Mini Review: ‘Furious 7′

furious 7

Furious 7 builds on the formula that made Fast 5 such a surprise success. It’s a fantasy action movie that happens to have cars in it, and if you’re invested in these characters already, Furious 7 finishes their story in a satisfying way.

In fact, I’d even say in terms of tone and spirit, it’s pretty much the best movie they could have made for their “one last ride.”

Everything you might hate about these movies — such as the glaring plot holes, egregious butt shots, and fifth-grade dialogue — is still there, but the slick action scenes and escalating plot points are just as prominent. I can’t say I was properly immersed in Furious 7 (I still think Fast 5 is the best of the franchise), but it held my attention admirably, considering it runs over 2 hours.

The film also pays genuine tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died tragically before they finished shooting. It was uncharacteristically emotional for these movies, but in the best way possible.

One question though: Why are all the tough guys in these movies bald?

Anyone Else Getting Sick of Deadpool?

deadpool

I forget where I read it first (it was probably a Tweet), but yes, Deadpool (Fox’s apology movie for the popular anti-hero being butchered in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) will be rated “R.”

I’m glad, but the way this news was delivered via a crass video and the subsequent Ryan Reynolds Tweet just all seem a bit…much to me. I’m not complaining because Fox is literally giving the fans everything they want. And I really want to sit down and watch a good movie about Deadpool (especially with the Zombieland writers behind it).

I just sort of wish I wasn’t getting sick of it so early. As much as I love the comics, Deadpool is a character I can only handle in small doses. Yes, he’s funny and unpredictable, but that inane wackiness gets old after a while. For the same reason Zombieland doesn’t provide a complete escape from truth and believability (though it goes pretty far), I don’t want to be immersed out of Deadpool because it’s so scared of disappointing fans.

But that’s just me.

Disney is Making a Live-Action ‘Mulan’

mulan live-action

From THR:

Disney bought a script by writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney’s 1998 animated film.

I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. On the one hand, Mulan is certainly a great story that would be served well on the big screen as a live-action adaption.

On the other hand, this will likely be closer to the Disney version of Mulan, which is a story that is completely removed from live-action Disney remakes we’ve seen so far. It’s one thing to make a live-action Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty/Maleficent. It’s another to move away from fairy tale movies and make something that is as historical as it is mythology.

It’s risky, but I would be enthralled if it turned out well. More so than anything they can come up with for their live-action Beauty and the Beast.

‘Home’ Review, DreamWorks vs. Will Ferrell, Lex Luthor

home review https://jonnegroni.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/home-review.m4a

This week on the Now Conspiring podcast, Adonis and I share our thoughts about Home, the latest DreamWorks movie that feels like it’s ripping off Lilo and Stitch 13 years too late. We also talk about the strange similarities between DreamWorks movies and Will Ferrell movies. As in, we can’t decide how to like them.

Hope you enjoy the show. If you do, consider rating us on iTunes (and subscribing if you haven’t already). We appreciate your awesome words, and all feedback is good feedback when you’re a podcast about conspiring.

Questions of the weekWhich do you like better? DreamWorks movies or Will Ferrell movies?

Fan Theories We Actually Don’t Hate

fan theories

On this special episode of the Now Conspiring podcast, we talk fan theories. Mainly, the ones we totally believe should be real. They’re all pretty solid except for mine.

We also review Divergent Series: Insurgent and cover some fun trivia surrounding the film. Stick around for our Netflix Recommendation of the Week, and we finish the show with new Movie Releases we’re looking forward to this upcoming weekend.

Question of the Week: Which fan theory did you like the most from this week’s show?

Enjoy the show, and don’t forget to rate the show and subscribe on iTunes if you haven’t already! We totally appreciate your support.

The Official Character Descriptions for ‘Inside Out’ Are Brilliant

inside out character descriptions

From Stitch Kingdom:

JOY (voice of Amy Poehler)
Joy’s goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. Joy sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy.

FEAR (voice of Bill Hader)
Fear’s main job is to protect Riley and keep her safe. He is constantly on the lookout for potential disasters, and spends time evaluating the possible dangers, pitfalls and risk involved in Riley’s everyday activities. There are very few activities and events that Fear does not find to be dangerous and possibly fatal.

ANGER (voice of Lewis Black)
Anger feels very passionately about making sure things are fair for Riley. He has a fiery spirit and tends to explode (literally) when things don’t go as planned. He is quick to overreact and has little patience for life’s imperfections.

DISGUST (voice of Mindy Kaling)
Disgust is highly opinionated, extremely honest and prevents Riley from getting poisoned — both physically and socially. She keeps a careful eye on the people, places and things that Riley comes into contact with — whether that’s broccoli or last year’s fashion trend. Disgust always has the best of intentions and refuses to lower her standards.

SADNESS (voice of Phyllis Smith)
None of the other Emotions really understand what Sadness’s role is. Sadness would love to be more optimistic and helpful in keeping Riley happy, but she finds it so hard to be positive. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is just lie on the floor and have a good cry.

Unfortunately, Pixar hasn’t released the official character bios for any of the human characters, like Riley and her parents, as well as Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong.

But I absolutely love the ideas behind each of these characters, especially Fear, Anger, and Disgust. When you watch the trailer, it’s easy to find these emotions less “important” because they mess everything up without Joy and Sadness around. It’s sort of easy to look down on them for being themselves.

These character descriptions go a long way toward generating real depth to these emotions. Anger isn’t just angry because he’s voiced by Lewis Black. He has a real interest in making sure the world is “fair” for Riley. Fear is simply trying to protect her. In the same way, Disgust preserves Riley’s true sense of self. That’s just good writing.

inside out character descriptionsInterestingly, Sadness is the least fleshed out, which is surely intentional. Her motivations are something we’ll have to see pan out over the course of about an hour and a half. Is it June yet?

Mini Review: ‘Insurgent’

insurgent review

Divergent Series: Insurgent (or just Divergent 2: Insurgent if you want it to have a better title) tries hard to make a “great” movie out of the good first entry in this franchise, but it fails to set itself apart.

While Divergent was a familiar, but exciting, mashup of several young adult book movie tropes, Insurgent is essentially one long chase scene that relies solely on ripple effects from the first film.

Gone are the interesting themes of discovering where you fit into society and the abuse of power as a consequence of obsessive classification. Instead, the movie swaps its genre — and even some of its themes — for “you are very special” ideas that feel like the easy way out for this decently built world.

Though the action scenes are excellent and the characters are worth investing into, Insurgent has a weak, convoluted narrative filled with plot holes and gaps in its story that will provoke eye-rolls. Of course, fans of the franchise will be much more forgiving, since there’s still plenty for them to love here.

Rated: PG-13 (For intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements and brief language)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller

Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Directed ByRobert Schwentke

Written ByAkiva Goldsman, Brian Duffield, Mark Bomback

In Theaters: Mar 20, 2015 (Wide Release)

Runtime: 1 hr. 59 min.


 

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