MoviesMatrixMadness | Top 64 CBMs

March is here. Madness has begun. And while all sports fans and others who just want to play in the office pool because there’s an open bar, most people have a bracket.

Nerds, blerds, geeks, freaks — we should be no different. Moving forward and throughout the year, we are going to get scientific with opinions. Your opinions! 

The best part about this blog is we empower the cinephile. We give credit to where it is due instead of making “breaking news” without it. We share opinion as our own and ground reason in fact. And, we like to have fun doing it too.

It all begins here: MoviesMatrixMadness – The Best 64 CBMs.

Before we go on, here are what each CBM is being judged upon:
  • Box Office Success – Much like teams of yesteryear, not everyone paid money to see each CBM. There are other CBMs that made a lot of money, but only because money was among more people and expectations were high. Inflation is being considered, so there’s that.
  • Visual Appeal – From CGI to true cinematography, the way a movie appears matter more than most things. It’s the first impression. It’s the final note. It creates the chill bumps. It makes us swoon. And, at times, it makes us realize how inept they are. The visuals do both for us all.
  • Canon – Marvel to DC, Image to Dark Horse. Regardless of the publisher, movies have to stay true to canon. There is a reason the movie is here in the first place and the canon is how it got here. Many stay true to its foundation. Others, not so much.
  • Characters – Throughout all of comic lore, we have the same things — heroes and villains. And the random anti-hero. It takes a true characterization and personification to bring that writing to life. An Oscar-winner doesn’t have to put on a cape (or a cowl) to be convincing. They have to embody the character. That’s what we hold true.
  • Score – How does a movie make you feel? Typically, the emotion comes through what a movie sounds like as well. The score makes the package real. Can you imagine in The Lord of the Rings didn’t have those Gregorian Monks in the background? Consider what Jaws would have been like without the “Duuuuh-Duh.” The beats of the music equal the beats of our nerd hearts.
  • Storytelling – Lastly, this is the most important aspect of any movie. Without a compelling and moving story, who cares about the music, the people, the fable. None of it matters without a path for the rest to follow. Creative license with canon. Directorial invention with a tale. It all has to weave together like a fine tapestry. If not, it’s a giant ball of thread.
Here are your regions:

Wakanda Region

wakanda

This branch of 16 from the Wakanda region include some real advanced players–some pioneers and some real freaks of nature. There are even a few surprises that could pose a real threat to CBM supremacy. Here are your match-ups:

1 Avengers: Infinity War vs. 16 LEGO Batman Movie

2 Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1 vs. 15 Suicide Squad

3 The Dark Knight Rises vs. 14 The Mask 

4 Iron Man vs. 13 Men in Black 

5 Spider-Man 2 vs 12 Blade 

6 Blade 2 vs. 11 Superman 2 

7 Black Panther vs. 10 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 

8 Doctor Strange vs. 9 X-Men: First Class 

Metropolis Region

metropolis

The Metropolis region features some of comic book movies most novel and reaching projects. These films have all left us with a true lasting impression. Granted, some of those impressions have lasted for wrong reasons, but last nonetheless. See what these match-ups do for you.

1 Logan vs. 16 Fantastic Four

2 Man of Steel vs. 15. Thor 2: The Dark World

3 Captain America: Civil War vs. 14 Constantine 

4 Batman Begins vs. 13 The Crow 

5 The Avengers vs. 12 The Wolverine

6 Deadpool 2 vs. 11 Ant-Man and The Wasp 

7 X2 vs. 10 Batman

8 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World vs. 9 Captain Marvel

Asgard Region

asgard

Much like the region would suggest, there are some serious powerhouses in these hills. Strength of character, score, story, and everything else we are judging. There is no escape on the Bifrost here. It’s one on one, thanks to your vote. Wield a hammer and let’s do this! Here are the match-ups:

1 Captain America: The Winter Soldier vs. 16. Dredd

2 Deadpool vs. 15 The Amazing Spider-Man 

3 Spider-Man: Homecoming vs. 14 Sin City 

4 Avengers: Age of Ultron vs 13 Hellboy 

5 Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 vs. 12 Iron Man 2

6 Watchmen vs. 11 Venom 

7 Thor vs. 10 Incredible Hulk 

8 Kick Ass vs. 9 Flash Gordon 

Gotham

Gotham

It’s a dark and dreary place, but it’s also home to hope in strangers. While the shadows are lurking, the heroes are ever-present. This region has some serious trendsetters that have left a presence on geekdom that are impossible to deny. These match-ups should spark some eternal debate.

1 The Dark Knight vs. 16 X-Men

2 X-Men: Days of Future Past vs. 15 Superman Returns

3 Thor: Ragnarok vs. 14 Spider-Man 3

4 300 vs. 13 Captain America: The First Avenger

5 Wonder Woman vs. 12 Ant-Man

6 Aquaman vs. 11 Iron Man 3

7 Kingsman: The Secret Service vs. 10 Superman: The Movie

8 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice vs. 9 V for Vendetta 

Theater Throwback | A Dream Heist & The Art Of ‘Inception’

Christopher Nolan is making news with the people he hired for his next film. It’s going to be epic, even with Robert Pattinson starring alongside John David Washington. So, let’s talk about the man who would become a household name, beginning with Memento all the way to Dunkirk.

Nolan has given us some of the best pieces of modern cinema we have ever seen, and with each film he creates, he finds a fresh way to bend our mind. There was no film that does it better than his smashing 2010 hit Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Michael Caine. Even after rewatching this movie for the fifth time, it stays fresh in my head and finds new ways to bend my mind.

Does it do that for you too?

Summary

inceptionInception is–as simple as I can put it–a film about dreaming and creating a new reality inside the dream. Leonardo’s character, Cobb, is an expert thief with the ability to pass through dreams and steal secrets.

When it seems like life for Cobb can’t get worse, he is given one more chance at freedom. He needs to assemble a team that is going to do the impossible, infiltrating a person’s mind and trying to put an idea into a man’s head, which is the act of “Inception”.

Now this was only done once by Cobb, but caused his life to take a downward spiral into the “Limbo.” a place of no return. The impossible task is plant an idea in someone’s mind, but a trained veteran gets in his way. If you have never seen this movie, this plot sounds like the most outrageous plot in the history of cinema, and you are right. This plot should not have been pulled off, and couldn’t… except this is Christopher Nolan.

inception-christopher-nolan-leonardo-dicaprio-cillian-murphy.jpg

The Good

Inception does so many things right that it is hard to just channel on a few. The acting was on par with every single person who appeared on screen. The ensemble cast truly perfected the role they were tasked to bring to life. Although there is no Oscar-worthy performances, even by Leo himself, but combined it was so good and truly drove the story.

From Tom Hardy to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, everyone did their part and it was awesome to watch. Regardless the actor, when someone shows up on screen, you knew they were about to nail their part. No one really went the extra mile and wow me (besides DiCaprio) but they did just enough to make this whole film completely entertaining and amazing to watch.

Another element to this film was the outstanding score, it wouldn’t be a Nolan movie without the mastermind himself in Nolan’s corner–Hans Zimmer. He executed the score perfectly, that I dare say may be his best yet.

Each scene was enhanced by the amazing score, melting each scene together so perfectly. When you have the acting capability of Leonardo DiCaprio propelling each scene, and add this wonderful score in the background, movie watching can’t get much better than that. Even as I’m writing this, I am listening to Hans’ soundtrack in the background, because it was just so good.

Ultimately, the best part of the film was the storytelling and plot. We get a story so thrilling and emotional that it should not be possible to even put it those kind of twists into a movie, but Nolan did.

You are never once bored watching this movie, even nine years later and watching it for the fifth time, I am still fully engaged. The way Nolan blends the action and emotional aspects of the film are perfect. To me, each time you watch this film, you are able to connect and get something different out of it.

You can watch it for the first time and be completely mind f***ed; a second time and see a love story; a third time and see an amazing action thriller. You get the point.

This isn’t something that I can say about movies a lot, but Inception literally does it all and damn good. The best part about the movie is the re-watch-ability (it’s a word) that this film holds. Every single time is different. It’s the little details picked up every time, from the limbo to the totems, and even small things like Cobb’s ring.

These details just drive the story. Each one makes the overall story something different each time. Even after my fifth time watching this movie, I still don’t know what the end is, and that’s what makes it beautiful. I will watch it again, probably pick up on something different and come up with a different ending in my head.

Inception_totem.png

The Bad

While I think this movie was practically flawless, there were some minor slip-ups that other people don’t like as much. It is hard to follow, really hard at points. They go from dream to reality so fast you can get lost and it makes your mind work overtime.

While I love a film that makes me work, they usually are some of the best films I’ve ever seen. Others don’t enjoy them as much. I can see why someone might not want to work during a movie, but the more you watch it the more things you see and begin to appreciate what Nolan did as a director and storyteller. Another is the pacing at points they went from point A to point C, skipping over how or why they are doing this.

Inception is also one of the rare films that could benefit from a longer run time even three hours would be ideal. Nolan would be able to explain more of the hows and whys of the film, and with a concept this complex he barley touched the surface on what he could dive into with the art of Inception.

The Decision

Overall, I think Inception is a modern work of art with some of the best writing, visuals, and storytelling ever seen in a movie. The cast just blends so good together and sell this idea of Inception and dream stealing that you think it’s almost real. To come up with an idea like that and then execute it is just outright surreal, and almost dreamlike that we got a finished product like this.

Like I said, before you can watch Inception one time but its a movie that truly benefits from multiple viewings. The visuals and CGI in this movie are also breathtaking something that looks so stunning and beautiful. Each scene just leaves you in awe, the scene with the street folding may be one of the best scene in modern cinema.

Inception is a true masterpiece something that only comes around once in a blue moon or in your dreams. You can ask yourself, How could the guy who made The Dark Knight top that? You may be looking at it with this movie, which comes full circle in the end. The movie not only stands the test of time, but I think eternity and it truly may be ahead of its time. It makes you think, and when your done watching it ask yourself, Are you still dreaming? 


Overall

10/10

“A Cinematic Masterpiece that only Nolan could pull off”


 

Everything is Awesome, Including ‘The LEGO Movie 2’

The first LEGO Movie came out on February 7, 2014 and it was way better than it had any right to be. It surprised many people with its charm and likable characters. It was a hit among critics and audiences alike, so naturally a sequel was announced.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part was released into theaters on February 8, 2019 and received a slightly more mixed reaction. I believe it is not only an excellent movie, but also an excellent sequel. There are two certain things I believe a good sequel should do. First, it should expand upon the universe and then, continue pre-existing arches.

This movie does a great job with both of these things.

The Second Part was a True Sequel

batman legoThe LEGO Movie 2 does a great job expanding their universe. It introduces many new characters in the Systar System, which also expands on the real-world part of the first one. This movie is about a brother and sister fighting over their LEGO bricks, which is shown in a great way.

The LEGO figures that come from the Systar System act in the exact way you would expect a younger sibling to play with LEGO. Another thing they introduce is the kids’ mother. Though she didn’t play a large role in the movie but did play an important one. She served as motivation for a lot of the characters, especially with Emmet’s vision of ‘Our-Mom-Ageddon’, the LEGO equivalent to their mom getting involved and taking all of their LEGOs away.

The second thing this movie did well was continue arches from the first movies. The best examples of this are Emmet and Lucy.

In the first film, Lucy learned she needed to loosen up and be her true self. She opens up to Emmet and tells him her real name. Emmet learned he had what it took to be “The Special,” which was inside him all along. He just needed to be himself. Both of these arches–and life lessons–are continued, if not, completed in the Second Part.

Lucy learns to accept who she is, and even told Emmet her real backstory. Emmet was doubting himself because he didn’t think he was tough enough to survive in the apocalypse, but he eventually learned that he was good enough, and that he didn’t need to change who he was. They learn these lessons apart, but come together in the end.

I didn’t go into this movie expecting it to top the first LEGO Movie, and in my opinion, I don’t think it did. But it did do one thing right. It was a great sequel. It fleshed out its characters and world in interesting ways. It was also fun, funny, and emotional when it needed to be.

Overall, this was not only a great sequel, but also a great movie.

85% on MatrixMeter 

Monthly Must-Sees | April 2019

Welcome to the April edition of our ‘Monthly Must-Sees‘ segment.

If this is your first time checking out this segment, this is a new bit we recently started to review all the cinematic offerings coming each month. Then, we select the top five that we feel just simply cannot be missed!

That said, April just might be one of–if not, the–best month of this year for cinematic offerings. Movie-goers should have no problem finding something to peak their interest! From a double dose of horror, to an R-rated anti-hero (no, not Deadpool), and two superhero releases.

Ob, by the way, one of those CBMs will be the largest film event in cinematic history. Take a look below to see the films just can’t afford to miss this month!

5. The Curse of La Llorona

The Conjuring universe just keeps on expanding!

James Wan’s creation is possibly the most successful, financially and critically, cinematic universe since the MCU, and it keeps producing hits. Not many cinephiles believed after The Conjuring released back in 2013 that we would get a shared cinematic universe of horror films all connected to each other. So, when it was announced this was the intention of James Wan and Warner Bros., many scoffed at the idea.

Yet here we are, six years, five films and $1.6 billion dollars later!

This new chapter follows Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a Los Angeles social worker raising her two children all by herself in the 1970s. As her family begins to experience unexplainable and supernatural events, she discovers “The Weeping Witch” La Llorona has latched herself onto the family and will stop at nothing to take her children.

Release Date: April 19

4. Pet Sematary

April is shaping up to be quite the month for horror fans as it looks like we will be getting two high profile horror releases.

You may know, the original Pet Sematary did not gain the enormous following already in place like the original TV series IT earned; therefore it’s likely we won’t see this film pull in a Pennywise-sized box office haul, but never underestimate the magnetic pull of Mr. King’s stories.

Pet Sematary was first released in 1989, a full 30 years ago. The trailer even featured the man himself (see the :29 mark).

It will be interesting to see the changes made for the story to adapt it for more modern times. The story follows Dr. Louis Creed (played by Jason Clarke) who, with his wife and two children, move from Boston to rural Maine (because, of course, it’s King).

Deep in the woods behind their new family home, Louis discovers an ancient burial ground. When the family cat is killed and they bury it, the family discovers it has the power to bring those who have died back but not without a few catches. Also starting John Lithgow, Pet Sematary looks to continue the hot streak of Stephen King remakes.

Release Date: April 15

3. Hellboy

For years, it was a “will they or won’t they” scenario to complete Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy trilogy. The originals definitely have a cult following but the first two films, while not flops, were far from being runaway box-office successes. Still, a lot of fans wanted GDT to make that third movie to conclude his trilogy.

When the news finally broke about the studio declining to finish the trilogy and instead opting for a reboot, there was a significant outcry of disapproval from the fans and even Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman. Once some time had passed and we got out first look at Stranger Things star David Harbour in full prosthetic makeup, a sense of intrigue and optimism surrounded the film. After the release of the first trailer, I think it’s safe to say audiences are going to be willing to give the reboot a fair shake, even though projections aren’t that impressive.

Opting this time for an R-rating, the Hellboy reboot will certainly have a slightly darker vibe and won’t face any kind of restrictions in regards to the violence in the film and how it’s portrayed. The new reboot will see our favorite half-demon anti-hero called to the English countryside to battle multiple rampaging giants.

While there, he discovers a much larger threat with the ‘Blood Queen’ (Milla Jovovich), an ancient sorceress who has been resurrected and hellbent (pun intended) on avenging a past betrayal. To prevent the end of the world, “Big Red” must team up with an Irish witch and a shapeshifter that can transform into a Jaguar to stop the Blood Queen from carrying out her mission.

Release Date: April 12

2. Shazam!

Okay, I’ll admit, when this one was first announced I was very “meh” about it. The first set photos leaked of the suit turned me off on the film even more and the first teaser trailer did nothing to increase my interest.

However, every piece of marketing that has been released have been absolutely brilliant. The trailers have done an impeccable job at making it very clear to the audience this isn’t your typical DC and WB film in terms of tone. While most DC films are fairly dark and serious, Shazam! appears to be a lot more fun and significantly more lighthearted than all the films in the DCEU (or, is it Worlds of DC?) that came before it.

Shazam! represents a major change in direction for the franchise. After Aquaman lit the box office on fire, optimism started to grow. All eyes will be on Shazam! to make it two critically and financially successful DC films in a row.

The film will follow 14-year-old Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who receives abilities from the ancient wizard named, yep you guessed it, Shazam. All Billy has to do is shout that name and boom, he transforms into a full blown god-like superhero (played by Zachary Levi).

Still a kid at heart on the inside, Billy revels having superpowers and like any 14-year-old would, he has some fun! It’s not all fun and games though as Billy will have speed up his “training” and master his abilities to defeat Dr. Silvana (Mark Strong). The film really seems like a breath of fresh air for the superhero genre, and if those fantastic trailers are any indication, we are in for a real treat!

Release Date: April 5

Avengers Endgame

The mother of them all. Marvel’s crowning jewel. The culmination of the entire MCU up until this point. The biggest film event in cinematic history without a doubt and if you think otherwise, you’re either simply a troll or just daft.

This unveiling will be much more than a movie; this is a massive event. There’s only two “series finale” type events in film and television that I would say have the hype and anticipation equivalent to that of major sporting events: Avengers Endgame and Game of Thrones series finale. Both the MCU and GoT have massive followings and are two of the most culturally relevant and prominent names in the entertainment industry today. Even people that have never watched any film from the MCU or any episode of GoT still know what they are and they could probably even still name a character or two!

So, in short, expect this film to absolutely and thoroughly shatter some records at the box office! Endgame is a direct sequel to last year’s critically acclaimed and insanely profitable Avengers: Infinity War.

As everyone already knows, half of all life in the universe was “snapped” from existence thanks to Thanos and that damn gauntlet of his! The ending of Infinity War left us all in complete shock and disbelief as we saw some of the MCU’s newer heroes like Spider-Man and Black Panther fall victim to the snap. Not only that, but the villain actually won…I mean how often does that happen?!

Endgame will follow our surviving heroes as they do “whatever it takes” to reverse the damage caused by Thanos and bring back their fallen friends. Luckily, they’ll have a little extra help in the form of a certain female badass who’s very own solo movie is kicking some serious butt at the box office as we speak! It’s a guarantee this film is going crush some records, that’s not even a question.

The real question is, just how high can this film go? We’ll find out soon enough!

Release Date: April 26

‘Harry Potter’ Fans Brilliantly Troll J.K. Rowling Over Character Gay Relationship

Remember when Harry Potter was innocent fun for kids of all ages? For more than a decade, J.K. Rowling’s “Wizarding World” was full of fantasy, action, magic, and a little left for the imagination.

Well, ratings aren’t what they used to be for the Fantastic Beasts prequels, so J.K. needs to spruce things up a bit. Only when she admitted in the Blu-Ray commentary on The Crimes of Grindelwald that was just released that “there is a sexual dimension to this relationship,” she wishes she was just “j/k” because those innocent fans grew up to be some potent trolls.

“Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship,” she said in the Blu-ray commentary via the Radio Times. “But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know.”

Yes, that opaque commentary about two beloved characters in the franchise getting freaky between the wizardly sheets didn’t go over too well with loyal fans and hell-bent staunch brand protectors alike. And now, the chaos that ensued.

NOTE: If you’re not down with all things Potter, there’s so much jargon in here, you may need a glossary. After you look stuff up, you’ll find this is bed-wetting hilarity.

Why Marvel has the Midas Touch and What DC Must Learn

Reviews are pouring in on Captain Marvel. And while this post is completely spoiler-free (and really doesn’t discuss the film), it’s safe to say the audience is very mixed on the movie.

Unexpected. Unusual. Brilliant. #GirlPower. Meh. Let’s just get to ‘Endgame.’ 

Whatever flavor is your fancy, it’s out there for your reading pleasure. Despite the mixed hype, this movie is well on its way to backing a Brinks truck up to Marvel Studios with close to a billion dollars. You know, for Marvel, again. 

Nothing is surprising anymore when Marvel releases a movie. I love all the Twitter critics who throw out the superlatives, “Amazing,” “Unprecedented,” “Incredible.” Any time a new movie comes out from the makers of the MCU, this is what you hear, but not so much.

Marvel set the bar and they raise it almost every time. The box office hype and results may be amazing but they are no longer unprecedented. We expect it, but only from Marvel. The key is why we expect it: Trust.

In Marvel We Trust

mcu

No one is perfect, not even the great Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios. He had help but the “phased approach” was his brainchild. It was executed brilliantly. As we all prepare for the ultimate culmination of the MCU with Avengers: Endgame, we know one thing for certain–it’s nowhere near the end.

And there is no person that doubts anything will fail because Marvel has earned that from us. They have worked for our confidence. They have hustled for our money. They have achieved supremacy. Feige committed to a plan and never let up. Even in the wake of Ant-Man & the Wasp, Thor: The Dark World, or the ridiculous way they Etch-a-Sketched Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk, momentum was always moving forward.

Admit it, you will always spend money on Marvel because you always want to see what’s next. They earned it.

In DC, Should We Must?

Shazam-Movie-After-Justice-League-DCEU

Zack Snyder was working the DC Extended Universe in the same fashion as Feige. He began with its preeminent hero and it was one of the greatest origin movies ever made. Then again, Zack is a brilliant story teller, cinematographer, and director. At least, that was expected.

From there spawned arguably the most polarizing film in CBM history, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was all there in the title. We knew it was coming, only there was no plan, no commitment to Snyder’s vision, and absolutely no trust. It only took two movies for the powers-that-be at DC and WB to prove they didn’t have the stones to do what Marvel was accomplishing.

BvS could have set the foundation but there was no plan. A terrific origin movie in Wonder Woman was born, and we learned of more heroes to come. One did and Aquaman was a triumph. The trick was the King of Atlantis ruled the box office in spite of WB and DC, not as a result of them.

Again, there was no trust.

We saw Justice League and many of us wish we hadn’t. The story is completely overblown, over reported, and it should just be over. Snyder was out. Whedon was in. Vision was out. Very bad jokes were in. Process was out. Pushing an issue was in.

Walter Hamada is nothing like Kevin Feige. Sure, as head of DC Films, he had a job to do but there was no enforcement of a vision or connection to the canon. Essentially, he sucked at helping us believe in what the “Worlds of DC’ could become.

Since then, Toby Emmerich has gloated in the supreme success of Aquaman and will continue to swell with the upcoming Shazam. DC will no longer make “connected” movies (allegedly) until they have made nice with the DC Universe–us.

Do you believe him? Does that earn your trust? Before you answer, consider this: There has never more hype about what DC is going to do next more than now.

It’s All About Trust

dc marvel

Despite the trolls and the game they play. Regardless of the Hatfields and McCoys of nerdville. One thing should united those clans–we are embarking on the greatest time in geek history. Directors are empowered to dig deep within canon and make majestic visions of those superheroes. They are also being asked to go dark and imagine what a villain can really become.

There is a reason for trust on both sides of the fence. Feige will continue to guide the direction of the MCU in masterful ways. Marvel is about to gain access to an entire new fleet of heroes thanks to Fox giving up that portion of the ghost. Now that Emmerich has decided the way of DC is to make tell great stories and not worry about great connections, we are getting many new ideas from new directors.

If only the two sides of geek could see the momentum. DC wanted a Feige and now they may have one. Marvel wanted global domination and they do have that. And all we want are great movies.

Don’t you believe we have that? I do, but then again, I trust both sides. We all should because, to use a title we know, Endgame is a misnomer. This is only the beginning. 

Theater Throwback | The Deep Impact Of “Prisoners”

Prisoners is a story about two young girls who go missing in broad daylight. There is only one lead and no hope of finding them anywhere. This movie is one hell of a ride trying to piece together the mystery at hand, while watching a dad (Hugh Jackman) battle his inner demons.

This movie tackles a hard subject, one that some parents may not be able to watch. This movie takes the viewer on a sad journey to show us just how far someone will go to find their child and other places we might never figure out.

Hugh Jackman gives us a performance for the ages, as if he knows first-hand how losing for your daughter might feel.

jackman-prisoners

A Father Looking For Clues (and a little class)…

Prisoners does many good things but one that stands out the most is the storytelling of this mystery that we see unfold right in front of our eyes. Director Denis Villeneuve gives us a heart-wrenching mystery that leaves us puzzled and on the edge of our seats.

At first, you think there are no clues and no hope of finding these two girls. That is until Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes shows up to investigate. Everyone was a suspect and the storytelling had us puzzled, accusing everyone being at fault. The way Denis set the last 30 minutes will leave you gasping for air, as the movie just sucks you in and never allowing you to figure what is happening next.

When you have a great story, you need great action. Prisoners definitely features that. It grabs you and never lets you go. Jackman dives so deep into this role as the lost father. It’s confusing because at first, you feel for him and then, you hate him. Not many actors could do that but, as a father himself, you could tell it brought Jackman to a deep place.

There is a scene in a car you should look out for, because that alone should have been a “Best Actor Nomination” for Hugh Jackman. Not only do you see a lost father dealing with tragedy, but also a father with his inner demons. His performance leaves us with the message that sometimes you are your own worst enemy.

Jake Gyllenhaal also does an amazing job as this cop that feels emotionally invested in the case. He literally stops at nothing to try to get to the bottom of it, when it seems like the other cops want to quit he is right there. I wouldn’t say this is Jake’s best work (I think Nightcrawler was) but he dives into the role like he always does, and executes a performance not many people can do. The only thing I can say about Jake is every role he is in is emotionally heavy, and this role just adds to the list.

Clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, you are in for an emotional thrill-ride. If you are a parent, you might find it hard watching this, because it makes you think of things you don’t want to. Between Gyllenhaal and Jackman they give you a performance that is just outright heavy, and gives you an insight on nth sides of this mystery. I usually am able to spot and solve the mystery before the end, but not this one and props to Dennis Villeneuve for that.

…Causing Us to Look for a Door (and maybe the exit)

Even though this movie has a lot of things going for it, parts of this film has some flaws. One is the ending, which I am about to spoil so if you haven’t seen the movie. Now is a good time if you want to click away or scroll down to the overall section …

Spoilers Below

We watch Jackman’s character, ‘Dover,’ interrogate this poor innocent boy in who the end was just another victim of the old ladies’ cruel, evil game the entire film. This leaves a sour taste because we are supposed to feel for Jackman, but we see he made a grave mistake.

The ending where we never get to see if Detective Loki finds Jackman really bugged me. A lot of people loved the ending, but I would have loved to see Jackman reunited with his daughter.

How far someone would push limits and boundaries even if it means breaking the law to solve this mystery. Then in the end, we never know if he gets closure. Is he dead? Still alive? Is he ever found? We would never know.

Since finishing the movie, that ending is still on my mind. It’s something that bugs me, but it also adds to the heavy tone of the movie, so you take it with a grain of salt. The ending is great, but for me, it stopped the movie from being perfect.

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Spoiler Free Ahead

In the End

When you sit down to watch this movie, know you are in a for an emotional thrill ride. You are going to go through twist and turns, feeling for Jackman then hating him. The entire time you are trying to solve this mystery along with the characters and you just feel awful. Not for one minute do you feel bored. Every single scene captivates you into the story and your in it till the end.

For a 2 1/2 hour movie it surely doesn’t feel that way, you are so invested that time flies by. The last 30 minutes are some of the best of the movie and my heart was racing the whole time. So buckle up grab some popcorn and get ready because this film throws you all over the place, and when you think you know who did it, they knock you over.

The thing that sticks with me is the questions you ask yourself … What would you do in that situation? Would you break the law? How far would you go? How does one person handle loss? There is so many questions and the film shows you a whole lot of answers.


Overall:

9/10

“Be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best”


 

#ICYMI: 10 of the Best ‘Captain Marvel’ Easter Eggs

Everyone loves a good Easter Egg hunt. While you were swimming among the ’90s references and schmaltzy jokes in Captain Marvel, you may have missed quite a few skillful placements of eggs and homages throughout the movie. This isn’t a review. This isn’t a rumination. All you find here are the eggs you zoomed by during the festivities.

Marvel is getting so much better at their bunny hopping game. Here are several examples.

*WARNING: Spoilers Appear Along this Easter Trail. You’ve Been Warned**

1. Mr. Lee and His ‘Mallrats.’

Let’s just get this out of the way–that cameo was perfect. It wasn’t the best in terms of comedy and hijinks. (We have a list for that mystery.) However, in all the cameos, none has been so appropriate and fitting as this one.

There he is, on the subway, reading a script from Kevin Smith’s movie Mallrats, in which he had a cameo playing himself. Many fans still hearken his famous words, “Trust me. True believer.”

And, as if that wasn’t enough, watch this again and look carefully at Brie Larson’s smirk of both appreciation and adoration. He hadn’t passed on the Excelsior plain yet, and still, that look spoke to us all. Absolutely magical and perfect for “the man.”

2. Starforce

starforce

It’s why Zack Snyder was so cherished. It’s why Kevin Feige is the best. Only comic fans can make great comic book movies. Starforce opens up the movie as the elite Kree military team of operatives. The roots are deep in Marvel canon and the movie even got the names, personalities, and classic Kree colors correct.

3. Goose

captain-marvel-cat-chewieHe is not your average puddy-tat. He is also not named after a bird, but a Wookie. The original cat has a place in canon, but his name was “Chewie.” However, there’s this company that owns Marvel and Star Wars, so with Carol being a pilot and this movie based in the ’90s, “Goose” it is. That said, the cat was awesome and the squid hurling is an accurate portrayal of Flerkenism.  Lovely.

4. The 1990s

blockbusterSpeaking of this beloved decade of Grunge, fanny packs, Doc Marten’s, and the invention of that World Wide Web thing, the movie had some “Marvel”ous references to this bygone decade, starting with the crash site. Y’all just don’t know the magic of this place–before the Internet, streaming and pirating, and even DVDs, was Blockbuster.

Aside from that, there was a phone booth. That’s a thing we had back in the day kids before those mobile phone thingamajigs. There is Carol, talking on a pay phone in front of a Smashing Pumpkins poster. The cars, the VHS tapes, RadioShack, Nintendo Gameboy — what a great decade.

5. Kelly Sue Deconnick

kelly-sue-socialFor those who love where the comic was going that led to this cinematic moment, you have Kelly Sue Deconnick to thank for it. She knew everything she was writing was coming to this. So, how is this lovely woman an Easter Egg? Right after the ballyhoo on the subway, Captain Marvel exits the train and walks right by the woman who wrote her being there in the first place. Again, high nerd egg here but for those of us who love her work, this was a Faberge. (Look it up.)

6. Tesseract

Avengers-Tesseract-Cosmic-CubeYes, Loki fans. He didn’t have it first. Ever since Red Skull went traipsing through Germany searching for the Space Stone, we have known about the Tesseract. As we know, Howard Stark got it, followed by Loki (thanks, Thanos, for the irony) a few years later. However, somewhere between now and then, we have the Tesseract powering Mar-Vell’s new mechanism like the Flux Capacitor in some ’80s movie. A nice egg.

7. Mar-Vell (Kinda)

mar-vellThe word “marvel” means “to be filled with wonder.” Makes sense, only in 1939, Fawcett Comics took it first. By the time, ‘Captain Marvel’ was a real thing in the ’50s, Stan Lee had this idea–make a signature character who would be the personification of the brand. If only he could get that word as a character, then Fawcett stopped publishing and the copyright lapsed and Ms. Marvel was born. Only Captain Mar-Vell was a dude and his boss was Colonel Yon-Rogg. (Yes, that was Jude Law and Mar-Vell was not the Captain. Yeah, just see the movie.)

8. Talos (the Tamed)?

talos

If you spend any time with Marvel Comics, you know one of the ultimate enemies is the Skrull. These shapeshifting monsters are ruthless but in the movie, the supreme commander of Skrulls is Talos the Untamed. Only the film tames him a little with a great twist no one ever saw coming (and no, not spoiling that one). The pleasant surprise has us rooting for Talos, even if he wasn’t quite what we expected.

9. Nick Fury 007

white nick furyIn Marvel Canon, the beginning of Nick Fury was two distinct things–a notable spy and Caucasian. He made his name and cut his teeth as a spy during World War II. That’s when he was only a sergeant but he still had swag.

And yes, he was white. He remained a 007-type sleuth with salt-and-pepper hair and an eye patch. That is, until 2002 when Marvel went through a rebrand with “The Ultimates.”  Nick Fury was literally made to look like Samuel L. Jackson, so if you think Sam was “born to be Nick Fury.,” he kinda was. And yes, we find out how he lost his eye, but you can get to that later.

10. Project Pegasus

project-pegasus

First in Iron Man 2 then in Thor, but eventually we learn how the Stark family gets hooked up with military, defense, and space–a shared facility with NASA and S.H.I.E.L.D. kept secret to study the Tesseract. Rewind a couple of decades, the same building is used to shelter, build, and launch prototype vehicles, as well as classified secrets about certain Kree warriors. It’s the blue circle of life.

There were others in this entertaining, 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but those are the eggs  that stood out the most. Comments are open if you want to talk breakfast recipes.

Help Wanted: A Casting Call for All to Answer

There is a project brewing from those of us at MoviesMatrix. You may have heard of it. Our own stop-motion film Aquaman: King Tide. 

As we work on the finishing touches behind that, we have created another stop-motion project…and we’re looking for voice actors. Yes, you could be an Avenger or a Guardian of the Galaxy. All you need is interest, geek passion, and a modicum of talent. 

img_7812While we have not revealed very much information about this project yet, we thought now would be a good time to start.

We have two brand new stop motion series in development. They are both currently in different stages of production and will be releasing as soon as we are able to have a good product complete and ready to release.

This is a big undertaking for a small troop of cinephiles and we can’t do it alone! We need the help of a few good men and women who just want to contribute and share their work across social media. 

No money. No movie tickets. Just your donation and collaboration in a stop-movie project that you can add to your portfolio. That, and you’ll be a friend of the Matrix for good!

This is a Casting Call!

As of this moment we would like to formally announce a casting call for one of our projects. We have been working on assembling a voice cast for this series. Multiple parts have filled, but a few (really good ones) are still open. 

This series is titled Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 0, loosely based on the continuity of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without giving too much away, the story will follow the Guardians as they travel through the galaxy, trying to help as many people as they can…while making as much money as they can.

We don’t know how many episodes the first season will be, but we have big plans for what will come next, and after that. This is an undertaking that is here to stay. If you get in where you can fit in, expect several DMs. 

As you can probably tell, we are going to have a lot of characters who need voices. The following list is the characters we have remaining to cast as of this moment.

  • Gamora
  • Nova (Sam Alexander)
  • Captain Marvel
  • Iron Man
  • War Machine
  • Multiple Skrull Soldiers

These are not the only characters we will need to cast, but they are all we need at the moment. To submit an audition or for more information, we have a Twitter account you can contact, @MatrixAnimated. Bookmark it. Tweet it. Use it. Please?

‘Venom’ 2 Casting a Web for a New Director…But Why?!

It was considered impossible to warrant success because, you know, Peter Parker was nowhere to be found (and was dealing with the ‘Snap’). Then, $855 million later–including $80 million on opening weekend–people were freaking out about Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Venom. 

This is the No. 15 most profitable comic book movie in history and Ruben Fleischer’s crowning achievement as a director (although Gangster Squad wasn’t bad). Sony has already announced a sequel and Carnage is coming!

So, someone please tell us why in the symbiotic hell is Sony considering a new director for the new Venom movie?! 

ruben and tom
Source: IMDB video

Variety reports that even though master scribe Kelly Marcel (and a producer of the original) and Tom Hardy are returning for the sequel, Sony Pictures is already shopping for some new symbiote groceries at the director position.

Sony, of course, declined comment with their chicken-ess selves.

Michelle Williams? Back. Woody Harrelson? Of course, he’s back. But that Fleischer guy who orchestrated all of it together? Yeah, who needs him.

A unnamed source says Fleischer may be occupied shooting a sequel to his other well-known movie Zombieland. And we’re expected to be okay with that?

Let’s see: Shoot a sequel for one of the biggest surprises in recent nerd memory and make close to another $1 billion or take a respite and construct a follow-up to a film that has done, to date, $102 million. (And it came out in 2009!)

Venom was a triumph because although it wasn’t rated R, it shattered October box office records. Fans went back multiple times to see it in the theater because of its dark nature–drama and comedy. Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and Venom was anything short of masterful. While Hardy did that, Fleischer directed that. Now Sony may not be happy with that.

The beginning of an enigmatic and morose franchise with its first ouster. Sony? Learn from DC. Don’t do that.