‘Interstellar’ – What Did You Think?

Interstellar

There’s a moment in Inception when one character encourages another to “dream a little bigger, darling.” Well, it certainly looks like Nolan took that advice to heart with Interstellar. Nolan’s first post-Batman movie is stunningly ambitious, even by his usual bold standards.

Matthew McConaughey leads the sci-fi epic as an astronaut who travels deep into space in a last-ditch effort to save the human race. That includes his beloved kids Murph and Tom, whom he has to leave behind on their dying farm. Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, and David Gyasi play the other astronauts on the journey with him. Michael Caine is the NASA guy leading the charge down on Earth.

Interstellar is a mind-bender of a journey that makes most of Nolan’s other films look tame in comparison. He clearly has big things to say about the importance of science, the experience of parenthood, the nature of humanity and the value of love. That last bit turns out to be especially unusual, since Nolan tends to be a cerebral, even chilly director. Emotions are not thought to be his strong suit, at least on film.

So there’s no question Nolan is aiming high. But does he hit his mark? This is your space to discuss all that and more. Spoilers are not just tolerated but actively encouraged.

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Sin City A Dame to Kill For - Marv poster header

Judging by the first box-office numbers for the Sin City sequel, the real question here might be “did you even see it?” Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez have returned to the black, white, and bloody world of their first collaboration with a couple more stories adapted from Miller’s Sin City comics stories, along with some new material. The first film was novel and striking in aesthetic, and the sequel still looks like almost nothing else.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For brings back some familiar faces (Powers Boothe, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson ,and Mickey Rourke in extreme makeup) to get into some super-dark and violent dealings with new characters played by Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Christopher Meloni. Josh Brolin takes over the character originally played by Clive Owen, while Dennis Haysbert inherits the role originated by the late Michael Clarke Duncan.

That’s a lot of talent, but do all their efforts make for a film that offers audiences a satisfying trip to the underbelly of Sin City? Weigh in below.

Guardians of the Galaxy Drax Back

After a couple years of wondering what Marvel’s biggest foray into space would look like, we can finally see the results in Guardians of the Galaxy. Many people, us included once in a while, wondered about this space-adventure movie being a risk for Marvel. But the company, along with original screenwriter Nicole Perlman and writer/director James Gunn, has clearly risen to the challenge.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a bona-fide success, and one which stands out from many other summer films by being colorful and fun. We’ve talked about the film more than enough; now we want to hear what you thought.

After the break, join the big open discussion about Guardians of the Galaxy. Spoilers for all things related to the film are encouraged. Read More »

‘Snowpiercer’ – What Did You Think?

Snowpiercer poster header

A great sci-fi movie opens this weekend, and it isn’t Transformers. Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer is finally out in the US. The film is in limited release, but it is the original cut. That’s right — Harvey Weinstein relented from his notion of drastically trimming the movie. So we don’t have to live with a version of this social breakdown allegory that is shorn of twenty minutes, and stitched back together with voiceover.

Chis Evans stars in the film as one of a small group that makes up the last of the human population on Earth. These people are all confined to a train that protects the people from sub-arctic conditions outside. Within the little bubble of the train’s society, the remaining civilization has broken down into two factions. The underclass resides at the rear of the train, subsisting on gelatinous processed food cubes and living in squalor. The upper class enjoys outright luxury in the forward cars. Their well-to-do-ness is not relative to the ugly conditions at the back; it looks more like a first-class ticket on the Orient Express.

Tensions come to a head as Evans leads a violent rush from back to front, and a huge cast plays into the action. Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris all have roles. The action is top-notch, the characters are exaggerated to just the right degree, and Bong’s directorial hand is calm and authoritative. Hopefully you’ll be able to get out to see Snowpiercer this weekend; tell us what you thought of the film below. Read More »

Transformers 4 photos

Transformers: Age of Extinction, the eleventh film by Michael Bay, is now in theaters. Looking back it’s kind of funny that Bay, so promising and exciting as a filmmaker in the late Nineties, has now made four Transformers movies. Bay’s first few movies were all so different, but grew bigger and bigger with each time out. Now he’s become the go-to director for the kind of spectacle Hollywood salivates over.

This latest incarnation is Bay’s biggest movie yet. It’s the scope, the setting, the nearly three hour run time. Everything about Transformers: Age of Extinction is huge. You can even see it in full screen, IMAX 3D if you so desire. That size is supposedly in service of a story that sends the franchise in a new direction. Age of Extinction makes events of the prior three films into an appetizer to a new story which explores the origins of the Transformers, a sinister government plot and a new human family, lead by Mark Wahlberg. All of those stories are in there, but they’re told along side several others that make the whole thing feel big for the sake of feeling big.

Several of the B, C (and D, E, and F) stories are actually kind of interesting and allow for fun supporting performances by the likes of Stanley Tucci, T.J. Miller and Li Bingbing. Unfortunately, they’re masked by a movie that’s so bombastic and devoid of stakes, we’re forced to forget about them because of the amount of madness and confusing were witnessing on screen.

But that’s just my opinion. After the jump, tell us your own. What did you think of Michael Bay’s Transformers Age of Extinction? Was it harmless summer entertainment? Fun? Taxing? How many times did you run to the bathroom? Have any lingering questions? Whatever you want to talk about, including spoilers, please do so below. Read More »

How to Train Your Dragon 2 poster header

We here at /Film love How To Train Your Dragon. In fact, our own David Chen saw it in theaters seven times. Seven. Times. So it’s been a long four years as we waited for director Dean DeBlois to show us the second chapter in his family fantasy story, based on the books by Cressida Cowell.

That day is finally here. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is now in theaters bringing us the return of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), Astrid (America Ferrara), Stoick (Gerald Butler) and, of course, Toothless. A few years have passed since the end of the first film and a lot of changed in Berk. Things will get especially different with the gang runs into a group of dragon trappers who open the doors to a wild, expansive story that’s bigger and more emotional than the first one in every way.

Below, we encourage you to talk about How to Train Your Dragon 2. What did you think? Is it better than the first one? What was the biggest surprise? Did the trailer “spoiler” ruin anything for you? Talk all about How to Train your Dragon 2 below. Read More »

’22 Jump Street’ – What Did You Think?

22 Jump Street clip

Phil Lord and Chris Miller continue their expectation-defying run with this week’s release of 22 Jump Street. When the pair directed the big-screen reboot/update/comedic riff on the early Fox TV show 21 Jump Street, the very concept seemed like a joke. But stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill turned out to be a perfect pair. Lord and Miller knew it was all little more than a joke, and turned out a film that was consistently funny and kept characters in mind as it also played with familiar comedy setups.

22 Jump Street applies Lord and Miller’s character-based approach to comedy but layers in a healthy cynicism about the sequel-making process. “Meta-sequel” is a term that has been applied to this movie as reviews roll in, and for obvious reason. The first act is almost entirely about the fact that, yeah, they’re doing it all again. Yet no matter how frequently the film is self-aware, it keeps its sights on comedy and character. This is still a frothy sequel, but in acknowledging and embracing the film’s nature, Lord and Miller skate through the setup and deliver another entertaining two hours.

Below, tell us what you thought of 22 Jump Street — spoilers, as always in these posts, are fully encouraged in the discussion thread. Read More »

X-Men Days Of Future Past opening Header

The X-Men franchise is back in this weekend’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Director Bryan Singer‘s return to the franchise combines the original cast from Singer’s first two films and Brett Ratner’s third, and new cast of Matthew Vaughn’s First Class. The result is a tight, exciting, time-travelling sequel. The time travel story allows Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen to share the screen with Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and so many more.

Make no mistake, though. While the original X-Men actors are all in the film, Days of Future Past is first and foremost a sequel to First Class. The character issues and relationships developed in that film continue here. That helps give the film many options to explore character dynamics, action, and history-making (and -breaking) narrative events.

What exactly are those narrative events and what do they mean going into X-Men: Apocalypse? Now that X-Men: Days of Future Past is in theaters, you can discuss all of the answers below. Tell us if you liked the film as much as we all did, or if you were disappointed. Does Singer’s work with the new cast compare to Vaughn’s? What story points did you love, and which did you hate? Did you like the Sentinels? Any and everything you can think about X-Men: Days of Future Past can be said below. Give us your X-Men Days of Future Past reactions! Read More »

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