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Action

Transformers 5 photo
Transformers 5

New Transformers: The Last Knight trailer is incomprehensible yet mesmerizing nonsense


A Michael Bay fever dream
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
The trailers for Transformers: The Last Knight have been absolutely daft. It's like Michael Bay has turned over his toy box and made big battles out of whatever action figures fell out. Now, this sounds great in theory--it's ...
Call of Duty movies photo
Call of Duty movies

Call of Duty cinematic universe in the works because companies want your money


Money money money money money money
Apr 06
// Hubert Vigilla
Everyone wants a cinematic universe these days. Marvel/Disney have the big one. DC/Warner Bros. have a troubled one. Hell, Universal Studios is trying to launch one with classic movie monsters (see the Mummy reboot with Tom C...

Review: Ghost in the Shell

Apr 01 // Rick Lash
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Ghost in the Shell has been on my list of to-sees for some time. While I was never a reader of the original Japanese manga which premiered in 1989, I am a fan of the televised anime from 2002. Indeed, Ghost in the Shell: Stan...

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First look Alicia Vikander as new Lara Croft, Tomb Raider


Mar 27
// Rick Lash
It's been a long time and many children later since Angelina Jolie donned the tank top and short shorts of Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider. So, needless to say, we are owed, nay due a remake, or a reboot, or a relaunch, or someth...
Akerman in Rampage photo
Akerman in Rampage

Malin Akerman in talks to play Rampage villain opposite Dwayne Johnson, plot details emerge


Is she playing the entire US Army?
Mar 16
// Hubert Vigilla
The live-action adaptation of Rampage seems to be moving forward without any hitches. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is playing the hero of the film, and director Brad Peyton promises scares and the feels. Today Heat Vision report...
Guardians 3 photo
Guardians 3

James Gunn confirms Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is happening


He may not be involved, though
Mar 16
// Matthew Razak
Making to epic science fiction films back to back must be tiring so I can understand why when James Gunn revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is definitely happening he also was pretty wishy-washy on if he'd be i...
Baby Driver trailers photo
Baby Driver trailers

US and international trailers for Edgar Wright's Baby Driver look fun, son


A real human baby. And a real hero.
Mar 13
// Hubert Vigilla
After leaving Ant-Man over creative differences, Edgar Wright turned his attention to Baby Driver, his first film since 2013's The World's End. The music-filled action-caper premiered at SXSW over the weekend to some stellar ...
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First look at Jurassic World 2: Night At Chris Pratt's Museum


With Ben Stiller? Still TBD.
Mar 10
// Rick Lash
  Very little is known about Jurassic World 2. We don't know: - The title - The plot - The new super-dino-villain - Whether or not Chris Pratt's mustache survived the first film - Whether or not another c-grade character...
Bond 25 photo
Bond 25

Neal Pervis and Robert Wade return again to script Bond 25


Bond's tag team duo
Mar 10
// Matthew Razak
It's with mixed emotions that I write the news that Neal Pervis and Robert Wade are returning to write the screenplay for Bond 25. The duo have been involved with the Bond films since The World Is Not Enough (writers str...

BADaptation: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Mar 09 // Nick Valdez
[embed]215186:39856:0[/embed] Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The MovieDirector: Bryan SpicerRating: PGRelease Date: June 30, 1995 I'd like to clarify a few things before I get started. This article isn't a review of some kind where I'll point out whether MMPR:TM is a good or bad film (although a good deal of us can agree and which end of the spectrum it lies). I'm going to focus on why it's a bad adaptation of the original TV show, and how it's "badness" affects the property overall. Also, I'm very aware that the TV show itself uses Japanese blah blah blah (although I didn't learn about it until I saw an episode of VH1's I Love the 90s), but that doesn't matter here either since I'm going to reference the show as the standalone version it's meant to be. Okay now since that's out of the way, we can get to the good stuff.  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a Saturday morning TV show on FOX Kids (then later weekdays) about five "teenagers with attitude" picked by a giant floating head named Zordon to fight the recently awakened Rita Repulsa (and later Lord Zedd). To fight this evil, they're given the powers of dinosaurs and were able to transform into five/six colored heroes. MMPR: The Movie however, greatly changes this formula. In the film, the six teenagers instead have to fight a new villain, Ivan Ooze (the amazing Paul Freeman!), but instead are launched to an alien planet in order to gain the "ancient powers of Ninjeti" (or ninja skills to pay the bills) and save Zordon, who has now been reduced from a floating head to a dying man.  One of MMPR:TM's (which I'm going to refer to as The Movie from now on to save time) first inherent issues is that it has to take a story from a 23 minute an episode series and expand it to fit at least a 90 minute film. And to fix the problem, The Movie's solution is to just tell a standalone story all together. While this all well and good, since not every adaptation needs to rely on the original's material to succeed, it's a little disheartening when you realize that the show's wide array of available, expandable stories weren't deemed worthy enough to get a bigger screen, wider audience version. By taking only key elements of the original, it's hard to see how The Movie is an adaptation at all.  But sadly it is. The Movie needs to be an adaptation to work since it apparently wants to be a companion piece to the show. It assumes the audience has an established familiarity with the franchise and eschews traditional character introduction. It boils down the "teenagers with attitude" to "teenagers who participate in extreme sports," there's no origin story (the Power Rangers are already Power Rangers), and lots of information and terminology are thrown around without real weight given to anything. And on top of this is the original story which introduces brand new characters to the franchise (Ivan Ooze, that pig thing, the Tengu warriors, and Dulcea) and treats them (with the exception of Ivan Ooze) like they've been a part of the series forever. I'm sure this must have been confusing as all get out for the poor parents (mine, of course) who were dragged by their kids to see this.  And if the new content is delivered in a confusing manner and not tied to show in any fashion, how important is that new content? The greatest thing about the Power Rangers television series is that despite the goofy look of everything and quirky dialogue exchanges, everything is given importance and weight while still tinged with humor. Every fight in the series is for the fate of the Earth and those five kids seem like underdogs who eventually overcome great odds. With The Movie's larger budget (which means mo' money mo' problems), the teens get new suits with all sorts of fancy gadgets like headlights and infrared vision, different weapons like tasers, and are now suddenly able to perform all sorts of fancy acrobatics and wire work. Even when they lose their powers for a bit (spoilers?) and become awesome ninjas, there doesn't seem to be a big difference between their powerless selves and powerful selves. These Power Rangers are unrecognizable.  So now we have an adaptation, that's not a true adaptation, full of unrecognizable characters. Were there any positives? Did The Movie manage to adapt anything well? Well...yes and no. For some reason when The Movie adapts a factor of the original series well, it somehow makes the adaptive material look more ridiculous than it should. For one, the series and film take place in the city of Angel Grove and answers a question I had for a long time. Where are all the people? With the extra run time and money available to The Movie, Angel Grove is full of people that do things. In the show, there's no room for normal people problems when there's giant robots to be had. But in giving the citizens something to do (and for having them exist in the first place), it makes the Power Rangers look like terrible heroes. In the film they're so wrapped up in defeating Ooze and saving Zordon, the citizens of Angel Grove nearly jump off a cliff. They're only lucky some random kid stuck his nose into their business.  Another great choice The Movie makes which hurts the TV show is giving the film a great standalone villain. Since the film's budget could afford a great actor like Paul Freeman (Dr. Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark), it unfortunately makes the TV show's villains seem more ridiculous than they purport to be. Freeman is great as Ooze. He hams up the screen, and his performance lies somewhere between perfect in tone and borderline ridiculous. And CG animating the giant robot fight at the end seems like a good decision, but it just takes what supposed to be a great event and turns it into a huge joke. The Power Rangers' new Megazord is now just some weird robot with no face (but still has a conspicuous blonde mustache) who crotch kicks to win.  All in all, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was perfect to me at the time. As a kid, I was so enamored with the premise I had no idea The Movie actually takes the original's material and tries to turn it into some sort of epic story that doesn't work. There's an air of seriousness about the film (but without the accepted ridiculousness the TV show brings) which sort of takes the soul out of Power Rangers. Sure the goofy humor and all the characters you love and recongnize are still present, but they're not themselves.  Oh I almost forgot something. What kind of Power Rangers movie doesn't feature the ridiculawesome rawkin' theme song for more than thirty seconds? For all of the reasons above, my friends, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is...a BADaptation. 
Power Rangers BADaptation photo
It's Morphin' Time...apparently
[Editor's Note: This feature was written four (!) years ago in anticipation of a rumored Power Rangers reboot. It has been re-posted for Power Rangers Month.] I knew as soon as I joined the Flixist staff that one day I would ...

Review: Kong: Skull Island

Mar 09 // Matthew Razak
[embed]221357:43453:0[/embed] Kong: Skull IslandDirector: Jordan Vogt-RobertsRelease Date: March 10, 2017Rated: PG-13 Kong: Skull Island is literally exactly about what the title is. King Kong is on Skull Island. The problem is some people are about to show up. In the 1970s Bill Randa (John Goodman), head of the nearly defunded Monarch organization, launches one last expedition to a previously undiscovered island that is perpetually surrounded by storms. He believes that monsters do exist as he's the only survivor from the monster attack on a U.S. military boat that was mentioned in Godzilla. Along with him comes a group of scientists, an Vietnam helicopter platoon led by Preston Packard (Samual L. Jackson), a tracker named James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson). They, of course make it to the island, and for some mcguffin of a reason start dropping bombs on it. Kong shows up and kicks there ass. And here's where Skull Island really starts to do things right. Instead of giving us 90 minutes of blurry fur and quick glimpses, Kong just shows up and starts being the man. This allows for not just one big monster sequence at the end, but instead battle after battle of insanely well designed monster fight scenes. Kong is actually the star of this movie, not a bunch of humans struggling to survive, but the ape himself. That's a lesson that so many monster films have yet to learn and one of the biggest problems with Godzilla. Skull Island knows what we came to see and it give it to us right off the bat. That's not to say there isn't plenty of human development. After Kong trashes the groups helicopters the survivors are left to try to make their way to the rendezvous point in order to get off the island. Packard, hell bent on winning "this war" against Kong, drives his group to get the ammunition to kill the primate while a smaller group led by Conrad wind up meeting the native people of the island and crashed WWII pilot Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly). They learn that Kong isn't the bad guy, but the defender of these people and the world against those weird lizard monsters that Godzilla helped defeat in his film. Yea, it's that blatantly connected. And, yes, it is also that blatantly a metaphor for Vietnam to the point where toxic gas is dropped. But given Godzilla's roots in nuclear war commentary the war commentary actually fits well enough. Skull Island likes to play with its tropes while reveling in them at the same time. A perfect example of this is two soldiers running away from a charging Kong as one peels off yelling "Run to the side, you idiot." The other guy doesn't and gets crushed. This playfulness with cliche makes the movie work on its own accord and pulls the actual cliche stuff out of the mire. Yes, it can get a little goofy at times, and that's when the film is at its worst, but for the most part everything clicks and Kong (or some other giant creature) is never of screen long enough for you to really start to hate the cookie cutter characters.  Probably the most disappointing part of the film is how flat Hiddleston's character is. If they're planning on having this character be a central piece of the MonsterVerse puzzle they better get him some more interesting dialog and plot lines. It isn't clear, however, if they are. From the attitude Skull Island takes to its human characters the only important carryover is Kong. Human beings are just there to stare at him in admiration or die. That's the way it should be it turns out. If this is the tone for the rest of the MonsterVerse then count me in. Kong brings a bit more fun to the series than Godzilla did and a whole lot more monster action. While Kong: Skull Island can get drastically stupid at times it always seem aware of this and it has figured out an antidote: Kong smash.
Kong: Skull Island photo
Welcome to the MonsterVerse
The monster movie is making a comeback. No, not the still-odd-to-me Universal Monster Cinematic Universe. I'm talking giant, city-destroying monsters. And yes, they're getting their own universe. Unbeknownst to us the kick of...

Thor: Ragnarok photo
Thor: Ragnarok

First look at Thor's new look in Thor: Ragnarok


Are you not entertained?
Mar 08
// Matthew Razak
Thor: Ragnarok has long be toted as a bit of a tonal shit for the franchise, and to really emphasize this it appears that Thor himself is getting a new look. The long, luxurious, flowing blonde locks of Chris Hemsworth's...
Just Cause photo
Just Cause

Just Cause film casts Jason Momoa in lead


Open world fun confined
Mar 08
// Matthew Razak
One of the problems with movie video game adaptations is that the games they're adapting are basically action movie adaptations with the player able to interact. So adapting it back into a movie just takes away the interactiv...
Donnie Yen Sleeping Dogs photo
Donnie Yen Sleeping Dogs

Donnie Yen will star in a Sleeping Dogs adaptation, probably punch things really fast


The American Donnie Yenaissance
Mar 03
// Hubert Vigilla
Donnie Yen stole the show in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and was featured prominently in the promos for xXx: Return of Xander Cage. At 53 years old, Yen may be on the verge of a well-deserved Hollywood breakthrough. It may c...
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales New Trailer


Mar 03
// Rick Lash
As we've expressed here on Flixist before, there's just something about the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that is fun and makes you eager to see another--wait, not like, 'Oh boy I can't wait for them to make another POTC...
Uncharted screenplay photo
Uncharted screenplay

Joe Carnahan talks about his R-rated Uncharted script and its crazy action sequences


Let's get crazy
Feb 24
// Hubert Vigilla
The Uncharted movie looks like it's finally moving forward. Yes fellas, honestly and for reals this time. Joe Carnahan finished his screenplay not too long ago, and Shawn Levy was plucked from left field to direct. In an inte...
Logan photo
Logan

Logan will have a post credit scene


Guess I'll see it again
Feb 22
// Matthew Razak
We here at Flixist friggin love Logan. It's a ballsy, brave, brash, violent and intriguing. It has it's flaws, but they're only flaws because it was just so damn different. One not-so-big difference from other Marvel films is...
Zatoichi/Motorhead combo photo
Zatoichi/Motorhead combo

A Zatoichi/Motorhead mash up is something you didn't realize you needed until now


Zatoichi is metal as f**k
Feb 19
// Hubert Vigilla
The Zatoichi series includes some of the most badass samurai films around. Starring Shintaro Katsu, the story centers on a blind swordsman who turns a new leaf as a traveling masseur. His violent past follows him wherever he ...
The Raid (U.S.) photo
The Raid (U.S.)

The Raid remake rides again with Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo


Make The Raid great again
Feb 15
// Matthew Razak
We happen to be massive fans of Gareth Evans films The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal. This is mostly because he is possibly the best action director working and because they are some of the best action movies ever. So yo...
X-Men: Supernova photo
X-Men: Supernova

X-Men: Supernova actually set to shoot this year


Well, that was fast
Feb 13
// Matthew Razak
We all knew there would be more X-Men coming. Not only does Fox like money, but in X-Men: Apocalypse they set up the Dark Phoenix saga about as subtly as a baseball bat to a Walking Dead character's head. Howev...

Review: John Wick: Chapter 2

Feb 10 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]221140:43282:0[/embed] John Wick: Chapter 2 Director: Chad Stahelski Release Date: February 10, 2017Rating: R  John Wick: Chapter 2 is the movie you want it to be. It’s the movie it has to be. It begins with a Buster Keaton joke. The camera looks up at a wall in New York City that is projecting footage from one of his classic films, but as you watch, you see sounds that fit with it, and you think, “That’s not right. There wouldn’t be those sounds!” and then you see a man off his motorcycle with a badass car in pursuit. The sounds were diegetic. And then we realize that we’re about to watch a Buster Keaton movie, if The General was about a lone Confederate soldier violently murdering the entire Union army. Of course, it’s not really a slapstick comedy. There are some pretty great (CG-enhanced) stunts, many of which are effectively sight gags, but bringing Keaton’s name in will give you the wrong impression of what John Wick: Chapter 2 really is... though I stand by the comparison regardless. That scene is followed by John Wick getting back his car, a loose end from the last film that is dealt with in the first minutes of the film. For those who haven’t seen the original, it serves as a pretty effective entry point into the character. Cross-cutting John Wick’s any-means-necessary acquisition of his vehicle is a Russian mob-man, telling John Wick stories. (Again, everyone knows who he is.) And at the end of it, after a sizeable body count and significant financial damage, John Wick offers peace. And the mob man accepts. Because it doesn’t matter if John Wick just destroyed everything you own, you don’t come after him unless you have a death wish. It doesn’t matter who you are or how many you are; you cross him, and that’s good night.  So he tries to retire (again), and that works for several whole minutes of screen time. But, of course, nothing is ever so simple. Someone who knows John Wick very well indeed shows up, and after some… persuasion(?) gets The Boogeyman to do one last job. Things go badly. For everyone. Except us, the viewers; if people did the smart thing (not antagonizing John Wick), then we wouldn’t get badass movies out of it.  And oh man is Chapter 2 badass. The first film is pretty hardcore, but action sequels always have to Go Big or Go Home, and that’s taken to heart here. It’s not just that the fights are better and the body count larger (though they are), it’s that the staging of everything is just so much more impressive. There are three key fight locations –catacombs, subway* car, and an art installation – that stand out as being particularly spectacular, but all of the fights are great. Because of course they are. That's what the whole thing is about. Much like the first film, though, the gun stuff is better than the hand-to-hand. I am a big fan of the way the close-combat fights are filmed, what with the long takes and wide shots and everything. (Love of all that.) However, the actual fights themselves feel a little… deliberate. This is a problem I have with a lot of fight scenes, actually; it doesn’t feel like the moves that are happening are being decided and executed at the moment. I think you could make an argument that this is true about every single fight scene that Keanu Reeves has ever been in (sorry, The Matrix), and it’s still true here. (I have the same problems with all Christopher Nolan fight scenes, though the problem is much worse there than it is here.) Don’t get me wrong: They’re good fights, really good even, but they’re not Great the way the gunfights are. And the gunfights are really, really great. As in the first film, John Wick applies his bullets liberally; rarely do people get shot fewer than three times. Two to the chest and one to the head is most common, but you’ll see all kinds of combinations… as long as they all turn into headshots. And they have to. Because headshots are kinda his thing. Conveniently, though, he’s the only person as good at headshots as he is, because even though he has an (awesome) bullet-proof suit (justified well enough), he never covers his head. He gets shot at a lot of times, and even hit a couple, but they’re all aiming for the wrong place. Too bad for them. Before Chapter 2, there was (unsurprisingly) a trailer for the F8 of the Furious. It looks pretty cool. I should probably watch all those other ones to get ready for it. But I thought about it again while the credits were rolling. Assuming this does well (and I don’t see how it couldn’t), there will be a Chapter 3 at the very least, but why should it stop there? Why not keeping upping the ante until we hit John Wick: Chapter 8 (running alongside the trailer for Sixteen and Furious)? There’s a whole lot of creativity going on in the action here, and I think that it has a few more entries to go before it could really jump the shark. (Though, honestly, I think an ultra-violent Buster Keaton film would be pretty awesome.) I want our society, ultimately, to know John Wick like John Wick's does. I want to be able to walk into any social gathering, say the name, and have everyone together conjure up stories of multiple murders committed using a single pencil. I want him to be one of the all-time action greats. He deserves to be one of the action greats. And with Chapter 2, this franchise has started off right. Long live John Wick. (And long live John Wick.) *Don’t fuck with me, John Wick: Chapter 2. I know what the gosh darn PATH train looks like. At least put a “C” sticker somewhere on it if you’re going to pretend like it’s the C train. Sincerely,A Guy Who Lives in New York City.
John Wick 2 Review photo
You Will Know His Name
In the John Wick cinematic universe, everyone who matters knows John Wick, by face, name, and reputation. They know the stories, they see the man, and they get a little concerned: “You working again, John?” asked ...

Fast and Furious Live photo
Fast and Furious Live

The Fast and the Furious is becoming a live touring arena stunt show


Cirque du Furieux
Feb 08
// Hubert Vigilla
The Fate of the Furious will be in theaters on April 14th, just in time for Easter. If you're looking for another Fast fix, you won't have to wait that long. The Fast and the Furious will become a live, touring arena stunt sh...
Iron Fist photo
Iron Fist

New Iron Fist trailer reminds me to watch Luke Cage


Yes, I'm very behind
Feb 07
// Matthew Razak
I'm really, really behind on my television watching, but if there's something that's going to make me catch up it will be wanting to watch the awesome-looking Iron Fist with a complete understanding of what's going on in...
First look new Lara Croft photo
First look new Lara Croft

Tomb Raider set photos offer first look at Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft


Looks promising
Feb 06
// Hubert Vigilla
It's taken a long while, but the Tomb Raider movie reboot is officially underway, with Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft and Norwegian director Roar Uthaug at the helm. There's also Walton Goggins on board a...
Fate of the SB spot photo
Fate of the SB spot

Fate of the Furious gets a furious Super Bowl spot


Furiously bad
Feb 05
// Nick Valdez
Furious 7 was such a huge disappointment to me, I can't bear the thought of the series continuing further. I know some folks enjoyed it, and some are excited for the next film in the series but I'm kind of over it.  This...
Uncharted movie photo
Uncharted movie

Joe Carnahan has finished Uncharted script, movie may finally get made, honest


Shawn Levy is still on board to direct
Jan 09
// Hubert Vigilla
Sony has been trying and trying and trying to make an Uncharted movie for years. Now in 2017, they may actually start making the movie. Finally. Really. Well, maybe. We'll see if Shawn Levy sticks around to direct. Joe Carnahan has finished the screenplay for the film, and he posted about it on his Instagram account:
Trailer: Kung-Fu Yoga photo
Trailer: Kung-Fu Yoga

Trailer: Kung-Fu Yoga has Jackie Chan and a CG lion named Little Jackie


This is like silly 80s HK schlock
Jan 06
// Hubert Vigilla
I don't think I've legitimately liked a Jackie Chan movie since 2004's New Police Story. There were good scenes and flashes of brilliance in Rob-B-Hood, The Forbidden Kingdom, and Chinese Zodiac, but they never really hung to...
Jailbreak trailer photo
Jailbreak trailer

Trailer for Cambodian martial arts movie Jailbreak looks like furious fun


This trailer needs a Thin Lizzy song
Jan 06
// Hubert Vigilla
My taste is eclectic, but I am, at heart, a simple man. Sometimes I want a long Hungarian art movie, or an oblique sci-fi existential meditation on trauma and pigs, or a reassuring week in the life of a working artist. Other ...
Leon: The Professional photo
Leon: The Professional

Video essay: Why Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional is an action cinema masterpiece


Hint: It's about character
Jan 02
// Hubert Vigilla
Leon: The Professional was the breakout film for Natalie Portman and Jean Reno's defining role. It's also one of the best action films of the 1990s, and remains my favorite Luc Besson movie to this day. There are many reasons...
Assassin's Creed trilogy? photo
Assassin's Creed trilogy?

Michael Fassbender says there's an entire Assassin's Creed film trilogy mapped out


Whether or not we'll see it, though...
Dec 26
// Hubert Vigilla
The reviews for Assassin's Creed have been about as lackluster as the box office. Since opening on December 21st, the film has only earned about $11.2 million. It came in fifth place for the Christmas weekend, beaten by Why H...

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