Tag Archives: Christian Dimartino

Students show enthusiasm toward superheroes

By Christian DiMartino

Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed a whopping $191 million dollars last weekend, and it would have made even more if it was not for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. However, money was not the only field where the film was successful. The film received positive reviews from critics, and the students enjoyed it as well.

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Avengers sequel kicks summer off with a bang

By Christian DiMartino

When director Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was unleashed three years ago, I enjoyed it, but I did not understand what all of the praise was about. Sure it was fun and entertaining, but it did not seem to have a story and, in its final half hour, it left me exhausted. But now, Whedon brings us the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I will not lie: it is a total blast from start to finish. It still has its flaws, but this is a thrill ride that puts the excitement level on full blast and never turns down.

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Movie enthusiast reviews Regal New Albany Stadium 16

By Christian DiMartino

I go to the movies quite frequently, so it should go without saying that I have been to many different theatres in my time. I have been to theatres in Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Illinois, and Florida, to name a few. While some of them were very nice, others well, were not so nice. The same goes for the local theatres.  Regal New Albany Stadium 16, the more popular one in the area, is not the best, but it usually provides an enjoyable experience at the movies.

Judging from the overall look of the place, it looks good. I have been going there for over a decade, and I do not think I have ever noticed a messy area. The janitorial staff keeps the place spotless. As for design, it is nothing out of the ordinary. I have been to theatres that have paintings and chandeliers (no joke). Those are absent there, but the theatre does not need them. It works well without it.  

Also, having 16 screens works to an advantage, because it provides more of a variety. With that said though, the theatre does not always keep the variety consistent. For example, back in October I wanted to go see Birdman, and they did not start playing it until January. Why? Who knows.

 The other problem is that sometimes they play indie movies, but for only a week. Such is the case with Blue Jasmine, which I tried to go see but it only played for a short while. It is perfectly fine to play blockbusters, since that is what the majority of people are there for. But I am not like the majority of people, and I want my Oscar bait. 

All of that aside, the actual movie-going experience is quite nice. The seats are comfortable, and if you are alone in the row you are sitting in, then you can move the arm rests up and lie down. Also, the sound is extremely loud and incredibly close (movie reference), which is a good thing or a bad thing (it is a bad thing if you are actually watching Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). For the most part, I like it, especially in action movies and horror movies. Horror movies need to be seen there, because most of the scares come from the thunderous sound.  

The theatre has its many perks, but its biggest flaw is the prices. I remember back in 2005, the matinee price was roughly $5. I understand that prices have to raise a little, but now matinee prices are about $8.25, with the late night shows being $11.00. Back in 2012, the matinee prices were $7.50, which might be steep as well but it was fine by me.  Now, not only have the prices changed, but the matinee shows end at 4 p.m. They used to end at about 6 p.m, so if one tries to get there for the cheaper showing, then the chances are slimmer. The matinees at the Baxter Avenue Theatre, which is a further drive, are roughly $6. 

On top of all that, the concessions prices are outrageous. I have no idea what the prices are. All I know is that I would never pay for them. Luckily though, even paying for some of these things is a good thing sometimes. 

Why? Beginning in 2013, Regal New Albany Stadium 16 started offering rewards cards. Basically, every dollar that you spend is a point, and after you get a certain amount of points, then customers are rewarded with free drinks, free popcorn, and even free tickets. The rewards cards are absolutely wonderful. People constantly ask me how much I spend at the movies, and to be honest, I have no idea. The rewards cards are very nifty if you are a frequent movie-goer, like myself. 

So, while it is not the cheapest theatre around, it is a decent one. I have been going there for over a decade, and even though the ticket prices increase every year, it will not stop me from going. Why? Well, I am a movie lover. It is what I do.

Upcoming summer releases show promise

By Christian DiMartino

2015 has been a slow year for movies so far. My two favorite movies of the year so far are The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, It Follows, and Cinderella, so what does that tell you? (I did actually love those by the way). However, with that said, I have good news: the summer movie season is about to begin, and things are going to get better (well, for me at least, because I actually care). Here are the five movies I am looking forward to this summer.

The Goods

  1. Aloha (PG-13, May 29): How can I pass on this one? Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, all in a movie directed by the great Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire)? It sounds like cinematic heaven. With that said, not everything Crowe makes is great (cough cough Elizabethtown). Oh well. I think this could be his return to greatness.

 

  1. Irrational Man (Not Yet Rated, July 24): Last year when I made this list, I put Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight at the top of my list, because his previous movie, Blue Jasmine, was a knockout. I liked Magic in the Moonlight, but it was a letdown, so that is why I am placing his next film Irrational Man in the number four slot. However, I do have a decent amount of faith in this one. It is supposed to be a dramatic effort, and Allen’s dramatic work is dynamite. Not only that, it has two of my favorite actors, Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, as the leads. So, fingers crossed that this will be Allen’s next great film.

 

  1. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation (Not Yet Rated, July 31): After the fourth installment, Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol, breathed new life into the franchise, I have hope that Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation will keep up the good work. Tom Cruise, judging from his last film, the excellent Edge of Tomorrow, still has it. The trailer, which doesn’t show much, looks marvelous. And lastly, Cruise dangles from the wing of a plane… without stuntmen. How can I pass that up? I cannot. Duh.

 

  1. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (PG-13, May 1): I am not one of those people that was gaga about the first Avengers movie (I prefer The Dark Knight trilogy by a mile), but I will not lie: The Avengers: Age of Ultron looks awesome. Seriously, it does. It looks like a darker movie, and I like my comic book movies dark. Not only that, it looks like there is more story, considering the previous movie did not have one. So, in short, I cannot wait for the Avengers to assemble again.

 

  1. Jurassic World (Not Yet Rated, June 12): Jurassic World has been in the making for almost a decade, and honestly, the trailer looks spectacular. It looks just how I dreamed it would, but in this dream, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern are there. I would do a cartwheel if they all made cameos. Either way, nothing is keeping me from seeing Jurassic World on its opening day.


Well, there you have it. There are others I am looking forward to, such as Fantastic Four, Tomorrowland, and Poltergeist, to name a few. I also hope that Terminator: Genisys is not total garbage (but it probably will be). This could either be a great summer for movies, or a bad one. We shall see.

Justice is served at Academy Awards

By Christian DiMartino

The 87th annual Academy Awards aired on Sunday, Feb. 22, and I am still in awe. Even though some of my predictions were wrong, I was glad they were wrong, because something magical happened for the second year in a row: my personal pick for Best Picture actually won. Before I get there though, let’s discuss the rest of the night.

First, the host. Personally, I kind of enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris. Some of his jokes were hit or miss, but it was at least obvious that he was trying his best. Last year when Ellen Degeneres hosted, it just felt lazy, which is shocking because she is so funny and charismatic. It was refreshing to see a host enjoy himself onstage. It was not great, but it was good enough.

Next, the songs. There were too many musical performances too soon. Holy mother of God, I never thought they were going to end, and being the big film enthusiast I am, I just wanted to hear the winners. I have to say though: Lady Gaga was excellent. I do not mind her as a musician, even though she is strange, but when I heard her jam out to The Sound of Music up there, I was bewildered by just how good it was. She appeared to even blow Julie Andrews away. It was undeniably marvelous.

Alright, to the awards. Usually there are some awards that are pretty obvious. This year, there was no way that Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) were going home empty-handed. I was really hoping Michael Keaton was going to win Best Actor for Birdman, but I figured it was not going to happen. Still, they all deserved it (especially Moore and Simmons), so congratulations.

However, while some were obvious, there were a lot of surprises. What do I mean? Allow me to explain. Boyhood is probably the most groundbreaking piece of cinema to arrive in years, and at the start of the Oscar race, it was sweeping up nearly every Best Picture award in sight. But I never really agreed with it. I do agree with its Best Director awards for Richard Linklater, but as a film, on an enjoyment level, I prefer Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman. I just figured Boyhood was going to take home the gold.

It seemed like a lock, but then, the unthinkable happened: it took a sudden fall from grace. Despite winning the top honors nearly everywhere, Inarritu won the Best Director award at the Directors Guild of America awards, and suddenly Boyhood was top dog no more. Experts believed either Boyhood would still win it all, Birdman would win it all, or Birdman and Boyhood would split Best Picture and Director.

I still believed in Boyhood, despite wanting Birdman to win. As I watched the show, I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. With that said, I started losing faith in Boyhood when it lost Best Editing to Whiplash. A lot of the time, what wins Best Editing wins Best Picture. But Birdman was not even nominated for Best Editing though, so it was all up in the air.

I had expected Best Original Screenplay to go to Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, but it instead went to Birdman, leaving Boyhood in the dark again. I was beginning to raise my eyebrow.

Then, Best Director came along. I figured that if they were going to split, this award would go to Linklater, since he devoted 12 years of his life to one film. Much to my surprise though they gave the award to Inarritu. So, despite that, I still thought Boyhood could make a comeback. But here is the thing: it would be weird for it to only go home with two awards, while Birdman would be going home with four. But hey, you never know.

Then once Best Actor and Actress were revealed (let me say it again: Keaton should have won), it came down to one award: Best Picture. At this point, I had no idea which was going to win. For all I knew, it could have been Whiplash. It had already won three awards.  The only nominees that did not stand a chance were American Sniper, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, and Selma.

But then, it happened: Sean Penn opened up that envelope, and when he announced that Birdman was in fact the winner, I screamed. This is a rare event, considering that I barely yell. I was so happy that it was almost pathetic. Even though I had gotten my predictions wrong, I did not care. After rooting for it for months, my dream came true.

This shows that the Academy is smarter than we think. Instead of going with the ambitious 12-year project, they went with a lively, hilarious, and just downright brilliant comedy.  When you look at recent Best Picture winners, such as 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist, and The King’s Speech, to name a few, Birdman does not make much sense, but I am almost too happy that it won. The real Best Picture of the year, Interstellar, did not get a nomination, but the second best did, and that is good enough for me.

I do feel bad for Linklater though. He made a great movie, but yet he went home with nothing. Oh well, Birdman is better. Better luck next year.

So, to answer your question, yes: I am happy with the choices, with the exception of Redmayne. It was an excellent performance, but it is too soon for him to win an award. Just saying. This is been a heck of an Oscar season, and I hope next year is just as interesting.

 

Final Score

American Sniper: 1 win (Best Sound Editing)

Birdman: 4 wins (Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture)

Boyhood: 1 win (Best Supporting Actress)

The Grand Budapest Hotel: 4 wins (Best Costume Design, Best Art-Direction, Best Make-up, Best Original Score)

The Imitation Game: 1 win (Best Adapted Screenplay)

Selma: 1 win (Best Original Song)

The Theory of Everything: 1 win (Best Actor)

Whiplash: 3 wins (Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing)