Kong – Still King

The tale of King Kong is not a new one to hit theaters.  There have been several movies about the beast and either about man intruding on his land or him wreaking havoc on man’s land.  There is even a movie about him vs Godzilla.  Either way Kong: Skull Island isn’t new.  Yet the idea of this mythical beast and what he and the story represent does not seem like it will be going out of style anytime soon.

This Kong movie takes place right on the heels of the Vietnam War. An exploration team and their army backup head to an uncharted island off the Pacific in order to survey the island.  Of course not everyone one on the mission is there for the same reasons. These other reasons are to look for monsters or the original habitants of this planet.  5 minutes on the island and a couple of seismic bombs later, the team meets Kong.  Kong kills most of the team, swatting their airplanes straight out the sky, stepping on them and he even eats one guy.  Kong did what Kong does in every movie and what is a natural instinct to both man and animal and that is defend himself and his home.

Throughout the rest of the movie we learn that there are people who are indigenous to the land, there is a survivor from WWII who crashed on the island, there are giant lizards who are the natural enemy of Kong and we see Samuel L. Jackson play a really good crazy. That is really the gist of the movie.

Is anyone really going to see Kong: Skull Island for a story?  The story doesn’t change, just refreshed for this generation.  Its about the battles and the action and Kong saving the girl.  This movie delivers on that end.  There is a lot of bang, lots of fire, explosions, gruesome deaths and a serious fight scene between a giant gorilla and lizard.  The visuals are very good and all the creatures, especially Kong, look very real.

Or you can be like me and see a story in this tale.  A story about how nothing can be bigger or better than man and how man does not respect nature.  A movie that makes you question at what point do you stop being a solider and be your own man.  After watching it tonight, I realized that this is not a movie for an animal sympathizer such as myself.  I am sure that no real animals were harmed in the making of this film (better not have been), and to my understanding there is no such island with giant gorillas, spiders, water buffalos, lizards or a lost civilization of people.  Nonetheless, I shed a tear for the massive creature named Kong and applauded when he killed the man trying to blow him up.

I suggest you see the movie and draw your own conclusions.  If you are like me and have seen your share of King Kong, you can probably wait till the DVD to see this one.

Kong: Shull Island is officially out in theaters 3/10/17 and stars John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly and Brie Larson.


Logan -Saving the best for last?

Spoiler Alert!!  There is nothing at the end of the movie after credits but there is a Deadpool 2 short before the movie begins.

The anticipated “last” Wolverine movie is finally out in theaters.  With a new rating of R, the movie steps it up a notch story wise, action, and character development.  Rating the movie R allowed for this movie to be more adult, have more umph and a lot more cursing.  This movie would make one who knows nothing of Marvel almost forget it is based on a comic.  In my opinion, this is the best Wolverine movie out of the bunch.

Logan opens in the year 2029 with an old and sick Logan.  Throughout the movie it is pointed how something inside of Logan is making him sick (possible the adamantium).  It is taking him longer and longer to heal (which is why he is aged), he cant see, he is coughing throughout the entire movie and he is carrying an adamantium bullet on him.  What can all this mean?  He dies at the end.

But before he dies, there is a lot of great action scences and a good story being told that is best understood and appreciated if seen in theaters.  I can not explain or give any real justice to how awesome the fight scenes are in this movie.  I flinched for most of them because those scenes are so gory.

Year 2029 and besides Logan, a sick Charles (Prof X) and an Albino mutant tracker (Caliban), there are no more mutants.  Logan is hiding Charles and keeping him doped up on medication to help control his deadly seizures and to keep his mind fogged.  Next X-Men movie will explain?  Mutant children are being genetically engineered and bred to be soldiers by the corporation Transient.  However the children are seen as liability and Transigen decides to terminate the children.  When the children escape (because it is a movie and they have to escape), a nurse from the facility tracks down Logan so that he can help bring one of the mutant children to a place called Eden.  Laura is biologically Logan’s daughter, even though she was born and raised at Transigen.  Laura has Logan’s mutation, the adamantium and the aggression.  With much reluctance, Logan agrees to help Laura and him, Laura and Charles go on the run from the people hunting Laura and the rest of the escaped children.

Two and a half hours into the movie, we finally meet the rest of the escaped children and one of them might have Magento’s power (it was very exciting to watch).  The final fight scene is between Logan and his clone X-24 (both played by Hugh Jackman).  Laura kills the clone using the adamantium bullet but not before the clone impales Logan on a branch where he “dies”. The children bury Logan and in doing so, they bury the last of the X-Men.

The children get away, the doctor who created them (he is the son of the man who put the adamantium  in Logan) is dead so now what?  A movie about the children?  In a world that was mutant free, there are now mutants.  Is Logan really dead?  The movie set that ending up from the very beginning but Logan can heal even if very very slowly.  There has to be a X-Men movie that leads up to this movie because there are so many answers to unasked questions.  Will Hugh Jackman still play Logan or will the Wolverine  be recast?  This movie sets up a lot of possibilities for some great Marvel movies.   Let us all hope we are not disappointed.

Until then, go and see Logan at your local Regal theater!

Oscar Sunday and Regal Theaters

Sunday, February 26 2017 or also known as Oscar Sunday, wraps up the Regal Best Picture Film Festival.  The festival began February 17th and each day pass holders were able to gain access to select showtimes in the festival schedule.  The festival played four different movies a day – one at  1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm- rotating between the 9 nominations.  The pass (an actual pass) was only $35 and came with a special offer for a $5 medium popcorn and soft drink combo (one per transaction with your Regal Crown Club card).  Pretty good deal, right?  It was and it was worth every penny.

Having already seen Arrival and Hidden Figures, I used my pass to see Moonlight, La La Land, Lion, and Hell or High Water.  I used Redbox to see Manchester By the Sea and Hacksaw Ridge.  Due to some of my scheduling conflicts I was unfortunately unable to see Fences.

If it wasn’t for Regal I probably would have never seen at least 4 of the nominations and actually I had never even heard of Lion before the festival began.

I enjoyed all the movies and recommend all the movies to see (not just because they were nominated).

Lion – I cried the entire movie.  It is based on the true story an man who had been lost for 25 years.  The first half of the movie takes place in India and is all in subtitles.  At age 5, Saroo gets separated from his brother and wakes up on a train taking him miles from his home.  Stranded where no one speaks his lauanage and no one to help him, Saroo spent years living on the street until sent to a facility equlivent to a orphanage.  While there he was adopted by a white Australian family and was raised in Australia.  It wasn’t until his late 20’s that Saroo started looking for his home.  The search took him years and consumed him but eventually he made it back to his birth home where his mother had waited in hopes of his return.  Truly a beautiful story.

Moonlight – I cried in a couple of parts throughout this movie.  The movie, based off a play, is broken into three parts and each part is based on a distinct character.  In part 1 we meet Little, part 2 Black and part 3 Chiron.  Little, Black and Chiron are all the same person and each part represents a significant chapter in Chiron’s life while growing up a gay black male in Liberty City, Miami.  The movie is deep and groundbreaking and beautiful and saturated in so much truth.

Hacksaw Ridge – Another movie based on a true story.  The movie retells the heroic story of Desmond Doss who saved 75 men during WWII on Hacksaw Ridge.  Desmond joined the war as a conscientious objector and became a field medic.  Though he was met with a lot of disdain, he never waived in his beliefs and managed to not only keep himself alive but the lives of others (both American and Japanese) while never picking up a gun.  I doubt the actual War was anything like movie but it did the job.  Worth a watch check the movie out its at Redbox.

La La Land –  Usually I don’t like musicals but the music in this movie is amazing.  I could’ve done without the signing by Emma Stone but the music and most of the scenes are just beautiful.  The movie takes place in Hollywood and is about making it in Hollywood.  I wasn’t too hooked on the story but Ryan Gosling kept me watching and the movie is beautiful to watch and listen to.  The movie is still in theaters so check it out.

Arrival – I really enjoyed this movie. Numerous spacecraft’s land throughout the world.  The United States enlist a renowned linguist (played by Amy Adams) to help decipher, understand and eventually communicate with the beings.  In doing this, she begins having dreams and memories of experiences that she has yet to experience.  The movie is very good and I really love a movie that makes you think and pay attention.  If you haven’t seen it yet, Arrival is at Redbox.

Hell or High Water – I actually fell asleep through part of this movie.  It is one of the movies that had it not been for the festival I would not have seen the movie.  Two brothers living in a very rural part of Texas go on a bank robbing spree in order to raise enough money to buy back their mothers property from the bank.  Essentially they get away with it.

Hidden Figures – see my post on the movie Hidden Figures…Giving overdo credit to women I’m ashamed to have never learned of.  Still in theaters!

Manchester By the Sea – I purposely didn’t see this movie in theaters when it was released because it just looked liked a tear jerker.  I was right, it is.  I mean the movie surrounds death and tragedy but it is also about family, forgiveness and starting over.  It is a nice movie and I find the New England accents quite entertaining. Check it out on Redbox.

Fences – I’m going to have to wait until it is on Redbox to give the movie the respect it deserves.

Well those are the 9 nominations for Best Picture 2017 and the Oscar goes to… MOONLIGHT! After watching 8/9 movies I was leaning toward Moonlight and I’m glad it got the recognition it deserves even if they first gave the award to La La Land by mistake.

The Regal Best Picture Film Festival is something I recommend all to do next year and especially if all the nominations are as good as this year.

My pass from the festivalimg_0224-edited

 

 

Tune in Tuesdays 1/31/16

released today to Blue-ray + DVD were 2 classics and 2 new movies.  r

images– starring Tom Cruise.  I saw the first movie which was just titled Jack Reacher also starring Tom Cruise.  In the first movie, Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher and he saves some people, solves a problem, does lots of fighting and cool jedi mind tricks.  He’s all lone wolf, rouge man good guy.  I guarantee this one was just like that.

untitled starring Zach Galifiankis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wig and Jason Sudeikis.  The comedy is claimed to be inspired by a true story of an armored car heist.  Don’t get any ideas after watching this movie – crime does not pay… even though it might’ve in this movie.  Individually these actors are very funny and even though I haven’t seen this yet, I know this movie is very funny and worth the watch.  It’s not on Netflix and so I’ll see if it is on Redbox.

161258_large– Not a movie about “good fellas.” Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, the movie was originally released in 1990 by Martin Scorese.  Adapted from a non fiction book written years before, the movie has since been considered a classic.  Todays re-release was on 4k Ultra HD + Blu-Ray + Digital HD, only proving that even with the newest technology, you should still be able to watch this mob classic in style.

5657241_sa– Starring Disney.  Not really starring Disney or a recent Disney movie but I may be a tad biased on Disney movies.  Pinocchio was originally released by Disney in 1940. I remember watching this movie as a child (decades ago), and Disney knows how not to let a good thing go or be forgotten.  The third release from the Disney Signature Collection, it is the first time the movie is being released on Blu-Ray and Digital HD.  The movie also includes a bunch of bonus features both old and new.  Its not often that Disney releases something from their vault s0 if you have kids, and you remember this classic tale, do purchase.

That’s it for this Tuesday.  You can head to your local Target to pick up your own personal copies of any of the mentioned titles.

Tune in Tuesdays 1.10.17

A couple of new releases to DVD today – 3 movies and 2 tv shows.  Most of the titles I’ve heard of/ seen commercials for but nothing released today I have seen yet.

  1. thgrfxfs55  Starring Ben Affleck.  Ben plays .. hold your surprise.. an accountant!  Somehow there was an action movie made about one of the most boring jobs known to man.
  2. thx8kmdjmq Starring Mark Wahlberg.  Apparently there was an actual oil spill some years back and hence this movie.  The movie is a dramatization of the events that occurred before, during and after the spill.  I’m going with the ship sank?
  3. th9r0ug50h Starring Kevin Hart. Kevin the small man comedian does some big man things.  Every comedy tour Kevin has done he has released to movie format after the tour and of course his latest tour would be no different.  This is a cheaper alternative for anyone who couldn’t afford to see the show live.  Kevin Hart is a very funny and all his past comedy shows have been good so lets just assume this one is hilarious.
  4. thhb71ptte The complete 5th season starring Claire Danes.  This tv show airs on Showtime but is available via Hulu.  Taking a stab in the dark here but  I’m sure this season had Claire’s character doing something security related and saving  the lives of thousands of people.  The show is five seasons in so this could be a possible next binge.
  5. thq5i76gzz     The complete 2nd season starring Rami Malek.  I highly doubt this tv show that I have never heard about is about robots.  The show airs on USA for anyone interested.

That wraps about this weeks Tune in Tuesday.  Again I have not seen any of the titles mentioned and therefore any synopsis given is more for entertainment not information.  Check these titles out and form your own opinion.

The Perfect Weekend to Binge

This past weekend in New York City it snowed and it snowed enough for anyone to have the excuse to stay inside all weekend.  Most people don’t need an excuse to stay inside (such as myself) however this opportunity was granted for those who do need an excuse and I do hope the advantage was taken.

This time could have been spent on catching up on shows recorded on your DVR or on your watchlist on Hulu.  Maybe there was a season of a TV show you wanted to watch on Netflix.  Something on Amazon Prime catch you eye?  Or you could have did what I did and binge movies.  Yes, you can binge movies.

My last binge on movies, I based the movies on an actor – Eddie Murphy.  I started with the Beverly Hills Cop series and moved on from there.  Other binges have been on movies with multiple sequels such as the SAW movies or Die Hard.  I’ve even based a binge on a cartoon character such as Tinkerbell and watched all the various Tinkerbell movies on Netflix.   This weekend I had no such method for my binge and used Redbox and Hulu as my bingeing method. 

Redbox is the new Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.  Remember those places?  However unlike what Blockbuster and Hollywood Video use to be, Redbox is not a store.  Redbox is an actual giant red box that dispenses DVDs and video games.  Each Redbox has a variety of different movies, usually new releases that aren’t yet streaming on Netflix or Hulu or airing on any premium channels (HBO, Showtime etc).  You might be able to find the movies On Demand but Redbox is your cheaper option.  Movies are $1.50 a day and are due by 9 pm the following day.  Redbox also gives the option for Blu-Ray version of every movie offered, however that is more expensive.

I love the option of Redbox but I only rent when I have a coupon.  This weekend I was able to use a coupon for $1.25 off the first night, then one for .50 cent off my second pick the first night  and then one for 1 free movie for the first night.  Even though Redbox is relatively cheap, the price adds up when renting more than one movie.  Plus only one coupon code can be used at a time, so unless the code saves you enough money, I suggest two non Blu-Ray movies at a time.  Also make sure to return the movie by 9pm the next day to avoid paying for another day.  Most if not all the coupon codes are only good for one night and if trying to keep the cost wallet friendly be ready to watch the movie the same night rented. 

For my snow induced binge weekend, I rented: Alice Through The Looking Glass, The Shallows, The Legend of Tarzan (2016), Independence Day: Resurgence and The Magnificent Seven (2016) and  I used Hulu to watch Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  No specific reason for the movies, although all were movies I wanted to see but not enough to see in theaters or didn’t get a chance to see in theaters. Either way the movies provided another successful binge session. 

I’m no meteorologist but I believe that it might snow again and If it does and you find yourself home then now know what to do.  Binge watch and give binge watching movies a try.  To find a local Redbox near you, visit this site and hopefully there is something (there will be) you want to watch.

Hidden Figures…Giving overdo credit to women I’m ashamed to have never learned of.

Hidden Figures the movie is based on the true story of Black Girl Magic.  Rated PG and starring Tarji P Henson as Katherine Johnson, Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson and Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, the movie shines light on the integral and invaluable part that these three women played in making American history.  Mrs. Katherine Johnson, Mrs. Mary Jackson and Mrs. Dorothy Vaughan, broke stereotypes, changed the rules and defied the standards within NASA.

The movie is about three genius, beautiful, hardworking and determined black women who despite living in a segregated state, made a way for themselves and other women, Black or otherwise, to excel within NASA.  Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Dorothy and Mrs. Johnson were the brains of NASA, literally.  Considered “computers”, they did the math, ALL the calculations needed to send an astronaut successfully into space and all while only using rulers, very big calculators and most importantly their beautiful minds.

The movie is awe inspiring.  Even though I don’t have that type of mind for math, it was much more than that.  Katherine Johnson trusted in herself and what she knew she could do to prove that she was beyond able but necessary to the team and success of the work.  Dorothy Vaughan saw that there wasn’t a position for her so she made her own position and left no women behind when she moved on. Mrs. Mary Jackson saw that the “qualifications” didn’t apply to her or anyone like her so she fought the law so that she could become “qualified” and started a route that other women would be able to follow.  You don’t need to have their mathematic aptitude to have the courage, determination, and spirit that they possessed.  It is something that I wish all my young Blacks girls to have and to let nothing and no one stand in the way.

Tarji P Henson and Octavia Spencer shined (as usual) and I am so happy to see Janelle Monae on the big screen so soon again.  She is a talented musician and I am glad that the world gets to see that talent transfer on the screen.  Ms. Monae might actually be a robot named Cindi … hmmm?  

And that’s all I’m giving you.  The movie is worth seeing in theaters, worth the price tag of an adult ticket. It was worth me seeing on a Thursday and worth you seeing ASAP.  Also make sure to download the soundtrack.  Musical genius Pharrell Williams outdoes himself yet again.