There are movies for this challenge that I promised myself that I was going to watch before it was over and today’s film is one of those said films. One of the greatest composers of the 18TH century was the virtuoso Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and for today’s film I decided to watch the 1984 film Amadeus. Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) likes to believe that he is a great composer and writer of classical music, but he had to work hard for it. Unlike his counterpart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) who was born with a natural talent and ability that it drives Salieri mad with jealousy. The film is Salieri’s take on what drove him to the point that he would actually murder the young prodigy. The film also stars Elizabeth Berridge (The Funhouse) as Constanze Mozart, Roy Dotrice (Hellboy II: The Golden Army) as Leopold Mozart, Christine Ebersole (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Katerina Cavalieri, Jeffrey Jones (The Crucible) as Emperor Joseph II, Kenneth McMillan (Dune) as Michael Schlumberg, Charles Kay (Henry V) as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Lorl, Kenny Baker (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) as Parody Commendatore, Simon Callow (James And The Giant Peach) as Emanuel Schikaneder, and the film was directed by Milos Forman (The People Vs Larry Flynt).
I just want to warn all of you with short attention spans that this film is a little over three hours long so if you can handle it then proceed. Amadeus is definitely one of those films that they went all out for because it has an amazing score, amazing set designs, amazing costumes, and most importantly great acting that makes it complete. The soundtrack features so much as far as amazing 18TH century classical music and amazing opera music that should satisfy any fan of that genre. The set designs and costumes were so amazing that it actually makes you feel like you are walking and living in 18TH Century Austria which is what a time period piece is supposed to do in the first place. One thing I do know is that this is actually a fictionalized look at the life of Mozart or at least the idea of Salieri killing Mozart. Mozart died of an illness that is often debated as to what it was exactly. When he was working on his Requiem, it said that he dictated in bed to one of his proteges and not Salieri (although this is not proven either). F. Murray Abraham was absolutely brilliant in his portrayal of a man driven with jealousy and hatred toward God and Mozart. Tom Hulce is brilliant as the virtuoso who if he was a lead singer he would have had LSD (Lead Singers Disease). He knew he was amazing and he wasn’t afraid to show it. I was a little skeptical of Jeffrey Jones playing an Austrian Emperor, but he does a pretty good job at it. You really have to love classical music and Mozart to want to watch this film, but I am a fan of music so I loved it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
One of the greatest actors to come out of the 1990’s is Denzel Washington (Malcolm X) who is money when it comes to his films. He has a movie called Fences coming out on Christmas which is gaining a lot of critical acclaim, but to celebrate his career, I decided to check out He Got Game. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel)has been in jail for six years after the death of his wife which has forced his son Jesus Shuttlesworth (NBA Legend Ray Allen) to be the man of the house. You see Jesus is also an unbelievable basketball player for his high school who hasn’t made a decision as to where he wants to go or do after high school. Jake is given a chance to exit jail to try and convince his son to go to a certain school so that his sentence can be cut short. The film also stars Milla Jovovich (Zoolander 2) as Dakota Burns, Rosario Dawson (Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis) as Lala, Hill Harper (CSI: NY) as Booger, Zelda Harris (The Baby-Sitters Club) as Mary Shuttlesworth, Ned Beatty (Deliverance) as Warden Wyatt, Jim Brown (Mars Attacks) as Spivey, Joseph Lyle Taylor (The Dark Knight Rises) as Crudup, Bill Nunn (Spider-Man 3) as Uncle Bubba, John Turturro (The Color Of Money) as Coach Sunday, Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster) as Big Time Willie, and the film was written and directed by Spike Lee (Malcolm X).
This was one of those films that you are kind of glad they only made one just because one of the main actors was kind of awful. The film’s story is actually a very good story that kind of takes a look into what happens when someone from a poor area has some talent and has to deal with vultures trying to get theirs. But as I said before, Ray Allen is kind of an awful actor who has his moments in the film, but is also one of those guys who shouldn’t have transitioned into films.Now Denzel on the other hand puts on one heck of a performance as he always does as a man who is desperate to get his son to sign, but he is also enjoying his time out of prison. He also touches other peoples lives to wake them up to realize their potentials or what they are missing out on. His interaction with Milla Jovovich are awesome as she plays a prostitute that he feels bad for in a way. The film features some gritty moments and plenty of T&A as one college tries to persuade him to come to their school. I can imagine that those things happened in real life and I am kind of mad I never took sport serious enough in high school. The ending of the film to me is a little rushed and it sort of doesn’t make sense to me in a way while in a way it does. It just seems a little too quick that he spends years hating his father, but forgives him what seems quick. It was a decent film that any basketball fan may enjoy. I am going to give a B+ only because Allen and some other performances bothered me a little. Enjoy the cameos in the film from NBA coaches and players like Dean Smith, Lute Olson, John Chaney, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Shaq, etc.
I was looking around for a film to watch today and I wanted to look for a comedy because I was in that kind of a mood. So, when I logged on to my Netflix account I saw that I had an interesting film to watch on my Queue called The Late Bloomer. Peter Newmans (Johnny Simmons) is a successful sex therapist who is preaching that life is about abstinence to better yourself. What Peter doesn’t realize is that he has never in his life gone through puberty. Peter never knew that he had a tumor that has pressed against his pituitary gland and when he is operated on, his life changes completely including the fact that he has feelings for his neighbor and friend Michelle (Brittany Snow). Now what is he going to do about all of this? The film also stars J.K. Simmons (Zootopia) as James Newmans, Maria Bello (Lights Out) as Brenda Newmans, Kumail Nanjiani (Central Intelligence) as Rich, Beck Bennett (Zoolander 2) as Luke, Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) as Charlie, Jane Lynch (Mascots) as Caroline Chambers, Charlotte McKinney (Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser) as Attractive Woman, Blake Cooper (The Maze Runner) as Josh, Diana Lyubenova (Conan The Barbarian) as Marilyn, and the film was directed by Kevin Pollak (Vamped Out).
I honestly went into this film with an open mind because I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but when I realized the people that starred in this film I was a little more intrigued. The film has some great actors like J.K. Simmons and Maria Bello and it was directed by the awesome Kevin Pollak who is a great actor himself who was directing his first feature length film with this one. So one argument for the film that I saw online was that it was kind of like The 40 Year Old Virgin, but with a guy who isn’t really socially awkward like Steve Carell was and I beg to differ a little bit. While I loved The 40 Year Old Virgin, I definitely really enjoyed this one because it took the idea and it ran with it in a totally different direction. The funny connection between the two really is the fact that Jane Lynch starred in both films. This one has it’s raunchy moments and friends like the other one, but in a different way. Kumail Nanjiani was given the green light to be as nasty as he wanted to be and he succeeded because he and Beck Bennett made a great combo in this film like Rudd and Rogen. Alright, so I can’t really come up with too many differences because there is a crap ton of similarities in the structure of the story. You can’t knock the formula cause it worked and there were some real funny moments in this one. You also get treated to some T&A in the film which is definitely a plus. I am going to give the film a B+ only because it’s not completely original and not as completely funny as The 40 Year Old Virgin.
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.
I want to start off by wishing everyone a Happy and safe Thanksgiving. Some of us may be stuffing ourselves with food and we may start to think about dieting. What happens when a diet is forced upon you? Well that get’s answered with today’s film Heavy Weights. Gerry (Aaron Schwartz) just wants to have fun for his summer break from school, but that all changes when his parents force him to go to fat camp. The camp looks like it’s going to be fun until a new owner by the name of Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) comes along. Tony wants to film an infomercial proving that he can make fat kids lose weight so he can make the major bucks. The problem for him is the campers get sick of him and decide to retaliate. The film also stars Tom McGowan (Bad Santa) as Pat, Cody Burger (National Lampoon’s Christmas Christmas Vacation) as Cody, Allen Covert (Big Daddy) as Kenny, Shaun Weiss (The Mighty Ducks) as Josh, Tom Hodges (Stigmata) as Lars, Leah Lail (Little Nicky) as Julie, Kenan Thompson (Kenan and Kel) as Roy, Paul Feig (Ghostbusters) as Tim, Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover) as Maury Garner, Lauren Hill (The House Bunny) as Angelic Girl, and the film was directed by Steven Brill (Little Nicky). The film even features Judd Apatow who gets his first writing credit with the film.
I really honestly believe that if I had seen this back in the 90’s when it came out that I probably would have found this film funnier. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the film, but it’s just filled with 90’s esque kids comedy humor.Ben Stiller was absolutely amazing in the film and this was a time when he was still playing the jerk in films (like Happy Gilmore). He has some real memorable lines and moments in the film like when he escapes from his cage and he is trying to get back at Gerry and his dad. That whole sequence is classic Ben Stiller cause we’ve seen it in Dodgeball as well. There was also a Mighty Ducks Thing going on in this film with Keenan Thompson, Shaun Weiss, and Aaron Schwartz who all starred together in this film. We also see director Paul Feig act in this film which was crazy cause I didn’t realize that it was him. The cruel thing about this film is that some of the stereotypes are actually true when you are an 11 or 12 year old and you’re fat. There’s the scene where Tony invites an all girls camp to come to a dance with all the fat kids to try and prove a point to them that nobody wants them cause their fat. Other than that, the film has some funny moments to it and if you’re a fan of 90’s movies then this is one that should be on your list. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
Can you believe that after today there are only five more Sundays left in the whole entire year of 2016. For today’s Sunday at the Classics, I wanted to choose a film that was so iconic, I am even surprised I never watched it. The film I am talking about is the world famous Breakfast At Tiffani’s which was released in 1961. Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is a New York socialite who just love to be wild and free and able to do whatever she wants. She quickly becomes interested in a writer name Paul Varjak (The A-Team’s George Peppard) who has just moved into her building. Quickly the two become friends and get very close, but Paul will soon begin to discover that Holly is a little more complicated than he expected. The film also stars Martin Balsam (Tora! Tora! Tora!) as O.J. Berman, Alan Reed (Lady And The Tramp) as Sally Tomato, Mickey Rooney (The Fox And The Hound) as Mr. Yunioshi, José Luis de Vilallonga (Juliet Of The Spirits) as José da Silva Pereira, Stanley Adams (Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex* But Were Afraid To Ask) as Rusty Trawler, Buddy Ebsen (The Beverly Hillbillies) as Doc Golightly, and the film was directed by Blake Edwards (Revenge Of The Pink Panther).
At first I was trying hard to figure out what exactly the film was about because it just seemed that it was about a girl who was pretending to be something she’s not because she’s running away from her past. At times, you feel that Audrey Hepburns character has no idea exactly who she is, but she is kind of a snob or a gold digger. Throughout the whole film, she won’t commit to Paul because he’s not rich and she constantly called him by another name. That is until she is confronted finally by Paul that she comes to her senses because she finally figures out where she belongs. The thing I loved about this film are the cool romantic moments of the film like when they are challenging each other to do things that they had never done before. The thing that I didn’t like was how xenophobic Hollywood was back in 1961 in a time where Caucasian men played Native Americans and Asians. I don’t blame Mickey Rooney for taking the role, but Hollywood was notorious for that. They made Mr. Yunioshi a bumbling idiot and it is kind of offensive, but that is where the comedy is in the film. Nevertheless, this is an iconic film that I think everyone should check out. One of my favorite moments in the film as well was the scene where Paul hear’s Holly playing a song on her window sill. That is definitely a cool moment for the film that I will always remember from the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it was amazing and it’s a Hollywood classic.
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.
I know what you’re thinking, how in the hell has someone never seen the film Mean Girls and it’s 2016? I couldn’t give you an answer to that question, but nevertheless It’s today’s film. Everyone in the US knows that high school can be absolute hell where one wrong move can mean social suicide and Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is about to find that out. You see Cady isn’t from around here as she was home schooled for so many years. After becoming friends with an outcast in Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and the two come up with a plan to infiltrate a group known as The Plastics (the most popular girls in school). All of it works until Cady falls in love with Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), the ex-boyfriend of Alpha leader Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Now it’s just all out war as everything starts to unravel. The film also stars Tina Fey (Sisters) as Ms. Norbury, Tim Meadows (Grown Ups 2) as Mr. Duvall, Lacey Chabert (Party Of Five) as Gretchen Wieners, Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2) as Karen Smith, Daniel Franzese (I Spit On Your Grave) as Damian, Neil Flynn (The Middle) as Mr. Heron, Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory) as Mrs. Heron, Amy Poehler (Sisters) as Mrs. George, and the film was directed by Mark Waters (Freaky Friday).
One of the decisions I made in why I watched this film was the fact that I love Rachel McAdams and her work and the other was Lindsay Lohan. She seemed so innocent at this time and she was so beautiful. This was all before the problems broke out in her life and I guess some just can’t handle the fame. This is a film that has probably gone down as a classic because it looks as if it accurately describes high school life for young women. Everyone has gone to high school and they’ve had the same similar kind of people in your school which is why this film is easily relateable. The acting in the film is great especially from Rachel who portrays the alpha female with a fury and Amanda does a great job playing the dumb one. The film explores all of the issues most kids either still face or at least faced at the time of the release. So that means that Tina Fey who wrote the screenplay for the film definitely deserve some kudos for her work. The film had it’s hook in the beginning, it had it’s turning points both in the first half of the film and in the last half of the film when the main character is faced with the final dilemma. So, she definitely did her homework and she pulled it off. This film is definitely worth a watch especially if you are a fan of high school comedies. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
After 31 one straight days of Horror films, I am definitely ready to catch up and watch some movies that I have missed out on. Netflix has been producing some great comedies as of late and there was one that I just couldn’t wait to see and that is the mockumentary film Mascots which comes from the mind of Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap). Every year, there is a competition that looks at the unsung heroes of baseball games, football games, and various other sports in the Mascots. This mockumentary explores that world as it follows various mascots like Mike and Mindy Murray (Zach Woods and Sarah Baker), Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennett), Cindi Babineaux (Parker Posey), Tommy ‘Zook’ Zucarello (Chris O’Dowd), and Phil Mayhew (Christopher Moynihan) as they all fight for the award called the Golden Fluffy. The film also stars Kerry Godliman (Derek) as Sarah Golly, John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher) as Upton French, Jim Piddock (Best In Show) as Owen Golly Sr., Susan Yeagley (The Lucky Ones) as Laci Babineaux, Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbusters) as A.J. Blumquist, Jane Lynch (Glee) as Gabby Monkhouse, Don Lake (Zootopia) as Buddy Campbell, Fred Willard (WALL·E) as Greg Gammons, Jr, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) as Jolene Lumpkin, Bob Balaban (Ghost World) as Sol Lumpkin, and Michael Hitchcock (Glee) as Langston Aubrey.
I really loved this film because it’s everything you loved about mockumentaries like This Is Spinal Tap and it also helps that it was made by one of the stars of that film. He even makes a special appearance in the film as a guy named Corky and his chemistry with Parker Posey was incredible and hilarious. It also helped that the film featured so many funny people in one film that it was almost overload. This was a well written film with so many great subplots that helped drive the film forward as well as the main plot. One of my favorite parts of the film is when they finally get to the competition and you see all of the performances from the main guys and the hilarious reactions from the judges in the film. My favorite performance (if I was a judge) would go to the The Fist which was played by Chris O’Dowd probably because of the fact that he added an element of metal to his show. The other thing that I liked about the film is that they show you where all of the mascots are one year later. It definitely adds closure to some of the drama in the subplots that were presented to us. There was definitely some cliche comedy vices thrown in the film, but sometimes that is what makes them great. You have to give credit where credit is due to Netflix because they have produced some great stuff so far. If you have it, definitely give this film a shot if you haven’t already. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because it’s enjoyable to watch.
Halloween is now only two days away and I hope that all of you have been getting in the spirit of the holiday especially with Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween. I wanted to watch something cool for today and I really love anthology horror films so I chose to watch the new film Holidays. Holidays is an holiday anthology film that goes through the various holidays of the calendar year. For example, a girl wants to get her crush a heart so he can get the surgery he needs, it’s a St. Patrick’s Day version of Rosemary’s Baby, but with reptiles, the Easter bunny and Jesus, a girl willing to go to the beyond to find her long lost father, a webcam scumbag who won’t let his girls celebrate Halloween, and so many more. The film stars Lorenza Izzo (The Green Inferno) as Jean, Seth Green (Robot Chicken) as Pete Gunderson, Harley Quinn Smith (Tusk) as Holly, Ruth Bradley (Flyboys) as Elizabeth Cullen, Madeleine Coghlan (Share) as Maxine, Clare Grant (Walk The Line) as Sarah Gunderson, Harley Morenstein (Tusk) as Ian, Jocelin Donahue (Insidious: Chapter 2) as Carol, Andrew Bowen (Po) as Reggie, Ashley Greene (Yoga Hosers) as Bree, Savannah Kennick as Heidi, Sonja Kinski (Vinyl) as Crystal, Aleksa Palladino (Boardwalk Empire) as Persian, and many more. The film features the following directors Kevin Smith, Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Ellen Reid, Gary Shore, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, and Dennis Widmyer. To see the rest of the review, please click here.