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 figured since I watched two films in a row that were both based on true stories that I would go for a third in a row. The film I chose to watch is called Woman In Gold and it stars Helen Mirren (The Queen) as Maria Altmann, an Austrian woman who was forced to leave her home during the invasion of the Nazis in the 1940’s. In her home was a very expensive painting of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer (Antje Traue) that was commissioned by Gustav Klimt that was taken by the Nazis and brought to a museum in Austria. Now it’s over 50 years later and Maria wants her painting back so that she can reclaim what is rightfully hers to begin with. So, she hires a young lawyer by the name of Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) who risks everything to try and make Maria happy. The film also stars Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as Pam Schoenberg, Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) as Hubertus Czernin, Tatiana Maslany (The Vow) as Young Maria Altmann, Max Irons (The Host) as Fritz Altmann, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Sherman, Allan Corduner (Defiance) as Gustav Bloch-Bauer, and the film was directed by Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn).
I was having a conversation with someone earlier about Ryan Reynolds and what we love seeing him in. Deadpool was such a natural role for him just as much as Waiting or Van Wilder were. I couldn’t take him serious enough in the Amityville remake, but I can see him in roles like Self/Less and definitely in this one. He was given a chance to hang with an actress like Helen Mirren and I think he did a pretty good job with it. There were times when his serious acting were a little shaky, but he would always bounce back nicely. Helen Mirren was masterful as usual in her performance as the tough and rugged Maria Altmann, but there is one moment that stands out to me. She was this tough cookie throughout the whole film, but for a moment she emotionally breaks down and the walls come tumbling down. After years of constantly fighting the negative aspects of her life, she was finally able to let go and move on remembering the good times. I want to give a shout out to Daniel Brühl who might have had a minor role in the film, but he was also masterful. The gold leaf painting itself is remarkable and to find an actress that kind of looks like the woman in gold was a good catch as well. It’s not the best film in the world, but it’s a very good one that tells a take of redemption and restitution. I am going to give the Woman In Gold an B+ for a final grade. Check out the painting below:
I never got the chance back in the day to check out the film Smokin’ Aces which looked like a bad ass movie. That is until today and that is why I am presenting it to you guys as today’s challenge film. Buddy Israel (Jeremy Piven) was a wannabe gangster Las Vegas performer who decides to turn snitch for the FBI against a rival crime family. Now he needs protection because a hit has been put on his life to make sure that he never gets the chance to snitch. The hitmen are coming from everywhere and anywhere to try and collect on it, but the FBI has to get to him to get him out before the hitmen come. The film also stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) as Richard Messner, Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) as Donald Carruthers, Joseph Ruskin (The Scorpion King) as Primo Sparazza, Ben Affleck (Dogma) as Jack Dupree, Peter Berg (Collateral) as “Pistol” Pete Deeks, Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Hollis, Common (Run All Night) as Sir Ivy, Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III) as Stanley Locke, Alicia Keys as Georgia, Taraji P. Henson (Date Night) as Sharice, Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Darwin Tremor, Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Jeeves Tremor, Tommy Flanagan (Sons Of Anarchy) as Lazlo, Joel Edgerton (The Gift) as Hugo, and so many more.
This movie has a wild and crazy collection of a cast that includes a mix of 80’s, 90’s, and the stars of today all rolled into one awesome cast. Matthew Fox plays the head of security of the casino/hotel, Jason Bateman plays a weird lawyer, Curtis Armstrong who played Booger in Revenge Of The Nerds is in this movie as well. Chris Pine plays an insane character who belongs in a Mad Max movie which shows you how over the top insane and awesome this film was. One thing is for certain, you never have to question Jeremy Piven and his performance because he is a top notch actor that delivers. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t really open up in the film until the last half of the film, but when he does he also delivers. He certainly does in this film as a drugged out paranoid wannabe mob boss. The action in the film at one point becomes non stop as double crosses and hots just keep coming. I will say one thing if you have never seen the movie you may think it’s over at one point, but the ending of the film may shock you. There is a lot that is revealed and of course I will not spoil it for any of you. I really liked this movie and I have to be honest and say that I went into it with no expectations and it paid off. It was tough to decide a grade for this film because it lies on the B+/A- border and that’s how I’ll keep it.
I have been waiting so long to see this movie ever since Fox announced that it was making a Deadpool movie with Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine). The film Deadpool is the perfect marriage as Reynolds plays the role he was born to play as Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool. The film explores the origins of Deadpool and how he became the Merc with a mouth. Everything is going great for the mercenary as he found the perfect girl for him in Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). That is until Wade finds out that he has terminal cancer and things start to fall apart for him until a man (Jed Rees) tells him that he can cure him. Wade goes for it, but because of the treatment and what Ajax (Ed Skrein) does to him leaves him disfigured. Now, Deadpool is out for revenge and he is looking for Ajax and maybe a cure for his disfigured body. The film also stars Michael Benyaer (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Warlord, Stefan Kapicic (Tears For Sale) as Colossus, Brianna Hildebrand (First Girl I Loved) as Nagasonic Teenage Warhead, T.J. Miller (Cloverfield) as Weasel, Gina Carano (Fats & Furious 6) as Angel Dust, and the film was directed by Tim Miller in his first feature film as a director.
Spoiler Alert: if you do not want to know what happens in the film then do not read any further because I may give information away. I am just going to go ahead and say that this is one of the best superhero movies out there that was not done by Warner Brothers or Marvel/Disney. I am so glad that they made the film rated R because it added so much and it allowed Deadpool to be Deadpool in all the ways we want him. My favorite thing about the film is how he breaks the fourth wall with us and he knows that he is in a film. He cracks so many jokes in the film and he pokes them at Fox, Marvel/Disney, etc.which is just awesome. There is so much action and blood shed in the film to satisfy any fan of action and superhero movies. The soundtrack to the film is pretty awesome as well with a huge mix of so many types of pop culture. I also loved how in an idea Colossus represents Marvel and DC in a way symbolically. Think about it, they don’t really want people dying in their films and that is what Colossus is constantly preaching in the film. Deadpool told all you parents out there and I am saying that if you can’t handle nudity, strong language, and violence then don’t be an idiot and do not bring your kids to see the film. We do not want you complaining about all of those things. This is our movie and we want to enjoy every second of it and the sequel as well which has been announced. Stick around for the last scene because Deadpool tells you whose going to be in it. Check the movie out because it is totally worth it. I am giving the movie an A+ for a final grade.
While all of us who are fans of comic book movies wait for Ryan Reynolds (Waiting) to star in Deadpool (which comes out in February), I figured I would review the last film he made to date. The name of the film is Self/less and it was directed by Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror) and the film looks at a topic that all of us may have wondered about. What if we possessed the ability to take the brilliant men of the world who are old and about to die and transported them into new bodies? It brings up the idea of immortality and man’s ability to play God. That was the question that was raised to New York real estate tycoon Damien (Ben Kingsley) as he was slowly dying of Cancer. He was lead to believe that the bodies that were available were created in a lab and so he makes the jump. Unfortunately as he gets used to his new body (Ryan Reynolds), he begins to discover that maybe these bodies belonged to people who had souls of their own. As soon as he discovers this, he is on the run and he has to protect the family of the man who once occupied the body. The film also stars Natalie Martinez (Death Proof) as Madeline, Matthew Goode (Watchmen) as Albright, Victor Garber (Argo) as Martin, Derek Luke (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Anton, Melora Hardin (Hot Chick) as Judy, and Michelle Dockery (Non-Stop) as Claire.
Ryan Reynolds takes a lot of crap for some of the roles he chooses where people feel he can only play a certain part, but I beg to differ. We know that the film didn’t do as well in the box office as the studio had hoped, but I feel like people should given the film a chance. It was definitely a cool and new concept for a Sci-Fi thriller like this. It gives you an insight into what the possibilities could be and what the side effects can be by taking over a new body. Ben Kinglsey is an amazing actor to begin with and he plays a bitter old man who has always appreciated the money first over the real joys of life. Ryan Reynolds is kind of the coming of age part of the film where he begins to realize that he loved all the wrong things in life and decides to make up for it. I really enjoyed the acting from Matthew Goode, he does an amazing job play a manipulative man hell bent on perfecting his research and will do anything to achieve it. There’s plenty of action, suspense, and mystery to please any fan and I love the special effects in the film. Now I pose this question to all of you. Would you sell your body to save someone you loved even if it meant never seeing them again? Would you take over a body knowing that a real soul once possessed it and is still kind of there? Check out the film and answer that for yourself. I am giving the movie an B+ for a final grade.