The beginning of the summer movie season
provides some big hits and catastrophic flops
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
While cheesy, this teen comedy provides laughs and a heartfelt story that many will enjoy. Blockers follows three parents as they try to prevent their teenage daughters from having sex on prom night. This plot is absolutely ridiculous and has you questioning the logic and the behavior of the characters from start to finish. However, the film’s comedic elements and the stellar chemistry from the cast provide a very enjoyable experience. Most of the jokes were clever, and the non-stop pacing keeps you engaged throughout. Additionally, there are some very moving moments that both parents and students can relate to. The biggest surprise is the strong social commentary presented about how girls lose their virginity vs how guys do. John Cena proves to be a future star in Hollywood and is the film’s crowning star. The biggest flaw is the choppy editing in some scenes. In the end, Blockers is a fun theater experience that will enjoyed for years to come.
This unique sci-fi horror provides one of the most unique films of 2018 thus far. A Quiet Place follows the Abbott family, and the struggles they face while trying to hide from sound sensitive monsters in a post-apocalyptic rural landscape. John Krasinski does a fantastic job at building suspense in his directorial debut, as well as acting alongside his co-star and real life wife Emily Blunt. The child actors are great as well, and provide a great sense of family. The film is a non-stop thrill ride with very few breaks, and fits perfectly with the short runtime. The film’s only flaw is its lack of development. There are only subtle hints as to how the world becomes this way and leaves a lot to the imagination. Overall, A Quiet Place is a scary, yet intriguing film that will go down as one of the best films of 2018.
The 19th entry into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) is a change of form for the franchise and is its darkest film yet. Avengers: Infinity War follows the Avengers and their impossible task of defeating the powerful Thanos before he can conduct a universe wide genocide. The standout of the film is Josh Brolin’s portrayal of Thanos, giving fans easily one of the best MCU villains to date. The actions scenes are epic, and the set designs are mesmerizing. The characters work well with each other, and the chemistry built throughout the previous films become apparent. However, the big cast does not come without its flaws with many of the characters taking sideline roles rather than being front and center. The ending, while controversial, is a gamble that paid off for Marvel and will be talked about for years to come.
Infinity War is a great film, but should and will not receive an official rating until part two comes out next year.
Not even Dwayne Johnson can make this abysmal video game adaptation into a fun blockbuster hit. Rampage follows primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), and his attempts at stopping three genetically mutated animals from destroying Chicago. Right off the bat, this film can barely be called an action film as the only action happens in the last 20 minutes of the film. The characters all act cartoonish and provide no sense of realism whatsoever. The plot is extremely predictable and relies too much on too many improbable results all happening perfectly. Dwayne Johnson is always enjoyable to watch and the final action scene does have some moments, but the film provides little more than that. Rampage is a B-rated monster film that is taking away valuable ticket sales from better low budget films.
February and March provide the best and worst the film industry has to offer
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
The 18th film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) provides an amazing story, and the best cast the franchise has seen to date. Black Panther follows T’Challa, the king of the technologically advanced and isolated country of Wakanda, and the events that arise after he takes the throne from his recently deceased father. Chadwick Boseman does a perfect job of bringing T’Challa to the big screen, and Michael B. Jordan gives a near-perfect performance as the film’s villain, Erik Killmonger. The world-building is solid, and you feel as though you really know the world of Wakanda by the time the film ends. The ties to other MCU movies are subtle and don’t bog down the film whatsoever. The only thing the film suffers from is some below average visual effects throughout, however, this does not take away from the experience as a whole. Black Panther is one of the best superhero movies to come out in recent years and is one of the crown jewels of the MCU.
Continue reading “February/March Movie Reviews”
In a year of bland Super Bowl ads, these five commercials stood out as the most memorable and enjoyable to watch
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
#5 Austrailian Tourism Trailer
Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth shine in this Crocodile Dundee spoof trailer. Leading up to the Super Bowl, trailers featuring Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, and several others made audiences believe that a Crocodile Dundee sequel was in the works. However, everyone was fooled when it all turned out to be an elaborate advertising campaign for Australian tourism. Bravo indeed.
Continue reading “Top Five Super Bowl Ads”
The end of 2017 provides excitement in an otherwise bland year for movies
By Jimmy Fortuna-PeaK
The fifth entry into the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) provides fun action and witty humor, but fails to provide a memorable story. Justice League follows Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, Aquaman, and Superman as they team up to keep the evil Steppenwolf from destroying the world. In one word, this movie is a mess; however, there is a lot of fun to be had. Seeing all these iconic characters together on screen for the first time is an extremely satisfying feeling and the cast chemistry is, for the most part, solid. The film’s original length was three hours, but was cut down to two hours for the theaters. Because of this, the film feels like it’s constantly rushed, and lacks the proper development needed to give characters motivation. By the end of the film, there are many unresolved plot holes and loose ends. Justice League failed to live up to the hype, but its ending provides excitement for what the future of the DCEU has to hold.
Continue reading “November/December Movie Reviews”
October and November prove to be bland for filmgoers everywhere
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
This murder mystery adaptation of the popular Norwegian novel, The Snowman, starts off with an intriguing and suspenseful first act, but fails to keep its excitement and credibility throughout the runtime of the film. The Snowman follows Oslo Police homicide detective, Harry Hole, and his investigations into the mysterious murders and disappearances plaguing the city. The film, overall, has decent pacing, and there are great scenes of suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat. However, the movie confuses the audience on what it wanted its tone to be. The film’s tone is a mix between a modern day crime thriller and a neo-noir, but it never fully commits to one side. The acting is very bland, and Michael Fassbender, who is usually one of the better actors in the business, gives a rare honed in performance as Harry Hole. There are many plotlines that don’t seem relevant to the overall story arch, and the ending is unsatisfying and, quite honestly, uncomfortable. The Snowman is an extremely disappointing adaptation that fails to give a fluid and coherent story.
Rating: 2/5 Continue reading “Movie Reviews for October and November”
Here’s our picks for some of the most under-watched and under appreciated films of the past two decades
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak and Joe Ramey
The Kings of Summer follows three unhappy high school friends who decide to run away from home and live out their high school summer in the middle of the woods. This 2013 coming-of-age comedy has a stellar cast, a creative and genuine script, witty humor, and is quite possibly one of the most underrated films from the past decade. While the film contains incredible leads such as Nick Offerman, Nick Robinson, and Moises Arias, the true star of the film is its comedic, yet heartfelt script.
Screenwriter Chris Galletta creates a story that will have you laugh in some scenes, and on the verge of tears in the next. The main protagonists Joe, Patrick, and Biagio are likable characters in that they are perfect representations of different high school archetypes. Continue reading “Underrated Movies”
By tess Alekseev
Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical book The Bell Jar is a difficult topic. It’s the poet’s only novel, published in England just a month before her suicide in 1963, and posthumously in America in 1971.
On one hand, many argue that it’s a classic, and that it should be compulsory in high school literature courses: it’s witty, it’s heartbreaking, and it reaches to impossible depths of the human psyche. On the other, it’s criticized for being too depressing, too graphic, and try-hard.
Continue reading “The Bell Jar Book Review”
Here’s a look at some of the most notable films that came out in the past month
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
This unique murder mystery provides an intriguing story that gives light to some of the forgotten social issues plaguing America today. Wind River follows Corey Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a veterantracker, as he investigates the murder of a young Native American girl in a Wyoming Indian reservation. Make no mistake, this is a dark film. Both the script and cinematography contribute to the terror and discomfort of this realistic situation. Jeremy Renner is stellar as the main protagonist, and gives one of the best performances of his career. The true star of the film, however, is the script, which could be looking at a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the Oscars next year. The social injustice the Native American community goes through on a daily basis is touched upon as well, shedding light on an otherwise overlooked issue. Wind River is, unfortunately, very slow and it takes awhile for the story to fall into motion. Around 10 to 20 minutes of the film could have easily been cut to improve this. While in the midst of a very unoriginal year in film, Wind River provides a breath of fresh air and originality to the theater.
Continue reading “Movie Reviews (October 13, 2017)”
A classic, Ann Arbor, hoagie shop is a must-visit eatery
By Jillian Chesney & Jacoby Haley
Izzy’s Hoagie Shop is in a strip mall located on West Stadium Blvd in Ann Arbor, Mich. This strip mall is not very appealing to the eye, but this should not steer you away from visiting this hoagie shop. Continue reading “The Hidden Gem Reviews”
By Michael Bergamo
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Towards the end of the ‘70’s people started hearing whispers of a band called Motorhead, and their front man, Lemmy Kilmister. When the band released the album Ace of Spades in 1980, everyone knew who Motorhead was, and what they were about- not caring about anything, drinking and partying, and doing whatever they wanted. All of these band traits are heard in just about every song. Each track has the speed rock from the drums, every knob on Lemmy’s bass rig is turned to ten, and the fast distorted guitar.
Continue reading “Music Review”