One of my all time favorite actors from the 80’s is John Cusack who starred in such great films as Say Anything…, Tapeheads, One Crazy Summer, and even High Fidelity. So, I was cruising through Netflix trying to decide on a film when I came across Grosse Pointe Blank and decided on it for today. Martin Blank (Cusack) is a professional hitman who has sort of lost his way and just needs to be found or at least realize what he wants out of life. Against his intuition, he goes back home to Detroit where he’ll attend his ten year high school reunion. While there, he runs into his old high school sweetheart Debbie Newberry (Minnie Driver) that he ran out on ten years before and he decides to try and fix that relationship while letting go of his lifestyle. The film also stars Joan Cusack (Working Girl) as Marcela, Alan Arkin (Argo) as Dr. Oatman, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Grocer, Jeremy Piven (Smokin’ Aces) as Paul Spericki, Hank Azaria (Mystery Men) as Steven Lardner, K. Todd Freeman (The Cider House Rules) as Kenneth McCullers, Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Bob Destepello, Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon) as Mr. Bart Newberry, and the film was directed by George Armitage (Miami Blues).
There are things you should know about getting into a John Cusack film that is starring him and one is that Joan Cusack is probably in the film. The second one that you can expect is that the soundtrack to the film is probably incredible so you should pay attention to that. The film featured cuts from amazing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure for example. The other thing you should expect from a Cusack film is that Cusack is going to be stealing the show by commanding the screen with his underdog like qualities. No matter the role, you are rooting for him to succeed and that is what I love about his films. This one adds the element that he is a professional assassin which means we get some bad ass action sequences in the film as well. The film itself is absolutely awesome and definitely a film I wish I had seen a heck of a lot sooner than I did. I really loved the fact that Alan Arkin was in the film as the scared psychiatrist who has to continuously deal with Cusack’s character throughout the film. It adds to the overall comedy of the film and Dan Aykroyd definitely does that as the rival hitman. So you can definitely see all the crazy directions this film goes, but it’s enjoyable because the story is awesome. Everybody normal hates the idea of going back to a high school reunion, but hey that’s how it goes. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because the acting was great and the soundtrack is amazing.
Haven’t you ever wondered if there was life in other planets or galaxies? What if I was to tell you that 1000 plus years into the future that Earth has mastered the art of deep space travel and that we have interacted with several different species. Your mind would be blown and that is the case for the film Titan A.E.. For Cale (Matt Damon) life is a little different because his father had been working on a project called Project Titan. When a certain alien race known as the Drej caught wind of this, they destroyed the planet Earth. Fast forward fifteen years into the future, Cale is working on a scavenger ship when he is told that he may hold the key to finding Project Titan which could potentially save the human race from the evil Drej. So, he takes on the mission which will prove to be far from easy. The film also stars Bill Pullman (Independence Day) as Captain Joseph Korso, Drew Barrymore (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) as Akima, John Leguizamo (Ice Age) as Gune, Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as Preed, Janeane Garofalo (Mystery Men) as Stith, Tone Loc (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) as Tek, Ron Pearlman (Hellboy) as Professor Sam Tucker, and the film was directed by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, and Art Vitello.
Spoiler Alert: Before you continue to read on, please be advised that this paragraph may contain spoilers. Proceed with caution. I love these kinds of animated films because it reminds me a lot of Heavy Metal and many others like it. While it could be predictable at times, Titan A.E. was actually a very fun film to watch with a very good story. That was my favorite part of the whole film was the fact that I loved the story. Imagine that the key to saving the human race is in a ring that some kid has been carrying for a while and had no idea his father put it on his finger. The only reason why I said that the film could be predictable at times was because you could tell right from the start that Cale and Akima were going to be a thing in the film. You knew that they were going to be double crossed at some point in the film and that happened twice. Like I said, that didn’t deter me from continuing on. The key to great acting in an animated film is making sure that they convey the proper emotions and you do it right. I would like to think that all of them did a great job throughout the film especially comedian Jim Breuer who plays a cook in the film (I didn’t know he did). I did love the enemy alien race who are made of energy. The one thing that kind of caught my attention about them was the fact that they are treated like they are the enemy, but I believe someone int he film mentioned something vital. They mentioned that they destroyed Earth because they were afraid that the humans were creating something dangerous. That doesn’t make what they did OK, but fear is the mind killer. If you’re a fan of science fiction based action adventure animated films, then I would definitely suggest checking this one out. I am going to give the film an A- for 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.
Ever since I heard the announcement of a new Pee Wee Herman film, I have been waiting anxiously for it and Netflix has finally delivered. Paul Reuben (Mystery Men) once again plays Pee Wee Herman in the new film Pee Wee’s Big Holiday. In this film, Pee Wee has never left the small town of Fairfield, but that is all about to change when by chance he meets Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike). Joe and Pee Wee immediately hit it off and Joe invites Pee Wee to New York to come to Joe’s birthday party. Considering this is Pee Wee’s first holiday, the film follows Pee Wee’s journey from Fairfield to New York and the mishaps in between in this take of friendship, adventure, and destiny. The film also stars Jessica Pohly (Theme Song Rebel) as Pepper, Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as Freckles, Alia Shawkat (Whip It) as Bella, Patrick Egan (Where’s Marlowe?) as Gordon The Travelling Salesman, Frank Collison (The Village) as Clay, Lynne Marie Stewart (Pee Wee’s Playhouse) as Jimmy, Hal Landon Jr. (Eraserhead) as Farmer Brown, Michelle Meredith (Black-ish) as Linda Brown, Brad William Henke (Fury) as Grizzly Bear Daniels, Dionne Gipson (Black Dynamite) as Brook, Diane Salinger (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) as Penny King, Charles Robinson (Night Court) as Police Captain, and the film was directed by John Lee (Wonder Showzen).
The question of the day is what did I think about this film? Was it worth the wait? Did Paul Reuben still have the magic to entertain? All very legitimate questions that I will now take the time to discuss. My thoughts on the film is that I actually enjoyed watching the film because it brought back so many great memories. Out of all three Pee Wee films, it’s definitely not the best one, but it was still enjoyable to watch even though Paul Reubens looks too old in HD to the boy Pee Wee Herman. For an hour and the half, it was fun to watch Paul Reuben play Pee Wee and if he decided to never do it again, I would be OK with it. This was a film that was made twenty years too late and while some of the gags and jokes were funny, there was a lot that was funnier back in the early 90’s/late 80’s. Again, I am not completely putting down the film because if you were a Pee Wee Herman fan like I was then it’s worth checking out. There’s a good cast with some cool cameos from various people who worked with Reubens at one time and even some actors I hadn’t seen in a while. There has always been some weird undertones where you think it’s just innocent and then other times you’re like wait a minute here. That is just how Pee Wee Herman roles and you can watch it on Netflix. I was surprised to see Judd Apatow’s name attached to this, but it made me excited to see it. I am going to give Pee Wee’s Big Holiday a B+ for a final grade.
Another simple case of nothing else on television and not enough time to view anything. Believe it or not, I actually avoided this movie for about this long, but I decided to check out Superstar. The film was a huge skit on Saturday Night Live and it starred Molly Shannon (Never Been Kissed) as Mary Katherine Gallagher, a high school girl with lots of issues. All Mary wants to do in life is get her first kiss from the high school hunk in Sky Corrigan (Will Farrell). She figures that is she wins the talent show at her catholic school which guarantees you a role as an extra in film that she will get her first kiss, but she’ll have some pretty hefty obstacles in her way from her bully. The film also stars Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap) as Evian, Harland Williams (Half Baked) as Slater, Mark McKinney (Kids In The Hall) as Father Ritley, Glynis Johns (Mary Poppins) as Grandma, Jason Blicker (The Day After Tomorrow) as Howard, Gerry Bamman (Home Alone) as Father John, Emmy Laybourne (Mystery Men) as Helen, Jennifer Irwin (The Gate) as Maria, Tom Green (Freddy Got Fingered) as Dylan, and the film was directed by Bruce McCulloch (Stealing Harvard).
Looking back on this film, I believe the skits on Saturday Night Live were a lot better than the film. In my opinion, this was one of those cases where the film wasn’t as great as the skits. Don’t get me wrong, the film had some memorable quotes and some funny scenes, but it just wasn’t laugh out loud funny. I like the fact though that it seemed like a fusion between SNL and Kids In The Hall (which was a great TV skit show in its own right) with an actor and director from the series combined with actors and a skit from SNL. Molly Shannon of course emboddied the role of Mary Katherine Gallagher as it was her role entirely from the get go, but I have to say that I loved seeing Will Farrell more as Jesus than Sky Corrigan. Anytime he showed up as Jesus, I thought it was hilarious and I couldn’t get enough of it. Tom Green is his typical self in the movie where he goes a little over the top in what he does, but I miss Tom Green. I don’t really have much else to say about the movie so I’ll cut to the chase and give the film it’s grade. I am going to give this movie a B- for a final grade.