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Looking Back: 'Spider-Man 2' is Still One of the Best Comic Book Movies

Spider-Man 2

When it comes to sequels, there an expectation to raise the bar. If you think of some of the best sequels of all time, whether that's The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or Aliens (to name a few), each film improved upon the foundation of the first in major ways. In the second part of our weekly Spider-Man retrospective series leading up to the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7th this summer, we take a look at how Sam Raimi raised the bar for not only Spider-Man movies, but the entire superhero genre itself with Spider-Man 2. The superhero sequel hit theaters on June 30th, 2004 (that's 13 years ago!), just a week before 4th of July, and it once again went on to set records at the box office and beyond.

 Posted 12 hours ago in Discuss, Editorial, Marvel | Comments

Looking Back: Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' is Still Definitive 15 Years Later

Spider-Man Sam Raimi

It was the summer of 2002. The superhero genre was at a much different place than it is today. This was before "shared universes" were a known phrase in anyone's vocabulary. It was before superhero movies were even a sub-genre unto themselves. A little movie ("little" even though it cost ~$130 million to make) called Spider-Man would spin its web into cinemas and explode onto the scene. It was a big hit, at the time, with the biggest opening weekend of all-time (earning $114.8 million which, back then, was a huge achievement) and it started a cultural zeitgeist that has pervaded pop culture ever since. With Sony's latest iteration of Spidey, titled Spider-Man: Homecoming, swinging into theaters starting July 7th this summer, let's take a look back at the original film that helped define what we've come to know today as the superhero movie.

 Posted June 16 in Discuss, Editorial, Marvel | Comments

How Warner Bros/DC Can Learn From the Success of 'Wonder Woman'

Wonder Woman

Well, Warner Bros can breathe a sigh of relief. Wonder Woman is a resounding success. The Gal Gadot-starring, Patty Jenkins-directed film made history by making $100 million in its opening weekend, the biggest opening for any woman-directed movie. The reviews have been glowing, and audience reception seems overwhelmingly positive. Wonder Woman is a bona fide hit for the studio, a home run that Warner Bros certainly needed. With the first well-received DCEU movie under their utility belts, all masked heads are turned to the next DCEU offering, Justice League, opening in November. Let's look at how Warner Bros can learn from the success of Wonder Woman as they take the next big leap in their cinematic universe.

 Posted June 12 in DC Movies, Discuss, Editorial | Comments

On Twitter: What Are Your Favorite Theatrical Moviegoing Experiences?

Theatrical Moviegoing Experience

This is what movies are all about. This is why movie theaters will be around forever. There is nothing that can compare to the theatrical experience, especially when everyone is in sync and completely caught up in the movie on the screen. With all the discussion about the death of movie theaters, and the decline of film, it's refreshing to have a very nice discussion about the truly memorable, exhilarating times we've spent in cinemas. Over the past weekend, a Twitter user named Antoine Linguine asked about everyone's favorite theater-going movie experience, and he has been getting answers non-stop ever since. We've collected a few of the best responses below, in hopes of reminding everyone that there can be positive experiences at the movies, and these are some of the most unforgettable moments. So what is your favorite movie experience?

 Posted May 29 in Discuss, Feat | Comments

Rebooting 'The Matrix' Furthers Hollywood's Obsession with Nostalgia

The Matrix

Everything old is new again. It was revealed this week that Warner Bros is currently considering rebooting The Matrix and making a new series of movies. Keanu Reeves had hinted at the possibility of returning for a fourth Matrix for some time. However, WB appears to be interested in forging a new path. In a world full of endless remakes, sequels and reinterpretations, a Matrix re-imagining seems wholly unnecessary. So let's explore why The Matrix needs to be revisited, but not rebooted. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that a film as revered and respected as The Matrix would get a reboot. Even a film as treasured as The Lion King is getting a live-action do-over. So let's explore why The Matrix needs to be revisited, but not rebooted.

 Posted March 16 in Discuss, Editorial, SciFi | Comments

Read Tim League's Essay on Why 35mm Film Deserves Your Respect

35mm Film

This past weekend, Alamo Drafthouse and Kodak partnered to host the very first annual "Reel Film Day" to celebrate 35mm cinema (official website). To mark the occasion, numerous classic films were projected in 35mm at all of the various Drafthouse locations around the country. In celebration of 35mm and the glory of cinema, Drafthouse founder/CEO Tim League wrote a passionate essay on Indiewire to commemorate the first Reel Film Day. The full essay is titled "35mm Film Deserves Your Respect: Alamo Drafthouse Founder Tim League Makes the Case" and it's a must read, not just because Tim is one of the smartest guys in this entire industry, but also because it's such a wonderfully vibrant reminder of the true value of art and film.

 Posted March 6 in Discuss, Movie News | Comments

Hugh Jackman's Final Wolverine Movie Explores 'Logan' for First Time

Hugh Jackman as Logan

"Nature made me a freak. Man made me a weapon. And God made it last too long." Hugh Jackman has made nine appearances as the Wolverine over seventeen years. In that time, I don't think we've really ever gotten to know who Wolverine is until Logan this year. It is Jackman's definitive, and coincidentally final, performance as the feral mutant. It's hard to realize that it took nine movies and nearly two decades to finally understand what drives this hulking, angry loner. However, let's examine how Logan, even though it marks Hugh Jackman's final time playing Wolverine, actually feels like the first real Wolverine movie yet.

 Posted March 5 in Discuss, Editorial, Marvel | Comments

2017 Academy Awards Winners - 'Moonlight' & Damien Chazelle Win

2017 Academy Awards Winners

The 89th Academy Awards are upon us and it's time to watch the show and discover the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony is being broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with the esteemed Jimmy Kimmel as our host of the show this year. There are nine fantastic Best Picture nominees, and I'm looking forward to finally knowing who wins. It has been a very exciting, but also a challenging year in 2016. The big battle seems to be between La La Land and Moonlight. It's finally time to find out who is taking home all the Oscars, and who isn't, at the Academy Awards. The full list of nominees below will be updated with winners marked once announced live tonight - refresh for all updates.

PICTURE:
Moonlight
Moonlight
DIRECTOR:
Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle for
La La Land
ACTOR:
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck for
Manchester by the Sea
ACTRESS:
Emma Stone
Emma Stone for
La La Land

Read on for a complete list of #Oscars2017 nominees & winners. Let us know what you think of the results!

This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of editorial commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.

 Posted February 26 in Awards, Discuss, Feat, Movie News | Comments

The Top 7 Directors Who Could Replace Ben Affleck on 'The Batman'

The Batman

The trades were predicting it for a few weeks. Ben Affleck was even hinting at it for a while. Now it's official. Warner Bros and Ben Affleck announced together on Monday night that Ben Affleck will not be directing The Batman movie as previously planned. Affleck will remain on the project as a producer and star. With Affleck no longer directing the film, there's already a long list of possible candidates who could replace him. Variety reports that Warner Bros already has a shortlist, and there's going to be immense speculation as to who will be on that list. So we decided to put together our own dream list of directors who could replace Affleck on The Batman and make a kick ass, dark, yet different movie about the World's Greatest Detective.

 Posted January 31 in DC Movies, Discuss, Editorial | Comments

A Surprise Appearance by Nicolas Cage Made 'C4GED' Unforgettable

C4GED - Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is a unique talent in the acting world. His performances often give us something to talk about regardless of the quality of the film surrounding that performance, and it creates an air of excitement that follows the actor wherever he's seen. This is exactly why, for the past four years, the Alamo Drafthouse has programmed a day of movies in Cage's honor. Entitled CAGED (or "C4GED" for this year's program) the day, usually coordinated by Tough Guy Cinema programmer Greg MacLennan and in honor of Cage's 53rd birthday, treats movie-going fans to five, surprise titles all headlined by a memorable Nicolas Cage performance. Every year MacLennan has invited Cage to attend, and it was for seemingly this final year of CAGED that we were all witness to the biggest surprise of them all. Nicolas Cage actually showed up.

 Posted January 30 in Discuss, Events, Feat | Comments

89th Academy Awards Nominations Announced - Full List for 2016

Academy Awards Nominations

The complete list of nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (via oscar.go.com). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees this morning via live broadcast and on their website. They've nominated many outstanding films, and lots of amazing performances from 2016, though there are always others that deserve recognition. There's no need to spend any more time introducing this, so let's get right into it! This year, The Academy selected a total of nine Best Picture nominees, including: La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Lion, Hidden Figures, and Hell or High Water. So without further ado, here is the full list of noms.

 Posted January 24 in Awards, Discuss, Movie News | Comments

Looking Back: Jeremy Picks the 10 Best Soundtracks/Scores of 2016

10 Best Soundtracks / Scores of 2016

More often than not a good soundtrack in a movie can be just as captivating as the visuals in which it accompanies. We live within the world of that film as we experience watching it, but a good soundtrack – composed score or curated list of songs – can allow us to reengage with the film on a purely auditory level sometimes even offering up an entirely new perspective. It's why this list is always such a joy to put together at the end of any year (review my previous soundtrack picks for the Best of 2014 and Best of 2013). Listed below are my Top 10 Soundtracks/Scores of 2016, and, as always, it's a fun list to put together. These are the scores and song lists I will surely be listening to in the coming months, the soundtracks that are every bit as memorable as the films themselves. (You can also find my Top 10 Films of 2016 here.) Enjoy!

 Posted January 13 in Discuss, Editorial, Looking Back | Comments

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Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
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Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
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