Every now and again a good sci-fi film is always in order and it seems that every year a critical acclaimed one comes out. Then there re those films that garner so much buzz because of a 100% (97 at the moment) rating on Rotten Tomatoes like today’s film in the Arrival. Louise Baker (Man Of Steel’s Amy Adams) is a Linguistics professor at a local college whose life is ordinary until they show up. When I say they, I mean these 12 strange alien pods that appear in 12 different locations around the world. Naturally, the first thing we want to do is find out why they are here and if they want to destroy us. So, Louise will lead a team an elite team of investigators with her into the ships to try and figure out their language in order to try and communicate with them. The film also stars Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ian Donnelly, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Halpern, Forrest Whitaker (Taken 3) as Colonel Weber, Tzi Ma (The Ladykillers) as General Shang, Mark O’Brien (The Last Tycoon) as Captain Marks, Abigail Pniowsky (Channel Zero) as Eight Year Old Hannah, Max Walker (I’m Not There) as Private Miller, and the film was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario).
Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. This is one of those films that you may leave the theater either wondering how it received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes or what the hell just happened? The whole film they are trying to figure out why they are here and we are watching as she decodes the language. They eventually get to a point where the Aliens have told them that they have given them a weapon or a gift. Now they and you are wondering just what is the weapon or gift that they are speaking of? When it hits you eventually at the end, you are like what kind of gift is that and why is she the only one to receive it? You are also led to believe in the film that she has had a daughter and she passed away, but this gift she receives at the end will distort what is reality at this point. I left the theater confused with all of these questions and that kind of bothered me because I was really enjoying the film up to that point. The cinematography is incredible and the way they mess with your depth perception at one point with the cameras is killer. Amy Adams is masterful in the film as well as all the others in it and it’s a pretty good story. It’s just that the ending is a little confusing and doesn’t make any sense to me. This may be one of those films that you may have to see twice. The aliens were OK looking as they looked giant octopuses with hand like tentacles, but they look like a human hand pretending that there hand is a creature walking. This is a tough one to grade because of the fact that while I enjoyed it, the ending bothered me. Therefore, I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade right now unless I change my mind.
2016 has truly been the year of the superhero and I am glad that I have been able to share this year with all of you on here. That is why I am happy to share the last superhero film of 2016 with all of you. Ever since the announcement of Doctor Strange to the big screen, I could wait to see it and now it’s today’s film. Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) could be considered one of the best surgeons in the world and he definitely knows it. One day while on his way to accept an award, he ends up getting in a car accident and he loses the ability to fully use his hands. After exhausting every option possible, he heads out to Kathmandu to learn to heal himself through magic thanks to the teachings of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Not to far into the future, his teachings are put to the test when an old protege Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) comes back to destroy the world we know to allow a more sinister being in. The film also stars Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) as Christine Palmer, Chiwetelu Ejiofor (American Gangster) as Mordo, Benedict Wong (Moon) as Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) as Dr. Nicodemus West, Benjamin Bratt (Traffic) as Jonathan Pangborn, and the film was directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister).
Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. I think that when Marvel/Disney tries something new that maybe not everyone in the world knows about, it becomes a hit. I definitely feel that it’s going to certainly be the case for this film which was just absolutely amazing from beginning to end. I saw somebody described the film like looking through a Kaleidoscope and that is partly true with the buildings bending and turning like gears in a machine right before your very eyes. The film is absolutely visually stunning and captivating as you watch in awe with what the cinematographer and the editors of the film gave you. It’s a trip into a zone that Marvel has never been on before and I love it and want more of it. Benedict Cumberbatch is just absolutely amazing, funny, and witty in the film and I cannot wait for more films with him in it. Mads Mikkelsen does an amazing job playing a villain who is so obsessed with the idea of immortality that he sold out his own realm for it. One of the coolest sequences in the film that is off the hook is when Doctor Strange is trying to turn back time so he travels into the dark dimension to visit Dormammu. What happens next is just visual Ecstasy and you have to just soak it in. The film has everything you would want from a Marvel movie, it’s visually stunning, it has a great story, it has those funny moments we love, and it has some kick ass action. What are you waiting for? Go out and see it already! I think this film gives Deadpool a serious shot at the number one spot in my book cause it gets an A+ for a final grade.
Halloween is now only two days away and I hope that all of you have been getting in the spirit of the holiday especially with Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween. I wanted to watch something cool for today and I really love anthology horror films so I chose to watch the new film Holidays. Holidays is an holiday anthology film that goes through the various holidays of the calendar year. For example, a girl wants to get her crush a heart so he can get the surgery he needs, it’s a St. Patrick’s Day version of Rosemary’s Baby, but with reptiles, the Easter bunny and Jesus, a girl willing to go to the beyond to find her long lost father, a webcam scumbag who won’t let his girls celebrate Halloween, and so many more. The film stars Lorenza Izzo (The Green Inferno) as Jean, Seth Green (Robot Chicken) as Pete Gunderson, Harley Quinn Smith (Tusk) as Holly, Ruth Bradley (Flyboys) as Elizabeth Cullen, Madeleine Coghlan (Share) as Maxine, Clare Grant (Walk The Line) as Sarah Gunderson, Harley Morenstein (Tusk) as Ian, Jocelin Donahue (Insidious: Chapter 2) as Carol, Andrew Bowen (Po) as Reggie, Ashley Greene (Yoga Hosers) as Bree, Savannah Kennick as Heidi, Sonja Kinski (Vinyl) as Crystal, Aleksa Palladino (Boardwalk Empire) as Persian, and many more. The film features the following directors Kevin Smith, Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Ellen Reid, Gary Shore, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, and Dennis Widmyer. To see the rest of the review, please click here.
After today, there are only 100 days left to the year which means I have a 100 movies left to watch (I know the blog is titled 365, but my mistake cause there’s 366). Believe it or not, there are a lot of James Bond films that I still have to see and so for today I chose to watch Casino Royale which is the first Daniel Craig (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) film in the series. James has just gotten his 00 status and he gets sent into the field for the first time. His immediate result is not a desirable one, but he looks to make it up with a poker game. You see James follows a weapons dealer named La Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) to a poker game in Luxembourg where James will have to outsmart him to stop him. The film also stars Eva Green (300: Rise Of An Empire) as Vesper Lynd, Judi Dench (Skyfall) as M, Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) as Felix Leiter, Giancarlo Giannini (Man On Fire) as Mathis, Caterina Murino (The Story Of My Life) as Solange, Simon Abkarian (Zero Dark Thirty) as Alex Dimitrios, Isaach De Bankolé (The Skeleton Key) as Steven Obanno, Jesper Christensen (Spectre) as Mr. White, Ivana Milicevic (Banshee) as Valenka, and the film was directed by Martin Campbell (Goldeneye).
On the scale of all of the Bond films that I have seen, I actually enjoyed watching this one because it was fun to watch. The series took a dark turn with Skyfall and it continued through Spectre (I still have Quantum Of Solace to watch). This was as fun of a movie to watch as Goldeneye was and it was one heck of an improvement from it’s predecessor Die Another Day. This is definitely a side of James Bond that we had never seen because it was a young version of him who is adjusting to being in the field. We figure out through this film why he has a hard time keeping the ladies (he has no problem getting them). I really liked Mads Mikkelsen as a bond villain, but he’s certainly not my favorite. He’s everything a Bond villain would be and I love his choice of torture (I don’t really love it, it’s just extremely painful to watch). I am in love with Eva Green so I think it’s safe to say that I loved her as a Bond girl. She was the perfect counterpart to James Bond as she matched wits with him on plenty of occasions. The great thing about these films besides the action and special effects is the locations that they travel to. They filmed in the Bahamas, Italy, Czech Republic, and England. Do yourself a favor and give Casino Royale a shot because the film showcases why I love Daniel Craig as James Bond and why I wouldn’t be upset if he returned to the role once again. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because Skyfall and Goldeneye are better than this one.
This wasn’t really on the list of must see films that I made up the other day, but I remember a friend of mine strongly recommended the film. The film that I am talking about is the Sci-Fi movie Midnight Special which was released earlier in the year and it was available via Redbox. Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) is a very special eight year old boy with very special powers that one side believes that he is the messiah while another side believes that he is a dangerous weapon. Roy (Michael Shannon) believes that his son is special too and will do anything that it takes to get him to where he needs to go before either the cult or the FBI gets to him. The film also stars Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods And Kings) as Lucas, Kirsten Dunst (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) as Sarah, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Sevier, Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down) as Calvin Meyer, Bill Camp (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) as Doak, Scott Haze (The Sound and the Fury) as Levi, Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Miller, David Jensen (Ocean’s Eleven) as Elden, and the film was written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud).
The thing I loved most about the film was the actual story itself because for the most part you’re wondering what is this kid? Is he human, mutant, or alien? For the most part, you don’t really know what he is and they don’t really tell you for most of the film. Then there is the human element of the film where there are people that truly believe in this child’s ability that they will go all out for him. One thing that I did want to comment on is that the filmmakers make Kirsten Dunst look old (I don’t mean super old) in the film which just amazed me. She actually looked like someone in her mid to late 30’s in the film, but for the time she is on screen she does a great job. The real MVP of the film besides Jaeden is Michael Shannon who plays the father that will do whatever it takes to protect his son and get him to the destination no matter the cost. I have to be honest in saying that there really isn’t a bad performance from anyone in the film. Everybody knows their role and they play it right like Adam Driver who is the NSA agent who just thinks all of this is cool. The special effects are very cool especially the scene with the satellite crashing to Earth was cool. The film definitely asks the age old question of are we really alone in the universe? Is there other life forms somewhere we don’t know? If you are a fan of Sci-Fi movies then you owe it to yourself to at least check this one out. I am going to give Midnight Special an A- for a final grade.
For today’s film, I probably chose the most controversial film of the year so far and I say controversial for all the hate it received on Youtube. The film I am talking about is the remake/reboot of the most legendary 80’s series Ghostbusters. Things in Manhattan seem pretty normal until a paranormal invasion happens at a local historical building that calls on paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) along with nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). After the occurrences that strangely keep happening around the city, they decide to form a team to battle the ghosts which could be connected to someone who is trying to bring them back to cleanse the world. The film also stars Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) as Patty Tolan, Zach Woods (The Other Guys) as Tour Guide, Ed Begley Jr. (This Is Spinal Tap) as Ed Mulgrave, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Harold Filmore, Steve Higgins (The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon) as Dean, Neil Casey (Inside Amy Schumer) as Rowan North, Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World) as Kevin, Cecily Strong (The Boss) as Jennifer Lynch, Andy Garcia (The Untouchables) as Mayor Bradley, Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Hawkins, Karan Soni (Deadpool) as Benny, and the film was directed by Paul Feig (The Heat).
I am going to warn you that from here on going forward that there may or may not be spoilers contained in this part of the article. So I am setting up a spoiler alert warning and do not continue if you do not want to know. There are going to be a lot of differences of opinions when it comes to this film with some that claim they hated it and some that claim they liked or loved it. You ultimately have to make that decision for yourself, but I am on the side of I loved it. It’s not better than the original Ghostbusters movie, but it was so much fun to watch.I had so many laughs through out the whole film especially with Chris Hemsworth who plays Kevin, a hunky guy who is a complete and utter idiot. Chris does a great job playing one of the comedic reliefs of the film. I thought that Melissa McCarthy would be my favorite Ghostbuster in the film, but that award goes to Kate McKinnon who plays the outrageous and weird Jillian Holtsmann. She was one of the best parts of this film and provided me with a lot of laughs as well. The ghosts were really cool, but the CGI in the film reminded me a lot of the first Scooby Doo film that came out. It’s like they used the same technology as that film to create their ghosts. One of my favorite things about this film is the various cameos in the film from all the original cast members of Ghostbusters except for Rick Moranis (who says that he is not retired) and Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014).
There are times in the film where it seems more like a horror film because some off the scenes with the ghosts can be spooky as hell. One of my favorite sequences in the film has to be the fight scene between the Ghostbusters and all the ghosts in the city. It’s your typical action like sequence, but it’s very cool and bad ass. I also thought that I would be opposed to seeing the ghost from the logo as an actual ghost in the film, but I actually enjoyed it. Besides the original cast members of the original films, there are also references to the original film that made me happy that they at least recognized it. I am going to leave you guys with one statement regarding the film and take it for what it is and form your own opinion. I really enjoyed the film, had a lot of fun watching it, and I would be open to a sequel if it came up. Like I said, is it better than the originals, obviously no, but it is it’s own film.
Before I woke up this morning, I had never heard of the film I watched and reviewed for today, but there was one factor that made me want to watch. I am a huge fan of Michael Pitt and I have been wondering what he has been up to since he had left the show Boardwalk Empire, but I got my answer in I Origin. Pitt plays molecular biologist Dr. Ian Gray whose main line of interest is the human eye. One thing is for sure when it comes to Ian and that is he does not believe in God and is always out to prove that there is more proof in science than in religion. All of that is about to be put to the test when he makes a startling discovery that may prove that there may be something greater than science. The film also stars Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) as Kenny, Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Sofi, Brit Marling (Sound Of My Voice) as Karen, Archie Panjabi (Bend It Like Beckham) as Priya Varma, Venida Evans (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Margaret Dairy, William Mapother (Mission: Impossible II) as Darryl Mackenzie, and the film was written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth).
The film is interesting to say the least and it hits many different genres in one from it starting off as a romance movie that dabs in science to a tragedy movie back to a romance film and back to a science film. The thing that he discovers toward the last half of the film really makes you question whether science is correct or if the religious people had it right all along. What if you could tell if someone was resurrected through the patterns in the eye? Think about that for a second, what if the things you like, don’t like, and the reason you act the way you do is because you were someone else in a past life. Through an eye scan, he discovers that there is someone out there in the world that is a match to his dead wife and I mean an exact match. Wouldn’t you be curious enough to want to see if they reacted to certain things that your past love, brother, or even friend would have. That is the thing I loved about the film was this sense of what if and it didn’t hurt that Astrid Berges-Frisbey was really hot. It’s an honest film that will make you think a little bit, but it can be predictable at times. That was the only bad thing about the film was that you could see certain things happening when they did. Other than that I loved the acting from Pitt and Marling, etc. It was also cool to see them in Delhi, India cause the cinematography was cool. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. It’s airing on HBO and I’m pretty sure it’s available on HBOGO.
James Franco (Pineapple Express) is slowly becoming one of my favorite actors because he has down a little bit of everything in his career. I am also enjoying his team ups with guys like Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. That is why I chose to watch the film True Story which stars Franco and Hill together in a film that is based on a true story. Michael Finkel (Hill) is a well respected journalist for the New York Times, but after some untruths are uncovered in a recent article, he is fired from his job. He then learns that a man named Christian Longo (Franco) who has been convicted of murder used his identity while he was on the run from the law in Mexico. Curious as to why he did it, Finkel soon starts a correspondence with him in hopes of getting his story out to the public, but things and facts may not seem to appear right with Longo. The film also stars Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) as Jill Barker, Maria Dizzia (Margin Call) as Mary Jane Longo, Ethan Suplee (Chasing Amy) as Pat Frato, Robert John Burke (RoboCop 3) as Greg Ganley, Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) as Karen Hannen, and the film was directed by Rupert Goold.
I am sincerely super impressed with James Franco which is why I said he is becoming one of my favorite actors. Here is why I enjoyed him in this film and it’s because he is so charming that he fools you like his character fools the public (look him up, he is a real person so I am not spoiling anything). To go along with charming, he is also very witty and convincing which is just downright dangerous because he had me believing that there was a chance he could be innocent. I don’t blame Michael Finkel for taking this on because I probably would have been a sucker for it as well. See that is what I loved about this film and why I would suggest this one to anyone that is a fan of him and even a fan of Jonah Hill. This must have been a difficult thing to live with for Michael who was already facing his own personal trial for what happened over at the New York Times so he was vulnerable. I loved the cinematography to the film as well because the photography matched the overall tone of the film and the story. It was a dark film to begin with so not a lot of happy colors and more dark imagery like the photos of the wife and kids. If you want to find out what is true or not about the film, then visit the website Biography.com. Like I said before, it’s a different film than what we are used to from Franco and Hill, but it’s a welcomed change in my book. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out on HBO or the HBOGO App.
I am a huge fan of Disney Pixar animation as they seem to get it right almost every single time they come out with a film. With that being said, I had to check out their latest offering The Good Dinosaur (to which I am surprised it wasn’t nominated for an oscar). In a world where Dinosaurs live among the humans, a Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is just trying to figure out what his place is among his family. Every single member of his family seems to know what there purpose is except for the skiddish and smaller Arlo. One day after the death of his father, Arlo goes after a human named Spot (Jack Bright) who Arlo feels is responsible. While he is going after him, the two end up getting lost and they have to stick together if they want to find their way back home and that means figuring out who he really is deep inside for Arlo. The film also stars Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) as Poppa, Frances McDormand (Fargo) as Momma, Marcus Scribner (Black-ish) as Buck, Maleah Nipay-Padilla (Fruitvale Station) as Libby, Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) as Thunderclap, A.J. Buckley (Happy Feet) as Nash, Anna Paquin (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Ramsey, Sam Elliot (Tombstone) as Butch, and the film was directed by Peter Sohn (who also voices Pet Collector).
I want to start this paragraph by saying that there is always a character that helps drive these children’s animated films. They are the characters that children always laugh at because they are the comedic relief like Tow Mater in Cars, the Minions in Despicable Me, and so on and so forth. In this film, Spot is that character that helps drive the film forward and is the comedic relief. Without him, I don’t think the film would be as awesome as it was. It would be a great tear jerking story, but he makes it incredible. He is so essential to the story that Arlo couldn’t grow up and find who he was without him. There are so many great appearances in this film like a family of T-Rex’s voiced by Paquin and Elliot or Zahn who is brilliant as the pterodactyl Thunderclap. The film also features some incredible animation that I was blown away by how far we have come. When they do close ups of Arlo, you can see all the detail in his scales along with the bruises and anything else. Even the details in the river are amazing especially when it floods. Again, I don’t know why this film wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, but it certainly deserved a nod at least. It’s truly a film that is full of adventure and it even pulls on your heart strings like any great Disney film would. If you are a fan of animated films, then do yourself a favor and check out The Good Dinosaur. So with that being said, I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade.
There are films out there that just grab you the minute you see a movie poster or a trailer. There are films out there that just strike a certain chord in your brain the right way that makes you interested like The Town and other films that have to do with bank heists. Today’s film, Triple 9 was definitely one of those that mad me want to see it. Triple 9 is about a gang that has former cops and dirty cops on its team that perform heists. After a heist is successful, these gang which is made up of the ringleader Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), ex-cop Gabe Welch (Aaron Paul), dirty cops Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie) and Franco Rodriguez (Clifton Collins Jr.) are put to the test one more time. They have to plan the murder of a cop in order to pull off the biggest heist they have ever performed. The film also stars Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) as Chris Allen, Woody Harrelson (Rampart) as Jeffrey Allen, Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as Russel Welch, Gal Gadot (Superman Vs Batman: Dawn Of Justice) as Elena Vlaslov, Kate Winslet (Labor Day) as Irina Vlaslov, Teresa Palmer (Take Me Home Tonight) as Michelle Allen, Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as Sweat Pea, and the film was directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless).
Now I know you are wondering if the film lived up to the trailer or the movie poster? My simple answer to that question is an obvious yes, but how did it live up to it? First off, hats off to all the actors in the film because they did an amazing job as far as that department is concerned. It’s hard for me to choose one person as the MVP especially out of the four guys on the team plus Affleck and Harrelson. Although, I had a hard time buying Kate Winslet as a Russian Jewish Mobster especially with the accent, I am willing to look past it because the film was gritty and it was exactly what I wanted. They inserted the twists in the film just at the right spots so that you didn’t get bored with the film and they were plenty of scenes where you don’t see the particular action coming. If I had to compare this film with any other film out there, I would choose The Town just not as amazing as that one, but it’s up there. It’s basically The Town without bank robbers and with cops instead. The heists sequences are actually where the fun lays in this film because it’s an adrenaline rush as you sit wondering whether they can pull it off or not. One piece of criticism that I do have for the film is that it could have explained their relationships a little more and there are some scenes that could have been cut out. The only spoiler I can give you is that Norman Reedus (his character is bad ass) fans will leave disappointed. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out in theaters all across America now.