New Sci-Fi Short Featuring Anton Yelchin

Short films have been seeing a great rise in popularity in most recent years, capturing great deals of emotion, visually pleasing effects, and popular actors too. Often times, short films will even go on to become full length theatrical films.

In a more recent short film, RISE stars Anton Yelchin. Yelchin is best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the newest reboot of Star Trek. In this short film, Yelchin plays a sentient robot in a futuristic world where these robots are vilified and hunted down.

RISE takes place only a little over 2 decades into the future where sentient robots turn against humanity. But it then takes us into the eyes of these robots; robots that feel as we do, who become scared as we do. The performance in this 5 minute flick is compelling; you can see the great deals of emotion within the wrinkles of their faces (or even lack thereof).

It makes you contemplate, in these short 5 minutes, what it feels for these robots. Scared creations who are being killed for the actions of one. And how a radical human attack to them acts as a catalyst to make them…well, more human.

It’s a very compelling short film that I wish I could see more of. It ends on a note where it leaves me wanting more of this conflict, and if the resolution here leaves these robots on the winning side or humanity.

What are your thoughts on the short film? Would you like to see more? Leave a comment below, and for more movie goodness come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Bargain Bins Aren’t So Bad

The movie bargain bin. I’m sure you’ve seen it, lying around your local Walmart or grocery store. A giant vat of old movies that never seems to go away. It’s always there, always un-visited, always lonely. The bargain bin never seems to get any attention; people glance at the old movies and see nothing of interest.

While that’s not necessarily wrong, I’m here to tell you that the bargain bin is worth a chance next time you see it. The majority of the bargain bin is usually full of old movies that hold no interest, bad movies, or movies you’ve already seen. But there’s good reason to pick out a bargain movie.

They’re Cheap

First and foremost, the movies in a bargain bin are very cheap. Movies are usually found from $5-10, or even less. These movies won’t dent your wallet, and are the same as if you’d rent a movie. Except you’ll keep it. You will honestly get what you pay for, but what you’re paying is pocket change.

There’s Some Hidden Gems

While you won’t find a blockbuster hit in the bargain bin, you’ll still might find an enjoyable movie. You can easily find movies like Mean Girls or Hairspray in the bargain bin; movies that became really popular during their time. Some argue that Mean Girls still holds up today.

You might even find a hidden gem in the bargain bin. A movie that you didn’t think would be good, but became a personal favorite. A Scooby-Doo movie you grew up with perhaps Maybe a movie with a bit of nostalgia even.

Fun with a Group

So what if the movie is bad? Watching a bad movie with some friends is a lot of fun. Even more so when you can all collectively insult the terribleness of the movie. You might get some future inside jokes from the ordeal.

Even if the movie isn’t bad, enjoying a movie with a group makes the experience that much more enjoyable. You could also set that movie as background noise while you all drink, play a board game, cook, or whatever else you do with your friends.

Hopefully next time you see that lonely bargain bin, you give it a second chance. Are there any reasons you still dig through the bargain bin? Leave a comment below! For more movie goodness come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Batman v Superman v Critics

Batman v Superman, a movie I’ve personally been oh too excited for aired to the public yesterday. But for the critics, they got an early showing of the superhero blockbuster (March 22nd). And oh man, the critics are attacking the movie in every way, at every angle.

The article linked, by Proma Khosla of Mashable, compiles a summary of what most critics are saying. I’ve been doing my best to avoid spoilers, so what follows below will be spoiler-free.

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Many critics have a thing or two to say about the story. From being disjointed to having too much information. Variety thinks the plot felt thin. And some believe there was too much comic book information; to where if you weren’t a fan then you couldn’t follow along.

Story concerns are an expectation when going into movies though. Few movies you enjoy without a good narrative behind it. Critics have been known to be, well, critical of storylines however.

mash1And some critics can’t help but compare it to the Marvel movies. Which is not to be unexpected. Marvel is the other comic book giant, and is DC’s long time rival in the industry. DC has a lot to compete with here. And critics are expecting the same quality that Marvel has created.

However, where critics are attacking the film, the general public who’s watching it have very good things to say about it. As Niki Albon implies, Batman v Superman isn’t a Marvel movie. It’s its own entity, with a different tonal approach.

Many people are actually going for second viewings. There indeed was a lot of content to chew on, so watching it the movie a second time would help catch things that were missed or just reprocess it. Or maybe they just want to watch the movie a second time because they liked it.

But in the end, it is up to you to ultimately decide if you like the film or not. The critics are known to be harsh on many a movie. And the general public is enjoying the movie for their own merits. I myself will be making my own opinion when I watch tomorrow night. What do you all think? What are your opinions on Batman v Superman? Leave a comment below! For more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

 

Classmates’ Thoughts on Upcoming DC Movies

With Batman v Superman coming out this weekend (and kicking off DC and Warner Bros.’ new line of movies), I thought it’d be a good time to get my classmates’ opinions on the subject. I went to Austin Logan about how his thoughts about the new DC shared movie universe.

Hossain: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman finally on the big screen together! What’re your thought on that?

Logan: Well, you see, I really don’t like the idea of just throwing Wonder Woman in there as a supporting character. I honestly believe that they should a movie for her before they throw her in such a big movie. Cause you know, you get more background on her character like that. It seems like she’s just gonna be…thrown in there, like you know, just to say ‘Oh we have Wonder Woman in the movie. She’s the female superhero, for all the girls that want to see this!’. I just feel like it was something that was pretty sexist cause, you know, I feel like all the other Marvel movies, how they kind of like had a movie before that person, before they had one big movie. Like they had the Avengers, but they had separate movies before the Avengers, so you know all the background stories about all the characters. See I feel like DC fails to do that, except with Batman and Superman. It seems like with Batman they’re going with a whole new angle, you know they’re doing the whole…you know…

Hossain: Shared universe.

Logan: Yeah!

 

HossainWell Wonder Woman is getting her movie in a year.

Logan: But that’s the thing, like that’s why I don’t agree with cause I think they should have the Wonder Woman movie before the Batman vs. Superman movie. So we like, the in and outs of her character.

Hossain: What if they’re doing the reverse here though? What if they’re introducing Wonder Woman to set up the Wonder Woman movie?

Logan: But that usually doesn’t happen so… You know that doesn’t happen right?

HossainBut do you think Batman should have had his own movie first, before being thrown in here? Because Superman had his movie first, then here. Do you feel that way about Batman?

Logan: Well I feel like people are gonna not feel that way, cause they been used to seeing Batman on the big screen already. So they kind of have a background of who Batman is.

Hossain: How do you feel about Superman? He’s got his second movie coming on, so he’s been an established character. Do you think he deserves that? Because he essentially set up the next few movies.

Logan: Yeah. I think he does. Cause I mean, in the comic book series as well, Superman is a big part of the comics and DC. And in all reality, that’s why they’re basing this story off the comic books. Cause in the comic books, Batman wanted to get rid of Superman because [Batman] felt like [Superman] was too big of a threat to humanity. The only thing that’s different here is that Batman and Superman team up.

Hossain: Now I got to ask, who do you think is going to win? Batman or Superman?

Logan: I think it’s gonna be a stalemate. Cause I’m pretty sure like they’re gonna have a scene where Superman’s beating Batman and a scene where Batman’s beating Superman. And then before they settle the fight, they’re gonna have to fight the bad guy. You know, whatever his name is. Doomsday or something. But yeah, I’m really excited to see how they settle it. But like I said, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna end in a stalemate. And then they’ll be friends afterwards.

Hossain: And that’s how they form the Justice League!

Logan: Yeah! To fight powerful villains that they can’t deal with themselves.

Thanks again to Austin for giving his input on the subject. What are your thoughts on the movie? Are you excited? Leave a comment below! For more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Delicious Foods from Movies That You Can Eat Up

Movies have a tendency to make food look absolutely scrumptious. The special effects and lighting doesn’t help either. Not to mention those elusive fantasy foods that’re just a little too magical for us to make. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try! Here’s a list of some delicious foods showcased in movies that you can get yourself, whether you buy or make it.

Sweets to Betray a Kingdom For

When four siblings discover the magical world of Narnia, they end up becoming part of a grandiose war to protect the land from the evil White Witch. In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, one of those siblings, Edmund, betrays his allies for a magical supply of sweets.

These sweets are the delectable Turkish Delights. Jelly confections encasing nuts and fruits while it’s all coated in sugar. They might take a little getting used to though! You can buy Turkish Delights through Amazon, or even make them yourself.

Wrapped in Golden Tickets

The delicious, candy-filled movie of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was so salivating that a whole candy company was made for it, in the same name too. But sadly no magical candy factory, with flowing rivers of chocolate, accompanied.

In the first few scenes of the movie, our protagonist Charlie buys two Wonka Bars. He devours the first one with pure joy, while the second bar has the coveted Golden Ticket needed to meet Willy Wonka himself. But the way Charlie eats that Wonka Bar makes it look so delectable. Thankfully, you can buy a Wonka Bar in nearly any store that sells candy!

The Preferred Drink for Wizards

If you’re an avid fan of Harry Potter, then you know about the drink known as Butterbeer. If you don’t know, Butterbeer is a slightly alcoholic drink served in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. It was first shown in Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban.

You can think of it as a cross between a soda float, beer, and butterscotch. The great thing about Butterbeer is that it can be served either hot or cold, and be either nonalcoholic or with alcohol, whichever you prefer. You can get Butterbeer at the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando, or make some yourself with these recipes.

A Cut of Wonderland

 

In Alice in Wonderland, our hero Alice falls down a rabbit hole and lands in Wonderland. she ventures around and takes in the sights of course. Alice then later happens upon a tea party being hosted by the Mad Hatter. Taking part in the tea party, the Mad Hatter cuts a teacup in half and is still able to pour tea in it. I know, crazy right?

This might not be the first food thing you think of when you think of Alice in Wonderland, but seeing that cut teacup made into a dessert beckons your sweet tooth. Not only that, but it’d be a great complement to any party, tea or not. This sweet confection you can actually make yourself, with this recipe here.

The Secret Formula You Need to Steal

With the mass popularity of Spongebob Squarepants, it’s hard not to know who he is. If you haven’t, the show revolves around the wacky life of Spongebob Squarepants, a sponge who lives under the sea (in a pineapple too). He flips burgers at the Krusty Krab making the illustrious Krabby Patty, for which a movie was even made.

In the series, the Krabby Patty is a burger whose selling point is its magical secret formula. And while we don’t know yet what that secret formula is, we can still make some delicious Krabby Patties that look  just like them and still taste amazing.

With a Dash of Rat

Another movie revolving around food, Ratatouille is a charming animated movie about a rat, Remy, who dreams of being a chef in Paris. He meets the garbage boy for a renowned restaurant, Alfredo. With Remy’s control guidance, Alfredo joins the culinary crew of the restaurant.

In the movie, Remy makes a heavenly looking dish of ratatouille to impress a food critic. The ratatouille looks delicious enough to win anyone over, and will make you want to try some too. But if you don’t want a rat making the meal for you, you can easily make it yourself.

That’s my list of foods that look absolutely magnificent in movies. Are there any foods I missed, or foods you’ve seen that made your mouth water? Leave a comment below about the food! For movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

What to Watch on Spring Break

Hey there Cinemaniacs! Just an announcement for you all, starting tomorrow I’ll be off on Spring Break. I won’t be blogging for the week of break. I’ll be back on the 21st of March and resume my regular blogging. But before I go, in the vein of Spring Break, I’ll give you guys a list of what I think are some great movies to watch during Spring Break!

The Obvious One

Spring Breakers is the go to, given its name. But the film itself is a large dose of fun and very appropriate for the occasion. The wild Spring Break life: partying, drinking, beaches! It’s got it all and more!

The movie stars a well known cast, with James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Benson. If you’re looking for some good fun, and a movie shot like a music video, then Spring Breakers is worth a watch!

Pranks Abound

Even though it came out in summer, Neighbors is still a great movie during spring. Zac Efron and Seth Rogan clash in this movie about a couple who lives across the street from your typical frat house.

Mac (played by Rogan) and his wife Kelly face off against Teddy (played by Efron) and his frat house, going back and forth with a barrage of pranks. And sometimes a little more. A great movie to watch if you’re with a group!

So Bad It’s Hilarous

You’ve heard of. You’ve heard how bad it is. And why that’s why it’s worth watching. And let me tell you, that’s exactly why you should watch it. Sharknado is so bad, so cheesy, and so laughably terrible, that it will actually make you laugh. If you haven’t heard of this (and praise to you), Sharknado is, as you might have guessed, a movie about a tornado full of sharks.

I know; it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. The movie is so dumb and bad, that you’ll mock it and have a good time doing it. It’s a bad movie yes, but a great movie to watch if you’re looking to just have some good fun. And if you enjoy making fun of it, there’s two sequels to look forward to. And they fully embrace how bad the series is.

Good to the Last Bite

 

In an attempt to make Spring Break scary, Piranha 3D takes the name of the original 1978 movie of the same name. An abrupt underwater tremor at Lake Victoria releases an ancient, pre-historic species of man-eating piranhas. This turns a party filled Spring Break into a blood bath.

While this movie tries to be scary it ultimately turns out to be predictable. But don’t let that stop you. It’s a movie that fits Spring Break to a T, and admittedly watching CGI fish eat people is a lot funnier than you think. The 3D also helps those fish pop.

The Summer Blockbuster Before Summer

If you haven’t watched Deadpool yet, you need to before it stops playing at theaters! I’ve talked about this before, and it still holds true: Deadpool is just a hilarious, fight-filled superhero film. And there’s still time to catch it before you have to wait for the DVD release.

The movie has great fight scenes, amazing one-liners, and over a hundred Easter Eggs for the fans. Not only that, but Deadpool has been breaking records left and right. If you want to end your break with a bang, look no further!

But that’s my list of great Spring Break movies to watch in your downtime. Have you got any movie suggestions for break? Leave a comment below with some Spring Break movies. I’ll be back in a week Cinemaniacs; for more movie goodness, come back here!

Documentaries to Watch for Women’s History Month

 

March is Women’s History Month and with yesterday being International Women’s Day, it’s a perfect time to talk about some movies about women. Bitch Media has put together a list of five documentaries to watch for Women’s History Month, along with trailers.

These documentaries tell the stories of women who broke societal expectations and pushed forward for their kind. The first on the list is Althea. The documentary follows the story of Althea Gibson, the first African American to play at the US Open and to win a Wimbledon title in the 1950s.

Her story is a struggle of both race and gender, as she had to work her way up in the tennis world. One where it is saturated with white players and males, and all during a time of rampant racism. Althea won a total of 11 Grand Slam tournaments. Not only that, but she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

 

Another great entry on the list is Georgie Girl. This documentary is about Georgina Beyer and her arduous journey from former sex worker to the first trans woman in New Zealand’s Parliament. She is actually the world’s first openly transsexual Member of Parliament. The documentary is available for streaming on PBS, albeit having to connect through a cable TV provider.

The other documentaries on the list are just as riveting and informative as the two I mentioned above. They are all worth watching and are equally strong in their message. As most documentaries are, these movies tell the organic and real stories of people and their lives. And powerful are these stories, especially appropriate for Women’s History Month.

If you haven’t yet please do take a look at the list of documentaries, and why not take some time to watch some of the movies yourself. For movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Batman V Superman is Just Around the Corner

Batman V Superman is quickly approaching us, and it’s been the movie I’ve been most looking forward to this year! To help illustrate the excitement, I’ve created a Storify for the movie.

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Batman is one of my favorite superheroes, and he is finally sharing the big screen with Superman. These two heroes are also two of the biggest known comic book icons, and they’re going to collide in a huge way this month.

I hope you’re all as excited as I am for this movie! But if not, there is a lot to be excited for that I’d like to show you all. This movie is the second iteration in DC’s shared universe, and it looks to be the driving force behind it. A lot of characters will be introduced, and a lot of cameos.

Not to mention the first movie debut for Wonder Woman. And it’s long coming for a female superhero to show up, one who isn’t treated as a side or supporting character. Who will also be getting her own solo movie next year.

Batman V Superman comes out this month on March 25th. Be sure to check out the Storify to get you excited. And for more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Sony Pushing for Venom Movie. Why?

Sony had plans to create a movie about Spider-Man‘s famous archenemy, Venom. But it was previously held on corporate hiatus. However, Sony recently came out to tell us that plans for a Venom movie are still moving forward.

For those of you who don’t know, early last year Sony and Marvel struck a deal to finally include fan favorite superhero, Spider-Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the shared movie continuity best known by The Avengers (but does not include the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four franchises). This plan also involves a reboot for Spider-Man in 2017, played by Tom Holland.

But this deal apparently excludes Venom. Now if you haven’t heard of Venom before, he is essentially the character polar opposite of Spider-Man, right down to the black spider-suit. He is an alien symbiote that bonds with a human host (typically Eddie Brock) that feeds off the host’s negative emotions. Venom, in most cases, has a singular goal to either either destroy Spider-Man or take him back as host.

Venom had a semi-important, and rushed, role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. He also appears in many animated TV shows. But Venom always appears next to Spider-Man, to provide both an origin for Venom and that classic dark mirror for the protagonist. Venom starts with Spider-Man, so how do you create a film separate from him? Why would you?

From a corporate standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Spider-Man is a huge, hot property with fans worldwide. Which to Sony means money. And here we have Venom, essentially a second Spider-Man (at least in looks and powers, just dark and evil). If Sony can bring this character up to the fame of Spider-Man, then they have a moneymaker of their own that they won’t have to share with Marvel.

But fans and critics are asking why? From a storytelling point, Venom starts with Spider-Man. His origin is directly with Spider-Man. There isn’t a big enough following for the character to where viewers will understand who Venom is without explaining his backstory/origin. Which if Venom’s movie exists outside of Spider-Man’s, then how would this work?

Venom is a bad guy, not an antihero or a redeemable monster. He is just a monster. A villain. An enemy. People, or at least the majority, don’t want to see a superhero movie about a villain doing evil things. And fans don’t want to see a famous Spider-Man villain become lowered into a troubled, redeemable hero. It’s too much of a 180 for the character.

That’s not to say a good movie from a villain’s perspective can’t work; just look at MaleficentAnd it’s too early to say Sony can’t turn Venom into a popular name. But it just seems unnecessary. Venom works best as a villain and evil character foil to Spider-Man, not as a solo hero.

People don’t really want to see this, and it feels just like a milking of the Spider-Man franchise so Sony can make more money. And by associating it somewhat to Spider-Man’s image, Sony wants to make Venom big. It seems too corporate and not really in the interest of the viewers or fanbase.

But what do you guys think of this? Leave some comments below for you thoughts on Venom! And for more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Check Out Some Flicks at Fowler

If you didn’t catch it in theaters, Sisters is airing this weekend at Fowler Hall at the Purdue Stewart Center. And if you have your student ID, it’ll be completely free. But if not, $4 isn’t a bad price for a movie!

Flicks at Fowler is a (typically) weekly event held by the Purdue Student Union Board, aka PSUB. They air recently released movies here at Purdue University, and usually to a big turnout. In fact, one of my first experiences here at Purdue as a freshman was watching Monsters University at a Flicks at Fowler event!

Sisters is a story about, you guessed it, two sisters. When their parents decide to sell their childhood home, siblings Maura (played by Amy Poehler) and Kate (played by Tina Fey) are asked to clean out their rooms before moving day.

The sisters decide to throw one last house party to celebrate their house’s going away. But as the party rages on, the house falls into a not so marketable condition. It’s a fun, quirky comedy with a spotlight on family.

Sisters came out to average reviews but was still viewed as an enjoyable movie. And it does star the comedic duo of Poehler and Fey. If you’re in the West Lafayette area, come and check out the movie! The experience will be a worthwhile one.

Be sure to also check out any upcoming Flicks at Fowler on PSUB’s website! For more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!