The upcoming movie The Dark Tower hopes to bring Stephen King’s complex universe to an even wider audience. But before you head to the theaters, here are a few important things newbies should know about the books.
The books were written in the past tense.
There are no magical snowmen in the books. None. So if there is a magical snowman in the movie, know that the movie is deviating heavily from the source material.
When stacked on top of each other, the books are not as tall as a normal person. It’s maybe two feet, at best and depending on the editions.
The Canadian versions of the book cost a little more than the American versions.
One of the books is named The Wolves of the Calla and none of the books are named Snow What: Snow-Fellow Pete in the Minotaur’s Maze.
None of the books rhyme, so it’s very hard to sing them out loud at a talent show. Also it will take several hours to sing them out loud so give yourself time.
Around the release of each new Fast and Furious movie, you will notice an increase in the amount of cars (usually “tricked out” 2003 Honda Civics) driven by leaning drivers — drivers who shift their body and head in such a way as to let other drivers know what’s up. Here’s a printable guide to what the lean means. (click to enlarge)
Few actors have a career like that of Tom Hanks. It wasn’t easy to make this list, since there are so many long-forgotten gems in the VHS box. But after careful study, here are my favorite Hanks films.
Saving Private Ryan
Such an honest performance of a man fighting a war out of a sense of honor and duty. He doesn’t want to be there, but thank God he is.
How can you not fall in love with America’s charming man-child as he hijacks history.
Toy Story 2
Better than the original? Just barely!
He’s the dad we all wanted, and the robot we all needed. He was robbed of an Oscar for this one.
Disney’s Catcher in the Rye
A new character was added to the dull and dreary story of Holden Caulfield, and who better to play Holden’s funny and lighthearted chauffeur than Hanks himself! Hanks’ character, Mr. Blythe, uttered the now-iconic line, “You keep Holden on to those dreams, Mr. Caulfield.” One of cinema’s most beautiful death scenes.
Slow Down, Vanessa!
He’s a nerdy helicopter pilot. She’s a college senior on Spring Break who wants to take a flying lesson. And we’re just along for the ride in this early entry into the Hanks oeuvre. Continue reading My Favorite Tom Hanks Movies→
I haven’t seen many of the Oscar nominated films this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hand out awards for specific achievements.
Best Random Nudity: Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Here’s a great movie about family and modern society and then WHAM, there’s Viggo sipping his morning coffee with his ding-dong on display. It’s a funny moment. And Viggo deserves the Oscar nomination this year for his modern-society-hating character. It’s also not the first time I’ve seen Viggo’s ding-dong — he showed it off during a tense fight scene in Eastern Promises, another film which earned Viggo an Oscar nomination. Seems like whenever Viggo let’s the little guy breath, he gets nominated for an award. That’s enough to boost any man’s ego.
Best “Wow” Moment: The airport fight, Captain America: Civil War
I never would have thought that of all the Marvel characters, the best movies would focus on Captain America, but with Civil War and Winter Soldier, it’s clear that the Cap movies are Marvel’s strongest. Part of the reason these movies worked so well is the writing — characters who feel real facing decisions with huge consequences. The other reason these movies work is that Ant-Man becomes Giant Man and it I lost my mind. Civil War isn’t just a great comic book movie, it’s a great action movie …that just happens to feature super heroes.
Most Average Movie:Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
There are great things about this movie and there are bad things about this movie. The end result is a so-so movie, most of which I’ve already forgotten. I wanted to love it, but then the finale was just a bunch of people flipping switches. It looked pretty, though. Continue reading Dan’s 2016 Movie Awards→
La La Land will sweep the awards this Sunday night, but there will be a few surprises including the best supporting actress winner (Viola Davis) and a moment early in the show when a presenter attempts to say, “And the nominees are,” but the words are (purposefully?) caught in his mouth, his tongue slips and the actor says, “Ann Die Nom-An Ize, Kar,” a summoning spell thought lost during the eighth age. And thus, Terrible Isaac appears — a being of capes and claws who cracks through the stage killing instantly the first row of the audience.
There will a rush to the exits as Terrible Isaac bounds from stage to balcony and perches upon a chandelier set high in the ceiling. He slowly devours the celebrity in his clawed hands with five snapping bites. As the blood rains, a young assistant in the 29th row, a baker’s daughter born in April, takes a picture of the horror, a picture that becomes the most shared and liked image of all the internet. But sadly, and despite the teaching of her master, her camera fails to capture the soul of the demon, who looks at her with hunger. Three of his ten arms flex and pull, ready to pounce from the theater’s heaven. Continue reading Oscar Prophecy→
I’m two episodes into The Expanse, a SyFy show about space and pretty people. So far, it’s okay. It uses plenty of sci-fi cliches and tropes, but that’s to be expected. And I’m told it gets better. I’ll stick with it…for now.
Watching the show stirred up a recurring problem that most sci-fi space stories rarely deal with: Why are humans flying spaceships?
In the first episodes of The Expanse, it’s clear that drone technology exists and society as a whole seems far more technologically advanced than our current world. And yet ten minutes into the show there’s a gruff and tough human pilot taking the controls of a spaceship like its some sort of giant helicopter. That doesn’t make sense. Continue reading The Problem With Spaceships→
It won’t win any Oscars and it won’t spawn a 12-part film franchise starring Hollywood’s most athletic actors. So why on Earth did anyone make Hunt for the Wilderpeople?
It’s a sweet and funny movie about a boy and his foster dad running from the law through the wilderness of New Zealand. The director, Taika Waititi, also directed the hilarious vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and helped bring Flight of the Conchords to life, and if you don’t like those two chunks of entertainment then we cannot be friends.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is less silly than Shadows and Conchords, but it’s still funny. There’s more heart to it, thanks to a remarkable performance by the young Julian Dennison. It’s similar to Up, another movie about a grump guiding a chubby kid through wilderness, and for reasons I can’t quite explain, this movie has an 80s vibe — think Planes, Trains and Automobiles crossed with Adventures in Babysitting.
It’s a good movie. One of the best I’ve seen in a while. How good? I didn’t pick my phone up to check email during the entire film!
Taika Waititi’s next film is Thor: Ragnarok. I was bored with Thor 2: Loud Punches, but I’m curious to see what Waititi will do with Marvel’s eighth best character. Judging by the hilarious marketing campaign, it could be the best Thor movie possible.
And if you’re tired of super hero movies and bored by Oscar-contenders, don’t forget that there are still small, interesting comedies being made.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is available now on DVD, BluRay and other magical movie systems.