Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Sing
Releases December 21st 2016
1 hr 50 mins
Rated PG
Animated, Comedy

Trailer:

Director: Garth Jennings
Writer: Garth Jennings

Cast:
Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon
Reese Witherspoon as Rosita
Seth MacFarlane as Mike
Scarlett Johansson as Ash
John C. Reilly as Eddie Noodleman
Tori Kelly as Meena
Taron Egerton as Johnny
Nick Kroll as Gunter
Nick Offerman as Norman
Garth Jennings as Karen Crawly
Peter Serafinowicz as Marcus
Beck Bennett as Lance
Leslie Jones as Meena's mother
Jay Pharoah as Meena's Grandfather
Jennifer Saunders as Miss Nana Noodleman
Jennifer Hudson as Young Nana Noodleman

Rhea Perlman as Judith

Plot:
Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon, a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times.

Review by Stephen M.


If you imagined Sing as American Idol with animals you are not that far off.  With great musical numbers from popular songs as well as new, the animation is spot on making for great entertainment young and old.  However parents may cringe at some of the messages the movie conveys with less than perfect morals including stealing and trespassing is okay as long as it is for a good cause mainly yourself.



The movie features quite an impressive list of actors and actresses in the cast including Matthew McConaughey as the lead Buster Moon.  Buster whose theater has seen better days decides to hold a singing competition at his theater to raise the profile of the theater and get donors wallet to open more.  When things go bad to worse, it's when criminality of their actions is overlooked to put on that one more show.  For the most part the actors does a great job in their portrayals.  I especially liked Taron Egerton as Johnny and Scarlett Johansson as Ash.

Overall I would recommend catching this film in theaters if you have the chance to now.  Those that love animation, especially fun musical ones like Rio will enjoy this.  For younger kids I would say that parents may want to explain to their children what the characters actions is and isn't appropriate in our "real" world given the long list of criminal actions promoted by the film.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Monday, December 19, 2016


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Released December 16th, 2016
2 hr 13 mins
Rated PG-13
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Trailer:

Writers: John Knoll, Gary Whitta, Screenplay: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Director: Gareth Edwards

Cast:
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso
Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic
Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe
Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso
Alan Tudyk as K-2SO,
Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook
Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus
Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera

Plot:
Resistance fighters embark on a daring mission to steal the Empire's plans for the Death Star.

Review by Stephen M.

While everyone was hoping for the next chapter in The Force Awakens, we instead get a gap filler that while entertaining and well narrated, is lacking most of the charm and excitement we come to expect from a Star Wars film.  The film still does enough right with the latter half filled with non stop action and CGI nostalgia that will have your jaw dropped to the floor.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, a daughter of an Imperial scientist who becomes the chief architect for what the rebel faces in The Empire Strikes Back is a strong woman figure continuing in the lines of Princess Lei and the more recent Rey.  However, like most of the cast and characters in Rogue One, lacks charisma and presence aside for Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe.  Donnie Yen known for his Ip Man martial arts film in Hong Kong, is the stand out in the film with some of the best lines and action scenes.





Overall if you are a fan of the original trilogy this film is a must for you.  While we may know what happened in Star Wars A New Hope, the film does enough to capture your attention and actually answer a few questions that were missing when the film first debuted back in 1977.  The prequel to a sequel that was actually the original adds to the rich history of what is Star Wars and I cannot wait to see more Star Wars films out of Disney.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Starget SG-1 which ran from 1997 - 2007 and the subsequent spinoff Stargate Atlantis which ran from 2004 - 2009.  I was a huge fan of both series and am glad to see Stargate Atlantis NOW available again on COMET TV.  To celebrate this monumentous event, they have offer us a swag box to give away to one of our readers!  

About Comet TV - Dec
Available on television digi-networks and online at CometTV.com, COMET offers something for everyone and has an incredible array of movies that you simply can’t get with a subscription to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. 


This month catch greats like Wolfen, Flash Gordon, and Tank Girl! And of course... Stargate Atlantis is back every weeknight this month at 10/9C! 





COMET is what you want a Sci-fi and Horror Channel to be!  And the prizes?


Swag Box Prizes!


  • One COMET / Stargate Atlantis Exclusive Shirt - This shirt features an exclusive design which will put you on the level of a Stargate traveler - you are officially part of the Space & Interdimensional Exploration Division!
  • One Comfy Alien Head Beanie - Perfect to set you apart from other boring humans and perfect for the chilly December evenings!
  • One Stargate Atlantis Necklace - Sure to make you the envy of all your friends!
  • Two Stargate Patches - Show that Stargate love and officially join up with the Space & Interdimensional Exploration Division!
  • One COMET Alien Head Stress Ball - because nothing relives stress like squishing an Alien head!

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine Print:
Open to US residents only.  Each household is only eligible to win One COMET / Stargate Atlantis Swag Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. As well if you have won a prize from Geekwithmak.com within the last 30 days you do not qualify, give others a chance to win please!  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Contest ends December 29th 2016 Midnight ET.




Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Jakks Pacific has the perfect toys for this holiday season with their various Tsum Tsum Vinyl toys.  Starting with the Advent Calendar Set which you can use to countdown to Christmas.  The set as well as all of the below collectibles are available for sale at retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens.  



With 24 surprises there's a lot to enjoy in the Advent set.  I would have had love the packaging to be more sturdy and higher quality, but the packaging art work and choices of Tsum Tsum characters were excellent.

As far as the types of packaging available for the Disney Tsum Tsums we have the 9 pack as well as 3 pack continuing as well as the mystery packs. The mystery packs come with 1 medium and an accessory.  Because the small ones are about the size of a dime, these are choking hazards for infants and young toddlers.  For the 3 pack, the recommended age is 6+.  




For the above packs they are already up to Series 3 which means you have some catching up to do if you haven't started collecting yet.  I actually own a few of the Series 1 vinyls and love stacking them.  They take up less room than the plushes that Disney directly makes.  Some may be turned off that they're not soft like the plushes, but the plus is that they're easier to collect based on the fact that they take up less space and is cheaper per figure.

To see their full line of Disney Tsum Tsums including their rare collectible ones, visit: 
http://jakks.com/tsumtsum/disney/collection/



Their Marvel line of Tsum Tsum is relatively newer than the Disney ones and thus does not have as full of a list of characters to collect or play with.  More on are on the way though, with the Marvel Tsum Tsum comic gaining new fans to the Tsum Tsum property.  To see their full line of Marvel ones, visit:
http://jakks.com/tsumtsum/marvel/collection/

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Wanna win some of the swag above?  We will choose three random winners the morning of 12/17/2016.  Earn more entries by coming back and tweeting each day!

Grand Prize - Advent Calendar Set
First Place - Your choice of the three Disney Vinyl packs OR the three Marvel Vinyl packs
Second Place - Two Disney Vinyl Mystery Packs

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest ends 12/16/2016 Midnight.  Open to US and Canadian residents only.  If you have a contest on our site within the last 30 days you do not qualify.

More info on the products:


TSUM TSUM ADVENT CALENDAR:
Each day, kids can open a new window to reveal a surprise Tsum Tsum figurine or accessory to create a gingerbread themed scene. With 18 different sized Tsum Tsum figurines, each in holiday attire, as well as six holiday themed accessories, kids can enjoy counting down to the holidays with the Disney Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar. Suggested for kids ages 6 and older, the Disney Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar is available for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

TSUM TSUM COLLECTIBLE FIGURES:
Tsum Tsum (“Stack Stack” in Japanese) is a playful, adorable collection of your favorite Disney characters that kids and the kid-at-heart can collect, stack and display. The collective figurines come in three different sizes and feature hundreds of treasured Disney characters from dozens of your favorite stories. Tsum Tsum is recommended for kids ages 6 and older and ranges in price from $7.99 to $19.99. (Awards & Accolades: Kmart Fab 15; National Parenting Product Award Winner).

TSUM TSUM MARVEL COLLECTIBLE FIGURES:
Adding to the popular Tsum Tsum collectible character collection are Tsum Tsum Marvel collectible figurines.  These Tsum Tsum figurines also come in three different sizes and feature new and classic Marvel properties and characters.  Tsum Tsum Marvel is recommended for kids ages 6 and older and ranges in price from $7.99 to $19.99

Monday, December 12, 2016


Above is the first of three IMAX exclusive posters for those attending the Sunday showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  The first poster is available December 18th, with two more to follow each Sunday.  They are given out to those that purchase IMAX tickets only at AMC unless your theater is a little bit flexible.

Unlike A Force Awakens IMAX exclusive posters, these features various cast members with the most prominent being the main star Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso.  I actually like all three posters and with the white background makes for great posters to get autographs if you're into hunting down these Rebels.

Do you have a favorite among the three?



Sunday, December 11, 2016


Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America
Releases January 6th 2016 (NYC - Cinema Village)
1 hr 40 mins
Not Rated
Documentary

Trailer:


Director: Matt Ornstein
Writer: Daryl Davis

Plot:
Musician Daryl Davis meets with Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis to challenge their viewpoints.

Review by Stephen M.

Accidental Courtesy is a thought provoking documentary that follows the journey of one man, Daryl Davis as he tries to bridge the gap between himself, who is African-American and white supremacists by engaging them in face to face conversations.  The documentary includes some pretty interesting interviews from both sides of the conversations.  Especially interesting was the sit down between Daryl and Black Lives Matter activists in Maryland, showing that the documentary tries to be as much as possible no holds barred.  However since the documentary is written by Daryl Davis, there is some slight bias that even the BLM activists are quick to point out despite if they are correct or not.


The film goes through important historical events using old footage, from marches from Martin Luther King Jr, to early interviews between Daryl and KKK members.  It is quite a positive picture that Daryl paints both for himself and his mission.  There is little push back from his interviewees with the most surprisingly from BLM activists as mentioned before.

Overall, I would recommend this film if you have an interest in this type of genre.  The film does a great job in providing a history lesson on the "race" problem in America and how relevant it still is, decades after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr..  The repetitiveness of his message however makes the documentary a little stale in the middle.  With the ending piece between Daryl and the BLM activists more entertaining with a conclusion to the film with Daryl's thoughts on the recent election.  The film is interesting, but ultimately may not be for everyone despite a good lesson to be learned from the various interviewees and Daryl.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, December 8, 2016


It's voting time again for Toy of the Year.  With new categories added, and a who's who of toy manufacturer and licenses, who's your pick to win?  Two of my favorite new categories which was sorely needed was Action Figure of the Year and Collectible of the Year.  For the Action Figure category it is great to see such a diversified pool of nominees.  As expected, Hasbro and Mattel, long time action figure pioneers and innovators are on the list.  For collectibles, I have to believe that Funko LLC is the company to beat with their Dorbz and Pop! line.

Another returning component of the Toy of the Year awards is the ability for us the fans, the people to vote on our favorite toys.  You can cast your vote at www.toyawards.org.  What are some of your favorites in each category?

Here are a few of our favorites that we actually had a chance to hands on played with this past year:


  • DC Super Hero Girls™ Action Figure Assortment by Mattel, Inc.
  • Crayola Air Maker Sprayer by Crayola, LLC
  • Pop! By Funko, LLC
  • Zoomer Chimp by Spin Master Ltd.

Here are all the nominees for each category.  The award ceremony is held on February 17, 2017 at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.




ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR Toys that include action figures and their play sets/accessories
  • DC Super Hero Girls™ Action Figure Assortment by Mattel, Inc.
  • Fossil Hunter Lottie by Arklu, Ltd.
  • IAmElemental Series 1/Courage Lunch Box Carrying Case With Complete Set of Action Figures by IAmElemental
  • PJ Masks Headquarters Playset by Just Play
  • Pokémon Throw 'n' Pop Poké Ball Duel Set by TOMY
  • Stikbot by ZING
  • Transformers Generations Titans Return Fortress Maximus Action Figure by Hasbro, Inc.
ACTIVE/OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR Toys that are designed for active/outdoor play
  • 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon by Radio Flyer
  • Air Hogs Helix Sentinel Drone by Spin Master Ltd.
  • Bunch O Balloons by Zuru
  • Hot Wheels® Sky Shock™ RC Vehicle by Mattel, Inc.
  • Nerf N-Strike Modulus Tri-Strike Blaster by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Sky Viper v2400FPV HD Streaming Drone with FPV Headset by SkyRocket Toys
  • VEX Robotics Zip Flyer by HEXBUG
  • Xtreme Cycle Moto-Cam by WickedCoolToys
ACTIVITY TOY OF THE YEAR Arts and crafts, construction and other indoor toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity
  • Circuit Scribe Maker Kit by CircuitScribe
  • Crayola Air Maker Sprayer by Crayola, LLC
  • K'NEX 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set by K'NEX Brands
  • Lionel Mega Tracks Corkscrew Chaos Master Set by Lionel
  • Mighty Makers Directors Cut Building Set by K'NEX Brands
  • Mover Kit by Tech Will Save Us
  • My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage by Play Monster

COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR Toys that compose a set; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
  • Dorbz by Funko, LLC
  • Gift 'ems™ by JAKKS Pacific
  • LEGO Minifigures - The Disney Edition by LEGO Systems, Inc.
  • Num Noms by MGA Entertainment
  • Pop! By Funko, LLC
  • Shopkins Season 6: Chef Club by Moose Toys Pty Ltd
  • Tonka Tinys by Funrise
CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR Toys that include building and engineering sets
  • Arckit Go Colours by ARCKIT Div. of MBM Building Systems
  • Grippies® Builders by Guidecraft USA Inc.
  • LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster by LEGO Systems, Inc.
  • Marine Rescue Center by Build & Imagine
  • Meccano Micronoid by Spin Master Ltd.
  • Tinkerbots by Tinkerbots
  • Walking Robot 45PC Set by Magformers, LLC
DOLL OF THE YEARToys that include plush, baby, toddler, and fashion dolls, and their play sets/accessories
  • Barbie® Fashionista™ Doll by Mattel, Inc.
  • Disney Frozen Northern Lights Elsa by JAKKS Pacific
  • Elena of Avalor Adventure Dress Doll by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Project Mc2 Experiments with Doll Sets by MGA Entertainment
  • Shopkins Core Shoppies by Moose Toys Pty Ltd
  • Stargazer Lottie Doll by Arklu, Ltd
  • WellieWishers™ by Mattel, Inc.
GAME OF THE YEAR Children's board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats or puzzles (does not include video games or apps)
  • Bloxels™ by Mattel, Inc.
  • Circuit Maze by ThinkFun Inc.
  • Escape Room the Game by Spin Master Ltd.
  • Imhotep by Thames & Kosmos
  • Maze Racers by FoxMind Games
  • Simon Air Game by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Speak Out by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Yeti in My Spaghetti by PlayMonster!
INFANT/PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR Toys that are developed for infants/preschoolers (up to 5 years)
  • Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Care Cart by Just Play
  • Go! Go! Smart Friends® Enchanted Princess Palace™ by Vtech
  • IO Blocks® Vehicles by Guidecraft USA Inc.
  • Razor Jr. T3 Scooter by Razor USA LLC
  • Robot Engineer by Thames & Kosmos
  • Wash 'N Go Wooden Car Garage by KidKraft
  • Zoomer Marshall by Spin Master Ltd.
INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
  • CHiP by WowWee USA, Inc.
  • Cozmo by Anki
  • Fisher Price® Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™ by Mattel, Inc.
  • Hatchimals by Spin Master Ltd.
  • Mebo by SkyRocket Toys
  • Project Mc2 H2O Car by MGA Entertainment
  • Special Edition Battle-Worn BB-8 with Force Band™ by Sphero
LICENSE OF THE YEAR Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry
  • DC Super Hero Girls
  • Disney's Elena of Avalor
  • Paw Patrol™
  • Pokémon
  • Shopkins
  • Star Wars
  • Trolls
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR A new company (created within the last 2 years) that has brought to market an outstanding toy
  • 3DoodlerStart Essentials Pen Set by WobbleWorks
  • Acids, Bases and pH Chemistry Kit by Yellow Scope
  • CogniToys Dino by CogniToys
  • Geometry Strategy by Games by Bright of Sweden
  • IAmElemental Series 1/Courage Lunch Box Carrying Case With Complete Set of Action Figures by IAmElemental
  • Malia's House by Build & Imagine
  • Superhero Will by Wonder Crew
SPECIALTY OF THE YEAR Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers
  • Automoblox C9 Sportscar by PlayMonster!
  • Design & Drill® BrightWorks™ by Educational Insights
  • Flappy Animated Elephants by Gund a Division of Enesco LLC
  • LEGO Disney Castle by LEGO Systems, Inc.
  • Melody™ Doll and Book by Mattel, Inc.
  • Nano Nitro Slingshot by HEXBUG
  • Perplexus Q-bot by PlayMonster!
TECH TOY OF THE YEAR Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smart-phone, tablet or gaming device
  • Air Hogs Connect: Mission Drone by Spin Master Ltd.
  • CodeGamer by Thames & Kosmos
  • LUMI by WowWee USA, Inc.
  • MOTA JETJAT Ultra Streaming Nano Drone by MOTA
  • Sky Viper Hover Racer by SkyRocket Toys
  • Wonder Workshop's Dash & Dot by Wonder Workshop
  • Zoomer Chimp by Spin Master Ltd.
VEHICLE OF THE YEAR Toys that are powered or non-powered vehicles, and their play sets/accessories
  • Air Hogs – Star Wars X-wing vs. Death Star, Rebel Assault - RC Drones by Disney Consumer Products
  • Disney Princess Carriage by Dynacraft
  • Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Treasure Mountain Train Adventure™ by Vtech
  • Hot Wheels® A.I. Intelligent Race System by Mattel, Inc.
  • LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3RS by LEGO Systems, Inc.
  • Telsa Model S for Kids by Radio Flyer
  • XPV® RC Skateboarding Mikey by JAKKS Pacific

Tuesday, December 6, 2016



We recently had the chance to attend two local comic cons to the New York City area.  First New Jersey Comic Expo in Edison, New Jersey on November 19th and 20th.  And more recently Winter Con New York in Resort World Casino, Queens, NY on December 3rd and 4th.  Both while relatively new to the convention scene are run by veterans to the industry.

First with New Jersey Comic Expo.  The best thing about this year's convention was hands down the comic creators.  Their line up matched well against even the likes of New York Comic Con with creators like Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Mark Bagley, Mike Zeck, Neal Adams, Fabian Nicieza, and many many more.  You have guys that don't often hit the New York area too often anymore like Rick Leonardi, Whilce Portacio and James Robinson.  Second thing you would love about the con is the venue.  Not so much the location, but the sheer size given the amount of vendors, is just the perfect formula for it not being overcrowded.  Some of the other things you will love about the show include the pricing of the food, the amount of different panels and vendors including an area devoted for kids.


So what went wrong with New Jersey Comic Expo?  Not too much aside from getting myself locked out of my car.  But of course that's not the fault of the convention.  What was New Jersey Comic Expo's only flaw and a glaring one at that was their incredibly weak media guest list.  As good as their comic guest list was, their media guest list was that horrible.  And it was quite evident from the lack of lines for any of the guests when I visited the show on Saturday.  The year prior they did not have great guests as well but at least some of them had lines at times.  Now of course, this is a comic convention, and die hard comic convention goers are probably glad to not see D list celebrities and wrestlers clogged up space.  But there is a strong market for media guests and it would serve the convention well to bring in at least one strong media guest like a Ming-Na Wen or Norman Reedus level type celebrity.



Winter Con on the other hand, their biggest strength would have to be their balance in both comic creators and media guests.  Not very big names on both parts but enough interesting names to draw out crowds and that it did.  Some of the other pluses to the show included location, and that is Queens, New York.  Not having to pay tolls and drive an hour and a half in traffic is a big plus.  As part of the Resort World Casino there was plenty of parking space.  The venue itself was spacious but probably may be too small if the show decides to grow more.  Their main stage area was instead of in a separate area is in the middle of the elongated room.  


The most annoying things about Winter Con would have to be the lack of signs and directions from the convention once you reach the casino.  If I wasn't following a group of strangers who had gone previous years I would have probably wasted a good twenty minutes wandering around asking for directions.  In addition, the line organization from the VIPs, to the prepaid to the ones wanting to buy at the door, was horrible.  One line to start with only the VIPs getting called out later to leave the line and then the prepaid and cash sales being separated later.  While they did have a variety of vendors, I would have love to see more comic book vendors selling back issues or discounted trades.  Trying to hunt down blank covers was close to impossible which shouldn't be for a comic convention.


Overall, I enjoyed both cons for different reasons.  I really don't see a reason why I would not return to either next year despite their flaws which can be fixed.  For New Jersey Comic Expo, Jim Lee was their big draw last year, and it was great to see that they were able to compensate for the lack of his appearance this year.  Winter Con New York, this was my first time, missing it the last two years and was impressed enough to want to go again.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


The X-Men with the latest round of releases are filling up quite nicely with a round of 1980 to 1990s round of characters.  Yes Sabretooth and Quicksilver did not first appeared during those time period in the comics.  But for Sabretooth at least, you can say his popularity really exploded under the mantle of Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr during the Mutant Massacre.  Aside from Storm, the other five are first appearances as Funko Pops.  At New York Comic Con we got Kitty Pryde as an exclusive.  I guess Funko was tired of giving us multiple iterations of Deadpool.  It is a decision well appreciated!

Mohawk Storm brings us back to the days when she lost her powers and became the leader of the Morlocks and eventually challenged Cyclops for leadership of the X-Men and won in Uncanny X-Men #201.  Cable as featured in the Pop first appeared as his fully grown self in New Mutants #97 with his certain buddy mentioned before debuting in New Mutants #98.  With regards to Psylocke, her transformation to how she looks into her Pop begins in Uncanny X-Men #256 from Lady Mandarin until she is freed debuting on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #261 in that costume.  Archangel first debuted back in X-Factor #24 (1988) as part of the Fall of the Mutants story line.  As mentioned before, Sabretooth actually debuted in Iron Fist #14 back in 1977 and Quicksilver in X-Men #4 back in 1964.

All six figures are available at local retailers and online shops that sell Funko Pops.  There are also X-Men Dorbz out as well including the White Queen Emma Frost with a Chase as well.

I've only purchased Quicksilver, Psylocke and Archangel thus far.  All three have the usual good not great standards that you would come to expect from Funko.  The designs are awesome from the artwork on the box to the actual figures.  Which X-Men figure do you hope to see next?

Friday, December 2, 2016


Anonymous
Released December 2nd 2016 (Limited)
1 hr 35 mins
Rated R
Drama

Trailer:



Writer: Sanzhar Sultan
Director: Akan Satayev

Cast:
Callan McAuliffe as Alex
Lorraine Nicholson as Kira
Daniel Eric Gold as Sye
Clifton Collins Jr as Zed
Zachary Bennett as Curtis
Vlada Verevko as Alex's Mother
Genadijs Dolganovs as Alex's Father

Plot:
ANONYMOUS follows Alex Danyliuk, a teenager learning the ins and outs of computer programming. When his family hits financial trouble, he turns to a life of online crime and identity theft, fueled by rage at the banking institutions’ status quo. Along the way he meets Sye, a street-wisehustler who introduces him to the world of black market trading, and Kira,a young hacker secretly working as an FBI mole. After quickly finding success in causing financial market chaos, they gain the attention of Z–a mysterious, masked figure, who’s the head of an online crime group, and a number one target by the FBI.

Review by Stephen M.

A suspenseful drama about a youthful hacker looking for revenge but gets caught up in a web of lies.  The film is full of greating acting by the young cast led by Callan McAuliffe as Alex the lead role.  The cast despite being superb cannot help a filme with a plot that is full of holes.  Despite the holes, the film is entertaining enough to give it a try as a matinee at least.



Besides the superb acting, what you will love about the film is the mystique about hackers that often hits the news as we hear about groups like Anonymous which the film plays up to very well.  The filmmaker also do a great job with the sequencing with the flashbacks and origin story .  But it is the little details such as when Alex tells his friend Sye not to use a specific credit card numerous times; it has to cross your mind, why don't they just destroy the said credit card that will have you infuriated at the film.

The film not mind blowingly good or bad falls quite well into the mediocre spectrum which is fine for a cold weather watch which we happen to be in now.  The two male leads has such great chemistry and charisma, Callan McAuliffe who was in the Great Gatsby reminds me of a young Leonardo DiCaprio himself.  The added bonus is if you're intrigued by hackers and online theft that this is the film for you.  But again given its minor but aggrevious flaws you may want to wait for a matinee.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Monday, November 28, 2016


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Released November 18th, 2016
2 hr 13 mins
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
PG-13

Trailer:


Director: David Yates
Writer: J. K. Rowling

Cast:
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander
Katherine Waterston as Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein
Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski
Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein
Colin Farrell as Percival Graves
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald
Carmen Ejogo as President Seraphina Picquery
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone
Samantha Morton as Mary Lou Barebone
Ron Perlman as Gnarlack
Jon Voight as Henry Shaw, Sr.
Josh Cowdery as Henry Shaw, Jr.
Ronan Raftery as Langdon Shaw
Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty Barebone
Jenn Murray as Chastity Barebone
Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange

Plot:
The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Review by Stephen M.

J. K. Rowling brings the magic back with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The film which is the start of one of five new films planned by Rowling, introduces us to a whole new cast of characters set in 1926 America.  The film captures the humor, and thrills of the original Harry Potter film Sorcerer's Stone quite well.  With a wealth of new characters to play with along with the Fantastic Beasts, the movie will delight both old and new fans equally.



While there are some familiar references like Hogswart and Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts is a fresh look at their wizarding world with amazing sets and costume designs that is more fitting for an Al Capone movie than what you would expect from Harry Potter.  But we are often reminded that this is not a Harry Potter movie and we are fine with that as Newt Scamander played brilliantly by Eddie Redmayne makes his mark in the film.  He's not alone in providing us with great performances as Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski and Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein really shine as well.

Overall, if you haven't watched it yet, make your way to the theater to see it you won't be disappointed.  As good of a performances from the wizards and non-mags, the Fantastic Beasts easily steals the shows, leading the way with the crafty handed Niffler.  While filled with thrills, the violence for the most part is very tame making it suitable for older elementary school kids.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I.T.
Releases on Blu-Ray/DVD November 22nd 2016
1 hr 35 mins
Not Rated
Action/Thriller

Trailer:

Director: John Moore
Writer: Dan Kay & William Wisher

Cast:
Pierce Brosnan as Mike Regan
James Frecheville as Ed Porter
Anna Friel as Rose Regan
Stefanie Scott as Kaitlyn Regan
Michael Nyqvist as Henrik
Adam Fergus as Sullivan[3]
Jason Barry as Patrick
Clare-Hope Ashitey as Joan
Austin Swift as Lance

Plot:
In I.T., Mike Regan (Pierce Brosnan) is a successful, self-made man who has it all: a gorgeous wife, a beautiful teenage daughter and a sleek, state-of-the-art “smart home.”  But he soon finds himself in a deadly, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse when his I.T. consultant (James Frecheville) starts using his skills to stalk Mike’s daughter and endanger his family, his business, and his life.  In a world where there is no privacy, and personal secrets can go viral by the click of a mouse, Mike needs to rely on his old connections to defeat a new kind of nemesis.

Review by Stephen M.

I.T. while well acted is your standard predictable revenge thriller that has been done over and over again.  Pierce Brosnan is well cast as Mike Regan, CEO millionaire of a company described as the Uber of private jets that is aiming to become a public company.  James Frecheville as I.T. consultant Ed Porter that joins his company soon becomes the bane of not only Mike's company but his family as well.  Was that a spoiler?  Absolutely not, considering they set him up to be the antagonist early on in the film taking away the suspense of who Mike Regan will go up against.  

James Frecheville's character at times silly, on a whole does a good job egging on Mike Regan.  The rest of the supporting cast also does a decent job in their role considering the plot that they are handed to work with.  The film while not great, is not horrendous but would be a stretch to say that it would be worth paying full price for the DVD or Blu Ray.


Die hard Pierce Brosnan fans will want to pick this up to reminiscence of his glory days of playing James Bond.  With the fancy suits and expensive cars, playing a man of power, they could not have picked a better role for him.  The Director does a good job in providing some thrills in the end, but it is the beginning 2/3 of the film that is pretty textbook set up for this type of genre that will provide little entertainment.  Overall, I would say wait for this film to show up on Netflix or cable, which is where it should have started off at, perhaps on ID Investigation or the LMN network.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars