This past weekend, we had a chance to watch all three LORD OF THE RINGS extended editions in a theater, back to back to back, at the historic Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen them and this blogger has never partaken in the extended editions of the films before. There is so much more nuance and character in these versions, that it was like watching them for the first time. Twelve hours flew by like the Great Eagles into the siege of Gondor! Each film, nearing the four hour mark with a food truck outside the theater, nearly the entire audience stayed the entire time. They cheered the appearances of the main heroes and actually HISSED at the appearances of such treacherous villains such as Wormtongue. This audience was primed and their excitement fueled everyone else’s. Classic moments were punctuated by hoots and hollers and sad moments were so quiet that you could hear a pin drop with the occasional soft sobs. Everyone was so engrossed the entire time, except for the girl who played candy crush in the 4th row for nearly 3 HOURS during THE TWO TOWERS. One of my favorite audience moments is when the hipster guy in front of me who was sitting alone and had been pretty silent for nearly ten hours screamed “YES!!!!” when Eowyn dropped some science on the Witch King with a “I am no man” right before she stabbed him in the FACE. I loved him for that. We all rubbed our eyes in the light of the pale moon as we emerged well past one in the morning. Our blood boiling and simmering like the firey lavas of Mount Doom. So moved from this experience that the residual feelings lasted well into the next day as I debated watching the entire HOBBIT trilogy that day. I couldn’t put those blu-ray’s in the player fast enough. Even after nine hours of that, I was still feeling as though my heart was full but still yearning for Middle-Earth. After a quick trip to Game Stop, some LORD OF THE RINGS video games are now left to satiate our Ring fever. We’ll let you know when we calm down a bit.
Nostalgia has reached a fever pitch in our current geek climate. Fans often have to raise an eyebrow in suspicion at the latest attempt the entertainment industry makes at making us feel 12 again. A lot of the time, even the masters of yesteryear have a hard time reclaiming the glory and the magic they once instilled in our hearts. Then along came the Duffer Brothers and Netflix and their new show STRANGER THINGS and all the cynicism fades away. For it feels genuine and sincere. The show takes place in 1983, and is basically what if The Goonies found ET in the John Hughes town of Shermer, Illinois that has the sheriff from Jaws. So many wonderful things are thrown in here like a expertly cultivated mixtape. Cast so wonderfully and written so precisely that it doesn’t feel like a TV show built in a writer’s room, it feels like an eight hour long film. I think any fan of the greatest entertainment decade of all time, the 1980’s would fall in love with the show and it seems to be reaching a mainstream appeal already. Like previously stated, many stabs at the nostalgic look on Spielberg or Carpenter have been made to varying degrees of quality but STRANGER THINGS ranks amongst the very best so far.
Well, the chutes are empty, the halls are bare and another Comic Con has come and gone. We at Blast From The Past had ourselves a banner year getting to see many of the great Hall H panels and getting many of the exclusive surprise goodies as well. After much waiting in line, our Saturday morning started off with executive producer of the new2017 CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY handing out coffee and donuts in the wee hours of the morning to all those waiting to attend the STAR TREK: 50 YEARS panel. When we were finally let in, the first panel was Warner Bros. Pictures moderated by Conan O’Brien. The walls of Hall H were stretched back making the screens surround the audience, enveloping our vision with new logos and imagery from the upcoming Warner Bros. movies they were showing us first look footage of the new DC Comics films. For the FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM portion, Eddie Redmayne himself handed out wands to the audience of 6000 and everyone got their own. The next panel was retrospective of the last 50 years of Star Trek with a panel of cast members from the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise. After that, the 30 year reunion panel for ALIENS attended by Director James Cameron, and cast members Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Hendrickson, Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser. The day ended with massively cool Marvel Studios panel showing us brand new footage from THOR: RAGNAROK, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, DOCTOR STRANGE and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2. Plus a first look at the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MISSION – BREAKOUT! ride coming to Disney’s California Adventure next summer. It was an overwhelming wave of cool stuff, which every Comic Con ends up being, and we’re all gonna need a few days to recover but we can’t wait for next year to do it all over again!
If you haven’t seen Captain America 3: Civil War yet, cancel your dinner plans.
When the Russo brothers took up the reins for the latest Marvel masterpiece, they had some big shoes to fill. Age of Ultron was the Avengers 2 we got, but Civil War was the Avengers 2 we deserved. The ensemble cast eclipsed the good Captain and really showed off how a superhero movie can be more than the sum of its parts.
Black Panther was woven seamlessly into the movie’s subplots; the new Peter Parker was practically perfect; Ant Man’s cameo was larger than life. There’s something for everyone to be excited about. (And it’s not all doom and gloom and emotional scarring! It’s got comedy! Just ask Spidey.)
One cannot be objective about this movie. It’s amazing. Go see it. See it a second time. Come back. Discuss it with us. Please. We can’t keep our excitement in any longer.
Monsterpalooza is just around the corner and we’re excited as ever about it.
Horror fans don’t wait ’til it’s October to revel in gory goodness or keep the vibe tense and creepy. We want opportunities all year ’round to be able to keep it weird.
Horror is a genre we’ve always respected and admired here at Blast From The Past because it comes in so many flavors, spans decades, and can come from anywhere. From big studios or from your neighbor’s backyard, it’s a genre that has inspired more amateur filmmakers and novelists to tell their stories than any other. And we are lucky there is so much out there, because we fans can never get enough.
Some of the most iconic characters in literature and film come from horror and they stay with us because of how they make us feel. Pure unadulterated fear. We love the rush of just narrowly escaping certain death and we want to risk it again and again. We love the macabre, the strange and unusual. The otherworldly. And we love nothing better than sharing that experience with likeminded nuts like us! So we can’t wait to see you there.
What kind of horror are you into? Classic? Slasher? Italian? Ghosts? A little bit of everything? We want to know!
It feels like they’ve been threatening to release BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE on us forever, and ready or not, it’s finally here. Fans of Marvel and DC have been more divided than ever over this first-time cinematic showdown between two of the biggest icons of comic book history. Marvel fans have been enjoying a nice 8-year stint of popular, ground-breaking motion pictures featuring their favorite characters, most of which hadn’t seen the silver screen until now. Batman and Superman, on the other hand, have been around movie theaters for decades, and even their most devoted fans are left wondering if they can expect something new and fresh.
The reviews are in, and while they are not kind to the Caped Crusader or the Man of Steel, the fans have voted with their wallets and brought in record-breaking box office numbers. This blogger has been left in the in-between, struggling to reconcile love for the characters and desire for fun and exciting cinema.
You may have argued as a kid about which hero would win in a fight, but director Zack Snyder’s vision is much more complicated than that — giving us a star-studded lineup of actors each delving into a new role with one purpose: setting up sequels. Will each individual franchise stand on its own? Could a Wonder Woman origin movie be as successful as Captain America? Would Aquaman perform as swimmingly as Thor?
Let’s give it some time and see if Batman V Superman hasn’t planted the seeds for some great movies in the future. What are your thoughts?
Happy birthday to two of the most influential monsters of all time! 198 years ago, Mary Shelley published the novel that spawned both Victor Frankenstein and his infamous creature.
The subject of many a nerdy debate, is “Frankenstein” the name of the monster or the name of the man? And if it’s really the man, does one pronounce it “Fronkensteen,” as Mel Brooks would have you believe?
Whether you approach Shelley’s great work as a serious novel, respect Boris Karloff’s performance for setting the standard for an entire genre, or if you’re simply fond of the creature’s transformation into the caricature of Herman Munster, there is one point that cannot be argued. Pop culture was forever changed on that dark and stormy night. Here’s to another two centuries!
Is there any hero — I’m sorry, guy in a funny suit — making more waves now than Deadpool? With the power to smash the fourth wall, his movie held us tight and whispered sweet nothings in our ears during Valentine’s weekend and shows no sign of stopping. It’s even been called the highest-grossing X-Men film yet, though Mr. Wilson has declined to comment on any underlying implications.
All of this post-movie excitement, of course, had us all looking for ways to possess the merc for our very own long before its release date. Soon, soon, soon… soon… we’ll be seeing the fruits of our preorders. Wrinkled avocados are fruit, right? (Technically, they’re also large berries. Thanks, Wikipedia. All puns and innuendo fully intended.)
This past week has been one of great morning as we are experiencing the loss of a great and iconic actor: Leonard Nemoy. Although everyone is talking about (for obvious and understandable reasons) his role as Spock, I would also like to point out some other roles that I enjoyed of his outside of the Star Trek universe. I personally was very impressed with his voice work of the King in Disney’s Atlantis, as well as his role of Sentinel Prime in the third Transformers film, Dark of the Moon. He was an iconic man with an iconic voice. However, ever since his death, I have read far more inspirational and insightful quotes from that man than I could have ever imagined. I spent February 27th feeling that Hollywood and the world, lost a great actor, but in the following days, I’ve recognized that mankind as a whole has lost an incredible human being!
With all of this said, we, here at Blast From The Past would invite any and all of you, our readers, to share and discuss your favorite roles of Leonard Nemoy. If your favorite role of his is Spock (not surprising at all), go ahead and share a favorite episode of his.
The Amazing Spiderman 2: Although the general population identifies The Amazing Spiderman 2 as a bad film, I still have to say that I really enjoyed it. And I don’t mean that I feel the pros are just barely able to outweigh the cons. I have seen this movie twice and both times found myself thoroughly impressed with the film. I found it just as good, if not better than the first film. I personally love the way that Andrew Garfield portrays Peter Parker. Emma Stone is fantastic as Gwen Stacy. I really enjoyed the moral and emotional dilemma that Peter and Gwen have to deal with in order to continue with their relationship in the wake of the death of Gwen’s father. I thought that it was a very compelling story because I found myself able to agree with both sides of the argument. On one hand, continuing their relationship would put Gwen in danger constantly, as well as the disrespect it shows towards the final wishes of her dead father, yet on the other hand, ignoring the feelings that both Peter and Gwen feel for each other would be a tragic waste of a potentially fantastic relationship. I enjoyed this film’s rendition of Electro (possibly a bit too cliché at times, but I wouldn’t say it’s enough to make the film bad in any way) and found the casting choices of both him and Green Goblin were extremely impressive. And another thing that I constantly find extremely impressive and fun with both of these films is the positions that spider man takes during his swinging sessions. It’s blatantly reminiscent of the classic comic art and I love watching the swinging scenes because of the visuals.
!!!!Spoiler Alert!!!: And when it comes to the execution of the last part of the film with the death of Gwen Stacy, I thought that was one of the most beautifully well done scenes of any comic book film ever made. I’d put that scene up there with the moment when Pepper Potts tries to quit working for Tony Stark when she finds out he’s Iron Man. And I thought that changing the cause of death from whiplash to her head hitting the ground made the whole scene deliver that much more of a gut punch.
Neighbors: I found Neighbors to be a hilarious movie. Maybe it’s not noteworthy enough to go down with the greats of comedy. However, it should definitely be a candidate if you’re looking for a movie to laugh at with friends. I can’t say I was expecting much of a story to justify and explain the shenanigans of the film outside of the simple hatred the characters have towards each other shown in the trailer, but I was pleasantly surprised that the plot was quite a lot deeper than than I suspected without trying to be too dramatic. Seth Rogen can obviously feel right at home in a comedy role, and Dave Franco has been around the block, but I was quite pleased to see that Zac Effron was able to hold his own in the role. Although I refuse to see most of Effron’s most popular films, I still feel like he is an actor with a lot of potential in the spotlight of Hollywood and I feel like he is making the transition to more mature roles extremely well. Overall, I would definitely recommend Neighbors if a crude comedy is what you’re in the mood for.
Godzilla: I thought Godzilla was fantastic. I am always happy when a movie can shock me with a plot detail I didn’t see coming. And (SPOILER ALERT) having Bryan Cranston’s killed of in the film and having it happen so early on left me absolutely dumbfounded. And the fact that there were multiple monsters in the film other than Godzilla also surprised me. I really enjoy Aaron Taylor-Johnson as an actor and I enjoyed his character overall, however, I definitely hear the complaints that his character seemed to lack good direction. However, I found the most amazingly exhilarating and exciting portions of the film were the fights between the monsters. I rarely scream in excitement the way I did when Godzilla shot energy out of his mouth. I had an absolute blast seeing this film on the big screen. And even if it isn’t an extraordinary film (I recognize that I’m usually an incredibly forgiving critic) it’s still an incredible Godzilla film.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: I find the new direction that the X-men franchise is taking to be extremely intriguing. Ever since the credits began to role on the midnight showing of X-men: First Class, my faith in the franchise has been restored in a very big way. And Days of Future Past has done more to renew my faith in the franchise than any other X-men film has. Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender turn in wonderful performances. Time travel often times leads to very intricate and intellectual story telling. I enjoyed getting to watch Wolverine having to deal with the difficulties and surprises of time travel, and getting to witness the major effects of his actions had on the overall timeline of the entire franchise. It’s safe to say the X-men franchise is heading in a new and exciting direction because of this latest installment.
Maleficent: Ever since I first heard about the concept of the Maleficent movie, I had my concerns, and when I found out that she was not only going to be the main character, but the protagonist, I had low expectations for the film. However, I still went and saw it and I’m glad I did. It’s a delightful and fun film. I found myself enjoying the chemistry between the characters as soon as they were introduced. Now, something to recognize about this film is that it is trying to identify certain plot details of the original Sleeping Beauty story as lies that were told in order to paint Maleficent as an evil, cold-hearted, demon. At first, there were times when I found these changes to be a bit odd, but I then recognized that both stories are completely made up, and getting offended as soon as someone calls one story a lie and the other truth would be silly and disliking the film because of that would be ridiculous. Angelina Jolie was fantastic in the role and her interactions with Aurora were absolutely adorable. On top of everything else, the film was visually stunning. The flight sequences were on pare with the flight scenes of How to Train your Dragon.
This in only the reviews of the movies I saw in May. Next time we’ll be discussing June. Let us know what you thought of these movies. If you disagree, tell us why (be polite). If you agree, tell us why (still, be polite).