Top 10 Summer Movies 2013

January 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


It’s that time of year!  The season where all the Oscar contenders are released, discussed & analyzed.  It’s a phenomenal season for film fans.   While I attempt to catch up on my enormous ‘must watch’ list, I’m still thinking about next summer.  It’s never too early to get excited for the next wave of summer blockbusters.

I chose these 10 films for two reasons.  First, they are scheduled to be released between May 1, 2013 & August 31, 2013.  Second, they look awesome.  Simple enough.  Let’s get to it!

Which summer movies are you looking forward to in 2013?

Note: I’ll be updating this page as the official trailers are released.

Let the hype begin!

Honorable Mention: Oblivion (Opens April 2013)

10. KICK ASS 2

June 28, 2013

Kick Ass was a ton of fun having gone in with no knowledge of the comic.  It was packed with over-the-top violence and the sequel is sure to deliver more of the same.  AND They’ve added comedy heavyweight Jim Carrey to the mix.

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


July 3, 2013

I’m a big fan of new franchises and Gore Verbinski has launched several.  (I wish he was still bringing Bioshock to the big screen.) There’s no doubt The Lone Ranger will be visually stunning and full of amazing action.  It’s just a shame they forgot to REALLY include the titular character in the first trailer.  I get the thought process behind the marketing.  Johnny Depp is a global star after all and it certainly looks like he has created another memorable character.  But Armie Hammer is an after thought here.  It’s a minor complaint as I’m sure he has plenty to do in the film.  But seriously, Depp does look awesome as Tonto.

[Update] We got a second Lone Ranger trailer that features The Lone Ranger!  Much better.


August 9, 2013

District 9 was absolutely incredible.  I can’t wait to see what Neill Blomkamp has in store for us next August.  Not much is known about the film outside of the people who saw and raved about the comic-con footage so here is a synopsis:

“In the year 2159 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.”

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


May 24, 2013

The original Fast & Furious came along right around the time I got my driver’s license.  Now, I never pimped my rusted 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier but I did love the movie.  Then 2 Fast came along and ruined everything.  I completely skipped Tokyo Drift but something funny happened.  The 4th installment came along…  And I liked it?  It wasn’t anywhere near the level of the first but at least the whole gang was back.

Fast 5 changed the game and took the franchise in a completely different direction.  They added The Rock and suddenly, the Fast & Furious series became a heist franchise.  I thought Fast 5 was great especially with the revelation in the end credits.  Why not?  I like the characters.  I like the new direction.  Bring on Part 6.

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


June 7, 2013

A while back, I wrote an article detailing two important streaks on the line when After Earth is released.  Will Smith’s hits vs M. Night Shyamalan’s flops.  One of them will end.  I’m sure many people will bet that Will Smith will be starring in the latest Shyamalan dud…  Or maybe he won’t.

Signs is my favorite movie period.  I always get perplexed looks when I admit that but it’s true.  That movie came along at the right time and stuck with me.  I’ve been waiting a long time for another classic to come from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.  (The Last Airbender was certainly not it.)

But I really love the concept behind After Earth:

“In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.”

Which streak will end?


June 26, 2013

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was awful.  In my opinion, it was the worst movie of 2009.  So why is Wolverine so high on this list?  They are essentially ignoring the first solo movie completely.  Nice.  I love the character and the idea of a bad ass Wolverine adventure is still exciting.  Especially one without plot holes and Deadpool.  Can you even call him Deadpool?

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


May 17, 2013

I highly enjoy J.J Abrams movies. (Not to mention the excellent TV series he’s created.) Mission Impossible 3 is still my favorite of the four,  Super 8 was actually my favorite movie of 2011 and I adored Star Trek.  Honestly, I was never a Star Trek fan until the new film came along.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just never got around to watching it as a kid.  At that time, it was Next Generation so I really had no exposure to Captain Kirk & Spock at all.

Star Trek was a blast to watch even with all those lens flares.  I can’t wait to see what J.J does with the franchise now that the characters & rules are established.  Of course it is a J.J Abrams production so we know nothing about the project yet.

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer #1

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview


May 3, 2013

The Avengers took the Superhero genre to astonishingly new heights.  Marvel pulled it off…  Now what?  Phase Two!

XTRA | Top 10 Moments: The Avengers

The Marvel Cinematic Universe rolls on with a much darker Iron Man.  This trailer may go down as my favorite of 2012 unless another comes along to dethrone it.  It’ll be tough to beat.  Right off the bat, Tony Stark mentions the devastation left in Loki’s wake after his army was defeated.  Now Tony is haunted.  It’s the perfect time for one of Iron Man’s deadliest foes to appear on the big screen.  The Mandarin.  Right off the bat, you can see that Tony Stark is going to get beaten down in this film.  I can’t wait to see how he picks himself up.

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Iron Man 3 Trailer 1


June 14, 2013

I didn’t like Superman Returns at all.  Where was the action?  Why was it so long?  Much like Wolverine, I’m glad Zack Snyder is rebooting the Man of Steel from scratch with a more realistic approach.  It helps to have Christopher Nolan on board.  Will Superman fill the void left now that Nolan’s remarkable Batman trilogy is over?

In a word: Yes.

I think Man of Steel will be the Superman movie fans have been dreaming of for decades.  The first trailer is proof:

[Update: Second Trailer has arrived]

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Man of Steel Trailer #2


July 12, 2013

Guillermo Del Toro + Giant Robots + Equally Giant Monsters = My most anticipated movie of the 2013 summer movie season.  By far!  I’m so excited I can’t stand it.  Del Toro is truly blessed with an incredibly visual and COOL imagination.  I think Pacific Rim is poised to become of the coolest movies of all time and I don’t say that lightly.  Giant robots are going to fight giant monsters!  ……….  And Guillermo Del Toro is responsible for the mayhem!

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Pacific Rim Trailer #1

July 12!  July 12! July 12! July 12!

“When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end.  To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge.  But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju.  On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past.  Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.”

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

Rango, Clint Eastwood &The Other Side

March 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

MOVIE REVIEW: Rango, Clint Eastwood &The Other Side | Movie Blog


The first thing that was obvious from the moment Rango began was how beautiful it looked.  The staggering amount of detail in the characters and environments is unreal.

However, technical and design achievements can only get you so far if the story doesn’t hold up.  So how does Rango stack up against the competition?

MOVIE REVIEW: Rango, Clint Eastwood &The Other Side | Movie Blog

The film begins like many animated movies, introducing us to a lovable character full of personality and humor but it quickly became apparent that Rango isn’t meant to be a hilarious cartoon.  Truthfully, the only element that really had me laughing was the bleak and hopeless lyrics of the owl’s songs.

Funny moments aside, Rango an adventure story.  A pretty fantastic adventure story.

If you’re going into it expecting a laugh a minute, Rango isn’t for you.  It’s basically an animated movie in the spirit of Pirates of the Caribbean.  First and foremost, it’s about action and adventure with a little humor sprinkled throughout.

What I didn’t expect was the countless movie references that were a joy to see.  Rango is a love letter to old school westerns. It begins with our hero.  The Lizard With No Name.  Taking on Rango as a nickname was a great way to establish the films many connections to Sergio Leone’s ‘The Man With No Name’ Trilogy starring Clint Eastwood.  Beyond that, there are literally dozens of homages to famous movie moments that will thrill viewers savvy enough to catch on.

If you love westerns, Rango is definitely a breath of fresh air with everything you would expect to see from good old cowboy movie.  There are duels, dusty saloons with poker playing bandits.  There are bank heists, carriage chases, shoot outs, damsels in distress and countless themes we’ve seen before.  We’ve just never seen them so well executed in animated form before. (Fievel Goes West?)

Discovering Who You Are

What impressed me the most about the film was the central theme of discovering who you are.  I feel like I’m back in school writing film essays again but it’s true.  It’s a theme that’s explored with a metaphor I thought was brilliant.

“You just have to get to the other side.”

It’s amazing that something as simple as an animal crossing the road could have such a profound impact on the heart of the story.  The characters in the film just need someone to believe in which is a tough task for a hero who doesn’t know who he is.  It’s a fantastic journey I didn’t expect but was pleasantly surprised to see.  When you mix powerful themes like that with gorgeous and vivid visuals provided by the talented Gore Verbinski, you get a magical experience.

Speaking of visuals, I’ve already mentioned how awesome the movie looked but it’s the precise directing talents of Gore Verbinski that really hold the film together.  This movie is packed with money shots that shows the director took full advantage of the medium.  Did I mention the film is beautiful?

NOTE: If only Verbinski’s vision of a Bioshock movie would have come to fruition…  What could have been.

It’s inevitable that Rango will be compared to Pixar movies.  I think every animated film these days will.  Rango dares to take the animated genre into new territory and that’s what makes Pixar movies so great.

Rango is something you’ve never seen before and if you’re a fan of cartoons, it’s worth a look.  Especially if you’re a fan of Clint Eastwood.  (I’d mention more but I don’t want to spoil it.)

Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If The BIOSHOCK Movie Happened?

March 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If The Bioshock Movie Happened? | Movie Blog


Bioshock, in terms of story and atmosphere, is by far my favorite video game.  When you explore the incredible world of Rapture for the first time, it’s impossible not to admire the creativity and passion poured into the game.

I wouldn’t even know where to start explaining the complexity of the horrifying underwater paradise to those who haven’t experienced it.

What an ending!

To summarize, Bioshock is about an underwater city called Rapture where the world’s brightest minds gather to advance human knowledge free of limitations and restraints.  This eventually leads to the discovery of Adam, a substance that allows the city’s inhabitants to rewrite their DNA.  These ‘Splicers’ gained incredible powers but soon lost their minds and turned violent as their thirst for more Adam consumed them…

That thirst leads them to little girls who seek out and gather the Adam but they are protected by huge armored guardians called Big Daddies.  You play as ‘Jack’, a man who tries to unravel the mysteries of Rapture.  Especially the mysteries surrounding the city’s creator Andrew Ryan and the truth about your past.

Sounds like a decent setup right?  As you can tell by the trailer, the game is full of violence and horrors.  Even the children use giant needles to collect Adam from the bodies of dead Splicers.  You can see how this might limit a potential movies audience a little bit.

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If The BIOSHOCK Movie Happened? | Movie Blog

Gore Verbinski’s Bioshock

The twisted tale takes place in an incredibly detailed 50’s style environment that’s full of character and depth. (no pun intended)  It’s a haunting yet gorgeous place to set this bloody tale and this was ultimately the film’s undoing.

When I found out that Gore Verbinski, director of The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango, was attached to the project I was literally giddy.  Who better to bring the world of Rapture to life.  It seemed like a dream come true for fans of the game.

Months passed without any official word that the Bioshock movie would move forward.  Most of the time, no news is good news but in this case it was worse case scenario.

The Bioshock movie wasn’t happening.

NOT Gore Verbinski’s Bioshock

“I couldn’t really get past anybody that would spend the money that it would take to do it and keep an R rating. Alternately, I wasn’t really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version. Because the R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you’re still shivering and going, “Jesus Christ!”… It’s a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the pricetag is high. We just didn’t have any takers on an R-rated movie with that pricetag.” comingsoon

I have even more respect for Mr. Verbinski now.  You can’t do the story justice with a PG-13 rating.  It has to be a hard R but I understand the risks. Will enough people outside the core group of fans show up to a 200 million dollar Bioshock adaptation? I get that it’s tough to invest such a huge amount of money on what studios probably determined was a gamble but common!

So we won’t get to see Gore Verbinski’s vision of Rapture but where do we go from here?

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If The BIOSHOCK Movie Happened? | Movie Blog

The Bioshock Movie

Technical Specs

You really do need a considerable amount of resources to pull off an epic film set in an underwater city.  Just the practical water effects would be a massive undertaking.  I couldn’t even begin to estimate what the visual effects would cost.

Yet these days, movies like Gareth Edwards’ Monsters proved that a lot can be done with a minimal budget and a lot of passion and talent.  At the end of the day, this is one area that HAS to work or the whole story falls a part.  Nobody wants to see a complete CG movie either.  This is one time when a live action movie is the ONLY option.

The Story

Overall, the game is pretty much presented as a movie with constant twists and turns along the way.  What concerns me about an adaptation is the lack of surprises for those who know what’s coming.  But I think fans of the game will rather pay and sit through a story they already know then watch someone else butcher a video game adaptation.

I’d prefer they stay faithful to the narrative myself but I also understand that movies and video games are different mediums and require different approaches. Still, I’d love to see an mysterious man roaming those leaky halls, throwing bees at everyone while outrunning giant mechanical drills and murderous drug addicts.

Casting Call: Who should play the lead character?  Some rumors hinted at Wentworth Miller a while back and I can’t say I disagree with that theory.  He’s a decent actor and I loved Prison Break.  To be honest, I’ve never been that great at speculating who should play who in the movies.  I’d rather take the easy approach and criticize other people’s choices.

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If The BIOSHOCK Movie Happened? | Movie Blog

The beauty of Bioshock is in the details.  The world is one of the most original and entertaining settings I’ve ever seen.  Every piece of music, every sound effect, every object fits perfectly in this imaginative world and that detail is perfectly suited for the silver screen.

We just need someone to step up and either find a way to make it cheaper, or a studio to take a chance.

It Would Be Awesome.

A Bioshock movie would be incredibly intense and full of action but more than that, it would be a chance to discover a new world we’ve never seen before.  One of my favorite aspects of James Cameron’s Avatar is how much fun it was to learn about Pandora and it’s inhabitants.  I think a Bioshock movie could have a similar feeling until all hell breaks loose.

Everything about the game is new and unique.  A film adaptation would be quite welcomed in a world filled with remakes and sequels.  Something different shouldn’t be feared.

On a personal note, I thought the big twist in the game was one of the best story moments in video game history.  Clever storytelling at it’s finest.

So, would you kindly find a way to make a Bioshock movie already!?

Here is a trailer for the third installment in the Bioshock franchise that frees itself from the underwater city of Rapture and introduces us to infinite freedom in the sky.

Underwater City vs Floating Sky City

Which one do you think would be more expensive?