A couple of weeks ago, we started watching the Dirty Harry franchise for Ass Whoopin Wednesdays when we watched Magnum Force. Since HBOGO has most of the series, I figured why not watch the next film in the series entitled The Enforcer. This time around, our favorite hard ass cop Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) has to investigate a group of disgruntled Vietnam vets who are calling themselves The People’s Revolutionary Strike Force, but there are a couple of obstacles in his way. The police force is coming down hard on Harry for the way he does his job and they have given him a new partner in a female police officer which he is not all that happy to be working with. Together, they’ll have to unfoil the groups plans and save the mayor of San Francisco. The film also stars Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey) as Kate Moore, Harry Guardino (Any Which Way You Can) as Lt. Bressler, Bradford Dillman (Escape From The Planet Of The Apes) as Captain McKay, John Mitchum (The Outlaw Josey Wales) as DiGeorgio, DeVeren Bookwalter (The Omega Man) as Bobby Maxwell, John Crawford (The Towering Inferno) as Mayor, Samantha Doane (The Gauntlet) as Wanda, Albert Popwell (Sudden Impact) as Mustapha, Jocelyn Jones (Tourist Trap) as Miki, and the film was directed by James Fargo (Forced Vengeance). To see the rest of the stats and check out the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
Since the announcement of the death of legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder yesterday, I wanted to pay tribute to him. So, I took the time and dedicated today to him by watching a film I hadn’t seen yet in The Woman In Red which sees Wilder pulling triple duty. Teddy Pierce (Gene Wilder) is an ad executive who kind of has everything a man would need in life like a decent job, a good family, and good friends. So, what in the world would get him to screw that up? Well, what If I was to tell you that he one day he sees the most beautiful woman in a model named Charlotte (Kelly LeBrock). He wants to meet her so bad that he is actually willing to risk it all so he tries to come with a full proof scheme. The film also stars Charles Grodin (Beethoven) as Buddy, Joe Bologna (Blame It On Rio) as Joey, Judith Ivey (Flags Of Our Fathers) as Didi Pierce, Michael Huddleston (Vampires) as Mikey, Gilda Radner (Saturday Night Live) as Ms. Milner, Kyle Heffner (High Crimes) as Richard, Michael Zorek (Hot Moves) as Shelly, Kyra Stempel (Camp Nowhere) as Missy Pierce, and the film was written and directed by Gene Wilder.
This was actually a very good movie from Gene and I can definitely see why it did well. Gene put on one heck of a performance as well with his typical calm on the outside, but nervous wreck on the inside about to explode. The thing that I loved about the film that I wish there was more of was the interactions with Bologna, Grodin, and Huddleston because those were some of the more hilarious moments on film. One of my favorites from them was one night they go to a restaurant and Grodin pretends to be blind and he just starts messing everything up. Now, let’s be honest with each other moving forward and say that Kelly LeBrock was one heck of a choice for the woman in red as this was her first role. Kelly was an absolute smoke show back in the day and those few moments in the film where you get teased with her body was worth the wait. I loved the scene in the parking garage where they pay tribute to Marilyn Monroe with the air that blows the dress up. I thought that was a nice ode to classic Hollywood. One scene that was kind of awkward was an interaction between Judith Ivey’s character and Michael Zorek’s that they never expanded on. He just goes in and tries to cop a feel, but they end it on that and it’s never mentioned again. The film had plenty of subplots, but one that they barely scratch in the surface is the fact that Charles Grodin’s character was gay. I mean especially for 1984, that is a huge bombshell and they just sort of brush it to the side and not talk about it. That was my only problem with the film, but overall I really enjoyed it. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
The world of comedy and the world of cinema lost a true legend today when it was revealed that actor and comedian Gene Wilder passed away at the age of 83. Gene starred in classics like Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and even Stir Crazy. According to his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman, he passed away from complications of Alzheimer at his home in Stamford, CT. His nephew released a statement saying:
We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.
He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.
I remember the first time I ever saw Gene Wilder in a film and it was actually Hear No Evil, See No Evil with Richard Pryor. I thought it was the greatest and funniest film when I was kid and I wanted to see more from him. Then I was completely blown away by his performance in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which to me is untouchable. Gene in his career was nominated for two Oscars with one being for his role in The Producers and the other for co-writing Young Frankenstein. He did however win an Emmy in 2003 for his guest work on the TV show Will & Grace. He made his debut on Broadway starring in the off Broadway play Roots before forming a friendship with Mel Brooks in 1963 after Brooks saw him in Brecht’s Mother Courage (Anne Bancroft was Brook’s wife and she was in the play as well). He did win an award on Broadway as he won the Clarence Derwent Award for promising newcomer.
One of Wilder’s better runs was when he co-starred with Richard Pryor in films like 1976’s Silver Streak, Stir Crazy (which was a big hit), and the lesser of the hits like Hear No Evil, See No Evil, and Another You with Richard Pryor. While filming Hanky Panky, he met his third wife, the legendary Saturday Night Live alum Gilder Radner. She would star in his most successful directing effort The Woman In Red in 1984 and she was in his other film Haunted Honeymoon before she grew ill with ovarian cancer. He devoted a lot of his time to taking care of her, but after her death he barely worked at all. His last real acting gig was for Will & Grace in 2002/03 before he left for good. Gene will definitely be missed as the world mourns the loss of another legend. R.I.P. Gene Wilder (June 11, 1933 – August 28, 2016).
In the 70’s and 80’s, there was no one bigger in the world of stand up and comedy than the legendary Richard Pryor (The Toy). That is why for today’s film I chose to watch a film from late in his career in Critical Condition. Kevin Lennihan (Pryor) is kind of a con man, but more of a Bullsh** artist if you ask me. One day as he was going to ask a mobster for a loan, he is framed alongside the mobster in a jewel smuggling scheme which sends him to jail. After faking that he is insane, he is sent to a psych ward at a hospital for them to evaluate him to tell if he’s insane or not. One night during a major storm, he is mistaken in the hospital for a doctor and he has to BS his way out of it. The film also stars Bob Saget (Full House) as Dr. Joffe, Rachel Ticotin (Total Recall) as Rachel, Rubén Blades (Fear The Walking Dead) as Louis, Joe Mantegna (Baby’s Day Out) as Chambers, Bob Dishy (Don Juan Demarco) as Dr. Foster, Sylvia Miles (Midnight Cowboy) as Nurse Lesser, Randall “Tex” Cobb (The Golden Child) as Box, Joe Dallesandro (Flesh For Frankenstein) as Stucky, and the film was directed by Michael Apted (Enough).
This was definitely an interesting film to say the least, but it’s one that I felt was a little all over the place. At first I thought we were going to get a film that was about him trying to prove that he is insane, but then it turns into a film where he’s trying to get by pretending to be a doctor hoping that no one will catch him. I have to be honest in saying that the best part of the film is when he becomes the doctor because you can kind of see the brilliance that was Richard Pryor come out on screen. There is the awful cast rapping scene, the helicopter scene, and even the scene where he’s is negotiating with the drug addicts that was pretty good. Some of my favorite scenes also took place in the psych ward, but it as scenes without Pryor in them. They really gave Mantegna and Cobb the spotlight during those scenes as Mantegna’s character is trying to negotiate his way out of there. I have to admit as well that Bob Saget really held his own in this film as he has some memorable moments and if you look you’ll notice a young Wesley Snipes as an ambulance driver. Of all the Pryor films that I have seen (which is not a lot) this is definitely not my favorite one. I am not saying that it was a bad film, but it’s probably just one that once was enough for me. I am going to give the film an B-/C+ for a final grade. It’s somewhere between those two.
I was so impressed with the first film in the Harry Potter franchise that I watched yesterday that I decided to watch another. That is right, I chose Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets for today’s film. Everyone’s favorite young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is back at home with his dreadful Aunt and Uncle once again, but a house elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) tries to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts Academy. Despite what Dobby said, Harry returns back to Hogwarts only to find that students are being petrified by something. Harry discovers that there is a place in the school called the Chamber of Secrets that was created by the founder Slytherin. Harry finds out that the chamber houses a monster who will kill mudbloods (impure wizards) and that it will be opened by the heir of Slytherin, but who is it? The film also stars Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Jason Isaacs (The Tuxedo) as Lucius Malfoy, Robbie Coltrane (From Hell) as Hagrid, Kenneth Branagh (Henry V) as Professor Lockhart, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting) as Moaning Myrtle, Christian Coulson (The Hours) as Tom Marvolo Riddle, Bonnie Wright (The Sea) as Ginny Weasley, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).
When you do a sequel to a film or when you do a sequel to a film that you know is a part of a bigger picture your only hope is that it’s better than the first film. That was definitely the case with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets which I enjoyed more than the last before it. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this film is that they added a little bit of suspense to the film where you’re trying to figure out who the heir is. You’re trying to figure out who the monster is and who will he attack? That is honestly what I really loved about this film since I love thrillers. The special effects for this film were turned up a notch for this film and who doesn’t love Dobby? Dobby was honestly the comedic relief the film needed and I am glad that he was a part of the story. He has so many funny moments in the film with Harry and there is one scene that you will absolutely love. The sets were amazing as usual, but my favorite is when he entered the chamber of secrets. There is this one room where he meets the giant monster and the cool looking set which you can see in the picture in this paragraph. There is so much classic cinematography and lighting tricks in this film that are absolutely cool. One scene I noticed was the scene with Dracoy’s father Lucius who when the camera was on him, only his eyes were lit like a true villain while Harry’s who face was illuminated as e was the hero. I had a lot of fun watching this one which is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I know what you are thinking and I have to be perfectly honest with all of you in saying that I have never seen any of the films in the Harry Potter series. I figured what better time than now to see one and therefore I watched Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone for today’s film. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has always been somewhat gifted of a child, but he doesn’t understand why. He lives a life of neglect with his awful Aunt and Uncle until a wizard from the Hogwarth’s Academy named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) comes calling for him. It is there that Harry will understand his abilities and live out his full potential. Although while all of this is happening, he stumbles upon an evil scheme to kidnap a stone that could bring back an evil being. The film also stars Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Ian Hart (Finding Neverland) as Professor Quirrell, Warwick Davis (Leprechaun) as Goblin Bank Teller, Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Matthew Lewis (Me Before You) as Neville Longbottom, John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) as Nearly Headless Nick, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).
I do have to say that after watching this film, I am super excited to continue on and see the rest of the films. The idea and topic of wizards and witches may be corny to some, but this was actually a well written story that I believe that anyone with an imagination can get into. The elements of the film that make these amazing and very interesting is what you don’t see watching the film. It’s seeing the camera work and the different perspectives and how they messed with depth perception to make Hagrid look like a giant compared to other characters just by messing with the angles. The other cool element of the film is of course the special effects and all of the things they made come to life. One of my favorite scenes in the film is with the owls who are basically the postal service. Harry’s evil Uncle has been keeping him from seeing any of the letters and the amount of Owls that show up and what they do was super cool. Not to mention, fluffy the three headed dog and the little dragon were cool as well. The other scene that I loved was the big chess match that happens at the end of the film, a very cool scene indeed. A very well acted film, a well written story, and some amazing cinematography made this a very enjoyable film to watch. I will definitely be checking out some more films in the series for sure. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.
Did you know that there are roughly 66 days until my favorite holiday of the whole year is here. That holiday I am talking about is Halloween and during the month of October, we have 31 days of Halloween (31 Days of Horror movies). I just couldn’t wait until then and I have one that I think everyone will enjoy for today. Today’s film of course is the much talked about horror/thriller Don’t Breathe. Alex (Dylan Minnette), Rocky (Jane Levy), and Money (Daniel Zovatto) are three friends that live in the slums of broken down Detroit who are desperate to get out of that city at any cost. You may not agree with their method of choice as they rob houses that are monitored by Alex’s dad’s security company. One day, they decide to rob the house of the blind man (Stephen Lang) after they hear about settlement money, but that could prove to be the dumbest thing they have done yet. The film also stars Emma Bercovici in her first role as Diddy, Katia Bokor (World War Z) as Ginger, Sergej Onopko (A Good Day To Die Hard) as Trevor, Franciska Töröcsik (Swing) as Cindy, Christian Zagia (El cojunudo) as Raul, and the film was directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead).
Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. Let me just say to all of you out there that this is one intense freaking movie and it’s not your typical horror movie. There’s no supernatural being, monster, or masked serial killer that comes after you. It’s a blind serviceman who uses his sense of hearing to figure out where you are in his house which is just as much of a fortress as the house in The People Under The Stairs (without the freaks). When the hunt is on, it becomes one heck of an intense film that leaves you unknowingly screaming, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” One of my favorite scenes in the film is in the basement when he cuts all of the lights sort of like a welcome to my world bitches. That is one of the most intense sequences and hunts of the film. Then there is some information that you discover towards the end of the film that is just one very disgusting and two kind of twisted. I won’t give that part away, but wait until you see it for yourself. All of the performances in the film were very good and its a relatively small cast as it focuses on the three and the blind man primarily. Stephen Lang is one heck of a twisted and persistent SOB int his film that he is definitely one of my MVP’s of the film with the other going to Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette. I cannot wait for October, but you definitely shouldn’t wait that long to see this film. What are you waiting for, go see it. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade because it was definitely my favorite horror film of the year so far.
There are certain actors in Hollywood that when you see their name attached to a film, it’s more than likely that you’re going to pick it up. Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) is definitely one of those actors and hence the reason I chose A Hologram For The King for today’s film. Alan (Hanks) is a failed US salesman that made the ultimate mistake with one company in his past. Things are falling apart for Alan as he is going through a divorce, he has to find a way to pay for college for his daughter, and he has a small lump on his back. In a last ditch effort, he goes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to present a new technology to the king in hopes that it will save him. What he actually finds there is not what he expected when he took the chance. The film also stars Alexander Black (Tim) as Yousef, Sarita Choudhury (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1) as Zahra, Sidse Babett Knudsen (The Duke Of Burgundy) as Hanne, Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said) as Kit, Tom Skerritt (Top Gun) as Ron, David Menkin (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Brad, Christy Meyer (Snowden) as Cayley, Megan Maczko (The In-Between) as Rachel, Khalid Laith (The Devil’s Double) as Hassan, Amira El Sayed (Schleierhaft) as Hana, and the film was directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).
Before I get into the review of the film, the one thing that I want to get out of the way is that I loved the cinematography. Yes, there is a lot of amazing shots of the desert and what not, but one of my favorite scenes comes towards the end of the film. There is a scene where Tom Hanks is underwater and it just looks absolutely amazing. According to Rotten Tomatoes the critic consensus is, “A Hologram for the King amiably ambles through a narrative desert, saved by an oasis of a performance from the ever-dependable Tom Hanks.” I would have to agree with the critics because it is a rather enjoyable ride through a culture shock. You see Tom Hank’s character grow from someone who doesn’t know the customs of the culture to eventually someone who understands the way their world works. He has to travel around the red tape and navigate his way through their world, but he gets the job done. One of the relationships I loved seeing in the film was the bond of friendship that developed between Alan and his driver Yousef. It starts off a little shaky because Alan just treats him like a crazy driver, but the relationship that soon develops is great and full of comedic gold. One of my other favorite aspects from the film is the soundtrack believe it or not. It features music from The Talking Heads, Chicago, Electric Light Orchestra, and more courtesy of Yousef for the most part (minus The Talking Heads track, that seems to be the overall theme of the film). I really enjoyed watching the film and I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Mr. Hanks. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
In my experience watching films, I feel like I have seen just about everything especially in the found footage genre. Well for this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, we have a film shot in a video game style first person shooter view called Hardcore Henry. Henry (Ilya Naishuller) has just awoken on a table and told that he had been severely damaged and that he is a cyborg now by his wife Estelle (Haley Bennett). But when the evil Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) comes looking for Henry, he’ll kidnap Estelle and put Henry through the ultimate test, but Henry has a limited amount of time to not only upgrade himself, but to save Estelle as well. The film also stars Sharlto Copley (The Snow Queen 2) as Jimmy, Andrei Dementiev (Biting Elbows: Bad Motherf**ker) as Slick Dimitry, Svetlana Ustinova (Heaven On Earth) as Olga the Dominatrix, Darya Charusha (Muzhskaya zhenskaya igra) as Katya the Dominatrix, Oleg Poddubnyy (Biting Elbows: Bad Motherf**ker) as Yury, Tim Roth (Planet Of The Apes) as Henry’s Father, Will Stewart (Red Shoe Diaries 18: The Game) as Robbie, Cyrus Arnold (Zoolander 2) as Young Bully 2, Martin Cooke (Begemot i kompot) as Marty, and the film was directed by Ilya Naishuller (Biting Elbows: Bad Motherf**ker). To check out the rest of the review and the stats of the film, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
It’s Tuesday which can only mean one thing and that is that it is time for Based on a Truesday Story. Based on a Truesday Story is a segment I did on my other blog where we watch films that are based on a true story and for today we are doing American Gangster. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is an African American drug lord from Harlem, New York who decides that the best way to take over the competition is to fly directly to the source in Vietnam. He quickly becomes the drug kingpin of New York, but that attracts the wrong kind of attention. Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is an honest cop who gets put on the case to track down Frank Lucas and shut him down completely and anyone else corrupt as well. The film also stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Huey Lucas, Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Trupo, Lymari Nadal (The Blackout) as Eva, Ted Levine (The Silence Of The Lambs) as Lou Toback, Roger Guenveur Smith (He Got Game) as Nate, John Hawkes (Lincoln) as Freddie, RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists) as Moses Jones, Carla Gugino (Watchmen) as Laurie, Idris Elba (Thor) as Tango, Common (Selma) as Turner Lucas, TI (Ant-Man) as Stevie Lucas, Armand Assante (Judge Dredd) as Dominic Cattano, and the film was directed by Ridley Scott (Alien).
What happens when you put Denzel Washington in a leading role of a film? Well, I hope that you are preparing yourself for one hell of a performance because that is exactly what you are getting with this film. The thing I loved about this film is that you sort of get two stories in one where you have one guy who wants to make his teacher and his family proud by being at the top of his game while you have another who feels that honesty is the best policy and it will lead him over the dirty cops. I have to be honest in saying that if I found a million dollars as a cop, I may skim a few off the top of it. It’s kind of the story of the two roads with the one less traveled and you can guess who took which road in this film. There are so many actors that appeared in this film that I couldn’t fit above that deserved honorable mention like Cuba Gooding Jr., Ruby Dee, Jon Polito, John Ortiz, and many more who do a terrific job in the film. Now we all know that Hollywood takes some civil liberties with their films, but this one seems to have a lot according to an article on historyvshollywood.com. One story is that Frank says in the film that he drove for Bumpy for 15 years. Reports indictate that Bumpy was released from prison in 1963 and he died in 1968 leaving only a five year window. Check out more of the facts vs fiction in that article that I provided. The film is excellent with a very good story, amazing cinematography, and it’s the kind of gangster movies we love here in the states. So, what more could you possibly ask for? I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.