As we close in on the end of our mission, there are films that are out there that are on my must see list and that is certainly true in regards to today’s film. One of the best actors to come out of the late 20TH century and well in the 21ST is Daniel Day-Lewis (The Crucible) and for today’s film we are watching There Will Be Blood which is based off of the book Oil! by Upton Sinclair. Daniel Plainview (Lewis) is a semi successful oil prospector who is looking for that piece of the pie that will set him for life. One day a young man by the name of Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) gives up some information on oil in California and it kicks off this story of family, religion, hatred, oil, and madness. The film also stars Paul F. Tompkins (Hell And Back) as Prescott, Dillon Freasier as H.W. Plainview, Ciaran Hinds (Bleed For This) as Fletcher, David Willis (The Good German) as Abel Sunday, Sydney McCallister as Mary Sunday, Kevin J. O’Connor (Peggy Sue Got Married) as Henry, David Warshofsky (Now You See Me) as H.M. Tilford, Hans Howes (Death Warrant) as Bandy, Russell Harvard (The Hammer) as Adult H.W., and the film was directed by aul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights).
Right from beginning to end, Daniel Day-Lewis is intense and he commands the screen like any great star. Can you believe that right now he has only 29 films to his credit? He’s definitely one of those actors that doesn’t need to star in five films a year which means he chooses his roles and this was made for him. He was definitely the star of the film, but he’s not the only one who shined in the film. Paul Dano at first is a little confusing because he is first known as Paul Sunday, but then all of a sudden he is known as Eli Sunday. I didn’t realize that he was playing two different characters, but his performance as an early version of a evangelist was brilliant. It’s a constant war between Eli and Daniel throughout the film, but it all boils down to greed on both their parts. The film was excellently written as the story flows nicely, but there’s more than just oil. There’s the family angle between Daniel and his son H.W. that is a big factor as well. One of the coolest scenes in the film is the oil well that burns up in flames which could have been looked at as a disaster, but is ultimately a blessing. If you want to see what acting is all about then you go on to Netflix and you check out this because class is in session and Day-Lewis is ready to teach. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I was surfing my local cable company’s on-demand service searching for a film to watch when I stumbled upon today’s film. Whether you love him or hate him, you cannot deny that Sacha Baron Cohen (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street) has been an important figure in the comedy world which is why I chose to watch his latest film The Brothers Grimsby. Nobby (Cohen) is an imbecile English soccer hooligan who lives with his girlfriend and his nine kids. He has been in search for the last 28 years for his brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) who were separated after their parents died. One day he finds out that his brother is a MI-6 agent so he goes to see him. Sebastian uncovers a sinister plot, but is falsely accused of something after running into Nobby, but he’ll realize that he needs him more than he thinks he does. The film also stars Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) as Dawn Grobham, Ilsa Fisher (Now You See Me) as Jodie Figgis, Lex Shrapnel (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Steven Marber, Rory Keenan (Reign Of Fire) as James Thurbeck, Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange) as Pavel Lukashenko, Penélope Cruz (Zoolander 2) as Rhonda George, Barkhad Abdi (Eye In The Sky) as Tabansi Nyagura, Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) as Banu The Cleaner, and the film was directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk).
Listen I am going to tell you that you know exactly what to expect from a film that was written and stars Sacha Baron Cohen. You have to completely let go of any inhibitions and just enjoy a stupid comedy. I knew what to expect from it and I completely enjoyed the film because I wasn’t trying to see how smart it was. I mean come on now, there is a scene where Sebastian and Nobby are completely up an elephants you know what and they get boned by a whole village of elephants. So you tell me what kind of film are you expecting from that? Now that you’ve let go, the film is has some real hilarious moments in it from the opening scene of Sasha boning Rebel Wilson in a mattress store to Nobby pretending to be a spy when his brother accidentally takes heroine. Mark Strong does a terrific job balancing the fact that he is supposed to be a bad ass and deal with an imbecile like Nobby which forces him to let go. The cinematography in the film is actually very appealing and the story is actually pretty decent even though a lot of it is pretty far fetched. It’s a comedic take on the spy genre that has populated Hollywood and as I said you know what you are getting. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
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.
One of the things I look for when picking a movie to watch is whether the film has a great cast that catches my eye. The other thing that would attract me to a film is whether or not I liked the story. That was definitely the case with today’s film Secret In Their Eyes, the crime drama directed by Billy Ray (Breach). The film stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Ray Kasten, a former FBI investigator whose been hell bent on solving a murder case for the last 13 years of his life. Ray’s best friend and fellow colleague Jess (Julia Roberts) discover the body of her daughter in a dumpster next to a mosque that they are investigating. Unfortunately, the killer remained at large and Ray hasn’t been able to let it go until he could solve it or will he? The film also stars Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!) as Claire Sloan, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) as Bumpy, Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) as Morales, Joe Cole (Offender) as Marzin, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me) as Reg Siefert, Zoe Graham (Boyhood) as Carolyn Cobb, Lyndon Smith (The Forger) as Kit, and Don Harvey (Die Hard 2: Die Harder) as Fierro.
What is funny is when the film came out in the cinemas, I had no desire to see this movie at the time. I don’t know what made me change my mind when I was in front of the Redbox kiosk, but I chose the film. I have to say that I don’t regret the decision to watch the film because it was one heck of a cast first of all. The twist at the end of the film is also when that you won’t see coming, but you’ll finally understand the title of the film. Going into this film, I did not realize that this was the American adaptation (or remake) of the 2009 Oscar winning best foreign film El secreto de sus ojos. I love how during the film, it switches from being in the present one minute and into the past for a little while and vice versa. It’s like it’s giving you the backstory with the current story to keep you intrigued and see how badly the characters have aged because of it. That was definitely a great selling point for me was to see how desperate one is to solve the case while others either want it buried or it’s just too hard to bring up after so many years. Chiwetelu Ejiofor is by far one of the stars of the film, his performance is absolutely superb, but Nicole Kidman also deserves some kudos. The two of them had some great on screen chemistry which made the film work. For me, I think that is the appealing part of the film is the actors because without them, I don’t know how good this film would have been. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out for yourselves today.
Ever since last year’s Academy Awards and The Golden Globes, this was definitely a film I wanted to see for all the buzz it caught. The film Foxcatcher was directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and it starred Steve Carell (The Way Way Back), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), and Mark Ruffalo (Now You See Me). The film centers around two of America’s greatest wrestling brothers and a very rich man from an important American family. Mark Schultz (Tatum) is training for his ultimate goal which is to win the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. One day he is contacted by John du Pont (Steve Carell) multimillionaire who wants Mark to train as his facility to legitimize his Team Foxcatcher. Mark is a very impressionable person and du Pont quickly creates a rift between the two brothers.The union ultimately leads the Schultz’s into tragedy as du Pont is quickly losing his mind. The film also stars Sienna Miller (American Sniper) as Nancy Schultz, Vanessa Redgrave (Howard’s End) as Jean du Pont, Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) as Jack, Guy Boyd (Taking Chance) as Henry Beck, Brett Rice (Forrest Gump) as Fred Cole, and Lee Perkins (Wild Card) as Corporal.
The film didn’t win any of the big awards, but it definitely put up a fight against some of the heavy contenders at the time. The thing that amazed me the most about this film was the transformation Steve Carell went through because not only does he appear different, but his character is strange. He was a man with a lot of money to throw around and for a little while no one, but Mark could tell that there was something strange about him. He was definitely one of those guys who was socially awkward and sheltered from the dangers of the real world by his mother. Mark Ruffalo is as brilliant as he usually is as he went through a transformation of his own having to put on weight and muscle for the film. The film isn’t full of action, but it’s a slow decent into madness as you dive deeper into it like the characters are. The film is relatively dark in tone if you ask me as there is nothing happy about the film. It’s definitely a film about a match made in hell that turns out drastically bad by the end of the film. There are no spoilers to give here as the film is based on a true story so you can look it for yourself without having to watch the film.
There is a post online that questions what is true and what isn’t true about every film naturally as they are on “Based” on a true story. One of the facts that went into question was whether or not Mark had a sexual relationship with du Pont and Mark took to his Facebook page to explain the truth saying, “Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between du Pont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that du Pont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will.” There are a lot of details about the film that is wrong so if you want to read any if it, just visit this website for more. Otherwise, I thought it was a great film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.