Over the past couple of years, we have seen Hollywood transition from remakes to now coming up with sequels some 15 to 20 years or so after the original films (e.g. Dumb And Dumber Too). That is definitely the case with today’s film Zoolander 2 which brings back Ben Stiller (Mystery Men) as everyone’s favorite male model. The world has changed over the last fifteen years and someone is trying to kill off all the beautiful people in the world forcing Derek Zoolander and Hansel (Owen Wilson) out of hiding. Together the two of them will travel to Rome to find Derek’s son and help fashion police officer Valentina Valencia (Penélope Cruz) find whoever is behind these heinous crimes before the fashion world is ruined forever. The film also stars Billy Zane (Titanic) as Billy Zane, Justin Bieber as himself, Sting as himself, Kiefer Sutherland as himself, Jon Daly (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) as Agent Filippo, Christine Taylor (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Matilda, Will Ferrell (Daddy’s Home) as Jacobim Mugatu, Justin Theroux (American Psycho) as Evil DJ, Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) as Katinka, Kristen Wiig (Despicable Me 2) as Alexanya Atoz, Kyle Mooney (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) as Don Atari, and Fred Armisen (Easy A) as VIP.
I think there should be a window of time that you have to come out with a sequel to a film because 15 years is a long time to wait to do one. That’s why I felt the Dumb And Dumber sequel suffered because they waited too long and comedy changes over time. What was funny in 1994 isn’t funny in 2014 or in this case what was funny in 2001 isn’t necessarily funny in 2016. This may have been a really funny film if it was released in 2002 or 03, but not 15 years after the fact. I have to admit that I liked the overall story of the film and I loved a lot of the acting in the film, but it just wasn’t laugh out loud funny in my opinion. One of the most annoying characters in the film is hipster Don Atari (Mooney) and I suppose I should be commending him cause isn’t that the point after all, hipsters are annoying. The always beautiful Penélope Cruz was definitely a nice addition to the cast of beautiful people, but it just wasn’t enough to save the picture. One thing I didn’t understand was the point of the orgy (made up of Kiefer Sutherland and others) unless I am missing something from the first film. As much as I don’t like Justin Bieber, he was a good sport to die in the opening minutes of the film and what a glorious death it was for the Bieber. The film isn’t boring, it’s just not that funny if you get what I am saying. As I said before, it’s a film that would have been funny if it came out 10 years ago, but they waited too long to strike. I am going to give the film an B- only because it’s better than Kindergarten Cop 2.
I was searching for a film to watch and I was going through a whole entire list before the film I chose caught my eye. I have always been a sucker for films that are based on true stories because real life can be scarier than fiction. The film I chose for today is called Zodiac and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners) as San Francisco Newspaper cartoonist Robert Graysmith. In the late 1960’s into the 70′, a killer appeared in Northern California calling himself the Zodiac killer. He would murder his victims and he would send letters to local newspapers. Robert Graysmith became so intrigued with the case that he followed it. Unfortunately, a suspect was never found and no one was ever arrested. When everyone else stopped looking, Graysmith took the reigns and decided to investigate himself coming close to identifying the actual killer. The film stars Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Inspector David Toschi, Anthony Edwards (Top Gun) as Inspector William Armstrong, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) as Paul Avery, Brian Cox (Troy) as Melvin Belli, John Caroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Arthur Leigh Allen, Chloë Sevigny (American Psycho) as Melanie, Elias Koteas (Shutter Island) as Sgt. Jack Mulanax, Donal Logue (Blade) as Captain Ken Narlow, Ione Skye (Say Anything…) as Kathleen Johns, and the film was directed by David Fincher (Fight Club).
This is a long film, but it’s a film that is very intriguing especially when it’s a true crime story that has never been solved to this very day. I watched the film because it starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo because all three men are some of personal favs. At first, I kept wondering how they would close a movie that has no ending in real life. The killer has never been caught so how do you write an ending to that especially when there is none? Do I like the way they ended the film? Essentially, I kind of do and I kind of don’t, but it’s something that I am willing to accept (of course, you’ll have to watch it for yourself). Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant in the film as this kind of neurotic obsessed guy that kind of reminds me of his role a little in Nightcrawler. The case they are all investigating and researching is kind of destroying there lives because they are way to attached to the idea of breaking it open and catching the guy. You see the characters literally falling apart right in front of your fac while the killer stays free. There are several theories and several accusations that have been made as to who the killer was, but the characters in this film believe in the guy they are after. I have to admit that I was a little creeped out watching this film in the wee hours of the night so it definitely gets bonus points for that reason. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade based on performances and just the pure creepiness of the film.
For today’s film, I picked one from one of my favorite actors of the 21ST Century in Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Machinist). The film I chose for today is Equilibrium which is a Sci-Fi, action, drama film. It is sometime in the future after the third world war and we know live in a fascist society where feelings are being monitored to prevent war, greed, and uprising. Christian Bale plays John Preston, an agent who is in charge of destroying artifacts that invoke feelings and destroy anyone who violates the law and feels. After missing a dose that prevents him from feeling, he starts to realize why his dead partner (Sean Bean) and a prisoner (Emily Watson) would sacrifice their lives for feelings. Preston then goes on a crusade to protect the resistance and correct all of the wrongs in the world. The film also stars Taye Diggs (The Wood) as Brandt, Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) as Seamus, Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) as Father, Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart) as Dupont, William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) as Jurgen, Maria Pia Calzone (Gomorrah) as Preston’s Wife, Matthew Harbour (I’m Not There) as Robbie Preston, and the film was directed by Kurt Wimmer (Law Abiding Citizen).
First of all, I have to say that I loved the concept of the film, but I have a couple of issues with it. My one problem with the idea is despite being given a dose to try and prevent you from feeling, how is it that you don’t feel anything? There are a couple of instances where Taye Diggs’s character cracks a smile at Bale during the film and you are meaning to tell me that is not a violation? I do however understand that the drug makes you a mindless drone who carries on with a mundane life in a world where everything is mundane including the color of cars (all cars are completely white with no details). There are instances in films that you see an actors performance and you instantly see similarities in other roles. For example, much of the way he carries himself in this film is very similar to the way he portrayed Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy. I am not saying that is a bad thing because this is definitely one of my top Bale films besides American Psycho and The Machinist. The action in the film is something else that I wanted to talk about because I wish I saved this for Ass Whoopin Wednesday it is so bad ass. Christian Bale is a total bad ass and the action sequences are truly amazing. The whole film overall is amazing from top to bottom and check out what happens to Taye Diggs in the film. The film is currently on Netflix as we speak, but I have no idea for how long. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it’s special effects, acting, and action sequences are all amazing.