Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The Circle is directed by James Ponsoldt, and it stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, and Ellar Coltrane. The film revolves around a huge tech company known as the Circle. When Emma Watson’s character gets a job there, she quickly realizes that it’s not exactly what she expected. The Circle is involved with a lot of controversial surveillance of basically everyone around the world, and she’s not quite sure how she feels about it.
The idea behind The Circle was a really interesting one, and it’s one that is very timely. Surveillance and to what level it should be used is one of the most hotly debated issues of our time. The trailers for The Circle looked interesting enough, but they never really wowed me and made me excited for this film. Well, they did an honest job marketing the movie, because what you see it what you get. The premise is interesting, but the actual movie behind it isn’t all that great.
The conversation that The Circle is trying to start is one that is already being had. Which makes it a bit of an uphill climb for this film, because going into the film people already have their opinions on the issue. Unfortunately, due to the film’s mediocrity, I can’t help but feel like The Circle is going to be that film that people try to bring up during these debates, and then they can’t remember the name of it and spend way too much time trying to recall what it was.
The best thing about this film was definitely the cast. The cast for this thing is stacked with a ton of popular and great actors and actresses. Emma Watson was the lead, and she was surrounded by the likes of Tom Hanks, John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan, and Patton Oswald. Unfortunately, this great cast doesn’t nearly have enough to do in the film. All of the performances in the film were fine enough, but I can’t help but feel that they could’ve been so much more if the script had been better. The biggest disappointment of all was John Boyega’s character. They introduced him, and he was a really cool character to have in the story. It felt like he was about to become central to the story, and then he was randomly demoted to random shots of him standing in the distance.
Where this film suffered the most was in its writing. Plain and simple, it was a bad script. I realize that the film was based on a book (that admittedly I have not read), and to that, I say that either the story of the book was just as mediocre or it wasn’t translated well at all. Throughout the whole film, I was looking for a message, a lesson to be learned. What I found was that the film was too shy to commit to one. They hinted at a couple here and there, but none of them were given enough time to really sink in. To make matters even worse, when it finally looks like they’re picking a central theme, the end of the film happens and flies completely in the face of what that theme was. If they hadn’t done that, the film could’ve ended on a strong note. Unfortunately, The Circle feels like it ends right after somebody trips and falls. We don’t quite see them hit the ground, but we definitely see them fall. That’s what the ending to this film was like.
So overall, The Circle was pretty mediocre. It wasn’t anything special, which is really frustrating because it could’ve been a great and timely film for audiences to see. The script of the film didn’t really know what it wanted to be, and it showed through very clearly. The film does have a few great moments, but they’re so watered down by the rest that in the end, it doesn’t matter. The film never committed to a theme, and when it seems like they finally did, the film ends and completely undermines itself. I guess you could see The Circle if you really wanted to, but I won't recommend it to you.
So what did you think of The Circle? Did it have more of a lasting impact on you? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Alien is directed by Ridley Scott, and it stars Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, John Hurt, and Tom Skerritt. It tells the story of the crew on of the spaceship Nostromo. While on their journey back to Earth, they receive a mysterious transmission that they follow to an unknown planet. It is there that one of the crew is attacked by a strange organism. Soon after departing the planet, they discover the danger has come with them.
Alien is a film that since its release in 1979, has become regarded not only a classic but as one of the best sci-fi films of all time. In order to prepare for the upcoming Alien: Covenant (which looks insane!), I decided to re-watch the film. Not surprisingly, it held up extremely well. This film definitely deserves all of the praise that it gets, and it’s very apparent why it became so popular.
The thing that this film did best was build suspense. The entire film is riding on its ability to keep you on the edge of your seat. If it had failed at that, the movie would’ve been extremely boring. Luckily for us, Alien gives you just enough to understand the danger, but it also holds enough back to make you afraid of it. We don’t actually see the now iconic Alien very much in the film, but that doesn’t detract from it one bit. In fact, if anything, it adds to the film. It makes you feel like you're a member of the crew. You don’t know where the alien is, and that’s what makes it so suspenseful.
This film features a lot of truly stellar scenes on top of an already great film. There are several scenes in this film that have gone on to become some of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Two that come to mind are the one where John Hurt’s character is attacked by the “Facehugger” and the chest-bursting scene that follows soon after. It takes an awful lot for something in a film to become iconic, and Alien does it multiple times, which is a testament to the quality of the film overall.
I do want to talk briefly about one aspect of the film that I don’t see discussed all that much, and that’s the production design. All of the sets and backgrounds in the film are absolutely fantastic and are almost as interesting to look at as the film is to watch. Ridley Scott surely knew that when directing this film, as we get a lot of long shots of the rooms and environments these characters are in. It really helps to build up this universe that they are in and at times even helps influence the tone of a scene.
Alien is a great example of how to make a cohesive film on all fronts. The script is thrilling, and it’s translated to the screen extremely well. Looking at just the script for this film, there are so many things that could’ve gone wrong. The alien could’ve come off as silly, and the tone and pacing could’ve made the film boring, but everything was executed perfectly by Scott and everyone involved.
To put it simply, Alien lives up to the hype. Every moving piece in this film is coordinated and works with all of the other pieces perfectly. Alien manages to build an amazing amount of suspense despite not actually seeing the creature for much of the runtime. Several of the scenes in this film have gone on to become iconic, and it’s not hard to see why. The production design is incredibly intricate, and the film keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. If you haven’t seen Alien yet, you should definitely do that, especially before Covenant hits theaters on May 19th
So what do you think of 1979’s Alien? Are you excited to see Alien: Covenant? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Recently there’s been a lack of big films coming out to review. We’re in a bit of a calm before the storm that is preceding the summer movie season, so this whole week will be full of fun little editorials such as this one. Today, I decided to take the opportunity to discuss what has been a major debate in Hollywood for a long time now. That is the question of whether or not major franchises should be casting big names to draw people into the theater, or if they should cast relatively unknown actors to give them a chance to grow their career.
The first side of the argument here is that studios should cast big name actors in their major films. This will help to ensure box office returns and make the films profitable. The best example of this today is the superhero genre. Marvel and DC have both been bringing in big names to their films to get people in the theaters. A few good examples are Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Ben Affleck as Batman, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and most recently Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2. While these actors have all done great jobs in their roles (save for Brolin who we have yet to see) they were a sort-of safe bet financially for the studios. For the most part, this mentality has actually paid off. Suicide Squad, which had the likes of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis, out grossed 2013’s Man of Steel and 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man domestically. As I’m sure you know, Superman and Spider-Man are two of the most popular superheroes in the world, and they were beaten by the Suicide Squad.
The other side of this argument is that these major franchises, meaning ones that people will see no matter what (Transformers, Star Wars, Marvel films), should cast unknown actors in their leads to help create the next generation of movie stars. The best example of a Studio putting this into idea into action is Lucasfilm with the newest Star Wars films. In The Force Awakens, Disney cast relative unknowns Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac in their leads. Now those three are all beginning great careers. Fox's X-Men franchise has also done this recently in X-Men: Apocalypse (coincidentally also starring Isaac), though DC seems to be really going in this direction. This can be seen in their casting of literally the entire Justice League other than Batman.
In my opinion, studios should try to have a good mix of both of these ideas. Often, a good strategy is to cast unknowns in the lead roles and surround them with big names in supporting roles. A good example of this is the recent live-action Jungle Book film. They cast Neel Sethi in the lead role of Mowgli and surrounded him with big names such as Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Christopher Walken. It looks like Disney is planning on doing this with their upcoming live-action Mulan and Aladdin films as well. Each of these approaches to casting a film can work but it all depends on the film it’s in.
So what do you think about casting in these major films? Would you prefer big names or relatively unknown ones? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
After all the excitement that was Star Wars Celebration this past weekend, I decided to rewatch the original Star Wars trilogy. So, over the past week, I did exactly that, and I’m glad I did. For today’s blog post, I thought I would share with you guys my thoughts on the original Star Wars trilogy. Keep in mind, this isn’t a review per se, more so just a general thoughts and reflections.
So, like most people out there, I absolutely love Star Wars! I own the original trilogy (as well as the new films) on Blu-Ray, the prequels (and the Clone Wars animated film) on DVD, and yes, I even watched all six seasons of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In addition to that, I’ve read several of the Star Wars novels and comics out there. So, in general, I like to think that I am a pretty big Star Wars geek. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to watching Star Wars: Rebels yet, but I’m planning to this summer to get ready for season four.
So first I want to start with our very first introduction to this universe, 1977’s Star Wars, now titled A New Hope. When I was a kid, this film was one of my least favorite Star Wars films, now it’s definitely in the top two. Right from the get-go, you’re sucked into this film. You immediately grasp what kind of film this is going to be. Also, how great is Darth Vader? From the moment he walks on the screen you’re intimidated and afraid of him, and that only increases when you actually see what he’s capable of. Watching this film through another time really gave me an appreciation for just how great some of the performances in the film are. Obviously, the main trio of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford is fantastic, but don’t forget about Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing. In my opinion, they gave the best performances of the film and sold all of their dialogue. In summary, the original Star Wars was a lot of fun, it had great performances, and it really paved the way for this massive Star Wars universe that we have today.
The Empire Strikes Back, in my opinion, is a perfect sequel to A New Hope. It takes the franchise in a more serious and intellectual direction, yet it keeps everything we loved about the original. The characters are as lovable as ever, the new additions of Yoda and Lando fit in perfectly, and it has one of the biggest and most iconic movie plot twists of all time. The performances from the three leads were even better in this one than the last, and that’s saying a lot. Just like its predecessor, Empire sucks you in right away with a massive battle scene on the ice planet of Hoth. Also, over the course of this movie, there are major character arcs. Our heroes are not the same people at the end of this movie that they are at the beginning. We see them changing, and it’s a beauty to watch. Many people consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the best Star Wars film, and I would certainly agree.
My opinion on Return of the Jedi probably changed the most of the three on this viewing. A couple years ago, I would’ve told you that the Return of the Jedi was my favorite of all of the Star Wars films, well now it’s probably gone down a couple spots. Keep in mind though, that I still love the movie! It was a great conclusion to the original trilogy, however, it does have a few minor flaws in it, more so than the other two. The biggest gripe I had with it was that I thought the pacing was a little off, and some of the humor didn’t hit super well. Again, I still loved it though, and the entire last act was nothing short of magnificent. Return of the Jedi was a fantastic conclusion to that trilogy, and it’s definitely in the top half of the Star Wars films quality-wise.
So what are your objective thoughts on the original Star Wars trilogy? Does it still hold up really well for you? Which one is your favorite? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check out then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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