Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Top 10 Dunks in NBA Slam Dunk Contest History

Such an exciting spectacle is the Slam Dunk Contest during the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend.  Every year, it challenges the league’s most phenomenal dunkers to showcase the most jaw-dropping, most creative, and most emphatic dunks they are able to muster.  More than just a display of athleticism, it’s also a display of art – human motion turned poetry.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

'Chris Rock: Tamborine' Drops Truth Bombs about School Pedagogy, Love, and More

I’ve never been a fan of Chris Rock.  By that, I don’t mean I dislike him.  I don’t.  But he doesn’t truly impress me either.  I liked his voice work in Madagascar and Osmosis Jones, and whenever I see him in live-action, I just find him okay.  He can be funny, but supposedly being an all-time comedy great, he doesn’t really strike me as riotous and distinctive.  There was even a time where I mixed him up with Chris Tucker.

Could it be that it’s because Rock’s real strength is on standup rather than acting?   After all, I haven’t seen him perform standup before… until Tamborine, his new Netflix special.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

We Need More 'Gravity Falls'

I first became aware of Gravity Falls last year, when the Youtuber MatPat discussed on one of his shows, Film Theory, how it is connected to Rick and Morty.  Not only did he make a compelling case for it, but in the process, he also introduced enough details about the show to entice me to check it out.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

'Pitch Perfect 3' Gives the Series an Adequately Pleasing Coda

Set three years after the events of the previous movie, Pitch Perfect 3 sees the Bellas now graduate from college and stressed out in their careers.  When they are given the opportunity to reunite and join a USO tour in Europe, they quickly grab it, eager to once again enjoy the experience of singing together.

Things about the premise and storyline of Pitch Perfect 3 don’t make a lot of sense.  But the movie does work for me through a “Pitch Perfect is an anime” perspective (something I alluded before in my review for Pitch Perfect 2).  Seriously, when we treat it as if it’s an anime – giving it the immediate leeway we give an anime with all its inherent absurdities and quirkiness – its dumb, implausible details are easily forgiven, and what’s unfolding is simply enjoyed.

Friday, February 16, 2018

For the First Time Ever, the Franchise Gets a Non-Batman-Centric Installment in 'Lego DC Superheroes: The Flash'

After being on hiatus last year, the delightful Lego DC Superheroes direct-to-video series is back with its seventh movie – Lego DC Superheroes: The Flash.  In it, the Flash is manipulated by the Reverse-Flash to get stuck in a time loop, and when he finally gets out of it, he discovers that he has lost his powers and that the Reverse-Flash has framed him for doing mischief, causing the Justice League to fire him.  The Flash must now travel to the Speed Force zone in order to regain his powers, before Reverse-Flash succeeds in defeating the Justice League and in taking over the world.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

'Star Trek: Discovery' Is Entertaining and Spectacular, but Making It a Prequel Was a Bad Idea

Star Trek: Discovery upset a lot of Trekkies for being so radically and fundamentally different from the time-honored notion and values of a Trek show.  Right from the start, it has always been about subverting Star Trek.  This was clear even during its promotion prior its debut.  But Trekkies were probably not expecting or were not prepared for how utterly subversive it turned out being.

Monday, February 12, 2018

'Murder on the Orient Express' Is Delightful, but It Made Me Crave for Something Original and Surprising

Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery film directed by Kenneth Branagh.  He also plays the main character Hercule Poirot, an obsessive compulsive but brilliant Belgian detective.  Set in 1934, the film follows Poirot, whose vacation in Istanbul is interrupted by a summon to London regarding a new case.  His friend Bouc (Tom Bateman), learning of his need to get to London, offers him a room on the luxurious Orient Express, of which he’s the director.  However, after an avalanche derails the train, one of the passengers, businessman Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp), is found dead in his room, having been stabbed a dozen times.  Thus, the colorful passengers and staff of the train (Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Olivia Coleman, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Sergei Polunin) become suspects to a murder mystery that Poirot is asked to solve before the train resumes its journey.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

'Phantom Thread' Is an Exquisite Film Featuring a Twisted, Unconventional Romance

Legendary method actor Daniel Day-Lewis has already announced his retirement.  Time will tell if he will truly remain retired, as it’s not unusual for celebrated figures to come out of retirement.  Till then, Phantom Thread serves as his final film.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

'The Cloverfield Paradox' Establishes What the 'Cloverfield' Franchise Is All About

In my review for 10 Cloverfield Lane, I mentioned that it wasn’t really a sequel to Cloverfield, that the series was probably going to be an anthology instead of a shared universe.  However, the promo marketing for the third installment, The Cloverfield Paradox, implied that it was going to reveal how these movies are connected.  And it does that, in a way that satisfied me immensely.

'The Star' Is a Worthwhile Retelling of the Nativity Story

The Star is an animated feature film that retells the story of the birth of Jesus.  The twist?  It unfolds through the perspective of animal characters, namely: Bo (Steven Yeun), a donkey dreaming of being part of something great; Dave (Keegan-Michael Key), Bo’s supportive dove bestfriend; Ruth (Aidy Bryant), a sheep who has left her flock; Felix (Tracy Morgan), Cyrus (Tyler Perry), and Deborah (Oprah Winfrey), the three wise men’s camels; Abby (Kristin Chenoweth), a mouse who has witnessed Mary getting visited by an angel; Edith (Patricia Heaton), Leah (Kelly Clarkson), and Zach (Anthony Anderson), eccentric barnyard animals that are amnesiac due to starlight; and Thaddeus (Ving Rhames) and Rufus (Gabriel Iglesias), a pair of ruthless dogs owned by the soldier tasked by Herod to find and eliminate the newborn king.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

In the Live-Action 'Woody Woodpecker' Film, Detective Lassiter Feuds with the Notorious Eponymous Character

As a cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker isn’t that much loved.  He has garnered notoriety for being an insufferable, provocative jerk and his obnoxious laughter.  In small dosages, I think he’s benign.  But after a while, he can really get under your skin.  Hence, I didn’t think a live-action feature-length Woody Woodpecker film was a good idea.

Still, it somehow got made.  And I somehow decided to watch it.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

'Darkest Hour' Shows Why Winston Churchill Was a Great Leader

Darkest Hour is an Oscar-contending war drama biopic on Sir Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), which focuses on his early days as Prime Minister as World War II rages.  With the British Expeditionary Forces cornered in Dunkirk, threatened to be wiped out, and the surrender of France inevitable, the odds of Hitler invading Great Britain are extremely high.  Thus, it’s up to Churchill to rally his people as they face their “darkest hour.”

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

'Electric Dreams' Episodes, Ranked

Philip K. Dick was a prolific science fiction writer, and many of his novels and short stories have been adapted into movies, though mostly in a loose manner.  Some of these are Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Next, Paycheck, and The Adjustment Bureau.  Meanwhile, his novel The Man in the High Castle (I haven’t seen this yet) has been recently adapted into a TV series.  In addition, films like Inception, Source Code, The Truman Show, The Matrix, and 12 Monkeys had also supposedly been influenced by his works.    He is probably the most adapted science fiction author of all time.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, or just Electric Dreams for short, is basically an attempt to utilize some of Philip K. Dick’s short stories to produce an addicting, provocative, jaw-dropping science fiction anthology TV series like Black Mirror.  The term “Electric Dreams”, by the way, is obviously taken from the title of the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which served as the basis for the classic science fiction film Blade Runner.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Here's to Kuzma Destroying the Celtics for Years to Come

In the recent battle between all-time rivals, the Lakers beat the Celtics, 108-107.  It was a glorious win.  Well, it wasn’t perfect as the Lakers continue to struggle at the charity stripe (.583 FT%).  But what made it truly glorious was Kyle Kuzma torching the Celtics in the 4th quarter, where he scored 17 of his 28 points.

'Batman: Gotham by Gaslight' Features a Batman Tale in the Late 19th Century

The one-shot comic book Gotham by Gaslight is considered as the very first Elseworlds story, in which DC characters are reimagined in alternate universes or timelines.  It sets the Batman mythos in the late 19th century and pits the World’s Greatest Detective against the serial killer Jack the Ripper.  The recent DC Universe Animated Original Movie, the 30th one, is an adaptation of it.