‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ Review

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Goodbye Christopher Robin is a semi-biographical British family drama film starring Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, and Kelly Macdonald. The film follows noted English author and playwright A. A. Milne and his creation of, Winnie-the-Pooh, after his experiences in World War I. Milne finds inspiration for his Winnie-the-Pooh tales through his interactions with his young son Christopher Robin Milne after his family moved from the West End of London to their new country home, Cotchford Farm, in Hartfield, East Sussex. Before watching this film I assumed Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and the rest of the characters from the 100 Acre Wood were creations of the Walt Disney Company. I also believed that the characters were real and not imaginary, which I’m still not sure is the case in Disney’s adaptation. Needless to say, I learned a lot from watching this film. The film itself is stunning and remarkable from end to end. The costume design and set pieces are brilliantly done. It was almost as if I was gazing into a portal of the past while watching the film. The cast is great and brought so much love and drama into these real-life characters. Domhnall Gleeson does well as A. A. Milne. Affectionately called Blue by his family in the film, Gleeson portrays the WWI veteran and author as tired and longing for a sense of purpose. He has seen the horrors of war and never wants him, his family, or the world to experience it again. It is great to see Gleeson portray a father because I have never seen him in this role before. His character growth is great. In the beginning, he is not sure what being a father is and then he grows to care for his son deeply during their time together. It is also enjoyable to hear Gleeson speak in his natural accent as a proper British gentleman. Margot Robbie also turns in a good performance as Daphne de Sélincourt. While Robbie doesn’t have as much screen time as Gleeson she makes her time count. Daphne is the kind of character that you love and hate at the same time. While she genuinely cares for her husband, she rude to both him and the maid, Olive. She is very old fashioned and expects to live the lifestyle she is accustomed to. If things don’t go her way she makes it known how unhappy she is. This is a different role for Robbie to take. Normally, she plays an American character, so it is nice to see the Aussie actress take on something different. She is believable in the part almost to the point that I thought I was watching a documentary. Will Tilston plays a young Christopher Robin Milne, affectionately called Billy Moon by his family. He does a fine job capturing the innocence of a child growing up with that kind of fame. He does a great job making the audience care and become attached to him. Alex Lawther comes in late during the film as an older Christopher Robin, but packs in some great lines of his own. The standout of the film is definitely Kelly Macdonald as Olive “Nou” Rand. You love to love her and grow attached to her as you watch her raise Billy. She is like a second mom to the boy and does everything to make sure his childhood is filled with as much happiness as possible. I can see Kelly Macdonald getting a few Best Supporting Actress nods for her role in this film. I give Goodbye Christopher Robin an Excellent 10/10. Overall the film is sweet, charming, and fun to watch. It provides a lot of information into the lives of the Milne family during the creation of the world’s most favorite bear.

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Is Darkseid Taking A Page Out Of Zod’s Book And Terraforming Earth, But With A More Sinister Twist?

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Whoa! That new Justice League trailer is pretty cool. There are a lot of fun easter eggs hidden throughout the trailer, but one thing sticks out. During the battle in the beginning of the trailer we see Steppenwolf attack some soldiers with his axe and as the camera pans out the land begins to transform into a dark volcanic state. It looks as if he has begun to terraform the planet to become more like Apokolips which is very charred and volcanic in the comics. Terraforming is not an uncommon practice in the DCEU. In Man of Steel, General Zod began to terraform Earth into a new Krypton. So, did Darkseid send Steppenwolf to Earth to terraform it to become an Apokolips outpost? All signs are currently pointing to yes – with a more sinister twist!

In Man of Steel, the Kryptonians required the use of a ‘world engine’ to terraform Earth. It would make sense that this technology was not indigenous to Krypton. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lex Luthor was told by the Kryptonian scout ship’s A.I. that “the Kryptonian archive contains knowledge from 100,000 different worlds.” Therefore, Apokolips could definitely have been one of those 100,000 different worlds and the New Gods would have access to the ‘world engine’ technology.

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In the Justice League trailer, we hear Batman say “I had a dream, it was the end of the world.” This dream is most likely a reference to the ‘Knightmare Sequence’ in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In the dream sequence, the Earth is a vast apocalyptic landscape – pun definitely intended! There are many ‘world engine’ like machines hovering above and fire shooting out of the Earth. On the ground in front of Batman, there is a giant omega symbol. Fans of the DC comics know that this symbol is analogous with Darkseid. The ‘Knightmare Sequence’ is very close to what we see happening in the new trailer. In which we see the land becoming charred and fire spouting into the sky.

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Batman is also heard saying something else in the trailer. After Wonder Woman dramatically states “invasion” he says “I think it’s something more, something darker.” What could be darker than an invasion? Well, in an invasion the current inhabitants of the planet would be wiped out. General Zod showed Superman in Man of Steel that the humans would not survive the terraforming of Earth into a new Krypton. Darkseid may have Steppenwolf terraform Earth in a different way inJustice League.

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From the footage we saw in the trailer there is a human warrior that is transforming on the battlefield. His skin is becoming dark and cracked and his teeth are becoming sharper. It is highly likely that he is being turned into a Parademon by the terraforming process. His new fangs and skin are very similar to those of the Parademons we saw in the ‘Knightmare Sequence’ in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If Steppenwolf succeeds in Terraforming Earth for Darkseid it would give Apokolips around 7.6 billion new slave soldiers to use in other invasions. Also, it would easily allow him to take on the 7202 members of the Green Lantern Corps.

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In the comics, Parademons serve as the loyal army of Darkseid. They are genetically created on Apokolips in laboratories and operate as soldiers and slaves. When Apokolips decides to mount an interplanetary invasion, Darkseid sends in waves of his Parademons as the advanced infantry. Though most Parademons are created in a lab there are some Parademons are bred from human stock, selected from the lowly populous that reside in the poorest districts of Apokolips. In the New 52 comics, more specifically Earth 2: World’s End, Parademons are created from reformatted genetic material gleaned either from the living or dead remains of a native species during an interplanetary invasion. Considering that Geoff Johns is now a co-runner of the DC Extended Universe, and co-chairman of DC Films it would make sense that they begin using more material from the New 52 comics.

Justice League is due to hit theaters on November 17, 2017.

Are you excited for Justice League? Did you enjoy the new trailer? Leave your comments below!

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review

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Blade Runner 2049 is a neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve that stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto. The film is a delayed sequel to the cult classic 1982 film Blade Runner. Set thirty years after the original film, the story depicts a “Blade Runner” named K/Joe, who discovers a hidden truth about an old NEXUS-6 replicant named Rachel. To prevent a possible war between replicants and humans, K/Joe is secretly tasked with finding and destroying all evidence related to her. Having enjoyed the original film, I was excited to see where Denis Villeneuve was going to take the story. The original film left fans with many unanswered questions that I just knew this film was going to answer. Unfortunately, Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t answer any of those questions posed by the original film. As a matter of fact, Blade Runner 2049 adds many more questions to this franchise… questions that I will not get into because they would involve spoilers. The film has many other issues as well. The runtime of the film is 163 minutes (2 hours 43 min) and it is very, very slow! The film could have shaved off 43 minutes and still worked. That extra amount of time is a hindrance to the plot and provides little to no solid information. Secondly, there are plot holes that could have been easily explained, yet they aren’t. Also, some of the scenes are very dark, which makes sense because of the smog-filled environment when people were outside, but not when the people were inside. Next, some of the characters are unnecessary for the film, including Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and Niander Wallace (Jared Leto). In addition, there is a scene with a de-aged Sean Young that lasted a little too long, which made the CGI aspect of her character very noticeable. Lastly, the films’ villain is one-dimensional and basically pointless. The film does have some merits though. The cinematography is great and many of the locations are beautifully shot. I wouldn’t be surprised if this film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Also, Hans Zimmer’s score is well done and blends in elements of the original Blade Runner score perfectly. Third, Ryan Gosling is great as K/Joe and his acting is fantastic. He is the main character that we see for most of the film. The more information K/Joe learned during his case the more unsure he becomes. Gosling handled this perfectly as he rode the thin line between knowing his duty and doing the right thing. All the other actors performed well with the minimal screen time that they were given. I give Blade Runner 2049 a Normal 6.7/10. The film is beautiful to watch but unfortunately, it is also too long, too slow, and quite boring at times. The film could have used either more action or a shorter runtime. A sequel such as this shouldn’t leave you asking more questions than the original film.

‘Battle of the Sexes’ Review

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Battle of the Sexes is a semi-biographical sports film, starring Emma Stone, Steve Carell, and Sarah Silverman. The film is loosely based on the 1973 tennis match between a 29-year-old Billie Jean King and a 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. Riggs had been a top men’s player in the 1930s and 1940s in both the amateur and professional ranks. King, who had previously rejected challenges from Riggs, finally accepted the challenge after a lucrative financial offer was made to play him for $100,000, winner-take-all. King further explained that she accepted the match not only for the money, but also for all of women’s tennis and to prove that women are equal to men. The match, dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes”, took place at the Houston Astrodome in Texas and garnered huge publicity. Emma Stone is great as Billie Jean King. The Academy Award-winning actress shows off her talent once again as she basically becomes King. Stone looks very much like a young Billie Jean King and even speaks like her. She does well in making the character more than a two-dimensional athlete. She gives the audience a look into King’s soul as she works through the complexities of her emotions, need for equal rights, loyalty to her husband, and love of tennis. The same goes for Steve Carell’s performance as Bobby Riggs. He plays a loveable yet damaged guy very well. He’s a good dad and a great tennis player, but he’s also a gambler and a hustler. He knows he has a problem, but he doesn’t hide it. Well, he mostly doesn’t hide it. He wants this happy life with his wife but is unwilling to change for her. Also, I really enjoyed Sarah Silverman’s portrayal of Gladys Heldman. She provided comic relief as well as a small dose of sincerity when needed. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got a few Best Supporting Actress nods this upcoming award season. The film’s story was easy to follow and very believable. The writer did a great job of focusing the story on the characters’ lives building up to the match instead of just focusing on the match itself. With all the ups and downs each character experiences, the audience is never overwhelmed as the events unfold on screen. Also, the director’s pacing was smooth and use of camera angles and color was phenomenal. Lastly, the editing of the older footage into the film fit in seamlessly. While watching the final match, there are times when you can’t tell if they edited the old match footage or shot new match footage. The only negative I have for this film is how it was advertised. The trailers made it seem like just a comedy, but clearly, it’s much more than that. I give Battle of the Sexes a Decent 8/10. This film offers up a fun and interesting history lesson about tennis and equality.

O, My God!: Seven Great Biblically Based Films

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I once had a professor who said, “If Hollywood ever runs out of ideas all they need to do is open up the Old Testament.” My professor was right as the Old Testament is filled with many stories of early man and their interaction with a more wrathful God than seen in the New Testament. While there are many films that have been based on biblical topics, not all have hit the mark cinematically — look no further than Evan Almighty for a great example of missing the mark. Making religious films is a touchy subject as there will always be somebody who is offended by the work. Whether it be not close enough to the source material, too close to the source material, improperly cast, etc. In this article, I will discuss seven biblically based films that have either hit the mark or sparked important conversation about religion and film.

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