Pulse Radio Articles
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:16:32 +0000Life Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest blockbusters in the most comfortable seats in the valley! With state-of-the-art Recline-N-Dine seats, you don’t even have to leave your recliner to enjoy delicious pizza, wings, fries, and more. If you go, try the pizza cookie. It’s only $5, and it’s a pizza cookie, so it’s obviously mind-blowing.
Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time. You might be wondering why that even matters for this review. Well, if you’ve seen the trailer and you’re familiar with Alien, you probably know that Life is essentially Alien. The first thing that I noticed was that it was probably going to be Alien with Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson, and if I ended up seeing that I was probably going to be content because that actually sounds awesome to me. I love Ryan Reynolds, I love Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson is one of the biggest breakout stars I’ve seen since Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Suffice it to say that a fan of sci-fi space thrillers was excited. Let’s talk about Life!
Life is directed by Daniel Espinosa and stars Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnaya. A group of astronauts has finally found undoubted proof that life beyond Earth exists. It’s a big deal both for the space program and the rest of the world. After naming it and studying it, they slowly realize that it grows and get smarter much faster than anticipated. After catching the crew off guard, it quickly begins its path of destruction and only proves to be far more deadly than expected from a single cell organism.
Before I saw this movie, I thought it was Alien. After seeing this movie, I think it’s Alien. If you love Alien the way I do, you’ll probably find tons of enjoyment in this film. Life has plenty of big names between Gyllenhaal, Reynolds, and Ferguson, and it has plenty of future big names, but the real star of this film is Daniel Espinosa. He directed and told this story about as well as he possibly could have with the material he was given, and he never concedes to the idea that he might not have the most original idea out there. That’s exactly what I want from a director. I want to see a creative mind come in and take over to make everything feel stylistically different and artistic while cohesively putting the story together. Espinosa does just that while pulling out terror and scares incredibly well. Life kept me on the edge of my seat, made me hold my breath, and threw me around space. I guess the title is perfect because real-world life does the exact same thing. But really, I thought the title was extremely lame when I first heard about the movie, but now I love the title. It does something different in that it acknowledges the idea of survival of the fittest. The other-worldly life form isn’t killing because it’s bigger and more powerful than humans. It’s not killing because killing is fun, and it’s not killing because killing makes a better thriller. It’s killing because sometimes, in life, it’s kill or be killed. The life form is on a murderous rampage because it’s natural to attack in fearful situations, and it can be vital to survival. In this case, going on the offensive was necessary for survival, so it made sense. Visually, the alien also looks like what I’d imagine when I picture other life forms. I don’t imagine little green men with tin foil hats. I don’t even imagine Xenomorphs. I imagine single-cell beings. I think that everything in terms of sci-fi from the writing to direction to visuals is brilliant, and I ended up getting the thrills and chills that I wanted from an Alien-like thriller.
Though Life is pretty exciting, it did struggle story-wise. It’s exactly what I expected, and it didn’t give me any surprises. I have a hard time faulting it for this because, realistically, the final result is far more chilling than other options would have been, but I saw it coming from a mile away. I saw the film with a couple of friends, and both mentioned that they knew the ending was coming, so it’s never a surprise when you get to the finale. The story, while thoroughly entertaining and terrifying, is pretty expected and standard from a space thriller. Like I said, I came in expecting Alien, and I left feeling like I saw Alien. Daniel Espinosa is the only creative force that keeps Life from being a copy right out of the HP printer. Next, I didn’t really care about the right characters. In fact, I lost interest a bit due to the fact that I didn’t care for the characters. It’s not a spoiler to say that some of the members of the crew die in the film, so I’ll just say that I felt like the deaths came in the exact order in which I cared about the people. I’m not going to say that it’s the wrong order because I think a solve would have been to give depth to the right characters, but the characters I cared about died first while the ones I could genuinely not care less about died last. I was a bit disappointed by that, and I think there was a lot of fun and interest left on the table.
Overall, if you wanted to see Life because it looked similar to Alien and you love Alien, Life is probably a great film to see. It will give you the thrills and terror that you crave. It’s not going to give you the character depth and surprises that Alien gave you after the first watch, but it’s enjoyable enough to see. I think Daniel Espinosa was the only reason that the film didn’t feel like a cheap copy, and his style and storytelling were the real stars of the film. It ended up being creative and scary enough to keep me entertained for the entire time while also discussing real-world tendencies of survival. I loved that there was a reason for the life-form to be killing as compared to just killing to make an edge-of-your-seat blockbuster. Life might be Alien, but it’s creatively directed well enough to give me what I need from an entertainment perspective. I’m going to give Life a 6.8/10.
Will you be seeing Life? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:07:58 +0000Power Rangers Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCat Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies released at the box office including the one I’m lucky enough to talk about today! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!
Go Go Power Rangers! I’m not the biggest Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers fan of all time, but I do know a little bit about the lore. What I can say is that when I was in second grade, I was hospitalized for a week and a half, and I was bored out of my mind. The nurse brought a portable video game in, and that passed most of the time, but I was still losing it sitting in a bed and eating horrible hospital cheeseburgers day after day. Luckily, I found Power Rangers S.P.D. toward the latter part of my stay, and I wasn’t so bored anymore. If I had to pick the two that I actually know about, they would be Power Rangers S.P.D. and Power Rangers Dino Thunder. So as you can tell, I’m not an OG Power Rangers fan. I think I missed the boat by a couple of years, but I was still psyched to see this movie, so let’s talk about it!
Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite and stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G., Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, and Elizabeth Banks. Five misfits all come together and find ancient stones that carry secret powers. They slowly learn that by finding these stones they have been selected to be the next group of universe defenders. Through coming together, becoming a team, and forming a singular bond between all five of them, they will be the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and take on Rita Repulsa, the most deadly threat to their city of Angel Grove and the most notorious Ranger-killer or all time.
Realistically, I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I wasn’t expecting much at all. I know what to expect from Power Rangers, and when transferred to the big screen and given $105 million, it should probably turn into a campy, bloated mess. Well, while I can see some walking out of the theater thinking that, it turns out that Power Rangers is one heck of a fun time. I enjoyed just about every second of this movie, and it will definitely give fans of the television series exactly what they’re looking for. It stays relatively true to the source material while maintaining the joy that the show brought to each and every episode. I actually really enjoyed the story. I loved watching them come together as a whole and become one for the sake of the greater good. There are multiple great character scenes in this film that build up and flesh out all five Rangers, and I cared about all of them. I was worried for all of them, and they all had moments that yanked on my heart-strings, even if it was just a little bit. Even Jason, the typical bad-boy popular high school hero, turned out to be insanely likable, and Dacre Montgomery has an excellent screen presence that makes him an amazing leader for this team. In fact, there were fantastic performances all around. RJ Cyler from Me & Earl & The Dying Girl might have been the stand out, and despite being intentionally uncharismatic, he came off as possibly the most lovable character. Naomi Scott was also very good, and the three of them take the entire first third of the film over as they learn about each other. Ludi Lin is also great, and his character is a ton of fun to watch. Though I thought that Becky G. gave the weakest performance of all five Rangers, I still really liked her in the role, and her hard shell is countered with so many soft layers inside that I couldn’t help but like her. And isn’t that what Power Rangers is all about? It’s about the team coming together to prove that friendship, love, likability, fun, and good can overcome evil. I even actually had a good time seeing the film shift from a coming-of-age superhero version of The Breakfast Club to an action-packed blockbuster. This is exactly what I want from all of my blockbusters made from childhood pleasures. I wish Transformers was like this. In Transformers, we get dumb, unlikable humans who say things that make us hate them. Power Rangers refreshingly had me completely invested in the story and the characters, and I had an absolute blast with it. I thought that Dean Israelite did a great job at the helm giving each piece of the puzzle so much life and care, and I would actually love to see a Power Rangers sequel.
This isn’t a perfect movie by any means. I’m not even sure I’d consider it a great movie. First of all, when you come into a Power Rangers movie, you have to expect a certain level of camp, you have to suspend disbelief, and you have to prepare yourself to lose most rational thought. I had a very easy time with that for the most part. The characters were fleshed out enough that I could put some of the dialogue to the side and just enjoy. However, I couldn’t put it aside when Rita Repulsa was on-screen. Arguably the biggest name with a live action appearance in the film in Elizabeth Banks gave what I think was the worst performance, and I didn’t buy her character. She could have been set in the television series, and she would have fit perfectly. I don’t think I could say the same about the Rangers. Next, it does take a lot from other films. Power Rangers is essentially a combination of so many other films all combined into one to give a 90s television series life and love. Fortunately, it worked in terms of making me care, and I thought the story was great, but there are pieces that are more than just influenced by other films. Finally, it’s a bit too long. At 121 minutes, I feel like I could have seen about 15 less minutes and been perfectly content. I would take all 15 minutes out of the build up because I enjoyed the heck out of the ending too much to remove anything from it. It takes a long time to see all five Rangers fighting together in suits, and I think that could have been sped up.
Overall, Power Rangers is a blast, and it will please any Power Rangers fan out there as well as the average fan of Hollywood blockbusters who likes to invest themselves in a high quality story with fleshed out characters. Every performance in the film is so great, and the team has fantastic chemistry that makes me want to see an entire franchise. If Power Rangers can continue to bring fun, well-directed action to stories with depth, I don’t see any reason why this can’t be an absurdly successful franchise. My main takeaway is that Power Rangers is fun. You have to put your reality glasses away when you come into a Power Rangers movie, and if you can understand that you have probably seen this before, I think the characters, the visuals, and the nostalgia will be enough to take your mind off the world for two hours. It was a bit long, and I couldn’t buy into any scene with Rita Repulsa, but I loved watching this movie. Also, Krispy Kreme must have paid for a good chunk of this film. I’m not kidding when I say that it’s on the same level of the Papa John’s product placement in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It might even be more in your face. It’s still a great time at the theater, and the finale will make you want to stand up and clap. I’m going to give Power Rangers a 7.4/10.
Will you be seeing Power Rangers? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:58 +0000Car Dogs Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies at the box office! To see all movies showing and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!
This one has a special place in my heart. As a through-and-through Arizonan, Car Dogs was a movie I couldn’t wait to check out. Add on the fact that I’m a film lover who attends Arizona State University and you essentially have the perfect movie for me. I don’t even care what the film is about. Consider me sold. This one actually has an incredible story, and if you love Arizona, you can click right HERE to see an interview with Adam Collis, the director, and hear exactly how Car Dogs was made! With all that said, I’ve been waiting for a while to finally talk about this film, so let’s talk about it!
Car Dogs is directed by Adam Collis and stars Patrick J. Adams, Chris Mulkey, Josh Hopkins, George Lopez, Octavia Spencer, Cory Hardrict, Joe Massingill, and Alessandra Torresani. Everything is on the line for Mark Chamberlain, not just his father’s car dealership. All associates at Chamberlain Auto have to band together to reach their sales goal of 300 cars by breaking their sales record. Though they have the right people on the job such as prized salespeople like Christian and Sharon, they have an equal amount of newbies or traitors who might have their own agendas. Mark has to decide if it’s really about the cars or if it’s about discovering who he is and what is important to him.
First off, the cast makes this movie. This film is grounded in humanity, and it completely shows when an element of connectivity and understanding is given to a bunch of people who the average American sees as a rag-tag team of swindlers and cheaters. We’ve all been to a car dealership. It’s more annoying than exciting when the first salesperson sees you, runs over, and begins to bust you with questions. You’re never ready for the questions. You just want your complimentary water bottle and cinnamon bun while you wait for your current car to be fixed. Despite how much I hate dealing with that at dealerships, I totally connected to these characters. They stopped feeling like car salesmen, and they began to feel like people who had layers. I’d invite some of these people into my home, and there are a couple I wanted to hug while explaining that everything was going to be okay. Patrick J. Adams absolutely kills it in this role, and I was blown away. In probably my favorite scene in the film, he sits down with Octavia Spencer’s character in one final attempt to save the day, and he doesn’t take second place. He holds his own with Octavia Spencer the entire way, and through simple conversation, I felt the same tension I would in a hard-hitting drama.
This is a comedy, and it’s always important that comedies are funny. This one definitely is. It’s not bust-a-gut funny, but it will probably get you with a lot of the nuanced performances and characters who understand what it’s like to be a simple person. It’s so quick and fast-paced that you don’t even want to blink because you may miss a joke or a genuinely touching moment. I loved that the pace, for the most part, mimicked a car sale. It’s quick-paced, and it feels like a good time, but later you realize that a very serious conversation took place. Finally, if you love Arizona like I do, you’ll eat this movie up. It does such a great job showcasing Arizona and everything we have to offer, and I had butterflies in my stomach watching this state come to life on the big screen. Really my only problem with the film is a slight pacing issue at the beginning that felt odd and misplaced, but for the most part the run-time flies by as you’re cheering for Mark and the crew to reach 300 cars.
Overall, Car Dogs is by far the most, and possibly the only, pleasant experience I have ever had with car salesmen. They’re given so much humanity and so many layers that you see beyond the slimy stuff they may do and you just peer into their lives as human beings. I have to imagine that was the biggest obstacle to overcome. The worst thing a filmmaker can do is make a film that the audience doesn’t care about, and that would have been extraordinarily easy with a film about car salesmen. I never felt that, and I was constantly on Mark’s team. It’s quick and funny, and it’s a film that is carried through dialogue and excellent performances. The time flies, and if you’re an Arizona fan you’re definitely going to want to give Car Dogs a look this weekend. I’m going to give Car Dogs a 7/10.
Will you be checking out Car Dogs? It’s now playing Valley-wide in Harkins Theatres, so you can check it out right now! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:23 +0000Wilson Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies at the box office! With the most comfortable seats in the valley, you can feel right at home while tearing into a delicious Pizini pizza in your recliner!
I say this kind of often, but I had no clue what to expect from this movie. I really had no idea what to expect from Wilson because I didn’t even know it was coming out. I’m a big Woody Harrelson fan, and I still hadn’t seen a trailer when I walked into the theater to check this one out. Woody Harrelson is coming off The Edge of Seventeen which was one of my favorite movies of the year, so I’ll buy anything Harrelson is in right now. Let’s talk about Wilson!
Wilson is directed by Craig Johnson and stars Woody Harrelson as Wilson, a people person. Well, he’s sort of a people person. He likes to talk and interact with people, but he doesn’t always know his boundaries, and that can turn a few people off. He gets a bit lonely and decides to track down his ex-wife who left him while pregnant with a baby, but he hasn’t heard from her in quite a while, and she’s pretty tough to track down. Little does Wilson know, his ex-wife actually had the baby and placed her up for adoption, so the two decide to find their daughter and do their best to reenter her life.
I’ll start with the positives as always. I can’t think of a single movie with Woody Harrelson where he falls into the negative paragraph. In fact, even when I don’t love a film, or even particularly like it, I typically walk out thinking that Woody Harrelson gave me exactly what I wanted and did the absolute best he could with his character. That’s how I feel about Woody Harrelson in Wilson. I didn’t particularly love Wilson, but I walked out knowing that Woody Harrelson milked everything he could out of this role. Wilson doesn’t fit into society in any way, shape, or form, and what makes Harrelson so perfect for this character is that I can imagine him when I picture a man who doesn’t quite fit into the world. It’s not that Wilson hasn’t found a place; it’s that there is no place for Wilson, and Harrelson makes that aspect of the character work perfectly. He brings enough humanity while also blending in the perfect mix of oddity, so it ends up working as a nice combination. Sometimes R-rated movies force the R-rating when it might not have necessarily been needed. This feels like one of those times where F-words are thrown around in relatively odd scenarios, and they come out feeling forced and awkward. Harrelson was the only character who doesn’t make the swearing feel forced. Given, he has been doing this for a really long time, and arguably his only competition for the longest career and biggest name in the film is Laura Dern, but he’s still the only one who can make it seem like the writer and the director are on the same page. Most of the comedy that ends up working works solely because of Harrelson. Again, there’s some good material here, but it all feels so forced and unnatural when it’s not coming out of Wilson’s mouth. Woody Harrelson was in a league of his own in this one, and he absorbed a lot of weight on his shoulders.
Again, I didn’t really like this movie. I think it suffers from the same thing that I’m seeing a lot of Fox Searchlight films suffer from. It feels like a made-for-television movie. It has a television structure, television gags, and television-thin characters. A lot of the film is built on artificial wisdom. We’re introduced to this man who is an outsider and has nothing in common with the general population. It might even be possible that he had a mental disorder or is still affected by a memory that lingers in the back of his mind. Either way, they tried to take the simple character and give him wisdom. Instead of making us appreciate that the character has something valuable to offer the world, it comes off as artificial and paint-by-numbers. You’ve heard all of Wilson’s advice from every single person you’ve ever talked to, and it never makes me jump on board with the character. He’s kind of funny, and Woody Harrelson gives a good performance, but I didn’t like him. I didn’t hate him either, but he was just there. He was purely designed as a manifestation for jokes, and that’s all he has to him. By the time you begin to feel something for him it’s not even true emotion. I felt manipulated after watching Wilson, and it never invested me without making feel like I was being used.
Overall, Wilson may not seem like your typical film at first glance, but that’s mostly because it doesn’t really have a structure. It’s a grouping of random occurrences with a character who is designed only to bring jokes to life. Woody Harrelson is great as Wilson, but after that I struggled to find things that clicked and didn’t feel forced. It uses a simple character to trick the audience into thinking we’re being fed wisdom, but we aren’t. I never cared about the main character until the finale, and by then I only felt like I was being manipulated. Even though I love Woody Harrelson, I couldn’t see myself finding a reason to watch this movie again. I’m going to give Wilson a 4/10.
Will you be checking out Wilson? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:05:59 +0000Raw Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCats Gilbert is the best place to take the entire family without breaking the bank! To plan your next family day at FatCats Gilbert, you can click right HERE!
This is kind of an interesting movie to talk about. First off, it’s a French horror movie. That’s something that immediately caught my attention. I have never seen a foreign horror movie in theaters let alone one that carried the reputation that Raw did. From what I’d been hearing, Raw made its way around the film festivals and made audiences leave and throw up in the middle of the theater. That’s how you catch attention. Make people throw up in the middle of the theater. Whether you like horror or not, that’s pretty intriguing. Just as a side note, I saw multiple eight year old girls in this screening. I’m not sure if they were aware of the stories or not, but that kind of surprised me. Anyways, let’s talk about the movie!
Raw is directed by Julia Ducournau and stars Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas, and Joana Preiss. Justine, played by Marillier, has been a vegetarian her entire life. In fact, her entire family has. Or at least they have to her knowledge. When she attends veterinarian school like her mother and older sister, she finds that the animals aren’t always treated perfectly and that all of the students at the school have no issues with eating meat. It just takes one small taste of meat to turn Justine into a flesh-crazed monster who has trouble containing herself.
This is a much different movie than I was expecting. When I heard that people were throwing up and leaving the theater sick to their stomachs, I figured that I was in for something that I’d never seen before. I expected this to be one of the goriest and most disturbing movies I had ever seen. Well, it wasn’t exactly that. It ended up being an artistic display of colors and direction that is far from your standard horror movie that comes complete with demons, possessions, and jump scares. Oddly enough, I liked it a lot. The main actress in the film who plays Justine is just 19 years old, but she gives one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. Her life transitions so much from her home life to her stay at veterinarian school, and she perfectly captures the surprise and the horror of what she sees. She needs to completely shift and change in tone and personality, and she does it so well. She also brilliantly nails the aspect of discovery in the film. She discovers herself, she discovers what she likes, and she discovers the extremely dirty truths of life that parallel the coming-of-age stereotypes. I also love how this movie is directed. On top of excellent camerawork and use of color and creativity, it does something that most horror movies can’t or won’t do. It never fully releases tension. It never has that moment where you’re thrown back in your seat in awe but lose the tension. It keeps your attention just enough to be able to keep you invested in the story and maintain a watchability and sense of mystery surrounding the characters. Finally, this movie has a lot of great symbolism and real-world parallels in terms of growing up and interacting with both people and animals. The subliminal messaging with a comment on the world and awareness of youth is really fascinating, and I think that it will be a fun movie to pick apart and dissect.
I did have a couple of problems with the movie. First of all, I didn’t find the main character nearly as compelling as the story. It is the story of the main character, but I found the reactions, the story world, and everything going on around the main character far more compelling than the character herself. She also paled in comparison to the visuals and the chaos of “Rush Week,” if you will. She makes instant transitions and doesn’t seem to feel repercussions for her actions. Next, a lot of the horror aspects are very normalized. Again, this is a different kind of horror movie from The Conjuring and Sinister, so some viewers may find enjoyment in this aspect, but normalizing the situations where our main character is eating other humans didn’t work for me. Finally, I feel like there were minor details that could have been cleaned up by a script supervisor who was on top of every single frame of the film. There are some noticeable continuity errors or even errors in what’s happening on-screen that give away the idea that this is a movie. They’re small giveaways, but they’re not realistic depictions of certain actions.
Overall, Raw is a very different horror movie, and it may not be for everybody. If you love what the horror genre has brought to the table this year with Rings and The Bye Bye Man, Raw is probably not for you. If you like artsy horror films with symbolism and metaphor based stories, Raw is probably for you. The entire cast is excellent, and I bought into their actions most of the time despite not being able to buy into the normalization of most situations. It never fully releases the tension it builds, and I say that in the best way possible. It gave me just enough to keep me on the edge of my seat while never giving us the explosion that I expected, and through that it never fell off the train tracks. I’m going to give Raw a 7/10.
Will you be seeing Raw? If you’re here in Arizona, it will be opening exclusively at Harkins Valley Art this Friday! If you decide to give it a look, comment down in the comment section and let me know your thoughts! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:24:13 +0000USA advances to WBC Final
Team USA advanced last night to their first ever World Baseball Classic Final, after defeating 2-time WBC champ Japan with a score of 2-1. The United Sates will play Puerto Rico, who is undefeated throughout the tournament. The title game will be played Wednesday night at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm MT.
Marcus Stroman pitcher of the Toronto Blue Jays is set to start for USA. Stroman had previously started against Puerto Rico in pool play allowing four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. The key to Stroman succeeding tonight is keeping his emotions in check from both the previous game as well as choosing to pitch for Team USA rather than Puerto Rico where his mother comes from. Paul Goldschmidt of The Arizona Diamondbacks is scratched from tonights starting lineup, although he is considered to be one of the top-5 first baseman in MLB. The reasoning behind Goldschmidts absence remains unknown. The Diamondbacks themselves perhaps may have asked Team USA to limit his actions in order to keep him fresh for opening day.
Team Puerto Rico:
This team is dangerous both defensively and offensively with 2-3-4 batters, Fransisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran. This trio is the heart of Team PR and will create the most damage. Once Stroman is able to control them, the rest of the lineup should be manageable. This will be the biggest test that Team USA had throughout the entire tournament.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:09:49 +0000Personal Shopper Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies at the box office in the most comfortable Recline-N-Dine seats. You don’t even have to leave your seat to eat delicious food like pizza, chicken, and french fries!
I’m actually really excited to be able to talk about this movie today! Personal Shopper was one that I had on my radar, but it wasn’t a movie that was anywhere near my most anticipated films of the year. Though I respect Kristen Stewart as an actress, I don’t think it comes as any shock to say that I find a lot of her early work relatively dry. I have to say that she has been really impressive lately, and the first time I noticed that was in Still Alice. I was intrigued by the premise of this movie, and I completely expected something that I had never seen before. Let’s talk about it!
Personal Shopper is directed by Olivier Assayas and stars Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, and Ty Olwin. Maureen, played by Stewart, is a personal shopper for a high-end model in France. She’s not in love with her job, she’s working her way through art classes, and she’s struggling with the same disease that recently took her brother’s life. She’s in mourning over her brother, but she also seems to be able to communicate with spirits and is constantly looking for signs that he is at peace. On top of all of that, she seems to have acquired a stalker who is making demands that may or may not give her safe ideas.
If you couldn’t tell by the synopsis, this movie is a combination of many, many different styles, tones, and events. It shifts back, forth, left, right, up, down, northwest, southwest, and any other way you could possibly think of, and it does so in the best way possible. My favorite thing about the film is its pure originality, unpredictability, and refusal to reveal its secrets. Just three months into the year, I haven’t seen a single movie that has kept me locked in and captivated simply by deciding not to reveal anything. I felt like Personal Shopper rewired my brain to actually think about the film as compared to waiting for the story to unfold before my eyes and have everything explained to me. It doesn’t do that, and I have to admire how bold that decision is. Next, as many tone shifts, story shifts, and general shifts as there are in Personal Shopper, somehow it all comes together much more cohesively than you might expect. Ordinarily you might see a movie that puts so many moving pieces together and decide that it never pulls together as one. Personal Shopper uses its ambiguity, mystery, and franticness to come together as one fascinating and riveting thriller that kept my heart beating the entire time. It’s beautifully directed and edited, and the story actually has a lot to say about what it means to lose a family member. The best examples of this come in scenes in which Stewart is texting her stalker, and you can see the stress that it puts her under. She has no idea who she’s texting, and the possibility of sending the wrong thing, the possibility of who is on the other end, and the idea that the person on the other end knows so much about her makes her extremely nervous and vulnerable, and we learn so much about her character through these scenes. Kristen Stewart also blew me away in this role. This might be the best I’ve seen from her in her entire career, and she pulled off the stress of her situation and the grief of losing a family member.
I’m hard-pressed to find something I didn’t like in the movie just because every time it went in an odd direction or did something weird, I was so intrigued by the way it avoided mainstream norms. Like I said earlier, it would have been very easy to have a misstep in all of the changes in tone and story, and it would have been easy to have a flimsy structure and not be able to decide what it actually wants to be. A lot of the changes worked for me, and so many different tones worked and became cohesive. My one thing that I could find that didn’t at least compel me was a bit of the beginning. It took a second for me to fully jump in and accept a lot of what this movie shows. It felt a little bit dry, but it definitely picked up once I realized what the film was going for.
Overall, Personal Shopper is possibly the most intriguing movie of the year, and it’s so fascinating because it refuses to tell us its secrets. It’s probably the most captivating film I’ve seen in 2017, and the constant tone changes and franticness of the shifts make it extremely original and unpredictable. It’s very well-directed and edited, and the story has a lot to say about how people react and the tension that grows after losing someone you’re close to and beginning to part with your better judgement. It’s visually interesting and the story is so enthralling and different. If you go into this movie expecting a supernatural horror-thriller, you’ll be severely disappointed. In fact, you’re going to have to open your mind to many different genres and go in with zero expectations. I’d absolutely suggest seeing it, but leave every genre expectation at the door. I’m going to give Personal Shopper an 8/10.
Will you be seeing Personal Shopper? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:35:14 +0000T2 Trainspotting Movie Review
It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest releases! To see showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!
Twenty years later we’re finally getting a sequel to Danny Boyle’s under-seen hit, Trainspotting. When I first heard about this movie, I was pretty sure it was going to get an Oscar-friendly release. I was expecting to see it sometime during October or November, but instead we’re lucky enough to be seeing it here in March! I was so excited to check this one out, and I finally had the chance to, so let’s talk about it!
T2 Trainspotting is directed by Danny Boyle and stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremmer, Robert Carlyle, and Jonny Lee Miller. The gang is back for the first time in 20 years. Renton, Spud, Begbie, and Sick Boy, or Simon now, all meet back up, but not much has changed. Renton made enemies in the finale of the original 1996 Trainspotting, and now he’s in Scotland once again to learn who will rejoin his side and who is going to put him in danger.
First off, if you’re a fan of Danny Boyle’s writing and directional style, T2 Trainspotting is for you. It has his mark all over it, and that was probably my favorite thing about the film. The way shots were composed and the way he uses color was perfectly matched with the way he tells stories and decides what makes it onto the screen. This is his baby, and it’s obvious that he loves these characters and cares so much for them. The quick editing and extremely fast-paced way of moving scenes along is so refreshing and stylistic that I have to appreciate a director who comes in and doesn’t follow the stereotypes of Hollywood filmmaking. Next, this movie is really, really funny. Again, if you like Boyle’s style of comedy, I’d definitely suggest seeing this film because the comedy shines over everything here. Though I didn’t like T2 Trainspotting as much as I liked the original, I do think that this one is funnier, and it might be the best comedy we’ve seen from Boyle in his career. We’re constantly seeing unintelligent comedies that might give you a few big laughs here and there, but I usually have to rely on the smaller black comedies to really give me the laughs I crave. Yes, a lot of the jokes rely on fandom and knowledge of the first film, but it’s so smart and it calls back jokes and ideas that worked in the original, and the comedy works exceptionally well. It’s also just nice to see these characters back. I think most would agree that the best thing about the original is probably the characters and the character development. After such a long time since the first film, it’s just nice to see them back giving amazing performances in roles that they’re truly having fun performing in. They all have great chemistry, and that’s what makes it so much fun to see them back on-screen. It’s all capped off with an excellent finale that gives us one of the best directed and thrilling scenes we’ve seen from both films, and it leaves me wanting a third Trainspotting movie just to see these characters again.
I still don’t think that this movie was as good as the first film, and a lot of it is due to the fact that the character development and the story are both not as strong. In the first, we see the characters go from one point in their lives to a completely different one. We see change, and we learn so much about everybody through their actions, what they say, and what they don’t say. In T2 Trainspotting, it’s almost as though we’re watching a filler episode of a television show. Maybe it’s funny, maybe it’s nice to be able to hang out with the characters for a little while longer, but it still doesn’t feel like we went anywhere or ended up in a different place from where we began. There isn’t as much depth to the characters, so there wasn’t as much depth to the story. It mostly passed because we already had that character development from the first film, and that’s why it was easy to invest myself in this one. Also, there are some slight pacing issues with the film. Danny Boyle has such a fast-paced directional style that it’s easy to be sucked in and absorbed by everything on-screen. When the story matches the pace of Boyle’s direction, we have a compelling, hilarious story with impeccable editing and visually interesting shot composition. When the pace of the story falls behind Boyle’s directional style, camerawork, and editing style, I think it would be easy to lose the audience with the mismatched pace. Along with the pacing, the story does tend to get a bit jumbled here and there and it boils over with events as compared to staying contained and staying within itself, but by the end, my main takeaway was that I enjoyed spending two more hours with Renton, Spud, Begbie, and Simon.
Overall, anybody who is either a fan of Danny Boyle’s writing and direction or a fan of the first Trainspotting should check out T2 Trainspotting. If you’re a fan of either one, or even both, T2 Trainspotting will give you everything from a filmmaking standpoint that you want to see. Boyle proves that he’s a fantastic visual director, and this movie is a great follow-up to the 1996 classic. It’s mostly nice to see the characters back on-screen messing around and getting into trouble, and that’s what makes the film both hilarious and compelling. It does slightly feel like a filer episode of a television series simply because we don’t get much depth addition to the characters or their story arcs, but it’s a compelling, entertaining, funny companion piece to a fantastic film in the original. I’m going to give T2 Trainspotting a 7.5/10.
Will you be seeing T2 Trainspotting? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! Also, what do you think of the original Trainspotting! Leave your thoughts down below! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 03:46:02 +0000INTERVIEW: ‘Car Dogs’ director Adam Collis talks new movie, ASU Film Spark, and more
It was around 2002 when Scottsdale, Arizona native Mark King left Arizona State University and embarked on a journey to Los Angeles to begin his career in the film industry. Once he arrived, he was introduced to director Adam Collis with whom he was taking a filmmaking class while working on an early short version of his screenplay for Car Dogs, which offers up a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of a busy car dealership on an intense sales day in the valley of the sun. After reading King’s script, Collis immediately recognized its immense amount of potential and quickly encouraged King to adapt it into a feature-length film.
Fast forward a few years later, and Collis is now working at Arizona State University as a visiting professor where he flies back and forth from Los Angeles. Realizing the desperate need for real world professional opportunities for the 450 undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre, Collis suddenly remembered King’s immersive script for Car Dogs, which Collis would soon direct while working with a Hollywood crew that included a number of his current and former students who aspire to work in the industry themselves one day.
It was a sunny December in Phoenix when we sat down for an exclusive interview with Collis who was wearing a nicely ironed red flannel shirt and just so happened to be appropriately seated behind a yellow sign for his ASU Film Spark, which aims to give both students and professionals an understanding of the complex Hollywood ecosystem such as script development, post-production, and, perhaps one of the most important: distribution and marketing.
“Film Spark is a great example of ASU as the most innovative school in the nation,” Collis told us. “Film Spark is living testament, and frankly I’m living proof, that ASU is indeed the most innovative school in the country. Imagine a professor’s passion project to connect his students with working Hollywood professionals. It started as just a silly little video conferencing program—I was Skyping with my parents and it worked. I was like, I could Skype with my filmmaker buddies and have my students talk with them.” After Collis’ passion project was recognized by the university, it was later greenlighted and transformed into a full-on Hollywood industry relations program.
Film Spark’s involvement in Car Dogs is equally, if not more, compelling than the movie itself. A combination of extremely determined industry professionals, next generation filmmakers, and the most innovative school in the nation formed a partnership large enough to prove that, in the world of indie filmmaking, there is always an exciting, better, and new way to tell original stories with the art of cinema.
“It just seemed like the ideal project to pilot a program that could give students the chance to learn filmmaking as part of a for-credit internship program on the actual set of a professional feature film – like a teaching hospital for aspiring filmmakers,” he explained. “We wouldn’t just be making a good film that people would enjoy – this was the chance to give students a once in lifetime opportunity to learn and advance their careers at the same time. I have to credit Jake Pinholster, my boss at the time, for immediately recognizing the potential of this. And there’s no doubt we hatched this idea because of the culture of innovation that is ASU. I called Mark and asked him if he wanted to come back to his hometown of Scottsdale to make a film drawn from his life with students from his alma mater.”
Car Dogs, which boasts an ensemble of familiar faces that includes Patrick J. Adams, George Lopez, Nia Vardalos, Octavia Spencer, Josh Hopkins, Cory Hardrict, Dash Mihok, and Chris Mulkey. As the film’s official synopsis put it, Mark Chamberlain has everything to gain, and even more to lose, when his sales team has just eight hours to sell more than have ever been sold before in a single day. With the clock ticking, the crew is forced to step up their outrageous clever tactics to do whatever it takes to be the top dog. However, for Mark, it means a lot more than just an ordinary ‘ole paycheck.
“We’ve got a very special Arizona story to tell here,” he continued. “I’m glad people really get that there’s a movie here written by a guy from Scottsdale, that was set in Scottsdale, shot in Arizona, was made with a bunch of students from Arizona State University, and is now going to be screened all across the valley in Phoenix’s own Harkins Theatres, where we’ll be screening it exclusively. It’s just a real heck of an Arizona story, but if we could really get the happy ending that we’re looking for, then we could change the way that films get released in America.”
After comparing the overall craziness of the Car Dogs sales team to that of Leonardo DiCaprio’s corporate enterprise in The Wolf of Wall Street, Collis was quick to point out that things are much more heartfelt at the end of the film than Martin Scorsese’s cinematic masterpiece. “What we share in common with Wolf of Wall Street is that it’s kind of a behind the scenes look, a peek behind the curtain,” he said. “But the difference is that Wolf of Wall Street is not that relatable to most people. However, everybody has purchased a car, man. Everyone has that experience of ‘did I get sleazed or did I get a good deal,’ right? Buying a car is an American rite of passage. It’s as American as baseball and apple pie. It’s an immensely relatable experience.”
Perhaps one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie is when Adams’ character Mark sits down with Octavia Spencer’s stern-talking car buyer to negotiate a deal for the sale of her daughter’s vehicle. “It’s interesting about the scene with Octavia and Patrick,” Collis mentioned. “It’s a climatic scene. Octavia was incredibly generous to come do this movie and it’s the pivotal scene of the film. Isn’t it amazing that that’s your favorite scene [referring to a statement made by Justin Lyons during his question] and I’ve heard that from others, as well? In fact, most of my filmmaker buddies, the guys who are working at the top level, that’s the scene that they always note and are so impressed by Patrick J. Adams and his ability to hold the scene with Octavia Spencer.”
As for what’s lined up next for Collis, he hopes to announce his next feature-length film sometime soon. “There’s a big moment that’s about to happen in Arizona,” he says. “There’s a new film commissioner in town, his name is Matthew Earl Jones, and I’ve had the good fortune and great opportunity to speak with him about his plan to attract movie production to Arizona. He has a great plan and one small piece of that plan is building out a really robust crew base who has really been mentored and neutered and fostered by the older contention of experienced veteran filmmakers that are in Arizona. In building that young crew base out, Film Spark becomes a really amazing example of what can be done in Arizona.”
Car Dogs will open in Phoenix-based Harkins Theatres including Harkins Avondale, Harkins Casa Grande, Harkins Chandler Fashion, Harkins Flagstaff, Harkins Superstition Springs, Harkins Christown, Harkins North Valley, Harkins Prescott, Harkins Shea, Harkins Arizona Mills, and Harkins Tempe Marketplace, on March 24. You can check out the trailer for the film by clicking here.
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Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:14:42 +0000It’s FREE Cone Day at Dairy Queen!
To celebrate the first day of Spring, Dairy Queen (www.dairyqueen.com) is holding a Free Cone Day today to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Participating non-mall Dairy Queen and DQ Grill and Chill locations will give customers a free small vanilla soft-serve cone. The offer is limited to one per customer while supplies. In return, Dairy Queen is asking for donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Dairy Queen collected $200,000 for the cause last year, according to TIME.com.