For the 150TH film on the 150TH day of the year, I wanted to watch something special. I have been on an Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) fix since I first saw him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A friend of mine has been telling me to catch his film Inside Llewyn Davis and today the film was on so I watched it and its today’s film. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a folk singer who is just trying to navigate his way through life with his folk music in Greenwich Village in 1961. You see he is now a solo artist and all he wants is for his music to be heard, but there are things that get in his way from a pregnant friend, a label that isn’t doing anything for him, ignorance against folk music, losing a friend’s cat, and facing the inevitable which is his future possibly without music. The film also stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Roland Turner, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Al Cody, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) as Jean, Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog) as Jim, Max Casella (Ed Wood) as Pappi, Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers) as Johnny Five, Stark Sands (11:14) as Troy Nelson, and the film was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
This film was a perfect example of what happens to artists who try to stay true to who they are and are never willing to compromise. For Llewyn Davis, it’s one setback after another that keeps him away from seeing the big picture or accomplishing the his dreams. He is told over and over again in the film that basically folk music isn’t profitable and that there isn’t any future in it. That doesn’t stop him for a while, but after a certain amount of time he begins to believe the noise. The film is very melancholic in tone where it seems that one thing after another happens to this poor guy who sleeps on friends couches. One of the amazing things about this film of course is the music and the fact that everyone that looked like they were singing on screen in fact were singing the songs. One of my favorite songs in the film is Please Please Mr. Kennedy which is sung by Timbelake, Isaac, and Driver. The reason I love it is because the song is absolutely hilarious. It’s one of the funniest moments in the film that I think everyone should check out. Of course, it helps that the acting was amazing and Isaac’s was a real stud in the film with his performance. Of course having the great John Goodman was a definite added bonus as well as the man of few words in the film Garrett Hedlund. One of my favorite things about this film is the way that it ends. I am not going to give it away, but let’s just say that a young version of a folk legend shows up to play at a club that Llewyn Davis is walking through. The film is airing on The Movie Channel and it’s also available on the Showtime Anywhere App. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
When Cloverfield came out in 2008, I thought it was one of the coolest films that year. Even though it was a found footage film, it was definitely different and the aliens were cool looking. Fast forward 8 years later and now we have 10 Cloverfield Lane which supposedly takes place around the same time as the first film. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is running away from something in the big city when she gets into a car accident in the country side. When she wakes up, she discovers that she is being held inside a bomb shelter by a man named Howard (John Goodman). She is being told that the outside world is gone and that everybody is dead, but there is something about Howard that bothers her. Along with the other captive Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), they’ll try their best to figure out a way out of there before Howard expects anything. The film also stars Douglas M. Griffin (Dallas Buyers Club) as Driver, Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place) as the woman, Bradley Cooper (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Ben, Sumalee Montano (Transformers Prime) as Voice on Radio, and the film was directed by Dan Trachtenberg.
I did not realize that Bradley Cooper was the voice of Ben in this film which came as an absolute shock to me. That is cool of him to do this for J.J. Abrams and company, but it’s not the most important detail of the film. What is important is the fact that John Goodman was absolutely masterful as a paranoid doomsdayer (if that is what you call them). When have you ever seen a film with John Goodman that you can say was never good? I can’t think of many that did suck, but Goodman was the true highlight of the film. I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead so I was happy to see her in the film, but I have to be honest. If it wasn’t for the last 20 minutes of the movie and John Goodman, you are looking at a C player here as far as the film goes. It drags for a little while and it takes a while to build up any good momentum, but once you get to the last 20 minutes or so it gets really good. One thing I can say about this film is that I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than I did The Witch. I have to be honest, I didn’t know who John Gallagher Jr. was before the film, but he also does a great job. It was essentially a small cast, but they were all A+ players in my book. One thing is for sure, after watching this I am actually hoping for another film. It’s only bound to get a heck of a lot better as long as we get some good writers. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out in theaters everywhere right now!!!
Soon enough you’ll figure out that I am a fan of Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), but I honestly did not know that he directed today’s film. In 1999, Scorsese directed the film Bringing Out The Dead which starred Nicholas Cage (Raising Arizona) as paramedic Frank Pierce. Frank has been on the job for way too long to the point that he is burnt out and the ghosts of patients that he couldn’t save are starting to haunt him whether he is on the job or off. Over the course of three turbulent and mind exhausting nights, Frank will have to try and survive the nights without completely losing his mind in this drama/thriller. The film also stars John Goodman (Death Sentence) as Larry, Patricia Arquette (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as Mary Burke, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Marcus, Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan) as Tom Wolls, Marc Anthony (The Substitute) as Noel, Mary Beth Hurt (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Nurse Constance, Nestor Serrano (The Day After Tomorrow) as Dr. Hazmat, Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) as Nurse Crupp, Cliff Curtis (Blow) as Cy Coates, and Sonja Sohn (The Wire) as Kanita.
This film is so intense in just about everything and it’s awesome. Nicholas Cage does a great job playing a guy who is just going through absolute hell and looks like he’s been going through absolute hell. This is one of those rare times that I really enjoyed his performance because he’s hit or miss with me. The film is very dark in nature so it has that look that Shutter Island had with it’s dark color tones with the bright reds, etc. I really enjoyed the scenes where every thing is all of a sudden sped up to make them look even more crazier than they are. The film also shows you how dark and dingy the city can be and it shows you sections you’ve never seen before as well. I love how Scorsese almost focuses on that as well like he’s making the city a vital character as well. I have to say that I truly enjoyed the side story between Patricia Arquette and Nicholas Cage because they are both struggling with inner demons while Cage is being haunted by the dead, she is dealing with a dark past of her own. It definitely added a cool dynamic to the film that kept the story rolling. Martin Scorsese is definitely one of my favorite directors and there are a lot of films that I still have not seen that will probably show up on this challenge. Check out the film for yourself, I am giving the movie an B for a final grade.