Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2019

Movie Review: "The Highwaymen" Goes Down Mostly Familar Roads, But Does it In Style

THE HIGHWAYMEN Starring Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, John Carrol Lynch, Kim Dickens, Thomas Mann, William Sadler,  W. Earl Brown, Emily Brobst, Edward Bossert Written John Fusco Directed by John Lee Hancock Reviewed by Patrick & Paul Gibbs   Out of Four Director John Lee Hancock has never been a cutting edge kind of guy. Armed with a filmography that includes The Rookie, The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks , he's a straight shooter who specializes in straightforward character oriented crowd pleasers for people who like to lean back in their seats and say "they don't make pictures like that anymore", aren't interested in big surprises and prefer comforting throwbacks to groundbreaking, daring art or effects filled blockbusters. But he is very good at what he does, and he knows how to deliver. In Hancock's latest,  The Highwaymen,  it's 1934,  and murderers and robbers Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow and Henry Methvyn sta

Celebrating 40 Years of The Making of ‘The Empire Strikes Back!’ Guest Post by Justin Berger

Imperial Stormtroopers pursue the escaping Rebels as they flee Cloud City In 1980 The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters and broke box office records. Not surprising in hindsight given it was the sequel to the most popular film ever made, but during production George Lucas wasn’t sure if the film was going to be the huge hit everyone expected it to be. With budget problems, extended shooting schedules, disgruntled actors and major setbacks seemingly every step of the way, Empire was not an easy film to make. While 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, I wanted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the making of the film which took place 40 years ago today and go back and revisit some of the highlights as well as the ups and downs that occurred during the creation of this epic movie. Four decades ago filmmaker George Lucas handed the reins of his big budget Star Wars sequel over to director Irvin Kershner and producer Gary Kurtz. Having just finished

Movie Review: "Hotel Mumbai" is Good Film Coming Out At A Bad Time

Starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Suhail Nayyar,  Tilda Cobham-Hervey,  Alex Pinder, Carmen Duncan and Jason Isaacs Screenplay by John Collee and Anthony Maras Directed by Anthony Maras Reviewed by Patrick & Paul Gibbs  Out of Four When it comes to films chronicling terrorist attacks, particularly those from within the past 20 years, there's always the question of whether it is in bad taste or even whether it is exploiting a horrific event. This was already an issue for Hotel Mumbai  even before the horrific events in Christchurch just two weeks ago (the film has been pulled from release in New Zealand), but as it stands now, it is easily the most unfortunately timed major release since Death Wish opened immediately following the Parkland shootings. It's hard to imagine audiences rushing out to see the film now. The film chronicles the Mumbai attacks of  November 2008, when 10 members of  Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organiza

The Indiana Jones Films and Life - A Guest Post By Brad Monastiere

We have another wonderful guest post, this time from Brad Monastiere who explains why the Indiana Jones movies are so important to him. Outside of my family, I don’t think any three real-life individuals influenced me as a boy the way George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John Williams did. I was born in 1973, making me the ripe-old age of 4 when Star Wars: A New Hope was released. I still vividly recall to this day, being so angry that Darth Vader got away. He was the bad guy, and well, it just wasn’t fair! If only a soothsayer had been present that early summer day in Southeast Michigan to assure me that because of his survival, no fewer than five more Star Wars films would be coming out. As I was able to understand the timeless story that is Star Wars at such a young age, so I was also able to get caught up in the thrills of the Indiana Jones saga at a similar stage in my life. Looking back, I am astonished at how the release of each of those four films has coincided with a sta

Movie Review: Tim Burton's "Dumbo" Can't Fly Above a Bad Script or Overacting

DUMBO Starring Colin Farrell, Eva Green Danny DeVito, Alan Arkin and Michael Keaton Screenplay by Ehren Krueger Directed by Tim Burton   Out of Four Reviewed by Patrick & Paul Gibbs Walt Disney's 1941 Dumbo is a beloved and revered classic of animation, breaking new ground for Disney in terms of expanding past the tried and true public domain fairy tales, and it's filled with heart, laughter and beauty. Some aspects of it haven't aged well, between the issue of animal mistreatment in the circus (particularly in regards to elephants) and of course the infamous, cringe inducing sequence of "Jim Crow" and his cohorts doing what amounts to a feathery minstrel show (we confess, we loved that sequence when we were ignorant children, and we still have an attachment to the characters. And truthfully, kids these days are still pretty oblivious to any insulting racial subtext. But it's there, and it's a problem). So there was room to make some alt

Movie Review: "Shazam!" Is Lightning in a Bottle

SHAZAM! Starring Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Gazier, Djimon Hounsou, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Faithe Herman Story by Henry gayden and Darren Lemke Screenplay by Henry Gayden Directed by David F. Sandberg Reviewed by Patrick & Paul Gibbs   Out of Four First off all, as Shazam ! is a story of a kid turning into a superhero, let's get the major immaturity factors out the way now: you are allowed to enjoy this movie without it reflecting on your status as a Marvel geek. We get it, you're a Marvel person, and the DCEU doesn't measure up (except for Wonder Woman. If you don't think Wonder Woman was as good many of the best MCU movies/better than the lesser ones, you are too hardcore to talk to other people). Even more importantly, this is not a "the original male Captain Marvel vs. Female Captain Marvel who is direct attack against decency, traditional white he-man hood and testosterone" (if you think this way, w

Steven Spielberg’s Always: 30 Years later

Guest blogger,  Fran Del Pizzo takes a look at Steven Spielberg's underrated, 'Always' Few films in Steven Spielberg’s oeuvre are as contentious as the 1989 romantic drama Always. Tending to occupy a spot near the bottom of the list in articles that rank the directors’ body of work, it is also, in the vein of Empire of the Sun (1987) and 1941 (1979) one of his lesser successful works commercially too. Despite this, it’s clear that the film was a very personal project for its director - his admiration for the Victor Fleming film that it was based upon, and the timing of his decision to make the picture at a key moment in his own life, as well as the themes and motifs that Always explores, makes it a fascinating film to look back upon on its 30 year anniversary. On a personal note, it is, along with The Terminal (2004), my favourite ‘underrated’ entry in the long career of its director and one that should be re-reviewed as a ‘quintessential Spielberg film’ (Koresky, 2012)

Spielberg and other top Hollywood gurus introduce Apple TV+

Apple TV+ Announced.  Steven Spielberg On Hand To Promote New Streaming Service. Today, Apple unveiled their new streaming service to rival the other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.  The increasingly crowded streaming on-demand competition has now got the likes of Apple to deal with and the tech company pulled out all the punches today with their announcement.  Steven Spielberg led a glamorous group of stars as they took to the stage to announce Apple TV+. Other stars on hand were Reese Witherspoon, J.J, Abrams, Jennifer Aniston. Steve Carell, Jason Momoa and even Big Bird from Sesame Street. Apple TV+ is going to be big and Apple are eager to make it work as they have reportedly invested over a billion dollars in the new venture.  Steven Spielberg was on hand and of course the director has an interest in Apple as they announced last year that one of the launch titles will be the return of Amblin's "Amazing Stories." The Bearded Trio

Brand New X-Wing Star Wars Po-Zu Sneakers

Now Star Wars fans have the chance to stride out in X-Wing Pilot style thanks to Po-Zu Sneakers. Perfectly formed for speed and agility the X-Wing fighters soar across our screens with impressive ease. Is it the dalliance with death that compels, us or the odds against survival? Either way there is nothing more central to the Star Wars story than the brash and brazen X Wing Pilots. Their suspense, skill and one-in-a-million shots fired against all odds of survival make up the very essence of the films. X-WING Red £59 (approx $78) Lands in Online Store Saturday 23rd March, 6am PDT (San Fran) 9am EST (New York) and 1pm GMT (UK) Fast international shipping and immediate dispatch. Get in time for Star Wars Celebration - Chicago 2019! Pu-Zu's latest Star Wars shoe shows vivid schematic detail of X-Wing fighters in action next to a striking helmet design. Screen printed onto organic cotton canvas with a red embroidered label, red foxing detail and s