In 1990, the explosion of Hip Hop and Rap was starting to take over pop culture, but when today’s film was released I was too young to watch (it also got lost in the shuffle). The film I chose to watch for today is the 1990 hip hop influenced comedy House Party. All young Kid (Christopher Reid) wants to do is survive the day and go to his best friend Play’s (Christopher Martin) party that he’s throwing later that night. The only problem is that Kid got in trouble at school and his father (Robin Harris) found out and grounded him. Despite being grounded, Kid manages to escape his house, but the trouble is far from over for him along the way when he runs into the one group after him. Will they get him or will he make it to the party? The film also stars Martin Lawrence (A Thin Line Between Love and Hate) as Bilal, Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife And Kids) as Sidney, A.J. Johnson (Sister Act) as Sharane, Kelly Jo Minter (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child) as LaDonna, Daryl Mitchell (Galaxy Quest) as Chill, John Witherspoon (Friday) as Mr. Strickland, Full Force (Paul Anthony, B-Fine, Bowlegged Lou) and the film was written and directed by Reginald Hudlin (Boomerang).
I just read a cool fact about the film in that DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith were supposed t0 be the roles of Kid and Play, but they chose not to do it hence Martin and Reid getting the roles. Wait there’s more, so when it came time to do The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Martin and Reid were supposed to be in that show, but they declined and Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff took their place. The crazy thing to is that when you are watching the film, the relationship between Martin Lawrence and Christopher Martin seems so natural and it should seeing as they are cousins. There were so many great and funny moments in the film especially with Martin Lawrence and then there are those I would have found funny back in the day like Full Force’s parts. One of my favorite parts in the film is the freestyle battle between Kid and Play in the film. The whole time before the battle you are led to believe that Kid is horrible and that Play is the slick rapper, but boy are we surprised when Kid kills it. It’s a fun scene that just reminds you of how awesome it was when Hip Hop exploded on to the scene. John Witherspoon was great as the annoying neighbor who wants to call the cops constantly and Robin Harris was just awesome from beginning to end with his insults and quick wit. It’s a fun film that you should enjoy especially if you love old school hip hop and George Clinton makes a cameo. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I was so impressed with the first film in the Harry Potter franchise that I watched yesterday that I decided to watch another. That is right, I chose Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets for today’s film. Everyone’s favorite young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is back at home with his dreadful Aunt and Uncle once again, but a house elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) tries to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts Academy. Despite what Dobby said, Harry returns back to Hogwarts only to find that students are being petrified by something. Harry discovers that there is a place in the school called the Chamber of Secrets that was created by the founder Slytherin. Harry finds out that the chamber houses a monster who will kill mudbloods (impure wizards) and that it will be opened by the heir of Slytherin, but who is it? The film also stars Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Jason Isaacs (The Tuxedo) as Lucius Malfoy, Robbie Coltrane (From Hell) as Hagrid, Kenneth Branagh (Henry V) as Professor Lockhart, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting) as Moaning Myrtle, Christian Coulson (The Hours) as Tom Marvolo Riddle, Bonnie Wright (The Sea) as Ginny Weasley, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).
When you do a sequel to a film or when you do a sequel to a film that you know is a part of a bigger picture your only hope is that it’s better than the first film. That was definitely the case with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets which I enjoyed more than the last before it. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this film is that they added a little bit of suspense to the film where you’re trying to figure out who the heir is. You’re trying to figure out who the monster is and who will he attack? That is honestly what I really loved about this film since I love thrillers. The special effects for this film were turned up a notch for this film and who doesn’t love Dobby? Dobby was honestly the comedic relief the film needed and I am glad that he was a part of the story. He has so many funny moments in the film with Harry and there is one scene that you will absolutely love. The sets were amazing as usual, but my favorite is when he entered the chamber of secrets. There is this one room where he meets the giant monster and the cool looking set which you can see in the picture in this paragraph. There is so much classic cinematography and lighting tricks in this film that are absolutely cool. One scene I noticed was the scene with Dracoy’s father Lucius who when the camera was on him, only his eyes were lit like a true villain while Harry’s who face was illuminated as e was the hero. I had a lot of fun watching this one which is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I know what you are thinking and I have to be perfectly honest with all of you in saying that I have never seen any of the films in the Harry Potter series. I figured what better time than now to see one and therefore I watched Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone for today’s film. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has always been somewhat gifted of a child, but he doesn’t understand why. He lives a life of neglect with his awful Aunt and Uncle until a wizard from the Hogwarth’s Academy named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) comes calling for him. It is there that Harry will understand his abilities and live out his full potential. Although while all of this is happening, he stumbles upon an evil scheme to kidnap a stone that could bring back an evil being. The film also stars Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Ian Hart (Finding Neverland) as Professor Quirrell, Warwick Davis (Leprechaun) as Goblin Bank Teller, Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Matthew Lewis (Me Before You) as Neville Longbottom, John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) as Nearly Headless Nick, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).
I do have to say that after watching this film, I am super excited to continue on and see the rest of the films. The idea and topic of wizards and witches may be corny to some, but this was actually a well written story that I believe that anyone with an imagination can get into. The elements of the film that make these amazing and very interesting is what you don’t see watching the film. It’s seeing the camera work and the different perspectives and how they messed with depth perception to make Hagrid look like a giant compared to other characters just by messing with the angles. The other cool element of the film is of course the special effects and all of the things they made come to life. One of my favorite scenes in the film is with the owls who are basically the postal service. Harry’s evil Uncle has been keeping him from seeing any of the letters and the amount of Owls that show up and what they do was super cool. Not to mention, fluffy the three headed dog and the little dragon were cool as well. The other scene that I loved was the big chess match that happens at the end of the film, a very cool scene indeed. A very well acted film, a well written story, and some amazing cinematography made this a very enjoyable film to watch. I will definitely be checking out some more films in the series for sure. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.
I was truly saddened earlier this year when I heard about the death of actor Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest). So when I heard he had one more film where he makes a physical appearance (he still has one voice over film to be released), I had to see it and that film is called Eye In The Sky. Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is a commanding military officer running an operation to capture or kill terrorists in the African country of Kenya. The latest mission she has features two high profile targets and some suicide bombers so she gets the mission which is a joint one between the Americans, British, and Kenyan special forces ready to go. Well, there is one problem in the whole plan, a little girl selling bread gets in the way of their mission and it sparks a huge debate over who will authorize the strike or not. The film also stars Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as Steve Watts, Alan Rickman as LT. Gen. Frank Benson, Babou Ceesay (Severance) as SGT. Mushtaq Saddiq, Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) as Jama Farah, Lex King (The Gamechangers) as Susan Danford, Richard McCabe (The Duchess) as George Matherson, Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) as Lt. Colonel Ed Walsh, and the film was directed by Gavin Hood as well.
Here’s the thing about Eye In The Sky and unless you are into topics like war, drone attacks, etc. then you may not like this film. The film should have had suspense attached to it because it’s more that than thriller. There is a lot of back and forth when it comes time to push the button and I get it if that’s how it actually works, but it’s annoying. There is so much, “hey do we have authorization?” “I don’t want to make that decision, let’s refer up” and “Why are you bothering me, do it”. This goes on for most of the film as Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman’s characters are pleading for them to let them do this. One thing I will say that the film does is that it makes Americans look like we are insensitive cowboys who want to get all of the terrorists no matter the risk. It definitely makes the British look as if they are more sensitive and humane then we are. You’ll have to see it for yourself to know what I am talking about, but like I said not a very exciting film for me. While it is cool to see what happens behind closed doors and to see all the cool camera gadgets they have in the world to spy on people, it just didn’t interest me enough. I am however glad that I did get to see Alan Rickman on screen one more time. So with that being said, I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
I figured since Alice Through The Looking Glass is going to come out this year that I better watch the first film Alice In Wonderland so that I have an idea of what I am getting into. For Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska), she has been having dreams and visions of a land where animals talk, but for her she is always told they are dreams. That is until one day when she is about to be courted for marriage, she sees a rabbit with clothing on and she decides to follow it where she falls into a rabbit hole. Upon arriving in the magical world of Underland, she finds out that it has been held captive by the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and it is up to Alice to save Underland, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), and slay the Jabberwocky. The film also stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Hatter, Crispin Glover (Back To The Future) as Stayne-Knave Of Hearts, Matt Lucas (Shaun Of The Dead) as Tweedle Dee/Dum, Michael Sheen (Underworld) as White Rabbit, Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) as Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Blue Caterpillar, Barbara Windsor (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Dormouse, Timothy Spall (Rock Star) as Bayard, and the film was directed by Tim Burton (Batman 1989).
One thing is for sure, this has to be about the billionth time that Burton has worked with Johnny Depp. It’s sort of like Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro back in the day and all of the great director/actor combinations. The same thing rings true as well with Helena Bonham Carter, but she’s married to Burton so it’s expected. The one thing I can say about all of them is that they were absolutely brilliant in the film. I actually didn’t mind Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter (unlike his portrayal as Willy Wonka which I hated) because he nailed this role. He was both witty and crazy all wrapped in one and his performance was on point. The other thing I loved about the film was all of the visual aesthetics involved. The film was visually stunning to look at from the sets and the looks of the creatures. I know that a lot of it was filmed with a green screen and some animation, but the visuals is what kept me glued to the screen. The world of Underland is visually amazing even though it’s dark and desolate due to the fact that the Red Queen has taken over. It’s kind of sad to watch this film and hear Alan Rickman’s voice knowing that he is gone, but we know his voice is in the next film. and I cannot wait to check that out. My only hope is that the next one is a good as this one. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.