There 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).
Spoiler 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.
The film I chose for today wasn’t even a film that I was planning on viewing for today. You see the thing is how can I say no first of all to a film that was based on a Stephen King novel and how could I say no second of all to a film that stars Anton Yelchin (Green Room). The film Hearts In Atlantis follows middle aged Bobby Garfield (David Morse) who attends a friends funeral and starts to recollect his past and one particular year when he was 11 years old (played by Yelchin). Bobby lives with his single mother Liz (Hope Davis) who is hopeless and clueless to what really matters in her life. That all begins to change one day when a mysterious man named Ted (Anthony Hopkins) shows up on their door step as he begins to change their lives to show them what really matters in life. The only problem is that Ted is in trouble and he entrusts Bobby for help against the Low Men. The film also stars Mika Boorem (Blue Crush) as Carol Gerber, Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) as Monte Man, Adam LeFevre (Hitch) as Don Biderman, Will Rothhaar (Kingpin) as John Sullivan, Timothy Reifsnyder (Wide Awake) as Harry Doolin, Celia Watson (Observe And Report) as Alana Files, and the film was directed by Scott Hicks (The Lucky One).
The funny thing about this films is who knew that six years later that Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin would play mother and son again in Charlie Bartlett? She’s not a completely hopeless mother in this film because she’s functional, but she is clueless just like she is in the other film. This film features a young Anton Yelchin and he was just as brilliant then as he was right before he passed away. He was masterful as that young child that is full of hope towards the future that the brilliant Anthony Hopkins character can see it. That is why he gives Bobby the gift of being able to see a bright future. While there is plenty of drama in the film, the mystery part is the most interesting part of the film in my opinion. You see Hopkin’s character is on the run from something and we begin to find out what and who as he let’s Bobby in on it slowly. The premise of it is different and interesting and you wonder if the Government really did try enlisting psychics to find communist spies? I loved the story of the film and I love how the film was set in the 1950’s with the outfits, cars, etc. The 50’s is one of my favorite decades besides the 1980’s because it looked like a simpler time so you know I loved the sets and props in the film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because I truly enjoyed it.
For today’s film, I was in the mood for some superheroes and there are some films that I haven’t seen yet. Also, with the announcement of Justice League Dark, I figured there was some Justice League films out there I haven’t seen which is why I chose Justice League: War for today. A strange alien lifeform is planting some sort of bomb or device in Gotham, Central City, Metropolis, etc. This raises alarms for the Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) as he travels to Gotham to investigate with Batman (Jason O’Mara). With the help of Cyborg (Shemar Moore) they discover that Darkseid (Steve Blum) has a plan to take over Earth and use up all of it’s resources. They’ll need everyone’s help from the Justice League to defeat Darkseid and prevent him from taking over. The film also stars Sean Astin (Encino Man) as Shazam, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) as Wonder Woman, Alan Tudyk (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) as Superman, Rocky Carroll (Crimson Tide) as Silas Stone, Dee Bradley Baker (Legends Of The Hidden Temple) as Parademon, Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) as Thomas Morrow, Zach Callison (Steven Universe) as Billy Batson, and the film was directed by Jay Oliva (Deadpool).
I do want to make something clear about the film and that the Justice League isn’t official in this film. They all begin to meet each other as they are forced to band together to fight Darkseid. Darkseid for those who don’t know is basically Marvel’s Apocalypse, but he is an alien life form who can shoot lasers out of his eyes just like Superman. The film had me excited to see that he was the villain of the film because I am a huge fan of Darkseid, but I was also excited to see Shazam in a film as well. I definitely like how they introduced him in the film and even though he looks like an adult, he still acts childish. We also get to see Cyborg’s origin in the film as he is created right before our very eyes. One of the things I enjoyed about the film was the story itself because it was a take on how they came together, but it showed how people were still afraid of them before they could rescue everyone. The film also features some language in it so I would be careful showing it to the kids (or at least use some caution) and there is definitely some violence in the film as well. This definitely isn’t my favorite DC Animated film, but it’s up there. You have to check out Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, but if you want an origin story then check this one out. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
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?
I usually do not like to watch films that are based off of teen novels, but I broke that rule with the Divergent series and The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner is one of those Teen series that after seeing the first film I was very impressed so for today’s film we checked out Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The Scorch Trials once again features our group featuring Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Winston (Alexander Flores), and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), but this time around they are rescue and make it to a new facility after escaping the maze. The only problem is that Thomas discovers that there is something wrong with this new facility and he decides to escape and take his chances in the scorch all in search for a group called The Right Arm. The film also stars Jacob Lofland (Mud) as Aris, Rosa Salazar (Insurgent) as Brenda, Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects) as Jorge, Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) as Ava Paige, Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises) as Janson, Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Mary, Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) as Vince, Katherine McNamara (New Year’s Eve) as Sonya, Nathalie Emmanuel (Furious 7) as Harriet, Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph) as Blondie, and the film was directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner).
One of my issues with the film and it isn’t that big of an issue, but it jumps between genres throughout the whole film. We get a little sci-fi with some alien looking creatures and humans being harvested for their blood before they start to get attacked by zombies. Then its all set in a post apocalyptic world like in Mad Max or The Day After Tomorrow. Even though it may seem like I am complaining about those things, the set design was actually one of my favorite things about the film. The mall buried in sand or the decimated city that they have to navigate through is pretty cool. The film itself has it’s moments of brilliance, but sometimes it has it’s moments of dullness. There are times where the film just feels like it’s dragging and you are wondering when it’s all going to end. The action when it happens can be pretty cool as well and there is plenty of it in this film, but there are some elements of the film that are just predictable. There is one moment in the film that when it happened, I thought to myself that I should have seen it coming. Was the second entry in the series better than the first? To honestly answer that question, I would have to say that I felt the first one was better than this one. They added more as far as visuals are concerned, but there was just too many moments that dragged in my opinion. They are making the next film in the series, so stay tuned for that when it happens. I know I’ll be there to watch it. I am going to give Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials an B+ for a final grade.
I think I have discussed this before where there is so much anticipation for a film that I just have to see it when it comes out. As far as Disney Animated films are concerned, Zootopia was definitely a must see film for me. Zootopia is a place where predators and prey can live in harmony among each other in this big city. For Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), she has dreams of being a cop in the city of Zootopia and not being just an ordinary bunny. When she finally achieves her goal of being a cop, she is not taken seriously among her colleagues. That is until she is told to solve a missing animal case, but there is a catch to it. She has 48 hours to solve the case or she has to turn in her badge, but she’ll do it with the help of a sly fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). The film also stars Idris Elba (Thor) as Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate (The Lorax) as Bellweather, Nate Torrence (My Best Friend’s Girl) as Clawhauser, Bonnie Hunt (Cars) as Bonnie Hopps, Don Lake (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as Stu Hopps, Tommy Chong (Up In Smoke) as Yax, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Mayor Lionheart, Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Duke Weaselton, Shakira as Gazelle, Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) as Mr. Big, Raymond S. Persi (Wreck-It Ralph) as Flash, and the film was directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush.
This is by far the number one movie for the month of March and it is giving Deadpool a run for it’s money on the Top 25 of the year. This film is a classic case of what you see in the trailer is exactly what you can expect from the film. The film is full of laughs as well as the necessary drama that all Disney films have and it has it’s heart warming moments as well. While all of the animals in the film are living in an anthropomorphic world, they are very true to their animal like selves if you get what I am saying. The foxes are sly creatures in real life and Nick Wilde is exactly that. You would kind of expect a Yak to be a free spirited yoga obsessed animal with flies that won’t leave him alone. The city of Zootopia is even divided by sections like the rainforest section or the desert side and you should see how they have it work. There was a lot of detail that was placed into the film and it pays off because it’s cool and very fun to watch. There are references to famous TV Shows and films like Breaking Bad and The Godfather (not that kids will know what that is) which is a little treat for the parents to enjoy while watching it with their kids. This film is definitely one of the best animated films out there in the past year or two. I definitely suggest watching it and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.