Day 366: The Man With One Red Shoe (1985)

the-man-with-one-red-shoeWell, it’s December 31ST and if you are still with me it could only mean one thing and that is that not only is it the end of 2016, but it is also the end of the challenge. To finish up the challenge, I wanted to check out a film from Carrie Fisher (Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope) as I had done for so many others that passed in 2016. So, I chose The Man With One Red Shoe for today’s film. A major screw up in Morocco puts a CIA director (Charles Durning) in a very bad spot as his rival Cooper (Dabney Coleman) looks to take advantage of the situation during a senate hearing. To keep Cooper busy, he has one of his men set up a poor unknowing violinist named Richard (Tom Hanks) in the middle of it all. The film also stars Lori Singer (Footloose) as Maddy, Carrie Fisher as Paula, Edward Herrmann (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) as Brown, Jim Belushi (Home Sweet Hell) as Morris, Tom Noonan (Last Action Hero) as Reese, Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2) as Carson, David L. Lander (Titan A.E.) as Stemple, Irving Metzman (WarGames) as Virdon, Dortha Duckworth (The Honeymoon Killers) as Natalie, and the film was directed by Stan Dragoti (Necessary Roughness). 

carrie-red-shoeI never thought that when I started this challenge 366 days ago that I was actually going to finish only because I had tried before and failed a couple of times. Tom Hanks is one of those guys that you can depend on when watching a film because he is money. That is why when I was searching for a Carrie Fisher film and I saw that he was in this, I jumped on the opportunity. The film is listed as a thriller, but it’s mostly a comedy as you watch these CIA agents struggle to get an angle on Tom Hanks character. One of my favorite scenes in the film involves Jim Belushi who goes over to Hanks’s apartment to confront him about an affair that he is having with Carrie. As soon as he sees bodies on the floor in the apartment, he leaves only to see Hanks on the streets. As he tells Tom all about it, they go inside the apartment and the bodies are gone. Belushi goes to the fridge to grab a drink and sees a body, but when Hanks does, he grabs him a drink and now Belushi believes he is going crazy. It’s the kind of comedy I love and there is plentiful in the film as there are some great names of comedy in this film. Carrie kind of had a minor role in the film, but she makes an impact with her scenes. This is one of those early Tom Hanks comedies that he always did before he got serious in the acting game. The cinematography was pretty good in the film especially with scenes like the train stopping scene which was part of a cool chase scene. As we say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, we also say goodbye to the challenge which has been completed. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.


Day 258: The Imitation Game (2014)

imitation_game_ver4_xxlgThe past couple of days have all been about watching films that I have wanted to see either from my interest or from suggestions from other people. The film I chose for today is also based on a true story and it’s called The Imitation Game. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) as the very eccentric and smart mathematician Alan Turing. During World War II, the Germans were sending very hard to break coded messages that was called The Enigma.The British Government was desperate to try and figure out what the messages are so they hired Alan and other mathematicians to try and break the codes by building a machien that can do so. That is not his only issue as the biggest secret he is trying to keep may become exposed and it could ruin everything he has worked for.  The film also stars Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice) as Joan Clarke, Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Hugh Alexander, Rory Kinnear (Skyfall) as Det. Nock, Allen Leech (Grand Piano) as John Cairncross, Matthew Beard (Chatroom) as Peter Hilton, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Commander Denniston, Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) as Stewart Menzies, James Northcote (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I) as Jack Good, and the film was directed by Morten Tyldum (Buddy). 

imitation-gameThe movie is listed on IMDB as a thriller and I kind of don’t see that as much as I see drama and biography. I honestly believe that you have to be a fan of either World War II related stuff or a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch (which I am of both) in order to like this movie. Anyways, I didn’t really see too many thrills in the film unless you count them trying to decode messages as thrilling. The one thing you’ll find about this film is that people can be cruel and misunderstanding of those that are different. Alan had to live with a dark secret and was eventually punished in England for it. Now I wanted to look up what was fact or fiction about this film and there seems to be a lot of civil liberties that were taken by the writers of this film. For one, he is not the man who invented the computer like the film suggests, but rather it was invented by Polish men. He was also openly gay according to the site whereas the film has him very secretive about it. To read more fact vs fiction about the film, please click here. Benedict Cumberbatch was masterful as always in the film and so was Keira Knightley which is something I haven’t said too often. I am a huge fan of World War II films, but this one wasn’t exactly my favorite. I did enjoy it, but it does drag a little but for my liking.This is definitely a film for actors because you have to love the ones that are in it. That is why I am going to give the film an A-/B+somewhere in there for a final grade.

Day 197: Ghostbusters (2016)

ghostbusters-2016For today’s film, I probably chose the most controversial film of the year so far and I say controversial for all the hate it received on Youtube. The film I am talking about is the remake/reboot of the most legendary 80’s series Ghostbusters. Things in Manhattan seem pretty normal until a paranormal invasion happens at a local historical building that calls on paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) along with nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). After the occurrences that strangely keep happening around the city, they decide to form a team to battle the ghosts which could be connected to someone who is trying to bring them back to cleanse the world. The film also stars Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) as Patty Tolan, Zach Woods (The Other Guys) as Tour Guide, Ed Begley Jr. (This Is Spinal Tap) as Ed Mulgrave, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Harold Filmore, Steve Higgins (The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon) as Dean, Neil Casey (Inside Amy Schumer) as Rowan North, Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World) as Kevin, Cecily Strong (The Boss) as Jennifer Lynch, Andy Garcia (The Untouchables) as Mayor Bradley, Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Hawkins, Karan Soni (Deadpool) as Benny, and the film was directed by Paul Feig (The Heat).

ghostbusters-2016-trailer-slimerI am going to warn you that from here on going forward that there may or may not be spoilers contained in this part of the article. So I am setting up a spoiler alert warning and do not continue if you do not want to know. There are going to be a lot of differences of opinions when it comes to this film with some that claim they hated it and some that claim they liked or loved it. You ultimately have to make that decision for yourself, but I am on the side of I loved it. It’s not better than the original Ghostbusters movie, but it was so much fun to watch.I had so many laughs through out the whole film especially with Chris Hemsworth who plays Kevin, a hunky guy who is a complete and utter idiot. Chris does a great job playing one of the comedic reliefs of the film. I thought that Melissa McCarthy would be my favorite Ghostbuster in the film, but that award goes to Kate McKinnon who plays the outrageous and weird Jillian Holtsmann. She was one of the best parts of this film and provided me with a lot of laughs as well. The ghosts were really cool, but the CGI in the film reminded me a lot of the first Scooby Doo film that came out. It’s like they used the same technology as that film to create their ghosts. One of my favorite things about this film is the various cameos in the film from all the original cast members of Ghostbusters except for Rick Moranis (who says that he is not retired) and Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014).

maxresdefault (2)There are times in the film where it seems more like a horror film because some off the scenes with the ghosts can be spooky as hell. One of my favorite sequences in the film has to be the fight scene between the Ghostbusters and all the ghosts in the city. It’s your typical action like sequence, but it’s very cool and bad ass. I also thought that I would be opposed to seeing the ghost from the logo as an actual ghost in the film, but I actually enjoyed it. Besides the original cast members of the original films, there are also references to the original film that made me happy that they at least recognized it. I am going to leave you guys with one statement regarding the film and take it for what it is and form your own opinion. I really enjoyed the film, had a lot of fun watching it, and I would be open to a sequel if it came up. Like I said, is it better than the originals, obviously no, but it is it’s own film.


Day 187: Woman In Gold (2015)

woman in goldI figured since I watched two films in a row that were both based on true stories that I would go for a third in a row. The film I chose to watch is called Woman In Gold and it stars Helen Mirren (The Queen) as Maria Altmann, an Austrian woman who was forced to leave her home during the invasion of the Nazis in the 1940’s. In her home was a very expensive painting of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer (Antje Traue) that was commissioned by Gustav Klimt that was taken by the Nazis and brought to a museum in Austria. Now it’s over 50 years later and Maria wants her painting back so that she can reclaim what is rightfully hers to begin with. So, she hires a young lawyer by the name of Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) who risks everything to try and make Maria happy. The film also stars Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as Pam Schoenberg, Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) as Hubertus Czernin, Tatiana Maslany (The Vow) as Young Maria Altmann, Max Irons (The Host) as Fritz Altmann, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Sherman, Allan Corduner (Defiance) as Gustav Bloch-Bauer, and the film was directed by Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn).

womanI was having a conversation with someone earlier about Ryan Reynolds and what we love seeing him in. Deadpool was such a natural role for him just as much as Waiting or Van Wilder were. I couldn’t take him serious enough in the Amityville remake, but I can see him in roles like Self/Less and definitely in this one. He was given a chance to hang with an actress like Helen Mirren and I think he did a pretty good job with it. There were times when his serious acting were a little shaky, but he would always bounce back nicely. Helen Mirren was masterful as usual in her performance as the tough and rugged Maria Altmann, but there is one moment that stands out to me. She was this tough cookie throughout the whole film, but for a moment she emotionally breaks down and the walls come tumbling down. After years of constantly fighting the negative aspects of her life, she was finally able to let go and move on remembering the good times. I want to give a shout out to Daniel Brühl who might have had a minor role in the film, but he was also masterful. The gold leaf painting itself is remarkable and to find an actress that kind of looks like the woman in gold was a good catch as well. It’s not the best film in the world, but it’s a very good one that tells a take of redemption and restitution. I am going to give the Woman In Gold an B+ for a final grade. Check out the painting below:



Day 155: Me Before You (2016)

tumblr_o4tq83YpqU1ulesryo1_1280I know exactly what you are thinking right now and I know that you know that I’ll watch just about anything. So, I know from the bottom of my heart that all of you will forgive me for today’s film which is Me Before You. Sam Claflin (Snow White And The Huntsman) plays Will Traynor, a man who has everything going for him until a fatal accident leaves him a paraplegic. Emilia Clarke (Game Of Thrones) plays Louisa Clark, a bubbly girl who always thinks of others before herself. Louisa needs a job and she finds one taking care of Will who seems determined to not care that she is there. With her willingness to never give up on people, they form an unlikely bond that will later be put to the test when she finds out about Will’s plans for his future. The film also stars Vanessa Kirby (About Time) as Alicia, Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as Treena Clark, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Stephen Traynor, Janet McTeer (Maleficent) as Camilla Traynor, Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone) as Patrick, Brendan Coyle (The Jacket) as Bernard Clark, Samantha Spiro (From Hell) as Josie Clark, Stephen Peacocke (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) as Nathan, and the film was directed by Thea Sharrock in her directorial debut. 

emilia-clarke-sam-clafin-f541db65-8a26-43dd-ab9f-b19bbd90179cFirst of all I know that this is a chick flick, but don’t judge me because I am crushing on Emilia Clarke who is the dragon queen. I used to think it was a myth or just some silly wives tales when you hear about women crying at these kinds of movies, but it’s no myth. Literally in a theater filled from top to bottom with women, I heard so many of them crying towards the end of the film. Women seem to love these Nicolas Sparks type romance movies which is why these keep getting made. I will admit that some tears rolled down my face during the film because even though it’s a sad story there is definitely a positive message in the film overall. If there is anything of value from this film it’s the dynamic of the relationship between Clarke and Sam Claflin who just seemed so natural throughout the whole film. Emilia was the shiniest and brightest light of all in the film with her knack for being a quirky gal in the film. She was so enjoyable to watch on the screen even though the film was predictable. That shouldn’t comes as a surprise because all of these types of films are all the same and they follow the same formula. Take this for what it is or as I should say take or leave it because it makes no difference to me. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because these are not my cup of tea usually and for it’s predictability.