Posts tagged summer blockbusters
COLUMN: 2018 Box Office Predictions

With Black Panther showing no signs of slowing down, what films coming in 2018 can make similar dents in our wallets?  What blockbusters could put up big time numbers? Can anything catch Black Panther?  I know the oddsmakers and informative websites like Sports Betting Dime can be a great resource for answering those questions and examining the field.   In a quick list and editorial, let’s handicap and predict 10 contenders that could rule the 2018 box office.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tower

Add all of The Dark Tower up, the ineffective length, the nonsensical plot, threadbare mythology, leashed acting, and limited thrills, and you get the lowest sum of calculations. You get the sheer absurdity we started with.  I'm sure it's all meant to be substantial and worthy of audience investment, but how is any of it supposed to give us gravity to grasp if it's all presented in such a cursory degree?

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MOVIE REVIEW: Pete's Dragon

Blooming out of a cradle of artistic and narrative perseverance, it is clear a philosophy of great care and pleasant patience was given to “Pete’s Dragon” by Lowery and company.  The film enhances the magical charm audiences remember from the original with newly gained maturity to operate as a loving family drama and touching adventure of friendship.  It is a welcome and calming addition of heft painted by that superb idyllic tone.  The wonderment never overplays its moments.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Suicide Squad

In the words of professional wrestling Hall of Famer Razor Ramon, “Say hello to the bad guy!”  Warner Bros. and their DC Entertainment wing need a rebound from the maligned “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and are banking getting you to cheer for villains instead of heroes with “Suicide Squad.”  Packed with a head-turning cast of wild cards and very little shame for spectacle, this film aims to combine the delicious referential villainy you loved in “Deadpool” with the anti-hero team dynamics of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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MOVIE REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond

The toothpaste is out of the tube, so to speak, for this current “Star Trek” franchise stewarded by J.J. Abrams.  Seven years into a reboot of erasure, there’s no going back.  This new cast and new timeline is here to stay.  If the die-hards haven’t dealt with it by now, they likely never will.  Those who arrived in 2009 with wide eyes and a fresh heart have not been disappointed.  “Star Trek Beyond” pushes a stellar and steady progression of shiny and modern blockbuster filmmaking with the right salutes to beloved nostalgia that warm from within.

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VIDEO: Post-film reactions to "The Legend of Tarzan"

The critics of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle have heard the call of the jungle!  Watch and enjoy the first takes of myself and my fellow CIFCC members including Jon Espino of "The Young Folks," Pamela Powell of The Kankakee Daily Journal and "Reel Honest Reviews," and, but not least, Emmanuel Noisette of "Eman's Movie Reviews" offering their hot-and-bothered impressions on "The Legend of Tarzan." Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Independence Day: Resurgence

The advent of computer-generated visual effects in the 1990s raised the scope of what and how much disaster movies could destroy on screen.  No better film encapsulated that new era than the raucous and wildly successful “Independence Day” from 1996 with aliens laying waste to world monuments and making a star out of Will Smith.  In the twenty years since, the evolution of CGI filmmaking of bigger and more opulent destruction has elevated the craft to the moniker of “disaster porn.”  Returning with the grand ambitious sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the former standard-bearer enters a present day where audiences have been desensitized by asteroids, comets, natural disasters, monsters, Transformers, and superheroes dozens of times over.  What was awesome the first time isn’t jaw-dropping anymore.

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MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men: Apocalypse

After two movies of turn-back-the-clock course correction, it is fair to rank the "X-Men" series right next to "The Fast and Furious" as a film franchise that was derailed, left for dead, and since rescued with a filmmaking resurgence.  "X-Men: First Class" introduced new youthful vigor and was followed by the return of original franchise steward Bryan Singer for the slate-wiping "X-Men: Days of Future Past."  The latter film grossed more than double any of its franchise predecessors and enabled the series to pass the torch from the seniors to the juniors.  Flush with success, good graces, and a new lease on life, "X-Men: Apocalypse" arrives with the goal to top everything that's been done in 20th Century Fox's offshoot shingle of a Marvel universe.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War

The absolute proof of the intact Marvel formula is the elevated scope and confidence given to "Captain America: Civil War."  Spinning as a dual sequel to 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and last year's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and following the darkly-operatic-yet-similarly-premised competitor "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," this film survives a few glaring imperfections and overweight ambition to maintain the Marvel flagship.  It plays it safe because it knows safe works for their brand and satisfies the masses.  They know they're getting their cash registers out and hiring extra accountants.  To others looking for more risk, you've come to the wrong place.

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COLUMN: 2015 Early Summer Movie Preview

It's business time!  The wait is over from the very slow winter and spring seasons!  The massive movie slate of the summer of 2015 has been touted on this website for over a year.  We knew these big hitters were coming and they are finally here.  Let's see how many box office records fall.  If you thought "Furious 7" was a big hit, then you've seen nothing yet.  The summer is where the big boys play.  To split the long season up, here is my complete preview for the early summer months of May and June and their prospective film releases.  As always, dates change and shift all of the time.  Here's what we have to look forward to!  Enjoy!

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CHECKLIST: 2015 Summer Movie Calendar

It's business time!  Here's your complete 2015 Summer Movie Calendar.  Add these to your calendar or print and slip this list on the fridge at home.  As always, release dates shift all of the time, so be aware.  I split my full Summer Movie Preview into early (May/June) and late (July/August) parts.  The first will be coming soon!  Enjoy!

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REVIEW RE-RUN: The Expendables 2

HUMOROUS DISCLAIMER:  I had pretty overwhelming feeling going in that The Expendables 2 was going to be a carbon copy of the first movie from 2010, only bigger, louder, busier, and very few minor differences of note.  Well, I was right.  While redundant enough to come across as Xerox as The Hangover Part II was to The Hangover with just a change of setting, this doesn't make The Expendables 2 any less awesome.  To have a little fun and prove this point, I have copied my EXACT 2010 review of The Expendables word-for-word below (follow the link and see) and added strike-through edits and red text additions of those very minor differences.  Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

Disclaimer:  I pulled this trick out a few years ago in comparing “The Expendables” with “The Expendables 2” where, because of the incredibly repetitive scenarios between the original and the sequel, I literally wrote on top of the first review for the review of the second movie.  After seeing “22 Jump Street,” a movie that intentionally aims to copy its first effort, I knew this was a good chance to have a little editor’s fun again.  Follow the strike-throughs below for edits and the bold writing for new language inserts.  Other than that, the review for the first film might as well be the review for the second film.  It’s that similar.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE #4: Guest on "Day at the Movies" weekly radio show!

Fans of the website will know that "Every Movie Has a Lesson" frequently collaborates with "Day at the Movies" run by Lubbock, Texas blogger +Tim Day.  We commonly compare our reviews, interests, projects, and tastes to both of our groups of followers.  As a staff member of Lubbock Christian University, Tim hosts a one-hour weekly radio show on Chap Radio to showcase "Day at the Movies" and share his opinions on recent theatrical releases, upcoming films, the latest movie gossip, new Netflix and Redbox recommendations, and much more.

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MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past

The successful revitalization brought by “X-Men: First Class” and the unfaded star power of Hugh Jackman have brought us to “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  Original series director Bryan Singer, fresh from “Jack the Giant Slayer,” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” screenwriter Simon Kinberg have returned to correct old mistakes, untangle the knots, and realign this previously failed franchise for a healthy new lease on cinematic life and relevance.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Godzilla

Amazingly, I’m happy to report that this “Godzilla,” while actually having a trainwreck in it (two in fact), is not a complete trainwreck itself.  This is a legitimate summer blockbuster in scale and in quality.  The promised size and scope of monster carnage that the 1998 film failed to compellingly deliver and, honestly, we never thought we would see done right on the big screen is successfully accomplished in a big way.  This new film makes “Pacific Rim” look as silly as it really is, “Transformers” look downright weak and tiny, and even makes the controversial city destruction final act of “Man of Steel” look like a knocked-over sand castle or two. 

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