Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Happy Independence Day from the Movie Maestro! Looking to add a cinematic flair to your 4th? Well, look no further, because I have endeavored to bring you Americanized picks of celluloid all weekend!

Check out my picks for the ultimate 4th of July movie marathon, as well as reviews from patriotic flicks all weekend!

Once again, Happy 4th, and stay safe!

Prelude to Alien Week

Hey everyone! In part to drum up some more readers before the big event, and also to cover some films that might only barely relate, I’ve decided that this week, May the 8th to the 14th, will officially be Prelude to Alien Week here at the Movie Maestro.

Check back throughout the week for reviews on all three Predator films as well as the Alien vs. Predator duology, plus a few more surprises. And check back May 15th for the start of Alien Week, which will be chock-full of posts revolving around that slimey, head-biting monster of the stars. Enjoy!

Maestro’s Picks – Alien Day, April 26, 2017

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Welcome back, true believers! I’m not dead! In fact, I’m back just in time for Fox’s still-new yearly event, Alien Day!

Alien Day is an annual promotional event dedicated to the Alien franchise, held on April 26. It is officially organised and promoted by 20th Century Fox. The date is a reference to the moon on which Alien is set — April 26, 4/26, LV-426. The event typically involves a multitude of special releases, including novels, comic books, video games, clothing and collectibles. As well as physical releases, the day is marked by exclusive announcements, trivia competitions and the return of the classic films in the Alien franchise to theaters around the world. This year, the event includes the release of Dark Horse comics’ Aliens: Dead Orbit and Prometheus: Life and Death, Alien: Covenant In Utero VR experience, Alien: River of Pain audio drama, and a special, one-night-only rerelease of the original Alien, only at select Regal Cinemas RPX theaters in the United States.

If you’re looking for more to immerse yourself in the Alien universe, well, that’s why I’m here now! Below, I’ve compiled a list of articles and videos, all Alien-related. Have at it!

If you’re a fan of comedy website Cracked, then you should love this article by David Dietle, exploring in a funny tone the origins and deep-seated fear at the heart of the Alien franchise, as conceived by Dan O’Bannon. It’s quite a read. After that, go back in time to 1979 and discover Roger Ebert’s original review of the first film. And finally, pop into this Slate article by Tom Shone, “Women: The Other Alien in Alien.”

Not enough for ya? How about a heaping pile of Alien videos? First up is the Alien Theory YouTube channel, a series dedicated to exploring the multi-faceted universe of Alien, touching upon different expanded universe story concepts and interesting questions raised by the film’s themselves. My favorites:

Next, we have Rafa’s The Long Take, which I featured in my first Maestro’s Picks post. Check out his insightful and detailed analyses of the first two films of the franchise below:

And finally, one of my absolute favorite film channels on YouTube is Oliver Harper’s Retrospectives and Reviews. Featuring recaps of the films that are good enough to be trailers and Harper’s extensive exploration of the films, from their cinematography, script, and music, to even popular video games based on the film. Here are his retrospectives on the first three films of the Alien series. Get ready for a long haul, they are quite comprehensive!

Oliver Harper also has commentaries for all of the films including the two Alien vs Predator films available on his channel, give ’em a whirl if you like. Fire up a copy of the corresponding film for a truly unique experience!

Finally, I feel I should provide some news on my upcoming Alien Week here on the Movie Maestro. First, there will be a special prelude starting on May 1st, in which I will post reviews of the Predator and Alien vs Predator films. The main week, beginning Monday May 15th, will include reviews of all five films of the franchise, special Alien series fan edit reviews, an Alien: Isolation casting call, and my first post in the Head Canon column: The Perfect Organism fan theory, as interpreted by yours truly! The week will also include special Instagram and Tumblr posts, and will culminate in my review of Alien Covenant, in theaters May 19th.

Well, that’s all for now. Don’t forget to check back later for my fan edit review of LV-426, and if you live in my area, maybe we’ll run into each other at the Alien Day showing at the Regal RPX tonight. Until then, keep screaming. No one will hear you.

Maestro’s Picks – April 5, 2017

How goes it, readers and cinephiles?

I’d like to take a moment to first announce some upcoming additions to the blog. As you can see, I’ve already been at work sprucing up the appearance, with a new background and banner. The remodeling will continue throughout the month. I will also be starting several new columns:
Casting Calls: Focusing on both upcoming projects and my own, hypothetical films and    TV series that I would love to see, Casting Calls will feature my own picks for the main
parts as well as the chief creative teams.
Fan Edits: a discussion of fan-made cuts of existing films. I will discuss the community      past-time in my first post, and then move on to reviews of fan edits and news on
editing projects of my own
Weirdo Cinema: a celebration of some of the strangest little gems of cinema.
Maestro’s Double-Bill Drive-In: the flipside of Maestro’s Marathons, Drive-In will
suggest double features for your viewing pleasure, complete with trailer choices and
custom-made posters.

In my review of Beauty and the Beast, I noted that Disney was definitely going to be continuing their live-action remake series for the forseeable future, good or bad. Well, Disney’s latest press release has confirmed that as many as 17 films will be released over the next 10 years, including:

  • Mulan, to be released November 2, 2018
  • The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau
  • Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton
  • The Sword in the Stone, written by Bryan Cogman
  • Prince Charming, Disney’s first “Prince” film
  • Aladdin, plus a prequel centering around the Genie known as Genies
  • Cruella, a prequel to 101 Dalmatians revolving around the titular villain
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Peter Pan, along with a Tinker Bell spinoff called Tink
  • Pinocchio
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and a spinoff concerning Snow White’s sister called Rose Red
  • The Little Mermaid
  • James and the Giant Peach

Whew. That was a lot to type, even more to fathom. It seems Disney might be overstretching itself, maybe? I certainly think so. It’s already incredible that they are going to try and push all of these remakes in a decade, but it’s even worse with some of their choices. Peter Pan has already had so many different live action adaptations done recently that most have become box office failures, and there’s already enough Tinker Bell. Ask any parent with Netflix–they’ll tell you. Probably my least anticipated of these are James and the Giant Peach and Aladdin. The latter will be especially difficult to stomach without Robin Williams; there is no replacing him. Period.

The Sword in the Stone on the other hand, that sounds promising.

While Marvel and DC carve out their respective corners of the superhero subgenre, poor Image comics still has yet to get back in the game after the 90s film Spawn. And while there are rumblings of a reboot in the works, it seems another Image work might be coming to the big screen: Invincible. Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the writer-director duo behind This Is The End and The Interview, have signed to adapt the superhero comic written by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman. Invincible is a comic I’ve long-wanted to see as a film, so I am hopeful. It won’t be easy, however: in addition to displaying Kirkman’s sense of dark humor, the comic is increasingly violent and bloody. Think Superman, Spider-Man, and Dragon Ball Z all rolled into one, with the violence level of the original RoboCop film. Best of luck to you, Rogan and Goldberg!

We have yet to see a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but the rumors are that it will drop sometime next week. Until then, there are more rumors on who Benicio Del Toro is playing. The word is that his character is called D.J., and he’ll be a slimy criminal from a casino planet known as Canto Blight. Make of that what you will.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released December 15 of this year.

Any fans of the sci-fi novel Dune? I am one, and when I heard that Arrival and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve had become attached to direct, I was stoked. Now, Variety reports that Eric Roth, writer of Forrest Gump, has signed on to craft the screenplay. It’s coming together, folks!

We are now only a little over a month away from Alien: Covenant, and the marketing is kicking it up a notch. Last year, Fox designated an official ‘Alien Day,’ a special fan event which included exclusive merchandise releases and theatrical screenings of Alien and Aliens, provided by the Alamo Drafthouse. This year’s Alien Day will be even bigger, with a new official website already having been launched, complete with info on the event and a simulation of the Mother computer from the original film! It seems if you input the right information, you might be treated to some secrets….

Best of all, the new Alien Day will again include screenings, this time expanded to include Regal RPX locations. The films: Alien and Prometheus. Anybody planning on going?

I feel this is the perfect time to announce: I am planning my own Alien celebration here at the Movie Maestro for the week of May 15-21. Now that Alien Day is upon us, I will get something up that day, but my main ‘Alien Week’ will remain unchanged, and will feature reviews of all the franchise’s films, a special Casting Call, a few Fan Edit reviews, and a themed Double Feature. Hope to see you all then!

Catch you on the flip side!

Visit My Social Media Pages

In addition to this blog, I have several social media pages with exclusive content. Follow them if you want more of the Maestro…or not. But maybe please?

The Movie Maestro Twitter
Check my twitter account for movie news, links, and lots of other random thoughts from yours truly. Latest superhero flick pics? Check. Random retweets of Ryan Reynolds? Double-check. Throwing my hat into the latest cinephile argument? You got it.

The Movie Maestro Instagram
My Instagram account includes short-form film reviews with exclusive images, special TV, video game, and comic book reviews, movie quotes, my latest home video and movie collection hauls, and more. Basically, a space to view my dorky perspective, terrible filters and all.

The Movie Maestro Tumblr
The Movie Maestro Tumblr also offers shortened film reviews, with the extra Tumblr GIF-fy flair, along with the same TV/video game/comic book reviews as Instagram, and special blog posts, like my new Bite-Sized Fan Theories. I will also soon be featuring my own artistic creations, including custom DVD/Blu-ray cover art, posters, video, and more on my Tumblr. For more of the same from a more personal angle, check out Land of the Maestro.

Stay tuned, believers!