star wars rebels – twin suns

The episode Twin Suns in Star Wars Rebels season 3 premiered this weekend. If you haven’t kept up with Rebels, you should go back and start this series. In no time you’ll catch up to season 3, in fact, you’d probably get there faster than light speed ūüôā

This show has been a lot of fun, and season 3 amps that up in a way I was not expecting.
The latest episode (Twin Suns) cements this series to the original trilogy even more. The last scene hit me and left me emotional in way that I wasn’t expecting, it manages to tie in the prequels with the original trilogy. Bravo!

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Eugene

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john wick: chapter 2 – the boogeyman is back!

John Wick: Chapter 2 continues where the first film left off, with Wick looking to retrieve his car. This film is directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. It stars Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane. After addressing the events of the 2014 film, Wick goes on the run due to a bounty being placed on him. Continue reading

silence – is deafening

Silence is the latest film from Martin Scorsese. It’s directed by Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based on the novel of the same name by Shuskau Endo. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Drive, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciaran Hinds. The film is about 17th century priests who travel to Japan from Portugal to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholicism.

The good; the images are amazing. Silence takes place in Japan but it’s all shot in Taiwan. The camera lens manages to capture breathtaking images in the landscapes. With a story revolving around a higher being and a greater purpose it illustrates wonderfully man’s role in the grand scheme of things.
I can not praise the locations and grandeur of the wide shots.

Next up is the acting. Everyone in this film gives it their all. The inner struggle as cultures clash over religious beliefs is very well communicated through acting.

The cinematography with the acting is only accentuated with the sound design and score. There’s a wonderful sense of loneliness and danger with these priests being in a foreign land.

The bad; for this being a long time passion project for Scorsese (he’d been working on it for 26 years)… I was expecting more. I’m aware that this is all on me, but it’s Scorsese!
The ending felt too predictable, there’s a turning point in the third act and then voice overs take over… it feels too rushed.

Overall, I enjoyed it. But it’s a rough movie that I don’t think I need to see again. It received a nomination for Best Cinematography, which is totally deserved. The story is based on real life events, but I’m not sure how much of this story is factual. The film sat with me for a week because I didn’t know quite what I thought. Silence definitely does transport you to another time, for that I’m grateful.

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Eugene

 

 

 

the 2017 razzies

The 2017 Razzies have now come upon us. Looks like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has a nomination is almost every category (Worst Picture, Worst Actor for both Affleck and Cavill, and Worst Director for Snyder)… I hate being right about this one, but when it was announced back in 2014 I dismissed it immediately as being anything worth substance or worth even watching. Both of the DC Extended Universe movies that came out in 2016 have been nominated for the Worst Picture category, BvS and Suicide Squad.
That is very uncharacteristic, but in my heart of hearts I knew, I knew! Batman V Superman was sooo bad that it made Hans Zimmer quit comic book movies. Thanks Zack…

Do all the Razzie nominations dis-spell internet soap boxing like this?
It’s not like this movie NEEDS defending, it’s CLEARLY great.
But defend it because at the end of the day, DC content resonates with you at your core.
As it should, it’s intelligent, challenging, philosophical content, told with artistry and passion.
People who relish openly bashing it are just LOSERS who don’t have the capacity to tap into WHY DC content is so special.

If you choose to defend BvS then you are truly engrossed in the never-ending battle. After the initial dust settled BvS did not hold up, even at Rotten Tomatoes (27% as of 1/11/2017).

I do agree with the latter half of the above “rant,” because I grew up with DC Comics, I was the only one growing up that actually bought DC Comics, but I don’t think the management at DC Comics knows what makes DC Comic… DC Comics, or more importantly what makes DC Characters so special, and that’s the real problem.
They only seem to understand Batman and no other character. With such a large pantheon of great heroes to choose from it’s truly saddening that the current regime has not understood Superman (their once flagship character) in such a long time. A whole generation doesn’t know who Superman truly is.
Everything is cyclical, this period won’t last and things will come back around, knowing that gives me comfort, but I don’t like what’s going on now.

(Wouldn’t be surprised if this was on the 2018 Razzies)

If you want to see live action DC Comics Characters, tune in to their TV shows. At least we have that… “but for how long… ?”

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Eugene

 

my top two movies of 2016

I’ve tried to pick two movies out of the year that were my favorites.  One tends to be the movie I’ve viewed the most, a lot of the times it’s the movie that I’ve paid to see more than once.  And the other movie is one that I just want to be recognized or pointed out. This year continued with the nostalgia trip.

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passengers – next stop, space, and to your left, space

Passengers is a science fiction film directed by Morten Tyldum and its written by Jon Spaihts, it stars; Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia. It’s about two people who wake up too soon on their hibernation induced trip to a new planet. Continue reading

man in the high castle season 2

Man in the High Castle season 2 is out now, and boy, what a season!
This series is based on the 1962 novel of the same name by the legendary¬†Philip K. Dick.¬†It’s an alternate history of the world where the Axis powers won World War II. The US is split where the Japanese have the west past the Rocky Mountains. in the “Pacific States.” The Nazis have the east, and between both is the Neutral Zone.

Season 2 builds upon this premise and it’s really where this tv series takes off. If you haven’t started this Amazon Original Series, you should.

SPOILERS ahead, cause I can’t talk about this without spoiling.
The lines are truly blurred here, is our timeline the “better/good” timeline? Who are we supposed to root for? Who are the good guys?
From the onset you’re expectations lead you to believe that the Nazis and the Kempeitai are the bad guys, while the American Resistance are the good guys. As the you get deeper and deeper into this series all sides have committed (or plan to commit) horrendous deeds. Suddenly you’re rooting for individuals and not sides. Who’s really on the “right” side?

Truly some great thought provoking TV here, with amazing production values. Can’t wait to see where season 3 will take us (since it just got renewed).

Another nerd/history/geek thing (that isn’t a spoiler)… the Nazis in Berlin use MP5 sub-machine guns. This story takes place in the alternate 60s, which is the time its manufacturer Heckler & Koch developed this new weapon. And H&K is German… nice little detail!

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Eugene

 

 

 

 

rogue one: a star wars story – more star warrrrs, nuthin’ but star waaars!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first stand-alone film installment in the epic space opera of Star Wars Anthology series. Rogue One is directed by Gareth Edwards, written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. It stars; Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, DonnieYen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. 
The plot follows Jyn Erso (Jones), the daughter of the designer of the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve the plans for destroying it. Continue reading

moana – the ocean is calling you to see this movie

Moana is the 56th Disney animated feature film. It’s directed by the fantastic Ron Clements and John Musker, and co-directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams.¬† It’s got a screenplay by Jared Bush, with story by;¬†Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, and Joran Kandell. The music is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. It features the voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk. The film is about Moana, the daughter of a chief who is chosen by the ocean to reunite a magic stone to the goddess it was stolen from, she and Maui work to save her people. Continue reading