First of all I want to start this article off by wishing everyone including the men and women of the Armed Forces a Happy Memorial Day. After all, this day is about remembering all soldiers past and present that have fought for this country. So for today’s film, I decided to watch a war film and I picked Flags Of Our Fathers which was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby). It’s 1945 and the war is almost coming to a close, but America is still at war with the Japanese. While on the island of Iwo Jima, the goal is to hang an American flag at the top of a certain point. The film follows the six men who raised the very flag that we see in that iconic image and all of the issues they had to deal with while at war and after it. The film stars Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions) as John “Doc” Bradley, Jesse Bradford (Hackers) as Rene Gagnon, Adam Beach (Windtalkers) as Ira Hayes, John Benjamin Hickey (The Bone Collector) as Keyes Beech, Barry Pepper (True Grit) as Mike Strank, Jamie Bell (King Kong) as Iggy, Paul Walker (Furious 7) as Hank Hansen, John Slattery (Captain America: Civil War) as Bud Gerber, Robert Patrick (Striptease) as Colonel Chandler Johnson, Neal McDonough (Red 2) as Captain Severance, and Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air) as Pauline.
As far as the film is concerned, it’s a very different type of war movie because not only do you see the horrors of war, but you see a very different side of it. You see a side of war that the politicians do not want you to see. For instance, throughout the film, the image of the men putting up the flag is more important to the cause then the actual truth behind the picture. The country practically has no money so they use the image and the remaining three men who are alive to try and raise money by selling bonds. They know very well that these guys are not comfortable with the whole hero thing, but they need to use that to try and draw money to win the war. Those are some of the things we do not get to see, but is the film controversial? Maybe or maybe not because it depends on who you ask like Spike Lee. Clint Eastwood as a director is money because I have yet to be disappointed at any of the films the man has made and that is truly amazing. There are some iconic images in this film like all of the warships out in the ocean to the gritty aspects of war. All of the acting was great, the cinematography was amazing, and the story was well written. This film may not be my favorite war movie in the world, but it certainly ranks up there. Like I said above, this day is about remembering all the men and women that served this country. Check out the film, learn some history about the nation, and I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
When it comes to creature features and wonders of the world of fiction, there have been none greater than the likes of King Kong since his debut in 1933. He definitely began the world’s obsession with larger than life creatures and characters. In 2005, Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings) would direct this remake that starred Jack Black (Orange County) as director Carl Denham. Carl needs to create a movie that is unlike anything the world has seen, but the studio doesn’t believe in him. Naomi Watts (The Ring) stars as struggling actress Ann Darrow who is just looking for a big break. The two will eventually run into each other and she is hired to star in his film. The only problem is that the film is to be filmed on an island that no one has been to and they bite off more than they can chew when the eight wonder of the world shows up. The film also stars Adrien Brody (The Jacket) as Jack Driscoll, Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted) as Captain Englehorn, Colin Hanks (Orange County) as Preston, Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Kong, Evan Parke (Django Unchained) as Hayes, Jamie Bell (The Fantastic Four) as Jimmy, Kyle Chandler (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Bruce Baxter, and John Sumner (District 9) as Herb.
I still have yet to see the original 1933 classic that actually has King Kong listed as an actor in the film. The only other version I have seen is the 1976 version that starred Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. The one thing you can guarantee when it comes to watching this film is that the special effects are going to be amazing compared to any other version before it. The CGI alone makes this a version worth watching because they can do so much more with the film then they were able to do in the past. One of my favorite things about this film is when they are actually on Skull Island because that is where the fun and adventure is in this film. From the crazy looking natives to all the creatures that inhabit Skull Island like giant spiders, dinosaurs, and so much more creepy crawlers. The fight scene between Kong and the three T-Rex’s is absolutely amazing and one of my favorites. This is actually one of many films where Jack Black flexes his acting abilities and shows us he doesn’t have to be an imbecile all the time on screen to entertain people. Adrien Brody does a terrific job in the film as well as Naomi Watts, the beauty that kills the beast. They have the iconic climbing of the skyscraper scene in this film and it’s superb as well as other iconic shots. This was definitely a cool movie that I enjoyed and I can not wait for Kong: Skull Island to come out in 2017. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Check it out on Showtime or Showtime Anywhere right now.
I figured since I watched the first of the two films in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, I would watch and finish the second film for today. To recap what happened at the end of the previous film, Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) was at the point where all of a sudden during a sexual encounter with Jerome (Shia LaBeouf), she lost the sensation to feel an orgasm. In Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, Joe is telling the rest of her story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) that sees her seek sexual pleasure threw some of the most desperate attempts in a darker world, the loss of Jerome and her child, and a new business that brought some gratification for her. Ultimately, she will tell him what exactly led her to be in Seligman’s care through the final chapters. The film also stars Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I) as Young Joe, Christian Slater (Pump Up The Volume) as Joe’s Dad, Jamie Bell (The Adventures Of Tin Tin) as K, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as L., Mia Goth (Everest) as P., Michaël Pas (Code 37) as Older Joe, Jean-Marc Barr (Europa) as gentlemen Debtor, Udo Kier (Flesh For Frankenstein) as The Waiter, Uma Thurman (Kill Bill Vol. 1) as Mrs. H., and Sophie Kennedy Clark (Dark Shadows).
The second of the two films is definitely darker and more sadistic than the first film, but contains the same amount of sexuality. The film definitely goes in some darker directions especially with gentlemen debtor scene or the S&M beating scene that Joe goes through. Like I said in the previous post, this film if released in theaters here in the states would have been rated NC-17 and it’s for the sexual content. Like the fact that Tarantino has been accused of focusing on feet, Lars von Trier likes to focus the camera on both the female and male organs for periods of time. The sexual intercourse scenes in these films seem so very real in my opinion which is another factor on the rating. The two films are definitely great studies on the sexual revolution and why sex shouldn’t be so taboo in today’s society. Whats crazy is that Shia LeBeouf must have met his fiance on the set of this film as Mia Goth stars in the film. She almost steals the show towards the end of the film as sort a protege/lover for Joe’s character that plays a very integral part in the later part of the story. One thing that bothered me about the film is the end of the movie. The ending was one of those that I completely saw coming and that kind of bothers me cause I just felt it was expected. Other than that, this was definitely two very interesting films. Check them out for yourself right now on Netflix if you dare, but definitely a NSFW film. I am going to give the final volume an A- for a final grade.