‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’ Review

I saw two movies in theaters this week. One was the $130 million bloatfest that was Independence Day 2. The other was the New Zealand indie ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople.’ Hunt for the Wilderpeople, made for $128 million dollars less than ID4: 2, is the infinitely better movie between the two. Smart, funny, poignant and boasting a perfect rotten tomatoes score for the moment, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a great example of an applause worthy indie that will go under the radar because of bloatfests like Independence Day (although it looks like everyone is ignoring Independence Day in favor of Finding Dory, anyway). So, if you’re looking to support something small, offbeat and worthy of your hard earned disposable income this weekend, give some consideration to Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which should expand to most cities this Friday (7/1). Sam Neill and Julian Dennison are the truth.

The Diverse Vibrancy of Japan

This superb video travelogue from filmmaker Vincent Urban is a wonderful example of why Japan is at the top of my list for places to visit next. As the video shows, Japan is such a vibrant country in a diversity of ways. The dichotomy, pitting old traditions against eccentric sub cultures, produces a unique and spirited cultural landscape. One that I hope to visit soon. Plus, I mean, they have the Ghibli Museum and crazy robot shows, so that alone would be worth the trip.

No One is Happy in the New Game of Thrones Trailer

Today, HBO released the most thorough look yet at the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, utilizing a bleak montage set to always depressing tune of Chris Issac’s ‘Wicked Game’ (performed by James Vincent McMorrow in this case) to bring us up to speed on our favorite Westeros denizens. Unsurprisingly, everyone looks about as good as you think they would, which is to say they look terrible. I’m trying to figure out which character is remotely close to actually being content in this trailer (happiness seems to be completely off the table at this point, so let’s just stick with contentedness). You could maybe argue that it’s Cersei. Even though Cersei’s world is wrecked, you can tell she’s going to enjoy getting revenge with her undead zombie Ser Robert Strong (aka more than likely the zombie Mountain).

And not to dive too much into speculation, but even though we see confirmed dead Jon Snow shots, this screengrab of Davos appears to show him coming for Jon Snow’s body (more than likely to bring to Melisandre for revival purposes) and another screengrab shows what looks like a reanimated Jon Snow riding into battle. So….yeah. It’s also nice to see Bran and his new haircut back in the mix, even though it looks like he’s in a tough spot with the White Walkers.

This season will definitely be an interesting one, as it marks the first time no one outside of the cast and showrunners will know what lies ahead. Devout book fans will no longer be able to lord the knowledge of future events over the poor souls who haven’t read the books. The playing field for fandom will be leveled and I think it will actually be a welcome change. Everyone can now just enjoy the show without having to worry about keeping any commentary spoiler free. Season 6 premieres April 24, 2016 on HBO.

Every Frame A Painting : The Coen Brothers

Cinephiles rejoice. Tony Zhu’s superb Every Frame A Painting series has a new episode. This week’s entry highlights the cinematography of the Coen’s Brothers (specifically the use of shot/reverse shot in their films), examining how seemingly innocuous camera work is more meaningful than you would think at first glance. Zhu’s series, which has long been a favorite of mine, continues to offer a lot of quick and clean insight into cinema and I would highly recommend his series to anyone who has an interest in film beyond the casual moviegoer. If you like this video, be sure to visit Zhu’s youtube channel.

Eric’s Best Movies of 2015

(Eric’s second opinion list got buried in the original post, so he is getting his own post for his list)


poster_3_fury_road_mad_max_by_cesaria_yohann-d8rd4501 – Mad Max: Fury Road – The craziest movie I have ever seen. It felt like a two-hour long action scene, packed full of amazing stunts. I get bummed out when I hear anyone say that they haven’t seen it yet, because they’ll never be able to experience it on the big screen like I did, which really made it that much better. I can’t wait for George Miller to make more films set in this insane universe he’s created. (Trailer)

Best Scene: Max’s fight on the pole-cat as the tanker explodes. I remember Sam and I looking at each other when that happened.

 

9jxobVn2 – The Revenant – While Mad Max was two hours of crazy fun, this is 2+ hours full of complete brutality and human suffering. The film is shot to make the viewer feel like they are there with DiCaprio, by using natural light and long takes. It sounds like the production was a long, winter-ish nightmare but what came out of it was beautiful. (Trailer)

Best Scene: I won’t spoil it, but “Domhnall and a Tree Branch.” The bear attack is a close second.

 

 

star wars3 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Yeah, there was no way I wouldn’t love this movie. I think Conor is going to put it higher, and I’d love to, but while it was immensely satisfying, I did have some minor complaints with the plot and some of the character choices. However, it was exactly what I was hoping for in a new Star Wars movie, and I cannot wait for the next one to come out (in 18 months). (Trailer)

Best Scene: Snow falling on sabers

 

 

Stacey-Aoyama-Eric-Tan-Inside-Out-Movie-Poster-Disney-20154 – Inside Out – Pixar can really do no wrong, though I haven’t loved a movie of theirs in a few years, until this came out. While it wasn’t as funny as I would have hoped, the world they created was fun to explore and it really brought the feels. It probably goes in the top 5 of Pixar films for me (Up, The Incredibles, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc). (Trailer)

Best Scene: Poor Bing Bong!

 

 

spotlight5 – Spotlight – This film is really well done, very informative, and made me extremely upset about the topic. You really don’t get these kind of investigative movies anymore, but I wish there were more like this one. (Trailer)

Best Scene: When the expert tells the journalists on the phone that the number of cases they’ve uncovered are way too low for the size of a city like Boston.

 

 

 

sicario-movie-poster6 – Sicario – Villinueve is now a director that’s a must-see for me, especially after how much this movie brought the suspense. Also, good to see that Benicio Del Toro can still kick ass. (Trailer)

Best Scene: The prisoner transport over the border.

 

 

 

 

01-altposters7 – Ex Machina – A realistic sci-fi film that can be quite slow at times, but very thought-provoking. Oscar Isaac and Domnall Gleeson are just straight killing it. (Trailer)

Best Scene: Obviously the dance scene.

 

 

 

 

 

martian_ver68 – The Martian – Loved the book and the movie was a great adaptation, especially with the humor and what Matt Damon brought to the character. Though there were two big events near the end of the book that I really wished they had put in the movie. (Trailer)

Best Scene: When Watney finally makes contact with Earth via the Pathfinder

 

 

 

missionimpossibleposter9 – MI Rogue Nation – Tom Cruise is a messed up human being, but he’s a damn good actor. I never saw Spectre, but apparently the Mission Impossible series is becoming a much better spy franchise. The new additions, Rebecca Ferguson and director Christopher McQuarrie, were pretty awesome and I’m glad to hear that both of them will be back for the next film in the franchise. (Trailer)

Best Scene: The entire opera scene. Very Hitchcock-esque.

 

 

 

the-big-short-teaser-poster10 – The Big Short – A very interesting take and look in to the housing crisis that caused the 2008 economic recession. Filmed half like a faux documentary, you’d think a film about such a complex and confusing topic would be hard to watch but it was instead quite funny and enjoyable. They often cutaway from the plot and used famous people to explain a complicated topic, such as Selena Gomez and Anthony Bourdain, to much amusement. (Trailer)

Best Scene: JENGA! Also Carrell and Gosling are awesome in every scene.

 

Honorable Mention Scene: Michael Pena’s heist pitches from Ant-Man

Honorable Mention Movies: Steve Jobs, Ant-Man, Bridge of Spies

Haven’t Seen Yet But Want To: Anomalisa, Carol, Room, Crimson Peak, Bone Tomahawk