In the past six years or so, there seems to be this formula in Hollywood where you take well established actors and you turn them into action stars (e.g. Taken, The Gunman, The Equalizer). That is definitely the case with today’s film Criminal. Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent who holds some valuable information that a crazy anarchist wants. After he is killed, his memories are implanted into the mind the of criminal by the name of Jericho (Kevin Costner) who isn’t fully mentally developed. The hope is that Jericho will lead the CIA to a man by the name of the Dutchman (Michael Pitt) who holds a program that could destroy the world before the anarchist does. The film also stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) as Quaker Wells, Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Dr. Franks, Jordi Mollà (Bad Boys II) as Xavier Heimdahl, Gal Gadot (Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Jill Pope, Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Marta Lynch, Antje Traue (Man Of Steel) as Elsa, Scott Adkins (The Expendables II) as Agent Greensleves, Lara Decaro (The Infiltrator) as Emma Pope, Amaury Nolasco (2 Fast 2 Furious) as Esteban Ruiza, and the film was directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). To see the rest of the review and check out the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
I want to start off by wishing everyone a happy and safe fourth of July. While yesterday’s film was loosely based on a true story, today’s film Everest claims to be based on a true story of the 1996 tragedy. Ever since the first person to successfully climb Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953, people have been obsessed by making the climb which is 29,000 plus feet in the air. In 1996, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) led an expedition to the top of Mount Everest, but what was supposed to be a triumphant occasion quickly went south. While up at the top of the summit, a wild and crazy storm hits the mountain forcing all the men to fight for their lives as they try to make the trek back down the mountain. The film also stars Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men) as Beck Weathers, Jake Gyllenhaal (Zodiac) as Scott Fischer, Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation) as Guy Cotter, Emily Watson (Red Dragon) as Helen Wilton, Tim Dantay (Summer) as John Taske, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me) as John Krakauer, Naoko Mori (Spice World) as Yasuko Namba, John Hawkes (Lincoln) as Doug Hansen, Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Andy Harris, Keira Knightley (Domino) as Jan Hall, and the film was directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns).
Before I get into what is fact and what is fiction about a film that clearly says that it’d BASED on a true story, I wanted to say that I really loved the film. There were way too many names to list in the above paragraph, but this was just an excellent film with excellent performances all around. Jason Clarke is a superstar and is becoming one of my favorites in the business and you can’t go wrong with the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal or Josh Brolin. It was truly an all star cast in my opinion in a film that could have gone one or two ways. This could have been a boring film about mountain climbing, but it ended up being a story about the power of belief and the will of man. These men faced unbelievable odds while climbing the mountain and while I said what was supposed to be a day of triumph turned into tragedy. Apparently John Krakauer has said this about the film, “It’s total bull … Anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read Into Thin Air.” After watching the film, he was annoyed at the notion that he never attempted to help anyone on the rescue mission, he says, “I never had that conversation. Anatoli came to several tents, and not even Sherpas could go out. I’m not saying I could have, or would have. What I’m saying is, no one came to my tent and asked.” To read the rest of the article, click here. There is always going to be differentiating opinions on what really happened in a film, you just have to take it or leave it. I shed some tears at certain parts of the film that I won’t give away, but it has to do with Rob and his wife Jan. Check out the film on HBO or HBOGO right now. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
So, you have survived being on an island that was full of Dinosaurs like the T-Rex that could kill you. What is the one thing that you definitely do not want to see or hear about again? Well, I can guarantee that it’s not about another island full of Dinosaurs which is exactly the problem in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Mr. Hammond (Richard Attenborough) is sick and is about to lose his company to his snot nosed nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard). So, he contacts Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in hopes that he can go to an island that also contained Dinosaurs called The Lost World before his nephew does. Unfortunately, they both arrive at the same time with the nephew coming with some big game hunters, but it ends up turning into a rescue mission. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Sarah, Vince Vaughn (Old School) as Nick, Pete Postlethwaite (The Town) as Roland Tembo, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Dieter, Richard Schiff (Man Of Steel) as Eddie, Thomas F. Duffy (Independence Day) as Dr. Robert Burke, Thomas Rosales Jr. (No Country For Old Men) as Carter, Camilla Belle (10,000 BC) as Cathy Bowman, and the film was one again directed by Stephen Spielberg.
It is always tough to repeat the success or the magic of a first film when you are planning to do a sequel. There is the mentality that sequels are never better than the first films and I would say that is true with this one. While I actually really liked the film, I didn’t think that it was better than Jurassic Park. The film had it’s cool moments with the Velociraptors in the compound, but the sequence in Jurassic Park with them is better and scarier. The only thing I will give this film credit for is that they made the T-Rex’s a little more bad ass and they actually eat humans in this one. I just thought that this film was a little more cartoonish at times if that makes sense at all to anyone whereas the first film was very serious. Jeff Goldblum was well Jeff Goldblum so what more could you ask for from that. I have to say that I didn’t know that Vince Vaughn was in this film and I was very impressed with his performance because he just nailed it perfectly. The late Pete Postlethwaite was just absolutely amazing as the big game hunter excited about his new game that he is hunting who kind of has a change of heart as the film goes on or at least he reassess what he wants to do. This was a decent sequel for a great franchise and all I have to do is watch one more film and I am caught up. For a final grade, I am going to give this one an A-. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak.