Movie Of The Week: Ingrid Goes West (2017)

INGRID GOES WESTSometimes the films I chose for the Movie Of The week can be totally random like this week’s film or planned from the start like last week’s film. Nonetheless, I have grown to become a huge fan of independent films due to the creative and artistic freedom that they possess. I had heard a lot of buzz surrounding this week’s film Ingrid Goes West and the fact that it starred Aubrey Plaza (Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates) made it easier to choose. Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza) is not your normal everyday girl who does your normal everyday stuff. You see she has a problem and that is as soon as someone likes or responds to her on Instagram, she becomes instantly obsessed with that person. In fact after a Instagram star (Elizabeth Olsen) responded to her, Ingrid packed up and moved west, but will the Instagram star figure it out or will Ingrid be able to slide right in to her friends list? The film also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) as Dan Pinto,  Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!) as Ezra, Billy Magnussen (The Big Short) as Nicky, Pom Klementieff (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2) as Harley Chung, Meredith Hagner (Veep) as Charlotte, Hannah Pearl Utt (Eat Prey) as Nicole, and the film was directed by Matt Spicer (It’s Not You It’s Me).

Ingrid Goes West 2Ingrid Goes West is able to take the classic obsession genre of films like Single White Female and it’s able to make it current with the social media aspect. While I believe that everyone in the film did a wonderful job as far as the acting was concerned, I feel that Aubrey Plaza stepped it up big time in this film. She was able to play this vulnerable woman who just wants to be accepted, but can’t help that there is something seriously wrong with her. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is another actor in the film that definitely deserves some props as he went from playing the rough and tough Ice Cube role in Straight Outta Compton to playing this lovable, cool dude who just happens to be obsessed with Batman. It was definitely a role flip for him and I love that because he challenged himself. The film features a bright young cast that could be giving us a preview of the future, maybe? Even if it doesn’t mean that, you still should check out this film because it has so much to offer from the black comedy aspects to the cinematography which is pretty good as well. I thought the ending was going to be pretty dark as it seemed like it was going to end on such a horrific note very reminiscent to what happens today, but luckily we get some sort of a happy ending. The film could be considered to be social commentary on the way things are today and maybe we should look at social media differently. Anyways, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

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Movie Of The Week: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

billboardsHalloween is long behind us so I figured it was time to reintroduce the Movie Of The Week post while we wait on a decision for the future. There are a lot of great movies on the horizon and I want to cover them for this blog. This week’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of those films that peaked my interest for it’s unique title and for the caliber of the cast contained within the film. Frances McDormand (Fargo) plays Mildred, a mother who is not happy whatsoever with the local authorities for not solving her daughters murder case. So to get on their case and get them moving, she decides to take out ads on three billboards outside her town that will challenge the law to get off their behinds and solve case. The film also stars Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men) as Chief Willoughby, Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) as Dixon, Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out) as Red Wellby, Kerry Condon (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Pamela, Darrell Britt-Gibson (Keanu) as Jerome, Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) as Anne, Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) as Robbie, Zeljko Ivanek (Argo) as Cedric, Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones) as James, Brendan Sexton III (Empire Records) as Crop-Haired Guy, and the film was directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). 

three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri-movie-3This was an excellent film that just had so many emotions to it and just had so many talking points. First of all, the acting was absolutely superb from way too many people to list in this blog, but you already know that you get amazing performances from McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell, and Dinklage to name a few. Frances McDormand had the uneasy task of balancing out a character who is tough and a bad ass, but she is also vulnerable because all she wants is for them to solve the case. Sam Rockwell does a terrific job playing your typical backwater cop from a small southern-esque town who doesn’t know any better until something (I can’t tell you what) shows him the way. The second thing that was amazing about the film was the writing because this story kicked ass. You think that it’s going the way you would want it to go until it throws you a curve ball that takes the story in a darker place. There were so many glimmers of hope in the film that were just taken to a completely different place that I was amazed that it worked. The third thing that I loved about the film were the dynamic of the characters and the overall themes because each one was so unique to the story in how it progressed into a moral of no matter how dark things get, sometimes the people you are going against can turn out to be the ones you need. That was the constant theme of the film was redemption because it’s a learning experience for sure. The last thing is the cinematography which was just masterful from shot to shot. This is definitely a film worth checking out if you are a fan of great stories, actors, etc. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 366: The Man With One Red Shoe (1985)

the-man-with-one-red-shoeWell, it’s December 31ST and if you are still with me it could only mean one thing and that is that not only is it the end of 2016, but it is also the end of the challenge. To finish up the challenge, I wanted to check out a film from Carrie Fisher (Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope) as I had done for so many others that passed in 2016. So, I chose The Man With One Red Shoe for today’s film. A major screw up in Morocco puts a CIA director (Charles Durning) in a very bad spot as his rival Cooper (Dabney Coleman) looks to take advantage of the situation during a senate hearing. To keep Cooper busy, he has one of his men set up a poor unknowing violinist named Richard (Tom Hanks) in the middle of it all. The film also stars Lori Singer (Footloose) as Maddy, Carrie Fisher as Paula, Edward Herrmann (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) as Brown, Jim Belushi (Home Sweet Hell) as Morris, Tom Noonan (Last Action Hero) as Reese, Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2) as Carson, David L. Lander (Titan A.E.) as Stemple, Irving Metzman (WarGames) as Virdon, Dortha Duckworth (The Honeymoon Killers) as Natalie, and the film was directed by Stan Dragoti (Necessary Roughness). 

carrie-red-shoeI never thought that when I started this challenge 366 days ago that I was actually going to finish only because I had tried before and failed a couple of times. Tom Hanks is one of those guys that you can depend on when watching a film because he is money. That is why when I was searching for a Carrie Fisher film and I saw that he was in this, I jumped on the opportunity. The film is listed as a thriller, but it’s mostly a comedy as you watch these CIA agents struggle to get an angle on Tom Hanks character. One of my favorite scenes in the film involves Jim Belushi who goes over to Hanks’s apartment to confront him about an affair that he is having with Carrie. As soon as he sees bodies on the floor in the apartment, he leaves only to see Hanks on the streets. As he tells Tom all about it, they go inside the apartment and the bodies are gone. Belushi goes to the fridge to grab a drink and sees a body, but when Hanks does, he grabs him a drink and now Belushi believes he is going crazy. It’s the kind of comedy I love and there is plentiful in the film as there are some great names of comedy in this film. Carrie kind of had a minor role in the film, but she makes an impact with her scenes. This is one of those early Tom Hanks comedies that he always did before he got serious in the acting game. The cinematography was pretty good in the film especially with scenes like the train stopping scene which was part of a cool chase scene. As we say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, we also say goodbye to the challenge which has been completed. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 363: A Date With Miss Fortune (2015)

a-date-with-miss-fortuneUsually on Wednesdays, we watch an action/martial arts film for Ass Whoopin Wednesdays, but with only four days left we are postponing it. Ever since the release of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I wanted there to be a Portuguese version of that film and I think we finally got it with A Date With Miss Fortune which is today’s film. Jack Ratner (Ryan Scott) has been down on his luck after getting fired from one job and decides that he wants to travel the world, but that all changes with a chance meeting. After meeting the very superstitious Portuguese beauty Maria (Jeannette Sousa), he decides to stay and the two get into a relationship, but that will prove to be a challenge for Jack as he deals with her beliefs and her crazy Portuguese family. The film also stars Joaquim de Almeida (Diablo) as Jose, Vik Sahay (My Awkward Sexual Adventure) as Wilson, Claudia Ferri (40 Is The New 20) as Anna Maria, Nelly Furtado (Score: A Hockey Musical) as Nelia, George Stroumboulopoulos (Hobo With A Shotgun) as Paul, Aris Athanasopoulos (The Strain) as Marco, Maria Vacratsis (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Señora Maria, Shawn Desman (Kangaroo Jack) as Emanuel, and the film was directed by John L’Ecuyer (Ready Or Not). 

a-date-with-miss-fortuneI have to admit that at times I had a lot of fun with the film because the craziness of the family definitely reminded me of mine which made it fun to watch. There of course was a lot of the stereotypes written into the film like our obsession with football and Cristiano Ronaldo as well as the superstitions and how proud we are of our culture was very real. The film further addressed my theory of why I do not date Portuguese women because they are a pain in the you know what. There were a couple of things that bothered me about the film and that is one the timeline isn’t really addressed very well because we find out that she is pregnant, but when they make up she is about to deliver the baby. Now, the time that they spend apart doesn’t seem like nine months, but I assume that we have to think that. The other thing is that she doesn’t look like she is struggling or having a baby at all when that is happening and the baby looks way to clean for a home birth. Those are just minor details that I can definitely look past because the story was well written, it had it’s conflicts and turning points. It was a typical romantic comedy that delivered throughout the film and I love the style. In between the current timeline, they would always go back to the first time they met as sort of cutaway point for them to move on in the script and I liked that. I am hoping that somewhere down the line, they do what My Big Fat Greek Wedding did and come back with a sequel some years later. We’ll just have to wait and see. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 360: Miracle On 34TH Street (1947)

miracle-on-34th-street-titlesI just wanted to start by wishing all of you movie lovers out there a very safe and Merry Christmas. To get into the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to to watch a film that had to do with the very holiday itself so I chose to watch Miracle On 34 Street (the 1947 version). Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) is the special events coordinator for Macy’s who has discovered a problem thanks to an old man (Edmund Gwenn). Her Santa Claus for the Thanksgiving Day Parade is drunk and unable to continue. So, she hires the old man to be Santa and after he does a great job, he is then hired to be the Macy’s store Santa. The only problem is that the old man claims to be Kris Kringle himself, but there are people that do not believe him. The film also stars Natalie Wood (Rebel Without A Cause) as Susan Walker, John Payne (The Razor’s Edge) as Fred Gailey, Gene Lockhart (His Girl Friday) as Judge Henry X. Harper, Porter Hall (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington) as Granville Sawyer, William Frawley (I Love Lucy) as Charlie Halloran, Jerome Cowan (The Maltese Falcon) as Dist. Atty. Thomas Mara, Philip Tonge (Witness For The Prosecution) as Julian, and the film was directed by George Seaton (Airport).

vlcsnap-2012-11-21-14h47m36s14This is the very last Sunday at the Classics as far as this challenge is concerned, but I just may keep it going after the challenge is over. I have seen some great films for Sunday at the Classics, but this is by far one of my favorite ones. The film features some amazing performances from the likes of John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and even little Natalie Wood who would go on to be even more famous for her role in Rebel Without A Cause. The story of the film is just as amazing because it was a well written tale and a different kind of take on Christmas. It was a tale of believing in something not because people tell you to, but because it feels right to you. The trial scenes were amazing and you have to love the judge who constantly looks to his campaign advisor for advice on how to judge the case. The cinematography was pretty good as well and I had the chance to see the colorized version, but I chose to go old school for my first go around. This was an all around great film that featured great writing, actors, costumes, the sets, and even the cinematography. You have to do yourself a favor and check this film out for yourself before you watch the remake (which I also haven’t seen). I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.

Day 358: Why Him? (2016)

why-himIt is so crazy to think that after today there are only eight days left in the whole year so choosing the right movies to close out the year is the key. That is why I chose today’s film in Why Him? because I was suspecting that it could be comedy of the year. All Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston) cares about in life is his family and his company, but one of those things is threatened when he discovers that his daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch)is dating internet billionaire and wild boy Laird Mayhew (James Franco). He would normally think it was a phase, but when his family is invited out to his house, he discovers that Laird wants to propose to her. So, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her why he is not the one for her. The film also stars Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man) as Lou Dunne, Megan Mullally (Hotel Transylvania 2) as Barb Fleming, Griffin Gluck (Batman Vs Robin) as Scotty Fleming,  Zack Pearlman (Hot Bot) as Kevin Dingle, Keegan-Michael Key (Vacation) as Gustav, Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) as Justine, Casey Wilson (Gone Girl) as Missy Pederman, Andrew Rannells (The Intern) as Blaine Pederman, Adam Devine (Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates) as Tyson Modell, and the film was directed by John Hamburg (I Love You, Man). 

why-him-trailerNow I said int he above paragraph that I thought that this could potentially be comedy of the year and I definitely meant that after watching the film. From beginning to end, this film offers you so many funny moments that are just laugh out loud funny. Franco, Cranston, and Keegan-Michael Key offer up a lot of hilarious moments through out the film. One of my favorite moments in the film definitely have to be Cranston on the toilet as Key tries to walk him through the paperless process. Key was absolutely brilliant in the film and definitely deserves MVP recognition for his performance. He will now be in two different films in the year end awards for comedy of the year (Keanu being the other). Zoey Deutch looked beautiful in the film and played an important role in the film setting up those moments, but she also provided us with the drama moments which are important in a comedy. She is after all the center of attention between two men fighting for her as it Cranston vs Franco. A lot of critics are probably going to dog this kind of a film because it’s not up to their standards as far as films are concerned, but use your own opinion. I am a huge fan of James Franco, Zoey Deutch, and Keegan-Michael Key which is why I made the decision to see the film. I opened my mind and I laughed a ton at what they threw at me. This is definitely one of my favorite comedies of the year that also featured a cool cameo from a kick ass rock band, but I’ll let you watch it to figure out who. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 355: The Late Bloomer (2016)

the late bloomer.pngI was looking around for a film to watch today and I wanted to look for a comedy because I was in that kind of a mood. So, when I logged on to my Netflix account I saw that I had an interesting film to watch on my Queue called The Late Bloomer. Peter Newmans (Johnny Simmons) is a successful sex therapist who is preaching that life is about abstinence to better yourself. What Peter doesn’t realize is that he has never in his life gone through puberty. Peter never knew that he had a tumor that has pressed against his pituitary gland and when he is operated on, his life changes completely including the fact that he has feelings for his neighbor and friend Michelle (Brittany Snow). Now what is he going to do about all of this? The film also stars J.K. Simmons (Zootopia) as James Newmans, Maria Bello (Lights Out) as Brenda Newmans, Kumail Nanjiani (Central Intelligence) as Rich, Beck Bennett (Zoolander 2) as Luke, Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) as Charlie, Jane Lynch (Mascots) as Caroline Chambers, Charlotte McKinney (Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser) as Attractive Woman, Blake Cooper (The Maze Runner) as Josh, Diana Lyubenova (Conan The Barbarian) as Marilyn, and the film was directed by Kevin Pollak (Vamped Out).

roxanna-dunlopI honestly went into this film with an open mind because I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but when I realized the people that starred in this film I was a little more intrigued. The film has some great actors like J.K. Simmons and Maria Bello and it was directed by the awesome Kevin Pollak who is a great actor himself who was directing his first feature length film with this one. So one argument for the film that I saw online was that it was kind of like The 40 Year Old Virgin, but with a guy who isn’t really socially awkward like Steve Carell was and I beg to differ a little bit. While I loved The 40 Year Old Virgin, I definitely really enjoyed this one because it took the idea and it ran with it in a totally different direction. The funny connection between the two really is the fact that Jane Lynch starred in both films. This one has it’s raunchy moments and friends like the other one, but in a different way. Kumail Nanjiani was given the green light to be as nasty as he wanted to be and he succeeded because he and Beck Bennett made a great combo in this film like Rudd and Rogen. Alright, so I can’t really come up with too many differences because there is a crap ton of similarities in the structure of the story. You can’t knock the formula cause it worked and there were some real funny moments in this one. You also get treated to some T&A in the film which is definitely a plus. I am going to give the film a B+ only because it’s not completely original and not as completely funny as The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Day 345: To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)

tumblr_lhkj8iszpi1qzt0ypo1_500The mid to late 1990’s was an interesting time in cinema as the LGBT era of cinema was starting to happen. I will however admit that To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar was not the first film to feature actors in drag, but it’s the film I chose for today. After tying for first place in the New York Drag Queen contest, Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) and Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) win a trip to Hollywood to compete in an even larger competition. However the two cannot travel by plane because Vida convinces Noxeema to bring along the inexperienced Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo). While driving on the road, their car breaks down in a small town and they are stuck together with the locals until the car is fixed. However, they’ll soon figure out that they’ll make just as much of a difference in their lives as the townsfolk do on them. The film also stars Chris Penn (Rumble Fish) as Sheriff Dollard, Stockard Channing (Grease) as Carol-Ann, Blythe Danner (Meet The Parents) as Beatrice, Jason London (Dazed And Confused) as Bobby Ray, Arliss Howard (The Lost World: Jurassic Park) as Virgil, Alice Drummond (Doubt) as Clara, Jennifer Milmore (Friends) as Bobby Lee, Julie Newmar (Batman 1966) as herself, and the film was directed by Beeban Kidron (Used People).

542full-to-wong-foo-thanks-for-everything-julie-newmar-screenshotThe funny thing about this film is that all three of them play really great women and better than the women in the film itself. All three of them were absolutely terrific in this over the top lesson in acceptance cause that is what it’s really about. The whole film was about being accepted for who they felt they really were and isn’t that the battle going still to this day? The film may not have been ahead of it’s time, but it spoke some serious lessons and reminds us of how long the struggle has been going on for them. The best part is at the end when the town accepts them and protects them or at least we think they accepted them. I say that because most of them when it came down to it were like we have always known who you really were, but they accepted them. Patrick Swayze looked great as a drag queen while John Leguizamo could have probably passed as a real woman, and Wesley Snipes just looked like Serena Williams. It was great to see Robin Williams in the beginning of the film and maybe this foreshadowed his upcoming role in The Birdcage. The cinematography was pretty good and I liked the story enough to keep me hooked for the whole film. I definitely recommend this film for anyone who is a fan of the three and especially Patrick Swayze because he took every role serious. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 343: Yoga Hosers (2016)

yogahosersNot only am I a fan of the work of Kevin Smith which includes such great films like Mallrats, Dogma, Clerks, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, but I am also a fan of his whacky 2014 horror film Tusk which was film one of Smith’s True North Trilogy. So when i saw that Netflix had the second film Yoga Hosers, I jumped on to the chance. Colleen C (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen M. (Harley Quinn Smith) are are two average teenage girls who happen to be best friends and spend most of their time on their phones and in yoga besides working in a ez-mart. The girls one day manage to stumble on the plans of an old evil Canadian Nazis plan to kill all art critics. So, now the girls must destroy his plans before it gets out of control. The film also stars Johnny Depp (Alice In Wonderland) as Guy Lapointe, Adam Brody (The O.C.) as Ichabod, Harley Morenstein (Epic Meal Time) as Toilet Paper Guy, Austin Butler (Aliens In The Attic) as Hunter Calloway, Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf) as Gordon, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Clerks II) as Ms. McKenzie, Justin Long (Tusk) as Yogi Bayer, Tony Hale (Veep) as Bob Collette, Natasha Lyonne (American Pie) as Tabatha, Haley Joel Osment (Tusk) as Adrien Arcand, Ralph Garman (Ted) as Andronicus Arcane, and cameos by Kevin Conroy, Stan Lee, Jason Mewes, Ashley Greene, Jack Depp, Genesis Rodriguez, and Vanessa Paradis. 

yoga-hosers-johnny-deppYou definitely know going into this that a lot of things are going to be over the top ridiculous just like Tusk was. I mean come on, think about it for a second. A Canadian Nazi who creates little Nazi Mountie sausage soldiers and tell me that doesn’t sound ridiculous or over the top. Now, I am not complaining about it because I understood that going in and I enjoyed what he presented. Everything about the film was over the top from the accents to the typical Canadian dialogue like aboot or eh. Then some of the acting can be a little over the top, but that is what I liked about the film because it was a fun kind of campy. I also liked seeing them perform during the film like covering Anthrax’s I’m The Man or Styx’s Babe which was a little cheesy, but very fun. I loved the cameos in the film because a lot of them are fun cameos like the animated series Batman (Conroy) or even Stan Lee cause you know Smith is a comic book nerd. Then you definitely cannot beat Johnny Depp as the French Canadian detective Guy Lapointe and the amazing accent. Some of my favorite scenes in the film were with Justin Long who was just hilarious as Yogi Bayer. Although, he can’t understand why Warner Brothers would want to sue him. The film obviously had some holes, but those are easily overlooked when you just sit back and enjoy the fun which you can catch on Netflix right now. If you can get past the accents and the aboots, then you’ll like it. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 340: Legends Of The Hidden Temple (2016)

legends-of-the-hidden-templeThe film that I chose for today I have to admit was a choice that I made because of how much I loved the game show television series Legends Of The Hidden Temple which originally aired on Nickelodeon in the early to mid-1990’s. Now some 21 years later, the series is now a film and I chose it for today. All Noah (Colin Critchley) cares about on this family vacation is to prove to them that the Legend Of The Hidden Temple is a real thing. After receiving a map from the tour guide (The TV series host Kirk Fogg), he decides to enter the temple along with his two siblings. The only problem is that they have awoken the legendary Olmec (Dee Bradley Baker) who sends them on a mission to find both sides of the amulet or they are stuck in the temple forever. The film also stars Jet Jurgensmeyer (The Little Rascals Save The Day) as Dudley, Isabela Moner (Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life) as Sadie, Michael Benyaer (Deadpool) as Human version of Olmec, Daniel Cudmore (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Thak, Ioan Sebastian Tirlui (The Birth Of Venus) as Zuma, Catia Ojeda (30 Rock) as Mom, David Michie (Halloween) as Dad, and the film was directed by Joe Menendez (12 Monkeys).

legendsThe film is only an hour and five minutes long which is kind of an ode to the old days of film that was like that, but it’s an enjoyable film. The film kind of reminds me of The Goonies, but with Aztec stories and adventure. I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle a film version considering that it was a game show before, but the writing department deserves some kudos because they pulled it off. The only thing is that at times they stop too much to explain every little thing, but it’s not too big of an issue. It kind of helps as far as driving the story forward. One thing that I think could have been better is this dramatic scene between Noah and his sister Sadie in the shrine of the silver monkey. It was just a little too over-dramatic for my tastes. One thing that was funny about that sequence is that everyone had a hard time putting the silver monkey together on the game show and everyone does in the film as well. A funny nod to the struggles of putting that darn thing together. If you ever watched the TV series then you know the set design was going to be off the hook which it definitely was. The costumes for the ancient warriors were great and I love the odes to the series they throw in there like the T-shirt Noah wears once he is in the temple. I also loved the fact that they had the original voice of Olmec and the host himself Kirk Fogg in the film to give it that nostalgic feeling. This is definitely one that the kids should enjoy and if you get a chance, make them familiar with the TV series as well. The film is available on Nick.com and obviously on-demand. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.