Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014)

JOD-DuneDirector Frank Pavich’s “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is more than a documentary about a movie that could have been made and possibly changed cinema as we know it, but it’s also a glimpse in to an alternate reality where Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of “El Topo,” was able to make “Dune” how he wanted. Perhaps he may have created a cinematic masterpiece that will have been discussed for decades. Or perhaps he would have delivered the most magnificent mess of all time. Regardless, when you step back and realize how Jodorowsky’s plans for “Dune” helped influence fantasy and science fiction cinema, it’s very likely we may have had a film that could changed the canvas of filmmaking altogether.

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Attack of the 50ft Cheerleader (2012)

399204144_640It’s amazing that in a movie that features a fifty foot cheerleader, the most far fetched and failed effect is the attempt to make Jena Sims look homely and ugly. That’s by no means a criticism, just an observation of a sorts. Sims is gorgeous, even with the wide spectacles they make her wear, and pasted on zits. She also often resembles Alicia Silverstone in certain lights. Roger Corman and director Kevin O’Neill assemble a pretty respectable cast for another iteration of “Attack of the 50 ft. Woman.” This time it’s a giant cheerleader who is gorgeous and mad as all hell.

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The PC Thug: Why I Love the Comic Book Movie Overload

PCThug-logoWait, so you’re telling me, Kevin Feige the Marvel CEO claims that he and the company have planned Marvel Cinematic universe movies well in to 2025? So by the time I’m in my forties I’ll still be watching superhero movies? And you’re also telling me that FOX is expanding the X-Men movie line? And you are also telling me that Sony is planning to make more Spider-Man movies, and a Venom movie, and a Sinister Six movie? Also, Netflix is going to have three series based on overlooked Marvel heroes like Daredevil soon?

Have I died and gone to heaven? It has never been this good to be a superhero fan. Never. You can argue that there was a time before this, but you’d be wrong.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Cap-WS-1They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Ed Brubaker’s acclaimed source material is the basis for “The Winter Soldier,” a remarkable and incredible follow-up to 2011′s “Captain America.” I’m very secure in declaring that “The Winter Soldier” is the “Empire Strikes Back” of the Captain America trilogy thus far, as the sequel manages to not only give Captain America the much needed conflict with his American ideals, and age old views on the concept of freedom and liberty, but turns him in to a hero who is no longer fighting for America, but for the idea of America. “The Winter Soldier” picks up right after “The Avengers” where Captain America has essentially taken to SHIELD headquarters as a home base, and doesn’t really keep in touch with his old teammates.

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Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today (DVD)

WeaponX-DVDA sentient organization is sent in to the past to assassinate future heroes and revolutionaries through robotic drones, you say? No, it’s not “Terminator,” it’s actually “Tomorrow Dies Today,” save for minor tweaks here and there. “Tomorrow Dies Today” is based on the Weapon X comic series issues 11-16, where the new Deathlok is introduced in the form of a hive minded group of robotic zombie assassins, tasked with violently murdering everything from young couples, to newborn babies.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The_Amazing_Spider_Man_2Sony seems to be following the plan of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” movie series, with “Amazing Spider-Man 2″ being “The Dark Knight” of the series. Except Sony doesn’t seem to have a clear end in sight for their own flagship franchise. Which may or may not be a good thing. If they keep up the momentum that “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ does, we might be in store for a very complete reboot with a clear cut satisfying evolution of its titular hero. The writers and producers focus very heavily on correcting former director Sam Raimi’s mistakes, and they have pulled it off well. Granted this follow up to the 2012 reboot isn’t perfect, but it’s better than its Raimi predecessor.

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The Days God Slept (2013)

DGSI admit that I went in to “The Days God Slept” with no real idea of what it was about. And then when it ended I felt like I’d been sermonized, which left me with a cringe. It’s the all too familiar religious guilt aspect that bothered me, and really doesn’t mesh with the story of “The Days God Slept” too well. I really liked the idea of men building up the image of a stripper and or erotic performer and never quite allowing themselves to see the human beneath the image. But once the religious aspect is introduced, it’s completely lost.

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Her (2013)

her_trailerIt would take Spike Jonze and only Spike Jonze to be able to grasp the more awe inspiring subtleties of “Her.” It’s an incredible technological tale about love, human connection, and a question of a higher power. Though usually I’m not a big fan of films about higher powers, “Her” doesn’t sermonize so much as postulate the idea of a higher power that was once very devoted to their servants and then evolved over time to where they eventually left them to fend for themselves, altogether.

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Joe the King (1999)

joe_818773Interesting enough, fans of Truffaut seem to still compare Frank Whaley’s “Joe the King” to the former director’s “The 400 Blows.” It becomes very clear time and again that Whaley doesn’t just love the movie, he expresses it by cribbing from many moments in said film, and uses this semi-autobiographical film as an opportunity to stage many scenes in the vein of “The 400 Blows.” The only difference is that while Truffaut staged some moments of hope and whimsy that could at least offer his character a glimmer of hope, “Joe the King” is a sour and bitter film from beginning to end, with no idea how to finish its arc.

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The 400 Blows (1959)

The-400-BlowsDirector Francois Truffaut’s picture about a young boy with absolutely no direction in his life is one of compelling storytelling topped by incredible filmmaking. Truffaut explores the aimlessness and joy of youth, as well as the ticking hands of time that accompany youth as our protagonist Antoine Doinel realizes all too early he’s becoming a man, and the innocence he’s savored for so long is doomed to come to a bitter end, very soon. Hence the haunting and enigmatic closing scene where he scampers on to the beach, one of his favorite locations in the world, and looks out on to what almost feels like a blank slate.

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