One of my favorite comedies back in 2014 was the dysfunctional buddy cop movie Ride Along. that featured Ice Cube (Barbershop) as rough loner cop James and Kevin Hart (Get Hard) as his annoying soon to be brother in law Ben. We all know what happens in the first film and the dysfunctional duo return for Ride Along 2. This time around, Ben is a beat cop that is still in his probational term while James has a new partner. James discovers that a potential key to solving a case lies in Miami and despite not wanting him there, the duo heads to Miami. While in Miami and in search of a hacker named AJ (Ken Jeong), they stumble open something that may be bigger than they thought that involves a very well off tycoon of sorts. Not it’s up to the brothers in law to solve the case before Ben has to get back for his wedding. The film also stars Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Maya, Tika Sumpter (Ride Along) as Angela, Benjamin Bratt (Demolition Man) as Antonio Pope, Michael Rose (Unthinkable) as the Hitter, Sherri Shepherd (Precious) as Cori, Glen Powell (The Expendables III) as Troy, and the film was directed by Tim Story (Fantastic Four). To see the rest of the review and see the stats of the film, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
For today’s film, I wanted to watch it because I am a big fan of animated movies when they are done right and cool and because I’ve seen every Friday The 13TH film ever so can’t do those. We’ve seen Disney and Dreamworks dominate the field, but in 2014 20TH Century Fox released The Book Of Life. In the town of San Angel, Mexico, there lives three kids with very different paths in life. You have Manolo (Diego Luna), a young man who belongs to a long line of bullfighters. There is Joaquin (Channing Tatum), a man who will go off and fight wars and battles to become a great general and then there is the beautiful Maria (Zoe Saldana), the sophisticated daughter of the General Posada (Carlos Alazraqui) who both of the men I mentioned are fighting for. So a couple of spirits in La Muetre (Kate del Castillo) the ruler of the land of the remembered and Xibalba (Ron Pearlman) ruler of the land of the forgotten place a wager on who will win the hand of Maria in marriage. Will it be Diego or Joaquin? The film also features the voices of Christina Applegate (Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead) as Mary Beth, Ice Cube (Ride Along) as the candlemaker, Hector Elizondo (Unnecessary Roughness) as Carlos Sanchez, Danny Trejo (Machete) as Skeleton Luis, Ana de la Reguera (Nacho Libre) as Skeleton Carmen, Placido Domingo as Skeleton Jorge and the film was directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez.
I am definitely fascinated by these types of stories and the lure of the Day Of The Dead festival that takes place in Mexico. I saw one review call the film’s story line formulaic and while it might be it is definitely visually stunning to say the least. In the film, you get taken into three different worlds that are all so visually stunning and enchanting to the eye. I mean you get to check out some old Mexican folklore with some very stunning animation, what more could you possibly want from the film. The story is typical where two men are fighting over the girl, but you already know who is going to win her heart right from the beginning. It’s just a question of what obstacles and road blocks is he going to have to face to get there. I think that is what most reviewers are referring to because we’ve seen it all before, but with the effects I can easily forgive them for that. You have to pick and choose your battles with films, but this one is easily enjoyable and pleasant to watch. It has quite the amazing cast attached to it and Guillermo del Toro’s name is attached to project as a producer so what else could you possibly want from the film? I am going to give the film an B+ 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.