5 Common Movie Clichés

(AOTN)

Part of the attraction to movies, especially ones that are on the lower end of the promotional scale, is taking delight in affectionately absorbing their cliché moments. Ones in which have become so commonplace that we often now half expect them!

Ranging from action heroes walking away from a building exploding behind them in slow motion to the henchman that never speaks, many of them are still used to this day and do not seem to show signs of decaying.

We’re going to check out 5 of some of the most common movie clichés known to exist across many classes of film, many of which are perhaps unsurprisingly some of the most well known.

Horror Film Killer Makes His Entrance Just Before The Final Credits Roll

Horror films are riddled with clichés. In fact, it’s the genre that is possibly the most famous for. Whether that is fair or not is down to you to decide.

One of those that stand out is when the killer has gotten his comeuppance, usually by the “final girl,” only to let audiences know that he is still around just before the end credits begin to roll. The Friday 13th, Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street series are most notably guilty of this, although many more obscure horror movies continue to repeat this in a now weak and uninspired attempt to keep audiences interested in any further sequels.

The Obligatory “I’ll be back” Line

As has been mentioned, there are clichés galore when it comes to viewers wanting something frightening to watch.

Another banal moment that has been seen time and time again are the would be victims, especially in slasher movies, telling their friends that they are just popping off to collect some beers or something while reassuring them that they will be back. Unsurprisingly, soon enough they get the point when the killer is standing in waiting to cause carnage.

The original Scream (1996), directed by Wes Craven, was a movie that paid both homage and made fun of the many moments in horror films that became commonplace when one of the characters named Randy , a horror aficionado, discussed how prominent “I’ll be back moments” are while watching John Carpenter’s Halloween on video.

The Scream series spawned a further three sequels and repeated the same formula in making their statements on clichés in inventive ways.

Bombs Defused With Only Seconds To Go

There is at least one explosion, big or small, in almost every action movie. And they are not shy to still attempt to keep audiences grabbing the side of their chairs when our action hero defuses a bomb with just several seconds to go.

The James Bond film Goldfinger (1964) famously had the secret agent defuse a bomb in order to stop Fort Knox from blowing to kingdom come but not before the camera lingered on the timer to reveal his code name, 007!

Infinite Amount Of Ammunition In Firearms

Commando, The Terminator pictures, Die Hard….they all have their moments where reloading was not necessary. Firearms in those universes seem to contain an interminable amount of ammunition. You would think that having to reload would actually increase the tension somewhat, but high octane energetic sequences obviously, and normally, take precedent.

Still, that is what often gives action movies their charm although it is surprising that this particular cliché isn’t often more discussed!

Final Speech Before Death Moments

Mostly confined to our favourite characters, it is quite often that they need to say any supposedly final important words before they dramatically slowly close their eyes. When Trinity died in The Matrix Revolutions (2003), her speech was so long that you began to wonder if she was really going to die at all!

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) contained an unintentionally amusing “speech before death” scene” involving Marion Cotillard’s Talia, but perhaps her lack of experience in acting out a death had a lot to do with it when she gave her obligatory warning speech and then comically snapped her eyes shut ruining any preceding tension the scene had built.

Other cheesy ones include the death of the character played by Bruce Willis in Armageddon, but Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) was particularly memorable in that he still attempted to take down New York cop, John McClane just before falling to his death, using action rather than words!

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5 Movie Villains You Agreed With

Many motion pictures contain the theme of the battle between darkness and light. That darkness can come in many different forms depending on the narrative. But the most common shape is in the embodiment of the villain. The bad guy. From Darth Vadar to Ronno in Bambi, many antagonists are invented and affectionately disapproved of.

But what happens when the agenda of an incarnation of fictional evil actually contains a degree of valid truth?

This editorial is going to explore 5 movie villains where you did kind of see their point!

Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs

FBI trainee Clarice Starling was warned of Hannibal Lecter’s tremendous talent for getting inside the minds of those that he came into contact with. Still, that did not deter her. In fact, maybe it actually helped her somewhat!

As events unravel, we come to realise that Hannibal developed a degree of affection for the young female. At first his proposed deal that she tells him some personal things about herself in exchange for information about Buffalo Bill, the killer she was pursuing, seemed manipulative. And in a way it was. But by the end of the movie, Clarice managed to confront some personal demons that she had been determined to resist. All in all, she came out of the experience an unshackled soul and fully liberated.

Well done, Hannibal.

Silva from Skyfall

How would you feel working for a boss that would readily sacrifice your life and leave you to be tortured for all eternity? One can pretty much sympathise with one of James Bond’s greatest modern bad guys, Mr. Silva from the 007 movie, Skyfall.

The fact that Silva had the opportunity to confront his main target twice and had trouble emotionally finishing the job showed a level of depth that many bad guys in Bond films do not normally contain. Even Bond, himself, had a grudge against M, who pretty much gained a reputation for pissing off most that were working for her!

Clubber Lang from Rocky III

Mr. T has the honour of playing one of the Rocky franchise’s most malicious boxers in Clubber Lang.

The mouthy brawler was a definite step up from Apollo Creed in terms of ruthlessness, but before he beat Rocky in their first fight during the second act of the movie there is a scene in which Rocky announces his retirement to the people of Philadelphia. Lang gatecrashes his lovely worded speech to tell the Italian Stallion that he is the number 1 ranked contender while Rocky has been avoiding him and fighting challengers not worthy of the title.

Clubber may be a character that everybody loves to hate but he did have a point.

Matt Cordell from Maniac Cop

Those that love their low budget slasher movies will be familiar with this B-movie starring Bruce Campbell.

A former office named Matt Cordell was framed by the mayor for murder and subsequently viciously attacked in prison by some of the inmates he previously put away while on the beat, all because the mayor didn’t like his style of doing it his own way. Thought to be dead but still alive, Cordell came back to get revenge on those that wronged him while also taking his newfound urge for blood on the unsuspecting public.

That last part we obviously cannot agree with, but I imagine it’s not exactly nice to have your whole life ruined by a charge you had no involvement in. You may find yourself having mixed feelings for this killer, even rooting for him at times!

Two Face from The Dark Knight

The most well known mayor in the DC Universe, Harvey Dent sure didn’t expect events to unfold the way they did in The Dark Knight! While most people would lay blame at The Joker for corrupting his mindset, later on in the movie Dent turned Two Face reminded everybody of the corruption within the city of Gotham which contributed to pushing him over the edge and going against his own rules and taking care of crime without the need for Batman.

The heartfelt loss of his fiance became the focal point of his campaign of terror during The Dark Knight’s climax, the icing that was spread firmly on the cake by The Joker. Two Face is probably the most agreeable adversary in the entire Christopher Nolan superhero trilogy.

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‘La La Land’ Blu-ray Combo Pack Review

Damien Chazelle‘s sophomore film La La Land has hit in-home release. As far as the film goes, our very own Pete Towe has written up a review of it when the film first hit theaters, a review I pretty much agree with for the most part. But this time around I’ll be reviewing the equally sensational La La Land Blu-ray combo pack. So enjoy the show!

The La La Land Blu-ray combo pack has over three hours of special features. That much extra content is impressive in itself but the really impressive part of the —– are the Blu-ray exclusives. On the blu-ray you get several featurettes: “Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down the Freeway”, “La La Land’s Great Party”, “Ryan Gosling: Piano Student” “Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project”, “The Music of La La Land”, John Legend’s Acting Debut”, The Look of Love: Designing La La Land“, “Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream”, “Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos”, and a marketing gallery. I’ll breakdown some of these features a bit.

“Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down the Freeway” takes us behind-the-scenes of the very in your face opening scene of the film. The opening number took place on an L.A. freeway. If you’ve driven in L.A. then you just how busy those freeways can get. The city of Los Angeles allowed for a portion of the freeway to be closed down for a couple of days in order for Chazelle to get his ideal opening scene shot. Well as you can imagine, it takes a lot to put together a scene for a musical which involves dancers dancing in, out and between cars, a freeway, traffic noise, extras and having to do all that before the sun goes down. The featurette shows just how Chazelle and the crew had to deal with all of those issues, even explains that some of the shots that he wanted weren’t possible due to certain issues getting in the way.

“Ryan Gosling: Piano Student” reveals how Gosling learned how to play piano just for the role. Rather than having a pianist stand-in for the piano shots, Gosling practiced the songs on piano for about 4 months hours at a time. If that isn’t dedication, then I don’t know what is.

My favorite out of the featurettes was “Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project”. In this featurette Damien discusses how and why he wanted to make this film so badly and what it took to get a musical like La La Land made. From the title of the featurette you obviously find out that Chazelle has been writing La La Land before his debut film Whiplash. He and Justin Hurwitz, the composer of the film, began writing the script years ago after they met in a band. Chazelle explained that he made Whiplash first because it was a smaller project that a film company could backup a lot easier than they could back a huge musical from a rookie director.

The features included on the DVD are limited to commentary from Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz, “Another Day of Sun”, “Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s the Charm”, “La La Land’s Love Letter to Los Angeles”, and Song Selection, all of which are also on the Blu-ray.

All of the featurettes are not just for fans but I feel like they are catered more towards the aspiring director, writer, actor, dancer, producer, composer etc who are out there hoping to fulfill some big dreams of theirs. It’s what made me love the featurettes as much as I did.

When it comes to sound and quality of the film on Blu-ray it’s amazing. The vibrant scenes are as gorgeous as they could be. This musical was equally made for the big screen as it was for in-home enjoyment. Obviously the bigger the screen the better but its stunning visuals are still as beautiful as they were in theaters. The blu-ray is 1080p high def 16×9 widescreen. When watching this at home, I had my sound bar and surrounded sound on at a pretty high volume and was crystal clear. The audio is Dolby Atmos with 2.0 Dolby digital audio optimized for late-night listening, which not many blu-rays contain. I could only imagine how great this film would be on 4k, which is also available. So if you did purchase it on 4K, please let us know what you thought of it.

The packaging of the La La Land Blu-ray combo pack catches your eyes just as much as the film’s musical scenes do. It has a cardboard foil dust cover which turns multiple colors as you move the box and it eve has a 3D feel with its title on the front box art.

As far as the cost goes, the suggest retail prices are: $42.99 (4K), $39.99 (blu-ray combo pack), and $29.95 (DVD). These are all pretty pricey in my opinion but often retail stores will have pretty decent prices within the first week of a new release. So I’m betting that this in-home release will be no different and you can probably purchase it at a fair price first week of its release.

When it comes down to it, I would highly recommend to go out and purchase the La La Land Blu-ray combo pack if you have the money to do so. Though it may be pricey, you do get a lot of content with it. You get the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital HD copy plus all of the extra features attached. Not only is this one of my new all-time favorite films but it is also one of my favorite blu-ray releases.

 

 

 

 

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Gifted Review

(AOTN) Family stories are arguably one of the easiest niches for any filmmaker to tackle. I don’t mean the onslaught of cartoons (not made by Pixar or Laika) or family comedies that treat their audiences with obvious condescension, but the classics like Kramer vs, Kramer, Mrs. Doubtfire or even Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s Quinceañera, the ones that explore how families do their best to work through life’s dilemmas and curveballs – divorce, stepparents, children’s personal issues that will shape their adult lives for better or worse – to better the lives of those who make the “family unit” up. Eight years after making his debut with (500) Days of Summer, Marc Webb returns to a more intimate form of storytelling after half a decade forming his own bond with wall crawling spider-men, resulting in Gifted, his own sweet and pretty genuine contribution to the family genre.

On the shores of coastal Florida (actually, the beaches of Tybee Island and Savannah, GA, the home of my alma mater, as the end credits revealed) lived a quiet man, a young girl and a one-eyed tabby named Fred in a colorful little . The man, Frank (Chris Evans), is a boat repairman who traded in his life as a philosophy professor to maintain boat parts while loving and caring for his deceased sister’s daughter, Mary. Played by newcomer McKenna Grace, Mary joins a list of lovably precocious adolescent girls in films who find their way into the audiences’ hearts and stays with them long after the final scene, something her male contemporaries have always struggled with this millennium. And then there’s Fred the Cat, who the audience is prone to love from the start for both being a cat and a survivor of tough times.

Frank has come to a point where he can’t give his niece the life (or education) he feels she’s owed, deciding the public school down the road is what’s best for her to be her own person. The problem is, like her mother Diane, she’s smart. Really smart. Smarter than every student and teacher in the building (possibly even the whole state) smart, especially when it comes to mathematics, but not at knowing the meaning of “ad nauseam” smart. Mary’s intellect catches the attention of her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate, The LEGO Batman Movie), while her angry defense of a classmate against a bully catches that of the principal’s (Elizabeth Marvel, True Grit).

It’s with a phone call from the inquisitive principal that the real drama is set into motion. You can’t have a family melodrama without some outside force coming to disrupt the family, usually involving a lengthy courtroom battle where long hidden scars are brought to light, and this outside force comes in the form of Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan, TV’s “Sherlock”), Frank’s “very British” mother. Evelyn is a character where, right off the bat, one false move would transform her into a caricature antagonist of the wicked grandmother of Boston, but Mr. Webb and Ms. Duncan are smart enough to avoid going in that general direction; instead, they opt to slowly reveal Evelyn as a deeply flawed individual whose obsession with seeing her deceased daughter’s brilliance with proofs reach its full potential, even if in the form of a granddaughter whose intelligence surpasses her own, and the subconscious knowledge of what her wishes had on Diane’s mental deterioration has all but cut her off from the role she could have had in her son and granddaughter’s life.

The power of Gifted comes primarily from what Mr. Webb and screenwriter Tom Flynn explore from this trio and their difficult decisions regarding Mary’s future, as well as Oscar nominated cinematographer’s Stuart Dryburgh’s gorgeous photography showcasing the various Georgia-as-Florida landscapes. And it ultimately wouldn’t have worked if there wasn’t an actor to play Frank who could match wits, charms and depths with Ms. Duncan and Ms. Grace, something Chris Evans is more than willing to rise to the challenge on. Apart from his iconic and career-defining turn as Marvel Comics’ “star spangled man with a plan,” Mr. Evans isn’t an actor one normally takes into consideration for such a quiet and understated performance. But he empowers Frank with an endearing empathy that makes his struggles, both as a father figure and as someone all but forced to live under the shadow of a more revered sibling, deeply understandable. His scenes with Ms. Duncan sting as the relationship between a mother and son is further damaged by headstrong reservations about someone near and dear to them with little hope of a salvable future. As the equally headstrong child prodigy who propels the narrative, Ms. Grace is a talent to watch out for, deftly maneuvering a thin line that comes with a character such as Mary. Her chemistry with the entire cast, but especially Mr. Evans and Ms. Duncan, is naturalistic and darling and her handling of the scenes involving the mathematics the adults around her can’t solve are sure to give the audience a hearty laugh.

Also joining Frank, Mary, Evelyn and Fred the Cat for their exploration of long-suppressed is Roberta (Octavia Spencer), Frank and Mary’s spunky, yet loving neighbor and landlord. This is the kind of performance Ms. Spencer could knock out in her sleep at this point in her career, but it’s still a fun performance that reminds us why she’s one of the silver screen’s most endearing character actresses. There’s also Jenny Slate, who juggles the part of both the “flawed but loving teacher” and the “obvious romantic interest for Frank,” though Ms. Slate does a fine job of giving Bonnie enough of her own identity to transcend whatever obviousness accompanies the expectedness of a part like her’s.

By the time things post-courtroom reach an inevitable conclusion, the story takes a strange turn that reunites and allows all members of the Adler family to find solace and closure in the events that have formed their life: a mother reconciling with her creation of tragedy, an uncle doing best by what life had dealt him and a child with the power to change the world and herself. Gifted ultimately isn’t a film that will redefine the family drama genre, but it never needed to be. Its job is done by a fine ensemble and a good script that speaks to the best of peoples’ potential. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more films like this from Mr. Webb down the line.

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer #2 Breakdown

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ love child Spider-Man: Homecoming has had its second trailer released and it’s time for a trailer breakdown! Watch the official second trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, below.

 

0:08 – We see Peter Parker put on the new auto adjusting Spider-Man suit. The same suit which was given to him by Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War. It looks like Mr. Stark took a page out of Back to the Future with the auto adjusting feature.

0:18 – Tony Stark makes his first of many appearances in the new trailer. Peter Parker is asking about what it takes to be in the Avengers and Tony Stark slips in the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” phrase/title.

0:30 – Iron Man and Spider-Man fly and swing through the streets of New York.

0:37 – Captain America makes his cameo in a educational video. A cameo that in my opinion should have been left a surprise and not put into the trailer. During Cap’s cameo, Peter Parker references when he stole his shield in Civil War.

0:45 – The Avengers tower makes an appearance. And we also see what Tony Starks role is in the film. Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture (Michael Keaton) is explaining that “rich and powerful people like Tony Stark” don’t help people like “us”. Who is the “us” that he is referring to?

0:47 – A Shocker and Donald Glover show up. It’s not yet known what role Donald Glover is playing.

0:54 – The Vulture takes flight.

0:58 – Peter Parker is finally in the Avengers tower. Tony Stark is explaining to Peter Parker that there are people that take care of “flying-monster guys.” Referring to The Vulture and the Avengers.

1:04 – Spider-Man takes on some henchmen and Vulture makes his presence known.

1:19 – Spider-Man has a really cool comic book cover-like action shot where he is attempting to keep the ship together with his webs.

1:22 – Iron Man comes to Spidey’s rescue.

1:30 – Tony Stark gives Peter Parker a father-like lecture of what it takes to be a hero.

1:41 – The Vulture’s agenda is now known as he explains that he will do anything to protect his family. It reminds of a Doctor Octopus or Sandman type of villain to where they have some good intentions hidden in the madness of being a villain.

1:44 – Spider-Man takes one of the Shockers

1:52 – Vulture is going after Spider-Man who happens to be wearing a Spider-Man suit a little similar to the Scarlet Spider suit.

1:59Spider-Man: Homecoming has some action in Washington.

2:02 – Spider-Man has some more cool looking tech. This time it’s a robotic spider that flies straight out of his suit. He also has the webbed wings that he had early on in the comics.

2:08 – Spider-Man and Vulture take the fight to the skies on a jet.

Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Halland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine and Jon Favreau.

 

 

 

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‘Legion’ is Hypnotically Intense

 
Have you ever had that feeling that you’re experiencing a dream? Only to realize you were actually just watching FX newest hit show ‘Legion’? Maybe not? Well that has been my experience for the first six weeks of its premiere season, and it is now safe to say my mind grapes have been stretched and twisted in ways I never thought could be so engaging. Each new chapter in the show feels as if I’m given a cosmically charged LSD trip littered with foreshadowing of oncoming information revelations, reminders of past events that tie into current events, and easter eggs for future plot twists. It is bold in its very nature, a show about a mutant who has potentially hundreds of personalities existing within him, and each personality comes equipped with its own characteristics and more interestingly their very own super powers. It is also bold in its storytelling and production. Scenes seemingly end and begin traveling between planes of reality and time periods. The creators expect you to be sharp enough to keep up, forcing you to earn the right to understand David Haller’s gift. You can never truly be sure what you are seeing exists. Is it reality? Or is part of David’s mind? These sorts of questions are answered while at the same time compounded upon in a way that is both satisfying and challenging. Without hesitation I can say this show is very heavy and needs to be given your maximum focus and attention while viewing. This may be a drawback for people looking for a casual experience, but I can attest to the fun and excitement of trying to play detective, picking apart every detail to form your own interpretation of what’s to come. Noah Hawley (Fargo) beautifully demonstrates that he is not scared of testing your understanding of reality within the “Legion” universe. Drawing heavy on flashbacks, dream sequences, astral planes as well as times in which characters have changed bodies or are figments of the imagination, you may easily begin to think you have lost your own mind trying to keep pace with the storytelling. Eventually the scale tips the other way, providing important information revealing momentary clarity while simultaneously creating new questions. Patience will pay off in a well crafted and well designed story such as this. Those who need instant gratification may be frustrated by the lack of answers initially given. Same for those who expect non-stop action, just because it’s a Marvel title. But who needs those people anyway, I mean I’m sure there is a new Transformers movie right around the corner for them to stare blankly at. A unique quality about “Legion” is its overall ambiguous tone (which seems to be purposefully done to mirror David’s character). This show feels like a drama with some action but has a tendency to dance with elements of psychological horror. As we explore some memories of David’s they glow with an aura of creepiness through the tone and set pieces. The character design in the baddies are simple yet effectively terrifying, striking a nerve we all have within us that reaches to the roots of our childhood. Its setting and timeline seem to draw heavy influence from late 60’s to mid 70’s culture and is executed it in a way that feels real but also dreamlike. The sound design is supremely handled. I can recall many moments where the music was effectively altered in a way that communicated the tone change of the scene and heightened the tension. This show successfully aims to draw on your senses as it guides you through the characters psyches in a hypnotic fashion. Among the multitude of recurring themes within “Legion” I have noticed a large one revolves around control, more specifically having none of it. David struggles to grip his own thoughts and actions at times constantly at war within himself. Spotlight characters have had traumatic pasts and dwell over having no way of changing it, becoming victim to its outcome. This motif of no control is masterfully reflected in the environments they find themselves in. Whether confined to a psych ward or trapped within a memory their restrictions become haunting. It is layered to the point where the characters feel completely helpless adding depth to the unsettling tone set all throughout. Even between romantic partners we see the ongoing clash of control. Resisting urges, regret over past choices, not knowing the truth about intentions… The theme of control creeps through the narrative like a parasite feeding on the conscious of the characters. Legion” is not afraid to spread its wings narratively and challenge its audience to unfold the wrinkles of their own brains along the way. It has quickly became one of my staple shows and I look forward to continuing my journey through David’s mindscape. The fact that it has already been renewed for a second season proves that i’m not the only one invested in this journey. The post ‘Legion’ is Hypnotically Intense appeared first on Age of The Nerd. Save
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