The finish line is so close at this point and I can see it which is super exciting as the challenge comes to a close soon. When I saw the trailer for today’s film Passengers, I thought that this film could either be a 2001: A Space Odyssey rip off or it could carve it’s own way into the annals of Sci-Fi greatness. Nevertheless, I chose to watch it for today’s film cause it features a couple of superstars in my opinion. There are always issues that are raised with the planet Earth like pollution or over population that we are always imagining if we could inhabit other worlds. That is why the Starship Avalon is on a 120 year journey through space to inhabit a new world known as Homestead II and all of it’s passengers are in a deep hibernation sleep. That is until Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2) who plays passenger Jim Preston is woken up 90 years too early. With 90 years ahead of you what are you to do, well you try to enjoy it and that is what he attempts to do with fellow awoken passenger Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) until problems with the shop become evident which could derail the journey all together. The film also stars Michael Sheen (Nocturnal Animals) as Arthur, Laurence Fishburne (Mystic River) as Gus Mancuso, and the film was directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).
Spoiler Alert: There is going to be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away some details or all the details in the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. You are probably why I didn’t list a lot of actors above and that is because while the film does list Andy Garcia, Julee Cerda, and some others, they are merely just cameo appearances compared to the work that Pratt, Sheen, Lawrence, and Fishburne put in. As I said above, I thought this was going to be the modern day 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it really wasn’t because it was it’s own film. If you are alone on a ship and you have 90 years to go before you land on a new planet (which you obviously won’t be alive to see), what are you going to do with the time? That is the exact question that Chris Pratt’s character is faced with and he makes a very difficult and selfish decision, but it creates one of the big turning point conflicts in the script besides the ship’s problems. The ending of the film is very cliche in how it ends which is my only complaint. It’s one of those endings that you are hoping for something different, but they give you the one you expected all along. Otherwise, the acting was great in where two actors were really able to hold your attention for the whole film which can be just as difficult as only one. Check this one in theaters now, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
We only have so many days left in the year so I am trying to be selective about what films I choose for the challenge. For today’s film, I wanted to clean up my Netflix queue a little so I decided to watch the 1981 military drama Taps. Life at Bunker Hill Military Academy is business as usual with cadets coming in and cadets leaving to bigger and better things under the watchful eye of the acclaimed General Bache (George C. Scott). After being appointed the new Major, Cadet Major Moreland (Timothy Hutton) finds out that the school is going to be shut down in favor of condos. After an accidental shooting takes their beloved general away and speeds up the closing process, Moreland and the cadets take a stand and they take over the school. The film also stars Sean Penn (Mystic River) as Cadet Captain Dwyer, Tom Cruise (Top Gun) as Cadet Captain Shawn, Evan Handler (Sex And The City) as Edward West, Giancarlo Esposito (The Jungle Book) as Cadet Captain Pierce, Ronny Cox (RoboCop) as Colonel Kerby, Billy Van Zandt (Anything But Love) as Bug, Donald Kimmel (As Luck Would Have It) as Billy Harris, Wayne Tippit (Nurse Betty) as Master Sergeant Kevin Moreland, and the film was directed by Harold Becker (City Hall).
You know I often wonder if Tom Cruise and Sean Penn knew what kind of megastars they’d end up becoming during the 80’s. They are definitely two of my favorite actors to emerge from that decade along with some others. Timothy Hutton proves in this film that he can give some strong performances because he did in this one. They definitely captured the essence of what it means to be a kid who is forced to try and act like an adult in a world that when they step up for something, they are once again treated like children. That is definitely the eternal struggle for kids who were brainwashed that there are far worse things in life then death by a man who has known nothing other than that lifestyle. The great thing about this film is that it emulates war movies where in the beginning you are gung-ho about the battle at hand then when the film continues on, it starts showing scenes of war is hell as the soldiers begin to crack or in this case the cadets. I loved the cinematography in the film especially the final scene where you may be shocked by what happens or if you are like me you had an idea of what was about to happen. Sean Penn does such an amazing job in the film and I would consider it a stellar performance as well as Tom Cruise who plays that war monger character who is just inching to become Rambo. The film is available on Netflix like I said, but for right now I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
One of my favorite childhood memories was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles whether it was the original cartoon series or the original films. With the series back in action, I decided to take the chance and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. In the second film of the reboot series, the turtles Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) are still living in the shadows because they feel society is not ready for them. With the threat of Shredder (Brian Tee) out on the loose and a giant Rhino and Warthog causing havoc, the duo are forced to come out and try to save New York City from a threat they never thought imaginable from another dimension. The film also stars WWE Superstar Sheamus as Rocksteady, Gary Anthony Williams (The Internship) as Bebop, Megan Fox (Jennifer’s Body) as April O’Neill, Will Arnett (The Lego Movie) as Vernon Fenwick, Stephen Amell (Arrow) as Casey Jones, Tyler Perry (Diary Of A Mad Black Woman) as Baxter Stockman, Tony Shalhoub (Monk) as Splinter, Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Krang, Laura Linney (Mystic River) as Chief Vincent, Brittany Ishibashi (Everything Before Us) as Karai, Jane Wu (Captain America: Civil War) as Jade, and the film was directed by Dave Green (Earth To Echo).
I have to admit that I liked this film better than the first one because they kind of got it right with this one. I was super pumped to see Bebop and Rocksteady in the film and they were awesome. They were everything you would expect from them and major props to Sheamus for a job well done in this one. I was also very happy to see Krang and how they made him look in the film. It was a cool nod to the cartoon version of Krang especially with his robotic body. One thing that was a major improvement from the first film to this one was Shredder as he went from Super Shredder in the first film to a bad ass looking Shredder in this one. Although I do have to say that I could of used a little more Shredder than we were given, but that’s OK because we had Bebop and Rocksteady. The movie had plenty of action that keeps you glued to your seat and plenty of comedy especially from my favorite turtle Michelangelo. One of my favorite moments in the film is when the duo is in Brazil and Raphael hits the water and he sees a regular turtle on the shore. I just thought it was a funny moment between the two. I also love the battle scene between Casey Jones and Bebop and Rocksteady. It was a game of wits between the three and we can all imagine who came out on top. This was a step in the right direction for the series and I can only hope that maybe we’ll get one more, but I am not sure. It definitely made more money than what it cost to make so here’s to hoping for a third film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
There are stories in the world that truly capture the imagination when you hear them and sometimes it’s so incredible its hard to believe. Then there are miracles that happen in the world that you just want to know the incredible story behind them. That was definitely the case with US Airways Flight 1549 which was a flight that left New York’s LaGuardia Airport and landed in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 which is explored in the new film Sully. Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) plays former US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger a.k.a Sully, a pilot who had to make a snap decision after losing both his engines due to birds flying into them on that faithful day. The film explores the aftermath of the event and all of the questioning he faced afterwards as to whether it was the right choice to make. The film also stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Jeff Skiles, Valerie Mahaffey (Senior Trip) as Diane Higgins, Mike O’Malley (R.I.P.D.) as Charles Porter, Jamey Sheridan (Spotlight) as Ben Edwards, Anna Gunn (Red State) as Elizabeth Davis, Holt McCallany (Fight Club) as Mike Cleary, Laura Linney (Mystic River) as Lorraine Sullenberger, Molly Hagan (Election) as Doreen Welsh, Ann Cusack (Stigmata) as Donna Dent, and the film was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby).
Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. I have always thought that the story is absolutely incredible and one that should be told for the ages. The film at first focused more on the aftermath of the whole event as it focused on Sully struggling with what happened and the committee not believing Sully. The issue with them not believing Sully is because of simulations saying that they could’ve made it back to either LaGuardia or the airport in Newark. So, the film is Sully’s hunt to prove that he wasn’t wrong and that he made the right choice. They eventually show you what happened on the plane twice which means two different points of view. One showing of the event starts with Sully and co. but then it switches to what the air traffic controller hears the whole time. Then when they are in a meeting, it goes from the point of view of everyone involved inside the plane, but more importantly through Sully. The man was a hero for what he did and the committee was literally treating him like he may have gone senile or had a nervous breakdown. I thought that the film was very good, but not great. It felt like it was just cruising along for the most part and I felt that the landing should have been the focus point of the beginning of the film rather than starting with the investigation. If you never knew about the event, you might have been confused about the beginning of the film. Nonetheless, as I said it was a very good film, but if you plan on flying you may not want to watch this till afterwards. I am going to give the film a grade somewhere between an B+/A- because the acting was great and the story was good.
So, I have been ranking the top 25 for each month in the challenge and I am about to up the ante by ranking the top 25 films of the first quarter of 2016. That is right, I am going to rank the top 25 films of the first quarter which means all the films from January up to April which makes it the first quarter of the year. Just in case you were wondering what didn’t make the list, well it’s simple, it’s whatever movies are not listed in this list. There are some films that are still the clear cut top films and some that may surprise you. Check it out below:
25. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
23. Cinderella Man
22. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
20. Kingsman: The Secret Service
17. The Hateful Eight
16. The Dark Crystal
15. Midnight Cowboy
14. The Gift
13. The Fifth Element
12. Bridge Of Spies
11. City Of God
10. The Good Dinosaur
7. Alice In Wonderland
4. Mystic River
2. The Jungle Book
It is that time again since march is now in the books that I have to rate what I believed to be the top 25 films of March. To remind you, I will look at all the films I watched and I will rate them from 25 to 1 with one obviously being my favorite film of that particular month. At the end of the year I will rate the top 25 of the year if I make it to that point and hopefully I do. Obviously there are films that are left behind from the list considering some months have 30 and 31 days, we had to leave six films out because of the 3 days in March. The films that were left out were Taken 3, Hot Bot, Hell And Back, Bulworth, Johnny Mnemonic, and Diablo. Here is the top 25 for the month of March:
25. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
23. All The Right Moves
22. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
21. IP Man: The Final Fight
20. Pee Wee’s Big Holiday
19. Smokin Aces
18. 10 Cloverfield Lane
17. Sucker Punch
16. The Jacket
15. The Night Before
14. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
13. IP Man
12. IP Man 2
11. Nymphomaniac: Vol. II
10. Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
09. The Big Lebowski
07. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
06. Midnight Cowboy
05. Bridge Of Spies
03. City Of God
01. Mystic River
Out of all the films that have been filmed in and round the city of Boston, Mystic River was one of those films that I had never seen before. I figured what better place then here and what better time than now to review the film with an amazing cast and director. Mystic River stars Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) as Jimmy Markum, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) as Dave Boyle, and Kevin Bacon (Footloose) as Sean Devine, three childhood friends who drifted apart after a tragic event in their childhood. Unfortunately, all three men will be reunited after it’s discovered that Jimmy’s daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) was brutally murdered. The film also stars Laurence Fishburne (Boyz N The Hood) as Det. Whitey Powers, Marcia Gay Harden (The Mist) as Celeste Boyle, Laura Linney (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Annabeth Markum, Kevin Chapman (Blow) as Val Savage, Tom Guiry (The Sandlot) as Brendan Harris, Spencer Treat Clark (Gladiator) as Silent Ray Harris, Robert Wahlberg (The Departed) as Kevin Savage, Jenny O’Hara (The King Of Queens) as Esther Harris, Adam Nelson (The Abyss) as Nick Savage, Ari Graynor (For A Good Time, Call…) as Eve Pigeon, and the film was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby).
This was an amazing film from Clint Eastwood, who seems to have never directed a bad one in his career. This is one of those films that will leave you speechless when you find out who the killer is because it’s one of those I should have seen that coming. The whole time, you are ready to throw one of the characters up sh** creek because you think for sure that he/she is guilty and then they throw a curve ball at you. That is truly what I love about movies like this, I don’t want it to be predictable. I want to think that I have the person and then be shocked when it’s revealed. As far as the acting is concerned, you have Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins all in one film. That alone should speak for itself as far as quality is concerned and then you throw in Laurence Fishburne and that is the cherry on top. If I had o pick an MVP of the film, It would be a toss up between Penn and Robbins, but there is one performance no one talks about. I think Marcia Gay Harden does a great job playing the wife who is all torn up inside as to what she should do regarding what she thinks she knows. That was a powerful performance as well from her in the film. The cinematography is in the film is great as it comes complete with some great shots of the city of Boston. It was a great movie overall and you can’t go wrong by picking this one up. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade. It was definitely a great film to close the month of March.