Kristy Puchko is a film critic/movie blogger who has written for Cinema Blend, Next Movie, Jezebel, The Film Stage, and Critical Mob. You can read her movie reviews here, or follow her on Twitter @KristyPuchko
Few things scream "cash grab" as loudly as a movie about a popular children's toy, as these productions rely highly on the brand recognition of children and nostalgia of adults. Making a good movie inspired by pre-existing playthings is such a rare thing that it almost seems impossible. Thankfully, Phil Lord and Chris Miller -- the directing duo behind the charming 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' and the hilarious '21 Jump Street' reboot -- are known for turning terrible-sounding projects into spectacularly entertaining adventures. And they've done the impossible with 'The LEGO Movie', creating a wonderful narrative that perfectly captures the wonder and joy of playing with the iconic building blocks.
After New Line's live-action 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie grossed more than $200 million worldwide, the heroes in a half-shell were guaranteed a sequel. That came just a year later in 1991 in the form of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.' This turtle-powered action movie didn't fare as well at the box office, but was nonetheless beloved by kids that couldn't get enough of these pizza-loving crime fighters.
The "manic pixie dream girl" has become a well-recognized stereotype in romance movies. She's bubbly, flirtatious and quirky, but most importantly, she's a tool for the moody male hero to discover himself/a new lease on life. This usually makes her a bit grating and stale. But in Spike Jonze's 'Her,' this stock character is reimagined with a sci-fi twist and an incredible insightfulness that shakes off all of its stodgy expectations.
In 2012, 'The Hunger Games' was not only critically acclaimed; it was also the third highest grossing blockbuster of the year, coming in behind 'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight Rises.' This meant Francis Lawrence, who took over directing duties for the film series after Gary Ross bowed out, has an incredibly high bar to meet with the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' second novel in her trilogy, 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.' We're elated to report that he's created a sequel that is bigger, bolder and all around better than its solid predecessor, helped in part by an extraordinary cast and a lusher budget.
With 'Don Jon' hitting theaters, Joseph Gordon-Levitt can officially add "writer/director" to his many-feathered cap. You probably know that he started out as a child actor, but do you know what his first commercial gig was or what film took his family to Africa...
Everybody's always picking on Michael Bay. You know, because of 'Transformers, 'Transformers 2' and pretty much every other film he's directed. But give the guy a chance, maybe get to know him a little bit and then go watch 'Pain and Gain' not with the burning humiliation that this is a movie from the 'Armageddon' guy, but that you're watching a film made by the man who directed your favorite milk commercial. Yes, that milk commercial. Here are 10 things you didn't know about Michael Bay.
Since 1981, MTV has been a taste-maker, influencing teens and tweens in the ways of music, fashion, movies and social awareness. And if you're old enough to remember when MTV actually centered its programming on showing music videos, then you're old enough to feel nostalgia over the wide array of beautiful people who served as VJs over the past thirty-some years.
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