In about four days from now, every movie that I watch and review for the blog is going to be a horror film for a month. So, I figured I would try to get in some movies that I have always wanted to see and Crash is definitely one of them. The film follows Jean Cabot (Sandra Bullock) and her DA husband (Brendan Fraser), Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his partner Officer Hansen (Ryan Phillippe), a Latino lock smith (Michael Peña), a Persian store owner (Shaun Toub), a car thief (Ludacris), a black detective (Don Cheadle), and a African American couple (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) as they navigate and collide in Los Angeles in a stories of race, tragedy, and redemption. The film also stars Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss) as Fred, Keith David (Men At Work) as Lt. Dixon, Jennifer Esposito (Summer Of Sam) as Ria, William Fichtner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Flanagan, Karina Arroyave (Lean On Me) as Elizabeth, Loretta Devine (Death At A Funeral) as Shaniqua Johnson, Larenz Tate (Dead Presidents) as Peter Waters, Bahar Soomekh (Mission: Impossible III) as Dorri, Jack McGee (Moneyball) as Gun Store Owner, Bruce Kirby (Stand By Me) as Pop Ryan, and the film was directed by Paul Haggis (Casino Royale).
I wanted to start this paragraph by telling how uncomfortable this film was and is going to be to review. There is so much racism and hatred in this film that it’s absolutely insane, but I suppose that maybe this is how some people felt back in 2004 and even into today. I honestly thought before watching the film that it was going to be about the program entitled CRASH in Los Angeles, but boy was I surprised right off the bat. They explore racism in every sense of the way that you can imagine from stereotyping all Middle Easterners and Latin Americans. The film also explore racism as far as how a situation is perceived by a different individual and how some humans are just stuck in their ways. Crash is an excellent film, but it’s one of those films that just when it looks like things are about to get dim, it’s lightens right up, but then falls back down. It truly is a roller coaster ride of a film. Sandra Bullock does an amazing job playing a racist bitch in the film because she is very convincing. Just about every single person in the film does an excellent job like Ludacris being a disillusioned individual or Don Cheadle who is forced to make hard decisions that will benefit others whether it’s right or wrong. Jennifer Esposito has a scene in the film where she just looks so sexy, I was jealous of Don Cheadle at that moment. The film is available on Netflix and I think it’s one you should check out, but be prepared. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
I have said this many times and I say it because it’s absolutely true. There are some instances where a film sneaks right by you and somehow later on you wonder why you’ve never seen it. That was definitely the case for today’s film which is the Los Angeles gang violence film Colors. Robert Duvall (Days Of Thunder) plays CRASH officer Bob Hodges, a man with one year left until he gets his pension from the LAPD. Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) plays hot shot CRASH rookie Danny McGavin who gets paired with Hodges after a gang member is murdered in a drive by. The two are on the streets as they try to investigate the murder while trying to keep gang violence between the Bloods and Crips to a low. The film also stars Maria Conchita Alonso (The Lords Of Salem) as Louisa Gomez, Randy Brooks (Reservoir Dogs) as Ron Delaney, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Rocket, Damon Wayans (Major Payne) as T-Bone, Trinidad Silva (UHF) as Frog, Glenn Plummer (South Central) as High Top, Grand L. Bush (Lethal Weapon) as Larry, Gerardo Mejía (Can’t Buy Me Love) as Bird, Courtney Gains (Children Of The Corn) as Whitey, and the film was directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider).
I know that the film is not really a coming of age movie, but I think that it’s a point that could be legitimately argued. Think about it for a second, what is the definition of coming of age? According to Google, “a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood (“coming of age”). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past.” While the film isn’t set in the past, you do see Sean Penn go in a s this hot shot rookie on the CRASH force who just wants to bust heads and kick ass. Then when the going gets a little tough and something happens to his partner, he begins to realize what he was doing wrong and he changes for the better. In my opinion, that could be a coming-of-age story. This was one of those films that was trying to show you just how bad things were in Los Angeles as we would eventually see Boyz N the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, and so many more films that focused on the issues. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn were both equally amazing in the film as they were almost the perfect pair. The cinematography in this film was superb in my opinion as they captured some amazing shots of East LA and Los Angeles. I had to get used to the fact that Damon Wayans was in this movie, but the role was perfect for him as he played T-Bone who is basically a junkie. This is definitely a film that must have opened people’s eyes to what was going on in the world and the problem that is gang violence. I definitely recommend this one and that is why I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
There are times where I thank myself for starting this challenge because it gives me opportunities to see some amazing films and sometimes not so amazing of films. Ever since Marvel and Disney had announced that the third film for Captain America was going to be Captain America: Civil War, I couldn’t wait to see it. When The Avengers have to go in to a city and save the day, who has to answer to the people and the victims of the aftermath? Who is held responsible and who is to be held accountable? That is one of the many questions that Secretary Of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) have presented to the team after a mission in Nigeria has some terrible consequences. With Bucky Barnes still on the loose and now wanted for the murder of King T’Chaka (John Kani), Captain America (Chris Evans) looks to prove that Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is innocent even if it means he has to go rogue. The film also stars Paul Bettany (Priest) as Vision, Scarlet Johansson (Lucy) as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) as Sam Wilson, Don Cheadle (Crash) as War Machine, Jeremy Renner (The Town) as Hawkeye, Chadwick Boseman (42) as Black Panther, Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla) as Scarlet Witch, Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) as Ant-Man, Tom Holland (Locke) as Spider-Man, Daniel Brühl (Rush) as Zemo, Frank Grillo (Warrior) as Crossbones, and the film was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
I am seriously trying my best not to spoil anything for anyone who has not yet seen this film. I am seriously going to try my best, but just in case spoiler alert: do not continue to read in case of any details slipping through. I am going to start this off right away by saying that I truly loved the film and was totally not disappointed by it at all. All I can really say is that there are some small questions that are answered in this film that play a big role overall in the film. Not to mention, there is some bad ass action sequences in the film and some really cool appearances by certain characters like one Spider-Man and Ant-Man. I really loved Spider-Man’s interactions with Tony Stark and the Avengers team in general. The film really does a terrific job with character development and if you are looking for a character driven film, then this is it. All of the action sequences are amazing and all of the fight scenes are worth the price of admission. Chadwick Boseman making his debut as Black Panther was absolutely awesome and the drama was well written. The conflicts hit you really close especially if you are a fan of a certain character. This is definitely one of my favorite films of the year besides Deadpool so I am going to have a hard time with ranking these films. Check out the film, choose a side, and see if you made the right choice for yourself. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade because it had the right amount of drama and it sneaked the comedy in at the right times plus everything I mentioned above.
In the mid to late 1990’s, the thing to do in Hollywood was to bring back the lost art of Disaster Movies that people loved from the 70’s (Airport, The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, etc.). In 1997, 20TH Century Fox released the film Volcano which starred Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) boss Mike Roark. Everything seems normal in Los Angeles except for the fact that people are outraged at a new subway line going in. That is until a couple of workers end up dying from severe burns. While Mike starts to investigate what happened, a volcano begins to erupt underneath Los Angeles and now Mike has to figure out how to save the city before it’s too late. The film also stars Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Amy Barnes, Gaby Hoffmann (Uncle Buck) as Kelly Roark, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as Emmit Reese, Jacqueline Kim (Brokedown Palace) as Dr. Jaye Calder, Keith David (Men At Work) as Police LT. Ed Fox, John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Norman Calder, Michael Rispoli (Pain & Gain) as Gator Harris, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Stan Olber, and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).
First of all, I want to start off by saying that Tommy Lee Jones is an amazing actor who commands the screen no matter what role he is playing. Second of all, this is a disaster film after all which means that the special effects are going to be off the chains for these kinds of films and it was. The explosions were cool and the lava running through the city was cool. How far fetched or possible is a volcano under Los Angeles, I am not 100% sure as to how accurate that would be. With the fault lines and all the subway systems they have, it would be a scary notion if it could happen. To spice things up for the film, they trow in some racial tension because we know that was running rampant in LA at the time. You have a guy looking out for his section of town, gets the handcuffs put on him until the cop decides not to be racist anymore. Then you have a little kid who is being carried by a black police officer who looks out and says, “look at their faces, they all look the same.” A nice gesture saying that we are all human and that we should all help each other, but a sentimental part I seriously could have done without. The movie is about Volcano’s, not Rodney King or Rampart. Nevertheless, you know exactly what you are getting with these films and it’s enjoyable enough to watch. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
Considering that today is Super Tuesday and the whole political world is going to be watching what happens, I figured I would review a movie that has something to do with that world. The film that I chose for you today was written, directed, and stars Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy) in the film Bulworth. Warren Beatty plays down and out California Senator Bulworth, a man on the brink of a nervous breakdown due to the fact that his campaign is plummeting. In a desperate condition, he calls on a man to carry a hit on him so that his family can collect a life insurance policy. Everything is going as planned until the Senator has a revelation and starts speaking the truth while on his campaign. With the help of the mysterious Nina (Halle Berry), he will try everything he can to stay alive and make a difference. The film also stars Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class) as Dennis Murphy, Sean Astin (Rudy) as Gary, Christine Baranski (Cybill) as Constance Bulworth, Graham Beckel (Brokeback Mountain) as Man With Dark Glasses, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as L.D., Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) as Graham Crockett, Jack Warden (Problem Child) as Danvers, and the film features a cameo from Larry King.
One of the things I can say about this film that I enjoyed was the soundtrack because if you’re a fan of old school hip hop/gangsta rap then you’ll enjoy it too. As far as the film goes, it was an OK movie in my opinion as there really wasn’t anything outstanding about it. There are parts in this film that are just cheesy like every time Warren Beatty decided to rap, he made white people seem more cheesy than Vanilla Ice. Some of the scenes in the film felt forced at times (Club scenes) while others meshed real well (the debate and other times he gets interviewed). What I did like about the film is that I wish we had a candidate in the world that decided that enough was enough with the BS like Senator Bulworth. Sadly someone like him would be deemed too dangerous and would probably be taken out because there is too much money flying around with the special interest groups. I seriously want to know what was up with Don Cheadle’s look in the 90’s, it seems like he had just stepped off the set of Meteor Man, shaved the blonde hair, and kept his outfit for this film as he once again plays another crime lord. If you’re looking for a super political movie, then this isn’t it for you. This is more of a satire or Beatty’s attempt on social commentary when it has to do with how the country feels when it comes to politics. I couldn’t find anything else to watch so I checked this out, but the film isn’t that bad. I am going to give the film an C+ for a final grade.