The Transformers: The Movie: The Review

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

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There are definitely bigger fans of The Transformers out there than I.  Even though I born in their heyday I never gave them a lot of thought.  I never watched the show.  I never had any of the toys.  I never wanted to be Optimus Prime for Halloween.  However, I do recall seeing the 1986 movie at some point.  I suppose I must have liked it enough that when a special edition was released to coincide with Michael Bay’s first Transformers flick…I bought it.  I watched it once and stuck it back on the shelf, where it’s sat untouched since then. With last weekend’s release of Transformers: Age of Extinction I thought this would be a good time to revisit what is still probably the best Transformers film. So join me as I sit down to re-watch The Transformers: The Movie.

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Fun With Short Films – The Gunfighter

Friday, June 27th, 2014

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I feel like you either love westerns or hate them. Growing up on a steady diet of Tombstone, The Quick and the Dead, and Young Guns – I have an appreciation for the pseudo modern western genre. Why The Quick and the Dead you may ask? I have no idea. I don’t particularly buy Sharon Stone as a wild west outlaw. Wow that was an off topic rant – lets move on.

The Gunfighter is nothing like those other westerns, which I wasn’t sure if I would like. The Gunfighter is very much a comedy that almost has the feel of the Abbott and Costello “Who’s at First?” bit. The joke wasn’t at all the same, but the setup and the tone was somewhat reminiscent.

Starring the voice of Nick Offerman as ‘The Narrator’, he really sets the tone for the type of comedy being told in this short. It’s not just the star that sets The Gunfighter apart from other short films. The quality of the lighting and cinematography are top notch and of that you would expect to see in a big budget film.
The Gunfighter clocks in at approximately 8 minutes and provides a brand of comedy to short films that is truly rare to find. Check it out after the jump! (more…)

Book Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Firestorm

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

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Titan Books sent us a copy of the official movie prequel to the eagerly anticipated Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie, scheduled for release in July 2014. The book is in available now.

apes-sideNew York Times bestselling author Greg Keyes brings us the original Apes story. He bridges the gap between the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the anticipated sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This book only outlines the very early beginnings of Caesar’s colony and not the full ten years. Ape characters from Rise appear and us as the readers are given a bit of backstory on quite a number of the characters including Koba and Cornelia and are given glimpses of their personalities that are likley to flow into Dawn when the film is released.

It’s an entertaining and engrossing read that went by very fast. It’s a short read which made it all the more difficult to put it down. The prequel gives a lot of insight to the upcoming conflict; I suspect they might even use the events of this book as a narration talking point that start the movie. It’s very smart and it’s clear that Keyes cared about this material enough to craft out an emotional and entertaining tale that delves into social, political, and scientific issues that more that resonate with what’s happening today. I recommend it for any Planet of the Apes fans who wanted to know a little more of the Planet of the Apes mythos. The question at the end of the book which you might be able to answer by the time the credits roll on the new film is will you cheer for the apes or cheer for humanity?

Buy it today! Amazon.comAmazon.ca

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Book Review: Resistance by Samit Basu

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

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Titan Books sent us an advanced copy of Resistance by Samit Basu, here is our review.

In Resistance it’s been eleven years since the events in Samit Basu’s Turbulence. It’s 2020 and the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and unsurprisingly some just want to destroy monuments and resistance-sidestar in their own reality show. In Turbulence we were introduced to The Unit, a group of oddly endowed superheroes with powers that are derived from personality and desire. That same group now has to stop someone who, from New York to Tokyo, is hunting down supers, killing off heroes and villains.

If you enjoyed Samit Basu’s Turbulence, you are not alone. It was enjoyable and surprisingly original in a world of entertainment when you blink and have a new superhero movie. He has a sense of pop culture that still jumps out with Resistance. With great heroics and fantastic action scenes (which are never easy to write), it’s safe to say this might top his first outing. It’s a great read that spans the world and somehow manages to keep things organized and highly entertaining without skipping a beat. I trust Basu is more confident in his writing this time around offering more wit and cinematic like sequences with new characters that jump off the page.

I said it at the end of my review for Turbulence and I’ll say it again here: I’m looking forward to the sequel already.

Resistance will be released on July 8, 2014. Pre-order it today! Amazon.comAmazon.ca

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Book Review: Godzilla – The Official Movie Novelization

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

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Titan books sent along the official novelization of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla by Greg Cox. The movie was released on May 16, 2014 and this book is available now.

godzilla-sideThis summer saw the epic rebirth of Toho’s iconic Godzilla; this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. This companion book offers little difference from the exceptional film, although I will say it makes some characters more important. It’s still an exciting read but if you have seen the movie or plan on it (you should) then this might just be for people who really like to read over going to the crowded theater.

Novelizations are usually paint-by-the-numbers reads that don’t deliver the same level of entertainment than its awe-inspiring production counterpart. It was the same with Man of Steel and now Godzilla.
If you liked the movie you’ll probably appreciate Cox’s presentation of a story-line that many thought to drag in crucial spots on the big screen; it’s a straightforward novelization otherwise.

Buy it today! Amazon.comAmazon.ca

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Cut To The Chase Review: 22 JUMP STREET – The Great Bromantic Comedy

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

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Cut To The Chase Reviews from COF are spoiler free reviews ‘abridged for your pleasure’. Quick, concise, and sometimes entertaining opinions on the go!

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When I reviewed 21 Jump Street I said it was “smart to embrace everything we love and should hate about TV shows and movies”. With 22 Jump Street, it manages to do the same for sequels with Phil Lord and Chris Miller proving to be the best comedy directors working today. There’s even more the bromance to love and over the top action sequences to laugh along with.

It’s because of its good natured humor and subsequent vulgarity that 22 Jump Street outshines the first installment. This movie knows about sequels and does everything it can to point out how cheap and familiar this movie COULD feel; it side steps that pressure with a brilliant self-aware attitude, comedic timing, and a the chemistry from its leads that can’t be matched.

22 Jump Street somehow manages to be more inventive than the first film integrating action and comedy in better ways (albeit more outrageous) and giving a middle finger to a same system it’s in business with.

You should get to know Phil Lord:

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+ The end credit sequence
+ Tatum and Hill a winning double act
+ Consistently funny
- Some repetitive jokes

Final Score: 9/10

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Starting From Scratch Never Tasted So Good – Chef the Movie Review

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Chef Movie Review

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to see a sneak preview of the new Jon Favreau film, Chef, aptly named, about a chef who loses his restaurant job and starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creativity, while piecing back together his estranged family.

With a cast of names involved like: John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, and Oliver Platt, I was really curious and looking forward to this movie, which quite simply, didn’t disappoint. In fact, it had the opposite effect on me and presumably the entire theatre, who erupted in a room full of applause (yes, that still happens) when the movie credits rolled up.

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First Clip, Poster, Teaser and Reviews for FOXCATCHER starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum are Amazing

Monday, May 19th, 2014

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One of my most anticipated movies of 2014 is director Bennett Miller’s (Moneyball) psychological drama Foxcatcher. The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell). The movies premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and the first reviews are nothing short of amazing for the film.

The first clip is below as well showing the astonishing transformation Carell took on for the role, nearly unrecognizable. It’s downright creepy.

The film also stars Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall.

Foxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th, watch the clip and teaser along with the reviews below:

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Book Review: King of the Weeds

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

King of the Weeds

Mike Hammer is a rough around the edges PI first introduced to the written world by Mickey Spillane in 1947’s I, The Jury. Although he passed away in 2006, a number of Spillane’s unfinished Mike Hammer stories were uncovered and finished with the help of Max Allan Collins. You may recall that I reviewed Lady, Go Die! the 2012 release by the duo on the City of Films. (more…)

Cut To The Chase Review: NEIGHBORS (2014)

Monday, May 12th, 2014

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Cut To The Chase Reviews from COF are spoiler free reviews ‘abridged for your pleasure’. Quick, concise, and sometimes entertaining opinions on the go!

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It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood..

The frat-house comedy is movie genre that has stood the test of time and left behind some classic laughs; movies like National Lampoon’s Animal House, Back to School, and Revenge of the Nerds come to many minds instantly. It’s a lot of fun to explore and luckily Neighbors does a great job using an otherwise tired premise.  It not only earns its R-rating with consistent hilarity and new ideas, but it’s also unexpectedly touching at times without losing its cool.  I welcome the self-awareness as well as a plot this absurd deserves to be mocked.

There are big jokes that never overstay their welcome, but sometimes the throwaway jokes are sometimes back-to-back and leave no thread of reason and don’t help the story or characters. It felt like they must of had free time on the set that day so they filmed some extra scenes that ended up in a movie that would have otherwise been 60-minutes.  Still, it’s actually nice to watch a comedy movie under 2-hours these days and reach for new ideas when it should be resolving others (see recent Judd Apatow movies).

It was a good time at the movies, it’s not for the easily offended, and lastly it proves what I’ve been saying a lot on this site – Zac Efron can do more than sing and dance.  He’s not in a “High School Musical” anymore; he’s a college man now.

Final Score: 8/10

+ Consistently funny
+ Zac Efron and Rose Byrne shine
- Scenes from trailer missing (I hate that)
- Felt like back-to-back SNL sketches sometimes

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