Thursday, July 28, 2016

Phil sees THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT from Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment - July 27, 2016

Ok, ok......I can do this.....I can do this review....I can do goes.....Welcome folks to another installment of Phil's Film Adventures! Today's film is the continuation of a brave heroine who must save her people and the one she loves from an evil entity that........ummmmmmm.......oh boy this hurts. Seriously I'm in excruciating pain as I am writing this. Want to know the reason why? Well it's because I saw the film ALLEGIANT, the latest chapter in the DIVERGENT series and it sucked so bad that I can't believe I watched the whole movie in its entirety! What the hell is wrong with me?!? Why would info this to myself?!? Oh the pain! The pain!!

Theatrical Movie Poster
The film's official synopsis: After the earth-shattering revelations of INSURGENT, Tris (Shailene Woodley) must escape with Four (Theo James) and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Holy hell this was bad movie! Everything that you would not want to seein a movie is here: bad acting, shitty story, crappy characters, lame motivations, pure boredom at its lowest!! I think I actually became dumber after watching this! And this was originally aimed at those tween kids who liked THE HUNGER GAMESTHE MAZE RUNNER and the TWILIGHT series. I hate to say this Summit Entertainment but those movies were made for an audience that are now ADULTS!!! Those kids are now in college, have jobs, dating and such. The audience for the DIVERGENT series is no longer there! You guys totally missed the boat and came in way too late. The first film came out a year before THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 for crying out loud! Talk about being late to the party!!

To add further insult to injury, the company has now decided to release the final DIVERGENT film entitled ASCENDANT as a TV movie due to this film's very poor boxoffice take. Oh, you didn't hear about that bit of news? Well, it came to light during the San Diego ComicCon with lead actress Shailene Woodley being asked her thoughts about the film's theatrical cancellation during her panel for her upcoming film SNOWDEN. The film grossed $179.2 million at the boxoffice against its budget of $110 million. However, one needs to take into account the marketing budget they studio spent to promote the film. With that taken into consideration, the film lost money which again prompted this move that was taken by Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate.

ALLEGIANT is both a commercial and critical bomb!! This film has literally killed the franchise and will now be always referred to as the BATMAN & ROBIN of the series!! It's time to leave the tween book film adaptations behind and start making original films again. 1 out of 5 stars!! Not even worth your time!!

ALLEGIANT is still currently playing in select theaters nationwide. The film is also available on Blu-Ray and DVD as well as On Demand, digital download and at Redboxes.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees THE LEGEND OF TARZAN in 3D from Warner Bros. Pictures - July 12, 2016

When author Edgar Rice Burroughs published "Tarzan the Ape Man" in 1912, I don't think even he would know just how much of an impact his creation would have on both pop culture and society. Burroughs wrote the first 24 novels, chronicling all the action and adventure of the legendary Ape Man. In 1918, the first film adaptation of Tarzan was released but it wasn't until MGM's TARZAN THE APE MAN starring the five-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller that he really became popular. Over the past 105 years, Tarzan has appeared in several different mediums: films, cartoons, television shows, comic books, video games, stage productions, radio and, of course, novels. Now Warner Bros. Pictures have released their take on this legendary character in their newest film THE LEGEND OF TARZAN directed by David Yates and starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent.

Theatrical Movie Poster
The film's official synopsis: It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side.Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

Let me start off by say that I am a little torn here. First, it was action packed, had a great script, fantastic acting, cool special effects, intense drama and contained the spirit of Burroughs' creation. Alexander is the perfect Tarzan, one of the best interperpitation of the character in years. Hollywood's current "It" Margot Robbie (THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, FOCUS, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT and the upcoming DC Comics film SUICIDE SQUAD) shines as she brings her version of Jane: strong, tough, ballsy and not afraid to speak her mind. Mr. Samuel L. Jackson is still a bad ass and Christoph Waltz is perfectly cast as the evil antagonist Leon Rom, who will stop at nothing from accomplishing his assignment as well as kill Tarzan.

With everything I said that I loved about the film, there was a little bit of confusion that I confronted. There were a lot of characters and rivals that made it a little difficult to follow and keep track of. It takes place in Africa but it looked a little to dark and gloomy in some parts. The CGI animals for the most part were excellent but there were some scenes that looked really fake.

However, all nit picking aside, director Yates does a fine job of keeping the film moving at a well pace filled with action and character development. His previous output includes the last three HARRY POTTER films: THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PARTS 1 & 2. So he has proven that he can deliver the goods for those summer blockbusters that the studios depend on. Credit to writers Adam Cozard and Craig Bower for forgoing the normal Tarzan origin story that we've been told several times and crafting a script that shows the characters where they are now and what is going on in their lives currently.

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is a great action-filled summertime movie!! I really enjoyed it as I was transported back to my childhood, reminiscing of the old Saturday Morning Cartoon I used to watch and the old toys I used to play with. If you're a lifelong Tarzan fan, then your going to enjoy this film immensely! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended viewing!!

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including the Century Greenback 16 in Sacramento. Check your local listing to see if it is playing at a theater near you.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Phil sees INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE from 20th Century Fox - July 12,2016

When INDEPENDENCE DAY opened back in 1996, it became the biggest summer blockbuster of that year. Director Michael Bay was riding high and soon there was talk of a sequel, but that was all it was: just talk. Now, twenty years later, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE has finally arrived and fans have of the original have been waiting with anticipation. Would it be memorable? Would it live up to the hype? Would it be as good as the first film? To be honest, that would be a big fat "No" to all three questions.

Theatrical Movie Poster
The film's official synopsis: We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

Now instead of doing my usual review, I thought it would more informative and educational (not to mention hilariously fun) to list everything that was wrong with the movie, and believe me folks there were a lot of things wrong! Consider this a lesson in film critique 101. So let's begin, shall we class?

1) The filmmakers waited way too long to make the sequel.
2) The movie was totally rushed.
3) We're bombarded with characters we don't care about.
4) All special effects and no real story.
5) Hold on a sec, was there even a story?
6) Will Smith wasn't in it. I'm perfectly fine with that.
7) Even though Michael Bay didn't direct this, it still has the typical stereotypes and barrage of military shots.
8) Another Bay trademark are all the product placements. 
9) Buy American! Buy a Chevy!
10) Ok I remember now. No, there wasn't a story.
11) Actress Patricia Whitmore, who played the President's daughter Mae Whitman in the first film, was recast with Maika Monroe because the filmmakers felt that she wasn't pretty enough. Booo!! I call bullshit on that decision!!
12) Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bret Spiner and Judd Hirsh are back and their characters are as two-dimensional as in the original.
13) Liam Hemsworth can't act. Stop trying to make him a star. He's not. Just stop it people.
14) Jessie T. Usher tries to be like Will Smith in the film but he just falls flat on his face.
15) OMG why am I still watching this piece of crap!
16) The Queen Alien in this movie looked a lot like the Queen Alien from ALIENS. I smell a lawsuit coming on. Just saying.
17) Good grief this movie sucks!
18) Sela Ward plays the President of the United States in the film and she gets killed. Thank you Hollywood for that misogynistic statement. I feel sorry for Hilary Clinton if she wins the presidency in November.
19) Holy crap this movie is long!!
20) Director Roland Emmerich's previous work includes 2012, WHITE HOUSE DOWN and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. See a theme here people?!?
21) The end credits were the best part of the movie.

So, in conclusion, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE is a total piece of crap of a film and a total waste of your time and money! Seriously, I don't think you should rent it when it comes out! Kids, just say no to bad, overblown Hollywood sequels. 2 out of 5 stars!

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE is currently playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including the Century Greenback 16 in Sacramento. Check your local listing to see if it is playing at a theater near you.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

Phil sees THE CONJURING 2 from New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Pictures - July 12, 2016

When I first saw THE CONJURING back in 2013, I said it was "The best horror film of the year." I just recently rewatched the film and it still made my skin crawl, even in the comfort of my home. That right there is the power of film and it proves that filmmaker James Wan is the master of supernatural horror. Fast forward to this past weekend and the sequel THE CONJURING 2 is finally released to theaters and yours truly went to his local cinema and sat near the front so as to absorb all the horror that was projected onto the silver screen.

Theatrical Movie Poster
The film's official synopsis: In 1977, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively) travel to London, England, where single mother Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor) believes that something evil is in her home. When Peggy's youngest daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) starts showing signs of demonic possession, Ed and Lorraine attempt to help the besieged girl, only to find themselves targeted by the malicious spirits.

James Wan has accomplished a rare and difficult feat: he made a sequel that is better than the original. That is very hard to do, especially in this day and age. Films like THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE GODFATHER PART II and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY are all perfect examples of when the sequel far surpasses the original in every way. So congratulations to Mr. Wan for this outstanding g and rare accomplishment.

Wan takes what made the first film so terrifying and cranks up to twelve. He's attention to detail is without question. From the fantastic 1970's inspired intro credits to the set-ups for his jump scares to the simple framing with disturbing sounds and music to build up the tension within a scene, Wan is, in my humble opinion, one of the best horror directors of the past twenty years and ranks among those legendary, iconic filmmakers like George Romero, John Carpenter, Tobe Hoper, Wes Craven and Dario Argento.

The film offers both familiarities and new additions for fans. Both Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return once again as Ed and Lorraine Warren, once again displaying their fanatic on-screen chemistry. However this time they are sent over to London to investigate a haunted house that has been terrorizing the Hodgson family. More specifically, this poltergeist is interested in the youngest daughter Janet and will stop at nothing till she is its new host. A huge round of applause to child actress Madison Wolfe, who puts in one the best performances ever in a horror film. Not since young Linda Blair in THE EXORCIST has a child been this horrifyingly disturbing. 

Originally, there were early reports indicating that the film was going to focus on the Amityville Investigation, which was the case that made the Warrens a household name was well as the inspiration for the 1979 horror film classic THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. The film is actually about the the equally scary Enfield Poultergeist which plagued the Hodgson's Brimsdown home in Enfield, England in the late 70's. During the film's end credits, the actual pictures of the family as well as pictures of the haunting are shown, which look absolutely authentic to this viewer.

THE CONJURING 2 is the best horror film of 2016 and the best horror sequel of the last 30 years!! If you want be scared out of your mind that you'll be sleeping with the lights on for the next two weeks, the you need to see this film!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Very highly recommend!!

THE CONJURING 2 is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including the Century Greenback 16 in Sacramento. Check your local listing to see if it is playing at a theater near you.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!