The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, are taking it to the streets of Chicago with this week’s review of Rampage (2018). Directed by Brad Peyton, the film marks his third collaboration with megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, after Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015). Based loosely off the 1986 video game series of the same name, Rampage marks the second film this year to be adapted from a video game after March’s Tomb Raider adaptation.
Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance and shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla. When a rogue genetic experiment causes George to mutate into a raging creature of enormous size, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (played by Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote. Together, they fight their way through an ever-changing battlefield to halt a global catastrophe and save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Welcome back to our bonus episode, ready to dish out some "Extra Credit!" In this episode, we discuss some pertinent things to consider before deciding to go see the film, A Quiet Place (2018). Not every theater experience is the same, and interestingly enough, your theater actually plays a HUGE role in how you'll experience this film.
So join us as we have fun descending slowly into madness, as we pull ourselves up for some bonus hilarity in "Extra Credit!"
If you're wanting a bit more context, head over to our main episode, Lesson 108, where this bonus episode sneaks in from!
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, brush up on their sign language skills with this week’s review of A Quiet Place (2018). The film marks actor John Krasinski’s third time in the director’s chair and provides a captivating glimpse into the challenges of life in a world where humans have become prey to creatures from the great beyond that use sound to hunt for their victims. Also starring Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt, and featuring VFX from Industrial Light & Magic, you just might want to hold your breath during this family-centric survival tale.
Originally conceived as a potential component of the now-anthological Cloverfield universe franchise spawned by JJ Abrams, A Quiet Place instead stands alone on its own merits. Judging by initial audience reactions, which have been largely positive, this decision may be to its benefit even if it prevents the film from making more money during its theatrical run.
Welcome to our first episode of bonus content, as we are here to offer up some "Extra Credit!" In our first episode, we fall deeper into the rabbit hole of Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), as Chad notes the geological issues he had with the film. All the while, Spencer and Eddie are pulling what's left of their hair still contemplating the results of this project.
So join us as we have fun descending slowly into madness, as we pull ourselves up for some bonus hilarity in "Extra Credit!"
If you're a little lost, head over and check out our main episode, Lesson 107, where this bonus episode stems from!
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, re-enter the drift - and lose a few brain cells in the process - with this week’s review of Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018). Set ten years after the Guillermo del Toro-directed first film, this installment stars John Boyega as the son of the late Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba) and features only a few returning performers (Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Rinko Kikuchi). The bulk of the film is devoted to a new group of Jaeger pilot recruits and a small fortune spent on digital effects.
With the breach beneath the Pacific Ocean sealed after the first film, one might ask what causes the massive kaiju monsters to return and battle Earth’s building-sized Jaegers once more? The answers might surprise you (or not).
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, head to the OASIS for this week’s review of Ready Player One (2018). Adapted from Ernest Cline’s popular novel by none other than Steven Spielberg, the film follows Wade Watts and his avatar, Parzival, on a quest to complete a series of challenges and keep the multi-world digital space out of the hands of IOI, an evil corporation looking to lock down and commodify the OASIS.
Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg and more, the story indulges in a slew of 80s pop culture references and offers a look at what our world could look like in the very near future.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, welcome VideoGameBANG host David Webb for a little wave riding and cave diving in this week’s review of the reinvented Tomb Raider (2018). Adapted from the most recent video game from which the franchise gets its name (and fame), the film stars Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins and Daniel Wu. Vikander reimagines the role originally brought to the silver screen by Angelina Jolie, prompting many skeptical fans to wonder whether this new interpretation will face the same creative challenges of the previous two films.
In movie news, we spend a few minutes discussing the new Avengers: Infinity War (2018) trailer.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, journey across the multiverse with this week’s review of A Wrinkle in Time (2018), the first child-focused feature film from acclaimed director Ava DuVernay. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and newcomers Storm Reid, Levi Miller and Deric McCabe, the film is a live-action adaptation of the popular children’s novel of the same name. While much of the underlying storyline of the film remains faithful to the source material, a number of elements have been updated and reinterpreted for a modern audience.
In movie news, we discuss the Tomb Raider (2018) reboot starring Alicia Vikander.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, host their annual Oscars after party with a recap of this year’s major wins, upsets, inspiring moments and awkward wardrobe selections. Recap the 90th annual Academy Awards and relive the triumph of winners such as Guillermo del Toro, Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Jordan Peele and others representing some of the previous year’s most critically acclaimed movies. From The Shape of Water (2017) to Coco (2017), and everything in between, the night was full of ups and downs...and no mislabeled envelopes.
A number of prominent social themes and political references were prominent during the 2018 ceremony as well, with both presenters and winners speaking openly about current events and utilizing their platform to promote their stance on various causes.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, keep things in their hometown with this week’s review of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird (2017). Set in Sacramento, the film chronicles a high school senior’s turbulent relationship with family and friends as she prepares to end her final year in private school and move on to a college of her own choosing. Filmed almost entirely in Sacramento, Lady Bird has received numerous critical and popular accolades since it first debuted on the film festival circuit in 2017.
The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothee Chalamet, Tracy Letts and more. As of the recording of this episode, Lady Bird is up for five Academy Awards on March 4th.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, screw up time and space with this week’s review of The Cloverfield Paradox (2018). The surprise third installment of JJ Abrams’ Cloverfield-verse, which dropped on Super Bowl Sunday on Netflix, is a cautionary tale that somewhat ties together the previous films in the series, Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). Even against a backdrop that includes a global energy crisis and tinkering with the multiverse with an out-of-this-world particle accelerator, the film’s strength lies in its impressive cast and diverse characters.
The Cloverfield Paradox stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki and more.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams The Filmlosophers travel to the mythical African nation of Wakanda in this week’s review of Black Panther (2018). New from Marvel Studios, the film is directed by Ryan Coogler and unites an expansive cast of performers to tell the story of the rise of Prince T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, to power as the warrior-priest-king known as the Black Panther. First seen on screen in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther is one of the newest superheroes to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe pantheon. He is also one of its most relatable heroes, and this new solo film enlarges the audience’s view of his homeland, family and philosophy.
The film also stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke. The films releases in North America on February 16th.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, prep for next week’s Black Panther (2018) review with a tour of director Ryan Coogler’s filmography including Fruitvale Station (2013) and Creed (2015). How has Coogler’s presence behind the lens shaped those stories, and what can we expect from the superhero film on the horizon? Moreover, in a culture that is still reeling from racially motivated tensions and conflict, we discuss the value of sharing stories that champion the influence and impact of black performers and creators on an international stage.
In movie news, we also profile this weekend’s new releases which include Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris (2018), franchise closer Fifty Shades Freed (2018) and updated children’s classic Peter Rabbit (2018) starring James Corden.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams blaze a new trail through the dystopic future with this week’s review of The Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018). Directed by Wes Ball, the film brings the three-part series to a close with explosive special effects, heavy-handed exposition and a multitude of questionable plot twists that diverge from the source material in James Dashner’s popular young adult book series. The film, which faced production delays after a stunt involving lead actor Dylan O’Brien went wrong, clocks in at a massive two hours and twenty minutes.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams examine the previously classified records of the so-called “horse soldiers” who fought alongside local militias against the Taliban during the months following September 11th, 2001, with this week’s review of 12 Strong (2018). Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, the film stars Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Navid Negahban, William Fichtner, Rob Riggle and many others.
As depicted in the film, the Green Berets selected for this mission were dropped deep behind enemy lines near strategic, Taliban-controlled villages and tasked with calling in air strikes to support the local militias’ efforts to destabilize Al Qaeda’s control over a highly contested region, culminating in the hoped-for liberation of Mazar-i-Sharif, the fourth-largest city in Afghanistan. The mission, which many expected to take months or even years, needed to be completed within three to six weeks.
Be sure to check out Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018), which debuts this weekend! Also making its wide release debut are the award-buzzing films I, Tonya (2017), Phantom Thread (2017), and Call Me By Your Name (2017).
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams wax philosophical about the freedom of the press with this week’s review of The Post (2017). Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Rhys, Sarah Paulson, Alison Brie and others. The film chronicles the historic decision by The Washington Post’s first female publisher, Katharine Graham, to proceed with coverage of the classified Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration. The choice landed Graham and the paper in the Supreme Court alongside The New York Times, and the film provides a compelling portrayal of the difficulties Graham faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
On the docket for this weekend in theaters is Paddington 2, The Commuter, starring Liam Neeson, and Proud Mary, starring the astounding Taraji P. Henson.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva and Chad Riley, welcome Spencer Williams as the official third co-host with a review of one of the year’s best reviewed films, Get Out (2017). Directed by Jordan Peele, the film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, LilRel Howery in a compelling examination of race-based anxieties and tensions that works as both a taut psychological thriller and an eye-opening allegory for some of society’s most persistent and pervasive issues.
On the docket for this weekend in theaters is Insidious: The Last Key (2018), the fourth installment in the horror franchise.
The Filmlosophers recap the year that was with a full review of 2017 films - what worked, what didn’t, who stood out and which studios dropped the ball. Alongside returning guest Spencer Williams, we give our picks for best and worst performances, biggest surprise and disappointment, and more categories. Listen in and see if you agree!
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva and Chad Riley, are joined again by Spencer Williams as they step over the threshold and into the realm of B-movies, diving deep into a double feature of The Room (2003) and The Disaster Artist (2017). The Room was directed, written, produced and starred by the mysterious Tommy Wiseau, as well as Greg Sestero, Juliette Danielle, and many others. The Disaster Artist, directed and starred by James Franco, is based on Greg Sestero’s best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy's cult-classic disasterpiece, The Room, and what all transpired behind the scenes.
The Filmlosophers are short by one as Chad is away, but fear not! Eddie Villanueva brings in Star Wars enthusiast Michael Strange to discuss the recently released and domestically successful Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) n. The film brings back our favorite cast, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Anthony Daniels, as well as our new favorites like Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver and others. Episode VIII has created a rift in the galaxy, splitting their fans and causing many to ask the question: what is the direction of the remainder of the franchise?
This weekend’s releases include the Pitch Perfect 3, Father Figures, Downsizing, The Greatest Showman and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The Filmlosophers revisit the fateful days of World War II with this week’s review of Joe Wright’s film Darkest Hour (2017). Featuring Gary Oldman in an Oscar-buzzing lead role as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the film recounts a series of events in 1940 as the Nazis bring continental Europe to its knees and threaten total annihilation.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva and Chad Riley, submerge themselves in the compelling depths of Guillermo del Toro’s latest take on modern mythology, The Shape of Water (2017). Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, and master creature performer Doug Jones, the film features compelling meditations on the nature of identity, communication, empathy and the struggle for power in the face of the unknown.
In addition to The Shape of Water, this weekend’s releases include the Margot Robbie-fronted biopic I, Tonya (2017) and The Disaster Artist (2017) starring James Franco.
The Filmlosophers shine with their knowledge as they discuss the impact that Marvel has had in cinema for the past decade! Chad and Eddie talk about what films like Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy have done for theaters, and how the the MCU has reshaped more than just how we view movies, but culture as a whole!
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva and Chad Riley, welcome Eddie’s wife, Doris, to the show for the first time as they dance their way through the Mexican Land of the Dead with this week’s slightly spoilerish review of Pixar Animation Studios’ latest Disney collaboration, Coco (2017). The lively film is Pixar’s 19th feature length project and stars the voices of Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal, Alanna Ubach, and first timer Anthony Gonzalez, along with some incredible cameos from well-known Latin actors such as Edward James Olmos, Gabriel Iglesias, Cheech Marin and others.
The Filmlosophers brave Crime Alley with this week’s review of the long awaited film of the year, Justice League. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film has a star-studded cast including Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds , Jeremy Irons, and others. Does the film do the franchise “justice?” How does the franchise fare after the immense success of Wonder Woman? Stay tuned to find out!