So, I have been ranking the top 25 for each month in the challenge and I am about to up the ante by ranking the top 25 films of the first quarter of 2016. That is right, I am going to rank the top 25 films of the first quarter which means all the films from January up to April which makes it the first quarter of the year. Just in case you were wondering what didn’t make the list, well it’s simple, it’s whatever movies are not listed in this list. There are some films that are still the clear cut top films and some that may surprise you. Check it out below:
25. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
23. Cinderella Man
22. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
20. Kingsman: The Secret Service
17. The Hateful Eight
16. The Dark Crystal
15. Midnight Cowboy
14. The Gift
13. The Fifth Element
12. Bridge Of Spies
11. City Of God
10. The Good Dinosaur
7. Alice In Wonderland
4. Mystic River
2. The Jungle Book
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get to read a lot of books with everything I have going on, but that is when I thank God when a book gets turned into a film. That is the case with today’s film The Giver which is based off of the book of the same name and released in 2014. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in a world that seems a little too perfect where there is no war, no pain, no suffering, and everything is pre-destined for you. That is right, when you turn a certain age, a job is selected for you. That all seems grand for everyone until Jonas is chosen to be the receiver of memories and to be taught by the giver (Jeff Bridges). The Giver opens up Jonas’s mind to things he had never seen in his life or imagined were possible and so Jonas wants to change the world he lives in, but he’ll face opposition from the elders. The film also stars Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) as Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgård (Generation Kill) as Father, Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as Mother, Odeya Rush (Goosebumps) as Fiona, Cameron Monaghan (Click) as Asher, Taylor Swift as Rosemary, and the film was directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt).
The concept of the film should seem rather familiar to a lot of you book worms out there especially if you are a fan of the Maze Runner or Divergent series. A dystopian society that hides the ugliness of what happened in the past world. A life that is pre-determined for you right from birth, that should sound familiar to Divergent fans. These types of things happen all the time as it’s just in movies or music, but books do it too. An idea comes out that was really captivating and years later people expand on it and create their own universes. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that they released this film to try and capitalize on the popularity of those films too, but I am glad this is a one and done (or at least I think it is). Now I am not saying that I didn’t enjoy the film because I actually was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I thought everything about it was actually very good and I am talking from the set, the acting, and the score were all amazing. The cinematography was well done and the different sets were terrific. I also liked the insert of the memories which included real life events as well as other things. The soundtrack is what stood out to me the most because it matched the typical mood and emotion of the film. I love how the film is mostly in black and white until Jonas starts to see color while others cannot. I thought that was very cool and it added emphasis to the change he was going through. If you were a fan of the book or you enjoy films like this, then check it out. For a final grade, it was hard to decide, but I am putting it on the B+/A- line.
I was excited for today’s film when I saw that it was available at my local Redbox location. I was a huge fan of the Goosebumps book series that came out in the 90’s from R.L. Stine and I was excited for the film version which stars Jack Black (High Fidelity) as R.L. Stine. Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother Gale (Amy Ryan) are trying to start fresh in a new town when they move to Madison, DE. While at the new home, Zach meets his neighbor Hanna (Odeya Rush) and her weird over protective father (Black). One night, Zach swore that he heard a scream coming from Hanna’s house so with the help of his skittish new friend Champ (Ryan Lee), they’ll go over to investigate, but trouble lurks ahead for them. The boys by accidentally let out the monsters from R.L. Stine’s Books and one them named Slappy the Ventriloquist doll (voiced by Jack Black) will stop at nothing to rid the world of Stine to ensure they can never be trapped again. The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Lorraine, Halston Sage (Neighbors) as Taylor, Ken Marino (Role Models) as Coach Carr, Timothy Simons (The Interview) as Officer Stevens, and even a cameo by R.L. Stine himself.
I was wondering going in to watching this film whether I would let a child see it because these were children’s horror stories. After watching it, I would say that I think it would be OK, but be watchful of some scenes depending on the age of your child because there is a werewolf, Zombies, a creepy clown, and much more. The movie overall was fun and cool to see come to life. I was weary of how Jack Black was going to do and he did fine in the film. He wasn’t an over top goofball like he can be which was pleasant to see. I loved the combination of Dylan Minnette who plays the strong type and Ryan Lee who is a complete chicken. Yes I know it’s very stereotypical cannon, but there is a reason why it’s around because it works. Just ask Scooby Doo! The monsters were very cool to see and there was plenty of action, comedy, and suspense to keep you going through the whole film. I had a lot of laughs as I watched in suspense and the set design was what was even better. I loved the scenes in the old fairgrounds that they have in the film. It’s visually stunning in my opinion especially when you throw some monsters in it. There’s also a little bit of a love story, but don’t worry cause it’s not overpowering. Just a nice little touch thrown in by the writers. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.