Creed II – Interview with Michael B. Jordan, Florian Munteanu and Director Steven Caple Jr.

Creed 2 sees the return of Adonis Creed taking on Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago.  Ivan killed Adonis’ father, Apollo Creed, 30 years ago. And in a showdown of epic proportions, we see Adonis and Ivan face off .

The film also sees the return of Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren reprising their original roles as Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago.
I had a chance to sit down and chat to the stars of the film, Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) and newcomer Florian Munteanu about what they learnt on set.

I was also joined by the film’s director, Steven Caple Jr. who tells us all about the this chapter in Rocky saga, and what he dreaded most about making this film.

Next Entertainment Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

THE LOWDOWN

This is the fifth instalment (but not likely last – they are planning a 3rd and final in the Jurassic World trilogy) in the American science fiction adventure film franchise Jurassic Park.  Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall are back at the producer’s helm, and it is directed by J.A. Bayona.  Set on the fictional and now iconic island of Isla Nublar, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing set out to rescue remaining dinosaurs before a volcanic eruption destroys it.  But what is a Jurassic Park film, if not for its plot twisted by the greed of human beings.  DNA collected by the remains of the Indominus Rex, leads to the genetically engineered and ferocious Indoraptor – which forms part of a line-up of captured dinos that are being auctioned off to the highest bidders.  We also see the return of our favourite Velociraptor, Blue, who teams up with our heroes to take on the bad guys and liberate this world from the Jurassic Era.

THE GOOD

We love Chris Pratt.  He is just a really, really likeable casted character in pretty much any film, and the franchise did well by securing him in this and the last film, Jurassic World.  So big plus on that front getting to watch Pratt in action again.  We also absolutely love that Jeff Goldblum cameos again as the voice of reason (or doom and gloom, whichever you prefer).  Say what you want about the Jurassic Park franchise – but it is enjoyable.  And I can be objective.  I hated Jurassic Park 2 – The Lost World.  Well, the part that had the T-Rex running through the streets of American suburbia like some cheap Japanese monster film rip off.

Look, I have been a fan since the 1990’s.  This is just another chapter in historic film making.  Watching the T-Rex in action (again) is homage to the original.  Sure.  I would have loved to see the amazing Laura Dern somewhere in the Jurassic World’s, but we can’t get everything we want.  On the dino front, the Indoraptor is positively perfect.  The hint to an emo-horror film is a big-time theme in the film, as it skulks around open bedrooms and chases little girls around mansion halls. And it’s fantastic.  I personally will be in the front row for Jurassic World III.  I am just hoping there will be mass havoc (as hinted to at the end of the film) across the 50 states of the Trump administration in the next film.

THE BAD

As a massive fan of the Jurassic Park franchise, to find out that most of the film takes place off the island was a bit of a let-down.  Having said that.  I can respect that the filmmakers did give us something slightly different to the original plot.  People go to an island.  People meet dinosaurs.  People get eaten by dinosaurs.  People get off said island.  End scene with T-Rex.

Don’t get me wrong.  People get eaten. If this isn’t your vibe, stay away from this film.  Also.  Just replace “island” with mansion in the rich burbs of America, and you have Fallen Kingdom.  It won’t win any Oscars, or much favour with critics, but then again, Fallen Kingdom doesn’t set out to promise audiences riveting unique movie going.  It’s supposed to just be fun.

THE CHERRY ON TOP

The DVD release has a ton of great extras you can enjoy.  Let’s have a look at some of my favs:

  • You get to see Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on set behind the scenes. They have some amazing chemistry.  I love watching actors having fun and doing their thing, as you get to know them a little more personally.
  • The Kingdom Evolves: Steven Spielberg chats about his love for the franchise and why he kept the Jurassic faith.  Again, we also get confirmation that there will be a 3rd in the Jurassic World
  • Birth of the Indoraptor: One of my favourite dinos in the Jurassic Park films.  Genetically engineered danger wrapped in a beautifully homicidal package.  We get to see the concept art and creation of this majestic monster.
  • Death by Dino: How do you die by dino?  Find out in this segment as we see the actors get bloodied and beaten.
  • Malcolm’s Return: Jeff Goldblum is a highlight in our lives, and of course, in the film.  Ian Malcolm embodies the spirit of Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton.  We get a closer look at his involvement in this movie.

And a whole lot more.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Next Entertainment.

 

 

 

3 Things I learnt from Stan Lee

On the 12th of November 2018 we lost a legend in Stanley Martin Lieber (1922 – 2018), at the age of 95.  His first big break was found in authoring a two-page Captain America Issue 5, published in 1941, where before he started his career in 1939 as a 17-year-old errand boy at Timely Comics.

Known for his amazing work in the comic book industry, Stan Lee inspired millions of people around the world with his storytelling.  As a fan, and a person, it is hard to lose a goliath in the media industry – but I did learn a couple of things from the man, the legend, Stan Lee.

  1. Go against the grain

When Stan contributed to the creation of some of our most popular comic book characters, they were all pretty much based on doing something that other people weren’t.  An example is Spider-Man, an idea about a superhero teen with a ton of personal problems from being an orphan to the weight of being a superhero while trying to balance being a goof at love and not bringing harm to those closest to him.  An idea, which by the way, his boss hated. And said would never work.  An idea much like The Incredible Hulk, whom Stan felt was close to the story of Quasimodo, in that people wanted to cheer for the monster.  Something as simple as creating the Human Torch, Johnny Blaze, but giving him a sister in Susan (the Invisible Woman).  (Another odd fact is Stan created the ‘Thought Bubble’ to show that superheroes had inner feelings!)

Simple ideas maybe, but all against the grain of what was already working, and others said should stay the way they were, so that they could keep on working.

To quote Shuri from Black Panther “Just because something works, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved on”.

  1. Be an advocate for every part of your passion

You could say that when you look up Marvel in the dictionary, a picture of Stan Lee’s face will pop up.  But even though all things Marvel are associated with Stan, you will find Stan loved everything about his passion – the comic book and fiction industry.  As a sidebar fact, Stan’s boss told him to throw his Superman comics away, as they would be worth nothing one day.  Stan pushed everything, and that included his ‘competitors’.  From Superman to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it’s refreshing to see someone put their ego aside and support everything about the industry they contribute to and love so much.

  1. Live like you’re going to die young

Stan said that his mother believing in him, gave him all the confidence in the world.  (In fact, another random fact, she believed he would be president one day, and he felt that he was a bit of a disappointment working in the comic book industry).  But that changed quickly.  Living a full 95 years, Stan, married the girl of his dreams Joan Clayton Boocock (of which he did so only after a couple of dates in), served in the army and amongst many awards, won the National Medal of Arts, was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, has his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was the winner of the Vanguard Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Visual Effects Society, and was named a Disney Legend.  He said ‘yes’ to following his dream, and he made it all happen, all the time.  He took every opportunity to live his life for the better.

Stan, you will be missed. Excelsior!