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Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Monster Calls - Box Office Review

This film was based on a book I didn’t read. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into the theater but the trailer was promising. I knew the basic premise would be a child’s imagination taking over to cope with the fact his mother is dying. So let’s dive in and take a look at “A Monster Calls” in this box office review…


The film deals with emotionally challenging concepts. The main character Conor, played by Lewis MacDougall, was a troubled boy who is coming to terms with the fact his mother is dying. He also deals with a school bully and the fact his grandmother is trying to get his mother into better care all the while having him move in with her. Finally, his father is visiting from California and won’t commit to having him move across the ocean to live with him. This poor child is dealing with so much it’s no wonder he falls deep into his imagination to escape this difficult reality. The supporting staff does their part to help keep the pacing so that the film doesn’t ever drag or feel lost. However, this story is about Conor and the manner in which he copes with his life.


The overall delivery of the film is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s style of visual story telling. However, the plot is told in two ways. The first is the live action story in which the boy deals with life and befriends a strange tree monster. The second is done with animation. The tree monster tells Conor that he has three tales to tell him and then Conor will tell him a story. The three different tales were actually my favorite part of this film. If you watched “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1” you saw an animated sequence entitled “The Tale of 3 Brothers.” The three stories in this movie looked very similar to the “Tale of 3 Brothers” animation style. This was definitely a highlight for me. Each story was designed to challenge the boys thought process and his ability to perceive the world and things that occur. Who is right? Who is wrong? What is noble and just? What is selfish? All in all, the 3 stories were great in my opinion and they looked equally wonderful.



A Monster Calls” is in theaters now. I won’t recommend a big screen viewing even though I loved the overall style and tone of the film. This is a movie that’s worth seeing but it didn’t give me a feeling of joy or relief by the end. Instead, I felt emotionally exhausted for this poor boy and was also happy I took time to enjoy this story. It’s definitely worth a Redbox of VOD viewing. However, don’t be surprised if you don’t revisit the film later. It’s a movie that’s made well and is also emotionally taxing. Plus the 3 tales the tree monster tells are all great. So that alone is worth the time spent with this movie.


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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars - Box Office Review

A movie franchise typically has a shelf life but there are exceptions to the rule. Star Trek for example has been around long as a film franchise to have been ok, great, terrible and great. Star Wars also has shared that same arc, however as a Star Wars fan, I would say that the franchise started off great, had 3 weird missteps and returned to greatness. Resident Evil, let’s just stop making these films. And now we arrive at the purpose of this review, “Underworld: Blood Wars.” Let’s dive in…


The story begins with a massive recap of the previous films. It honestly felt like this movie was designed from the beginning to be accessible to anyone who hasn’t been following this franchise like I have. This isn’t a great series but let’s consider it a guilty pleasure of mine. The story continues following the life of Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and her role in the vampire community at large. She is heralded as one of the most powerful vampires still in existence and is recruited to help train new death dealers for the vampire army to stop the werewolves who are still hellbent on slaughtering them. All the “known” vampires are in hiding within an impenetrable fortress, or so they think. The werewolves are living in what appears to be a shipping yard of sorts for trains. Everyone is trying to find Selene’s child because her blood will save whomever has it.


The characters in this film are precisely what I expected from this franchise. Every time I watch these films I get exactly what I hope for. I’m never disappointed because I get what I want every time. This film isn’t great. The characters aren’t great. The plot "twists" are pretty obvious. In all, it is entertaining and it’s fun watching Vampires and Werewolves killing each other, in the snow, in a castle. Plus there’s some fun life after death concepts explored from the view points of vampires, who are basically immortal.



Underworld: Blood Wars” is in theaters now. If you enjoy the franchise like I do you won’t be disappointed and it’s worth your money for the big screen viewing. If you do not, or are unfamiliar with this franchise, save your money and catch it on Redbox or VOD. If you enjoy vampires and werewolves this is also a fun time at the movies. If you don’t, find another movie to watch. If you need recommendations go back and read my other reviews. There’s still plenty of films I’ve reviewed in theaters for you to enjoy. I had a positive experience watching this film but, again, I enjoy this franchise.


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Friday, January 20, 2017

Act 195: A Bunk Bed in Every Kitchen

Masked Blogster and the crew talk about the inauguration, Russian villains in movies, crazy presidents, dick pics and beer. GloryHoundd also explains the controversy with Phoenix Comicon charging people to be volunteers and the trend taking hold nationwide.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Marvel's Death of X

Masked Blogster and Handsome J discuss the 4 issue run of Marvel's "Death of X" series in this podshort.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Act 194: Put Your Elbows on the Table

Masked Blogster turned 40, and with that comes changes to his annual check-ups at the doctor. He goes into detail of what he had to go through much to the delight of the other hosts. We also crown our first Maskerpiece Theatre Fantasy Football Champion with a really cool gift.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

MPT Podshort: Comic Book Corner

Handome J reviews comics by Marvel, DC, Image and Dynamite in this podshort.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

La La Land - Box Office Review

The buzz surrounding this film was too good to ignore. Every twitter account and Facebook page that mentioned this film did so with high praise. Is it always a good idea to believe media hype? Nope. Is it worth taking the time to investigate for yourself? Occasionally, yes. So let’s dive in and take a look at “La La Land” in this box office review.


I loved this movie. The opening scene starts off with traffic on the freeway going into Los Angeles and the concept of the story is revealed. It’s another day of sun and all these people have travelled to this city in order to try and become a star. The first song looks like something from the classic 1950’s to 1960’s hollywood musicals. There was a small part of me that enjoyed a laugh for personal reasons during this scene as well. Having been stuck in traffic on a southern California freeway before I related to this moment. The time I was stuck we even got out of our cars and walked around socializing with everyone just like in the introduction. It was relatable, the song is catchy, the choreography was fun and then the movie begins.


The overall plot of the film was definitely different than I expected. It’s very much a boy meets girl type of romance story but it doesn’t end in the way one might expect. That being said, it does provide you a glimpse into what that ending could’ve looked like. The music matched with the story matched with the characters all worked beautifully. The songs were each charming in their own way. I was immediately jealous that the song “Audition (Fools Who Dream)” was written for a female lead. This song is emotional, honest and it exposes the heart of artists who, like anyone who passionately pursues something or someone, dare to believe in hope and their aspirations to become. The other song that I particularly enjoyed was “Lovely Night Dance” and the playful way in which the two main characters related to each other. This song finds some short coming in Ryan Goslings voice but let’s be honest, Marlon Brando couldn’t sing in “Guys and Dolls” and that movie is still fantastic.


The look of this film is prime colors, red, blue, yellow and green. I saw this film twice and the second viewing I noticed how these four colors shape the visual story. The first time we see Emma Stone hear jazz she stops between two lights that are both vertical on a wall. These lights are red and her pose in-between these two lights was absolutely cinematic. The evening her and her girlfriends go out each one wears a different color dress, each of the four colors. When we see Ryan Gosling performing with an 1980’s cover band, they have these colors. I want to be clear on this because everyone wears a variation of these colors. It’s prime crayola crayon colors. It’s in your face and ready for your eyes and it works wonderfully. You will see Red, Blue, Green or Yellow in almost every scene as an individual color shaping that moment. There's even a scene that opens with a small pinhole glimpse that expands to reveal the whole image. It’s great.


The character of Ryan Gosling I identified with as I’m sure others have. He’s a passionate musician who loves jazz music, the history of jazz and the future of it. He’s determined and mostly unwavering in his ideology of life in jazz. He cares about music and he grows to love Emma Stone’s character. Stone’s character was equally enjoyable but she was a struggling actress and writer. She takes plenty of shots at stardom but it’s made clear in this movie that she’s just another face in the crowd to everyone but Gosling. By the end of this film we see that it’s not the case but we also get to see how that could’ve been the case. The ending was a delightful surprise.



La La Land” is in theaters now! I definitely recommend you see this on the big screen. The music on theater speakers is fabulous and the look of the movie on the big screen is wonderful. If you pay attention to the tone/mood of the songs you’ll hear dynamic differences in each song for each character and you might even pick up the hopeful but ever melancholy tone for each of Gosling’s songs, both instrumental and otherwise. I can’ sing praises enough for how delightful I found my time in the theater with these characters and this story. It’s a film for the entire family and you might find yourself humming about another day of sun.


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Friday, January 6, 2017

Act 193: Best Of 2016

Masked Blogster and crew discuss their favorite things of 2016 from a variety of categories.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

The MPT Comicbook Corner Podshort

Handsome J breaks down some of the Marvel comics he read in one evening and gives each one a rating in this brand new podshort series.

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.

Follow Maskerpiece Theatre:
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Twitter: @MPTheatre2015 -Masked Blogster @MaskedBlogster -Mandy @moviefreakgirl -Handsome J @jbrunansky -Matt @MpTheatreMatt 
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Maskerpiece Theatre is sponsored by MoviePass. See unlimited movies at a theater near you for a low monthly rate.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

5 Films For 2017

There's a lot of films coming out in 2017 that have potential. Unfortunately, we can't all get out to see every single film that's released and so we often visit films in the comfort of our homes. Below are 5 films that focus on character and dialogue to drive the story that you can watch from the comfort of your couch, favorite chair or even your bed. If you have any films you'd like to add to this list comment below so we can share in the enjoyment you felt watching your favorites. Cheers!

In no particular order:

 

 



Follow Maskerpiece Theatre:
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Facebook: /MaskerpieceTheatre and Fan Page
Twitter: @MPTheatre2015 -Masked Blogster @MaskedBlogster -Mandy @moviefreakgirl -Handsome J @jbrunansky -Matt @MpTheatreMatt 
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Maskerpiece Theatre is sponsored by MoviePass. See unlimited movies at a theater near you for a low monthly rate.

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