Day 307: Central Intelligence (2016)

ogIt has been a little over a month since the last time we did an Ass Whoopin Wednesdays post so we didn’t want to waste anymore time. For this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesdays film, we decided to do a tag team thing with the film Central Intelligence which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Pain & Gain) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along). For Calvin “The Golden Jet” Joyner (Hart), it looked like the sky was the limit when it came to his life in high school and that he could do anything. 20 years later, he is an accountant at a small company and he’s very unhappy with where he is at. One day, he gets a friend request from someone known as Bob Stone (Johnson) who ends up being a kid that was bullied when they were in high school together. Stone comes and he uses Joyner for his accounting skills to catch someone known as The Black Badger, but who does Joyner trust? Bob Stone or the CIA? The film also stars Amy Ryan (Escape Plan) as Agent Harris, Danielle Nicolet (The Flash) as Maggie, Jason Bateman (Juno) as Trevor, Aaron Paul (Triple 9) as Phil, Tim Griffin (American Sniper) as Agent Mitchell, Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong) as The Buyer, and the film was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re The Millers). To see the rest of the review and the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

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Day 17: Transcendence (2014)

Transcendence Movie Johnny DeppWhen I saw on my guide that Transcendence was going to be on the television, I took the opportunity to check this film out. With an estimated budget of 100 Million, the film was kind of a box office failure in 2014. Nevertheless, the film stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Dr. Will Caster, the utmost authority on Artificial Intelligence who is trying to create the ultimate A.I.. Little does Dr. Caster know that there are people that are against what he is doing and they go as far as poisoning him with radiation on a bullet that he was shot with. Looking to continue his research, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and longtime friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) will ultimately load Will’s consciousness into the computer to create the ultimate A.I. before he dies. What they don’t realize is that there action takes on dangerous implications. The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Joseph Tagger, Cillian Murphy (In Time) as Agent Buchanan, Kate Mara (The Fantastic Four) as Bree, Cole Hauser (Dazed And Confused) as Colonel Stevens, Clifton Collins Jr. (The Stoned Age) as Martin, Josh Stewart (The Collector) as Paul, Cory Hardrict (American Sniper) as Joel Edmund, and the film was directed by Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).

Transcendence-Morgan-Freeman-Rebecca-Hall-Johnny-Depp-and-Cillian-Murphy-crpAs I said in the above paragraph, the movie was a complete flop as it only made about 23 million dollars in the box office. I remember the film being in and out of the theaters in no time so I avoided seeing the film. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never the full film fro start to finish. I can certainly see why it was never successful, but that’s not to say that the film was completely bad. It like most films, had it’s ups and downs with Depp being Depp which equals awesome, but at times it was rather boring. The trailers made you believe or think that as an A.I. he was able to destroy things, but that really isn’t the case. He rather regenerates things and makes them better and has his minions destroy things for him. The film is just more commentary on how social media and computers have taken over our lives and how someday it may come to this when we are launched back into the stone age or at least the 1970’s when there were no cell phones or computers. Rebecca Hall, who I loved in The Town, does a pretty good job being the wife who is blinded by the love of her husband and Paul Bettany who is the friend that eventually sees the error of his ways. Yes, we’ve seen that all before in other Sci-F drama films. Check out the film at your own risk, but I’m telling you that it wasn’t bad. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

Day Four: CBGB (2013)

CBGBI had heard about this film for a long time and I have been waiting since 2013 to watch this film. So, when I saw that Netflix had the title available< I jumped on the opportunity to watch the film CBGB. The film explores the origins of the legendary New York club and how one man named Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) had the vision to pioneer a musical revolution with his club called CBGB. You’ll see all of the triumphs and the struggles that came with owning the club or just working with Hilly period. We’ll also see the birth of bands like Blondie, The Ramones, The Dead Boys, The Talking Heads, and so many more as they share a part with the club’s story. The film also stars Malin Akerman (The Watchmen) as Debbie Harry, Justin Bartha (The Hangover) as Stiv Bator, Richard de Klerk (Repeators) as Taxi, Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) as Terry Ork, Kyle Gallner (American Sniper) as Lou Reed, Ashley Greene (Staten Island Summer) as Lisa Kristal, Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) as Iggy Pop, Ryan Hurst (Sons Of Anarchy) as Mad Mountain, Joel David Moore (Dodgeball) as Joey Ramone, Mickey Sumner (The End Of The Tour) as Patti Smith, Bradley Whitford (Billy Madison) as Nicky Gant, Rupert Grint (Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets) as Cheetah Chrome, and the film was directed by Randall Miller.

hillyThe story of CBGB is quite fascinating because it was a club that was functioning on almost no money. They were spending more than they were making according to the film. It is a legendary club however that I wish I had the opportunity of entering, but I never did. So many legendary bands payed n the stage and the film of course focuses on the pioneers of Punk Rock music and I love the band that closes out the film. Alan Rickman to me is a brilliant actor as I enjoy quite a lot of his films. He does a good job playing a guy with literally the worst business sense as the film makes it clear that he had failed many times before CBGB. The acting was phenomenal and I think anyone wanting to learn the history of Punk Rock should watch this and stick around for the credits which has some goodies in it too. Now as far as what is true about the film and what is not I do not know right now other than I don’t think Conway Twitty ever played there. One thing according to one article is that there are posters and stickers  on the wall of the club before any bands actually have played there which can be counted as a goof. To see more of what they got right vs wrong, check out this article here. Otherwise, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because I enjoyed it thoroughly as I am a music fan first.

 

Day Three: Foxcatcher (2014)

foxcatcherEver since last year’s Academy Awards and The Golden Globes, this was definitely a film I wanted to see for all the buzz it caught. The film Foxcatcher was directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and it starred Steve Carell (The Way Way Back), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), and Mark Ruffalo (Now You See Me). The film centers around two of America’s greatest wrestling brothers and a very rich man from an important American family. Mark Schultz (Tatum) is training for his ultimate goal which is to win the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. One day he is contacted by John du Pont (Steve Carell) multimillionaire who wants Mark to train as his facility to legitimize his Team Foxcatcher. Mark is a very impressionable person and du Pont quickly creates a rift between the two brothers.The union ultimately leads the Schultz’s into tragedy as du Pont is quickly losing his mind. The film also stars Sienna Miller (American Sniper) as Nancy Schultz,  Vanessa Redgrave (Howard’s End) as Jean du Pont, Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) as Jack, Guy Boyd (Taking Chance) as Henry Beck, Brett Rice (Forrest Gump) as Fred Cole, and Lee Perkins (Wild Card) as Corporal.

foxcatcher-channing-tatum-steve-carell-1The film didn’t win any of the big awards, but it definitely put up a fight against some of the heavy contenders at the time. The thing that amazed me the most about this film was the transformation Steve Carell went through because not only does he appear different, but his character is strange. He was a man with a lot of money to throw around and for a little while no one, but Mark could tell that there was something strange about him. He was definitely one of those guys who was socially awkward and sheltered from the dangers of the real world by his mother. Mark Ruffalo is as brilliant as he usually is as he went through a transformation of his own having to put on weight and muscle for the film. The film isn’t full of action, but it’s a slow decent into madness as you dive deeper into it like the characters are. The film is relatively dark in tone if you ask me as there is nothing happy about the film. It’s definitely a film about a match made in hell that turns out drastically bad by the end of the film. There are no spoilers to give here as the film is based on a true story so you can look it for yourself without having to watch the film.

brthsThere is a post online that questions what is true and what isn’t true about every film naturally as they are on “Based” on a true story. One of the facts that went into question was whether or not Mark had a sexual relationship with du Pont and Mark took to his Facebook page to explain the truth saying, “Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between du Pont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that du Pont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will.” There are a lot of details about the film that is wrong so if you want to read any if it, just visit this website for more. Otherwise, I thought it was a great film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day One: Aloha (2015)

aloha-imagesI have been wanting to see this film for quite some time as I am a big fan of Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Rachel McAdams (About Time), and of course the legendary Bill Murray (Stripes). The film is called Aloha and it stars Cooper as a star military contractor named Brian Gilcrest who returns home to Hawaii which is the home of his greatest truimphs to strike a deal with the locals for his billionaire boss (Murray). Along the way, he runs into his old flame (McAdams), starts a relationship with a gung ho Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) who was sent to watch him, and learns a thing or two about himself along the way. The film was directed by Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) and it also stars John Krasinski (The Office) as Woody, Alec Baldwin (Outside Providence) as General Dixon, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Fingers, Bill Camp (Birdman) as Bob Largent, Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent) as Mitchell, and Danielle Rose Russell (A Walk Among The Tombstones).

aloha-movie-love-letterCameron Crowe may have called this his love letter to the isles once in an interview, but I wonder if this type of sentiment really exists in Hawaii. One man who plays the king has the same shirt in the whole film that just reads “American By Force” on one side and “Hawaiian By Birth” on the other. The film is definitely an interesting one as it raises some social issues along inside the love story. The idea of billionaires with lots of money to spend working with the military to develop satellites in lieu of the absence of NASA. Then of course, there is the love story that is attached to this film as we see a man with a lot of issues of holding on finally starting to fall in love with a girl while letting go of the one from his past. One of the things that I will say about the film is that I loved John Krasinski’s character, he’s this tough macho, military guy who has a hard time with expressing himself. He’s too caught up being the man that he just isn’t sensitive enough for his wife until things starting coming into question. I loved the overall cinematography of the film with the beautiful shots of the mountain and beautiful Hawaii, but the 360 degree axis line shot when Rachel first speaks with Cooper’s character was a little sloppy and annoying to me. It was this constant shot of going around in a circle that was done to maintain consistency and fluidity in the shot. The film was definitely interesting at times even though for a while I was trying to figure out what the plot was. I didn’t read what the film was about before I watched it and I kind of forget what it was about anyways. So, I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. It’s airing on Starz as we speak and you can find online or at Redbox (most likely).