Tag Archives: MOVIES

‘Eighth Grade’ About as Bad as You Remember

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Comedian, and now writer/director Bo Burnham has released his first feature Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as awkward, in-between Kayla Day.

Kayla is trying like almost anyone her age to be cool and fit in in the fast paced, technology-laden world of teens today. We watch, many times, as Kayla creates videos for her YouTube channel: advice on things like being yourself and fitting in. These videos highlight the ways in which Kayla makes an effort to find these things in life and within herself.

Throughout, we are privy to awkward conversations with Dad (Josh Hamilton), the muted sharp glares to and from ‘popular’ girl Kennedy and a handful of awesomely socially tragic clashes with equally awkward and removed teen boys. Everyone in their own world amid a sea of extremely thick atmosphere that feels all too familiar, compressed and leaves you gasping.

A note here on the score: It comes far too often, too loud. The chosen songs sound hastily made and are in such jarring contrast with the film itself, it further warps whatever is left to be gleaned from on screen. There is no matching of emotion or intention, merely blaring beats better used elsewhere.

The direction style doesn’t favor glamour shots, opting instead for a well lived-in feel. The costumes and scenery are muted, everyday colorful: very grounded in reality, glittered with iPhones and punctuated by so many uhms and ahs.

Burnham clearly has an adept feel for the material, but this is also his downfall. The strangest bit comes during an active shooter drill (yes, of course) followed almost immediately by an earthquake preparedness drill. This evasion tactic practice leads to some reaching attempts at innocent flirting tinged with a hint of the salacious, terrifying trouble it could bring. On many occasions we are set up with something that pushes beyond the grainy film of the movie into interesting and gripping territory, only for it to be deflated moments after; this uneven rise and fall gives the movie a meandering feel that never quite reaches the apex of understanding it needs to drive home just what is important here.

To say this movie has merit is to say a lot, outside of style and deadly accurate tone, the structure crumbles in on itself and the message, if there is one, is lost. Moments of reflection and success are muddled through and perhaps that is the point, however, this makes for a trying and very painful watch that doesn’t seem to know which audience it wants to pull in.

Is this meant to be a burdened nostalgia cringefest for those that have grown through the struggles of young adulthood? Or is there a message amid the noise for the ones coming up in the now? This film is rated ‘R’, so the latter seems a stretch at best. Presenting the dredge of middle school without resolve is certainly bold, but this film stumbles more than it strides.

If the idea of a mostly accurate depiction of the slow ache of growing pains sounds intriguing, give this one a watch when it comes to DVD or the streaming service of your choice.

A24, highly regarded production company, and noted comedian Bo Burnham have taken us to school, and it isn’t pretty.

 

Check out Zachary Levi as Shazam

This week marks the beginning of San Diego comic-con. the one time every year where nerds gather in droves to celebrate their favorite pieces of pop culture. This year is expected to be one filled with a lot of things DC. We have an Aquaman trailer or teaser potentially dropping. There are rumblings of a new, crazy story comic to DC Comics, and now we have Shazam.

Shazam is looking to be one of the more lighthearted films in the DCEU. It’s hard to see Zachary Levi as a down and dark superhero. Shazam has always been the noble, cheery type, and hopefully this translates well into a live action film.

This shot right here might give us a glimpse into what the Shazam film might turn out to be. A fun-filled romp to bring the DCEU back on track. It’s too soon to say of course. Keep your eyes and ears open when it comes to news out of SDCC. We might be getting a sneak peek at what can be a real refreshing move in the DC cinematic universe.

Han Solo Spinoff Directors Quit Over “Creative Differences”

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have officially left the Han Solo spinoff. Kennedy says the grounds for the departure were over “creative differences”.

Here’s what she said in a statement:

“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon.”

This is troubling news for the film which began filming in January of 2017. What sort of “creative differences” could cause the duo of directors known for writing The Lego Movie, and 21 Jump Street?

Here’s what Lord and Miller said in a statement:

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.”

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This is a very troubling development. Changing directors after a huge block of the movie has already been filmed can result in some very damaging shifts in tone, and well, direction. How substantial are the differences that would cause two very well respected directors to opt-out of filming what is set to be a huge step for the Star Wars franchise?

It’s possible that we will never know what the Lord-Miller film will have gone. So let’s hope Disney and Lucasfilm find a director that aligns with their vision while also being conducive to the creative mind, and vision of whichever director they decide to bring on.

Goldblum Is BACK For Jurassic World 2.

Dr. Ian Malcolm will return to the realm of dinosaurs in the sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World. Jeff Goldblum has signed onto the film, but it’s currently unclear how big his role will actually be. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning as our rapturous leads, and will most likely be subject to one of Malcom’s philosophical, spiritual rambles. It’s possible that the might even be treated to a Laura Dern hand waterfall, if they’re so lucky.

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Jurassic World 2 is set to be released June 22, 2018

Is Nothing Sacred? Will Smith As The Genie In Aladdin!

I really enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast remake with Emma Watson. They did a very admirable job by bringing such an iconic story to life and used a great cast to boot, I didn’t even know Sir Ian McKellen played Cogsworth till the end of the film and was blown away.

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For Disney nothing is withheld with these remakes, such as Cinderella (which I believe benefited from the remake), Alice in Wonderland, to now Aladdin. With Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) set to direct, and Will Smith in talks to take the role of Genie I’m having second thoughts.

I’m wondering how they’ll do with the Genie from Aladdin since we don’t have the iconic Robin Williams to play him anymore.  Either the movie will be brilliant and do it well or it’ll turn into a pile of garbage set alight like Kazaam with Shaquille O’Neal playing the titular role. God that movie was something awful yet hilarious if you’re watching the Nostalgia Critic review.

Like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin will be a live-action musical, but Will Smith is a rapper and not the Broadway Hamilton kind either.

The classic tale of Aladdin hasn’t changed. We still have the story centered around a poor young man who falls in love with a princess. He finds a magical lamp and inadvertently unlocks the genie trapped inside. The genie grants the boy wishes which the boy uses to win over the young princess.

Currently, we don’t know whether Will Smith will actually take the role. Prior to this he was in talks over a Dumbo remake that Tim Burton was set to direct, but it fell through. Aladdin is expected to begin shooting by July in the U.K. which is only a few short months away. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon.

What do you guys think; do you want an Aladdin remake? Did you like any of the previous Disney live-action remakes? Let me know in the comments below.