I figured since Alice Through The Looking Glass is going to come out this year that I better watch the first film Alice In Wonderland so that I have an idea of what I am getting into. For Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska), she has been having dreams and visions of a land where animals talk, but for her she is always told they are dreams. That is until one day when she is about to be courted for marriage, she sees a rabbit with clothing on and she decides to follow it where she falls into a rabbit hole. Upon arriving in the magical world of Underland, she finds out that it has been held captive by the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and it is up to Alice to save Underland, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), and slay the Jabberwocky. The film also stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Hatter, Crispin Glover (Back To The Future) as Stayne-Knave Of Hearts, Matt Lucas (Shaun Of The Dead) as Tweedle Dee/Dum, Michael Sheen (Underworld) as White Rabbit, Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) as Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Blue Caterpillar, Barbara Windsor (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Dormouse, Timothy Spall (Rock Star) as Bayard, and the film was directed by Tim Burton (Batman 1989).
One thing is for sure, this has to be about the billionth time that Burton has worked with Johnny Depp. It’s sort of like Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro back in the day and all of the great director/actor combinations. The same thing rings true as well with Helena Bonham Carter, but she’s married to Burton so it’s expected. The one thing I can say about all of them is that they were absolutely brilliant in the film. I actually didn’t mind Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter (unlike his portrayal as Willy Wonka which I hated) because he nailed this role. He was both witty and crazy all wrapped in one and his performance was on point. The other thing I loved about the film was all of the visual aesthetics involved. The film was visually stunning to look at from the sets and the looks of the creatures. I know that a lot of it was filmed with a green screen and some animation, but the visuals is what kept me glued to the screen. The world of Underland is visually amazing even though it’s dark and desolate due to the fact that the Red Queen has taken over. It’s kind of sad to watch this film and hear Alan Rickman’s voice knowing that he is gone, but we know his voice is in the next film. and I cannot wait to check that out. My only hope is that the next one is a good as this one. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Since the beginning of this bog, I don’t think I covered a film that starred Tom Cruise (Top Gun) who was one of my favorite actors from the 80’s. For today’s film, I chose All The Right Moves which stars Cruise as Stefen Djordjevic, a kid from Ampipe, a steel town in Pennsylvania. You see in Ampipe, there are only two options it seems for most of their residents, you either work in the dying steel mills or you go to college. All Stefen ever dreams of is to have the chance to get out of Ampipe and so he uses football as the means to an end. The only problem is that Stefen’s attitude and his high school coach Nickerson (Craig T. Nelson) stands in the way of his escape. The film also stars Lea Thompson (Back To The Future) as Lisa, Charles Cioffi (Shaft) as Pop, Gary Graham (Alien Nation) as Greg, Paul Carafotes (Fight Club) as Salvucci, Christopher Penn (Best Of The Best) as Brian, Sandy Faison (Guiding Light) as Suzie, Leon (Cool Runnings) as Shadow, Jonas Chaka (Biker Boyz) as Mouse, Keith Diamond (Dr. Giggles) as Fox, James A. Baffico (Dawn Of The Dead) as Bosco, and the film was directed by Michael Chapman (The Clan Of The Cave Bear).
This was your average early 80’s teen flick that happened to star a future megastar and one of the finest women of the 80’s. While the scene between Thompson and Cruise isn’t very long, it surely is a really good one. Tom Cruise was well he is Tom Cruise so he puts on the performance you would expect from him and have seen in all of the movies he has been in. Lea Thompson is great as the first under appreciated girlfriend who has to make a tough decision later on in the film even though it could be the end. The football parts of the film are pretty good, but the real story of this film is the town itself. There was a time in this nation when certain production heavy cities like Pittsburgh and Detroit were in big trouble because production was moving elsewhere and you see that touched upon in this film. People are getting laid off and one character whose in high school even resorts to armed robbery because he feels he has no other option. So, while the film is essentially about the struggle of two characters who are looking to get out of this town, there is a bigger picture around it. I didn’t understand the title of the film because clearly Cruise’s character makes all the wrong moves, but it all works out for him in the end because even Coach wakes up. I liked the movie and so I am going to give it an B+ for a final grade.
There are things that I am a huge fan of with one being that I am a fan of Kurt Russell and the second thing is creativity. That is exactly what you get with the film Bone Tomahawk which stars Russell as a sheriff in this wild west/horror style film. Everything is normal in a small frontier town until a drifter (David Arquette) mysteriously shows up. What follows is something unholy as a deputy, a doctor, and the drifter are kidnapped by cannibalistic Indians. So, the Sheriff (Russell), the back up deputy (Richard Jenkins), A sharpshooter (Matthew Fox), and the doctor’s husband (Patrick Wilson) who happens to be a cripple, go on the journey to rescue all of them before they are eaten by the savages. The film also stars Lili Simmons (Banshee) as Samantha the doctor, Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Deputy Nick, Sid Haig (House Of 1000 Corpses) as Buddy, Maestro Harrell (The Promotion) as Gizzard, James Tolkan (Back To The Future) as Pianist, Kathryn Morris (A.I. Artificial Intelligence) as Mrs. Hunt, Zahn McClarnon (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) as the professor, Sean Young (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) as Mrs. Porter, and the film was written and directed by S. Craig Zahler.
This is definitely one of the most unique westerns I have ever seen in my life besides Cowboys & Aliens. When I said I liked creativity, this was exactly what I was talking about because I had been trying to develop a western that was also a horror film. I am just glad that someone finally did it and did it well. The film has some real brutal scenes like a body splitting scene that you will see as the cannibals are pretty brutal and cool looking as well. thing that gets me is they look like they belong somewhere else in the world and not in the wild west. Nevertheless, the film starts out like a western film where it takes time to develop the story and then as soon as they get close that is when all the good stuff starts to happen. Kurt Russell was as good as expected and this has me excited to see him The Hateful 8. The other star of the film is Patrick Wilson who as I said is a cripple trying his best to save his wife before it’s too late. Yes, its the stereotypical kind of story, but it works in this film and you feel for this character. You want him to succeed and you want him to get to his wife (plus his wife is super hot). If you’re a fan of cannibals, westerns, horror films, and Kurt Russell then check out this film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.