Day 105: Secret In Their Eyes (2015)

twitter_shareOne of the things I look for when picking a movie to watch is whether the film has a great cast that catches my eye. The other thing that would attract me to a film is whether or not I liked the story. That was definitely the case with today’s film Secret In Their Eyes, the crime drama directed by Billy Ray (Breach). The film stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Ray Kasten, a former FBI investigator whose been hell bent on solving a murder case for the last 13 years of his life. Ray’s best friend and fellow colleague Jess (Julia Roberts) discover the body of her daughter in a dumpster next to a mosque that they are investigating. Unfortunately, the killer remained at large and Ray hasn’t been able to let it go until he could solve it or will he? The film also stars Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!) as Claire Sloan, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) as Bumpy, Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) as Morales, Joe Cole (Offender) as Marzin, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me) as Reg Siefert, Zoe Graham (Boyhood) as Carolyn Cobb, Lyndon Smith (The Forger) as Kit, and Don Harvey (Die Hard 2: Die Harder) as Fierro.

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What is funny is when the film came out in the cinemas, I had no desire to see this movie at the time. I don’t know what made me change my mind when I was in front of the Redbox kiosk, but I chose the film. I have to say that I don’t regret the decision to watch the film because it was one heck of a cast first of all. The twist at the end of the film is also when that you won’t see coming, but you’ll finally understand the title of the film. Going into this film, I did not realize that this was the American adaptation (or remake) of the 2009 Oscar winning best foreign film El secreto de sus ojos. I love how during the film, it switches from being in the present one minute and into the past for a little while and vice versa. It’s like it’s giving you the backstory with the current story to keep you intrigued and see how badly the characters have aged because of it. That was definitely a great selling point for me was to see how desperate one is to solve the case while others either want it buried or it’s just too hard to bring up after so many years. Chiwetelu Ejiofor is by far one of the stars of the film, his performance is absolutely superb, but Nicole Kidman also deserves some kudos. The two of them had some great on screen chemistry which made the film work. For me, I think that is the appealing part of the film is the actors because without them, I don’t know how good this film would have been. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out for yourselves today.

Day 66: Taken 3 (2014)

taken-3-mainI could have saved today’s film and watched it on Wednesday for Ass Whoopin Wednesday, but there was nothing else on that I wanted to watch. So for today’s film, I chose to watch the third and final film in the Taken trilogy in Taken 3. In the third film, things seem to be going as smooth as usual in the life of former government operative Brian Mills (Liam Neeson). That is until he gets a phone call to meet his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) for some bagels and instead finds her dead in his apartment. The police believe that Brian is the killer and now it is up to him to fin who the real killer is and clear his name before it’s too late. The film also stars Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland) as Franck Dotzler, Maggie Grace (Faster) as Kim, Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible II) as Stuart St. John, Sam Spruell (Snow White And The Huntsman) as Oleg Malankov, Don Harvey (Die Hard 2) as Garcia, Dylan Bruno (Saving Private Ryan) as Smith, Leland Orser (Taken Trilogy) as Sam, David Warshofsky (Captain Phillips) as Bernie, Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite) as Mark, Jonny Weston (Insurgent) as Jimy, and the film was directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3).

taken-liam-neesonI still have yet to watch the second Taken, but I am saving that one for Ass Whoopin Wednesday and hopefully that one is better than this one. This film wasn’t bad and you have to love the idea of Brian Mills being the one chased in the film instead of him always chasing others. My only issue with the film is that it wasn’t that exciting of a film like how the first film was. Who we think is the bad guy in the film isn’t even that cool of a bad guy either. He looks like an idiot and he hides in a hotel even though he is supposed to be so dangerous (a frustrating Russian mobster). I definitely liked the twist the film had as I had a feeling in the beginning, but with the more the film went on I sort of forgot about the person being a suspect. Forest Whitaker was as amazing as he usually is and definitely a highlight for the film. The action in the film in my opinion was pretty decent, but it just doesn’t top that of the first film. While there were some pretty good chase scenes like the highway chase, there wasn’t enough to boost the wow factor in me. By the this film, I think it’s safe to say that you should know what to expect by now. The only thing different is that the formula has changed just a tad and Liam Neeson is Liam Neeson.I think it’s also safe to say by this film that he is a really bad parent. I am going to give this film an C+/B- (can’t really decide yet) for a final grade.