Day 152: Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)

some kind of wonderfulFor today’s film, I had been meaning to watch a John Hughes film that I had not yet seen. To be honest, I procrastinated , but I wanted to close out May with a bang and so I chose to watch Some Kind Of Wonderful. All Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), the very artsy, not popular teenager, wants is a date with the very beautiful, but very taken Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson). One day after Amanda’s rich snobby boyfriend Hardy (Craig Sheffer) gets caught schmoozing with another girl, Keith gets his opportunity despite not having the blessing of his tomboy best friend Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). You see what he doesn’t realize is that Watts begins to have feelings for Keith, but he’ll just have to find out the hard way. The film also stars John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop) as Cliff Nelson, Elias Koteas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Duncan, Molly Hagan (Election) as Shayne, Maddie Corman (Swingers) as Laura Nelson, Candace Cameron (Full House) as Cindy Nelson, Scott Coffey (Lost Highway) as Ray,  Lee Garlington (One Hour Photo) as Gym Instructor, Chynna Phillips (Striptease) as Mia, and the film was directed by Howard Deutch (Pretty In Pink).

somekind_hedI just want to say that I wish my life was a John Hughes movie because life would be so much easier if that were the case. Little fun fact for all of you out there, Zoey Deutch who has starred in the films we covered (Everybody Wants Some! and Dirty Grandpa) is the daughter of director Howard Deutch and star Lea Thompson. So if I had to take a wild guess then I’m pretty sure this is where they met and got into a relationship. Anyways back to the film at hand. This has to be one of the most well written John Hughes films besides The Breakfast Club because the film is much more than a Romcom (Romance Comedy) in my opinion. Not only does the film look at love or the idea of the unpopular kid getting the out of his league girl, this also looks at social classes and social statuses due to money. Keith, Watts, and Amanda all come from the harsher side of town, but the difference is that by being with Hardy, she had elevated her status socially. The idea that she began to be cut off from that social status because she agreed to go on a date with Keith said a lot and the fact that he wants to continue with the date to prove a point says a lot. Of course not only is the story great, but there is great music attached to this film especially one track from Billy Idol that I love (Catch My Fall) which plays in the film. The acting was amazing, the choreography was great, and what else could you ask for from a John Hughes written film. That is why I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 151: Flags Of Our Fathers (2006)

flags of our fathersFirst of all I want to start this article off by wishing everyone including the men and women of the Armed Forces a Happy Memorial Day. After all, this day is about remembering all soldiers past and present that have fought for this country. So for today’s film, I decided to watch a war film and I picked Flags Of Our Fathers which was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby). It’s 1945 and the war is almost coming to a close, but America is still at war with the Japanese. While on the island of Iwo Jima, the goal is to hang an American flag at the top of a certain point. The film follows the six men who raised the very flag that we see in that iconic image and all of the issues they had to deal with while at war and after it. The film stars Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions) as John “Doc” Bradley, Jesse Bradford (Hackers) as Rene Gagnon, Adam Beach (Windtalkers) as Ira Hayes, John Benjamin Hickey (The Bone Collector) as Keyes Beech, Barry Pepper (True Grit) as Mike Strank, Jamie Bell (King Kong) as Iggy, Paul Walker (Furious 7) as Hank Hansen, John Slattery (Captain America: Civil War) as Bud Gerber, Robert Patrick (Striptease) as Colonel Chandler Johnson, Neal McDonough (Red 2) as Captain Severance, and Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air) as Pauline.

foofAs far as the film is concerned, it’s a very different type of war movie because not only do you see the horrors of war, but you see a very different side of it. You see a side of war that the politicians do not want you to see. For instance, throughout the film, the image of the men putting up the flag is more important to the cause then the actual truth behind the picture. The country practically has no money so they use the image and the remaining three men who are alive to try and raise money by selling bonds. They know very well that these guys are not comfortable with the whole hero thing, but they need to use that to try and draw money to win the war. Those are some of the things we do not get to see, but is the film controversial? Maybe or maybe not because it depends on who you ask like Spike Lee. Clint Eastwood as a director is money because I have yet to be disappointed at any of the films the man has made and that is truly amazing. There are some iconic images in this film like all of the warships out in the ocean to the gritty aspects of war. All of the acting was great, the cinematography was amazing, and the story was well written. This film may not be my favorite war movie in the world, but it certainly ranks up there. Like I said above, this day is about remembering all the men and women that served this country. Check out the film, learn some history about the nation, and I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 150: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside-Llewyn-Davis1For the 150TH film on the 150TH day of the year, I wanted to watch something special. I have been on an Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) fix since I first saw him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A friend of mine has been telling me to catch his film Inside Llewyn Davis and today the film was on so I watched it and its today’s film. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a folk singer who is just trying to navigate his way through life with his folk music in Greenwich Village in 1961. You see he is now a solo artist and all he wants is for his music to be heard, but there are things that get in his way from a pregnant friend, a label that isn’t doing anything for him, ignorance against folk music, losing a friend’s cat, and facing the inevitable which is his future possibly without music. The film also stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Roland Turner, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Al Cody, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) as Jean, Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog) as Jim, Max Casella (Ed Wood) as Pappi, Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers) as Johnny Five, Stark Sands (11:14) as Troy Nelson, and the film was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

download (2)This film was a perfect example of what happens to artists who try to stay true to who they are and are never willing to compromise. For Llewyn Davis, it’s one setback after another that keeps him away from seeing the big picture or accomplishing the his dreams. He is told over and over again in the film that basically folk music isn’t profitable and that there isn’t any future in it. That doesn’t stop him for a while, but after a certain amount of time he begins to believe the noise. The film is very melancholic in tone where it seems that one thing after another happens to this poor guy who sleeps on friends couches. One of the amazing things about this film of course is the music and the fact that everyone that looked like they were singing on screen in fact were singing the songs. One of my favorite songs in the film is Please Please Mr. Kennedy which is sung by Timbelake, Isaac, and Driver. The reason I love it is because the song is absolutely hilarious. It’s one of the funniest moments in the film that I think everyone should check out. Of course, it helps that the acting was amazing and Isaac’s was a real stud in the film with his performance. Of course having the great John Goodman was a definite added bonus as well as the man of few words in the film Garrett Hedlund. One of my favorite things about this film is the way that it ends. I am not going to give it away, but let’s just say that a young version of a folk legend shows up to play at a club that Llewyn Davis is walking through. The film is airing on The Movie Channel and it’s also available on the Showtime Anywhere App. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 149: The Crucible (1996)

220px-ThecruciblemovieEarlier in the year, I had seen a movie called The Witch which I thought was going to be a scarier look into the Salem Witch Trials or at least that time period. Coming from Massachusetts, my interest in the subject matter has always been peaked and when I saw that The Crucible was available to watch, I immediately chose it for today’s film. The film follows the actual accounts of the Salem Witch Trials in which Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder) started. Abigail among other girls were caught dancing in the woods with the famous Tituba (Charlayne Woodard). In order to save themselves, they began to start accusing innocent people from the villiage that they had problems with which included the wife of John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis). The film features an amazing cast that includes Paul Scofield (A Man For All Seasons) as Judge Thomas Danforth, Joan Allen (The Bourne Supremacy) as Elizabeth Proctor, Bruce Davison (The Lords Of Salem) as Reverend Paris, Rob Campbell (Hedwig and The Angry Inch) as Reverend Hale, Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) as Thomas Putnam, Peter Vaughan (Brazil) as Giles Corey, Karron Graves (The Good Shepard) as Mary Warren, George Gaynes (Police Academy) as Judge Samuel Sewall, Mary Pat Gleason (Basic Instinct) as Martha Corey, and the film was directed by Nicholas Hytner.

2a969dec83b76b2ffccddca6c9704461Now as far as The Witch was concerned, it wasn’t as scary as people made it out to be even though it was well acted. This film gave you exactly what you thought you were going to get and that was an account of all the horror that occurred in the town of Salem. The subject is still a sore spot in Salem, but it’s a history they no longer deny. You watch this film and you say how stupid could people have been back in those days and you must understand that this was a puritan society where religion was number one alongside greed and envy. I cannot begin to make you understand how amazing the performances in this film were and I was not lying when I said it was an all star cast. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most amazing actors to come out in the 90’s and he has provided us with classic after classic even though I need to catch up on a lot of them. All the performances in the film were absolutely fantastic and you should see it for that and the sets and costumes. The sets were amazing as it made you feel like you were in Salem in 1692 and the costumes enforced those beliefs. I also loved how they stuck the original script that Arthur Miller wrote as they stayed true to that. This was an excellent choice for me for today and if you ever want to learn more about Salem, start here and then travel to Salem for yourselves. It is such an amazing place to be and there is so much history. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.

Day 148: Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)

batman underFor today’s film, I was specifically in the mood to see an animated film, but I was more in the mood for a Batman animated film especially considering we are getting The Killing Joke soon. There are so many I need to catch up on so I decided to check out Batman: Under The Red Hood for today. Things in Gotham City are pretty much the same since the death of Jason Todd (Robin) by the hands of The Joker (John DiMaggio) five years before and Batman (Bruce Greenwood) is still living with the guilt. That is until one day when a mysterious figure know simply as the Red Hood (Jensen Ackles) shows up and starts taking over the crime syndicate in Gotham. Even though Batman and Nightwing (Neil Patrick Harris) are hit on his tail, they can’t seem to catch him, but Batman feels that there is something familiar about him. So, while he is on a mission to stop him, Batman is also out looking for the truth before he gets to the Black Mask (Wade Williams). The film also stars Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Ra’s al Ghul, Carlos Alazraqui (Toy Story 3) as Chi Chi, Gary Cole (Office Space) as Commissioner Gordon, Kelly Hu (X-Men 2) as Ms. Li, and the film was directed by Brandon Vietti (Superman/Doomsday).

hqdefaultOne thing that I will say before we dive in too deep into the film is that I am huge fan of the Batman animated films. They are some of the best written and done films, but that’s because you can do a lot more with animation. That is definitely the case with this film which was well written and well done. If you are not familiar with the Red Hood story then definitely check this one out because it’s a very cool story. I am going to try and not give too much away because I hate spoiling movies. One of the things I loved about this film is the fact that the Red Hood believes he’s doing the same as Batman, but by killing off the villains that is the way you control crime. It gets really deep from there and it gets very personal for Batman who know has to make the ultimate choice after he finds out Red Hood’s true identity. I love that you get Black Mask, The Riddler, and The Joker all in one film because it packs more  of a punch and it helps explain the story. The only thing I didn’t like honestly was The Joker’s voice and that’s only because I am used to Mark Hamill as The Joker. Nevertheless, its a great story and well written overall like I have already said. Check this one out for sure if you are a fan of Batman and/or the Batman animated films/series. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.

Day 147: Glory Daze (1995)

ben-affleck-mustacheToday’s film has been sitting on my Netflix cue for quite some time that I am even surprised that it was still around for me to view. Nevertheless, it was a film that featured Ben Affleck a year after his appearance in Dazed And Confused and I figured why not let’s check out Glory Daze. The film follows five college friends/roommates in Jack (Affleck), Rob (Sam Rockwell), Dennis (French Stewart), Slosh (Vien Hong), and Mickey (Vinnie DeRamus) as they face various dilemmas two days before graduation. Jack doesn’t have a girlfriend, but he’s more scared about the unknown part of his future while Rob is about to move to LA, but is afraid of meeting his girlfriend’s mom. Dennis feels that he should transfer to Michigan for a masters, but an offer from a teacher has him thinking twice while Slosh is just a drunk going nowhere fast. Mickey wants a girlfriend, but he’s just too afraid and dumb to realize when opportunity presents itself. The whole group decides to stay, but is it the right decision after all? The film also stars Megan Ward (Encino Man) as Joanie, Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood) as Dina, Alyssa Milano (Fear) as Chelsea, John Rhys-Davies (Raiders Of The Lost Ark) as Luther, and the film features appearances from Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Sean Whalen, Brendan Fraser, Leah Remini, and the film was directed by Rich Wilkes (xXx). 

tumblr_lbpkoivIdn1qaj6h8o1_1280What did I think of this film? Well one thing is for sure and that it isn’t Dazed And Confused and I have a reason for saying that. The film is basically what if O’Bannion grew up and went to college in the 90’s and was an art student. It had that same kind of vibe where the main character is faced with a major life decision and all of a sudden he starts to question the norm. The other thing that made me think of it was seeing Matthew McConaughey in the film. His character made me think that what i that was Wooderson and he had just left Texas and became a UHaul salesman. While it may be one of your typical 20 somethings slacker film, it doesn’t capture the same kind of brilliance other films had before it. It’s surprising considering the caliber of talent that was in this film like Sam Rockwell, Affleck, Fraser, etc. The film isn’t all bad though, it actually nails the 90’s in a way where everyone was overly pissed off at the world and how life wasn’t fair. Thanks to grunge music, Punk made a huge comeback in the 90’s and this soundtrack is full of iconic 90’s punk bands like NOFX, The Bouncing Souls, etc. The film has it’s moments of brilliance, but it’s just too all over the place at times. Like I said, he film is currently available on Netflix as we speak so check it out if you dare. I’m having a hard time giving the film a grade so I say it’s somewhere between a C+/B- as far as a final grade is concerned.

Day 146: Cooties (2014)

Cooties-movie-poster-latestThere are always films that get announced or you see some details and it gets you excited for it, but you end up waiting for it for a while. That was the case with today’s film Cooties which I had heard about back in 2014, but we finally have it here for you. Cooties follows aspiring writer and now substitute teacher Clint (Elijah Wood) as he returns home to Fort Chicken to teach at the elementary school. The only problem for Clint is that when he gets to school, a virus begins to spread that turns the children there into flesh eating zombies. Now Clint has to lead a group of ragtag teachers to safety before they are torn to shreds by the infected students. The film also stars Rainn Wilson (House Of 1000 Corpses) as Wade, Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) as Lucy, Jack McBrayer (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret) as Tracy, Leigh Whannell (Insidious: Chapter 2) as Doug, Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) as Rebekkah, Ian Brennan (Scream Queens) as Vice Principal Simms, Jorge Garcia (The Ridiculous 6) as Rick, Cooper Roth (The Road Within) as Patriot, Morgan Lily (X-Men: First Class) as Tamra, and the film was directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion.

Cooties_2At first before I watched the film I questioned why this never made it into theaters before it went straight to DVD. Then after watching the film, I can definitely figure out why it never made it and I am not saying that as a bad thing. This is definitely one of those films that is so bad that it’s awesome. I just figured that having Rainn Wilson, Elijah Wood, and Jack McBrayer would be enough to get into theaters, but it’s really funny regardless. One of the elements I loved about this film was the little quips that are thrown like a reference to The Lord Of The Rings series that Elijah Wood starred in at one time. It also helps that Rainn Wilson is absolutely hilarious and Leigh Whannell’s character was weird, but a very funny addition to the ensemble. I really believe that without all those factors I listed, this film would’t be as good or enjoyable to watch. One thing it will do is make you not want to eat chicken nuggets ever again as you see how they are made and what goes into them. One of the things I also liked about the film was how creative they were when you see one kid using intestines as jump rope or a human head on the end of a rope that is used for tetherball. It was those little things that made the film enoyable to watch, but it’s still a little cheesy at times. With that being said, I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.