There are films that come out that when you see them, you are absolutely blown away by it. You like the movie so much that when you hear that there is a sequel coming out, you really don’t mind seeing it. That was definitely the case with today’s film in Now You See Me 2. Since the events of the first film the horseman J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) have gone into hiding awaiting the chance that they can work again. When the horseman are pulled out of retirement with the addition of a new female magician in Lulu (Lizzy Caplan) by their and FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), they learn that they are part of a plan by an evil tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist ever. Can the team do it or with they finally correct the wrongs? The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Thaddeus Bradley, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Walter Mabry, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur Tressler, Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Li, Sanaa Lathan (Blade) as Deputy Director Natalie Austin, Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Anna Karenina) as Allen Scott-Frank, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Jem And The Holograms).
One of the biggest reasons to see these films is because you want to see what kind of magic are they going to do and see how clever they really were. You also go to see these films for all the sleek stunts and the technology they incorporate with the tricks even though a big part of them is fighting technology and all the evil it can create. The film starts off by reminding us of who they are and what they’ve done in the past to build up these ragtag magicians up. The movie also really focuses on what happened to Mark Ruffalo’s character’s father and why he is on this revenge kick. We also see our crew evolve and become a solid team right before our very eyes as they battle the evil technology crazed world. I thought I was going to be disappointed that Isla Fisher wasn’t in the film, but I have to give credit to Lizzy Caplan for fitting right in with the crew. She added a certain wittiness to the tea by being there. The magic tricks of course are pretty cool, but my favorite thing is when they break down how they accomplished them in the first place. That is what I loved about the first film and that is what I loved in this film. Daniel Radcliffe is awesome as a really douchy guy with crap tons of money while Freeman and Caine were brilliant as always. Is it better than the first film, I don’t really think so, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s moments. I enjoyed the film enough to give it a grade that is somewhere between the B+/A- range. It’s somewhere in there.
I just wanted to start by saying that I hope that everyone has had a wonder Mother’s Day especially all the moms out there. I didn’t choose any films that had anything to do with mothers, but rather I went for a classic in The Bonfire Of The Vanities. The film starred Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) as Sherman McCoy, a hot shot wall street broker whose whole world is about to crumble. You see Sherman has been cheating on his socialite wife (Kim Cattrall) with a very seductive mistress named Maria (Melanie Griffith). One night, they get into an accident when they hit a young black man and send him into a coma. It puts Sherman in a lot of trouble and with the help of a reporter (Bruce Willis) he will try to prove his innocence before he gets put away for good. The film also stars Saul Rubinek (The Family Man) as Jed Kramer, Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Judge Leonard White, John Hancock (A Soldier’s Story) as Reverend Bacon, Kevin Dunn (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Tom Killian, Clifton James (The Man With The Golden Gun) as Albert Fox, Kirsten Dunst (Interview With The Vampire) as Campbell McCoy, and the film was directed by Brian De Palma (Carlito’s Way).
This was a very different film than I was used to watching, but how can you not want to watch a film that starred both Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis? Bruce at one time was known for doing films other than action flicks and Tom Hanks is just Tom Hanks (that means he’s awesome). I had absolutely no idea that Kirsten Dunst was in this film until I looked on IMDB after I watched the film. I thought that was kind of crazy to see, but not surprised as she let her real stamp with Interview With The Vampire. One of the biggest pluses for this film is the fact that the story is an amazing story. From the beginning all the way to the end, the story keeps you hooked because you want to know what happens to poor Tom Hanks. The film kind of touches on the ideas of racism in the New York area and the way they feel that they didn’t get the fair shake that over-privileged whites did all the time. Then the film shows you how distorted the truth can be when there is too much interest into a issue when there are too many sides that benefit. A mayor who looks at an opportunity to persecute a rich white man to try and gain the African-American vote while a reverend is looking to use the case to cash in. All of the acting in the film was superb and I really had no complaints against anyone in the film. This is a film that is definitely worth a watch even if it’s at least once. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
When I saw on my guide that Transcendence was going to be on the television, I took the opportunity to check this film out. With an estimated budget of 100 Million, the film was kind of a box office failure in 2014. Nevertheless, the film stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Dr. Will Caster, the utmost authority on Artificial Intelligence who is trying to create the ultimate A.I.. Little does Dr. Caster know that there are people that are against what he is doing and they go as far as poisoning him with radiation on a bullet that he was shot with. Looking to continue his research, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and longtime friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) will ultimately load Will’s consciousness into the computer to create the ultimate A.I. before he dies. What they don’t realize is that there action takes on dangerous implications. The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Joseph Tagger, Cillian Murphy (In Time) as Agent Buchanan, Kate Mara (The Fantastic Four) as Bree, Cole Hauser (Dazed And Confused) as Colonel Stevens, Clifton Collins Jr. (The Stoned Age) as Martin, Josh Stewart (The Collector) as Paul, Cory Hardrict (American Sniper) as Joel Edmund, and the film was directed by Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).
As I said in the above paragraph, the movie was a complete flop as it only made about 23 million dollars in the box office. I remember the film being in and out of the theaters in no time so I avoided seeing the film. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never the full film fro start to finish. I can certainly see why it was never successful, but that’s not to say that the film was completely bad. It like most films, had it’s ups and downs with Depp being Depp which equals awesome, but at times it was rather boring. The trailers made you believe or think that as an A.I. he was able to destroy things, but that really isn’t the case. He rather regenerates things and makes them better and has his minions destroy things for him. The film is just more commentary on how social media and computers have taken over our lives and how someday it may come to this when we are launched back into the stone age or at least the 1970’s when there were no cell phones or computers. Rebecca Hall, who I loved in The Town, does a pretty good job being the wife who is blinded by the love of her husband and Paul Bettany who is the friend that eventually sees the error of his ways. Yes, we’ve seen that all before in other Sci-F drama films. Check out the film at your own risk, but I’m telling you that it wasn’t bad. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
When the film Ted first hit the scene in 2012, I thought it was one of the best new ideas in comedy I had seen in a while. Now we all know that coming out with a sequel can be a daunting task especially when you’re trying to capture the magic of the first film. Well, that is exactly what Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) was trying to do with Ted 2 which sees him return as our favorite vulgar teddy bear. This time around, Ted is sort of happily married with Tami Lynn (Jessica Barth), but John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is not so happy since he’s divorced. Things are about to change for Ted as well when he and Tami Lynn decide to have a baby. After the couple decide to adopt, Ted is denied and is told that the government no longer recognizes him as a person, but property. With the help of a fresh lawyer named Sam Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), Ted will challenge the government in court to gain his civil rights back. The film also stars Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) as Donnie, Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon) as himself, Patrick Warburton (The Venture Brothers) as Guy, Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Patrick Meighan, John Carroll Lynch (Gran Torino) as Tom Jessup, and Liam Neeson (Taken) as a Trix Cereal Customer.
While the film had it’s very funny moments, I just felt like it didn’t capture the magic of the original film. I am not saying that the movie was bad because it was actually pretty entertaining, it just wasn’t better than the first film. Mark Wahlberg’s character was a little more of the star of this film in my opinion than Ted. He was more sympathetic and at times he was a little more interesting than Ted. One of my favorite moments of the film came when they were on the roof throwing apples at joggers at night. That was a very funny exchange and give Amanda Seyfried some credit as well because she held her own with them. Giovanni Ribisi once again did an amazing job playing a creepazoid in the film as Donnie. Ribisi does an amazing job recapturing the creepiness and taking it to a new level in the second film. It was great to Sam J. Jones back in the film and Patrick Warbutton is hilarious as well as Guy (who has a new boyfriend in the film). The exchange between Ted and Liam Neeson over Trix cereal is worth watching the film for sure. While I enjoyed the writing for the film, it was a little predictable at times, but that’s OK cause it flowed well. I enjoyed watching the film and I think it’s worth watching at least once. I am going to give the film a B+ for a final grade.