The New Ducktales Intro Premieres

Nostalgia fans, hold on to your hats because ahead of its premiere on August 12th, Disney has released the poster and the new intro for their new version of Ducktales (woo-hoo).  The show boasts a new animation style, plus some rather impressive voice talent featuring David Tennant, Bobby Moynihan, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera.  The question remains can this new show match our fond nostalgia for the the original?  You decide after you view the trailer below.

 

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The ten most underrated movies of the last 20 years.

We’ve all heard of the movies that receive all the acclaim (Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, The Dark Knight etc.), but what about those great movies that have gone mostly unnoticed (outside of certain circles)?  What about the movies that came out at the wrong time, or did not get enough backing from the studios; but are just as well-made as their acclaimed counterparts?  Through much research and help from friends, I have compiled a list of the ten most underrated movies of all time.

 

 10  Josie and the Pussycats

Now I know that many of you are thinking, that this was simply just a chick flick when Rachel Leigh Cook was in her heyday (Remember that?  In the years following She’s All That).  This movie was so much more than that.  It was an incredibly written satire about how the music industry had become so commercialized that they were basically brainwashing people into liking music by simply overplaying it on the radio. (Think Alvin and the Chipmunks, but better.)  Furthermore, the tongue-in-cheek product placement was almost as brilliant of that in Wayne’s World.

Varsity Blues

Now, I realize that many of you will disagree with this entry, but ask yourself: if this had not been an MTV movie release would you judge this movie differently?  Think of all the coming of age high school movies that you have seen.  Now I know this isn’t The Breakfast Club, but what it is, is the story of a Texas town where the only thing that matters is football.  Parents hold their kids back in school, coaches risk injuries, and football is seen as the only way out of this town.  Enter poor Jonathan Moxson (James VanDerBeek), who is a smart kid, who doesn’t need football to escape.  But low and behold, he ends up as the starting quarterback, and becomes a star.  Then we see that even he is corruptible by this sport.  This movie is one of the better high school stories that has come out in the last fifteen years.  And let’s be honest, who can ever forget the whip cream bikini scene?

Throw Momma from the Train

Now here was a movie that I’m not sure that not too many of you will remember.  It was about Owen (Danny Devito) who was a student in Larry’s (Billy Crystal) class.  It seems that Owen got Larry’s message a bit mixed up.  After watching a Hitchcock film, Owen got the idea that he was supposed to kill Larry’s wife, and Larry would kill his mother.  Well, Owen carries out his part of the bargain, and then hilarity ensues.  Of course this movie is going to to good.  You already have Billy Crystal and Danny Devito,  but what makes this movie a classic, is the immortal performance by Anne Ramsey as Owen’s mean, but ultimately lovable mother.

7  The Frighteners

So, Robert Zemekics is a genius.  Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? cemented that fact in my mind.  Yet not many people raved about another one of his movies The Frighteners.  Here was a film that paired up Zemekics and Michael J Fox again.  It is the story of a young man who uses his abilities to see and talk with ghosts to make a little bit of money.  All of this goes well until he comes across some serious ghosts called frighteners.  It’s a movie that was mostly overlooked when it came out, but is surprisingly fun and exciting.  

6 Kung-Fu Hustle

Now here was a movie that was not seen by many Americans outside of those who were already Stephen Chow fans.  (For those of you who don’t know who Stephen Chow is, think Shoulin Soccer).  It’s a movie that is surprisingly heartfelt and sweet at the same time as being a live-action looney tunes cartoon, and an epic martial arts film. Chow pays homage to some of the greatest directors of all time with many of the shots in this film.   It is a film that is incredibly funny, aesthetically pleasing as well and at its heart, the message that all of us may have greatness inside.

 

 

5 Mars Attacks

 

martians

 

 

Ah, Tim Burton… I think that the reason that this movie didn’t catch on for the absolute genius that it is, is because many people went in thinking that this was going to be a blockbuster, not a campy homage to the B movies of the fifties.  Burton took a B movie script, and put in A-list movie actors like Glenn Close, Jack Nicholson, and a very young Natalie Portman, and most importantly, he didn’t take himself or the movie too seriously.  And that is what makes it wonderful, a movie in which the Martians’ language is as funny a joke as any other in the movie.

 

4 Tremors  

“What the hell is going on? I mean what the hell is going on?!”  is arguably the greatest line in one of the most underrated movies of all time.  This was a movie which was billed originally as a monster movie, but was indeed so much moreFor those of you who don’t know the premise., It involves a small town with a major monster problem. Except these monsters move underground, and apparently have survived since the Jurassic period or something like that.  The movie is an incredible throwback to the B monster movies of the 50’s and 60’s, while featuring fantastic performances by Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Reba McIntyre, and Michael Gross. 

 

3 Quigley Down Under

Now here was a movie that I can guarantee that most viewers missed.  It was a Tom Selleck movie that had him playing an American gunslinger placed in Australia.  His character doesn’t like pistols, so he uses a rifle which can kill from 500 yards away.  Originally he thinks has been hired to shoot animals, but then finds out he has been hired to kill Aborigines.  So of course he won’t do it, and finds himself at odds with his employer who is wonderfully played by Alan Rickman.

While the story alone doesn’t make this movie stand out, the performances by one,  Alan Rickman, and two Laura San Giacomo who plays a crazy woman shunned by the local society takes this film up to a whole other level.

2 Grosse Point Blank

Against my better judgement, I placed this movie in the number two position, as opposed to the number one.   It’s a dark comedy featuring a hit man heading home to something that most of us simultaneously look forward to and dread: his high school reunion.  Along the way, he tries to reconcile with the girl he left behind, and truly understand who he is.  It helps that the film has two of my favorite actors:  John and Joan Cusack.  It also contains darkly comedic performances by Minnie Driver and Dan Aykroyd as a rival hitman.

 

1 Galaxy Quest

 

My favorite type of movie is probably the satire.  Satire done well in my opinion is the highest form of comedy.  Movies like Scream  or Tropic Thunder do a remarkable job of skewering their intended targets while standing on their own as entertaining films.  But Galaxy Quest stands on its own.  A movie which is completely enjoyable on its own, but is absolutely amazing, it takes the best part of a fish-out-of-water scenario and mixed it with a brilliant parody of Star Trek; not to mention fantastic comedic performances by Tony Shaloub, Sam Rockwell, and the incredible Alan Rickman.  When combined together, it makes for one of the most entertaining experiences you will have watching a film.

 

Honorable mentions include: Dark City, Dogma, The Rundown, 

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Super Mario Odyssey trailer

The good people at Nintendo seem to have found a winner with their new system, the Switch.  Of course it helps that the Zelda game released is easily one of the best in the franchise.  They have finally released the full trailer for their most iconic character’s new adventure in Super Mario Odyssey.  

This new adventure takes Mario to a plethora of different lands (including our own it appears) as he pursues Bowser who has kidnapped Peach again.  This time it seems as if he will be aided by the use of his hat which seems to have all kinds of functions.

The game looks incredibly polished and can hopefully achieve the level of fun the Mario last achieved with Super Mario 64 (which was the first of Mario 3d games).  Nintendo has a great track record with their Mario games, so let’s hope this one continues the streak.  View the trailer for yourself below:

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 (Gameplay trailer)

Another trailer released at E3 was the first gameplay trailer for Star Wars Battlefront 2, the anticipated sequel to the well-received, but severely lacking a campaign Star Wars Battlefront.  This trailer gives us a little better of an idea about what the multiplayer will look like and where the campaign (which is officially cannon) will take us.  All in all this iteration seems to have improved upon some of the lacking elements of the first game.  View the trailer for yourself below:

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Destiny 2 & Call of Duty WWII trailer

Both Destiny 2 and Call of Duty premiered new trailers for their respective games at E3 this week.  Destiny looks to continuing its trend of improving in MMORPG of Destiny with the much anticipated sequel, which looks to be quite promising.

Meanwhile, Call of Duty, which has completely exhausted its foray into the future of warfare travels back to the past and its roots for Call of Duty WWII.   We will have to wait and see if it will play an well as the already established Battlefield 1.

You can view both trailers below:

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (the review)

The first word that comes to mind after seeing this film is “family”.  After all is said and done, that’s the main theme of the film, and that’s what truly makes this journey as wonderful as it is.

The film begins shortly after the last Guardians adventure.  We are quickly reintroduced to the five guardians:  Peter Quill (Starlord), Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and of course, the adorable Baby Groot.  The story begins in media res with the guardians completing a mission for the Sovereign (a race of near-perfect type beings).  Of course after completing the mission, things go awry and the guardians find themselves being chased by the Sovereign (in a brilliant scene complete with sounds from an 90’s arcade).  

The Guardians find themselves saved by a mysterious figure who turns out to be Quill’s father, Ego.  Meanwhile, Yondu is still searching for Quill while trying to restore his honor as a Ravager.  And the Guardians find themselves keeping Nebula (Gamora’s half sister) captive.  In the interest of not spoiling the film for those who still have not seen it, I will not go into the rest of the plot.  Just be assured that things do not go swimmingly for our heroes.

Is this film as good as the first?  Yes and no.  The film has more heart than its predecessor, but probably won’t match up to the first for most simply because the fact that the first was so unexpectedly good.  This film by contrast has far more expectations upon it.

The performances are quite good, as always.  This time around though Drax, Mantis, Yondu and of course Baby Groot stand out.  Dave Batista’s portrayal as the socially awkward and incredibly blunt Drax is right on point, and this time around he is given more to work with.  Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is an alien with empathetic powers who performance in here scenes with Drax add much to the humor of the film.  Yondu, who we were introduced to in the first film, adds some gravity to the film as an outcast looking for redemption.  Of course Baby Groot steals the show a bit, partially because he is so damn adorable, but also because his condition changes the dynamic of the Guardians.  At the end of the first film, he was the one who protected the Guardians, but here they have to care for him.

All in all, the film is exciting, fun, and unexpectedly touching at times.  It was not until after I saw this film that I thought to myself “These might be the most fun characters in the Marvel universe”.   Case in point, the villain of the film is not shown or hinted at in any of the trailers.  When was the last time a hero movie left out any hint of the villain or main conflict of a film in the trailer and people still flocked to see it?  I cannot remember a time.  Perhaps it’s the fact that these characters are so loveable and engaging that people just want to see them on the screen, regardless of what mischief they are getting into.   And that is a powerful statement to make.

As an addendum:  you may want to stay through the entire credits as there are five (yes five) post credit scenes.

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War for the Planet of the Apes (trailer #3)

20th Century Fox has released the final cinematic trailer for their conclusion to the trilogy of Planet of the Apes.  The third film finds mankind and apes in a full scale war.  The final trailer focuses on the much of the strained relationship between man and the apes and heavily on the action of the fighting between the two sides.  The movie will be out on July 14th.  View the trailer for yourself below:

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