Day 257: The Danish Girl (2015)

the-danish-girl-3In the past five years or even more, the issue of transgenderism has been one of the hottest topics in the United States of America. It’s an issue that has seen celebrities like Chaz Bono and more come out in support for the issue. In the 1920’s when this kind of topic was extremely taboo, one man stepped forward because he truly believed that he was a woman and that was the basis for the film The Danish Girl. The Danish Girl tells the story of Lili Elbe/Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), the first person to ever go through the sex change operation in Dresden, Germany. The movie tells the struggles that Einar went through along with his artist wife Gerder (Alicia Vikander) to become the woman known as Lili. The film also stars Amber Heard (Never Back Down) as Ulla, Emerald Fennell (Anna Karenina) as Elsa, Adrian Schiller (Son Of God) as Rasmussen, Ben Whishaw (In The Heart Of The Sea) as Henrik, Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From The Madding Crowd) as Hans Axgil, Henry Pettigrew (Next Of Kin) as Niels, Pip Torrens (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Dr. Hexler, Sebastian Koch (A Good Day To Die Hard) as Warnekros, and the film was directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech).

65This truly was an amazing story and it’s all based off of her diaries that she kept while she was going though the sex change. The romance part of the film I believe was fictitious, but most of the film was true. Based off of the site History Vs Hollywood a lot of things in the film were true like having Einar put on the stockings indeed did drive his desire to change. Almost everything in this film was true from what I can read there and if you want to read more about it like how he went through four or five different operation just click on it. Eddie Redmayne put on one heck of a performance in the film so it comes as no surprise that he was nominated for an Oscar. Alicia Vikander who also did one heck of an amazing job in the film won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and she deserved it. Both of them unleashed the pain, confusion, and hurt that both must have been feeling at the time and it shows. Alicia Vikander is not only sexy and beautiful, but she is becoming one actress to watch because I loved her in this and in Ex Machina. Everything about the film was masterful from the gray tones in the film to the final brightness of Lili being free. The cinematography was absolutely amazing and the writing was phenomenal. There really wasn’t too much I hated about the film and I certainly didn’t mind having Amber Heard in the film. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade. Check it out on HBOGO right now.

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Day 224: Midnight Special (2016)

MIDNIGHT-SPECIAL-QUADThis wasn’t really on the list of must see films that I made up the other day, but I remember a friend of mine strongly recommended the film. The film that I am talking about is the Sci-Fi movie Midnight Special which was released earlier in the year and it was available via Redbox. Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) is a very special eight year old boy with very special powers that one side believes that he is the messiah while another side believes that he is a dangerous weapon. Roy (Michael Shannon) believes that his son is special too and will do anything that it takes to get him to where he needs to go before either the cult or the FBI gets to him. The film also stars Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods And Kings) as Lucas, Kirsten Dunst (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) as Sarah, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Sevier, Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down) as Calvin Meyer, Bill Camp (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) as Doak, Scott Haze (The Sound and the Fury) as Levi, Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Miller, David Jensen (Ocean’s Eleven) as Elden, and the film was written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud).

midnight-special-022-featuredThe thing I loved most about the film was the actual story itself because for the most part you’re wondering what is this kid? Is he human, mutant, or alien? For the most part, you don’t really know what he is and they don’t really tell you for most of the film. Then there is the human element of the film where there are people that truly believe in this child’s ability that they will go all out for him. One thing that I did want to comment on is that the filmmakers make Kirsten Dunst look old (I don’t mean super old) in the film which just amazed me. She actually looked like someone in her mid to late 30’s in the film, but for the time she is on screen she does a great job. The real MVP of the film besides Jaeden is Michael Shannon who plays the father that will do whatever it takes to protect his son and get him to the destination no matter the cost. I have to be honest in saying that there really isn’t a bad performance from anyone in the film. Everybody knows their role and they play it right like Adam Driver who is the NSA agent who just thinks all of this is cool. The special effects are very cool especially the scene with the satellite crashing to Earth was cool. The film definitely asks the age old question of are we really alone in the universe? Is there other life forms somewhere we don’t know? If you are a fan of Sci-Fi movies then you owe it to yourself to at least check this one out. I am going to give Midnight Special an A- for a final grade.

Day 172: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

star trekFor today’s film, I wanted to pay tribute to Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog) who recently passed away by checking out one of his films that I hadn’t seen yet. Of course that film that I chose for today is Star Trek Into Darkness. In this latest edition, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) finds himself without a ship and a crew due to a mission gone wrong. One day when Kirk and his Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) are being briefed about a recent attack, they too are attacked by a strange man who possess uncanny powers and strength. Kirk is then sent on a mission to recover the one man wrecking crew named Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) before he destroys the whole entire world as we know it. The film also stars Karl Urban (Dredd) as Bones, Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation) as Scotty, John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) as Sulu, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Zoë Saldana (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Uhura, Peter Weller (RoboCop) as Marcus, Alice Eve (She’s Out Of My League) as Carol, Deep Roy (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) as Keenser, Noel Clarke (Adulthood) as Thomas Harewood, and the film was directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

star trek 2I honestly do not believe that there is anything J.J. Abrams touches that isn’t awesome. The first Star Trek film was amazing, Episode VII of Stars Wars was great, and this was an excellent sequel. This one starts off with a bang and it never lets up for two hours and that is what I loved about it. The film is essentially a prequel of what’s to come for all the films that were already made and most especially Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch did an amazing job as the superhuman Khan, but I have to admit that I do have to watch the Star Trek films because I haven’t seen most of them. I need to at least see the Ricardo Montalban version to do my compare and contrast of the two. Anyways, One of my favorite things about these films is the CGI because we can do unbelievable things and create worlds tat would have been time consuming so long ago and sometimes impossible. The action sequences are amazing as well and there is plenty of it. One thing I have to say about J.J. Abrams is that he has made Star Trek likable in a sense that anyone will go see those films now whereas before it was Star Wars vs Star Trek. This film actually has me excited to see the next one, but it will be sad t know that it’s Anton’s last ride as the beloved Chekov. I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade.

Day 150: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside-Llewyn-Davis1For the 150TH film on the 150TH day of the year, I wanted to watch something special. I have been on an Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) fix since I first saw him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A friend of mine has been telling me to catch his film Inside Llewyn Davis and today the film was on so I watched it and its today’s film. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a folk singer who is just trying to navigate his way through life with his folk music in Greenwich Village in 1961. You see he is now a solo artist and all he wants is for his music to be heard, but there are things that get in his way from a pregnant friend, a label that isn’t doing anything for him, ignorance against folk music, losing a friend’s cat, and facing the inevitable which is his future possibly without music. The film also stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Roland Turner, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Al Cody, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) as Jean, Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog) as Jim, Max Casella (Ed Wood) as Pappi, Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers) as Johnny Five, Stark Sands (11:14) as Troy Nelson, and the film was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

download (2)This film was a perfect example of what happens to artists who try to stay true to who they are and are never willing to compromise. For Llewyn Davis, it’s one setback after another that keeps him away from seeing the big picture or accomplishing the his dreams. He is told over and over again in the film that basically folk music isn’t profitable and that there isn’t any future in it. That doesn’t stop him for a while, but after a certain amount of time he begins to believe the noise. The film is very melancholic in tone where it seems that one thing after another happens to this poor guy who sleeps on friends couches. One of the amazing things about this film of course is the music and the fact that everyone that looked like they were singing on screen in fact were singing the songs. One of my favorite songs in the film is Please Please Mr. Kennedy which is sung by Timbelake, Isaac, and Driver. The reason I love it is because the song is absolutely hilarious. It’s one of the funniest moments in the film that I think everyone should check out. Of course, it helps that the acting was amazing and Isaac’s was a real stud in the film with his performance. Of course having the great John Goodman was a definite added bonus as well as the man of few words in the film Garrett Hedlund. One of my favorite things about this film is the way that it ends. I am not going to give it away, but let’s just say that a young version of a folk legend shows up to play at a club that Llewyn Davis is walking through. The film is airing on The Movie Channel and it’s also available on the Showtime Anywhere App. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 135: Robin Hood (2010)

hqdefaultI am about to go on a Oscar Isaac binge and for good reason I might add. He is an incredible actor who is slowly becoming one of my favs after roles as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Nathan in Ex Machina, Blue in Sucker Punch, and he is about to be Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse. In today’s film, Robin Hood, he plays King John in this origin story about Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe). King Richard (Danny Huston) was killed in battle and it’s up to his most trusted friend to return the crown. The only problem is that he is killed in an ambush and Robin agrees to bring his sword back to his father. Once Robin returns the sword to Sir Walter Loxley (Max Von Sydow), he is asked to pretend to be his son while England boils away in turmoil due to a traitor to the crown. The film also stars stars Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Godfrey, Cate Blanchett (The Monuments Men) as Marion Loxley, William Hurt (The Incredible Hulk) as William Marshal, Mark Addy (The Full Monty) as Friar Tuck, Matthew Macfadyen (Frost/Nixon) as Sheriff Of Nottingham, Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Little John, Scott Grimes (American Dad!) as Will Scarlet, Alan Doyle (State Of Play) as Allan A’Dayle, and the film was directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator).

MV5BMTM1MjE4Mjk5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDE1MTgzMw@@._V1_SY747_SX1024_AL_You should know going into a film like this that you can guarantee that it’s going to be well made when it’s Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe. A team that looked to repeat the success of Gladiator some ten years or so before it. As I said above, this is the origin story so it’s pre-steal from the rich and give to the poor Robin Hood. It explains how he became who he would eventually become in the story we loved as children. One of my favorite things about period pieces like this (because it is after all) are the sets, costumes, and the cinematography. You know that the costumes are going be done very well leading you to believe that you are in the 14th century or whenever this takes place. The sets are going to be showing you a time you were like where are the streets, Chipotle, and the shopping malls? Oh yeah because this takes place in the medieval times so those didn’t exist yet and not for a heck of a long time. The cinematography was absolutely amazing showing you the lush green of England and some of the shots of the ocean when the French are coming. Oh yeah, then there’s that thing called acting and it’s pretty phenomenal in this film especially Oscar Isaac as the mad and immature King John. The film may not be as amazing as Gladiator, but it’s hard to repeat the exact magic of a film and so there is no point in fretting over it and just watch the film. I am going to give Robin Hood, an A for a final grade.