My Most Anticipated Movie of 2020… (Brandon)

     The year 2019 was one of the most captivating years of film ever. Every month had so many fantastic films that were worth a watch. After looking through the upcoming movies for 2020, not many are that exciting. 2020 came down to two films, Free Guy and Venom 2, for my list. At first, I assumed it was surely going to be Free Guy once I started this article. Once I saw the Free Guy trailer, I lost my mind. Not only does it have Ryan Reynolds, my favorite actor, but the concept is phenomenal! After some serious deliberation, I had to choose Venom 2.

     When I was little, there were two things I wanted to see in the film world. One was Deadpool, and I finally got that thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Fox. Now, Sony is bringing my other wish to life. Later this year, Venom 2 is bringing my favorite villain to the silver screen, Carnage. I am excited to see how Sony will interpret the menacing character of Carnage. I am hoping to see a very extreme R rating for this film. It would accurately bring the monster to life. There have also been some intriguing rumors that Tom Holland could appear in Venom 2. I am sure this would be a small cameo in the flick. I am hoping to see Tom Holand join the fight to take down Carnage at the end of the film, but I am sure the appearance will be much more modest than that. The possibility of this cameo is a big reason this is my most anticipated film of the year. It would fulfill one of the most significant moments in comic book history to me. 

    It will be amusing to see how Venom 2 plays out. We will have to hope that Sony does not make the same mistakes from the first Venom. 2020 is just starting, which means there are so many movies to release. Let us know in the comments which one you are most anticipating! What are your thoughts on Venom 2? Are you hoping to see Tom Holland appear in the sequel? Make sure to give us your opinions! If you enjoyed the article, leave a like!  

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

My Top Five Films of the Decade (Brandon)…

I would be doing the decade an injustice if I did just my top 5 video games of the decade. Since I am the one who runs our movie segment on TNC Live (Report From the Back Row), it would only be fitting for me to do a Top 5 Movie list as well for the decade. After a lot of deliberating, I finally have my top 5 movies of the decade (also an honorable mention or two). There have been some fantastic movies over the last decade, but here are my top 5 that meant the most to me.

     I will start with my honorable mention for the decade, and that has to be Wolf of Wallstreet. I have always been someone who never really enjoys movies about real-life scenarios. Wolf of Wallstreet finally changed my way of thinking. I could not express how much this movie blew me away. It took such a realistic concept of money driving someone off the ledge and made it so intense going through this roller coaster. It is so disheartening that Lionardo Dicaprio did not win an Oscar for his performance in this film. Thanks to this film, I have opened up my variety of movies into realistic movies.

     Now to start the real list. Starting my top 5 is Ted. Ted was the first time I have ever seen everyone in a theatre laughing hysterically. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis killed their roles with Seth McFarlane. The film not only kept you laughing, but it had a great bond between two friends. It shows the two best friends dealing with one of the two finding a love interest. The movie starts strong and honestly never stops with the humor. It has some of the most vulgar and obscene jokes I have seen in a comedy, but it honestly does such a good job. Thanks to Seth McFarlane, he brings the world of Family Guy to life in Ted.

    Kingsman Secret Service is the next film on my list. I have never enjoyed spy movies, but Kingsman gave it a new flavor. It took a juvenile delinquent and made him a hero. The film did such an immeasurable job of turning a criminal into someone you root for in his campaign. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Eggsy and Harry. The duo had a father-son dynamic that made it a heartwarming plot. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the action sequences were. I wasn’t expecting much from this film when I first went to see it, but it has to be one of my favorite of the decade. 

     I have spent hours trying to figure out how to order these final films. After a lot of deliberating, I finally have them in proper order. The third movie to crack my list is Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass took superhero movies to a brand new light. It wasn’t afraid to be ridiculously over the top. Watching a child murder villains, badass Nicholas Cage, and a nerdy teenager becoming a hero was astounding. The soundtrack to this film was one of the first times I have ever thought about the music in a movie. It was incredible to see such a raunchy superhero movie during the rise of the MCU.

     Speaking of the MCU, Infinity War comes in at number 2. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been transcendent, but overly predictable. Every single expansion to the franchise, you always had an idea where it would go. There was certainly never a time where there was fear the hero would not make it. That is why the Infinity War is incredible. SPOILER ALERT for Avengers Infinity War! ************************************************

They did such a good job surprising all fans. Most people who went into Infinity War were expecting to see characters like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America to perish. That is not the case for Infinity War. There were so many unexpected deaths. This film took so many new characters away from us Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Dr. Strange. It was a brilliant move by Marvel. They are going to keep us on our toes for further installments. 

     Now it is time to talk about some Deadpool. Growing up, Deadpool was one of my favorite Marvel characters, next to Spider-Man. I would continually hear reports that there was a Deadpool project that was floating around with a script. Even better, it had Ryan Reynolds linked to the rumors. It was outrageous to have my favorite actor set to play my favorite anti-hero. It was one of the biggest days in media for me when the test footage was “leaked.” When the world got wind of Deadpool, everyone freaked out, and people were begging to see this movie hit theaters. I have never had my hype set to a record high. To be honest, I have always been disappointed when I get this excited about anything. Deadpool is the first to ever match my hype for anything. After seeing Deadpool 7 times in theatres, I can easily say it is my favorite movie of the decade. 

     I have not had so much fun deciding a top list for anything until this article. I had to reach out to friends and family for their help with this one. I needed people to tell me how excited I was after leaving these movies. I had to narrow down my choices from my original 20 films down to 5 and an honorable mention. What do you think of my list? Am I insane for putting these films on my list? What are your picks of the decade? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article, please leave us a like!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

Shazam! Movie Review…

This is the first DC movie that I have been genuinely excited about for about a decade now, and I have to say it wasn’t what i was expecting. The reviews for this film were through the rough 90%+ on Rotten Tomatoes, and that was really surprising me because the lead up to the movie was low expectations because of the very cheesy trailers that we received. This movie really surpassed a lot of expectations for many, and for myself it was much more focused on the character development of Shazam and the theme of family much more than action and CGI pieces.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I did enjoy Shazam for the most part. We sill start with the bad before the good because there was not much to dislike with the film. My main issue with Shazam was the CGI of the seven deadly sins. The main villain of the film Doctor Sivana had demons that he could summon on command to help him in battle, and I must say… the CGI for those characters was hideous. It felt like a 2005 Nickelodeon movie CGI job. The monsters from Scooby-Doo Skull Island looked better. That being said Doctor Sivana as a villain had some good development that started the movie off with him as a young child given the chance to become the all powerful Shazam, and he showed he had too much darkness in his heart to take the mantle. This drives him mad with revenge to take the power of Shazam which gives a very solid plot point for the villain. Then the only other negative I had with the movie was some of the jokes were very lame and didn’t land at all. Which was a little cringy, but not terrible by any means.

This movie really replicated what Marvel did with Ant Man. A much more light hearted film that revolved more around the theme of family and the development of the main character rather then big budget action scenes. Shazam does an amazing show with the coming of age story of Billy Batson to mature over such a short period of time so he can become the hero the world needs at this given time. Growing up Billy had no interest in family running from foster home after foster home, but after meeting Freddie and becoming Shazam he starts to realize how important family can be. Which was a really nice change of pace of a lot of current superhero films being love interest/power development. The movie also did a very good job in the marketing by not spoiling a very huge plot twist at the end with the whole Shazam family getting abilities. This is something I knew we would see eventually in the movie arch, but I did not expect it in the first film of Shazam which was a very pleasant surprise to say the least.

All in all Shazam was a very enjoyable superhero film that did a very good job at breaking the current mold of introduction superhero films. It definitely is getting the DCEU in the right direction after Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s success. Hopefully DC will continue on this track. I will give Shazam an 84%. It is very fun, family oriented superhero movie, with some very rough CGI at moments, but after that it is a great coming of age story for Billy Batson.

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-Brandon Maj