The worlds of DC continues to expand. The DC Films (or DC Extended Universe) has had its ups and downs, but it continues to make a name for itself with recent releases such as Aquaman and Shazam. The latest film from the shared universe takes a step on the wild side by centering on the one and only Harley Quinn. Since her debut in Batman: The Animated Series, the supervillain has become a major player for DC by being part of numerous comics and making her cinematic debut in 2016’s Suicide Sqaud. Now the anti hero breaks away from the Joker and the Squad to star in her own movie: Birds of Prey (aka Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn or Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey). Directed by Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey is both a spin off to Suicide Squad as well as an introduction to DC’s team of superheroines. Despite the notoriety of its central character, this film looked to be a gamble in more ways than one. While it took me some time to see it, I ventured to experience the new superhero film and when it came right down to it: Birds of Prey was an enjoyable film.
A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, a film by the name of Star Wars flew into theaters and became a cinematic legend. Star Wars would not only gain two sequels, but an additional trilogy as well which turned the series into a saga. In recent years, after a decade of being absent from the big screen, Star Wars would return with a brand new trilogy. The adventure began with nostalgic Episode VII, The Force Awakens, and continued with the unexpected Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Now the story that started in 2015 comes to an end with Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Directed by JJ Abrams, The Rise of Skywalker is not just an ending for its respected trilogy, but it is also marked as the final chapter in The Skywalker Saga. It goes without saying that bringing a nine film saga to a conclusion would be a difficult venture in its own right; so needless to say there was much riding on Episode IX. Naturally I journeyed to see this grand finale for myself and, while its execution was surprising, The Rise of Skywalker managed to be a satisfying conclusion.
Murder Mysteries can be an enticing concept. The idea of solving an unsolvable murder has been a captivating story that has been proven effective in a number of mediums; from the novels of Agatha Christie to the various crime dramas seen on television. However, while the idea endures, murder mysteries can be a dime and a dozen and if you have seen one then there is a chance that you have seen them all. However that may not be the case for the newest mystery sleuthing its way to the big screen: Knives Out. Directed by Rian Johnson, Knives Out looked to be an intriguing crime as the trailers put a spin on the concept of murder mysteries. The movie has received an array of positive reviews but could this new mystery steal the respect of this Film Adventurer? Well after seeing it for myself I must admit that while the film gets a little tangled, Knives Out is indeed an homage to its genre.
Disney has had many animated hits over the years like the enchanted spectacle of Beauty and the Beast, or the adventurous appeal of The Lion King. However, in recent years, one title has dominated the scene and become a household name in the House of Mouse, and that film is none other than Frozen. Based on the fairytale of the Snow Queen, Frozen took the world by storm with its adventurous tale, memorable characters and catchy songs. Needless to say Frozen became a success and naturally, when this kind of thing happens to a movie, a sequel is put in the works; though when it pertains to Disney, their animated sequel tend not to get follow ups (at least not on the big screen). However that is not the case for Frozen as now in theater is the highly anticipated Frozen 2. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen 2 continues to tale of two sisters who embark on another adventure. To say this movie had a blistering battle ahead of itself may be the understatement of the year as Frozen 2 not only had to live up to this year’s array of blockbusters, but its predecessor as well. The end result was the latter as while Frozen 2 may not have been as impactful as the 2013 film, it was certainly an enjoyable experience.
When it comes to Disney’s live action adaptations this year has certainly been crazy. The trend of Disney recreating their animated classics has been going on for several years now, but this year has certainly been the epitome of the trend. From Dumbo to The Lion King, this year has featured an array of titles from Disney’s vault and it is hard to imagine that studio what could come up with next. Well as it turns out there was one more film to take center stage and that would be none other than Lady and the Tramp. The 1955 film receives a new take with Charlie Bean in the director’s chair, but this adaptation comes not to the big screen but one of a more variable scale as the new movie is featured on Disney’s streaming service: Disney+. With Disney bringing new movies to this services, and the fact that I have watched the four previous adaptations from the year, I had to see this new take for myself. Truth be told Lady and the Tramp has never been a cherished classic to me so I was not expecting much from this new adaptation. However, while the film does not break new ground, I must admit Lady and the Tramp was quite enjoyable.
In 1980 a film by the name of The Shining crept into theaters and the movie world was forever changed. The adaptation of Steven Kings’ novel has been heralded as not just one of the best horror movies of all time but also one of the best films to ever grace the silver screen. Now in 2019, a year that has seen an array of Stephen King films, the holiday season gets a little eerie with the release of Doctor Sleep. The 2013 novel continues to the events of The Shining with Danny all grown up and the new film, directed by Mike Flanagan, is as much an adaption to the book as it is a sequel in the 1980 classic. Living up to The Shining is certainly no easy feat but Doctor Sleep certainly looked promising with its impressive trailers. Naturally, I was curious to see what was in store for this suspenseful looking adaptation; so on a dark and stormy night I ventured to this new movie and I must say Doctor Sleep did not disappoint.
The concept of superheroes continues to be captivating in the world of pop culture. The idea of heroes fighting crime is one that has been told many times in a variety of ways. However heroes are only as good as the villains they face, and in the case of Batman (while the Dark Knight has many foes) the one rogue that truly defines him is none other than the Joker. For years the Clown Prince of Crimes has been an iconic character in not just comic books but other mediums such as film as the Joker has been depicted five different times on the silver screen. With the superhero genre continuing to thrive, it was only a matter of time that this notorious villain would receive his very own own movie; and that movie has at last come to theaters in the form of Joker. Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker is a unique take on both the character and the Batman mythos as this standalone film creates its origin story for the sadistic clown. With cinematic universes playing such a major role for comic book movies these days, it can be difficult for a movie such as this one to stand out; and there is also the obstacle of interpreting Joker correctly to deal with. However what transpired was not just a movie that did the character justice, but shook the very foundation of comic book and superhero movies alike.
Dreamworks have made quite a name for themselves over the years. The animation studio has found an array of success with films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. However along with its hits the studio has had its share of misses as well; whether it was trying to start a new franchise or simply doing something different. Needless to say, it seems that Dreamworks is taking another chance with their newest film hitting theaters: Abominable. Directed by Jill Culton Abominable is a joint production by Dreamworks and Chinese studio Pearl (who have collaborated before with Kung Fu Panda 3) and centers on a Yeti in China. I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to this animated feature. Seeing the previews for the movie did not do much for my enthusiasm as it looked like a typical animated adventure with standard characters and decent animation. Regardless, I went to see the film and after going on this journey I find myself surprised as, when it pertains to standalone movies, Abominable is among Dreamwork’s best.
When thinking about action movies there are several iconic characters that have defined the genre. Among these heroes is none other than the grizzled soldier Rambo. The character debuted in 1982’s Rambo: First Blood and the film became an instant classic. Since then the character has been featured in four sequels where the action continued to get more intense and sometimes a little ridiculous. It has been sometime since the action hero has graced the silver screen; so naturally one would think that Rambo’s war has come to an end. However that is not the case as now in theaters is the fifth installment in the action franchise-Rambo:Last Blood. Directed by Adrian Grunberg, Last Blood sees the seasoned hero return in what appears to be one final time. That prospect alone was enough to see this sequel, and if nothing else it could be an exciting action film.The end result was a movie that lived up to the name Rambo-albeit in a subtle fashion.
When it comes to directors with a unique vision, none may be more prominent than that of Quinten Tarantino. Since his work on Reservoir Dogs, the acclaimed filmmaker has brought his sense of style to an array of movies such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Bastards and more recently The Hateful Eight. Now Tarrantino is back with his ninth motion picture and this time the director takes moviegoers to the land of the stars: Hollywood. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a dramedy that depicts the stardom city during the 60’s. A film centering on a life in Hollywood is nothing new, but when you mix this concept with Quinten Tarantino, the end result could lead to anything. In this case what transpired was a film that was not only unique for the season, but unique for Tarantino himself.