Day 320: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

grosse-point-blankOne of my all time favorite actors from the 80’s is John Cusack who starred in such great films as Say Anything…, Tapeheads, One Crazy Summer, and even High Fidelity. So, I was cruising through Netflix trying to decide on a film when I came across Grosse Pointe Blank and decided on it for today. Martin Blank (Cusack) is a professional hitman who has sort of lost his way and just needs to be found or at least realize what he wants out of life. Against his intuition, he goes back home to Detroit where he’ll attend his ten year high school reunion. While there, he runs into his old high school sweetheart Debbie Newberry (Minnie Driver) that he ran out on ten years before and he decides to try and fix that relationship while letting go of his lifestyle. The film also stars Joan Cusack (Working Girl) as Marcela, Alan Arkin (Argo) as Dr. Oatman, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Grocer, Jeremy Piven (Smokin’ Aces) as Paul Spericki, Hank Azaria (Mystery Men) as Steven Lardner, K. Todd Freeman (The Cider House Rules) as Kenneth McCullers, Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Bob Destepello, Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon) as Mr. Bart Newberry, and the film was directed by George Armitage (Miami Blues).

john-cusackThere are things you should know about getting into a John Cusack film that is starring him and one is that Joan Cusack is probably in the film. The second one that you can expect is that the soundtrack to the film is probably incredible so you should pay attention to that. The film featured cuts from amazing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure for example. The other thing you should expect from a Cusack film is that Cusack is going to be stealing the show by commanding the screen with his underdog like qualities. No matter the role, you are rooting for him to succeed and that is what I love about his films. This one adds the element that he is a professional assassin which means we get some bad ass action sequences in the film as well. The film itself is absolutely awesome and definitely a film I wish I had seen a heck of a lot sooner than I did. I really loved the fact that Alan Arkin was in the film as the scared psychiatrist who has to continuously deal with Cusack’s character throughout the film. It adds to the overall comedy of the film and Dan Aykroyd definitely does that as the rival hitman. So you can definitely see all the crazy directions this film goes, but it’s enjoyable because the story is awesome. Everybody normal hates the idea of going back to a high school reunion, but hey that’s how it goes. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because the acting was great and the soundtrack is amazing.

Day 254: Spies Like Us (1985)

spies-like-us-movie-poster-copyTwo of my favorite comedians from the 1980’s was Chevy Chase (Fletch) and Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) because the two always made great films. For today’s film, I decided to check out their first film together since working on Saturday Night Live in Spies Like Us. Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chase) and Austin Millbarge (Aykroyd) are a couple of bumbling idiots that work for the government. Both of them hear about a test that is being administered that if you pass you can become a spy for the government. After noticing that they are idiots, they are assigned to go to Russia where they think that they are becoming spies, but in reality they are decoys for nuclear war. Will they survive and surprise everyone or will they play out their prophecy? The film also stars Steve Forrest (Mommie Dearest) as General Sline, Donna Dixon (Wayne’s World) as Karen Boyer, Bruce Davison (The Lords Of Salem) as Mr. Ruby, Bernie Casey (Never Say Never Again) as Colonel Rhumbus, William Prince (As The World Turns) as Mr. Keyes, Tom Hatten (I Saw What You Did) as General Miegs, Jim Staahl (Bobby’s World) as Bud Schnelker, James Daughton (Animal House) as Bob Hodges, Charles McKeown (Brazil) as Jerry Hadley, Vanessa Angel (Kingpin) as one of the Russian Rocket Crew, and the film was directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf In London).

spies_like_us_01_641x383I don’t know if this is my favorite film to feature Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase, but it definitely has it’s funny moments. Dan Aykroyd plays a typical Aykroyd character while Chevy plays Chevy. Chevy plays that typical smooth talking hound dog that your surprised isn’t humping women’s legs. It’s his character in Fletch, Caddyshack, etc, but I am not saying that’s a bad thing because there have been a lot of memorable moments. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when they are training after the test. The one moment that I love is the G Force moment with their faces and messed up hair. That is classic Aykroyd/Chase comedy that is very physical. Other than that, it has it’s funny moments like the hey it’s the end of the world so let’s have sex like bunnies cause we are all going to die anyways scene. One of the cool facts about the film is that Aykroyd wrote it as an homage to the Road To… series and Bob Hope makes a cameo in the film. That was very cool of Bob Hope to do that out of his busy USO schedule that he had back then. The other cool fact in the film is that Sir Paul McCartney sings the theme song to the film. I really liked the movie, but it wasn’t my favorite comedy that I have watched so far. The film is available to watch on Netflix and you should give it a shot if you are a fan of Dan Aykroyd or Chevy Chase. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 201: Sneakers (1992)

sneakers-posterThere is nothing better in the world then seeing an all star cast in a film, but sometimes it doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes too many big names can be a hindrance for a film, but that isn’t the case with today’s film Sneakers. Robert Redford (All The Presidents Men) plays Marty Bishop, an expert computer hacker who leads a ragtag team that does missions for people. One day, Marty and his guys are tasked with retrieving an item that could be potentially dangerous if it is placed into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, Marty’s past comes back to haunt him and he is screwed out of a deal. In order to clear himself, he and his team will have to steal back the item in order to clear themselves. The film also stars Sidney Poitier (In The Heat Of The Night) as Donald Crease, River Phoenix (Stand By Me) as Carl Arbogast, David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) as Whistler, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Mother, Timothy Busfield (Revenge Of The Nerds) as Dick Gordon, Eddie Jones (A League Of Their Own) as Buddy Wallace, Mary McDonnell (Dances With Wolves) as Liz, Lee Garlington (Cobra) as Dr. Elena Rhyzkov, Donal Logue (Blade) as Dr. Gunter Janek, and the film was directed by Phil Alden Robinson (Field Of Dreams).

sneakers-crewGive me a reason why I shouldn’t have checked out this film especially with the caliber cast they had to work with. The one thing that grabbed my attention and made me want to watch the film today when it aired was the fact that River Phoenix was in the film. He was one of my favorite actors and there will never be another like him. Not to mention, you have Dan Aykroyd playing a crazy conspiracy theorist type on a team that features a former CIA agent and some computer hackers. I am really starting to get into the government espionage kind of films cause that is sort of what this film is like You have a team of guys spying on others in order to gain an advantage to steal what they need. You also have the mystery of who can you trust in this film just like any other espionage/government conspiracy film. The difference with this one is that they add in some comedy to lighten up the mood. I will say that Strathairn, Aykroyd, Phoenix alone made an interesting pair that I would hang out with. It’s hard to pick a scene in the film that I loved more than any other, but there is a moment in the van when they are doing surveillance. It looks like Donal Logue’s character is about to get lucky and they continuously stop River from watching. The scene when the blind man whistler finally drives something is also very memorable to me as well. It’s not the best film in the world, but it’s really good and enjoyable to watch. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 197: Ghostbusters (2016)

ghostbusters-2016For 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).

ghostbusters-2016-trailer-slimerI 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).

maxresdefault (2)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.

Day 108: She’s Having A Baby (1988)

6999 copyI was looking for something to watch today and I saw that Epix Drive In was having an 80’s takeover weekend. So out of all the movies they were showing today and tonight, She’s Having A Baby is the only one I hadn’t seen. The film stars Kevin Bacon (Footloose) and Elizabeth McGovern (Kick-Ass) as newlyweds Jake and Kristy Briggs. You see everyone in the world thinks that Jake and Kristy have no idea what they are getting into when the two got married and to be honest I don’t believe that they fully knew. Even though they might be unprepared for what lies ahead of them, they will do their best to tackle whatever it is including the decision to have a baby. The film also stars Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October) as Davis, James Ray (The Edge Of Night) as Mr. Briggs, Holland Taylor (Two And The Half Men) as Mrs. Briggs, William Windom (To Kill A Mockingbird) as Mr. Bainbridge, Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) as Howard, Dennis Dugan (Problem Child) as Bill, Edie McClurg (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) as Lynn, John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop) as Ken, Larry Hankin (Home Alone) as Hank, and the film was written, directed, and produced by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club). 

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At first I had a hard time trying to figure out the plot of the film in accordance to what I should write as a synopsis above. The plot is as plain as day if you truly think about it because it’s all about whether we make the right choices or not. There are temptations in the world that makes us question the choices we made especially when it has to do with marriage. That is what both Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern’s characters face in the film as they get adjusted to each other and the life that follows. You can definitely tell when you are watching the film that it’s a John Hughes film because it has his name written all over it from the writing and the shots. Plus there is always this lesson that our main character learns in every film and Kevin has that lesson as well. Alec Baldwin lookss so young in this film, it’s crazy to see what he looks like now compared to then, but he was masterful in the film. If I were you guys I would stick around for the end credits as you gets some special appearances from actors like John Candy, Kirstie Alley, Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Dyan Cannon, Matthew Broderick, Dan Aykroyd, and so many more. If you are a fan of Kevin Bacon or even Kevin Bacon 80’s films, then give this one a look cause you never know you may enjoy this film. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.