Category Archives: News

Website Content Questions

I struggle with what to post on this website. I’m such a movie geek. I could easily blog about obscure movies, box office numbers, and formal analysis all day long. However, I want this to be a blog that people want to actually visit. Sadly, I don’t think the overwhelming number of people really care that much about those things. That is assuming that people actually care about movies in general anymore.

Every week, we get 3-4 more films that hit theaters and this constant barrage can be overwhelming. I would be happy to narrow it down for you and give you some suggestions for what to watch. But movies are like food and tastes vary wildly. A movie that I think looks laughable may be one of your favorites of the year. On the flipside, I enjoy films that are a little strange at times and that may not match more mainstream interest.

So I am left asking my readers for their input. I’ll give you a few examples in a list. Let me know which of these you crave. Don’t forget to let me know the ones you could care less about or would rather read elsewhere. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Website ideas:

  • Coming Attractions – Movies that are more than a month away. Could feature trailers and production news.
  • Weekend Outlook – What movies are coming to theaters this weekend? Should I spend my money at the theater or just Netflix and chill?
  • New Movie Reviews – The staple that nearly every movie blog is centered around. Reviews of movies out in theaters now.
  • Classic Movie Reviews – Great older movies that you should find streaming or buy. These will generally be positive reviews. I’m not going to waste my time trashing a film that so many have trashed before.
  • Streaming Reviews – A look at movies currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon, or other streaming services. Since they are essentially free to watch I could definitely get a bomb from time to time.
  • Movie Lists – Top 3, Top 5, or Top 10 of all kinds of different topics. These are fun to write and I hope that they will create some conversation since that is what this is all about.
  • Best Movie Bracket – This is a combination of classic reviews and movie lists. I’ve committed to finding the best movie of all time and I think the way to do it is through competition. I’m currently building my bracket by determining top movies for every year. Then the battles will begin.
  • If You Liked… – I haven’t done this one in a while, but I would take a well known film and suggest a handful of lesser known titles that are similar in some way.
  • Film/Scene Analysis – An in depth, sometimes shot by shot, look at a classic film to uncover what the director, cinematographer, and actors were doing and why it works. You get behind-the-scenes, film school knowledge without the student loans.
  • Box Office Predictions & News – How many millions is that new movie making (or losing) at the box office? I particularly enjoy predicting the top 5 for each weekend to see if I am understanding the trends and patterns that emerge.
  • Who did it Better? – With as many remakes and sequels that we are getting from Hollywood, I think that a side by side analysis of an original and a remake is fun to see who did it better and why?
  • Trivia – This can run the gamut from screenshot trivia, movie quotes, or interesting facts about actors or movie production. I’d love to make it a competition on the site, but it may be better to keep it confined to social media.
  • Discussion Guides – This is definitely more of a niche post, but as a pastor who loves movies I enjoy thinking of ways to use movies to provoke discussion on a variety of different topics. These could be used by families, youth groups, or even pastors as a way to launch into deeper things.
  • Podcast/Vodcast – I current co-host a podcast discussing a biblical passage each week called Biblical Trailers. I have thought about turning any number of these ideas into a video or audio version. This makes me a bit nervous, not because I’m ashamed of my voice (although I’m not sure anyone wants to see my receding hairline), but because I think of myself as a fairly scripted person and just having dead air to cover all by myself is a bit daunting.

I think that is enough for now, but if you think of any others that would be of interest to you, let me know. You can leave a comment here or on social media, or you can even email me at logan@lifeatthemovies.com. Thank you for your feedback.

P. S. – Notice that I didn’t include anything about celebrity news. That is because I find that garbage intolerable. I could care less who is sleeping with who or why they are fighting or what their baby bump looks like. They are people, like you and me and they don’t deserve to have their every waking minute scrutinized by the media.

Comic-Con 2016 Trailers

If you’ve been hiding from social media all weekend you may have missed that it was San Diego Comic-Con, and what used to be a lively gathering of comic book fans has now become the place where all the major studios release their goodies to hordes of ravenous fanboys (and fangirls). Clearly at an event of this scope they talked about more than just movies, but as this is a movie blog, I will not be discussing any of the comic or video game news.

However, because I am so thoughtful, I’ve made you handy list of all the trailers / exclusive previews for new movies (and a couple of exciting TV shows) that I could get my hands on. Marvel traditionally holds some of their stuff back for a week or two after Comic-Con so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Because of this, it looks like DC won the show with some great new content, but we haven’t seen anything yet. I’ll try to keep you up to date with other cool movie related things that come out of the convention.

Wonder Woman

Finally, a woman-led superhero movie. She is 75 years old this year and she’s never looked better. I couldn’t help but think of Star Trek when I saw Chris Pine washed up on shore, but it looks good and their might actually be some humor here that DC has been sorely missing.

Appreciated feminist tones aside (“what I do is not up to you”), the movie takes on a lighter color palette than other DC movies. It looks gritty, but not in the might-as-well-be-black-and-white monotone of movies like ‘Batman v Superman. ‘Wonder Woman was probably the best part of that movie anyway, so things are looking good.

Justice League

After the mess of ‘Batman v Superman,’ I’m a bit wary of Zack Snyder being at the helm of a superhero flick as important as this one, but this “special footage” reel (Warner Bros. isn’t calling it a trailer) actually looks quite good.

While Snyder still doesn’t seem to like colors very much, the reel takes on a lighthearted, humorous tone as Batman goes about collecting his teammates. I’m tentatively hopeful.

Suicide Squad

On the more villainous side of things, we have another trailer for Suicide Squad, which comes out in a couple of weeks.

Lego Batman

Lego Batman was the best part of ‘The Lego Movie.’ So why not give him his own movie. This one could be my favorite of what DC currently has to offer.

Doctor Strange

Alright, since DC had their fun, let’s see what Marvel had to offer. There was this awesome trailer for Doctor Strange. Probably the most visually enchanting trailer of the event. Here we see Sherlock Dr. Steven Strange learning the ways of magic. This will be one that must be seen on the big screen to be appreciated. It’s hitting theaters this November 4th.

Marvel’s Iron Fist

I don’t normally cover much TV, but Marvel has some great looking offerings and they have given us quality entertainment in the past with Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Here’s the first teaser for Iron Fist, set to be released in 2017.

Marvel’s Luke Cage

Luke Cage – one of the main characters in the fantastic ‘Jessica Jones’ is getting his own show, and the music in this trailer is on point!

Marvel’s The Defenders

The above two heroes are teaming up with Jessica Jones and Daredevil for The Defenders. This teaser doesn’t show any actual footage, but we do hear what sounds like ‘Stick’ from ‘Daredevil’ talking in the background and it gets me excited nonethless.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

We’ve got some great non-comic book movies that also released some updated and new trailers during Comic-Con. I for one am very excited to see the wizarding world come to 1920s New York. This is the most detailed trailer for the movie we’ve seen yet, although it still reveals very little in terms of overall plot. I’ve very excited to come into a J.K. Rowling movie without already knowing the ending from the book.

Kong: Skull Island

King Kong gets supersized in this reboot from the producers of the most recent Godzilla. It looks like they could be setting things up for a potential Kong on Godzilla battle. If this movie does better than Peter Jackson’s maybe we could see a Mothra movie too.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Ritchie has made a name for himself with films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Sherlock Holmes, and he’s carried that same distinctive dialogue and visual style over to the Arthurian legend.

There’s an incredible cast lined up for this as well with Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters on March 24, 2017.

Cyclops Cinema

Tonight, I went to Cyclops Cinema here in Gainesville. It is a DVD rental shop formally known as Video Rodeo. The proprietor, Jason McNeal, took over the shop from the previous owners back in December saying that it seemed like a bad idea for it to close. I would agree. I know that it seems like movie rental stores are a dying breed, but with a library of 8,000 DVDs and BluRays featuring a wide selection of independent and foreign films not available on Netflix or in Redbox kiosks, a shop like this cannot disappear if we hope for cinema to live well in Gainesville.

Jason had further dreams beyond a simple DVD rental storefront as well. In March, he installed 22 theater style chairs in the back of the 1,600 square-foot storefront off University Avenue and Main Street. It makes a very comfortable and welcoming environment to watch a film. In this screening room, McNeal shows everything from indie documentaries to horror movies, comedies and classics that you cannot and will not see anywhere else in Gainesville. Currently, Cyclops Cinema is showing the retro-futuristic drama High Rise starring Tom Hiddleston (best known as Loki in the Thor and Avengers films). It will be showing through June 30th nightly at 8:30pm and 5pm on Sundays for just $5. You can learn more about Cyclops Cinema and keep up with their upcoming schedule on their facebook page.

Cyclops

I’ll post my review of High Rise soon, but I wanted to comment on this idea of micro-cinema. I’m not sure why I’ve never thought of it before. We have micro-breweries which specialize in the craft of beer-making, taking pride in quality over volume. We have micro-roasters that take very unique coffee beans from around the globe and prepare and showcase them for the palettes of connoisseurs. I have always been a fan of locally owned businesses that aim to present the unique flair of a particular city. That is exactly what Cyclops Cinema is doing in Gainesville.

My film appetites tend slightly more mainstream than the films that will play every week at Cyclops, and that is probably the reason for my oversight of its need. I have been satisfied with the studio productions which are raised on the multiplexes multiple times a day. The convenience and anonymity of a 16 screen behemoth is nice when I’m looking for fast food film fare like the new Independence Day film being released this weekend. However, sitting alone in a 200 seat theater watching the independent release that this corporation begrudgingly gave a 1 week run is sad. It makes sense that film lovers like me have been forced to go to streaming and buying off the internet. I thought that was my only outlet as well, but now that I have met Jason, I will be back regularly.

Trailer for Keeping Up with the Joneses

From the guy that brought us Superbad comes a hilarious looking comedy with a skinnier Zach Galifianakis and a load of other great actors. Remember Mr. And Mrs. Smith with Brangelina? Imagine being their next door neighbors. That is the concept behind Greg Mottola’s latest comedy, Keeping Up with the Joneses. Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis are an ordinary suburban couple that are in for a wild ride when they figure out that Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot are not who they appear to be. I can’t imagine a better cast of characters here. The trailer had me laughing out loud a couple of times. I just hope they don’t show too much in future trailers. I’m marking this one down as a great date night movie October 21st.

Who is Newt Scamander?

I’m getting more and more excited about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with each featurette that Warner Brothers releases. Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who winds up letting loose a suitcase full of magical creatures in New York City in the 20s. It looks like they’re still finishing the FX, so most of the footage involves characters interacting. There’s some brand new shots we haven’t seen before, and plenty of discussion from author J.K. Rowling, who was much more involved in the making of this than she was Harry Potter.

Noomi Rapace Will Reprise Prometheus Role in Alien: Covenant

Dr. Elizabeth Shaw will be back. Noomi Rapace is getting back on board in Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise. In the upcoming Alien: Covenant, she will reprise her Prometheus role as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, who was one of the few survivors of Scott’s 2012 sci-fi prequel.

Scott had previously stated that Rapace’s Shaw, despite working hard to escape certain death, would not be in Covenant. Now, it appears that plans have changed. The actress is joining franchise newcomers Billy Crudup, Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride, as well as her Prometheus co-star Michael Fassbender, who will be returning as the android David.

Scott is directing the feature, which is currently filming in Australia and due in theaters in August 2017. Covenant will follow a new crew of explorers that are bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy.

Determining the Best Film of All Time

I have a desire to figure out what my favorite film of all time is. To do this, I am going to take a look at each year (Working backwards from 2015) and determine the best film of that year. My apologies to movies before around 1950 and those that will be released afterwards, but I need to have a top 64 and this is the only way that I can think to narrow them down without rating every movie made and just picking my top rated.

I’m sure there will be some years that I struggle to pick an overwhelming favorite, so I will be open to the possibility of carrying two films from a single year no more than 4 times throughout this process. I say 4 so they can have a runoff at the end to determine who will make it into the top 64. I’m going to attempt to do a year every other day or so, so this could take a while.

But once I have the top from each year, I will put them in a bracket. I think I will use IMDb ratings or Metacritic scores to determine seeding. Then I will have a tournament to determine the best. We will have vs. matchups which will be fun because I will get to compare and contrast some likely very different films and have to determine a winner. It should be fun.

I’m going to work my way backwards from newer to older. Obviously, there are gaps in my watching habits and films that I have not yet seen. This will of course only be the top 64 films that I have seen. I will be looking ahead to try and watch some films that others have chosen as their best of a year that i have missed, but I’m sure I’m going to leave some out. If you’d like, I’d encourage you to play along with me. I’m going to keep my list here on a page and then I will convert the list into a bracket.

Right off the bat, I’m having conflicting thoughts about the whole process, because I feel like I am going to be leaving out some incredible films in my goal to pick the best of each year. Let me also say that I am seeking to find the overall best film of all time. There are a lot of different types of films from documentaries to musicals, Drama to blockbuster, independent to big budget, and I really like all types of film.

My only limitations are the fact that I only have 2 eyes and 24 hours in a day. So my list will reflect some big Box Office smashes, to which my indie film friends may turn their noses up, and some Oscar contenders which probably slid under many people’s radar. I am a normal guy and generally don’t attend a lot of indie or private screenings so most of what I watch has to have at least a moderate release or availability on streaming services or Blu Ray.

What do you think about this goal? Anyone want to play along with me? What should I call this?

 

Alien: Covenant – David 8 is Back in One Piece

The fan anticipation for Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus, has been growing as we inch closer and closer to the events of the original Alien film that was released in 1979. The Ridley Scott-helmed project has been generating a ton of buzz since production and subsequent filming began. NOTE: if you haven’t seen Prometheus, Alien, and Aliens then there may be spoilers ahead.

aliencovenant2

The first batch of set pictures went online late last month, revealing a dark and dystopian future as well as some particularly creepy ashy beings. Now, an official behind-the-scenes photo from the set of Alien: Covenant teases the return of a Prometheus character.

The Alien Anthology Twitter account posted the photo that reveals a repaired and whole David 8, the synthetic that was brought to life in Prometheus by Michael Fassbender. Take a look at the image after the jump.

Continue reading Alien: Covenant – David 8 is Back in One Piece

Zac Ephron Considers Joining the Circus

Tracking Board reports that The High School Musical alum is in talks to join Hugh Jackman in the  P.T. Barnum musical biopic The Greatest Showman on Earth.

In the Fox feature, Jackman will play Barnum, the famous conman-turned-showman, who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City) will pen the musical, which Jackman is producing alongside Laurence Mark.

Efron is having a busy, if not particularly successful, summer at the multiplex, having just released the studio sequel Neighbors 2 and stars in another sophomoric comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, opening July 8.

The in-demand actor also just finished filming Dwayne Johnson’s Baywatch and will appear alongside Neighbors co-star Seth Rogen in James Franco’s The Masterpiece. Production for The Greatest Showman on Earth is expected to begin later this year with a release date currently slated for Christmas day 2017.