There is only one day left until we do Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween so I wanted to check out the newest Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) film. Peter Berg has been doing one film after another that are based on true stories and you can Deepwater Horizon to that list. BP (British Petroleum) has just set up a drilling site in the ocean in the Gulf Coast and it’s time to get it going. Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) doesn’t want to start drilling until all the tests have cleared and have been determined safe. Unfortunately, after a test shows that the rig is safe (even though it’s still questionable), they commence on the drilling and the rig explodes and creates the worst oil spill in US History. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor) as Mike Williams, Douglas M. Griffin (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Landry, Gina Rodriguez (Interstate) as Andrea Fleytas, John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich) as Vidrine, Dave Maldonado (Trumbo) as Kuchta, Ethan Suplee (American History X) as Jason Anderson, Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) as Caleb Holloway, James DuMont (Dallas Buyers Club) as O’Bryan, Joe Chrest (22 Jump Street) as Sims, Brad Leland (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) as Kaluza, and Robert Walker Branchaud (Stranger Things) as Doug Brown.
As far as the film is concerned, it’s everything you would expect from a Peter Berg movie where they explain what is going on and then they get right to the meat and potatoes of the film. The build up to the action is a little slow, but that is because they want to inform you about everything that happened from the negligence of BP in every single detail. Mark Wahlberg is Mark Wahlberg so if you saw Lone Survivor then you know what exactly to expect from him in this film. He just goes from a Seal to an engineer for this film. Now I am not an expert on fire, but there were some confusing moments in the film like from a far away shot, the whole rig looks like it’s on fire, but close up the control room looks like there’s no fire near it. Fires could be deceiving from far away so I am willing to let that one go. I have to give the directors props for this film because they built an oil rig just to film the movie. That is a pretty incredible fun fact for all of you out there. Every time I saw Kurt Russell in this film, I kept thinking of Backdraft, but he was amazing in the film for sure. One thing the film does for sure is they make BP exes look lie absolute idiots in this film. They make them look like fools coming up with any excuse possible as to why they should start drilling instead of investigating. If that is what you seek plus some really good acting then check out the film. I just wanted to add that Kate Hudson still looks amazing in this film. I am going to give Deepwater Horizon an B+ for a final grade.
There is only one day until Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween commences which means there is only 32 days left until Halloween. So, here is a horror film for all of you to enjoy. Back in 1996, The Blair Witch Project was such a phenomena that everybody in the world was ranting and raving about the film except for me. Twenty years later and there is a new film entitled Blair Witch and I decided to go for it for today’s film. James (James Allen McCune) was too young to really remember his sister Heather when she disappeared in the Black Hills Forest of Maryland back in 1996. So, along with some friends and nifty camera equipment, he ventures out in the same woods to prove that the stories were right and that hopefully his sister is still alive. The only problem is that they’ll have to survive the woods or it may just get them. The film also stars Callie Hernandez (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series) as Lisa Arlington, Corbin Reid (How To Get Away With Murder) as Ashley, Brandon Scott (What Would Dylan Do?) as Peter, Wes Robinson (Calvin and Freddie’s Cosmic Encounters) as Lane, Valorie Curry (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) as Talia, and the film was written by Simon Barrett (What Fun We Were Having) while it was directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next).
Now as I said above, I was not a fan of the over hyped original film, but let me tell you that this one blew me away. This has to be the best horror film to be released into the cinemas this year so far and I am being 100% honest. This is the film that the original should have been in my opinion because the writing was great, but the last half hour of the film is just creepy. There are so many suspenseful moments in the film that will keep you satisfied. Some of the suspenseful moments are practical ones and what I mean by that is stuff that would scare the crap out of anyone. For example, crawling through a tunnel and you get stuck or running through the woods with something chasing you ad the flashlights stop working. Those are mixed in with the obviously creepy moments like when you finally see what the Blair Witch looks like. The things I had a problem with is one character who whenever she walks it sounds like bones are breaking or pretzels breaking and all she has is a cut on her foot. The last time I checked cuts do not make bone crunching sounds. Then there are some characters in the film that are just annoying as hell, but other than that I loved it. I also loved the idea of time or the concept of time not being applicable after a while in the film which adds a mystery to it. The film does feature the annoying shaky camera effect, but it also features some cool new cameras like ear piece cameras or the drone camera. Go and see it because it’s worth and with that being said I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
For those of you out there that do not know who Shane Black is, he has written some pretty amazing films like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 (debatable), Lethal Weapon 2, and so much more. That is why I chose to watch his latest film The Nice Guys for today’s movie. It is the late 1970’s in Los Angeles, California and things are not very easy in the big city as they are dealing with issues of smog and a dead female porn star. To top it all off, two private eyes that obviously do no match well together in Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) are assigned to the case together. It is there that the duo run into a whole mess of a situation that they didn’t see coming which includes the DA and hitmen. The film also stars Angourie Rice (Walking With Dinosaurs) as Holly March, Matt Bomer (Magic Mike XXL) as John Boy, Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) as Amelia, Keith David (Men At Work) as Older Guy, Beau Knapp (Southpaw) as Blueface, Murielle Telio (The DUFF) as Misty Mountains, Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential) as Judith Kuttner, Jack Kilmer (The Stanford Prison Experiment) as Chet, Yaya DaCosta (Tron: Legacy) as Tally, and Lois Smith (Falling Down) as Mrs. Glenn.
There wasn’t much to this film that I didn’t like, it was very enjoyable to watch. Ryan Gosling’s stock is moving up in my book as just about every movie he is in I love his performance. He is probably my favorite character in this film because he is the perfect opposite of what Russell Crowe is. Russell Crowe’s character is the bad ass tough one while Ryan Gosling’s is afraid of his own shadow. It’s very funny and I think it’s a very good selling point for the film in general because their chemistry is undeniable. It’s like the perfect buddy movie for those that love them. I loved the aesthetics of the film because it looked and felt like the 70’s as you are watching all of the cool outfits and hairdos not to mention all of the pop culture references. Even all of the nuances were right on target from not being able to say the lords name in vain and so much more. The film definitely kicks off in style with a naked porn star dead on top of a car as she literally drove through someone’s house. So you an definitely imagine where it went from that point. I honestly thought that the film was very funny and definitely one worth seeing if you are a fan of either Crowe or Gosling. It’s available in Redbox and where ever else you watch movies so go and watch it. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I have already used Netflix, HBOGO, Redbox, Showtime Anytime, Encore Play, MAXGO, and so many other services to watch my films for this challenge except for an app. It is most certainly not Sunday, but I couldn’t resist trying my TCM App on my phone to watch a film for this week. The film I chose for today is the crime/drama, Film Noir classic The Postman Always Rings Twice. For Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway) it seems like he has it all from a burger/restaurant/gas station and the perfect beautiful wife named Cora (Lana Turner). It’s perfect until a drifter by the name of Frank Chambers (John Garfield) shows up on his restaurant doorstep looking for a job. Frank is a very hard worker and that pleases Nick, but then Frank and Cora will begin a tumultuous relationship with each other. It gets so serious between the two that they will soon begin to plot his murder so that they can start over in love with each other. The question is though, can they see it through and will they get away with it. The film also stars Hume Cronyn (The Pelican Brief) as Arthur Keats, Leon Ames (Tora! Tora! Tora!) as Kyle Sackett, Audrey Totter (Lady in the Lake) as Madge Gorland, and the film was directed by Tay Garnett (Bataan).
Throughout the film, Frank is the one narrating the story so you automatically know he had to survive this ordeal, but how? That you will have to find out for yourself, but as far as Film Noirs are concerned, this was a very good one. It runs a little too long for my liking and at one point I thought they could have ended the film, but it’s justified after you see it if you know what I mean. The acting in the film was the strong part of the film as each of the main three delivered spectacular performances that had me intrigued to continue. The only thing is that the writing needed a bit of a touch up as Lana Turner’s character flip flops on you many times during the critical hours, but its not too big of a deal (you end up understanding why). I am also not complaining about Lana Turner because as I said, the acting was amazing. This film was considered her best work of her whole career. In fact, the film’s success opened up the doors for the genre as MGM head Louis B Mayer hated the genre. The film also set a fashion trend in post-World War II America as Lana’s swim gear became a hit among women. The film is legendary even all the way to today (check out Kill Bill 2 and what David Carradine’s character says). If you get a chance to see this movie, I definitely would. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
In about four days from now, every movie that I watch and review for the blog is going to be a horror film for a month. So, I figured I would try to get in some movies that I have always wanted to see and Crash is definitely one of them. The film follows Jean Cabot (Sandra Bullock) and her DA husband (Brendan Fraser), Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his partner Officer Hansen (Ryan Phillippe), a Latino lock smith (Michael Peña), a Persian store owner (Shaun Toub), a car thief (Ludacris), a black detective (Don Cheadle), and a African American couple (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) as they navigate and collide in Los Angeles in a stories of race, tragedy, and redemption. The film also stars Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss) as Fred, Keith David (Men At Work) as Lt. Dixon, Jennifer Esposito (Summer Of Sam) as Ria, William Fichtner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Flanagan, Karina Arroyave (Lean On Me) as Elizabeth, Loretta Devine (Death At A Funeral) as Shaniqua Johnson, Larenz Tate (Dead Presidents) as Peter Waters, Bahar Soomekh (Mission: Impossible III) as Dorri, Jack McGee (Moneyball) as Gun Store Owner, Bruce Kirby (Stand By Me) as Pop Ryan, and the film was directed by Paul Haggis (Casino Royale).
I wanted to start this paragraph by telling how uncomfortable this film was and is going to be to review. There is so much racism and hatred in this film that it’s absolutely insane, but I suppose that maybe this is how some people felt back in 2004 and even into today. I honestly thought before watching the film that it was going to be about the program entitled CRASH in Los Angeles, but boy was I surprised right off the bat. They explore racism in every sense of the way that you can imagine from stereotyping all Middle Easterners and Latin Americans. The film also explore racism as far as how a situation is perceived by a different individual and how some humans are just stuck in their ways. Crash is an excellent film, but it’s one of those films that just when it looks like things are about to get dim, it’s lightens right up, but then falls back down. It truly is a roller coaster ride of a film. Sandra Bullock does an amazing job playing a racist bitch in the film because she is very convincing. Just about every single person in the film does an excellent job like Ludacris being a disillusioned individual or Don Cheadle who is forced to make hard decisions that will benefit others whether it’s right or wrong. Jennifer Esposito has a scene in the film where she just looks so sexy, I was jealous of Don Cheadle at that moment. The film is available on Netflix and I think it’s one you should check out, but be prepared. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
There are only 13 Sundays left in the whole entire year which can only mean one thing and that it’s Sunday At The Classics. James Cagney (The Public Enemies) is one of those actors from the classic period of Hollywood that I have always wanted to watch a film from so I chose to watch the classic crime/heist drama White Heat for today. Cody Jarrett (Cagney) is one of the most notorious criminals in California that just pulled off a train heist. The only problem is that there is way too much heat on the gang from the G-men. So he decides to take the rap from another crime to see if it’ll the heat will blow over, but the G-men are not fooled at all. They send in an undercover agent by the name of Vic Pardo (Edmond O’Brien) to get close to him to figure out exactly what it is he is up to so that they can bust him for good. The film also stars Virginia Mayo (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) as Verna Jarrett, Margaret Wycherly (Sergeant York) as Ma Jarrett, Steve Cochran (The Deadly Companions) as Big Ed, John Archer (Blue Hawaii) as Phillip Evans, Wally Cassell (Sands Of Iwo Jima) as Cotton, and the film was directed by Raoul Walsh (The Thief Of Bagdad).
This film is truly one of the most iconic films of it’s time and is probably the basis for most of the heist films we would get. It’s that classic story of a guy who robs banks for a living who plans what he thinks will be the perfect heist, but it doesn’t go as planned. The writing for the film was perfect because it had the right amount of drama, but the acting helped out as well. Jame Cagney was absolutely brilliant in the film as the maniacal tough guy with a sensitive spot for his mama. He does an amazing job of showing the mental breakdown of this character from being strong and tough in the beginning of the film to absolutely going bat sh** crazy at the end of the film. Kudos also go to Edmond O’Brien for playing the guy who toes the line with everything, but is convincing enough to earn the trust needed. I had a lot of fun watching the film and all of it’s brilliance. The film is a little long, but it’s not long as in God why is this so long. If you are a fan of classic Hollywood and Film Noir, or Crime Drama Heist films, then you should check this one out for sure. This is what acting was all about and why classic Hollywood ruled. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
For today’s film, I had to choose something quick to watch due to time constraints and I have always admired the work of Jennifer Lopez (Selena). I never got the chance to see The Boy Next Door in theaters, but I am watching it for today’s film. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire Peterson, a woman dealing with whether she should stay with her cheating husband or move on. One day her son Kevin (Ian Nelson) befriends the mysterious boy next door Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). In one vulnerable moment one night, she sleeps with Noah and it turns out to be a very big mistake. Noah has a bit of an obsession problem and after Claire tries to tell him that it can never happen again, Noah goes nuts and the game begins. The film also stars John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Garrett Peterson, Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther) as Vicky Lansing, Lexi Atkins (Zombeavers) as Alice Callahan, Hill Harper (He Got Game) as Principal Warren, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Bob Sandborn, Adam Hicks (How To Eat Fried Worms) as Jason Zimmer, François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Detective Chou, and the film was directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).
What can I truly say about the film other than that if you’ve seen one film about an obsessed individual than you kind of seen them all. The question in screenwriting is always what does your story bring to the table that is different than any other one. We’ve seen these types of films before like Fatal Attraction, Fear, The Gift, Devil In The Flesh, and even The Crush just to name a few. I think the thing about this film that is different than the others is that it explores that taboo teacher/student relationship because she is a teacher and he is technically a student at the school. Ryan Guzman does deserve some credit in this film because he does an amazing job playing the obsessed individual. He captures the essence of a kid who is strong and sexually desirable by women while also being vindictive and destructive when he doesn’t get what he wants. Jennifer Lopez well is Jennifer Lopez, she’s sexy as hell and why wouldn’t you be obsessed with that after you’ve had a taste. This film isn’t anything groundbreaking and it’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s worth a watch. The cinematography is actually pretty decent and is probably what is most attractive about the film. The film is available to watch on HBO and HBOGO as we speak so check it out if you dare. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
Ever since I watched the original film Seven Samurai and it’s remake 1960’s The Magnificent Seven, I became really excited to see the remake of the remake in Antoine Fuqua’s (The Equalizer) version of The Magnificent Seven which hit theaters today and is also our film for today. In a small mining town of Rosewood, the residents there are being terrorized by a land thief by the name of Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). He is relentless in stealing all of their land and he is killing the men of the town. Until one day when a couple of the townspeople in Emma (Haley Bennett) and Teddy Q (Luke Grimes) travel to look for some help. They find a bounty hunter by the name of Chisolm (Denzel Washington) who will hire six other guns to try and protect the town from Bogue before he kills them all. The rest of The Magnificent Seven are Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) as Josh Faraday, Ethan Hawke (Gattaca) as Goodnight Robicheaux, Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) as Billy Rocks, Vincent D’Onofrio (Men In Black) as Jack Horne, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Cake) as Vasquez, and Martin Sensmeier (The Hub) as Red Harvest. The film also stars Cam Gigandet (Easy A) as McCann, Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Matthew Cullen, and Dane Rhodes (Deja Vu) as Sheriff Harp.
Out of the two remakes, I still think I am a fan of the original over this one because the 60’s one had a magic to it. However that is not a statement from me saying that this film was not any good because it is quite the opposite. It has been a really long time since I had seen a new western come out that I loved. The last one I liked was the 3:10 To Yuma remake that starred Christian Bale. What made that one so good in my opinion was the caliber of the cast that was in that film. That also bodes true for this film which featured a marvelous cast that had me enjoying every minute of the film. Denzel is Denzel so you don’t need to question his performance in the film cause it was grade A. Chris Pratt continues to amaze me with his performances, but I have to give props to the rest of the seven because they were the guys that had to perform along the two colossal names in the film. They are just like the original Magnificent Seven which each guy is his own personality and you wouldn’t think they would band together because they are so unique. I definitely like that they changed it up a bit with the characters adding a Native American to the team, I thought it was cool. I loved the interactions between the characters which meant that the writing was good, but what I loved most about the film was the final showdown. That was definitely the money shot of the film because it was epic and the way it ended was justified (you’ll see what I mean). I thought that it was an excellent film despite what critics might say, but it helps if you love westerns as well. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
After today, there are only 100 days left to the year which means I have a 100 movies left to watch (I know the blog is titled 365, but my mistake cause there’s 366). Believe it or not, there are a lot of James Bond films that I still have to see and so for today I chose to watch Casino Royale which is the first Daniel Craig (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) film in the series. James has just gotten his 00 status and he gets sent into the field for the first time. His immediate result is not a desirable one, but he looks to make it up with a poker game. You see James follows a weapons dealer named La Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) to a poker game in Luxembourg where James will have to outsmart him to stop him. The film also stars Eva Green (300: Rise Of An Empire) as Vesper Lynd, Judi Dench (Skyfall) as M, Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) as Felix Leiter, Giancarlo Giannini (Man On Fire) as Mathis, Caterina Murino (The Story Of My Life) as Solange, Simon Abkarian (Zero Dark Thirty) as Alex Dimitrios, Isaach De Bankolé (The Skeleton Key) as Steven Obanno, Jesper Christensen (Spectre) as Mr. White, Ivana Milicevic (Banshee) as Valenka, and the film was directed by Martin Campbell (Goldeneye).
On the scale of all of the Bond films that I have seen, I actually enjoyed watching this one because it was fun to watch. The series took a dark turn with Skyfall and it continued through Spectre (I still have Quantum Of Solace to watch). This was as fun of a movie to watch as Goldeneye was and it was one heck of an improvement from it’s predecessor Die Another Day. This is definitely a side of James Bond that we had never seen because it was a young version of him who is adjusting to being in the field. We figure out through this film why he has a hard time keeping the ladies (he has no problem getting them). I really liked Mads Mikkelsen as a bond villain, but he’s certainly not my favorite. He’s everything a Bond villain would be and I love his choice of torture (I don’t really love it, it’s just extremely painful to watch). I am in love with Eva Green so I think it’s safe to say that I loved her as a Bond girl. She was the perfect counterpart to James Bond as she matched wits with him on plenty of occasions. The great thing about these films besides the action and special effects is the locations that they travel to. They filmed in the Bahamas, Italy, Czech Republic, and England. Do yourself a favor and give Casino Royale a shot because the film showcases why I love Daniel Craig as James Bond and why I wouldn’t be upset if he returned to the role once again. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because Skyfall and Goldeneye are better than this one.
One of my favorite childhood memories was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles whether it was the original cartoon series or the original films. With the series back in action, I decided to take the chance and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. In the second film of the reboot series, the turtles Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) are still living in the shadows because they feel society is not ready for them. With the threat of Shredder (Brian Tee) out on the loose and a giant Rhino and Warthog causing havoc, the duo are forced to come out and try to save New York City from a threat they never thought imaginable from another dimension. The film also stars WWE Superstar Sheamus as Rocksteady, Gary Anthony Williams (The Internship) as Bebop, Megan Fox (Jennifer’s Body) as April O’Neill, Will Arnett (The Lego Movie) as Vernon Fenwick, Stephen Amell (Arrow) as Casey Jones, Tyler Perry (Diary Of A Mad Black Woman) as Baxter Stockman, Tony Shalhoub (Monk) as Splinter, Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Krang, Laura Linney (Mystic River) as Chief Vincent, Brittany Ishibashi (Everything Before Us) as Karai, Jane Wu (Captain America: Civil War) as Jade, and the film was directed by Dave Green (Earth To Echo).
I have to admit that I liked this film better than the first one because they kind of got it right with this one. I was super pumped to see Bebop and Rocksteady in the film and they were awesome. They were everything you would expect from them and major props to Sheamus for a job well done in this one. I was also very happy to see Krang and how they made him look in the film. It was a cool nod to the cartoon version of Krang especially with his robotic body. One thing that was a major improvement from the first film to this one was Shredder as he went from Super Shredder in the first film to a bad ass looking Shredder in this one. Although I do have to say that I could of used a little more Shredder than we were given, but that’s OK because we had Bebop and Rocksteady. The movie had plenty of action that keeps you glued to your seat and plenty of comedy especially from my favorite turtle Michelangelo. One of my favorite moments in the film is when the duo is in Brazil and Raphael hits the water and he sees a regular turtle on the shore. I just thought it was a funny moment between the two. I also love the battle scene between Casey Jones and Bebop and Rocksteady. It was a game of wits between the three and we can all imagine who came out on top. This was a step in the right direction for the series and I can only hope that maybe we’ll get one more, but I am not sure. It definitely made more money than what it cost to make so here’s to hoping for a third film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.