There has been a slew of films that have been coming out over the past couple of years that have been tackling the old classic monsters like Dracula. This time around, 20TH Century Fox decided to give us a new look at the Mary Shelly classic Frankenstein story with Victor Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein tells the classic tale from the perspective of Victor’s (James McAvoy) trusty sidekick Igor (Daniel Radcliffe). He offers us a fresh new look at his very dark and bleak beginnings and how he met Victor Frankenstein. The film also looks at how Victor would become the man, the myth, and the legend who built the world famous monster in this retelling of the horror classic. The film also stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) as Lorelei, Bronson Webb (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban) as Rafferty, Daniel Mays (The Adventures Of Tintin) as Barnaby, Spencer Wilding (Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance) as Prometheus, Andrew Scott (Saving Private Ryan) as Inspector Turpin, Callum Turner (Queen & Country) as Alistair, Freddie Fox (The Mystery Of Edwin Drood) as Finnegan, Charles Dance (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Frankenstein, Alistair Petrie (The Bank Job) as Chief Inspector, and the film was directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin).
I want to start by saying that this actually wasn’t a bad film and I actually enjoyed the direction they took the film in. We are so used to seeing Victor Frankenstein and Igor when they are already in search of body parts and such, but never from the beginning and not like this. Victor is someone who is hell bent on getting this experiment done because he wants to prove to the world that he can do it or at least that is the reason we are led to believe. I love how we discover what Igor’s origins are in the film and how he doesn’t really have an identity. I love a line in the film where Igor is telling Victor that people are not going to remember the man who created the monster, only the monster. It kind of foreshadows all of the films that have come out in the past. The other part of the story that I enjoyed was the inspector played by Andrew Scott, who plays this man that opposes Victor due to his beliefs in God which is the perfect counterpart for a man wanting to play God. The monster when it is presented is very cool looking and different than the rest of the monsters in the past, but he is so minor of a player in the film. The cinematography is cool and the tone of the films is very Gothic and dark which is exactly what we want from these films. Like I said before, this is actually a pretty good film and one I think you should give a chance to if you are a fan of the story. With that said, I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
There are certain characters in the history of cinema that transcend time and are so iconic they carry their weight for years. James Bond is definitely one of those characters no matter who plays him and that is why I chose Spectre for today’s film. Daniel Craig (Skyfall) once again reprises the role of James Bond in this film as he investigates a new, but familiar threat. The 00 program’s existence is being threatened by the potential merger of all the world’s security/spy programs coming together thanks to MI6, but M (Ralph Fiennes) will try his best to stop it. Something about it just doesn’t add up thanks to a message from someone familiar to James and he is on the case. The closer he gets to the truth the more deceit their is to all of it and this organization known as Spectre. The film also stars Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) as Blofeld, Léa Seydoux (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Madeleine, Monica Bellucci (Passion Of The Christ) as Lucia, Benjamin Whishaw (Cloud Atlas) as Q, Naomie Harris (28 Days Later…) as Moneypenny, Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Hinx, Andrew Scott (Saving Private Ryan) as C, Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) as Tanner, and the film was directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty).
First, I wanted to take the time to list all the things that I didn’t like about the film and one big one is the theme song. While I don’t think Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith is complete crap, I don’t think that it was a great follow up to Adele’s Skyfall theme. There are so many Bond themes that are better than this one even though it was the only element of the film that won an Oscar. There are three elements that are important to every James Bond film and those are theme song, Villain, and Bond girls and I have already discussed one. Some people may have been pissed that Dave Bautista had literally one line in the whole film, but I think that added to his benefit. You knew he was a bad ass thug with weird thumbs, but he didn’t have to speak to be the henchman. Christoph Waltz is a brilliant actor, but I struggled to find the brilliance in this film. I don’t blame him for that, but rather the writing. The Bond Girls were OK in my opinion, but strange how an almost life/death experience would drive one to want to make love. This wasn’t the best Bond film, but it wasn’t the worst either. I struggled to write what the plot of the film was in the above paragraph because there wasn’t really a plot. There was just action with a lot of nothingness in between all of it. If this was Daniel Craig’s last film then so be it. I think it’s time for some new blood in the role of James Bond anyways. I definitely appreciate all that Daniel Craig did for the Bond series, he was definitely a breath of fresh air at one point for the series. I am going to give Spectre an B- for a final grade.
I usually do not like to watch films that are based off of teen novels, but I broke that rule with the Divergent series and The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner is one of those Teen series that after seeing the first film I was very impressed so for today’s film we checked out Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The Scorch Trials once again features our group featuring Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Winston (Alexander Flores), and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), but this time around they are rescue and make it to a new facility after escaping the maze. The only problem is that Thomas discovers that there is something wrong with this new facility and he decides to escape and take his chances in the scorch all in search for a group called The Right Arm. The film also stars Jacob Lofland (Mud) as Aris, Rosa Salazar (Insurgent) as Brenda, Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects) as Jorge, Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) as Ava Paige, Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises) as Janson, Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Mary, Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) as Vince, Katherine McNamara (New Year’s Eve) as Sonya, Nathalie Emmanuel (Furious 7) as Harriet, Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph) as Blondie, and the film was directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner).
One of my issues with the film and it isn’t that big of an issue, but it jumps between genres throughout the whole film. We get a little sci-fi with some alien looking creatures and humans being harvested for their blood before they start to get attacked by zombies. Then its all set in a post apocalyptic world like in Mad Max or The Day After Tomorrow. Even though it may seem like I am complaining about those things, the set design was actually one of my favorite things about the film. The mall buried in sand or the decimated city that they have to navigate through is pretty cool. The film itself has it’s moments of brilliance, but sometimes it has it’s moments of dullness. There are times where the film just feels like it’s dragging and you are wondering when it’s all going to end. The action when it happens can be pretty cool as well and there is plenty of it in this film, but there are some elements of the film that are just predictable. There is one moment in the film that when it happened, I thought to myself that I should have seen it coming. Was the second entry in the series better than the first? To honestly answer that question, I would have to say that I felt the first one was better than this one. They added more as far as visuals are concerned, but there was just too many moments that dragged in my opinion. They are making the next film in the series, so stay tuned for that when it happens. I know I’ll be there to watch it. I am going to give Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials an B+ for a final grade.
Soon enough you’ll figure out that I am a fan of Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), but I honestly did not know that he directed today’s film. In 1999, Scorsese directed the film Bringing Out The Dead which starred Nicholas Cage (Raising Arizona) as paramedic Frank Pierce. Frank has been on the job for way too long to the point that he is burnt out and the ghosts of patients that he couldn’t save are starting to haunt him whether he is on the job or off. Over the course of three turbulent and mind exhausting nights, Frank will have to try and survive the nights without completely losing his mind in this drama/thriller. The film also stars John Goodman (Death Sentence) as Larry, Patricia Arquette (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as Mary Burke, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Marcus, Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan) as Tom Wolls, Marc Anthony (The Substitute) as Noel, Mary Beth Hurt (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Nurse Constance, Nestor Serrano (The Day After Tomorrow) as Dr. Hazmat, Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) as Nurse Crupp, Cliff Curtis (Blow) as Cy Coates, and Sonja Sohn (The Wire) as Kanita.
This film is so intense in just about everything and it’s awesome. Nicholas Cage does a great job playing a guy who is just going through absolute hell and looks like he’s been going through absolute hell. This is one of those rare times that I really enjoyed his performance because he’s hit or miss with me. The film is very dark in nature so it has that look that Shutter Island had with it’s dark color tones with the bright reds, etc. I really enjoyed the scenes where every thing is all of a sudden sped up to make them look even more crazier than they are. The film also shows you how dark and dingy the city can be and it shows you sections you’ve never seen before as well. I love how Scorsese almost focuses on that as well like he’s making the city a vital character as well. I have to say that I truly enjoyed the side story between Patricia Arquette and Nicholas Cage because they are both struggling with inner demons while Cage is being haunted by the dead, she is dealing with a dark past of her own. It definitely added a cool dynamic to the film that kept the story rolling. Martin Scorsese is definitely one of my favorite directors and there are a lot of films that I still have not seen that will probably show up on this challenge. Check out the film for yourself, I am giving the movie an B for a final grade.