Reviews

‘Black Panther’ Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? “Wakanda” do about it? You can get your butt to the theatre and enjoy this movie, that’s what!

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(DISNEY)

The latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is none other than Black Panther, which was written and directed by Ryan Coogler. It continues the story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where he is set to become the King of his country Wakanda. After Civil War came out, there were a few standouts of the movie and Boseman and his portrayal of Black Panther was one of them. So when they attached Ryan Coogler to helm his first solo movie, everyone was excited. First things first, the hype surrounding this movie is massive, and I understand that, but this is also a movie, and like every movie, it has flaws. This is important to discuss, because I believe that if people dissect this movie and talk about the good (which there is so much of) but also the flaws, they might fear repercussions. Which isn’t fair, because like most movies, especially comic book movies, they are bound to have flaws in them, it just comes with the territory. So I think it’s best to view the movie as a whole and just enjoy it for what it is. A terrifically directed, well acted Marvel movie, which will please audiences everywhere and make a boatload of money.

What does it take to be King of a nation? What responsibilities comes with it? For T’Challa he is about to find out about all of these things, and what it truly means to be a great ruler and leader of a nation. Going into Black Panther, I knew there would be a strong political message, and strong social commentary, which there was. But Coogler found a way to do it so seamlessly and naturally, that it really tied the movie together. Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country in the world, yet they hide in plain sight. Built on the backbone of Vibranium, they have the means to do so much, but they keep all of these secrets to themselves. They do not help the outside world, and millions of people could use their help. T’Challa is conflicted when he becomes King, because unlike previous rulers, he believes Wakanda can be doing so much more. They have the power and tools to help so many of those that suffer; yet they do nothing, and that starts to eat away at him. This is where Michael B Jordan’s character Killmonger comes into play. You see, he is of Wakandan decent but was raised in America, so he didn’t have all of this technology and a safe space to grow up in. Now an adult, he wonders why they sit back and do nothing, while their kind is struggling in the outside world. So when he challenges T’Challa to the throne, he wants to be King, so he can use their technology to essentially rule the world. Or take back what was rightfully theirs. Michael B Jordan is such a great young talented actor and when he was cast as Killmonger, and I saw he was going to be playing the villain, I knew this had serious potential to be a special performance, it was. He gives a charismatic performance, the best villain since Loki, and the craziest part about Killmonger is, you feel for him. Like I said, he wasn’t raised in the protective bubble that is Wakanda, he was raised in the outside world, and had to deal with all the hardships that come with that. Stuff we know to be true and see everyday on the news, and he is extremely pissed off that they have done nothing about it. So when he shows up in Wakanda and starts asking all of these questions, it makes all the other characters start to question their own beliefs, and that is what makes the movie so damn good. What makes a truly great villain is when he makes the hero question his own belief system and what it means to be a hero, and Killmonger does just that. Because deep down, you kind of believe in what he believes in. Why doesn’t Wakanda help the outside world? Why aren’t they using this incredible technology to help those in need? So you start to see where he’s coming from, but like every great villain, he goes about it the wrong way. He questions the entire existence of Wakanda and what it means to be the world’s most powerful nation, and they start to listen. Michael just gives such a powerful performance, like I knew he would and continues to just knock it out of the park. That brings me to the biggest flaw of the movie, not enough Killmonger. He has such a cool introduction and you are instantly connected to him, then we go about 40 minutes without him. The movie needed more, because whenever he was on screen, you couldn’t look away, and every one of his scenes was intense.

Michael B Jordan isn’t the only standout in this superb cast. Again this movie is being celebrated because of the massive African American cast, which it should be. The movie is so rich in black culture, but Coogler also uses that to build a culture of his own, which is that of Wakanda. The world building here is incredible, and you leave the theatre wanting to see more and to understand more. They could have just said, look at this magical place we have made up, and not given any insight to their beliefs or culture, but they dive so deep into it, you almost begin to think it’s a real place. That is truly the work of a great director. Letitia Wright who plays Shuri, the little sister to T’Challa was the breakout star of this film. She gives one heck of a performance, where she can be fierce and feisty, yet provides some of the biggest laughs in the entire movie. A star making performance in my mind, and I expect to see her in many things down the line. I can’t wait to see her in upcoming MCU movies, because she was so great. The whole cast is awesome, and I know they all had so much fun making this movie together and knew what it would mean to the world. This really is a special movie, during a time when we need a movie like this. Because the themes and the messages behind it are so relevant today, that it makes it that much more important. Marvel could have just made another stereotypical comic book movie. About a guy in a costume and have a ton of stuff blow up. Yes stuff goes boom and there’s a guy in a costume, but it’s about so much more, and that’s why it’s so important.

In the end I really enjoyed Black Panther, it was a fun ride, with plenty of action, the CGI in some parts was a tad underwhelming, but overall it’s was fine. I prefer a better-told story and a strong message behind something than having incredible CGI. Ryan Coogler is now three for three in directing and he’s only 31 years old. That’s a very inspirational thing, seeing someone so young create such incredible movies. He has such a bright future ahead of him, and personally I can’t wait to continue watching him make movies for decades to come.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Black Panther = 90/10

News

‘The Incredibles 2’ Trailer Is Well…..Incredible

The moral of the story is, stay at home Dad’s are the real Super Heroes.

Finally, after teasing us for about a week, Pixar finally released the first real trailer for The Incredibles 2!

Everyone’s favourite Super Hero family is back and they didn’t skip a beat, literally, the movie seems to take place directly after the original and that’s pretty cool. I remember leaving the theatre and wanting to see them throw down with The Underminer and now we get to see that happen.

So this time around Elastigrl is being pushed into the spotlight for a new PR stunt to help rebuild the image of Supers. While she’s having saving the day, Mr. Incredible is at home, tending to the kids, well mostly Jack Jack. He needs to succeed at being a stay at home Dad, so Elastigirl can succeed at being a hero. I don’t mind this angle but it seems to familiar to the first, where the person in charge of the “PR stunt” Winston Deavor voiced by Bob Odenkirk isn’t all he says he is. I expect a double cross at some point. Which if this ends up being true, will kind of be disappointing, because we all saw that coming. I hope there are a few surprises in store for us, which I’m sure there are.

Other than that, the trailer is full of great jokes, laughs and Jack Jack really steals the show. Hope Pixar knows what they are doing and don’t screw this one up!

Check ya later.

Reviews

Dissecting The Cavs’ Trade Deadline Moves…and More!

Kenny is out and Jack is in. The Toronto Raptors sit atop the Eastern Conference, yet they get no love. Jack and Nate break down why the Raptors hate is unwarranted and how the Eastern Conference playoff picture is slowly coming together (00:00-10:00). Breaking down everything that the Cavs’ did at the deadline and how it affects them going forward (10:00-17:45). Where is LeBron most likely going next year, which destination makes the most sense? (17:45-21:55). Why LaVar Ball is ruining his son’s careers and why Lonzo needs to man up and say something (21:55-30:00). Thoughts and prayers to Bruno Caboclo who was sadly traded away from our Toronto Raptors (30:00-33:50). We welcome the newest Raptor Malachi Richardson, and why Sacramento is the darkest pit of the NBA. (33:50-38:20). Gordon Hayward vs. Donovan Mitchell. We debate who you would rather have going forward and who the rookie of the year is. (38:20-47:47). Should the Raptors use all this hate and shade as motivation or no? (47:47-52:45). Finish off with discussing a possible new playoff format, Dwayne Wade’s farewell tour, the Warriors new coaching scheme and we give our All-Star Weekend picks! (52:45-1:05:20)

Reviews

New ‘Rampage’ Trailer Kicks Butt

Animal on animal crime.

“Based on the classic 1980s video game featuring apes and monsters destroying cities”

“Of course the wolf flies.” When I heard Dwayne Johnson utter those words in this trailer, it was in that moment I was all in. The second trailer for Rampage has dropped and it’s more of the same – complete and spectacular awesomeness. I get it, giant monsters destroying cities. We have seen this a million times before, but none of these had Dwayne Johnson teaming up with a giant ape now did they? Dwayne hasn’t had this big of a tag team partner since the Big Show.

The trailer didn’t show us too much more new footage, but they don’t need to at this point. Either your sold or you’re not, and new footage probably isn’t going to change your mind. They didn’t tease that George the giant ape and Dwayne will actually work together in the end to stop the other monsters. I feel like Rampage will be this years Kong: Skull Island – a big dumb fun monster movie that you will enjoy much more if you see it on the big screen. Can’t wait!

Check ya later.

Reviews

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Review

“Remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. Before you know it, your heart is worn out. And as for your body, there comes a point where no one looks at it. Much less wants to come near it.”

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(Frenzy Films)

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Do you remember what it felt like? Maybe your first crush? Your life changes when you meet that person, or you have certain feelings for the very first time in your life. It’s a special moment in every person’s life because well love is suppose to make you fell something, it’s suppose to make you feel complete. Call Me By Your Name is just that, a love story. Just so happens it has to be a gay love story, which occurs in the summer of 1983 in a villa in Italy. Honestly who wouldn’t want to fall in love in such a place? Italy is such a beautiful country, filled with beautiful people and in the summer of 1983 it saw a romance form like no other.

Elio (Timothee Chalamet) is a 17 year old boy who in the summer lives in a villa in Italy with his parents Mr. Perlmen (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Annella (Amira Casar). His father, an archaeologist who studies sculptures, brings in a grad student every summer to help him with his work. Elio rarely thinks anything of these students, as they come and go every year, and he never seems to be able to form any sort of bond or friendship with them. When Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives, well everything changes. Hammer, has a statuesque stature himself. From the very get-go you notice the size difference between Oliver and Elio. The Perlman’s are as the world would put it today “boujee,” they are fluent in multiple languages, well read and educated and appear to have an incredible amount of wealth. When Oliver first arrives, Eilo gets a sense of entitlement and cockiness, and is immediately fascinated by him. He gives off an “American” vibe, for instance, whenever he leaves, he declares “Later!” Elio is thrown off by his behaviour, but the two form a bond right away.

Most days for Elio are spent riding his bike, reading pool side in his swim trunks and flirting with the local girls. Oliver joins in with all of these activities, and when they start to bond and begin a friendship, Elio doesn’t know how to react. He isn’t sure if this is a real friendship or if Oliver is just being nice and Elio is merely the professors kid. Elio is a 17 year old kid, he’s going through what any 17 year old goes through. An insane rush of emotions and hormones. Elio is so intwined with Oliver, he cares so much about how he views him and what he thinks of him. The movie doesn’t give us any back story to Elio’s character, so we don’t know if he has had feelings like this before, but once Oliver arrives, it awakens something in him, he begins to finally see the light.

Call Me By Your Name isn’t so much about “doing it,” but rather wanting to “do it.” It’s about discovering your true sexual orientation and being comfortable in your own skin. For the most part, our two leads are wearing no shirts and just swim trunks, it’s summer, it’s Italy and it kind of sets the stage for some early physical contact, when Oliver offers to help Elio with his injured shoulder. The word “gay” is uttered once throughout the whole movie, which you might find strange in a movie about a gay romance. The one time it is said isn’t even directed at either one of our leads but rather a person in passing. The conversations about that subject between Elio and Oliver often happen off screen and I found this quite fascinating. This all happens naturally because director Luca Guadagnino allows it to, he sets the stage early on, and we watch as this progresses. Remember Oliver is only here for the summer, so this ends up being a painful summer romance, and when they finally figure out what they share together it is simply too late. The problem lies within Elio where he at one point asks Oliver if he is sick. Oliver simply replies “I wish everyone was as sick as you.” You almost wish these two would have had more time together, because they ultimately wish the same thing.

From the very start you knew these two would get along, Elio and his self confidence and intelligence meshed well with Oliver’s sometimes arrogance and often at times bro-ish behaviour. They are attractive to each others intelligence first, then it becomes more physical. They seem perfect for one another, but all good things must come to an end, and when the summer ends, so does this romance. It’s a coming of age kind of summer for Elio as cliche as that sounds. By the end of the summer, he is now who he was meant to be, and he is heartbroken.

The two leads give inspiring performances, and have incredible chemistry. It’s a testament to both actors. And they seemed to form a great bond in real life as well. Timothée has such a bright future in acting and seeing this side of Armie Hammer made me respect him even more as an actor.

This is 1983, the world was a different place and this kind of relationship wouldn’t have been accepted. So when Oliver arrives to work for Elio’s father, the two become close. He becomes part of the family. They have an incredible close knit family, that is very tight. So as this is going on, you are unaware of how the parents are viewing this and if they know what is even going on. Throughout the movie, glances are shared between the Perlman’s, that gives you the idea that they know something is going on. Nothing is ever said between the pair or to their son. They are being so supportive of their son, and they don’t even have to say a word. They are generous people, the kind of parents you want to grow up with. As one would put it, they are reading between the lines of this friendship forming before their eyes. They notice the changes in their son. They are allowing their son to become something, that as it’s put in the movie, most parents would not allow to happen. Allowing their son to grow into the person he is meant to become is your job as a parent. You know the saying – you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? That’s pretty much what Call Me By Your Name is about. Oliver and Elio sit outside well into the night and talk about how much wasted time they had this summer. That most things in life come and go so quickly that before you realize it, that thing you are experiencing is already a memory. Some of the greatest things in life are ephemeral, and for Elio and Oliver, their love is the greatest example.

The movie ends with a beautifully haunting speech by Michael Stulhbarg when he sits in his office with Elio and tells him about love. About what he experienced with Oliver is the type of love that people will search for their entire lives. That he wishes he found what they had this past summer. He envies what he had with Oliver, and that most parents wish and pray their son would land on his feet – he’s no such parent. It touches on everything you just felt watching Call Me By Your Name, all the themes and messages the film was trying to convey. “We rip out so much of ourselves, to be cured of things faster. That we are bankrupt by the age of 30, and have less to offer each time we start with someone new.” This final interaction between father and son is so powerful and emotional, that I feel like it’s a scene that will almost live on forever. When you are unsure about something in life, maybe love, go watch that scene and be reminded it’s okay to be different and that love is such a powerful thing. Don’t let the world change who you are, and be who you are meant to be. I am shocked Stulhbarg wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for this performance. The more I sit with this movie, the more I think I enjoyed it.

I will also never look at a peach the same way again.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Call Me By Your Name = 84/100

News

Michael Bay In Talks To Direct Lobo

This is something I didn’t think I needed in my life, but something I totally need in my life.

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People HATE Michael Bay movies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really love his work, but he’s made some pretty damn entraining movies in his life. Now, I go to his movies because they are a guilty pleasure. The last few Transformers have almost been unbearable to sit through in the theatres. Incoherent, and mass destruction everywhere, Michael Bay loves his explosions.

News broke today that Warner Brothers. is eyeing him to direct a Lobo movie. Well fans everywhere were losing their minds, and not in a good way. They don’t want to see him anywhere near a DC property and I guess there’s some merit to their complaints. He really hasn’t made a good movie in a long time, and the DCEU is already on thin ice as it is. Why bring in a guy to direct that most movie goers already despise and loath? Here’s the thing, Michael Bay is a ridiculous and bonkers director, and guess what? Lobo is a ridiculously crazy and bonkers character that this could actually be a match made in heaven. If there’s one person that could tap into Lobo, it could be Michael Bay. He knows how to make a big blockbuster, and if WB cracks down on him just a little bit, this could turn out okay. Another thing, this needs to be rated R. If this movie happens, Lobo is a rated R kind of guy. He swears, and kills and enjoys his pleasure. So again Michael Bay is perfect for the job.

This thing could also turn out to be one of the worst comic book movies ever made, but again this is just “in talks” so even if it happens we are looking at a 2021 release date, at the earliest. I’m all for it, because like I said, I go to every single Michael Bay movie, I loved Pain and Gain, and I’m not afraid to say it. This will most likely end up being a complete and utter disaster but I stand by my guilty pleasures and so should you. The biggest make or break for the movie, who they cast as the titled character. Maybe Mark Wahlberg? Probably not because Lobo is 6’4, so that wouldn’t exactly work out. Who on Earth could play Lobo?

Check ya later.

 

News

Joaquin Phoenix + The Joker = Magical

If you’re like myself and you love movies and basketball, well today was better than Christmas. Between LeBron James firing his team mates off in the trade cannon one by one. There was a TON of movie news. !

Joaquin Phoenix is being eyed to star in Todd Phillips Joker Origin movie.

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According to someone over at Variety, Joaquin Phoenix is possibly in line to tell us how he got these scares. The guy behind Old School and the Hangover trilogy is looking to bring the Clown Prince of Crime to life. The Martin Scorsese produced movie has been “rumoured” for quite some time, and Todd Phillips was hand picked to direct. Now, do we really need a Joker origin movie? I don’t think so, not with everything already going in within the DCEU, and we already had Jared Leto take a crack at it in Suicide Squad. So my mind immediately goes, yeah, I don’t really think we need another person playing the Joker within the DCEU. It just seems like a little too soon, and WB should focus on getting out movies the fans really want to see, and course correcting the broken DCEU.

Now having said all of that………I really think Joaquin would absolutely crush this role. He has incredible range, and is such a talented actor. He’s one of the few actors that I could see tackling this role, and really diving deep into the character. I can see him as a The Dark Knight Returns Joker, more broad shouldered, classy, but at the same time insane. This is an interesting take, and if it’s true, only time well tell I guess. We didn’t even get to see Ben Affleck’s Batman have a showdown with Leto’s Joker. Even if Joaquin’s Joker exists outside of the DCEU, I think it may confuse the fans, seeing how Leto is suppose to pop up in the upcoming Suicide Squad 2. When you say Martin Scorsese and Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie, you kind of have my attention. Suppose to be a throw back movie, taking place in Gotham in the 1980’s. Replace Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, and you will probably end up with the Joker origin film.

It’s just a crazy leap for a guy who hasn’t appeared in a Hollywood blockbuster since 2000, when he squared off against Russell Crowe in Gladiator. You can’t have a Joker movie with Batman, they can’t exist without one another. Remember one is the unstoppable force and the other is an unmovable object. Batman creates The Joker, so I’m not sure how they will get around that? Will they have the new Batman in this movie? There are so many questions looming over this project for me, I don’t really know how I feel. I love the Joker so much, so seeing someone has talented as Joaquin would be dream, but if he’s not going toe-to-toe with The Dark Knight. Then I’m just not sure how I feel.

Check ya later.