Oblivion, Moon, Prometheus & Independence Day

April 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Oblivion, Moon & Independence Day | Oblivion Review 2013

DOES OBLIVION LIVE UP TO IT’S OWN AMBITION?

I had a strange experience watching Oblivion.  At first, I was stunned by how beautiful the film is.  Next I was intrigued as the movie established Jack Harper’s (Tom Cruise) daily routine.  For a time, the movie felt a tad long.  Slowly the story added more and more layers to it’s mythology.  I began to notice what many people have mentioned online.

Oblivion is FULL of big science fiction ideas but is that a good thing?

Minor Spoilers Ahead…

In a way, I agree that the film is almost too ambitious for it’s own good.  By the time Jack encounters himself, I began reflecting on how much I loved the Duncan Jones’ Moon starring Sam Rockwell.  The films share similar ideas and while the execution is different in Oblivion, I felt a stronger connection to Rockwell’s character in Moon.

When that happened, I doubted whether or not Oblivion would resonate once the credits rolled.  That is, until Jack takes a ship into the station orbiting our ruined planet.  As his small craft approached we are treated to a ton of exposition offering answers and peeling back the most intriguing layer the film has to offer.  I didn’t mind the exposition.  I’m happy there are movies like Oblivion that provide answers to balance out the vague and abstract tone of movies like Prometheus.  As a result, I adored Oblivion’s final act.

Yet, as Jack’s ship approached the station I couldn’t help but reflect on how much I loved Independence Day.  The films share similar ideas and while the execution is different in Oblivion, I felt a stronger connection to ID4’s heroes.

See where I’m going with this?  We’ve seen all of the big ideas incorporated into Oblivion’s mythology before.  Just not quite like this. The question is, can Oblivion bring them all together in one coherent story?  Honestly, when I left the theater my answer was no…  But…

As the day progressed I began reflecting on how much I enjoyed watching Jack learn about Earth’s true fate and his role in it’s future.  I started reliving the film’s gorgeous visuals and intense action sequences.  I felt a connection to the characters.  I cared.

Like I said, I had a strange experience watching Oblivion.  There was a time when I envisioned writing a fairly negative review.  However, much like the movie, more layers were revealed as time went on.  In the end, I highly enjoyed Oblivion and I’m really looking forward to the Blu Ray so I can delve deeper into the beautiful world director Joseph Kosinski created.

If you’re a fan of any of the films I mentioned in this review, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to love about Oblivion.  You just have to give it a chance.

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44 Movies To Look Forward To In 2013

January 14, 2013 at 8:08 am

44 Movies To Look Forward To In 2013 | 2013 Movie Preview

A NEW YEAR BEGINS.  A GREAT YEAR FOR MOVIES!

Movie sites world wide are posting lists of movies they can’t wait to see in 2013.  Last year I realized that, if I did the same, my list would be identical to many film fans out there.  I decided to try something different.  So I collected lists from around the web and devised a scoring method to rank the movies mentioned in the lists.

It’s simple.  For this year’s movie preview I used 16 lists from big sites as well as smaller blogs.  These articles had to rank 2013 movies from 10-1.  I gave 10 points to every movie that was given the top spot, 9 points for second down to 1 point for 10th place rankings.  Total points were sorted and the result was 44 movies to look forward to in 2013!

XTRA | My top 10 summer movies of 2013

Before I get to the big list, here are my sources:

YAHOO | 2013 Preview: 25 most anticpated movies

/FILM | Angie’s 10 most anticipated films of 2013

DEN OF GEEK | The top 25 must see movies of 2013

HEAVY | The top 20 most anticipated films of 2013

MOVIE FANATIC | Top 13 movie moments of 2013

MOVIE-MORON | Top 30 best new movies of 2013

TECH REPUBLIC | The 10 must see geek movies of 2013

RORCHACH REVIEWS | My top 10 most anticipated films for 2013

TOP TEN BEST FILMS | 10 most anticipated action adventure

MOVIE INSIDER | 2013 most anticipated movies

CLASSIC BLANCA | Top 10 most anticipated movies of 2013

SHOW WATCHER | 10 most anticipated movies of 2013

BEST GEEK BLOG EVER | Top 10 anticipated 2013

WHAT CULTURE | 15 most anticipated films of 2013

SPILL | Ten most anticipated movies of 2013

DUKE FRUKEM | Most anticipated movies of 2013

THE MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2013
THE RANKINGS

44. UNTITLED DIABLO CODY PROJECT (1 POINT)

43. CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE (1 POINT)

42. NYMPHOMANIAC (1 POINT)

41. THE HEAR (2 POINTS)

40. ENDER’S GAME (2 POINTS)

39. NOW YOU SEE ME (2 POINTS)

38. OLD BOY (3 POINTS)

37. SCARY MOVIE 5 (3 POINTS)

36. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (3 POINTS)

35. OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (3 POINTS)

34. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (3 POINTS)

33. THE GREAT GATSBY (5 POINTS)

32. TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE (5 POINTS)

31. THE LAST STAND (5 POINTS)

30. PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS (6 POINTS)

29. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (7 POINTS)

28. THE EVIL DEAD (7 POINTS)

27. ONLY GOD FORGIVES (8 POINTS)

26. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (9 POINTS)

25. WORLD WAR Z (9 POINTS)

24. LOWLIFE (NIGHTINGALE) (9 POINTS)

23. STOKER (10 POINTS)

22. THE WORLD’S END (10 POINTS)

21. GANGSTER SQUAD (11 POINTS)

20. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (12 POINTS)

19. ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (13 POINTS)

18. FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (14 POINTS)

17. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (16 POINTS)

16. AFTER EARTH (16 POINTS)

15. KICK ASS 2 (18 POINTS)

14. BEFORE MIDNIGHT (20 POINTS)

13. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR (20 POINTS)

12. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (22 POINTS)

11. THE LONE RANGER (23 POINTS)

THE TOP 10 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2013

10. OBLIVION (24 POINTS)

9. THE WOLVERINE (31 POINTS)

8. THOR: THE DARK WORLD (31 POINTS)

7. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (43 POINTS)

6. GRAVITY (45 POINTS)

5. ELYSIUM (45 POINTS)

4. PACIFIC RIM (67 POINTS)

3. MAN OF STEEL (85 POINTS

2. IRON MAN 3 (107 POINTS)

1. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (110 POINTS)

What movie are you looking forward to the most?

Click here for more Movie Countdowns.

Top 10 Summer Movies 2013

January 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

Top 10 2013 Summer Movies | 2013 Summer Movie Preview

THE BLOCKBUSTERS ARE COMING AND THEY LOOK GLORIOUS!

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

9. THE LONE RANGER

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.

8. ELYSIUM

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

7. FAST & FURIOUS 6

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

6. AFTER EARTH

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?

5. THE WOLVERINE

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

4. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

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

3. IRON MAN 3

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

2. MAN OF STEEL

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

1. PACIFIC RIM

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

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