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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is directed by Mel Stuart and it stars Gene Wilder, Peter Ostrum, and Jack Albertson. It tells the story of…well, I think you know what Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is about. It’s considered a classic, and pretty much everyone has seen or heard the story in one way or another, whether it be the book, this film, or the 2005 version starring Johnny Depp. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is one of those films, that everybody has probably seen at some point.
With the unfortunate recent passing of Gene Wilder, I figured what better way to pay tribute than reviewing possibly his most popular film. This film was released over 45 years ago, so how does it hold up today?
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is nothing short of extraordinary. It captures so extremely well many of the things that make cinema great.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room, Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. After somebody passes away, it can be extremely easy to just praise everything they’ve ever done. However, the performance given by Gene Wilder in this film was fantastic. The character of Willy Wonka is such a unique one. He has so many little mannerisms and things that make him interesting to watch, and Wilder managed to perfectly portray all of these little details. He’s funny and he’s sarcastic, but he’s also a little creepy with just a touch of insanity. Wilder was able to bring all of these little personality traits together and make them work in unison to make a memorable performance to last for decades to come.
The music in the film was also exceptional. The score really captured the odd wonder of the chocolate factory and complimented it extremely well. The songs that were sung were also very good, particularly “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” and “Pure Imagination”. These are the type of songs that you can listen to separately from the film and they’ll take you right back into the theater. You can add these songs to a playlist, press shuffle, and smile when they come on.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has one thing that is vastly missing from a lot of films, particularly nowadays. Heart. This isn’t a film that was made for the sake of making money. You can tell just by watching the film, this was a film driven exclusively by the love of filmmaking. Everybody working on the film legitimately wanted to be there. It wasn’t just a quick paycheck, and that is the first step to making films that will be remembered as classics.
If you have not seen the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, I implore you to do so. It’s a film that you can watch and just be happy when doing it. It has so many memorable quotes, both funny and inspirational. The performance by Gene Wilder is one that will not be forgotten for many more years to come, and the film manages to capture such a sense of heart and peculiarity that it’s hard to compare it to many other films. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is considered by many to be a classic and a must-see, and for good reason. It’s crafted from pure imagination.
What do you think of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? What’s your favorite Gene Wilder role? 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!
Don’t Breathe is directed by Fede Alvarez, and it stars Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, and Dylan Minnette. It is the latest thriller to be hitting the big screen across the nation, and it’s receiving glowing reviews from critics and fans alike. It tells the story of a small group of burglars as they plan and execute a break-in that could give them enough money to quit forever. The hiccup is the guy they're going to rob is a blind army veteran. When things go terribly wrong during their heist, these kids desperately try to escape this house while being hunted down.
Don’t Breathe may be the most intense film of the year so far. The title of the film is more than a title, it’s a command that the audience unknowingly is forced to adhere to.
The direction by Fede Alvarez is what made this film what it is. Through masterfully crafted suspense, you feel as if you are actually in the house with these people. There are several scenes in the film where you feel claustrophobic and are hesitant to breathe in fear of being too loud.
The most noticeable thing while watching this film is the lack of one thing. Sound. There are many different points when watching this film where the theater was utterly silent. There was no sound coming from the film, and there was no sound coming from the audience. Everybody was so invested in the film and in the characters that you can’t help but feel anxious in throughout the entirety of the film. Don’t Breathe is the type of film that you voluntarily don’t talk during. From the very first shot of the film, the audience is already intrigued by what is going on and what is going to happen.
Stephen Lang gave, by far, the best performance in the film. He brought such a physicality to his character, and the audience couldn’t help be afraid of him, even though he was blind. Every time he was on screen you can’t help but not move a muscle. You’re absolutely terrified of him, even though he’s just a blind guy on a screen. The other actors in the film did decently good job, they definitely didn’t detract from the film. They didn’t bring a whole lot more to it either.
The plot in this film is what makes it great. It’s such a simple plot, it doesn’t bite off more than it can chew or add unnecessary plot twists. The plot summary on IMDb is “A group of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re very wrong.” It keeps the plot concise and neat and not overly horrific. It feels like a real situation. Even in this simplistic plot, you have no clue what to expect. You honestly don’t know if any of these characters are going to live or die, and that makes the film a thrill to watch.
Towards the end of the film, the storytelling does get a little messy. It doesn’t quite flow as well as it had been throughout the rest of the film. It feels a little uneven and uncoordinated. Although, that is the only real drawback about this film. Before this point, this film is a fantastic thriller and if you like those type of films, you’re going to love it.
Don’t Breathe is the most intense film of the year so far. The plot isn't overly complicated, and it works so well because of that. It does get a little off-kilter towards its conclusion, but overall Don't Breathe was extremely entertaining. The use of silence in the film brought an extra level of intensity, and Stephen Lang’s physicality really gets your heart racing. I wouldn’t call this a horror film, it’s more of a really intense thriller.
So what’d you think of Don’t Breathe? Were you really freaking out? 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!
In case you haven’t noticed, comic-book fans can be the hardest to please when it comes to making movies. Many fans are very quick to react negatively when something isn’t exactly the way they want it to be. While yes, sticking to the original source material when adapting something to the big screen could very well be the way to go, there is a lot more that goes into making these movies than what was on the page.
Fans were upset to see tattoos on Jared Leto’s Joker. Fans were upset when Johnny Storm was African-American in Fant4stic. Fans were upset when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman. Now, there is another potential casting in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming film that has people, once again, up in arms.
The lead cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming is perhaps one of the most diverse in a superhero film yet. Tom Holland reprises his role from Captain America: Civil War. Also returning from Civil War is Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. New to the MCU in Homecoming is Michael Keaton, Tony Revolori, Laua Harrier, Jacob Batalon, Donald Glover, and Zendaya.
Keaton will be portraying the antagonist The Vulture, Revolori will be Flash Thompson, Harrier is Liz Allan, Batalon will be Ned Leeds, and Donald Glover is in an unspecified role that is rumored to be Miles Morales. It is an extremely diverse cast, which makes sense if you’ve ever been to New York. However, there is one character in particular that I want to talk about, and that is the one Zendaya will be bringing to life.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly at Comic-Con, director Jon Watts confirmed she would be playing a character by the name of Michelle. Many naturally assumed she would be playing Michele Gonzales, a character from the comics and potential love interest for Peter Parker. However, if a recent report from The Wrap is to be believed, then she will not be Michelle, but rather iconic Spider-Man character Mary Jane Watson.
As the internet often does, it imploded when this report came out. There was an immediate debate about the casting. Some said that the classic Mary Jane design (Caucasian with red hair) was essential to who the character was. Others argued that Zendaya would be great as long as she captured the spirit of the character.
Personally, I agree with the latter. The ethnicity or hair color of Mary Jane Watson isn’t what makes her who she is. It's the personality of the character that defines them. In fact, I would argue that a majority of characters could be played by anybody of any different race, as long as they portray the personality well. Obviously there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as Black Panther, but for the most part, race is irrelevant. However, this is about more than Zendaya playing Mary Jane; this is a much, much larger issue.
This isn’t the first time that a major comic-book character has had their ethnicity changed for the big screen. In fact, it’s a fairly common thing. Most recently, the character of Deadshot in Suicide Squad was portrayed by Will Smith even though the character is white in the comics, and Smith’s performance was arguably the best part of that film. Also in recent memory, Johnny Storm was played by Michael B. Jordon in 2015’s Fantastic Four, Iris West is currently being played by Candice Patton in the Flash TV show, Perry White is played by Laurence Fishburne in the DCEU, and Electro was played by Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Even Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman had Harvey Dent played by Billy Dee Williams!
Changing the ethnicity of a character is nothing new. Honestly, I cannot understand why some people get as upset by this as they do. Casting a character should be based on the acting ability of the person auditioning, not if they look like the character from the comics. If an actor/actress can truly capture the spirit of a character, then they should get the part. It’s nice to see that some studios are finally starting to realize this.
I haven’t seen Zendaya act in anything before, but I’m sure that she’s a good actress. She had to have brought something special to her audition if it convinced Marvel Studios to cast her as the love interest to their most popular character. People need to stop having these knee-jerk reactions to every bit of casting in a major Hollywood film. Diversity in a film is a good thing, it’s more representative of the world we live in. It’s hard to be fully immersed in a film when it's just white people walking around everywhere. That's not the world we live in. Diversity is part of what makes the planet as amazing as it it, why do some people want that to go away in their movies?
So what do you think about Zendaya possibly playing Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Would you rather they went with somebody else? 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!
Batman: The Killing Joke is the latest animated film brought to us by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is an R-Rated take on the classic graphic novel from Alan Moore. When the Joker escapes from prison, he sets his sights on Jim Gordon and his family. As Batman tries to apprehend him, the Joker tries to prove that everyone can go crazy because of one bad day.
This is perhaps the most anticipated film in the history of Warner Bros Animation. So how does it stand?
I would say that The Killing Joke was a pretty good for a direct-to-video movie. It manages to do a pretty good job at capturing the tone and severity of The Killing Joke novel. While, it's not a film worthy of a wide release in theaters, it is still one that you can sit down and enjoy with a group of friends.
The return of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as the voices of Batman and The Joker really elevated the film. They've both been voicing the characters for so long, that it would've seemed wrong not to have them on board with this classic story. Conroy and Hamill have become necessary pillars of any Batman related animation, and deservedly so. They both do fantastic jobs, and The Killing Joke was no exception.
When it comes to the story of the film, it was a little hit-and-miss. The film starts by focusing on Batgirl for about half an hour. She's on a case that really had nothing to do with the overall plot of the film, and the entire sequence was obviously tacked on to make the film longer. If you didn't know you were watching The Killing Joke, then you would have absolutely no clue from the first half an hour. It starts as just a straightforward film about Batgirl with Batman as a supporting character. A Batgirl film isn't a bad idea but trying to shoehorn it into The Killing Joke was a big misstep.
Once the film switches from the Batgirl story to the actual Killing Joke storyline, it becomes significantly more interesting. It starts to focus more on the relationship between Batman and the Joker, and it's fascinating. The dialogue between these rivals sucks you in and doesn't let you go until the credits roll. You learn more about these characters, how they tick, and why they need each other. The latter half of the film is very strong, and if you're a fan of Batman, you'll love it.
Personally, I've never been a fan of the animation style in these DC Animated films. It looks like something done quickly so they could meet a deadline. It feels as if they care more about just getting it out, then actually making the animation good. It's a problem that I've seen in a lot of the DC Animated films, and it's one that is also present in The Killing Joke.
Overall, I thought Batman: The Killing Joke was pretty good. It's obviously a film made to go directly to home video. Despite what some people say, this isn't a cinema quality film. The Batgirl segment was obviously there to make the film longer and it wasn't really compelling in any way. When the film finally fulfills the promise of its title, it does so amazingly. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, once again, are brilliant as the voices of Batman and the Joker. If you're a hardcore comic-book fan, you'll probably love this film. If you're just a casual watcher, Batman: The Killing Joke isn't something you really need to go out of your way to see. While I enjoyed the film, it wasn't as great as it could've been.
So what'd you think of Batman: The Killing Joke? How does it compare to other DC Animated Films? 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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