Day 46: Reservoir Dogs (1992)

reservoir dogsThis one was always hard to believe considering that I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) and it’s that I have never seen his first film Reservoir Dogs. So with this challenge going, I figured today was better than ever. The film is about five guys Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), and Mr. Brown (Tarantino) who are all hired to do a jewelry store robbery that goes terribly wrong. When the surviving members meet back at the compound, they suspect that one of them may be a rat and may have tipped off the police about the job. Through chaos, conversation, and impatience they will try to figure out just who the rat is in the group. The film also stars the late Chris Penn (Best Of The Best) as Nice Guy Eddie, Lawrence Tierney (The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad!) as Joe Cabot, Randy Brooks (Colors) as Holdaway, Kirk Baltz (Natural Born Killers) as Officer Marvin Nash, and it features the voice of Steven Wright (Son Of The Mask) as K-Billy DJ.

rdIf you know the way Tarantino films work, then this is the film where it all began for him. The heavy dialogues that his films are known for and not to mention the films where the timeline doesn’t exist or as I should say that it can be messed with. You know exactly what I am talking about when I say that because the story can be moving along and then out of nowhere we jump back in time as we get the origin stories of the more important characters of the film. I truly love that about his films because it’s different than just going through the events in chronological order. Now some of the audio can be a little shaky where you can here Keitel very well, but you notice that the microphone isn’t near Buscemi. Other than that, I truly loved this film and the twist that it gives. You are never going to believe who the rat was because I was kind of shocked when I found out myself. That to me was great storytelling on the part of Tarantino who pulled triple duty for this film being it’s director, writer, and one of the actors in the film. Not a bad cast of characters either for a guy making his first film as he pulls in names like Keitel, Buscemi, Penn, Madsen, etc. This was a different time though when Hollywood believed in originality. The film is available on Netflix and I think you should check it out if you never have before. That is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 18: The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988)

last temptFor today’s 365 Movies In 365 Days challenge film, I wanted to choose a film that the late, great David Bowie (Labyrinth) starred in that I had not seen yet to help celebrate his legacy. I stumbled upon the Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas) directed 1988 film The Last Temptation Of Christ which stars Willem Dafoe (Platoon) as Jesus Christ in this fictional take on his life and the teachings of the bible. The film was based off of a book that was written by Nikos Kazantzakis that explores all the trials and tribulations of Jesus Christ as he journeys through life wondering what his purpose is, what exactly does God want from him, and his last temptation while on the cross. The film also stars Harvey Keitel (From Dusk Till Dawn) as Judas, Barbara Hershey (Falling Down) as Mary Magdalene, Steve Shill (Dexter) as Centurian, Verna Bloom (Animal House) as Mary, Roberts Blossom (Home Alone) as Aged Master, Barry Miller (Saturday Night Fever) as Jeroboam, Gary Basaraba (The Smurfs) as Andrew, Apostle, Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) as Zebedee, Victor Argo (Taxi Driver) as Peter, Apostle, Paul Herman (American Hustle) as Phillip, David Bowie as Pontius Pilot, and Andre Gregory (Demolition Man) as John The Baptist.

last tempt 2This must have been one of the ballsiest films to come out in 1988 and it must have insulted Christians everywhere at the time. I an only imagine seeing images of Jesus not knowing what he is talking about and saying that if I just open my mouth God will speak for me. One sequence that must have pissed off Christians everywhere is the idea that a guardian angel comes down and saves him from the cross and he goes on to live a long life with a wife and children until the rude awakening comes. I am not the biggest Willem Dafoe fan in the world, but I give the man props for have the guts to do the film and for his performance. What the film does for people is that it dumbs down the bible so that everyone can get it. It shows you that he was human after all and he went through the same emotions that we did. They keep a lot of the historical information in the film, but they twist it around a little bit. One scene that I thought was powerful was during the last temptation when Jesus confronts a man preaching about him and his death even though he is alive. Jesus tells him to stop the lies, but the man (played by Harry Dean Stanton) tells him that he refuses to stop because his version of Jesus dying on the cross is a lot better and people will believe that story to give them hope than to know that he was still alive. When I saw that scene, I was shocked and could only think of the word wow. If you can look past that the film is almost three hours long, that they say it’s fiction right from the start, then you should be able to enjoy this great piece of art. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade because the cinematography is great, the sets were amazing, and the soundtrack was very good as well.

Day 12: The Ridiculous 6 (2015)

the ridiculous sixFor today’s film, I decided to check out a film that you wouldn’t expect from Adam Sandler and that is a western movie by the name of The Ridiculous 6. The Ridiculous 6 can be considered one of the major Netflix Original releases due to it’s attachment to Sandler who wrote the film. The film also stars Sandler as Tommy a.k.a. White Knife, a boy that was adopted by an Apache chief after his mother was killed. One day, a man shows up claiming to be Sandler’s real dad in an outlaw named Fran Stockburn (Nick Nolte). Frank tells Tommy about some buried money, but when he does that an outlaw named Cicero (Danny Trejo) shows up and kidnaps him. Tommy vows to rescue his dad by getting 50,000 dollars, but he meets five other men who end up being related to him. Together, they will go on a journey to rescue their dad as they become dubbed The Ridiculous 6. The film also stars Terry Crews (The Longest Yard) as Chico, Jorge Garcia (Lost) as Herm, Taylor Lautner (Twilight) as Little Pete, Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo) as Ramon, Luke Wilson (Old School) as Danny, Will Forte (The Lego Movie) as Will Patch, Steve Zahn (National Security) as Clem, Harvey Keitel (From Dusk Till Dawn) as Smiley, Jon Lovitz (Big) as Ezekiel Grant, Whitney Cummings (Whitney) as Susannah, and the film was directed by Frank Coraci (The Waterboy).

ridiculous six 2The film features so many comedy greats that it was just too much to list in the above paragraph. I was a little skeptical about the film as to whether it would be a spoof film or a comedy. Do not be afraid of the fact that it says that it’s a western because this film is absolutely hilarious. It actually brings you to a time when Adam Sandler films were actually funny. A lot of his films are hot or miss, but this is a definite hit and it has a lot to do with his supporting cast. Taylor Lautner makes you forget that he starred in all of those awful Twilight movies because the man is absolutely hilarious as the idiot savant Little Pete. There is a lot of slapstick comedy to go along with some dirty humor and everything in between. One of my other favorite moments of the film always came with Rob Schneider and his donkey who has a bit of a problem known as extreme explosive diarrhea. I think as long as Sandler can write and produce films like this one, then he’ll be alright. I see Vanilla Ice is part of his crew and it’s always nice to see David Spade working. You should definitely check this film out on Netflix for yourselves as the film broke records for Netflix. Plus this is film one of four for Sandler who signed a four picture deal with Netflix. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.