Jul 26, 2015

WIWTW #6

News (I Actually Care About)

Visions of Aurora 2012 were unavoidable with the newest cinema shooting in Louisiana. Terrifying stuff. Here's what director Judd Apatow had to say about it. @Rolling Stone

Chris Columbus wants to get the old gang back together again following the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Does anyone actually want this? In my books, Harry Potter's story is finished. Sounds like someone's just trying to drum up some press for his newest movie... @Games Radar

Did Alejandro González Iñárritu push things too far with his upcoming movie The Revenant? Enough to endanger his cast and crew while filming in dangerous conditions? @Indiewire

Interesting article with Jake Gyllenhaal remembering what it was like to work with Heath Ledger on Brokeback Mountain. @Variety

Pixels sucks? I'm trying to act surprised here but it isn't working. @Rotten Tomatoes

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 5.7

Jul 19, 2015

WIWTW #5

News (I Actually Care About)

Does Marvel have a villain problem? Certainly seems easy to think so since I don't even remember a bunch of their names. I honestly think that it comes down to Marvel needing to also stop making things seem so easy for their heroes though.

Jurassic World looks unstoppable. I guess that means we can look forward to more dinosaur movies featuring flat characters with flat stories along with a healthy dose of product placement squeezed in every square inch. Exciting.

Is Judy Greer the female "that guy?" This summer's crop of movies seems to indicate as much.

How awkward is this "thing" to promote Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith with Hayden Christensen and George Lucas?

So, who went to audition for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them? A lot of you apparently.

Who asked for a Christian Mingle movie? Wasn't me, but I can tell you that I'm looking forward to mentally trashing it when I eventually see it.

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 6.3

Jul 12, 2015

WIWTW #4

Big week in movies in general with the San Diego Comic Con going on. Yes, I'll admit that I watched the Star Wars: Force Awakens reel more than once. Couldn't resist. All I can say is that J.J. and co. better deliver on the hype. So far so good though.

Superhero movies were a predictable focus of course. It's COMIC Con after all. I'm still trying to process the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer though. I have no doubt that it's going to look amazing from a visual point of view which is an area Zack Snyder is very capable in. But for the story, well it seems promising. We'll see.

Also, what's the the horrible looking orc on one of the Warcraft posters? Really do hope that they look better in the movie because that's no Warcraft orc to me. That's a humungous human being with slightly green skin, big teeth and dreadlocks. Please don't let me down Duncan Jones.

Lastly, anyone who truly knows me knows that I love movies and that I love movies with puppets. Jim Henson Company is apparently developing a murder mystery movie with puppets. So yeah, pretty awesome.

Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 6.5

Jul 5, 2015

WIWTW #3

So it's looking like Terminator: Genisys isn't going to be performing up to the expectations of what is a $150-200 million summer blockbuster movie. Is there anybody who's actually surprised? Ever since the first promo pictures in Entertainment Weekly were released, I think pretty much everyone knew something was off. The trailer didn't feel right either and worst of all, major plot points were revealed along the way which is a problem with Hollywood in general. Revealing the whole twist with John Connor which can be figured out just by looking at the poster was seriously ill-advised if you ask me and that's all on the marketing team.
Arnold Schwarzenegger sold the hell out of Terminator: Genisys, but he alone isn't enough to convince fans of the old movies to check out this sequel/reboot/whatever they want to call it and sadly that includes me. I'll see it once it hits video since I don't think it deserves better than that. Sorry Arnold. I sincerely hope that the Conan sequel you have lined up next has a better fate.

Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 6.4

Jun 28, 2015

WIWTW #2

Gotta say, I had a great week from a movie watching perspective which included a couple of the stronger films of 2014 plus a few older classics. Credit for that goes to my girlfriend who is probably sick and tired of my typical choices which prompted her to go out of her way to choose some quality titles. Hey, at least I balanced things out with the mother of all superhero movies, Batman & Robin right? I got a job to do after all.

Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 7.25


Jun 21, 2015

WIWTW #1

Since I don't have that much time to write full-fledged reviews anymore, I wanted to start a feature that I've dubbed "What I Watched This Week" or just "WIWTW" because who likes typing all that? The idea is simply to give you a quick idea of what I thought about a movie, nothing more complicated than that. Oh, and a week is counted from Sunday to Saturday. So without further ado, here's WIWTW #1.

Number of movies this week: 8
Average rating: 5.19

A "Re-toggle"

I know that I haven't posted a review in some time and I apologize for that. I've been doing some serious thinking about the future of this blog and that put a bit of a crimp in my regular production. No, I'm not closing Cinema Whatever down or anything, but there are going to be some pretty significant changes to it.

First of all, I've enjoyed myself immensely during my time reviewing movies. I've now reviewed 472 films which I'm very proud of. Although I like to pretend that my earliest reviews don't exist (really, don't go look at those), I have to say that I'm very happy with the progress I've made in terms of critiquing films and my writing skills. I've also made some great friends along the way which has been a great experience.

That's why it's hard for me to announce that I'm going to be "re-toggling" Cinema Whatever from its current form. CW has been nothing but movie reviews published close to daily which unsurprisingly does take quite a bit of time. With the way my current life situation is, I can no longer afford to spend that amount of time every day to doing movie reviews. I wish I could do nothing but watch movies and write reviews, but it's just not in the cards.

What I'd like to start doing are opinion pieces about... well whatever has to do with movies really. I've got some ideas swimming around my head as we speak, but that's the direction I see Cinema Whatever going in. I'm targeting a weekly timeline for these pieces and I might just throw in the odd movie review here and there if I really feel like it.

So with that beings said, thanks to everyone for all the support that I've gotten from the start of Cinema Whatever and I hope you'll all still be around for the ride. Cinema Whatever isn't going anywhere. It's just changing direction.


Simon

Jun 16, 2015

Review: Batman Returns (1992)

Batman was as much a corporate entity as it was a movie after Batman of 1989. For Warner Brothers, you can bet that they were drooling at the prospect of future revenue streams from their bat-empire. Merchandising opportunities were pretty much limitless. Tim Burton himself wasn't all that pleased after working on such a "soul-sucking" movie and was ready to move on. Luckily for him, Warner Brothers gave him more creative control and most likely a significant increase in pay. What did WB have to lose after all? A sequel to Batman was most likely a slam dunk.

Unfortunately for them, Batman Returns was nowhere near as successful as Batman was. In the global box office it earned $144,526,570 less than Batman which is pretty significant. The budget had also increased by $45 million and marketing costs were probably higher as well which must've made for a pretty miserable summer at the offices of Warner Brothers. It's pretty unfortunate really because Tim Burton himself was much happier with the finished product and I have to say that I agree with him.

Jun 13, 2015

Review: The Wolverine (2013)


X-Men Origins: Wolverine left a seriously bad taste in my mouth as it did for many fans of the X-Men series. Besides an at-times alright final fight and the presences of Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber, there's almost nothing going for it. It was a serious misstep and even Hugh Jackman has admitted as much. Even after an already sub-par X-Men: The Last Stand, it wasn't like the X-Men franchise was in trouble though. Matthew Vaughn's First Class proved that Fox could still make a good X-Men movie and all it took was the right people.

Enter Darren Aronofsky who Hugh Jackman had worked with in The Fountain. He was just coming off the release of The Black Swan and most likely would have been a slam dunk as a director. He unfortunately couldn't come to an agreement with Fox and stepped down. To take his place was James Mangold who had worked with Jackman in romantic comedy Kate & Leopold which is a surprisingly OK movie for its genre. I would rank Mangold as a relatively good director. He's no Aronofsky, but he was definitely a step in the right direction.

Jun 10, 2015

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)


Anticipation was almost the death of me in the summer of 2011. After a whole year of waiting for the conclusion to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Part 2 was finally here. Like I had mentioned in my review for it, Part 1 ends in a way that is both extremely satisfying and unsatisfying at the same time. It felt like I had aged ten years since Part 1 and no way was I going to miss it. I was far from the only one either.

It's amazing really to think just how far the Harry Potter series had come in those ten years and how consistently good they've been. Harry Potter mania is still bubbling to this day which makes the development of an additional movie set in the same universe no surprise. The franchise has the potential to be a reliable cash cow for Warner Brothers for a really long time if they play their cards right. As much as I'm skeptical about the Hollywood sequel machine, I will admit that I'm cautiously optimistic for the future of Harry Potter movies, especially if J.K. Rowling is involved. But Warner Bros. I beg you, please don't break my heart like MGM/New Line Cinema did.