The 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).
The 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.
One of my all time favorite Jean Claude Van Damme films has always been Kickboxer not just because of how awesome Van Damme was, but also how cool Tong Po was too. In Hollywood, they are always remaking films and if you guessed it then the answer is yes. Our film for today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesdays is the new film Kickboxer: Vengeance. Eric Sloane (Darren Shahlavi) champions himself a really good fighter who has just won gold with the help of his little bro Kurt (Alain Moussi). Despite Kurt’s wishes, Eric travels to Thailand to take on Muay Thai champion Tong Po (Dave Bautista). Kurt will eventually go to see the fight, but when he does, he witnesses his brothers death in the ring. Kurt swears that he will get his revenge against Tong Po so he trains with a local Muay Thai trainer named Durand (Van Damme). The film also stars Gina Carano (Deadpool) as Marcia, Sara Malakul Lane (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse) as Liu, Georges St-Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Kavi, T.J. Storm (Punisher: War Zone) as Storm, Hawn Tran (Heist) as Tran, Sam Medina (Keanu) as Crawford, MMA Fighter Cain Velasquez as King’s Fighter, and the film was directed by John Stockwell (Turistas). To see the stats and the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
For today’s film, I was in the mood for some superheroes and there are some films that I haven’t seen yet. Also, with the announcement of Justice League Dark, I figured there was some Justice League films out there I haven’t seen which is why I chose Justice League: War for today. A strange alien lifeform is planting some sort of bomb or device in Gotham, Central City, Metropolis, etc. This raises alarms for the Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) as he travels to Gotham to investigate with Batman (Jason O’Mara). With the help of Cyborg (Shemar Moore) they discover that Darkseid (Steve Blum) has a plan to take over Earth and use up all of it’s resources. They’ll need everyone’s help from the Justice League to defeat Darkseid and prevent him from taking over. The film also stars Sean Astin (Encino Man) as Shazam, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) as Wonder Woman, Alan Tudyk (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) as Superman, Rocky Carroll (Crimson Tide) as Silas Stone, Dee Bradley Baker (Legends Of The Hidden Temple) as Parademon, Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) as Thomas Morrow, Zach Callison (Steven Universe) as Billy Batson, and the film was directed by Jay Oliva (Deadpool).
I do want to make something clear about the film and that the Justice League isn’t official in this film. They all begin to meet each other as they are forced to band together to fight Darkseid. Darkseid for those who don’t know is basically Marvel’s Apocalypse, but he is an alien life form who can shoot lasers out of his eyes just like Superman. The film had me excited to see that he was the villain of the film because I am a huge fan of Darkseid, but I was also excited to see Shazam in a film as well. I definitely like how they introduced him in the film and even though he looks like an adult, he still acts childish. We also get to see Cyborg’s origin in the film as he is created right before our very eyes. One of the things I enjoyed about the film was the story itself because it was a take on how they came together, but it showed how people were still afraid of them before they could rescue everyone. The film also features some language in it so I would be careful showing it to the kids (or at least use some caution) and there is definitely some violence in the film as well. This definitely isn’t my favorite DC Animated film, but it’s up there. You have to check out Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, but if you want an origin story then check this one out. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
For 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).
I 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).
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.
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 never got the chance back in the day to check out the film Smokin’ Aces which looked like a bad ass movie. That is until today and that is why I am presenting it to you guys as today’s challenge film. Buddy Israel (Jeremy Piven) was a wannabe gangster Las Vegas performer who decides to turn snitch for the FBI against a rival crime family. Now he needs protection because a hit has been put on his life to make sure that he never gets the chance to snitch. The hitmen are coming from everywhere and anywhere to try and collect on it, but the FBI has to get to him to get him out before the hitmen come. The film also stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) as Richard Messner, Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) as Donald Carruthers, Joseph Ruskin (The Scorpion King) as Primo Sparazza, Ben Affleck (Dogma) as Jack Dupree, Peter Berg (Collateral) as “Pistol” Pete Deeks, Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Hollis, Common (Run All Night) as Sir Ivy, Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III) as Stanley Locke, Alicia Keys as Georgia, Taraji P. Henson (Date Night) as Sharice, Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Darwin Tremor, Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Jeeves Tremor, Tommy Flanagan (Sons Of Anarchy) as Lazlo, Joel Edgerton (The Gift) as Hugo, and so many more.
This movie has a wild and crazy collection of a cast that includes a mix of 80’s, 90’s, and the stars of today all rolled into one awesome cast. Matthew Fox plays the head of security of the casino/hotel, Jason Bateman plays a weird lawyer, Curtis Armstrong who played Booger in Revenge Of The Nerds is in this movie as well. Chris Pine plays an insane character who belongs in a Mad Max movie which shows you how over the top insane and awesome this film was. One thing is for certain, you never have to question Jeremy Piven and his performance because he is a top notch actor that delivers. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t really open up in the film until the last half of the film, but when he does he also delivers. He certainly does in this film as a drugged out paranoid wannabe mob boss. The action in the film at one point becomes non stop as double crosses and hots just keep coming. I will say one thing if you have never seen the movie you may think it’s over at one point, but the ending of the film may shock you. There is a lot that is revealed and of course I will not spoil it for any of you. I really liked this movie and I have to be honest and say that I went into it with no expectations and it paid off. It was tough to decide a grade for this film because it lies on the B+/A- border and that’s how I’ll keep it.
I have decided after seeing what a friend was doing with his challenge that I would rate the month of February as far as the films I watched. So, I have decided to list my top 25 films of each month and we are starting with the month of February. I will look at all the films I watched and I will rate them from 25 to 1 with one obviously being my favorite film of that particular month. At the end of the year I will rate the top 25 of the year if I make it to that point and hopefully I do. Obviously there are films that are left behind from the list considering some months have 30, 31, and this year February has 29 days. So, some films are unfortunately left behind and I will tell you that The Witch, Sharknado 3, The Punisher, and Black Mama, White Mama are left off the list. I’m not really going to explain why, but rather just show what my top 25 was. So, here is the list:
25. Jem And The Holograms
24. Freaks Of Nature
23. Good Guys Wear Black
22. The Other Woman
21. The Ladykillers
20. The Visit
19. The Last Witch Hunter
18. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
17. The Transporter Refueled
16. The November Man
14. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
13. Johnny Dangerously
12. Johnny Got His Gun
11. Triple 9
9. Reservoir Dogs
8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
7. Friday Night Lights
6. The Fifth Element
4. The Dark Crystal
3. Cinderella Man
2. The Good Dinosaur
I have been waiting so long to see this movie ever since Fox announced that it was making a Deadpool movie with Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine). The film Deadpool is the perfect marriage as Reynolds plays the role he was born to play as Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool. The film explores the origins of Deadpool and how he became the Merc with a mouth. Everything is going great for the mercenary as he found the perfect girl for him in Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). That is until Wade finds out that he has terminal cancer and things start to fall apart for him until a man (Jed Rees) tells him that he can cure him. Wade goes for it, but because of the treatment and what Ajax (Ed Skrein) does to him leaves him disfigured. Now, Deadpool is out for revenge and he is looking for Ajax and maybe a cure for his disfigured body. The film also stars Michael Benyaer (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Warlord, Stefan Kapicic (Tears For Sale) as Colossus, Brianna Hildebrand (First Girl I Loved) as Nagasonic Teenage Warhead, T.J. Miller (Cloverfield) as Weasel, Gina Carano (Fats & Furious 6) as Angel Dust, and the film was directed by Tim Miller in his first feature film as a director.
Spoiler Alert: if you do not want to know what happens in the film then do not read any further because I may give information away. I am just going to go ahead and say that this is one of the best superhero movies out there that was not done by Warner Brothers or Marvel/Disney. I am so glad that they made the film rated R because it added so much and it allowed Deadpool to be Deadpool in all the ways we want him. My favorite thing about the film is how he breaks the fourth wall with us and he knows that he is in a film. He cracks so many jokes in the film and he pokes them at Fox, Marvel/Disney, etc.which is just awesome. There is so much action and blood shed in the film to satisfy any fan of action and superhero movies. The soundtrack to the film is pretty awesome as well with a huge mix of so many types of pop culture. I also loved how in an idea Colossus represents Marvel and DC in a way symbolically. Think about it, they don’t really want people dying in their films and that is what Colossus is constantly preaching in the film. Deadpool told all you parents out there and I am saying that if you can’t handle nudity, strong language, and violence then don’t be an idiot and do not bring your kids to see the film. We do not want you complaining about all of those things. This is our movie and we want to enjoy every second of it and the sequel as well which has been announced. Stick around for the last scene because Deadpool tells you whose going to be in it. Check the movie out because it is totally worth it. I am giving the movie an A+ for a final grade.
For today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, I had been meaning to check out the reboot. remake, re-imagining, or whatever you want to call it of The Transporter series. The Transporter Refueled was released last year and it was the first film in the franchise to not feature Jason Statham. The film actually stars Ed Skrein (Deadpool) as Frank Martin, the transporter. In this film, Frank takes a job from the beautiful Anna (Loan Chabanol), but what he doesn’t realize is that he is going to be a pawn in her game of revenge on a Russian crime lord in the south of France. When Frank tries to get out of it, they kidnap his father (Ray Stevenson) and use him as bait to get Frank to finish the job. The film also stars Gabriella Wright (Everly) as Gina, Tatiana Pajkovic as Maria, Wenxia Yu as Qiao, Radivoje Bukvic (Taken) as Arkady Karasov, Noémie Lenoir (Rush Hour 3) as Maïssa, Yuri Kolokolnikov (Leningrad) as Yuri, Lenn Kudrjawizki (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) as Leo Imasova, Samir Guesmi (District B13) as Inspector Bectaoui, Anatole Taubman (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Stanislas Turgin, and the film was directed by Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansions). To see the rest of the review of the film and to check out the stats, please click here.
While all of us who are fans of comic book movies wait for Ryan Reynolds (Waiting) to star in Deadpool (which comes out in February), I figured I would review the last film he made to date. The name of the film is Self/less and it was directed by Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror) and the film looks at a topic that all of us may have wondered about. What if we possessed the ability to take the brilliant men of the world who are old and about to die and transported them into new bodies? It brings up the idea of immortality and man’s ability to play God. That was the question that was raised to New York real estate tycoon Damien (Ben Kingsley) as he was slowly dying of Cancer. He was lead to believe that the bodies that were available were created in a lab and so he makes the jump. Unfortunately as he gets used to his new body (Ryan Reynolds), he begins to discover that maybe these bodies belonged to people who had souls of their own. As soon as he discovers this, he is on the run and he has to protect the family of the man who once occupied the body. The film also stars Natalie Martinez (Death Proof) as Madeline, Matthew Goode (Watchmen) as Albright, Victor Garber (Argo) as Martin, Derek Luke (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Anton, Melora Hardin (Hot Chick) as Judy, and Michelle Dockery (Non-Stop) as Claire.
Ryan Reynolds takes a lot of crap for some of the roles he chooses where people feel he can only play a certain part, but I beg to differ. We know that the film didn’t do as well in the box office as the studio had hoped, but I feel like people should given the film a chance. It was definitely a cool and new concept for a Sci-Fi thriller like this. It gives you an insight into what the possibilities could be and what the side effects can be by taking over a new body. Ben Kinglsey is an amazing actor to begin with and he plays a bitter old man who has always appreciated the money first over the real joys of life. Ryan Reynolds is kind of the coming of age part of the film where he begins to realize that he loved all the wrong things in life and decides to make up for it. I really enjoyed the acting from Matthew Goode, he does an amazing job play a manipulative man hell bent on perfecting his research and will do anything to achieve it. There’s plenty of action, suspense, and mystery to please any fan and I love the special effects in the film. Now I pose this question to all of you. Would you sell your body to save someone you loved even if it meant never seeing them again? Would you take over a body knowing that a real soul once possessed it and is still kind of there? Check out the film and answer that for yourself. I am giving the movie an B+ for a final grade.