I wouldn’t be 100% honest with all of you if I didn’t tell you that I wasn’t sure about today’s film that I chose for you. I have always been skeptical about films that are associated with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), but nevertheless the film I chose for today is the new horror film Incarnate. Aaron Eckhart (Thank You For Smoking) stars as Dr. Seth Ember, a tortured soul with a very cool ability that only a few people here and there possess. You see he can travel into the minds of people to free them of the demons that have taken over their bodies. One day he gets called to a job that even the church won’t allow their priests to take when a child is possessed with a demon he knows all too well. The film also stars Emjay Anthony (The Jungle Book) as Jake, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace) as Camilla, Matt Nable (Riddick) as Dan, Breanne Hill (San Andreas) as Ilsa, Karolina Wydra (Be Kind Rewind) as Anna, Keir O’Donnell (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Oliver, Tomas Arana (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Felix, WWE Wrestler Mark Henry as a Bouncer, and the film was directed by Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore).
I have to completely honest because I am a huge Horror fan which is why I do and have done Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween for as long as I have. I’ve seen some really bad horror films and some really good ones and I’ve seen some that had the right idea, but the execution just wasn’t there. This is definitely one of those films where the execution just wasn’t there, but the idea was cool. It was definitely a different take on the whole exorcism sub-genre of horror. It’s basically Flatliners meets The Butterfly Effect meets The Exorcist sub-genre. He basically Flat-lines so that he may enter a dream state to be able to drive the demons or as he calls them Parasites out of the victims. The problem I had with the film was the writing because some of the actions and lines were just corny and overused as hell.We have all seen it before and some of the actions were just too erratic to make at the point they were made. Aaron Eckhart does a great job with the film, but the film just falls flat on it’s face like when a person flatlines. I am having a hard time trying to decide what grade I should give the film because it wasn’t so terrible, but let’s just say this is a wait until it comes out in Redbox or On-demand. I am going to give the film a grade somewhere between an C- and a D+. It’s in that range for sure.
For today’s challenge film, I wanted to watch a film from the great Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, American Graffiti) and I happened to stumble on one playing on TV. The name of the film is Mr. Holland’s Opus and Dreyfuss stars as the title character in the film. Glenn Holland is a struggling composer who has to take a job at John F. Kennedy High School as a music teacher in order to make ends meet. What he doesn’t expect to happen to him is that he is going to find fulfillment as music teacher as he helps others discover the beauty of music while he struggles with issues at home. The film also stars Glenne Headly (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Iris Holland, Jay Thomas (Mork & Mindy) as Coach Bill Meister, Olympia Dukakis (Look Who’s Talking Too) as Principal Helen Jacobs, William H. Macy (Thank You For Smoking) as Vice Principal Gene Wolters, Alicia Witt (Cecil B. Demented) as Gertrude Lang, Terrence Howard (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) as Louis Russ, Damon Whitaker (Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai) as Bobby Tidd, Jean Louisa Kelly (Uncle Buck) as Rowena Morgan, Joseph Anderson (Whacked!) as Cole Holland, Balthazar Getty (The Judge) as Stadler, and the film was directed by Stephen Herek (Critters).
This is one of those films where the main character changes over the course of the film and at one moment finally realizes what he has accomplished. He definitely goes through some trials and tribulations during the film as he wants to be a composer more than a teacher and he has trouble dealing with the fact that his son is deaf. All of these things definitely makes him grow as a person and the amount of love he receives is amazing. The film follows his thirty year career as a teacher from 1965 to 1995 and you see the changes in music styles along with pop culture which is cool and the film stays hip with what actually happened in music current events. For every decade though, there is a student that he helps realize their potential (e.g. the death of John Lennon). Richard Dreyfuss is an amazing actor to begin with and you see that in this film. I love how the film makes him age over the course of thirty years to make it more believable and the fact that they used real deaf actors to pay his son is amazing as well. That definitely makes the film feel more authentic instead of paying a hearing actor to play a deaf person. One thing that boggles my mind is that Richard Dreyfus lost to Nicolas Cage at the Oscars for Best Actor. Nevertheless, this is an amazing film that you should definitely check out if you are a fan of Richard Dreyfuss or a fan of amazing stories. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
One of my all time favorite actors from the 1980’s is definitely John Cusack who starred in many classics like One Crazy Summer, The Sure Thing, Tapeheads, Say Anything, and so many more. In 2000, he starred in the Stephen Frears (Philomena) film High Fidelity. In the film, he plays record store owner, compulsive list maker Rob Gordon, a man that could use a little growing up emotionally. One day, his girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) leaves him and Rob can’t figure out for the life of him why it happens to him. So, he develops a top five list of break ups in his life and he gets to the bottom of them while trying to recuperate his own life along with his crazy employees. The film also stars Jack Black (Orange County) as Barry Judd, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) as Roy, Todd Louiso (Thank You For Smoking) as Dick, Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show) as Marie, Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro) as Charlie, Joan Cusack (Say Anything) as Liz, Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Sarah, Joelle Carter (American Pie 2) as Penny, Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend) as Caroline Fortus, and Sara Gilbert (Roseanne) as Anna.
While this can be filed as a new age romantic comedy film for John Cusack, who was used to starring in those back in the 80’s, also manages to do one thing as well. That is it combines a love for music and vinyl which is right up my alley. This was one of those films that I had only seen bits and pieces of, but I am glad I saw this. If you know John Cusack films, then this is a pretty particular film for him because he is constantly breaking the fourth wall and talking to you which he has done plenty of times in the past. It’s that touch of the 80’s that they can’t seem to get rid of, but i like it because I like being talked to. The film sort of has it all from drama, romance, a little comedy courtesy of Jack Black, kick ass music, and the amazing Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film did at times attack pop culture as to say that it wasn’t music with heart or a soul which can be true some of the time. One thing that I found pretty cool is that there is a list online of all the top five lists from the film which you can check out here. You should also be checking out the soundtrack which was as I mentioned before absolutely amazing. Meanwhile, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.