Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's on Netflix?: WORD PARTY



Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a film or series currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans. This week's selection is a children's series called WORD PARTY. It was created by The Jim Henson Company to help toddlers learn social skills and expand their vocabulary.

Trash Bin: THE BYE BYE MAN



Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics, and give you our thoughts, good or bad. This week we review the 2017 horror movie... THE BYE BYE MAN.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Short Film Spotlight: HAPPINESS


Welcome to another installment of SHORT FILM SPOTLIGHT. This week we review "the story of a rodent's unrelenting quest for happiness and fulfillment," according to the director: HAPPINESS.

Why Haven't I Seen That?: SEVEN SAMURAI (1954)


Welcome to a new installment of WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic movie that we have never seen ... until now. This week we review an epic masterwork from famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, SEVEN SAMURAI.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Don't Watch This Alone!: THE BABYSITTER



Welcome to another installment of DON'T WATCH THIS ALONE!, where we review the best, the worst, and everything in between in the world of horror. This week we review a brand new addition to the horror genre, THE BABYSITTER. 

Retro Review: CAN'T HARDLY WAIT (1998)


Welcome to another installment of RETRO REVIEW, where we take a trip back in time to look at films made before the year 2000. This week we'll be reviewing the 1998 teen comedy, CAN'T HARDLY WAIT, written and directed by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE


The moment many DC Comics fans have been waiting for is finally here. Zack Snyder’s vision for a DC Cinematic Universe began back in 2013 with Man of Steel, which, due to a less than optimistic Superman and a very controversial ending, led to mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.

That film was followed up by the critically panned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Fans and critics alike criticized not only the grim tone of the film but the choppy editing.  But anyone that has seen the Ultimate Edition knows that Zack Snyder’s vision of the film was not choppy. Fans can put the blame for that solely on the Warner Bros. executives for demanding the film be shorter, even though it was designed as a three hour epic.

Then the follow-up film, Suicide Squad came that Snyder did not direct.  While Suicide Squad is considered to be the worst of all the DC Comics films, it did have its moments. Viola Davis and Margot Robbie nailed their characters as Amanda Waller and Harley Quinn, respectively. 

All the films have been financial successes but unfortunately none had been a critical success until they released Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. While many fans had doubts with the casting choice of Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman, most of those concerns were put to rest when Batman v Superman came out. But if any doubt remained, they were buried after Wonder Woman was released.  Fans and critics alike praised the film as one of the best comic book films of all time.


Jumping to today, good or bad, Justice League is the culmination of all these films. Fans remained skeptical due to DC/Warner Bros. track record, while others, such as myself, sat at the edge of their seats in anticipation and hoping for a great film.

***SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***

So is Justice League a good film?  The short answer: Yes.  It was an absolutely entertaining and fun ride. I was grinning ear-to-ear for half the film.

The characterizations of the team are everything a DC fan could want.  Aquaman is a man torn between two worlds and is reluctant to join the team. Cyborg is in a dark place feeling like he’s a monster since his cybernetics are so new and he hasn’t embraced them yet. The Flash’s enthusiasm is infectious and he becomes the heart of the team.  Batman and Wonder Woman truly act as if they are part of the Trinity, doing what they can in their roles without Superman. And then there's Superman and his return.  He smiles, cracks jokes and feels like the symbol of hope he is meant to be.


There are so many fun moments in this film that remind us of what made us love DC Comics in the first place. While some people feared Zack Snyder would make this a depressingly grim film, going forward others will credit Joss Whedon for making it more lighthearted, yet it was always Snyder’s plan to bring hope back in the Justice League. Batman v Superman was his Act II, which is always the low point of any story.  That movie was supposed to feel like hope was gone while this movie, his Act III, which was originally meant to be a two-part film, was meant to see hope return.

Due to Warner Bros. growing doubts in Zack Snyder, what was planned to be a 2-part film was now going to be cut down to a single movie that, of course, Warner Bros. demanded be no longer than 2 hours. They seemingly forgot that the two greatest successes in Hollywood history are Titanic and Avatar, both longer than 3 hours. Star Wars films are all longer than two hours. Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy, Harry Potter, the list goes on and on. Even The Avengers was over two hours and a massive success. Warner Bros. and their decisions are the weakness of the DC Comics films not the filmmakers. I even wrote an article once called "How Warner Bros. Is Giving Me an Ulcer" based on the stupid, reactive decisions they tend to make when they should be setting the standard.

Anyway, I digress, as the time restraint of 2 hours is where Justice League really suffers. Snyder has to introduce three new characters: Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg, reintroduce Superman, have meaningful interactions between Batman and Wonder Woman, all while trying to progress the story.

Fortunately, Snyder pulls it off, but there are moments in the film that feel rushed where there could’ve been more character development.

Perhaps the biggest concern is that many of the scenes we see in the trailers are cut entirely. Flash doesn’t shatter a window with his finger, Wonder Woman and Batman do not discuss Aquaman saying no, Bruce Wayne doesn’t look at a hologram (which will anger fans that have been debating if that was Supergirl), and we never get to see who Alfred is talking to which also could’ve been Supergirl.


My personal gripe with the film was its lack of Green Lantern. Green Lantern is my all-time favorite super-hero, and after being so disappointed with that 2011 film, I had hoped for some redemption here. But if there is a sequel, I may still get my wish.

But despite Warner Bros. trying their best to sabotage this film, Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon and Geoff Johns (perhaps the most under-credited person for the course correction) have managed to make a film that is one of the most enjoyable comic book films ever made. Flawed, yes, but enjoyable none-the-less. And I cannot emphasize enough that you need to stay for both after credits scenes. The potential for future films based on what is said in the final one makes me excited to see where these go.

While other critics seem to be attacking the movie, I see this as another win for Warner Bros. and DC Comics and I cannot wait to see what they do next. Here’s hoping Aquaman takes it up another notch. (And fingers crossed for Mera to be the bad ass she is supposed to be.  Wonder Woman has real competition if she is.)



Cameron's Score: 8.5/10


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why Haven't I Seen That?: NAKED LUNCH (1991)



Welcome to a new installment of WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic movie that we have never seen ... until now. This week we tackle director David Cronenberg's 1991 adaptation of author William S. Burroughs' experimental novel, NAKED LUNCH.

EDITORIAL: Has Hollywood Gone Too Far???


What do you think of when you hear the word "Hollywood"? Fancy dinners, powerful people, influence, wealth, beautiful women... the list goes on and on. Hollywood's been in the news recently and the reasons are despicable. There have always been whispers of sexual harassment in Hollywood. Some say, "What's the big deal"? because sexual harassment has always existed and not just in Hollywood.

Monday, October 30, 2017

TV Review: MINDHUNTER - Season 1


Mindhunter is the new television series on Netflix from the minds of David Fincher and creator Joe Penhall. Based on the books of real life FBI agents John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, the series follows fictionalized versions of these men in agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) in the late 1970s on their journey of creating the Elite Serail Crime unit born from criminal sciences regarding serial killers. The idea that young Ford brings into Tench's world is that by conducting various interviews with multiple murderers, trying to understand their psychology might be the key into these insane men's (as the show remarks multiple times: it is generally men that commit these acts) mind and thus develop a method to better understand, investigate and prevent these killings.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Movie Review: JIGSAW


Well friends, the wait is over, and JIGSAW, the sequel to and soft reboot of the Saw franchise has finally been released. If you're a regular reader of these august pages, you're aware that we've spent the weeks leading up to this release by re-watching all seven films in the original Saw series, and discussing them in a series of articles. If you're new to the party -- and if you are, welcome, please tell your friends -- you can get caught up by perusing our thoughts on the original film, Saw II and III, Saw IV and V, and finally, Saw VI and VII. Otherwise, read on.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Side By Side: THE RAVEN (1963) vs. THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964)


Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the differences and similarities between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original, or two similar movies. This week, we're comparing two film adaptations of well known works by Edgar Allan Poe, both starring Vincent Price, and both directed by the King of the B-Movies, Mr. Roger Corman: 1963's THE RAVEN and 1964's THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Why Haven't I Seen That?: BEFORE MIDNIGHT


Welcome to another installment of WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic movie that we haven't seen...until now. This week we take a look at the independent drama BEFORE MIDNIGHT, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

Retro Review: HEATHERS (1988)


Welcome to another installment of RETRO REVIEW, where we take a trip back in time to review a film made before the year 2000. This week we'll be reviewing the 1988 cult favorite dark comedy HEATHERS. This film starred three young actors on the rise at that time, Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Side By Side: SAW VI (2009) vs. SAW 3D: THE FINAL CHAPTER (2010)



Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the differences and similarities between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original, or two similar movies. For the past three weeks, we have been discussing the Saw series, one of the most ambitious horror projects in recent memory, as we prepare for the October 28th release of Jigsaw. In part one, we coverd the first film. Part two covered chapters two and three, and part three, chapters four and five. This week we come to the end of the original series with the final two installments, SAW VI (2009) and SAW 3D: THE FINAL CHAPTER (2010).

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What's On Netflix?: BIG MOUTH - Season 1



Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a series or film currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans. This week's selection is the original animated series about the joys and pitfalls of puberty, BIG MOUTH, which premiered on September 29, 2017 on Netflix.

Side by Side: SAW IV (2007) vs. SAW V (2008)



Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the differences and similarities between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original, or two similar movies. Our five-part discussion of the Saw series continues, as we prepare for the October 28th release of Jigsaw, the eighth installment in this landmark series. In case you're late to our game, you can get caught up with part one, discussing the first film, and part two, covering chapters two and three. This week, we continue with SAW IV and SAW V.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

What's On Netflix?: MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS


Welcome to another installment of What's on Netflix?, where we choose a film or series that is currently playing on Netflix and review it for our faithful and wonderful fans. This week we'll be taking a look at a series that was adapted from a Japanese television show, and originally ran from 1993-1995 ... MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS.

Side By Side: SAW II (2005) vs. SAW III (2006)



Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the differences and similarities between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original, or two similar movies. This week is part two of our series looking back at the Saw franchise, as we prepare for the October 28th release of Jigsaw, the film previously known as Saw VIII. If you missed it, you can read part one, discussing the original film, here. In this installment, we'll be discussing the first two sequels in the franchise: 2005's SAW II, and 2006's SAW III.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Movie Review: MOTHER!


Sometimes you come across a film that you know almost nothing about, and it knocks your socks off with just how deep it really is.  Mother! is that film for me.  I saw the first teaser and the first trailer for this film, but still had no clue what it was really about.  My first assumption was that it was some sort of horror movie, which it’s really not.  If anything, it’s more of a thriller than anything else.  I had also heard that the trailers for this movie are very misleading and that the film isn’t what you expect, so going in I was able to alter my expectations and go in with an almost clear slate, truly not knowing what to expect.  And that, I believe, was the best possible thing that could have happened for me.