Day 264: Colors (1988)

colors3I have said this many times and I say it because it’s absolutely true. There are some instances where a film sneaks right by you and somehow later on you wonder why you’ve never seen it. That was definitely the case for today’s film which is the Los Angeles gang violence film Colors. Robert Duvall (Days Of Thunder) plays CRASH officer Bob Hodges, a man with one year left until he gets his pension from the LAPD. Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) plays hot shot CRASH rookie Danny McGavin who gets paired with Hodges after a gang member is murdered in a drive by. The two are on the streets as they try to investigate the murder while trying to keep gang violence between the Bloods and Crips to a low. The film also stars Maria Conchita Alonso (The Lords Of Salem) as Louisa Gomez, Randy Brooks (Reservoir Dogs) as Ron Delaney, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Rocket, Damon Wayans (Major Payne) as T-Bone, Trinidad Silva (UHF) as Frog, Glenn Plummer (South Central) as High Top, Grand L. Bush (Lethal Weapon) as Larry, Gerardo Mejía (Can’t Buy Me Love) as Bird, Courtney Gains (Children Of The Corn) as Whitey, and the film was directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider).

giphyI know that the film is not really a coming of age movie, but I think that it’s a point that could be legitimately argued. Think about it for a second, what is the definition of coming of age? According to Google, “a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood (“coming of age”). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past.” While the film isn’t set in the past, you do see Sean Penn go in a s this hot shot rookie on the CRASH force who just wants to bust heads and kick ass. Then when the going gets a little tough and something happens to his partner, he begins to realize what he was doing wrong and he changes for the better. In my opinion, that could be a coming-of-age story. This was one of those films that was trying to show you just how bad things were in Los Angeles as we would eventually see Boyz N the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, and so many more films that focused on the issues. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn were both equally amazing in the film as they were almost the perfect pair. The cinematography in this film was superb in my opinion as they captured some amazing shots of East LA and Los Angeles. I had to get used to the fact that Damon Wayans was in this movie, but the role was perfect for him as he played T-Bone who is basically a junkie. This is definitely a film that must have opened people’s eyes to what was going on in the world and the problem that is gang violence. I definitely recommend this one and that is why I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 263: The Finest Hours (2016)

finesthoursbar640You all definitely know by now that I love to watch films that are based on true stories especially when they have to do with where I am from. In 1952, the greatest rescue mission in Coast Guard history happened and it’s the subject for today’s film The Finest Hours. While at sea, an oil tanker called the USS Pendelton that wasn’t properly fixed splits in half leaving it’s crew to literally fight for their lives as they wait for rescue. Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) is a coast guard first mate who is looking to forget the events of the previous year. As he is about to get married to his fiance (Holliday Grainger), he is called out to sea along with Richard Livesey (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) to rescue the ships crew members in an impossible mission. The film also stars Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) as Ray Sybert, Eric Bana (Hulk) as Daniel Cluff, John Ortiz (The Drop) as Wallace Quirey, Graham McTavish (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) as Frank Fauteux, Michael Raymond-James (Jack Reacher) as D.A. Brown, Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as Tchuda Southerland, Beau Knapp (The Nice Guys) as Mel Gouthro, and the film was directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl).

the-finest-hoursThis was truly an incredible film and an incredible story of testing the human limits and believing in yourself. The cinematography for the film was absolutely amazing even though at times you could tell that most of it was filmed on a soundstage. The one thing that I found funny about the film is that every spoke in a John Fitzgerald Kennedy Boston accent. Like the accents are as thick as you could possibly go as far as the time period is concerned, but maybe everyone spoke like that back then. Now as always, I try to look up what was fact and/or fiction about films that are said to be based on a true story. What was fact was that the USS Pendelton did have a crack in it and that even though it wasn’t properly fixed, it still somehow passed inspection. One of the big things that was fiction about the film is that Miriam was actually home sick with the flu the whole time this was going on. To read more about what was fact or fiction, click here. The caliber of actors that are in this film is absolutely incredible as well with guys like Ben Foster, Casey Affleck, Chris Pine, and so many more made this film great with their incredible acting. This truly is ana incredible film and story as I said above and one that if you love true stories, rescue type films, and history then you should see this. The film is available on Netflix as we speak and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 262: Seven Samurai (1954)

seven-samurai-2It’s Sunday and there’s only 14 left in the year so that could only mean one thing and that it’s Sunday At The Classics. On September 23, the remake of The Magnificent Seven is going to be released into theaters, but what people do not realize is that the original film was a remake itself. So for today’s film, I am featuring the film that started it all in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. A village in Japan is constantly under attack from a gang of more than thirty bandits. The village is scared and they no longer know what to do until the granddad (Kokuten Kōdō) suggests that they grab some samurai to protect the village. After seeing a Ronin named Kambei (Takashi Shimura) rescue a child, they ask him to save the village and he agrees as he hires six other samurai to help him against the bandits. The film stars Toshirô Mifune (Rashomon) as Kikuchiyo, Daisuke Katō (Yojimbo) as Shichirōji, Isao Kimura (High And Low) as Katsushirō Okamoto, Minoru Chiaki (The Hidden Fortress) as Heihachi Hayashida, Seiji Miyaguchi (Ikiru) as Kyūzō, Yoshio Inaba (Throne Of Blood) as Gorōbei Katayama, Yoshio Kosugi (King Kong Vs Godzilla) as Farmer Mosuke, and Kamatari Fujiwara (Kagemusha) as Farmer Manzo. 

seven-samuraiThis is probably the longest movie that I have viewed for the whole entire challenge so far clocking in at three hours and 27 minutes long. I do have to say however that it was well worth it because this was one piece f cinematic history right here. Akira Kurosawa was a master of his craft whether it was writing or directing because there are still films being made today that borrow from him. He was also the inventor of the Rashomon Effect (click the link to read about it) which is something still used today. You can see where all of the elements of The Magnificent Seven were taken from just by watching this film. The one thing I have to say is that Toshirô Mifune was electrifying in this film. You looked forward to seeing him on camera with his charismatic performance. I would definitely name him the MVP of the film because he definitely stole the show the first minute he was on screen. The rest of the seven were also very good actors including the old veteran Ronin Takashi Shimura who was very confident in his role and was the basis for Yul Brynner’s role. The cinematography was absolutely amazing and the editing was great as well. So you can see why this film is such a classic and why it’s is praised. My favorite scenes in the film besides the scenes with Mifune were the battle scenes. The battle scenes were literally the last part of the film and so well done. You have to understand that it was 1954 so the sword playing may not be perfect, but you get it. I definitely recommend this film to any cinephile out there that has not yet seen this yet. Do yourself the favor and watch it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 261: Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

maxresdefault-1There was a time in the world when I looked forward to seeing a film that starred Renée Zellweger, but that was a long time ago. It has been six years since we had seen anything with Renée and she returns with today’s film Bridget Jones’s Baby which is the third film in the series. In this film, Bridget (Zellweger) is all alone on her 43RD birthday because one of her former loves is dead and the other (Colin Firth) is marrried. After the advice of a friend, she goes away to a music festival where she has a one night stand with a internet dating sight mogul (Patrick Dempsey). Once she is home from that, she ends up having an affair with one of her former loves (Firth). The next thing you know she is pregnant and she doesn’t know who the father is. Will she find out and what does she tell the both of them? The film also stars Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’s Diary) as Mum, Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas) as Dad, Sarah Solemani (Hector) as Miranda, Sally Phillips (Mean Machine) as Shazzer, Julian Rhind-Tutt (Rush) as Fergus, Joanna Scanlan (Stardust) as Cathy, Kate O’Flynn (The Palace) as Alice, Emma Thompson (Love Actually) as Dr. Rawlings, and the film was directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary).

160628142149-bridget-jones-baby-large-169I thought I had promised myself that I was never going to see a film that was a sequel without seeing the films before it. Apparently that doesn’t matter with the people you care about, but it definitely would have helped so that I could understand the dynamics. I couldn’t help, but notice how bad I thought Renée Zellweger looked in the film because she used to be super cute until she had the work done. One of the reasons I became attracted to wanting to see this film was simply for the fact that Patrick Dempsey who was one of my favorite actors from the 80’s was starring in the film. I am being totally honest in making that statement because it’s absolutely true. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have cared about that. The film had some really funny moments to it that even had me laughing despite the fact that this is a total chick flick. Patrick Dempsey was well Patrick Dempsey in where he was charming on screen while Colin Firth’s character was robotic, but that is actually how his character is apparently. Seeing Renée in this film reminded me of exactly what it was we loved from her, but I have noticed that she always looks ready to cry. If you are a fan of the previous films, then I suggest that you check it out. If you are not a fan of chick flicks then do not check this out. I kind of enjoyed it, but the film didn’t really end the way I wanted it to. Nonetheless, I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

Day 260: Snowden (2016)

background-twitterOne of the most controversial filmmakers in Hollywood has always been Oliver Stone who has tackled topics like the assassination of John Kennedy (JFK), 911 (World Trade Center), and insider trading (Wall Street) to name a few. Now he returns with a new film about one of the most controversial figures today in the film Snowden. Snowden tells the tale of former CIA and NSA operative Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man who exposed the United States Government for spying on it’s own people without warrants as he distributed the proof to the press. The film follows Snowden from how he got his start in the intelligence field to the struggles he dealt with when he got too deep into what was happening. The film also stars Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars) as Lindsey Mills, Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) as Glenn Greenwald, Melissa Leo (Red State) as Laura Poitras, Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Corbin O’Brian, Robert Firth (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Dr. Stillwell, Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) as Ewen MacAskill, Timothy Olyphant (Rock Star) as CIA Agent Geneva, Scott Eastwood (Fury) as Trevor James, Keith Lakeith (Straight Outta Compton) as Patrick Haynes, Ben Chaplin (Thin Red Line) as Robert Tibbo, Bhasker Patel (Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom) as Marwan Al-Kirmani, and Nicolas Cage (Drive Angry) as Hank Forrester.

screen_shot_2016-04-27_at_12-19-14_pm-0I have to be honest in saying that I wasn’t really aware of what it was that Edward Snowden was being accused of, but what ever it was he was being called either a traitor or hero. The one thing that I can say about him after watching this film is that he should be considered a hero. The United States government shouldn’t be allowed to pry in your life unless they have a warrant. According to the film, they were bypassing all of it by claiming that there were secret warrants so that they wouldn’t tip off the “Threats”. Now as far as the films is concerned I thought the film was alright in my opinion. It just runs a little too slow for my liking at times and there is a lot of computer jargon that the average person will not understand in it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a terrific job in the film as Edward Snowden and he even changes his voice to sound more like him. Shailene Woodley actually does a great job too and she even shows off some of her assets in the film which was a change for her. She does a great job being the perfect balance between the nerdiness and what is real in life. Now the beginning of the film claims that this is a dramatization so how much of it is true, I am not completely sure. I am actually interested to see what is fact and/or fiction. There are some thrills and suspense in the film as you wonder if he’s going to get caught, but we all know how the story ends. The film even features a cameo from the real Edward Snowden so look for that if you choose to see this. I am going to give the film an A- and I am doing this because I thought it was a good film (which is the same as alright), but I am just not into the computer jargon.

Day 259: Southbound (2015)

southbound-fbThere are 46 days until Halloween which means there is only 15 days left until we embark on another year of Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween. So with that being said, I was in the mood for a horror movie and I stumbled upon this horror anthology entitled Southbound at my local Redbox. The film features five tales that follow travelers who will be haunted by their deepest and darkest secrets while they are being terrorized while traveling on a desolate desert highway. Int he film, you get two guys running away from some floating demons, a girl whose bandmates have been brainwashed by an evil cult, a man who is desperately trying to help a girl he’s hit, a man trying to save his sister that he hasn’t seen in years, and a girl who wants to spend her last weekend together with her folks before college, but realizes her dad has a dark secret. The film stars Chad Villella (Prison Break) as Mitch, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (V/H/S) as Jack, Fabianne Therese (Starry Eyes) as Sadie, Nathalie Love (Somewhere) as Kim, Mather Zickel (The Ten) as Lucas, Tipper Newton (LOL) as Jesse, Hassie Harrison (Dementia) as Jem, Dana Gould (The Simpsons) as Raymond Kensington, Kate Beahan (The Wicker Man) as Cait, and the film was directed by Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, and Radio Silence.

Image result for southbound movieI was very surprised to see that most of the V/H/S crew (one of my favorite found footage horror flicks) worked on this movie because it doesn’t seem as smooth of film as that one was. A lot of the stories when you are watching them, do not make a lot of sense at first while others are easier to follow. The only thing that really connects all of the stories is the fact that one character from the story will cross paths with a character from the next story until you get right to the end and it all ends up connecting. One of my favorite stories from the film was the one that made the least sense to the others when you see our character from story two in story three. A man has hit her with his car and he is trying to save her at a hospital that has clearly been abandoned. He is trying to do this all with dispatch on the phone with him. The visuals you get with that story make me cringe more than the others. The film wasn’t a bad film, it had some stories that were enjoyable to watch, but it wasn’t scary in my opinion. It’s definitely a film that is trying to be different in a genre that has seen it all done before and I commend them for that. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade because some of the CGI was cool and the special effects and make up were on point.

Day 258: The Imitation Game (2014)

imitation_game_ver4_xxlgThe past couple of days have all been about watching films that I have wanted to see either from my interest or from suggestions from other people. The film I chose for today is also based on a true story and it’s called The Imitation Game. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) as the very eccentric and smart mathematician Alan Turing. During World War II, the Germans were sending very hard to break coded messages that was called The Enigma.The British Government was desperate to try and figure out what the messages are so they hired Alan and other mathematicians to try and break the codes by building a machien that can do so. That is not his only issue as the biggest secret he is trying to keep may become exposed and it could ruin everything he has worked for.  The film also stars Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice) as Joan Clarke, Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Hugh Alexander, Rory Kinnear (Skyfall) as Det. Nock, Allen Leech (Grand Piano) as John Cairncross, Matthew Beard (Chatroom) as Peter Hilton, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Commander Denniston, Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) as Stewart Menzies, James Northcote (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I) as Jack Good, and the film was directed by Morten Tyldum (Buddy). 

imitation-gameThe movie is listed on IMDB as a thriller and I kind of don’t see that as much as I see drama and biography. I honestly believe that you have to be a fan of either World War II related stuff or a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch (which I am of both) in order to like this movie. Anyways, I didn’t really see too many thrills in the film unless you count them trying to decode messages as thrilling. The one thing you’ll find about this film is that people can be cruel and misunderstanding of those that are different. Alan had to live with a dark secret and was eventually punished in England for it. Now I wanted to look up what was fact or fiction about this film and there seems to be a lot of civil liberties that were taken by the writers of this film. For one, he is not the man who invented the computer like the film suggests, but rather it was invented by Polish men. He was also openly gay according to the site whereas the film has him very secretive about it. To read more fact vs fiction about the film, please click here. Benedict Cumberbatch was masterful as always in the film and so was Keira Knightley which is something I haven’t said too often. I am a huge fan of World War II films, but this one wasn’t exactly my favorite. I did enjoy it, but it does drag a little but for my liking.This is definitely a film for actors because you have to love the ones that are in it. That is why I am going to give the film an A-/B+somewhere in there for a final grade.

Day 257: The Danish Girl (2015)

the-danish-girl-3In the past five years or even more, the issue of transgenderism has been one of the hottest topics in the United States of America. It’s an issue that has seen celebrities like Chaz Bono and more come out in support for the issue. In the 1920’s when this kind of topic was extremely taboo, one man stepped forward because he truly believed that he was a woman and that was the basis for the film The Danish Girl. The Danish Girl tells the story of Lili Elbe/Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), the first person to ever go through the sex change operation in Dresden, Germany. The movie tells the struggles that Einar went through along with his artist wife Gerder (Alicia Vikander) to become the woman known as Lili. The film also stars Amber Heard (Never Back Down) as Ulla, Emerald Fennell (Anna Karenina) as Elsa, Adrian Schiller (Son Of God) as Rasmussen, Ben Whishaw (In The Heart Of The Sea) as Henrik, Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From The Madding Crowd) as Hans Axgil, Henry Pettigrew (Next Of Kin) as Niels, Pip Torrens (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Dr. Hexler, Sebastian Koch (A Good Day To Die Hard) as Warnekros, and the film was directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech).

65This truly was an amazing story and it’s all based off of her diaries that she kept while she was going though the sex change. The romance part of the film I believe was fictitious, but most of the film was true. Based off of the site History Vs Hollywood a lot of things in the film were true like having Einar put on the stockings indeed did drive his desire to change. Almost everything in this film was true from what I can read there and if you want to read more about it like how he went through four or five different operation just click on it. Eddie Redmayne put on one heck of a performance in the film so it comes as no surprise that he was nominated for an Oscar. Alicia Vikander who also did one heck of an amazing job in the film won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and she deserved it. Both of them unleashed the pain, confusion, and hurt that both must have been feeling at the time and it shows. Alicia Vikander is not only sexy and beautiful, but she is becoming one actress to watch because I loved her in this and in Ex Machina. Everything about the film was masterful from the gray tones in the film to the final brightness of Lili being free. The cinematography was absolutely amazing and the writing was phenomenal. There really wasn’t too much I hated about the film and I certainly didn’t mind having Amber Heard in the film. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade. Check it out on HBOGO right now.

Day 256: Eye For An Eye (1996)

eye-for-an-eyeThere was really no science to how I picked the film for today other than the fact that Encore was playing it and it featured Sally Field (Forrest Gump) and Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys). The name of the film that I chose for today is the crime drama Eye For An Eye. For Karen McCann (Field) everything in life is as normal as can be with a loving and devoted husband (Ed Harris) and some great kids. Her life is torn upside down when repeat felon Robert Doob (Sutherland) rapes and murders her daughter Julie (Olivia Burnette) and he gets away with scot-free by a technicality. To cope with the pain and the fact that he is a free man, she will will resort to taking self defense lessons and gun training to get some vengeance, but can she go through with it. The film also stars Alexandra Kyle (A Time To Kill) as Megan McCann, Joe Mantegna (Baby’s Day Out) as Det. Sgt. Denillo, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Vacation) as Dolly Green, Charlayne Woodard (The Crucible) as Angel Kosinsky, Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty) as Sidney Hughes, Keith David (Men At Work) as Martin, Wanda Acuna (Encino Man) as Hispanic Housewife, and the film was directed by John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy).

kieferThe MVP of the film, without a shadow of a doubt, was the performance from Kiefer Sutherland who made a career of playing different types of roles. He was so amazing in this film that he had me really believe that he was some twisted whack job that gets off on raping and killing his victims. The only thing that kind of bothered me is that his character seemed real out of place like he belonged more in the south then where ever the heck they were from. Sally Field also does a tremendous job of playing the mother with so much guilt that it plagues her very existence. The film has some very weird moments in it that are just creepy like Kiefer’s character talking to the youngest daughter at her school or when he spies on his victims. I can’t believe that the film is already twenty years old as it came out in January of 1996. The film I believe was advertised as a vigilante film, but it’s really not that. It’s more of a thriller where you left wondering if he’ll catch her, etc. I think that is why the film had such negative reviews back in the day and why it holds an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the film a lot just because of the two performances and such as I described above. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

Day 255: Touch Of Evil (1958)

touch-of-evilIt has been 22 days since the last time we did a Sunday at the classics film and there is only 15 Sundays left in the whole month (Not including today). There is one man whose name is synonymous with classic Hollywood cinema and that is director Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) and he returns to star and direct the film noir classic Touch Of Evil. A wealthy man is killed in an explosion in a border town between Mexico and the US. It sets off an investigation that brings in one Mexican Narcotics investigator named Vargas (Charlton Heston) and a veteran cop named Quinlan (Welles) whose willing to do whatever it takes to take down anyone. The two will soon embark on a battle between each other as Vargas is trying to nail Quinlan for being a dirty cop while Quinlan is trying to ruin Vargas reputation. The film also stars Janet Leigh (Psycho) as Susan Vargas, Joseph Calleia (The Treasure Of Pancho Villa) as Police SGT. Menzies, Akim Tamiroff (For Whom The Bell Tolls) as Uncle Joe, Marlene Dietrich (Judgement At Nuremberg) as Tana, Zsa Zsa Gabor (Moulin Rouge) as Strip Club Owner, Ray Collins (Perry Mason) as DA Adair, Valentin de Vargas (To Live In And Die In LA) as Pancho, and Joi Lansing (The Brave One) as Zita. 

touchThis was definitely an amazing movie to watch and I had a lot of fun checking this one out. I had one minor issue with the film, but it’s one of those I get why they did it kind of thing. My only issue with the film is that I had a hard time believing Charlton Heston as a Mexican because not even black and white makes me believe it. He looks like an American with a mustache and a tan. I get why they did it because Hollywood at the time would have never placed a real Mexican as the star of the film. You have to remember that at this time, white men were still playing Native Americans in films. What I did love about this film is the last half and hour of it. The last half hour was one of the most intense half hours of the whole movie with all the scandalous behavior. I didn’t know how I felt about Orson Welles before the film, but he was absolutely amazing in this film as the crooked Quinlan. There are always going to be flaws in every film, but this is definitely one of my favorites so far this month. The writing is great, the cinematography was great, and the acting was great too. A young and beautiful pre-Psycho Janet Leigh is in the film and she looks great. The film takes a bit to unfold, but when it does it’s absolutely amazing. If you want to know about the history of cinema then you need to check out these films because they laid the ground work for today. That is why I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.