The choice for today was a totally conscious one because I am huge fan of Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog) and Anna Kendrick (Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates). So, it was only natural that I would go and check out their latest film that just hit theaters in Dreamworks Trolls. At one time, the Trolls would openly sing and dance because they were so happy until a big and evil Bergen showed up. The Bergen was a depressed being that when it ate a Troll it became happy. The Bergen’s would continue to do this once a year until the Troll King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor) risked his life to help the Trolls escape. After being in hiding for twenty years, his daughter Poppy (Kendrick) decides that it’s a good idea to throw a party, but they are spotted by a Bergen and most of the village is kidnapped. Now along with the curmudgeon Troll named Branch (Timberlake), they will risk it all to save the Trolls before they are eaten. The film also stars Zooey Deschanel (Eulogy) as Bridget, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) as King Gristle, Christine Baranski (Cybill) as Chef, Russell Brand (Hop) as Creek, Gwen Stefani as DJ Suki, James Corden (Begin Again) as Biggie, and the film was directed by Walt Dohrn (Shrek 2) and Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After).
This is one of those films that if you were trippin this would be the film to see because of the content and the colors. The film is just so out there, but it’s honestly one of the funniest kids movies of the year by far. I’m sure there is someone out there that is going to say that the film is a hidden message for some sort of social inequality or a representation of war or something like it, but not me. The film is almost fairy take like in it’s nature as it talks of these creatures that eat you because they think it brings them happiness, but it really comes from inside you. Dreamworks is one of those companies that has done a fantastic job in the past with their films (e.g. Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, Home, etc.). I have to be honest in saying that I thought the idea of the film was stupid because I doubted they could come up with a good story, but to my surprise they did. The soundtrack to this film is one of it’s strong suits because it features great original music plus some cool covers in it. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Timberlake and Kendrick’s characters meet this weird cloud (voiced by Walt Dohrn) because of the interaction they have with each other. It’s genuinely a very funny scene in the film. This was a very fun movie to watch so check it out for yourselves. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
For today’s film, I wanted to pay tribute to Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog) who recently passed away by checking out one of his films that I hadn’t seen yet. Of course that film that I chose for today is Star Trek Into Darkness. In this latest edition, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) finds himself without a ship and a crew due to a mission gone wrong. One day when Kirk and his Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) are being briefed about a recent attack, they too are attacked by a strange man who possess uncanny powers and strength. Kirk is then sent on a mission to recover the one man wrecking crew named Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) before he destroys the whole entire world as we know it. The film also stars Karl Urban (Dredd) as Bones, Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation) as Scotty, John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) as Sulu, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Zoë Saldana (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Uhura, Peter Weller (RoboCop) as Marcus, Alice Eve (She’s Out Of My League) as Carol, Deep Roy (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) as Keenser, Noel Clarke (Adulthood) as Thomas Harewood, and the film was directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
I honestly do not believe that there is anything J.J. Abrams touches that isn’t awesome. The first Star Trek film was amazing, Episode VII of Stars Wars was great, and this was an excellent sequel. This one starts off with a bang and it never lets up for two hours and that is what I loved about it. The film is essentially a prequel of what’s to come for all the films that were already made and most especially Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch did an amazing job as the superhuman Khan, but I have to admit that I do have to watch the Star Trek films because I haven’t seen most of them. I need to at least see the Ricardo Montalban version to do my compare and contrast of the two. Anyways, One of my favorite things about these films is the CGI because we can do unbelievable things and create worlds tat would have been time consuming so long ago and sometimes impossible. The action sequences are amazing as well and there is plenty of it. One thing I have to say about J.J. Abrams is that he has made Star Trek likable in a sense that anyone will go see those films now whereas before it was Star Wars vs Star Trek. This film actually has me excited to see the next one, but it will be sad t know that it’s Anton’s last ride as the beloved Chekov. I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade.
For the 150TH film on the 150TH day of the year, I wanted to watch something special. I have been on an Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) fix since I first saw him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A friend of mine has been telling me to catch his film Inside Llewyn Davis and today the film was on so I watched it and its today’s film. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a folk singer who is just trying to navigate his way through life with his folk music in Greenwich Village in 1961. You see he is now a solo artist and all he wants is for his music to be heard, but there are things that get in his way from a pregnant friend, a label that isn’t doing anything for him, ignorance against folk music, losing a friend’s cat, and facing the inevitable which is his future possibly without music. The film also stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Roland Turner, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Al Cody, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) as Jean, Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog) as Jim, Max Casella (Ed Wood) as Pappi, Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers) as Johnny Five, Stark Sands (11:14) as Troy Nelson, and the film was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
This film was a perfect example of what happens to artists who try to stay true to who they are and are never willing to compromise. For Llewyn Davis, it’s one setback after another that keeps him away from seeing the big picture or accomplishing the his dreams. He is told over and over again in the film that basically folk music isn’t profitable and that there isn’t any future in it. That doesn’t stop him for a while, but after a certain amount of time he begins to believe the noise. The film is very melancholic in tone where it seems that one thing after another happens to this poor guy who sleeps on friends couches. One of the amazing things about this film of course is the music and the fact that everyone that looked like they were singing on screen in fact were singing the songs. One of my favorite songs in the film is Please Please Mr. Kennedy which is sung by Timbelake, Isaac, and Driver. The reason I love it is because the song is absolutely hilarious. It’s one of the funniest moments in the film that I think everyone should check out. Of course, it helps that the acting was amazing and Isaac’s was a real stud in the film with his performance. Of course having the great John Goodman was a definite added bonus as well as the man of few words in the film Garrett Hedlund. One of my favorite things about this film is the way that it ends. I am not going to give it away, but let’s just say that a young version of a folk legend shows up to play at a club that Llewyn Davis is walking through. The film is airing on The Movie Channel and it’s also available on the Showtime Anywhere App. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I was lazy today when it came to choosing a film to watch and there was a film that came out in 2014 that I was curious to watch. The Other Woman begs the question of what would you do if you found out that your husband was having an affair? For Kate King (Leslie Mann), her husband Mark (Game Of Thrones’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is her whole entire life and she doesn’t think she can function without him. That is until one day, she finds out that Mark is having an affair with a lawyer named Carly (Cameron Diaz). Together the two will investigate Mark and figure out that there is another woman, a much younger and beautiful Amber (Kate Upton). Now, the three will stop at nothing as they bond and get back at Mark for all the lying and cheating. The film also stars Don Johnson (Miami Vice) as Frank, Taylor Kinney (Zero Dark Thirty) as Phil, Nicki Minaj (Ice Age: Continental Drift) as Lydia, David Thornton (The Notebook) as Nick, Kenneth Maharaj (Old Dogs) as Busboy, Victor Cruz (The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3) as Fernando, and the film was directed by Nick Cassavetes (Alpha Dog).
I am a huge fan of Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, I have enjoyed every movie that they have been in (I believe this is there first together). Sometimes though, I feel that Leslie Mann plays the same role whether it is in Knocked Up, This Is 40, and this film. I didn’t think the film was that bad, it had some funny moments to it, but it’s kind of a chick flick comedy. I did however like the idea of three women who are a part of this love triangle that team together to get back at their cheating husband. They use some of the same tactics that we’ve seen in other revenge comedies like estrogen pills in the man’s shake or laxatives in the drink. If they have comedies known as Bromances, then what do we call a film where sisters band together? Kate Upton looks really hot in this film and she does a decent job. I wasn’t sure what her acting ability was going to be, but she definitely surprised me. I also enjoyed seeing Nicki Minaj and her big booty in the film as she also does a good job in the film. Poor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau started by playing an unlikable character in Game Of Thrones and he plays one in this film. If you enjoy RomCom’s (Romance Comedies) and sismances (my alternative for Bromance unless you come up with a better one), then you may like this one. I am going to give the film a B- for a final grade.
Back in the late 1990’s, there was a scandal in the Los Angeles Police Department’s CRASH (a task force set up to fight street gangs) department. They believed that there was a lot of corruption in that department and the Rampart division of the LAPD. This film, Rampart, takes place during that time as it follows police officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson). Officer Brown is the kind of guy who follows his own brand of justice in life whether it be on the streets where he does things his way or at home with his dysfunctional family. After a beating incident, things begin to fall apart for Brown as he looks to keep his family together as well as his career as he fights to keep his job. The film also stars Bree Olson (21 Jump Street) as Helen, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Barbara, Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Catherine, Jon Bernthal (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Dan Morone, Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) as General, Steve Buscemi (Fargo) as Bill Blago, Robin Wright (The Princess Bride) as Linda, Ned Beatty (The Toy) as Hartshorn, Ice Cube (Ride Along) as Kyle Timkins, Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Joan Confrey, and the film was directed by Oren Moverman (Love & Mercy).
I realized as I started to watch the film that I did a double shot of Woody Harrelson for this challenge and I’m glad I did. This film is not only visually stunning, but it’s gritty and it’s dark. You literally see the a man descend from the beginning of the film all the way to the end. What I mean by that is that Woody starts off the film being this tough guy who does things his own way on the streets. He is cocky about it and believes in what he is doing until everything around him starts to fall apart. The more the film goes on, the darker the fall into madness for Woody’s character. There are a lot of scenes in the film which stunningly portray his character as this misanthrope, misogynistic, womanizing man who has no care in the world for how people feel. This film is great for character study and it kind of shows where LA was at in the late 1990’s. Every person from Bree Olson to Ben Foster do an amazing job acting wise that you can’t help, but love this film. Woody’s transformation is unbelievable as well as he just looks sick for most of the film and he gets worse as time goes on in the film. The only thing that I question is the man’s home life as he lives with his ex-wife and his current wife and he has a child with each one. Oh and I almost forgot, they are sisters too. If you’re into films like this one then you should definitely check it out. The film is available on Netflix and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
For today’s film, I decided to review a film that starred Robert Downey Jr. who made a resurgence in his career in the 2000’s and Anton Yelchin who starred in a film I loved called Alpha Dog. The film I chose for today is called Charlie Bartlett and Yelchin plays the title character. Charlie is a kid who is just looking to fit in, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to do it the right way as he has found himself getting kicked out of numerous schools. His clueless mother (Hope Davis) decides to enroll Charlie into Western Summit High, where Charlie will become the school’s psychiatrist in order to gain popularity. The only problem is that there are consequences for every action and Charlie has to try and use his new found popularity to do the right things. The film also stars Kat Dennings (Thor: Dark World) as Susan, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) as Principal Gardner, Tyler Hilton (Walk The Line) as Murphy, Mark Rendall (30 Days Of Night) as Kip, Dylan Taylor (Tideland) as Len Arbuckle, Megan Park (The Secret Life Of The American Teenager) as Whitney, Jake Epstein (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Dustin, Derek McGrath (Carrie) as Superintendent Sedgwick, Jonathan Malen (Mean Girls) as Jordan, and the film was directed by Jon Poll (Captain America 1990).
You can look at this film in several different ways, is it social commentary on how obsessive our society has been on abusing prescription pain killers? Or is it commentary on how kids will do anything to become popular? Well, if it’s the second one, then that is something that has been happening for ages and even in film. Every generation has their films on what it’s like to be a teenager like what Fast Times At Ridgemont High did for the 80’s. I highly doubt that it was the first one just because the pills are a minor part of the whole film and only serve as a catalyst to get the film going. Although, there is this one line in the film that I thought was superb and exactly how society should look at teens and prescription drugs. It reads like, “Bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the desert.” I thought that was a brilliant piece of writing from the writers. Everything about this film was good from the writing to the director and it’s sort of a coming of age story, but only in the fact that Charlie comes to realize who he really is and what his place is in society. Kat Dennings of course looks fantastic in the film and she does an amazing job playing a teenager with so much angst. Listen check out the film for yourself, it’s playing on one of the premium channels. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.