Day 362: Amadeus (1984)

amadeusThere are movies for this challenge that I promised myself that I was going to watch before it was over and today’s film is one of those said films. One of the greatest composers of the 18TH century was the virtuoso Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and for today’s film I decided to watch the 1984 film Amadeus. Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) likes to believe that he is a great composer and writer of classical music, but he had to work hard for it. Unlike his counterpart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) who was born with a natural talent and ability that it drives Salieri mad with jealousy. The film is Salieri’s take on what drove him to the point that he would actually murder the young prodigy. The film also stars Elizabeth Berridge (The Funhouse) as Constanze Mozart, Roy Dotrice (Hellboy II: The Golden Army) as Leopold Mozart, Christine Ebersole (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Katerina Cavalieri, Jeffrey Jones (The Crucible) as Emperor Joseph II, Kenneth McMillan (Dune) as Michael Schlumberg, Charles Kay (Henry V) as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Lorl, Kenny Baker (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) as Parody Commendatore, Simon Callow (James And The Giant Peach) as Emanuel Schikaneder, and the film was directed by Milos Forman (The People Vs Larry Flynt).

elizabeth-berridgeI just want to warn all of you with short attention spans that this film is a little over three hours long so if you can handle it then proceed. Amadeus is definitely one of those films that they went all out for because it has an amazing score, amazing set designs, amazing costumes, and most importantly great acting that makes it complete. The soundtrack features so much as far as amazing 18TH century classical music and amazing opera music that should satisfy any fan of that genre. The set designs and costumes were so amazing that it actually makes you feel like you are walking and living in 18TH Century Austria which is what a time period piece is supposed to do in the first place. One thing I do know is that this is actually a fictionalized look at the life of Mozart or at least the idea of Salieri killing Mozart. Mozart died of an illness that is often debated as to what it was exactly. When he was working on his Requiem, it said that he dictated in bed to one of his proteges and not Salieri (although this is not proven either). F. Murray Abraham was absolutely brilliant in his portrayal of a man driven with jealousy and hatred toward God and Mozart. Tom Hulce is brilliant as the virtuoso who if he was a lead singer he would have had LSD (Lead Singers Disease). He knew he was amazing and he wasn’t afraid to show it. I was a little skeptical of Jeffrey Jones playing an Austrian Emperor, but he does a pretty good job at it. You really have to love classical music and Mozart to want to watch this film, but I am a fan of music so I loved it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

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Day 225: Sausage Party (2016)

Sausage-PartyIf there was ever a concept for a movie that sounded absolutely ridiculous then today’s film would definitely be that. The film that I chose for today is none other than the new animated film Sausage Party. All a piece of food, beverage, or product at a supermarket ever dreams about is being chosen so that they can go to the other side with the customers. What they don’t realize is the horrors that await them and one sausage by the name of Frank (Seth Rogen) tries to warn them as he too looks for the truth about his existence. The film also stars Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) as Carl, Kristen Wiig (Despicable Me 2) as Brenda, Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) as Darren, Edward Norton (Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) as Sammy, Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down) as Honey Mustard, Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Grits, Nick Kroll (The League) as Douche, Bill Hader (Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs) as Firewater, James Franco (This Is The End) as Druggie, Selma Hayek (Desperado) as Teresa, Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) as Barry, David Krumholtz (Slums Of Beverly Hills) as Lavash, and the film was directed by Greg Tiernan (Thomas And Friends) and Conrad Vernon (Monsters Vs Aliens).

840906_185Spoiler 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.While Sausage Party could either be the stupidest idea in the world that is just funny as hell or it could be the dumbest idea and movie. While I thought that it was definitely one of the funniest movies of the year, it definitely was a propaganda film for Seth Rogen and Co. The film is propaganda for Rogen and co to basically say FU to religion, sexual stereotypes, and more. The whole film, they believe that the God is allowing them to be chosen to go to the other side which is supposed to be glorious, but Frank ends up discovering that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be and that there isn’t a God after all in his opinion. He treats the rest of the food like their all cattle because they refuse to go against their beliefs. Then there’s the innuendos like Sammy the Jewish bagel trying to get along with Lavash who is obviously middle eastern because he believes that Heaven contains 72 bottles of virgin oil. Then there is something special at the end that is his FU to people that are tolerant to people who choose to live a different lifestyle sexually. One of my favorite characters in the film by far is Douche who tells you like it is and drinks other products to get “juiced” up. One of my favorite scenes with him is when we see a pic of a women’s camel toe and he is describing to everybody how awesome it’s going to be to be inside her. Yes the film is VERY SEXUAL so be prepared for that and NO this is not a film you bring your young child to. Besides all the propaganda, I really loved the film and that is why I am going to give it an A- for a final grade. The propaganda and politically incorrect jokes is actually makes it funny in my opinion.

Day 192: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)

maxresdefaultWhen I first heard about the film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, I was excited to see it because of the acronym WTF. So it’s safe to say that I thought this would be a laugh out loud comedy considering it stars Tina Fey (Sisters). Fey stars as Kim Baker, a desk jockey at a news station that takes a job in Afghanistan to try and see if she can change her life or the better. What she doesn’t account for is all the difficult choices she’ll have to make when she is over there from dealing with relationships, the culture differences, and other war time journalists. The film also stars Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Tanya Vanderpoel, Martin Freeman (Captain America: Civil War) as Iain MacKelpie, Alfred Molina (Raiders Of The Lost Arc) as Ali Massoud Sadiq, Christopher Abbott (A Most Violent Year) as Fahim Ahmadzai, Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa) as General Hollanek, Nicholas Braun (How To Be Single) as Tall Brian, Stephen Peacocke (Me Before You) as Nic, Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Specialist Coughlin, Josh Charles (Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead) as Chris, Sheila Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) as Shakira Khar, and the film was directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

whiskey_tango_foxtrot-620x412As I said above, I originally thought that the film was going to be a laugh out loud comedy, but what I didn’t expect from it was all the drama. It’s kind of a very serious movie especially for Tina Fey’s character who is on a journey of discovery. She feels as though that she has wasted too much time in her life and she feels that she should be able to do so much more. That is essentially why she takes the job in Afghanistan because otherwise you’d have to be crazy to do so. Margot Robbie who’ll be playing Harley Quinn this summer in Suicide Squad looked fantastic in the film and she actually does a good job with the role she was given. Martin Freeman was a very good addition to the film as he made the film more interesting. The cinematography was great in the film even though the story could have been a little bit better in my opinion. I get that the film had some elements of feminism in the film in the form of empowering women considering it takes place in a country that does not allow women to do much. You can’t really watch the film for anything else other than that. It’s a decent film that you can afford to watch once and call it a day. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

Day 136: King Kong (2005)

king kongWhen it comes to creature features and wonders of the world of fiction, there have been none greater than the likes of King Kong since his debut in 1933. He definitely began the world’s obsession with larger than life creatures and characters. In 2005, Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings) would direct this remake that starred Jack Black (Orange County) as director Carl Denham. Carl needs to create a movie that is unlike anything the world has seen, but the studio doesn’t believe in him. Naomi Watts (The Ring) stars as struggling actress Ann Darrow who is just looking for a big break. The two will eventually run into each other and she is hired to star in his film. The only problem is that the film is to be filmed on an island that no one has been to and they bite off more than they can chew when the eight wonder of the world shows up. The film also stars Adrien Brody (The Jacket) as Jack Driscoll, Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted) as Captain Englehorn, Colin Hanks (Orange County) as Preston, Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Kong, Evan Parke (Django Unchained) as Hayes, Jamie Bell (The Fantastic Four) as Jimmy, Kyle Chandler (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Bruce Baxter, and  John Sumner (District 9) as Herb.

king-kong-2005-2I still have yet to see the original 1933 classic that actually has King Kong listed as an actor in the film. The only other version I have seen is the 1976 version that starred Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. The one thing you can guarantee when it comes to watching this film is that the special effects are going to be amazing compared to any other version before it. The CGI alone makes this a version worth watching because they can do so much more with the film then they were able to do in the past. One of my favorite things about this film is when they are actually on Skull Island because that is where the fun and adventure is in this film. From the crazy looking natives to all the creatures that inhabit Skull Island like giant spiders, dinosaurs, and so much more creepy crawlers. The fight scene between Kong and the three T-Rex’s is absolutely amazing and one of my favorites. This is actually one of many films where Jack Black flexes his acting abilities and shows us he doesn’t have to be an imbecile all the time on screen to entertain people. Adrien Brody does a terrific job in the film as well as Naomi Watts, the beauty that kills the beast. They have the iconic climbing of the skyscraper scene in this film and it’s superb as well as other iconic shots. This was definitely a cool movie that I enjoyed and I can not wait for Kong: Skull Island to come out in 2017. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Check it out on Showtime or Showtime Anywhere right now.

Day 73: Bridge Of Spies (2015)

bridge-of-spies-656There are certain actors in Hollywood that when you hear that they are starring in a film, you immediately want to see it because of how amazing they are. The same could be said when you hear a certain directors name and Bridge Of Spies is one of those films that works for both those cases. The film stars Tom Hanks (Catch Me If You Can) and it was directed by Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) and it takes place during the cold war at a time when both The Soviet Union and The United States were deploying spies. One day, a Soviet Spy by the name of Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance) is caught and arrested. James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is tasked with the duty of representing Abel in a court of law and then he is tasked with having to set up an exchange between the two mega powers. The film also stars Domenick Lombardozzi (Phone Booth) as Agent Blasko, Victor Verhaeghe (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Agent Gamber, Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight) as Bates, Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) as Thomas Watters Jr., Amy Ryan (Escape Plan) as Mary Donovan, Mikhail Gorevoy (Die Another Day) as  Ivan Schischkin, Sebastian Koch (A Good Day To Die Hard) as Wolfgang Vogel, Burghart Klaußner (Goodbye Lenin!) as Harald Ot, Will Rogers (The Bay) as Frederic Pryor, Austin Stowell (Whiplash) as Francis Powers, and Jesse Plemons (Black Mass) as Joe Murphy.

sp1Mark Rylance who played Rudolph Abel, the accused Soviet spy won an Oscar this year for Best Supporting Actor and it was the only Oscar the film won I believe. I have still not seen many of the other pictures that were nominated to really make a critique, but I didn’t think he did enough to earn the win. It was a great performance none the less from the man, but there was more of Tom Hanks than there was of him. I do however understand the point of Best Supporting Actor who is there to support the lead actor. Nevertheless, you are probably wondering what I thought about the film itself. Like I said in the above paragraph, there are actors that you see their name and you do not question it at all. Tom Hanks is definitely one of those guys and he puts on a superstar performance in the film as James B. Donovan. Donovan’s character is very interesting because here is a man representing someone we labeled a spy knowing full well that he was going to be hated because of it. yet, the man kept going and did one of the most unthinkable things later on. I’m not giving away any spoilers because it’s based on a true story. The film is compelling and the story was well written. This isn’t an action film or a psychological thriller, but a drama that is historical and I guess is a little bit of a thriller towards the last half of the film. The cinematograghy in the film was amazing and you have to give it up to the set design and costume department for making us believe we were 1950’s New York and a dilapidated Berlin. I love films that are based on true stories because they are so much more compelling. That is why I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.

Day 26: Rampart (2011)

Rampart-posterBack in the late 1990’s, there was a scandal in the Los Angeles Police Department’s CRASH (a task force set up to fight street gangs) department. They believed that there was a lot of corruption in that department and the Rampart division of the LAPD. This film, Rampart, takes place during that time as it follows police officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson). Officer Brown is the kind of guy who follows his own brand of justice in life whether it be on the streets where he does things his way or at home with his dysfunctional family.  After a beating incident, things begin to fall apart for Brown as he looks to keep his family together as well as his career as he fights to keep his job. The film also stars Bree Olson (21 Jump Street) as Helen, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Barbara, Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Catherine, Jon Bernthal (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Dan Morone, Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) as General, Steve Buscemi (Fargo) as Bill Blago, Robin Wright (The Princess Bride) as Linda, Ned Beatty (The Toy) as Hartshorn, Ice Cube (Ride Along) as Kyle Timkins, Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Joan Confrey, and the film was directed by Oren Moverman (Love & Mercy).

rampart.pngI realized as I started to watch the film that I did a double shot of Woody Harrelson for this challenge and I’m glad I did. This film is not only visually stunning, but it’s gritty and it’s dark. You literally see the a man descend from the beginning of the film all the way to the end. What I mean by that is that Woody starts off the film being this tough guy who does things his own way on the streets. He is cocky about it and believes in what he is doing until everything around him starts to fall apart. The more the film goes on, the darker the fall into madness for Woody’s character. There are a lot of scenes in the film which stunningly portray his character as this misanthrope, misogynistic, womanizing man who has no care in the world for how people feel. This film is great for character study and it kind of shows where LA was at in the late 1990’s. Every person from Bree Olson to Ben Foster do an amazing job acting wise that you can’t help, but love this film. Woody’s transformation is unbelievable as well as he just looks sick for most of the film and he gets worse as time goes on in the film. The only thing that I question is the man’s home life as he lives with his ex-wife and his current wife and he has a child with each one. Oh and I almost forgot, they are sisters too. If you’re into films like this one then you should definitely check it out. The film is available on Netflix and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 24: Bringing Out The Dead (1999)

017_BRINGINGOUTTHEDEADQUADSoon enough you’ll figure out that I am a fan of Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), but I honestly did not know that he directed today’s film. In 1999, Scorsese directed the film Bringing Out The Dead which starred Nicholas Cage (Raising Arizona) as paramedic Frank Pierce. Frank has been on the job for way too long to the point that he is burnt out and the ghosts of patients that he couldn’t save are starting to haunt him whether he is on the job or off. Over the course of three turbulent and mind exhausting nights, Frank will have to try and survive the nights without completely losing his mind in this drama/thriller. The film also stars John Goodman (Death Sentence) as Larry, Patricia Arquette (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as Mary Burke, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Marcus, Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan) as Tom Wolls, Marc Anthony (The Substitute) as Noel, Mary Beth Hurt (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Nurse Constance, Nestor Serrano (The Day After Tomorrow) as Dr. Hazmat, Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) as Nurse Crupp, Cliff Curtis (Blow) as Cy Coates, and Sonja Sohn (The Wire) as Kanita.

bringing-out-dead-pic-1_758_426_81_s_c1This film is so intense in just about everything and it’s awesome. Nicholas Cage does a great job playing a guy who is just going through absolute hell and looks like he’s been going through absolute hell. This is one of those rare times that I really enjoyed his performance because he’s hit or miss with me. The film is very dark in nature so it has that look that Shutter Island had with it’s dark color tones with the bright reds, etc. I really enjoyed the scenes where every thing is all of a sudden sped up to make them look even more crazier than they are. The film also shows you how dark and dingy the city can be and it shows you sections you’ve never seen before as well. I love how Scorsese almost focuses on that as well like he’s making the city a vital character as well. I have to say that I truly enjoyed the side story between Patricia Arquette and Nicholas Cage because they are both struggling with inner demons while Cage is being haunted by the dead, she is dealing with a dark past of her own. It definitely added a cool dynamic to the film that kept the story rolling. Martin Scorsese is definitely one of my favorite directors and there are a lot of films that I still have not seen that will probably show up on this challenge. Check out the film for yourself, I am giving the movie an B for a final grade.