Posts Tagged ‘2014 Movie’

Reason number one for why you should see this installment of the Transformers series: Who wouldn’t want to see Optimus Prime riding a fire-breathing Dinobot as it rampages through war-torn city streets in an attempt to save humanity? Reason number two: Explosions! Reason number three: Mark Wahlberg. Reason number four: Because you want to see if Michael Bay takes the whole Transformers story-line any further from the cartoon and deeper into “WTF?!” territory. Reason number six: You just have to hear Optimus yell, “Audobots! Roll Out!” one more time. Well, no matter your reason, check out the trailer below and if it gives you another reason to watch, be sure to check it out in theaters on June 27th, 2014.

An automobile mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down the Autobots and Decepticons – and a paranoid government official – on them.” [IMDB]

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In the 2014 Sci-Fi action film Lucy, Scarlett Johansson stars as an average woman turned superior, ass-kicking phenomenon after unintentionally being gifted with the ability to use 100% of her brain capacity. Needless to say, “…interesting things begin to happen.” At first glance the film appears to be a combination of Colombiana (2011) and a bit of Push (2009) and Crank (2006) packaged into a premise that makes Limitless (2011) seem pretty…tame. Will Scarlett Johansson harness her some of her Black Widow (The Avengers, 2012) energy for this physically demanding role or will her power performance prove to be  less than believable? Check out the first trailer of Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element, 1997) latest directorial effort, Lucy below and if you like what you see be sure to check out the film in theaters on August 8, 2014.

An involuntary drug mule, with a surgically implanted cargo, is assaulted causing the package to leak. This leads to her slowly ramping up the percentage of her brain she can use, resulting in abilities people dream about.” [IMDB]

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Moviegoers can put another point on the board of Buddy Cop films. Although, Let’s Be Cops technically doesn’t qualify considering the premise that the main characters aren’t actual cops. Yep, that ‘s right! The first cop comedy where the cops are just average guys who get into an onslaught of hilarious ordeals and risky situations as they parade as police officers. Move over Cop Out (2010), go back to school 21 Jump Street (2012), and watch your back Ride Along (2014) because Let’s Be Cops looks as though it may even be giving Broken Lizzard’s Super Troopers (2001) a run for its money in the funny department. Damon Wayan’s Junior and Jake Johnson seem awkwardly natural as two “30 as sh*t!” roommates who decide to dress as cops for a “costume party” and end up liking their created roles a little more than they probably should. Let’s Be Cops arrives in theaters everywhere on August 13th, 2014. Check out the trailer below!

Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.” [IMDB.com]

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I believe they’ve finally found a formidable actor to play the legendary demigod in the latest adaptation of the Hercules mythology. Live action blends well with CGI and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s beefed up physique–something I’m sure the ladies will love–to display the Greek tale in its greatest visual representation since the days of Kevin Sorbo. In the trailer, we see Hercules battling it out with a Hydra, Cerberus and other mythical creatures among more human opposition. With the bevy of large-scale action and The Rock’s badassdom, it’s no wonder we’ve been waiting so long for this. But, will this be a sign of The Rock’s box-office dominance or prove that there are some stories that shouldn’t be retold? Check out the trailer below and tell me what you think by leaving a post in the comments section. Hercules smashes into theaters on July 25th, 2014.

Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.” [IMDB.com]

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Our topic in hip-hop this week is Nas and the belief that he’s, to put it lightly, a perennial loser at life. I got the idea, admittedly, from a recent post on HipHopDX on Nas’ opinions on “tanning” in hip-hop (that’s another post entirely) and the way commentators tried to eat him alive. I never thought someone who:

*has been nominated for several Grammy Awards (though he’s never won one)
*has gone platinum on several albums (though none after 2002’s God’s Son)
*has battled Jay Z and lived musically to tell about it (even though, y’know, Nas hasn’t gone platinum since around the time of his beef with Jay–even with the critically acclaimed Hip-Hop is Dead album)
*has been in the game for twenty years–and doesn’t look too corny on stage and
*has one of the best hip-hop albums of the decade so far with Life is Good

would be considered a loser, but here we are.

For some reason, hip-hop commentators love to single out Nas for almost everything he does–and slap a big, fat “L” on it. That is not to be confused with hip-hop legend, the late Lamont “Big L” Coleman. Big L was never a loser, because he struck men quicker than lightning. But Nas? If you let the internet–and several blogs even named after jabs at Nas (such as, well, smartenupnas.com) tell it, Nas has as much luck as the Detroit Lions or the 2013 Houston Astros. But where does it all come from?

nas-lost

Byron “Bol” Crawford, an influence of mine, said in an interview for his book on the subject that Nas lost because of everything after Illmatic (shiny suits and crucifixes with Diddy, “Oochie Wally,” Kelis, not being featured in Def Jam: Icon as a playable character, etc.). Typing “why Nas lost” into Google treats you with a discussion from Boxden with Thirteen Points on Nas’ Losses. If they had one more, they could have matched Woodrow Wilson’s reasons for why World War I was good and bad for…the world. Granted, Wilson called for peace and the internet seemingly calls for Nasir’s head every time he opens his mouth, but you get the idea.

There are a few reasons why he can be seen as a loser that I, personally, could ascribe to (if I were in Camp Nas-Lost-A-Lot).

First, let us discuss his constant “switched demeanor” (I know that bar referred to Mobb Deep. Don’t try to troll the untrollable) and bouncing between revolutionary Nas, street Nas and “let’s make songs for the club” Nas. However, let’s take a look at pretty much every memorable hip-hop artist, even Immortal Technique to a degree. GOOD artists don’t/can’t stick on the same subjects for the length of their careers, lest they become Soulja Boy (Sorry, Boi-1da.net fam; Soulja is still pretty one-trick to me. He’s made some decent songs, but most of his verses still revolve around swag) or someone. Even LL doesn’t just rhyme (lyrics to both songs NSFW) about getting women and their undergarments in a bunch, even if that’s what he’s known for (that and also being punchline fodder for perceived missteps; that’s another post as well).

Plus this is one of the only non-shirtless LL photos I could find.

Plus this is one of the only non-shirtless LL photos I could find when searching “LL Cool J and Nas” on the Google.

For others? It may be the fact that, after everything was said and done with the Jay beef, he eventually worked with–and under Jay. But, let’s be real here. The average rapper, regardless of how “conscious” and against the system they are, they’d rather be signed to a major label than do what I do and release everything–and I mean everything–independently. Note, of course, that I said “average,” because there are rappers that prefer the DIY method. As much as I sometimes dislike saying this, if you want your message to be heard, sometimes you need to go mainstream then lure them back into the “realness.” Or, at the least, get mainstream’s help.

Hi Macklemore.

Others still could even argue that Nas loses because he had one undeniably “classic” album, Illmatic. At under 40 minutes, it did what most albums these days can’t do in twice that time.

"It ain't hard to tell..."

“It ain’t hard to tell…”

Keep in mind that most of these grievances, especially this one, are also brought up in Jay Z’s “Takeover.” “Takeover,” in some ways, acted as a launchpad for anti-Nas sentiments shared by some of my hip-hop blogging/commentating contemporaries. That doesn’t make ’em any less true, though. I am a Nas fan and I respect what he’s done for hip-hop. But, other than Illmatic, Nas often comes up with stellar concepts (HHiD, the N-Word/Untitled album, his double CD, even Life is Good to a degree) that tend to fail to deliver on their promises in some way that ends up damaging the album. For the purposes of this conversation, let’s look at Life is Good.

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Life is Good saw the return of Illmatic-era Nas (obviously older and more worn). It featured boombap beats, soul samples, Swizz Beatz, Noah “40” Shebib drums, and Amy Winehouse. It was a great album. It was a summertime banger. It still gets played in my phone from time to time. But saying it’s the rap version of Marvin Gaye’s Here My Dear? That is a bit off-the-mark. For starters, while both albums deal with musical icons after divorce, HMD showcased Marvin’s pain, anger and confusion regarding his divorce proceedings with Anna Gordy. LiG touches on the disintegration of Nas’ marriage in a few spots. One of those, of course, is the cover. Secondly, HMD is, in some ways, the culmination of all of Marvin Gaye’s different musical–and personal–entities over his career. He showcases the broken heart, the burgeoning/potentially recovering addict, the confused star-crossed lover, and the revolutionary all in one. Nas, on the other hand, showcases a little introspective thought toward his career and his situation(s). Throughout most of the album, he’s telling stories. But he’s not telling his story.

Essentially, Nas is the street poet. He’s the voice of the generation. He’s one of the God Emcees. But, twenty years in, he still often shuts listeners out of his own life. To me, this is one of his fallacies. I’m not saying everyone has to talk about shooting everyone else. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I mean that Nas is a great artist and a vivid photographer of inner-city life. But, he (often) doesn’t allow anyone to turn the camera around on him and that tarnishes his legacy in a sense. So, all in all, Nas should not be considered a loser, per se. Never that. However, he can–and rightfully should–be considered an artist that still doesn’t give everything that he should artistically, as he’d rather present scatterbrained efforts that attempt to tell everyone’s story.

And besides, he’s lasted longer than most “Nas Lost” commentators could in music. That’s got to be worth something, right?

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: I’ve attempted to address a problem/concern in the hip-hop community–hence the title putting emphasis on the “WHY,” not the entire question. I’m asking–and attempt to answer the following: Even with his follies, why can/should the man be considered a loser? This is not a post on why he IS a loser? I hope you’ve read through, taken away points, and begin to form your own opinions. Also, I ask that you don’t take to insults and baseless accusations just because I’m speaking on something “uncomfortable.” We’re all adults here; name-calling is juvenile. If you’ve an opinion on what I’ve written, please spark a dialogue with me. I’m not afraid to be told I’m “wrong,” as long as there’s proof with it. Finally, let me reiterate the following: I am a fan of Nas’ music and what he’s done for hip-hop. So, my comments are not based in “hate” of Nas, but more of an analysis of his music and the “facts” presented. Thank you for reading and peace be with you.)

Check out the official trailer for Godzilla 2014 below! All I can say about this film is that it might just be the best disaster film and best monster movie of the year! Check it out when it hits theaters May 16, 2014.

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BONUS: GODZILLA Teaser Trailer

I have been curious about Marvel’s introduction of this misfit gang of characters since I first discovered they were doing a film adaptation of the comic in early 2013. Although I didn’t follow the Guardians of the Galaxy comic as a youth – actually I hadn’t even heard of them until last year –  after researching the characters, I found this story to be very intriguing. After all, who ever heard of a gun-slinging raccoon with a walking, fighting tree for a friend? But, until yesterday I was a little on-the-fence about the outcome of the movie. Not knowing whether the strange and unconventional characters would translate well with Marvel’s primary audience had me questioning the film and its story’s overall acceptance by fans of its contemporaries like The Avengers and other Marvel heroes respectively. But, after viewing the trailer which delivers an equally strange and comedic tone as it does action and mystery and after taking into consideration its ensemble cast, I am actually excited to see this film.

With that said, I must forewarn you , I have become a little biased toward Marvel films these last few years. In my opinion most of their projects after the first Hulk film have been pretty good and the way they are linking the Marvel Universe on-screen is pure genius. As a lover of the 90’s Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons, I love to see those memorable and not-so-well known characters come alive on the big screen. So to me, this film is a pleasant surprise. So check out the synopsis and trailer below and if you like what you see check it out in theaters August 1st, 2014!

In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) . In order to evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a group of misfits including Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradly Cooper) ,Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.” [Wikipedia]

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Related Posts
  1. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trailer: A Deep Dive via Entertainment Weekly
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy: First Trailer for Marvel’s New Film Released via The Telegraph
  3. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trailer stars odd outlaws via USA Today

Just when we thought we’d seen the last performance of the late Paul Walker, it gives me great pleasure to tell you we were wrong. The trailer for Walker’s final film ‘Brick Mansions’ has arrived and ladies and gentleman this is Paul Walker doing what we all loved him for. When you combine guns, cars, explosions and fast-paced chase sequences with Paul Walker, the RZA, and David Belle (the creator of parkour) you’ve got the perfect formula for a finely tuned action film. So on April 25th, let’s make it happen. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments section.

An undercover cop tries to take down a ruthless crime lord with access to a neutron bomb by infiltrating his gang. [IMDB.com]

Brick Mansions

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Related Articles
  1. Paul Walker’s Last Complete Movie, ‘Brick Mansions,’ Gets A Trailer via MTV.com
  2. Paul Walker’s ‘Brick Mansions’ Trailer Is Fast and Action-Packed (Video) via HollywoodReporter.com
  3. Paul Walker does off-the-wall action in ‘Brick Mansions’ trailer via LATimes.com

Life of a King is the unlikely true story of Eugene Brown and his one-man mission to give inner-city kids of Washington D.C. something he never had – a future.  He discovered a multitude of life lessons through the game of chess during his 18-year incarceration for bank robbery.  After his release and reentry into the workforce, Eugene developed and founded the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of due to circumstances.  From his daring introductory chess lessons to a group of unruly high school students in detention to the development of the Club and the teens’ first local chess competitions, this movie reveals his difficult, inspirational journey and how he changed the lives of a group of teens with no endgame.” [Source]

Release Date: January 17, 2014

Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert, LisaGay Hamilton and more.

Related Articles

A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.” [IMDB.com]

Release Date: February 28, 2014