Halloween is long behind us so I figured it was time to reintroduce the Movie Of The Week post while we wait on a decision for the future. There are a lot of great movies on the horizon and I want to cover them for this blog. This week’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of those films that peaked my interest for it’s unique title and for the caliber of the cast contained within the film. Frances McDormand (Fargo) plays Mildred, a mother who is not happy whatsoever with the local authorities for not solving her daughters murder case. So to get on their case and get them moving, she decides to take out ads on three billboards outside her town that will challenge the law to get off their behinds and solve case. The film also stars Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men) as Chief Willoughby, Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) as Dixon, Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out) as Red Wellby, Kerry Condon (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Pamela, Darrell Britt-Gibson (Keanu) as Jerome, Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) as Anne, Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) as Robbie, Zeljko Ivanek (Argo) as Cedric, Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones) as James, Brendan Sexton III (Empire Records) as Crop-Haired Guy, and the film was directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges).
This was an excellent film that just had so many emotions to it and just had so many talking points. First of all, the acting was absolutely superb from way too many people to list in this blog, but you already know that you get amazing performances from McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell, and Dinklage to name a few. Frances McDormand had the uneasy task of balancing out a character who is tough and a bad ass, but she is also vulnerable because all she wants is for them to solve the case. Sam Rockwell does a terrific job playing your typical backwater cop from a small southern-esque town who doesn’t know any better until something (I can’t tell you what) shows him the way. The second thing that was amazing about the film was the writing because this story kicked ass. You think that it’s going the way you would want it to go until it throws you a curve ball that takes the story in a darker place. There were so many glimmers of hope in the film that were just taken to a completely different place that I was amazed that it worked. The third thing that I loved about the film were the dynamic of the characters and the overall themes because each one was so unique to the story in how it progressed into a moral of no matter how dark things get, sometimes the people you are going against can turn out to be the ones you need. That was the constant theme of the film was redemption because it’s a learning experience for sure. The last thing is the cinematography which was just masterful from shot to shot. This is definitely a film worth checking out if you are a fan of great stories, actors, etc. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
One of my all time favorite Jean Claude Van Damme films has always been Kickboxer not just because of how awesome Van Damme was, but also how cool Tong Po was too. In Hollywood, they are always remaking films and if you guessed it then the answer is yes. Our film for today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesdays is the new film Kickboxer: Vengeance. Eric Sloane (Darren Shahlavi) champions himself a really good fighter who has just won gold with the help of his little bro Kurt (Alain Moussi). Despite Kurt’s wishes, Eric travels to Thailand to take on Muay Thai champion Tong Po (Dave Bautista). Kurt will eventually go to see the fight, but when he does, he witnesses his brothers death in the ring. Kurt swears that he will get his revenge against Tong Po so he trains with a local Muay Thai trainer named Durand (Van Damme). The film also stars Gina Carano (Deadpool) as Marcia, Sara Malakul Lane (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse) as Liu, Georges St-Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Kavi, T.J. Storm (Punisher: War Zone) as Storm, Hawn Tran (Heist) as Tran, Sam Medina (Keanu) as Crawford, MMA Fighter Cain Velasquez as King’s Fighter, and the film was directed by John Stockwell (Turistas). To see the stats and the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
I had been putting off today’s film for quite some time because I don’t believe in the idea of releasing a sequel or reboot of a franchise that was popular thirty years before. Nevertheless, for today I decided to check out 2015’s Vacation which follows in the footsteps of National Lampoon’s Vacation. This time around, Rusty (Ed Helms) is an adult with his own family which includes his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and his kids James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins). Things are pretty bland for him as he works for a crap airline and things at home just look like they need some sprucing up. So, he decides to take his family across country to Wally World like his father did thirty years before. The film also stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Stone Crandall, Leslie Mann (Knocked Up) as Audrey Crandall, Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as Chad, Catherine Missal (Natural Selection) as Adena, Ron Livingston (Office Space) as Ethan, Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu) as Jack Peterson, Regina Hall (Scary Movie) as Nancy Peterson, Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as Trucker, Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) as Clark Griswold, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s European Vacation) as Ellen Griswold, and the film was directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who both made their feature length directing debut with this film.
I am going to start off saying that I wasn’t completely let down by the film because it was a good film, but a little too late for it. The film just didn’t have anything that made me laugh my butt off like the original films did. It was like they tried a little too hard to be as goofy and oblivious as the original film, but just couldn’t hit the mark. I really like Ed Helms as an actor, but I thought it was Stu from The Hangover out there the whole time while he is supposed to be Rusty Griswold who I don’t remember being that clueless. The best part of the film in my opinion was the relationship between the two brothers because those gave some great moments in the film and I can’t speak highly enough of Chris Hemsworth. I think once he is done being Thor, he seriously needs to continue his career in comedy. They tried to be like the original without really being the original even teasing you with some scenes that were similar to the original. For example, there is the scene where beautiful supermodel and actress Hannah Davis is driving in a Ferrari which is similar to the scene in the original with Christie Brinkley driving in the Ferrari with different end results to make it new. That was a cool nod, but let’s move on. I loved the scene though with the four cops (Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Peña) who were from four different states that couldn’t stop arguing with each other. That was fresh and different, but here is why this film fails in comparison to the original. John Hughes was the master at writing and he wrote the original film and Harold Ramis knew comedy and he directed it. It’s hard to live up to those names, but at least they tried. I am going to give Vacation a grade somewhere between a C+/B- and only because Holiday Road was in the film.
It is that time of the month again as we are well into May to give you what I believed to be the top 25 for the month of April. I want to start by saying that this was definitely one of the hardest months to choose a film only because we stepped the game up with the quality of films. We had a couple of stinkers of course, but we had way too many good and amazing ones that made it hard to choose. So, there may be some choices that I make that you may not agree with, but this list is about how I feel the films were. The five films (since there is only 30 days in April) that didn’t make the top 25 cut are: Volcano, Kull The Conqueror, Summer Job, Reefer Madness, and Fifty Shades Of Black. Those films simply did not make the cut because they were either not worthy or just didn’t top any of the 25 films chosen. Here is the Top 25 for the month of April:
25. Home Sweet Hell
23. The Nut Job
22. Eye In The Sky
21. To Live And Die In LA
20. Hotel Transylvania 2
19. Jane Got A Gun
18. Victor Frankenstein
17. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
16. The Boss
15. The Flamingo Kid
14. She’s Having A Baby
11. Secret In Their Eyes
10. The Giver
9. Everybody Wants Some!!
7. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
6. Alice In Wonderland
5. The Hateful Eight
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service
1. The Jungle Book
Has there ever been a time that when you first saw a poster of a car with a bulletproof vest on that it didn’t make you curious as to what the heck the film was about? That is the exact feeling I had when I first the poster for Keanu displayed at my local theater chain. The film stars Jordan Peele (Key And Peele) as slacker Rell Williams, a man who was just dumped by his girlfriend and is hating life. That is until an adorable kitten shows up at his doorstep and gives him a whole new outlook and lease on life. One day while out his cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key), he comes home to find his apartment broken into and Keanu is missing. Now with his cat missing, he will stop at nothing to find his dear sweet friend and bring him back home safely even if it means mixing it up with a gang. The film also stars Method Man (How High) as Cheddar, Tiffany Haddish (Meet The Spartans) as Hi-C, Darrell Britt-Gibson (Squatters) as Trunk, Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton) as Bud, Jamar Malachi Neighbors (Underbelly Blues) as Stitches, Luis Guzman (Carlito’s Way) as Bacon, Will Forte (MacGruber) as Hulka, Nia Long (Friday) as Hannah, and the film was directed by Peter Atencio.
I can’t begin to tell you how pleasantly surprised I was at how awesome of a movie this was. I was going into it thinking that this could be complete crap, but I left still laughing at some of the scenes I had just witnessed in the film. This is a perfect example of a nerd comedy where we are laughing with them with the pop culture references and their take on racial weirdness. If you loved what they did on their show Key and Peele, then there is no reason why you wouldn’t love this film. One of the examples of the racial weirdness would be the part when Peele tells Key that he sounds like Richard Pryor making fun of white people and Key tells Peele that he sounds like John Ritter. That is until they fall into the criminal world where they pretend to act like tough African American Gangsters. Oh and Key’s character is obsessed with George Michaels which doesn’t get anymore white than that. Although, I loved the scene where Key is going through a trip ad he’s in a George Michaels video. One of the highlights of the film is Kenau, I mean let’s not lie he is so adorable. There is a special cameo in this film that I won’t mention who, but I think you can figure it out. I was so happy to see Jason Mitchell who in my opinion had the breakout performance in Straight Outta Compton as Eazy-E does a terrific job as Bud in this film. I was a big fan of the film and think this is one that you should check out. I am going to give the comedy an A- for a final grade because they take their style of sketch comedy and they made it work as a film.