I’m Taking It Back: Suicide Squad (2016)

suicide_squad_background2_0I am doing something new as I am reviewing all of the reviews that I did for the 365 Movies in 365 Days Challenge. There are some reviews that I look back on and I say to myself, what in the hell was I thinking? So, I am doing a segment on here called I’m Taking It Back which means I re-review the film and take my grade back. Before we get into why I am taking my grade I gave the film back, here is the synopsis of the film. After the death of Superman, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has been trying to sell the government on the idea of project X. The idea of project x is to take the worst of the worst, give them an incentive, and have them do the missions no one else will do to protect the world. After Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) betrays Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) the government, the team now known as the Suicide Squad is commissioned and sent on a mission to save the world from the terror she brings.  The Suicide Squad is made up of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara). The film also stars Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) as The Joker, Adam Beach (Flags Of Our Fathers) as Slipknot, Ben Affleck (The Town) as Batman, Scott Eastwood (Fury) as Lieutenant GQ Edwards, Alain Chanoine (Immortals) as Incubus, Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors) as Griggs, David Harbour (Black Mass) as Dexter Tolliver, and the film was directed by David Ayer (Fury).

enchantress-secret-plan-revealed-by-suicide-squad-trailer-easter-eggs-enchantress-has-in-854077So, I looked back at the film and then looked at my review and thought what in the hell was I thinking when I wrote that. I didn’t hate Suicide Squad by any means because I left the theater happy with it, but looking back on it how great was the film really? The film really did end up being the Will Smith show for the most part as he put no effort literally into his portrayal of Deadshot. I was OK with it at the time because I loved Will Smith, but looking back, he just made the film about him. Jared Leto was a pretty decent Joker as he tried to do what many before him did with their versions of the iconic character. I think the fact that David Ayer cut so much of his performance back really hurt his perception to the audience. The Joker is not a nice guy who is fun and loving, he is abusive to Harley and very sadistic and David Ayer screwed it all up by cutting out important moments out of the film. Now again, I thought this was a pretty decent film, but then Wonder Woman came out and made this look like amateur night. I also went back and rewatched BVS (Batman V Superman) and my opinion on rankings have changed as well. The best film so far is Wonder Woman, Man Of Steel, BVS, and then Suicide Squad last. I still love all of the action in the film and a lot of the characters, but let’s be honest here. In the end, I am going to give this film an B- for a final grade


Day 316: Arrival (2016)

arrival_hkEvery now and again a good sci-fi film is always in order and it seems that every year a critical acclaimed one comes out. Then there re those films that garner so much buzz because of a 100% (97 at the moment) rating on Rotten Tomatoes like today’s film in the Arrival. Louise Baker (Man Of Steel’s Amy Adams) is a Linguistics professor at a local college whose life is ordinary until they show up. When I say they, I mean these 12 strange alien pods that appear in 12 different locations around the world. Naturally, the first thing we want to do is find out why they are here and if they want to destroy us. So, Louise will lead a team an elite team of investigators with her into the ships to try and figure out their language in order to try and communicate with them. The film also stars Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ian Donnelly, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Halpern, Forrest Whitaker (Taken 3) as Colonel Weber, Tzi Ma (The Ladykillers) as General Shang, Mark O’Brien (The Last Tycoon) as Captain Marks, Abigail Pniowsky  (Channel Zero) as Eight Year Old Hannah, Max Walker (I’m Not There) as Private Miller, and the film was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario). 

arrival-movie-4-e1471529984165Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. This is one of those films that you may leave the theater either wondering how it received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes or what the hell just happened? The whole film they are trying to figure out why they are here and we are watching as she decodes the language. They eventually get to a point where the Aliens have told them that they have given them a weapon or a gift. Now they and you are wondering just what is the weapon or gift that they are speaking of? When it hits you eventually at the end, you are like what kind of gift is that and why is she the only one to receive it? You are also led to believe in the film that she has had a daughter and she passed away, but this gift she receives at the end will distort what is reality at this point. I left the theater confused with all of these questions and that kind of bothered me because I was really enjoying the film up to that point. The cinematography is incredible and the way they mess with your depth perception at one point with the cameras is killer. Amy Adams is masterful in the film as well as all the others in it and it’s a pretty good story. It’s just that the ending is a little confusing and doesn’t make any sense to me. This may be one of those films that you may have to see twice. The aliens were OK looking as they looked giant octopuses with hand like tentacles, but they look like a human hand pretending that there hand is a creature walking. This is a tough one to grade because of the fact that while I enjoyed it, the ending bothered me. Therefore, I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade right now unless I change my mind.

Day 230: Criminal (2016)

Criminal-001In the past six years or so, there seems to be this formula in Hollywood where you take well established actors and you turn them into action stars (e.g. Taken, The Gunman, The Equalizer). That is definitely the case with today’s film Criminal. Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent who holds some valuable information that a crazy anarchist wants. After he is killed, his memories are implanted into the mind the of criminal by the name of Jericho (Kevin Costner) who isn’t fully mentally developed. The hope is that Jericho will lead the CIA to a man by the name of the Dutchman (Michael Pitt) who holds a program that could destroy the world before the anarchist does. The film also stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) as Quaker Wells, Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Dr. Franks, Jordi Mollà (Bad Boys II) as Xavier Heimdahl, Gal Gadot (Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Jill Pope, Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Marta Lynch, Antje Traue (Man Of Steel) as Elsa, Scott Adkins (The Expendables II) as Agent Greensleves, Lara Decaro (The Infiltrator) as Emma Pope, Amaury Nolasco (2 Fast 2 Furious) as Esteban Ruiza, and the film was directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). To see the rest of the review and check out the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

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 175: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

wallpaper___jurassic_park___the_lost_world__by_mackaged-d5ow85tSo, you have survived being on an island that was full of Dinosaurs like the T-Rex that could kill you. What is the one thing that you definitely do not want to see or hear about again? Well, I can guarantee that it’s not about another island full of Dinosaurs which is exactly the problem in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Mr. Hammond (Richard Attenborough) is sick and is about to lose his company to his snot nosed nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard).  So, he contacts Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in hopes that he can go to an island that also contained Dinosaurs called The Lost World before his nephew does.  Unfortunately, they both arrive at the same time with the nephew coming with some big game hunters, but it ends up turning into a rescue mission. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Sarah, Vince Vaughn (Old School) as Nick, Pete Postlethwaite (The Town) as Roland Tembo, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Dieter, Richard Schiff (Man Of Steel) as Eddie, Thomas F. Duffy (Independence Day) as Dr. Robert Burke, Thomas Rosales Jr. (No Country For Old Men) as Carter, Camilla Belle (10,000 BC) as Cathy Bowman, and the film was one again directed by Stephen Spielberg. 

the_lost_world_jurassic_park_1997_1399x705_587744It is always tough to repeat the success or the magic of a first film when you are planning to do a sequel. There is the mentality that sequels are never better than the first films and I would say that is true with this one. While I actually really liked the film, I didn’t think that it was better than Jurassic Park. The film had it’s cool moments with the Velociraptors in the compound, but the sequence in Jurassic Park with them is better and scarier. The only thing I will give this film credit for is that they made the T-Rex’s a little more bad ass and they actually eat humans in this one. I just thought that this film was a little more cartoonish at times if that makes sense at all to anyone whereas the first film was very serious. Jeff Goldblum was well Jeff Goldblum so what more could you ask for from that. I have to say that I didn’t know that Vince Vaughn was in this film and I was very impressed with his performance because he just nailed it perfectly. The late Pete Postlethwaite was just absolutely amazing as the big game hunter excited about his new game that he is hunting who kind of has a change of heart as the film goes on or at least he reassess what he wants to do. This was a decent sequel for a great franchise and all I have to do is watch one more film and I am caught up. For a final grade, I am going to give this one an A-. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak.

Day 82: Sucker Punch (2011)

15337_sucker_punchFor today’s challenge film, I wanted to watch a certain film from Emily Browning that I have been waiting to see for five years now. The name of the film is Sucker Punch which was directed by Zack Snyder (300, Man Of Steel) and it stars Emily Browning as the distraught and recently institutionalized Babydoll. Due to the fact that she bi-accidentally killed her little sister, her step father has her locked away in a mental institution where she is to get a lobotomy in five days. In order to cope with the fact that she is institutionalized, she creates a fantasy world that she can completely roam free in and do as she pleases, but she wants to escape. So, she enlists the help of four other girls at the institution in Sweat Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung) as they try to collect some key items to help them escape. The film also stars Oscar Issac (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Blue, Carla Gugino (Watchmen) as Dr. Gorski, Jon Hamm (The Town) as High Roller/Doctor, Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy) as wise man, Richard Cetrone (Iron Man) as CJ, Malcolm Scott (Man Of Steel) as the Cook, and A.C. Peterson (Narc) as The Mayor.

Sucker-PunchEven if you didn’t know that this was a Zack Snyder film, you would instantly recognize that it was his just by the style and look of the film. It has the look and feel of 300 as far as bad ass looking landscapes, imagery, and characters. One of my favorite segments of the film when Babydoll goes into dancing mode is her battle with the Samurai in the beginning of the film. While I don’t agree with some of their weapon choices, you can’t deny how amazing it looked on screen. It also helps that you ave five incredibly sexy women as your heroins in the film and that Snyder makes them just as bad ass as any character in any film he has ever made. I truly loved the story and how they bounced right from reality to fantasy to even more of a fantasy world and then back to the start. It was clever and very well done by the writers and everyone involved. One of the other things about this film that I enjoyed was the soundtrack to the film. The film features an incredible cover of Sweet Dreams by actress Emily Browning as well as some other cool tracks.  When it came to the imagery and the fantasy scenes, Snyder talked about them saying, “On the other hand, though it’s fetishistic and personal, I like to think that my fetishes aren’t that obscure. Who doesn’t want to see girls running down the trenches of World War One wreaking havoc? I’d always had an interest in those worlds – comic books, fantasy art, animated films. I’d like to see this, that’s how I approach everything, and then keep pushing it from there.” I completely agree with him and thought it was awesome as well. A film any Snyder fan should check out if they haven’t yet. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 70: The Night Before (2015)

The-Night-Before-Poster-Christmas-sliceThere is nothing I love more in this world than Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and comedies that he is involved in. So, naturally when I saw that The Night Before was available to rent, I definitely jumped on the opportunity to watch it. Issac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been spending the last ten Christmases with their friend Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) ever since his parents passed away. The only problem is that things change and people grow up, but Ethan hasn’t it while the other two have moved on. Now, it’s the last Christmas the three friends are ever going to spend together and they’re going to be spending it at a ball that they’ve been trying to get into for the last ten years, but will they make it in one piece? The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Betsy, Lizzy Caplan (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Diana, Heléne Yorke (Masters Of Sex) as Cindy, Mindy Kaling (Inside Out) as Sarah, Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel) as Mr. Green, Ilana Glazer (Broad City) as Rebecca Grinch, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as James Franco, Tracy Morgan (Cop Out) as the Narrator, and the film was written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50).

The-Night-Before-Seth-RogenI want to start this paragraph out by saying that this film reminds me of why I loved Seth Rogen movies in the first place. Seth Rogen on drugs equals some of the funniest moments of a film because he plays it so well. When he is freaking out on shrooms in the film is some of the funniest material and his interaction with James Franco is priceless. This film could seriously be the new Christmas classic that we have all been looking for since Home Alone or Die Hard, and Big which are both mentioned in the film (almost like an homage). The film even manages to fit in some Scrooge kind of stuff with Michael Shannon playing essentially the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future all in the form of a drug dealing Great Gatsby. Believe me, it will all make sense to you once you watch the film for yourself. One of the funniest scenes in the whole film is the church scene with Seth Rogen,  couldn’t stop laughing it was so funny and what a great choice to play his wife in the film in Jillian Bell who is pretty funny in the film. Listen, you know exactly what you are getting from a Seth Rogen comedy, there is nothing smart about it other than that it’s just funny. You have to naturally have a sense of humor to love comedies like this and I have to say that this should’ve been a hit at the box office. The addition of Mackie and Levitt were icing on the cake ad the chemistry between the three was there and it just felt natural. The film is available online and in Redbox so check it out if you need some good laughs. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 69: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

the-man-from-u-n-c-l-eGoing into today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, there were two reasons I chose the film The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with one being that it was directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch) and the second being that it stars Superman himself Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel). The Man From U.N.C.L.E. takes us all the way back to the 1960’s and the cold war as our setting for the film. Cavill plays American CIA operative Napoleon Solo while Armie Hammer (The Social Network) plays KGB Agent Illya Kuryakin in a film where the two agents are forced to team together against one common enemy other than each other. There is a rumor that some Nazi enthusiasts are close to creating an atomic bomb and along with the help of the beautiful Gaby (Alicia Vikander) they will try to infiltrate and retrieve the bomb before it is completed. The film also stars Hugh Grant (Four Weddings And A Funeral) as Waverly, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) as Victoria, Luca Calvani (When In Rome) as Alexander, Sylvester Groth (Inglorious Basterds) as Uncle Rudi, Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) as Sanders, Christian Berkel (Valkyrie) as Udo, Misha Kuznetsov (25TH Hour) as Oleg, Marianna Di Martino as the desk clerk, and David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty) as Jones. To check out the rest of the review and see some stats, click here.

Day 13: 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (2015)

EfOet3AuFor today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, I chose a film that I wanted to check out for a while when I heard that WWE wrestler Dean Ambrose was the latest to get into films. Dean is the latest to star in 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown which he plays a troubled Detective named Shaw. Dean is returning to the job for the first time in months after the death of his partner. While on the job, he discovers some corruption in the precinct involving a former partner and he decides to investigate it. Detective Burke (Roger R. Cross), the corrupt cop gets wind of what Shaw is doing and to protect his own behind, he puts the whole building into lockdown and he hunts Shaw. Shaw only has 12 rounds in his gun to help defend himself while he tries to figure out a way to get the evidence out. The film also stars Daniel Cudmore (X-Men: The Last Stand) as Gideon, Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie) as Darrow, Ty Olsson (X-Men 2) as Harris, Sarah Smyth (50/50) as Officer Taylor, Rebecca Marshall (That’s My Boy) as Captain Matthews, Kirby Morrow (RoboCop) as Saul, Toby Levins (Godzilla) as Meeks, Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis) as Carmen, Hugo Steele (Man Of Steel) as Hurst, and the film was directed by Stephen Reynolds (Vendetta). To see the stats and the review of the film, please click here to see it.