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Why Everybody Loves Superheros (Flick’s Report)

Posted on | May 11, 2012 | Add Comments

It all started in 1978, when Richard Donner’s Superman, starring Christopher Reeve and Margrot Kidder. But now modern superhero films are taking the screen; no more strings to pull Superman through the sky, today it’s CG. Why are The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider Man  some of this summer’s most anticipated films? The Avengers just opened and received a 93% fresh on rottentomatoes.com, plus it broke opening weekend records with a high flying $207 million. In this article, the popularity of “masked vigilantes”, “dark knights”, “iron men”, and more will be explained.The following explanation of why superheros are so popular is a guess, not necessarily a fact. People have always wanted to be transported away from their everyday lives… so why not watch mythical beings battling evil people? “It’s a lot of fun!” says the half the world that’s now obsessed with it. Some because they love action, some because they think the A-list actors are great, and some who like the comics in the first place and say “Hey let’s go watch the movie.” This summer will feature Spider Man and Batman returning to the big screen (The Avengers was released last week). Batman will star in the presumably last film in Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. Meanwhile, Spider Man will be web slinging back onto the big screen with The Amazing Spider Man, directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer). I am expecting both to be hits, however almost certainly Dark Knight Rises will do better.These days the films doing the best at the box office are (mostly) films with lots of action; the Transformer movies, superhero movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies…The list goes on and on. Are they always good? No. Are superhero movies? No. But when they are done right they can be a joy to watch for comic fans, critics, or even just any old moviegoer. When they’re done right  you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your money. When they are done right… you can fly. (Not really, but you get the point.)

May Movie Preview (Flack’s Preview)

Posted on | May 4, 2012 | Add Comments

The AvengersAnd just when you thought I was gone….. I’m back with updated May box office predictions! And let me tell you: you have not seen this before! I will talk about The Avengers, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Dark Shadows, Battleship,What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Moonrise Kingdom, and Men In Black 3. The Avengers is the massive month of May movie that out of all these films I (and 1 billion other people who will help make it a box office success) am looking forward to the most month. NOTE 1: All the films I will talk about except The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and Dark Shadows are in 3-D. NOTE 2: OWG means opening weekend gross, DTG means domestic total gross, an ITG means international total gross all for my box office predictions. May the 4th be with you…………….always!!

The Besat Exotic Marigold HotelMay 4th: Walt Disney has made only a little over $200 million so far this year (that’s about $300 million off from the the highest amount from a studio so far which is $500 million). Luckily they’ve made a deal with Marvel Studios and are producing The Avengers. The film was released on April 27th in the rest of the world (Marvel’s foreign high was Iron Man 2‘s $316 million and this will likely surpass that number this weekend). This will definitely be the second highest grossing movie of the summer. Marvel’s largest opening weekend was Iron Man 2‘s $128 million and the lowest was The Incredible Hulk‘s $55 million. Here are some other stats: Domestic Money: Iron Man‘s $318 million is the most but The Incredible Hulk‘s $134 million is the least. International Total: The lowest was The Incredible Hulk‘s $128 million. However this film will likely do a lot better than all of those movies, not least because all the characters are being combined.Why? Fan anticipation, a recognizable previous franchise, added 3-D money, and a current 92% on Rotten Tomatoes will help this movie avenge at the box office. The will also likely beat The Hunger Games as the third highest opening weekend ever. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will likely get a weak $1 million US opening.Meanwhile this will also be a weekend where past weekend releases The Hunger Games (now 4th spot: $5 million), The Lucky One (3rd spot: $8 million), and Think Like A Man (2nd spot: $10 million) will die down. The Avengers OWG: $157 million DTG: $500 million ITG: $1 billion The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: OWG: $1 million OWG: $15 million ITG: $75 million

Dark ShadowsMay 11th: This will be one of the closest weekends of the summer. If Dark Shadows didn’t open the weekend after The Avengers then it might make more money but it will be top spot (The Avengers is safe with a $60 million second weekend, dwindling a little over 50%, similar to The Hunger Games although The Hunger Games would have done worse if it opened during the summer). Alice in Wonderland‘s $116 million opening is way out of reach but Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street‘s $9 million is also a lot lower goal. This will be in the middle of Johnny Depp\Tim Burton collaborations, which is not bad for an adaption of a 1960’s soap opera TV show. Meanwhile April releases and The Hunger Games will basically stop making money. Dark Shadows: OWG: $65 million DTG: $200 million ITG: $300 million

BattleshipMay 16th\18th: Another close weekend. Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie The Dictator will easily get $25 million, which is not terrible for an R rated political spoof comedy. Cohen’s comedies have done okay in the past and this should do just a bit worse (there are a lot of comedies being released this summer). Dark Shadows will probably have about$26 million and The Avengers is a good bet for $40 million. Meanwhile the big new opener is Battleship which will wind up close to the first Transformers movie (in tone, style, critics reviews, and box office money). The film itself looks bad, but then so does Transformers. Meanwhile, What To Expect When You’re Expecting is a star studded romantic comedy that should open fairly high, due to it’s prestigious cast lineup. The Dictator: OWG: $24 million DTG: $75 million ITG: $175 million Battleship: OWG: $70 million DTG: $210 million ITG: $310 million What To Expect When You’re Expecting: OWG: $25 million DTG: $100 million ITG: $200 millionWhat To Expect When You're Expecting

Men In Black 3May 25th: The Avengers will be massive but to a lesser extent I’m predicting Men In Black 3 will too. The two previous Men In Black films (from 1997 and 2002) mad $51 million and $52 million on their opening weekends, $250 million and $190 domestically, and $589 million and $441 million, respectively. Of course adjusted for inflation these movies made a lot more, though the second film is widely considered to be one of the most disappointing sequels in movie history. However the first is said to be a comedy classic. The latest film should be a comeback movie and after the fun, funny trailers it should open to $55 million at the least. Also the movie is in 3-D which could boost it’s box office haul. Will Smith has not been in a blockbuster since Hancock (2008 so people will have an oppurtunity to see him in an action movie again. Tommy Lee Jones is back and Josh Brolin joins as Lee’s character in the 1960’s. Meanwhile that very same weekend Moonrise Kingdom gets a limited release and the movie it should open closest to is Midnight In Paris (OWG: $5 million DTG: $56 million ITG: $148 million). Both are star studded summer romantic comedies that open Cannes. Men In Black 3: OWG: $85 million DTG: $20o million ITG: $500 million Moonrise Kingdom OWG: $5 million DTG: $60 ITG: $145 million

Moonrise KingdomMay will have a massive blockbuster (The Avengers), a small art house flick (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) a surprise success (Dark Shadows), a profitable comedy (The Dictator),a big, bad blockbuster (Battleship), a comedy success ( a comeback hit (Men In Black 3), and an indie hit (Moonrise Kingdom).  I can’t wait to see The Avengers and Men In Black 3, I hope to see Moonrise Kingdom, and wish I could see Dark Shadows. Bye- Bye!!!!!

Summer Movies 2012: Part 3

Posted on | May 2, 2012 | 3 Comments

This is the last of the three Summer movie previews. I’m going to talk about the movies that I’m personally looking forward to this summer. I will also predict what rating I’ll give the movies out of 5 and give an overview of other films coming out (that I don’t really want to see). Don’t forget to read Summer Movie Preview Part 1 (Flack’s Box Office Predictions) and Summer Movie Preview Part 2 (Flack’s Critics Predictions). Hope you enjoy “The Epic Conclusion To The Summer Movie Legend”. Clue: Watch the trailers of all the films I talk about and find what movie I just referenced.

The AvengersMovies I’m Most Anticipating:

The Avengers This 2 hour 22 minute super hero epic movie looks very entertaining. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor will assemble, along with Black Widow, the Hulk, Nick Fury, and newcomer Hawkeye to battle Loki, Thor’s brother. If Robert Downey Jr. has great chemistry with all the other actors, then this will be hilarious. I think it would have been a good idea to have John Favareau direct it, but Joss Whedon might be a good choice, but I haven’t seen his other movies. I don’t think the story will be excellent, because all of the super heroes together might be a bit too much. But it should be overall entertaining. Reel prediction: 4 stars Release Date: May 4th

Men In BlackMen in Black 3 I have not seen the first 2 MIB films, but I have heard that they are entertaining. Some people say the second one was not as good as the first, so the third might not be either. I think this could follow the path of Indiana Jones, can Josh Brolin be as great as Sean Connery? The trailer looks pretty funny, especially Will Smith’s description of Tommy Lee Jones’ smile. Reel prediction: 3 stars Release Date: May 25th

BraveBrave Pixar’s latest film is a departure from their previous work, but after the mediocre Cars 2 we’re also hoping that it’s a return to form. The latest trailer looks promising but not they’re best. Rude humor and an annoying song are some of the detractors. Meanwhile the brilliant animation, big castle battle, and stunning archery tournament all look amazing. Of course with any trailer there are also some intriguingly mysterious elements. In this case 2 shots in which Merida, the heroine, is caught between two black bears. I don’t think this movie will be as bad as Cars 2, but not as good as the Toy Story trilogy, WALL-E, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc., or any of the other Pixar classics. Reel Prediction: 4 stars Release Date: June 22nd

The Amazing Spider ManThe Amazing Spider-Man I am looking forward to this film a great deal. The actors all seem great, the trailer has loads of exciting action, and the director Marc Webb has been calling this more personal than most superhero movies. The only bad thing in it is the part in the first trailer when he’s flying and it looks too much like a video game. In the second trailer they didn’t put that part in: Could they secretly be hiding a huge mistake? Reel Prediction: 4 1/2 stars Release Date: July 3rd

ParanormanParanorman This looks like the must see August movie of the year. Last year August, a usually lackluster month for summer movies, (because they can’t play all summer long) brought us two surprise hits: The Oscar winning The Help and the massive blockbuster prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Can this be the surprise hit of August? I am sure hoping so!!!!! Reel Prediction: 4 stars Release Date: August 17th

Family Films That Look Just Okay:

The Odd Life Of Timothy GreenThe Odd Life Of Timothy Green Peter Hedges, the Oscar winning writer/director of Dan In Real Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape presents a new Disney movie that (based on the short trailer, there will probably be another one soon) promises to be a sappy, formulaic, yet intriguing and fun, kids movie. Sounds way different than Academy Award winning indie pictures but no matter how this film turns out I am excited to see what it’s like. Go watch the trailer. Flick calls it “The Tree of Life for kids.” I’d call it “a realistic Peter Pan“. Reel Prediction: 3 stars Release Date: August 15

Madagascar 3: Europe's WantedMadagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted I am not particularly excited to see this film but the trailer looks okay and it’s playing out of competition at Cannes. I haven’t seen any of the others in this series because the annoying theme song and rude humor seemed unappealing. Still, potty joke seeking kids will definitely enjoy this summer movie. Add in a catchy new circus song, it’s festival schedule, and a trailer with great 3-D and no rude humor parents and critics may enjoy the film as well. Reel Prediction: 2 stars Release Date: June 8th

Ice Age 4: Continental DriftIce Age 4: Continental Drift I know many people around the world will see this film. The previous installment, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs made $886 million worldwide (and the highest foreign box office ever for an animated movie:surprising but true). The rest of the series was not terrible but this is not top of my must see summer movie list. However, if you liked the other ones then you’ll probably like this one. Reel Prediction: 2 1/2 stars Release Date: July 13th

Other Movies That I Would Like To See, But Probably Can’t:

The Dark Knight RisesThe Dark Knight Rises This is the most anticipated movie of the summer and quite possibly of the year. It’s a superhero threequel that continues the story line of The Dark Knight (4 years ago, in 2008) which followed the story of Batman Begins (7 years ago, from 2005). The newest trailer is awesome. After The Dark Knight became the highest grossing superhero movie ever made (a little over $1 billion worldwide) and won 2 Oscars (including Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger) a sequel became inevitable. Adding Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levvit, and Marion Cotillard has added to fan’s anticipation. Will this new film get good as good reviews as the first ones (85% and 94%, respectively)? Will there be superb special effects and awesome action, as well? Find out this summer when this last in the trilogy movie is released. In the trailer Catwoman says “You don’t owe these people anymore”. Batman responds “Not everything. Not Yet.” Empire Magazine said that Batman’s answer could be applied to Christopher Nolan. Reel Prediction: 4 stars Release Date: July 20th

Moonrise KingdomMoonrise Kingdom A shot in R.I. Wes Anderson film with a star studded cast including Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartznam, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, and newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward: sounds like an Oscar hopeful and quite possibly an opening night Cannes summer smash hit. As for the plot, it’s a romantic comedy with a bit of adventure and drama, as it tells the story of two teenagers in love who run away from their families and then get looked for by their parents, the police, and a pack of cub scouts. Reel Prediction: 4 stars Release Date: May 25th

Dark ShadowsDark Shadows Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up to make an adaption of the TV soap opera series of the same name. Romance, fantastical humor, Burton weirdness, vampire violence, and a cast including previous Burton stars (Depp, Burton’s wife Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, and Michelle Pfeiffer) and newbies (Jackie Early Haley, Eva Green, and Chloe Grace Mortez). Many people disliked the first trailer but I thought it was very funny. Don’t forget to check out a special featurette on Apple Trailers about the film. It has new clips from the movie and behind the scenes insights from Burton and Depp. Reel Prediction: 4 stars Release Date: May 11th

And now last and least, the summer movies that seem to be all action, no story:

Battleship Transformers on water? Maybe. Robots, things blowing up, big battles, massive explosions, and possible aliens. Sounds a bit far from the board game. Reel Prediction: 2 stars Release Date: May 18th

G.I. Joe Retaliation Bringing in Dwaye Johnson and especially Bruce Willis will boost box office power but keeping Taylor Kitsch in the series was probably a bad move (after Battleship and John Carter but not Savages). The film looks like it has a smudge of fun action to it but not looking like a something that will become an all time classic at all ever. Reel Prediction: 2 1/2 Release Date: June 29th

Piranha 3DD Looks bad except for the title of course.Reel Prediction: 1 star Release Date: June 1st

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Lincoln will probably be a lot better. Reel prediction: 2 stars Release Date: June 22nd

Other summer movies being released that I will not do Reel Predictions for (they are not ones that I necessarily want to see a lot) include:

Dramas: Lawless (with an all star cast), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (with another all star cast), Savages (with a bigger all star cast than the two movies that I just mentioned), and To Rome With Love (with Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, and more)

Fantasy: Snow White and the Huntsman (with Kirsten Stewart as Snow White)

Musical: Rock of Ages (starring Tom Cruise) and Sparkle (with Whitney Huston)

Action Movies: The Bourne Legacy (a prequel to the previous trilogy of Bourne movies) Preminum Rush (an N.Y.C. bicycle action movie), and The Expendables 2 (with Sylvester Stallone and other famous action heroes)

Comedies: The Campaign (a political comedy with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakas), The Dictator (a political spoof starring Sacha Baron Cohen), What To Expect When You’re Expecting (starring Cameron Diaz), That’s My Boy (starring Adam Sandler), Ted (with Mark Wahlberg and a teddy bear), Neighborhood Watch (with Jonah Hill and Ben Stiller and maybe some aliens), and Hope Springs (staring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carrell)

Sci- Fi: Total Recall (a remake of the 1992 Arnold Schwarsenegger but now starring Colin Farrell) and Prometheus (a Ridely Scott sci-fi horror movie with a tough Noomi Rapace, a flat Charlize Theron, and a scared Idris Elba)

Documentaries: ReGENERATION (from the 2010 PCFF) and First Position (from TIFF kids)

Thank you for following me on my epic journey of a trilogy of summer movie madness!! Thank you as well to my family for helping me and movie websites for increasing my movie knowledge (IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Box Office Mojo, Lights Camera Jackson, EW, and The New York Times). Please don’t forget to COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also you should watch the trailers of the films I talked about about (on Apple Trailers) so you might have a little idea of what I have been talking about over the past three articles. During the summer movie season look for articles, reviews, news and maybe some videos and podcasts from Flick and I (in other words not a break from May 31st to August 21st like last summer, hopefully). And last try to go to the movies in the summer and COMMENT and COMMENT some more. You should make your own summer movie schedule of what you want to see for fun!!!!!!!! See you later!!!!!!

John Carter (Flick’s Review)

Posted on | March 23, 2012 | Add Comments

3 stars

John Carter, a civil war veteran is transported to Barsoom (Mars) via magical silver medallion. Carter finds himself trapped in the middle of chaos; the Tharks, a green alien species struggle to stay peaceful, meanwhile the Helium people are on the brink of war with the Zodangan people. All of the species want Carter because after being transported to Barsoom, Carter acquires the power to leap as high as he wants.

I didn’t know what to expect going into John Carter. The trailers are packed to the brim with action, but Andrew Stanton, the director or Finding Nemo and Wall-E, has shown that he’s a master at storytelling. Now that I’ve seen the film, I can tell you that any predictions I had were wrong. The beginning of the film is in simple terms a mess. Many subplots are introduced very quickly but not very coherently. It seems to me as if Stanton and co. were very ecited about the middle of the film, so they didn’t spend much time on the beginning. The dialogue is hard to understand. Whenever anyone on Jarsoom (Earth) says a word they mutter it while they breath heavily and in Taylor Kitsch’s (John Carter) case you might see a muscle or two (more on him later).

Once Carter meets Tars Tarkas, voiced expertly by Willem Dafoe, the film kicks off.  Tarkas is a unique character especially when it comes  to his relationship with Carter: the two are friends but they both have different ideas about what’s best for everyone. Many ideas are very interesting and a lot of the scenes are exciting. There are also a considerable amount of subplots that include: Carter and Tarkas’ shaky relationship; Carter’s life on Jarsoom; Carter, Dejah Thoris, and Sab Than’s love triangle; Matai Shang and Sab Than’s “let’s go destroy the world” story; Edgar Rice Burroughs figuring out who Carter was and more.  The end isn’t as bad as the beginning, but it’s still confusingly uninteresting. Not to say I didn’t get caught up in the world of John Carter (I did for some of the film), it’s just that by the end I felt like saying “again?”. Really? Taylor Kitsch. Next up is big ships in the ocean and an Oliver Stone drama, but right now he’s sinking. His muscles are big but his performance could have been much better.  Kitsch speaks and acts in a way that leads me to believe he doesn’t want to be in the film.  What’s even worse is that Kitsch is surrounded by Defoe, Mark Strong, and Thomas Haden Church who are all giving expert performances. Muscles and Martians and Mars, oh my!

My favorite character is Tars Tarkas because Dafoe’s acting is great, the Virginia scene is funny and the CGI is good.  Carter and Tarkas had a great relationship and the CGI was wonderful.

My favorite scene is when Matai Shang captures Carter and then Shang tells him (I won’t spoil it) because Mark Strong was great and the dialogue was well written and spoken.

Andres Stanton’s live action film debut is incomprehensible at the beginning and end, the 3-D is not impressive, and Taylor Kitsch is a bore. However, the middle is fascinating, all of the actors other than Kitsch are strikingly powerful and the original book was one of he first sci-fi books. So I recommend it.

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