READY PLAYER ONE- Review

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Level One: Background

BRANDON: I have a serious confession here: you’d think that a self-proclaimed film critic would have seen more Spielberg films in theaters, but the tragic truth is that I haven’t seen a Spielberg movie since 2008, thanks to the infamous Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. But I decided late was better than never, so I hopped into the theater for Ready Player One, preparing to get my mind blown thanks to the masterful director’s talent, the original world crafted by nerd culture legend Ernest Cline, and the much-awaited return of the Iron Giant. So, how was the film overall? Well…

Level Two: Plot
This film takes place in a world overrun by corporations and overpopulation; the world sucks, so the only way most people can manage their lives is by entering the Oasis. The creator of which has died years ago, leaving behind an Easter Egg. This Easter Egg, when discovered, will grant the finder possession of the Oasis, trillions of dollars, and the world’s favorite hobby. When the youthful Wyatt Watts finds it, he finds himself on a quest for the way his world lives.

Level Three: Positives

This movie looks Incredible. It felt great enough seeing beloved characters introduced into a dystopian classic for this era, but when they look like the entirety of Pixar worked on every single character. And the main characters are likeable too, feeling like they’re ordinary people escaping into this wonderful world. And the action: where else can you watch the Iron Giant fighting a giant Star Wars lookalike mech, while all of the Ninja Turtles aid the Halo crew with taking out a dystopian army, with that not even being the most of the focus?

+10 points

Level Four: Negatives

The film has a problem; for its focus on the importance of reality along with fantasy, the reality part is rather dull. Maybe anything feels dull when it’s being measured against King Kong chasing the DeLorean, but it still felt like an afterthought. And the villains were extremely one dimensional too; we get it! Corporations can be evil; just watch the news. Give them some form of watchability, and we’ll be fine.

-2

Final Boss: OVERALL

Ready Player One may be far from perfect, but it still is a marvel to watch on the big screen. It was a celebration of nerd culture showing the things we love and why we love them perfectly. However, the many breaks from the wonderful world of the Oasis felt rather dull, and the villains were just groan-worthy to sit through.

RATING:

8.9/10 (B+)

King Kong (1933) Anniversary Review

By Brandon Matzke

Usually Nevin is the one who reviews these classic films, but seeing as he has never seen this film, and that it’s the film’s 85th anniversary, I decided to review it for him. Now, I have to get this out of the way, I absolutely adore this film. I consider it to be a classic, and one of the greatest “monster movies” ever, if not, the greatest “monster movie” ever. But what is it about? For you five people who have never heard of this legendary film, I’ll explain the plot.

Plot

The film takes place in the 1930s (obviously, as it was made in ‘33), and follows the fateful crew of one of the biggest risks in Hollywood history; filming an entire movie on an island nobody’s ever stepped foot on, known only as Skull Island. As they soon find out, there was a reason for that. Right when they get the right idea to leave, their leading lady (Ann Darrow, played by Fay Wray) gets kidnapped by the 25-foot hulking beast known as King Kong. Soon, it’s up to the cast and crew of this fated picture to save Ann, fighting monsters of mythical proportions along the way.

Positives

This film captures one thing perfectly; adventure. It feels like this entire film is a journey, and it’s exciting from beginning to end. And the creature effects are great too. Sure, they don’t look realistic (at all), but you can appreciate them in the sort of way you’d appreciate a stop-motion film. And the way they blend with the live-action actors is incredible too; again, not realistic, but still a wonder for the eyes. In fact, this film was the reason we have the best visual effects award at the Oscars, since they were so incredibly blown away by this film’s stop-motion techniques. And the effects aren’t the only crowning jewel; the acting is actually really good, something that isn’t seen much in effects-driven films. And the pacing is downright perfect; the film goes through it’s beginning, middle, and end seamlessly. This is something very few films have replicated, including this film’s eventual remakes and sequels. I could honestly praise this film forever, but I will admit that there is a slight problem I have with it.

Negatives

As great as the film is, I do sort of wish we got to know more about Kong himself. Sure, the 2005 version did this perfectly fine, but that film has a terrible problem with it’s pacing, and a very miscast Jack Black, so it does fail to compare with this film. But if you want the definitive Kong experience, I still recommend this classic.

Overall

For an effects-driven monster movie, King Kong is still a masterpiece. I absolutely adore this movie, (I even have a metallic poster of it (hard find)), So of course, I have to give this an 11/10. I highly recommend it, and I wish it was regarded as less of a dumb monster movie.

The Definitive Ranking of All Superman Movies

superman flying GIF

by Brandon Matzke

So, we’re getting a new Superman-based show (Krypton), and the much hyped Action Comics #1000 is coming out, so it would make sense to give the man of steel some attention in the spotlight. True, I do prefer his caped rival, but that doesn’t mean I hate Superman (at all). For 80 years, he’s been a symbol of hope, inspiration, and the American way. And now, we’re looking at all of his films, ranked worst to best. Let’s get this started.

WORST: Superman IV, The Quest For Peace (1987)

Man is this one a stinker. This confused attempt at protesting Nuclear warfare is more of a mess than anything, and one that even the former kings of cheese Cannon Films couldn’t save. The acting? Atrocious. The writing? ….Was there even a script? That’s not sarcasm; that’s a legitimate question I have. It’s one of those films that feels like it was just made up as they went along, mostly because of how jumbled and confused it all feels. Not to mention, the laughably bad quality of almost every scene, the terrible attempts at making new characters (Nuclear Man, anyone?), and it’s overall preachiness just makes this one hurt. 0/10.

Superman III (1983)

Despite Superman IV being way worse, that doesn’t save this unfunny attempt at making Superman a slapstick comedy. From the very opening, it’s very clear that there’s a major disconnect with everything. The previous two Superman films did have some Continue reading →

In honor of Stephen Hawking: The Theory of Everything (2014)- Review

by Nevin Hooper

Unfortunately, on March 14th, the famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, Stephen Hawking, passed away. I thought in order to remember his accomplishments, and me being a movie buff, I would review the biographical film, The Theory of Everything, starring the excellent Eddie Redmayne as Hawking.

The film follows Stephen (Eddie Redmayne, in a touching performance that earned him a worthy Best Actor Oscar), as he falls in love with a college friend, Jane (Felicity Jones, in a phenomenal performance that got her a nomination for Best Actress). All seems great until he gets diagnosed with his debilitating condition that will haunt him for the rest of his life, though he is still determined to figure out the answer to the universe, and struggles to keep his relationship with Jane.

First, let’s talk about the best part of this movie, Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne totally disappears into this character, and is unbelievably great as Hawking, portraying his physical appearance, and his little moments of intelligence and kindness perfectly. I never saw Redmayne throughout the entire movie, I only saw Stephen Hawking, and his performance must be seen to believe.

Felicity Jones never gets talked about for her performance in this movie. She is so overshadowed by Eddie Redmayne’s exceptional performance that Jones never seems to be mentioned for her equally phenomenal performance. While, yes, she didn’t have to do as much as Eddie Redmayne, her emotional strength is still extremely powerful, showing her emotional imbalance for Stephen perfectly, and very much earned that Best Actress nomination.

The music in this movie was stunning. I loved everything to do with music in this movie; it was quiet, yet at times it was grand and wondrous. It was sad, yet it was mesmerizing, and was just fantastic.

The direction was very calm, yet fast paced, which contributed to the mood of the film, also helped by the excellent.

I love this movie, it was emotional. It was powerful It resonated with me. Enough to give it an 11/10.

Black Panther Movie Review: Always Bet on Black

by Brandon Matzke

Rating: PG-13

Well, I finally saw a new movie in theaters this year! Yay! You see, I avoid the movies during January and February, due to the low-quality material usually put out. But the moment that a great new movie comes out (or at least a pretty good one), my film-going experience kicks off once again. But back on the subject, how was Black Panther? Well… Continue reading →