One of my all time favorite actors from the 80’s is John Cusack who starred in such great films as Say Anything…, Tapeheads, One Crazy Summer, and even High Fidelity. So, I was cruising through Netflix trying to decide on a film when I came across Grosse Pointe Blank and decided on it for today. Martin Blank (Cusack) is a professional hitman who has sort of lost his way and just needs to be found or at least realize what he wants out of life. Against his intuition, he goes back home to Detroit where he’ll attend his ten year high school reunion. While there, he runs into his old high school sweetheart Debbie Newberry (Minnie Driver) that he ran out on ten years before and he decides to try and fix that relationship while letting go of his lifestyle. The film also stars Joan Cusack (Working Girl) as Marcela, Alan Arkin (Argo) as Dr. Oatman, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Grocer, Jeremy Piven (Smokin’ Aces) as Paul Spericki, Hank Azaria (Mystery Men) as Steven Lardner, K. Todd Freeman (The Cider House Rules) as Kenneth McCullers, Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Bob Destepello, Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon) as Mr. Bart Newberry, and the film was directed by George Armitage (Miami Blues).
There are things you should know about getting into a John Cusack film that is starring him and one is that Joan Cusack is probably in the film. The second one that you can expect is that the soundtrack to the film is probably incredible so you should pay attention to that. The film featured cuts from amazing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure for example. The other thing you should expect from a Cusack film is that Cusack is going to be stealing the show by commanding the screen with his underdog like qualities. No matter the role, you are rooting for him to succeed and that is what I love about his films. This one adds the element that he is a professional assassin which means we get some bad ass action sequences in the film as well. The film itself is absolutely awesome and definitely a film I wish I had seen a heck of a lot sooner than I did. I really loved the fact that Alan Arkin was in the film as the scared psychiatrist who has to continuously deal with Cusack’s character throughout the film. It adds to the overall comedy of the film and Dan Aykroyd definitely does that as the rival hitman. So you can definitely see all the crazy directions this film goes, but it’s enjoyable because the story is awesome. Everybody normal hates the idea of going back to a high school reunion, but hey that’s how it goes. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because the acting was great and the soundtrack is amazing.
Even if you are not a big fan of DC Comics and any of there extended universe, you have to admit that Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is one of the most anticipated movies of the year so far. This is the second film in the DC Extended Universe and it once again stars Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel) as Superman as we deal with the aftermath of what happened in the first film. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) feels like he has taken the worst hit of all as Wayne Tower in Metropolis came crashing down. Bruce begins to make it his mission to destroy Superman, who at the moment is under a lot of scrutiny in the public eye, but the two may have to put their differences aside as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has a devious plan up his sleeve for the world as he unleashes Doomsday. The film also stars Gal Gadot (Fast Five) as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Amy Adams (American Hustle) as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne (Boyz N The Hood) as Perry White, Jeremy Irons (The Lion King) as Alfred, Holly Hunter (Raising Arizona) as Senator Finch, Scoot McNairy (Argo) as Wallace Keefe, Callan Mulvey (Captain America: Winter Soldier) as Anatoli, Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine) as Mercy, and the film was directed by Zack Snyder.
Now the moment you all have been waiting for and that is what did I think of the film? Overall, I will say that I liked the film and that I thought it was a decent effort from DC Comics. The first half of the film in my opinion was not what I wanted at all from them with a lot of unnecessary nonsense. It literally bounced all over the place and the dream sequences were unnecessary. The second half of the film when it starts to fall in place is where the film gets really good. That is what I call the money sequences and it all happens as Lex Luthor starts to reveal himself and his plans for the world leading up to the battle scene. The battle sequence between Batman and Superman is really good right up until it ends. It ends and they become best friends all of a sudden which was about the only thing that bothered me about that. Then it gets really good again when Doomsday is revealed and Wonder Woman comes to play. I liked Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor but at times he seemed to resemble The Joker a little too much. Gal Gadot did a really good job as Wonder Woman so I look forward to seeing a film from her in the future. I really liked Ben Affleck as Batman, but I hated his suit because it made him overly bulky like he was a bodybuilder. Jeremy Irons as Alfred was a real hit in my opinion just because of his wittiness and the way he handles Batman. DC in my opinion is still way behind Marvel as far as the movie universe is concerned, but I look forward to the future as some other Justice League characters were revealed in this film. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because of the first half of the film.
While all of us who are fans of comic book movies wait for Ryan Reynolds (Waiting) to star in Deadpool (which comes out in February), I figured I would review the last film he made to date. The name of the film is Self/less and it was directed by Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror) and the film looks at a topic that all of us may have wondered about. What if we possessed the ability to take the brilliant men of the world who are old and about to die and transported them into new bodies? It brings up the idea of immortality and man’s ability to play God. That was the question that was raised to New York real estate tycoon Damien (Ben Kingsley) as he was slowly dying of Cancer. He was lead to believe that the bodies that were available were created in a lab and so he makes the jump. Unfortunately as he gets used to his new body (Ryan Reynolds), he begins to discover that maybe these bodies belonged to people who had souls of their own. As soon as he discovers this, he is on the run and he has to protect the family of the man who once occupied the body. The film also stars Natalie Martinez (Death Proof) as Madeline, Matthew Goode (Watchmen) as Albright, Victor Garber (Argo) as Martin, Derek Luke (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Anton, Melora Hardin (Hot Chick) as Judy, and Michelle Dockery (Non-Stop) as Claire.
Ryan Reynolds takes a lot of crap for some of the roles he chooses where people feel he can only play a certain part, but I beg to differ. We know that the film didn’t do as well in the box office as the studio had hoped, but I feel like people should given the film a chance. It was definitely a cool and new concept for a Sci-Fi thriller like this. It gives you an insight into what the possibilities could be and what the side effects can be by taking over a new body. Ben Kinglsey is an amazing actor to begin with and he plays a bitter old man who has always appreciated the money first over the real joys of life. Ryan Reynolds is kind of the coming of age part of the film where he begins to realize that he loved all the wrong things in life and decides to make up for it. I really enjoyed the acting from Matthew Goode, he does an amazing job play a manipulative man hell bent on perfecting his research and will do anything to achieve it. There’s plenty of action, suspense, and mystery to please any fan and I love the special effects in the film. Now I pose this question to all of you. Would you sell your body to save someone you loved even if it meant never seeing them again? Would you take over a body knowing that a real soul once possessed it and is still kind of there? Check out the film and answer that for yourself. I am giving the movie an B+ for a final grade.
This was one of those films that came out last year that I never had the chance to see and when I saw that it was available on Redbox, I jumped on the chance. The United States has been fighting the war on drugs on every single (Local, State, DEA, FBI, etc.) level ever since the Reagan administration. Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is sort of a straight laced, by the book FBI agent who is knee deep in the war on Mexican cartels in Arizona. After an incident where she found tons of bodies, she is recruited by a government task force that is led by an unconventional CIA agent (Josh Brolin) and a mysterious Latino man (Benicio Del Toro) working with the CIA to hunt down a drug lord. The mission is tough for Kate as she begins to notice that they’ll do anything to catch the man. The film also stars Victor Garber (Argo) as Dave Jennings, Jon Bernthal (Fury) as Ted, Daniel Kaluuya (Kick Ass 2) as Reggie, Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) as Steve Forsing, Raoul Max Trujillo (Riddick) as Rafael, Julio Cedillo (The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada) as Fausto Alarcon, Bernardo P. Saracino (Frontera) as Manuel Diaz, Maximiliano Hernandez (Warrior) as Silvio, and the film was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners).
I am going to come out and say it and that is I am a huge fan of Denis Villeneuve films because they are dark, intense, and they keep you on the edge of your seat. I think just about everyone has seen Prisoners which was dark and intense, but if you haven’t seen Enemy, then you need to. You also need to see this film if you haven’t because the last half of the movie gets really intense. There’s this one scene when they are preparing to go forward with a mission that the score gets as intense and suspenseful as the scene. That is the perfect marriage between score and film which is what we all aim for when making a film. It’s really hard to choose who the MVP of the film is because Josh Brolin is as amazing as usual and Benicio Del Toro is pretty intense in the film too. For a while, you are trying to figure out what an assassin has to do with the story, but once you get it, you really get it and you move forward. I am going to warn you that at times some of the images you may see on screen can get pretty intense, but we are dealing with the Mexican Cartel after all and they’ve done some pretty nasty stuff. This could be a contender for movie of the year, but it’s hard because 2015 was a really good year for films. Anyways, I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade so check it out for yourself.