100% Accurate Movie Predictions for 2015

4 01 2015

Well it’s that time of the year again, where I make shockingly-on-point predictions about upcoming cinematic offerings. These have all been carefully selected using Google and an impossibly low level of effort. Are we in for a treat this year, or a big, steaming pile of sequels?

 

Tak3n

Stop taking his blasted stuff!

January 9- Taken 3

Haha! That last question was a joke! Get ready for the third Taken movie- hot on the heels of the first mediocre sequel. So, what gets taken this time, besides Liam Neeson’s soul? Well it turns out the only thing taken this time (SPOILER ALERT) is Bryan Mill’s wife- permanently. Yep, remember those happy endings, where he saves his family and reunites with his wife Lenore (Famke Janssen)? Well, to quote the studios, “Forget that junk, let’s have Neeson get framed for her murder!” Meanwhile, the CIA, FBI and police all try to hunt down our hero.

Prediction: It’s Liam Neeson kicking butt, so you can bet this will at least enjoy mild success for a weekend or two. Word of mouth will ultimately kill it, because some people will miss the whole American-beating-up-foreigners aspect.

 

mila_kunis

I see we’re trying the Matrix outfits again.

Feb 6- Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is found on Earth by Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered action hero, who tells her she’s important (because of confusing reasons or something) and will “alter the balance of the cosmos” (I swear that’s a quote from the official description). Also, Jupiter Jones is a terrible name.

Prediction: The promos say “From the Creators of the Matrix Trilogy,” which isn’t the best reference, but honestly have the Wachowski siblings come out with anything else that’s worth mentioning? If all people mercifully remember is the first Matrix movie, and nothing else about the other two, you may get some tickets from an audience that’s willing to forgive Mila Kunis for her awful witch in Oz the Great and Powerful.

 

Feb 13- Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this article, you are already an educated and discerning individual who doesn’t need my sarcasm to know a bad movie.

Prediction: Some will say this embarrassing pimple of a film didn’t go far enough, and others too far. Either way, let’s have a moment of silence for all the poor bro’s who will get forced into the theater by their emotionally-unstable significant others.

 

Kevin James

Wow! April looks awful!

April 17- Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Paul Blart (Kevin James) continues his cautionary tale for washed-up comedians in the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Mall Cop. I sure hope there’s some fat jokes in this one!

Prediction: Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy will be jealous they weren’t involved. The positive side is you can instantly de-friend anyone on Facebook who mentions this film in a positive light.

 

Avengers_teaser

*Spider-Man not included.

May 1- The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and the rest of the Avengers reassemble to further build their retirement funds. Expect awkward conversations about why they didn’t assemble to help out on Thor 2, where the universe practically imploded, or why not even one of them called to check up on Captain America after his near-death experience. Also count on Captain Cameo (Stan Lee) making an appearance.

Prediction: Hah, you don’t need a blog to tell you that this movie will create a shower of gold bars over Marvel Studios, and will push them full steam into their next 75 comic book movies.

May 15- Pitch Perfect 2

Because the ladies need something to watch while their guy friends watch Avengers the third weekend in a row.

Prediction: See above.

 

Comic-Con

Because Disney World was closed.

June 12- Jurassic World

Imagine a world where citizens are willing to pay to see dinosaurs up-close again, even after one or two disastrous encounters where lives were lost. Imagine this awful business plan is again picked up by well-meaning but ultimately profit-driven people in suits who know that the jaded public will fall for anything. Are the story writers being intentionally ironic with us?

Prediction: Obviously this isn’t going to be better than the original, so the most I can hope for this is gentle critics and lowered expectations from fans. Because profits…find a way.

 

Jai Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator heads hate sunny fields.

July 1- Terminator: Genisys

It’s a new Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) and a new Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke)…with an aging Terminator robot (Aging Arnold Schwarzenegger) in an alternate timeline. Apparently Terminators actually age now. They probably will have a crazy shootout scene in the Terminator Retirement Home, with all the other time-traveling robot assassins who couldn’t take out one dude.  At least the misspelled title will drive my OCD friends crazy.

Prediction: Arnold hasn’t been the biggest draw lately, and this is a tired series that should have gone to bed a couple of decades ago. They’ll probably draw a profit, but we won’t be telling our grandchildren about where we were when we first saw Terminator: Genisys.

 

Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence

(Cue whistling)

Nov 20 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

It’s the second part of a sequel to a sequel, based on the least popular book of The Hunger Games trilogy. Even with all that cynicism, you and I will probably be in the ticket line opening weekend.

Prediction: If I remember correctly, Part I didn’t do as well in theaters, partly because of the extra fluff inserted to make the book into two movies. However, it’s the last entry of the movie series, so it’ll draw in enough profit to finance a giant party in The Capitol.

Star Wars

Admit it. You just stopped breathing for a moment.

December 18 – Star Wars: Episode VII

Like a jilted lover who doesn’t know any better, the nerd in everyone will return to the Star Wars universe this winter. Our favorite characters are now 30 years older, but there will be no Jar Jar Binks or whiny pre-Vader. Could this be the movie that finally brings balance to the Lucas? Or is it a trap?

Prediction: It’s probably a trap. But a very effective trap that will take all our money.





The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review

2 11 2014

mockingjay_part_1_symbol

Mockingjay was my least favorite novel out of the trilogy, so there was no giggling with anticipation from me before as I sat in the theater (not that there would normally be anyway). The main drawback of the book (besides the ending) had to be Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) regression as a character. I suppose Suzanne Collins may have been trying to illustrate PTSD (the games were pretty dramatic), but I (and other vocal readers) became frustrated with her wallowing around for several chapters. Thankfully, this part of the story was downsized for the movie, but it was easier to see all the pressures and forces that caused those feelings in the first place. Is District 13 any better than the games? Well, yes, but Katniss still feels like a pawn, and meanwhile the districts are dying for her.

 

Jennifer Lawrence

Katniss- now with less angst!

Part 1 is slower-paced than the previous two movies were, but it still retains its cast of familiar, interesting characters. It’s great to see Philip Seymour Hoffman continue to deliver as Plutarch Heavensbee. Plutarch didn’t come across as particularly likable in the books to me, but with Hoffman’s portrayal he actually became one of my favorite characters to watch. The actor’s early passing will always be a shame. Julianne Moore’s President Coin comes across as somewhat-sympathetic jerk who should listen more to Heavensbee’s advice on sensitivity. Speaking strictly on what we’ve seen on screen on Part 1, I can understand her and Plutarch’s actions with Katniss- propaganda fuels wars, since they’re the underdogs. She was noticeably softened in this portrayal.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Julianne Moore

Impressed and Not Impressed.

 

Propaganda and ulterior motives take center stage for most of the movie. Basically all the action sequences start with either a Mockingjay trip or a Peeta interview in The Capitol.  Peeta appears on TV, and Katniss is told to go to X location for a shoot. Katniss performs the Mockingjay, and we see a battle/uprising scene. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it- I liked how we saw outside of District 13 all through the movie, quite unlike the book. The dam scene stands out as one of the better parts of the film- perfectly choreographed and also composer James Newton Howard’s best work of the soundtrack.

 

Donald Sutherland Josh Hutcherson Jena Malone

One of these people gets literally 3 seconds of screen time…

 

Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) unfortunately takes a back seat for the movie, with really only one noteworthy scene. That’s disappointing because he was memorable in the earlier films, and here he’s mostly limited to jokes about forced sobriety. However, we do get an unexpected treat thanks to the writers- Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), who was noticeably absent in the novel (I think she was in the Capitol the whole time?) steals a few scenes with her adjustments to District 13. She also took a scene or two that was originally written for Hoffman, rewritten for her after his passing. Honestly, without hearing that, I wouldn’t have noticed since Banks fulfills the role so well.

 

Woody Harrelson

Sober and Sad.

 

To sum up, I was pleasantly surprised by how the movie improved on a lesser book, but parts of the movie felt like padding. I know Harry Potter ended with a two-parter, but we’re talking about a much larger book. I’m sure my final impression of this will rely on part 2, but so far we have a very well-done setup for the final act. Let’s hope they improve on THAT part as well.

 

Basically.

Basically.

 

 





The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

28 11 2013

catching-fire-movie-poster

Katniss and Peeta Bread return for round two of The Friend Zone Games in Catching Fire, and to be honest, hopes weren’t high for me going into the theater. Maybe it was the minimal story told in the first film (yeah I can be a book snob).Maybe it was the movie’s ultra-photoshopped posters that made it look like some sort of shallow teen drama on The CW. For whatever reason, the odds weren’t favorable (sorry, my one and only pun here). But sometimes, it’s good to have your expectations surprised with a genuinely enjoyable journey through Panem.

Donald Sutherland President Snow

Right before his big song solo.

That’s right! This time there’s at least an extra half hour of content to add a little background and character development- and it shows. As far as the actual writing and plot of the movie, I feel like this time they actually managed to capture the essence of the novel. Overall the story moves at a more relaxed speed that gives us more of a chance to get into the world. A highlight for me was all the new characters that are introduced, probably because the actors and actresses are a perfect fit. Even characters I didn’t really care for in the book (looking at you Finnick) were entertaining. Johanna (Jena Malone) and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) in particular were my favorites and added a bit of flavor to whatever scene they appeared in.

Nuts and Volts

Beetee: Making science cool.


The returning cast also improved and seem to be more comfortable in their roles. Somehow, Caesar’s character and Effie’s costumes are even more outrageous. It’s always fun to watch actors who are obviously enjoying their role, and Stanley Tucci as Caesar could not be having a better time apparently. He stole each of his scenes with his over-the-top shallow gleefulness. Effie comes across as more likable now that she actually wants to help our District 12 tributes (but of course is pitifully helpless). She’s sort of become a likable version of Lady Gaga.

Enjoying his role way too much.

Enjoying his role way too much.

Woody Harrelson also deserves a special shout out as being incredibly likable as Haymitch. Of course, Jennifer Lawrence proves again that she’s the right choice for this lead and more than just another young face for Hollywood. Her facial expressions when Katniss finds out about District 12 at the end conveyed more emotions than Kristen Stewart’s entire acting career.

Alcoholic role model.

Alcoholic role model.

Finally, the special effects are generally good, with even the fire costumes looking a little more polished. The fog and the mutt monkeys were particularly well-done, and may or may not have given me nightmares. As usual, James Newton Howard’s soundtrack is indispensable to setting the tone and emotion of the tale.

peeta and katniss parade flames

AAUUUGHH IT BURNS

Altogether, I really enjoyed this movie, although I’m a little concerned about how the studio decided to split the third book (by far my least favorite) into two films. I understand they want to make more profit, but this is still young adult literature- how much can they drag it out? Heck, at least Harry Potter’s last book was the size of a dictionary. Catching Fire may prove to be this trilogy’s Empire Strike Back (that means the best entry for you sheltered movie fans). But hey- maybe the writers will use a little artistic license to, I don’t know, change the disappointing ending of the third book (readers, you know what I’m talking about). Until then, at least we have two good movies to enjoy.

hunger-games-meme-queen-elizabeth