The First Omen by 20th Century Studios

The First Omen

The First Omen is the latest installment in the Omen franchise from 20th Century Studios and takes a stap at the origins of the tale.

The First Omen is a prequel to the Omen franchise from 20th Century Studios focusing on a branch of the church completing unspeakable acts to maintain control. The story centers on Margaret, a young woman with a history of hallucinations, on her path to taking her vows and assisting with work at an orphanage. There she meets a young girl named Carlita who seems to be troubled. Noticing similarities in their experiences she feels a bond with her and works to guide her to help her work through her troubles in a more productive way. Soon after a man by the name of Father Brennan approaches her to voice concerns about who Carlita really is and sets her on a path where she begins to question everything.

Having never seen The Omen or it’s many spinoffs I was still away of the general concept, the church raising the Antichrist and the evil surrounding him. Going into the film mostly blind I was unaware of the intentions the church may or may not have had and as it is explained in the first few minutes it became apparent that we were in for one hell of a ride. More often than not when a prequel is made of a horror film from the 70s or 80s it comes out a bit on the cheesy side and that’s exactly what I was expecting. I was quite impressed with the quality of the acting and more importantly the storytelling. It was surprisingly good and makes me curious to see the other films in the series.

Poor Things from Searchlight Pictures

Poor Things

Emma Stone leads in Poor Things from Searchlight Pictures alongside Willem Dafoe in a twisted tale of self discovery and learning.

Poor Things from Searchlight Pictures features Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe, The film begins with Emma Stone jumping from a bridge to kill herself without any explanation. Just as suddenly we see her through a black and white lens and she walks like a toddler, her mind clearly underdeveloped. Again, no explanation, at least not at first. We soon learn that the woman is mostly the same as the one that jumped but that she had died on the operating table and the deceased brain was swapped with that of the brain of the unborn baby she carried. Through the entire film she gradually grows and develops her skills and abilities at a rapid rate. This is similar to an infant growing to adulthood, just in a much more accelerated rate.

Emma’s portrayal of Bella is absolutely brilliant, overshadowing the other cast members who take the spotlight less often. I would be shocked if she isn’t nominated for an Oscar for this role, along with the film itself and the makeup department. I don’t know if the makeup departments get nominated but for Willem’s many scars. The story itself is dark and twisted but done in a way that makes light of the mad science with a focus more on Bella’s personal development and growth. The film as a whole was brilliantly directed, acted and filmed but left me respecting the work and efforts of the whole cast but failed to provide a story I personally enjoyed. The film is now available through digital retailers.

All of Us Strangers from Searchlight Pictures

All of Us Strangers

Searchlight Pictures bring us a film about finding ways to overcome grief with their latest film, All of Us Strangers.

All of Us Strangers is a film that focuses on finding ways to deal with your own grief while also allowing yourself to find love along the way. The film begins with a chance meeting between Alan and an inebriated neighbor that ends as quickly as it begins, transitioning to Adam writing a new screenplay for a film or show. Another chance encounter and the neighbor is invited in for drinks. As they navigate their own feelings and sexuality, Alan begins to think more about his deceased parents. With a trip into the country, or possibly suburbs, where he takes a walk by what has become of his childhood home. Seeing a boy in the window they stare at each other for a moment before continuing the walk.

This is where things get a little weird and I apologize for the slight spoilers to come. Seeing a man watching him, he follows to find it is his own father but oddly younger than himself. They return to the former home and find Alan’s mother there, also younger. Is this a dream? Is this some weird wormhole through space and time? Is any of this even happening? Watching the film you will have these questions answered but I won’t be spoiling them.

The cast and directing were fantastic as different parts of the past and modern day were blended together. The film will leave even some of the hardest hearts feeling for Alan and those around them, including my own. The story telling was absolutely brilliant and edited together perfectly. If you are looking for a film that stuns you on almost every level this film is it.

Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins is based on a true story about the American-Samoa football team and their attempts at a comeback.

Next Goal Wins in the latest biopic in theaters, this time centered around the American-Samoa team. The team is most known for their game that they lost with a devastating 31-0. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching they hire a coach with the intention of bringing them a victory. The premise, while true sounds exactly like that of one of my childhood favorites- Cool Runnings. Searchlight Studios and Director Taika Waititi spearheaded the project with top billing going to Michael Fassbender who plays Coach Rongen. To clarify, this is a film about a football team and not the NFL kind.

Sports movies or shows typically fall flat for me, that is unless they are full of humor. Cool Runnings and Shoresy being two of my favorites, for very different reasons and styles of course. I also am typically a fan of every film Waititi has been tied to so my hopes were higher than normal for this one. I found the film fall a little short in terms of hilarity but it was still quite enjoyable. The story was well told and I felt you got a better understanding of the characters than most other directors would have managed with the same story. If you are looking for a film to watch as a family about an underdog you want to root for then this will be a great choice for you.

Five James Cameron Films Get The 4k Treatment

James Cameron

James Cameron and his films are known for their eyepopping scenes and massive stories. Five of them just released with updated versions in 4k!

James Cameron has been one of the biggest names in the film industry for as long as I can remember and one of my favorites. He has been responsible for some of the greatest films. For the month of December five of his best films have updated releases. The AbyssAliens and True Lies will be available in 4K Ultra UHD for the first time ever on December 12 at digital retailers and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc March 12, 2024. Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water Collector’s Editions will also be available at digital retailers December 12 and on Blu-ray December 19.

True Lies

This was one of my first R rated films I saw and became a staple in our household for a solid decade at least. Still holds and just as fun but now it looks exponentially better on my tv.

Avatar Collector’s Edition

Avatar remains Cameron’s greatest achievement. The story, message, visuals, everything. Just absolutely perfect but now with two more versions of the film and nearly a dozen hours of bonus content. Let’s just say, it’s a massive amount of content that may rival the Lord of the Rings trilogy one day.

Avatar The Way of Water Collector’s Edition

Seems too soon to release a Collector’s Edition but the film remains a fantastic cinematic experience with 8 additional hours of material.

Aliens

One of the best Alien films to date, expanding more on the lore and probably any other film did aside from the original. Fantastic film made even better with the improved graphics.

The Abyss

The first time I saw this film it already looked a bit dated or the quality of our VHS tape was not great. This was the first film that really showed us how alien our own world could be and seeing it again in 4k really improved the experience.

CATCHING UP WITH 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS PT22

20th Century Studios

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON A FEW THAT I MISSED.

Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong.

Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. Part 17 shared our thoughts on Empire of Light and Part 18 with Avatar: The Way of Water. Part 19 had Avatar in 4k and Chevalier. Part 20 shared The Boogeyman and  Part 21 had Theater Camp. We have returned for the final part of this series (future reviews for 20th Century will be done differently than you’re used to) with A Haunting in Venice and The Creator!

A Haunting in Venice

Hercule has been living in Venice, enjoying his retirement and decides to attend a seance where the guests start dying. Death seems to follow wherever he goes, he might need to stay home more but I digress. He has always been a man of logic and the events of this night have him questioning his stance on the supernatural. Branagh’s acting and directing are superb as always and this was a fantastic, albeit much darker addition to the Poirot-verse and I hope we continue to get more!

The Creator

This film follows the creation of Artificial Intelligence, the war that followed and a mission to eliminate the head of continued AI development. A weapon is created that could stop all further fighting, allowing AI to win and it is up to Joshua to find it and destroy it. This film was absolutely brilliant with brilliant performances from everyone. From taking an entirely original look at artificial intelligence to further proving that man will ultimately cause their own downfall, this is a must watch for sci-fi fans and anyone tired of the AI will destroy the world trope.

CATCHING UP WITH 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS PT21

20th Century Studios

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON A FEW THAT I MISSED.

Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong and

Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. Part 17 shared our thoughts on Empire of Light and Part 18 with Avatar: The Way of Water. Part 19 had Avatar in 4k and Chevalier. Part 20 shared The Boogeyman and we are back with Part 21 with Theater Camp!

Theater Camp

The overall story of Theater Camp follows the decline of a camp full of drama students after the proprietor enters a coma and her son takes over. Done as a fake documentary, or mockumentary, the film has a bit of a dry humor that is more subtle than viewers may be used to. There are two things that will help make this more enjoyable for you- if you have experience in the theater or camps like this and lastly if you enjoy the dryer British style of humor. If either of those fit you then this film will be a great choice for you, if they don’t there is still enough humor for everyone else that you should be satiated. Overall the passion for this world of theater is evident and was even more clear once I learned that three of the film’s leads helped to write the film, using their own real experiences to inspire the story. Usually a film like this with a budget that is next to nothing that is purely for the passion of those involved and done so at the start of their careers. It was nice to see what could be done with a proper budget and the experience behind it to make it really shine.

CATCHING UP WITH 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS PT20

20th Century Studios

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON A FEW THAT I MISSED.

Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong and

Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. Part 17 shared our thoughts on Empire of Light and Part 18 with Avatar: The Way of Water. Part 19 had Avatar in 4k and Chevalier. We have returned for Part 20 and The Boogeyman.

The Boogeyman

The film follows a father and his two daughters dealing with the loss of their mother and his wife, each coping in their own ways or in the father’s case, not at all. The father is a psychiatrist and sees patients in his home and seems to only really connect with them instead of his own children. That is until a new patient arrives without an appointment who shares a story about all of his children dying. When the psychiatrist steps away, the patient hangs himself in the house, unleashing the boogeyman on the unsuspecting family. The basis of the story is quite simple, an evil entity preys on a family suffering through grief and they must work together to save themselves. The kids were great in their roles but the father’s performance was something else. It was obvious he was meant to be disconnected but the actor took it further and made it fully robotic. I also felt the lack of music or ambiance was a mistake but my wife tells me it improved the suspense for her. The effects and sets were absolutely fantastic but the father’s acting made it more difficult to enjoy.

CATCHING UP WITH 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS PT19

20th Century Studios

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON A FEW THAT I MISSED.

Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong and Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. Part 17 shared our thoughts on Empire of Light and Part 18 with Avatar: The Way of Water. We are back for Part 19 and Avatar in 4k and Chevalier.

Avatar 4K Ultimate Collector’s Edition

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Avatar is a fantastic film and that still holds true. The acting is fantastic and despite the blatant “save the environment” messages this remains a family favorite. The visuals, while already gorgeous after all these years, look even better than before. I honestly didn’t think it was possible. If you have a 4k capable television then this is a must for you.

Chevalier

This a film that challenges that great talent can come from any race or background, despite the fact that society may not be ready to accept that talent. The cast of this film was fantastic and the costumes looked perfect for the era. The story highlights how racism and slavery resulted in not only the destruction of lives but the destruction hiding of music created by Bolagne, whom the film is about. Overall it was a great film that was full of wonderful music.

CATCHING UP WITH 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS PT18

20th Century Studios

IT IS RARE FOR ME TO SEE A MOVIE WHEN IT’S STILL IN THEATERS BUT THANKS TO 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH UP ON A FEW THAT I MISSED.

Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong and Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. Part 17 shared our thoughts on Empire of Light and we’ve returned for Part 18 and Avatar: The Way of Water!

Avatar: The Way of Water

The first Avatar film was an epic story about a Marine that is filling in for his dead scientist brother to move his consciousness into the body of an Avatar. Avatars are clones of their own human DNA mixed with that of the Na’vi. This is to allow them to integrate into the communities and improve relations. Jake Sully soon learns that the Na’vi are not the problem on Pandora and helps lead a revolution against his own species, driving the invaders from the planet. That brings us into the sequel. Jake and Neytiri have prospered and added their own children to the tribe but of course the good times wouldn’t last. I won’t go into specifics about the story because I’d hate to spoil it for anyone and this is a film that you should watch. The first film was visually one of the best films I’d ever seen and still holds up to this day- we still watch it regularly as a family. There was no way that The Way of Water could do better, or so I thought. Visually this film is stunning but some of the fights may be just a little too graphic for younger audiences, our seven year old enjoyed it but was freaked out by a few scenes. Overall I feel like this installment in the series far surpassed the original and even though it took what felt like forever to get this film, I still can’t wait for the finale.