Day 316: Arrival (2016)

arrival_hkEvery now and again a good sci-fi film is always in order and it seems that every year a critical acclaimed one comes out. Then there re those films that garner so much buzz because of a 100% (97 at the moment) rating on Rotten Tomatoes like today’s film in the Arrival. Louise Baker (Man Of Steel’s Amy Adams) is a Linguistics professor at a local college whose life is ordinary until they show up. When I say they, I mean these 12 strange alien pods that appear in 12 different locations around the world. Naturally, the first thing we want to do is find out why they are here and if they want to destroy us. So, Louise will lead a team an elite team of investigators with her into the ships to try and figure out their language in order to try and communicate with them. The film also stars Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ian Donnelly, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Halpern, Forrest Whitaker (Taken 3) as Colonel Weber, Tzi Ma (The Ladykillers) as General Shang, Mark O’Brien (The Last Tycoon) as Captain Marks, Abigail Pniowsky  (Channel Zero) as Eight Year Old Hannah, Max Walker (I’m Not There) as Private Miller, and the film was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario). 

arrival-movie-4-e1471529984165Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. This is one of those films that you may leave the theater either wondering how it received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes or what the hell just happened? The whole film they are trying to figure out why they are here and we are watching as she decodes the language. They eventually get to a point where the Aliens have told them that they have given them a weapon or a gift. Now they and you are wondering just what is the weapon or gift that they are speaking of? When it hits you eventually at the end, you are like what kind of gift is that and why is she the only one to receive it? You are also led to believe in the film that she has had a daughter and she passed away, but this gift she receives at the end will distort what is reality at this point. I left the theater confused with all of these questions and that kind of bothered me because I was really enjoying the film up to that point. The cinematography is incredible and the way they mess with your depth perception at one point with the cameras is killer. Amy Adams is masterful in the film as well as all the others in it and it’s a pretty good story. It’s just that the ending is a little confusing and doesn’t make any sense to me. This may be one of those films that you may have to see twice. The aliens were OK looking as they looked giant octopuses with hand like tentacles, but they look like a human hand pretending that there hand is a creature walking. This is a tough one to grade because of the fact that while I enjoyed it, the ending bothered me. Therefore, I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade right now unless I change my mind.

Top 25 Of March

Top-25 copyIt 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

24. Spectre

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

08. Equilibrium

07. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street

06. Midnight Cowboy

05. Bridge Of Spies

04. Room

03. City Of God

02. Zootopia

01. Mystic River

Day 66: Taken 3 (2014)

taken-3-mainI could have saved today’s film and watched it on Wednesday for Ass Whoopin Wednesday, but there was nothing else on that I wanted to watch. So for today’s film, I chose to watch the third and final film in the Taken trilogy in Taken 3. In the third film, things seem to be going as smooth as usual in the life of former government operative Brian Mills (Liam Neeson). That is until he gets a phone call to meet his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) for some bagels and instead finds her dead in his apartment. The police believe that Brian is the killer and now it is up to him to fin who the real killer is and clear his name before it’s too late. The film also stars Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland) as Franck Dotzler, Maggie Grace (Faster) as Kim, Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible II) as Stuart St. John, Sam Spruell (Snow White And The Huntsman) as Oleg Malankov, Don Harvey (Die Hard 2) as Garcia, Dylan Bruno (Saving Private Ryan) as Smith, Leland Orser (Taken Trilogy) as Sam, David Warshofsky (Captain Phillips) as Bernie, Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite) as Mark, Jonny Weston (Insurgent) as Jimy, and the film was directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3).

taken-liam-neesonI still have yet to watch the second Taken, but I am saving that one for Ass Whoopin Wednesday and hopefully that one is better than this one. This film wasn’t bad and you have to love the idea of Brian Mills being the one chased in the film instead of him always chasing others. My only issue with the film is that it wasn’t that exciting of a film like how the first film was. Who we think is the bad guy in the film isn’t even that cool of a bad guy either. He looks like an idiot and he hides in a hotel even though he is supposed to be so dangerous (a frustrating Russian mobster). I definitely liked the twist the film had as I had a feeling in the beginning, but with the more the film went on I sort of forgot about the person being a suspect. Forest Whitaker was as amazing as he usually is and definitely a highlight for the film. The action in the film in my opinion was pretty decent, but it just doesn’t top that of the first film. While there were some pretty good chase scenes like the highway chase, there wasn’t enough to boost the wow factor in me. By the this film, I think it’s safe to say that you should know what to expect by now. The only thing different is that the formula has changed just a tad and Liam Neeson is Liam Neeson.I think it’s also safe to say by this film that he is a really bad parent. I am going to give this film an C+/B- (can’t really decide yet) for a final grade.