Friday, July 21, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - Review

Science Fiction, in large part, owes a lot to Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. The creators of the source material for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the comic series Valérian and Laureline that began in 1967, can now see the influence on other high profile sci-fi films, including director Luc Besson’s own film The Fifth Element. And what better way to finally bring Valerian to the big screen in an epic film than the weird and out there Luc Besson.

Dunkirk - Review


There are quite a few modern directors that make up the conversation of best working director in Hollywood, but few have the near perfect track record of Christopher Nolan. While he does have a few minor missteps along the way, seeing this director take on World War II is a can’t miss in the cinema. And truth be told, Nolan and crew do not disappoint in any way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Top 5 Best World War II Films

War films have almost become their own genre in the Hollywood machine. With numerous conflicts throughout history, the settings can vary, the cast of characters can change and even the themes can ultimately fluctuate. For this list today, it’s clear that variances can occur even amongst films set during the same war. Here are the best 5 World War II films.

Friday, July 14, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes - Review


The Planet of the Apes franchise is different than most. Beginning in 1968 with a classic and then the subsequent sequels, the franchise has seen a failed reboot and now a fantastic one. The newest trilogy of films packs such an emotional punch when watching them all in sequence and yet each can stand on their own as well.

When you have this film that’s so deeply poignant and intelligent, it’s truly spectacular that the gorgeous apes almost take second fiddle to the drama played out on screen. But let that not be forgotten: the CGI work is spectacular. And throw in some performances behind that work and you’ve got something special. Andy Serkis continues to outdo himself and is doing everything he can to make Caesar real. If he isn’t in the conversation for awards when it comes time, it’s truly a crime.

The film is nothing short of amazing and cements this new trilogy as one of the best sci-fi trilogies of all time and possibly one of the best in all of cinematic history.

For more of my thoughts on War for the Planet of Apes check out my full review at 614NOW. I am occasionally writing for them now as well and thus reviews will be posted there periodically instead.

So what did you think of War for the Planet of the Apes? Have you seen it? Are you interested in seeing it? Share, subscribe, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight. 

Wish Upon - Review

Despite the current winning streak that horror films have going for them, the bad horror was bound to pop out from behind a door and unceremoniously end it all. While this usually occurs in two months, January and October, Wish Upon hits smack dab in the middle of summer to ruin everything. Hardly a horror film in any sense of the word, Wish Upon is a travesty for more than a few reasons.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Planet of the Apes (1968) - Flashback Review

There’s nothing quite like classic sci-fi. The inherent charm of the early years of science fiction is almost unmatched in terms of genre filmmaking. And a film like Planet of the Apes is among one of the stranger concepts that actually worked at the time. Spawning an unorthodox franchise and one of the better series of films of the 21st century, the original Planet of the Apes deserves a look back at what makes it so great.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Big Sick - Review

The romantic comedy. A time-honored tradition of Hollywood that sees film upon film try to muster up the magic of those that came before, most to no avail. And yet every so often a film comes along to breathe new life into the tired subgenre and this year it just so happens to be The Big Sick. A film about love, death, and the humor in all of our lives, The Big Sick finds a way to pull on every emotion you could fathom, and then some.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming - Review

A reboot that turned out better than the original is a rarity and yet here is Spider-Man: Homecoming; a film better than 2002 original adaptation from Sam Raimi. The film is a perfect blend of heroics and high school that collects all the best pieces of Peter Parker and assembles them into this amazing, spectacular film that is Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The cast is just fantastic across the board with little to complain about. Tom Holland is the definitive versions of both sides of the historic comic character. Few embody both the alter ego and the mask with such ease as the young star does here. Michael Keaton is also fairly menacing as the Vulture and all of Peter’s classmates get a moment to shine.


Without a doubt Spider-Man: Homecoming is can’t miss entertainment for a summer that’s been largely disappointing. For more of my thoughts visit 614NOW or check out some of my other reviews. Share, subscribe, comment below and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Top Ten of the Year (So Far)

The year has come to the halfway point and though a majority of the heavy hitters are yet to come 2017 has still produced a number of great films. What better way to celebrate the midway point than to count some of them down? Here are some of the best films of 2017 (so far).

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Beguiled - Review


The Beguiled is an fairly solid blend of period piece drama and tension filled interactions. Coppola crafts an intimate and simple tale of jealousy and loneliness against the background of war. It’s not mind bending or contain any of Coppola's usual philosophical questions by any means but it could certainly contend for numerous awards once the time came or at least be in the conversation. Throw in a short but sweet runtime and anyone who enjoys a little bit of seduction, shock and drama is sure to love The Beguiled.

Check out more of my thoughts on The Beguiled at 614NOW (you’ll also find the link on the sidebar). And remember to return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight. 

Despicable Me 3 - Review

Let’s just get this out of the way first: Pixar is the king of animation. While other studios have their hits, they still don’t have the track record that Pixar does. So when a franchise as enjoyable as Despicable Me (excluding Minions) has been, the animation studio responsible, Illumination in this case, starts to garner expectations, however small they may be. And while Despicable Me (and the yellow things that come with it) is their crown jewel, sticking the landing on the third entry is easier said than done.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight - Review

This is it. The film everyone has been waiting for: another Transformers movie from Michael Bay. Once a franchise hits five, it’s hard to really change the trajectory of where it’s been and where it’s going, particularly with the same director at the helm. And just as expected Transformers: The Last Knight manages to take the franchise to new lows.

Friday, June 9, 2017

It Comes at Night - Review

Not to be confused with the other horror film in 2017 with a titular “It”, It Comes at Night does not contain a killer clown. Instead, the film features a more subtle danger and features something far more unnerving than any beast or demon could provide: humans. Very loosely considered a horror film and more of a thriller, It Comes at Night rivals the best of the best and continues 2017’s hot streak of great horror films.

The Mummy - Review

By now everyone can see the profitability of large cinematic universe. It’s driven multiple studios to start a universe, each with varying success, and caused a craze of connective tissue in big blockbusters. So what’s Universal Pictures’ big idea? Monsters. All of the monsters combined into one universe that seems to be so far planned out before the first film, The Mummy, even hits that it may have to itself out of a hole from the start.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Mummy (1999) - Flashback Review

There really isn’t anything stellar about the 1999 hit The Mummy. It’s not always best to lead off reviews by telling the reader that there isn’t anything great about a film, but for this particular film it’s almost necessary. The Mummy is one of those films that despite not having anything truly good about it, you can’t help but have fun with it the entire time. And audiences did enjoy it upon its release, sparking two more films in the franchise, but does it still hold up today?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman - Review


It is really hard to recall a film that has had as much riding on its metaphorical shoulders than Wonder Woman. Not only is it supposed to right the train for Warner Brother’s DC Extended Universe, but it also carries the flag for the future of female led comic book movies. That is an immense amount of pressure for a film that is also tasked with giving one of the most iconic heroes of all time a worthy origin film. And you know what? It looks all of those challenges in the face and delivers.