Since 2013 Warner Bros has taken DC Comics in a new direction with their movies as they seek create a cinematic universe of their very own. So far the DC Films (or the DC Extended Universe) has had five films to its name but the new franchise has been, more or less, met with criticism-both sensical and a bit ridiculous. Personally I have enjoyed the DC Films as, despite some issues, the films have ranged from enjoyable, different, solid and down right underrated. I realize this not a popular statement to make but that is the curse of having my own opinion. Be that as it may, despite the setbacks this cinematic universe presses on with its next film in the series: Aquaman. Directed by James Wan Aquaman centers on the iconic hero known for talking to fish. The character made his official debut in last year’s Justice League but now the hero sets out on his own; but the question is does Aquaman sink or swim? Seeing the film for myself I can safely say that Aquaman does not just swim but rides the cinematic ocean with the greatest of ease.
When it comes to superhero movies the likes of Spider-Man remains a prevalent name in the genre. Whether he is swinging in solo adventures or teaming up Earth Mightiest Heroes, the Wall Crawler continues to grace the silver screen and play an important role in both and pop culture. This year has been a unique one for Spider-Man as the series saw its first spin-off with Venom; which managed to find success in the fall season. Now the franchise swings into new territory with the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Directed by the team of Bob Perisichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman Into the Spider-Verse was developed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who are known for their work in films such as The Lego Movie. Since the first trailer I have been enthralled by this movie as the animation alone was enough for me to check this movie out; plus I am a Spider-Man fan. After seeing the movie for myself all my senses tingled as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not just a great animated film but perhaps the most dynamic superhero film to swing into theaters this year.
Since Disney has entered a new renaissance in their animation studio there have been several films to leave their mark in the cinematic world. Among these decorated movie is the film about a video game villain of all things. In 2012 Wreck-It Ralph crashed onto the silver screen and what a treat it ended up being. Along with its references to all things gaming Wreck-It Ralph featured a fantastic adventure with colorful characters. With the film’s success it did not surprise me that a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph would find its way to theaters. It took longer than expected but at long last the Ralph(John C.Reilly) and Venelope(Sarah Silverman) return in Ralph Breaks the Internet; or other wise known as Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnson, Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the Disney Videogame characters to a whole new world leading to a much bigger concept. Initially I was excited for the movie but after seeing trailers for the film my anticipation for Ralph Breaks The Internet wavered a bit. However that did not stop me from seeing the new Disney film, and after seeing if for myself I can say that Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel that while entertaining was rather lukewarm.
For years Harry Potter has played a major role in pop culture as the popular book series transcended from the page to the silver screen with 8 movies to its name; and it has become a big role in the world of cinema ever since. However, just when it seemed we had seen the last of the Wizarding World, the franchise would expand with 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film told the tale of Newt Schamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his adventure through a 1920 New York City. The movie was a hit to say the least and when it came to this Film Adventurer’s opinion it is among one of the best films in the Wizarding World franchise. Needless to say I found myself curious just where this new series would go next and it looks like I will get that answer in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Grindlewald. The Crimes of Grindlewald once again sees David Yates return to this Magical World to direct the new installment. This sequel had plenty riding on it as it not only had continue the story of the first film but also be the bridge to its sibling series. The end result was a sequel that, while not possessing the same magic of its predecessor, was still an enjoyable continuation.
When it comes to Christmas there have been many pop culture characters to define the season with the likes of Scrooge and Santa himself playing a major role in various mediums. Among these prominent characters is one who is green and hates Christmas; in fact he hates Christmas a lot. This character is none other than the Grinch from Dr/Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The character was made famous from the 1966 animated television special by Chuck Jones, but The Grinch has already been adapted for the big screen in the 2000 live action film by Ron Howard. Now the story returns to theaters with a new animated adaptation directed by Scott Moiser and Yarrow Cheney and produced by none other than Illumination Entertainment. I figured it was only a matter of time before The Grinch would return to silver screen and that was all the more reason to give this movie chance. After enduring this new animated feature I have to say that while it may not have the charm of the 1966 television special, there was a sense of festivity behind The Grinch.
When it comes to Christmas there have been many stories to capture the festive season on a celluloid format. From A Christmas Carol to It’s a Wonderful Life the spirit of Christmas has been interpreted in a number of ways in the entertainment world. Among the notable tales is none other than The Nutcracker. The story by ETA Hoffman plays a pivotal role for the holiday season as the tale is constantly told in numerous ways such as Marius Petipa’s iconic ballet and the numerous film adaptations. Now the classic story comes to life yet again in the new Disney film-The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, as well as Joe Johnston, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms adapts both Hoffman’s short story and the ballet to create a new take on the Christmas fairy tale. At first glance the new blockbuster looked like an interesting, albeit eccentric, take on the classic story which was more than enough to peak my curiosity. After seeing the new adaptation I must say that The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a less than magical experience for the Holiday season.
Over the years there have been many movie to define the horror genre, but none may be more prevalent than the likes of Halloween. One of the pioneers of the slasher sub genre Halloween took the world by storm when it debuted in 1978. Since then the gruesome tales of Michael Myers has been told time and again whether it was the killer’s return in Halloween: H20 or a complete retelling in Rob Zombie’s Halloween. The latest entry is indeed the latter as creeping its way to theaters is none other than Halloween. Directed by by David Gordon Green Halloween disregards the franchise’s tenure and creates a new story that continues the events of the 1978 film. While it was strange to see the filmmakers go in this direction the prospect of this entry was interesting as it could bring a refreshing take to series; not to mention recapture the essence of the original film. The end result was a sequel that was, to some extent, worthy to the name Halloween.
You can never go wrong with a good mystery. The concepts of criminal acts and dark secrets have managed to enthrall in a variety of mediums. In the case of movies criminal acts can play a vital role in a multitude genres; whether it is a murder mystery or a heist film. This is evident in the latest thriller hitting the big screen: Bad Times at the El Royale. Directed and written by Drew Goddard Bad Time at the El Royale takes the concept of strangers in untimely circumstances and brings a sense of style to the idea- which was definitely apparent in the film’s trailers. That was all the more reason for me to check out this new crime thriller. So on a cloudy night I checked out this mysterious movie, and what a great time Bad Time at the El Royale ended up being.
For years the movie world has been familiar with the wall crawling, quip spewing, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The iconic hero of Marvel Comics has been an established film franchise and continues to be a prominent one even to this day. Yet as popular as the Web Slinger is, so too are the characters that surround him. One in particular is none other than the dark antagonist known as Venom. Whether he is Spider-Man’s arch nemesis or the lethal protector Venom has been a vital character for both Spidey and Marvel. The character made his cinematic debut in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, and ever since then the character has been slated for a solo film. It took some time but at long last the iconic supervillain has received his own film in the movie simply known as Venom. Directed by Reuben Fleischer Venom is not only a rebooted tale for the character but also slated to be the first of Sony’s very own series of Spider-Man spin-offs films. Needless to say there is plenty riding on this movie. Well the time had finally come to see if Venom had what it took to stick on the silver screen, and after watching the film I have to say this spin-off movie is a little bittersweet.
Superheroes are an all too common concept in this day and age. The idea of heroes saving the day has branched off into a number of mediums including televisions and of course movies. It is no different for the likes of anime as making a scene for Toei Animation is none other than My Hero Academia. The manga by Kohei Horikoshi is becoming a global hit as the story of Izuku Midoriya becoming the world’s greatest hero continues to grow in popularity. It has come to the point where the anime has followed many before it and gained its very own movie-My Hero Academia:Two Heroes. Directed by Kenji Nagasaki Two Heroes brings the uprising series to the big screen which could very well bridge My Hero’s popularity into a new format. The film has been in Japanese theaters since August and now the movie has arrived here in the states for a limited release. Animes transitioning to a celluloid format is no easy feat as it can contrast with a series’ storytelling. So for me the question going into this movie was could My Hero Academia make this transition? After watching the movie I can safely say that My Hero Academia: Two Heroes is indeed a solid outing for the series.