Sometimes the films I chose for the Movie Of The week can be totally random like this week’s film or planned from the start like last week’s film. Nonetheless, I have grown to become a huge fan of independent films due to the creative and artistic freedom that they possess. I had heard a lot of buzz surrounding this week’s film Ingrid Goes West and the fact that it starred Aubrey Plaza (Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates) made it easier to choose. Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza) is not your normal everyday girl who does your normal everyday stuff. You see she has a problem and that is as soon as someone likes or responds to her on Instagram, she becomes instantly obsessed with that person. In fact after a Instagram star (Elizabeth Olsen) responded to her, Ingrid packed up and moved west, but will the Instagram star figure it out or will Ingrid be able to slide right in to her friends list? The film also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) as Dan Pinto, Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!) as Ezra, Billy Magnussen (The Big Short) as Nicky, Pom Klementieff (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2) as Harley Chung, Meredith Hagner (Veep) as Charlotte, Hannah Pearl Utt (Eat Prey) as Nicole, and the film was directed by Matt Spicer (It’s Not You It’s Me).
Ingrid Goes West is able to take the classic obsession genre of films like Single White Female and it’s able to make it current with the social media aspect. While I believe that everyone in the film did a wonderful job as far as the acting was concerned, I feel that Aubrey Plaza stepped it up big time in this film. She was able to play this vulnerable woman who just wants to be accepted, but can’t help that there is something seriously wrong with her. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is another actor in the film that definitely deserves some props as he went from playing the rough and tough Ice Cube role in Straight Outta Compton to playing this lovable, cool dude who just happens to be obsessed with Batman. It was definitely a role flip for him and I love that because he challenged himself. The film features a bright young cast that could be giving us a preview of the future, maybe? Even if it doesn’t mean that, you still should check out this film because it has so much to offer from the black comedy aspects to the cinematography which is pretty good as well. I thought the ending was going to be pretty dark as it seemed like it was going to end on such a horrific note very reminiscent to what happens today, but luckily we get some sort of a happy ending. The film could be considered to be social commentary on the way things are today and maybe we should look at social media differently. Anyways, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Some of my favorite films have been the high school teen dramas (i.e. The Breakfast Club, Can’t Hardly Wait, etc.) for as long as I can remember. So, when I heard that today’s film, The Edge Of Seventeen, had a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I had to check out the film for myself. The early teens can be an awkward age for teens especially when you are trying to navigate your way through the jungle known as high school. Things have never been easy for Nadine (True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld) like it has been for her brother Darian (Everybody Wants Some‘s Blake Jenner). Now things are about to get incredibly worse for her when her best friend Krista (The Bronze‘s Haley Lu Richardson) decides to date her brother. What is Nadine to do when she has no one to turn to in her life? The film also stars Woody Harrelson (Now You See Me 2) as Mr. Bruner, Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) as Mona, Hayden Szeto (The Unbidden) as Erwin, Alexander Calvert (Scream: The TV Series) as Nick Mossman, Eric Keenleyside (Godzilla) as Tom, Nesta Cooper (Heroes Reborn) as Shannon, Lina Renna as Little Nadine, Ava Grace Cooper as Young Krista, and the film was written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig.
The film was definitely interesting to say the least and it had it’s moments of brilliance. Would I compare it to a John Hughes film? Well, probably not, but it comes pretty close in spirit. This could definitely be the film for all the awkward teens out there who feel that they don’t fit in. There can be times in the film where the moments are almost predictable like you guessed that her brother was going to hook up with her best friend and I guessed that without reading the synopsis of the film. She is just way too pretty to not go unnoticed by anyone and that would be the ultimate drama filled subplot. The best moments of the film were Nadine’s interactions with Mr. Bruner played by the excellent and the MVP of the film in Woody Harrelson. He was definitely the comedic relief of the film giving us some really cool sarcastic moments with Nadine who unknowingly thinks that she is the only one with problems. Although he is sarcastic, he always seems to be there like any teacher would be essentially in our time of need. The film is filled with all the awkward moments teens deal with in life especially in the technology age and maybe this is this generations teen flick. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed watching the film, it was well written and well acted. What else could you possibly ask for? I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
There are a couple of things in life that I enjoy more than anything in my movies and that is true stories and football. When you combine the both of them, then I just have to see it an that is why I chose My All American for today’s film. Freddy Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) wasn’t born with the gift of size as a football player, but that never stopped him from trying. In fact, Freddie is one of the hardest working athletes in the world and he uses that to fight for his spot on the roster of the Texas Longhorns in 1969. Although that is about to change after leading his team to the championship game, Freddie is faced with his toughest challenge yet off the field. The film also stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Darren Royal, Sarah Bolger (The Lazarus Effect) as Linda Wheeler, Rett Terrell (Vampires Suck) as Bobby Mitchell, Juston Street (Everybody Wants Some!!) as James Street, Michael Reilly Burke (Mars Attacks) as Fred Steinmark, Robin Tunney (Empire Records) as Gloria Steinmark, Donny Boaz (The Great Debaters) as Bill Bradley, Brent Anderson (American Crime) as Coach Campbell, and the film was directed by Angelo Pizzo (Rudy).
I am going to be completely honest in saying that before I watched this movie, I did not know that it was directed by the guy who wrote Rudy and Hoosiers. You can definitely see the similarities between the films as far as the writing was concerned and you can also see some similarities in the style of the film too. I get why they covered his high school years because it helps build his character, but I’m wondering if that hindered the film at all because how many people really knew about Freddie Steinberg other than Longhorns fans or people old enough to remember him play. I just think they could have covered more of his college years but this was fine by me. I want to talk about his character because I’m not doubting at all that Freddie was a great guy who was one of the hardest working guys, but he just seems a little too perfect if you catch my drift. It was almost like he never did anything wrong, but that could be true for all I know. One thing that I wish that they had covered what what happened to his girlfriend Linda because they don’t talk about her at all during the title cards at the end. I know that she wasn’t the focus of the film, but she seemed to be an important part of his life. All that we know about her is that she was a consultant for the film and that her daughter Mackenzie Meehan played a nurse in the film. I thought that was a pretty cool tidbit. If you are a fan of Rudy, then you may like this film because they are similar in style and story. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
I love dirty raunchy comedies just as much as the next guy if you have noticed from the list of films I have seen in the past. So, I was super excited to see that Robert De Niro (Goodfellas) and Zac Efron (Neighbors) were going to be starring together in Dirty Grandpa which is today’s film. Jason Kelly (Efron) is a sort of successful corporate lawyer who is about to get married to what seems like the perfect girl. After losing his grandma, Jason agrees to take his now single Grandfather Dick Kelly (De Niro) down to Boca, Florida to see an old friend and try to make it back in time for his wedding. No the keyword there is if he makes it back in time for the wedding because things get complicated when his Grandpa gets horny and he sees an old college friend. The film also stars Zoey Deutch (Everybody Wants Some!) as Shadia, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Lenore, Jason Mantzoukas (Neighbors) as Tan Pam, Dermot Mulroney (Insidious: Chapter 3) as David Kelly, Julianne Hough (Footloose) as Meredith, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Grave Encounters 2) as Bradley, Brandon Smith (Gridiron Gang) as Tyrone, Adam Pally (Iron Man 3) as Cousin Nick, Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) as Stinky, and the film was directed by Dan Mazer (Brüno).
As far as the film is concerned, I love the idea of it and I love the people who star in the film for the most part. I just don’t think it’s the greatest comedy ever, but it’s a good one. I say that because at one point I thought the film was too long even though it said it was about 108 minutes (that’s 1 hour and 48 minutes for those who need to know). There’s a lot of stuff in the film that was just pointless that they threw in to try and make you laugh and then there was the stuff that was golden that made you laugh. Robert De Niro was great in the film and he had great chemistry with Efron and even Plaza when they did have scenes that they interacted in. I even thought Zoey Deutch (who I found out is the daughter of Lea Thompson) was even great in the film and her chemistry with Efron was on point. I just thought of plenty of stuff that I would have cut out that would save you ten minutes. I never saw the theatrical version of the film, I watched this which was the Unrated version which should always be raunchier, but Zac Efron has by this point grown on me and I am willing to forgive him for his Disney past. I am excited to see him in Neighbors 2, but I can definitely say that this one could be a contender for Comedy of the year when the Monster Entertainment Awards happen next year. With that being said, I definitely think that it’s a film that is worth checking out if you are a fan of comedies and especially De Niro in comedies. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
It is that time of the month again as we are well into May to give you what I believed to be the top 25 for the month of April. I want to start by saying that this was definitely one of the hardest months to choose a film only because we stepped the game up with the quality of films. We had a couple of stinkers of course, but we had way too many good and amazing ones that made it hard to choose. So, there may be some choices that I make that you may not agree with, but this list is about how I feel the films were. The five films (since there is only 30 days in April) that didn’t make the top 25 cut are: Volcano, Kull The Conqueror, Summer Job, Reefer Madness, and Fifty Shades Of Black. Those films simply did not make the cut because they were either not worthy or just didn’t top any of the 25 films chosen. Here is the Top 25 for the month of April:
25. Home Sweet Hell
23. The Nut Job
22. Eye In The Sky
21. To Live And Die In LA
20. Hotel Transylvania 2
19. Jane Got A Gun
18. Victor Frankenstein
17. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
16. The Boss
15. The Flamingo Kid
14. She’s Having A Baby
11. Secret In Their Eyes
10. The Giver
9. Everybody Wants Some!!
7. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
6. Alice In Wonderland
5. The Hateful Eight
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service
1. The Jungle Book
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.