Film Forecast Friday: June 1st

On Friday June 1st we have…

1. Adrift

2. Upgrade

3. Action Point

4. American Animals

5. A Kid Like Jake

Julia’s Predictions:

This is an interesting week because for the first time in a while there are no big blockbusters being released. Out of the movies that are being released I think Adrift will have the biggest box office numbers. It has notable actors Shailene Woodley (Fault in Our Stars, Divergent) and Sam Claflin (Me Before You, Hunger Games) in it and I’ve seen a lot of marketing for it.

I think Action Point and Upgrade will do alright. I haven’t heard too much about either of them, but Action Point has Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) in it which will likely bring out audiences. Also, Upgrade is a Blumhouse Productions film and those tend to do well.

American Animals is absolutely amazing and I strongly recommend you go see it. We have already reviewed it, so if you need any more convincing to go see it check out our review!

Finally, A Kid Like Jake which honestly I didn’t know was a movie until today. It has Jim Parsons in it so maybe it will attract some Big Bang Theory fans?

Anthony’s Predictions:

I am beyond excited for Adrift with Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. This will also be the moneymaker for the week at the box office, even if it will not make quite as much as previous weeks.

I have heard so much about American Animals that I’ve gotten very excited to see it. It has such a unique group of actors in it (including Evan Peters!) so I know that I’ll enjoy it already.

I definitely forgot Action Point and Upgrade were even coming out this week. I don’t really have a high opinion on them but I believe they will do about the same at the box office.

A Kid Like Jake won’t be too crazy spectacular, but should be fun because of Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, as he is in it.

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The Rocky Comedic Adventures of ‘Solo’

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Easily one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2018, Solo had a lot to prove. It definitely didn’t help that most people went into the movie assuming it was going to be bad. I can’t blame it for trying to prove everyone wrong.

In this Star Wars Story, a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich, ) is in the initial stages of becoming a smuggler with his best buddy Chewbacca while trying to balance an unfortunate relationship with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones). He meets Beckett (Woody Harrelson, The Hunger Games, Now You See Me) along the way as well as a very intelligent robot named L3-37 and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover, Atlanta).

As expected, all of these characters affect the story in some way or another, whether it be for entirely comedic purposes or actual damage. The comedy in this is, unfortunately, going to have to be one of my negatives.

Star Wars has gotten into this habit of trying to make every single droid as successful and hilarious as K-2SO in Rogue One, when it’s just not going to happen. L3-37 makes some decent jokes (one being about equal rights for droids), but it feels so obvious that the writers are forcing it.

To future Star Wars Stories writers, stop trying to make the droids as funny as K-2SO, it’s not going to happen.

The movie itself wasn’t the most fun to sit through of the Star Wars franchise. In fact, it may be one of the least enjoyable yet. I had never found myself so bored for the majority of a Star Wars movie than I did with this one.

Luckily, it made up for that with its last 20 minutes which were actually pretty entertaining to watch. I say this because it’s in the last 20 minutes that anything wildly important happens, including a plot twist and introduction of a familiar character that I was saying, “uhm… what?” to.

The cinematography was beautiful, as it is in a Star Wars movie. It was beautifully made, even the camera work wasn’t nauseating like some movies have become nowadays. There were plenty of oddly named planets and several mentions of Tatooine, which I thoroughly enjoyed being a hardcore Star Wars fan myself.

Honestly, I have very mixed opinions regarding Solo. I don’t think it was bad, but it’s definitely in the bottom five of Star Wars movies. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it shouldn’t have been made because at the end of the day, it told a story about a character we all loved that we all wanted to know a little more about.


My Rating: 84%

Acting: 3.4/4

Cinematography: 3.5/4

Story: 3.4/4

Enjoyability: 3.2/4

‘Deadpool 2’ Shows Exactly What Superhumor Should Be

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Deadpool is back at it again with his morbid sense of humor the entire world has come to love in Deadpool 2. This time, he comes with an even more complex story with long-term complications.

In this one, Deadpool (obviously still played by Ryan Reynolds) finds a new villain that he must defeat to save a little kid named Russell (played by Julian Dennison) – or “Firefist” if you ask him – as he struggles with, like, self-identity or something. Basically the X-Men version of puberty.

Regardless, Deadpool is as funny as ever. But it all started with something that most movies don’t put a ton of time in anymore – marketing. Deadpool 2 created dozens of alternate covers for its movie as well as replicas of other movies that were replaced with Deadpool himself. On the cover of War for the Planet of the Apes, Deadpool is seen riding the horse. It’s these marketing decisions that helped build the anticipation for this movie.

I have no complaints about the acting in this movie. Reynolds, the young Dennison, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, and all the other actors/actresses’ portrayals of unique characters were executed excellently. They each brought a lot to the movie no matter how much or how little they appeared in it.

Deadpool is known for his dark humor, which he plays very well. From comparing the new villian Cable and Thanos to understating the power of Hawkeye, Deadpool really brings the shaded joys to the MCU.

Even the cinematography was awesome in this movie. They used tons of different sets and locations to show all the different situations Wade Wilson manages to get himself into while still keeping the feel of his universe.

Finally, the writers hit the bullseye with a story that really has the ability to hook the audience. It jumps around, sure, but a lot of superhero movies do that nowadays. And who are we to complain about that after watching The Avengers: Infinity War.

That’s right, if you liked that story, you have no place to say that Deadpool’s was bad.

Deadpool 2 was definitely better than the first. That, right there, is a huge accomplishment within itself. It incorporates the X-Men storyline better than the first (shipping Deadpool and Colossus with every piece of my soul), and the humor worked even more thought out, adding in constant pieces of attitude towards the MCU. It just knew how to build on characters they already had as well as add in ones that would benefit the story (Brad Pitt may or may not make a cameo appearance… go find out!). Deadpool 2 is easily one of my highest recommended movies of 2018 thus far.


My Rating: 91%

Acting: 3.6/4

Cinematography: 3.5/4

Story: 3.6/7

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

‘Titanic’ Makes My Heart Go On

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

When I think of late 90s cinema, there are dozens of movies that come to mind. We have American Beauty (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999), Good Will Hunting (1997), Clueless (1995), and so many others that quickly became classics. For me, however, none touched me quite as much as Titanic (1997).

Titanic is a movie that nearly everyone knows about as most grew up having seen it once or twice. Maybe they’ve even heard about its impressive eleven academy award wins at the 1998 Oscars. No matter how one may have heard of it, it’s a movie that’s touched the hearts and minds of everybody.

Given that everybody knows what the film is about, I’ll keep the summary brief. When poor Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and recently engaged Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet) meet aboard the RMS Titanic, they find love in one another. They build a relationship beyond anything many have seen, but realize sometimes love doesn’t last as long as you may like it to. In their case, however, it wasn’t a break-up that brought this realization.

The sinking of the RMS Titanic was the climax of this movie, and showed – practically in real time – the sinking of the ship and the drowning of the lives on board. Director James Cameron knew how to capture this emotional tragedy and make it so the audience doesn’t even care about its running time (194 minutes).

Titanic 1
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Everything about this movie was astonishing to me and millions would agree. Being able to witness such stellar performances by DiCaprio and Winslet (as well as such notable names as Kathy Bates, Billy Zane, and Frances Fisher) under equally beautiful writing makes any moviegoer fill with joyful tears from beginning to end.

It doesn’t happen often in modern cinema that you see a cast of actors and actresses who are all so individually dedicated to their roles. It was obvious that each wanted to portray their characters with the seriousness that those on the real Titanic would’ve maintained.

Much of this is due to the main man himself, James Cameron (Avatar, Aliens). People are no stranger to the work of Cameron, as he had already released Aliens in 1986, eleven years prior to Titanic.

Not everyone was too confident in him for Titanic (given that the budget was incredibly high – the highest of any movie in history at the time – and that most thought it would be “just another romance flick”), and many lost faith before it had even been released. That concept in itself is a marvel to me given its brilliant reception and continued adoration today.

It’s not doing Titanic justice by calling it a brilliant historical adaptation, when it felt like so much more. It was a near spiritual awakening for most who watched it, whether you’ve seen it once, twice, or two dozen times.


My Rating: 96%

Acting: 3.8/4

Cinematography: 3.9/4

Story: 3.8/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Marvel Lives Up to its Name

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Avengers: Infinity War is by far the most hyped up movie of this year (just ahead of Black Panther, yet another Marvel sensation) and it deserves the hype. Everywhere you look on the jam packed screen is another hero with a new bruise, stab, or fatal wound.

This is not a movie for you if you’re the type who hates to see superheroes die. Although I won’t say who, that’s exactly what this movie is. Avengers: The Death of Tons of People You’ve Come to Love is a more suitable name.

One of my absolute favorite things about this movie is how well it connects the last ten years of Marvel movies, from Iron Man to Spider-Man: Homecoming and does better than most movie companies at shoving them together into one endless movie (it has “infinity” in the title for a reason, it’s nearly three hours long).

They built on the storylines of each of the previous movies, making it beneficial – but not required – to have seen most if not all of the previous films. They build on the storylines of Captain America’s shield, Thor’s Hammer, Iron Man’s new suit, Spider-Man’s new suit, Groot as a teenager, and so (so, so, so) many more.

Aside from the whole jam-packed-with-so-many-things-your-head-explodes, the acting was decent. There were definitely a few stand-outs, such as the stunning Elizabeth Olsen (who plays Wanda, the Scarlet Witch), Chris Evans (Portrays Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Quill), and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) to name just a few.

It was a pretty visually appealing film, with tons of planets that meet the needs of every superhero and every fight. Which helps, considering there are some superheroes who have their own story but never meet up with each other the entirety of the movie. Once again, I’m not here to spoil anything, so I’ll let you discover that for yourself. However, I will inform you that Ant-Man and Hawkeye aren’t in the movie at all, but that may have been a good thing as Ant-Man and The Wasp is coming later this year and I’m sure they didn’t want to screw up Ant-Man’s life as much as the others.

Make sure you stay for the credits as there is a post-credits scene as Marvel always does. Infinity War is no different.

Avengers: Infinity War was an overwhelming display of superheroes that no one can complain about because everyone asked for it. And oh boy did they deliver.


My Rating: 90%

Acting: 3.4/4

Cinematography: 3.6/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 3.7/4

Wiping Away Tears: ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero’

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Movies that involve dogs are quickly becoming everyone’s weakness, and animated dogs seem to be making just the same impact.

In the true story Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, we follow Bull Terrier (or Boston Terrier, it’s been of debate) Stubby and Private J. Robert Conroy (Logan Lerman) as they build a strange but very beautiful friendship in the light of World War I.

To be entirely honest, I’ve been seeing this trailer for months now and I had absolutely no interest in watching it. I thought it was going to just feel like every other animated family movie with very little depth like The Nut-Job. I was mistaken.

I was taken on a journey with joy, fear, and quite a few sad – and happy – tears.

The animation itself was fairly good. It wasn’t the craziest, but it wasn’t the worst. Not every movie can be The Incredibles or Finding Nemo. However, the animation team did everything they could have done by paying attention to detail and creating a war setting that felt all too real. For example, at the beginning of the movie when Stubby was a stray searching the city for food, they show his hunger by very carefully revealing the ribs protruding from his sides.

Throughout the whole movie, Stubby proves himself to be the cutest – and bravest – puppy that has ever joined the U.S. military ranks. In fact, Stubby was even promoted to sergeant during WWI and quickly became the most decorated dog in history before his death after the war in 1926. Luckily for me and my fragile heart, the movie ended just after the war and doesn’t take you all the way to his death.

This film really brought to light a smaller story in the much bigger history of WWI that not many people are aware of. Through its cinematography and story, we see the intensity of the bombs, the mustard gas, and the treachery of the trenches that WWI became known for. We see how one little dog named Stubby saved hundreds of lives.

Sergeant_Stubby_2-thumbs


My Rating: 92%

Animation: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 3.6/4

Story: 3.8/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

‘Mute’: Potentially Awful

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

In the relatively new Netflix film Mute, we see another representation of just how far a movie can go to alter what we know.

Mute follows muted man Leo (Alexander Skarsgard) as he tries to find his missing girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh) in a very high-tech, scientific Germany that seems impossible to navigate. When the characters try to make their way around the city, they even look nearly confused as to what they’re doing.

The movie also follows a very aggressive and terrifying Cactus (Paul Rudd) and his best friend Duck (Justin Theroux) as they make their way through a very strange – and confusing – surgical operation in Germany. Cactus also has a daughter, but doesn’t have a wife anymore. His creepy best friend Duck seems to have a sexual fascination with his young daughter as well as anyone else under the age of 16. They make that very clear as he tries to hook up with anyone who even looks like a minor.

The whole movie is very messy and very sloppily tries to connect all plots at the end of the movie. Up until the last 30 minutes, you would think that these were two entirely separate stories. I won’t spoil exactly how they are connected, but I will say that it’s one of the laziest storyline twists I’ve ever seen a movie put together.

A movie with tons of potential, but little of that is acted on.

The acting was probably the best part of the movie. All of the high profile actors (Rudd, Skarsgard, Theroux) all bring very solid performances to the table. They each develop their characters in entirely unique ways and did the best with what they had to work with. They knew how to evoke emotion in the audience and played upon that perfectly.
Mute is ultimately not a very good movie. It has insane potential but fails to bring that potential to life. It attempts to show emotion, which it only completes through the acting rather than the messy story. It uses a plot twist that has only one purpose; to shock the audience. There was no meaning to it whatsoever.


My Rating: 66%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 2.7/4

Story: 2.1/4

Enjoyability: 2.2/4