Sometimes there are films that come out that either get a bad review or there just not in the theaters that long that I overlook them. That was definitely the case with today’s film Hail, Caesar! which was gone before I got around to seeing it. The film stars Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Hollywood Fixer Eddie Mannix who works for Capitol Studios. Eddie has a lot on his plate with having to take a western star (Alden Ehrenreich) and shuffle him to a completely different genre, trying to hide a pregnancy out of wedlock from the public eye, and even trying to figure out who kidnapped his lead star (George Clooney) during the middle of filming a really big epic movie. It’s either that or he accepts a job to work in a completely different field. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Laurence Laurentz, Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) as DeeAnna Moran, Tilda Swinton (Moonrise Kingdom) as Thora/ Thessaly Thacker, Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) as Burt Gurney, Frances McDormand (Fargo) as C.C. Calhoun, Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street) as Joe Silverman, Veronica Osorio (Diego And Valentina) as Carlotta Valdez, Alison Pill (Milk) as Mrs. Mannix, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Communist Writer, and the film was directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen (No Country For Old Men).
I am a huge fan of the olden days of Hollywood and America at the time with the fashion, hairstyles, and just the way of life. So it’s easy for me to say that I really enjoyed that aspect of the film, but as far as the overall film was concerned, I didn’t think it was a great film. I thought the film was relatively OK for a Cohen’s brothers movie. The film for a while seemed to be a behind the scenes look at what went down in the classic Hollywood era of the big studios and the way they covered up scandals from the press. The kidnapping of George Clooney’s character to me seemed more like a side story than the main focus of the film which kind of bothered me, but usually anything that was happening it always went back to it. Some of the things I enjoyed watching was how the films were made and the big scenes that we saw like the pool scene with Scarlet or the bar scene with Channing. Those were some of the cool moments of the film that maybe people overlooked. The film was also commentary on the ideals of those times especially with the paranoia of communism. That was a big issue back in those days and the writers are the ones that organize it in this film. They feel they need more recognition than they get which was also maybe a sign of the times then. It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not great either. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. Rent it from Redbox or On demand if it’s available.
I have found that over the years some of the best new comedies on the web are those that are down independently because Hollywood is too afraid to take chances. That is definitely the case with today’s film which is called Premature. John Karna (Scream: The TV Series) plays high school senior Rob Crabbe, a kid who has had his whole life planned out for him including his parents wishes for him to go to Georgetown. Well one faithful day, the day of his Georgetown meeting, things go terribly wrong for Rob. Every time Rob has a orgasm, he is forced to relive the same day and the same tortures from that day over and over again until he can correct the wrong that is forcing him to do this. The film also stars Craig Roberts (22 Jump Street) as Stanley, Katie Findlay (The Carrie Diaries) as Gabrielle, Carlson Young (Scream: The TV Series) as Angela Yearwood, Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Jack Roth, Brian Huskey (Bob’s Burgers) as Principal Hansen, Zoe Myers (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) as Lisa, Adam Riegler (The Way Way Back) as Arthur, Christen Orr (The Unwanted) as Sally, and the film was directed by Dan Beers (FCU: Fact Checkers Unit).
Yesterday when I said I was searching for the right comedy to watch, this was the one that I wished I watched. I can summarize the film with just two words and that is Groundhog Day. The film is the teen sex comedy remake of that film and just like in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray has to relive the same day again, every time this kid premature ejaculate’s in the wrong situation, he wakes up to start the day all over again. However, do not think that just because I said the words Teen sex comedy that it’s a stupid movie with too much hormones because this is actually a very funny and a very well written film. It’s a fun film to watch because we were all there at one point or another where there is so much pressure on a teenager whether it be losing your virginity, getting into college, or dealing with bullies. High school can be a lot of stress and I remember it well. Just like the film Groundhog Day, he has those moments at first when he is confused and is trying to figure out what is going on, then he takes advantage of it, and then it turns to depression because it just keeps happening with no end in sight. One of my favorite sequences in the film is when he is in a good mood and he just doesn’t care what happens. He messes with his hot teacher, the hall monitor, and a lot more in the film. The film is available to watch on Netflix right now and I suggest this on on your queue. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because that is how much I loved it, the acting is great, and what more could you ask for?
So, you have survived being on an island that was full of Dinosaurs like the T-Rex that could kill you. What is the one thing that you definitely do not want to see or hear about again? Well, I can guarantee that it’s not about another island full of Dinosaurs which is exactly the problem in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Mr. Hammond (Richard Attenborough) is sick and is about to lose his company to his snot nosed nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard). So, he contacts Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in hopes that he can go to an island that also contained Dinosaurs called The Lost World before his nephew does. Unfortunately, they both arrive at the same time with the nephew coming with some big game hunters, but it ends up turning into a rescue mission. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Sarah, Vince Vaughn (Old School) as Nick, Pete Postlethwaite (The Town) as Roland Tembo, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Dieter, Richard Schiff (Man Of Steel) as Eddie, Thomas F. Duffy (Independence Day) as Dr. Robert Burke, Thomas Rosales Jr. (No Country For Old Men) as Carter, Camilla Belle (10,000 BC) as Cathy Bowman, and the film was one again directed by Stephen Spielberg.
It is always tough to repeat the success or the magic of a first film when you are planning to do a sequel. There is the mentality that sequels are never better than the first films and I would say that is true with this one. While I actually really liked the film, I didn’t think that it was better than Jurassic Park. The film had it’s cool moments with the Velociraptors in the compound, but the sequence in Jurassic Park with them is better and scarier. The only thing I will give this film credit for is that they made the T-Rex’s a little more bad ass and they actually eat humans in this one. I just thought that this film was a little more cartoonish at times if that makes sense at all to anyone whereas the first film was very serious. Jeff Goldblum was well Jeff Goldblum so what more could you ask for from that. I have to say that I didn’t know that Vince Vaughn was in this film and I was very impressed with his performance because he just nailed it perfectly. The late Pete Postlethwaite was just absolutely amazing as the big game hunter excited about his new game that he is hunting who kind of has a change of heart as the film goes on or at least he reassess what he wants to do. This was a decent sequel for a great franchise and all I have to do is watch one more film and I am caught up. For a final grade, I am going to give this one an A-. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak.
I thought for a very long time that I was the only person n the whole wide world that was waiting for some sort of sequel to the 1994 Richard Linklater (Boyhood) classic Dazed And Confused. Go 22 years into the future and now we have our spiritual sequel (Linklater has stated) to the classic film in Everybody Wants Some!! which takes place in the 1980’s (or at least the beginning of the decade). The film follows incoming freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) and his ragtag baseball teammates as they navigate through the life of college and everything that comes with it like partying, sex, and anything else you can think of as it’s all unsupervised by adults. Will they survive that three day weekend before classes start or will we have some casualties along the way. The film also stars Juston Street (My All American) as Jay, Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) as Roper, Tyler Hoechlin (Road To Perdition) as McReynolds, Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) as Willoughby, Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises) as Finnegan, Temple Baker (Love Is Relative) as Plummer, J. Quinton Johnson as Dale, Will Brittain (A Teacher) as Beuter, Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead) as Nesbit, and Zoey Deutch (Dirty Grandpa) as Beverly.
For a while as I was watching the film, I had a hard time figuring out what the plot of the film was. Was this a film that was just about partying? Dazed And Confused had a plot to it that was easy to get while this one just seems like a movie about endless partying and gamesmanship. Then after a while, it became clear as soon as I read IMDB’s explanation. One thing is for certain with this film is that just like the first film, it has a killer soundtrack that features the likes of Foreigner, Devo, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, and so many more. The soundtrack was always a huge part of the film and they do a terrific job picking the songs once again as it mixes some disco with rock and a little country too. Another thing Linklater has a knack for when it comes these films is discovering young talent to go with the already established guys. There are a lot of guys who make their feature film debuts in this film and they do a great job. One of the true highlights for me was Juston Street who plays an absolute awesome comedic relief as a pitcher who takes himself way too seriously. Every time he appeared on screen, I was laughing my butt off and couldn’t get enough of him. I like how the film ended however cause it was kind of a nice way to end the adventure that was the film. One thing I will say is what they hell were they thinking in the 80’s when it came to their outfits and those short shorts guys wore? Anyways, I am going to give the film an A- only because it doesn’t top Dazed And Confused, but it was very enjoyable to watch.
I usually reserve Wednesdays for my action film piece called Ass Whoopin Wednesdays, but sometimes there are films that supersede everything. A Quentin Tarantino film by definition is one of those films and that is why there is no Ass Whoopin Wednesday flick. So, we are checking out Tarantino’s eight film The Hateful Eight which stars Kurt Russell (Tombstone) as hang man John Ruth. All John wants to do is deliver a prisoner of his named Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the town of Red Rock so that she can be hung. The only problem is that there is a massive blizzard and when they get to a safe place, John is having a hard time trusting a couple of guys he picked up along the way and the four other strangers he encounters in the safe house. Is John right about them being up to no good or will he get the job done. The film also stars Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) as Oswaldo Mobray, Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Major Marquis Warren, Walton Goggins (House Of 1000 Corpses) as Sheriff Chris Mannix, Demián Bichir (The Heat) as Bob, Michael Madsen (Kill Bill Vol. 1) as Joe Gage, Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) as Jody, Zoe Bell (Death Proof) as Six Horse Judy, Bruce Dern (Django Unchained) as Gen. Sandy Smithers, James Parks (Kill Bill Vol. 2) as O.B., and Dana Gourrier (Django Unchained) as Mindy.
I want to start this paragraph by saying that this was an excellent film that didn’t tell you that it was a certain type of film and it didn’t live up to it. This film was exactly as it was presented and that was mostly a mystery film set in a western of sorts. I love how Tarantino calls this his eight film and it’s called The Hateful Eight which could be a nod to Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini who named his eighth film 8 1/2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true considering the fact that Tarantino is just as much a fan of cinema as I am. It was hard to choose a stand out performance from the film because everyone from Russell, Goggins, Jackson, and even Leigh did an amazing job in the film. What helped them was the fact that the film was well written and the dialogue is amazing as what would be expected from a Tarantino film. So as you can see, it was hard to just choose one person as a standout. The other factors that make this film amazing is that it was filmed using 70 mm film which gives it that authentic look and the soundtrack was done by Ennio Morricone. Ennio deservedly won the Oscar for best Score because it definitely fit the type of film that it was. If you are a true fan of Tarantino then do not miss out on this film, it is a classic. That is why I am going to give the film an A- and it gets that because Django Unchained was the better Western. Plus there are definitely somethings that are going to happen that you don’t see coming.
This could possibly be the third Coen Brothers film that I have decided to review for the blog, but this is definitely one film I have wanted to see. The Big Lebowski stars Jeff Bridges (Starman) as Jeff Lebowski better known by his friends as The Dude. Unfortunately for him, he is always mistaken for a millionaire (David Huddleston) who shares the same name as him and apparently this millionaire’s wife (Tara Reid) owes some people a lot of money. After his rug us pissed on and such, he is hired by the other Lebowski to deliver money to the people who kidnapped his wife and that is when things get complicated. With the help of his insane Vietnam Vet friend Walter (John Goodman)and his quiet fragile friend Donny (Steve Buscemi), they will try their best to get her back in one piece and hopefully his rug as well. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Maude Lebowski, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Moneyball) as Brandt, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Nihilist #1, Flea as Nihilist #2, Torsten Voges (The Lords Of Salem) as Nihilist #3, John Turturro (Quiz Show) as Jesus Quintana, Dom Irrera (Barnyard) as Tony the Chauffeur, Sam Elliot (The Good Dinosaur) as The Stranger, and the film was directed by Joel Coen.
The film was actually better than what I expected even though it can kind of go all over the place. This is definitely an iconic performance from Jeff Bridges, but it was also one heck of a performance from John Goodman. He plays your typical paranoid, everyone is against us, war veteran with conspiracy theories, but he does it well. He was definitely the highlight for me when I was watching the film because it was hilarious to see him fly off the rails on the drop of a dime.The other thing I loved about this film was the various dream sequences that the dude would have if he was knocked out like being inside of the bowling ball as it goes down the lane and even the music sequence piece to Kenny Rogers was cool. The film also has some iconic lines in it so you know the screenwriting was done right. The film has that typical Coen Brothers feel to it where things and events can change at the drop of a dime or they can go in places you never expected. The soundtrack to the film is also a strong point for the film as they decided to go the classic way of choosing artists like Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Monks, Santana, and so many more. One thing I was surprised about as well was the fact that Steve Buscemi’s character was so minor in the film whereas he had a bigger role in Fargo and Julianne Moore’s character was so weird in this film, but I liked it. Nevertheless, it was a great film worth checking out if you hadn’t before. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
There is nothing I love more in this world than Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and comedies that he is involved in. So, naturally when I saw that The Night Before was available to rent, I definitely jumped on the opportunity to watch it. Issac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been spending the last ten Christmases with their friend Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) ever since his parents passed away. The only problem is that things change and people grow up, but Ethan hasn’t it while the other two have moved on. Now, it’s the last Christmas the three friends are ever going to spend together and they’re going to be spending it at a ball that they’ve been trying to get into for the last ten years, but will they make it in one piece? The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Betsy, Lizzy Caplan (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Diana, Heléne Yorke (Masters Of Sex) as Cindy, Mindy Kaling (Inside Out) as Sarah, Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel) as Mr. Green, Ilana Glazer (Broad City) as Rebecca Grinch, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as James Franco, Tracy Morgan (Cop Out) as the Narrator, and the film was written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50).
I want to start this paragraph out by saying that this film reminds me of why I loved Seth Rogen movies in the first place. Seth Rogen on drugs equals some of the funniest moments of a film because he plays it so well. When he is freaking out on shrooms in the film is some of the funniest material and his interaction with James Franco is priceless. This film could seriously be the new Christmas classic that we have all been looking for since Home Alone or Die Hard, and Big which are both mentioned in the film (almost like an homage). The film even manages to fit in some Scrooge kind of stuff with Michael Shannon playing essentially the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future all in the form of a drug dealing Great Gatsby. Believe me, it will all make sense to you once you watch the film for yourself. One of the funniest scenes in the whole film is the church scene with Seth Rogen, couldn’t stop laughing it was so funny and what a great choice to play his wife in the film in Jillian Bell who is pretty funny in the film. Listen, you know exactly what you are getting from a Seth Rogen comedy, there is nothing smart about it other than that it’s just funny. You have to naturally have a sense of humor to love comedies like this and I have to say that this should’ve been a hit at the box office. The addition of Mackie and Levitt were icing on the cake ad the chemistry between the three was there and it just felt natural. The film is available online and in Redbox so check it out if you need some good laughs. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I was excited for today’s film when I saw that it was available at my local Redbox location. I was a huge fan of the Goosebumps book series that came out in the 90’s from R.L. Stine and I was excited for the film version which stars Jack Black (High Fidelity) as R.L. Stine. Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother Gale (Amy Ryan) are trying to start fresh in a new town when they move to Madison, DE. While at the new home, Zach meets his neighbor Hanna (Odeya Rush) and her weird over protective father (Black). One night, Zach swore that he heard a scream coming from Hanna’s house so with the help of his skittish new friend Champ (Ryan Lee), they’ll go over to investigate, but trouble lurks ahead for them. The boys by accidentally let out the monsters from R.L. Stine’s Books and one them named Slappy the Ventriloquist doll (voiced by Jack Black) will stop at nothing to rid the world of Stine to ensure they can never be trapped again. The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Lorraine, Halston Sage (Neighbors) as Taylor, Ken Marino (Role Models) as Coach Carr, Timothy Simons (The Interview) as Officer Stevens, and even a cameo by R.L. Stine himself.
I was wondering going in to watching this film whether I would let a child see it because these were children’s horror stories. After watching it, I would say that I think it would be OK, but be watchful of some scenes depending on the age of your child because there is a werewolf, Zombies, a creepy clown, and much more. The movie overall was fun and cool to see come to life. I was weary of how Jack Black was going to do and he did fine in the film. He wasn’t an over top goofball like he can be which was pleasant to see. I loved the combination of Dylan Minnette who plays the strong type and Ryan Lee who is a complete chicken. Yes I know it’s very stereotypical cannon, but there is a reason why it’s around because it works. Just ask Scooby Doo! The monsters were very cool to see and there was plenty of action, comedy, and suspense to keep you going through the whole film. I had a lot of laughs as I watched in suspense and the set design was what was even better. I loved the scenes in the old fairgrounds that they have in the film. It’s visually stunning in my opinion especially when you throw some monsters in it. There’s also a little bit of a love story, but don’t worry cause it’s not overpowering. Just a nice little touch thrown in by the writers. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I have always been a big fan of the work of the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan) and their films like No Country For Old Men, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and True Grit. The on;y problem is that there are two films from the brothers I still have not seen and I checked one off the lost with today’s film in Fargo. The film stars William H. Macy (Boogie Nights) as car salesman Jerry Lundegaard who through a shady source at work gets himself into a lot of trouble. Things just aren’t going the way Jerry wants it so he gets this bright idea to have someone kidnap his wife so they can split the ransom money. Little does he know that his master crime is about to fall apart as pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) gets on the case. The film stars Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) as Carl Showalter, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Gaear Grimsrud, Larry Brandenburg (The Shawshank Redemption) as Stan Grossman, Steve Reevis (Dances With Wolves) as Shep, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Norm Gunderson, Steve Park (Falling Down) as Mike Yanagita, Tony Denman (Go) as Scotty Lundegaard, Harve Presnell (Saving Private Ryan) as Wade Gustafson, and Kristin Rudrüd (Pleasantville) as Judy Lundegaard.
One thing that I definitely have to say about this film is that the writing for the film is absolutely amazing. I truly loved how the story just unfolded right before your eyes as you watch the mess get worse and worse by the minute. You also see the dynamics in some of the relationships in the film like Buscemi and Stormare who the have the worst time communicating with each other or even Macy’s character with Presnell who treats Macy like he doesn’t exist or is just a plain idiot. This is a great example for a character study because the filmmakers focus on that a lot and it helps the film move. The film is gritty, dark, violent, and beautiful all at the same time especially with some of the cinematography which captured the moments perfectly around the cold that surrounds the characters. One of the other things I liked about the film were the accents because they were different. I really enjoyed listening to something different other than a Boston, New York, or southern accent. The acting from everyone was pretty top notch, I didn’t really have any complaints about that at all. If you are studying to be a filmmaker or even a screenwriter this is definitely a film that you want to check out and take notes. Personally one of my favorite films that I have reviewed for this challenge. So, with that being said I am going to go ahead and give this film an A for a final grade.