Day 260: Snowden (2016)

background-twitterOne of the most controversial filmmakers in Hollywood has always been Oliver Stone who has tackled topics like the assassination of John Kennedy (JFK), 911 (World Trade Center), and insider trading (Wall Street) to name a few. Now he returns with a new film about one of the most controversial figures today in the film Snowden. Snowden tells the tale of former CIA and NSA operative Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man who exposed the United States Government for spying on it’s own people without warrants as he distributed the proof to the press. The film follows Snowden from how he got his start in the intelligence field to the struggles he dealt with when he got too deep into what was happening. The film also stars Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars) as Lindsey Mills, Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) as Glenn Greenwald, Melissa Leo (Red State) as Laura Poitras, Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Corbin O’Brian, Robert Firth (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Dr. Stillwell, Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) as Ewen MacAskill, Timothy Olyphant (Rock Star) as CIA Agent Geneva, Scott Eastwood (Fury) as Trevor James, Keith Lakeith (Straight Outta Compton) as Patrick Haynes, Ben Chaplin (Thin Red Line) as Robert Tibbo, Bhasker Patel (Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom) as Marwan Al-Kirmani, and Nicolas Cage (Drive Angry) as Hank Forrester.

screen_shot_2016-04-27_at_12-19-14_pm-0I have to be honest in saying that I wasn’t really aware of what it was that Edward Snowden was being accused of, but what ever it was he was being called either a traitor or hero. The one thing that I can say about him after watching this film is that he should be considered a hero. The United States government shouldn’t be allowed to pry in your life unless they have a warrant. According to the film, they were bypassing all of it by claiming that there were secret warrants so that they wouldn’t tip off the “Threats”. Now as far as the films is concerned I thought the film was alright in my opinion. It just runs a little too slow for my liking at times and there is a lot of computer jargon that the average person will not understand in it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a terrific job in the film as Edward Snowden and he even changes his voice to sound more like him. Shailene Woodley actually does a great job too and she even shows off some of her assets in the film which was a change for her. She does a great job being the perfect balance between the nerdiness and what is real in life. Now the beginning of the film claims that this is a dramatization so how much of it is true, I am not completely sure. I am actually interested to see what is fact and/or fiction. There are some thrills and suspense in the film as you wonder if he’s going to get caught, but we all know how the story ends. The film even features a cameo from the real Edward Snowden so look for that if you choose to see this. I am going to give the film an A- and I am doing this because I thought it was a good film (which is the same as alright), but I am just not into the computer jargon.

Day 122: Minions (2015)

minionsIt is a rarity to see me go to the cinema to see an animated film unless its one that I want to see. The honest truth about today’s film that I selected is that I didn’t have the chance to see it in the theaters. So, I took the chance to see Minions when I saw that Netflix was streaming it. Minions is the prequel movie to the Despicable Me films, but much more in the sense of telling you how and where the minions came from. The Minions have always been in search of the biggest and baddest villain on the planet to serve, but something keeps messing up opportunities for them. After feeling like life was meaningless, three particular Minions in Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) will go on a mission to find a new boss and she goes by the name of Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), but will things work out for them? The film also stars Jon Hamm (The Town) as Herb Overkill, Michael Keaton (Batman 1989) as Walter Nelson,  Allison Janney (The Duff) as Madge Nelson, Steve Coogan (Despicable Me 2) as Professor Flux, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) as The Queen, Geoffrey Rush (Mystery Men) as the narrator, Katy Mixon (Drive Angry) as Tina, and the film was directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda.

minionsI loved the first two films in the Despicable Me series because they were new and different than anything we had before. The Minions were the comedic relief for Steve Carell and his character Gru. I have to say that while I enjoyed watching this one, I don’t think it’s the best in the series because it loses a little bit of the magic that it had in the other films. I bet that there are a crap ton of children out there that probably disagree with me on this one, but as a film fan it would rank third in the series. There were some scenes where a chuckle or a laugh will sneak out because they are the cutest characters ever, but there isn’t a lot of them. One of the best characters in the film and the cutest Minion is Bob with his teddy bear and eventual pet rat. He was actually the comedic relief for the rest of the minions characters in the film and he had that cute factor to him as well. I like how this film connects with the other films when everyone’s favorite villain Gru shows up to inspire the minions. The animation was as good as any of the other films and the voice work was good too. Again for the record, I will state that I liked the movie, but I didn’t love the movie like I did with the first two Despicable Me films. The film like I said is available to stream on Netflix, so check it out if you would like. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.