next Halloween film which is coming next year but this time John Carpenter returning and so is Jaimie lee Curtis, this film will be the part 3 that we never truly got, which makes us pumped for his return!
By Paul Anthony
Well it is that time again where we are going to cover some WWE stories that peaked our interest. Here in this blog we will cover the idea of Women’s tag titles, the recent break out of illnesses in the locker room and looking at survivor series. With a lot of information to discuss let’s get right to it.
First let’s consider the rumor of them starting a tag team title, which unlike the guys where they have two tag team champions, one for each show. In the woman’s case, there would only be one tag team for both shows despite the fact each show has their own woman’s championship. I am all for women getting their own tag team titles but I don’t believe this is the right time for it and here’s why. The biggest issue that there aren’t enough women to make a real tag team division, should they call up from NXT another large group of women for each brand then it can be different and let’s not forget they still don’t get enough TV time in my opinion. TNA has the same thing, they have the women’s title and the tag titles but even before the company became a dying company, they didn’t have enough women to make the division and it didn’t make sense and the titles soon became an afterthought. I’m not saying WWE will fall into that trap because currently they are doing good with the women’s titles but like I said before they need more women and give them more time.
Let’s move onto the illness situation that has hit the locker room, Roman Reigns, and Bray Wyatt and maybe even Kevin Owens. Roman has the mumps and Bray believed to suffer the same illness. This forced WWE to change the ppv TLC to feature AJ Styles who is on Smackdown go up against Finn Baylor and have Kurt Angle team with Dean and Seth to fight the Miz and his crew. Going forward depending on long Roman out this could change WWE plans with the shield, rumor is after Survivor Series the shield reunion would end with Dean turning heel which to me is a great idea, he’s character was always meant to be a heel more than a babyface.
With the brand split Survivor Series makes more sense you have the two brands duking it to see who is the better brand, the teams are shaping up and could we see the undertaker return? We know Kane seeking revenge against roman but will this all change if Roman isn’t back, I am not sure if we will see the undertaker at all if roman can’t go. The Long-term plan is to have Roman fight Brock for the title at WrestleMania. In the next few weeks the pictures should become more and more clear, right now though we have to take it day by day.
By: Justin Hopkins
It’s that wonderful time of year again. Where one can binge watch all of the scary movies one desires without people thinking their nuts. Not that is an issue. Some of the best movies and awesome female heroes come from the horror genre. As well as some of the most passionate fan base. With eleven days remaining and so many to watch; question becomes which movies to start with. Allow me to help, with my personal to 14 horror movies to watch before Halloween.
14 Silent Hill
By Video Game to Movie standards Silent Hill is a rare gem. The change from the male to female was a brilliant move. Radha Mitchell was great as Rose and the scene where she was chasing the girl through town and surrounded by monster was ripped entirely from the game it was based off of. Monsters were scary, inhabitants were unpredictable, and savage kill from the infamous Pyramid Head. Throw in the amazing Jodelle Ferland who played the innocence and horrifying sides of Alessa and this movie earned its spot on the list.
13 Childs Play
This year marked the return of Andy Barclay to the childs play world. No better time to return to how it all began. Watch how Charles Lee Ray became the good guy doll and turn Andy’s life into a nightmare. Throw in one of the great deaths as Dinah Manoff took a two story plunge.
12 Jeepers Creepers
I remember watching this as a kid, and terrified by the fact the monster won in the end. Creeper being an unstoppable force who was relentlessly pursued his victims. Gina Phillips and Justin Long had excellent chemistry and Johnston Breck etched his name into horror movie lore.
11 The Birds
The most unsettling part of this Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece was the lack of a score. Without the hints of sounds cues to warn you. The violence and bird attacks catch you by surprise, and by the end leaves the audience in suspense over whether they’ll truly be safe again.
10 The Exorcist
What can one say about an all time great. The possessed Linda Blair scared an entire generation senseless. Everyone brought their best and delivered.
Despite the decades and all the different displays. None have topped that first chest burster scene. Alien set the bar in Sci-fi horror and gave rise to a phenomenal female hero Ellen Ripley.
Steven Spielberg took a rather common phobia and made it a rampant one. This was a freight filled roller coaster that didn’t let up till the end.
7 Friday the 13th part 2
As good as the first was, Halloween needs its Jason and part 2 is the way to go. The old school grunge feeling gives it a good charm and seeing Jason before his Hockey mask is an interesting change of pace.
An underrated horror movie in every facet of the word, with a powerful message of the dangers of seeking vengence. Lance Hendricks brought emotional turmoil as a Father desperate to seek vengence against those he blamed for his son’s death. Yet, discovered it came with a terrible price. Meanwhile Pumpkinhead is a everything on can want in a monster. Towering over his enemies and nothing can save his targets from his wrath.
5 The Omen
Down to the top 5 and in comes a classic. Showing a royal families decent into chaos and death as Gregory Peck struggling to find out what really happened the night his son died and if the child he was raising was really the Anti-Christ.
Robin Williams showed the world a genie that was helpful, fun loving jokester. Andrew Divoff reminded us why we should fear them. Performance was up there with the best. Intimidating and suave. Using people’s desires and wants against them and all they had to do was ask. Victims list read like a whose who of legendary horror actors including Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd and more.
3 Nightmare on Elm Street part 3
The first Nightmare was nearly perfect and this one was even better. Freddy once again going after the kids of the parents who killed him. Heather Langenkamp return as Nancy. Helping them learn their dream powers to fight off Krueger once and for all. With Robert Englund knowing Freddy so well by this point, able to flesh him out even more. Making this nightmare the one to scare you thus year.
2 Halloween Part 4
Kind of kneeling to tradition by putting Halloween on this list. Skip the cliche of the first and enjoy Part 4 instead.
1 John Carpenter’s The Thing
Hands down, The Thing is perfect for Halloween movie. Kurt Russell and Keith David at their finest. Claustrophobic, psychological, gory, jump scares and everything else included. The shocking finale leaving you in wonder and awe of the horror you watched. Making it the best horror movie of all time.
As with any list, this is purely opinionated, and that’s the best part. Hope my list can lead you to movies you haven’t seen yet. By all means comment your favorites in the comments. On that note, going to wrap it up with honorable mentions. All great picks, but borderline other genes to much to be included in this list.
Honorable Mentions: Predator – Aliens – Resident Evil Vendetta