Tagged: summer

5 Reasons Why Hollywood’s Summer Blockbuster Franchises are Failing!

So it’s no secret that the summer blockbusters of 2019 have been underperforming at the box office this year, unless you’re a Marvel movie there’s a good chance you just ain’t makin’ the boatloads of easy cash off of eager hungry consumers like you used to!! So far we’ve had some big flops and under performers in theaters this summer, Hellboy, X-men: Dark Phoenix, Men In Black International, Godzilla: King of The Monsters, Shaft and I’m sure a few more flops to come.

It almost seems that after the extravaganza of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ people just ain’t that impressed with what Hollywood’s a pushin’! So what the heck gives here? I’ve got 5 reasons why I think people just ain’t buyin’ what big ol’ Hollywood’s selling!

Bland, Soulless, Predictable & Safe Storytelling

One thing I’ve noticed over the recent years is that these big ass summer blockbusters don’t bring much new to the table, instead of setting trends they now play off of what’s trending on social media etc to try and ensure they make maximum profit. It’s clear to audiences that they’re being marketed to and a lot of the themes we see in current movies feel a bit forced into the narrative. The plot lines feel predictable & safe, being very careful not to push the boundaries. However, nobody likes to feel pandered to, especially just to make a quick buck. Today Hollywood blockbusters feel a bit too calculated, like a Mcdonald’s happy meal version of a movie. It tastes good for a moment but doesn’t provide much real nourishment. These huge movies need to set trends again and take more risks. Most of these stories being told on the big screen now follow a rigid formula, it’s time to shake things up a bit and develop some compelling content that will blow audiences minds & keep them thinking long after they leave the theater.

Cinematic Politics & Social Media Movie Battles

Sure social media can be a cool way to connect with friends all over the world but it’s also caused a major political rift in movie fans, especially online. Everyone has a damn platform and everyone’s ready to state their opinion for the whole world to hear. The landscape of politics (here in the USA at least) is a gigantic mess, people are more than ready to call each other names and insult each others political beliefs any chance they can and then some. If you’ve noticed now there’re Youtube channels whose main focus is to tear down movies that they feel promote left leaning agendas and vice versa. Now we’ve got boycotts & petitions galore that are raging against movies from angry fans who think they’re promoting a threatening political views. We’ve got Hollywood directors & industry people arguing with angry fans on twitter about their movies and political leanings. When a movie’s released people immediately jump in to examine what side of the political spectrum it falls upon & then get bent out of shape about it on their social media platforms. Most claim they want to go to the movies to escape from the worries of today’s society, but people are so divided (and making good profit off that anger on their platforms) these days and I’m not seeing this trend dying down any time soon. At least until we get a new damn President!

Poorly Planned Franchise Reboots & Sequels

There’s a lot of bad, uninspired franchise sequels and reboots out there these days making their way into theaters. Hollywood is trying their hardest to capitalize off of nostalgia these days. It seems they think that if they simply slap say ‘Star Wars’ brand on a movie that it’s gonna mean butts in seats at the cinema. Not the case, people are clearly smarter these days when it comes to their choice of entertainment. Lots of franchises attempting to reboot with younger “hip” stars and leaving the old actors in the dust. I mean what really is ‘Men in Black’ without Will Smith? How about Star Wars with crusty old grumpy Luke Skywalker that barely lifts a finger in the movie? Or the Ghostbusters without any of the original characters starring in it to properly pass the torch? Hollywood is a bit clueless when it comes to how to execute these sequels, fans want to see a respectful portrayal of classic older characters who’re set to pass the torch to younger generation. Some of these reboots/sequels actually seem downright disrespectful to the original characters, sweeping them under the rug as quickly as possible to usher in the new characters. There needs to be a class taught to all of these clueless Hollywood executives on how to successfully pass the torch in a franchise. If you take a crap on a beloved franchise the fans of it will roast your ass on social media. The fans today have more power than ever and it’s a new angle that’s got Hollywood baffled.

Spectacle over Story

It’s kinda crazy now, almost every blockbuster movie franchise has been trying to set up a cinematic universe because they think they can reap the same benefits as the MCU does. However what most of these franchises get wrong is that they simply haven’t spent the time worldbuilding building the way Marvel has over the the last 10 plus years. Most of these failing franchises spend their movie’s runtime trying to set up the next sequels rather than telling a compelling story with top notch character development. Instead they simply litter the movie with a bunch of shiny, glossy CGI & flashy explosions convinced that lone is enough to entice movie goers to get all amped up for their planned spinoffs. Well listen up Hollywood, going to the theaters is expensive and people just aren’t as dumb as you seem to think they are, yeah we got options these days with all the streaming content out there. Movies better step it with their storytelling otherwise we’re gonna stay home! So many of these franchise are dumbed down to a level that just won’t entice the masses like they used to. We want original stories, not rehashed plots from previous movies in the franchise. Sure the spectacle can be fun, but there’s a certain over saturation of mind numbing movies out there now and yours better be more than just fluff. Stop trying to predict what the masses are going to eat up and spend some time writing stories we haven’t already heard. Most of the movies feel like they’ve been looking at what’s trending on twitter and writing a story around that. I’ll say it again, Hollywood needs to set the trends again rather than blindly trying to follow them.

 

Star Power Ain’t What it Used to Be

Back in the 1980’s blockbusters were a just as big a deal but they usually had one thing going for them that’s missing today-star power. People would rush to the movies just to see Stallone or Schwarzennegar do their thing. It was an event. Not so much today, the days of larger than life celebs has somehow died, putting one of the stars of say the Avengers franchise in one doesn’t automatically equally box office gold. I’m not sure what changed over the years but people are far less starstruck than ever before. This means Hollywood has got try even harder to put something out that feels fresh and original, a good cast is still important but it’s clearly NOT a deal breaker anymore. 

 

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VHS Verdict: ‘Nightmare Beach’ A Slasher Flick That’s More 80’s Than The 80s!

A few nights ago I checked out a pretty sweet little 80’s slasher movie by Harry Kirkpatrick & Italian director Umberto Lenzi who was also responsible for the equally fun schlock-fest ‘Ghosthouse’. ‘Welcome to Spring Break’ AKA ‘Nightmare Beach’ is most definitely worth tracking down if you’re a fan of cheezy 80’s horror and those wacky mega raging hormone teen comedies from that decade. You know, those movies that could simply never be made in 2018, this one is a prime example as it’s jam packed with nudity, crude humor and a psychotic “undead” killer on a murderous rampage. It shares a lot of similarities with movies like ‘The Horror Show’ and ‘Shocker’ as it features a serial killer who’s executed on the electric chair and seemingly re-appears to kill as many people as he can by electrocuting the shit out of them.

Yep we’ve got a full on ridiculous mystery here jam packed with moronic characters galore and then some. As you can imagine the college kids in this one have two things on their feeble minds, partying and sex! Our two main characters are pretty interesting fellows as well, one’s intent on partyin’ ’til he’s brain dead and his straight laced buddy, well I’m not sure why he even went to the damn beach for spring break. The dude turns down every scenario to get have fun, get freakin’ wasted and mingle with the ladies. He’s such a damn wholesome guy that he almost becomes more ridiculous to watch than the full on 80’s party hardy springbreakin’ sex maniancs that are combing every inch of the beach. Yep this movie is indeed more 80’s than the 1980’s. It’s the epitome of everything ridiculous from that time period, while the acting is pretty over the top, it’s still impressively played fairly straight. 

The crazed maniacal killer soon sweeps upon the beach scene riding a motorcycle and dressed head toe in his biker attire never removing his helmet as the ultimate party pooper. There’s some fun kills in this one as well and a bit of a Scooby Doo style mystery at play as well to keep you “guessing” until the very in in the final “epic” confrontation. Throw in John Saxon as a corrupt cop for some street cred, a totally radical 80’s metal soundtrack and you’ve got one helluva idiotic fun as shit slasher flick at play. This 1988 horror movie is a great saturday night party jam to enjoy with a big group of rowdy friends and plenty of booze! 

 

And of course this one has an obscure “killer” 80’s song in it from Kirsten, who plays live in the movie as well-dig IT!!

 

 

 

Wolverine: Set to Kick the Bucket This Summer! I Say It’s About Time!

So news has dropped that Marvel plans to “kill off” Wolverine this summer in the upcoming “3 Months to Die” starting with Wolverine #8. I’m sure no one will shed a tear as well all know Wolverine won’t be gone for long and that this type of shit goes down every ten years or so to boost sales. This however is something I think that Marvel needs to do desperately. Marvel has gone Wolverine crazy over the years, putting him in almost every comic book imaginable.

He even joined the Avengers, a move that today still doesn’t fly with me. Wolverine will NEVER feel like an Avenger to me. I never would’ve imagined that anyone could make Logan a boring character, but it happened. They’ve been beating a dead horse with him for far too long now. I’m actually pretty tired of seeing him in comic books, I’m totally burnt out. He seems to show up everywhere. If you would tell me that Wolverine actually has fifteen identical twin brothers at this point I’d totally buy it.  I’m really actually glad he’s not able to show up as a team member in the Avengers movies…

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He’s no longer mysterious. In fact he’s so far from mysterious these days that there’s really not much interesting to do with him other than kill off the lil’ runt! Wow, can you imagine a Marvel universe without Wolverine?! It sounds kinda….exciting! I can’t imagine it really, and that’s why it needs to happen.

“If the title sounds ominous, it’s for a good reason,” says Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. “What will be waiting for readers in September, when ‘3 Months to Die’ is over? Let’s just say, it’s going to be the buzz of the comics world.”

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I’m sure Marvel realizes that they really haven’t crafted an exciting Wolverine story in decades. So yeah count me in, I wanna see Wolvie go down and stay down for a long time. I’m really curious who’s going to do him in (I hope it’s not Sabretooth-I’m still sick of that guy too). I wanna miss the guy. I want it to feel special again when he shows up in another title as a guest star. He used to be one of my favorite characters of all time, we all need a break sometimes from the people we love. I’m for the first time in forever excited to read Wolverine!

The Conjuring: A Scary Breath of Fresh Summer Air!

I checked out ‘The Conjuring’ last night, a movie I was looking forward to for quite a while amidst this season of over blown shiny rubbery looking blockbusters. My verdict? It was a helluva lot of fun and was jam packed with scares a plenty and then more scares after that! I’ve gotta say I’m really kinda liking James Wan as of late, the guy who I originally considered a hack, mainly for my loathing of movies like Saw and Death Sentence. I’ve got to admit though the guy, though not pulling out anything ultra original has pretty much mastered the Ghost Story / haunting horror genre. I was a huge fan of Insidious and this latest offering is just as good if not perhaps an even more solid haunt flick.

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Based this time on the “true” story of  Ed & Lorraine Warren who were demonologists back in the late 1960’s and 70’s and their most bizarre case which involved the haunting of The Perron Family in their new home in Harrisville, Rhode Island. From the get go you can tell it’s going to be one heck of a creepy ride as the films opening sequences, which involve once again a creepy ass doll (I love creepy dolls!!) foreshadow what’s yet to come later. This is a great back to basics summer horror/suspense film which doesn’t rely on explicit gore, green screens or video gamey CG to get the crowd’s blood pumping. It relies on what you don’t see(yet many times what you do!) to craft it’s chills. It had me squirming in my seat and at times wanting to cover my eyes. It’s well acted, well shot and the special effects are perfectly executed in a way that makes you feel as if you’re right there in the creepy house with the rest of the family.

THE CONJURING

It’d have been a damn near perfect viewing experience had it not been for the guy in front of us who for some reason felt like he had to narrate the scares for the whole theater, somehow feeling as if perhaps everyone in the theater had actually paid to come listen to him attempt to be a stand up comedian while a tense horror flick played alongside him. Uggh…perhaps I’ll see it again with out the annoying live commentary, however seeing it for the first time won’t ever be as good as the scares run rampant in this one and you never know exactly when the shit is yet again going to hit the fan. It certainly will make you think twice about playing hide and seek! Now however, what I really wonder is how much of this story was actually true? This film delved pretty heavily into the Catholic church and the power of religion to ward off evil spirits so hopefully the real story bares some real resemblance to what we saw onscreen and Wan wasn’t trying to convert it’s audience.

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I really recommend this one if you’re looking for something different this summer. It may not be the most original idea to hit the screen but it’s easily one of the best movies out in theaters thus far this summer. Take a chance and test your nerves and if you got a loud mouth who can’t refrain from thinking he’s part of the MST3K crew make sure to creep up slowly behind his seat and scare the bejeezus out of him, then quietly tell him to shut the fuck up!

And here are a couple clips of the real Ed and Lorraine Warren!

All Hollywood Blockbustered Out?!

We keep hearing about how worried Hollywood is that the huge blockbusters are going to flop since the mega poop bomb “The Lone Ranger” dropped into theaters. What’s the deal I wonder? Is all this worry for nothing? Is Pacific Rim going to be the the next big thing or the next big monster turd?! I can only really speak for myself and that’s that I’m kinda all blockbustered out already. For me Iron Man 3 was the cream of the crop and after seeing a few more big glossed over CG stuffed over hyped films I’m currently not feeling that there’s anymore room in my stomach for more fluff!

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Could it be that I’m not the only one? Because I feel as if maybe, just maybe people might be looking for a bit more from their summer movies? Even a movie like Pacific Rim, done by my man Del Toro for some reason hasn’t really gotten me fully amped up and at this point I’m not really sure I’ll even see it at the big theater. That movie should technically should have me salivating at the mouth but for some reason it hasn’t quite ignited the spark, even with all the hype. Now maybe what I’m really saying is that a lot of these blockbusters simply have no soul and are purely there to feed the cash cow. However, early reviews of Pacific Rim seem to be pointing to the opposite of my assumptions.

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Perhaps I shouldn’t second guess Guillermo? From what I have heard in the last couple days it’s got more than a bunch of big shiny CG (though it’s got it’s fair share of that) it’s got heart. So perhaps I’ll jump back in the blockbuster game again or hell maybe I’ll see The Conjuring instead? It’s gotten some great reviews thus far from a ton of horror sites..It might be a breath of fresh air to see a great little horror flick in the midst of rubbery cg monsters and explosions….then again? Hmmm….

 

WTF Comic Book Moments!!

I just recently saw this cover and I just had to share this here! It seems like Superman, Batman & Robin may be overstepping their boundaries maybe just a little bit here on this one don’t you think?! Hopefully the police didn’t get involved because seriously folks Batman looks WAY too stoked on the idea of stripping down!!

My Time has Come-Iron Maiden Here I Come!

There comes a time in your life when you really just have to suck it up and fucking rock. That time has finally come for me as I am preparing to see one of the best bands in the whole damn world for the first and possibly last time, IRON MAIDEN. Sure the tickets were quite pricey and having grown up attending punk rock shows I really haven’t been to that many arena shows in my time. I mean I saw some pretty amazing bands back in the day for six bucks or less, bands that went on to sell millions of albums even. Even living here in Portland Oregon it seems most bands are just too damn afraid to turn up their amps and many times I end up at the same old timid artsy shows-never getting 1/10th of the rock needed to survive the real world properly. But now the time has finally come to admit to myself, it’s time to man up, rock for real and see one of the best concerts of a lifetime.

I have wanted to see Maiden live for years, but some how always seemed to put it off because of pricey tickets Continue reading