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December the 4th: 'Star Wars' month is here!

Posted December 1, 2016, 4:12 PM

December has quickly become Star Wars month for Disney. The studio is rather known for establishing and maintaining film release trends. For instance, it's no coincidence that Disney has nine of the top ten Thanksgiving weekend releases of all time.

Like clockwork, we know that there will be two (or three) Marvel movies released each year, usually one in Spring, one in Summer and like this year, one in Fall. It's a science and one that they take care in making sure they don't get crazy and start releasing movies randomly.

So, when The Force Awakens opened to record-breaking numbers last December and they moved Episode VIII from May 2017 to December 2017, it seems that a new pattern has been established. With this year's upcoming Rogue One, we will most likely get a new Star Wars film each December until the...

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Review: 'Pete's Dragon' is a worthy update to a Disney classic

Posted November 29, 2016, 4:11 PM

It's funny how time changes things. Nostalgia has a way of warming our hearts and blinding us to the fact that we could be wrong.

For instance, when they announced a remake of Pete's Dragon, I was optimistic but skeptical. I mean, the original film was a classic, right? Why would they risk tarnishing its legacy by creating a remake of a film that I'm pretty sure that no one wanted?

Then, I went back and watched the original film with my kids both to share the experience with them and compare it to the new version. Well, long story short, my kids are now convinced that my taste in movies is questionable at best and that drugs were more readily available 40 years ago.

I have to say, I started to wonder the same thing.

I mean how could a film that I...

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Review: Steven Spielberg still has it in 'The BFG'

Posted November 29, 2016, 3:11 PM

I remember reading Roald Dahl's The BFG when I was a child. I don't remember exactly when I read it, but I figure I was about 8 years old. I didn't quite understand it all, but I remember being completely enthralled with the world that unfolds over the rather lengthy children's book.

My own children are three and five years old, so they are still a bit young to read it on their own, but my daughter could probably manage it. Of course, the wonders that I remember from that book were mostly wrapped around my imagination as guided by the few illustrations throughout.

The power of imagination is one that I worry about for the next generation as we tend to rely more on the immediacy of film over the longer form of the written word. Thankfully, Steven Spielberg is the...

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Review: 'The Wild Life' is anything but

Posted November 29, 2016, 2:11 PM

It's not often that I don't find redeeming qualities about even the most absurd movies, but there really isn't much to like about this week's new animated film The Wild Life. The film is a loose (really loose) interpretation of Robinson Crusoe, but really it's just an excuse to provide 90 minutes of animated distraction for your littlest kids.

To that end, my son seemed to really enjoy The Wild Life and found many instances of humor that I just couldn't place. He just turned three years old. My daughter, on the other hand, is almost five and she was quite bored by the film, to the point that she asked if she could do something else about 20 minutes into it.

I think the problem stems from the fact that the film is just too boring for most kids. When you...

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Monday Mixer: 'Moana' commands a huge Thanksgiving opening

Posted November 28, 2016, 11:11 AM

Hello gluttony, my old friend. Eating all the food has acquainted us again.

After stuffing ourselves full of turkey and braving the crowds of people to save 25 cents on an electric shaver, there's only one thing left to do: watch movies. The post-Thanksgiving weekend is one that is traditionally a profitable one for family films and this one was no different.

Personally, the whole family hit the megaplex on Saturday and finally took in Trolls. While the film was cute and certainly captured my kids' attention, it seemed to be a re-tread of many of the same themes that we saw in Angry Birds. I realize that you have to keep things simple in order to entertain children of all ages, but I think the truly spectacular children's films these days find a way to resonate with kids and adults alike.

The top...

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Review: Vestron gets cheeky with 'C.H.U.D. II' & 'Return of the Living Dead 3'

Posted November 22, 2016, 3:11 PM

I grew up on horror films. It was the late 1980s and I was in the throes of puberty, but for me, my first love was horror.

Granted, over the years, I have gravitated away from horror as a genre and more towards serious and interesting films, but I will always have a soft spot for horror films in my heart. As I would learn later, the late 1980s was a bizarre time for horror films as slasher franchises were reaching the tipping point and comedy was starting to find a real foothold in the genre.

I'm talking about films such as House II: The Second Story that took more mainstream elements of their predecessor films and injected a healthy dose of comedy. Ghoulies II. Leprechaun II. These are the types of films that I grew up on and shaped a large...

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Monday Mixer: 'Fantastic Beasts' enjoys a 'Harry Potter' push

Posted November 21, 2016, 2:11 PM

It's funny how quickly things can change. Last week, we were sweltering under the rising mercury as temperatures soared in excess of 80 degrees. This week, snow is making its annual return up north and we have sub-freezing temperatures down here in the South.

Cold weather is usually good for the box office as people turn to the big screen for their entertainment options as it becomes less ideal to spend time out in the elements. And yet, this weekend's box office performance is a mixed bag at best and might portend a long, cold winter indeed.

To be fair, the box office had been over performing in early November, so it's tough to get a real read on this weekend's numbers. Was this just a bump in the path or does it signal a far more ominous tone?

Warner Bros. had been...

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Undiscovered Picks

Upcoming movies worth watching that you may not have heard of.

  • In Order of Disappearance
  • Phantasm: Ravager
  • A Man Called Ove
  • The Free World
  • The Late Bloomer