Well, That Could Have Been Better… Let’s List 11 Of The Most Disappointing Movies Of 2016!

There were many additions to the 2016 film roster that were enjoyable, awesome and epic. We were given some of the best comic book films to date, including Captain America: Civil War and, of course, Deadpool. Horror was at an all-time great this year with the spectacular Lights Out and Don’t Breathe… Not to mention, La La Land dancing its way into our hearts and wallets. With the great, unfortunately, comes the not-so-great and there have been some doozies this year.

What this list will focus on is not the worst films of the year but the ones that had an immense amount of potential going in to it that ultimately let many viewers down in a fiery storm of disappointment. So if you were looking for the Kevin Spacey classic, Nine Lives where he plays a talking cat, you will probably see it in another list.


1. Jason Bourne

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‘Jason Bourne’ | Universal Pictures

Release Date: July 29th, 2016

The Matt Damon Bourne trilogy is regarded as one of the best trilogies of all time, known for its intriguing premise, spectacular characters and insanely phenomenal action sequences featuring everyday products like pens and toasters. When it was announced that a fourth installment was to be released, fans of the trilogy (myself included) could not contain their excitement at seeing Damon back in the role that made him a household name. What we got was an incredibly generic action flick that does not live up to even an ounce of anticipation complete with sequences that were relatively passable. I am convinced Tommy Lee Jones was asleep for a majority of his scenes.

2. Assassin’s Creed

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ | 20th Century Fox

Release Date: December 14th, 2016

You have Michael Fassbender in the lead role, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons in supporting roles and the director of the 2015 Macbeth adaptation at the helm of this video-game-to-film-adaptation. Assassin’s Creed was slowly being regarded as the video game adaptation that may possibly finally be the great adaptation audiences and gamers have been waiting for! After a lukewarm reception for its initial trailers and its release in mid-December, we will still be waiting for that great adaptation. There are many who believe it was a nice action flick, however for the anticipation it was building and the incredible lore of its game, Assassin’s Creed fell short of paving the way to be the leading video game adaptation. With its convoluted mess of a plot and characters who had the emotions of a refrigerator… Maybe Uncharted stands a chance to be that leading adaptation when it releases never? Or the Alicia Vikander Tomb Raider set for 2018? We can hope! If there is one thing we learned from its performance, riding on the coattails of a popular title does not always equal unbelievable success.

3. Suicide Squad

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‘Suicide Squad’ | Warner Bros.

Release Date: August 1st, 2016

Suicide Squad is arguably one of the most divisive films of the year because it certainly divided audience members to those who believe it is one of Warner Bros’ best comic book movies to those who believe it is the worst film of 2016 and all those in between. The anger certain audiences had even garnered a petition called “Don’t listen to film criticism“, which asked for people to sign it and boycott listening to critics because “[you] may enjoy a movie regardless what the critics say about it.” Suicide Squad had an incredible first trailer set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which encouraged tons of audience members to be hyped for this latest comic book film… This will put the DCEU on the map since Batman v Superman was not the powerhouse it was expected to be! The final result included massive shifts in tone, ridiculously blatant editing issues and awkward/undeveloped characters. Regardless of the problems it had, the Squad generated $745 million worldwide and we are getting a Gotham City Sirens spinoff with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn which is an enormous plus for its fans.

4. Passengers

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‘Passengers’ | Columbia Pictures

Release Date: December 21st, 2016

The premise of Passengers is pretty intriguing. Two people awaken from an induced hibernation to be trapped on a spaceship headed for a planet colony only ninety years away? Sounds awesome! With the casting announcement of fan favourites, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, many expected this film to be a hit with audiences and an awesome addition to the sci-fi genre. Unfortunately, many critics concluded the film is a prime example of “style over substance” and with a current score of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences ultimately chose to spend their money elsewhere. The combined star power of Lawrence and Pratt could not save this ship from crashing into the proverbial box office meteor as it has earned $45 million thus far on a $110 million budget.

5. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

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‘Batman v Superman’ | Warner Bros.

Release Date: March 25th, 2016

Releasing prior to Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pitted together two of the biggest heavyweights in the comic universe. It was also going to be the first appearance of a new Batman with Ben Affleck attempting to shed the Daredevil image from everyone’s brains. It was the second installment of the DCEU behind 2013’s Man of Steel, also directed by Zack Snyder, and was supposed to finally kick off the DCEU with a bang! Unfortunately, its release ultimately garnered more of an “eh” instead of that bang Warner Bros. was hoping for. The film made $873 million which is a huge achievement and shouldn’t really be considered a failure, however it did not reach that billion-dollar mark the DC execs were secretly hoping for. Criticism of the film pointed to its overabundance of subplots and the fact that the actual “versus” between Batman and Superman occurred for roughly fifteen minutes. Not to mention the infamous MARTHA sequence that will haunt the dreams of critics forever.

  • They Won’t Kill Martha If You Just Click This For My Review

6. X-Men: Apocalypse

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‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ | 20th Century Fox

Release Date: May 9th, 2016

Do you guys remember X-Men: Apocalypse? Me neither. Coming off of Days Of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse featured all the right people including Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, the incredible Oscar Isaac as the titular Apocalypse and Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones fame… So what went wrong?! Expecting it to perform Days Of Future Past numbers is rather unreasonable since it was the second highest X=Men installment (excluding Deadpool), however it did not perform as well as expected. Perhaps this was a case of unrealistic expectations since so many loved DOFP, however the unimpressive CGI sequences combined with actors who seemed as unimpressed as the effects fell on Apocalypse itself.

7. Independence Day: Resurgence

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‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ | 20th Century Fox

Release Date: June 20th, 2016

I think the worst thing about this sequel to the classic silly blockbuster, Independence Day is the fact that Resurgence manages to pull a complete 180 on what made the original so enjoyable. The 1996 original is not a cinematic masterpiece by any means yet it is fun! With characters you enjoy seeing and want to share a drink with while attempting to outsmart aliens. There are also some incredible feats in visual effects with Independence Day, specifically that iconic White House explosion scene. Twenty years on, including fan favorites Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman cameo could not save it from the bland, boring schlock that is Resurgence. The film attempts to set up future sequels which is mistake #1 so many of these types of films seem to make: STOP SETTING UP FOR MOVIE #2! MAKE US CARE ABOUT THE MOVIE YOU HAVE NOW! Resurgence could have been another fun blockbuster that would be a wonderful back-to-back feature with its original. The final result was taking everything you loved about Independence Day and creating something the complete opposite of it.

8. Hail Caesar!

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‘Hail Caesar!’ | Universal Pictures

Release Date: February 5th, 2016

One of the few included in the list that is certified fresh, this Coen Brothers comedy is not terrible by any means. It has occasional moments of humor and a ridiculously talented A-list cast including George Clooney, the future Han Solo in Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum as a dancing sailor! Unfortunately, because of how revered the works of the Coen Brothers are, Hail Caesar! simply did not live up to the hype that these names generated. The captivating Coens cinematography is certainly present however the lack of an interesting plot and another overwhelming sense of style over substance all contributed to this film about the Golden Age of Hollywood ultimately falling short of expectations.

9. Zoolander 2

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‘Zoolander 2’ | Paramount Pictures

Release Date: February 12th, 2016

I feel for those people who thought seeing the sequel to the Ben Stiller classic, Zoolander would be the perfect Valentine’s date. Zoolander 2 is another addition to the failed comedy sequel (see: Dumb And Dumber To, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) that some believe came out much too late. Although many of the original cast returned to this sequel, released fifteen years following the original, audience members chose to stay away from this attempt at being really, really good looking. The failed attempts at humor by utilizing references from the first one and an endless array of tiresome cameos were just a few reasons why this sequel did not live up the immensely quotable and incredibly silly original. The truly sad part is the original managed to earn more at the box office than this sequel and it made an insane amount on home video on top of it being considered a box office failure.

10. Warcraft

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‘Warcraft’ | Universal Pictures

Release Date: June 10th, 2016

Prior to the release of Assassin’s Creed, many expected Warcraft to fill the void of the video game adaptation because of how insanely popular the Warcraft series is. Travis Fimmel of Vikings fame and Toby Kebbell, known for his portrayal of the antagonistic Koba in the Planet Of The Apes franchise, all starred in the film along with Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper and the wildly talented Ben Foster! The film did very well overseas, generating over $386 million and allowed Universal to make back its production budget. Domestically, the film earned a measly $47 million, a number that is rather shocking when you think about how much money the “Warcraft” name generates through all of its branches. Critics were also not loving Warcraft, pulling in a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 4.2/10. Fear not, lovers of the Duncan Jones adaptation, there are still talks of it receiving a sequel since it did perform incredibly at the foreign box office!

11. Ghostbusters

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Release Date: July 15th, 2016

The final example that divided moviegoers was the remake of the beloved 1984 classic, Ghostbusters. Taking away the issue of gender politics, many believed the original Ghostbusters is an untouchable entity whereas others wanted to see a modern, updated version of it. Judging Ghostbusters (2016) on its own merits, the ultimate result features serviceable performances from its main cast that make you chuckle in the moment then forget immediately why you were laughing. Many concluded that there are some interesting sequences utilizing CGI however there are a number of characters many found insufferable because of their lack of development and/or trope-filled behavior. For those interested in the Ghostbusters universe, original director Ivan Reitman revealed that there are going to be more Ghostbusters films, “they’re just in development right now.” Whether that means a direct sequel to the one released this summer or a whole new gang specializing in ghost busting, keep an eye out for more ghosts in the future… Many ghosts who, according to Ghostbusters (2016), apparently have dicks.

For More Fun, Check Out The Following:


Happy New Years, Friends!

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‘Star Trek: TOS’ | CBS
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‘Star Trek’ | CBS

What Were Some Of Your Biggest Movie Disappointments Of 2016? Comment Down Below!

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‘Malcolm In The Middle’ | Fox

 

The Birth Of A Nation (2016) Movie Review

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If you’d like to feel terrible about humanity, watch a double billing of this film and 12 Years A Slave.. You’ll need an hour-long hug following it.

The Basic Premise

The Birth Of A Nation tells the incredible story of Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a real-life enslaved Preacher living in Virginia in 1831, who ultimately decided to rise up against the atrocities committed by slave owners.

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

The Birth of a Nation will definitely make certain audiences incredibly uncomfortable. There are graphic scenes depicted about a subject matter that may cause discomfort for the general moviegoer… All that said, as a ridiculously huge fan of historical dramas myself I enjoyed watching Birth of a Nation albeit it felt a bit tedious to watch at times. I do appreciate the prospect of changing the meaning of this film’s title that is synonymous with D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent film that portrayed the Ku Klux Klan as some type of heroic entity, saving us all from the scary and dangerous black people!

If you have three hours to spare, I recommend watching the entirety of Griffith’s film on the YouTube.
Be warned, many of those involved in the creation of that picture were entirely high on stupidity at the time but it is an important relic in film history.


The progression of Nat Turner’s life is executed nicely and a majority of the characters he encounters are intriguing. I understood the motivations various character had however it is pretty paint-by-numbers and there are moments & even dialogue you can easily predict if you’ve ever seen a Hollywood picture on slavery.

The transitions between stages of Nat’s life are abrupt at times and, being a film of historical relevance, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t implement just a quick reminder on the bottom of what year it was. This is a small nitpick but utilizing this technique could possibly make audiences appreciate the progression of the story.

I have to say though, watching Nat’s life in this 2 hour film was incredibly jarring yet mesmerizing, there are emotions this film evoked in me that I didn’t even know I had! I felt anger, disgust, immense rage and other synonyms that haven’t been invented yet for certain characters, particularly for Samuel Turner, portrayed fantastically by the almost-too-attractive-to-be-real Armie Hammer. His character played an enormous role in the film and Hammer was effective in the amount of screen time he had.

Hammer’s character had flaws and complexities to him however it would have been interesting for the development of Nat Turner to have explored their relationship a bit more. I did enjoy watching the dynamic between the two, Nat’s rather one-dimensional note of a character is enhanced because of those that surround him; Aja Naomi King portrays his wife, Cherry and I honestly felt Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave vibes from her, she was incredible to watch.

How Were The Other Aspects Of The Film?

The Birth Of A Nation is a beautiful looking film, Nate Parker does a pretty great job with his directorial debut and I look forward to seeing what he directs in the future.

There are sequences where some of the most deplorable actions a human being can inflict on another human occur but I simply couldn’t look away because I was locked in with what was on screen. There are moments I literally felt my gut turning. I felt uneasy. I was unnerved. I held onto my soda for dear life and felt legitimate joy that I was only watching this. How individuals can suffer like this and hold on out of sheer necessity for life is a notion I don’t even want to fathom. There are one or two attempts, however, at blatant symbolism that made me think, “okay… I get it.”

The music utilized in the film is great, there is a haunting rendition of Billie Holiday’sStrange Fruit” by Nina Simone used that was one of my favourite scenes in the film. It was difficult to watch but the addition of that song made it all the more powerful.


If you’re looking for a drama about the progression of an individual during a time of immense struggle & hardship and have a few hours to spare, check out The Birth of a Nation.


The Birth Of A Nation (2016) receives 3.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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sources used: [1], [2], [3], [4]

The Girl On The Train (2016) Movie Review

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The Girl on The Train, quite possibly the most beautiful & fantastically acted Lifetime movie I’ve ever seen.

The Basic Premise

Based on the crazily popular novel of the same name, The Girl on the Train tells the story of unreliable alcoholic Rachel, brilliantly portrayed by Emily Blunt, as she becomes a suspect in the disappearance of Megan (Haley Bennett), a woman Rachel desperately adores because she built up a story in her head about her while traveling on the train.

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

Now I will say, there was a moment or two in this movie where I was completely locked in and wanted to see what would occur following these moments, which is mostly due to the incredible performances by the main group of the film, with Blunt & Haley Bennett/Jennifer Lawrence‘s long lost sister being the standouts. Their performances were fantastic and Blunt’s drunken state acting was SUPERB! I truly believe our future Mary Poppins can do no wrong and again, she is fantastic as Rachel, it’s just a shame she wasn’t given dialogue that was great as her performance. Rebecca Ferguson (aka my favourite part of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Luke Evans Justin Theroux gave pretty great performances as well, I loved Theroux’s range of emotion he was able to express with his character because he had a couple scenes that showcased his talent at being angry. I also loved the scenes between Bennett’s character Megan and Edgar Ramirez’s Dr. Abdic. Their chemistry was present and it was pretty intriguing  to watch.

As I mentioned before, if these guys were given a script with dialogue that matched their performances, this would easily be a mystery thriller that rivalled Fincher’s Gone Girl. Unfortunately there are a bunch of clichés riddled throughout the movie that took me out of it and immediately reminded me of those movies on Wednesday night a group of Suburban moms watch with a box of wine and an array of chocolates.

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live footage of myself on Wednesday nights

How Were The Other Aspects Of The Film?

I did like the colour palette used since it felt nice and bright for certain sequences then dark & grey the next… The symbolism and all was not lost on me, trust me. There are also certain shots that were framed nicely however there were a few instances of weird slow-mo used that felt hysterically out of place. It’s like they would do a close up on Emily Blunt’s face prior to a big revelation occurring then it suddenly… slows… down… And I’m like, “why did you choose to utilize this technique, Tate Taylor? This doesn’t add anything to anything!”

The movie is paced relatively well, however the few moments that slowed down the picture really grinded it to a halt (my one Train reference and I promise that’s all) which caused it to feel a smidgen longer than its runtime of an hour and 53 minutes. They crammed an incredible amount of shit into the film during its final moments and, as someone who read the book way back when, it stays very true to the novel.

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If you’re a fan of film adaptations that follow its source material to a tee and are looking for a thriller to rent or watch on Netflix on a rainy Saturday night, check out The Girl With The Train Tattoo Based On The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire.


The Girl On The Train receives 3/5 Matt Damon heads.

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sources used: [1], [2], [3]

Why I Will Never Get Over That Horrendous Final Season Of ‘Dexter’

Disclaimer
This article spoils major plot points of the TV series, Dexter.

It may seem like I’m rambling at times but… that’s because

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You’ve been warned.


Three years ago, the Showtime hit Dexter concluded its television run with the episode “Remember The Monsters”. Many television fans will tell you just how remarkable those first four seasons were, how Seasons 5-7 were alright… And how Season 8 was arguably the worst thing they have ever seen in their life… At least that’s my personal take on it.

Now I absolutely adored Dexter. When I initially started watching, Season 5 was about to premiere so I watched through Seasons 1-4 in anticipation for it. Man, that was a fun and disgustingly emotional couple of weeks. Let me preface this by saying Rita Morgan was my absolute favorite and I really needed a moment (or five) to myself when she died. My Starbucks name has been “Rita” for the past seven years because of her, that’s how pathetic I am. I hold no resentment toward the showrunners for deciding to kill her off, life’s shitty sometimes and your favorite people die.

What I do hold resentment over is the fact that the final season was so unbelievably awful, nothing can possibly redeem it except maybe using that Men In Black device to completely wipe my brain of any memory of it and never let me watch/become attached to the show.

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This post isn’t meant to sound like I was personally affected by this monstrosity the execs greenlit, although I did invest time out of my life for it but I digress. It is simply a means to express, in my own words and opinion, why the absolute, final time we would ever see these characters sucked so incredibly hard. I promise I’ve gone on with my life, I don’t dwell on it. I just simply can’t forgive such blatant disregard for a character and series that human beings dedicated seven years of their lives to.


A Solid Season 7 Made Us Believe The Final Season Would Be Better Than What We Got

The Seasons predating 7 receive somewhat mixed reviews since Jordan Chase wasn’t anything special and Colin Hanks‘ whatever-he-was really didn’t evoke the fear of a Trinity or even Doakes. That Season 6 ending however was done incredibly well and everyone was excited to see what Season 7 would bring…

Besides one of the stupidest kills in Dexter’s history (the airport kill in the middle of the day) I have two words for you: Isaak Sirko. Arguably one of the best Dexter antagonists since John Lithgow‘s essentially perfect performance as the Trinity Killer in S4… What made Ray Stevenson‘s Sirko even more appealing were his interactions with Dexter and how their characters’ story arcs concluded in such a beautiful way.

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… Not to mention, HOLY FUCKING DICKENS DEB SHOT LaGUERTA TO KEEP DEX’S SECRET! SHIT IS BOUND TO GO DOWN NEXT SEASON, I CAN’T WAIT! I wonder where they’re going to take this… How will Deb & Dexter’s relationship work through this? Will they be able to work through this? What happens when Angel finds out?! In the words of Clay Davis, aw “sheeeeeeeeeit.”

Friends, did any type of shit end up going down?

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Rita Becomes An Afterthought Until Dexter Needs To Use Her Dead Memory To Get Out Of Work

This is the one that truly eeks me the most. Hey, kids… Want to know a surefire way to be able to get out of work to book it to Argentina with your kid & girlfriend?

“Oh hey Angel, uh… I know I literally haven’t spoke about or barely acknowledged it or anything but I’m feeling super sad about Rita dying so… I think I’m gonna leave… Is, is that cool?” – Dexter Morgan, 2013.

The moment where Dexter tells Angel he has to leave because he isn’t over Rita’s death was a slap in the face to every person who believed in the Rita/Dexter pairing. Nevermind people like me who genuinely loved this fictional being, any regular viewer could see Dexter’s progression as a character when their relationship developed over those years. The guy went from a bachelor who barely knew the ins and outs of la pasíon to a full-fledged husband and father. Without delving too much into the Rita/Dexter relationship (as that is for a future post), she challenged him in his ways and he wanted to strive to be better for not only Rita but himself as well, damn it…

This was relegated to “uh, yeah I know I haven’t acknowledged her in years but I need an excuse to leave right now so… Rita.” Motherfucking no, man. Her death was wrapped up in Season 5 and rarely mentioned again prior to Dexter needing an out. Say you hate Miami. Say you hate Angel… Using your dead wife to get out of your job is an incredibly scummy thing to do.

The Anticipation Every Week That Maybe It Will Get Better!

What I usually hear from people who have finished the series following its initial run is, “Oh it’s not that bad, I finished it in a day.” What a luxury, you have there. From Episode 1 to around 7 or so I, among many others, were hopeful that maybe things will get better this week! The last few episodes are just setting things up for the final… moments… I implore anyone who is in the midst of watching Season 8 of Dexter, watch it in a weekly setting to truly appreciate the disdain it will make you feel.

Evelyn and Zach? Yeah, I guess they’re cool but will they reveal who Dexter really is? Saxon AKA Not Gosling, as r/Dexter eloquently nicknamed him? Um… I guess he’s intimidating? I’d have to give a shit about him to be threatened but he’s the antagonist now so… Sean Patrick Flanery? I mean, he can maybe be written up by the Fashion Police for those glasses but besides that, nobody of substance is on this show!

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I find you guilty of committing crimes against fashion

“He’s Good At This”

This is just… ugh. Fast forward to 30 seconds and avoid any hard areas your head may want to smash itself on.

THE TREADMILL

That mother… fucking… treadmill…

I really hope that forty-something year old who played Harrison’s stunt double managed to get work after this…

Not Really Fair To Mention But I Will Anyway: The r/Dexter Discussion Thread for ‘Breaking Bad’s “Ozymandias” Episode

The Dexter subreddit kept me afloat during the final season run. For those unfamiliar, television subreddits usually have an episode discussion every week for its respective show. The penultimate episode of Dexter, entitled “Monkey In a Box”, aired during Breaking Bad‘s “Ozymandias” episode… The episode discussion on the Dexter subreddit that night was that of “Ozymandias” rather than “Monkey In a Box.” At that point, the reddit viewers simply gave up hope that the final two episodes will provide a level of entertainment a series of its calibre should provide, so they thought “why not just discuss Breaking Bad‘s highly-anticipated episode?” Rian Johnson, by the way, directed that episode of Breaking Bad… The helmer of motherfucking Episode VIII directed the Beast that is “Ozymandias.”

When a television subreddit loses faith in its show, the literal place where you will most likely find its fan base, you know shit has gone south.

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So those are my feelings. If you happened to love every single moment of Season 8 and think I am absolutely cuckoo bananas right now, all the more power to you! I love listening to opposing views since that is the beauty of art… Shit’s all subjective, yo.

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What Are Your Thoughts On Dexter, Three Years Later?

The First Reviews of HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Are In And They Are Looking Pretty Good!

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HBO’s Westworld is being heralded as ‘the new Game of Thrones‘… That is, in terms of a series with an incredibly vast array of story and characters. Based on the Michael Crichton novel, Westworld follows a futuristic Western amusement park where people pay a lot of money to be entertained by the artificial intelligent beings of the Park. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1973 that starred Yul Brynner and was actually directed by the man behind the novel, Michael Crichton. It ended up earning $10 million at the box office on a $1.5 million budget while also earning $4 million in rental sales, becoming MGM’s biggest box office success of 1973.

The television series boasts an incredible amount of talent, including Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden and Sir Anthony Hopkins himself as the brilliant creative mind behind the Park. Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan serve as both the creators and executive producers of the series, the other exec producers being J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk.

ICYMI. Here’s the trailer for the new series HBO is hoping will strike it big:


The Reviews

Allison Keene’s review for Collider:

“What helps make that truly come to life, pun partially intended, is the calibre of the cast. Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Angela Sarafyan are three hosts who imbue their characters with soul while still teetering on the edge of the Uncanny Valley… The series — with a solid logical foundation and world-building — is lovingly crafted, marrying its Wild West aesthetic with cold sci-fi elements of the labs that run the park in a way that feels believably connected.

Lucy Mangan for The Guardian:

“But for those of us who just like story – lots and lots of story! – Westworld will hit the spot as hard as GoT ever did. Gosh, there’s a lot going on. There’s the real world full of robot-wranglers, some of whom are jostling for position inside whatever just-possibly-malevolent company owns the park, others of whom are busy tinkering with their charges’ software and trying to decide whether to make the skinjobs more realistic or quit while they’re ahead… Watch out for those telltale flickers of consciousness in your actors’ eyes, showrunners. A mass existential crisis will play merry hell with ratings.”

Eric Goldman for IGN:

“After a lot of build up and some much-discussed production delays, would it deliver? The answer is a big yes, as those high expectations were met with a terrific, gripping premiere episode (airing October 2nd on HBO) that quickly draws you in… Even with the focus so much on Dolores in the pilot, we get a chance to see how many of these characters interact and there’s plenty of compelling ground set – from seeing which of those working behind the scenes dismisses the robots as “creatures,” to who steals a kiss of one of them, to seeing what kind of existence those inside Westworld have been programmed to lead and how that can change over time.”

Alicia Lutes for Nerdist:

“Playing out as if Deadwood and Black Mirror 3D-printed a living baby, Westworld is meticulously plotted to lay out the delicate intricacies of the story it’s telling, but it doesn’t move slowly or without an inherent tension. This show does demand you pay attention, but you don’t need to be pre-versed in the universe or theoretical physics in order to understand what’s going on. There’s a nuance to the performances of the robots and their different states—and even to those who are tasked with their creation and evolution… The realities of our consequences as we continue to mine the land of our own want in the face of increasingly volatile technical world is heady shit to put it mildly, but Westworld does not feel patronizing or tedious—its scares come from how close to reality this all could be.”

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There’s uh… something in your eye…

HBO’s Westworld premieres October 2nd at 9pm EST.
The pilot is directed by series creator Jonathan Nolan, who, fun fact! is director Christopher Nolan‘s younger brother.

Are You Guys Looking Forward To Westworld?

Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) Movie Review

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Can I please have the jolly old lady appear in every single movie from now on…
Please?

Kubo and the Two Strings tells the story of young Kubo as he is tasked to retrieve three items in order to uncover a secret legacy regarding him & his father, the greatest samurai warrior to ever live… Kubo is a fantastically wonderful film and I will admit there were a couple times when I found myself getting way more emotional than I thought. I was enthralled throughout it and it certainly left me wanting more.

How Were The Characters And Story?

The setup of this movie is essentially perfect. It introduces the characters in an incredibly intriguing way, you learn about the film’s lore & magic right off the bat and due to how well the filmmakers introduced the characters, when the main conflict arises you genuinely care about what will happen to these people. When shit initially goes down, I was frightened for Kubo and wanted to see him prosper!

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The relationship between Kubo & the Monkey is crazily enjoyable to watch, Art Parkinson & Charlize Theron have amazing chemistry together. The wit sprinkled throughout this film is probably my second favourite aspect to it besides the animation (of which I will laud a little further down the review). I found myself cracking up at Monkey’s dry humour since that type of humour is my personal favourite; one of the best lines being,

“Please keep in mind that my sense of smell is 10 times strong than yours…”

The Beetle, voiced by the whistlin’ Matthew McConaughey, served as the kind of comic relief of the film but I really could have done without it. The first half without him had incredibly humourous moments that made me actually laugh out loud, however there were some moments & sayings with the Beetle that felt so out of place… The one of the top of my head involved yelling FOOT! Instead of Fuck. I was like what was that? There are also certain revelations I found predictable, however what separates this film and other, quote “kids” movies, is that it doesn’t treat its audience like they’re complete morons. Are there frightening images? Yes! Are there themes present that certain audience members will personally identify with? Damn right! Will the action sequences entertain a younger audience that maybe aren’t too familiar with the more deeper messages? Absolutely. I love movies like your Toy Stories and Inside Outs where both adults and children alike are able to enjoy what they are watching on screen.

Were You A Fan Of The Animation?

Saying I loved the animation in Kubo and the Two Strings is like saying Cookie Monster only somewhat likes cookies… understatement of the century, my friends.

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I simply can’t express how much I adored every single frame of this movie. To think that there were actual human beings that were able to meticulously craft everything I saw on screen is incomprehensible to me. Looking at some of these screengrabs from The Verge’s video about Laika’s Stop Motion Animation Geniuses must pique one’s interest at least a little bit if they’re still on the fence about watching it.


If you’re looking for an incredibly entertaining stop-motion picture that has disgustingly beautiful animation and a number of characters you might fall in love with, check out Kubo and the Two Strings. So many complain about the “lack of original content” in theatres and when fantastic content like Kubo comes out, these people are nowhere to be found. Encourage your friends to support this shit.

Kubo and the Two Strings receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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‘La La Land’ Is Gearing Up To Be One Of The Best Movies Of The Year

With Emma Stone recently nabbing the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival and critics absolutely adoring it, the Damien Chazelle-directed La La Land is shaping up to be easily one of the biggest hits of 2016. Other actresses who have won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations for their respective roles, these include Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven (2002), Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006) and Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There (2007). Plus it is the third Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone collaboration, the first two being Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and everyone’s favourite gangster flick, Gangster Squad (2013), so you are guaranteed at least a bit of chemistry in this character-driven picture.

This ode to Hollywood, with its ability to make all of one’s dreams come true then take it all away in an instant, has been a critical darling thus far and the following are reasons why I believe it will receive immense love come December and beyond.

Just watch its beautiful-looking trailer:


Fantastic Critical Reviews Can Never Hurt

La La Land is currently sitting at a 96% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.6/10 and 25 reviews thus far. As someone currently living in Toronto as TIFF is progressing, the buzz around town for this movie is insane. It could be that everyone was super stoked to see King Canada aka Ryan Gosling possibly show up for its premiere, however I’m sure the incredible word for this film may have something to do with the buzz.

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just… so… darn… HANDSOME

The Release Date Is Perfect

The film is scheduled for a limited release on December 2nd, 2016, and its wide release being December 16th. You know what other movie is set for wide release that weekend? ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY.

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Do you know one of best, and most surprising, ways a movie can possibly make money? Go head-to-head against a Star War and no, I am not taking crazy pills.

Last year, the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters and Alvin And The Chipmunks 18: How Are They Still Making These Things? both came out opening weekend against Star Wars: The Force Awakens… When every possible screening was sold out for The Force Awakens, people with children took them to see Alvin and others who don’t need to worry about keeping another human alive went to laugh away their sadness at missing Star Wars by watching Sisters.

The result? Sisters made more than $100 million worldwide and Alvin made almost $235 million. Counter-programming is a disgusting beauty and when moviegoers are left with deciding what to watch, they may check out Rogue One next week since it was sold out and watch that new Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone movie tonight.

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The Pairing Of Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling

People love watching these two together on-screen. Granted, the aforementioned Gangster Squad was not loved by many, however an aspect to the film many may agree on is that the chemistry between Stone and Gosling is heavily present in everything they do.

To watch a film that seems to take inspiration from the classic Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical pairing attracts not only lovers of classic Hollywood, but modern-day audiences as well who may not be familiar with the talents of Rogers/Astaire and are left with a surprise love of a genre they never really gave a second thought to…

Plus the added benefit of all the swoons you’ll hear in the theatre when they sing to one another.

See below for Gosling singing. Caution: pregnancy may occur. 

Damien Chazelle’s Direction

2014’s Whiplash, a film that explored the relationship between an ambitious young jazz drummer and his mildly eccentric music instructor, was directed by Chazelle that received immense critical acclaim and made me have occasional heart palpitations during my watch…

If Chazelle could take even half the intensity he brought to Whiplash and channel it toward anything in La La Land, we are going to be left with a fantastic picture. The word-of-mouth could spread to those who aren’t even fans of the musical genre about how amazing this movie is and cause even semi-interested parties to give it a chance.

Are you guys excited to watch La La Land this December or do you have no strong feelings one way or the other?

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