Category: movie news

Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

Reel Geek’s Guide….don’t you dare be sour…clap..for your wrestling fan writer …and feel the power….it’s a New Year yes it is!   New! Year Rocks! New! Year Rocks!

And with that New Year comes a whole year’s worth of geek movies to get excited and talk about with you right now.  Now, there’s a lot that got left off this list, there’s a lot more of awesome coming out that, while I’m excited to see, Kong: Skull Island, The Fate of the Furious,  the new Alien movie, I’m not as hyped for those as I am about the movies that made my cut for the 10 most anticipated movies coming out this year.   I’d love to hear what yours are though, show some comment love here or on social media, I can talk geek all day.     But without further adieu, here we go…

10.  The Dark Tower

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The Dark Tower, in case you weren’t aware is the first movie in a hopeful film series that’s based on the novels by Stephen King.  Unlike most adaptations this one does something a bit different with it’s execution, which (for me) allows me to forgive a lot of the changes that happen in this movie from the original books.  And that is, it’s a reboot/sequel to the original stories.

How does that work you ask?  Well, from what I’ve read at the end of the books, the Gunslinger (played in this movie by Idris Elba) gets the Horn of Eld, a mystical object which allows the blower of said horn a second chance to fix some mistakes that were made in the last go around.   And this movie is a new cycle, so things can look and take place differently than they did the first time (or however many times this cycle has played itself out..the books are kind of confusing, but great)

It’s a great way of being able to give the filmmakers some creative input while still hopefully doing the story justice.  We’ll see for ourselves when The Dark Tower gets released in theaters on July 28.

 

9. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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I was a huge fan of 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service.  It was a great blast of fun, poking fun at the spy genre of movies while blazing it’s own unique trail.  It was an adaptation of a comic by Mark Millar (Kick Ass) but it was different from that movie as well, it made for a great time at the movies.  And while I haven’t heard too much on this one yet, other than a return of Colin Firth’s character somehow as this poster teases, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of trouble Eggsy (Taron Egerton) can get into this go around, where the agency is forced to team up with their American counterparts, when this is released on October 6.

 

 

8. Wonder Woman

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The movies of the DC Cinematic Universe have had a definite rough beginning so far, with most audiences and critics panning Batman V Superman (Which I liked) and Suicide Squad (which I, and a lot of other people liked as well)  but here’s hoping third time’s the charm with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.

Gal Godot certainly looks the part, and we know she fills the role well.  The trailer looks fantastic as well, so I’m hoping that this will be the first great DC movie.  Wonder Woman will be released on June 2.

 

7. Blade Runner: 2049

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I was a late comer to Blade Runner, admittedly.  Growing up geek, it was one of those movies that I was aware of, but never actually watched.  Not until a few years back when I got the Ultimate Cut as a Christmas present, and watched/fell in love with the world of that movie.

Which brings us to now, some 30+ years after the release of the original, we get a sequel with new Blade Runner Ryan Gosling trying to uncover a mystery that involves Deckard (Harrison Ford) .  I’m hoping this return to a classic role for Ford is more  The Force Awakens than Crystal Skull, but we’ll see for ourselves when Blade Runner 2049 gets released in theaters on October 6.

 

6. Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2

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I was a huge fan of James Gunn’s first Guardians movie a few years ago, it was one of my favorite Marvel movies up til that point and still is.  In fact the only reason why this movie isn’t higher on my anticipated list is because I’ve got a good feeling that both Gunn, and the cast will knock it out of the park again.  I just know that it will be as much of a blast as the first one was.   We’ll find out just what’s on the Awesome Mix volume 2 when Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 gets released on May 5.

 

5. Beauty and the Beast

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The original animated movie was one of my favorite movies growing up, still is to this day.  I’m really hoping this live action adaptation by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) holds up the movie’s legacy.  From what we’ve seen so far, it looks fantastic.  I’m glad we haven’t seen too much on it yet, as we’re only a few months from release, and it’s always a nice surprise when marketing doesn’t show you too much of a movie beforehand.   I will definitely be their guest when Beauty and The Beast hits theaters March 17.

 

4. Thor: Ragnarok

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Reports recently came out that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) may be taking on more of a role in this movie than expected.  We knew he’d be in there, from the post credits scene in his own movie, but this movie is really looking like it should have been titled Marvel Team Up the movie, with Doctor Strange and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) taking large roles in the film, which is fine by me.     It seems like it’ll be quite an affair, a mash-up of the Planet Hulk storyline along with tying up some loose ends from the last Thor movie The Dark World and revealing the last Infinity Stone before next year’s Infinity War.  Seems like a lot of plot to get through, but I’m sure it will be great, which we’ll get to see for ourselves when Thor:Ragnarok hits theaters on July 28.

 

3. Justice League

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I’ve already talked about how up and down the DC Cinematic Universe has been so far, but still, from that teaser we got last summer, this looks like it’ll be an epic movie, which will manage to do what few have been able to do thus far.  And that’s make Aquaman look like a badass.  I mean, it’s not hard to do when the actor playing him used to play Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, but still.   I anticipate a lot of fun here when Bruce gets the band together to save the world on November 17.

 

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming

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I’ve talked about how much I enjoy the new Spider-Man Tom Holland so far, and how they’ve finally got the perfect Spider-Man to Peter Parker ratio going on in the casting, so I’m super psyched to see this new Spider-Man get his own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  (Now, if only Fox could work out a deal with them for the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters)     Be prepared for me to geek out when this hits theaters on July 7.

 

  1. Star Wars: Episode 8

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I’ve heard rumored titles for this movie, and none of them have sounded good, so I’m going to call this one just Episode 8 until they officially drop the title, and hopefully a teaser or something soon.   We’ll finally get to see Luke Skywalker in action, more Princess Leia (RIP Carrie Fisher), a Kylo Ren that’s completed his training and maybe the answer to the mystery of who are Rey’s parents?    All that and presumably somebody’s hand gets chopped off in this second part of the third Star Wars trilogy on December 15.

 

 

Reel Geek Review: Hidden Figures

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A lot of times, certain smaller movies get releases in “select cities” first before getting released nationally.  Such is the case of Hidden Figures.  I’m just thankful that the movie itself took place in Hampton, Virginia (where I’ll soon be a resident of in the very near future) and as such this big small town in Virginia gets the movie a week ahead of the rest of the country.   Which means for me that I got to see it a week ahead of most of you, so I get to talk about it right now here at Reel Geek’s.

Hidden Figures is based on the true story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), a black woman who worked at NASA at their Langley base in Hampton, Virginia in the early 1960s, right in the prime of the US’s space race with Russia.    It also tells the story of her two friends Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) and Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer)  whom also worked at NASA and hit their own achievements in the organization as well.

The movie, adapted from the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, is one of the greatest untold stories in the space race, and as such this would make for a great historical double feature with The Right Stuff, getting a fuller picture of the beginnings of  the space race.

I absolutely loved this movie, from start to finish.   The script, written by Allison Schroeder, who co wrote the film with director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) really captures the feel of Virginia in the 1960s, and the local attitudes back then very accurately.  Even though the movie was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, it feels very much local to this critic, I’d almost thought that they were actually in parts of downtown Hampton, and Phoebus while watching it.

I have to talk about the acting in this movie as well, the entire cast gets their own moments to shine in this movie, from Taraji P. Henson to Kevin Costner to Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage) ,it really feels like an ensemble piece even if the movie is really about just the three women, but not a single actor is wasted in this movie.    The movie gives equal opportunity for every actor to have a moment at least in this great story.

Hidden Figures had both my girlfriend and I smiling, laughing, and crying throughout the entire movie.  It’s a great inspirational story that I feel that everyone should see, with a lot of relevancy even now to the world we live in today.  I’d even go as far as to say that it’s a crime that these women’s stories weren’t told sooner.  But I’m glad that they are being told now, and hopefully everyone else will love the movie as much as I did when it gets it’s wide release next Friday, January 6.

Final Verdict-  A+

 

Reel Geek Review: Doctor Strange (Spoilers)

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Marvel Studios has been around for 8 years now, and in this time, they’ve completely revamped and rebooted what it means to be a comic book movie.  It used to be, just a summer cash grab, let’s make some action figures and multiple costumes and make some money.    And while, yes, there is a bit of that as well, in the past 8 years Marvel has helped making geeky things cool and open to the public.  So much so that DC also has a fledgling cinematic universe of their own, and a quite popular one on tv.  There’s comic book shows on tv most days of the week now, in prime time no less.  Which is amazing, as a life long comic book fan.  Even more so is that we’re getting more comic book accurate storylines.  No more Galactus is a a giant space cloud bs.  Well, less of a chance of that anyway.

But the film we’re here to talk about today is Marvel’s latest, Benedict Cumberbatch is…Doctor Strange.

Now,  my girlfriend and I saw this movie in IMAX 3D, which I would have to say is the best way to fully enjoy this movie as it is right now.  Feel I should preface this review with that.  Right from the new and improved Marvel Studios logo you’re in for a treat.  I absolutely geeked out over just the studio logo sequence, as we get a look first at comics, then scripts, and then a few seconds of all of our favorite heroes from the MCU.   Very cool, and I couldn’t have done it better myself.

The movie itself is an origin story, which is set sometime after the events of Civil War, as it was established during Doctor Strange’s car conversation with his assistant trying to find him a new case, something interesting, very similar to the tv show House, which kind of also informs me on the accent that Benedict chose to do Doctor Strange as, now that I think of it.  The case he’s referring to on the phone involves helping James “War Machine” Rhodes walk again after the fall he took in the airport scene of Civil War.

As us comic book fans know and well, everyone else from the marketing, we know that Strange gets in a car accident, ruining the use of his hands, which kills his career as a neurosurgeon, and he finds himself searching in the Himalayas for a cure, after hearing of a mysterious person called The Ancient One, who can work miracles.

Once he arrives, he finds himself in the company of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiafor- 12 Years a Slave)  who takes him to the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton-Hail Caeser) whom, after rejecting him, soon teaches him the ways of the mystic, and us as well, introducing magic into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time.

There of course, has to be conflict here, and we get that in the form of rogue sorcerer Caecilius (Mads Mikkelsen-Hannibal) and his group of Dormammu worshippers, who of course wish to unmake existence.   So, after a training montage or two, we’re ready for the action.

I really had a blast watching this movie, though I don’ think it to be this perfect film that other critics have been comparing it too.  Though, I suppose, let’s first start out with what works here.  The acting is all fantastic in this movie.  I’m glad that they based Strange’s character off of like a Greg House type crossed with his more recent comics incarnations, as the older Doctor Strange characterization was a bit stuffy for my tastes.  Great stories, but the character was not one to crack a joke, as is Cumberbatch’s role here.  The humor worked well for me, except in one spot where there was a dramatic bit with Strange getting his cape, and then they throw a joke in that kind of killed that moment for me.  I loved the  chemistry that he has with Rachel Mcadams (playing love interest of sorts Christine Palmer) and with him, Mordo, and Wong (Benedict Wong), that all works very well.  And the love interest story isn’t fully relied upon to carry the movie, it’s just an element in the story, no damsel in distress scene as all the comic book movies used to have, which I loved.

Mads Mikkelsen does a decent job in playing his villain as well, usually the MCU has weak villains as their downfall, but they give him a bit more to do, which I liked, not too much of course, but they are getting better at developing villains.  Don’t know why this is so hard for them to do as a studio. It’s been 8 years and 14 movies.  And they have like one great villain, who’s not even really seen as such, and that’s Loki.

Also, I loved the whole scene with Dormammu near the end, as he’s always been one of my favorite Doctor Strange villains, and to see him on the big screen, in a different look, but still awesome, was fantastic.

Now for what didn’t quite work, the pacing felt a bit off in places, and I’m still not sure when this movie is actually set, as they kind of training montage through a bunch of stuff.  A lot of time is spent developing why he’s there, and then they get there and it’s like montage, training stuff, you’re the best, now here’s the bad guy to cause trouble so we can wrap this movie up.   The score, which I first heard the end credits song of a few weeks ago (as you can also read about on the site) was not what I was expecting off of that end credits song, this trippy,  Moody Blues esque jazzy song, and the rest of the movie sounds like outtakes from composer Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek score.   I guess it’s not too big a fault, as even 90% of John Williams music sounds identical, save for his iconic themes for characters.   But after hearing that end credits track I was expecting something revolutionary, and found myself listening to generic superhero score.

Some of the jokes fell a bit forced to me, as it seemed like they were trying to be too funny, when they didn’t need to be.  And a sense of the timing of the movie felt off, like how is he supposed to become this master sorcerer in a few months or a year?  It would have worked better if the movie was set early on in the MCU around Iron Man 2 timeframe or so, and then building up to present day, that would have fit better for me.    Other than that there’s not really too much bad to say about this movie.

I loved a few of the easter eggs hidden in the movie as well, as I looked up on IMDB and saw that some of the other sorcerors included in the training center were Daniel Drumm (who later in the comics gets murdered and his brother Jericho Drumm becomes the hero known as Brother Voodoo) and also Tina Minoru (mother of one of the Runaways heroes, Nico Minoru) that one I found really interesting, as they are developing a Runaways series for Hulu, hopefully this will tie in at some point.  I’m hoping that with the last post credits line of “Too many sorcerors”, that the sequel focuses on the now evil Mordo and some of the other mystics of the Marvel Universe.  Maybe newly introduced characters like Medico Mistico or The Wu?  One can hope.

All in all despite a few flaws, this is still a fantastic adventure of a movie with great performances, and even better visual effects and be sure to stay past both credit sequences, leaving after one is a rookie move, and you’re better than that.    **** out of Five Stars.