My daughter and my mother recently teamed up to get me a pretty sweet birthday present – a Nintendo Switch. I’ve never really been a Nintendo guy, mind you. Back in the late 1980s, when your choice was either the SEGA Master System or the Nintendo Entertainment System, I went SEGA. At the time, I regretted the decision. A lot.
SEGA had few, if any, licensed games, so I thought I was missing out on familiar titles. Over the years, as consoles came and went, I did get a Nintendo 64, which featured the two greatest WWE games in history – Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy. I bought a Wii when I was in my 30s with the idea that it would replace the gym… but it didn’t. Meanwhile, I kept up with my Sony Playstation, which began with the first console in 1997 and that has been updated every iteration since.
However, the truth is The Princess wanted me to have a Nintendo Switch. She’s sweet that way. And I wanted her to be able to use one, as well. I’d rather she play games than get sucked into the YouTube void of Minecraft videos and Blind Bag Unboxings. So on my birthday, it was Nintendo Switch day.
Love was in the air the weekend before Valentine’s Day, as the final instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy arrived in theatres. Here’s what went down:
Fifty Shades Freed topped the box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated $38 million. While that’s down from Fifty Shades Darker‘s $46 million, it’s not a terrible number at all, especially in the face of atrocious reviews. The film will likely sink quickly, though, so let us never speak of it again.
As for the rest of the top five, Peter Rabbit had an excellent second place debut, bringing in an estimated $25 million and scoring with families. The 15:17 To Paris landed in third place with a fairly unimpressive $12.6 million. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle fell to fourth place with $9.8 million, while The Great Showman closed things out in fifth place with $6.4 million.
So, to recap, here were our predictions:
1) Fifty Shades Freed – $40 million
2) Peter Rabbit – $25 million
3) The 15:17 To Paris – $15 million
4) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – $9 million
5) The Great Showman – $5.5 million
And here’s how the weekend is estimated to turn out:
1) Fifty Shades Freed – $38 million
2) Peter Rabbit – $25 million
3) The 15:17 To Paris – $12.6 million
4) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – $9.8 million
5) The Great Showman – $6.4 million
Next weekend sees the release of the guaranteed number one, Black Panther. Be sure to check back on Friday to see our predictions!
This past Tuesday, February 6, Adam Green’s shot-in-secret sequel to his gore fest horror comedy franchise Hatchet, landed on Blu-ray, digital, and VOD. Victor Crowley features the legendary Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th 7-X) returning to the title role to stalk a new batch of victims in his swamp. (You can read my full review.) Read the rest of this entry
The Hellraiser franchise has had a rough go the last…well, really, since the second instalment back in 1988, I’d say. Following upon the commercially succesful introductions to the series, we’ve seen poor stories, Alan Smithee-directed movies, straight to VOD and DVD movies, and one film made for all intents and purposes strictly to keep the franchise in the hands of a studio. And yet, with all these stumbles, there’s always interest when a new Hellraiser movie is on the way. Credit that to the mind of Clive Barker, who created us the pain-loving Cenobites and their leader, Pinhead.
One could make the argument that Hellraiser: Judgement, out this Tuesday is simply more of the same – a low-budget film with a no-name cast, with Doug Bradley not even involved as the iconic Pinhead. One could make the argument, especially knowing Tunnicliffe was stuck working with a minuscule budget, except the thing is, if you’re open-minded, Hellraiser: Judgement is really a solid achievement.
In this film, director/writer Gary J. Tunnicliffe gives us the story of two cops on the trail of a serial killer using the Bible as his guidebook, bringing the duo face to face with the Hell Priest along with some new, horrific characters, including The Assessor and The Auditor. While the main story is fairly di rigueur serial killer stuff, the way it’s meshed with the Hellraiser mythos both old and new worked extremely well for me. The acting is fine (not great) from all the leads, while Paul T. Taylor does an exceptional job stepping into the role of Pinhead. His interpretation honours Doug Bradley’s version without aping him. Director Tunnicliffe himself plays The Auditor, and he’s compellingly horrific in the role.
Visually, the film shines when dealing with the creatures of hell – if you want blood, you’ve got it, and then some. The sexiness of early Hellraiser films is on display here, melded to with the horror. I can see fans of American Horror Story enjoying what’s on display.
Is Hellraiser: Judgement perfect? Hell, no. How could it be, with the limitations it faced? As I said, the acting is fine and watchable, but the work of the leads is less than compelling when compared to the monsters. There’s a moment where the lack of budget shines through for me, though overall I think Tunnicliffe does admirably well with what he had to work with.
A lot of fans and critics have been slamming the film, which led me to reach out and let Gary know how much I genuinely enjoyed Hellraiser: Judgment. In our email exchange, he was kind enough to agree to an interview, which you can read below and which hopefully gives you insight into the minor miracle he was able to pull off bringing Hellraiser: Judgement to life.
There are mountains of snow outside the home office here in Cobourg, Ontario, but I’m at my desk next to a stack of trades, so it must be time for Heroes and Villains!
This week I was inspired by watching season one of Young Justice (which is awesome if you’ve never watched it) with my kids to do an all-DC edition of the column focusing on the post-rebirth version of the DCU.
Read the rest of this entry
If you’re looking for a movie to keep you tied up for a few hours this weekend, you’re in luck. But will the final installment in one of film’s most reviled franchises be able to make a killing? Here’s our prediction:
Fifty Shades Freed is the third and final film in the Fifty Shades series, one that while making money, has been critically panned worldwide. That won’t necessarily matter this weekend, as this entry will likely be the film of choice for those looking for a bit of romance leading up to Valentine’s Day. Fifty Shades Freed will debut in the first spot at the box office, with $40 million, down slightly from last year’s Fifty Shades Darker‘s $46.6 million.
Directed by Christopher Lawrence Chapman, 2017’s Inoperable stars Danielle Harris (Halloween 4 and 5) as a traffic accident victim who wakes up in a seemingly abandoned hospital, during a category 5 hurricane in Tampa, Florida. Dark forces have been awakened within the hospital by the hurricane and Harris’ character must find a way out before the hurricane ends or be trapped forever. Read the rest of this entry
But it’s the music that emanates deep within Egbo-Egbo’s soul – his piano as a constant appendage, his jazz, classical and pop leanings and the constant intermingling and pushing of musical genres – that reveals the creative standard of the man. As a Toronto-based pianist, composer, producer and sound designer, 2018 marks the official release of his new musical work, appropriately titled A New Standard.
The twelve-song album contains a wide selection of entries originally created by a number of legendary composers over the last two centuries. They are, naturally for Egbo-Egbo, culled from disparate genres: classical, jazz, and curiously, even rock music. In A New Standard, Egbo-Egbo lovingly performs a fun and up-temp version of Sigmund Romberg’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise,” as well as a rollicking account of John Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” that merges brilliantly into the classically jazzy and beloved theme song from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon by composers Paul Webster and Robert Harris.
In a more contemporary sense, Egbo-Egbo’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s”Make You Feel My Love” brings a wonderfully fresh and emotional sense of affection to the beloved classic, but surprisingly, there’s also a perfectly lonely interpretation of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” found on the new compilation, whose aural sense of isolation any fan of the band might expect and adore. This time, it’s just with a piano.
Biff Bam Pop’s consulting editor and regular contributor, JP Fallavollita, got the chance to steal Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo away from his busy schedule to talk music, his home city of Toronto, and the release of his latest album, the shimmering and wonderful A New Standard. Read the rest of this entry
Not a whole heck of a lot, I know, but it’s enough to make you realize that although the days are getting slightly longer, it’s still only February. Winter is still calling the shots around here.
Speaking of “winter” and “shots”, DC Comics, who have been on a veritable tear recently with a number of fascinating publications (many of which have been featured in this column), is releasing a winter-themed one-shot.
It’s written and illustrated by a couple of comicdom’s favourites.
And it’s starring one of DC’s most beloved, and yet currently not-regularly-published, characters.
Really, all things considered, it’s a stroke of genius from the publisher.
Because winter snow must equal the Swamp Thing Winter Special #1!