Ghostbusters

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Some of you may recall that in my “top five most anticipated movies of fall 2014” list, I put the 30th anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters at number five and stated that I would review the movie shortly after I saw it on the big screen. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to see it. The theatre in my town wasn’t screening it, and the closest town that was showing it was still two hours away. That being said I still recommend if you have the opportunity to see this movie on the big screen. In my opinion, There’s no better way to celebrate the 30 year legacy of the Ghostbusters. Despite that, I still re-watched the film last night on TV, and have provided a review nontheless. So without further ado, let’s get started.

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Sometimes Reviewing a film that I enjoyed is far more difficult than reviewing a film that I disliked. When I review something that I like, my main goal is to give the reader an understanding of two things, A bias take on Why I loved it, and an unbiased take on why I think that what i’m reviewing is generally great. When reviewing a classic, like Ghostbusters, however, The way I approach film critiquing feels like it would backfire. the problem here is that nearly everyone knows everything about Ghostbusters. It’s one of those movies where even if you haven’t seen it, your aware of it, as well as the entire franchise. It’s hard to do something that iconic justice, but since this year marks the film’s 30th anniversary, I feel like I owe it to this classic to at least give it a second look.

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Although Ghostbusters is remembered as one of the comedy greats, I had forgotten just how subtle most of it’s humour is. Alot of the jokes rely on callbacks and references to events that took place earlier in the movie, And it goes to show just how great the chemistry is between the characters. I think Peter (Bill Murray) made me laugh the most, but Ray (Dan Aykroyd), Egon (Harold Ramis) and Winston (Ernie Hudson) all have moments to shine. There’s also a ton of side characters that don’t get too much screen time, but make every second count and remain just as memorable as the main cast.

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As expected with a title like “Ghostbusters”, There are plenty of ghosts and ghoulish creatures that lurk around the film. Most of the effects hold up pretty well (with only a few minor effect shots coming off as rather dated) but what really sells is is the creature design. The monsters in this movie range from looking cartoony and hilarious to menacing and frightening. I I had to choose a favourite, I would go with either the terror dogs or Mr. Stay Puft. latter greatly appeals to me due to the Godzilla references, while the terror dogs give the film an effective element of horror without going overboard (as well as having fantastic designs). The soundtrack is also very good, providing lots of lighthearted tracks that balance out nicely with a few more sinister ones. And of course, there’s that theme song. It appears frequently throughout the film, and will not leave your head.

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Ghostbusters is a genre defining film. I’d go as far to say it’s one of the most successful horror comedy mashups out there. This ambitious movie is just dripping with frighting atmospheric sequences coupled with some truly memorable characters and lines. It’s a film that deserves to be seen at least once by everyone. If you haven’t seen Ghostbusters yet, see it. You are guaranteed a great time.

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My Top Five Most Anticipated Films Of Fall 2014

Beautiful-Fall-Wallpapers-autumn-15496207-1600-1200I think we can safely say that the summer movie season has come and gone. While it was an impressive season, we are far from done looking at some of 2014’s biggest releases. We still have both this fall and winter to look forward to. With that said, here’s my top five most anticipated films of 2014 that are being released in my favorite season, fall. (Warning: there will be puns)

Number 5:

Ghostbusters (30th anniversary re-release)35z0e2pmnmz7zmpI may be cheating on this one. Seeing as how the film’s a re-release and technically comes out at the end of august. but who cares? It’s Ghostbusters! It just so happens that this year is the 30th anniversary of the classic comedy, and what better way to celebrate that then seeing it on the big screen? I couldn’t think of a better way to set the tone for the rest of the season.

Ghostbusters will haunt theaters on August 29th for one week only.(Expect a review for this flick to be released shortly after I see it again on the big screen)

Number 4:

The Box Trolls

the-boxtrolls-24676-1280x800Laika (the creative team behind Coraline and ParaNorman) will hit the scene yet again with an adaptation of the novel “Here Be Monsters!” As to be expected from the studio, the stop-motion looks spectacular, and the designs of the trolls themselves are unique and somewhat adorable. While I was a little underwhelmed by their last film, ParaNorman, I look forward to seeing what they have in store with this one.

The Box Trolls will invade theaters on September 26th.

Number 3:

Monsters: Dark Continent

_13772011762010’s “Monsters” was an independent creature feature that focused more on the human angle rather than the Monsters. The result was a Monster movie unlike any other, and one that I happened to really like. That being said, I was surprised when a sequel was announced. I wasn’t too thrilled about the concept when I heard that the original director, Gareth Edwards (who also directed the latest Godzilla film) wasn’t going to be in the directors chair, but upon revisiting the trailer a few more times, My anticipation for the film has increased significantly, and I think we could have another gem with this one if it’s done right.

Monsters: Dark Continent: Will smash it’s way into theaters on September 25th (UPDATE: The release date has been recently changed to November 28th.)

Number 2:

Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

Twilight_holding_a_microphone_EG2Possibly my most bias choice. I was one of the few people who really enjoyed 2013’s Equestria Girls, as I found it captured the spirit of the show as well as being an entertaining and sweet film in it’s own right. Much like Dark Continent however, I wasn’t expecting a sequel, yet here we are. The music themed followup promises to deliver 12 new songs by Daniel Ingram (the song writer for the show) as well as an interesting new trio of villains that could very well be Sirens in disguise. And hey, anything involving ancient Equestria lore is enough to get me excited.

Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks shreds it’s way into theaters on September 27th for a limited time.

Number 1:

The Book of Life

60Audiences and Critics alike often crave for something that’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen. If The Book of Life’s trailer in any indication, it looks like we’ll be getting just that. The story looks original (although there are a few echos of the corps Bride here and there) But what REALLY has me excited about this movie is it’s visual style. It looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I love that. Everything from the environments, to the character design looks absolutely gorgeous and creative. The film hasn’t even been released yet, and I’m already in love with the world it’s created. And that’s why it’s my most anticipated film of this fall.

 The Book of Life arrives in theaters on October 17th

And that’s my list. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and that you have an equally awesome rest of the year!. This is Ipaidforthat, signing off!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a franchise that I was obsessed with as a little kid. I loved the first two movies (I never saw the third until I was much older…thankfully.) I loved the shows and the toys.  While I’m currently not as big of a turtles fan as I once was, I still have a soft spot for the heroes in a half shell (Raphael will always be my favourite). With that said, I was intrigued when it was announced that Nickelodeon movies and Michael Bay were going to produce a live action reboot of the Ninja Turtles. After a few delays and some terrifying rumours (alien race anyone?) the film is finally playing in theatres. The verdict? Definitely a mixed bag, but not the train wreck that many were expecting.

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One thing that surprised me was the fact that the film, despite being produced by Nickelodeon, shares no connection with the show that is currently airing on the channel. I suppose it’s for the best, as the last time Nickelodeon tried to adapt one of their highest rated shows into a live action feature film didn’t go so well. What this film does instead is reboot the franchise, (much like the 2007’s TMNT.) Despite this, the movie feels very similar to the first Ninja Turtles movie, in terms of pacing and structure. Because of this, I found myself a little underwhelmed by the story, and consider it a missed opportunity, considering how vast and full of creativity the Turtles lore is. It’s not horribly written, just all too basic. However, if you have never seen a Ninja Turtles film and know nothing about the franchise going into this movie, then this will be a nonissue. It’s a serviceable if unoriginal story.

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As far as the characters are concerned, let’s start with quite possibly the best aspect of the movie the turtles themselves. Aside from the designs, the personality of each of the Ninja Turtles are spot on. Each one is distinctly recognizable and and in character. This will please fans who grew up with the Turtles, as well as properly introduce newcomers to who these characters are. Splinter, the turtles father figure, is also realized well. The main antagonist, Shredder, has a sleek and cool design as well as a perfect voice for the character, but by the end of the film, he becomes all too generic as far as villains go. His master plan (as well as the climax of the film in general) feels all too similar to 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man”. As for Megan Fox as April…well…. to put it nicely, I’m not a fan. I didn’t find her performance any stronger here then in the Transformers films (which is the last series I saw her in) I think casting her as April is a bad move, not because of her acting, but because not once in the film did I ever buy her as April. The rest of the cast, featuring the likes of Will Arnett, William Fichtner and Whoopi Goldberg, aren’t very memorable, and feel like they are distracting from the real plot. Turtles and splinter (and possibly Shredder) are impressive, but the human cast didn’t impress me.

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Despite the fact that Michael Bay is producing this film and the fact that his name has been plastered on every advertisement I’ve seen for it, people tend to forget that this is NOT a Michael Bay film. It is in fact, a Jonathan Liebesman film. Because this is a piece of Jonathan Liebesman’s work, I didn’t know what to expect as far as the action sequences were concerned (the only one of his films I had seen prior to this was the sadly forgettable “Wrath of the Titans”) Thankfully, the cinematography for many of the action sequences is excellent. Providing a sense of fast paced energy without loosing focus. The best example of this is the fight on the snowy mountain. It’s funny, creative and overall the standout scene of the movie. I won’t go as far as to say it’s the best action I’ve seen all year, but it’s certainly better then what I was expecting. The film’s score didn’t particularly stand out, and I’ll be quite honest, I was hoping to hear the Ninja Rap in there somewhere…Oh well.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has enough good things in it to be considered a serviceable   representation of the franchise. The main problem is that there’s little to nothing new as far as the story’s concerned. It’s a decent introduction to the Ninja Turtles for a new generation, but not the best the series has to offer. It’s not a great movie, but it’s not terrible either. Recommended if you are a hardcore Turtles Fan, or curious about the franchise in general.

Guardians of the Galaxy

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is quickly becoming one of my favourite film franchises. For those who don’t know, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (we’ll call it MCU from here on out) consist of superhero films that share the same universe and continuity.It began in May 2008 with the release of Iron Man, and has since sen followed up with the likes of The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America and of course, The Avengers. It’s an innovative and ambitious idea that has surprisingly payed off. This year, Marvel has released two game changer films for the MCU. The first film being “Captain America: The Winter soldier”, which shook up the status quo for earth’s heroes and sets up some events that will take place in next years “Avengers 2: Age of Ultron”, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Which takes us beyond earth, Asgard and even this galaxy, and introduces us to some of the most memorable characters the MCU has to offer.

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Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel’s more obscure properties, so many people will go in knowing next to nothing about these characters prior to seeing the film, and In this case, It works in the movie’s favour, because the majority of the film is spent learning about and getting to know each one of the guardians themselves. Peter Quill, A.K.A StarLord (Chris Pratt) is the somewhat the leader of the group. His character is like a cross between Han Solo and Tony Stark, and I mean that in the best possible way. Both Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) have very intriguing backgrounds and motivations. Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) steals every scene he’s in thanks to his wit and relationship to his buddy Groot (Vin Diesel). Speaking of Groot, he provides the film with a lot of heart, and his character reminded me a lot of The Iron Giant. (Another awesome Vin Diesel role) Each of the main characters are interesting and utterly hilarious. The film is basically one big galactic road trip with the five of them,and as the film went on, I grew more and more attached to each of them Even if you go in not knowing who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, you’ll walk out wanting to see more of them.

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One thing that I found interesting about this film is that despite the fact that it’s a Marvel film that’s meant to fit in with the rest of the MCU, I really couldn’t compare it to the previous entries because this is an entirely different genre. It’s doesn’t come off as a superhero movie as much as a good old fashioned space opera adventure (a la Star Wars) with some self a ware writing thrown in. Because of this, this MCU entry feels very fresh and different, which is always nice. The locations and different planets the characters visit range from dark and bizarre to just plain beautiful to look at. The same can be said for most of the alien designs (although some of the background ones look like they just walked off a Star Trek set). The villains may seem familiar to something like Star Wars, but it’s clear that the film is focusing more on the characters and their relationships with each other then the villains. Having said that, what the main villain Ronan (Lee Pace) lacks in character development he somewhat makes up for in presence. He comes off as very threatening and his alliance with Thanos (A major Marvel baddie from the comics and  is sure to be the biggest threat in the MCU) and the Other (A mysterious character with a shared loyalty to Thanos) makes him feel more compelling then he would if he was working alone.

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Alright fanboys. If your like me, you were excited to see Thanos,one of the biggest Marvel villains ever, fully realized on the big screen after his short cameo in the Avengers. Although his name gets dropped alot, he doesn’t get very much screen time (I counted maybe two scenes you actually see him in). What makes this work though is by this point, we know that marvel is just putting the pieces together and setting up for something MUCH bigger in the future, so it makes is lack of screen time feel more like a slow build up that will pay off sometime soon.The film’s action is brilliantly choreographed and executed and each character gets their moment to shine. Something else I’d like to talk about is the soundtrack. Which is mostly comprised of 70’s and 80’s songs, and it really works well in the context of the film. Mainly because the film itself has a very strong 80’s vibe.

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Trying to explain to people who The Guardians of the Galaxy are is no easy task. The concept may sound ridicules, but Marvel has gone above and beyond to insure that this film makes them household names. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the funniest, refreshing, and creative Marvel films to date. It’s an instant classic that has something for everyone. And in this fan’s opinion, It’s the best summer blockbuster of the year.