Finding Dory Update – Plot Details & New Characters

Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer and director of Toy Story 1 & 2, John Lasseter gave updates on Pixar’s upcoming films over the next several years at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. One of those films is a sequel many of us are excited about, Finding Dory. Its been twelve years since Pixar took us on an underwater adventure into the deep blue sea, and it sounds like they have some exciting stuff in store for fans.

Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Finding Nemo) is returning to direct the sequel. The story will pick up six months after the original ending. Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who in the first film we learn has trouble with her memory, suddenly has memory of her childhood triggered while at Nemo’s school. Her curiosity regarding her family takes her on a new adventure to discover just who they are, and along the way is joined by Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo on her adventure.

It was revealed the film’s setting largely takes place at the Marine Biology Institute of California, where undersea creatures are cared for. Like the fish tank in the first film, the institute will be where many new characters are introduced.

Speaking of new characters, Dory’s parents will be voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy (as Jenny and Charlie). Other casting additions include Ty Burrell as a Beluga whale named Bailey, Katlin Olson as Dory’s adopted killer whale sister, and actors Dominic West and Idris Elba in undisclosed roles. Returning for the sequel is Nemo’s “Tank Gang“, including Gill (Willem Defoe) and Deb/Flo (Vicki Lewis).

Should we be having any doubts about Finding Dory, because I currently do not. I am no longer the target audience for these films, but Pixar has continued to find a way to make their animated films a pleasant experience for both children and adults. One final thought: I hope the turtles make an appearance in the film. As Crush would say, “that would totally rock!

Finding Dory releases in theaters on June 17, 2016

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Now You See Me is Getting a Third Installment

Before Now You See Me: The Second Act hit theaters next summer, Lionsgate is moving forward with a third film. According to Variety, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer was on a conference call w/ company analysts and mentioned “We’ve already begun early planning for ‘Now You See Me 3”.

This move shows much confidence from Lionsgate in what they’ve seen so far of the sequel. Production on The Second Act just wrapped, and the cast will be slightly different than the previous. Isla Fisher, who played the female magician in the group and Melanie Laurnet, the Interpol Agent and partner to Mark Ruffalo’s character will not be returning. Joining the sequel is Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan (The Interview).

As a fan of the first film, I’m looking forward to the upcoming sequel. It wasn’t a perfect film by any means, but the plot misdirection and chemistry of the cast made it entertaining. The additions of Radcliffe and Caplan has my interest. We’ll know in time if Lionsgate made the right choice.

Now You See Me: The Second Act releases on June 10th, 2016

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‘Ex Machina’ Movie Review; One of the Best Movies of the Year

Score; 9.5/10.

Unexpectedly funny, creative, smart and refreshing, Ex Machina is arguably the best movie of year so far and is undoubtedly a great piece of cinema. For those who don’t know much about this movie, check out the synopsis and trailer below.

Synopsis (IMDB):

A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.

To simply put it; this movie is absolutely amazing! As I was leaving the theater I told my friend, “This is why I love movies!” and anytime I say that about a film, it means that it is great in my eyes. Now before people get too exciting and think they might love it as much, I must say that this movie is definitely not for everyone. There are a lot of slow moments, which are great in pushing the story forward, but I could see how some people would get bored if they aren’t fascinated with things such a great acting and dialogue. Other than that it is a great film that is almost perfect, having a few flaws and holes at the end. Let me get into some of the things that really worked and the few things that did not.

The Good:

  • The acting- This movie does not work without these spectacular performances, especially that of Oscar Isaac. Isaac is so amazing in his role as the genius billionaire who is a little messed up in the head. This is my first time experiencing one of Isaac’s movies and I am completely blown away by how great of an actor he is. Ex Machina definitely thrives off his performance. However, it is really the ensemble cast that makes this movie amazing. Domhnall Gleeson is perfect for the role he was cast in and works very well with Oscar Isaac. These two have great chemistry and tension on screen and it has a strong presence in the movie (FYI we will see them both in Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year!) . Also, Alicia Vikander, who plays the AI female robot “Ava” in the movie does a great job and is really believable as an artificial intelligence.
  • The setting- Most of the movie takes place on this billionaire’s estate, which is at an undisclosed piece of land that no outsiders have access to. This forces the movie to have a closed setting that only has between three or four beings that interact within in it. That is why the actors had to be strong in this movie and, with only a few faces seen throughout the entirety of the film, the ones that are in it have to be engaging. Also, surrounding this estate is all nature; trees, rocks, rivers and waterfalls that are all so beautiful to look at.
  • The dialogue- Relating back to the acting and setting, the dialogue had to be great in this movie in order to impress viewers since there isn’t much action or physical activity going on. Writer and director of Ex Machina, Alex Garland, deserves all the credit for writing an excellent script that not only tells a great story but has dialogue that is funny, realistic and on-point all the way around. Every line of every conversation in this movie is significant to the overall plot and theme and you really have to pay attention to keep up with it all.
  • CGI/Special Effects- In an era where movies are filled with tons of CGI/Special Effects this movie doesn’t have much, just the AI robots, but “Ava” looks incredible and very realistic, as you can see in the picture at the top of this article and in the trailer. The way you can see her inside-mechanics moving is so awesome and it’s like nothing I’ve seen in movies as far as AI robots go.
  • Themes/Message- I usually don’t discuss the themes of a movie in my reviews but it is such a highlight in this movie that it is something I have to mention. The obvious theme is that of artificial intelligence one day taking over the world and leaving humans in the dust. Although this has been somewhat of an overused theme throughout Hollywood, especially in the last of couple decades, but Ex Machina is very unique in the way it executes this theme. There are several underlying themes in the film as well, including humans’ relationship with technology and how our entire personality and identity is revealed through what we do online. There is a moment in this movie that brings this theme to realization and it’s honestly scary to think about because it’s true! If someone were to see all of the things we as individuals search for and do online then our entire identity would be exposed. Ex Machina does a great job of presenting this theme and exploring it.

The Bad: WARNING; THIS NEXT PART OF MY REVIEW HAS MINOR SPOILERS!

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  • Character inconsistency- This is something my friend pointed out to me as we left the movie and it wasn’t something I considered until I heard it. So Oscar Isaac’s character, Nathan, is established from his introduction as a physical guy who is in shape and could handle his own in a fight. Near the end of the movie, he has to fight “Ava” as she attacks him. Without spoiling too much, he does not put up much of a fight at all and seems very physically weak in this scene when he could have done a lot more to defend himself. I wasn’t bothered by this too much but it is a little inconsistency in the movie that could’ve been handled better.
  • The ending- From reading my review it’s evident that I love this movie, however it does something at the end that I absolutely despise in movies. It has one of those indeterminate endings that leaves you hanging and as an audience member you are supposed to guess what happens next… I really don’t like when movies do this and if it weren’t for this I probably would have given Ex Machina a perfect score. It wasn’t as bad as most indeterminate endings in movies but it still really bothered me. Some people might argue that these endings are great and thought provoking since it forces the viewer to use their imagination and guess what happened based on their perspective. Well I think that is freaking ridiculous but that’s just my opinion, no offense if you like these type of endings.

Conclusion:

There is no question that I think Ex Machina is an excellent movie that is so creative and original. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time in a movie that pretty much has no action. This movie lives and dies with it’s performances, especially those of Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. With incredible dialogue and a unique look at artificial intelligence, Ex Machina is the best movie of year in my opinion, not necessarily my favorite (that title belongs to Avengers: Age of Ultron) but definitely the best in overall quality as a movie.

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What’s Up with This Latest Fantastic Four Promo?

Hold the phone! There is actually something I do not like from this upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. Anyone who has been following this blog knows I’m highly optimistic about this film despite all the criticism I’ve read over the past year. The trailers are great, especially at separating themselves from the previous films, and anyone who hasn’t visited the Fantastic Four official website should do so. All that said, what is up with this latest promo video?

The first three quarters of this video look cool, as it displays each Fantastic Four member’s powers. Then it shifts the focus of the film to someone buying movie tickets on an app. This smells like desperation from the studio and I don’t like it. If you want to boost excitement for the film, then keep on the current path of your marketing. Give us one more trailer between now and August 7th. Wow us like I know you will when we watch this.

This sort of reminds me of those Burger King promos that X-Men: Days of Future Past did that were awful. Remember those? At least the end result for the film was highly positive, and hopefully the same can happen for Fantastic Four.

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World War Z Sequel Release Date Announced

The sequel will hit theaters four years after 'World War Z' scored $540 million worldwide.

Paramount Pictures has announced the release date for World War Z 2, the sequel to the Brad Pitt led zombie apocalypse flick. The film will open in theaters on June 9th 2017. So far the only casting info is that Pitt will reprise his role as former U.N investigator Gerry Lane. Directing the sequel is Juan Antonia Bayona (The Impossible), from a script by Steven Knight (Locke).

Well I’m happy about this, even if others aren’t so much. I didn’t read the same titled novel from Max Brooks, but I still enjoyed the zombie thriller. The first film hauled in over $540 million worldwide, which is pretty impressive for a film that suffer through script re-writes and other delays throughout its production. On the bright side for fans of the books, this sequel is being approached with a “clean slate”, meaning more elements from the source material.

Hey, we’re getting a sequel anyway, so I can respect that they’re listening to the fans who are upset. We’ll just have to wait and see how well the execution is.

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In Theaters This Week (May 21,2015); ‘Tomorrowland’ & ‘Poltergeist’ Remake

Yo, movie lovers! What’s up. We are getting to that time of year where there is at least one significant movie coming out each week; AKA the time of year all my money goes to movies. This is an interesting week as we have Disney’s Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney, and a remake of the classic horror film Poltergeist.  Check out the trailers below and decide for yourself which one you will be seeing this weekend!

Tomorrowland starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney, directed by Brad Bird (The IncrediblesMission Impossible: Ghost Protocol).

I’m hearing mixed reactions on whether Tomorrowland is good or not but I’ll just have to find out myself. I can almost guarantee it will be a fun time at the theaters and at least be visually satisfying. That and having George Clooney in your movie is never a bad thing.

 

Poltergeist starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House)

I haven’t seen the original but I’ve heard from several people that it is terrifying for its time. Hopefully this remake puts a new spin on it without departing too much from the original. In an era where there aren’t too many good horror movies, I’ll be curious to see if Poltergeist can stand out as one that is.

 

Well there you go! All you need to know about the major releases this week. Also in theaters still is Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7Ex MachinaHot Pursuit, The Age of Adaline and many others. Let us know what you’re going to see or if you’ve seen the latest releases!

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“Project X” Sequel Announced. Get Ready to Party Again!

Its been a hectic week so far, I’m currently half way done with finals for my 1st year in college. Once this week is over I intend on kicking back and partying for a bit. Speaking of parties, there’s a film out there called Project X which features the best party I’ve ever seen in a film. The 2012 found footage comedy documents an entire day where three high schoolers attempt to throw the biggest party ever and make themselves legends among their school. Its a very fun film that’ll make you want to party, and it features a jamming soundtrack. Warner Bros has finally announced the sequel titled Project XX.

I expected the studio to announce this sequel years ago, but the fact that its happening is all that matters. Todd Phillips (The Hangover films) produced the 2012 film, and I expect him to help get this one going as well. No castings have been announced, but I expect the project (no pun intended) to feature a new cast perhaps attempting to out do the first film’s party.

Here’s the trailer below for Project X. Go watch it, if you haven’t. The sequel is scheduled to release on August 19, 2016, which is a date I don’t agree with. I would rather release it earlier in the summer to get the party started, since that’s when school finishes but whatever.

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