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.
For today’s film, I had been holding on to a DVD from a film that I am surprised I never watched back in the day. I waited 20 years to watch the film Striptease, but as they say better late than never. Striptease stars Demi Moore (One Crazy Summer) as a former FBI agent turned stripper Erin Grant. Erin has lost custody of her daughter to her no good pill pooping husband Darrell Grant (Robert Patrick) only because she didn’t have a job. Erin turns to dancing to try and raise money for her appeal hearing when a crazy congressman named David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) becomes obsessed with her. Erin has to try and battle Dilbeck’s man holding her custody of her daughter over her head while also trying to battle her ex-husband in this crime drama. The film also stars Armand Assante (Fatal Instinct) as Lt. Al Garcia, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Shad, Paul Guilfoyle (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Malcolm Moldovsky, Rumer Willis (The House Bunny) as Angela Grant, Dina Spybey Waters (Six Feet Under) as Monique Jr., Robert Stanton (Mercury Rising) as Erb Crandal, William Hill (Gran Torino) as Jerry, PaSean Wilson (Scary Or Die) as Sabrina, Stuart Pankin (Fatal Attraction) as Alan Mordecai. and the film was directed by Andrew Bergman (Honeymoon In Vegas).
Like I said in the above paragraph, I can’t believe I waited 20 years to watch Striptease which features the beautiful Demi Moore topless. It features her topless in several different scenes throughout the film which was just awesome (if you want to see it then watch the movie for yourself). Besides that fact, the story isn’t that bad because the film is much more than just a film about an angry stripper who wants her daughter back while trying to help a cop solve a murder case. Burt Reynolds is absolutely hilarious in his pre-Boogie Nights role as a severely perverted congressman who will stop at nothing to get Demi Moore despite the fact that it’s election time. I thought his character though was a little over the top and to be honest what was up with that hairdo? I couldn’t help, but laugh at a poor old Burt Reynolds with that awful hairstyle. He still was the perfect man to play the role I will add as I couldn’t see anyone else do that. Armand Assante was well Armand Assante, but the real credit to the film was Ving Rhames and Robert Patrick. Ving Rhames was so enjoyable to watch as the over protective always scheming bouncer while Patrick did a good job as the sleazeball, pill popping jerk off husband. Without those two in the film, I think this would have been an OK movie that you watched just to see Demi’s assets. While the film is certified rotten on rotten tomatoes (it has a 12%), I think that is a little unfair cause it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t the greatest movie ever, but it was OK. That is why I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
I figured since I watched a film that had an Oscar winner in it yesterday, I would do the same for today. The film I chose for today, Midnight Cowboy, won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay in the 1970 Oscars. The film stars Jon Voight (Mission: Impossible) as Texan Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate) as New Yorker Ratso. For Joe Buck, he has this idea that he’s too big in the hustling game for Texas and so he decides to move to New York to better his hustling game. For Ratso, things can’t get any worse for this New Yorker and he’s had enough of the big city so all he wants to do is move to Florida. Together, the two of them will form a very unlikely bond as they try to survive the streets of New York. The film also stars Sylvia Miles (Wall Street) as Cass, John McGiver (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) as O’Daniel, Brenda Vaccaro (Zorro: The Gay Blade) as Shirley, Jennifer Salt (American Horror Story) as Annie, Barnard Hughes (TRON) as Towny, Viva (The Man Without A Face) as Gretel McAlbertson, and the film was directed by John Schlesinger (The Falcon And The Snowman).
The first thing that should sell you on the film is the fact that Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight star in the film. The second thing about this film that should sell you is that for 1969, it definitely pushed the boundaries of what was seen on film. Jon Voight has a sexual act performed on him by a man in the film and is the most unluckiest hustler or the worst. Both Voight and Hoffman lost the Oscar for Best Leading Actor to the duke John Wayne even though they deserved it after watching this. Dustin Hoffman has one of the best performances I have seen in a long time and his transformation was Oscar worthy. First of all, he sells that he’s this low down in the dumps New Yorker and he looks like he hasn’t showered in months. What more could you possibly want from the man? We are always led to believe that is what you have to do if you want to win an Oscar. Meanwhile, Jon Voight plays this clean cut cowboy in the big city who is a little naive because he’s not used to the hustle and bustle of the big city. I am not going to give away the ending of the film, but it’s kind of sad and bittersweet. I totally didn’t see it coming, but that is what I loved about it too. The film is gritty and it features a cool segment where they are at a Warhol party. This is classic cinema at it’s best and definitely a film worth watching if you are trying to be a cinephile. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
Soon enough you’ll figure out that I am a fan of Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), but I honestly did not know that he directed today’s film. In 1999, Scorsese directed the film Bringing Out The Dead which starred Nicholas Cage (Raising Arizona) as paramedic Frank Pierce. Frank has been on the job for way too long to the point that he is burnt out and the ghosts of patients that he couldn’t save are starting to haunt him whether he is on the job or off. Over the course of three turbulent and mind exhausting nights, Frank will have to try and survive the nights without completely losing his mind in this drama/thriller. The film also stars John Goodman (Death Sentence) as Larry, Patricia Arquette (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as Mary Burke, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Marcus, Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan) as Tom Wolls, Marc Anthony (The Substitute) as Noel, Mary Beth Hurt (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Nurse Constance, Nestor Serrano (The Day After Tomorrow) as Dr. Hazmat, Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) as Nurse Crupp, Cliff Curtis (Blow) as Cy Coates, and Sonja Sohn (The Wire) as Kanita.
This film is so intense in just about everything and it’s awesome. Nicholas Cage does a great job playing a guy who is just going through absolute hell and looks like he’s been going through absolute hell. This is one of those rare times that I really enjoyed his performance because he’s hit or miss with me. The film is very dark in nature so it has that look that Shutter Island had with it’s dark color tones with the bright reds, etc. I really enjoyed the scenes where every thing is all of a sudden sped up to make them look even more crazier than they are. The film also shows you how dark and dingy the city can be and it shows you sections you’ve never seen before as well. I love how Scorsese almost focuses on that as well like he’s making the city a vital character as well. I have to say that I truly enjoyed the side story between Patricia Arquette and Nicholas Cage because they are both struggling with inner demons while Cage is being haunted by the dead, she is dealing with a dark past of her own. It definitely added a cool dynamic to the film that kept the story rolling. Martin Scorsese is definitely one of my favorite directors and there are a lot of films that I still have not seen that will probably show up on this challenge. Check out the film for yourself, I am giving the movie an B for a final grade.