Halloween is long behind us so I figured it was time to reintroduce the Movie Of The Week post while we wait on a decision for the future. There are a lot of great movies on the horizon and I want to cover them for this blog. This week’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of those films that peaked my interest for it’s unique title and for the caliber of the cast contained within the film. Frances McDormand (Fargo) plays Mildred, a mother who is not happy whatsoever with the local authorities for not solving her daughters murder case. So to get on their case and get them moving, she decides to take out ads on three billboards outside her town that will challenge the law to get off their behinds and solve case. The film also stars Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men) as Chief Willoughby, Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) as Dixon, Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out) as Red Wellby, Kerry Condon (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Pamela, Darrell Britt-Gibson (Keanu) as Jerome, Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) as Anne, Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) as Robbie, Zeljko Ivanek (Argo) as Cedric, Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones) as James, Brendan Sexton III (Empire Records) as Crop-Haired Guy, and the film was directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges).
This was an excellent film that just had so many emotions to it and just had so many talking points. First of all, the acting was absolutely superb from way too many people to list in this blog, but you already know that you get amazing performances from McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell, and Dinklage to name a few. Frances McDormand had the uneasy task of balancing out a character who is tough and a bad ass, but she is also vulnerable because all she wants is for them to solve the case. Sam Rockwell does a terrific job playing your typical backwater cop from a small southern-esque town who doesn’t know any better until something (I can’t tell you what) shows him the way. The second thing that was amazing about the film was the writing because this story kicked ass. You think that it’s going the way you would want it to go until it throws you a curve ball that takes the story in a darker place. There were so many glimmers of hope in the film that were just taken to a completely different place that I was amazed that it worked. The third thing that I loved about the film were the dynamic of the characters and the overall themes because each one was so unique to the story in how it progressed into a moral of no matter how dark things get, sometimes the people you are going against can turn out to be the ones you need. That was the constant theme of the film was redemption because it’s a learning experience for sure. The last thing is the cinematography which was just masterful from shot to shot. This is definitely a film worth checking out if you are a fan of great stories, actors, etc. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I 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).
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.
It is that time again since march is now in the books that I have to rate what I believed to be the top 25 films of March. To remind you, I will look at all the films I watched and I will rate them from 25 to 1 with one obviously being my favorite film of that particular month. At the end of the year I will rate the top 25 of the year if I make it to that point and hopefully I do. Obviously there are films that are left behind from the list considering some months have 30 and 31 days, we had to leave six films out because of the 3 days in March. The films that were left out were Taken 3, Hot Bot, Hell And Back, Bulworth, Johnny Mnemonic, and Diablo. Here is the top 25 for the month of March:
25. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
23. All The Right Moves
22. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
21. IP Man: The Final Fight
20. Pee Wee’s Big Holiday
19. Smokin Aces
18. 10 Cloverfield Lane
17. Sucker Punch
16. The Jacket
15. The Night Before
14. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
13. IP Man
12. IP Man 2
11. Nymphomaniac: Vol. II
10. Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
09. The Big Lebowski
07. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
06. Midnight Cowboy
05. Bridge Of Spies
03. City Of God
01. Mystic River
For today’s challenge film, I wanted to watch a certain film from Emily Browning that I have been waiting to see for five years now. The name of the film is Sucker Punch which was directed by Zack Snyder (300, Man Of Steel) and it stars Emily Browning as the distraught and recently institutionalized Babydoll. Due to the fact that she bi-accidentally killed her little sister, her step father has her locked away in a mental institution where she is to get a lobotomy in five days. In order to cope with the fact that she is institutionalized, she creates a fantasy world that she can completely roam free in and do as she pleases, but she wants to escape. So, she enlists the help of four other girls at the institution in Sweat Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung) as they try to collect some key items to help them escape. The film also stars Oscar Issac (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Blue, Carla Gugino (Watchmen) as Dr. Gorski, Jon Hamm (The Town) as High Roller/Doctor, Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy) as wise man, Richard Cetrone (Iron Man) as CJ, Malcolm Scott (Man Of Steel) as the Cook, and A.C. Peterson (Narc) as The Mayor.
Even if you didn’t know that this was a Zack Snyder film, you would instantly recognize that it was his just by the style and look of the film. It has the look and feel of 300 as far as bad ass looking landscapes, imagery, and characters. One of my favorite segments of the film when Babydoll goes into dancing mode is her battle with the Samurai in the beginning of the film. While I don’t agree with some of their weapon choices, you can’t deny how amazing it looked on screen. It also helps that you ave five incredibly sexy women as your heroins in the film and that Snyder makes them just as bad ass as any character in any film he has ever made. I truly loved the story and how they bounced right from reality to fantasy to even more of a fantasy world and then back to the start. It was clever and very well done by the writers and everyone involved. One of the other things about this film that I enjoyed was the soundtrack to the film. The film features an incredible cover of Sweet Dreams by actress Emily Browning as well as some other cool tracks. When it came to the imagery and the fantasy scenes, Snyder talked about them saying, “On the other hand, though it’s fetishistic and personal, I like to think that my fetishes aren’t that obscure. Who doesn’t want to see girls running down the trenches of World War One wreaking havoc? I’d always had an interest in those worlds – comic books, fantasy art, animated films. I’d like to see this, that’s how I approach everything, and then keep pushing it from there.” I completely agree with him and thought it was awesome as well. A film any Snyder fan should check out if they haven’t yet. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.