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Movie Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Succeeds With Video Game Action, Not Story

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assassins-creed-movie-posterVideo game movies tend to have a huge disconnect with general audiences not familiar with the source material. Assassin’s Creed continues the tradition with a story that is confusing, dreary and devoid of drama or excitement, even when armed with acting heavyweights Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons. I’m sure that Ubisoft’s involvement as a video game company developing Assassin’s Creed for the big screen is sure to please the many fans. But those viewers will be going in with a laundry list of video game elements the Assassin’s Creed must adhere to and nothing more.

As a non-fan, I only have one requirement: To be entertained. If you can’t give me a cohesive story, give me some interesting characters. If you can’t give me that, give me some rousing action sequences. And if you can’t give me that, give me my two hours back.

The premise of Assassin’s Creed is at least interesting, if not inviting. A secret order of templars have been searching centuries for the lost Apple of Eden, an artifact that apparently has the ability to control the free will of man and put an end to violence. That’s a silly MacGuffin, but, whatever, they’re usually pretty ridiculous in these types of pictures.

What’s not as excusable is the odd method in how the templars plan to recover this MacGuffin. Inside a secret stronghold of modern day Madrid, they’ve developed the Animus Project, a simulator that allows a user to live the life of their ancestors through DNA memories (yes, you read the correctly). But the user won’t just see the memories as they’ll get to relive every action and feel every bit of movement and pain as the Animus machine whips them around a room.

Wouldn’t such a complex machine that is facing budgetary constraints from the templars be better suited in uncovering more important mysteries of the past? Apparently, none of that matters so long as they can have that stupid Apple. Such is the flaw of Assassin’s Creed. I guess the media would question why the user HAS to experience every physical action, making the Animus appear less as a time machine and more as the world’s most elaborate virtual reality console.

The Apple was believed to have been stolen by a secret league of assassins devoted to its protection. Callum (Fassbender) is a descendant of one of the top assassins and the templars pluck this criminal from his public execution to be used as their biggest clue for finding the artifact of the past. Not much is revealed about Callum himself before the templars capture him and he’s even less interesting after. What we do know is that he was a criminal who killed a pimp and his father killed his mother.

Read More:  Assassin’s Creed Review

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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