Spider-Man 2 (2004) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Director Sam Raimi’s visual touchstones are in greater abundance in this deeper, darker sequel that further complicates the life of young Peter Parker. The exuberance of discovery that made the first film an instant classic is missing here, but in exchange the special effects have been ramped up and the characters given emotional depth.
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Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) – Review

3 Stars

The majestic world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz is visited with mixed results in the prequel film helmed by Spiderman director Sam Raimi. The story begins in Kansas in 1905 where struggling illusionist Oz (James Franco) is working the dust bowl circuit with a roving troupe of carnies. Oz’s half-hearted magic tricks are barely able to conceive the fact he is a sub par performer whose interest are more inclined to womanizing than onstage professionalism. Fleeing from an enraged jilted husband, Ozwald boards a hot air balloon that sails right into a whirling tornado. Things brighten visually and from a narrative standpoint from here on.
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Podcast EP194: Oz The Great and Powerful, Dead Man Down Predictions, News, Trailer

Episode one-hundred and ninety-four. Join hosts Trevor and Jason as they discuss the latest in movie news, box office numbers and trailers.

Box Office Predictions: Dead Man Down
Oz The Great and Powerful

News: Sam Raimi Offers an Evil Dead IV Update
Christopher Nolan to Produce Justice League
Christian Bale to Return as Batman?
Craig Brewer to Direct The Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills
Antoine Fuqua Interested in Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner For Boxing Drama Southpaw
Sinister 2’s Coming at Us

TrailerAddict: Disconnect

Box Office Breakdown: March 1-3, 2013

Plus much more, tune in now!

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New Evil Dead Red Band Trailer – So Gory You’ll Blow Chunks

I had my reservations about the remake of this classic, but the more I see the more I’m willing to give it a chance. When I head Diablo Cody was writing on this I was sure it would be a dud, and I do see a little bit of Jennifer’s Body in here, but Cody stunned me with Young Adult. She tends to have great ideas that are badly executed. This doesn’t look so with this new red band trailer, which is chock full of gore and seems to find a good line between the fun of the original and updating a 30 year old low budget horror flick to the slickness of today’s standard. See Evil Dead in theaters April 12, 2013.
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Oz, the Great and Powerful: Expectations after Seeing the Trailer

More than 50 years ago, the technicolor wonder of “The Wizard of Oz” enchanted kids everywhere. Each new generation got to see it anew, with pretty much the same effect. In the ’80s “Return to Oz” reminded everyone of Frank L. Baum’s beloved book, and the interest in Oz renewed.

Will Disney’s release of Sam Raimi’s prequel next spring do the same?

What to Expect

The prequel centers on the Wizard and his unfortunate adventure to OZ. Certainly we would expect to see amazing special effects the same caliber as those that created Dorothy’s tornado in 1939. The trailer hints at it a little, but until moviegoers can see the whole thing for themselves, the jury is still out. Meanwhile, the sets are beautiful to behold, matching Victor Fleming’s original version. But the music and magical creatures leave much to be desired as they’re all quite menacing.

The costumes, as always, are fascinating, which is expected in a fantasy-filled movie. And like “The Avengers” release in 2012, there is no doubt demand for OZ costumes will spike during the 2013 Halloween. Even though the classic movie characters aren’t in the prequel, many may feel inclined to pay them homage. If you want to dress up as your favorite character, Halloween costumes at buycostumes.com are realistic, theatrical-level character costumes.

As with All Prequels

One final item on the list of expectations for this movie is that it stands up to the main requirements of the prequel. It should do an interesting job of explaining all the characters’ origins, right down to how the wicked witch of the west came to be wicked. Disney seems to borrow a little from the book and theatrical production, so there’s not going to be too much of a surprise here beyond the exact nature of what turns her skin green. Anyone wanting to imitate this dramatic transformation will have to consult stage-makeup in the Halloween costumes section at buycostumes.com for the appropriate material.

What this movie is lacking is explaining how the classic characters came to be. The Baum book “The Wizard of OZ” explains the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion and, to a certain extent, the Tin Man, but no movie has ever tried to approach this. Truly a disappointment, but Disney has a way of turning every movie they do into a trilogy franchise — maybe that’s in the works for the next round.

Pass on the Cliches, but Go See the Movie

Fans of this fantasy, which has outlived several generations, will no doubt be spouting many cliched phrases while dressing up in costumes and sitting outside movie theaters for a midnight showing of this movie. Despite the cliches and for the fun of the costumes, you should go all the same. It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, no matter what.

Author: Bethany Ortiz
Bethany studied culinary arts and later received a Master’s Degree in English Literature. She loves blogging about her adventures in food, and is quick to correct both your tablespoon measurement and your grammar.

Miller’s Crossing (1990) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

There is a word that bests describes the Coen brother’s irish mafia tale, brooding. This beautiful looking film is all style and little substance. There is an awful lot of commotion in Miller’s Crossing, but very little emotion. Set in an unnamed city during the 1920s, a war is about to breakout between the Irish and Italian families. All can be forgiven if a man named Bernie (Tuttoro) is killed. The trouble is Leo (Finney), plans on marrying Bernie’s sister. This doesn’t sit well with Casper (Polito), the bullish Italian leader, who is still smarting from a series of boxing fixes gone awry. Adding to the complicated matter is the fact that Leo’s right-hand man, Tom (Byrne) is sleeping with his fiancee.
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Podcast EP103: The Avengers Predictions Plus Van Helsing, Mummy, Daredevil Reboots

Episode one-hundred and three. Join hosts Jason and Trevor as they discuss the box office weekend of April 27-29, 2012. We give our opening box office weekend predictions for The Avengers and talk movie news Kurtzman and Orci to Reimagine Van Helsing and The Mummy, David James Kelly Rewriting Daredevil Reboot, Sam Raimi to Produce Poltergeist Remake, Universal sues Asylum Over American Battleship, Josh Gad Up for Steve Wozniak Role in Jobs and the Dark Knight Rises trailer. Tune in now!

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