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.
I honestly believe that one of the greatest comedy movie actors of all time or at least in the last 30 to 40 years is Bill Murray (Ghostbusters). Every decade, he surprises us with how relevant he continues to be with every film that he stars in and that is the case with today’s film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Steve Zissou (Murray) is a world famous oceanographer who has produced great documentaries of his voyages over the years. After one production, his partner Esteban (Seymour Cassel) is killed by a mysterious shark called the Jaguar Shark. The public questions the existence of the shark, so Steve gathers up a crew that includes his estranged wife, a man who is quite possibly his son, and a pregnant reporter who has a low opinion of him along for the ride. The film stars Owen Wilson (Zoolander 2) as Ned Plimpton, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as Klaus, Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) as Jane Winslett-Richardson, Anjelica Huston (The Adams Family) as Eleanor Zissou, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as Alistair Hennessey, Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) as Oseary Drakoulias, Noah Taylor (Edge Of Tomorrow) as Vladimir, Seu Jorge (City Of God) as Pele, Robyn Cohen (Burned) as Anne-Marie, Waris Ahluwalia (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Vikram, and the film was directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom).
I definitely have to check out more films from Wes Anderson cause he definitely has his own style of films that you instantly recognize as his. He is in part the true definition of what François Truffaut and his colleagues coined Auteurs. Wes wrote and directed the film meaning he took full artistic responsibility for the film like an author would for a book. The thing that made me fall in love with this film was the various tones and colors that are present in this film. There are just so many colors that take precedence in this film that makes it truly amazing. Even the wildlife that are presented in the film are very colorful and cool looking even though we know that they are fake. This is probably one of the most amazing films to feature Bill Murray and it was just so well written that he was a natural fit for the part. All of the subplots within the film were even written so well that it was hard for me to find any faults. The film isn’t your typical comedy because it doesn’t contain stupid comedy or slapstick comedy, but it is otherwise a parody tribute to French diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The film may have bombed in the box office, but that doesn’t mean that the film is awful, it just means it takes time to recognize real art. I am a huge fan of this film and I think that this is one to put on your list. That is why I am going to give the film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou an A- because the production sets and the story was excellently done.
Believe it or not there are a heck of a lot of Disney and Pixar films that I have missed seeing over the years. I found out this year that Finding Dory was coming out in theaters and no that I am less than a week away from it, I think it was about time I watched Finding Nemo first. Marlin (Albert Brooks) is a clown fish who lost his wife and most of his kids except for one named Nemo (Alexander Gould) . He has made a vow that he would protect Nemo from anything harmful for fear of losing him. One day after being too clingy, Nemo becomes daring and ends up getting himself caught by a seawater diver. Now, Marlin with the help of a blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), he will go on a massive search for his son while Nemo has to try and save himself being Darla the dentists’s niece’s gift before he dies in her care. The film also stars Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Bloat, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as Gill, Allison Janney (Juno) as Peach, Austin Pendleton (My Cousin Vinny) as Gurgle, Stephen Root (Office Space) as Bubbles, Geoffrey Rush (Shakespeare In Love) as Nigel, Andrew Stanton (Cars) as Crush, Joe Ranft (The Lion King) as Jacques, and the film was directed by Stanton and Lee Unkrich (Monsters, Inc.).
I needed to lighten up the mood on the blog after two straight days of horror films and Finding Nemo seemed like the right kind of film. I can’t believe that this movie has been out for 13 years and I finally got around to seeing it now. This was one of the reasons I always felt that Disney with Pixar was always ahead of the game as far as animation and stories was concerned. The animation in this film is absolutely amazing and so intricate with so much detail in all the sea creatures that you see in the film. One of my favorite scenes in the film came with the Anglerfish, you know that scary looking mother with the ball of light attached to it. I don’t know what was scarier, that or the sharks? All I know is that I never want to be face to face with one ever. That is one thing I liked about this film is that it’s pretty informative and it teaches young kids about different fish and all the sea life. The film is also very entertaining while it also feels like no matter how close they get, things seem to get so far away before we are riddled with hope again. The story itself is amazing and it kind of reflects the way parents coddle their children for too long. At least that is the message I got in the film when Nemo’s dad finally learns to let go. It is definitely a film to check out and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A for a final grade. Check out my picture of the animated Anglerfish vs a real one below.
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 chose one that for some strange reason I had only seen bits and pieces of it because something always pulled me away from it. The film that I chose for today is called Brothers and it stars Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) as brothers Sam and Tommy. They are two brothers who took distinctly different paths in life with Sam (Maguire) being a marine and Tommy (Gyllenhaal) always being someone in trouble. While in Afghanistan, Sam and another Marine (Patrick John Flueger) are captured by the Taliban. The two are presumed dead and to comfort his family, Tommy will step in to take care of Sam’s family. While Sam’s wife Grace (Natalie Portman) is hesitant at first, she allows Tommy to spend time with the girls and to fix things around the house. That is until, she finds out that Sam was saved and is still alive, but Sam has a lot of demons inside that he is battling and things become unnerving at home. The film also stars Sam Shepard (Swordfish) as Hank Cahill, Mare Winningham (Turner & Hooch) as Elsie Cahill, Bailee Madison (Just Go With It) as Isabelle, Taylor Geare (Dream House) as Maggie, Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek) as Major Cavazos, Carey Mulligan (Drive) as Cassie Willis, and the film was directed by Jim Sheridan (In The Name Of The Father).
I have to be honest in saying that I used to try and avoid watching Tobey Maguire films only because I wasn’t a huge fan of the last two Spider-Man films he was in. So, I have to admit to everyone right now that this was definitely one of his best performances. There is so much passion in the role and there is one scene that he makes me a believer that he is a soldier fighting inner demons. In my opinion, it was just so convincing that I felt bad for him even though I know it’s just a movie. Jake Gyllenhaal I recently started becoming a huge fan of his and he doesn’t disappoint me in this film and Natalie Portman does a terrific job as well. The film really reminds you that if you’ve never been in the military and been to war then you will never know what these guys have been through. You are always just on the outside looking in and you feel as helpless as Sam’s family in this film. The scenes in Afghanistan aren’t as bad as they could’ve made it out to be, but there are some scenes that may be hard to handle. It’s hard to pick an MVP in this film because not only did Gyllenhaal, Maguire, and Portman do well, but there kids in the movie did an amazing job being kids that are having a hard time adjusting to this different version of their dad. While it may not be the greatest movie ever made, I really enjoyed watching this film. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
I figured since I watched the first of the two films in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, I would watch and finish the second film for today. To recap what happened at the end of the previous film, Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) was at the point where all of a sudden during a sexual encounter with Jerome (Shia LaBeouf), she lost the sensation to feel an orgasm. In Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, Joe is telling the rest of her story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) that sees her seek sexual pleasure threw some of the most desperate attempts in a darker world, the loss of Jerome and her child, and a new business that brought some gratification for her. Ultimately, she will tell him what exactly led her to be in Seligman’s care through the final chapters. The film also stars Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I) as Young Joe, Christian Slater (Pump Up The Volume) as Joe’s Dad, Jamie Bell (The Adventures Of Tin Tin) as K, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as L., Mia Goth (Everest) as P., Michaël Pas (Code 37) as Older Joe, Jean-Marc Barr (Europa) as gentlemen Debtor, Udo Kier (Flesh For Frankenstein) as The Waiter, Uma Thurman (Kill Bill Vol. 1) as Mrs. H., and Sophie Kennedy Clark (Dark Shadows).
The second of the two films is definitely darker and more sadistic than the first film, but contains the same amount of sexuality. The film definitely goes in some darker directions especially with gentlemen debtor scene or the S&M beating scene that Joe goes through. Like I said in the previous post, this film if released in theaters here in the states would have been rated NC-17 and it’s for the sexual content. Like the fact that Tarantino has been accused of focusing on feet, Lars von Trier likes to focus the camera on both the female and male organs for periods of time. The sexual intercourse scenes in these films seem so very real in my opinion which is another factor on the rating. The two films are definitely great studies on the sexual revolution and why sex shouldn’t be so taboo in today’s society. Whats crazy is that Shia LeBeouf must have met his fiance on the set of this film as Mia Goth stars in the film. She almost steals the show towards the end of the film as sort a protege/lover for Joe’s character that plays a very integral part in the later part of the story. One thing that bothered me about the film is the end of the movie. The ending was one of those that I completely saw coming and that kind of bothers me cause I just felt it was expected. Other than that, this was definitely two very interesting films. Check them out for yourself right now on Netflix if you dare, but definitely a NSFW film. I am going to give the final volume 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.