kurt russell

Sky High 15th Anniversary Review

Sky High 15th Anniversary Review
Screen Heroes

 
 
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In light of the sad passing of Kelly Preston, we’ve decided to move up our Sky High 15th Anniversary review from next week to this week, swapping our 30th Anniversary Dick Tracy review to next week. Sky High is a 2005 family superhero comedy starring the likes of Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Danielle Panabaker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bruce Campbell, Lynda Carter, Jim Rash, Dave Foley, and more!

Plus, we cover the latest entertainment news including our new Batwoman, the newly announced Gotham PD series for HBO Max set in the same universe as The Batman, Star Wars: The Bad Batch animated series, some Ghostbusters: Afterlife leaks, and the loss of Grant Imahara.

Our live stream has returned! Want to join us live on Tuesday nights while we record the show? Join our Facebook group and comment along: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScreenHeroes/

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts: Rae Stewart | Derreck Mayer | Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor: Derreck Mayer

Music by Flying Killer Robots

Links: http://linktr.ee/screenheroes

iTunes: Screen-Heroes.com

Social Media: @ScreenHeroesPod

Sky High 15th Anniversary Review

Ranking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

That’s right! We’re back again with another installment of ranking the MCU films. It’s become an HPN tradition to bitterly fight behind closed doors about where the new films rank. We almost look forward to destroying our friendship each time Marvel releases a new film.  With that said, we are placing the newest film: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We’ve already done a super-spoiler podcast on it, so if you want to give that a listen first, feel free to check that out here.

all-mcu

Before we get too deep, let’s remind you what the line up was previous to the film.

14. Iron Man 2
13. Incredible Hulk
12. Iron Man 3
11. Thor: The Dark World
10. Captain America: The First Avenger
9. Doctor Strange
8. Thor
7. Avengers: Age of Ultron
6. Ant-Man
5. Iron Man
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. Avengers
1. Captain America: Civil War

Where does Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 fall?

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How it Succeeds

I will say that we all decided Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was overall a fun movie. It does quite a few things really well, being one of the better sequels that the MCU has produced. One thing that really impressed all of us at the HPN is the additional characters this time around, particularly Mantis and Ego.  Both were well developed and blended into the created universe seamlessly.  It’s easy to tell that director James Gunn did not want to shove new characters into the film just for the sake of having new faces around. He wanted to make them just as beloved as the returning characters.  Newcomers Kurt Russell and Pom Klementieff were easily some of the highlights of the film.

Speaking of characters, the most compelling story of all had to have been Yondu.  His role in the first film was a fun antagonistic one that lead us to think he’d be flying in and out of films to come. With this latest venture into the Guardians world, his role isn’t necessarily expanded but a heavier importance is put on him.  He proves to be more than just another alien, with back story revealed, confirmation of his Kree heritage, and a suitable ending for any hero.  We may not see Yondu again, but his effect on the MCU will be felt for multiple films to come.

The easter eggs and the name drops were great. Bringing back both Cosmo and Howard the Duck was an absolute riot to see on screen. I’m convinced James Gunn does whatever James Gunn wants. He brought in an Adam Warlock reference (hope you stayed for all the follow-up scenes) even though the MCU has come out multiple times against his character joining. He even referenced the original Guardians, tapping Sylvester Stallone, Michelle Yeoh, and Ving Rhames for some star power, leading everyone to believe they’ll appear in Guardians 3.

How it lets us down

While he’s a huge bright spot, Ego is also a huge sore spot for the film too. This time, though, it’s more with the writing behind him and not the acting. Ego is presented as a formidable foe, but one that is just a little too EGOtistical to pull off his plan (see…. see what I did there?). He was so perfect up until the very last half hour. He monologued! If he hadn’t, he would have been just fine! He would have won! It seems too convenient a plot point to have the entire ending hinging on Ego revealing he killed Starlord’s mom.  Absolutely ridiculous.

Also, what’s the deal with Gamora? The comics portray her as the most deadly woman in the galaxy, being in the top 5 fighters of the entire Marvel cast of characters and we’ve seen very little proof that she’s any better than the rest of the Guardians. Not only does she not get her due when it comes to how she’s written, but she also isn’t allowed to have a personality. Zoe Saldana is a great actress, reigning as the current queen of the nerds, and yet, none of her vivaciousness and sass get to show through.  Gamora isn’t just the serious one in this goofy boy band, but she’s dry wall. She’s written as if she exists to be lusted after and nothing else. I do appreciate the attempt to have Nebula bring out some of her goodness, but it was for naught.

So, where is it already?

Poster_-_16_copy

After very little deliberation on this one (I know, we actually agree), we have decided that the film was a solid follow up to a great movie and deserves to rank in the upper half of the 15 MCU films.

15. Iron Man 2
14. Incredible Hulk
13. Iron Man 3
12. Thor: The Dark World
11. Captain America: The First Avenger
10. Doctor Strange
9. Thor
8. Avengers: Age of Ultron
7. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
6. Ant-Man
5. Iron Man
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. Avengers
1. Captain America: Civil War

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Would you rearrange everything? Yeah, so would we. But this is where we are and we’ll be happy to reevaluate in July when Spider-Man: Homecoming releases.

Ranking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

(updated 2018-04-23 to repair broken link)

Hellboy is getting an R-Rated reboot, Justice League Dark has a director and script, plus we make our own Awesome Mix! This plus a spoiler-filled look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 including discussion on soundtrack, score, story, characters, special effects, all five post-credit scenes, and whether we thought the film held up to the first one.

Oh and we promise the dog noise situation is resolved 5 minutes into the episode. Sorry about that but life happens sometimes.

So, join us for this massive 93 minute episode where we discuss Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in great detail and finish things off by providing our own Awesome Mix playlists. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for the public list and join our Patreon to see the full deluxe Guardians Heroes Awesome Mix playlist!

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Robert McCullagh

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

Links
https://linktr.ee/screenheroes

Social Media
@ScreenHeroesPod

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kurt Russell is Awesome

Kurt Russell began his acting career back in 1962 on Dennis the Menance. Since then, he’s been featured in films like Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Stargate, Backdraft, Death Proof, and is now set to enter the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We each sit down to talk about some of our favorite movies involving Kurt Russell, some he stared in, others he may have stolen the show.

Head over to our Facebook page to let us know what your favorite Kurt Russell movies are. Did we leave out his best role? Comment below!

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

Links
https://linktr.ee/screenheroes

Social Media
@ScreenHeroesPod

Kurt Russell is Awesome

Top 5 Favorite Movies

We kick things off with some announcements and then dive in with our Top 5 favorite movies all ALL-TIME! We each picked five and even include some favorites from those who joined us in the live Twitch stream. These movies range from exciting and dramatic to silly and fun. Some include cinematic advancements while others include amazing dialogue.

Enjoy our list and then be sure to head over to our Facebook page at let us know your own Top 5 favorite movies!

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Top 5 Favorite Movies Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Links
https://linktr.ee/screenheroes

Social Media
@ScreenHeroesPod

The Hateful Eight 70mm – Review

For his eighth feature film Quentin Tarantino sends us a special film in The Hateful Eight. For those near a participating theater, the film is being shown in a unique 70mm format that is also a few minutes longer than the standard cut of the movie. The Hateful Eight 70mm edition runs 3 hours and 7 minutes. The latest Tarantino flick stars Quentin regular Samuel L. Jackson along with Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, and Tim Roth, among others. This review will cover my thoughts on the 70mm format as well as the film as a whole, so SPOILERS are ahead.




The Hateful Eight 70mm Edition

The basic premise of The Hateful Eight is provided in the trailer for the movie: John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is bringing a bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) into a town for to hang. They get stuck in a small inn of sorts during a blizzard with several other mysterious and untrustworthy folk.

First, I’d like to talk a bit about the 70mm experience. I’ve never seen a movie in this format, so it was a new experience. The film begins with an Overture. The music was nice but the experience seemed out of place and a little confusing given that no movie has been shown in such a format in about 50 years (at least at a major theater for a new release). I think the oddest part was that no one came to explain any of the differences, so when the lights went out and no previews came on, it took a second for us to adjust.Kurt Russell Samuel L Jackson Hateful Eight

The film begins and is broken into chapters. Each chapter is named appropriately, in fact, one is even explained in an out of place narration. You see, the first half of the film does not have any narration but halfway through, the movie breaks in an intermission (more on that in a minute) and when we return, Quentin Tarantino brings us back up to speed and also takes us along back in time for a companion story of sorts that helps explain and set up the predicament everyone is in by the end of the first act. This narration was odd and definitely out of place. Since the film does not start with one nor does another follow later, it doesn’t fit with the rest of the tone and style of the movie. Now, the intermission I mentioned earlier is another addition in the 70mm cut. Like the classic Roadshow films, it has an intermission but since that is no longer common place I couldn’t tell you how long it was and at the time, I certainly had no idea. The screen says Intermission for a few seconds and then it just fades to black as the lights in the theater go up slightly. Again, we have no instruction, so if you want to grab food and/or use the restroom, make it quick.

The overall style of The Hateful Eight does fit the extra widescreen format of the 70mm release. As noted in the special engagement program:

“Ultra Panavision 70 refers to the very rare and exceptional format that Quentin Tarantino and his team used to shoot The Hateful Eight. Panavision’s unique anamorphic camera lenses capture images on 70mm film in an incredible aspect ratio of 2.76:1. Almost all films you see today are shot in ratios of either 1.85:1 or 2.39:1. So, to put it simply, Ultra Panavision 70 provides an amazingly wider and more detailed image.”

It goes on to note that only a few films were ever filmed in such a manner including Ben-Hur and Battle of the Bulge with the last such film, Khartoum, being filmed in 1966.

The overall feel of the supposed Roadshow Engagement was well attempted. The program is printed on very high quality paper with detailed images and the overall cinematography was outstanding. With that said, I don’t think I felt like this movie was a different kind of experience from anything else but that might have been my lack of anticipating such an experience.

I did enjoy the wider image though. I felt like I was getting a bigger picture, showing more of what was going on. I’d be interested in seeing a comparison between that format and some others like 5K, 4K, 1080p, etc.hateful-eight-quentin-tarantino

Now, let’s talk about the movie itself. I’d classify myself as a Tarantino fan overall. I consider Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds as some of my favorite movies of all time. With that said, The Hateful Eight was a bit disappointing. First off, the casting was NOT the problem. Everyone was great. Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson seemed to have solid chemistry and I enjoyed their time on screen together. I especially loved Tim Roth’s character Oswaldo Mobray. This unique English character brought a sense of lightheartedness and brightness that the movie desperately needed. Jennifer Jason Leigh pulled off the crazed captive perfectly and even freaked me out a bit at times.

The story was pretty basic: a bounty hunter gets stuck in a storm with his bounty while others try to kill him for it. The real focus of the film is on the why. Why do people want to stop John Ruth (Russell)? This is something I will not spoil here but it was interesting and I enjoyed the twist that finally brought everything together. While of course I expected a bloody ending for pretty much everyone involved, especially at the hands of the various guns, the method and the reasoning was something I had not anticipated.

The dialogue was very Tarantino. I enjoyed most of it because I’m a dialogue kind of guy. It’s the amazing monologues that I love which is why movies like The Big Lebowski are so high on my list. With that said, Tarantino finds another film excuse to use the n-word over and over again. While I have come to expect that in his films, it’s not something I ever get used to and his attempts to nullify the power of the word definitely fall flat in The Hateful Eight, a film that takes place shortly after the Civil War and includes characters who fought for both sides. The people using the word as not doing so in the context of say, those in Pulp Fiction but more because they are flat out racist and were recently fighting to keep slavery a thing. Either way, it detracted from an otherwise decent film.

Hateful Eight John and DaisyConclusion

I liked The Hateful Eight but I did not love it. It’s a solid movie with a solid story. The characters are interesting and compelling and you get the expected Tarantino money shot of death, blood, and violence. The second act was significantly better than the first not just because it picked up the pace but because it had more story to it. The first act feels like people more or less sitting\standing around while the second has the exposition, action, information, and movement. I would rank the film as 4th on my list of Tarantino movies but I want to preface that by saying I have not seen Jackie Brown, Deathproof, or True Romance. 

I’d give it 3.5 UFOs out of 5. Good but not great.

The Grid Rating Saucer 3.5

The Hateful Eight 70mm – Review

Winter Movie Preview with Oscar Bait

December is a magical time for cinema.  Everyone is breaking out their big guns.  Not the show stopping blockbusters, but the poignant Oscar bait.  This year is no different.  Here’s what The Grid is looking forward to this month:

December 4th:

imageChristmas Eve – Starring Patrick Stewart, Cheryl Hines
Obligatory Christmas movie stars legendary Patrick Stewart. I’d watch him no matter what he did.

Krampus – Adam Scott, Toni Collette
Hiring a bunch of comedic actors for a horror film based on the European legend of Krampus is a fantastic way to reel me in. Death by Christmas!

Macbeth – Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard
Boasting a talented cast of actors, one of Shakespeare’s finest works will undoubtedly be one of the best movies this season.  ***Oscar Bait***

December 11th:

imageThe Big Short – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling
A fine group of actors gather in a film exposing the Wall Street corruption and the housing market inflation that lead to the crash of 2008. ***Oscar Bait***

In the Heart of the Sea – Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy
Based on the true story behind Moby Dick, Hemsworth takes on a new type of monster unlike any Thor has ever seen. ***Oscar Bait***

December 18th:

Sisters – Tina Fey, Amy Poehler
The long awaited reunion from the two best women in comedy, the movie focuses on one hell of a party and some spectacular cameos.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Boyega, Daisy Ridley
Everyone has been waiting a life time for this movie. We’re no different. Give us stars. Give us wars.

December 25th:

imageConcussion – Will Smith, Alec Baldwin
You know a movie is bound to be good when the NFL personally tried to shut the movie down. ***Oscar Bait***

The Hateful Eight – Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson
Quentin Tarantino tries his hand at a modern spaghetti western, promising us great monologues, a well thought out soundtrack, and a lot of blood. ***Oscar Bait***

Joy – Jennifer Lawrence, Robert de Niro
Following the life of Joy, Jennifer Lawrence tackles the first David O. Russell film featuring a woman front and center. She is still bringing Bradley Cooper along. ***Oscar Bait***

The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
A man buried alive and deserted seeks revenge, and more importantly, the elusive Academy Award. ***Oscar Bait***

Did we leave anything out? What are you most excited to see this month? Comment below!

Winter Movie Preview with Oscar Bait