I was searching for a film to watch and I was going through a whole entire list before the film I chose caught my eye. I have always been a sucker for films that are based on true stories because real life can be scarier than fiction. The film I chose for today is called Zodiac and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners) as San Francisco Newspaper cartoonist Robert Graysmith. In the late 1960’s into the 70′, a killer appeared in Northern California calling himself the Zodiac killer. He would murder his victims and he would send letters to local newspapers. Robert Graysmith became so intrigued with the case that he followed it. Unfortunately, a suspect was never found and no one was ever arrested. When everyone else stopped looking, Graysmith took the reigns and decided to investigate himself coming close to identifying the actual killer. The film stars Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Inspector David Toschi, Anthony Edwards (Top Gun) as Inspector William Armstrong, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) as Paul Avery, Brian Cox (Troy) as Melvin Belli, John Caroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Arthur Leigh Allen, Chloë Sevigny (American Psycho) as Melanie, Elias Koteas (Shutter Island) as Sgt. Jack Mulanax, Donal Logue (Blade) as Captain Ken Narlow, Ione Skye (Say Anything…) as Kathleen Johns, and the film was directed by David Fincher (Fight Club).
This is a long film, but it’s a film that is very intriguing especially when it’s a true crime story that has never been solved to this very day. I watched the film because it starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo because all three men are some of personal favs. At first, I kept wondering how they would close a movie that has no ending in real life. The killer has never been caught so how do you write an ending to that especially when there is none? Do I like the way they ended the film? Essentially, I kind of do and I kind of don’t, but it’s something that I am willing to accept (of course, you’ll have to watch it for yourself). Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant in the film as this kind of neurotic obsessed guy that kind of reminds me of his role a little in Nightcrawler. The case they are all investigating and researching is kind of destroying there lives because they are way to attached to the idea of breaking it open and catching the guy. You see the characters literally falling apart right in front of your fac while the killer stays free. There are several theories and several accusations that have been made as to who the killer was, but the characters in this film believe in the guy they are after. I have to admit that I was a little creeped out watching this film in the wee hours of the night so it definitely gets bonus points for that reason. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade based on performances and just the pure creepiness of the film.
There are times where I thank myself for starting this challenge because it gives me opportunities to see some amazing films and sometimes not so amazing of films. Ever since Marvel and Disney had announced that the third film for Captain America was going to be Captain America: Civil War, I couldn’t wait to see it. When The Avengers have to go in to a city and save the day, who has to answer to the people and the victims of the aftermath? Who is held responsible and who is to be held accountable? That is one of the many questions that Secretary Of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) have presented to the team after a mission in Nigeria has some terrible consequences. With Bucky Barnes still on the loose and now wanted for the murder of King T’Chaka (John Kani), Captain America (Chris Evans) looks to prove that Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is innocent even if it means he has to go rogue. The film also stars Paul Bettany (Priest) as Vision, Scarlet Johansson (Lucy) as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) as Sam Wilson, Don Cheadle (Crash) as War Machine, Jeremy Renner (The Town) as Hawkeye, Chadwick Boseman (42) as Black Panther, Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla) as Scarlet Witch, Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) as Ant-Man, Tom Holland (Locke) as Spider-Man, Daniel Brühl (Rush) as Zemo, Frank Grillo (Warrior) as Crossbones, and the film was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
I am seriously trying my best not to spoil anything for anyone who has not yet seen this film. I am seriously going to try my best, but just in case spoiler alert: do not continue to read in case of any details slipping through. I am going to start this off right away by saying that I truly loved the film and was totally not disappointed by it at all. All I can really say is that there are some small questions that are answered in this film that play a big role overall in the film. Not to mention, there is some bad ass action sequences in the film and some really cool appearances by certain characters like one Spider-Man and Ant-Man. I really loved Spider-Man’s interactions with Tony Stark and the Avengers team in general. The film really does a terrific job with character development and if you are looking for a character driven film, then this is it. All of the action sequences are amazing and all of the fight scenes are worth the price of admission. Chadwick Boseman making his debut as Black Panther was absolutely awesome and the drama was well written. The conflicts hit you really close especially if you are a fan of a certain character. This is definitely one of my favorite films of the year besides Deadpool so I am going to have a hard time with ranking these films. Check out the film, choose a side, and see if you made the right choice for yourself. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade because it had the right amount of drama and it sneaked the comedy in at the right times plus everything I mentioned above.
For today’s film, I decided to review a film that starred Robert Downey Jr. who made a resurgence in his career in the 2000’s and Anton Yelchin who starred in a film I loved called Alpha Dog. The film I chose for today is called Charlie Bartlett and Yelchin plays the title character. Charlie is a kid who is just looking to fit in, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to do it the right way as he has found himself getting kicked out of numerous schools. His clueless mother (Hope Davis) decides to enroll Charlie into Western Summit High, where Charlie will become the school’s psychiatrist in order to gain popularity. The only problem is that there are consequences for every action and Charlie has to try and use his new found popularity to do the right things. The film also stars Kat Dennings (Thor: Dark World) as Susan, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) as Principal Gardner, Tyler Hilton (Walk The Line) as Murphy, Mark Rendall (30 Days Of Night) as Kip, Dylan Taylor (Tideland) as Len Arbuckle, Megan Park (The Secret Life Of The American Teenager) as Whitney, Jake Epstein (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Dustin, Derek McGrath (Carrie) as Superintendent Sedgwick, Jonathan Malen (Mean Girls) as Jordan, and the film was directed by Jon Poll (Captain America 1990).
You can look at this film in several different ways, is it social commentary on how obsessive our society has been on abusing prescription pain killers? Or is it commentary on how kids will do anything to become popular? Well, if it’s the second one, then that is something that has been happening for ages and even in film. Every generation has their films on what it’s like to be a teenager like what Fast Times At Ridgemont High did for the 80’s. I highly doubt that it was the first one just because the pills are a minor part of the whole film and only serve as a catalyst to get the film going. Although, there is this one line in the film that I thought was superb and exactly how society should look at teens and prescription drugs. It reads like, “Bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the desert.” I thought that was a brilliant piece of writing from the writers. Everything about this film was good from the writing to the director and it’s sort of a coming of age story, but only in the fact that Charlie comes to realize who he really is and what his place is in society. Kat Dennings of course looks fantastic in the film and she does an amazing job playing a teenager with so much angst. Listen check out the film for yourself, it’s playing on one of the premium channels. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.