As we close in on the end of our mission, there are films that are out there that are on my must see list and that is certainly true in regards to today’s film. One of the best actors to come out of the late 20TH century and well in the 21ST is Daniel Day-Lewis (The Crucible) and for today’s film we are watching There Will Be Blood which is based off of the book Oil! by Upton Sinclair. Daniel Plainview (Lewis) is a semi successful oil prospector who is looking for that piece of the pie that will set him for life. One day a young man by the name of Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) gives up some information on oil in California and it kicks off this story of family, religion, hatred, oil, and madness. The film also stars Paul F. Tompkins (Hell And Back) as Prescott, Dillon Freasier as H.W. Plainview, Ciaran Hinds (Bleed For This) as Fletcher, David Willis (The Good German) as Abel Sunday, Sydney McCallister as Mary Sunday, Kevin J. O’Connor (Peggy Sue Got Married) as Henry, David Warshofsky (Now You See Me) as H.M. Tilford, Hans Howes (Death Warrant) as Bandy, Russell Harvard (The Hammer) as Adult H.W., and the film was directed by aul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights).
Right from beginning to end, Daniel Day-Lewis is intense and he commands the screen like any great star. Can you believe that right now he has only 29 films to his credit? He’s definitely one of those actors that doesn’t need to star in five films a year which means he chooses his roles and this was made for him. He was definitely the star of the film, but he’s not the only one who shined in the film. Paul Dano at first is a little confusing because he is first known as Paul Sunday, but then all of a sudden he is known as Eli Sunday. I didn’t realize that he was playing two different characters, but his performance as an early version of a evangelist was brilliant. It’s a constant war between Eli and Daniel throughout the film, but it all boils down to greed on both their parts. The film was excellently written as the story flows nicely, but there’s more than just oil. There’s the family angle between Daniel and his son H.W. that is a big factor as well. One of the coolest scenes in the film is the oil well that burns up in flames which could have been looked at as a disaster, but is ultimately a blessing. If you want to see what acting is all about then you go on to Netflix and you check out this because class is in session and Day-Lewis is ready to teach. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
For today’s film, I had to choose something quick to watch due to time constraints and I have always admired the work of Jennifer Lopez (Selena). I never got the chance to see The Boy Next Door in theaters, but I am watching it for today’s film. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire Peterson, a woman dealing with whether she should stay with her cheating husband or move on. One day her son Kevin (Ian Nelson) befriends the mysterious boy next door Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). In one vulnerable moment one night, she sleeps with Noah and it turns out to be a very big mistake. Noah has a bit of an obsession problem and after Claire tries to tell him that it can never happen again, Noah goes nuts and the game begins. The film also stars John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Garrett Peterson, Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther) as Vicky Lansing, Lexi Atkins (Zombeavers) as Alice Callahan, Hill Harper (He Got Game) as Principal Warren, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Bob Sandborn, Adam Hicks (How To Eat Fried Worms) as Jason Zimmer, François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Detective Chou, and the film was directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).
What can I truly say about the film other than that if you’ve seen one film about an obsessed individual than you kind of seen them all. The question in screenwriting is always what does your story bring to the table that is different than any other one. We’ve seen these types of films before like Fatal Attraction, Fear, The Gift, Devil In The Flesh, and even The Crush just to name a few. I think the thing about this film that is different than the others is that it explores that taboo teacher/student relationship because she is a teacher and he is technically a student at the school. Ryan Guzman does deserve some credit in this film because he does an amazing job playing the obsessed individual. He captures the essence of a kid who is strong and sexually desirable by women while also being vindictive and destructive when he doesn’t get what he wants. Jennifer Lopez well is Jennifer Lopez, she’s sexy as hell and why wouldn’t you be obsessed with that after you’ve had a taste. This film isn’t anything groundbreaking and it’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s worth a watch. The cinematography is actually pretty decent and is probably what is most attractive about the film. The film is available to watch on HBO and HBOGO as we speak so check it out if you dare. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
So, you have survived being on an island that was full of Dinosaurs like the T-Rex that could kill you. What is the one thing that you definitely do not want to see or hear about again? Well, I can guarantee that it’s not about another island full of Dinosaurs which is exactly the problem in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Mr. Hammond (Richard Attenborough) is sick and is about to lose his company to his snot nosed nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard). So, he contacts Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in hopes that he can go to an island that also contained Dinosaurs called The Lost World before his nephew does. Unfortunately, they both arrive at the same time with the nephew coming with some big game hunters, but it ends up turning into a rescue mission. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Sarah, Vince Vaughn (Old School) as Nick, Pete Postlethwaite (The Town) as Roland Tembo, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Dieter, Richard Schiff (Man Of Steel) as Eddie, Thomas F. Duffy (Independence Day) as Dr. Robert Burke, Thomas Rosales Jr. (No Country For Old Men) as Carter, Camilla Belle (10,000 BC) as Cathy Bowman, and the film was one again directed by Stephen Spielberg.
It is always tough to repeat the success or the magic of a first film when you are planning to do a sequel. There is the mentality that sequels are never better than the first films and I would say that is true with this one. While I actually really liked the film, I didn’t think that it was better than Jurassic Park. The film had it’s cool moments with the Velociraptors in the compound, but the sequence in Jurassic Park with them is better and scarier. The only thing I will give this film credit for is that they made the T-Rex’s a little more bad ass and they actually eat humans in this one. I just thought that this film was a little more cartoonish at times if that makes sense at all to anyone whereas the first film was very serious. Jeff Goldblum was well Jeff Goldblum so what more could you ask for from that. I have to say that I didn’t know that Vince Vaughn was in this film and I was very impressed with his performance because he just nailed it perfectly. The late Pete Postlethwaite was just absolutely amazing as the big game hunter excited about his new game that he is hunting who kind of has a change of heart as the film goes on or at least he reassess what he wants to do. This was a decent sequel for a great franchise and all I have to do is watch one more film and I am caught up. For a final grade, I am going to give this one an A-. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak.
I was at one point a huge fan of Adam Sandler films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, etc. Then there was a period of time where I could care less, but today’s film, the Netflix Original Film, The Do-Over, had enough buzz that I had to watch. Charlie (David Spade) is a bank manager of a bank in a supermarket who sort of lives a crappy life with a wife who doesn’t care about him and her crappy kids. An old friend Max (Sandler) offers Charlie a do-over by faking their own deaths and assuming new identities. The only problem is that the identities they take over have problems of their own that Max and Charlie may not be able to handle on their own. What are the duo to do now that they are being targeted for death? The film also stars Paula Patton (Deja Vu) as Heather, Kathryn Hahn (We’re The Millers) as Becca, Nick Swardson (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) as Bob, Matt Walsh (The Hangover) as Shecky, Renée Taylor (The Nanny) as Mrs. Kessler, Luiz Guzman (Boogie Nights) as Jorge the shooter boy, Catherine Bell (Bruce Almighty) as Dawn, Torsten Voges (Funny People) as The Gymnast, and the film was directed by Steven Brill (Walk of Shame).
This honestly has to be one of the best Adam Sandler movies in a very long time even though I was a huge fan of That’s My Boy. At first, I was trying to figure out what kind of movie were they going to present to us because it could have gone any way. They could have given us an all out party fest of two guys enjoying their new identities, but I think they went the right way because it kind of kept you guessing. There were a couple of twists and turns that I thought were clever, but at the same time I should have seen them coming. Now, I am not taking anything away from the film by saying that because it was actually enjoyable to watch. David Spade acted like he never lost a step and Sandler added some machismo to his comedy in this film being the bad ass action Jackson type. This was film number two of six I believe for Adam Sandler and his Netflix deal and they get better by the film and you can only hope that it continues with the next. One of the funniest scenes in the film comes courtesy of Luiz Guzman and I won’t spoil it for you, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Seeing Luiz in this film was one of the smartest moves the casting director made because he is hilarious. There are some great shots of the island of Puerto Rico in the film as well as some other cool shots of Georgia. The film is available on Netflix of course and I think you should check it out. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade because it’s not the best Sandler film ever, but it’s up there.
This could possibly be the third Coen Brothers film that I have decided to review for the blog, but this is definitely one film I have wanted to see. The Big Lebowski stars Jeff Bridges (Starman) as Jeff Lebowski better known by his friends as The Dude. Unfortunately for him, he is always mistaken for a millionaire (David Huddleston) who shares the same name as him and apparently this millionaire’s wife (Tara Reid) owes some people a lot of money. After his rug us pissed on and such, he is hired by the other Lebowski to deliver money to the people who kidnapped his wife and that is when things get complicated. With the help of his insane Vietnam Vet friend Walter (John Goodman)and his quiet fragile friend Donny (Steve Buscemi), they will try their best to get her back in one piece and hopefully his rug as well. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Maude Lebowski, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Moneyball) as Brandt, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Nihilist #1, Flea as Nihilist #2, Torsten Voges (The Lords Of Salem) as Nihilist #3, John Turturro (Quiz Show) as Jesus Quintana, Dom Irrera (Barnyard) as Tony the Chauffeur, Sam Elliot (The Good Dinosaur) as The Stranger, and the film was directed by Joel Coen.
The film was actually better than what I expected even though it can kind of go all over the place. This is definitely an iconic performance from Jeff Bridges, but it was also one heck of a performance from John Goodman. He plays your typical paranoid, everyone is against us, war veteran with conspiracy theories, but he does it well. He was definitely the highlight for me when I was watching the film because it was hilarious to see him fly off the rails on the drop of a dime.The other thing I loved about this film was the various dream sequences that the dude would have if he was knocked out like being inside of the bowling ball as it goes down the lane and even the music sequence piece to Kenny Rogers was cool. The film also has some iconic lines in it so you know the screenwriting was done right. The film has that typical Coen Brothers feel to it where things and events can change at the drop of a dime or they can go in places you never expected. The soundtrack to the film is also a strong point for the film as they decided to go the classic way of choosing artists like Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Monks, Santana, and so many more. One thing I was surprised about as well was the fact that Steve Buscemi’s character was so minor in the film whereas he had a bigger role in Fargo and Julianne Moore’s character was so weird in this film, but I liked it. Nevertheless, it was a great film worth checking out if you hadn’t before. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.