Monthly Archives: December 2015

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens or How long til Episode VIII?

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

There isn’t a good way to start a review of the most anticipated film of 2015.  But, we have to start somewhere.  And all I can think of is…

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away….

The Star Wars franchise wasn’t in the best of shape.  From 1999 to 2005, George “These are my toys” Lucas released prequels to the beloved Star Wars franchise.  He wrote and directed each film and after 17 years since Return of the Jedi, his creation fell flat.  Perhaps it was an expectation that could not be matched by any film trilogy.  However, The Force Awakens seems to disagree with the anticipation vs. fan enjoyment argument, seeing as it could become the number one grossing film of all time.  That’s right, it’ll pass Avatar by James Cameron.

Can you even remember a quote from this movie?
Can you even remember a quote from this movie?

When the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney was completed (to the tune of $4.05 Billion) in 2012, they wasted no time in announcing new Star Wars films.  A great tremor was felt in the collective fan community.  How could the ‘House of Mouse’ ever do this franchise properly?  Could they possibly do the The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn (which this reviewer thinks is the best Expanded Universe tale ever told)?  What would happen to the excellent Clone Wars animated show?  All questions, but no answers.

Best representation of the above statement.
Best representation of the above statement.

Finally, after what seemed like ages, news slowly trickled out about the state of our Galaxy Far Far Away.

  • From the movie production:
    • Who was the director?  J.J. Abrams.
    • How much CGI?  Lots, but hey they’re using practical effects too!
    • Who are the writers?  Those that did screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, Toy Store 3, and Armageddon (don’t know about that one J.J.)
    • Would the original cast be part of it?  Maybe.

Reasonable expectations began for the film.  Then came the dark times. Clone Wars was cancelled in favor of a new Disney Star Wars cartoon. The Expanded Universe many fans had been reading since the 1980’s was disbanded as canon and rendered to a “Legacy” status. It seemed that our worst fears had been realized, Disney had taken away everything we loved and filled it with hollow promises of movies, shows, and merchandise.  Then a new hope arose in the form of a trailer in November 2014:

In my opinion, that’s when the tide changed.  Instantly everyone changed into a five year old with their Star Wars toys.  Of course a lot of people made fun of Kylo Ren’s cross guard lightsaber, but everyone was pumped and just like that…December 2015 couldn’t get here fast enough for anyone.

"No longer used for just Jedi/Sith battles: the Brand New Swiss Saber will take care of all your galactic needs. "
“No longer used for just Jedi/Sith battles: the Brand New Swiss Saber will take care of all your galactic needs.  Available for 12 easy payments of 1M New Republic credits.”

More trailers came out.  And so did the merchandise.  “Star Wars all the things!” cried every manufacturer and retailer.  I honestly don’t have a problem with this as long as it wouldn’t effect the storytelling.  Now if Luke Skywalker had been playing with the amazing Hot Wheels line while some dialogue, I think there might have been a problem.

There are a lot of things to be said about the film itself.  I could really go into the amazing space battles, which were the center of the action over any lightsaber battle shown.  Truly, it was well done.  Then there was the acting.  Every single person there was excited to be in a Star Wars filmed and their enthusiasm and talent showed.

Sorry buddy
Sorry Hayden, it wasn’t all your fault, you were too young and seduced by George

The old cast really meshed well with the new characters introduced and the delight was very evident on everyone’s face.  The writing, the actors, the sets, the CG, and the thrill…it was all there.  Star Wars is back and I cannot wait for the next iteration.

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

You didn’t need my review to decide if you were going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you were either going to see it or you were never going to see it.  Sure there are plenty questions left unanswered and of course I could really nitpick at details and find reasons why this issue or that issue…blah blah blah.  Nothing I can say will change what you’re going to do.  I can say it’s as simple as this: I really enjoyed the film.  And I hope you do as well.

And today is the last day of the year, and the last post of 2015.  We hope that you all enjoyed our random writing, be it reviews or some of our other content.

Manchicken and I will likely share our favorites from 2015 over the next few days, but the best all around movie in 2015 was The Martian.  There is lots more to say (comedy, action, failures, etc.) but I’ll get to that in another post.  For now, I wish you all a wonderful New Years and hope you’re looking forward to 2016 as I am!

-Darkmovienight

Box Office

Monday Morning Shower Report: Star Wars Broke All the Records

Good morning Bleary-Eyed fans, are you awake enough after your third or fourth viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Well, prepare to drop the soap as we spend some time on how amazing Star Wars did this weekend.

I'm not getting it, I made that mistake once before and someone stole my wallet
I’m not getting it, I made that mistake once before and someone stole my wallet!

1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens- $238M

There isn’t going to be much else to talk about this morning, so we’re going to get really involved with this film.  And from now on, I’m just going to type “Star Wars” as the movie title so I don’t contract irreversible mega-carpel-tunnel syndrome.  Like I said last week, we all knew that Star Wars was going to break records, but had no idea that it would break all the records.  Let me quickly tick off the records it shattered:

  • Largest opening weekend: $238M, previously held by Jurassic World earlier this year ($208.8M).
  • Largest Thursday showings: $57M, previously held by the final Harry Potter installment ($43.5M) four years ago.
  • Largest opening day (FYI, this does include the above Thursday showings): $120.5M, beating the crap out of the Kid Wizard again which previously held it at $91.1M
  • Largest dollar amount per theater of a wide release: $57.6k per theater, with Star Wars releasing in 4,134 theaters.  There really is no comparison to any other movie here, that’s how far it eclipses everything else.
  • Largest IMAX release: $30.1M out of 391 IMAX screens, making extinct the dinosaurs from earlier this year which had $20.9M.  I’ll do the math for you, that’s $77k per screen…
  • International opening of $279M.  They still have India, Greece, and China (opening in January) to go.

The entire global weekend gross for Star Wars was $517M.  If each person who saw Star Wars only once (not the case, but for sake of jaw-dropping figure), then each human of the Earth’s population (7.3 Billion), will have spent an average of $14.12 a ticket.  That’s right, even toddlers spent $14.12 on average to see Star Wars.

"When does this thing
“When does this thing start, we’ve been in line since 2014!”

Honestly, I knew it was going to be big, but I had no idea the power of the Force, I mean hype.  Now it is estimated that the production costs of Star Wars was north of $200M (not including advertising).  If that is a true number, then Disney/Lucasfilm might eek out a tiny profit…

Kathleen Kennedy (CEO of Lucasfilm) seen in her own shower this morning.
Bob Iger (CEO of Disney) seen here .  Not depicted are Kathleen Kennedy (CEO of Lucasfilm) and J.J. Abrams.  They don’t take golden showers…

All this success does cause a little bit of a problem for I Watch Too Many Movies: we’d love to do a review of Star Wars, but we’ve got a few roadblocks in our way.  We don’t want to spoil it for the 1% who didn’t go this week, and those of you who did see it (likely ANYONE who reads this site) you’ve already made up your mind about how you feel about the film and did your own micro-review on Facebook or Twitter.  I think Manchicken and I will give our thoughts on the film separately in the next few days, but I’m pretty sure those opinions won’t differ too much.

"Let's watch it again." -Manchicken and I
“Let’s watch it again.” -Manchicken and I

2) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip- $14.4M

Apparently some film studios decided to find a convenient excuse for their movies failing by sacrificing, er, releasing them against Star Wars. 20th Century Fox pulled this move by releasing the fourth movie in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie franchise.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that being a Babysitter this weekend was quite lucrative. And likely this is the film the babysitters’ took the kids to while their parents went and saw Star Wars in the theater next door.

Seen here taking a group selfie after leaving the kids in the Chipmunks theater
Horrible dressed babysitters seen here taking a group selfie after leaving the kids alone in the Chipmunks’ theater.  Who knows, they may have even used a Lightsaber selfie-stick to take this picture

3) Sisters- $13.4M

Universal pulled this trick with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s new comedy, Sisters.  Apparently this wasn’t a horrible film, so I don’t know if they just dumped it here or had the misfortune of having this weekend booked for quite a while.  At any rate, it’s a comedy, so it likely didn’t cost much to make and the fact that it made any movie this weekend was an achievement.  The audience consisted mostly of women over 25, so that fits squarely in the demographic that grew up watching these two on Saturday Night Live and haven’t seen or don’t care about seeing Star Wars.

Yeah, you would probably be happier watching Star Wars too
Yeah, you two would probably be happier watching Star Wars as well

4) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2- $5.6M ($254.4M Total)

Katniss’ bow, speeches, or constantly waking up in a hospital bed were no match for a good blaster at Star Wars’ side.  After being in the top spot for four straight weeks, the final chapter in The Hunger Games film series finally toppled.  It’s okay, Lionsgate made their money and now they’ll just have to wait for the Blu-Ray/Digital release.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone since it was more or less the same crowd seeing Star Wars.

Startles
Except Startles.  He is continually amazed at the obvious.  We keep him around because it makes us laugh when he watches the movie Memento

5) Creed- $5.1M ($87.9M Total)

Since this is likely the last week in the Top 5 for Creed, there isn’t much to say except we’re looking forward to any type of continuation to this franchise.  Good job Sly, you did a good job here.

That my friends was an intense box office recap session.  I think I need to take a nap.  Sadly, I’ve got movies to watch (I feel like seeing Apollo 13 today), and real jobs to apply for (unless someone wants to pay me for this gig…yeah…didn’t think so).

One thing I worry about is that we continue to teach Hollywood and their evil Tribunal the wrong lessons.  Everyone went to see Star Wars because it was Star Wars and we had faith it was handled properly by J.J.  What they learned: “Franchise all the things!  Revive every film from the 1970’s!  Reboot everything!”  They’ve heard this lesson for so long it’s more of a mantra they chant than something new.

"Oh almighty Box Office master, show us the way!"
“Sequels, franchises and reboots arise!  Sequels, franchises and reboots arise!  Sequels, franchises and reboots ARISE!”

Have a great week my friends and wake up, I know you saw Star Wars four times, but falling asleep in the shower is dangerous to yourself and others.

-Darkmovienight

Yes

Wednesday Wars: Time Moves too Slow (1 Day, 15 Hours Left!)

Morning Bleary-Eyed Fans, it’s Wednesday and you know what that means…

Wednesday Wars

Episode VIII

TIME MOVES TOO SLOW

It is one day before Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases in theaters. Many lives are at stake as no one knows the true power of The Force…of line stampeding. Hopefully your theater of choice has assigned seating.

Millions of people await this EPIC RELEASE without any fear that the Jedi Captain himself, J.J. ADAMS, has messed up the franchise or created another Episode I misfire. We here on “I Watch Too Many Movies” have faith in the living Force that this will not occur.

With this being the final WEDNESDAY WARS until we start getting excited for Episode VIII, we will throw everything we have at this difficult post and hope we find the thermal exhaust port to your funny bone. I guess that means we would kill you or something, but let’s gloss over that for now….

Yoda Joseph Gordon-Levitt finds this funny not. Yeesssssss.
Yoda Joseph Gordon-Levitt finds this funny it is not. With the desperation it is strong.

Even celebrities who got to attend the showing on Monday dressed up. You can see one of our favorite actors, JGL, up there in “Yoda-Face”.  I’m not sure, but I also see The Grinch lounge pants.  Reasons we love him #262.  Another star, Rainn Wilson showed up as a grizzled Jedi along with an adorable Boba Fett:

I seem to remember an episode of The Office in which Dwight did this, but I believe that could have been any sitcom's Halloween Episode
I seem to remember an episode of The Office in which Dwight did this, but I believe that could have been any sitcom’s Halloween Episode…it’s so original that nerds like Star Wars!

Now that we’ve hated with all our might those that walked the red carpet and saw The Force Awakens two days ago, let’s find some things fun in the world of Star Wars stuff.

Today I’ll lead off with a little girl who knows what she wants and her amazing parents who worked hard to get it done for her.  I present to you, a Princess Chewbacca Birthday cake:

Only true warriors are comfortable donning a proper Princess Dress.
Only true warriors are comfortable donning a proper Princess Dress.

I think they did a fantastic job.  Also make note of the little girl’s Imperial Head Band.  Make fun of her and I’m sure her Sith parents will ensure your windpipe closes with record speed.

The next few videos we have, come from the gluttonous geniuses at Epic Meal Time.  In celebration of the release of The Force Awakens, they create an over 70,000 Calorie BB-8 Beef Ball.  While I usually find some enjoyment in their culinary disturbances in The Force’s collective bowls, this one was over the top.  Just watch:

There isn’t much about food that turns me off, but that monstrosity comes close.   And of course they had to create something for breakfast as well.  I don’t feel as nauseated after watching this one.  Presenting the “Blue Milk Breakfast Sandwich”:

Let’s move away from the world of food and allow some disgustingly rich dude to show us all up and create the geekiest engagement device ever created:

beautifully-badass-lord-of-the-rings-inspired-lightsaber

You’re eyes do not deceive you.  That is a beautifully forged lightsaber to go with J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings world.  Instead of enslaving Middle Earth, our Earth, and the entire Galaxy, the individual who commissioned it from the amazing craftsmen at Vader’s Vault used it to merely ask for a someone’s hand in marriage.  All that aside, can you imagine if Sauron had wielded this type of power?  Especially if he had access to The Dark Side of the Force…he’d be one powerful Motherf-

Shut your
-Shut your mouth!  Say ‘Force’ again.  Say ‘Force’ again, I dare you, I double dare you…

Finally, we turn to Saturday Night Live, which has become merely a stage for The Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake to show off how talented they are, has come up with an excellent Star Wars toy commercial that rings all too true and hits close to home:

And yeah, I bought The Black Series figures on Force Friday.  And of course they’re still in their box!  You think I’m going to play with them? Well, I really wanted to but my wife wouldn’t let me.  Something about buying too many toys when we don’t have children.  I don’t know, I stopped listening pretty quickly.

Anyway, we hope you appreciated all of our Wednesday Wars posts this  year.  I also owe a special apology to Drag Queens for our post on the extremely uncomfortable looking Star Wars heels I wrote about on October 14th.  It was definitely not meant to single you all out.  I don’t believe anyone would be comfortable in those things.

We’ve enjoyed doing this segment and plan on continuing with a Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice countdown at the start of 2016. Hopefully we’ll find enough material to keep you all engaged and laughing like a victim of the Joker.

See how I tied Batman to Star Wars: Mark Hammil
See how I segued from Star Wars to Batman?  Mark freaking Hamill.

Lastly I want everyone to get a good eyeful of yours truly.  Dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones premier:

Perhaps Attack of the Clones wasn't the best use of my costume, but I was in HIGH SCHOOL and we all make mistakes.
Perhaps Attack of the Clones wasn’t the best use of my costume, but I was in HIGH SCHOOL and we all make mistakes.  And no, I don’t know why the image is on its side. I’m not good at these new fancy computer tablet hybrids.

Have an excellent Wednesday and make sure to enjoy Star Wars: The Force Unleashed,in theaters this Friday.

I done told you!
DOES IT LOOK LIKE I’M A JEDI?  THEN WHY YOU TRY TO TALK TO HIM LIKE A JEDI?
Oh...
Oh…

-Darkmovienight

Star Trek 2009 Movie Poster

Five minutes away from my computer and the “Star Trek: Beyond” trailer gets released…

Can movie studios please STOP RELEASING TRAILERS THIS WEEK!  Not saying that I don’t appreciate it, but come on!  I’m unemployed here, I have to do something other than update this website!

"I like this job, it's exciting" Yeah Simon, but you'd probably get paid for this.
“I like this job, it’s exciting” Yeah Simon, but you’d probably get paid for this.

Anyway, check out the Beastie Boys’ new music video for “Sabotage” and some quick flashes of a more upbeat Star Trek than the last one. And I finally get to have Idris Elba in a franchise I love.  Also having Simon Pegg writing and Justin Lin directing, you could say I’m more excited for this one than Star Trek: Into Darkness.  If you’ve not seen Lin’s work, just know he’s the guy that did Fast Five (reinvention of the Fast & Furious franchise to make it actually interesting, oh and get The Rock and Vin Diesel to fight each other).

Forget Batman vs. Superman, THIS was the title match in 2011
Forget Batman vs. Superman, THIS was the title match in 2011.  They both played Khan though, it was weird

He also did all of the paintball episodes of the TV show “Community”. Those episodes had the best comedy and action I’ve ever seen since the original Die Hard.  So, you could say I’m excited.  However, I really don’t understand the title of “Star Trek” in this series since most of the action seems to take place on Earth or other planets.  Kirk says it himself in the trailer: “No ship, no crew….”  I would just like to see a little more *stars* in my Star Trek.  Is that so much to ask?

After all, we already had a stationary (pun intended) Star Trek
After all, we already had a stationary (pun intended) Star Trek

-Darkmovienight

Box Office

Monday Morning Shower Report: Box Office 12/11-12/13 or the Weekend Before Star Wars Breaks Records

Good morning Bleary-Eyed fans!  We’ve got a quick recap of last weekend’s box office results, but first we have to continue to show you that 20th Century Fox is on a roll with the trailers.  Last week we brought you the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer, and yesterday they dropped another bomb on us: Independence Day: Resurgence trailer.  Check it out:

Now I don’t know about you, but they teased out just a little bit and it really felt good to see a few familiar faces popping up.  And the poster work was done really well and extremely simple:

Nothing flashy, which is odd for Roland Emmerich
Nothing flashy, which is odd for Roland Emmerich
That's more like it!
That’s more like it!

At any rate, I really enjoyed the trailer.  It had a great feel and of course the lesser Hemsworth brother is always welcome in my action movies. Just glad he’s not fighting with a crossbow this time.  Missing however is Will Smith.  I know we all knew he wasn’t doing this film early on, but come up Fresh Prince, you did a third Men in Black movie, would this paycheck had been so hard to cash?  Eh, I saw one or two black dudes in the trailer, so maybe one of them will be Smith’s character’s step-son. Let the speculation begin!  Oh, also of particular excitement was the famous Bill Pullman’s “Independence Day” speech from the first film playing over the end of the trailer, well done trailer editors.

dawson_crying
I don’t care who you are, if you don’t tear up during that speech you’re either one of the aliens who got their ass handed to them or really unpatriotic

Anyway, now that we’re all tearing up, erh, got soap in our eyes, let’s rinse off and get on with the Box Office Countdown from last week!

1)  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2- $11.3M ($244.5M Total)

Again, surprising only those with anterograde amnesia, the last Hunger Games film dominated the top spot for the last time.  Four weeks in a row at number one wasn’t a bad run, but I don’t believe Hemsworths, Sutherlands, or Jennifer Lawrence will stop anything from a “Galaxy far far away”.

Although, that smile will be with me...always
Although, that smile will be with me…always

2) In the Heart of the Sea- $11.0M

The better Hemsworth brother did his best to best the Girl on Fire, but sadly this Ron Howard film didn’t really have the same punch of Apollo 13 or one of the Da Vinci Code movies (which is saying something).  I also had a few people tell me they were not going to see the film based on the nature of whaling in general.  I totally agree that we shouldn’t make a species extinct, but isn’t this film about one taking revenge?  Oh well, I didn’t make an effort to see it, instead I watch Tom Hardy play gangster brothers.  I imagine Legend was much better.  Still disappointed, this film had not only The Scarecrow but the new Spider-Man in it and it came out just “meh”. All I’ll say is that Netflix needs to put Ron Howard back to work as the Arrested Development narrator.

Again, I just can't get over these beautiful people and their smile's.
Again, I just can’t get over these beautiful people and their smiles. Sorry Ben, Thor is just really doing it for me right now.

3) The Good Dinosaur- $10.5M ($89.7M Total)

Pixar’s latest film continued to plod along after a lackluster opening and will only be a slight cushion to the enormous butt that Star Wars will have.  Maybe that was Disney’s plan: release a sub-par Pixar film for the kids that might get scared during Star Wars.

Haven't even seen the film and this guy creeps me out
Haven’t even seen the film and this guy creeps me out

Perhaps Disney will allow Pixar to go back to releasing a movie just once a year.  I know the brilliant Inside Out was the only Pixar movie I needed this year.  I think the 2016 slate looks better.  Going back to ocean isn’t going to hurt anyone.

Man, the smiles in these films just really make my day
Man, the smiles in these films just really make my day

4) Creed- $10.1M ($79.3M Total)

Continuing to impress, the spiritual successor to the Rocky franchise is holding its own in the ring (see what I did there?)  A couple sources put the production value at only $35M, so New Line, MGM, and Warner Bros’ are going to make a pretty tidy profit on this one.  Pretty likely to see a sequel to this film.  If they get the whole group back together, who I gushed over, then I’m all for it.  I also don’t see any other boxing movies or the lesser sport, UFC, coming down the pipeline, so any Creed sequel won’t have any stiff competition and I welcome the continued story.

Just something about these guys look ready to take on all competition
Just something about these guys make them look ready to take on all competitors

5) Krampus- $8.0M ($28.2M Total)

I have been debating on seeing this film since it came out.  My original intent was to go see it immediately, but I ended up seeing Mockingjay Part 2 again (see #1 box office position above).  From what I’ve heard, it’s not much more than a Christmas-y type horror/comedy.  I’ve heard some pretty bold comparisons, so I may just have to break down and see this film for myself sometime this week.  Maybe on Thursday, the crowds won’t be that bad, right?

No smiles here...
No smiles here…sorry

Thus we have another morning shower while discussing last week’s box office.  Of course make sure to thank Bill Pullman for putting soap in our eyes.  Oh, and how could we forget the amazing Jeff Goldblum for saving us once again.  Perhaps this time he’ll use an iPad.  Funny how Steve Jobs inadvertently saved the Earth.

Watch out
Watch out aliens, I’m armed with an iPhone 6S Plus with iOS 9.2…and my sexy abs. 

-Darkmovienight

X-Men: Apocalypse Trailer Reveal or I Still Think Cosplayers Dress Better

X-Men: Days of Future Past, in my opinion, was the pinnacle of the X-Men cinematic franchise.  I don’t know anyone who could have done a better job of bringing together two timelines and killing the movie that everyone hated in the franchise.

If you see this man, approach with caution, Brett Ratner is considered armed and untalented
If you see this man, approach with care.  Brett Ratner is considered armed and untalented. While we do not condone violence, we will make one exception

They finally gave us a look into what the next movie in the X-Men franchise will look like.  Honestly, I dig it.  Cast is top notch and Bryan Singer is sticking with an X-Men film.  Because we all know what happened when he switched sides.  There really isn’t anything I’m worried about here.  I’m sad we don’t get to see Sir Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellen again (jeez, still with the knights), but McAvoy and Fassbender will do.  Not to mention we get to have another Evan Peter’s deliciously amazing Quicksilver moments:

Also, all the actors portraying the younger versions of the X-Men we’ve come to love and hate, *cough* “Cyclops”, look great, especially Nightcrawler:

Nightcrawler
Yeah, they made him Emo, but you can kinda see both eyes

Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long while, so even though 2015 had Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four and The Martian (what, are you really going to argue that Matt Daemon wasn’t a superhero in that movie when we had to include the Fantastic Four movie in this list?!), it looks like 2016 is shaping up to be pretty epic superhero movie wise itself:

The only thing we have left is to talk about how bad Apocalypse’s costume is, and we’re trying not to beat a dead horse, but c’mon Singer! Did your costume department even look at the comics?  As many have pointed out, cosplayers can even do Apocalypse more justice.

Comics
Comics
Cosplay
Cosplay
Failure
Failure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you Bleary-Eyed fans enjoyed the trailer and are as excited as we are for 2016 and its stellar lineup of superhero films.

-Darkmovienight

Minions

“Look! Up on the Internet. Is it a Review? Is it an update? No, it’s a fluff piece.”

It’s been an epic half a year at I Watch Too Many Movies.  There are still some movies for the rest of the year and quite possibly the most anticipated movie of the decade since The Avengers.  In fact, we have 7 days and 14 hours by my count:

Yes

joy.jpg
Take your pick, I’m stoked about both of them

We want to thank all of our Bleary-Eyed fans who read our reviews and tolerate our crazy attempts at humor.  It’s usually a given that a movie review should have humor and more than a little bit of actual review…ness.  We know that most of our reviews come late, really after a movie has released, but since our readership isn’t as obsessed with movies as we are, we’re hoping that our opinions matter a little bit to someone out there.  I know we’re always thinking about the kids.

"Please sir, can we have more content?"
“Please sir, can we have more content?”

Well anyway, I wanted to point you all to a few of my favorite posts this year and then we’ll talk about what we might be doing for our end of the year extravaganza.  Probably discuss our favorite movies of the year and then, of course, a HUGE party!

At least there will be something like beer...
At least there will be something like beer…

Anyway, let me showcase some of my favorite reviews or segments that we did this year:

Surely there is more to come in 2016.  We’ve discussed doing a Podcast once or so a month.  There is the thought of partnering with another fantastic site, Nerdgasm that will showcase more of the gaming aspect. They do an excellent Twitch channel on YouTube and you should definitely check them out.

Finally, I came across a hilarious trailer based on all the epic movies that came out this year.  I hope you all enjoy!

Thanks for following us!

-Darkmovienight

Yes

Wednesday Wars- 15 Days and Counting and Stormtroopers sure love Christmas!

Hello Bleary-Eyed Fans.  It’s Wednesday and I’m not lazy this week so it’s time for our weekly (sometimes) segment of Star Wars Celebration we call:

Wednesday Wars!!!!!

Running across this week’s post via Reddit/Facebook was a pure joy.  It’s basically a stop motion film of Stormtroopers setting up a Christmas tree.  I really wish they’d come and do mine because I really don’t want to do it.

There is just something not right about that tree. Plus the needles scratch me when I get too close.
There is just something not right about that tree. Plus the needles scratch me when I get too close.

Well, I’ll get out of the way and let the creator of these awesome photos get the credit and the laughs he deserves:

Troopers Assembling the Christmas Tree by Kyle Shearrer

Hopefully you clicked through all of those and enjoyed them as much as I did.  Make sure you go onto the creator’s page and share it with others. Of course you could share our post, but I think the original artist deserves more credit.  Also, this was done a little while ago, so the last image referring to “19 Days” til The Force Awakens releases is so 4 days ago.

Worst. Jab. EVER.
                Worst. Jab. EVER.

Until next week: May the Force be with You!

-Darkmovienight

Concise Comedy- The Night Before or Typical Crazy Comedy Adventure Movie #101: Now with Christmas!

The-Night-Before-Movie-Poster

Going to try something new for comedic films.  In general, when you go to see a comedy, there is only one thing you need: the movie needs to make you laugh.  I could go for a huge review of the actors, the director, cinematography, atmosphere, writing, dialogue or even the absolutely insane demands some actors make while filming.

Yes your Majesty, we couldn't believe
Yes your Majesty, we too were disgusted by Tom Cruise’s demands

But what I’m trying to say is, all you want to ask is one question: Was it funny?  We’ll answer it as quickly as we can so you can get back to procrastinating.  You really should fix that lock on on your bathroom.

Next time we'll have more than just a camera...
Next time we’ll be back and bring more than just a camera…

Anyway, I’m going to try out the new format and we’ll go from there.

  • Are the actors good?

    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Jillian Bell are hilarious.  There are also some awesome cameos, but no spoilers here. Anthony Mackie seems like he’s trying too hard. He should probably stick to being an Avenger for now: Bad. Ass.
  • Is the story stupid?

    • Not at all.  It’s actually pretty touching.  I wouldn’t mind adding it to Christmas and “coming of age” comedy classics. And there is only one or two moments of “fantasy/science fiction” that are not drug induced.
  • Who should I see this with?

    • Your best friends.  It’s all about friendship and growing up and if you can’t relate, you’re likely not human, but I’m not judging. I think Grandma might want to skip this one.  Unless she is still into the drug scene, then, more power to her.
    • General note on comedy films: try your best to see them with a large crowd, like opening weekend.  You will feed off the crowd as they laugh and you’ll have a lot more fun.  Just my personal experience, take it or leave it.
  • What movies would you compare it to?

    • Anything Seth Rogen and James Franco have been in
    • Anything Judd Apatow has written or directed
    • Harold and Kumar Series
  • Finally: Was it funny?

    • Yes.  It’s very much the juvenile humor we’ve come to expect from anything Seth Rogen is involved in (well, with one exception).  It’s got it all, absurd situations, drugs, sex, and Top 40 music.  JGL is amazing.  He sings, dances, gets beat up and adds all the feelings the movie needs.  Seth Rogen does his normal stuff and you’ll love him for it.  The Night Before is funny and you need to see it with your friends at home when you’re drinking, smoking, or completely sober.  You already missed opening weekend, so just wait for the home release.

Under 500 word count, I think that’ll do.

-Darkmovienight

Creed or Rocky is Old, Here You Go Kid

Seriously, do yourself a favor and enjoy this as soon as you can.

When we did our review of Spotlight, we told you the difference between “Based on a True Story” and “Inspired by a True Story”.  This film sets up the uncanny valley between the two: fiction mixed with more fiction, but while seeming like a true story, or at least based off one.

Through six movies, Sylvester Stallone has portrayed his most popular and arguably most fleshed out character, Rocky Balboa.  The Rocky series started in 1976 and has gone all the way through to 2006’s love letter to the fans and the franchise, Rocky Balboa, which was directed by Stallone himself.  What most people remember about the films is he screams “Adrian” at the top of his lungs, fights Russians and works out to a catchy tune that my Norman High “Tigers” Marching Band friends got extremely sick of.  There are not many films out there that have the pop culture impact that the Rocky franchise has had.  Although, these films may disagree with that assertion.

If you’ve been living in an underground vault for most of your life due to some type of nuclear apocalypse, or no one in your family loves you enough to show you the Rocky films, then let me tell you why Creed is a bit of an odd duck in the world of cinema.

Did you get the reference?
Did you get the reference?  We alluded to Fallout 4!

Apollo Creed is not a real boxer.  He’s a fictional adversary turned friend in the Rocky franchise.  Being based on the real champion of boxing, Muhammad Ali, Creed was introduced in the first Rocky film as the main antagonist and is portrayed by the classic real life action hero Carl Weathers.  I can’t vouch for his actual heroics, but he’ll always be my hero. Basically, the first Rocky movie had him being arrogant and getting beat up at the end of the movie to some triumphant music.  It’s typically used as an inspirational fable when someone is going through some sort of trials in the real world. Well, as most people fail to remember when recounting Rocky, Creed actually won the fight in the end.  That’s pretty much like taking inspiration from a bee stinging someone.

You know you're going to die now, right?
You know you’re going to die now, right?

Anyway, throughout the whole franchise, Creed and Rocky come to blows again and again, both physically and emotionally.  Eventually, Creed dies in the ring during Rocky IV, by the living embodiment of the Red Menace, Ivan Drago, portrayed by the then semi-coherent Dolph Lundgren.  It was an action/drama film in the 1980’s, so of course the villain had to be Russian, it was the Cold War dammit!

Dolph Lundgren
Just look at the vague coked-up fierceness in his expression

Well, the long and the short of it is, Creed dies in this fictional universe and Rocky continues on…for two more films.  Now that we’ve established a bit of the history in this fictional universe, let’s talk about the film at hand.

Creed features the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, Adonis Johnson. He’s portrayed by the criminally underused Michael B. Jordan (see the latest Fantastic 4 disaster).  Now Jordan brings something really interesting to this film. It’s his motivation.  Think about it, as an actor, there are so many styles you can employ to create a character: classical acting, method acting, or even the newfangled Neurostethic acting (I’d try to explain the last one but I’m pretty sure it’s made up by the Screen Actors Guild to show that film is continuing to be “progressive”).  Jordan doesn’t have a lot to work with here.  His emotional input is to be the son of a famous fictional character.  It’s not rocket surgery or anything, but it does present a problem: how can the young actor motivate himself when the source material is completely made up?

I’m sure many of you are confused here and saying, “Isn’t that what actors do?”  Well, you’d be right for the most part.  A role like this could easily be phoned in and done with little to no emotion.  Jordan doesn’t take that route.  He makes you believe that he really has a chip on his shoulder and is afraid he can’t get out from under his father’s shadow. Remember, his “father” is a fictional character.  I truly believe that took a lot of talent on Jordan’s part and I hope he gets to have meaty roles like this in the future.

Hopefully this doesn't make him quit the craft entirely
Michael, in the title, I didn’t mean LITERALLY passing the torch…

At any rate, you have Jordan’s amazing performance and determination (both as an actor and as the fictional Creed’s son), but you also have Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa.  Now I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Sly in real life, but based on his body of work, I’m pretty sure the “Rocky” character is close to his real personality, or at least I hope it would be.  Rocky is Rocky.  There isn’t too much to say for Sly but he does his job and handles some of the more difficult sequences with the talent of an experienced actor.  I will give him the credit of using his age to his advantage instead of falling off the face of the Earth and retiring as so many do.  There is a place for older actors and I’m glad he takes full advantage of it.

Surely he can't let "League of Extraordinary
Surely he can’t let “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” be his last film…

After the performances given by its cast and a robust fictional lore, the final few things that Creed excels at is its cinematography and fight choreography.  Most people don’t tend to notice one cinematographer from the next, but I really have to applaud the amazing job Maryse Alberti does here.  Her work is also seen in the fantastic 2008 film, The Wrestler if you want a point of reference.  Now, she has won multiple awards for her work, so it’s no surprise that she would do well, but when you are watching Creed, not only do you feel every punch, see clearly the agony and endurance of Rocky and Creed Jr., but you really get a point of view that is spectacular.  It’s difficult to describe, but in each and every fight or training scene, you feel like you’re actually in the action. While Creed is only rated PG-13, the work done by Alberti makes it feel much more brutal.  Make no mistake, this is a tough boxing movie.

Speaking of the boxing, it is incredible.  This is a sport’s film, so of course everything will be an exaggerated version of the real thing, but man oh man do these fights make you want to get up and cheer just as in a real match.  In my screening, there were several people that were actually shadowboxing during the titular fight scene, which getting that sort of response from your audience is just cool.  The fight choreography was absolutely top notch.  I don’t think I’ve seen something as gripping and thrilling since the Neo/Smith fight in The Matrix (yes, I’m just talking about the first one in the subway).  I just have to say that it had me cheering, albeit quietly.

Yes, whoa is right
Yes, “Whoa” is the appropriate phrase and response in this particular case, well done Mr. Reeves.

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

The Rocky franchise can now live on since Stallone has passed the torch to a younger generation.  Let’s see how many more movies can be made on this premise.  Creed is a sports film through and through.  It’s main job is to make the audience feel like they can do anything and sensationalize the sport in question.  Check both those off of your list, then add to it an amazing performance by Michael B. Jordan, Sly being Sly, amazing film work, exciting fights and you’ve got a winner in every sense of the word.

Oh, and even though it’s not in the film, a huge pop culture gift the Rocky franchise and the band Survivor gave to everyone (and you’ll be singing it throughout the rest of the day) was this glorious tune:

You can find my personal favorite video version here, but you would have to be a Supernatural fan to really appreciate it.

-Darkmovienight