There are films that come out that when you see them, you are absolutely blown away by it. You like the movie so much that when you hear that there is a sequel coming out, you really don’t mind seeing it. That was definitely the case with today’s film in Now You See Me 2. Since the events of the first film the horseman J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) have gone into hiding awaiting the chance that they can work again. When the horseman are pulled out of retirement with the addition of a new female magician in Lulu (Lizzy Caplan) by their and FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), they learn that they are part of a plan by an evil tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist ever. Can the team do it or with they finally correct the wrongs? The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Thaddeus Bradley, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Walter Mabry, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur Tressler, Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Li, Sanaa Lathan (Blade) as Deputy Director Natalie Austin, Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Anna Karenina) as Allen Scott-Frank, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Jem And The Holograms).
One of the biggest reasons to see these films is because you want to see what kind of magic are they going to do and see how clever they really were. You also go to see these films for all the sleek stunts and the technology they incorporate with the tricks even though a big part of them is fighting technology and all the evil it can create. The film starts off by reminding us of who they are and what they’ve done in the past to build up these ragtag magicians up. The movie also really focuses on what happened to Mark Ruffalo’s character’s father and why he is on this revenge kick. We also see our crew evolve and become a solid team right before our very eyes as they battle the evil technology crazed world. I thought I was going to be disappointed that Isla Fisher wasn’t in the film, but I have to give credit to Lizzy Caplan for fitting right in with the crew. She added a certain wittiness to the tea by being there. The magic tricks of course are pretty cool, but my favorite thing is when they break down how they accomplished them in the first place. That is what I loved about the first film and that is what I loved in this film. Daniel Radcliffe is awesome as a really douchy guy with crap tons of money while Freeman and Caine were brilliant as always. Is it better than the first film, I don’t really think so, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s moments. I enjoyed the film enough to give it a grade that is somewhere between the B+/A- range. It’s somewhere in there.
Since mankind could start filming things, we have seen countless films regarding the bible and how things went down for Jesus Christ. Until this year, we had never seen a film that explored the subject matter present in today’s film Risen. All Roman Tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) wants to do in 33 AD is to finally relax and make his way back to Rome. Unfortunately for him, he is given a hefty task by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) and that is to find the body of Jesus (or Yeshua as he is known in the film). There were rumblings in Judea that Jesus was going to rise out of his tomb and walk the Earth again. The Romans and most of the Jewish are against that idea and so Clavius has to find the body to prove that theory wrong before it spreads and changes the minds of all the Jewish community. The film also stars Tom Felton (Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire) as Lucius, Cliff Curtis (Live Free Or Die Hard) as Yeshua, María Botto (Only Human) as Mary Magdalene, Stewart Scudamore (The Devil’s Double) as Peter, Stephen Hagan (Against The Dark) as Bartholomew, Luis Callejo (Triage) as Joses, and the film was directed by Kevin Reynolds (The Count Of Monte Cristo).
One thing you can always question when going into a film like this is whether this films is Christian propaganda? The other question you can also ask in rebuttal of the last one is whether this was just an honest attempt at looking at a different part of the story? Obviously, you have to form your own opinion because I am not here to enlighten you on the subject of God, but merely to be objective in the art of film making and storytelling. The film was an excellent example of amazing film making because the cinematography was pretty top notch. The sets made you believe that you were in 33 AD Judea and some of the visuals can be a little hard to take. There is this one scene where after they crucify a body, they just throw them in a ditch like area and throw salt over them. You see all the rotting corpses and all of the flies. I can only imagine how disgusting that must have smelled like back then. I had wondered going into the film how factual it was and I came to find out that it was historical fiction meaning that they place fictional characters in real historical situations. It makes sense why they did it because it offers you a point of view from someone who was a non believer. So I ask you again, Christian propaganda or another way to look at the story? Nevertheless, the film features some great acting along with great storytelling as well as great costumes and amazing sets. If you don’t mind watching these kinds of films, then I would say give it a shot because it was worth the watch. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
For today’s film, I was specifically in the mood to see an animated film, but I was more in the mood for a Batman animated film especially considering we are getting The Killing Joke soon. There are so many I need to catch up on so I decided to check out Batman: Under The Red Hood for today. Things in Gotham City are pretty much the same since the death of Jason Todd (Robin) by the hands of The Joker (John DiMaggio) five years before and Batman (Bruce Greenwood) is still living with the guilt. That is until one day when a mysterious figure know simply as the Red Hood (Jensen Ackles) shows up and starts taking over the crime syndicate in Gotham. Even though Batman and Nightwing (Neil Patrick Harris) are hit on his tail, they can’t seem to catch him, but Batman feels that there is something familiar about him. So, while he is on a mission to stop him, Batman is also out looking for the truth before he gets to the Black Mask (Wade Williams). The film also stars Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Ra’s al Ghul, Carlos Alazraqui (Toy Story 3) as Chi Chi, Gary Cole (Office Space) as Commissioner Gordon, Kelly Hu (X-Men 2) as Ms. Li, and the film was directed by Brandon Vietti (Superman/Doomsday).
One thing that I will say before we dive in too deep into the film is that I am huge fan of the Batman animated films. They are some of the best written and done films, but that’s because you can do a lot more with animation. That is definitely the case with this film which was well written and well done. If you are not familiar with the Red Hood story then definitely check this one out because it’s a very cool story. I am going to try and not give too much away because I hate spoiling movies. One of the things I loved about this film is the fact that the Red Hood believes he’s doing the same as Batman, but by killing off the villains that is the way you control crime. It gets really deep from there and it gets very personal for Batman who know has to make the ultimate choice after he finds out Red Hood’s true identity. I love that you get Black Mask, The Riddler, and The Joker all in one film because it packs more of a punch and it helps explain the story. The only thing I didn’t like honestly was The Joker’s voice and that’s only because I am used to Mark Hamill as The Joker. Nevertheless, its a great story and well written overall like I have already said. Check this one out for sure if you are a fan of Batman and/or the Batman animated films/series. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.
For today’s film, I wanted to watch something from Johnny Depp (Blow) that I hadn’t seen before and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street seemed like the perfect movie to choose. In the film, Depp plays the title character Sweeney Todd, a man who was once known as Benjamin Barker, one of the best barbers of London. You see Barker was forced out of London and into exile because an evil Judge by the name of Turpin (Alan Rickman) had eyes for his wife Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly). He now returns to London, 15 years later under a new identity to find that his wife is dead and his daughter is being held captive by Turpin. With the help of Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), he will set up shop once again in hopes of carrying out some good ole fashioned revenge. The film also stars Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) as Pirelli, Timothy Spall (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Beadle, Jamie Campbell Bower (The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones) as Anthony, Jayne Wisener (Jane Eyre) as Johanna, Ed Sanders (Hugo) as Toby, and the film was directed by the one and only Tim Burton (Alice In Wonderland).
Everyone needs to watch a musical every once in a while and I didn’t mind this one because it had that horror edge to it. What can be side about Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tim Burton that hasn’t already been said yet? Well, for one they are constantly working together so this must mean that it’s a dream team that works. While everyone including the late Alan Rickman does a great job int he film, Carter and Depp are simply masterful portraying two strange bedfellows. One wants revenge while the other has a sick sadistic way to get her meat pie business back up and running. Nevertheless, their performances are spot on and they really command the screen and they get the best out of others. The film definitely has that Tim Burton look to it where the world is bleak and grey and certain colors stand out more than most. One thing in the film that kind of bothered me was the fact that when he cut someone their blood looked like spaghetti sauce and not anywhere close to the color of blood. Sacha Baron Cohen is only in the film for a brief amount of time so if you can’t stand him then you don’t have to worry. You’ll only have to endure him for a brief amount of time. If you do like him, then I am sorry for that last sentence. I want to look into more of what England called Penny Dreadful’s which were stories that were printed in newspapers in Victorian England for a penny. That is where Sweeney Todd first appeared and it seems that they have more incredible stories. If you are a fan of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tim Burton then check out this movie because it is worth your time. That is why I am giving the film an A for a final grade.