GIVEAWAY: ROE tickets for SUBURBICON opening in theaters on October 27

Happy Monday MMT Fam! We’re excited about today’s giveaway for run-of engagement (ROE) passes to the upcoming film SUBURBICON – directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac – that opens in theaters this Friday!

In the film, Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns – the perfect place to raise a family and, in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence. This is a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices. This is Suburbicon.

To enter this contest, you must be subscribed to musicmoviesthoughts.com (if you follow us on Facebook, you will double your chances) and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “Burbs” and your full name and address in the body.

Five winners will be selected at random and notified by Monday, October 30.

You can get additional info at the office website here and watch the official movie trailer below. SUBURBICON opens nationwide on October 27.

Good Luck!

Facebook: @SuburbiconMovie

Twitter: @SuburbiconMovie

Instagram: @SuburbiconMovie

Hashtag: #Suburbicon

MMT Quick Review: Reboot! a non-spoiler review of XMEN: APOCALYPSE by Darryl King

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (20th Century Fox)

Is the world coming to an end or are we waiting for the end… of this movie? X-Men: Apocalypse is an ambitious movie as it strives to introduce us to an established mutant universe, launch brand new actors playing our favorite mutants while bringing us the greatest villain within the mutant universe… Apocalypse!

Because of that, instead of rewarding us with the epic ending of an outstanding trilogy, (First Class, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse) we are fed another unfulfilling start from a movie more concerned with furthering the X-Men franchise.

If there is anything that can derail the ever popular Superhero movie genre is the growing notion that each movie has to be a setup for future movies within that franchise. By doing that, what these films forget to do is tell a compelling story, providing more foreshadowing than narrative. “Batman V Superman” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” both fell into this trap, a trap that unfortunately caught “X-Men Apocalypse.”

Fox Pictures the studio behind the X Men, felt the need to reboot their franchise after the harsh criticism from “X-Men Last Stand”, the final movie in their original trilogy of X-Men films. Ever since then, the X-Men franchise has been in a constant state of reboot.

Starting with “X-Men First Class” that film effectively gave us the stellar retelling of the Magneto and Professor X origins with new actors at the helm, taking us back to the 60’s, thus justifying the reboot. But then director Bryan Singer, the original filmmaker of the X-Men films, returned to reclaim the X-Men franchise.

Singer felt the need to destroy the timeline and events established from the disliked movie “X-Men Last Stand” that he perceived ruined his original trilogy. So his follow-up movie “X-Men Days of Future Past,” while an awesome film, rebooted the X-Men timeline once again, leaving us where we find ourselves today with “X-Men Apocalypse “.

The strengths of “X-Men Apocalypse” are the opening sequence, the origins of our big bad… Apocalypse, along with a better depiction of the gifted X-Men school. The movie does a good job setting up the framework of the new timeline which now takes place in the 80’s by introducing us to the new actors who will lead all future X-Men movies.

The origins of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Storm (Alexandria Shipp) are tastefully done and with the increased role for Quicksilver (Evan Peters), the next wave of X-Men films are in very capable hands. Finally we are exposed to the budding relationship of Cyclops and Jean, and when these 2 along with Nightcrawler are on missions together, you will cry a happy tear because you feel you are watching scenes straight from the comics. But after the movie sets up a solid premise, and the believability of the new actors, it begins to unravel.

What made this trilogy so strong was the banter and interchanges between Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and this movie gives us little of that. It forces us to digest more of Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and tolerating other over stated cameos and role players.

Which leads us to a third act of the movie that is truly unsatisfying and at times poorly executed – as Apocalypse’s plan is weak, and his necessity of four underlings is never fully developed or rendered unconvincing.

“X-Men Apocalypse” is a decent action movie filled with enough action scenes to make it worthwhile and justify expensive popcorn and soda. There is no need to see the film in 3D as that format exacerbates the flaws of the special effects’ execution more than enhancing the film or the experience. If the movie hadn’t been bogged down with extending the future of the X-Men franchise, perhaps we would have been given the emotional weight of Apocalypse and his true menacing desire to save the world. When the movie ends, we are still waiting for the “X-Men Apocalypse” to show up.

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of Ultron, and his primer guide to Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.

 

MMT Quick Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Darryl King (spoiler-free)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (photo: Disney)

THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE!

“Fear is the path to the dark side, Fear leads to anger, Anger leads to hate, Hate leads to suffering” – Yoda

For many a Star Wars fan, we have been suffering with our beloved movie universe ever since the “Return of the Jedi” ended and we were forced to digest, difficult I might add, the prequels… thus creating a burgeoning fear within us fans about how good this new movie the “Force Awakens” can be. Will it be better than the prequels? Will it be bogged down with stale storytelling and/or pandering to the emotionality of a fan base who have been fooled before? Can the new director J.J. Abrams invigorate the Star Wars franchise like he had previously done with Star Trek and Mission Impossible movie franchises?

Well… fear not young Padawans, as Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a very good movie! The “Force Awakens,” or Episode 7, triumphantly whisks us away back into the wonderful universe about a galaxy a long time ago,… far, far away.

J.J. Abrams was burdened with the inevitable task to bridge the gap of 30 years of storytelling without re-hashing or belittling the original trilogy while forging and leading the Star Wars universe into a prosperous new future. While he may have his detractors, the strengths of J.J. Abrams as a director shine brightly to deliver a well crafted and touching story. What Abrams does so well is he creates and directs action scenes that capture very compelling imagery that serve the story while not being condescending to the viewer, with purpose and just not for action sake. Another common theme of a J.J. Abrams movie is his innate ability for amazing, on-point casting, liken to the Star Trek re-boots.

The Force Awakens introduces us to 2 newcomers, Daisy Ridley, as Rey, and John Boyega, as Finn. They both are intoxicating on the screen as Rey is quite endearing and refreshing, becoming the heart and center of this movie. Finn’s character becomes and represents the journey we as fans must travel if we are to go… where the Force is leading, his growth is our growth. The chemistry between them reminds you of Han and Leia, people from different worlds but get along so well. Oscar Issac, as Poe Dameron, is the surprise character as his role is much larger than led to believe. Poe is cocky and confident, set up to hopefully become the new Han Solo.

Speaking of Solo, Harrison Ford is the glue of the movie, the bridge between 2 worlds, the young and the old. Harrison returns with so much energy as Solo that we accept the premise of this movie; his character fortifies its message. And lastly our new villain, Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver exceeds expectations as he is complex, unstable (just like his light saber) and reckless and not just evil for evil sake.

The Dark side of the “Force Awakens” is found within one of J.J. Abrams major flaws, which is his frantic pacing. His movies tend to fit so much information within that oftentimes there isn’t enough time to good exposition and/or development of plot points or characters. The scenes are cut so fast that you want to lay down some speed bumps and slow a few scenes down to fully savory the moments but this is flaw actually just makes you wish the film was longer.

So Episode 7, the “Force Awakens” sets you up for the next movies by paying homage to the original Star Wars with some familiar beats but because of great casting the new actors, it allows for this story to feel fresh. The “Force Awakens” answers leftover questions from the original trilogy while leaving some open-ended and lingering questions for the next movie, without bogging down the story it wants to tell. In essence, the “Force Awakens” really becomes Episode 4, after “Return of the Jedi”, thankfully leaves the prequels as legacy films.

So to my fellow force users, there is no reason for fear… we are left in good hands. “Search your feelings… you know this to be true!” So in the words of Darth Vader… “the Force is Strong with this One”

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)

Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Fantastic FourAvengers: Age of Ultron and ANT-MAN, and his primer guide to Star Wars: The Force Awakens right here on MMT.