Top 5 Tuesday: Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

5. Furious 7

I’ve always been a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, and after the sixth, this one looked so promising. Then tragedy struck with the passing of Paul Walker. With Walker being such an integral part of the franchise, it looked as if the franchise might be done. With the help of his brothers, however, they were able to finish the film with only a few changes. It doesn’t change the horrible occurrence, but it may have given the series a chance to live on, and with that, Walker can live on too.

4. Mission Impossible 5

This is a film which has surprisingly ridden under the radar in a blockbuster packed 2015. It stars many returning cast members, including Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner. It’s going to have action, a whole lot of action and I can’t wait. If it’s anything like Mission Impossible 4, it will be one of my favorite movies of the year.

3. Chappie

Chappie_posterFrom the director of District 9, Chappie looks to be more like it than Blompkamp’s previous movie Elysium. While I didn’t hate Elysium, Chappie looks like it could be a more interesting and well made movie. Sharlto Copely really blew me away in District 9 and could do it once again as the robot known as Chappie. What made District 9 so great was that it had very comedic moments and felt natural despite the use of aliens. It also had action, which Elysium also had heaps of. What Elysium didn’t have was comedic prowess and a feeling that what you were watching was natural. For Chappie to truly succeed, it will need to feel more like District 9, but not just be a rehashing, which it doesn’t look like that will be the case.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron

There is nothing I can say about this movie that hasn’t been said. It looks amazing and Marvel’s track record as of late has been flawless. Guardians of the Galaxy was a home run and so was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It might not be able to post the box office numbers of the first Avengers movie, but I doubt it will disappoint in any way. I can’t wait to see Iron Man punch some robot faces and for the Hulk to do what he does best.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Starwarsviitheforceawakens

It’s sad that there are people nowadays that were born in a time following the prequels release. The prequels ruined a franchise that had so much going for it. Even if you like the prequels, they became a laughing stock of a great film series. They villainized George Lucas and made it look as if future films would never happen. But now, in 2015, we finally get a sequel that looks quite deserving. The original trilogy is a near-perfect classic, so it will be tough to build a film that lives up, but JJ Abrams took Star Trek to new heights, so it’s possible.

A few of my thoughts about the Golden Globes

So as most people know, the Golden Globes were last night. It was a pretty entertaining night, with great hosts, interesting nominees and it also gets me excited for the Academy Awards. So here are a few quick thoughts about last night.

*I thought Tina and Amy were hilarious, with a lot great mix of jokes. Some didn’t really hit, but the ones that did hit hard. I’m looking forward to see who hosts next year, but Tina and Amy will be a tough act to follow.
*I was so happy with Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne winning their respective awards. I actually haven’t seen either of their movies, but from small clips and critics reviews, it sounds like they deserve it.

*It was pretty obvious that Julianne Moore would win, as everyone predicted it, but it was nice to see her win. This might make her the only candidate for Best Actress at the Oscars.

*Television was a bit weird as quite a few shows I hadn’t seen won and most were shows I didn’t expect to win.

KevinSpaceyApr09*I was rooting for House of Cards to win Best Drama, but expected it to lose. I was surprised that it lost to The Affair. I am glad the Kevin Spacey won, though.

*I was also surprised Transparent won. I haven’t seen the show since it’s on Amazon, but I had expected something like Orange is the New Black to win. I’m not a fan of Orange is the New Black, it seems most people are so it seemed like a no-brainer.

*Gina Rodriquez surprised me as I haven’t seen that show and had heard she deserved to win but it wasn’t likely that she would.

*In my opinion Fargo should have swept, especially with Allison Tolman’s performance as well as Colin Hanks. It was all around my favorite show when it came out and with recent casting news for season 2, I’m even more excited.

So that just about wraps up all my thoughts on the Golden Globes. While some of the snubs bummed me out, a lot of the wins were pleasantly surprising.

How I Run Things: State of the Site (#1)

Hey guys, with my previous Thoughtful Thursday, I got to thinking. I really should periodically let you know what’s going on with how things are going on here. I might talk about new commenters to the website, a comment that I particularly like, articles or reviews that gained a lot of audience interaction and stuff like that. I only plan on doing this once a month or so and I don’t plan on talking too heavily on views, since they don’t necessarily reflect participation. So without further ado, here is the first post regarding the state of the site.

First things first, I should mention the reviews as a whole. Reviews have always and will always be the biggest part of The Bishop Review, I mean review is in the name, so it has to be, right? Anyways, I’ve been trying to come out with 3-4 reviews per week and have the majority of them be in depth and fully reflective of how I felt about the film. I have occasionally released a shorter review, either because it’s a re-review or a review of a film that I couldn’t find much to write about. Either way, I try to keep all my reviews as accurate as my readers would expect of me, which is hopefully very accurate. In terms of numbers, they’ve been good for reviews, but like I said, I’m more invested in participation, which has been hit and miss. Some articles are always going to get a bigger response than others, but in a perfect world all my reviews would have 100 comments. I wouldn’t say to expect any big changes coming to the reviews in the near future.

Now with Top 5 Tuesday’s, those have a pretty equal view to participation ration. A lot of people like the lists, read the lists and comment about them. Everyone loves lists, including me, and they’re a lot of fun. For the near future, I anticipate continuing the Top 5 lists. I like keeping it different from week to week and I’m thinking about dropping clues on The Bishop Review’s twitter. I want to keep these lists fun and I want you guys to have fun reading them, so that’s my main goal for Top 5 Tuesdays.

Now I’ll end this little update talking about Thoughtful Thursdays. Thoughtful Thursdays haven’t yet gained much traction in views, which for a while made me nervous. The views aren’t very high and at first glance, the response was hard to gauge. Then, in the past few days, the latest Thoughtful Thursday gained a lot of readers and from their response, it seemed good. Also, the third TT had been linked to by people on Twitter and it looks as if people liked it. I think the first three, while being great posts, were brought down by their poor titles. They were only called Thoughtful Thursday # and nobody wants to read something called that, right? So from now on I will be actually titling it and putting (TT#) at the end of the title. Also, there has been a healthy string of more positive oriented Thoughtful Thursday, but that won’t always be the case. There’s a TT in the pipeline that is more somber. I’m not sure when it will be up as I haven’t finished it and I’m not sure if I want to post it right away, or even at all. If TT continues with this upward trend in participation, there is no doubt that it will keep it’s weekly slot. If it doesn’t look like a lot of people are enjoying it, I might put a hiatus on the posts and try to find something more fun for all the readers.

Later State of the Site posts might look different than this, but for now I’m happy and I hope you enjoyed seeing more of the technical side of my thinking and how I try to run this website. My biggest hope is that you enjoy what you read here, and now is the best time to speak up about what you like and don’t like with the site at the moment.

Frank (Film Review)

Frank_movie_posterFrank, starring Michael Fassbender, is one of those movies from last year that I wanted to see immediately after hearing about it. Sadly, I had to wait until Netflix came along and put it on their streaming website, which is one of the many reasons I love Netflix. Now, as I started to watch the movie, I realized that other than knowing the film was about an eccentric musician who always wears a fake head, I knew nothing about the film. Despite not knowing anything, the film had built incredibly high expectations in my eyes and it was going to be tough to top them. So did it?

Now, first things first, the film follows Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), an aspiring musician who can’t seem to write any music. He gets an opportunity to fill in for a band’s keyboardist after the previous guy goes crazy and soon finds himself in the middle of no where trying to record the band’s album with them. Fassbender plays Frank, the dude in the fake head and Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Clara, who is more or less the antagonist of the film’s main character Jon. Many troubles arise, changing how Jon sees the world and the people around him, that’s me trying my hardest not to spoil anything.

The movie is incredibly fun at times and incredibly depressing at others. It’s a great mix and ends in a fairly unpredictable way, not super crazy, but good nonetheless. I loved the performances, especially by Gleeson and Fassbender. Gyllenhaal was also very good and helped to add another dynamic to the film. I felt like in the beginning that her role could have been cast by any actress, but towards the end it made sense why she was cast. There were other actors in smaller roles and they too did a great job.

Some people might not like how the film’s main character uses twitter and YouTube, but I didn’t seem to mind it. It added to the realism since pretty much everyone I know uses twitter and/or YouTube. It didn’t feel excessive in my opinion and also stayed true to how people really act when they’re on social media. ┬áThe film has minor nudity, with a man’s buttocks seen briefly and if you look hard enough you might be able to see a breast through murky water. The main reason the film is rated R is that there are quite a few F-bombs.

I honestly can’t find anything to hate about this film, it was great on all fronts and lived up greatly to my expectations. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I might have been one of my favorite films of 2014.

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I Might Sound Like a Broken Record, but Thank You (TT4)

Thoughtful Thursday

I know, I know, it seems like once a week I’m thanking you, the reader. But you have to believe me, you all deserve to be thanked. From the readers who have been subscribed since 2010, to the fresh faces that joined in 2012, to the new readers each and everyday, and all the ones in between. You all deserve to see me bellow from the mountain tops THANK YOU!

Now that we’re in a new year and people are making resolutions, I want to tell you mine. In previous years I’ve said things like post one review a day, or get more viewers, but I’m too old to worry about that kind of stuff. Now you might be saying, Austin, you’re not old at all. You’re right, but still the sentiment remains. I don’t care how many views I get, those are just numbers that don’t mean anything. Those numbers represent people, and the people matter, but those people are more than numbers. The people are so friggen much more important than those silly numbers. Every time that I think of the numbers, I’m forgetting about the people. So no resolution about bumping up my numbers because that just turns you guys all into a numbers game.

Posting a day is silly for me. Some days no post is required. When I give myself that requirement, my content gets worse and I get stressed. When I get stressed, I quit writing. When I quit writing, I quit checking TBR and when that happens, I turn my back on the readers and abandon ship for months, or even years. So no resolution about posting every day.

Now, with that out of the way, I can tell you my resolution for this year. My goal is to not sweat the little things. If I don’t check the website for a day, oh well, I can’t stress about it. Because, like I mentioned, stress leads to long breaks in posting. While I’m not going to force myself to post every day, I’m going to try to be posting very regularly, possibly daily. If there is not a review or article on any given day, don’t fret, there will be one tomorrow.

I can’t believe that this website is nearly 5 years old. I’ve grown so much since then. Five years ago, I was still in high school, still unsure of what I wanted to do in life and I was self-conscious about everything about me. I’ve grown so much in five years, and I’m so happy that many of you have been here to see me grow. I look and see a lot of people that I consider friends in the comment section and it makes me happy that five years ago I had some silly notion that starting a review website would benefit the world in some way. So once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 Film Review)

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_posterThis film has been reviewed by the best of them, so I’ll try to keep mine short. The film has a pretty generic story, involving the turtles coming past their issues with one another, working alongside April O’Neil and company to fight a common foe that changed all their lives. It’s a tale of revenge, but mostly of tale of sub par CGI. The story is pretty generic, but Summer blockbusters are known for light storylines and heavy action.

While the film does have a heaping helping of action, it often times is just a blur of CGI. Compared to the older Ninja Turtles movies, the fighting is arguably better. It’s not a great sight, but better than dudes fighting in turtles costumes. The acting isn’t fantastic either, it’s not terrible, but it felt like people just acting for a pay check. The turtle voices and personalities weren’t terrible, but Johnny Knoxville seems a little old to be voicing a teenage turtle. I love Knoxville, but they probably could have done some better casting.

Like I said, I’ll keep this review short. It wasn’t as bad as some people have said, but it has nothing amazing to set it apart from all the other CGI filled movies.

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Top 5 Tuesday: My Favorite Video Games of 2014

OK, I should preface this by saying that I don’t own a PS3 or PS4 so no PS exclusives will be on this list. Know that I have nothing against Sony, it’s just that I haven’t played any of those games. Now with that said, I should also mention that I’ve grown sick of the typical FPS, so don’t expect that on my list. So, let’s start the countdown.

5. Prison Architect

While this game hasn’t gotten past Alpha, and has been in Alpha for a long time, I’d still include it in this list because it is friggen fun. There are quite a few bugs, but the bones of the game are quite good. I’ve had a lot of fun playing it and I was lucky enough to get it at a good price. The game is bound to get better once it is fully completed.

4. Destiny

Destiny_box_artDestiny is very much a typical fps, but the range of futuristic weapons and powers makes it differ greatly than the usual bunch. There were quite a few problems with the game, it constantly losing connection to servers being one of them. Another issue is the game’s weak story that goes out with a whisper and the rich backstory that is barely mentioned in game. Despite all those cons, there’s just something inherently fun about the game. Jumping really high, shooting the enemy’s and having Peter Dinklage talk to you are possibly all good reasons for that being the case, I’m not 100% sure. All I know is that it was fun to play and has a solid amount of replay value.

3. NBA 2k15

Despite the server issues with this game, as well as Destiny, NBA 2k15 proved quite plainly that it was the best sports game of this year. Updated graphics, a rich story to the MyPlayer mode and an occasionally entertaining MyPark mode make this version better than the previous and better than its competitor. I’ve heard the FIFA game was also really good, but I haven’t had the chance to play it in many years, so I have no idea what to expect when I do play it.

2. Sunset Overdrive

This might have been the biggest surprise of the year. I had little expectations when it came to this game, but with the over the top violence and unique sense of humor, Sunset Overdrive captivated me with its story and characters, making me laugh harder than any game in recent memory. It had the perfect release date and makes me so happy that I purchased it on its release. This is a must play for Xbox One owners, especially fans of the zombie franchise, though it’s not really a straight up zombie game.

Dragon_Age_Inquisition_BoxArt1. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Hands down the best game that I’ve played all year. A rich story line kept me playing for 90+ hours. Interesting characters made me crave more and more interactions, which the game provided. Funny at times, sad at others. This game was so damn good I can’t even finish sentences right. Despite my first impressions of Dragon Age II being positive, the game had little replay value and second and third playthroughs made me realize it was a weak game. The same can’t be said for Inquisition as parts of the game are better after playing through once before. Playing as a different race or gender makes the game feel new and one of a kind. I can’t wait for DLC because I know that I will eat up another chunk of my days playing it. Bioware really impressed me with this one.