Batman V Superman Lasting Thoughts

It’s been nearly two weeks since the release of Batman v Superman, and all the controversy that came with it. It fell under critical disdain for many reasons, while fans of the superheroes praised it. After all the build up surrounding this movie, what lasting impressions did it leave?

I went to watch it a few days after its release. The showings all before 9 were all sold out, but the 9:30 time was still open. And I feel the theater at that time was a good representation of the movie reactions. The theater was relatively empty at first before filling up quickly. But it wasn’t packed.

And that’s really how the reactions to this movie were: 50/50. Fans loved it, critics didn’t. Enough praise to fill up a theater, but not enough to it to the brim. It’s upsetting to see that as ambitious as the movie was, it didn’t get enough good reception. Which can be chalked up to a lot of divisive decisions made in Batman v Superman.While I loved the movie, many others did not.

Others like Shounak Dattagupta, who I had the opportunity to ask about his thought on the movie, was not too high praising of it. Just a regular moviegoer, I asked how he felt about the movie after coming out of the theater The movie had bad pacing and felt disjointed at times, and that’s one of the things Shounak was big to point out. “It’s like a puzzle” and “each piece is artfully crafted,” but “it’s put together in the most confusing way possible.”

However, unanimously, most everyone including critics enjoyed the casting choices and characterizations of Batman and Wonder Woman. Shounak even mentions how this movie’s Batman was exactly how he always pictured a cinematic Batman to be: hard-hitting, brooding, well-built, etc. He felt the movie’s characterization of Superman was spot on as well.

But it was this kind of divide in opinions that made the movie fall into a pit of criticism. The lasting thoughts on this movie will be a talking point for movie fans for a long while to come. Why? Because of how divisive it is; arguments of whether it was good or bad, agreements of how terrible it was to watch, or praises on how good it indeed is. Which ultimately leaves the lasting impression of this movie.

Whether you thought the movie good or bad, Batman v Superman definitely left a mark on the movie world. And it will be the driving thought through any subsequent movie DC releases. The next movie in their shared universe will have a tough act to follow up (and make up for).

I loved the movie, and I truly enjoyed it. If you didn’t like it, then you of course have that lasting impression to hold. Leave a comment below about your thoughts on the movie! But for more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

Updated 4/11: added in further information about interviewee, reworked sentences

Fictional Restaurants That Became Real

There’s a lot of fake restaurants out there in fiction. Sometimes they’re parodies that poke fun at our real-life eateries, and sometimes they’re genuinely intriguing restaurants. And the most popular (or perhaps most nostalgic) of these can sometimes become real-life attractions. Here are a few movie restaurants I was happy to find out exist, and some I would love to eventually eat at.

Magic At Nine & Three-Quarters

Harry Potter has been one of the most popular books in our time and it only makes sense that it would inspire numerous real-life attractions. There’s even a whole theme park made because of it. And one of the restaurants at the Harry Potter theme park is Diagon Alley. The restaurant features foods and drinks straight from the books themselves.

Diagon Alley

Fish and Friends

Right out of Forrest Gump, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Comany fulfills the dreams of Forrest and Bubba. The restaurant started as just a small one in Monterrey, California in 1996. But the fame of the movie let the restaurant expand, and now you can get some Bubba Gump shrimp in over 30 locations across the world. And as you would expect, seafood is the main dish here.

Rat Made Ratatouille

When your movie is about an aspiring chef working in a restaurant, its not surprising to see a restaurant made for it. Made to look just like the restaurant at the end of Ratatouille, Bistrot Chez Remy is both entertaining and charming. Sadly however, the restaurant is only at Disneyland Paris. But it’s definitely an experience to eat at if you’re ever traveling abroad.

Out of This World Pizza

Another Disney-inspired restaurant, Pizza Planet is a restaurant first seen in Toy Story. The  real-life restaurant, found at Disney World, specializes in pizza of course. But it also sports an intergalactic, Buzz Lightyear theme. Enough to mesmerize any child or adult. Sadly however, the restaurant will be closed for the rest of the year. But the good new is that it’s not gone for good; it will be reopening by next year.

Those are some of the movie restaurants I’d love to eat at. Are there any you know of that I don’t? Leave a comment below and tell me where to find the place! For more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!

 

Opinion: Why I Love The Horror Genre

In our day and age, movies have become a huge thing; massive movie budgets, triple-A actors, Hollywood fame, gold trophies and awards, and oh so much more. And in that mix is the ever growing horror movie genre, which has recently gained a lot of traction.

Whenever I tell people that horror movies are my favorite genre, they always give me that “Are you insane??” look. It’s hilarious to see on my part, but it’s not to be unexpected though. Why would someone ever want to be scared? Unable to sleep at night? Let me share with you my thoughts: why horror movies are my favorite movies.

 

Now, horror wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. I first experienced this when I was 3, with the first Chucky movie. On my child self, that definitely left a traumatic mark. I’m still scared of dolls and puppets! It wasn’t until I was late into my teens that I truly started to love horror movies.

It wasn’t until I saw The Grudge. Don’t get me wrong, this movie scared the living hell out of me. But it’s exactly that feeling that makes me enjoy them. That rush of adrenaline and fear that makes your heart beat faster. It’s a rush! And knowing it’s a movie gives me the reassurance that I’m not in any true danger.

 

I understand this isn’t for everyone, but that’s part of the reason I love horror. Similar to why people like riding roller coasters or get excited from watching your favorite team score a touchdown. That sense of excitement and mix of emotions; sitting on the edge of your seat while the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!

But there’s other reasons to watch a horror movie! Maybe you’re with a group and you all want to get scared together? Perhaps you want to prove to your friends how you held your stance against the year’s scariest movie? Or maybe you just tried the cliche and want your date to cling to you for safety? Oftentimes people watch horror movies for just the horror itself and not for the movie, akin to going to a haunted house.

And what makes a good horror movie to me? When it leaves a lasting effect. Am I scared to go to sleep? Do I dare turn off the lights?  Do I want to close my eyes while I take a shower? When it leaves a lasting effect on me, I feel like that horror movie has done its job and has won me over. And this in turn makes me feel satisfied. The hour and a half I took out of my day was worthwhile and my money was well spent.

There are bad horror movies though. There might be cheap thrills, bad atmospheres, or the story might just suck. The entirety of the Paranormal Activity series relies on cheesy jump scares with a bad movie plot. Without a creepy tone or well placed scares, the movie doesn’t feel like an effective horror movie.

Movies like Sinister and The Conjuring give you a sense of dread and fright while you watch, making them better horror movies to experience. They engross you into their cinematic world and pull you in. So when that frightening moment does come along, it feels earned and effective.

That’s essentially why I love horror movies. The thrill of the scares, the creepy atmospheres, and that lasting effect on me. I’m very excited for the slew of horror movies coming out this year too: from Lights Out and The Purge: Election Year to The Conjuring 2 and Rings.

Do you like horror movies or do you hate them? Leave a comment below! For more movie goodness come back here to Cinemaniacs!

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.

mash1

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!