I wouldn’t be 100% honest with all of you if I didn’t tell you that I wasn’t sure about today’s film that I chose for you. I have always been skeptical about films that are associated with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), but nevertheless the film I chose for today is the new horror film Incarnate. Aaron Eckhart (Thank You For Smoking) stars as Dr. Seth Ember, a tortured soul with a very cool ability that only a few people here and there possess. You see he can travel into the minds of people to free them of the demons that have taken over their bodies. One day he gets called to a job that even the church won’t allow their priests to take when a child is possessed with a demon he knows all too well. The film also stars Emjay Anthony (The Jungle Book) as Jake, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace) as Camilla, Matt Nable (Riddick) as Dan, Breanne Hill (San Andreas) as Ilsa, Karolina Wydra (Be Kind Rewind) as Anna, Keir O’Donnell (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Oliver, Tomas Arana (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Felix, WWE Wrestler Mark Henry as a Bouncer, and the film was directed by Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore).
I have to completely honest because I am a huge Horror fan which is why I do and have done Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween for as long as I have. I’ve seen some really bad horror films and some really good ones and I’ve seen some that had the right idea, but the execution just wasn’t there. This is definitely one of those films where the execution just wasn’t there, but the idea was cool. It was definitely a different take on the whole exorcism sub-genre of horror. It’s basically Flatliners meets The Butterfly Effect meets The Exorcist sub-genre. He basically Flat-lines so that he may enter a dream state to be able to drive the demons or as he calls them Parasites out of the victims. The problem I had with the film was the writing because some of the actions and lines were just corny and overused as hell.We have all seen it before and some of the actions were just too erratic to make at the point they were made. Aaron Eckhart does a great job with the film, but the film just falls flat on it’s face like when a person flatlines. I am having a hard time trying to decide what grade I should give the film because it wasn’t so terrible, but let’s just say this is a wait until it comes out in Redbox or On-demand. I am going to give the film a grade somewhere between an C- and a D+. It’s in that range for sure.
The film I chose for today is one of those films that I just couldn’t miss out on seeing because of how much buzz it has garnered. The name of the film that I chose for today is Hell Or High Water and it stars Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor). Things haven’t always been easy for Toby Howard (Pine) whose family ranch is about to be foreclosed on by Midland Bank. Along with his brother Tanner (Foster), they decide to go and rob every branch of the bank to try and raise the money to save the ranch. The only problem is that they acquire the attention of a relentless Texas Ranger named Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) who is close to retiring, but needs this one last hunt. The film also stars Katy Mixon (Eastbound & Bound) as Jenny Ann, Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3) as Elsie, Gil Birmingham (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1) as Alberto Parker, Amber Midthunder (Priceless) as Vernon Teller, Buck Taylor (Gunsmoke) as Old Man, Marin Ireland (Homeland) as Debbie Howard, Kevin Rankin (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Billy Rayburn, Heidi Sulzman (Laurel Canyon) as Ranger Margaret, and the film was directed by David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense).
As soon as I read that the film was written by the same guy who wrote Sicario (Taylor Sheridan) I can instantly see the similarities in styles and the overall tone of the film. The film is just absolutely tense from beginning to end and it is definitely one heck of a thrill ride. You don’t even have to question the acting in the film because Bridges, Pine, and Foster were just absolutely amazing. I loved how Bridges character is one of those old school Texans who is just an absolute ball buster to his partner. Pine and Foster are a great combination together in the film and they play their roles perfectly. Pine is the quiet, reserved, do right by someone kind of a guy while Foster is definitely the reckless wild man. The writing is so good in this film that they create tension through the dialogue which is not an easy task as we’ve seen in a lot of films in the past. They also capture two sides of a coin where there are some people that can sympathize with them robbing the banks and those gun toting Texans who want to capture them. One of the other elements of the film that I loved is the cinematography. I’ve been to Texas and there’s a lot of land that could look desolate and desperate to which they do a great job capturing those feelings as you watch the film. There is a reason why this film has a plus 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and high 80’s/90’s on other sites. It’s just that damn good and a must see for any real cinema fan. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
When it comes to creature features and wonders of the world of fiction, there have been none greater than the likes of King Kong since his debut in 1933. He definitely began the world’s obsession with larger than life creatures and characters. In 2005, Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings) would direct this remake that starred Jack Black (Orange County) as director Carl Denham. Carl needs to create a movie that is unlike anything the world has seen, but the studio doesn’t believe in him. Naomi Watts (The Ring) stars as struggling actress Ann Darrow who is just looking for a big break. The two will eventually run into each other and she is hired to star in his film. The only problem is that the film is to be filmed on an island that no one has been to and they bite off more than they can chew when the eight wonder of the world shows up. The film also stars Adrien Brody (The Jacket) as Jack Driscoll, Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted) as Captain Englehorn, Colin Hanks (Orange County) as Preston, Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Kong, Evan Parke (Django Unchained) as Hayes, Jamie Bell (The Fantastic Four) as Jimmy, Kyle Chandler (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Bruce Baxter, and John Sumner (District 9) as Herb.
I still have yet to see the original 1933 classic that actually has King Kong listed as an actor in the film. The only other version I have seen is the 1976 version that starred Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. The one thing you can guarantee when it comes to watching this film is that the special effects are going to be amazing compared to any other version before it. The CGI alone makes this a version worth watching because they can do so much more with the film then they were able to do in the past. One of my favorite things about this film is when they are actually on Skull Island because that is where the fun and adventure is in this film. From the crazy looking natives to all the creatures that inhabit Skull Island like giant spiders, dinosaurs, and so much more creepy crawlers. The fight scene between Kong and the three T-Rex’s is absolutely amazing and one of my favorites. This is actually one of many films where Jack Black flexes his acting abilities and shows us he doesn’t have to be an imbecile all the time on screen to entertain people. Adrien Brody does a terrific job in the film as well as Naomi Watts, the beauty that kills the beast. They have the iconic climbing of the skyscraper scene in this film and it’s superb as well as other iconic shots. This was definitely a cool movie that I enjoyed and I can not wait for Kong: Skull Island to come out in 2017. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Check it out on Showtime or Showtime Anywhere right now.
So, I have been ranking the top 25 for each month in the challenge and I am about to up the ante by ranking the top 25 films of the first quarter of 2016. That is right, I am going to rank the top 25 films of the first quarter which means all the films from January up to April which makes it the first quarter of the year. Just in case you were wondering what didn’t make the list, well it’s simple, it’s whatever movies are not listed in this list. There are some films that are still the clear cut top films and some that may surprise you. Check it out below:
25. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
23. Cinderella Man
22. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
20. Kingsman: The Secret Service
17. The Hateful Eight
16. The Dark Crystal
15. Midnight Cowboy
14. The Gift
13. The Fifth Element
12. Bridge Of Spies
11. City Of God
10. The Good Dinosaur
7. Alice In Wonderland
4. Mystic River
2. The Jungle Book
I have always been a fan of the Planet Of The Apes series whether it were the classics or the reboot Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. It took me a little bit to catch the sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, but it’s here. I believe that it has been ten years since the events of the first film and what the humans called the Simian Flu has almost wiped out the entire human race. Meanwhile, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his family of apes are enjoying the fruits of their fight by living in the forest across the Golden Gate Bridge. The apes believe that there must not be any more humans until they run into a crew looking to gain access to the dam. The crew led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke) need to gain access to the dam in order to establish a power source for the humans who still live in San Francisco because they are running out of fuel for power. As Caesar begins to allow the humans to work, one ape named Koba (Toby Kebbell) begins to get angry and he rises against Caesar in order to gain payback on the humans for what they did to him when he was captive. Can Caesar and Malcolm stop Koba before he starts a war or will it be too late? The film also stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) as Dreyfus, Keri Russell (Felicity) as Ellie, Kodi Smit-McPhee (Paranorman) as Alexander, Kirk Acevedo (Oz) as Carver, Nick Thurston (White Irish Drinkers) as Blue Eyes, and the film was directed by Matt Reeves (Felicity).
I loved the first reboot film because it obviously explains the story of Caesar who we hear about in the original films. The first one left you in the cliffhanger of knowing how exactly the apes were able to kind of take over (at least part of San Fran). The second one kind of explains the story a little bit more as it is starting to inch over to where it is kind of the planet of the apes. The second really takes us into the psyche of the apes now that they have been free for what they say is 10 winters. They are still adjusting to the freedom and some of the apes struggle with how Caesar handles humans and it turns into a battle. I love the special effects obviously, but one of my other favorite elements of the film are the sets. The set design for the film was phenomenal as they created a post Simian flu San Francisco. Jason Clarke was phenomenal as well as he kind of took the place of what James Franco was to Caesar in the first film. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly excited for the new film War Of The Planet Of The Apes. I am most excited because it continues the story from this film and that means more Caesar and Andy Serkis. I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade.