Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This Site May Start to Suck


My blog and podcast follower numbers are at their highest. This obviously gives me satisfaction, and more importantly, gives me motivation to work harder and produce better content. It also in theory means that I've been doing something right, because there has to be a reason people keep dropping by on a daily basis. The numbers still aren't big sponsor ready (though the current state of the Internet has made advertising far less lucrative) and after my two pitches towards Patreon, it has become obvious my readership/listenership isn't strong enough to be motivated to "donate" to my writing and recordings. The numbers are growing at a decent enough rate that I have a speckle of optimism that the site can grow and potentially lead to being a small part of my income (or just be what it has always been, a door to clients and writing for bigger sites that pay). 

While I have been happy with the work Scott and I do with the podcast, I largely feel a cloud of downpouring and electric shame over my blog. I confess most weeks that I feel the podcast can be deeper and tighter, but I am usually happy with the end product after recording. The blog has mostly frustrated me, even though I have complete control over its content and output rate. This is part of the reason that for the last two or three years, I keep posting pieces that declare a fresh and better start for the blog. In my odd and compulsive mind, my site can't start churning out greatness until I make a declaration that all things are anew. 

Of course, those posts really don't mean anything, and they mean even less if I just rewrite them every few months after weeks of posts of trailers, occasional reviews, and podcast promotion. The main reason for the "restarts" is because I want this site to be more than those things above. I keep telling myself I want it to resemble the articles that were posted on here in 2010 to 2012, but more professional and a stronger pop culture focus (with some occasional chronicles of my parenting adventures). I want it to have several pieces a day that range from hot takes on news, reviews of movies and television, variety of creative writing bits, humorous or thoughtful observations of my life, and be a place that provide some movie news along with deeper analysis pieces.

Except the more that I want to pile on here, the more it is one lone writer who also looks after kids during the day and has writing for other clients trying to be a one-stop shop site. Right there is kind of the problem, I am not the fastest of writers to begin with, but even with that hitch, that is way too much for any non-cyborg like being to tackle. 

It all gets worse because I am constantly hampered by the most productivity prohibitive form of perfectionism. This site could function quite well with a few 500ish word movie reviews a week, a few short pieces on news or movies, and a weekly larger thinkpiece. Part of the problem is my brain is a machine that pops out idea after idea at a rate that is far faster than my fingers can type and creates an itinerary that is far too much to ever finish in a week. This means I've often been taunted by pieces that I don't have time to give focus. It all is made worse when along with those taunts is a dark and insidious voice that says what I am currently writing or what I am planning to write isn't good enough or not the least bit interesting to anyone. Even if blog numbers or the occasional comments that I get contradict all that.

The worst thing about the voice is that it has meant that several reviews or thinkpieces that I've written will never to read by anyone because not only did I leave them unfinished, but eventually I deleted them with no way to recover them. This is something that has happened far too often, and is the epitome of foolishness for someone who feels that he never has enough time to get to all the projects and work. 

This blog is missing way, way, way too many written movie reviews from the past few years. Though at least in that case, most of them have been covered by the podcast. At times, I wonder if that is the best way to focus on my movie reviews. Though my gut and my mind won't stop nagging how important it is to have a written version and to try to go in avenues that are different than the ones explored by the podcast. The site is also missing tributes to celebrities like Carrie Fisher, George A. Romero, John G. Avildsen, Roddy Piper and Shirley Temple. It is missing pieces that have been bouncing around in my head regarding the modern (ridiculous and unhealthy) battle between conservatives and liberals, the dangers of hiding behind "fake news", how Everett's new events are more anxious for me than him, and only about fifty other ideas as well.

No matter how much people like my site or how great a single piece may turn out, I am nagged and dogged by the fact there should be way more and it should be way better. The easy solution is to quiet that nagging by writing one or two or ten of those pieces. It does get slightly harder when the brain doesn't help by adding in ten more each day. It gets even harder when the inner screams are tearing my work apart and making me fearful of exposing myself as a hack.

2017 has been a great year for movies (not much else), and there have been several movies that I could have championed on here. There have been some interesting themes and ideas that have arose from the type of movies that have been released this year that I have wanted to explore. I've done it to some extent, but not anywhere near to where I have wanted.

My point is I apologize. Apologize because I let those foolish voices win too often. I have it in my head that every piece needs to be ambitious and perfect and come hand delivered from heaven. My reviews need insight and analysis that no other writer was able to uncover. While my brain gives podcasts a pass and I have convinced myself trailer are piffling affairs that can posted swiftly before the echoes start up in my head, everything else gets hampered by my need for the composition of words to be award winners. Of course, that nasty voice forgets to mention you can't win literary awards with no words written and sites without daily content can't earn sponsors.

If my writing is to continue and I am going to meet each day despite the wall bouncing anxiety and the crippling self-doubt, then I have to accept that the voices aren't going anywhere any time soon. Instead of fearing them, I listen to them, I say "sure, you're right", and then write anyway. I accept what I just wrote was a steaming pile of awful and then subject all my readers to it anyway, The caveat being then I tell myself that I will try harder tomorrow and I will write better the next time. Then when that steaming pile of awful is posted, I tell myself there is tomorrow, and after that day there is tomorrow again. While I am at it, I will complete those disastrous novels and send out those putrid short stories, and I will get my rejections. Because maybe, just maybe, I will fool a publisher into liking my work, and everyone's taste turns out to slide towards the wretched, and my writing stumbles upon some success.

The bigger deal, is that if I keep on writing then the ideas clogging my head with get some release. If I write despite the voices screaming it is no good, maybe one day I will have written enough that one day that voice will say, "Okay, this was alright, maybe I'll give you a pass." Or I'll just laughing at that voice the same way that I do when Danika tries to convince me it was the dog that poured her cereal on her head. I have been around long enough to realize some voices are just straight-up wrong.

So, for the hundredth time, I promise this blog will have more content, but I will worry about the "better" for later. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

'Professor Marston & the Wonder Women' Trailer: Not Your Typical Super Hero Story


Fall is on its way and so that means all the Oscar bait trailers are starting to roll out. Nothing says Oscar bait like a biopic, and during the rise of superhero movies, I am shocked it has taken this long for there to be a movie about a comic book creator. Annapurna Pictures just released the first full trailer for its big fall feature in Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, which I had wrongfully believed was a documentary until I saw the trailer. Also based off this trailer, it seems to be far less about the creation of the iconic superhero, Wonder Woman, and more about the love triangle between Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and his mistress Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote).

I don't know much about the actual history of these figures, but the movie seems to have some intriguing drama. I am now on team Evans after his great performance in Beauty and the Beast, and Hall has been great in everything she has been in. I hope that the movie does explore further some of the problematic contradictions of Wonder Woman created as a feminist icon but the mixed message coming out of those original stories. Plus it seems like Marston himself had some divergent views opposed to what Wonder Woman signifies now.

The timing is right for this movie to be a decent hit for Annapurna, since Wonder Woman was a smash hit movie this summer and so her name is hotter than it has been in a long time. Of course, the material of this movie is likely to appeal to those that often skip out on super hero movies and wait until October to return to the movie theatres.

It at least looks to move away from many of the typical biopic beats and is willing to delve into some more controversial and interesting material. It hope this doesn't just go full tawdry romance and does explore some of the interesting elements of the comic's creation.

'Alpha' Trailer: Caveboy and His Friendly Wild Wolf


Alpha is slated to be one of Sony/Columbia Pictures' original movies for 2018. It was initially scheduled for this September and was called The Solutrean. It is set 20, 000 years ago in Upper Paleolithic era Europe (though, it wouldn't have been called that then). It is about a young teenage caveman who gets lost on a hunting expedition after he is presumed dead and then forms a relationship with a wolf. It also apparently stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (X-Men: Apocalypse, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Let Me In) but I did not recognize him at all as the lead in this trailer. I guess, I can credit either make-up and costume or the power of aging and growing out hair.

I really want to get excited for this movie. Any time there is a big studio production that isn't based off an established franchise, it is worth promoting and championing. But just being an original story isn't enough, it also needs to be good. I hate to say it, but this just doesn't look like a big studio movie but rather something out of an ambitious independent or a high budget TV series. I am going to assume that the date push is so that they can have more time on the post production and polish up the CGI. When we are world that gave us Jungle Book and War for the Planet of the Apes, this isn't going to cut it as a big movie event that is attempting to be taken as realistic and serious.

Speaking of being taken seriously, one of the early scenes where a cavemen is attacked by a savage animal elicited a laugh rather than fright. This the big problem with this trailer, it is coming off more as a parody of an early man move rather than the man fighting against and learning to respect nature story that it wants to be. Plus we've seen this story many times before with the survival tale in The Revenant, or hero bonding with the beast in The Good Dinosaur or even the cavemen tale in Quest for Fire. I'm not seeing anything new or interesting here, but I look forward to be proven wrong. I also thought Megan Leavey looked horribly generic and was a delightful surprise. What we need is more original movies and we need them to succeed. Though, we also need them to be actually original too.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Me This Week

As mentioned on this morning's The Breakdown.



In other news, yes, I have really sucked at posting written reviews on here again. But please check out this morning's show for glowing reviews for War for the Planet of the Apes and The Big Sick.

Also, not doing so swell on following through on my upcoming stuff post. Some of those will still be happening, but others will be replaced with something 100 times more awesome.

The Breakdown of "War for the Planet of the Apes", "The Big Sick", "To the Bone", "Chasing Coral", "Pixels", and Remembering George A. Romero


It is a huge week on The Breakdown as we have five big movie reviews including the much anticipated final chapter to what is one of the best trilogies ever, War for the Planet of the Apes. We also review a modern comedy that is actually getting critical praise and tries something cutting-edge like being funny in The Big Sick. We also look at Netflix originals in To the Bone and Chasing Coral. As well, we pay tribute to the man who created an entire horror subgenre in the zombie movie, George A. Romero. As always if you love the show then please spread the word so we can grow and get even better.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.


The Breakdown Outline:

4:41 To the Bone review
27:36 War for the Planet of the Apes review
47:30 Chasing Coral review
58:57 The Big Sick review
1:13:46 Pixels review
1:26:58 Remebering George A. Romero
1:39:26 Trailer Reviews: A Wrinkle in Time, Darkest Hour, Birth of a DragonDave Made a MazeThe Layover
1:55:33 Box Office Analysis
2:02:22 Review Rundown

Rating Rundown:

To the Bone ***½ (CS & SM)
War for the Planet of the Apes **** (CS)
Chasing Coral *** (CS & SM)
The Big Sick **** (CS)
Pixels * (CS) & *½ (SM)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1. Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2$145 049 000 
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming $117 015 000
3. Wonder Woman $100, 505 000
4. Transformers: The First Knight $45 300 000
5. War of the Planet of the Apes  $56 50 000
6. Baywatch: $18 100 000
7. The Mummy: $32 246 120
8. The House: $9 000 000
9. Atomic Blonde
10. Captain Underpants $23 500 000
Total: $546 651 120 

Scott's Picks:

1. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: $62 179 000
2. Despicable Me 3: $75 410 275
3. Alien: Covenant $36 000 000
4. Cars 3 $53 547 000
5. Dunkirk
6. Annabelle: Creation
7. Snatched $17 500 000
8. All Eyez on Me $27 050 000
9. The Emoji Movie
10. The Hitman's Bodyguard
Total: $271 686 275

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Summit: Eight Wonderful Years of Bone-Crushing Lap Sits, Unexpected Mountings, and Lots of Slobber -- And Love


Eight years ago today a ball of fur rolled out into this world. Several weeks later that fuzzball of cuteness was named Summit and a few weeks after that we took him home. He instantly became my furry and slobbering son. He only knows me as 'daddy' and Emily as 'mommy.' He would tilt his head and eventually walk away if you asked him to find Christopher. For three years, I considered him my baby boy, until a real and far less furry one came into my life. But he always has and always will be family.

He was there the day my grandma passed away and I didn't know how to manage my feelings other than break down and cry. For that entire day he refused to leave my side and allowed me to just squeeze him and sob.

Every day without fail, he will come ambling over while I am writing to stick his muzzle under my arm and fling it into the air. This is his way of letting me know it is time for some pets and hugs. It is also his way of reminding me that he loves me and he is always there for me.

When we finally got kids, he had little problem transitioning into climbing apparatus. He has had Everett and Danika sitting on his head countless times and been the mountain to conquer when they first started crawling. When he has enough of being a play toy, he quietly gets up and moves to another room. I know enough to tell the kids he isn't interested in them following. If they do, he puts up with it for a while before moving to the next location.


Danika loves Summit. I mean, really adores and loves him. She wakes up every day with her most frequent first question being about the whereabouts of 'doggy.' She cheers with glee when he runs into her room and if that doesn't happen, the celebration commences when we find him downstairs. He is her best friend. She loves letting him know when he is a "good boy", one of her highlights is giving him treats, she squeals with delight when he comes outside with us, and will often tell off her brother if she thinks he is teasing him.

He keeps me fit. We walk twice a day. Or at least, we are supposed to. I've been a little slack the last few months, and maybe that is partly why my emotions have been flaring up. My time with Summit in the cool evening is special. It is our time to unwind and decompress. It is when we bond.

My eight years with my constantly shedding and panting son has convinced me there is no such thing as "just a dog." Summit is family. Summit is my child. Summit is my love. Summit is my treasure. I can't imagine these past eight years without him. If I had a wish, it would be that I could get eight more with him. His breed makes that very unlikely, so I will settle with the remaining years being memorable.

He is still healthy and full of life. Like most Bernese Mountain Dogs, he is convinced that he is still a puppy. If you are sitting on the floor, he believes his 80 pound frame is perfect for your lap. If you are standing, he will sneak through your legs so that you have now mounted him. He just wants to be real close. He is a family dog, and he is a central part of my family.

Happy Birthday, my son Summit. Thank you for eight very special years.


Monday, July 10, 2017

The Breakdown of 'Spider-Man: Homecoming', 'Bone Tomahawk', 'The Girl with All the Gifts' and 'Mortal Instrument: City of Bones'


The Breakdown serves up a review of the latest big Marvel spectacular and the first collaboration with Sony Pictures in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It is the third launching of this franchise in 15 years but this time tries something different by focusing on Peter Parker's high school life. We discuss if this new direction works. As well we look at some genre pictures that may not be straight horror but definitely have some strong elements of it in the Western cannibal picture, Bone Tomahawk and the latest zombie picture, The Girl with All the Gifts. We also go all YA as we discuss The Mortal Instrument: City of Bones. Finally, we also look at the hug success of Wonder Woman and analyze what this means about the future of diveristy in tentpoles. As always if you enjoy the show then please spread the word to other movie lovers.

As well, you can check out my written review of Spider-Man: Homecoming right here.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.


The Breakdown Outline:

00:44 Spider-Man: Homecoming review
19:15 Bone Tomahawk review
37:15 The Girl with All the Gifts review
53:57 The Mortal Instrument: City of Bones review
1:08:34 Will Wonder Woman's success open up the door for more diverse tentpoles?
1:21:04 Box Office Anlysis
1:29:46 Trailer Review: Borg v. McEnroe, Geostorm, Icarus, A Family Man, The Foreigner
1:44:26 Review Rundown

Rating Rundown:

Spider-Man: Homecoming ***½ (CS)
Bone Tomahawk ***½ (CS & SM)
The Girl with All the Gifts ***½ (CS & SM)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones *½ (CS) & ½* (SM)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1. Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2$145 049 000 
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming $117 015 000
3. Wonder Woman $100, 505 000
4. Transformers: The First Knight $45 300 000
5. War of the Planet of the Apes  
6. Baywatch: $18 100 000
7. The Mummy: $32 246 120
8. The House: $9 000 000
9. Atomic Blonde
10. Captain Underpants $23 500 000
Total: $490 151 120 

Scott's Picks:

1. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: $62 179 000
2. Despicable Me 3: $75 410 275
3. Alien: Covenant $36 000 000
4. Cars 3 $53 547 000
5. Dunkirk
6. Annabelle: Creation
7. Snatched $17 500 000
8. All Eyez on Me $27 050 000
9. The Emoji Movie
10. The Hitman's Bodyguard


Total: $271 686 275

Friday, July 07, 2017

'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Review: An Icon Redone Right


Rating: **
Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier
Director: Jon Watts
Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Story By: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley
Source Material: Spider-Man comic book series by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Cinematographer: Salvatore Totino
Editor: Dan Lebental & Debbie Berman
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
Rated: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (US) - Violence, Language May Offend
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Run Time: 133 minutes

Marvel Studios has developed a solid and structured formula for success with their super hero epics: kick-off with a fast paced action sequence, follow with funny character development scenes, build-up a villain with a diabolical plan that creates stakes, have the hero start to doubt their effectiveness, and then cap it off with a massive special effects battle spectacle. Even though almost every one of their movies hits all of those beats, they have so confidently refined the formula that they can dip into different genres to at least create a feeling of freshness and unique storytelling. We get a rather diverse collection of movies like a comedic heist picture in Ant-Man, an irreverent space opera in Guardians of the Galaxy, a LSD like trippy fantasy adventure in Doctor Strange, and a 1970s stylized political thriller in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So, Sony Pictures made the right move when they decided to hand over the storytelling to Marvel Studios when launching the Spider-Man franchise for a third time in 15 years.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is still a reboot and a big special-effects laden action extravaganza, but for large stretches it also feels like a classic John Hughes-ish style high school dramedy. It also smartly recognizes that most of the audience have seen the Spider-Man origin story twice and trusts all of us know how Peter Parker got his powers, so we arrive with him already fully formed as Spider-Man. Or as fully formed, as a puberty stricken 15 year old male can possibly be.

Director Jon Watts along with screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley are far more interested in a character-driven exploration into the daily challenges of insecure and awkward teenagers but still serve up big visual action sequences like battling a villain with a sonic blasting fist or Spider-Man rescuing his classmates from a plummeting elevator.

Creating a realistic and authentic high school picture needs believable teenage leads, and Tom Holland is a wonder as Peter Parker. He feels like a natural and average teenager that has a hard time talking to his crush Liz (Laura Harrier), struggles to stand up to his bully Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), geeking out over the prospect of building a LEGO Death Star with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and through it all giving the vibe of a young teenager uncomfortably trying to find his place in the world. His place is obviously as a super hero protecting Queens New York, where in his Spider-Man suit he exudes confidence and has a sharp wit and biting one-liners while taking down bank robbers and thieves. This is where he finds his purpose and gets to feel like he is contributing to the world.

Watts differentiates this from so many other super hero flicks, because Parker doesn't just suddenly figure out how to properly use his powers and crime-fighting technology. Plus he is still an immature and gawky 15 year old boy, so he is prone to making mistakes. Much like the initial intent of the comic book series conceived by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the suit is an allegory for puberty and the struggle of trying to shift ones way into adulthood. We get stuff like the very funny homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (more John Hughes' inspiration) where a still getting used to his suit Spider-Man smashes and falls through several backyards making a major mess while trying to chase some criminals. You get almost heroic moments like when Spider-Man uses his webs to pull back together a lasered in half ferry that is full of innocent people, but not only did some of his decisions create that problem but he doesn't quite have the skill to save them on his own. This is what is so refreshing about this movie, Parker has good intentions, but like every teenager, he makes a lot of foolish choices and mistakes that often cause as much trouble as the villains.

This leads to a great father figure in Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) who has a mentoring and at times antagonistic relationship with Parker. Holland and Downey have an incredible chemistry with each other where you believe they have a respect and affection for each other but also sense the growing frustration between each other. Much like what really exists between almost every teenager and their parent. Parker desperately wants to join the Avengers, but Stark feels he isn't ready and should be content just as a "friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man." Parker is frustrated because he has the skills and abilities to be a hero, but Stark feels he lacks the experience and maturity. This relationship also leads to a fun running gag where Starks has his assistant Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) oversee Parker and leads to Parker constantly calling and texting an exceedingly exasperated and agitated Hogan to try to convince him he is ready to join the big team.

Spider-Man: Homecoming shines because it is a movie that is grounded with relatable characters and has a script jammed with humour that unfold naturally. You have comedic performers with sharp, dry-wit like Martin Starr and Hannibal Buress used fantastically as teachers who seem to just be going through the motions to survive their job. Captain America (Chris Evans) has the perfect comedic cameo as the celebrity in several PSA's played throughout the school, while students debate if he is a war criminal now after the events of Civil War. Zendaya is terrific as the snarky Michelle who uses his sly remarks to mask her true feelings and has a fun relationship with Parker. All of Parker's interactions with his fellow students feel authentic, but he has an endearing friendship with Ned that brings the heart of the movie, as the two geek out over Parker's super powers and Ned dreams of ways he can be the sidekick. Marisa Tomei may be the youngest Aunt May yet, but she brings a maturity and wisdom to her role, and even though she is underused, she excels in her few scenes with Holland.

This intimate and character-driven approach leads to Marvel's best villain since Loki in Michael Keaton's intimidating Adrian Toomes who has the alter ego of Vulture (when he is in his robotic flying suit). It is so effective not only because Keaton is haunting while also giving the emotional layers that make him at times vulnerable, but he also isn't the generic villain that that is trying to destroy the world. He has real motives as he and his guys were laid off several years ago by Starks Industries on a job where they were retrieving and dismantling the alien technology left behind from the war in the original Avengers movie. Toomes is now out of a job but also has several men who no longer have a means to support their families either. This makes Toomes a relatable figure as it is easy to understand why he resorts to stealing some of the alien technology and turning it into high-tech weapons that he sells on the black market. His intentions of providing for his crew and his own family is noble, even if his act of unleashing city destroying weapons are disastrous. He also is less than impressed with Spider-Man trying to stop him, so he has the added crime of attempting murder.

So yes, we still get the loud and flashy chaotic finale, but the road there is bouncy, charming, and energetic because we care about these characters and the majority of the movie is more about delighting and making us laugh. For those that come for the big action, Watts adds personality and significant visual wonder to his battles with Vulture and Shocker (a terrific Bokeem Woodbine who bring personality to a one note character) and adds significant stakes to events like Spider-Man crawling up a tower or saving a storekeeper from his burning shop. This seems like the right time to mention that if you see this is in 3D, you will get a crisp and gorgeous experience that lets you soak up Salvatore Totino's great cinematography, but it doesn't really add anything to a movie that would look just as amazing in 2D (though sadly, so many movies looks worse in 3D, so this is still a positive).

Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the new and bold strategy implemented by other 2017 comic book movies Logan, Wonder Woman, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 where it actually focuses on creating an entertaining story rather than expanding its cinematic universe or opening up doors for spin-offs. This may be partly due to the fact Marvel Studios produced this picture but Sony Picture is still distributing it. We get a significant role for Iron Man, reference to past events in the Marvel Universe, but no blatant setting up for next summer's Avengers: Infinity War. Unlike the not-very-good The Amazing Spider-Man 2, there are no obvious attempts to set-up Sony's own Spider-verse franchise. Instead, we have two stingers where one is done for pure comedy and another, is more specifically setting things up for a Spider-Man sequel (even then, it also works well as wrapping up the story). This almost gives me hope that studios are finally figuring out the best way to build audiences is focusing on delivering a really good movie.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is that really good movie that has its own unique personality and creates characters you really care about and hope to see again. Stars have been made and my heart has been won over, and it is a strong enough start that maybe we don't even need to reboot this franchise for at least another decade.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Plans for Next Few Months

Even though things haven't been hopping and bopping on here, my brain has been zapping with many article ideas. Some of these article ideas are ones that I hope to be able to convince a well paying magazine or site to be its host. There are others that I know will live much happier here and so that is where they will be posted. The point is that there will be lots to read from me over the next several months.

Here are a few things you can expect to see on the blog over the next few months:

There will be timely theatrical reviews for the big motion picture events this July in Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, and of course the biggest of them all, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

I will be upping the retro movie reviews including not just written version of what will be on the podcast over the next two months, but as well, in-depth reviews of the first four Alien movies.

This may not happen until near the end of August, but I will be starting the weekly serialized fiction story that I've been squawking about this year.

I've had a piece about the rising adversity between liberals and conservatives that I'm finally going to gut out and post. I'll also have some Trump stuff that mainly revolves around his obsession with media and how the state of journalism has caused many of the issues but not the way Trump claims.

Like above, I will be writing more pieces that are pop culture focused but not specifically movies. One of the more complex pieces that I'm working through is how when a celebrity is accused of a crime like rape and even when the evidence is irrefutable, some circles treat them like the victim just because they liked their TV show.

I have several personal pieces about parenting that have been germinating and stewing. The big one is my own working through the fact that my little boy is heading into Grade 1 and how that is a much bigger deal for me than him. I'm hoping to write a lot more honest and personal pieces over the next few months.

I want to start channelling the type of pieces that I wrote on here from 2010 to 2013. I want to do more humour pieces or things that are outright bizarre, but also more reflection on all the zaniness that is going around this world.

I have tribute pieces that are in some cases years old that I want to write because it is the best way I process things. I will definitely have some pieces on Carrie Fisher, Shirley Temple, and Roddy Piper.

A bunch of other stuff that is super secret, mostly because I can't remember it at the moment. I can't give specific dates for when stuff will arrive because currently, all these pieces just exist inside my head and may turn out very differently once the writing process begins.

The Breakdown of 'Baby Driver', 'Despicable Me 3', 'Okja', 'You Get Me', and 'Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press'


It is a jam-packed episode of the Breakdown with five movie reviews including Edgar Wright's heist picture Baby Driver and the latest in a popular animated franchise in Despicable Me 3. As always if you love the show then please spread the word to other movie fans. As well, let us know if you would be interested in us setting up a Patreon account, with the goal that we'd be able to make a second weekly show and I'd review all the new theatrical releases.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.


01:11 Okja review
21:56 Baby Driver review
34:58 You Get Me review
47:13 Despicable Me 3 review
57:39 Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press review
1:09:42 Trailer Reviews: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,The Greatest Showman,Bad Moms Christmas, Polaroid, I Do. . . Until I Don't
1:24:18 Box Office Anlysis
1:32:37 Revew Rundown

Rating Rundown:
Okja ***½ (CS & SM)
Baby Driver ***½ (CS)
You Get Me * (CS) & *½ (SM)
Despicable Me 3 **½ (CS)
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press **½ (CS & SM)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1. Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2$145 049 000 
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
3. Wonder Woman $100, 505 000
4. Transformers: The First Knight $45 300 000
5. War of the Planet of the Apes  
6. Baywatch: $18 100 000
7. The Mummy: $32 246 120
8. The House: $9 000 000
9. Atomic Blonde
10. Captain Underpants $23 500 000
Total: $373 700 120 

Scott's Picks:

1. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: $62 179 000
2. Despicable Me 3: $75 410 275
3. Alien: Covenant $36 000 000
4. Cars 3 $53 547 000
5. Dunkirk
6. Annabelle: Creation
7. Snatched $17 500 000
8. All Eyez on Me $27 050 000
9. The Emoji Movie
10. The Hitman's Bodyguard
Total: $271 686 275