Well, it’s December 31ST and if you are still with me it could only mean one thing and that is that not only is it the end of 2016, but it is also the end of the challenge. To finish up the challenge, I wanted to check out a film from Carrie Fisher (Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope) as I had done for so many others that passed in 2016. So, I chose The Man With One Red Shoe for today’s film. A major screw up in Morocco puts a CIA director (Charles Durning) in a very bad spot as his rival Cooper (Dabney Coleman) looks to take advantage of the situation during a senate hearing. To keep Cooper busy, he has one of his men set up a poor unknowing violinist named Richard (Tom Hanks) in the middle of it all. The film also stars Lori Singer (Footloose) as Maddy, Carrie Fisher as Paula, Edward Herrmann (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) as Brown, Jim Belushi (Home Sweet Hell) as Morris, Tom Noonan (Last Action Hero) as Reese, Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2) as Carson, David L. Lander (Titan A.E.) as Stemple, Irving Metzman (WarGames) as Virdon, Dortha Duckworth (The Honeymoon Killers) as Natalie, and the film was directed by Stan Dragoti (Necessary Roughness).
I never thought that when I started this challenge 366 days ago that I was actually going to finish only because I had tried before and failed a couple of times. Tom Hanks is one of those guys that you can depend on when watching a film because he is money. That is why when I was searching for a Carrie Fisher film and I saw that he was in this, I jumped on the opportunity. The film is listed as a thriller, but it’s mostly a comedy as you watch these CIA agents struggle to get an angle on Tom Hanks character. One of my favorite scenes in the film involves Jim Belushi who goes over to Hanks’s apartment to confront him about an affair that he is having with Carrie. As soon as he sees bodies on the floor in the apartment, he leaves only to see Hanks on the streets. As he tells Tom all about it, they go inside the apartment and the bodies are gone. Belushi goes to the fridge to grab a drink and sees a body, but when Hanks does, he grabs him a drink and now Belushi believes he is going crazy. It’s the kind of comedy I love and there is plentiful in the film as there are some great names of comedy in this film. Carrie kind of had a minor role in the film, but she makes an impact with her scenes. This is one of those early Tom Hanks comedies that he always did before he got serious in the acting game. The cinematography was pretty good in the film especially with scenes like the train stopping scene which was part of a cool chase scene. As we say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, we also say goodbye to the challenge which has been completed. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
Whenever there are movies released that feature Jake Gyllenhaal (Demolition), I tend to flock to the local theater to see it because he’s amazing. That was definitely the case for today’s film when I saw that he was starring in the film Nocturnal Animals. Amy Adams (The Arrival) plays art gallery owner Susan Morrow, a woman with too much on her mind who is haunted by her wrongdoings to her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal). 20 years after she left him, he delivers a book for her to read and she soon realizes that it symbolically represents their past relationship in a very twisted way. The story in the book follows a man whose wife and child are abducted, raped, and killed and he seeks revenge for what has happened to them. The film also stars Michael Shannon (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Bobby Andes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ray Marcus, Ilsa Fisher (The Brothers Grimsby) as Laura Hastings, Ellie Bamber (Pride And Prejudice And Zombies) as India Hastings, Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Hutton Morrow, Karl Glusman (The Neon Demon) as Lou, Robert Aramayo (Game Of Thrones) as Turk, Laura Linney (Sully) as Anne Sutton, Michael Sheen (Alice In Wonderland) as Carlos, and the film was directed by Tom Ford (A Single Man).
Spoiler Alert: There may be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First of all the film starts off with an uncomfortable sequence of heavily obese women dancing naked and I get it it’s art and that we shouldn’t judge, but it’s just hard to watch. After that, it’s smooth sailing through the rest of the film that is just absolutely amazing and so well written. There is nudity from now and again, but it’s almost in an artistic way and if you love red heads like me then you love this film. Then there is the performances int he film that are just all around amazing from no matter who. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does an amazing job playing a West Texas creep while Michael Shannon plays the detective who will go to any lengths to get his man because he’s dying anyways. Amy Adams is absolutely terrific in the film as this woman who realizes that everything in the book is symbolic of what happened in her life. That is what I loved about the film because the further it goes, the more you realize how connected everything is even though it may not seem that way. For one the story is about a rape and murder of a wife and child and it’s a reflection of their time together. The cinematography is amazing with the different tones that are incorporated into the film and just the overall scenery which becomes a part of the story. This may be one of my favorite films of the year and another Gyllenhaal film that I absolutely loved. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.