The 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).
The 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.
Today’s film has been sitting on my Netflix cue for quite some time that I am even surprised that it was still around for me to view. Nevertheless, it was a film that featured Ben Affleck a year after his appearance in Dazed And Confused and I figured why not let’s check out Glory Daze. The film follows five college friends/roommates in Jack (Affleck), Rob (Sam Rockwell), Dennis (French Stewart), Slosh (Vien Hong), and Mickey (Vinnie DeRamus) as they face various dilemmas two days before graduation. Jack doesn’t have a girlfriend, but he’s more scared about the unknown part of his future while Rob is about to move to LA, but is afraid of meeting his girlfriend’s mom. Dennis feels that he should transfer to Michigan for a masters, but an offer from a teacher has him thinking twice while Slosh is just a drunk going nowhere fast. Mickey wants a girlfriend, but he’s just too afraid and dumb to realize when opportunity presents itself. The whole group decides to stay, but is it the right decision after all? The film also stars Megan Ward (Encino Man) as Joanie, Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood) as Dina, Alyssa Milano (Fear) as Chelsea, John Rhys-Davies (Raiders Of The Lost Ark) as Luther, and the film features appearances from Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Sean Whalen, Brendan Fraser, Leah Remini, and the film was directed by Rich Wilkes (xXx).
What did I think of this film? Well one thing is for sure and that it isn’t Dazed And Confused and I have a reason for saying that. The film is basically what if O’Bannion grew up and went to college in the 90’s and was an art student. It had that same kind of vibe where the main character is faced with a major life decision and all of a sudden he starts to question the norm. The other thing that made me think of it was seeing Matthew McConaughey in the film. His character made me think that what i that was Wooderson and he had just left Texas and became a UHaul salesman. While it may be one of your typical 20 somethings slacker film, it doesn’t capture the same kind of brilliance other films had before it. It’s surprising considering the caliber of talent that was in this film like Sam Rockwell, Affleck, Fraser, etc. The film isn’t all bad though, it actually nails the 90’s in a way where everyone was overly pissed off at the world and how life wasn’t fair. Thanks to grunge music, Punk made a huge comeback in the 90’s and this soundtrack is full of iconic 90’s punk bands like NOFX, The Bouncing Souls, etc. The film has it’s moments of brilliance, but it’s just too all over the place at times. Like I said, he film is currently available on Netflix as we speak so check it out if you dare. I’m having a hard time giving the film a grade so I say it’s somewhere between a C+/B- as far as a final grade is concerned.
I thought for a very long time that I was the only person n the whole wide world that was waiting for some sort of sequel to the 1994 Richard Linklater (Boyhood) classic Dazed And Confused. Go 22 years into the future and now we have our spiritual sequel (Linklater has stated) to the classic film in Everybody Wants Some!! which takes place in the 1980’s (or at least the beginning of the decade). The film follows incoming freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) and his ragtag baseball teammates as they navigate through the life of college and everything that comes with it like partying, sex, and anything else you can think of as it’s all unsupervised by adults. Will they survive that three day weekend before classes start or will we have some casualties along the way. The film also stars Juston Street (My All American) as Jay, Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) as Roper, Tyler Hoechlin (Road To Perdition) as McReynolds, Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) as Willoughby, Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises) as Finnegan, Temple Baker (Love Is Relative) as Plummer, J. Quinton Johnson as Dale, Will Brittain (A Teacher) as Beuter, Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead) as Nesbit, and Zoey Deutch (Dirty Grandpa) as Beverly.
For a while as I was watching the film, I had a hard time figuring out what the plot of the film was. Was this a film that was just about partying? Dazed And Confused had a plot to it that was easy to get while this one just seems like a movie about endless partying and gamesmanship. Then after a while, it became clear as soon as I read IMDB’s explanation. One thing is for certain with this film is that just like the first film, it has a killer soundtrack that features the likes of Foreigner, Devo, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, and so many more. The soundtrack was always a huge part of the film and they do a terrific job picking the songs once again as it mixes some disco with rock and a little country too. Another thing Linklater has a knack for when it comes these films is discovering young talent to go with the already established guys. There are a lot of guys who make their feature film debuts in this film and they do a great job. One of the true highlights for me was Juston Street who plays an absolute awesome comedic relief as a pitcher who takes himself way too seriously. Every time he appeared on screen, I was laughing my butt off and couldn’t get enough of him. I like how the film ended however cause it was kind of a nice way to end the adventure that was the film. One thing I will say is what they hell were they thinking in the 80’s when it came to their outfits and those short shorts guys wore? Anyways, I am going to give the film an A- only because it doesn’t top Dazed And Confused, but it was very enjoyable to watch.
When I saw on my guide that Transcendence was going to be on the television, I took the opportunity to check this film out. With an estimated budget of 100 Million, the film was kind of a box office failure in 2014. Nevertheless, the film stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Dr. Will Caster, the utmost authority on Artificial Intelligence who is trying to create the ultimate A.I.. Little does Dr. Caster know that there are people that are against what he is doing and they go as far as poisoning him with radiation on a bullet that he was shot with. Looking to continue his research, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and longtime friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) will ultimately load Will’s consciousness into the computer to create the ultimate A.I. before he dies. What they don’t realize is that there action takes on dangerous implications. The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Joseph Tagger, Cillian Murphy (In Time) as Agent Buchanan, Kate Mara (The Fantastic Four) as Bree, Cole Hauser (Dazed And Confused) as Colonel Stevens, Clifton Collins Jr. (The Stoned Age) as Martin, Josh Stewart (The Collector) as Paul, Cory Hardrict (American Sniper) as Joel Edmund, and the film was directed by Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).
As I said in the above paragraph, the movie was a complete flop as it only made about 23 million dollars in the box office. I remember the film being in and out of the theaters in no time so I avoided seeing the film. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never the full film fro start to finish. I can certainly see why it was never successful, but that’s not to say that the film was completely bad. It like most films, had it’s ups and downs with Depp being Depp which equals awesome, but at times it was rather boring. The trailers made you believe or think that as an A.I. he was able to destroy things, but that really isn’t the case. He rather regenerates things and makes them better and has his minions destroy things for him. The film is just more commentary on how social media and computers have taken over our lives and how someday it may come to this when we are launched back into the stone age or at least the 1970’s when there were no cell phones or computers. Rebecca Hall, who I loved in The Town, does a pretty good job being the wife who is blinded by the love of her husband and Paul Bettany who is the friend that eventually sees the error of his ways. Yes, we’ve seen that all before in other Sci-F drama films. Check out the film at your own risk, but I’m telling you that it wasn’t bad. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.