One of the biggest stories out of the summer and into the later stages of fall was whether or not DC Comics and Warner Brothers could follow the success of this past summers Wonder Woman with their own superhero team up movie Justice League. The one thing the company wanted to avoid was another mishap like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but I decided to check out the film and present it as this week’s Movie Of The Week. The film seems to take place a year or so after the events of BVS with the world mourning the death of their beloved Superman (Henry Cavill). The world will soon be under distress once again when mysterious madman Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) comes to Earth to try and collect three boxes that will surely usher the end of the world. Batman (Ben Affleck) has to find a way to unite all these interesting beings that Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) had unveiled to try and fight against Steppenwolf before it’s too late. The film also stars Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa (Game Of Thrones) as Aquaman, Ezra Miller (Trainwreck) as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals) as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons (The Lion King) as Alfred, Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman) as Queen Hippolyta, J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) as Mera, and the film was directed by Zack Snyder (300).
I have over the last week or so have heard some mixed emotions about the film itself and whether it lives up to the billing or not and while some of it may be frustrating to you at least hear me out. I had a couple of concerns heading into the film with one being how are they going to work all of them together in one film and what was the overall feel of the film going to be. Is this the greatest film in the whole DC Universe? While in the end I truly believe now that BVS was good, this was a better film than that, but not better than Wonder Woman. I thought the way they presented all of the characters certainly worked for them because it felt sort of natural to me. The film in my opinion had the right amount of humor to go along with what DC’s overall look is and the chemistry feel natural to me as well. The action scenes were great and I even loved some of the sets they visit like Atlantis, etc. The one thing I sort of had an issue with was some of the CGI in the film because some of it was kind of cheesy at times. Other than that, it was a fun film to go in and watch without trying to be to analytical and judgmental. I was just super excited because my favorite superhero finally made an onscreen appearance in Aquaman. You don’t have to take my word for it, but I would at least give it a watch or two especially if you love some of these characters as I do. I am going to give Justice League an B+ for a final grade.
I am doing something new as I am reviewing all of the reviews that I did for the 365 Movies in 365 Days Challenge. There are some reviews that I look back on and I say to myself, what in the hell was I thinking? So, I am doing a segment on here called I’m Taking It Back which means I re-review the film and take my grade back. Before we get into why I am taking my grade I gave the film back, here is the synopsis of the film. After the death of Superman, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has been trying to sell the government on the idea of project X. The idea of project x is to take the worst of the worst, give them an incentive, and have them do the missions no one else will do to protect the world. After Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) betrays Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) the government, the team now known as the Suicide Squad is commissioned and sent on a mission to save the world from the terror she brings. The Suicide Squad is made up of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara). The film also stars Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) as The Joker, Adam Beach (Flags Of Our Fathers) as Slipknot, Ben Affleck (The Town) as Batman, Scott Eastwood (Fury) as Lieutenant GQ Edwards, Alain Chanoine (Immortals) as Incubus, Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors) as Griggs, David Harbour (Black Mass) as Dexter Tolliver, and the film was directed by David Ayer (Fury).
So, I looked back at the film and then looked at my review and thought what in the hell was I thinking when I wrote that. I didn’t hate Suicide Squad by any means because I left the theater happy with it, but looking back on it how great was the film really? The film really did end up being the Will Smith show for the most part as he put no effort literally into his portrayal of Deadshot. I was OK with it at the time because I loved Will Smith, but looking back, he just made the film about him. Jared Leto was a pretty decent Joker as he tried to do what many before him did with their versions of the iconic character. I think the fact that David Ayer cut so much of his performance back really hurt his perception to the audience. The Joker is not a nice guy who is fun and loving, he is abusive to Harley and very sadistic and David Ayer screwed it all up by cutting out important moments out of the film. Now again, I thought this was a pretty decent film, but then Wonder Woman came out and made this look like amateur night. I also went back and rewatched BVS (Batman V Superman) and my opinion on rankings have changed as well. The best film so far is Wonder Woman, Man Of Steel, BVS, and then Suicide Squad last. I still love all of the action in the film and a lot of the characters, but let’s be honest here. In the end, I am going to give this film an B- for a final grade
Whenever there are movies released that feature Jake Gyllenhaal (Demolition), I tend to flock to the local theater to see it because he’s amazing. That was definitely the case for today’s film when I saw that he was starring in the film Nocturnal Animals. Amy Adams (The Arrival) plays art gallery owner Susan Morrow, a woman with too much on her mind who is haunted by her wrongdoings to her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal). 20 years after she left him, he delivers a book for her to read and she soon realizes that it symbolically represents their past relationship in a very twisted way. The story in the book follows a man whose wife and child are abducted, raped, and killed and he seeks revenge for what has happened to them. The film also stars Michael Shannon (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Bobby Andes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ray Marcus, Ilsa Fisher (The Brothers Grimsby) as Laura Hastings, Ellie Bamber (Pride And Prejudice And Zombies) as India Hastings, Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Hutton Morrow, Karl Glusman (The Neon Demon) as Lou, Robert Aramayo (Game Of Thrones) as Turk, Laura Linney (Sully) as Anne Sutton, Michael Sheen (Alice In Wonderland) as Carlos, and the film was directed by Tom Ford (A Single Man).
Spoiler Alert: There may be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First of all the film starts off with an uncomfortable sequence of heavily obese women dancing naked and I get it it’s art and that we shouldn’t judge, but it’s just hard to watch. After that, it’s smooth sailing through the rest of the film that is just absolutely amazing and so well written. There is nudity from now and again, but it’s almost in an artistic way and if you love red heads like me then you love this film. Then there is the performances int he film that are just all around amazing from no matter who. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does an amazing job playing a West Texas creep while Michael Shannon plays the detective who will go to any lengths to get his man because he’s dying anyways. Amy Adams is absolutely terrific in the film as this woman who realizes that everything in the book is symbolic of what happened in her life. That is what I loved about the film because the further it goes, the more you realize how connected everything is even though it may not seem that way. For one the story is about a rape and murder of a wife and child and it’s a reflection of their time together. The cinematography is amazing with the different tones that are incorporated into the film and just the overall scenery which becomes a part of the story. This may be one of my favorite films of the year and another Gyllenhaal film that I absolutely loved. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.
In the past six years or so, there seems to be this formula in Hollywood where you take well established actors and you turn them into action stars (e.g. Taken, The Gunman, The Equalizer). That is definitely the case with today’s film Criminal. Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent who holds some valuable information that a crazy anarchist wants. After he is killed, his memories are implanted into the mind the of criminal by the name of Jericho (Kevin Costner) who isn’t fully mentally developed. The hope is that Jericho will lead the CIA to a man by the name of the Dutchman (Michael Pitt) who holds a program that could destroy the world before the anarchist does. The film also stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) as Quaker Wells, Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Dr. Franks, Jordi Mollà (Bad Boys II) as Xavier Heimdahl, Gal Gadot (Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Jill Pope, Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Marta Lynch, Antje Traue (Man Of Steel) as Elsa, Scott Adkins (The Expendables II) as Agent Greensleves, Lara Decaro (The Infiltrator) as Emma Pope, Amaury Nolasco (2 Fast 2 Furious) as Esteban Ruiza, and the film was directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). To see the rest of the review and check out the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
It has been quite some time since the last Ass Whoopin Wednesday post that I did and like I promised it would return. Now the question was what film was I going to choose for the return and Falcon Rising caught my eye on Netflix. Michael Jai White (Tyson) stars as John ‘Falcon’ Chapman, a former Marine who is having a hard time adjusting to life after the military. One day after a visit from his sister Cindy (Laila Ali), he finds out that she was brutally beaten almost to death in Brazil. So, John travels down to Brazil to get to the bottom of it, but he’ll have to deal with the corruption that runs wild in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The film also stars Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Manny Ridley, Lateef Crowder (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Carlo Bororo, Masashi Odate (Letters From Iwo Jima) as Hirimoto, Hazuki Kato (Muppets Most Wanted) as Tomoe, Millie Ruperto (Presumed Dead In Paradise) as Katarina Da’ Silva, Jimmy Navarro (Heroes From Another Land) as Thiago Santo, Daniel Cardona (The Preppie Connection) as Kuka, and the film was directed by Ernie Barbarash (Cube Zero).To see the rest of the review of the film and the stats, please visit my other blog here.
It is that time again since march is now in the books that I have to rate what I believed to be the top 25 films of March. To remind you, I will look at all the films I watched and I will rate them from 25 to 1 with one obviously being my favorite film of that particular month. At the end of the year I will rate the top 25 of the year if I make it to that point and hopefully I do. Obviously there are films that are left behind from the list considering some months have 30 and 31 days, we had to leave six films out because of the 3 days in March. The films that were left out were Taken 3, Hot Bot, Hell And Back, Bulworth, Johnny Mnemonic, and Diablo. Here is the top 25 for the month of March:
25. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
23. All The Right Moves
22. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
21. IP Man: The Final Fight
20. Pee Wee’s Big Holiday
19. Smokin Aces
18. 10 Cloverfield Lane
17. Sucker Punch
16. The Jacket
15. The Night Before
14. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
13. IP Man
12. IP Man 2
11. Nymphomaniac: Vol. II
10. Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
09. The Big Lebowski
07. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
06. Midnight Cowboy
05. Bridge Of Spies
03. City Of God
01. Mystic River
I never got the chance back in the day to check out the film Smokin’ Aces which looked like a bad ass movie. That is until today and that is why I am presenting it to you guys as today’s challenge film. Buddy Israel (Jeremy Piven) was a wannabe gangster Las Vegas performer who decides to turn snitch for the FBI against a rival crime family. Now he needs protection because a hit has been put on his life to make sure that he never gets the chance to snitch. The hitmen are coming from everywhere and anywhere to try and collect on it, but the FBI has to get to him to get him out before the hitmen come. The film also stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) as Richard Messner, Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) as Donald Carruthers, Joseph Ruskin (The Scorpion King) as Primo Sparazza, Ben Affleck (Dogma) as Jack Dupree, Peter Berg (Collateral) as “Pistol” Pete Deeks, Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Hollis, Common (Run All Night) as Sir Ivy, Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III) as Stanley Locke, Alicia Keys as Georgia, Taraji P. Henson (Date Night) as Sharice, Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Darwin Tremor, Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Jeeves Tremor, Tommy Flanagan (Sons Of Anarchy) as Lazlo, Joel Edgerton (The Gift) as Hugo, and so many more.
This movie has a wild and crazy collection of a cast that includes a mix of 80’s, 90’s, and the stars of today all rolled into one awesome cast. Matthew Fox plays the head of security of the casino/hotel, Jason Bateman plays a weird lawyer, Curtis Armstrong who played Booger in Revenge Of The Nerds is in this movie as well. Chris Pine plays an insane character who belongs in a Mad Max movie which shows you how over the top insane and awesome this film was. One thing is for certain, you never have to question Jeremy Piven and his performance because he is a top notch actor that delivers. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t really open up in the film until the last half of the film, but when he does he also delivers. He certainly does in this film as a drugged out paranoid wannabe mob boss. The action in the film at one point becomes non stop as double crosses and hots just keep coming. I will say one thing if you have never seen the movie you may think it’s over at one point, but the ending of the film may shock you. There is a lot that is revealed and of course I will not spoil it for any of you. I really liked this movie and I have to be honest and say that I went into it with no expectations and it paid off. It was tough to decide a grade for this film because it lies on the B+/A- border and that’s how I’ll keep it.
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.