While the horror world decides on what series they should continue and so on and so forth, there are people that are making films that are a little different than what we are used to. Sure, we have had weird supernatural films before, but none like John Dies At The End, a film that was written and directed by horror legend Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep) and is our choice for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween film today. He brings a new element to films that involve other dimensions, weird creatures, and time. The film is about two college dropouts who ingest a new street drug that allows you to see things that no normal human can see. It also allows you to travel to different dimensions while altering time. The only problem is that you may not return to planet earth as a human anymore. So, can Dave (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes) save the world from this silent, but deadly creatures? The film also stars Paul Giamatti (Private Parts), Glynn Turman (Gremlins), Daniel Roebuck (The Lords of Salem), Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption), and Doug Jones (Hellboy). To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
Tag: The Shawshank Redemption
Day 162: Now You See Me 2 (2016)
There are films that come out that when you see them, you are absolutely blown away by it. You like the movie so much that when you hear that there is a sequel coming out, you really don’t mind seeing it. That was definitely the case with today’s film in Now You See Me 2. Since the events of the first film the horseman J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) have gone into hiding awaiting the chance that they can work again. When the horseman are pulled out of retirement with the addition of a new female magician in Lulu (Lizzy Caplan) by their and FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), they learn that they are part of a plan by an evil tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist ever. Can the team do it or with they finally correct the wrongs? The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Thaddeus Bradley, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Walter Mabry, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur Tressler, Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Li, Sanaa Lathan (Blade) as Deputy Director Natalie Austin, Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Anna Karenina) as Allen Scott-Frank, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Jem And The Holograms).
One of the biggest reasons to see these films is because you want to see what kind of magic are they going to do and see how clever they really were. You also go to see these films for all the sleek stunts and the technology they incorporate with the tricks even though a big part of them is fighting technology and all the evil it can create. The film starts off by reminding us of who they are and what they’ve done in the past to build up these ragtag magicians up. The movie also really focuses on what happened to Mark Ruffalo’s character’s father and why he is on this revenge kick. We also see our crew evolve and become a solid team right before our very eyes as they battle the evil technology crazed world. I thought I was going to be disappointed that Isla Fisher wasn’t in the film, but I have to give credit to Lizzy Caplan for fitting right in with the crew. She added a certain wittiness to the tea by being there. The magic tricks of course are pretty cool, but my favorite thing is when they break down how they accomplished them in the first place. That is what I loved about the first film and that is what I loved in this film. Daniel Radcliffe is awesome as a really douchy guy with crap tons of money while Freeman and Caine were brilliant as always. Is it better than the first film, I don’t really think so, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s moments. I enjoyed the film enough to give it a grade that is somewhere between the B+/A- range. It’s somewhere in there.
Day 129: The Bonfire Of The Vanities (1990)
I just wanted to start by saying that I hope that everyone has had a wonder Mother’s Day especially all the moms out there. I didn’t choose any films that had anything to do with mothers, but rather I went for a classic in The Bonfire Of The Vanities. The film starred Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) as Sherman McCoy, a hot shot wall street broker whose whole world is about to crumble. You see Sherman has been cheating on his socialite wife (Kim Cattrall) with a very seductive mistress named Maria (Melanie Griffith). One night, they get into an accident when they hit a young black man and send him into a coma. It puts Sherman in a lot of trouble and with the help of a reporter (Bruce Willis) he will try to prove his innocence before he gets put away for good. The film also stars Saul Rubinek (The Family Man) as Jed Kramer, Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Judge Leonard White, John Hancock (A Soldier’s Story) as Reverend Bacon, Kevin Dunn (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Tom Killian, Clifton James (The Man With The Golden Gun) as Albert Fox, Kirsten Dunst (Interview With The Vampire) as Campbell McCoy, and the film was directed by Brian De Palma (Carlito’s Way).
This was a very different film than I was used to watching, but how can you not want to watch a film that starred both Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis? Bruce at one time was known for doing films other than action flicks and Tom Hanks is just Tom Hanks (that means he’s awesome). I had absolutely no idea that Kirsten Dunst was in this film until I looked on IMDB after I watched the film. I thought that was kind of crazy to see, but not surprised as she let her real stamp with Interview With The Vampire. One of the biggest pluses for this film is the fact that the story is an amazing story. From the beginning all the way to the end, the story keeps you hooked because you want to know what happens to poor Tom Hanks. The film kind of touches on the ideas of racism in the New York area and the way they feel that they didn’t get the fair shake that over-privileged whites did all the time. Then the film shows you how distorted the truth can be when there is too much interest into a issue when there are too many sides that benefit. A mayor who looks at an opportunity to persecute a rich white man to try and gain the African-American vote while a reverend is looking to use the case to cash in. All of the acting in the film was superb and I really had no complaints against anyone in the film. This is a film that is definitely worth a watch even if it’s at least once. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Day 91: Mystic River (2003)
Out of all the films that have been filmed in and round the city of Boston, Mystic River was one of those films that I had never seen before. I figured what better place then here and what better time than now to review the film with an amazing cast and director. Mystic River stars Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) as Jimmy Markum, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) as Dave Boyle, and Kevin Bacon (Footloose) as Sean Devine, three childhood friends who drifted apart after a tragic event in their childhood. Unfortunately, all three men will be reunited after it’s discovered that Jimmy’s daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) was brutally murdered. The film also stars Laurence Fishburne (Boyz N The Hood) as Det. Whitey Powers, Marcia Gay Harden (The Mist) as Celeste Boyle, Laura Linney (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Annabeth Markum, Kevin Chapman (Blow) as Val Savage, Tom Guiry (The Sandlot) as Brendan Harris, Spencer Treat Clark (Gladiator) as Silent Ray Harris, Robert Wahlberg (The Departed) as Kevin Savage, Jenny O’Hara (The King Of Queens) as Esther Harris, Adam Nelson (The Abyss) as Nick Savage, Ari Graynor (For A Good Time, Call…) as Eve Pigeon, and the film was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby).
This was an amazing film from Clint Eastwood, who seems to have never directed a bad one in his career. This is one of those films that will leave you speechless when you find out who the killer is because it’s one of those I should have seen that coming. The whole time, you are ready to throw one of the characters up sh** creek because you think for sure that he/she is guilty and then they throw a curve ball at you. That is truly what I love about movies like this, I don’t want it to be predictable. I want to think that I have the person and then be shocked when it’s revealed. As far as the acting is concerned, you have Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins all in one film. That alone should speak for itself as far as quality is concerned and then you throw in Laurence Fishburne and that is the cherry on top. If I had o pick an MVP of the film, It would be a toss up between Penn and Robbins, but there is one performance no one talks about. I think Marcia Gay Harden does a great job playing the wife who is all torn up inside as to what she should do regarding what she thinks she knows. That was a powerful performance as well from her in the film. The cinematography is in the film is great as it comes complete with some great shots of the city of Boston. It was a great movie overall and you can’t go wrong by picking this one up. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade. It was definitely a great film to close the month of March.
Day 19: The Paperboy (2012)
I was looking for something to watch and I typed in Matthew McConaughey’s (Killer Joe) name on Netflix and stumbled upon The Paperboy. I am a huge fan of Matthew’s independent films so it was a natural choice to check this one out. The film stars Zac Efron (Neighbors) as Jack Jensen, a paperboy for a local Florida newspaper that is owned and operated by his family. Jack’s brother Ward (McConaughey) is a writer for the Miami Times who comes home with a fellow writer named Yardly (David Oyelowo) to investigate a case where a man named Hillary (John Cusack) may or may not have been falsely accused of crime and sent to Death Row. They are doing it as a favor to a woman named Charlotte (Nicole Kidman) who has been writing love letters to the man. Things get complicated when Jack falls in love with Charlotte and things he didn’t know start to unravel. The film also stars Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy) as W.W. Jansen, Ned Bellamy (The Shawshank Redemption) as Tyree, Nealla Gordon (Lee Daniels The Butler) as Ellen Guthrie, Macy Gray as Anita, John Fertitta (The Iceman) as Sam Ellison, and the film was directed by Lee Daniels.
I just noticed that I have reviewed a lot of films for this challenge that have featured actors that starred in the film The Shawshank Redemption. I don’t know, I just thought it was a nice little tidbit. Anyways, I have to say that I truly enjoyed the film and the fact that Macy Gray narrates the story. It’s a story that seems like bright story that will feature someone getting saved from execution, but it’s not the case as the film just gets dark. There are so many spots in the film that get dark real quick like the scene when Efron’s character discovers his brothers dark little secret. Zac Efron does an amazing job in the film as it mainly focuses on him and his love for Charlotte. Nicole Kidman still looks fantastic after all these years as she was 44 during the filming of this film. John Cusack plays an amazing hick in the film as he is essentially a swamp person and David Oyelowo does a terrific job playing a con man newspaper editor (You’ll see exactly what I mean when you watch the film). I have nothing but good things to say about the film that is gritty, intense at times, and innocent as well. Every actor in the film does one heck of a job and I really enjoyed the editing of the film which I think helped. There is a pretty intense prison visitation orgasm scene between Kidman and Cusack that you’ll have to check out that can get awkward. The film is currently on Netflix and it’s worth checking out. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
Day 17: Transcendence (2014)
When I saw on my guide that Transcendence was going to be on the television, I took the opportunity to check this film out. With an estimated budget of 100 Million, the film was kind of a box office failure in 2014. Nevertheless, the film stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Dr. Will Caster, the utmost authority on Artificial Intelligence who is trying to create the ultimate A.I.. Little does Dr. Caster know that there are people that are against what he is doing and they go as far as poisoning him with radiation on a bullet that he was shot with. Looking to continue his research, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and longtime friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) will ultimately load Will’s consciousness into the computer to create the ultimate A.I. before he dies. What they don’t realize is that there action takes on dangerous implications. The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Joseph Tagger, Cillian Murphy (In Time) as Agent Buchanan, Kate Mara (The Fantastic Four) as Bree, Cole Hauser (Dazed And Confused) as Colonel Stevens, Clifton Collins Jr. (The Stoned Age) as Martin, Josh Stewart (The Collector) as Paul, Cory Hardrict (American Sniper) as Joel Edmund, and the film was directed by Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).
As I said in the above paragraph, the movie was a complete flop as it only made about 23 million dollars in the box office. I remember the film being in and out of the theaters in no time so I avoided seeing the film. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never the full film fro start to finish. I can certainly see why it was never successful, but that’s not to say that the film was completely bad. It like most films, had it’s ups and downs with Depp being Depp which equals awesome, but at times it was rather boring. The trailers made you believe or think that as an A.I. he was able to destroy things, but that really isn’t the case. He rather regenerates things and makes them better and has his minions destroy things for him. The film is just more commentary on how social media and computers have taken over our lives and how someday it may come to this when we are launched back into the stone age or at least the 1970’s when there were no cell phones or computers. Rebecca Hall, who I loved in The Town, does a pretty good job being the wife who is blinded by the love of her husband and Paul Bettany who is the friend that eventually sees the error of his ways. Yes, we’ve seen that all before in other Sci-F drama films. Check out the film at your own risk, but I’m telling you that it wasn’t bad. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
Day 16: Fargo (1996)
I have always been a big fan of the work of the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan) and their films like No Country For Old Men, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and True Grit. The on;y problem is that there are two films from the brothers I still have not seen and I checked one off the lost with today’s film in Fargo. The film stars William H. Macy (Boogie Nights) as car salesman Jerry Lundegaard who through a shady source at work gets himself into a lot of trouble. Things just aren’t going the way Jerry wants it so he gets this bright idea to have someone kidnap his wife so they can split the ransom money. Little does he know that his master crime is about to fall apart as pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) gets on the case. The film stars Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) as Carl Showalter, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Gaear Grimsrud, Larry Brandenburg (The Shawshank Redemption) as Stan Grossman, Steve Reevis (Dances With Wolves) as Shep, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Norm Gunderson, Steve Park (Falling Down) as Mike Yanagita, Tony Denman (Go) as Scotty Lundegaard, Harve Presnell (Saving Private Ryan) as Wade Gustafson, and Kristin Rudrüd (Pleasantville) as Judy Lundegaard.
One thing that I definitely have to say about this film is that the writing for the film is absolutely amazing. I truly loved how the story just unfolded right before your eyes as you watch the mess get worse and worse by the minute. You also see the dynamics in some of the relationships in the film like Buscemi and Stormare who the have the worst time communicating with each other or even Macy’s character with Presnell who treats Macy like he doesn’t exist or is just a plain idiot. This is a great example for a character study because the filmmakers focus on that a lot and it helps the film move. The film is gritty, dark, violent, and beautiful all at the same time especially with some of the cinematography which captured the moments perfectly around the cold that surrounds the characters. One of the other things I liked about the film were the accents because they were different. I really enjoyed listening to something different other than a Boston, New York, or southern accent. The acting from everyone was pretty top notch, I didn’t really have any complaints about that at all. If you are studying to be a filmmaker or even a screenwriter this is definitely a film that you want to check out and take notes. Personally one of my favorite films that I have reviewed for this challenge. So, with that being said I am going to go ahead and give this film an A for a final grade.
Day 14: Ted 2 (2015)
When the film Ted first hit the scene in 2012, I thought it was one of the best new ideas in comedy I had seen in a while. Now we all know that coming out with a sequel can be a daunting task especially when you’re trying to capture the magic of the first film. Well, that is exactly what Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) was trying to do with Ted 2 which sees him return as our favorite vulgar teddy bear. This time around, Ted is sort of happily married with Tami Lynn (Jessica Barth), but John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is not so happy since he’s divorced. Things are about to change for Ted as well when he and Tami Lynn decide to have a baby. After the couple decide to adopt, Ted is denied and is told that the government no longer recognizes him as a person, but property. With the help of a fresh lawyer named Sam Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), Ted will challenge the government in court to gain his civil rights back. The film also stars Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) as Donnie, Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon) as himself, Patrick Warburton (The Venture Brothers) as Guy, Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Patrick Meighan, John Carroll Lynch (Gran Torino) as Tom Jessup, and Liam Neeson (Taken) as a Trix Cereal Customer.
While the film had it’s very funny moments, I just felt like it didn’t capture the magic of the original film. I am not saying that the movie was bad because it was actually pretty entertaining, it just wasn’t better than the first film. Mark Wahlberg’s character was a little more of the star of this film in my opinion than Ted. He was more sympathetic and at times he was a little more interesting than Ted. One of my favorite moments of the film came when they were on the roof throwing apples at joggers at night. That was a very funny exchange and give Amanda Seyfried some credit as well because she held her own with them. Giovanni Ribisi once again did an amazing job playing a creepazoid in the film as Donnie. Ribisi does an amazing job recapturing the creepiness and taking it to a new level in the second film. It was great to Sam J. Jones back in the film and Patrick Warbutton is hilarious as well as Guy (who has a new boyfriend in the film). The exchange between Ted and Liam Neeson over Trix cereal is worth watching the film for sure. While I enjoyed the writing for the film, it was a little predictable at times, but that’s OK cause it flowed well. I enjoyed watching the film and I think it’s worth watching at least once. I am going to give the film a B+ for a final grade.
Day Five: High Fidelity (2000)
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.