Day 357: He Got Game (1998)

hggOne of the greatest actors to come out of the 1990’s is Denzel Washington (Malcolm X) who is money when it comes to his films. He has a movie called Fences coming out on Christmas which is gaining a lot of critical acclaim, but to celebrate his career, I decided to check out He Got Game. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel)has been in jail for six years after the death of his wife which has forced his son Jesus Shuttlesworth (NBA Legend Ray Allen) to be the man of the house. You see Jesus is also an unbelievable basketball player for his high school who hasn’t made a decision as to where he wants to go or do after high school. Jake is given a chance to exit jail to try and convince his son to go to a certain school so that his sentence can be cut short. The film also stars Milla Jovovich (Zoolander 2) as Dakota Burns, Rosario Dawson (Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis) as Lala, Hill Harper (CSI: NY) as Booger, Zelda Harris (The Baby-Sitters Club) as Mary Shuttlesworth, Ned Beatty (Deliverance) as Warden Wyatt, Jim Brown (Mars Attacks) as Spivey, Joseph Lyle Taylor (The Dark Knight Rises) as Crudup, Bill Nunn (Spider-Man 3) as Uncle Bubba, John Turturro (The Color Of Money) as Coach Sunday, Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster) as Big Time Willie, and the film was written and directed by Spike Lee (Malcolm X).

he-got-gameThis was one of those films that you are kind of glad they only made one just because one of the main actors was kind of awful. The film’s story is actually a very good story that kind of takes a look into what happens when someone from a poor area has some talent and has to deal with vultures trying to get theirs. But as I said before, Ray Allen is kind of an awful actor who has his moments in the film, but is also one of those guys who shouldn’t have transitioned into films.Now Denzel on the other hand puts on one heck of a performance as he always does as a man who is desperate to get his son to sign, but he is also enjoying his time out of prison. He also touches other peoples lives to wake them up to realize their potentials or what they are missing out on. His interaction with Milla Jovovich are awesome as she plays a prostitute that he feels bad for in a way. The film features some gritty moments and plenty of T&A as one college tries to persuade him to come to their school. I can imagine that those things happened in real life and I am kind of mad I never took sport serious enough in high school. The ending of the film to me is a little rushed and it sort of doesn’t make sense to me in a way while in a way it does. It just seems a little too quick that he spends years hating his father, but forgives him what seems quick. It was a decent film that any basketball fan may enjoy. I am going to give a B+ only because Allen and some other performances bothered me a little. Enjoy the cameos in the film from NBA coaches and players like Dean Smith, Lute Olson, John Chaney, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Shaq, etc.

Day 356: The Dead Pool (1988)

maxresdefault-1I figured since We have been watching all of the Dirty Harry films with the one and the only Clint Eastwood (Sudden Impact) and I figured we’d finish off the series. Do not confuse today’s film The Dead Pool with that hilarious Marvel Comics movie because this one is based off a twisted game. The Dead Pool is a game where they write a list of celebrities that each person believes will die within the year an the person with the most deaths wins the game. It all becomes a little real though when a musician is found dead and his name is on the very list of a director (Liam Neeson). Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is put on the case as more and more celebrities start to turn up dead that are all linked to the director. The film also stars Patricia Clarkson (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) as Samantha Walker, Jim Carrey (The Number 23) as Johnny Squares, Evan C. Kim (V) as Al Quan, David Hunt (Jade) as Harlan Rook, Michael Goodwin (Stuck In Love) as Lt. Ackerman, Michael Currie (Sudden Impact) as Captain Donnelly, Anthony Charnota (The Rookie) as Lou Janero, Victoria Bastel (The Video Dead) as Suzanne Dayton, and the film was directed by Buddy Van Horn (Any Which Way You Can). To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

Day 355: The Late Bloomer (2016)

the late bloomer.pngI was looking around for a film to watch today and I wanted to look for a comedy because I was in that kind of a mood. So, when I logged on to my Netflix account I saw that I had an interesting film to watch on my Queue called The Late Bloomer. Peter Newmans (Johnny Simmons) is a successful sex therapist who is preaching that life is about abstinence to better yourself. What Peter doesn’t realize is that he has never in his life gone through puberty. Peter never knew that he had a tumor that has pressed against his pituitary gland and when he is operated on, his life changes completely including the fact that he has feelings for his neighbor and friend Michelle (Brittany Snow). Now what is he going to do about all of this? The film also stars J.K. Simmons (Zootopia) as James Newmans, Maria Bello (Lights Out) as Brenda Newmans, Kumail Nanjiani (Central Intelligence) as Rich, Beck Bennett (Zoolander 2) as Luke, Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) as Charlie, Jane Lynch (Mascots) as Caroline Chambers, Charlotte McKinney (Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser) as Attractive Woman, Blake Cooper (The Maze Runner) as Josh, Diana Lyubenova (Conan The Barbarian) as Marilyn, and the film was directed by Kevin Pollak (Vamped Out).

roxanna-dunlopI honestly went into this film with an open mind because I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but when I realized the people that starred in this film I was a little more intrigued. The film has some great actors like J.K. Simmons and Maria Bello and it was directed by the awesome Kevin Pollak who is a great actor himself who was directing his first feature length film with this one. So one argument for the film that I saw online was that it was kind of like The 40 Year Old Virgin, but with a guy who isn’t really socially awkward like Steve Carell was and I beg to differ a little bit. While I loved The 40 Year Old Virgin, I definitely really enjoyed this one because it took the idea and it ran with it in a totally different direction. The funny connection between the two really is the fact that Jane Lynch starred in both films. This one has it’s raunchy moments and friends like the other one, but in a different way. Kumail Nanjiani was given the green light to be as nasty as he wanted to be and he succeeded because he and Beck Bennett made a great combo in this film like Rudd and Rogen. Alright, so I can’t really come up with too many differences because there is a crap ton of similarities in the structure of the story. You can’t knock the formula cause it worked and there were some real funny moments in this one. You also get treated to some T&A in the film which is definitely a plus. I am going to give the film a B+ only because it’s not completely original and not as completely funny as The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Day 354: The Color Of Money (1986)

imagesAfter watching the 1961 Billiards classic The Hustler for yesterday’s film, I couldn’t pass up on watching the sequel which took 25 years to make. I’m Certainly ok with it taking that long considering that The Color Of Money was directed by Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street). Paul Newman (The Hustler) is back as Fast Eddie Felson, but he has kept to his promise that he made in the first film where he doesn’t play pool. The game has certainly changed as the nine ball has become the preferred game. One day, he sees a kid named Vincent (Tom Cruise) that he sees a lot of potential in so he decides to take him on the road to train him in how to hustle in billiards, but this will inspire Eddie to return. The film also stars Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves) as Carmen, Helen Shaver (The Land Before Time) as Janelle, John Turturro (Transformers) as Julian, Bill Cobbs (Oz the Great and Powerful) as Orvis, Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Amos, Bruce A. Young (Jurassic Park III) as Moselle, and the film featured real pool players like Grady Matthews, Keith McCready, and Steve Mizerak.

the-color-of-money-tom-paulThe thing that I loved about this film is that while it sort of takes a cue from the first film, it definitely carves it’s own path as it differentiates itself from the original. For one, there is a little more nudity in this film than there was in the original thanks to a scene with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The real difference between this film and the other film is that Fast Eddie just didn’t know when to quit and he didn’t realize what he had in front of him until it was too late. In this film, he is trying to teach Vincent that you don’t always show your stuff right from the get go, but that will bite him in the you know what later. That is the difference between the two films as far as story is concerned and I like that about this film. The pool scenes were incredible as usual, but they sped up a lot of the action too for time purposes. Tom Cruise was great as this kid who thinks he’s all that, but is really insecure inside when it boils down to it and Mastrantonio is great as the girl who pulls the strings on him. I loved the ending of the film because they leave it open ended where you sort of figure out for yourself who may have won that match. This was an example of a film that may have taken years to do, but they did it right. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 353: The Hustler (1961)

hustler1961-3I can’t believe that out 52 Sundays in year that after today there is only one Sunday left in the whole entire year. So for this week’s Sunday At The Classics, I decided to check out the pool hall classic from Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid) in The Hustler. Fast Eddie Felson (Newman) is one of the best pool hall hustlers around that is looking for that match up that could make him the big money. One match with the best around in Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) sends Eddie into a downward spiral that leaves him broke with no manager. A chance meeting with a girl (Piper Laurie) at the bus station begins to show him that there is more to life then just winning and losing and Eddie then begins his comeback. The film also stars George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) as Bert Gordon, Myron McCormick (The Fight For Life) as Charlie, Murray Hamilton (Jaws) as Findley, Michael Constantine (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Big John, Stefan Gierasch (High Plains Drifter) as Preacher, Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull) as Bartender, Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Bartender, and the film was directed by Robert Rossen (The Roaring Twenties).

paul-newman-the-hustler-1961There is definitely a reason why this is a must see film and a absolute classic. The sequence in the beginning of the film between Fast Eddie and Minnesota Fats was absolutely amazing and it kept you hooked because you wanted to see who would quit first. The relationship between Piper Laurie’s character Sarah and Fast Eddie was also a fascinating aspect of the film because they were theoretically not made for each other, but then again maybe they were. There’s the old adage that women love the bad boys and maybe she was experiencing that, but she was such a benefit for him more than he was for her. The acting in the film was phenomenal and you have to love the camera work in this film because the shots always looked so full and they painted the various settings just right. You felt like you were in an actual dingy smoke infested pool hall the whole time you were watching. In a way in this film, you were hopeful of Eddie, but he could definitely frustrate you which is why I loved the story of the film. They had all the right conflicts and sub plots to keep you hooked from beginning to end. One of the other things I loved about this film is the very end during the credit sequence when everyone except George C. Scott leaves the pool hall by the end of the credits. You’ll find out why for yourself, but I thought it was poetic justice. I need to check out The Color Of Money (which is the sequel), but give this one a watch while you are it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 352: Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis (2015)

justice-league-atlantisAs you all certainly know by now, I am a huge fan of the DC Animated films because I feel they have the edge on Marvel in that department. Plus, there are only 15 days left (including today) and I’ve been wanting to see today’s film Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis because I am an Aquaman fan. Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter) has always been in search of answers to certain questions his whole life, but when his surface father is killed in a mysterious attack, it sends him into a downward spiral. After certain unrest in Atlantis, Queen Atlanna (Sirena Irwin) wants Mera (Sumalee Montano) to find her son Arthur in hopes that he can be the link between both worlds, but she is killed by her devious other son and now Arthur will have to avenge her and save both worlds from colliding. The film also stars Sean Astin (Justice League: War) as Shazam, Rosario Dawson (Death Proof) as Wonder Woman, Nathan Fillion (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) as The Flash, Shemar Moore (The Brothers) as Cyborg, Jerry O’Connell  (Stand By Me) as Superman, Jason O’Mara (Son Of Batman) as Batman, Sam Witwer (Crank) as Orm, Harry Lennix (Man Of Steel) as Black Manta, Juliet Landau (Ed Wood) as Lois Lane, and the film was directed by Ethan Spaulding (Son Of Batman). 

justice-league-throne-of-atlantis-trailerI feel like every DC character story starts with them either being a drifter trying to figure out their place in life or an alcoholic trying to find their place in life. That was definitely the case in this film as Arthur Curry is a drunkard trying to figure out exactly who he is after the death of his father. I thought that the film was definitely a cool origin story for Aquaman that gives you some insight into who he is and what he can do. The film also introduced us to new scenarios like Wonder Woman and Superman dating which was a little different for me. One of my favorite things about the film is when he actually learns to use his powers especially the one where he summons the aquatic life like the shark that eats a certain villain in the film. The battle scene between the Justice League and the hydra/squid creatures was pretty cool and the overall battle scene at the end was good as well. Shazam is really starting to become one of my favorite characters as well because he looks like an adult, but he’s really just a kid so he acts like one in a way (his humor at least). My only criticism of the film is the little love story angles that you get, but I do understand why they did it (for subplots of course). I thought the voice acting was good and the story was well written. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 351: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6There are reasons I decided to do this challenge and it was to see epic films and there was an ultimate goal that I wanted to achieve besides hitting number 366. That goal was to be at this very point where I am reviewing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for today’s film. The film takes place some twenty somewhat odd years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III. The Imperial Empire has taken over the galaxy with Emperor Palpatine firm in control. The Rebel Alliance with their backs against the wall discover that an Imperial pilot has defected from the empire with information on a weapon that the empire is creating from the lead engineer himself in Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). After learning this herself, Galen’s daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) will risk it all along with a group of rebels to retrieve the info to help the Rebel Alliance. The film also stars Diego Luna (Milk) as Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) as K-2SO, Donnie Yen (IP Man) as Chirrut Îmwe, Wen Jiang (Chinese Zodiac) as Baze Malbus, Ben Mendelsohn (Australia) as Orson Krennic, Forest Whitaker (Arrival) as Saw Gerrera, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) as Bodhi Rook, Genevieve O’Reilly (Glitch) as Mon Mothma, James Earl Jones (Star Wars: A New Hope) as Darth Vader, and the film was directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). 

gallery-1460037786-rogue-one-star-wars-villain-is-this-darth-vaderSpoiler Alert: There is going to be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away some details or all the details in the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First off, I am going to star this by saying that I really and truly enjoyed the film from beginning to end. I thought it was a great stand alone film that was made to explain some details leading up to episode IV that many of you may have wondered about. Now was it better than Star Wars: A Force Awakens? While it may be a valid question, I find it a little unfair because they are two different films. I loved a lot of the individual performances in this film from people like Donnie Yen who was funny and awesome all at once. Felicity Jones was terrific in the film as Jyn and while Diego Luna may not be Han Solo, he was still very cool as well. This film had Darth Vader and even though his appearance was brief, it gives this an edge over F.A. I have to admit that his entrance was pretty bad ass. This film may have had too many quick hard cuts during a lot of the scenes which would be my only criticism. The story was great and the acting was great and it injected humor right in the perfect spots. The battle scenes were pretty amazing as well and it reminded you why you loved Star Wars. I did think it was very awesome to see the late Peter Cushing in the film once again even though he is not listed because it was a CGI version of him. Wait till you get to the end for the surprise visit that comes then. I think there is very little to criticize about the film, but I’m sure others will find the flaws. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 350: There Will Be Blood (2007)

there-will-be-bloodAs we close in on the end of our mission, there are films that are out there that are on my must see list and that is certainly true in regards to today’s film. One of the best actors to come out of the late 20TH century and well in the 21ST is Daniel Day-Lewis (The Crucible) and for today’s film we are watching There Will Be Blood which is based off of the book Oil! by Upton Sinclair. Daniel Plainview (Lewis) is a semi successful oil prospector who is looking for that piece of the pie that will set him for life. One day a young man by the name of Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) gives up some information on oil in California and it kicks off this story of family, religion, hatred, oil, and madness. The film also stars Paul F. Tompkins (Hell And Back) as Prescott, Dillon Freasier as H.W. Plainview, Ciaran Hinds (Bleed For This) as Fletcher, David Willis (The Good German) as Abel Sunday, Sydney McCallister as Mary Sunday, Kevin J. O’Connor (Peggy Sue Got Married) as Henry, David Warshofsky (Now You See Me) as H.M. Tilford, Hans Howes (Death Warrant) as Bandy, Russell Harvard (The Hammer) as Adult H.W., and the film was directed by aul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights).

there-will-be-bloodRight from beginning to end, Daniel Day-Lewis is intense and he commands the screen like any great star. Can you believe that right now he has only 29 films to his credit? He’s definitely one of those actors that doesn’t need to star in five films a year which means he chooses his roles and this was made for him. He was definitely the star of the film, but he’s not the only one who shined in the film. Paul Dano at first is a little confusing because he is first known as Paul Sunday, but then all of a sudden he is known as Eli Sunday. I didn’t realize that he was playing two different characters, but his performance as an early version of a evangelist was brilliant. It’s a constant war between Eli and Daniel throughout the film, but it all boils down to greed on both their parts. The film was excellently written as the story flows nicely, but there’s more than just oil. There’s the family angle between Daniel and his son H.W. that is a big factor as well. One of the coolest scenes in the film is the oil well that burns up in flames which could have been looked at as a disaster, but is ultimately a blessing. If you want to see what acting is all about then you go on to Netflix and you check out this because class is in session and Day-Lewis is ready to teach. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 349: The Replacement Killers (1998)

3165965Last week we took a break when it came to having an Ass Whoopin Wednesdays film because we were busy watching another film for our 365 movies in 36 days challenge blog. So this week, we decided to pick a film Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) that we’ve always wanted to watch in The Replacement Killers. John Lee (Yun-Fat) is one of the best assassins that money can buy. After a drug lord’s (Kenneth Tsang) son gets killed, John is tasked with doing a revenge job for him, but John’s conscience gets in the way and he fails to do the job. Knowing that he failed to do it, he will seek the help of a documents forger (Mira Sorvino) to get papers to go back to China. The only problem is that the drug lord has already hired replacement killers to not only finish the job, but to take you out as well. The film also stars Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Det. Zedkov, Jürgen Prochnow (Das Boot) as Michael Kogan, Til Schweiger (Inglorious Basterds) as Ryker, Danny Trejo (The Devil’s Rejects) as Collins, Clifton Collins Jr. (Triple 9) as Loco, Carlos Gomez (Desperado) as Hunt, Patrick Kilpatrick (Last Man Standing) as Pryce, and the film was directed by Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent Seven). To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

Day 348: Santo Versus The Vampire Women (1962)

samson-vs-the-vampire-womenIt’s been a while since I did a Cheeseball cinema film and I figured with my 365 Movies in 365 days challenge almost coming to an end that I would try to fit one in. A couple of weeks ago, Chris Jericho posted something on Instagram about a legendary Mexican wrestler by the name of Santo and when i looked him up, he was basically a superhero. I also saw that Mystery Science Theater 3000 also covered today’s film (and that’s good enough for Cheeseball Cinema) which is known in America as Santo Versus The Vampire Women (in Mexico as Santo vs. las mujeres vampiro and the alternate name Samson Vs The Vampire Women). Professor Orlof (Augusto Benedico) is worried about a prophecy that says that his only daughter Diana (María Duval) will be the next Vampire queen. He learns that the prophecy is coming to life when a vampire by the name of Tundra (Ofelia Montesco) is on the hunt for her along with her henchman. So, the professor hires Santo to try and prevent the prophecy from coming true. The film also stars Jaime Fernandez (A Bullet For The General) as Inspector Carlos, Lorena Velázquez (Doctor Of Doom) as Zorina, queen of the vampires, Xavier Loyá (A Woman Without Love) as Jorge, and the film was directed by Alfonso Corona Blake (The Road Of Life). To see the rest of the review of the film, click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.