Day 308: Imperium (2016)

m-imperiumSome people say that when you become part of a franchise that is larger than life that it’s hard to escape the role you played in it. Some wondered if that would be Daniel Radcliffe’s (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) fate, but I beg to differ. That is why I chose to watch his new film Imperium for today’s movie. Nate Foster (Radcliffe) is a young FBI Agent who is looking to make some sort of impact in the office which means that he’s willing to do anything to make a name for himself. That is when opportunity strikes thanks to fellow FBI Agent Angela Zamparo (Toni Collette) who tells him that a white supremacist group may be the problem. So Nate decides to go undercover and infiltrate the gang to figure out who has the chemical weapons. The film also stars Tracy Letts (The Big Short) as Dallas Wolf, Sam Trammell (The Fault In Our Stars) as Gerry Conway, Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight) as Agent Hernandez, Chris Sullivan (The Drop) as Andrew Blackwell, Seth Numrich (Macbeth Unhinged) as Roy, Pawel Szajda (Under The Tuscan Sun) as Vince, Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises) as Morgan, Devin Druid (Disgrace) as Johnny, and the film was directed by Daniel Ragussis in his first feature length directorial debut. 

maxresdefault-1One thing that this film reminds you of is how easy it is to be ignorant, but how circumstances in life can drive you that way. It just shows you how disillusioned the youth can be and how easy it is to be hateful. What the film also does is show you how awesome Daniel Radcliffe has been post Harry Potter. The guy is an incredible actor and I have enjoyed just about every film that he’s been in since then. The film is pretty intense and Radcliffe does an amazing job of carrying that momentum throughout the film even giving us some suspenseful moments. The film had some really intense moments that were nail biting and Radcliffe was absolutely amazing as he made them even more thrilling with his acting ability. Toni Collette did a pretty good job in the film, but was she perfect? No, but she wasn’t really the star of the film. Besides that last sequence in the film, my favorite moment of the film was when Radcliffe’s character goes out into the woods with Andrew Blackwell and he is kind of confronted about his real identity. Just like so many undercover FBI films before it, the biggest thing you are wondering about when watching a film is whether there cover will be blown or not. You obviously have to watch for yourself for that answer, but I would recommend this film. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers or a fan of Radcliffe then pick this one up. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

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Day 241: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (2002)

Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets_movieI was so impressed with the first film in the Harry Potter franchise that I watched yesterday that I decided to watch another. That is right, I chose Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets for today’s film. Everyone’s favorite young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is back at home with his dreadful Aunt and Uncle once again, but a house elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) tries to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts Academy. Despite what Dobby said, Harry returns back to Hogwarts only to find that students are being petrified by something. Harry discovers that there is a place in the school called the Chamber of Secrets that was created by the founder Slytherin. Harry finds out that the chamber houses a monster who will kill mudbloods (impure wizards) and that it will be opened by the heir of Slytherin, but who is it? The film also stars Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Jason Isaacs (The Tuxedo) as Lucius Malfoy, Robbie Coltrane (From Hell) as Hagrid, Kenneth Branagh (Henry V) as Professor Lockhart, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting) as Moaning Myrtle, Christian Coulson (The Hours) as Tom Marvolo Riddle, Bonnie Wright (The Sea) as Ginny Weasley, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).

Harry-Potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets-still2When you do a sequel to a film or when you do a sequel to a film that you know is a part of a bigger picture your only hope is that it’s better than the first film. That was definitely the case with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets which I enjoyed more than the last before it. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this film is that they added a little bit of suspense to the film where you’re trying to figure out who the heir is. You’re trying to figure out who the monster is and who will he attack? That is honestly what I really loved about this film since I love thrillers. The special effects for this film were turned up a notch for this film and who doesn’t love Dobby? Dobby was honestly the comedic relief the film needed and I am glad that he was a part of the story. He has so many funny moments in the film with Harry and there is one scene that you will absolutely love. The sets were amazing as usual, but my favorite is when he entered the chamber of secrets. There is this one room where he meets the giant monster and the cool looking set which you can see in the picture in this paragraph. There is so much classic cinematography and lighting tricks in this film that are absolutely cool. One scene I noticed was the scene with Dracoy’s father Lucius who when the camera was on him, only his eyes were lit like a true villain while Harry’s who face was illuminated as e was the hero. I had a lot of fun watching this one which is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 240: Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

hqdefault (1)I know what you are thinking and I have to be perfectly honest with all of you in saying that I have never seen any of the films in the Harry Potter series. I figured what better time than now to see one and therefore I watched Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone for today’s film. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has always been somewhat gifted of a child, but he doesn’t understand why. He lives a life of neglect with his awful Aunt and Uncle until a wizard from the Hogwarth’s Academy named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) comes calling for him. It is there that Harry will understand his abilities and live out his full potential. Although while all of this is happening, he stumbles upon an evil scheme to kidnap a stone that could bring back an evil being. The film also stars Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Ian Hart (Finding Neverland) as Professor Quirrell, Warwick Davis (Leprechaun) as Goblin Bank Teller, Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Matthew Lewis (Me Before You) as Neville Longbottom, John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) as Nearly Headless Nick, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).

fhd001HPO_Emma_Watson_001I do have to say that after watching this film, I am super excited to continue on and see the rest of the films. The idea and topic of wizards and witches may be corny to some, but this was actually a well written story that I believe that anyone with an imagination can get into. The elements of the film that make these amazing and very interesting is what you don’t see watching the film. It’s seeing the camera work and the different perspectives and how they messed with depth perception to make Hagrid look like a giant compared to other characters just by messing with the angles. The other cool element of the film is of course the special effects and all of the things they made come to life. One of my favorite scenes in the film is with the owls who are basically the postal service. Harry’s evil Uncle has been keeping him from seeing any of the letters and the amount of Owls that show up and what they do was super cool. Not to mention, fluffy the three headed dog and the little dragon were cool as well. The other scene that I loved was the big chess match that happens at the end of the film, a very cool scene indeed. A very well acted film, a well written story, and some amazing cinematography made this a very enjoyable film to watch. I will definitely be checking out some more films in the series for sure. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.

Day 162: Now You See Me 2 (2016)

now-you-see-me-2-e1458141262573There are films that come out that when you see them, you are absolutely blown away by it. You like the movie so much that when you hear that there is a sequel coming out, you really don’t mind seeing it. That was definitely the case with today’s film in Now You See Me 2. Since the events of the first film the horseman J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) have gone into hiding awaiting the chance that they can work again. When the horseman are pulled out of retirement with the addition of a new female magician in Lulu (Lizzy Caplan) by their and FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), they learn that they are part of a plan by an evil tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist ever. Can the team do it or with they finally correct the wrongs? The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Thaddeus Bradley, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Walter Mabry, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur Tressler, Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Li, Sanaa Lathan (Blade) as Deputy Director Natalie Austin, Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Anna Karenina) as Allen Scott-Frank, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Jem And The Holograms).

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One of the biggest reasons to see these films is because you want to see what kind of magic are they going to do and see how clever they really were. You also go to see these films for all the sleek stunts and the technology they incorporate with the tricks even though a big part of them is fighting technology and all the evil it can create. The film starts off by reminding us of who they are and what they’ve done in the past to build up these ragtag magicians up. The movie also really focuses on what happened to Mark Ruffalo’s character’s father and why he is on this revenge kick. We also see our crew evolve and become a solid team right before our very eyes as they battle the evil technology crazed world. I thought I was going to be disappointed that Isla Fisher wasn’t in the film, but I have to give credit to Lizzy Caplan for fitting right in with the crew. She added a certain wittiness to the tea by being there. The magic tricks of course are pretty cool, but my favorite thing is when they break down how they accomplished them in the first place. That is what I loved about the first film and that is what I loved in this film. Daniel Radcliffe is awesome as a really douchy guy with crap tons of money while Freeman and Caine were brilliant as always. Is it better than the first film, I don’t really think so, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s moments. I enjoyed the film enough to give it a grade that is somewhere between the B+/A- range. It’s somewhere in there.

Day 98: Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Victor-Frankenstein-PosterThere has been a slew of films that have been coming out over the past couple of years that have been tackling the old classic monsters like Dracula. This time around, 20TH Century Fox decided to give us a new look at the Mary Shelly classic Frankenstein story with Victor Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein tells the classic tale from the perspective of Victor’s (James McAvoy) trusty sidekick Igor (Daniel Radcliffe). He offers us a fresh new look at his very dark and bleak beginnings and how he met Victor Frankenstein. The film also looks at how Victor would become the man, the myth, and the legend who built the world famous monster in this retelling of the horror classic. The film also stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) as Lorelei, Bronson Webb (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban) as Rafferty, Daniel Mays (The Adventures Of Tintin) as Barnaby, Spencer Wilding (Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance) as Prometheus, Andrew Scott (Saving Private Ryan) as Inspector Turpin, Callum Turner (Queen & Country) as Alistair, Freddie Fox (The Mystery Of Edwin Drood) as Finnegan, Charles Dance (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Frankenstein, Alistair Petrie (The Bank Job) as Chief Inspector, and the film was directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin).

victor-frankenstein-mcavoy-pointofgeeksI want to start by saying that this actually wasn’t a bad film and I actually enjoyed the direction they took the film in. We are so used to seeing Victor Frankenstein and Igor when they are already in search of body parts and such, but never from the beginning and not like this. Victor is someone who is hell bent on getting this experiment done because he wants to prove to the world that he can do it or at least that is the reason we are led to believe. I love how we discover what Igor’s origins are in the film and how he doesn’t really have an identity. I love a line in the film where Igor is telling Victor that people are not going to remember the man who created the monster, only the monster. It kind of foreshadows all of the films that have come out in the past. The other part of the story that I enjoyed was the inspector played by Andrew Scott, who plays this man that opposes Victor due to his beliefs in God which is the perfect counterpart for a man wanting to play God. The monster when it is presented is very cool looking and different than the rest of the monsters in the past, but he is so minor of a player in the film. The cinematography is cool and the tone of the films is very Gothic and dark which is exactly what we want from these films. Like I said before, this is actually a pretty good film and one I think you should give a chance to if you are a fan of the story. With that said, I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.