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"City of stars, there's so much that I can't see…" It's here! One of the annual must-see best of the year lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from each of the films. This is such an entertaining way to count down the best cinema of 2016, and it always makes me want to watch each one of these (even the ones I've seen before). There's so many great films on Ehrlich's list this year - from Jackie to La La Land to The Fits to Moonlight, and yes, even Swiss Army Man is superb. Enjoy.
It's that time again! With the end of the year approaching, everyone begins revealing their own Top 10 best of the year lists. One of our favorite lists that kicks off this time is from filmmaker John Waters' - his Top 10 favorite films from this year. For 2016, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, including Paul Verhoven's controversial Elle, Todd Solondz's divisive Wiener-Dog, as well as David Farrier & Dylan Reeve's outstandingly creepy documentary Tickled, among some other oddball picks. A few years back his top film was Spring Breakers, and last year it was a film titled Helmut Berger, Actor. I always like hearing about Waters' favorites because he has such unique taste and his quick comments are fun to read.
DC's biggest heroes have been facing an adversary even bigger than Doomsday or Kryponite as of late: their own studio, Warner Bros. It was last month when it was revealed that director Rick Famuyiwa dropped out of directing The Flash, citing creative differences. This was a sizable loss for the film, as Famuyiwa's hiring was considered a major coup. His departure hints at trouble for DC on film, who has stumbled out of the gate when their films should be leaping over tall buildings in a single bound. Along with countless mixed to negative critical reactions to their last two offerings, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it's become clear Warner Bros is struggling to bring DC's finest to the big screen. But why?
When you think of auteur filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, you probably think of Requiem for a Dream or Black Swan. However, when I think of Darren Aronofsky, I can't help but gravitate toward what I think is his most underrated film: The Fountain, released in 2006. The science fiction love story, starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz playing essentially the same characters over three timelines, was released ten years ago today with little fanfare. The film was blasted by critics and made very little at the box office. However, I fell in love with the film from the moment I gazed my eyes on the first frame ten years ago. Let's explore why I think the film is an underrated masterpiece and one of Aronofsky's best in his filmography.
The journey for Star Trek on the big screen hasn't always been going at warp speed. For the most part, the films have had a difficult time appealing to both the general audience and to the hardcore faithful (known as Trekkies). That changed, however, in 2009 when J.J. Abrams rebooted the film series with the simply titled Star Trek. For the first time in a while, Star Trek was accessible to both mainstream audiences and hardcore Trekkies alike. However, as the series progressed with Star Trek Into Darkness, some Trek fans started to dismiss the new films as being too action-oriented, as well as missing the philosophical essence that made Star Trek the groundbreaking success it was when it first aired on this day 50 years ago. So as Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary today, let's explore why I believe that all changed with the latest installment, Star Trek Beyond, and why I believe it is the best Star Trek movie in nearly two decades.
With the 2016 summer movie season all but officially over, plenty of movie bloggers/journalists have been quick to say this past summer has been rather lackluster for film. I would argue otherwise – while some of the blockbusters have crashed and burned at the box office, this past weekend Suicide Squad and Sausage Party still performed strong at the box office. Marvel's Captain America: Civil War and Disney's Pete's Dragon were highlights of the summer as well. So why all the “doom & gloom”? That's likely because most audiences never really gave some of the best films of summer 2016 a chance. There were quite a few hidden gems out there waiting to be seen, if you were brave enough to give them your time (and money).
"Be bold. Be brave. Be epic." That's one of the taglines for this movie, but it could also easily be the motto of Laika, the animation studio that created this excellent animated adventure. Kubo and the Two Strings is now playing in theaters and it's a must see. Please, go see this movie in theaters while you can, and enjoy the heck out of it. Please go see it because stop-motion animation needs all the love and support it can get nowadays, especially in the form of tickets purchased to see this beautiful work of art in theaters. It's all hand-made, animated and painted and created by hand (in Portland, Oregon), and it's wonderful. I really can't recommend it enough and I'm very happy to go out of my way to write an entire post about seeing this.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? " The world is more giant than you can imagine." Now playing in theaters everywhere is the newest Steven Spielberg movie, an adaptation of the Roald Dahl book The BFG - which stands for The Big Friendly Giant. Ruby Barnhill stars as Sophie, a young girl who befriends the "BFG", played by Oscar winner Mark Rylance. The full cast includes Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, plus Bill Hader as one of the other giants. So how is it? Does it live up to Roald Dahl's book? Is it as wonderful as Spielberg's many other movies, or is it a waste of his potential? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your own thoughts on Spielberg's The BFG.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "We had twenty years to prepare. So did they." Now playing in theaters everywhere is the long-awaited sci-fi sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, arriving in theaters exactly 20 years after the original movie first landed. Roland Emmerich returns to direct this massively epic alien invasion action blockbuster, bringing back some of the original cast including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner. The newcomers this time around include Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, William Fichtner, Angelababy and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. So how is it? Does it live up to the original? Or is it a completely disaster? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Emmerich's Independence Day: Resurgence.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "She just kept swimming." Disney his released the latest Pixar Animation Studios movie, Finding Dory, the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo (first released in 2003). Directed by Andrew Stanton and co-directed by Angus MacLane, the animated adventure brings back the blue tang named Dory, and her two clownfish friends Nemo and Marlin, for another trip across the ocean. The voice cast features Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy. So how is it? As good as Finding Nemo, or better? Did it make you cry? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Pixar's Finding Dory.
Last week, Star Trek Beyond star Chris Pine was interviewed in SFX magazine promoting the latest space adventure in the sci-fi series. When asked why the most recent films in the Star Trek franchise have been more action-oriented than thought-provoking – something the series has been traditionally known for ever since its inception in 1966 – he responded: "You can't make a cerebral Star Trek in 2016”. Well, I'm here to say you can. Let's take a look at why that's still possible. Pine's intriguing quote encouraged me to write some of my own thoughts about the Star Trek franchise and how it can still be intelligent today.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Our hope is destroyed; there is nothing to go back to. Is war the only answer? " Now playing in theaters worldwide is Duncan Jones' adaptation of the popular Blizzard video game Warcraft (or World of Warcraft), pitting Orcs against Humans in the kingdom of Azeroth. The full ensemble cast includes Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, and Ruth Negga. So how is it? Best video game adaptation yet or not? Better than most are saying, or much worse? Is it for the fans of the games only? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Jones' Warcraft.