What The DCEU Could Learn From The DC Universe Animated Original Movies

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The DC Universe Animated Original Movies have, for the most part, been cinematic masterpieces. The DC Extended Universe films, however, have been very divisive amongst fans and critics. You would think it would be easy for the studio to translate the best parts of the comics to their live action films, especially when they have had such success with their animated ones. Warner Bros. recently released their updated DCEU slate at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago. So let’s compare these future DCEU films with the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and other animated DC properties to see what they can borrow to improve the films going forward. Be warned, for there are mild SPOILERS ahead.

Why Are DC Universe Animated Original Movies So Good?

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies are not afraid to embrace their comic book roots. These animated features are lifted right from the page with very few changes from the original source material. The films usually have a dark tone that accentuates the characters’ personal conflicts and storylines. The films walk the line of being for children and adults. This is the sweet spot that a studio wants to be in. Since the films are animated, they can get away with showing lots of blood and gore that live action films can not. They also incorporate well-known voice actors, such as Kevin Conroy and Nathan Fillion, who have portrayed DC characters in other media.

Choosing Interesting Stories

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The current slate for the DCEU is as follows:
  • Justice League (2017)
  • Aquaman (2018)
  • Shazam! (2019)
  • Wonder Woman 2 (2019)
  • Green Lantern Corps (2020)
  • Flashpoint (2020)
  • Suicide Squad 2 (TBA)
  • The Batman (TBA)
  • Justice League Dark (TBA)
  • Batgirl (TBA)
Justice League is currently in post-production, and Aquaman has recently started filming. The rest of the films, however, are in the beginning stages of pre-production. Looking to the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and other DC animated shows, there are ripe stories for the picking that just need to be translated into live action. For example, Shazam! can easily be based off of Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam. Warner Bros. has decided to save Black Adam for his own film, which could easily work as a prequel to Shazam!. So, all they would need to do is change out the villain that Shazam!/Captain Marvel battles in the film. This would also incorporate Superman into another DCEU film while they figure out a Man of Steel sequel.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard Review

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Sometimes you leave a comedy having laughed uncontrollably throughout the film. Other times you leave realizing that the funniest parts of the film were already shown to you during the trailer. Sadly, the latter experience is what I had after watching The Hitman’s Bodyguard. That in no way means that I thought this was a terrible film. It hit the marks it needed to, when it needed to, for the most part. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson had fantastic chemistry on-screen as Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid respectively. The rest of the film however was your typical “paint by numbers” action-comedy. The basic plot of the film is that two enemies are forced to team up to escape a dire situation. For such a basic plot I expected there to be a lot more comedy involved to get us through the rest of the film. Instead we got the same flat jokes over and over again. Most of the film’s comedy actually came from Samuel L. Jackson’s character. I was expecting him to be funny, but I was expecting more from Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds is known for his comedic roles in film and could have elevated this film so much if he was given better material to work with. The writers maybe should have given more of the comedic lines to him and left Jackson’s character a tad more serious. Élodie Yung did an okay job as Amelia Roussel, but her role was not substantial enough for me to buy into her connection to Michael Bryce. Salma Hayek was hilarious as Darius’ wife Sonia, but her role in the film was also limited and left one wanting a little more. Gary Oldman on the other hand should have been in the film even less than he was. His Russian accent was terrible and I felt like he was mailing it in the entire time. On a positive note the film has some great action and chase sequences. The director Patrick Hughes clearly learned a lot from filming The Expendables 3 and transferred it to this film. The fight sequences with Reynolds were very well choreographed. With some better writing this film could have easily been the best comedy of the year. The studio did a great job marketing the film and it has very little competition to go up against for the rest of August. Therefore it should make a decent chunk of change and make back its low budget. I give The Hitman’s Bodyguard a Normal 6.8/10. I’d be willing to see Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson work together on a sequel as long as it has better writing and the box office of this film warrants it. Also not once was “I Will Always Love You” played during the film. That was a big missed opportunity.

Eight Films In Development That No One Wants To See

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Building franchises and shared universes have become a big staple in Hollywood. Every studio is looking for the next big thing that could make them a billion dollars. It seems as if the days of original films are coming to an end. One would think some studios would see the signs and stop trying to push films that just capitalize on existing brands. Below, I have a few examples of such films that have no business being in any form of production.

Transformers Universe: Bumblebee

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It’s sad that this film has already started filming. I love Hailee Steinfeld and think she is a terrific young actress, but this film may tarnish her career. The plot of the film revolves around a teenage girl who finds Bumblebee in the 1980s. No other details are known at this time, but the little bit we do know further confuses the timeline of the Transformers films. We know that the Transformers have been on Earth for a long time, but Bumblebee and the other Autobots did not arrive until the early 2000s. With Megatron frozen during this time period, who could the villain even be? This film may have worked if other films in this franchise had not screwed up the history of the Transformers on Earth. Everything about this film screams, “cash grab!”

Gotham City Sirens

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This is a great example of how reactionary Warner Bros. is with the DCEU. Just because people loved Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad does not mean she should get her own full length feature. Villains getting their own film worked for Suicide Squad because they were being forced by the government to fight a greater evil. What would the plot of this film be? Who would this trio of villainesses even fight and why? There are only two ways this could work well for Warner Bros. The first one being that if the film was Suicide Squad: Gotham City Sirens, then it would make sense. I could imagine that Amanda Waller could need an all-female team to go on a specific mission. Toss in Katana and a few more DC characters and you could have a great film. The second way this could work is if it was similar to a Marvel One-Shot. This would be a great bonus feature to add to a Blu Ray while also expanding the DCEU.

Venom

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It makes no sense for Sony to make a Spider-Man film universe without Spider-Man. Venom is a classic Spider-Man villain. Sure, sometimes he can be seen as an anti-hero when battling Carnage, but that does not make a great franchise. The casting of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom is a phenomenal choice. However, we live in an age where great actors no longer sell movie tickets. Sony should work with Marvel and incorporate this film into the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. The possibility of Peter battling both Venom and Scorpion would be great. He’s already going to space in Avengers: Infinity War. That would be a great time for him to become bonded with the symbiote and bring it back to Earth.

Batgirl

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Joss Whedon is a great writer, director, and producer. However, just because he is taking over pick-ups on Justice League, does not mean that Warner Bros. should beckon to his every whim. We all love Batgirl and want to see her on the silver screen, but a solo film is not what we want. Batgirl is a sidekick of Batman and her villains are Batman’s villains. Starring in a live action film on her own would not translate well for the audience. However, I think having her as a main character in Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a stellar idea.

Harley Quinn vs The Joker

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This is just a big solid NO. I don’t know why this idea was ever taken seriously. Once again, maybe a one-shot of them having a friendly or deadly competition, but no feature film. Otherwise, save the next Joker appearance for The Batman.

Nightwing

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Just like Batgirl, Nightwing does not need his own film. Seeing Dick Grayson on-screen would be fantastic, but only if it is in a supporting role. It would be great if he appeared in The Batman as Bruce’s original Robin. I would enjoy seeing their on-screen dynamic. It would be good to see how he was affected by the murder of Jason Todd. We know that this incident led Bruce to become a more mean and grizzled vigilante who started branding criminals. Also, it would be nice to see him interact with Barbara/Batgirl since she dated Dick and Bruce in the comics.

Silver & Black

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Again, it makes no sense for Sony to make a Spider-Man film universe without Spider-Man. However, unlike Venom Silver Sable and Black Cat can work without Spider-Man. The issue is that we would rather see them in a universe where they can interact with the web-slinger and other Marvel characters. I could actually see this working well as a Netflix series more so than a feature film. This would allow the writers to establish more backstory for both leading ladies. Then, they could possibly cameo in future Marvel films and other Marvel Netflix series.

4 Reasons Why Thanos Is A Terrible Villain For The Avengers

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We all know Thanos is gearing up to take out the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, but should we be that excited to see him? Thanos has been set up as the “Big Bad” since the end of the first Avengers film. Since then he has only appeared twice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He had a small part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and appeared in a post credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In my opinion, Thanos has proven himself to be a terrible villain for the MCU, and I can list four reasons why. Beware: there will be SPOILERS for the MCU listed below.

4. He Gave Away The Mind Stone

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After Loki disappeared at the end of Thor we see him appear as the main villain in the The Avengers. In between the two films he came into contact with Thanos who provided him with a powerful scepter capable of controlling and opening people’s minds. Loki was sent to Earth to take over the planet and retrieve the Tesseract for his new master. Of course, he fails and is imprisoned back on Asgard. We later find out in Avengers: Age of Ultron that the scepter housed the Mind Stone. This would mean that Thanos gave an Infinity Stone to someone he barely knew so that he could retrieve another Infinity Stone, the Space Stone. This makes no sense because if Thanos is as powerful as we have been led to believe, then he should have retrieved the stone himself. Even if he felt that task was beneath him, why not send a member of his Black Order to retrieve it? Surely, he trusts them more than he trusts Loki.

3. He Did Not Go After The Power Stone Himself

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Here is another example of Thanos sending someone else to do his dirty work for him. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we find out that Thanos made a deal with Ronan the Accuser for the Power Stone. If Ronan retrieves the Power Stone for Thanos, then Thanos will destroy Xandar for Ronan. Star-Lord ends up finding the stone first, leading into the plot of the film. Two things are wrong with this situation. Once again, why doesn’t Thanos go retrieve the stone himself, or send a member of his Black Order? As a matter of fact, two members of his Black Order, Gamora and Nebula, were loaned to Ronan as additional muscle. Ignoring this fact, Ronan actually sent his ally, Korath, along with some Sakaarans, to retrieve the stone. If I were performing a task for the intergalactic tyrant, then I would make sure to handle it personally, lest I face the consequences of failure. Yet, as we learn later in the film, Thanos is all bark and no bite.

2. He Already Lost Two Members Of His Black Order

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During Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we learn from Nebula that she and Gamora have other adopted siblings. As we recently found out, the Black Order is made up of Thanos’ forcibly-adopted children. This would mean that Nebula and Gamora are also members of this group. They have both shown great fighting ability and tremendous strength in the two Guardians films and are truly forces to be reckoned with. We do not yet know their strength compared to their other siblings, nor if their siblings have the same hatred for Thanos as they do. That being said, these sisters have since rebelled against their father and they plan to kill him. Gamora joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nebula is off doing her own thing. Why would Thanos even allow his children to leave his employ? Why hasn’t he hunted them down and punished them, or at least sent his other children to perform the task for him? It’s evident that Nebula and Gamora both still fear Thanos and know that taking him out is no easy task. Still, you would think they would want to get as far away as possible, if he is as bad as they say.

1. His Infinity Gauntlet May Be A Fake

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After Avengers: Age of Ultron we know that Thanos will now be taking a more active role in gathering the Infinity Stones. He dawns an Infinity Gauntlet and states, “Fine — I’ll do it myself”. This is weird because we previously saw an Infinity gauntlet in Odin’s vault in Thor. Kevin Feige himself has admitted that there are two Infinity Gauntlets in the MCU when speaking with Cinema Blend.

“There are two different gloves…That was not Odin’s vault that you see at the end.”

Why would there need to be two Infinity Gantlets when there are only six Infinity Stones? Either there are six additional infinity stones that we don’t know about, or one of them is a forgery. In the comics, the Infinity Gauntlet is normally right handed. The more regal looking gauntlet we see in Odin’s treasure vault is right handed, and the more basic gauntlet that Thanos wields is left handed. If we follow the comics, this leads me to believe that Thanos has the fake gauntlet and will not be able to use the true power of the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War. I was luckily able to see the San Diego Comic-Con Avengers: Infinity War trailer and know what Thanos is bringing to the table. However, we do also have the fourth untitled Avengers film to look forward to, so maybe Thanos bites the dust early, or he is like Mandarin in Iron Man 3, and he is just a puppet.

Avengers: Infinity War is due to hit theaters on May 4, 2018.

What are your thoughts on Thanos’ involvement in the MCU? Leave your comments below.

 

The Dark Tower Review

 

The_Dark_Tower_teaser_posterThe Dark Tower is a sci-fi western film based off of Stephen King’s eight book series. The film actually serves as a sequel to the events of the seventh book The Dark Tower series. The story of the film is very straightforward. Basically what you see in the trailers is the plot of the film. The boy, Jake Chambers, has visions of the Man in Black and the Gunslinger. He finds a portal to Mid-World where he luckily runs into the Gunslinger and they team up to stop the Man in Black from destroying all worlds via destroying the Dark Tower. We are given a little exposition on what the purpose of the tower is in a scene that is reminiscent to Thor explaining the nine realms to Jane in the first Thor film. Going into this film I did not read any of the books as I expected that I would be brought up to speed on the details that happened within their pages. However, the film did not go into much detail on any of the characters, let alone provide any backstory for them. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are fantastic actors and they do their best with the roles of Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger, and Walter Padick, the Man in Black. Their characters have an interesting dynamic that would have played better if they had more screen time together. Newcomer, Tom Taylor, did a fine job as Jake Chambers. He had great chemistry with Idris Elba and most of the scenes they had together worked well. A few of the jokes the writers tried did not translate well on-screen, but that can happen in any film. The mythology that the film sets up is pretty great and they leave the ending open for more sequels. I did have a good time watching it, but I would not have minded if it were 30 minutes to an hour longer. A film of this nature should be longer, especially if they intend to use it to set up a franchise. I feel some of the issues with this film sit with the director. He is not as seasoned as some other filmmakers and probably was not ready for a film of this caliber. Originally, J. J. Abrams was attached to direct when the film was first being produced back in 2007, but ultimately those plans fell through. I could only imagine how great this film could have turned out in the hands of a director like Nolan or Abrams, because they understand sci-fi so well. I give The Dark Tower a Normal 6.5/10. I’m interested in seeing more from this universe, so hopefully it makes enough money to warrant a sequel, prequel, or even a Netflix continuation.

Detroit Review

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There is certain subject matter that is hard to transfer into film. Police brutality, police misconduct, and racism are a harsh reality that many people still deal with today. Detroit is a film that covers this subject matter during the events of the 1967 Detroit riot. More specifically, the Algiers Motel incident that took place during the night of July 25–26. Going into this film, I did not do any research about the film’s plot. I assumed that it was a purely fictional story set around the police brutality of Black people during the Detroit riots. The director, Kathryn Bigelow, does a great job at making you feel like you were in the situation with the characters. The film’s story was not one sided in showing that all cops are bad. It showed that cops are people just like us. Yes, we saw a lot of bad cops in this film, but we also saw some who just wanted to help, some who did not wanted to be involved, and some who were just confused. We also got to see how the riots made some of the Black characters feel. Some Black people were just angry at the system that they lived in, some wanted to make sure that other Black people survived and did not do anything stupid, and some were just caught in the middle while trying to live their lives. I felt just as scared as the characters while sitting and watching the events unfold on the screen. I believe this was because Kathryn Bigelow knew exactly which camera angles to use to make the space feel tight, bringing on a feeling of claustrophobia for me as a viewer. This was very similar to the direction she used in her previous films, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. The story of Detroit started out a little slow, but picked up as the film progressed. I had to remind myself that this is a crime drama and not an action film as much of the “action” was driven by the situation and the dialogue. Each of the actors involved did a great job portraying their characters. This film is packed with great actors. There even a few cameos that I was not expecting. The standout of the film for me was Will Poulter. He disappeared into his role of the racist cop, Philip Krauss. He has come a long way from We’re the Millers and should continue to take more roles like this, as it can only benefit his career. John Boyega did great portraying Melvin Dismukes as well. For most of the film I felt his character was unnecessary and shoehorned into the plot for the sake of adding star power. However, as the film progressed, I found out exactly why he was necessary to the plot. This wasn’t the starring role for Boyega that the trailers led me to believe, but he was still good inclusion to the film. Additionally, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, and Jacob Latimore had great performances as Robert Greene, Larry Reed, and Fred Temple. Detroit is a film that can be hard to watch at times, but you have to power through. There were times where I felt sick to my stomach seeing what was being done to the characters while being interrogated by the cops. It wasn’t just the police brutality that made me feel this way. It was also the officer’s lack of compassion and irresponsibility of the justice system during that time period. Not knowing what would happen to characters by the end of the story had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. I give Detroit a Decent 8.7/10. This film is a must watch as it reminds us that the issues of police brutality and racism we faced in the past are still present today. It is great to remind ourselves of how far we have come as a country and how much more we can do to continue to improve. Only together can we move forward as a nation!

Ten Characters Likely To Show Up In Captain Marvel

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Considering that Marvel just had their panel at San Diego Comic Con yesterday it is time to go over who may be in their upcoming Captain Marvel film. They revealed that the film will be a prequel to the current MCU taking place in the 1990s. With that information we can deduce who will probably pop up in the film. We know that the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel will appear in the film, Nick Fury will appear pre eye injury, and the villains will be the Skrulls, and alien race of shapeshifters. Considering the timeline the following people would make sense.

Richard and Mary Parker

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In the comics Richard and May Parker were agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who tragically died on a mission. Considering that this film will take place in the ’90s it would be years before Peter is born, so we could explore a little about his parents. Nick Fury would be their connection to this film as they could be his “go to” agents during this time period such as Phil Coulson and Maria Hill have been in the current period.

Ben and May Parker

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If Richard Parker shows up it would make sense for his older brother Ben and his wife May to make a quick cameo. This could be a small role in the film just to add some familiarity. Considering Tom Holland has showed interest in Tobey Maguire portraying the character of Uncle Ben, it would be great if they cast him. Giving a nod to fans of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy.

Peggy Carter

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Considering she is one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D., it would make sense for her to appear as one of Nick Fury’s superiors. She has made a cameo during the beginning of Ant-Man which took place in 1989, meaning she could still be active within the organization during the ’90s.

James “Rhodey” Rhodes

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This would be a great addition to the film even if it’s only in a small role. Colonel James Rhodes is a military officer and pilot in the United States Air Force. Carol Danvers was also a member of the United States Air Force, so it would make sense if they knew each other during their youth. Maybe it was her disappearance that made him so dead set on finding Tony during the events of the first Iron Man, as he couldn’t lose another friend.

Hank Pym

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Having quit S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1989 it would be cool if Nick Fury had to contact Hank Pym to get some information from him during the film. Possibly calling in a favor that needs someone who can shrink. This could allow us to see more of him in the  suit and his interaction with other S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel aside from Howard Stark and Peggy Carter.

Alexander Pierce

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Alexander Pierce and Nick Fury were once good friends. Maybe, this film could show fans the infamous Bogata mission that convinced Pierce to promote Fury to head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Also it would be great if we see him manipulating and recruiting other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to join Hydra. Perhaps he tries to convert Richard and Mary Parker only for them to reject him. Leading him to have the Winter Soldier murder them sometime in the early 2000s. That would give Peter and Tony even more in common.

Reed Richards

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Now we’re delving into more wishful territory. With the realization that the Skrulls are going to be the main villains of the film it would be great to get a clip of a young Reed Richards to let fans know that Marvel and Fox have reached a deal. I’m pretty sure the Skrulls belong to Fox and those characters are major villains for the Fantastic Four. It just seems like the possibility is there.

Victor Von Doom

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This is even more wishful thinking as I doubt it would happen. Reed and Victor used to be friends during their college days. It would be nice if they were shown as fellow students at M.I.T. with a young Tony Stark. Or at least we could get a mention of Latveria in the MCU.

What are your thoughts on the Captain Marvel news from San Diego Comic Con? Is there anyone you would like to appear in the film? Leave your thoughts below.

Bond 25: Why Christopher Nolan Is The Director We Deserve And Need Right Now!

 

Nolan IMAXChristopher Nolan is what we would call a triple threat. He is an amazing writer, producer, and director. Looking at most of the films he’s been involved with over the past 15 years, all have received praise from both the critics and the fans. His movies are considered instant classics or cult classics. Bringing Nolan on to direct the next film in the James Bond franchise is, without a doubt, a slam-dunk. What Sam Mendes did with Skyfall and Spectre was great, but it is time to get a fresh take on the gentleman spy. Hiring Nolan to direct Bond 25 would benefit his career, the studios, and of course, the many fans of the series.

His Film Portfolio

Nolan TDKRChristopher Nolan has directed some great films. Both the critics and the fans enjoy his films. While some of his themes are consistent throughout his films, the films themselves are very different. He likes to work in various genres and time periods within the films he writes and directs. He started with the psychological thrillers: Memento and Insomnia. Then, he moved into the superhero genre, with The Dark Knight Trilogy, where Heath Ledger won his posthumous Academy Award for best supporting actor. Nolan had a mystery thriller in The Prestige, and then he ventured into the sci-fi realm with Inception and Interstellar. His most recent film, Dunkirk, was his first stab at a war film. A British spy film would be something new for him, and we now know that it’s something he is interested in doing, based on his interview with Playboy.

“A Bond movie, definitely…I’ve spoken to the producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson over the years. I deeply love the character, and I’m always excited to see what they do with it. Maybe one day that would work out. You’d have to be needed, if you know what I mean. It has to need reinvention; it has to need you. And they’re getting along very well.”

Academy Awards & Box Office

Nolan’s nine films have garnered a total of 26 Oscar nominations with seven wins. The Dark Knight won an academy award for best supporting actor, and best sound editing, but many thought it should have also won best picture at the 81st Academy Awards. Inception won big at the 83rd Academy Awards, taking home Oscars in the categories of cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing, and visual effects. Lastly, Interstellar took home an Academy Award for best visual effects at the 87th Academy Awards. His films have also grossed over $4.2 billion USD worldwide. He has yet to experience a “box office flop,” and at the rate he’s going, it doesn’t look like he ever will.

His Rotten Tomatoes Scores

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Speaking of critical praise, all of the films that Christopher Nolan has written or directed are certified “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. Clearly, he knows how to speak to both critics and fans, as there is seems to be no disconnect between the groups on rating his films. The studio needs a director like that to carry on the James Bond franchise. Many moviegoers consider a film’s score on Rotten Tomatoes before deciding to go see it in theaters. Having a director like Christopher Nolan attached to a 007 film almost guarantees a large quantity of people will go see it.

The Daniel Craig Curse

Daniel Craig is universally loved as the best James Bond since Sean Connery. Yet, his 007 films have a strange pattern of approval in that every other film is not well received. When Casino Royale came out, everyone had high praise for the film and was excited about the new franchise, but when Quantum of Solace hit theaters, it was met with lukewarm reviews. The next film in the franchise, Skyfall, hit big, being the first of the 007 films to make over $1 billion USD. The latest film, Spectre, even though it made a lot of money, unfortunately, did not hit the billion-dollar mark, and was considered unable to capitalize on its potential. If the series continues with this trend, then Bond 25 should be a well-received film. Nolan would join the franchise during the trend’s upswing, gaining more attention from superstitious fans that have been following this well-known pattern in the series.

Hopefully, Christopher Nolan will decide to make Bond 25 his next film. It will be a change for him to take on a franchise that he did not start, but I believe he could handle it. Each new film in the series is a new mission, so even though Nolan would have to adhere to some of the continuity that was set up in the previous films, he has a lot of wiggle room to make it his own. I’m sure he would want to be involved in the writing of the script to make sure some of his ideas and themes are expressed. Also, I think he would add some of his regulars, including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine, to the already stellar cast of the current franchise.

What are your thoughts on Christopher Nolan directing a James Bond film? Leave your thoughts below.

Dunkirk Review

 

dunkirk-poster-600x889I am a big fan of Christopher Nolan. The films that he writes and directs are usually different and amazing. When I found out he wanted to make his passion project, Dunkirk, I was excited. We had never seen him do a war film before and I wanted to know what kind of expertise and gravitas he would bring to a film of this nature. After seeing the first trailer, I was not very impressed, but hoped the film would be more interesting. I have now seen the film, and while it’s not a terrible film, I do not think it is up to par with Christopher Nolan’s previous films. Nor do I think it is the greatest war film of all time. The film is about the evacuation of the Allied soldiers that were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France during World War II. The film is also told from three perspectives and in a non-linear fashion. From the land we follow a young British private named Tommy as he tries to escape the beaches of Dunkirk. From the air we follow two RAF pilots, Farrier and Collins, as they take down enemy planes. And from the sea we follow Mr. Dawson, his son Peter, and Peter’s friend George as they sail to Dunkirk to ferry soldiers home to safety. The non-linear aspect of this film was a tad confusing as you are not told when you are switching from one perspective to the next. Therefore it is hard to grasp a sense of time. I feel if it were clearer when we were switching perspectives, or if each perspective were told separately, the film would have made more sense throughout. The cinematography and use of practical effects did add a realism to this film that most war films lack. The acting was fine and there were great moments of suspense, however there was little dialogue. I understand that aspect of the film was by design, as Nolan wanted fans to focus on the situations that the characters were in, instead of what they were saying. Yet, I felt that it backfired as I hardly cared about the characters in the film, because I didn’t really get to know any of them. Towards the end some light gets shed on the motivations of a few of the characters, but nothing more. Christopher Nolan cast great actors such as Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy to play the roles in this film. Yet, every actor I recognized felt like a glorified cameo. Another setback for me was the film’s score. I was expecting an exciting sound from the composer, Hans Zimmer, but the music was rather dull and bleak. It did appropriately reflect the situation the soldiers were in, but it didn’t really change during the heroic moments. I give Dunkirk a Normal 6/10. I’m happy Christopher Nolan tried something different, but now its time for him to get back into filming something exhilarating and fun. Perhaps something like Bond 25.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Valerian_and_the_City_of_a_Thousand_PlanetsI am not a fan of 3D films. Whether it’s converted in post production or filmed with 3D cameras, I would rather not see it. For my early screening of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, I was forced to see it in 3D. However, I will not let that hamper my review of the film, for it was not terrible. Now, take that with a grain of salt because this was not a fantastic film either. Based on the very  popular French science fiction comics series, Valérian and Laureline, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets tells the story of Major Valerian and Sergeant Laureline as they try to complete a mission for the World State Federation. The opening of the film was great. It showed how Alpha, the titular “City of a Thousand Planets”, came together while the late David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” played in the background. Next, we are treated to the beautiful scene of an alien world before we are introduced to the main characters: Valerian and Laureline. While I think Dane DeHaan is a fantastic actor, I’m not sure that this was the right role for him. I didn’t buy him as the ladies’ man that Valerian is supposed to be, nor did I buy his apparent affection for his partner, Laureline. Their romance seemed to be forced throughout the entire film. It would have been better if they played the characters as platonic partners. Cara Delevingne was fine as Laureline, but she wasn’t given much to do. She is a much more impressive actress than her last few roles have shown. Much of the dialogue in the film was stiff and almost comical. There are even a few lines lifted straight out of Taken, but I’ll let you wait to see when that happens in the film. Other parts of the plot did not make sense and there was almost a rush at the end to explain everything. I do have to admit that Luc Besson knows how to make both a beautiful looking and great sounding film. The creatures and worlds you see on-screen are great, and somewhat believable. With a little better writing this could have been another The Fifth Element. The best way to describe this film is that it is a good “background film.” Those are basically films that you have playing in the background while you are doing other things. It is something that you want to watch, but don’t care if you miss a few seconds here and there. Apparently, Luc is now writing a Valerian trilogy of films, so I would be interested to see where he takes these characters. However, I would not be upset if it never came to fruition. Overall, I give Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a Normal 6.5/10. I feel Luc Besson works better when given smaller budgets, so studios should remember that when he pitches them his next film.