As always, I like to seek out the newest and best martial arts films from around the world but unfortunately, the truly high quality ones are few and far between. For every Raid 2 or Ip Man, there are a dozen others like Wolf Warrior or The Protector 2. The latest martial arts movie I got a hold of is the 2015 Hong Kong action thriller SPL 2: A Time for Consequences, released this year in the United States under the title Kill Zone 2.Read More
Back in 2002, we received the first entry in what would become a popular and engaging franchise of action-packed spy thrillers – The Bourne Identity, which has gone on to spawn four sequels, the most recent being this summer's Jason Bourne. So let’s take a look back at these films and see what makes them so great, but be warned, this article will contain heavy spoilers for the first three films in the series.Read More
It takes a lot for a graphic novel to still have staying power after nearly thirty years. There are so many different comic books and comics-related media out there that it can be quite challenging to tell a story that stands out from the rest, but British writer Alan Moore’s seminal and controversial graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke has done just that since its original publication in 1988.
In the years since, many different portrayals of the Joker, both live-action and animated, have come and gone but almost all of them have elements rooted in The Killing Joke. With the book itself having finally gotten its own animated adaptation this year, was it able to live up to the literary uniqueness of its original much-buzzed-about source material?
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of one of the most iconic sci-fi shows ever - Star Trek. Coinciding with this is the release of Star Trek Beyond, the newest film in the rebooted film series that began with 2009’s Star Trek. So is this newest film a worthy entry, or best forgotten like Star Trek: Nemesis?Read More
In May of 2012, Marvel Studios broke box-office records and exceeded all expectations with The Avengers, a virtually unprecedented crossover film event that brought together the lead characters from four separate superhero franchises in a fun and surprisingly cohesive way thanks to a sharp script and tight direction from geek darling Joss Whedon. On paper, putting an iron-clad billionaire, a World War II-era super soldier, a mythical god from another realm, a temperamental mad scientist, and a pair of assassins in the same room together just didn’t seem like something that should work in a movie, but the five films preceding The Avengers slowly and successfully established a colorful comic-booky world, light-hearted tone, and self-aware sense of humor, which allowed audiences to buy right into it.
Once The Avengers became lovingly embraced by the entire world, you could just sense that other movie studios instantly began scrambling around to desperately find their own shared universes that could compete with Marvel. That same summer, Sony Pictures released The Amazing Spider-Man, which completely erased the continuity of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy and started entirely from scratch with another retelling of the origin story. Now played by Andrew Garfield, we once again followed Peter Parker’s journey to becoming Spider-Man, which I honestly felt was done way better and with a lot more passion in the original Spider-Man film.Read More
Back during the summer of 2007, director Sam Raimi’s jam-packed Spider-Man 3 may have earned a hefty $890 million at the worldwide box-office, but what it didn’t earn was the same level of widespread acclaim the first two Spider-Man outings did. Ultimately, Raimi came away disappointed, but was still open to the prospects of a Spider-Man 4. The studio meddling from Sony and demands from producer Avi Arad helped make Spider-Man 3 a big, bloated dud as far as I was concerned, but even as development continued on the follow-up, Sam Raimi became increasingly frustrated at the constant creative disagreements and lackluster screenplay drafts, so he left the project altogether and Sony officially cancelled the film in early 2010.Read More
In case you haven't yet, make sure to check out Part 1 of this article first!
By the late ‘90s, the comic book movie genre was scrambling to find its footing after the abysmal release and box-office plunge of Batman & Robin in 1997. In hindsight the ‘90s wasn’t really the most stellar time for comic book movies, and there surely weren’t enough of them being released to even be considered a “genre” anyway. There were a few good ones sprinkled in there that I’m quite fond of, but aside from the highly profitable Batman franchise that had been running since 1989, no other comic book properties got quite the same mainstream recognition as Batman did during this time.
Following flops in the ‘80s and early ‘90s like Howard the Duck, The Punisher starring Dolph Lungren, and Captain America starring Matt Salinger, Marvel Comics was practically benched for the majority of the ‘90s and it wasn’t until the company’s bankruptcy and later recovery when Marvel finally start getting some of its major properties into theaters- Blade (1998) and, to a larger degree, X-Men (2000), which was sort of a prologue to the massive cultural atomic blast triggered by Spider-Man in 2002.Read More
If you’re a big fan of comic book films like I am, I’m sure we’ve shared a similar frustration over the years of seeing various movie studios rigorously fighting tooth and nail to hold on to the movie rights of all these different Marvel Comics characters, which of course prevents them from ever joining forces on the big screen like they do in the comics. Marvel Studios (now owned by The Walt Disney Company) is where almost any fan will tell you all the characters belong, mainly due to their winning critical track record, loyalty to the spirit of the source material, and the fact that all their separate film franchises connect into one giant shared universe that’s full of crossover potential. However, Columbia Pictures (Sony) has held on to the Spider-Man rights for over 15 years and 20th Century Fox has owned the film rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four for longer than that! The history behind why the movie rights to all of these iconic Marvel comic characters are split between different studios is a story in and of itself.Read More
The horror/thriller genre has become rather stale for me in recent years, most just haven’t been able to capture my attention anymore. The last movie in that genre that I reviewed, Green Room starring the recently deceased Anton Yelchin, is easily the best I have seen in a long time. However, there has been another series of films that has half-heartedly maintained my interest, the most recent entry being The Purge: Election Year.Read More
Read Part 1 of this article HERE if you haven't yet!
After the knockout punch of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I lost faith in the X-Men franchise. I was sure that it was dead, especially when the long gestating Magneto origin film was nixed. I couldn’t even imagine them making another film after those two critical disasters, and I moved on, putting the X-Men out of my mind and focusing on the newly established Marvel Cinematic Universe. And then word came out that more films would be made with a new cast which would cover the early years of my favorite team of mutants.Read More