X-men: Apocalypse

I have seen every X-men movie on the big screen with the exception of Xmen Origins: Wolverine, which I normally just write that out of my memory. Brian Singer brings us to movie 3 of the younger X-men saga. In this turnout, the team fights it out with world destroyer and famed xmen villain, Apocalypse. But the thing about Apocalypse, both movie and villain, is that there’s this feeling of done that, been there before predictability. It’s not to say Oscar Isaac didn’t do a good job because he did, even if his size differ from the comic version. But that there wasn’t much to work with. I’m finding that the success of the past xmen films seem to work when the narrative follows along with a focus character. The first two as well as Days of Future Past followed Wolverine while bringing characters in and out to further the story. First class followed Professor X and Magneto through the creation of the xmen team. While there may have been subplots, they never took away from the main storyline and if anything added volume. Apocalypse, on the other hand, jumps around characters without giving much depth. The actors did well enough with what they were given, but I, as an audience, felt a little bit shortchanged. With character introductions with Nightcrawler, Angel, Storm, etc, not much was delve into development. Instead,we are treated with a bloated action set. Now, I’m not saying this was an awful movie because it really wasn’t. I still had a bit of fun and thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was. The Quicksilver rescue set was incredibly fun and Evan Peters should definitely get more screen time. I think what Jean Grey shared in the scene about discussing which Star Wars was the best one perfectly described this movie which may have been a jab at X3, “at least we can all agree, the 3rd one is always the worst.”

 

Featured image courtesy of Fox Pictures

The Nice Guys

Definitely one of the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. Gosling and Crowe makes a dynamic duo, playing off great chemistry. Director Shane Black gives them plenty to play with harkening back to days of great buddy cop action comedies like Lethal Weapon, which Black penned. The formula for these type of movies is not necessarily rewritten here, but made so much better. The story is ludicrous from the get-go, and as it moves along, it’s rather pointless to try to put the puzzle pieces together, until the final piece is revealed and then everything makes sense. The script calls for us to not to try to figure it out but to just enjoy the ride, and enjoy it you will. The banter between the leads along with the physical comedy of Gosling had me laughing, if not then in smiles through pretty much the whole movie. Nice Guys has a bit of mature content so keep the kiddos home, but in my honest Noble opinion, The Nice Guys is well worth the watch.

 

Featured image courtesy of Warner Bros.

London Has Fallen

London takes a massive terrorist hit in this sequel 3 years after America gets its first hit at the White House in Olympus has Fallen. Gerald Butler and Aaron Eckhart reprise their roles as president protector and president on the run from terrorists on the streets of London. This is a loud, politically incorrect, xenophobic movie ripped from the fears of the far right conservatives. As far as actions go, there’s plenty of it, and plenty of body counts to boot. The cast carries their roles well and Butler can definitely kick ass enough to make a name for himself among the great ass kickers of film. But, that is not enough for this brash action thriller. There’s a lot of eye roll moments when it comes to the script. And when it came to use of CGI, it looked more like a low-budget cable tv movie. That’s just my honest Noble opinion. May be fun for a rental watch if you like loud action, but there are better options.

High-Rise

Circulating the film circuit last year, High Rise gained a bit of recognition with critics, though mostly fair. After picking up distribution, High Rise is released to limited release. Tom Hiddleston is a fantastic actor and plays an interesting lead of a man who becomes a new resident of a tower block, which descends to chaos. However, as enticing the characters may be and despite how well shot the movie is cinematically, I’ve found myself often confused on the direction of the narrative, and by the end I found myself a little frustrated.  It’s a hard film to watch, and I’m not sure how many would grab the concept of what is trying to be conveyed. Seemed like it’s trying to be too artsy than to tell the story. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but in my noble opinion, I’d give it a pass if your theater happens to be showing it. Unless you prefer style over substance.

Captain America: Civil War

What a way to kick off the summer blockbuster season. Marvel is on a hot streak and reign king of the cineplex when it comes to superhero flicks. We’ll see how it fares in the box office in the coming weeks, but I’m willing to bet that they will bring in some heavy numbers. Financial logistics aside, Civil War was a blast. There was a beautiful balance of action, plot, humor, and drama while still being enriched with character. Juggling a large amount of characters without the feeling of being overstuffed is a testament to the capabilities that the Russo Bros and Marvel Studios can bring. With each marvel movie that comes out, we are introduced to new heroes. First off, Chadwick Boseman blew my expectations for T’Challa, The Black Panther. From costume to character, the part is nailed perfect. Also, Civil War (re)introduces the famed Spider-man. Taking him back to his highschool years and already establishing his origins, so we wouldn’t have to slug through what we have already seen twice in 15 years. I have to admit, as much as I loved seeing him fight and being Spiderman, I really felt that they added him just because they could. Narratively speaking, the film would have flowed just fine without him, but it worked and it was still fun. There’s this lingering thought of “just how long until marvel runs out of steam?” Not anytime soon that’s for sure. Oh, and stay through the credits. I forget that there are actual people who don’t realize to watch it through. My #nobleopinion is if you haven’t already followed the marvel films in its sequence and this is your first maybe second, you may be out of tune in whats happening especially considering characters and overarching plot development. But if you have been following, then you will, at least should, love Civil War.

Summer Blockbusters 2016

This coming weekend officially kicks off the 2016 summer blockbuster season. School is nearing an end, finals are being completed, and summer is coming. All that being said, it brings a lot of people to the cineplex. So those in the movie making business knows this is the time (not that it couldn’t happen any other time) to make the most entertaining popcorn thrill for the big screen.  Here are my top nine anticipated film of this summer season in order of their release date. (Yeah, i chose 9, not 10)

Captain America: Civil War
For the past few years Disney’s Marvel has kicked off each season with a bang like last year’s Avengers Age of Ultron, and prior to that Captain America: Winter Soldier. Dubbed Avengers 2.5, Civil War picks up after the events of Ultron and Antman (sort-of). We find our heroes face off against each other. Loosely based off the comic series Civil War which pits heroes against each other by the superhero registration act. The film version will have some form of that registration act but more political accountability. I’ve been diligent to avoid spoilers so we’ll wait and see fully on why they are against each other. But what we do know is Spidey is back, plus a new addition of the Black Panther. Seriously can’t wait to see this movie.

The Nice Guys
I have always been a huge fan of Russell Crowe but in the past few films, he hasn’t come out with anything decent, though I haven’t seen his last movie and his directorial debut Water Diviner, which has fairly decent reviews. Crowe partners with Ryan Gosling in this buddy cop film set in the 70s. Falling into a chase of conspiracy of supposed suicide death of a famous adult actress. Not much is known from this movie except from what I’ve seen of the trailer, but it looks entertaining and funny. Though it may not be completely original but it will be somewhat different from the onslaught of sequels and reboots we are treated to every summer. (Not that I have any issues with them)

X-men: Apocalypse
With Bryan Singer back at the helm, and the prequels/reboot/fixing the mess that was made by X3 and Wolverine’s Origin, the xmen franchise is on a hot track and especially with the big success of Days of Future Past. This time around we are heralding the arrival of Xmen’s big baddie, Apocalypse. Professor X, played by James McAvoy, will lead his team of students will new and familiar faces like Nightcrawler, Cyclops, and Jean Grey to fight against Apocalypse and his four horsemen, comprised of Magneto(Fassbender) Storm, Psylocke, and a pretty sweet looking Archangel.

Warcraft
There has been a drought in the fantasy epic genre at the silver screen since Lord of the Rings. Warcraft hopes to bring back the draw for folks who love fighting elves, dwarves, orcs, and other mythical creatures. The one kicker is that Warcraft is based on a video game and there has never really been a successful game to movie franchise except for maybe Resident Evil, but even the quality of that franchise could be argued. Also, this looks to be a CGI heavy-laden movie, but if its done right and done well, it can pay off in a huge way. We’ll see, but for now I have a pretty high hope for it because I want it to be good. It’s a franchise that could be explored tremendously.

Finding Dory
If you know me well enough when it comes to film, you’ll hear me say this about Pixar is, “Pixar always deliver, except for the Cars franchise.” Last year’s Inside Out was a tremendous testament on the power of imagination and pure story telling that Pixar brings. The Good Dinosaur didn’t fare as well, but it still turned out to be a fun, entertaining movie with tear jerking moments. This summer we are returning to the ocean with a sequel to arguably one of the best stories in Pixar’s collection, Finding Nemo. This time around, we will follow Dory and her quest to find her family. Don’t forget your tissues.

Independence Day: Resurgence
20 years ago the world fought for the freedom to exist. Now, the aliens have come back with advanced forces and unprecedented vengeance. Can mankind survive the onslaught threat of extinction? Can Roland Emmerich give us the fun thrill that made the first incredibly entertaining even without Will Smith? Mixed feelings have been wrought on social media but I’m looking forward to this.

Free State of Jones
Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey leads the epic action-drama piece set in the American Civil War. A defiant southern farmer unites fellow farmers and local slaves and leads them against the Confederacy as Jones County, Mississippi fights to secede from the Confederacy creating a Free State of Jones. 4 time oscar nominee Gary Ross is at the helm as director. This could be an Oscar contender.

Star Trek Beyond
Growing up, I’ve never been a huge Star Trek fan though I’ve enjoyed the films and the tv series and I definitely had a massive respect for the franchise. When J.J. Abrams brought us a tongue-in-cheek reboot with the origin of the original crew, my expectations was blown sky-high. I had an absolute blast with Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. This time with Abrams out working on the Star Wars films, Justin Lin will be the man at the helm. He is known for taking the Fast and Furious franchise to another level with the 4th, 5th, and 6th movies. It will be interesting to see his vision for the crew of the starship Enterprise in this new adventure. Also, Idris Elba is casted as the film’s main alien baddie.

Jason Bourne
Matt Damon has returned as former CIA agent with a hazy past, Jason Bourne.
The last Bourne with Jeremy Renner didn’t fare well at the box office which gave the impression that no one can really replace what Damon brought. The Bourne movies are known for slick story lines with incredible action sets and fantastic chase sequences. I expect nothing less.

Suicide Squad
DC’s team of super-villains are given a shot at the big screen. Set in the same universe as DC’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, the team of super-villains are given a shot at redemption by embarking on a heroic mission that would probably mean the death of them all. With the big screen debut of fan favorite Harley Quinn played by titular Margot Robbie and the new version of Joker played by outstanding oscar winning Jared Leto, fans are excited and extremely curious on how the new cast will bring the famed comic characters to life. We also know that Ben Affleck will be around as Batman. How Batman fits in with the movie, time will tell. BVS has been a bit of a misfire when it comes to criticism with fans and professional critics, Suicide Squad is hoping to set the record straight and establish DC cinematic universe as a viable franchise.

There are plenty of other films that may be incredibly fun and a worthy blockbuster, but those 9 are my most anticipated. Ghostbusters is one that I’m going to see regardless but have very mixed feelings about. The same goes for the new Ninja Turtles. Sound off in the comments. What are you excited to see?

Zoolander II, 2oolander, Zoolander 2… eh…

Not a fan of the original, and now this seems like an unnecessary sequel to bring back nostalgia for those who may have enjoyed the first one. The jokes are rarely funny, and the film seems built around celebrity cameos. I’m a bit disturbed by Benedict Cumberbatch, and will have to watch Sherlock to try to erase that memory. I know this is probably out of theaters by now, and is soon coming out on Blu-ray/DVD. Save your money if you can but if you must see it, get it at redbox and spend as the least money as you can. Sad, Stiller was on a directing streak and ended it abruptly with this pointless movie.