Archive for Editorials

Written By: Dan Geer

Howard the Duck

Just as a preface, this list will not include simple dramas, comedies or musicals, but will instead focus on films in the science fiction, fantasy, action and horror genres from the last 40 years.

Many movies go underappreciated for any number of reasons. Sometimes we have favorites that the majority (or very vocal minority) do not seem to appreciate but are actually quite good. Other times films are just not really great per se, but perhaps better than people give them credit for. After all, even an average film can be entertaining and fun on multiple levels.

Whatever the reason, there are many films that are simply underrated or misunderstood, or have even been forgotten that deserve more appreciation that they commonly receive, whether by critics or the general movie-going public. The following list represents Popcorn Monster’s top 10 most underappreciated genre films of the last 40 years (click on the titles for trailers)…

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

X-Files Season 10

Let’s just get this out of the way before I proceed with this article, because I do not want to come off as being overly critical

loved the latest 6-episode season of The X-Files. I really enjoyed both the mythology as well as the standalone “monster of the week” episodes. It both reintroduced the mystery back into the mythology that we all thought we understood for over a decade since the original series ended back in 2002, and the standalone episodes gave us great stories we never had in previous seasons. Of course, Darin Morgan’s “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” episode was probably the highlight of the season. Simply fantastic!

However, as tradition has it, Season 10 concluded on a cliffhanger like all previous seasons of The X-Files did. It left us with a ton of unanswered questions. The season was too short to really flesh it all out. It only makes sense that Season 11 now has a big responsibility to fulfill in answering, or at least clarifying how the “new” conspiracy ties in with the old.

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

General_Leia

Ever since the untimely and unfortunate passing of actress Carrie Fisher last December, fans of the Star Wars saga have wondered how this will affect the sequel trilogy and the role of General Leia for Star Wars: Episode IX (she already completed filming for Star Wars: The Last Jedi before she passed).

To be honest, fans are a bit worried. It’s probably not the most appropriate feeling to immediately have after the death of a human being, but it is understandable. The writers and director Colin Trevorrow really have a conundrum on their hands.

It really comes down to this for everyone: Should they write the character out of the story, or should they recast? This is quite a loaded question, but one that I think has a pretty clear answer.

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

IndependenceDayResurgence

It is no secret that director Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence just did not do nearly as well as expected at the box office. Even though it was the 20th anniversary of the first film when the sequel premiered last summer, not enough people went to go see it. It made only a fraction of what the first film did back in 1996, raking in around $103 million domestically and almost $390 worldwide. While the film did make its money back and then some, it definitely underperformed when comparing to the first film’s earnings, and was not received well critically. The sequel didn’t even take the top spot on its first weekend.

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens

In the last couple of decades, it has become increasingly apparent that there has been a paradigm shift in terms of how audiences watch and enjoy movies. While film criticism has been around for as long as I can remember, it seems as if your average modern-day cinephiles have become more critical than ever, and as a result have enjoyed films much less in the last couple of decades than they did in the decades prior. What went wrong?

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

chris_carter

Dear Chris Carter,

As someone who has been a huge fan of The X-Files since 1993, grew up with it and never gave up on it when we all thought it would never return (whether it’d be a third feature film or on television) – I would like to thank you for working so hard to bring back this iconic series with Season 10 earlier this year. The eight-year wait between The X-Files: I Want to Believe and this latest season was almost unbearable, but it was well worth it.

I also would like to take the time to bring to the forefront something that has been weighing on me heavily in the last few months since the series returned.

Update provided after the jump…

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Last year around this time, I wrote an article designed to help keep one’s expectations for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in check. After all, it was probably the most anticipated Star Wars movie since 1999’s The Phantom Menace, and we all know how expectations definitely played a part in our enjoyment of that movie. Even though Episode I has flaws, one has to admit that our expectations for that movie back in 1999 were so high that the film didn’t stand a chance – even if it was great (pssst… I liked the movie, but agree that it has some shortcomings). The Force Awakens, thankfully didn’t suffer nearly as brutal of a beating (and it was a better movie overall).

My article probably didn’t have a huge impact on setting expectations, but I like knowing that it was out there and that maybe even just one person read it and enjoyed The Force Awakens more because of it. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that I uphold the tradition and compose a similar article for “the next Star Wars movie” – which really isn’t what we all think of when we frame it like that. When people used to say this, it meant the next episode in the saga. That is clearly not the case this time, and with that it means that we really need to go into this one with a clean slate for the most part, and rethink what we should be expecting for the first standalone movie in the franchise.

Read more »

Written By: Brandon Engel

Rey Speeder

Sci-Fi fans are forever wishing for their favorite fiction technology and gadgets to become reality, and none more so than Star Wars fans. While lightsabers are unfortunately still firmly ensconced in the fictional side of that universe, there are several examples of Star Wars technology which have become or are in the process of becoming a reality. From the original trilogy to the extended universe and beyond, there are plenty of opportunities to find examples of fictional technology inspiring real life technology.

When fans were first introduced to the universe in 1977, such things as artificial intelligence, communicating robots and self-driving cars were either very rudimentary or pure fantasy – but today we have Apple’s Siri and Tesla’s driverless cars. In honor of The Force Awakens in the canon and of science fiction becoming science fact, the following are just some of the fun gadgets found in the Star Wars universe that have since become part of our very real lives.

Read more »

Source: Matty Granger Facebook | The Huffington Post | Posted By: Dan Geer

ForceAwakens

So it has been a few weeks since J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters and broke just about every box office record known to mankind. Reviews have been very positive overall. However, the pendulum has started to sway the other way a little bit, with some reviews even pointing out supposed plot holes or flaws in the film. One such article from The Huffington Post, titled “40 Unforgivable Plot Holes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” attempts to lay out extensively just how flawed the film allegedly is, and many people have re-posted this article time and time again, commenting on how they actually agree with the article.

I was going to write a rebuttal on this, but a man by the name of Matty Granger (The Granger Brothers) beat me to the punch and posted one himself, addressing (in “colorful” language, mind you) each and every point laid out by The Huffington Post’s . The article not only easily refutes these “plot holes” for the most part, but also agrees very much with the reason PopcornMonster.com was started in the first place, which is to get people to think twice when it comes to film. To quote Granger, “…sadly all it takes is a bold, contrarian statement to convince people who aren’t interested in doing research for themselves that something wildly incorrect is truth.”

Click here for the Huffington Post article, then read Granger’s amusing rebuttal here. When you’re done, read below for a few more points that I personally address about the film that aren’t brought up in either article, but have been also debated at length in various fanboy circles. Just my lengthy attempt to help people enjoy the film as much as I do (possible spoilers ahead)…

Read more »

Written By: Dan Geer

Peter Jackson

When Guillermo del Toro left the director’s chair on The Hobbit trilogy, Peter Jackson stepped up and took the reins once again for Middle Earth and decided to direct. This posed a huge problem for Jackson and his team of designers and writers, and put a tremendous amount of pressure on everyone because Jackson’s vision differed greatly from del Toro’s. They basically had to redesign the films all over again, essentially throwing out a year and a half’s work of pre-production time out the window. What this meant for Jackson was that he was not able to have that same amount of prep time for his version of the films, and the vast majority of the time he had to wing it on set.

Now that the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has finally been released, one of the special features on this release chronicles what it was like for the director, as well as the designers and writers to go through this trial of getting these films completed in light of what happened. A segment of the video has gone viral, with many movie sites claiming this is Jackson owning up to the reason why The Hobbit films were supposedly “a mess.”

I argue the exact opposite. Watch the video below first, and then we’ll dive in!

Read more »