Bumblebee (Film/Movie Review) – The First Good Transformers Film

Bumblebee is a sci-fi action film directed by Travis Knight. It is the sixth instalment in the live-action Transformers movie franchise and, thankfully, the first not to be directed by Michael Bay. The movie stars Pamela Adlon, John Ortiz, James Drucker, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena and Hailee Steinfeld. Angela Bassett, Dylan O’Brien, Justin Theroux and Peter Cullen also star in voice roles.

The story of Bumblebee is set in 1987 where the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons on Cybertron is reaching a critical point. Bumblebee (Dylan O’Brien) is tasked by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), heroic leader of the Autobots, to establish a base on Earth.

After taking severe damage, Bumblebee seeks refuge in California and is discovered by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager still struggling with the loss of her father. Charlie and Bumblebee forge a friendship and work together to achieve Bumblebee’s mission and protect Earth from the Decepticon threat.

My Expectation For Bumblebee

While not exactly the pinnacle of cinema, I will always have a soft spot for Transformers and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The same cannot be said for the abysmal Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Age of Extinction. In fact, I hated the latter so much that I did not bother seeing Transformers: The Last Knight. Judging from the reviews for The Last Knight, that was probably for the best.

So, five films in and my enthusiasm for the Transformers film series was completely gone. That was the case until the marketing campaign for Bumblebee began. I saw promising signs from the trailers that Travis Knight could bring his brilliant work on Kubo and the Two Strings over to Bumblebee and the positive reviews Bumblebee received got me really excited. It was possible that Bumblebee could be the first legitimately good Transformers movie.

My Thoughts On Bumblebee

As it turns out, Bumblebee is indeed the first truly good Transformers film. However, I will say that the best film it could have been was its very first scene. The first scene shows the Cybertronian Civil War and I wished it was the whole movie. I felt that there was some superb action with dramatic weight in this scene and I was kind of gutted that it ended so quickly. Still, the film we got in the end was enjoyable.

As the film progressed, one thing was very clear to me; Bumblebee is not a prequel to the 2007 Transformers film. It is instead a soft reboot of the Transformers movie franchise. Indeed, the credits scene is overwhelming proof of this if anyone needed more confirmation and the credits scene brilliantly sets up sequels to Bumblebee.

The heart and soul of Bumblebee is the relationship between Bumblebee and Charlie and Hailee Steinfeld’s performance is key to the success of this film. Certainly, unlike every other Transformers film, this movie puts character first which was quite refreshing. I also liked the 80s setting and the nostalgic moments deliver whether it was the music or the consistent references to The Breakfast Club.

In terms of influences on this film, you can see how similar Bumblebee is to a movie such as The Iron Giant and, in terms of more improvements over previous Transformers movies, the comedy in this film is much better. This was not a particularly hard thing to accomplish and not every comedic moment delivers, especially with John Cena who was very hit and miss in Bumblebee.

My Final Thoughts On Bumblebee

Nevertheless, in the end, I was relieved at how much I enjoyed Bumblebee and I hope there are sequels because this movie is a good base for more Transformers films to be made. If you had gone sour over the Transformers films as I did, give Bumblebee a chance. I do not think you will regret it.

bumblebee review

 

Film News – Zachary Levi Discusses Shazam

We all know that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has not had an easy existence which made the success of Aquaman even more of an achievement, particularly from a financial perspective. Warner Bros. and DC Comics will absolutely want this success to continue with Shazam! which is set for a release in April 2019.

The star of this film is Zachary Levi and, in a group interview, he had the opportunity to speak about Shazam! in detail.

Shazam!

Zachary Levi said this on playing a superhero in Shazam! that has such enthusiasm:

It’s the best […] I’ve been a comic fan since I was a little kid, but I don’t know it nearly as probably everyone sitting in these chairs, but in many many other people. So, I’m not going to say that there’s not another… There are two characters that I can think of in all of comicdom, including DC and Marvel, and it’s Billy Batson and Peter Parker.”

Those two to me, at least that I know, you get to go on this journey of like, instead of it being, ‘Oh, I have to save the world again [begrudgingly voice]’ or whatever that is. It’s like, [hyper-enthusiastic voice] ‘I get to save the world again.’ It’s that.”

As a nerd who loved and lived this world for so long, and still do to some level, that I don’t have to restrain myself with the fucking coolness factor, is so great.”

I have to act so little. I just get to be me on so many levels. It’s great. It’s really really fun. It’s a pain in the ass doing some of this shit. It’s painstaking. It’s little by little, and little by little, and all the action and how it’s all put together.”

The suit is very very tight. To be perfectly honest, I can only do #1 in it. They have to take the whole thing off to drop a deuce and that’s a pain in the ass. But these are the prices you pay to be a superhero? Fucking sign me up.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film/TV News – Charlie Cox On Daredevil + King of Thieves

In my opinion, it is safe to say that Charlie Cox is indebted to Daredevil for boosting his career in the entertainment industry. While roles in Boardwalk Empire, Stardust and The Theory of Everything would have helped, we have to realise that he is predominantly known by general audiences for his role as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the Netflix Marvel TV show Daredevil.

In an interview with Collider, Charlie Cox was given the chance to discuss Daredevil as well as King of Thieves, a recent film he starred in alongside Michael Caine, Michael Gambon and Jim Broadbent.

Daredevil

The cancellation of Daredevil was a real kick in the teeth for fans of that superhero television series. Here is what Charlie Cox stated when it came to the topic of whether any plans for Season 4 of Daredevil had been made before the show was cancelled:

Yeah. I know that they pitched the whole season to Netflix. I knew little details ‘cause typically I don’t like to know the whole story whilst it’s being written, but I knew the basics of the ideas that they had, and I was very excited.”

Based on the response that Season 3 had, I was under the impression that we would absolutely be making more seasons of television, so I was very shocked and obviously deeply saddened because I love that character and I’ve loved the show.”

It’s been one of the great privileges of my career, to be involved with Netflix and Marvel, and to play this character. I was looking forward to another couple of years of it, so I was very sad. But in the interest of being positive and looking forward, I’m also grateful that we got to end on such a high.”

Sometimes with these genre shows, when you’re making so much content – I’ve already made 50-something hours of this character – it’s very hard to maintain quality, over that long of a period. So, in a weird way, I’m also grateful that we did a quality show, from start to finish, that didn’t descend into lunacy.”

King of Thieves

Charlie Cox had this to say on how he decided to portray his character in King of Thieves seeing as he was given some artistic licence:

A lot was already done for me in the script. Joe’s script was incredibly clear and concise, and I drew all of my information from that.”

But the thing that I wanted to explain was why, if Basil is the one with the key, and he’s the catalyst for the beginning of this robbery, what is it about him? Why can’t he go to criminals his own age, who are physically more capable of this? Why doesn’t he take this to one of his mates, who can get together a similarly capable team and do it in an age appropriate way?”

On the one hand, you’ve got this guy who’s an alarm specialist, and he’s pretty good with computers and alarms, but then, on the other hand, you’ve got someone who doesn’t have any friends of his own.”

He doesn’t take this to people who could probably have a better chance of pulling the job off. So, I focused on someone who is a bit of a genius, but also socially awkward enough that he doesn’t have any mates.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Film/Movie Review) – A Game Changer For Animation

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero film directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman. It is based on the Marvel Comics character Miles Morales/Spider-Man and it is the first animated movie in the Spider-Man film franchise.

The film features an ensemble voice cast of Liev Schreiber, John Mulaney, Luna Lauren Valez, Nicolas Cage, Lily Tomlin, Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld and Shameik Moore.

The story of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is set in a shared multiverse called the ‘Spider-Verse’ which has alternate universes with various Spider-Men. In this film, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) becomes one of the many Spider-Men and he must work with the others to save New York City from Kingpin (Liev Schreiber).

My Expectation For Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This is not an exaggeration; every single review and reaction to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse proclaimed it to be one of the best films of 2018, one of the best comic-book movies of 2018 and one of the best comic-book movies ever made. Clearly, this raised my expectations for a film I did not know much about.

I tried to go into this film knowing little about the plot but the praise that Spider-Verse received made me think that I was in for something special. Still, Avengers: Infinity War was the best superhero film I had seen in 2018 and Spider-Verse would have to be special to top Infinity War.

My Thoughts On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Avengers: Infinity War remains my favourite comic book film of 2018 but I really liked Spider-Verse. Make no mistake, this film is a game changer for animation. It is visually gorgeous and unique in its style.

Still, what makes Spider-Verse a very good film is its story, the heart of which is the relationship between Miles Morales and his family. Indeed, the tug-of-war for Miles between his father and uncle made for some very poignant moments throughout the movie.

Still, as much as I liked Spider-Verse, I feel as though my appreciation for this film would have been greatly enhanced if I was a hardcore Spider-Man fan. I cannot imagine how awesome this film would have been for them.

I am a very casual fan of Spider-Man so most of the easter-eggs and specific, deep cut references went over my head. Certainly, I had no idea so many iterations of Spider-Man existed in the first place.

Nevertheless, I found so much to like in Spider-Verse despite how much this film was made for the hardcore fans of Spider-Man. This movie is funny and has some brilliant characters within it. Obviously, Miles Morales and Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) are standouts but my favourite character was Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage).

I loved his role in the film and what he brought to the story. Moreover, because of the range of characters as well as the dense story, Spider-Verse has to juggle a lot of moving parts and it does this very nicely which was a big achievement.

My Final Thoughts On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

My only real issue with Spider-Verse was how the momentum of the film was a bit stop/start which slightly hampered the pacing. Additionally, while Kingpin was a decent villain, I would have liked for his character to have been a bit more developed than it was.

Still, I understand that Spider-Verse is a film about the hero’s journey and it is a great journey to go on. Spider-Verse is a very good time at the cinema and it does deserve a lot of the praise it has received. It also deserves award recognition and it should be a lock to win Best Animated Film at the 2019 Oscars.

spider-man into the spider-verse review

 

TV News – Scoot McNairy On True Detective Season 3 + Narcos: Mexico

You can currently see Scoot McNairy in Season 3 of True Detective and his involvement in this TV show, along with his role as the narrator in the critically acclaimed Narcos: Mexico, is propelling him to new heights in the television industry. In an interview with Collider, Scoot McNairy had the chance to discuss both True Detective and Narcos: Mexico.

True Detective Season 3

Scoot Mcnairy had a lot of nice things to say about working with co-star Mamie Gummer on True Detective Season 3:

Mamie is a fucking fantastic actress. She really just shows up to work, and lays it down and leaves, which I was super blown away by and had a great time working with her. Mamie doesn’t have any kids.”

For me, I had to make it personal. I think the relationship between us is that you don’t know how people will react when there’s a tragedy. Some people go silent, some people become very verbal, some people hide, and some people laugh.”

It’s all over the place. Just the fact that you’ve lost your kids, and then the fact that you’re not getting along with your wife, is just hell. You can see it all over the character’s face. He just can’t move forward with his life. He’s trying everything, and he can’t.”

Narcos: Mexico

Here is what Scoot McNairy had to say on whether he knew from the start what his role in Season 1 of Narcos: Mexico would evolve into:

Yes. To answer your questions, we figured out first that I was going to be able to come onto the next season of Narcos. We discovered that about nine months ago.”

Then, it was (executive producer/writer) Eric Newman who said, ‘If he’s coming on, why don’t we see if we can plug him into one episode, at the very end, and we’ll see if we can have him narrate because it would make sense.’ I think they were struggling with Kiki Camarena, Michael Peña’s character, narrating from the grave, and if that made sense or not.”

It was a last minute decision. It just made sense for Walt to come on. So, six or seven months before we started shooting this new season, I knew I was coming on board that show.”

Scoot McNairy also talked about what the new season of Narcos: Mexico will cover:

I can’t say too much about it, but we’ll follow Diego Luna and his continuing struggles with the cartel. I am a DEA agent, who is essentially part of a true operation that took place, down in Mexico in 1986. He’s loosely based on a real character, but the character I play is fictional.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

TV News – Finn Wolfhard On Carmen Sandiego + Future Projects

Finn Wolfhard is having a stellar career as a child actor. He burst onto the scene in the entertainment industry with the sci-fi horror TV show Stranger Things and he followed that up with his work in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. He now has a new role in an animated television series titled Carmen Sandiego and, in an interview with Collider, he had the opportunity to discuss that show as well as his future projects.

Carmen Sandiego

Here is what Finn Wolfhard had to say on how he made Player, the character he voices in Carmen Sandiego, his own:

To see a hacker actually hacking is not the most interesting thing visually, and it’s pretty boring as an actor: a hacker taps on her keyboard. There’s really not much more than that. So you have to focus on the hacker’s relationships and why they are hacking in the first place.”

I don’t think I thought about similar characters as much as I asked myself, ‘Why does Player spend so much time inside on his computer, and why does he seeks out Carmen in particular?’”

Future Projects

Finn Wolfhard said this when it came to the topic of what he could say about his upcoming projects:

There are a few films with truly excellent scripts and talent that I’m involved with as an actor, and another that I’m also helping to produce.  I also just finished writing a short that’s got some traction; I’m directing that one, too.  I think, though, that you’ll be happiest to know that I have a couple more animated things coming soon.  Just can’t give you any more details than that – sorry!”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Ralph Breaks The Internet (Film/Movie Review) – An Enjoyable Sequel

Ralph Breaks The Internet is an animated Disney film directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston and it is the 57th Walt Disney animated feature film. This movie acts as a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph and it has a voice cast that includes Alfred Molina, Jane Lynch, Ed O’Neill, Taraji P. Henson, Alan Tudyk, Jack McBrayer, Gal Gadot, Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly.

The story of Ralph Breaks The Internet focuses on Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) who must travel to the Internet in order to save Sugar Rush, Vanellope’s video game. On this mission, Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship is tested to new limits.

My Expectation For Ralph Breaks The Internet

I liked Wreck-It Ralph and, after its success from a financial and critical perspective, it made sense that Disney would make a sequel. From the trailers, I thought that Ralph Breaks The Internet looked fun but I was not expecting this film to be better than Wreck-It Ralph. All I wanted was an enjoyable movie and anything more than that would be a bonus.

My Thoughts On Ralph Breaks The Internet

A decent, enjoyable movie is exactly what I got with Ralph Breaks The Internet. In some aspects, it is a sequel that improves on the original when it comes to the quality of the animation and set pieces as well as the themes and messages within the story such as friendship and its commentary on the Internet.

However, other elements of Ralph Breaks The Internet are not as good as they were in the first film. Indeed, the overall story in this sequel is nowhere near as strong and I felt that some of the characters that helped the first film so fun are left behind in Ralph Breaks The Internet which was a shame.

Additionally, the first act of Ralph Breaks The Internet, which is essentially everything that happened before Ralph and Vanellope travel to the Internet, was a bit flat. However, everything in the second act was really good, especially when it came to the Disney princess scene. The third act was mixed because, while there were some good character moments, the final boss battle was pretty bland in my opinion.

Ralph Breaks The Internet is, overall, a bit of a mixed bag but there was just about more stuff to like in it than to dislike or have apathy about. If you are a fan of the first film then you should see this sequel but do not go in expecting a brilliant Disney classic because it is not.

ralph breaks the internet review

 

Film News – Nick Castle On Halloween

The original 1970s Halloween is an iconic horror film and Michael Myers, the antagonist of that movie, is an iconic villain not just in the horror genre but in all of cinema. The actor who played Michael Myers in Halloween was Nick Castle and he reprised his role in the recent 2018 Halloween. In an interview with Collider, Nick Castle was given the opportunity to speak about Halloween.

Halloween

Here is what Nick Castle had to say on whether the process of making the 2018 Halloween encouraged him to go back and re-watch the original film after last seeing it 20 years ago:

Oh, yeah, I did! I went back and took a look, and I just… what happens is I have gone for the last, I don’t know, half dozen years to horror conventions. And there’s fans there that just love the movie to death — they have so many questions. They wanna know this, and they wanna know that. And frankly, I wasn’t remembering half the things they were talking about.”

Someone’s like, ‘How did you walk across… when you were chasing Jamie, and you turned at the banister, and you cross your leg, and what is that?’ And I said, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking [about].’ So I have to go back. I went back and took a look at it. And I was happy to see it again, ’cause I can see why it has lasting power.”

It just kind of all worked. The characters were well-drawn. And John just did a fantastic job, very simple but straightforward, but in a very artistic way. So yeah, it was fun to go back, and to revisit it.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

TV News – Aidan Gillen Discusses Project Blue Book

Aidan Gillen has made a great career for himself in the television industry. Indeed, he had prominent roles in The Wire and Game of Thrones which are two HBO TV shows that are in the discussion for being amongst the best television shows ever made.

Aidan Gillen has a leading role in a new TV series called Project Blue Book and, in an interview with Collider, Aidan Gillen had the chance to speak about Project Blue Book.

Project Blue Book

Aidan Gillen said this on the fascinating subject matter:

Look, I’m familiar enough with the subject and the era, and I thought it was quite fascinating. I did want to have a conversation with the showrunners to see what their vision for it was and to see if it was a script that was gonna be shot. It was worth having those conversations, since things have changed.”

Generally, my feeling on things are quite instinctive. One read of something, if it’s read out loud, can give you a fair idea of whether you’ve gotta work on it, or whether you’re the right person for it or not. It was certainly the type of thing that I was looking to do, playing a warm positive character, as opposed to a cool, cynical, conniving character.”

Aidan Gillen also discussed whether he would want to return to Project Blue Book in the future:

I’d like to think so. That was certainly the plan, at the outset. I always like trying to find some space in there for those moments where it’s not all about the action or the plot, or moving the story along. I know that it’s an episodic drama that has a story pretty much every week. Some of them are split over two weeks.”

But there are over-arching sides to it, and I’m always interested in knowing what people are doing when they’re not pushing the story. I think there’s a way to go with Hynek and what you can do with him, and the sides of him that you can show. So, that’s part of the plan, yeah.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

TV News – Bradley Whitford On Valley of the Boom + The West Wing

Bradley Whitford has a starring role in the new TV show Valley of the Boom and he is no stranger to working in the television industry which is evident with his roles in shows such as The West Wing. In an interview with Collider, Bradley Whitford had the opportunity to discuss both Valley of the Boom and The West Wing.

Valley of the Boom

Bradley Whitford had this to say on reading the script for Valley of the Boom and what it was like to work on this show:

When I read the script, I was incredibly excited about it. You have no idea, when a director is trying to do something this cutting edge and joyous, if it’s gonna work, at all, and it turned out to really be a lot of fun.”

It’s a way of telling a story that resonates with the story that it’s telling. There was a wild mish-mash of forces coming together. It was the Wild West with high stakes. You were either gonna be Bill Gates, or you were gonna be taking a shower in a parking lot.”

The West Wing

Bradley Whitford also spoke about whether he would want to be involved in a revival of The West Wing:

I think a number of us have, at different times, pitched a similar idea. Aaron [Sorkin] is a smart guy. He’s wisely cautious and hesitant to go back to what was such a wonderful experience.”

This current presidency actually makes it more difficult to do our show, for a lot of reasons, but I walk around constantly knowing that, while it was certainly time for us to end The West Wing, the show could have continued creatively, just because there is an infinite arena of possibilities.”

The good news is that all of us love each other. It feels like a family. As the years go by, we have even more appreciation for our good fortune to be part of a creative and cultural experience like that. I would do yard work for him. I would do anything. But, it’s dangerous. You don’t want to mess it up.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.