One of the biggest stories out of the summer and into the later stages of fall was whether or not DC Comics and Warner Brothers could follow the success of this past summers Wonder Woman with their own superhero team up movie Justice League. The one thing the company wanted to avoid was another mishap like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but I decided to check out the film and present it as this week’s Movie Of The Week. The film seems to take place a year or so after the events of BVS with the world mourning the death of their beloved Superman (Henry Cavill). The world will soon be under distress once again when mysterious madman Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) comes to Earth to try and collect three boxes that will surely usher the end of the world. Batman (Ben Affleck) has to find a way to unite all these interesting beings that Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) had unveiled to try and fight against Steppenwolf before it’s too late. The film also stars Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa (Game Of Thrones) as Aquaman, Ezra Miller (Trainwreck) as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals) as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons (The Lion King) as Alfred, Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman) as Queen Hippolyta, J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) as Mera, and the film was directed by Zack Snyder (300).
I have over the last week or so have heard some mixed emotions about the film itself and whether it lives up to the billing or not and while some of it may be frustrating to you at least hear me out. I had a couple of concerns heading into the film with one being how are they going to work all of them together in one film and what was the overall feel of the film going to be. Is this the greatest film in the whole DC Universe? While in the end I truly believe now that BVS was good, this was a better film than that, but not better than Wonder Woman. I thought the way they presented all of the characters certainly worked for them because it felt sort of natural to me. The film in my opinion had the right amount of humor to go along with what DC’s overall look is and the chemistry feel natural to me as well. The action scenes were great and I even loved some of the sets they visit like Atlantis, etc. The one thing I sort of had an issue with was some of the CGI in the film because some of it was kind of cheesy at times. Other than that, it was a fun film to go in and watch without trying to be to analytical and judgmental. I was just super excited because my favorite superhero finally made an onscreen appearance in Aquaman. You don’t have to take my word for it, but I would at least give it a watch or two especially if you love some of these characters as I do. I am going to give Justice League an B+ for a final grade.
For today’s film, I am a huge fan of Bill Murray (Stripes, Ghostbusters) to the point that if I started a hall of fame, I would induct him in right away. So, when I found out that Netflix had his latest film Rock The Kasbah available to watch, I chose it for today. Bill stars as music manager Richie Lanz who is really down on his luck lately. While bringing one of his acts Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel) to a club, he gets an idea of doing a USO show in Afghanistan that could benefit him. The only problem is that as soon as he gets there, Ronnie steals his money and leaves. Stuck in a country during time of war, he discovers a voice unlike any other because it’s forbidden for a woman to sing. That doesn’t stop him from trying to get her on a local TV competition despite the danger. The film also stars Bruce Willis (Die Hard) as Bombay Brian, Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) as Merci, Leem Lubany (Omar) as Salima, Scott Caan (Varsity Blues) as Jake, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Nick, Arian Moayed (Rosewater) as Riza, Taylor Kinney (The Forest) as Private Barnes, and the film was directed by Barry Levinson (Toys).
As far as Bill Murray films are concerned, it’s not the best one ever, but it was enjoyable to watch. There’s nothing revolutionary in a film like this, just a cool story featuring a very cool actor. Some things in the film do not make sense to me, but then again I have never been to Afghanistan. One of the things is an American woman (Kate Hudson) working as a prostitute in a county that is against women doing anything. One thing is definitely for sure and that is Kate Hudson looks incredibly sexy in this film especially the scene where she’s in the pool. I thought Danny McBride and Scott Caan making appearances in this film was pretty cool and a nice touch. One thing is definitely for sure and that is I could totally buy Bill Murray as a music manager because he has the right kind of personality that makes you believe so. Even though the film was filmed in Morocco, the cinematography and sets made you believe that you were there with the cast. One of my favorite scenes int he film comes when Bill Murray plays and sings Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water on what I believe is an Oud (an Arabic guitar). While he may not be the greatest singer, that was still a very cool Murray like moment. Like I said, this isn’t the greatest Bill Murray film ever, but it was still fun to watch in my opinion. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
James Franco (Pineapple Express) is slowly becoming one of my favorite actors because he has down a little bit of everything in his career. I am also enjoying his team ups with guys like Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. That is why I chose to watch the film True Story which stars Franco and Hill together in a film that is based on a true story. Michael Finkel (Hill) is a well respected journalist for the New York Times, but after some untruths are uncovered in a recent article, he is fired from his job. He then learns that a man named Christian Longo (Franco) who has been convicted of murder used his identity while he was on the run from the law in Mexico. Curious as to why he did it, Finkel soon starts a correspondence with him in hopes of getting his story out to the public, but things and facts may not seem to appear right with Longo. The film also stars Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) as Jill Barker, Maria Dizzia (Margin Call) as Mary Jane Longo, Ethan Suplee (Chasing Amy) as Pat Frato, Robert John Burke (RoboCop 3) as Greg Ganley, Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) as Karen Hannen, and the film was directed by Rupert Goold.
I am sincerely super impressed with James Franco which is why I said he is becoming one of my favorite actors. Here is why I enjoyed him in this film and it’s because he is so charming that he fools you like his character fools the public (look him up, he is a real person so I am not spoiling anything). To go along with charming, he is also very witty and convincing which is just downright dangerous because he had me believing that there was a chance he could be innocent. I don’t blame Michael Finkel for taking this on because I probably would have been a sucker for it as well. See that is what I loved about this film and why I would suggest this one to anyone that is a fan of him and even a fan of Jonah Hill. This must have been a difficult thing to live with for Michael who was already facing his own personal trial for what happened over at the New York Times so he was vulnerable. I loved the cinematography to the film as well because the photography matched the overall tone of the film and the story. It was a dark film to begin with so not a lot of happy colors and more dark imagery like the photos of the wife and kids. If you want to find out what is true or not about the film, then visit the website Biography.com. Like I said before, it’s a different film than what we are used to from Franco and Hill, but it’s a welcomed change in my book. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out on HBO or the HBOGO App.
For today’s film, I saw the trailer for Hell And Back some time ago and I remember saying that I wanted to see it. I went on Netflix today and discovered that they had the film available to watch. Hell And Back is a stop-motion animated film that takes place in hell and it’s for adults. Three friends Remy (Nick Swardson), Augie (T.J. Miller), and Curt (Rob Riggle) all work at a carnival that is slowly going down the proverbial tubes. They’ve run out of ideas until Remy finds the devil’s book with the devil weeping and he instantly sees dollar signs. Whiel reading the book, Curt asks him for a mint and Remy makes him swear that he’ll return the favor. When Curt doesn’t, he gets sucked into hell where he will be a live sacrifice for the Devil (Bob Odenkirk). Now Remy and Augie will have to go to hell to rescue their friend before it’s too late. The film also stars Mila Kunis (That 70’s Show) as Deema, Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) as Barb, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Orpheus, H. Jon Benjamin (Archer) as The Tree, John Farley (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan) as Welcome To Hell Demon, Paul F. Tompkins (BoJack Horseman) as annoyed soul, Michael Peña (Fury) as Abigor The Demon, Brian Posehn (The Devil’s Rejects) as Cleb, and ti was directed by Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman.
You could definitely tell by watching this film that it belongs with Adult Swim or at least it has that Moral Orel/Robot Chicken style with the Stop-Motion animation. The film is kind of divided into to different parts in my opinion which are the part where it starts slow and the part where it gets good. The first part of the film is ok and they’re trying really hard with the jokes, but right when they get to hell that is where all the fun starts. My favorite part of hell was the welcome to hell demon who messes with the lost souls like telling them that there is no pizza at a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut and then ends it with a welcome to hell. He goes on and on throughout the film and stick around in the end credit scenes for some more. Bob Odenkirk is brilliant as the dark one, but at times I swore James Woods was the voice. The film gets really good when Danny McBride shows up as the Greek mythology character of Orpheus. If you are a fan of Danny’s like I am, then I am here to say that even in voice, he does not disappoint. One of my favorite voice actors H. Jon Benjamin shows up int he film to play a raping tree which is outrageous. I do want to warn parents that are stupid enough to click on the film that it is not meant for kids, but for adult enjoyment. Anyways, I really enjoyed the film and that is why that I am giving the film an B+ for a final grade.
There is nothing I love more in this world than Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and comedies that he is involved in. So, naturally when I saw that The Night Before was available to rent, I definitely jumped on the opportunity to watch it. Issac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been spending the last ten Christmases with their friend Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) ever since his parents passed away. The only problem is that things change and people grow up, but Ethan hasn’t it while the other two have moved on. Now, it’s the last Christmas the three friends are ever going to spend together and they’re going to be spending it at a ball that they’ve been trying to get into for the last ten years, but will they make it in one piece? The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Betsy, Lizzy Caplan (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Diana, Heléne Yorke (Masters Of Sex) as Cindy, Mindy Kaling (Inside Out) as Sarah, Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel) as Mr. Green, Ilana Glazer (Broad City) as Rebecca Grinch, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as James Franco, Tracy Morgan (Cop Out) as the Narrator, and the film was written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50).
I want to start this paragraph out by saying that this film reminds me of why I loved Seth Rogen movies in the first place. Seth Rogen on drugs equals some of the funniest moments of a film because he plays it so well. When he is freaking out on shrooms in the film is some of the funniest material and his interaction with James Franco is priceless. This film could seriously be the new Christmas classic that we have all been looking for since Home Alone or Die Hard, and Big which are both mentioned in the film (almost like an homage). The film even manages to fit in some Scrooge kind of stuff with Michael Shannon playing essentially the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future all in the form of a drug dealing Great Gatsby. Believe me, it will all make sense to you once you watch the film for yourself. One of the funniest scenes in the whole film is the church scene with Seth Rogen, couldn’t stop laughing it was so funny and what a great choice to play his wife in the film in Jillian Bell who is pretty funny in the film. Listen, you know exactly what you are getting from a Seth Rogen comedy, there is nothing smart about it other than that it’s just funny. You have to naturally have a sense of humor to love comedies like this and I have to say that this should’ve been a hit at the box office. The addition of Mackie and Levitt were icing on the cake ad the chemistry between the three was there and it just felt natural. The film is available online and in Redbox so check it out if you need some good laughs. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Instead of doing Super Sunday on the other blog, I am bringing it here for a film that I sort of boycotted back when it was first released (I’ll explain my reasoning below). Spider-Man 3 was the third and last installment of the Sam Raimi (Evil Dead)/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man series. Things appear to be going quite well for Spider-Man (Maguire) as all the residents of New York love and appreciate him and he has the girl of his dreams in Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). That all begins to change when a strange black entity from another world appears and bonds with Parker. It starts to drive certain urges in Spider-Man that we are not used to seeing from him as he battles new villains and some new problems because of it. The film also stars Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) as Eddie Brock, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as Harry Osborn, Thomas Haden Church (Daddy’s Home) as Sandman, Bryce Dallas Howard (50/50) as Gwen Stacy, Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man) as May Parker, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as J. Jameson, James Cromwell (The Green Mile) as Captain Stacy, Dylan Baker (Trick ‘r Treat) as Dr. Curt Conners, and Elizabeth Banks (Zack & Miri Make A Porno) as Miss Brant.
The reason I avoided this film to be perfectly honest back in 2007 was that I was frankly sick of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and I did not agree with the casting choice of Topher Grace as Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom. Topher Grace just wasn’t my first choice to play a bad ass villain, but nevertheless they went with him and I decided to check it out today. While this is definitely not the best film of the Sam Raimi three, it’s definitely not the best of all the Spider-Man movies that have come out including the two Amazing Spider-Man films. The film was just all over the place and there is this one sequence that was just unnecessary and it’s when Parker is walking down New York like he’s John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. That had to be the cheesiest moment of the whole film, but there are some redeeming values in the film. I wasn’t completely disappointed with the way Venom looked and Topher Grace was OK. I was impressed with him through most of the film when he was just that annoying Eddie Brock trying to top Peter Parker at The Daily Bugle. I loved the film’s choice for Gwen Stacy in Bryce Dallas Howard as she brings beauty to the role and the battle scene towards the end was pretty good as well. One thing they messed up on was the film seemed to abandon the subplot between Parker and Osborn who has basically ruined Parker’s life. After he regains his memory, he goes on a hellbent mission to destroy Parker, but after a little tussle in the lab, it’s over just like that? There’s also one more problem towards the end that I had, but I won’t give that away. So, let’s just say it has something to do with the Sandman. It’s definitely a film that could have been so much more than it was, but Raimi dropped the ball on this one. I am giving the film an C+ for a final grade.
I have been wanting to see this film for quite some time as I am a big fan of Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Rachel McAdams (About Time), and of course the legendary Bill Murray (Stripes). The film is called Aloha and it stars Cooper as a star military contractor named Brian Gilcrest who returns home to Hawaii which is the home of his greatest truimphs to strike a deal with the locals for his billionaire boss (Murray). Along the way, he runs into his old flame (McAdams), starts a relationship with a gung ho Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) who was sent to watch him, and learns a thing or two about himself along the way. The film was directed by Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) and it also stars John Krasinski (The Office) as Woody, Alec Baldwin (Outside Providence) as General Dixon, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Fingers, Bill Camp (Birdman) as Bob Largent, Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent) as Mitchell, and Danielle Rose Russell (A Walk Among The Tombstones).
Cameron Crowe may have called this his love letter to the isles once in an interview, but I wonder if this type of sentiment really exists in Hawaii. One man who plays the king has the same shirt in the whole film that just reads “American By Force” on one side and “Hawaiian By Birth” on the other. The film is definitely an interesting one as it raises some social issues along inside the love story. The idea of billionaires with lots of money to spend working with the military to develop satellites in lieu of the absence of NASA. Then of course, there is the love story that is attached to this film as we see a man with a lot of issues of holding on finally starting to fall in love with a girl while letting go of the one from his past. One of the things that I will say about the film is that I loved John Krasinski’s character, he’s this tough macho, military guy who has a hard time with expressing himself. He’s too caught up being the man that he just isn’t sensitive enough for his wife until things starting coming into question. I loved the overall cinematography of the film with the beautiful shots of the mountain and beautiful Hawaii, but the 360 degree axis line shot when Rachel first speaks with Cooper’s character was a little sloppy and annoying to me. It was this constant shot of going around in a circle that was done to maintain consistency and fluidity in the shot. The film was definitely interesting at times even though for a while I was trying to figure out what the plot was. I didn’t read what the film was about before I watched it and I kind of forget what it was about anyways. So, I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. It’s airing on Starz as we speak and you can find online or at Redbox (most likely).