I have said this many times and I say it because it’s absolutely true. There are some instances where a film sneaks right by you and somehow later on you wonder why you’ve never seen it. That was definitely the case for today’s film which is the Los Angeles gang violence film Colors. Robert Duvall (Days Of Thunder) plays CRASH officer Bob Hodges, a man with one year left until he gets his pension from the LAPD. Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) plays hot shot CRASH rookie Danny McGavin who gets paired with Hodges after a gang member is murdered in a drive by. The two are on the streets as they try to investigate the murder while trying to keep gang violence between the Bloods and Crips to a low. The film also stars Maria Conchita Alonso (The Lords Of Salem) as Louisa Gomez, Randy Brooks (Reservoir Dogs) as Ron Delaney, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Rocket, Damon Wayans (Major Payne) as T-Bone, Trinidad Silva (UHF) as Frog, Glenn Plummer (South Central) as High Top, Grand L. Bush (Lethal Weapon) as Larry, Gerardo Mejía (Can’t Buy Me Love) as Bird, Courtney Gains (Children Of The Corn) as Whitey, and the film was directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider).
I know that the film is not really a coming of age movie, but I think that it’s a point that could be legitimately argued. Think about it for a second, what is the definition of coming of age? According to Google, “a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood (“coming of age”). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past.” While the film isn’t set in the past, you do see Sean Penn go in a s this hot shot rookie on the CRASH force who just wants to bust heads and kick ass. Then when the going gets a little tough and something happens to his partner, he begins to realize what he was doing wrong and he changes for the better. In my opinion, that could be a coming-of-age story. This was one of those films that was trying to show you just how bad things were in Los Angeles as we would eventually see Boyz N the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, and so many more films that focused on the issues. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn were both equally amazing in the film as they were almost the perfect pair. The cinematography in this film was superb in my opinion as they captured some amazing shots of East LA and Los Angeles. I had to get used to the fact that Damon Wayans was in this movie, but the role was perfect for him as he played T-Bone who is basically a junkie. This is definitely a film that must have opened people’s eyes to what was going on in the world and the problem that is gang violence. I definitely recommend this one and that is why I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
For today I chose a film from Adam Sandler (Happy Gilmore) because the first film in the Hotel Transylvania series was very good despite what people may be saying about his career. When I saw that Netflix had Hotel Transylvania 2 available to watch, I took the shot and it’s todays’ film. The film starts off with Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) getting married and that follows with them having their first child Dennis (Asher Blinkoff). Dracula (Sandler) is having a hard time with the idea that his new grandson could be a human and not a monster. It’s gotten to the point that Mavis and Johnny are thinking about moving away to give Dennis a normal upbringing. Not liking the idea of that, Dracula has Johnny take Mavis on vacation in an attempt to see if he can bring the monster out of Johnny. The film also stars Kevin James (King Of Queens) as Frank, Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs) as Wayne, David Spade (Tommy Boy) as Griffin, Keegan-Michael Key (Let’s Be Cops) as Murray, Fran Drescher (The Nanny) as Eunice, Molly Shannon (Superstar) as Wanda, Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation) as Grandpa Mike, Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) as Grandma Linda, Mel Brooks (Spaceballs) as Vlad, and the film was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.
While I loved the first film, I have to say that I enjoyed this one, but not as much as the first. This film had it’s funny moments, but not as much as the first film did. The funniest character in this film was definitely Blobby who provided enough laughs even though he doesn’t really say much. I honesty believe that is why they had him in the film as much as he was. The first film dealt with Mavis wanting to date a human and this film had them struggling with the idea that their son could be human. That is the one thing I have to give the film credit for is that it was well written film and it may show that Sander has something left in the tank. I loved the edition of Mel Brooks as Vlad and certainly the nod to Interview With The Vampire with the costume Johnny wears at a party. The only thing I had a problem with is that he switches his stance very quickly on how he feels about humans even though this is a guy who has hated humans for a very long time. I just feel that this is something that should have been developed over a film, but nonetheless it was a good film. I am excited to hear that there is going to be a third film in the series because it’ll be cool to see where they take it now. Alright so it’s time to give the film a final grade and with careful thought, I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
I usually reserve Wednesdays for my action film piece called Ass Whoopin Wednesdays, but sometimes there are films that supersede everything. A Quentin Tarantino film by definition is one of those films and that is why there is no Ass Whoopin Wednesday flick. So, we are checking out Tarantino’s eight film The Hateful Eight which stars Kurt Russell (Tombstone) as hang man John Ruth. All John wants to do is deliver a prisoner of his named Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the town of Red Rock so that she can be hung. The only problem is that there is a massive blizzard and when they get to a safe place, John is having a hard time trusting a couple of guys he picked up along the way and the four other strangers he encounters in the safe house. Is John right about them being up to no good or will he get the job done. The film also stars Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) as Oswaldo Mobray, Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Major Marquis Warren, Walton Goggins (House Of 1000 Corpses) as Sheriff Chris Mannix, Demián Bichir (The Heat) as Bob, Michael Madsen (Kill Bill Vol. 1) as Joe Gage, Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) as Jody, Zoe Bell (Death Proof) as Six Horse Judy, Bruce Dern (Django Unchained) as Gen. Sandy Smithers, James Parks (Kill Bill Vol. 2) as O.B., and Dana Gourrier (Django Unchained) as Mindy.
I want to start this paragraph by saying that this was an excellent film that didn’t tell you that it was a certain type of film and it didn’t live up to it. This film was exactly as it was presented and that was mostly a mystery film set in a western of sorts. I love how Tarantino calls this his eight film and it’s called The Hateful Eight which could be a nod to Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini who named his eighth film 8 1/2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true considering the fact that Tarantino is just as much a fan of cinema as I am. It was hard to choose a stand out performance from the film because everyone from Russell, Goggins, Jackson, and even Leigh did an amazing job in the film. What helped them was the fact that the film was well written and the dialogue is amazing as what would be expected from a Tarantino film. So as you can see, it was hard to just choose one person as a standout. The other factors that make this film amazing is that it was filmed using 70 mm film which gives it that authentic look and the soundtrack was done by Ennio Morricone. Ennio deservedly won the Oscar for best Score because it definitely fit the type of film that it was. If you are a true fan of Tarantino then do not miss out on this film, it is a classic. That is why I am going to give the film an A- and it gets that because Django Unchained was the better Western. Plus there are definitely somethings that are going to happen that you don’t see coming.
I have decided after seeing what a friend was doing with his challenge that I would rate the month of February as far as the films I watched. So, I have decided to list my top 25 films of each month and we are starting with the month of February. 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, 31, and this year February has 29 days. So, some films are unfortunately left behind and I will tell you that The Witch, Sharknado 3, The Punisher, and Black Mama, White Mama are left off the list. I’m not really going to explain why, but rather just show what my top 25 was. So, here is the list:
25. Jem And The Holograms
24. Freaks Of Nature
23. Good Guys Wear Black
22. The Other Woman
21. The Ladykillers
20. The Visit
19. The Last Witch Hunter
18. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
17. The Transporter Refueled
16. The November Man
14. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
13. Johnny Dangerously
12. Johnny Got His Gun
11. Triple 9
9. Reservoir Dogs
8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
7. Friday Night Lights
6. The Fifth Element
4. The Dark Crystal
3. Cinderella Man
2. The Good Dinosaur
This one was always hard to believe considering that I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) and it’s that I have never seen his first film Reservoir Dogs. So with this challenge going, I figured today was better than ever. The film is about five guys Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), and Mr. Brown (Tarantino) who are all hired to do a jewelry store robbery that goes terribly wrong. When the surviving members meet back at the compound, they suspect that one of them may be a rat and may have tipped off the police about the job. Through chaos, conversation, and impatience they will try to figure out just who the rat is in the group. The film also stars the late Chris Penn (Best Of The Best) as Nice Guy Eddie, Lawrence Tierney (The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad!) as Joe Cabot, Randy Brooks (Colors) as Holdaway, Kirk Baltz (Natural Born Killers) as Officer Marvin Nash, and it features the voice of Steven Wright (Son Of The Mask) as K-Billy DJ.
If you know the way Tarantino films work, then this is the film where it all began for him. The heavy dialogues that his films are known for and not to mention the films where the timeline doesn’t exist or as I should say that it can be messed with. You know exactly what I am talking about when I say that because the story can be moving along and then out of nowhere we jump back in time as we get the origin stories of the more important characters of the film. I truly love that about his films because it’s different than just going through the events in chronological order. Now some of the audio can be a little shaky where you can here Keitel very well, but you notice that the microphone isn’t near Buscemi. Other than that, I truly loved this film and the twist that it gives. You are never going to believe who the rat was because I was kind of shocked when I found out myself. That to me was great storytelling on the part of Tarantino who pulled triple duty for this film being it’s director, writer, and one of the actors in the film. Not a bad cast of characters either for a guy making his first film as he pulls in names like Keitel, Buscemi, Penn, Madsen, etc. This was a different time though when Hollywood believed in originality. The film is available on Netflix and I think you should check it out if you never have before. That is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.