It has been a little over a month since the last time we did an Ass Whoopin Wednesdays post so we didn’t want to waste anymore time. For this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesdays film, we decided to do a tag team thing with the film Central Intelligence which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Pain & Gain) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along). For Calvin “The Golden Jet” Joyner (Hart), it looked like the sky was the limit when it came to his life in high school and that he could do anything. 20 years later, he is an accountant at a small company and he’s very unhappy with where he is at. One day, he gets a friend request from someone known as Bob Stone (Johnson) who ends up being a kid that was bullied when they were in high school together. Stone comes and he uses Joyner for his accounting skills to catch someone known as The Black Badger, but who does Joyner trust? Bob Stone or the CIA? The film also stars Amy Ryan (Escape Plan) as Agent Harris, Danielle Nicolet (The Flash) as Maggie, Jason Bateman (Juno) as Trevor, Aaron Paul (Triple 9) as Phil, Tim Griffin (American Sniper) as Agent Mitchell, Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong) as The Buyer, and the film was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re The Millers). To see the rest of the review and the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
For today’s film, I have been wanting to check out Forgetting Sarah Marshall for the fact that everyone I know talks about it and it’s a Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin) film. Jason Segel (Freaks & Geeks) plays Peter Bretter, a wannabe musician who is a composer for a TV show that his girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) stars in. He feels as if he is on top of the world because everything seems to be going right for him. That is until Sarah pays him a visit to tell him that she is breaking up with him. To try and get away, he travels to Hawaii to help him heal, but then he discovers that Sarah has been cheating on him with rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Now, he’ll have to try and deal with that, but a special someone may make it easier for him.. The film also stars Mila Kunis (Ted) as Rachel, Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man) as Chuck, Jonah Hill (Knocked Up) as Matthew The Waiter, Bill Hader (Superbad) as Brian Bretter, Maria Thayer (Hitch) as Wyoma, Jack McBrayer (Wreck-It Ralph) as Darald, Taylor Wily (Hawaii Five-O) as Kemo, and Kalani Robb (Blue Crush) as Helpful Hawaiian Waiter.
I have to say that at first the film started a little slow for me, but it eventually picked the pace up and it became a really good film. It just started off as a Jason Segel winefest before it actually got really good with Mila Kunis who looked beautiful as usual. I am very surprised being a Judd Apatow and Jason Segel fan that I never saw this film. Like a lot of films, this one seemed to slip through the cracks. Another highlight of the film for me was seeing Russell Brand play what seemed to be a very natural role for himself. That of an very sexual English rock star which may not have been a stretch, but do what you know. The film primarily takes place in Hawaii which was pretty cool cause they mixed in a little of the Hawaiian culture into the film especially with the dances, the cinematography, and so much more. The film mixes in the right amount of drama to go with the romance and comedy, but there is a couple of scenes I thought were awkward. If you’e not prepared for it, it will shock the hell out of you when you see Jason Segel’s junk on a couple of occasions. You get a full shot of it and there is nothing you can do about it, but either look or turn away. This was a really good film, but definitely not my favorite Apatow film from his catalog, but enjoyable to watch like I said. That is why I am going to give the film a grade somewhere in the A-/B+ range. One of my favorite scenes in the film is represented in the picture used for this paragraph, check it out for yourself.
I never got the chance back in the day to check out the film Smokin’ Aces which looked like a bad ass movie. That is until today and that is why I am presenting it to you guys as today’s challenge film. Buddy Israel (Jeremy Piven) was a wannabe gangster Las Vegas performer who decides to turn snitch for the FBI against a rival crime family. Now he needs protection because a hit has been put on his life to make sure that he never gets the chance to snitch. The hitmen are coming from everywhere and anywhere to try and collect on it, but the FBI has to get to him to get him out before the hitmen come. The film also stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) as Richard Messner, Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) as Donald Carruthers, Joseph Ruskin (The Scorpion King) as Primo Sparazza, Ben Affleck (Dogma) as Jack Dupree, Peter Berg (Collateral) as “Pistol” Pete Deeks, Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Hollis, Common (Run All Night) as Sir Ivy, Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III) as Stanley Locke, Alicia Keys as Georgia, Taraji P. Henson (Date Night) as Sharice, Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Darwin Tremor, Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Jeeves Tremor, Tommy Flanagan (Sons Of Anarchy) as Lazlo, Joel Edgerton (The Gift) as Hugo, and so many more.
This movie has a wild and crazy collection of a cast that includes a mix of 80’s, 90’s, and the stars of today all rolled into one awesome cast. Matthew Fox plays the head of security of the casino/hotel, Jason Bateman plays a weird lawyer, Curtis Armstrong who played Booger in Revenge Of The Nerds is in this movie as well. Chris Pine plays an insane character who belongs in a Mad Max movie which shows you how over the top insane and awesome this film was. One thing is for certain, you never have to question Jeremy Piven and his performance because he is a top notch actor that delivers. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t really open up in the film until the last half of the film, but when he does he also delivers. He certainly does in this film as a drugged out paranoid wannabe mob boss. The action in the film at one point becomes non stop as double crosses and hots just keep coming. I will say one thing if you have never seen the movie you may think it’s over at one point, but the ending of the film may shock you. There is a lot that is revealed and of course I will not spoil it for any of you. I really liked this movie and I have to be honest and say that I went into it with no expectations and it paid off. It was tough to decide a grade for this film because it lies on the B+/A- border and that’s how I’ll keep it.
I think I have discussed this before where there is so much anticipation for a film that I just have to see it when it comes out. As far as Disney Animated films are concerned, Zootopia was definitely a must see film for me. Zootopia is a place where predators and prey can live in harmony among each other in this big city. For Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), she has dreams of being a cop in the city of Zootopia and not being just an ordinary bunny. When she finally achieves her goal of being a cop, she is not taken seriously among her colleagues. That is until she is told to solve a missing animal case, but there is a catch to it. She has 48 hours to solve the case or she has to turn in her badge, but she’ll do it with the help of a sly fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). The film also stars Idris Elba (Thor) as Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate (The Lorax) as Bellweather, Nate Torrence (My Best Friend’s Girl) as Clawhauser, Bonnie Hunt (Cars) as Bonnie Hopps, Don Lake (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as Stu Hopps, Tommy Chong (Up In Smoke) as Yax, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Mayor Lionheart, Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Duke Weaselton, Shakira as Gazelle, Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) as Mr. Big, Raymond S. Persi (Wreck-It Ralph) as Flash, and the film was directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush.
This is by far the number one movie for the month of March and it is giving Deadpool a run for it’s money on the Top 25 of the year. This film is a classic case of what you see in the trailer is exactly what you can expect from the film. The film is full of laughs as well as the necessary drama that all Disney films have and it has it’s heart warming moments as well. While all of the animals in the film are living in an anthropomorphic world, they are very true to their animal like selves if you get what I am saying. The foxes are sly creatures in real life and Nick Wilde is exactly that. You would kind of expect a Yak to be a free spirited yoga obsessed animal with flies that won’t leave him alone. The city of Zootopia is even divided by sections like the rainforest section or the desert side and you should see how they have it work. There was a lot of detail that was placed into the film and it pays off because it’s cool and very fun to watch. There are references to famous TV Shows and films like Breaking Bad and The Godfather (not that kids will know what that is) which is a little treat for the parents to enjoy while watching it with their kids. This film is definitely one of the best animated films out there in the past year or two. I definitely suggest watching it and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
For today’s film, I chose a film that had a lot of buzz back in the time that it was released in 2015, but I never had the chance to see it then till now. Joel Edgerton (Warrior) pulls triple duty for The Gift which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just moved from Chicago to LA to try and start a new life in a new setting. One day the couple run into an old acquaintance of Simon’s named Gordo (Edgerton) who randomly starts bringing the couple gifts. One of those gifts is that he unwraps a secret from 20 years before that is going to affect Simon’s relationship with Robyn for the worst as details start to unravel. The film also stars Allison Tolman (Krampus) as Lucy, Tim Griffin (Star Trek) as Kevin, Busy Phillips (White Chicks) as Duffy, Adam Lazarre-White (War Of The Worlds) as Ron, Wendell Pierce (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2) as Det. Mills, Beau Knapp (Southpaw) as Det. Walker, Nash Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge Of The Sith) as Frank Dale, and Mirrah Foulkes (Sleeping Beauty) as Wendy Dale.
First of all I have to start this paragraph with how much I enjoyed Joel Edgerton’s performance as Gordo the Weirdo (That is what Bateman’s character calls him). At times, he seems as innocent as can be then there are times where he can start to look really weird. What I can tell you is that the twist in the end is something I should have seen coming, but I didn’t. I am obviously not going to give away what the twist is just in case you were looking to watch the film. Jason Bateman is as brilliant as usual as he delivers a serious performance as the manipulative Simon. Rebecca Hall does great as well as the woman who begins to put the pieces together when she cannot get the answers from the one source she needs. The film has suspense at times during the film, but it really starts to kick into overdrive in the last 10 minutes of the film. I however did enjoy the writing because the story was pretty solid in my opinion and the filmmaking aspect of the film was solid as well. Joel Edgerton did a pretty good job for someone who was directing his first feature length film and the overall aesthetic/tones of the film was dark. I am starting to see the maybe Hollywood is starting to go with more original ideas which gives me hope for filmmaking. I enjoyed the film, you know exactly what you’re getting when you watch it. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.