Movie Of The Week: Mother! (2017)

mother_poster_1Before I get into the film that I chose for this week’s Movie Of The Week, I do want to remind people that just because it says movie of the week does not mean that I loved the film. I like to think that I am an amateur film critic who is going to be critical of films that I do watch. With that being said, it’s now time to get down to business because this week was an interesting week in the theaters after last week’s record breaking numbers for IT. This week we are checking out a film from award winning director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) called Mother!. After his house burns down, Him (Javier Bardem) is looking to rebuild his life with his new wife Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and he is trying to write a new book, but the inspiration is just not there until a couple (Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris) come by and stir things up which provide him with the all the inspiration that he needs. The only problem is how is Mother going to handle all this chaos that has now come into her life? The film also stars Domhnall Gleeson (The Revenant) as Oldest son, Brian Gleeson (Snow White and The Huntsman) as youngest son, and Stephen McHattie (Watchmen) as Zealot.

Jennifer_Lawrence_Mother_MovieIf you do not know anything about the film other than what you see in the trailer then you are in for a night of confusion because I went in thinking that this was going to be a Rosemary’s Baby kind of film and boy was I wrong. I left the theater so confused because I did not know at the time what I had just viewed. The whole time I was trying to figure out where the horror was and what in the hell was the point of all these people continuously showing up. The more people showed up, the more chaos that ensued in the film. Now there are two ways that you can look at this film and I chose one of them because it made more sense to me. So, I am going to give you the spoiler alert warning so turn around and leave if you do not want to know anymore. Javier Bardem is an author or poet so he is known as the creator and his home represents the garden of Eden. He hasn’t been able to write a book in a while so the first one is known as the old testament and this new one that he has unleashed on to the world is the new testament. I believe Jennifer Lawrence plays Mary where she is very fragile, virtuous while Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris play Adam & Eve and the Gleesons play Kane & Able. You see the Zealot who plays mankind that in Aronofsky’s opinion has taken the word of Him and has spun it to his control over the people. The baby that the couple have represents Jesus who Him gives away to the people only to have them kill his only son.

mother-posterDoes this all sound a little familiar to you now? Well after hearing this, I finally understood what the film represented and you have to love the directors use of semiotics. This film was the perfect example of that, but shame on me for not realizing this in the theaters. As I said above, I was expecting Rosemary’s Baby, but instead I got a study in anti-religious semantics. That was definitely not what I was looking for in the film. One of my biggest complaints of the film was the camera work only because it bothered the hell out of me when it followed and copied her every movement as the camera shook up and down as she walked. I loved the look of the film because it had that earthy, grainy kind of look to it especially with the colors and the tones (reminded me of The Witch). Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer were absolutely awesome in the film as well as Bardem and Lawrence, but they were the highlight because as soon as they showed up that is when all chaos ensues. As far as my overall opinion of the film goes, I am not a huge fan of the agendas of directors so I feel as though that I was mislead by the trailer, but I have to give him credit for stumping me. Besides the camera work, the film was done very well and his use of semantics was on point in this film. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 364: Basic Instinct (1992)

basic-instinctWith only three days left in the challenge, I have to choose my films wisely and watch films that I have always wanted to see. I remember when today’s film came out that I wasn’t allowed to watch it. For some strange reason, I just never bothered to watch Basic Instinct, but I did for today. Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) is a cop with a little bit of a troubled history. When a big time former Rock star gets murdered with an ice pick while having sex gets Nick signed on to the case to investigate. The only problem is that when he begins to investigate the only suspect in author Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) things begin to get dark as he uncovers the truth behind the murder. The film also stars George Dzundza (The Deer Hunter) as Gus, Jeanne Tripplehorn (The Firm) as Dr. Beth Garner, Denis Arndt (Metro) as Lieutenant Walker, Leilani Sarelle (Days Of Thunder) as Roxy, Bruce A. Young (Jurassic Park III) as Andrews, Chelcie Ross (Trouble With The Curve) as Captain Talcott, Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park) as John Corelli, Dorothy Malone (The Big Sleep) as Hazel Dobkins, Daniel Von Bargen (Super Troopers) as Lieutenant Nilsen, Stephen Tobolowsky (Mississippi Burning) as Dr. Lamott, Jack McGee (Crash) as Sheriff, and the film was directed by Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop).

basicThis was one intense film that I can definitely see why my mother didn’t want me to see it. There are so many sex scenes in this film or at least scenes involving nudity whether it be Sharon Stone or Jeanne Tripplehorn. It’s crazy, but that fact definitely does not overshadow the fact that the story is very interesting to begin with. The whole entire film, I was thinking I knew who the person that did it was, but then it tricks me into thinking that it was a different person to only leave me with a cliffhanger of sorts at the end of the film. The film’s story definitely leaves you wanting more when it is all said and done. I want to commend Michael Douglas, Tripplehorn, and Stone for putting on some great performances in the film If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know if this film would have been the same and Sharon was perfect for the role. She was mysterious, seductrive, and smart which was made her very sexy and desirable in my opinion. The cinematography was pretty good, but the car chase scenes were a little weak in my opinion. Other than that, it was a solid film and I really enjoyed it. I highly reccommend the film to anyone that loves sexy mystery thrillers and its definitely NSFW (Not Safe For Work). I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 356: The Dead Pool (1988)

maxresdefault-1I figured since We have been watching all of the Dirty Harry films with the one and the only Clint Eastwood (Sudden Impact) and I figured we’d finish off the series. Do not confuse today’s film The Dead Pool with that hilarious Marvel Comics movie because this one is based off a twisted game. The Dead Pool is a game where they write a list of celebrities that each person believes will die within the year an the person with the most deaths wins the game. It all becomes a little real though when a musician is found dead and his name is on the very list of a director (Liam Neeson). Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is put on the case as more and more celebrities start to turn up dead that are all linked to the director. The film also stars Patricia Clarkson (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) as Samantha Walker, Jim Carrey (The Number 23) as Johnny Squares, Evan C. Kim (V) as Al Quan, David Hunt (Jade) as Harlan Rook, Michael Goodwin (Stuck In Love) as Lt. Ackerman, Michael Currie (Sudden Impact) as Captain Donnelly, Anthony Charnota (The Rookie) as Lou Janero, Victoria Bastel (The Video Dead) as Suzanne Dayton, and the film was directed by Buddy Van Horn (Any Which Way You Can). To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

Day 333: Hearts In Atlantis (2001)

heartsThe film I chose for today wasn’t even a film that I was planning on viewing for today. You see the thing is how can I say no first of all to a film that was based on a Stephen King novel and how could I say no second of all to a film that stars Anton Yelchin (Green Room). The film Hearts In Atlantis follows middle aged Bobby Garfield (David Morse) who attends a friends funeral and starts to recollect his past and one particular year when he was 11 years old (played by Yelchin). Bobby lives with his single mother Liz (Hope Davis) who is hopeless and clueless to what really matters in her life. That all begins to change one day when a mysterious man named Ted (Anthony Hopkins) shows up on their door step as he begins to change their lives to show them what really matters in life. The only problem is that Ted is in trouble and he entrusts Bobby for help against the Low Men. The film also stars Mika Boorem (Blue Crush) as Carol Gerber, Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) as Monte Man, Adam LeFevre (Hitch) as Don Biderman, Will Rothhaar (Kingpin) as John Sullivan, Timothy Reifsnyder (Wide Awake) as Harry Doolin, Celia Watson (Observe And Report) as Alana Files, and the film was directed by Scott Hicks (The Lucky One).

heartsinatlantisfilmThe funny thing about this films is who knew that six years later that Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin would play mother and son again in Charlie Bartlett? She’s not a completely hopeless mother in this film because she’s functional, but she is clueless just like she is in the other film. This film features a young Anton Yelchin and he was just as brilliant then as he was right before he passed away. He was masterful as that young child that is full of hope towards the future that the brilliant Anthony Hopkins character can see it. That is why he gives Bobby the gift of being able to see a bright future. While there is plenty of drama in the film, the mystery part is the most interesting part of the film in my opinion. You see Hopkin’s character is on the run from something and we begin to find out what and who as he let’s Bobby in on it slowly. The premise of it is different and interesting and you wonder if the Government really did try enlisting psychics to find communist spies? I loved the story of the film and I love how the film was set in the 1950’s with the outfits, cars, etc. The 50’s is one of my favorite decades besides the 1980’s because it looked like a simpler time so you know I loved the sets and props in the film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because I truly enjoyed it.

Day 293: Phenomena (1985)

phenomena_fb_08The only questions I have is who isn’t a fan of Oscar Award winning actress Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and who isn’t a fan of Italian horror legend Dario Argento (Suspiria)? Those are definitely the questions I asked when I decided to watch Phenomena for today’s film. Jennifer Corvino (Connelly) is the daughter of a famous Hollywood director who is going to be staying at a school in Switzerland. What the kids at the school do not realize is that even though she is a sleepwalker, she has an amazing ability where she can communicate with insects. That amazing ability will come in handy when a series of murders are occurring near the school as she is asked to use the ability to track down the killer. The film also stars Donald Pleasence (Halloween) as Professor John McGregor, Daria Nicolodi (Deep Red) as Frau Brückner, Fiore Argento (Demons) as Vera Brandt, Federica Mastroianni (State buoni se potete) as Sophie, Fiorenza Tessari (I’ll Do It Tonight) as Gisela Sulzer, Dalila Di Lazzaro (Flesh For Frankenstein) as Headmistress, Patrick Bauchau (A View To A Kill) as Inspector Rudolf Geiger, Davide Marotta (The Passion Of The Christ) as Brückner Son, and the film was directed by Dario Argento. To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

Day 285: Isle Of The Dead (1945)

img_6490I’ve said it on my other blog and that is I am always trying to find new and different ways to watch films. I am a huge fan of classic horror and that is where the Turner Classic Movies APP Watch TCM comes into play. So for today’s film, I chose to use the app and watch the film Isle Of The Dead which was released in 1945. It’s 1912 and Greece has been in a very long war that has worn out a lot of men. Gen. Nikolas Pherides (Boris Karloff) a.k.a. The Watchdog, is definitely one of those men especially known for his stuff and unrelenting tactics. One day after visiting an island in the Balkans, the general is afraid that a plague is spreading among the residents so he forces a quarantine lock down. During the lock down however, fear that one of the people in the house is a vampire begins to spread and chaos ensues. The film also stars Ellen Drew (The Man From Colorado) as Thea, Marc Cramer (The Bachelor and the Ballot) as Oliver Davis, Alan Napier (Marnie) as St. Aubyn, Ernst Deutsch (The Golem) as Dr. Drossos, Helene Thimig (Cloak And Dagger) as Madame Kyra, and the film was directed by Mark Robson (Valley Of The Dolls). To see the rest of the review please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

Day 268: The Boy Next Door (2015)

the-boy-next-doorFor today’s film, I had to choose something quick to watch due to time constraints and I have always admired the work of Jennifer Lopez (Selena). I never got the chance to see The Boy Next Door in theaters, but I am watching it for today’s film. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire Peterson, a woman dealing with whether she should stay with her cheating husband or move on. One day her son Kevin (Ian Nelson) befriends the mysterious boy next door Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). In one vulnerable moment one night, she sleeps with Noah and it turns out to be a very big mistake. Noah has a bit of an obsession problem and after Claire tries to tell him that it can never happen again, Noah goes nuts and the game begins. The film also stars John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Garrett Peterson, Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther) as Vicky Lansing, Lexi Atkins (Zombeavers) as Alice Callahan, Hill Harper (He Got Game) as Principal Warren, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Bob Sandborn, Adam Hicks (How To Eat Fried Worms) as Jason Zimmer, François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Detective Chou, and the film was directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).

boy-next-5-800What can I truly say about the film other than that if you’ve seen one film about an obsessed individual than you kind of seen them all. The question in screenwriting is always what does your story bring to the table that is different than any other one. We’ve seen these types of films before like Fatal Attraction, Fear, The Gift, Devil In The Flesh, and even The Crush just to name a few. I think the thing about this film that is different than the others is that it explores that taboo teacher/student relationship because she is a teacher and he is technically a student at the school. Ryan Guzman does deserve some credit in this film because he does an amazing job playing the obsessed individual. He captures the essence of a kid who is strong and sexually desirable by women while also being vindictive and destructive when he doesn’t get what he wants. Jennifer Lopez well is Jennifer Lopez, she’s sexy as hell and why wouldn’t you be obsessed with that after you’ve had a taste. This film isn’t anything groundbreaking and it’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s worth a watch. The cinematography is actually pretty decent and is probably what is most attractive about the film. The film is available to watch on HBO and HBOGO as we speak so check it out if you dare. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

Day 248: Morgan (2016)

morgan-film-page-header-s1-front-main-stageSociety has always had the need and the want or desire to play God throughout history of cinema (e.g. Frankenstein, Ex Machina). Of course like all of them, they are usually destined to be doomed. So for today’s film, I chose to watch the newest film in Artificial Intelligence entitled Morgan. Morgan (Anya Taylor Joy) is a new breed of artificial intelligence kind of humanoid that was breed as an organism by scientists as an experiment. One afternoon, Morgan has sort of a metal lapse and she attacks a scientist. The corporate company that is paying for the experiment decides that it wants to send in a risk-management consultant by the name of Lee Weathers (Kate Mara). Lee must decide whether Morgan is a valued asset or to terminate a dangerous asset. The film also stars Rose Leslie (The Last Witch Hunter) as Dr. Amy Menser, Michael Yare (Game Of Thrones) as Ted, Toby Jones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Dr. Simon Ziegler, Chris Sullivan (Stranger Things) as Darren, Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) as Skip, Vinette Robinson (Sherlock) as Brenda, Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as Dr. Cheng, Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) as Kathy, and the film was directed by Luke Scott (Loom).

morgan-luke-scottThe idea for the film was there and for the most part they did a fine job, but maybe the execution didn’t go off as planned. The first part of the film is kind of boring as it’s getting you up to speed with what is going on and exactly who Morgan is. The real excitement in my opinion is when Paul Giamatti shows up to test Morgan as to whether she is an asset for the company or not. That is when the intensity of the film really starts to build up because for a while all you get are pieces of a secret until that secret is finally revealed to you as to why she was locked in the box again. Giamatti is really just there to mess with her mind and prove that she in fact is not human and therefore is not capable of feeling real emotions. He is a ball buster and the only one who is going against science. I didn’t recognize Anna Taylor Joy until I saw that she was in the film The Witch. She was phenomenal in that film and she did a pretty good job in this one as well. One thing that I will say is that she was kind of freaky looking to me which might have been a very small aspect for what they were going for. The one thing I didn’t understand was what was the point of the character of Skip? He really doesn’t serve a real purpose in the film, but he’s just there. There’s a big twist at the end of the film, but if you do the math you’ll figure it out as soon as it happens. I saw the ending coming as soon as it started to unfold which doesn’t bother me too much, but they could have done better with that. Overall, it’s just an OK film that was looking to explore a different aspect of A.I. in cinema. I commend them for that, but it won’t change my grade this time. I am going to give the film an C+ for a final grade.

Day 231: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

hail-ceasarSometimes there are films that come out that either get a bad review or there just not in the theaters that long that I overlook them. That was definitely the case with today’s film Hail, Caesar! which was gone before I got around to seeing it. The film stars Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Hollywood Fixer Eddie Mannix who works for Capitol Studios. Eddie has a lot on his plate with having to take a western star (Alden Ehrenreich) and shuffle him to a completely different genre, trying to hide a pregnancy out of wedlock from the public eye, and even trying to figure out who kidnapped his lead star (George Clooney) during the middle of filming a really big epic movie. It’s either that or he accepts a job to work in a completely different field. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Laurence Laurentz, Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) as DeeAnna Moran, Tilda Swinton (Moonrise Kingdom) as Thora/ Thessaly Thacker, Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) as Burt Gurney, Frances McDormand (Fargo) as C.C. Calhoun, Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street) as Joe Silverman, Veronica Osorio (Diego And Valentina) as Carlotta Valdez, Alison Pill (Milk) as Mrs. Mannix, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Communist Writer, and the film was directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen (No Country For Old Men).

hailI am a huge fan of the olden days of Hollywood and America at the time with the fashion, hairstyles, and just the way of life. So it’s easy for me to say that I really enjoyed that aspect of the film, but as far as the overall film was concerned, I didn’t think it was a great film. I thought the film was relatively OK for a Cohen’s brothers movie. The film for a while seemed to be a behind the scenes look at what went down in the classic Hollywood era of the big studios and the way they covered up scandals from the press. The kidnapping of George Clooney’s character to me seemed more like a side story than the main focus of the film which kind of bothered me, but usually anything that was happening it always went back to it. Some of the things I enjoyed watching was how the films were made and the big scenes that we saw like the pool scene with Scarlet or the bar scene with Channing. Those were some of the cool moments of the film that maybe people overlooked. The film was also commentary on the ideals of those times especially with the paranoia of communism. That was a big issue back in those days and the writers are the ones that organize it in this film. They feel they need more recognition than they get which was also maybe a sign of the times then. It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not great either. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. Rent it from Redbox or On demand if it’s available.

Day 229: The Number 23 (2007)

number 23The film that I chose for today was one that always peaked my interest, but I never pulled the trigger because I was always weary of Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) doing anything other than comedy. Nevertheless, the film I chose for today is The Number 23 and Carrey plays dog catcher Walter Spearow. One day, Walter’s wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen) buys him a mysterious book simple called Number 23 for his birthday. After reading deep into it, Walter starts becoming obsessed with the number and starts to find that just about everything equals the number 23. Walter then begins to suspect that there could be some correlation between the book and real life so he sets out to find the author to figure out the answers. The film also stars Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Isaac French/Dr. Miles Phoenix, Logan Lerman (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) as Robin Sparrow, Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Suicide Blonde, Rhona Mitra (Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans) as Laura Tollins, Michelle Arthur (Fun With Dick And Jane) as Sybil, Ed Lauter (Trouble With The Curve) as Father Sebastian, Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers) as Dr. Mortimer, Corey Stroll (Ant-Man) as Sgt. Burns, and the film was directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever).

number 23 1This was definitely an interesting film and an interesting role for Jim Carrey to take, but it was definitely a cool role for him. He definitely stepped it up in this film and proved that he could do films that were not comedies. The concept of the actual number 23 in the film was interesting, but to become obsessed with it is one for those that believe in conspiracy theories. What I loved about the film was how most characters portrayed two characters in the film when Jim’s character reads the book and he narrates. The story that you see unfold in front of you is actually a very cool one that has that detective crime story feel to it that definitely kept me glued. The real part of the story that was the best for me was the very end when all about the origin of the book is finally revealed to you onscreen. It was a text book thing that I should have seen coming, but I actually didn’t. It was just sitting there in front of my face and then it gets revealed and my reaction was of course it was. The tone of the film is very dark with lots of reds and out of focus shots that help tell the eerie story as it unfolds in front of us. I couldn’t believe that the film is less than a decade old it cause it seems like it came out forever ago, but I think if you’re a fan of mystery thrillers like this then you should give it a shot. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.