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PASS THE POPCORN: Movies – January 2016

justin brotton - Friday, January 01, 2016

By Jason Black

Typically, January can be a little dicey in the theaters with studios trying to get blockbusters and awards bait out before the end of the year. In Oklahoma, some of those awards movies hit wide, so we still have some good movies to go check out. On the other hand, some of those big movies getting nominations, which were released earlier in the year, are now available on Blu-ray/DVD.

“Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt as a woman working for the CIA, and is used by them to try to take down a Mexican drug cartel. Very intense and very good, this movie is one to watch if you’re looking for a good thriller. 

Speaking of intense, “The Walk,” starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, is based on the true story of a Frenchman who pulls off a caper to walk on a wire from one World Trade Center tower to the other. The visuals in this movie are probably the best since “Gravity.”

One of the biggest movies, and big surprise, of the year was “Straight Outta Compton,” which details the story of NWA, the rap group from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Really good movie with really good music. 

Most kids read “Goosebumps” books growing up, so here’s a movie starring Jack Black as the author R.L. Stein. The characters from the books come to life, and they need to get back on the pages before they destroy the world. Kind of an underrated movie, but a lot of fun.



The Picture: “The 5th Wave”

The Plot: Four waves of alien attacks have hit earth, with the fifth one on its way. That can’t be good.

The Players: Chloe Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello

The Prediction: Sci-fi movies can make big money, especially when there isn’t much competition in the theater.



The Picture: “The Finest Hours”

The Plot: Two oil tankers are destroyed off the coast of Cape Cod. The Coast Guard attempts to rescue the workers in a blizzard. 

The Players: Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Ben Foster

The Prediction: This is based on a true story. Movies like “Lone Survivor” and “American Sniper” have done really well with January releases in the past two years. This one seems to be trying to fill that role this January.



The Picture: “Kung Fu Panda 3

The Plot: The third adventure for Po. This time, he has two nemeses to fight.

The Players: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan

The Prediction: These have been huge hits, and this looks to be another one. This is really the biggest success Jack Black has anymore. Getting this out early will probably help.

PASS THE POPCORN: Movies – September 2015

justin brotton - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

By Jason Black

Coming off those hot August nights and those bad August movies, it’s time to get back into a nice, cool movie theater. The kids are officially back in school and football has kicked off, so now that things are right with the world, let’s preview some movies hitting home viewing for the month of September.

Buckle up because both “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Furious 7” come out this month on DVD/Blu-ray. This is the fourth installment in the “Mad Max” series, and it just plain never stops. Max is on the run with Furiosa to get some water, save some ladies and basically just keep away from some weird looking dudes.

“Furious 7” is similar in that this series has had some huge action sequences, and the seventh movie might be the best of all. Plot? Who cares?! Someone is mad at someone else, so they round up the family and take life one-quarter mile at a time. At the end, there is a very touching tribute to Paul Walker, who was killed in a car crash at the same time they were filming the movie.

Finally, relax a little with the Bellas in “Pitch Perfect 2.” This time, after offending the president, they sing their hearts out at an international competition. The first one was a hit, and this one was even bigger. There’s plenty of laughs, even when it doesn’t always work. The word is, PP3 is already in the works.

black mass movieThe Picture: “Black Mass”

The Plot: 
True story about Whitey Bulger, one of the most infamous gangsters in American history.

The Players: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson.

The Prediction: Depp needs a hit, and all signs point to this being one. Could be in the Oscar race, too. The Oklahoma tie: Bulger was indicted in 2001 for murdering Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler and was moved to a federal prison in Oklahoma in 2013.


hotel Transylvania 2The Picture: “Hotel Transylvania 2”

The Plot: Wacky monster mishaps ensue when Vlad, an old-school vampire, visits Hotel Transylvania.

The Players: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Kevin James.

The Prediction: The first one was pretty cute, and this is a fun premise for an animated movie. The only big hits Sandler has anymore are cartoons, really.

the intern movieThe Picture: “The Intern

The Plot: A 70-year-old widower comes out of retirement to take an internship at a fashion website.

The Players: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo.

The Prediction: De Niro has always been pretty good at poking fun at his own expense. This could be a fun picture as a departure from his tough-guy roles.

PASS THE POPCORN: Movies – August 2015

justin brotton - Saturday, August 01, 2015

By Jason Black

Summer is almost over … how did that happen? August can be a bit of a dumping ground for movies, but the mega-hit “Guardians of the Galaxy” came out in August 2014, as did “Thunderstruck” in 2012. So, now it can be a month to sneak something out before summer’s end. It appears that maybe the August dumping ground is about what’s available for home viewing, because none of it is that great.

What if I told you Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara (of TV’s Modern Family) were doing a screwball comedy? You’d be in, right? Well, they did that movie in the form of “Hot Pursuit,” but it’s ranked as one of the worst movies of the year. Enjoy!

Remember when you couldn’t wait for the next Cameron Crowe movie to come out? “Jerry Maguire,” “Almost Famous,” … they were all great. Crowe’s latest, “Aloha,” has a great cast with Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Bill Murray. The movie has a lot of plots, but none of them work. There might be some good moments, but overall it’s a bust from Mr. Crowe.

Sorry to be so snarky, but since there really isn’t anything good coming out, it’s fun to have a few laughs at other people’s expense – even if they’re doing something that I’m not talented enough to do. See you next month!

Fantastic FourThe Picture: “Fantastic Four”

The Plot: A reboot of the four getting their powers. They have to work together with their new abilities to thwart a friend who has turned bad.

The Players: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell

The Prediction: Did we need a reboot? Probably, since the FF are pretty popular, and the first two movies weren’t great. This one is supposed to be a little moodier, like what if you got super powers but didn’t really want them?

Ricki and the FlashThe Picture: “Ricki and the Flash”

The Plot: A rock star tries to come home to make amends to her family for being gone so much.

The Players: Meryl Streep, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Kline

The Prediction: This seems pretty high risk/high reward. Streep is good at everything she does, but a rock star? Streep’s real-life daughter, Gummer, plays her daughter in the movie.

UnderdogsThe Picture: “Underdogs”

The Plot: A kid gets to play with his heroes, who happen to be from his foosball game.

The Players: Gabriel Almiron, Federico Cecere, Ezequiel Cipols

The Prediction: This movie is finally getting a release date in the U.S. The Weinstein Company is distributing, which usually means it will get a steady push to make money.


justin brotton - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

By Jason Black

July is here, which means vacations, heat and getting to the movies for summer blockbusters. Following are some of the most anticipated movies of the month; but first, let’s look at what comes out for you to watch in the comfort of your own home.

What’s this Netflix all about? And what are these shows that only play on Netflix? One of those shows is “House of Cards,” which hits the shelves this month, so you don’t need a Netflix account to watch it. The third season takes us on Frank’s new journey as president. Does he make people mad while doing things his way? Yep!

One of the best-reviewed movies, maybe of the year, is “Ex Machina,” a cool sci-fi film about a Steve Jobs-type who makes artificial intelligence. One of his employees comes to his secluded home to see how artificial these robots are.

Finally, for the kids, the new Dreamworks movie “Home” comes out. An alien is left behind on Earth with a human, who must find his mom and other alien family. Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory” and singer Rihanna are the main voices. The movie is actually pretty silly, but kids seem to like it.

ant-manThe Picture: “Ant-Man

The Plot: In the latest chapter of the Marvel Universe, Scott Lang gets a suit that let’s him shrink down to the size of an ant, but gain enormous strength.

The Players: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas

The Prediction: Marvel is in its next phase of heroes to bring in more characters for the “Avengers” movies. Even though Ant-Man is lesser known, that hasn’t stopped Marvel from making good, fun movies – see “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

trainwreckThe Picture: “Trainwreck”

The Plot: A commitment-phobic career woman meets a good guy who’s friends with LeBron James.

The Players: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, LeBron James

The Prediction: Judd Apatow directs, and the red-hot Schumer wrote this new comedy. Apatow has never directed something he didn’t write himself. The buzz and pedigree look pretty good.

minionsThe Picture: “Minions

The Plot: Spin-off from “Despicable Me,” centering on the little yellow Minions.

The Players: Sandra Bullock, Allison Janney, Jon Hamm

The Prediction: Is this a good idea? The “Despicable Me” movies are pretty funny, but can these little guys carry a movie? Especially when they have their own language? 

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