For those of you out there that do not know who Shane Black is, he has written some pretty amazing films like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 (debatable), Lethal Weapon 2, and so much more. That is why I chose to watch his latest film The Nice Guys for today’s movie. It is the late 1970’s in Los Angeles, California and things are not very easy in the big city as they are dealing with issues of smog and a dead female porn star. To top it all off, two private eyes that obviously do no match well together in Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) are assigned to the case together. It is there that the duo run into a whole mess of a situation that they didn’t see coming which includes the DA and hitmen. The film also stars Angourie Rice (Walking With Dinosaurs) as Holly March, Matt Bomer (Magic Mike XXL) as John Boy, Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) as Amelia, Keith David (Men At Work) as Older Guy, Beau Knapp (Southpaw) as Blueface, Murielle Telio (The DUFF) as Misty Mountains, Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential) as Judith Kuttner, Jack Kilmer (The Stanford Prison Experiment) as Chet, Yaya DaCosta (Tron: Legacy) as Tally, and Lois Smith (Falling Down) as Mrs. Glenn.
There wasn’t much to this film that I didn’t like, it was very enjoyable to watch. Ryan Gosling’s stock is moving up in my book as just about every movie he is in I love his performance. He is probably my favorite character in this film because he is the perfect opposite of what Russell Crowe is. Russell Crowe’s character is the bad ass tough one while Ryan Gosling’s is afraid of his own shadow. It’s very funny and I think it’s a very good selling point for the film in general because their chemistry is undeniable. It’s like the perfect buddy movie for those that love them. I loved the aesthetics of the film because it looked and felt like the 70’s as you are watching all of the cool outfits and hairdos not to mention all of the pop culture references. Even all of the nuances were right on target from not being able to say the lords name in vain and so much more. The film definitely kicks off in style with a naked porn star dead on top of a car as she literally drove through someone’s house. So you an definitely imagine where it went from that point. I honestly thought that the film was very funny and definitely one worth seeing if you are a fan of either Crowe or Gosling. It’s available in Redbox and where ever else you watch movies so go and watch it. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
In about four days from now, every movie that I watch and review for the blog is going to be a horror film for a month. So, I figured I would try to get in some movies that I have always wanted to see and Crash is definitely one of them. The film follows Jean Cabot (Sandra Bullock) and her DA husband (Brendan Fraser), Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his partner Officer Hansen (Ryan Phillippe), a Latino lock smith (Michael Peña), a Persian store owner (Shaun Toub), a car thief (Ludacris), a black detective (Don Cheadle), and a African American couple (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) as they navigate and collide in Los Angeles in a stories of race, tragedy, and redemption. The film also stars Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss) as Fred, Keith David (Men At Work) as Lt. Dixon, Jennifer Esposito (Summer Of Sam) as Ria, William Fichtner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Flanagan, Karina Arroyave (Lean On Me) as Elizabeth, Loretta Devine (Death At A Funeral) as Shaniqua Johnson, Larenz Tate (Dead Presidents) as Peter Waters, Bahar Soomekh (Mission: Impossible III) as Dorri, Jack McGee (Moneyball) as Gun Store Owner, Bruce Kirby (Stand By Me) as Pop Ryan, and the film was directed by Paul Haggis (Casino Royale).
I wanted to start this paragraph by telling how uncomfortable this film was and is going to be to review. There is so much racism and hatred in this film that it’s absolutely insane, but I suppose that maybe this is how some people felt back in 2004 and even into today. I honestly thought before watching the film that it was going to be about the program entitled CRASH in Los Angeles, but boy was I surprised right off the bat. They explore racism in every sense of the way that you can imagine from stereotyping all Middle Easterners and Latin Americans. The film also explore racism as far as how a situation is perceived by a different individual and how some humans are just stuck in their ways. Crash is an excellent film, but it’s one of those films that just when it looks like things are about to get dim, it’s lightens right up, but then falls back down. It truly is a roller coaster ride of a film. Sandra Bullock does an amazing job playing a racist bitch in the film because she is very convincing. Just about every single person in the film does an excellent job like Ludacris being a disillusioned individual or Don Cheadle who is forced to make hard decisions that will benefit others whether it’s right or wrong. Jennifer Esposito has a scene in the film where she just looks so sexy, I was jealous of Don Cheadle at that moment. The film is available on Netflix and I think it’s one you should check out, but be prepared. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
There was really no science to how I picked the film for today other than the fact that Encore was playing it and it featured Sally Field (Forrest Gump) and Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys). The name of the film that I chose for today is the crime drama Eye For An Eye. For Karen McCann (Field) everything in life is as normal as can be with a loving and devoted husband (Ed Harris) and some great kids. Her life is torn upside down when repeat felon Robert Doob (Sutherland) rapes and murders her daughter Julie (Olivia Burnette) and he gets away with scot-free by a technicality. To cope with the pain and the fact that he is a free man, she will will resort to taking self defense lessons and gun training to get some vengeance, but can she go through with it. The film also stars Alexandra Kyle (A Time To Kill) as Megan McCann, Joe Mantegna (Baby’s Day Out) as Det. Sgt. Denillo, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Vacation) as Dolly Green, Charlayne Woodard (The Crucible) as Angel Kosinsky, Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty) as Sidney Hughes, Keith David (Men At Work) as Martin, Wanda Acuna (Encino Man) as Hispanic Housewife, and the film was directed by John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy).
The MVP of the film, without a shadow of a doubt, was the performance from Kiefer Sutherland who made a career of playing different types of roles. He was so amazing in this film that he had me really believe that he was some twisted whack job that gets off on raping and killing his victims. The only thing that kind of bothered me is that his character seemed real out of place like he belonged more in the south then where ever the heck they were from. Sally Field also does a tremendous job of playing the mother with so much guilt that it plagues her very existence. The film has some very weird moments in it that are just creepy like Kiefer’s character talking to the youngest daughter at her school or when he spies on his victims. I can’t believe that the film is already twenty years old as it came out in January of 1996. The film I believe was advertised as a vigilante film, but it’s really not that. It’s more of a thriller where you left wondering if he’ll catch her, etc. I think that is why the film had such negative reviews back in the day and why it holds an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the film a lot just because of the two performances and such as I described above. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
In the mid to late 1990’s, the thing to do in Hollywood was to bring back the lost art of Disaster Movies that people loved from the 70’s (Airport, The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, etc.). In 1997, 20TH Century Fox released the film Volcano which starred Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) boss Mike Roark. Everything seems normal in Los Angeles except for the fact that people are outraged at a new subway line going in. That is until a couple of workers end up dying from severe burns. While Mike starts to investigate what happened, a volcano begins to erupt underneath Los Angeles and now Mike has to figure out how to save the city before it’s too late. The film also stars Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Amy Barnes, Gaby Hoffmann (Uncle Buck) as Kelly Roark, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as Emmit Reese, Jacqueline Kim (Brokedown Palace) as Dr. Jaye Calder, Keith David (Men At Work) as Police LT. Ed Fox, John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Norman Calder, Michael Rispoli (Pain & Gain) as Gator Harris, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Stan Olber, and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).
First of all, I want to start off by saying that Tommy Lee Jones is an amazing actor who commands the screen no matter what role he is playing. Second of all, this is a disaster film after all which means that the special effects are going to be off the chains for these kinds of films and it was. The explosions were cool and the lava running through the city was cool. How far fetched or possible is a volcano under Los Angeles, I am not 100% sure as to how accurate that would be. With the fault lines and all the subway systems they have, it would be a scary notion if it could happen. To spice things up for the film, they trow in some racial tension because we know that was running rampant in LA at the time. You have a guy looking out for his section of town, gets the handcuffs put on him until the cop decides not to be racist anymore. Then you have a little kid who is being carried by a black police officer who looks out and says, “look at their faces, they all look the same.” A nice gesture saying that we are all human and that we should all help each other, but a sentimental part I seriously could have done without. The movie is about Volcano’s, not Rodney King or Rampart. Nevertheless, you know exactly what you are getting with these films and it’s enjoyable enough to watch. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.