Thursday, 18 June 2015

Thursdays at the Theater: Vol. X

By: Joshua Volkers

Hello there, everybody, this is the last week we have of school, most of you are beginning to take your exams, and I believe that most of the Grade 12s have finished their exams by today, so congratulations to every single one of you who are moving on from high school, and I wish you the very best in whatever you wish to do out in the big, wide world that we call home. Among these departing seniors will be none other than our very own Izabela Pitula and Carolyn Martinko! Carolyn’s been a big help with all of the wokr she has done as our copy editor and she is an incredibly enthusiastic individual, and you should know Izabela’s contributions already. Izabela’s just had her last sports round-up published, so believe me when I say that I have nothing but the best wishes for all of the Grade 12s. Now though, it’s time to talk some movies!

I think the biggest story of the past couple of weeks in movie news is that the new film Jurassic World broke every single box office record known to man that pertains to an opening weekend, as not only has the film beaten the first Avengers for the biggest domestic opening weekend by about a million dollars at roughly 208.8 million dollars, but it has the biggest international and worldwide opening at 315.6 million dollars and roughly 524 million dollars respectively. So to clarify, Jurassic World is now the proud bearer of being the latest film to break everything known to man in one weekend. I mean, 500 MILLION DOLLARS! ONE WEEKEND! That is insane! I never would have dreamed it would make that much in one weekend, let alone crack a 300 million dollar worldwide opening! Although I do find it reassuring that nobody else saw it coming either, which makes this completely out of left field. I mean, I’ve rarely seen numbers like these before; the only other times would be the first and second Avengers movies, so I guess that says a lot about the hype surrounding Jurassic World. I’ve heard really good things about the movie, and while the consensus is that the film is not great but just a fun time, that was apparently what people wanted: a fun time. And while I haven’t seen the film yet, because, you know, exams, I plan on seeing it on a half-priced Tuesday, after I do my last exam. I’ll give you my thoughts on it in Vol. 11 because I fully plan to send in pieces to this blog over the summer, so look out for that.

Moving on, it is time to look ahead at what is coming for us in the world of movies within the next two weeks and there appear to be quite a few things to see. First up, we have Inside Out, the new animated Pixar film that has so far gotten critical acclaim and is shaping up to have a huge weekend at the box office, even though it will be nowhere near as large as Jurassic World’s debut. The film looks amazing, and it will have a more-than-healthy run in theaters, but there will be a bit of a vacuum with Jurassic World in theaters. On the same weekend, we have a movie that seems to be rather clever to me personally called Dope. This movie follows a Black geek named Malcolm who has to juggle his academic responsibilities along with surviving in his tough Los Angeles neighbourhood. This changes when he gets a chance invitation to a party that will allow him and his friends to become ‘dope’, and maybe Malcolm will be able to be himself. It’s rated R, stars mostly new faces aside from Forest Whitaker, and looks like it is an intelligent film with a keen understanding of the way teenagers are nowadays, so I think this could be really good, and from the word of mouth I’ve been hearing, it is.

For the next week, we have, first, a movie called Max, which is the tale of a boy bonding with a dog who has PTSD after witnessing the murder of his previous owner (the boy’s brother whom he had a distant relationship with for some reason or another). Through their bonding, both of them are able to heal from their loss. That premise sounds like it could be a really heart-warming movie, but what turns me off is this apparent third act shown in the trailer with some ‘psycho’ military guy as the villain, which just feels forced and contrived to me. It could fit very well into the movie, but from where I’m standing, that part of the plot doesn’t sit well with me. On the same weekend though, we get a completely different movie in Ted 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the smash-hit Ted from 2012. This film will follow Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett and Seth MacFarlane as his best friend Ted, as they try to prove that Ted is, in fact, human enough to be considered a father. Mark Wahlberg agrees to be the sperm donor for Ted and his new wife Tami’s child, but seeing as Ted is actually a magical teddy bear, that’s where the big complication comes in. They get Samantha, played by Amanda Seyfried, to help them prove in court that Ted is human so that he may be a father, at long last. The film is created by the guy who runs Family Guy, so of course it’s rated R, and there are going to be ridiculous and raunchy jokes all over the place, so if you go into this movie expecting anything else, you will be sorely disappointed. As for me, I think it looks pretty funny, so I’m hoping that it’s good.

Anyway, we’re done with upcoming releases, and seeing as last time I was too sick to continue writing what is normally the last segment of the show, I shall make it up to you all now by doing it for this one. Yes, esteemed ladies and gentlemen, it is time to look back on a classic film, and the one I have chosen for this entry of Thursdays at the Theater is:

You all know it, I hope you’ve all seen it, it’s Toy Story! Seeing as Inside Out is coming out this week and many are claiming that it is one of Pixar’s best ever, I thought it would be best to look back on Pixar’s very first feature-length picture, where we are introduced to Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang as the idea of toys coming alive when we’re not watching them is explored. I mean, how else did they end up all over the place when we were kids? Guys, you weren’t that messy with your Darth Vader figures, were you? And gals, you didn’t just haphazardly chuck around your Barbies either, so how did she ever end up below your toy box when she should have been in her doll house? We couldn’t have been that messy, right? Right?

Anyhow, yeah, this is the film that established Pixar as a mainstay, a company that would be around for a long time. I know that a lot of people didn’t love Cars 2 or Brave, but I think they’re on the upswing now, so taking a look back at where they’ve come from shows how far they’ve come, not in quality because they’ve always been an amazing studio, but in size and scope. And this is the film that started them on their journey. But I just want you all to know, too: “You’ve got a friend in me!” I had to do it, that song is what you think of when you think of Toy Story, don’t try to deny it!

So I think that will do it for this tenth edition of Thursdays at the Theater, I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read this, especially since you were probably studying before you read this. Don’t worry, we’re all in the same boat. It’s almost summer guys, so I just want to wish you all a great time, again a round of congratulations for the Grade 12s and good luck on whatever paths they choose, and remember to enjoy life and have fun! If any of you are worried about the blog staying static over the summer, don’t worry, we still plan to update when we can, even if it may not be as regular as before. Maybe, I don’t know, but that’s the way I understand it coming from the top. I’ll still be writing editions of this bi-weekly feature regularly to be put up by the editors so you can definitely look forward to that, and I’m also doing a piece on everything revealed at E3 which will be published soon. So for any of you gamers interested in that you can come check it out when it’s up, but only if you want to. As always, I just want to remind any who don’t know that you can keep up to date on everything we have to offer here on the blog by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and checking back at least once a day. Remember Titans, it’s summer, it’s the time of vacationing, tanning, and of course the blockbuster movie season, and I encourage every single one of you to stay strong. See you all next time!

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