Day 345: To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)

tumblr_lhkj8iszpi1qzt0ypo1_500The mid to late 1990’s was an interesting time in cinema as the LGBT era of cinema was starting to happen. I will however admit that To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar was not the first film to feature actors in drag, but it’s the film I chose for today. After tying for first place in the New York Drag Queen contest, Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) and Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) win a trip to Hollywood to compete in an even larger competition. However the two cannot travel by plane because Vida convinces Noxeema to bring along the inexperienced Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo). While driving on the road, their car breaks down in a small town and they are stuck together with the locals until the car is fixed. However, they’ll soon figure out that they’ll make just as much of a difference in their lives as the townsfolk do on them. The film also stars Chris Penn (Rumble Fish) as Sheriff Dollard, Stockard Channing (Grease) as Carol-Ann, Blythe Danner (Meet The Parents) as Beatrice, Jason London (Dazed And Confused) as Bobby Ray, Arliss Howard (The Lost World: Jurassic Park) as Virgil, Alice Drummond (Doubt) as Clara, Jennifer Milmore (Friends) as Bobby Lee, Julie Newmar (Batman 1966) as herself, and the film was directed by Beeban Kidron (Used People).

542full-to-wong-foo-thanks-for-everything-julie-newmar-screenshotThe funny thing about this film is that all three of them play really great women and better than the women in the film itself. All three of them were absolutely terrific in this over the top lesson in acceptance cause that is what it’s really about. The whole film was about being accepted for who they felt they really were and isn’t that the battle going still to this day? The film may not have been ahead of it’s time, but it spoke some serious lessons and reminds us of how long the struggle has been going on for them. The best part is at the end when the town accepts them and protects them or at least we think they accepted them. I say that because most of them when it came down to it were like we have always known who you really were, but they accepted them. Patrick Swayze looked great as a drag queen while John Leguizamo could have probably passed as a real woman, and Wesley Snipes just looked like Serena Williams. It was great to see Robin Williams in the beginning of the film and maybe this foreshadowed his upcoming role in The Birdcage. The cinematography was pretty good and I liked the story enough to keep me hooked for the whole film. I definitely recommend this film for anyone who is a fan of the three and especially Patrick Swayze because he took every role serious. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 205: Titan A.E. (2000)

titan aeHaven’t you ever wondered if there was life in other planets or galaxies? What if I was to tell you that 1000 plus years into the future that Earth has mastered the art of deep space travel and that we have interacted with several different species. Your mind would be blown and that is the case for the film Titan A.E.. For Cale (Matt Damon) life is a little different because his father had been working on a project called Project Titan. When a certain alien race known as the Drej caught wind of this, they destroyed the planet Earth. Fast forward fifteen years into the future, Cale is working on a scavenger ship when he is told that he may hold the key to finding Project Titan which could potentially save the human race from the evil Drej. So, he takes on the mission which will prove to be far from easy. The film also stars Bill Pullman (Independence Day) as Captain Joseph Korso, Drew Barrymore (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) as Akima, John Leguizamo (Ice Age) as Gune, Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as Preed, Janeane Garofalo (Mystery Men) as Stith, Tone Loc (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) as Tek, Ron Pearlman (Hellboy) as Professor Sam Tucker, and the film was directed by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, and Art Vitello.

titan-a-e-ae-caleSpoiler Alert: Before you continue to read on, please be advised that this paragraph may contain spoilers. Proceed with caution. I love these kinds of animated films because it reminds me a lot of Heavy Metal and many others like it. While it could be predictable at times, Titan A.E. was actually a very fun film to watch with a very good story. That was my favorite part of the whole film was the fact that I loved the story. Imagine that the key to saving the human race is in a ring that some kid has been carrying for a while and had no idea his father put it on his finger. The only reason why I said that the film could be predictable at times was because you could tell right from the start that Cale and Akima were going to be a thing in the film. You knew that they were going to be double crossed at some point in the film and that happened twice. Like I said, that didn’t deter me from continuing on. The key to great acting in an animated film is making sure that they convey the proper emotions and you do it right. I would like to think that all of them did a great job throughout the film especially comedian Jim Breuer who plays a cook in the film (I didn’t know he did). I did love the enemy alien race who are made of energy. The one thing that kind of caught my attention about them was the fact that they are treated like they are the enemy, but I believe someone int he film mentioned something vital. They mentioned that they destroyed Earth because they were afraid that the humans were creating something dangerous. That doesn’t make what they did OK, but fear is the mind killer. If you’re a fan of science fiction based action adventure animated films, then I would definitely suggest checking this one out. I am going to give the film an A- for  final grade.

Day 104: Sisters (2015)

sistersThe minute that I saw that Today’s film was available to rent at my local Redbox location, I jumped at the chance to watch and hence that there is no Ass Whoopin Wednesday film this week. When I think of great combinations in comedy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live fame come to mind and today I chose their 2015 film Sisters. For Maura Ellis (Poehler) she is always trying to fix everything in everyone else’s lives other than her own. For Kate Ellis (Fey), she has just never been able to get anything straight in her life and is a hot mess. One day the sisters find out that there parents are selling their childhood home in Orlando and the two decide to throw the biggest party in honor of all the great memories there. The film also stars Dianne Wiest (The Lost Boys) as Mom, James Brolin (Hotel) as Dad, Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors) as James, Maya Rudolph (The Way Way Back) as Brinda, John Cena as Pazuzu, John Leguizamo (Carlito’s Way) as Dave, Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) as Alex, Greta Lee (St. Vincent) as Hae-Won, Madison Davenport (Noah) as Haley, Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live) as Kelly, and the film was directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect).

151216095613-sisters-still-fey-poehler-super-169First I want to start by saying that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have always made an amazing combo even in their days on Saturday Night Live when they did The Weekend Update. That amazing chemistry more than definitely transferred it’s magic into this film about two sisters who are having trouble letting go and finding responsibility. I also love how they incorporate different stars from Saturday Night Live into the film, it’s nice to see them giving people jobs. I also want to say how amazing Tina Fey looks in this film as the girl definitely ages very well and Kudos to Amy Poehler who looks amazing as well in the film. There are some scenes that are definitely funnier than others in the film and you can tell as some jokes fall flat while others prosper. I have to definitely give props to John Cena who looks incredibly bigger than usual in this film, but he definitely delivers. He plays a drug dealer in the film who has some amazing one liners with Tina Fey. Their interactions together are priceless and was definitely necessary in the film. One scene that while I did think it was funny, I thought it would be funnier was the scene where Ike Barinholtz’s character falls butt first into that Ballerina wind up thing. One thing that kind of bothered me was the interactions between Fey’s character and her daughter. The only reason it bothers me is because it’s not really explained well why she refuses to trust her. I mean all that we know is that she is mad over thew fact that Tina Fey’s character can’t really hold down a job and there is some mothering issues, but that is all we know. It’s one of the main sub plots that runs along with the main plot. Anyways, the film was definitely enjoyable to watch so I am going to give it an B+ for a final grade.