comic book movies

Atomic Blonde– Video Review

Charlize Theron + comic book movies= Atomic Blonde and we’ve got our review!

What did you all think of Atomic Blonde? Hit us up in the comments below and let us know!

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20 Movies to get hyped for down the back half of 2017

Believe it or not, we are already halfway through 2017! So far we’ve seen some truly great flicks and though the summer movie season has been off to a sluggish start, things will definitely pick up down the back half of the year. To help mentally prepare you for the coming greatness, we’ve assembled a brief look forward to our most anticipated movies of these last six months!

JULY

1.) Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Totes obvi, right? Not only will Spider-Man: Homecoming be one of the biggest films of the summer (if not, the biggest), but it’s also one of our most anticipated and for some good reasons. First off, it’s the third cinematic interpretation we’ve had of the character since Sam Raimi’s original back in 2002 and after the bump in the road that was The Amazing Spider-Man films, it’ll be interesting to see how audiences respond to yet another reboot. Then there’s the casting of Tom Holland. We got a taste of his take on the Web Head in Captain America: Civil War and, needless to say, we want more. Plus who doesn’t want to see Spidey swinging around with Ironman on the big screen?!

Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters July 7th.

2.) War for the Planet of the Apes

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes took audiences and critics by surprise with how good it actually turned out and then Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was even better. These films somehow have us rooting against our own race! Motion capture guru Andy Serkis owns the role of Cesar and gives arguably his best performances in these films. ‘Dawn’ Director Matt Reeves returns to helm this third entry in the reboot and if it’s anywhere near as good as the previous film, this trilogy belongs in the discussion as one of the all-time great movie trilogies ever.

War for the Planet of the Apes will ravage a theater near you July 14th.

3.) Atomic Blonde

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Before Deadpool 2, Director David Leitch (also co-director of the first John Wick) is taking on another comic book property: Atomic Blonde. Leitch shoots some of the most exciting action today and his choreography is brutal so casting is important. So when you don’t have someone as hard working as Keanu Reeves in front of the lens, it’s important to secure equally committed talent. Charlize Theron fits that bill perfectly, having completely changed her model appearance (and winning an Oscar) for Monster (directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins). Slap some supporting talent like James McAvoy and Sofia Boutella on the side and we’ve got one of our most anticipated movies remaining.

Atomic Blonde busts into theaters July 28th.

AUGUST

1.) Detroit

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Kathryn Bigelow is the only female to ever win Best Director at the Academy Awards. She did so back in 2008 with The Hurt Locker (which went on to win Best Picture that year). Her subsequent film, Zero Dark Thirty, was also nominated for Best Picture in 2012. Bigelow continues her streak of hard-hitting reenactments with Detroit, based on the city’s infamous string of tragic protests in the late 60s. A powerful true story with immense talent behind the camera deserves equal talent in front of the camera and that’s just what we’re getting. John Krasinski, Will Poulter, John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, and Jason Mitchell all headline this tremendous cast.

Detroit hits theaters August 4th.

2.) Logan Lucky

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Steven Soderbergh  (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich) hasn’t made a movie since 2013’s Side Effects. After mid-ranged film budgets seemingly went extinct in Hollywood, Soderbergh declared his retirement from directing. Naturally, his resurgence alone is reason enough to include his next project on this list. Imagine our excitement then when we found out who’s in it: Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, and Hilary Swank. As if that weren’t enough, they’re going to try robbing $14 million from the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a race! You don’t have to steal from me, Soderbergh. Just take my money now.

Logan Lucky steals into theaters August 18th.

3.) Death Note

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Thanks to Ghost in the Shell, moviegoers shudder when “anime” and “live-action” are used in the same sentence. Couple that with the fact that, outside Beasts of No Nation, Netflix hasn’t exactly been hitting it out of the park as far as their original films are concerned (their television on the other hand… So good!). Those two things considered, we understand if you’re not high on Adam Wingard’s upcoming Death Note reimagining. We, however, maintain optimism that the man who brought us You’re Next, The Guest, and the underappreciated Blair Witch sequel, will do the hit anime justice. Because, if he doesn’t, that’ll put a damper on Kong vs. Godzilla.

Death Note falls into your Netflix queue August 25th.

SEPTEMBER

1.) IT

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In the 90’s, Stephen King’s cherished novel was made into a television miniseries starring Tim Curry as the iconic killer clown. Now, over twenty years later, the scaring source material is finally receiving its big screen dues, only this time Bill Skarsgard is dawning the red and white makeup. And while Mama wasn’t one of our favorite horror movies of 2013, it’s a solid step above par. As long as Director Andrés Muschietti can nail the tone and let his young, talented cast take care of the rest, IT could become a Halloween staple. Not to mention the first trailer broke the YouTube record for most views in a single day. Clearly we’re not the only ones hyped.

IT crawls into a theater near you September 8th.

2.) Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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Director Matthew Vaughn first sent up the superhero genre with Kickass, based on the little-known comic centered around a group of kids who come together dressed as superheroes to fight crime. After making more of a traditional superhero flick in X-Men: First Class, Vaughn set his sights on similarly small ‘Kingsman. Now we’re getting the sequel. Not only is Kingsman: The Golden Circle reuniting Vaughn with beloved cast members from the first film, but it’s also introducing the likes of Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, and Julianne Moore as the villain. If those names alone don’t get your blood pumping, nothing will.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle explodes into theaters September 22nd.

3.) American Made

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American Made has intrigued us ever since we learned that Tom Cruise was attached to star as real life U.S. commercial pilot-turned-drug-smuggler-turned-DEA-informant Barry Seal. It’s an insane story and one definitely worthy of the silver screen treatment and Cruise’s talents. Not long after, Doug Liman joined to direct. Liman previously directed Cruise in the understated sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow and also directed The Bourne Identity as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith. So something like American Made seems right in his wheelhouse. Adding to the hype was the equally bonkers trailer that dropped today which perfectly encapsulates the insanity of this high-stakes dramedy.

American Made flies into theaters September 29th.

OCTOBER

1.) Blade Runner 2049

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For sheer quantity, October is our most anticipated month remaining and it starts off with the much-desired sequel to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Imaginatively titled, Blade Runner 2049 brings back Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) as executive producer and Hampton Fancher as screenwriter. The the main attractions, however, are Ryan Gosling as the star and Director Denis Villeneuve, who is currently blazing one of the hottest streaks in Hollywood with Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival. Then there’s the cinematography. Blade Runner has a specific visual style so it only makes sense to once again pair Villeneuve with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redeption, No Country for Old Men), who was previously lit both Prisoners and Sicario. This film is bringing back all the right people and tossing in some of the freshest talent around. We can’t wait to see the result.

Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters October 6th.

2.) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Martin McDonagh is one of the most talented storytellers in Hollywood today. The writer-director’s films, much like Quentin Tarantino’s, bear a distinctive, auteurist style that similarly infuses hyper violence with dark, edgy humor and center on quirky, crime-based narratives. McDonagh also casts his films well. In the case of ‘Three Billboards,’ Frances McDormand stars as a mother who wages an all-out war against the local police after months of failing to make any headway in the case of her daughter’s murder. The equally charismatic Woody Harrelson co-stars as the chief of the aforementioned police force and Sam Rockwell as his second-in-command. In a market saturated by established IP’s, McDonagh is a force of originality and a breath of fresh air.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starts playing in theaters October 13th.

3.) Mother!

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The Hollywood marketing machine has a tendency to overshare footage from upcoming films. Whether through multiple trailers, television spots, posters, prologues, early behind the scenes, studios want to make sure you know exactly what you’re in for ahead of time. This has become so much the norm that films like Mother! almost seem revolutionary. We know almost nothing about it (although the film is still a few months out so there’s still plenty of time to ruin it). All we have to go off are a few tasty nuggets of info. The first comes in the form of the darkly alluring poster (see right). Next is that the film will tell the story of a couple whose “relationship is tested” after “uninvited guests” arrive, “disrupting their tranquil existence” and that it stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. We also know that it’s directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) who intends for his film to be a psychological thriller, a genre he has proven skilled in. It’s not a lot to go off but if you ask us, it’s more than enough to secure our tickets.

Mother! makes birth in theaters October 13th.

4.) God Particle

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Last year saw the release of 10 Cloverfield Lane, the surprise second film in the Cloverfield universe which re-ignited the franchise. Originally, a third film was scheduled for release less than a year later in February of this year. It was pushed back, however, to October and has found its way onto our list. 10 Cloverfield Lane, though taking place in the universe of the first film, distinguished itself by taking the approach of a slow-burning psychological thriller. Some deft direction as well as an unnerving performance by John Goodman elevated it above our expectations. J.J. Abrams returns to produce God Particle, which also sets its self a part by taking place aboard a space station while the live-in astronauts fight for survival with reality warping around them. The fresh faced Julius Onah will direct the established talents of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl, and David Oyelowo. We’re can’t wait to see if and how Onah takes advantage of this hard-core science fiction idea.

God Particle lands in theaters October 17th.

5.) Saw: Legacy

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We know how dopey this looks. Saw is (no pun indented) a dead franchise that hasn’t put out a good film in a very long time. But we still have nightmares about Billy the puppet and deep down we’ve been yearning for the days where Halloween meant another Saw movie! Maybe we’re just suckers for the genre. Or, maybe, we’re just excited to see brothers Peter and Michael Spierig (Daybreakers, Predestination) take a shot at the series. Their films don’t always hit like they’re supposed to but the duo always bring their A game in terms of creativity and originality. Hopefully they’re the spark that revives R-rated slashers at the box office!

Saw: Legacy starts playing games October 27th.

NOVEMBER

1.) Thor: Ragnarok

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Thor: Ragnarok is not only our most anticipated movie down the back half of 2017 but it’s our most anticipated movie of the year, period. It looks to be taking galactic elements from the establish MCU mythos and mixing them in with bits and pieces of Planet Hulk, which is some of the most fun you can have reading a comic book. Then you get a guy like Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) to direct and spin it with his unique brand of humor. The addition of Jeff Goldblum and Cate Blanchett as the villain are two brilliant cherries on top. We haven’t even mentioned the fact we’re going to see Doctor Strange interact with Thor and Hulk on the big screen! It’s as if though rock n roll itself materialized into a deliciously kickass comic book romp!

Thor: Ragnarok rocks into theaters November 3rd.

2.) Justice League

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Admittedly, we were not fans of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, or Suicide Squad (see our in-depth thoughts and ranking of the DCEU films here). But Wonder Woman blew past our expectations (catch our review here). In light of recent success, we’re more willing to give Justice League a chance. Besides, the casting of our main heroes thus far has been pitch perfect and we can’t wait to see Jason Momoa’s take on Aquaman. Hopefully this film does well and the DC Extended Universe expands further into some of their deeper-cut mythology so we can see some of it come to life on the silver screen. Isn’t that every geek’s dream?

Justice League swoops into theaters November 17th.

3.) Coco

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In Pixar we trust. It’s that simple. Their films eventually wind up on everybody’s “most anticipated movies” list of whatever year. They’re that good. And even after taking a dump with Cars 2, the studio has consistently proven they know how to effectively tell an emotionally compelling story capable of reaching the hearts of viewers of all ages (who among us hasn’t cried watching a Pixar film?). And despite the increase in sequels the studio has put out over the last few years, they’ve still shown with films as recent as Inside Out that they want to expands viewers’ imaginations with creative, original material. Such is the case with Coco and we can’t wait to have our minds blown.

Coco starts playing its tune November 22nd.

DECEMBER

1.) The Shape of Water

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Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaker who isn’t afraid of taking risks and as a powerhouse of imagination, he’s made a career out of doing just that. Of course risk opens the door to potential missteps as much as it does to success. Del Toro has had his fair share of both. However, from what we know so far, The Shape of Water is (pun intended) shaping up to be one of the filmmaker’s most exciting endeavors yet. Star Doug Jones (who is also featured prominently in del Toro’s two Hellboy flicks) described the film as a Cold War-era romance between the last creature of a near-extinct [aquatic?] race (Jones) and a woman (Sally Hawkins) who discovers him held captive inside a secret, American laboratory. Also featuring one of our favorites in Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water could be the throwback to del Toro’s days of Pan’s Labyrinth that, I think we can all agree, we’ve been waiting for.

The Shape of Water takes shape December 8th.

2.) The Disaster Artist

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Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is widely considered the worst movie ever made (if you’ve been fortunate or misfortunate enough to see it, then you probably understand why). A decade after its release, Actor Greg Sestero wrote a book chronicling both Wiseau’s embarrassing failure through the system as well as Sestero’s own experiences on set.  From all accounts, it’s a hilarious, riveting read. Thankfully, Director and Star James Franco knows we don’t like to read, so he’s turning the book into a movie and we can’t imagine a more perfect fit for this material. And get a load of the cast: James Franco, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, Alison Brie, Bryan Cranston, Kristen Bell, Dave Franco, Sharon Stone, Adam Scott, and Seth Rogen. Need we say more?

The Disaster Artist will attempt to be a movie December 8th.

3.) Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

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We started this list with an obvious pick and that’s how we’re going to end it too. Let’s be honest, the next episode in the Star Wars saga would make this list no matter who was behind the camera. That said, we feel especially safe knowing that it’s Rian Johnson. The man has proven he knows good storytelling, having written and directed films like Brick and Looper. He’s also directed some of the best episodes that Breaking Bad had to offer. Then of course there’s the stress-inducing levels of anticipation moviegoers have for finding out about Ray’s lineage. And let’s not forget we’ll finally get to hear Luke Skywalker talk for the first time in nearly 35 years. What’s he been up to, I wonder?

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi sparks its saber December 15th.

That’s our list of the most anticipated movies remaining this year! What do you all think? And what movies are you most looking forward to? Drop into the comments section below and let us know!

Justice League Dark (2017)- Review

Director: Jay Oliva

Starring: Matt Ryan, Camilla Ludinggton, Jason O'Mara, Ray Chase

Synopsis: Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan (Source: IMDb).

Rating: R

Whether you love it or hate it or find yourself somewhere in between, Warner Bros. and DC have struggled to garner unanimous critical success for their ongoing live-action cinematic universe (aka: the DCEU). In the world of animation, however, nobody does superheroes better.

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A large part of this success is thanks to Director Jay Oliva, who has proven time and again a prowess for this world and its characters after the critical successes of previous DC animated adaptations like The Dark Knight Returns and The Flashpoint Paradox. Though Justice League Dark doesn’t quite live in the same realm as those films as far a telling a comprehensible story goes, it does conjure up a refreshing take on the genre.

Right out the gate the film takes advantage of its harsher R-rating as ordinary citizens begin committing unspeakable acts of horror against one another. After the O.G. Justice League quickly concludes that black magic is behind the commotion, Batman soon finds himself on the doorstep of the House of Mystery and its eccentric tenant John Constantine. Fans of the short-lived NBC series Constantine can rejoice knowing Matt Ryan is the guy lending his Welsh tones to the charismatic occultist in the scene-stealing role.

Other character introductions play out like short horror stories with strange, otherworldly twists. These aren’t your typical swoop-in-and-save-the-day hero types who got their gifts from a radioactive spider bite. They are a deeply conflicted, broken bunch of magical misfits and a nice change of pace for anyone interested in sinking their teeth into edgier, more mature super-powered material.

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In fact, these characters are so interesting that I was let down by the film’s quick pacing and short 80-minute runtime. I wanted to spend more time exploring what makes each antihero tick and their relationships with each other, especially since there are so many of them to delve into. Instead, certain characters are relegated to one or two scenes with sparsely any dialogue.

I found this to be especially troubling when it came to Swamp Thing. The film hints at the rocky history between he and Constantine but instead of letting that play out through the course of the film, DC opted to give the screen time to Batman. From a marketing perspective this move makes sense, but Batman neither has mystical abilities nor is he a believer in magic despite witnessing much of it himself during the film (which just makes him seem inattentive). The result is that Batman isn’t given a whole lot to do here outside a couple of neatly choreographed though ultimately pointless action sequences.

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The film’s pacing and runtime also negatively affects the narrative. Some plot points are simply skimmed over for the sake of getting to the next action setpiece. Though you’ll likely have questions about what exactly is going on, the film never spends much time explaining itself because its characters have already moved on to the next scene.

Though occasionally I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, I was never bored. That’s a testament to just how interesting these characters are and Oliva’s attentiveness to the details of their personalities. Even if I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d liked, Justice League Dark is still an imaginative, fresh entry into DC’s animated catalogue.

Grade: B

What did you think of Justice League Dark? Let me know in the comments below!

Justice League Dark is available to rent or own on blu-ray and digital now.