There are some stories in life that you hear about and you just can’t imagine that these stories could be true. That is how powerful these kinds of stories can be and they can be real game changers. That was certainly the case with today’s film Spotlight which highlights the child molestation scandal in the City of Boston. Spotlight was an investigative team that worked at the Boston Globe that took on stories that they felt the public needed to know about. In the year 2000 or 2001, a new man in charge at the Globe by the name of Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) came in and suggested a story to his Spotlight team that involved the catholic church covering up the child molestation cases in Boston. The film follows the team as they expose the truth as they became the voice of the voiceless. The film stars Michael Keaton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) as Walter Robinson, Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) as Mike Rezendes, Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls) as Sacha Pfeiffer, John Slattery (Iron Man 2) as Ben Bradlee, Jr., Stanley Tucci (The Terminal) as Mitchell Garabedian, Billy Crudup (Watchmen) as Eric Macleish, Neal Huff (Big Daddy) as Phil Saviano, Jamey Sheridan (The Ice Station) as Jim Sullivan, and the film was directed by Tom McCarthy (The Cobbler).
If you’re expecting a film with a lot of action, then this isn’t the film for you because there’s a lot of investigative research involved in the film. The other side to it is that you see the struggle these guys went through to try and unlock the story. You see all of the red tape and you see all the people involved that just bury the story. You end up learning what they could do and what they had to do to try and get viable sources. The film is just absolutely shocking and you can see why the Catholic church took such a hit after this case was exposed by the Globe. One of the biggest elements of these types of films is the acting and the story. Those are the key essentials for these types of films to survive and be great. I am here to say that I was thoroughly impressed with the acting especially from Mark Ruffalo who after a while just stole the show. Rachel McAdams also did a phenomenal job in the film which leads to my next statement. I am not surprised that Rachel and Mark were nominated for Oscars because they were amazing. The story as you can tell from what I wrote was also amazing and it had to be. It’s a story driven film as I said before. If you love films that are based on true stories then you should check this one out. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
It is a rarity to see me go to the cinema to see an animated film unless its one that I want to see. The honest truth about today’s film that I selected is that I didn’t have the chance to see it in the theaters. So, I took the chance to see Minions when I saw that Netflix was streaming it. Minions is the prequel movie to the Despicable Me films, but much more in the sense of telling you how and where the minions came from. The Minions have always been in search of the biggest and baddest villain on the planet to serve, but something keeps messing up opportunities for them. After feeling like life was meaningless, three particular Minions in Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) will go on a mission to find a new boss and she goes by the name of Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), but will things work out for them? The film also stars Jon Hamm (The Town) as Herb Overkill, Michael Keaton (Batman 1989) as Walter Nelson, Allison Janney (The Duff) as Madge Nelson, Steve Coogan (Despicable Me 2) as Professor Flux, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) as The Queen, Geoffrey Rush (Mystery Men) as the narrator, Katy Mixon (Drive Angry) as Tina, and the film was directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda.
I loved the first two films in the Despicable Me series because they were new and different than anything we had before. The Minions were the comedic relief for Steve Carell and his character Gru. I have to say that while I enjoyed watching this one, I don’t think it’s the best in the series because it loses a little bit of the magic that it had in the other films. I bet that there are a crap ton of children out there that probably disagree with me on this one, but as a film fan it would rank third in the series. There were some scenes where a chuckle or a laugh will sneak out because they are the cutest characters ever, but there isn’t a lot of them. One of the best characters in the film and the cutest Minion is Bob with his teddy bear and eventual pet rat. He was actually the comedic relief for the rest of the minions characters in the film and he had that cute factor to him as well. I like how this film connects with the other films when everyone’s favorite villain Gru shows up to inspire the minions. The animation was as good as any of the other films and the voice work was good too. Again for the record, I will state that I liked the movie, but I didn’t love the movie like I did with the first two Despicable Me films. The film like I said is available to stream on Netflix, so check it out if you would like. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
For today’s film, I wanted a little comedy in my life and so I chose a film featuring my favorite actor to ever play Batman in Michael Keaton (Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)). The film is called Johnny Dangerously and it stars Keaton as the title character in this spoof film of 1930’s gangster movies. Johnny was just your ordinary average kid in New York City until some unfortunate events plunged him into the gangster life. Johnny is able to keep his life of crime a secret from his family for a very long time, but how long could it last. His brother Tommy (Griffin Dunne) is the district attorney hellbent on bringing down all the gangsters of New York. After being set up by a rival gangster named Danny Vermin (Joe Piscopo) and sent to jail, Tommy will have to prove that Johnny is is innocent before he gets the chair. The film also stars Marilu Henner (Taxi) as Lil, Maureen Stapleton (The Money Pit) as Ma Kelly, Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein) as Jocko Dundee, Richard Dimitri (When Things Were Rotten) as Moronie, Dom DeLuise (Blazing Saddles) as The Pope, Danny DeVito (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as Burr, Ray Walston (Lost In Space) as Vendor, Dick Butkus (My Two Dads) as Arthur, and the film was directed by Amy Heckerling (Clueless).
I want to start off saying that I am huge fan of anything that takes place in the 1930’s gangster prohibition era and even though it’s a spoof film, I loved it. Michael Keaton is just masterful as the slick, charismatic gangster Johnny Dangerously. He is everything you would expect from that era as his personality certainly fits the character. Marilu Henner is also fantastic and she looks absolutely beautiful in this film. For a spoof film, there are so many heavyweights of the comedy world for that time. You have the always colorful and great Dom DeLuise who graces us with his presence. There is the very underrated Joe Piscopo who never gets enough credit for his comic abilities and the great performances he has had over those years. Then there are guys like the late and great Peter Boyle, Danny DeVito, Ray Walston, and so many more. I was a huge fan of Richard Dimitiri in this film with his overly broken English with his words like Fraggin or Icehole which reminded me of most of my family members. The film was fun to watch as I laughed so much at all the small things and the obvious jokes. Spoof films used to be fun and they always had great writing unlike the spoof films we get today which are overly sexual in their joke writing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they don’t make them like they used to. Check the film out on Netflix if you are a fan of spoof films. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.