Day 309: Doctor Strange (2016)

doctor-strange-city-bending-1798552016 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). 

doctor-strange-still-1Spoiler 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.

Day 236: American Gangster (2007)

CEVWBh1UkAIumVqIt’s Tuesday which can only mean one thing and that is that it is time for Based on a Truesday Story. Based on a Truesday Story is a segment I did on my other blog where we watch films that are based on a true story and for today we are doing American Gangster. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is an African American drug lord from Harlem, New York who decides that the best way to take over the competition is to fly directly to the source in Vietnam. He quickly becomes the drug kingpin of New York, but that attracts the wrong kind of attention. Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is an honest cop who gets put on the case to track down Frank Lucas and shut him down completely and anyone else corrupt as well. The film also stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Huey Lucas, Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Trupo, Lymari Nadal (The Blackout) as Eva, Ted Levine (The Silence Of The Lambs) as Lou Toback, Roger Guenveur Smith (He Got Game) as Nate, John Hawkes (Lincoln) as Freddie, RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists) as Moses Jones, Carla Gugino (Watchmen) as Laurie, Idris Elba (Thor) as Tango, Common (Selma) as Turner Lucas, TI (Ant-Man) as Stevie Lucas, Armand Assante (Judge Dredd) as Dominic Cattano, and the film was directed by Ridley Scott (Alien).

04H19qKWhat happens when you put Denzel Washington in a leading role of a film? Well, I hope that you are preparing yourself for one hell of a performance because that is exactly what you are getting with this film. The thing I loved about this film is that you sort of get two stories in one where you have one guy who wants to make his teacher and his family proud by being at the top of his game while you have another who feels that honesty is the best policy and it will lead him over the dirty cops. I have to be honest in saying that if I found a million dollars as a cop, I may skim a few off the top of it. It’s kind of the story of the two roads with the one less traveled and you can guess who took which road in this film. There are so many actors that appeared in this film that I couldn’t fit above that deserved honorable mention like Cuba Gooding Jr., Ruby Dee, Jon Polito, John Ortiz, and many more who do a terrific job in the film. Now we all know that Hollywood takes some civil liberties with their films, but this one seems to have a lot according to an article on historyvshollywood.com. One story is that Frank says in the film that he drove for Bumpy for 15 years. Reports indictate that Bumpy was released from prison in 1963 and he died in 1968 leaving only a five year window. Check out more of the facts vs fiction in that article that I provided. The film is excellent with a very good story, amazing cinematography, and it’s the kind of gangster movies we love here in the states. So, what more could you possibly ask for? I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 105: Secret In Their Eyes (2015)

twitter_shareOne of the things I look for when picking a movie to watch is whether the film has a great cast that catches my eye. The other thing that would attract me to a film is whether or not I liked the story. That was definitely the case with today’s film Secret In Their Eyes, the crime drama directed by Billy Ray (Breach). The film stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Ray Kasten, a former FBI investigator whose been hell bent on solving a murder case for the last 13 years of his life. Ray’s best friend and fellow colleague Jess (Julia Roberts) discover the body of her daughter in a dumpster next to a mosque that they are investigating. Unfortunately, the killer remained at large and Ray hasn’t been able to let it go until he could solve it or will he? The film also stars Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!) as Claire Sloan, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) as Bumpy, Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) as Morales, Joe Cole (Offender) as Marzin, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me) as Reg Siefert, Zoe Graham (Boyhood) as Carolyn Cobb, Lyndon Smith (The Forger) as Kit, and Don Harvey (Die Hard 2: Die Harder) as Fierro.

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What is funny is when the film came out in the cinemas, I had no desire to see this movie at the time. I don’t know what made me change my mind when I was in front of the Redbox kiosk, but I chose the film. I have to say that I don’t regret the decision to watch the film because it was one heck of a cast first of all. The twist at the end of the film is also when that you won’t see coming, but you’ll finally understand the title of the film. Going into this film, I did not realize that this was the American adaptation (or remake) of the 2009 Oscar winning best foreign film El secreto de sus ojos. I love how during the film, it switches from being in the present one minute and into the past for a little while and vice versa. It’s like it’s giving you the backstory with the current story to keep you intrigued and see how badly the characters have aged because of it. That was definitely a great selling point for me was to see how desperate one is to solve the case while others either want it buried or it’s just too hard to bring up after so many years. Chiwetelu Ejiofor is by far one of the stars of the film, his performance is absolutely superb, but Nicole Kidman also deserves some kudos. The two of them had some great on screen chemistry which made the film work. For me, I think that is the appealing part of the film is the actors because without them, I don’t know how good this film would have been. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out for yourselves today.