This is one of my favorite shorts. I caught it at the San Diego International Film Festival. It has a fascinating premise. The actors are sweet. The story is funny.
Not quite the poignant film of The Lego Movie. The Lego Ninjago movie is just plain fun and funny. Kids will love it.
Director: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan
Writer: Bob Logan, Paul Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, John Whittington
Stars: Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armison, Justin Theroux, Abbi Jacobson
Just like the Fast and the Furious, the film is about family. I was afraid of getting real bored, but at the halfway mark when the Lego gang have Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) in their capture and he tries to reconnect with his son, Llyod (Dave Franco).
I remained engaged in the journey of young Miguel to the end. A journey that ultimately forces him to choose between the safety of a tight-knit, loving family and the desire to follow his dream and passions.
Third time’s the charm. It’s not that the first two Thor movies were bad. They were films that took themselves a little too seriously. Instead, Thor: Ragnarok finds our favorite Asgardian, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) exiled in the psychedelic, heavily-synthesized cosmos, made popular by the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The San Diego International Film Festival is underway in Downtown San Diego. Films are screening now until Sunday. Why not spend a beautiful weekend in San Diego and see some amazing independent films.
THE SAN DIEGO INTL FILM FESTIVAL is So Cal’s premier film event and one of the leading stops on the independent festival circuit. SDiFF offers a totally unique film experience; including world premieres, never before seen studio releases, the best in independent filmmaking and a full schedule of glamorous parties and intimate events with filmmakers. Join us Downtown at the Balboa Theater for opening night, Regal Cinema and the ArcLight La Jolla for screenings and featuring the beautiful Pendry San Diego as our Festival Headquarters.
I’m busy reviewing films for Film Threat. So, I’m going to do shorter reviews of mainstream films, just so I can maintain my sanity and keep this site up-and-running.
Kingsmen: The Golden Circle is a fine sequel to the Kingsmen. Matthew Vaughn is able to maintain the fun and feel of the original. This sequel is a continuation of the first film and after a huge loss up-front, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) travel to the United States to seek help from the Statesmen. Help comes in the form of Tequila (Channing Tatum), Ginger (Halle Berry), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Champ (Jeff Bridges).
The film is fun but feels shortened as if there was too much story and it needed to be seriously edited down. Julianne Moore is great as the film’s villain, Poppy. The return of Harry (Colin Firth) is semi-plausible, but a welcome return. I appreciate that the film went in big unexpected directions from the very beginning.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is in my humble opinion the best of the Spider-Man movies and arguably should sit near the top of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Writer: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daily
Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton
Thankfully, we fans are spared a Spider-Man origins story as the events of Spider-Man take place soon after the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War. Also, this tale of Spider-Man is clearly a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man: Homecoming is the story of sophomore high school student Peter Parker (Tom Holland).
Like any new adolescent, Peter is trying hard to find his identity. His only notoriety at school is his internship at Stark Industries, but even that is hardly the credentials he needs to be popular or land a date with his senior crush, Liz (Laura Harrier). As Spider-Man, Peter wants to impress the world by becoming an Avenger.
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns Peter to his Aunt Mae (Marisa Tomei) with his new Spider suit and with instructions to lay low until he is needed again. This is pretty much a Don’t-Call-Us-We’ll-Call-You situation. Stark leaves Peter with Happy’s (Jon Favreau) phone number for any questions.
Meanwhile…in the past, clean-up specialist Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is hired to clean-up New York City after the Jitari attack. Before work can get started, Toomes is quickly fired by S.H.I.E.L.D. but not before he is able to steal some of that sweet alien technology. Long story short, Toomes begins to sell newly created alien-hybrid weapons to the New York criminal underworld. Toomes is also able to steal more technology thanks to his Vulture-like battle suit.
While waiting for the Avengers call, Peter decides to clean-up the New York crime problem. In the process, he begins to uncover the Vulture’s plans, cause more problems on the streets of New York than he can handle and inadvertently reveal his secret identity to his best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon).
There is a lot to love about Spider-Man: Homecoming. Let’s first look at it from the perspective of it as a Spider-Man movie. Homecoming ranks right up there as the best Spider-Man movie right next to Spider-Man 2. Tom Holland is perfect as Spider-Man. He has the constant running mouth that the comic book Peter Parker has. He is and remains a high school student throughout the entire movie, and he struggles with the very things high school students struggle with…identity. He wants to be noticed.
There are also brilliant moments where we get to see the limitations of Spider-Man that we haven’t seen in other films. The best example is when Peter attends a party at Liz’s home in the suburbs. He chases down the bad guys, but there are no tall buildings anywhere to swing on. He, basically, runs.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is half action film and half John Hughes movie. Director Jon Watts takes us through the struggles of an adolescent, who has to save New York City from a menacing threat. The story is well grounded and the adult moments are just as effective as the teen moments.
Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers who own a struggling women’s shoe store, have an unlikely friendship with 11-year-old Kamilla. On the first day of the 1992 L.A. riots, the trio must defend the store while contemplating the meaning of family and thinking about personal dreams and the future.
Alan Ng talks with Gook writer/director/actor Justin Chon about his experience creating Gook and the art of Black and White. Alan also speaks with Justin’s co-stars David So and Simone Baker.
Steppin’ Out is a short film about two gunslingers experiencing the modern world.