In any other normal year, this would essentially be the last film of the challenge, but thanks to the leap year, we have one more film after this. After watching Star Trek Into Darkness and being introduced to the character of Khan, I wanted to make sure that I watch the original film that featured Khan in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. Things have changed around the Starship Enterprise and it starts with Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) who is having a midlife crisis because of the job change. While on a routine inspection, Kirk is forced to retake his place in the captain’s chair when an old familiar foe by the name of Khan (Ricardo Montalban) resurfaces and threatens to steal a project called Genesis that could turn into the ultimate weapon. The film also stars Leonard Nimoy (Mission: Impossible) as Spock, DeForest Kelley (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) as McCoy, James Doohan (Loaded Weapon 1) as Scotty, Walter Koenig (Star Trek) as Chekov, George Takei (Kubo And The Two Strings) as Sulu, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: The Animated Series) as Uhura, Bibi Besch (Tremors) as Carol, Merritt Butrick (Fright Night Part 2) as David, Paul Winfield (Mars Attacks) as Terrell, Kirstie Alley (Cheers) as Saavik, Ike Eisenmann (Escape To Witch Mountain) as Preston, and the film was directed by Nicholas Meyer (Time After Time).
There is this one scene in the film that is just very uncomfortable to watch because you are imagining the agony they are going through. The scene I am talking about of course is the creature that crawls into Chekov and Terrell’s ear in the beginning courtesy of Khan. Ricardo Montalban was great as Khan, but I feel that it’s in the scale of the 1980’s. What I mean by that is that it wouldn’t work today because much like William Shatner it’s a little over the top. He is trying to squeeze the performance of a lifetime into his role as a sci-fi villain. I say what I say about Shatner, but to be honest I couldn’t see anyone other than Chris Pine play Captain Kirk as well. I liked the story of the film a lot because not only was Kirk faced with the major problem known as Khan, but we also discover something else from his past that showcases that playboy lifestyle that he has. I thought it was a good touch to the film and showed us why he was so interested in finding Carol. The ending of the film definitely set you up for another film, but there isn’t enough days in the year to explore anymore. The cinematography was pretty decent especially for 1982. It was a definite step up from the first film which was too cheesy and is why I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
One of the greatest actors to come out of the 1990’s is Denzel Washington (Malcolm X) who is money when it comes to his films. He has a movie called Fences coming out on Christmas which is gaining a lot of critical acclaim, but to celebrate his career, I decided to check out He Got Game. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel)has been in jail for six years after the death of his wife which has forced his son Jesus Shuttlesworth (NBA Legend Ray Allen) to be the man of the house. You see Jesus is also an unbelievable basketball player for his high school who hasn’t made a decision as to where he wants to go or do after high school. Jake is given a chance to exit jail to try and convince his son to go to a certain school so that his sentence can be cut short. The film also stars Milla Jovovich (Zoolander 2) as Dakota Burns, Rosario Dawson (Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis) as Lala, Hill Harper (CSI: NY) as Booger, Zelda Harris (The Baby-Sitters Club) as Mary Shuttlesworth, Ned Beatty (Deliverance) as Warden Wyatt, Jim Brown (Mars Attacks) as Spivey, Joseph Lyle Taylor (The Dark Knight Rises) as Crudup, Bill Nunn (Spider-Man 3) as Uncle Bubba, John Turturro (The Color Of Money) as Coach Sunday, Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster) as Big Time Willie, and the film was written and directed by Spike Lee (Malcolm X).
This was one of those films that you are kind of glad they only made one just because one of the main actors was kind of awful. The film’s story is actually a very good story that kind of takes a look into what happens when someone from a poor area has some talent and has to deal with vultures trying to get theirs. But as I said before, Ray Allen is kind of an awful actor who has his moments in the film, but is also one of those guys who shouldn’t have transitioned into films.Now Denzel on the other hand puts on one heck of a performance as he always does as a man who is desperate to get his son to sign, but he is also enjoying his time out of prison. He also touches other peoples lives to wake them up to realize their potentials or what they are missing out on. His interaction with Milla Jovovich are awesome as she plays a prostitute that he feels bad for in a way. The film features some gritty moments and plenty of T&A as one college tries to persuade him to come to their school. I can imagine that those things happened in real life and I am kind of mad I never took sport serious enough in high school. The ending of the film to me is a little rushed and it sort of doesn’t make sense to me in a way while in a way it does. It just seems a little too quick that he spends years hating his father, but forgives him what seems quick. It was a decent film that any basketball fan may enjoy. I am going to give a B+ only because Allen and some other performances bothered me a little. Enjoy the cameos in the film from NBA coaches and players like Dean Smith, Lute Olson, John Chaney, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Shaq, etc.
There are a couple of things in life that I enjoy more than anything in my movies and that is true stories and football. When you combine the both of them, then I just have to see it an that is why I chose My All American for today’s film. Freddy Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) wasn’t born with the gift of size as a football player, but that never stopped him from trying. In fact, Freddie is one of the hardest working athletes in the world and he uses that to fight for his spot on the roster of the Texas Longhorns in 1969. Although that is about to change after leading his team to the championship game, Freddie is faced with his toughest challenge yet off the field. The film also stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Darren Royal, Sarah Bolger (The Lazarus Effect) as Linda Wheeler, Rett Terrell (Vampires Suck) as Bobby Mitchell, Juston Street (Everybody Wants Some!!) as James Street, Michael Reilly Burke (Mars Attacks) as Fred Steinmark, Robin Tunney (Empire Records) as Gloria Steinmark, Donny Boaz (The Great Debaters) as Bill Bradley, Brent Anderson (American Crime) as Coach Campbell, and the film was directed by Angelo Pizzo (Rudy).
I am going to be completely honest in saying that before I watched this movie, I did not know that it was directed by the guy who wrote Rudy and Hoosiers. You can definitely see the similarities between the films as far as the writing was concerned and you can also see some similarities in the style of the film too. I get why they covered his high school years because it helps build his character, but I’m wondering if that hindered the film at all because how many people really knew about Freddie Steinberg other than Longhorns fans or people old enough to remember him play. I just think they could have covered more of his college years but this was fine by me. I want to talk about his character because I’m not doubting at all that Freddie was a great guy who was one of the hardest working guys, but he just seems a little too perfect if you catch my drift. It was almost like he never did anything wrong, but that could be true for all I know. One thing that I wish that they had covered what what happened to his girlfriend Linda because they don’t talk about her at all during the title cards at the end. I know that she wasn’t the focus of the film, but she seemed to be an important part of his life. All that we know about her is that she was a consultant for the film and that her daughter Mackenzie Meehan played a nurse in the film. I thought that was a pretty cool tidbit. If you are a fan of Rudy, then you may like this film because they are similar in style and story. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.