I want to start off by wishing everyone a Happy and safe Thanksgiving. Some of us may be stuffing ourselves with food and we may start to think about dieting. What happens when a diet is forced upon you? Well that get’s answered with today’s film Heavy Weights. Gerry (Aaron Schwartz) just wants to have fun for his summer break from school, but that all changes when his parents force him to go to fat camp. The camp looks like it’s going to be fun until a new owner by the name of Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) comes along. Tony wants to film an infomercial proving that he can make fat kids lose weight so he can make the major bucks. The problem for him is the campers get sick of him and decide to retaliate. The film also stars Tom McGowan (Bad Santa) as Pat, Cody Burger (National Lampoon’s Christmas Christmas Vacation) as Cody, Allen Covert (Big Daddy) as Kenny, Shaun Weiss (The Mighty Ducks) as Josh, Tom Hodges (Stigmata) as Lars, Leah Lail (Little Nicky) as Julie, Kenan Thompson (Kenan and Kel) as Roy, Paul Feig (Ghostbusters) as Tim, Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover) as Maury Garner, Lauren Hill (The House Bunny) as Angelic Girl, and the film was directed by Steven Brill (Little Nicky). The film even features Judd Apatow who gets his first writing credit with the film.
I really honestly believe that if I had seen this back in the 90’s when it came out that I probably would have found this film funnier. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the film, but it’s just filled with 90’s esque kids comedy humor.Ben Stiller was absolutely amazing in the film and this was a time when he was still playing the jerk in films (like Happy Gilmore). He has some real memorable lines and moments in the film like when he escapes from his cage and he is trying to get back at Gerry and his dad. That whole sequence is classic Ben Stiller cause we’ve seen it in Dodgeball as well. There was also a Mighty Ducks Thing going on in this film with Keenan Thompson, Shaun Weiss, and Aaron Schwartz who all starred together in this film. We also see director Paul Feig act in this film which was crazy cause I didn’t realize that it was him. The cruel thing about this film is that some of the stereotypes are actually true when you are an 11 or 12 year old and you’re fat. There’s the scene where Tony invites an all girls camp to come to a dance with all the fat kids to try and prove a point to them that nobody wants them cause their fat. Other than that, the film has some funny moments to it and if you’re a fan of 90’s movies then this is one that should be on your list. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
One of my all time favorite actors from the 80’s is John Cusack who starred in such great films as Say Anything…, Tapeheads, One Crazy Summer, and even High Fidelity. So, I was cruising through Netflix trying to decide on a film when I came across Grosse Pointe Blank and decided on it for today. Martin Blank (Cusack) is a professional hitman who has sort of lost his way and just needs to be found or at least realize what he wants out of life. Against his intuition, he goes back home to Detroit where he’ll attend his ten year high school reunion. While there, he runs into his old high school sweetheart Debbie Newberry (Minnie Driver) that he ran out on ten years before and he decides to try and fix that relationship while letting go of his lifestyle. The film also stars Joan Cusack (Working Girl) as Marcela, Alan Arkin (Argo) as Dr. Oatman, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Grocer, Jeremy Piven (Smokin’ Aces) as Paul Spericki, Hank Azaria (Mystery Men) as Steven Lardner, K. Todd Freeman (The Cider House Rules) as Kenneth McCullers, Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Bob Destepello, Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon) as Mr. Bart Newberry, and the film was directed by George Armitage (Miami Blues).
There are things you should know about getting into a John Cusack film that is starring him and one is that Joan Cusack is probably in the film. The second one that you can expect is that the soundtrack to the film is probably incredible so you should pay attention to that. The film featured cuts from amazing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure for example. The other thing you should expect from a Cusack film is that Cusack is going to be stealing the show by commanding the screen with his underdog like qualities. No matter the role, you are rooting for him to succeed and that is what I love about his films. This one adds the element that he is a professional assassin which means we get some bad ass action sequences in the film as well. The film itself is absolutely awesome and definitely a film I wish I had seen a heck of a lot sooner than I did. I really loved the fact that Alan Arkin was in the film as the scared psychiatrist who has to continuously deal with Cusack’s character throughout the film. It adds to the overall comedy of the film and Dan Aykroyd definitely does that as the rival hitman. So you can definitely see all the crazy directions this film goes, but it’s enjoyable because the story is awesome. Everybody normal hates the idea of going back to a high school reunion, but hey that’s how it goes. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because the acting was great and the soundtrack is amazing.
After 31 one straight days of Horror films, I am definitely ready to catch up and watch some movies that I have missed out on. Netflix has been producing some great comedies as of late and there was one that I just couldn’t wait to see and that is the mockumentary film Mascots which comes from the mind of Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap). Every year, there is a competition that looks at the unsung heroes of baseball games, football games, and various other sports in the Mascots. This mockumentary explores that world as it follows various mascots like Mike and Mindy Murray (Zach Woods and Sarah Baker), Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennett), Cindi Babineaux (Parker Posey), Tommy ‘Zook’ Zucarello (Chris O’Dowd), and Phil Mayhew (Christopher Moynihan) as they all fight for the award called the Golden Fluffy. The film also stars Kerry Godliman (Derek) as Sarah Golly, John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher) as Upton French, Jim Piddock (Best In Show) as Owen Golly Sr., Susan Yeagley (The Lucky Ones) as Laci Babineaux, Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbusters) as A.J. Blumquist, Jane Lynch (Glee) as Gabby Monkhouse, Don Lake (Zootopia) as Buddy Campbell, Fred Willard (WALL·E) as Greg Gammons, Jr, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) as Jolene Lumpkin, Bob Balaban (Ghost World) as Sol Lumpkin, and Michael Hitchcock (Glee) as Langston Aubrey.
I really loved this film because it’s everything you loved about mockumentaries like This Is Spinal Tap and it also helps that it was made by one of the stars of that film. He even makes a special appearance in the film as a guy named Corky and his chemistry with Parker Posey was incredible and hilarious. It also helped that the film featured so many funny people in one film that it was almost overload. This was a well written film with so many great subplots that helped drive the film forward as well as the main plot. One of my favorite parts of the film is when they finally get to the competition and you see all of the performances from the main guys and the hilarious reactions from the judges in the film. My favorite performance (if I was a judge) would go to the The Fist which was played by Chris O’Dowd probably because of the fact that he added an element of metal to his show. The other thing that I liked about the film is that they show you where all of the mascots are one year later. It definitely adds closure to some of the drama in the subplots that were presented to us. There was definitely some cliche comedy vices thrown in the film, but sometimes that is what makes them great. You have to give credit where credit is due to Netflix because they have produced some great stuff so far. If you have it, definitely give this film a shot if you haven’t already. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because it’s enjoyable to watch.
Two of my favorite comedians from the 1980’s was Chevy Chase (Fletch) and Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) because the two always made great films. For today’s film, I decided to check out their first film together since working on Saturday Night Live in Spies Like Us. Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chase) and Austin Millbarge (Aykroyd) are a couple of bumbling idiots that work for the government. Both of them hear about a test that is being administered that if you pass you can become a spy for the government. After noticing that they are idiots, they are assigned to go to Russia where they think that they are becoming spies, but in reality they are decoys for nuclear war. Will they survive and surprise everyone or will they play out their prophecy? The film also stars Steve Forrest (Mommie Dearest) as General Sline, Donna Dixon (Wayne’s World) as Karen Boyer, Bruce Davison (The Lords Of Salem) as Mr. Ruby, Bernie Casey (Never Say Never Again) as Colonel Rhumbus, William Prince (As The World Turns) as Mr. Keyes, Tom Hatten (I Saw What You Did) as General Miegs, Jim Staahl (Bobby’s World) as Bud Schnelker, James Daughton (Animal House) as Bob Hodges, Charles McKeown (Brazil) as Jerry Hadley, Vanessa Angel (Kingpin) as one of the Russian Rocket Crew, and the film was directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf In London).
I don’t know if this is my favorite film to feature Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase, but it definitely has it’s funny moments. Dan Aykroyd plays a typical Aykroyd character while Chevy plays Chevy. Chevy plays that typical smooth talking hound dog that your surprised isn’t humping women’s legs. It’s his character in Fletch, Caddyshack, etc, but I am not saying that’s a bad thing because there have been a lot of memorable moments. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when they are training after the test. The one moment that I love is the G Force moment with their faces and messed up hair. That is classic Aykroyd/Chase comedy that is very physical. Other than that, it has it’s funny moments like the hey it’s the end of the world so let’s have sex like bunnies cause we are all going to die anyways scene. One of the cool facts about the film is that Aykroyd wrote it as an homage to the Road To… series and Bob Hope makes a cameo in the film. That was very cool of Bob Hope to do that out of his busy USO schedule that he had back then. The other cool fact in the film is that Sir Paul McCartney sings the theme song to the film. I really liked the movie, but it wasn’t my favorite comedy that I have watched so far. The film is available to watch on Netflix and you should give it a shot if you are a fan of Dan Aykroyd or Chevy Chase. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
There is nothing better in the world then seeing an all star cast in a film, but sometimes it doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes too many big names can be a hindrance for a film, but that isn’t the case with today’s film Sneakers. Robert Redford (All The Presidents Men) plays Marty Bishop, an expert computer hacker who leads a ragtag team that does missions for people. One day, Marty and his guys are tasked with retrieving an item that could be potentially dangerous if it is placed into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, Marty’s past comes back to haunt him and he is screwed out of a deal. In order to clear himself, he and his team will have to steal back the item in order to clear themselves. The film also stars Sidney Poitier (In The Heat Of The Night) as Donald Crease, River Phoenix (Stand By Me) as Carl Arbogast, David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) as Whistler, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Mother, Timothy Busfield (Revenge Of The Nerds) as Dick Gordon, Eddie Jones (A League Of Their Own) as Buddy Wallace, Mary McDonnell (Dances With Wolves) as Liz, Lee Garlington (Cobra) as Dr. Elena Rhyzkov, Donal Logue (Blade) as Dr. Gunter Janek, and the film was directed by Phil Alden Robinson (Field Of Dreams).
Give me a reason why I shouldn’t have checked out this film especially with the caliber cast they had to work with. The one thing that grabbed my attention and made me want to watch the film today when it aired was the fact that River Phoenix was in the film. He was one of my favorite actors and there will never be another like him. Not to mention, you have Dan Aykroyd playing a crazy conspiracy theorist type on a team that features a former CIA agent and some computer hackers. I am really starting to get into the government espionage kind of films cause that is sort of what this film is like You have a team of guys spying on others in order to gain an advantage to steal what they need. You also have the mystery of who can you trust in this film just like any other espionage/government conspiracy film. The difference with this one is that they add in some comedy to lighten up the mood. I will say that Strathairn, Aykroyd, Phoenix alone made an interesting pair that I would hang out with. It’s hard to pick a scene in the film that I loved more than any other, but there is a moment in the van when they are doing surveillance. It looks like Donal Logue’s character is about to get lucky and they continuously stop River from watching. The scene when the blind man whistler finally drives something is also very memorable to me as well. It’s not the best film in the world, but it’s really good and enjoyable to watch. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
For today’s film, I probably chose the most controversial film of the year so far and I say controversial for all the hate it received on Youtube. The film I am talking about is the remake/reboot of the most legendary 80’s series Ghostbusters. Things in Manhattan seem pretty normal until a paranormal invasion happens at a local historical building that calls on paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) along with nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). After the occurrences that strangely keep happening around the city, they decide to form a team to battle the ghosts which could be connected to someone who is trying to bring them back to cleanse the world. The film also stars Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) as Patty Tolan, Zach Woods (The Other Guys) as Tour Guide, Ed Begley Jr. (This Is Spinal Tap) as Ed Mulgrave, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Harold Filmore, Steve Higgins (The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon) as Dean, Neil Casey (Inside Amy Schumer) as Rowan North, Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World) as Kevin, Cecily Strong (The Boss) as Jennifer Lynch, Andy Garcia (The Untouchables) as Mayor Bradley, Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Hawkins, Karan Soni (Deadpool) as Benny, and the film was directed by Paul Feig (The Heat).
I am going to warn you that from here on going forward that there may or may not be spoilers contained in this part of the article. So I am setting up a spoiler alert warning and do not continue if you do not want to know. There are going to be a lot of differences of opinions when it comes to this film with some that claim they hated it and some that claim they liked or loved it. You ultimately have to make that decision for yourself, but I am on the side of I loved it. It’s not better than the original Ghostbusters movie, but it was so much fun to watch.I had so many laughs through out the whole film especially with Chris Hemsworth who plays Kevin, a hunky guy who is a complete and utter idiot. Chris does a great job playing one of the comedic reliefs of the film. I thought that Melissa McCarthy would be my favorite Ghostbuster in the film, but that award goes to Kate McKinnon who plays the outrageous and weird Jillian Holtsmann. She was one of the best parts of this film and provided me with a lot of laughs as well. The ghosts were really cool, but the CGI in the film reminded me a lot of the first Scooby Doo film that came out. It’s like they used the same technology as that film to create their ghosts. One of my favorite things about this film is the various cameos in the film from all the original cast members of Ghostbusters except for Rick Moranis (who says that he is not retired) and Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014).
There are times in the film where it seems more like a horror film because some off the scenes with the ghosts can be spooky as hell. One of my favorite sequences in the film has to be the fight scene between the Ghostbusters and all the ghosts in the city. It’s your typical action like sequence, but it’s very cool and bad ass. I also thought that I would be opposed to seeing the ghost from the logo as an actual ghost in the film, but I actually enjoyed it. Besides the original cast members of the original films, there are also references to the original film that made me happy that they at least recognized it. I am going to leave you guys with one statement regarding the film and take it for what it is and form your own opinion. I really enjoyed the film, had a lot of fun watching it, and I would be open to a sequel if it came up. Like I said, is it better than the originals, obviously no, but it is it’s own film.
For today’s film, I am a huge fan of Bill Murray (Stripes, Ghostbusters) to the point that if I started a hall of fame, I would induct him in right away. So, when I found out that Netflix had his latest film Rock The Kasbah available to watch, I chose it for today. Bill stars as music manager Richie Lanz who is really down on his luck lately. While bringing one of his acts Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel) to a club, he gets an idea of doing a USO show in Afghanistan that could benefit him. The only problem is that as soon as he gets there, Ronnie steals his money and leaves. Stuck in a country during time of war, he discovers a voice unlike any other because it’s forbidden for a woman to sing. That doesn’t stop him from trying to get her on a local TV competition despite the danger. The film also stars Bruce Willis (Die Hard) as Bombay Brian, Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) as Merci, Leem Lubany (Omar) as Salima, Scott Caan (Varsity Blues) as Jake, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Nick, Arian Moayed (Rosewater) as Riza, Taylor Kinney (The Forest) as Private Barnes, and the film was directed by Barry Levinson (Toys).
As far as Bill Murray films are concerned, it’s not the best one ever, but it was enjoyable to watch. There’s nothing revolutionary in a film like this, just a cool story featuring a very cool actor. Some things in the film do not make sense to me, but then again I have never been to Afghanistan. One of the things is an American woman (Kate Hudson) working as a prostitute in a county that is against women doing anything. One thing is definitely for sure and that is Kate Hudson looks incredibly sexy in this film especially the scene where she’s in the pool. I thought Danny McBride and Scott Caan making appearances in this film was pretty cool and a nice touch. One thing is definitely for sure and that is I could totally buy Bill Murray as a music manager because he has the right kind of personality that makes you believe so. Even though the film was filmed in Morocco, the cinematography and sets made you believe that you were there with the cast. One of my favorite scenes int he film comes when Bill Murray plays and sings Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water on what I believe is an Oud (an Arabic guitar). While he may not be the greatest singer, that was still a very cool Murray like moment. Like I said, this isn’t the greatest Bill Murray film ever, but it was still fun to watch in my opinion. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
There are some stories in life that are so amazing when they are brought on to the screen which is what the original 1967 Walt Disney animated film The Jungle Book did. Now, what if we take one of the coolest stories combine it with the director that helped put Marvel back on the map in Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and made it a live action film for today’s feature film. For Mowgli (Neel Sethi), the only life he has known since he was a baby was the life and laws of the jungle as he has been taken care of by a pack of wolves and a panther named Bagheera (Ben Kinglsey). That is until one day when he is confronted by an evil Tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) who is intent on killing the child for living in the jungle. So in order to ensure his own safety and the safety of all the animals, Mowgli agrees to leave, but he may have to come back to save them. The film also stars Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) as Baloo, Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) as Raksha, Scarlett Johansson (Avengers) as Kaa, Christopher Walken (Dead Zone) as King Louie, Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show) as Ikki, Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects) as Akela, and Brighton Rose (Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy) as Gray.
This was by far one of my favorite movies of the year and it’s ranked up there with Deadpool and any other movie I’ve seen this year so far.This film is non stop fun and adventure from beginning to end and I was so disappointed it was over because I wanted more. All of the characters in the film were absolutely amazing from the acting to the design and the scenes themselves. Bill Murray was an absolute star in this film as everyone’s favorite bear Baloo and believe me Murray delivered. It was such a joy to see him as the bear on the big screen and Neel Sethi did a terrific job as Mowgli too. You were 100% sold that this kid was raised in the jungle and that he communicated with the animals. Now if you are looking forward to seeing Kaa on the big screen, I am going to warn you that you may be a tiny bit disappointed on the amount of screen time she has in the film. Another pleasant surprise for me was hearing Christopher Walken play everyone’s favorite Orangutan King Louie (except he’s a giant one in this film). The story is amazing, the way it came to life on the screen was amazing, and the cinematography was amazing too. Like I said this is definitely one of my favorite films of the month so far and I think everyone should go and check it out in the theaters. A second Jungle Book film has already been announced according to IMDB so I look forward to it. With all of that being said, I am going to proceed and give the film an A+ for a final grade.
Back in the late 1990’s, there was a scandal in the Los Angeles Police Department’s CRASH (a task force set up to fight street gangs) department. They believed that there was a lot of corruption in that department and the Rampart division of the LAPD. This film, Rampart, takes place during that time as it follows police officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson). Officer Brown is the kind of guy who follows his own brand of justice in life whether it be on the streets where he does things his way or at home with his dysfunctional family. After a beating incident, things begin to fall apart for Brown as he looks to keep his family together as well as his career as he fights to keep his job. The film also stars Bree Olson (21 Jump Street) as Helen, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Barbara, Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Catherine, Jon Bernthal (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Dan Morone, Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) as General, Steve Buscemi (Fargo) as Bill Blago, Robin Wright (The Princess Bride) as Linda, Ned Beatty (The Toy) as Hartshorn, Ice Cube (Ride Along) as Kyle Timkins, Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Joan Confrey, and the film was directed by Oren Moverman (Love & Mercy).
I realized as I started to watch the film that I did a double shot of Woody Harrelson for this challenge and I’m glad I did. This film is not only visually stunning, but it’s gritty and it’s dark. You literally see the a man descend from the beginning of the film all the way to the end. What I mean by that is that Woody starts off the film being this tough guy who does things his own way on the streets. He is cocky about it and believes in what he is doing until everything around him starts to fall apart. The more the film goes on, the darker the fall into madness for Woody’s character. There are a lot of scenes in the film which stunningly portray his character as this misanthrope, misogynistic, womanizing man who has no care in the world for how people feel. This film is great for character study and it kind of shows where LA was at in the late 1990’s. Every person from Bree Olson to Ben Foster do an amazing job acting wise that you can’t help, but love this film. Woody’s transformation is unbelievable as well as he just looks sick for most of the film and he gets worse as time goes on in the film. The only thing that I question is the man’s home life as he lives with his ex-wife and his current wife and he has a child with each one. Oh and I almost forgot, they are sisters too. If you’re into films like this one then you should definitely check it out. The film is available on Netflix and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.