WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Review
Movies , Reviews / July 13, 2017

In a time when the terms “prequel” and “reboot” are treated like swear words in film communities, the new Planet of the Apes series stands as a proud example of what these can be. This conclusion of Caesar’s chronicle is an achievement in storytelling, effects work, and sound and builds upon the groundwork of the past two installments. However, where ‘War’ really stands out in cinema is in emotion and being able to convey important morals. In 2034 (8 years since the events of ‘Dawn’ & 15 years since ‘Rise’), the genetically enhanced ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) is still working to keep the rest of the apes safe from humans lead by the ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After a devastating attack, Caesar, accompanied by a handful of others, goes on a mission to end this war and avenge his kind. To get right to the point, this movie is so satisfying and emotional. It really wraps up this prequel story very in a way that will leave audiences really touched. It is far more than your run-of-the-mill blockbuster. It brings to life the nuanced question of what it means to be human and how we value our “humanity”. The morals…

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Review
Reviews / July 6, 2017

With great intellectual property rights comes great responsibility. Marvel and Sony are finally working together to bring us a Spider-Man movie set in the popular, ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (which is the 16th movie in the massive franchise). The movie has all of the fun and excitement that are standard fare in the MCU while also taking Spidey in a fresh direction. After the epic events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (though it still isn’t entirely clear in what year this takes place), Peter Parker is trying to balance his life as a friendly neighborhood superhero and a normal high school student. He discovers a criminal group lead by Adrian Toomes (aka The Vulture) and has to work to stop them. The movie does a clever job of keeping this plot lines working together. It never feels like the movie gets distracted or can’t handle its different tones. In actuality, the film’s over arching plot of Peter trying to prove his self worth feels self-referential of Spider-Man’s disappointing recent history in cinema. Following five feature films, this is a new type of Spider-Man. He is involved in activities that we haven’t seen from this character before. We get to…

FIRST IMPRESSIONS “Spider-Man Homecoming” Score by Michael Giacchino
Movies , Soundtracks / June 28, 2017

After some terrific work on both Doctor Strange and the Marvel Studios fanfare, Michael Giacchino returns to the MCU to deliver the score for Sony’s ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ directed by Jon Watts. The movie is a lot of fun and the best iteration of Spider-Man on the big screen. It is a real treat for Marvel fans. Here are first impression thoughts on Giacchino’s music. This is one of the MCU’s best scores! Giacchino’s Spider-Man theme is among the most memorable of the MCU. It’s the kind of theme where casual fans’ll hum it out of the theater. The theme is heard frequently all throughout the movie in a variety of styles including heroic, adventurous, soft, and playfully. It is even heard during the IMAX intro, showing that Marvel may be finally learning how to promote their music and themes right. It even gets a cool rendition through the end credits with lots of varied instrument styles, like what he did with Doctor Strange. Some of my favorite music from the movie was the plucky staccato version of the new SpiderMan theme when Peter is just being a teenager. Besides the theme for Spider-Man / Peter Parker, there are a few…

INSIDE OUT Review – 6/15/15
Uncategorized / October 18, 2016

Pixar is back! ‘Inside Out’ is a joy to behold. It is brilliant, fun, and remarkably emotional. This is a movie everyone will love. The narrative is a rare mix of relatable and original. Pixar has been in a decline after 2010’s long awaited ‘Toy Story 3′. Ultimately they did not release a movie in 2014, which was the first year that has happened since 2006. I was uncertain of what to expect when going into the theater, and I’ll admit that it would’ve been hard to be more satisfied. The movie is consistent with everything that we’ve grown to love about Pixar. It is filled with an engaging and unique story, lovable characters, state-of-the-art animation, swelling music, touching plot points, easter eggs, and real humor. The essence of the story line is simple: an eleven year old girl moves to a new town and her “emotions”, as actual characters, are trying to cope with that struggle. I love how the plot is so relatable to all of us. We’ve all profoundly felt Fear, Disgust, Anger, Sadness, and Joy all throughout are lives in a wide range of circumstances. Looking past the surface level analysis the film could positively help…

JURASSIC WORLD Review – 6/10/15
Uncategorized / October 18, 2016

The Jurassic Park franchise has had its ups and downs since the original film’s release in 1993. Fandom has ebbed and flowed, but never fully deteriorated. Now, like many series, the franchise is being rebooted in the form of ‘Jurassic World‘. This latest installment is a natural progression for the series. It has a new park, new characters, and new dinosaurs, new music, new effects, a new adventure, etc. It has all of the ingredients that people expect from a Jurassic Park movie, though some of these ingredients may have gone stale over time. The whole movie feels like it is paying homage to the original Spielburg classic. The plot is easy to follow, though it can seem predictable at times. The two highlights of the movie are Chris Pratt and the dinosaurs. After being brought back from a 14 year extinction, all of the dinosaurs feel new. The immersive CGI and 3D are used the way they were mean to by bringing the park alive. Chris Pratt’s character Owen makes Pratt look cool in all the ways that Guardians’ “Star Lord” didn’t. He is perfect lead who the audience is constantly rooting for. The movie does make the peril…

TOMORROWLAND Review – 5/19/15
Uncategorized / October 18, 2016

‘Tomorrowland’ was far better than I originally expected it to be. Before seeing Disney’s mysterious Tomorrowland movie, I knew close to nothing about it. That is probably the best way to watch this film… blind (but not literally). I knew that (as the marketing made blatantly clear) George Clooney stars in it and that title of focus of the movie originates from the famous section of Disneyland called “Tomorrowland”. I was hesitantly concerned that this movie would be like what I expected last year’s ‘The Lego Movie’ to be, a self produced sad attempt at additional marketing and sales for an already majorly popular entity. Thankfully, in the case of both ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘Tomorrowland’, I was wrong on both accounts. It reminded me of a mixture between the best of ‘Meet the Robinsons’ and ‘Terminator’. Despite a handful of plot holes, I was impressed by the movie overall. The best word that comes to mind to describe ‘Tomorrowland’ is: creative. Several of the concepts in it were original or at least used in a unique way. The essence of the plot was one that I have never seen before. I loved the message of the movie. It is…

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