Day 300: The Dark Half (1993)

220px-darkhalfposterCan you believe that 300 days ago I started this journey where I promised to watch one film a day for the whole entire year. It sounded crazy at first and maybe I was crazy for starting this, but for day 300 I wanted to do something special. I chose a film that features two icons of horror in director George A. Romero (Night Of The Living Dead) who adapted the book The Dark Half from Stephen King into a film. Young Thad Beaumont (Patrick Brannan) always had a knack for writing, but something is disrupting his life. After discovering that his twin hadn’t been absolved and was in his head, it’s removed and he continues his life. Fast forward 23 years later and Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) is a professor at a college and he has a secret identity as a writer. One day after his cover is blown, he decides to be upfront and lose the moniker of George Stark (his secret identity). The only problem is that George doesn’t want to go that easy and he comes to life to kill everyone who agreed to Thad losing the moniker. The film also stars Amy Madigan (Uncle Buck) as Liz Beaumont, Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Sheriff Pangborn, Robert Joy (The Hills Have Eyes) as Fred Clawson, Royal Dano (Killer Klowns From Outer Space) as Digger Holt, and Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter) as Miriam Crowley. To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies. 

Day 171: Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

mr-hollands-opus-dvdcoverFor 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).

profesorcThis 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.

Day 131: Heavy Metal (1981)

heavy metalFor today’s film, i wanted to try a new service that I just started using in Crackle and so I looked on their list of films they have and Heavy Metal was one of those films. Heavy Metal was always one of those films that I knew the soundtrack very well, but had never seen the movie. Heavy Metal is an anthology film that divides into several stories all being connected by a common story which in this film’s case is the Loc-Nar, a dangerous and powerful sphere weapon. A little girl is trapped in her house after her astronaut father brings home the orb. The orb kills him and forces the girl to listen to several tales of evil and greed while she sits in agony as she has no choice. The film stars Don Francks (I’m Not There.) as Grimaldi, Co-Pilot, and Barbarian, Caroline Semple as the girl, Richard Romanus (Point Of No Return) as Harry, John Candy (Uncle Buck) as Dan, Den, and Robot, Marilyn Lightstone (Dennis The Menace) as Queen, Jackie Burroughs (The Dead Zone) as Katherine, August Schellenberg (Free Willy) as Norl and Tararak, Eugene Levy (American Pie) as Captain Stern, Vlasta Vrana (Secret Window) as Barbarian Leader, and the film was directed by Gerald Potterton (The Railrodder).

hm 6One thing is definitely for certain when it comes to the film that I watched today and that is that the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. The soundtrack features everyone from Stevie Nicks, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Devo, Cheap Trick and so many more. That is definitely one of the most appealing parts of the film besides the actual film itself. The film is divided into ten segments with the intro and epilogue as part of those. My favorite parts of the film are definitely Harry Canyon, Den, Captain Stern, and Taarna. Harry Canyon follows a taxi driver who thinks he is helping a girl in trouble while Den is about an 18 year old dweeb who gets sucked into another world and he is transformed into a strong warrior. Captain Stern follows a captain who is apparently a scumbag while Taarna is about a warrior woman who is the last of her kind that is called for vengeance. I am trying my hardest not to spoil anything in the film for you guys because you should see it for yourselves. The film is very sexual as it features a lot of naked cartoon woman so don’t think that this film is suitable for your kids cause it isn’t. Every segment seems to feature different types of animation with some being very simplistic and 80’s looking to some that are just remarkable and refreshing. No matter what, all of the stories in the film are well written and John Candy does an amazing job alongside guys like Eugene Levy and the late Harold Ramis. I really enjoyed the film and if you enjoy 80’s music along with 80’s cult classic animated films then check this one out. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Heavy Metal Girls

Day 93: Volcano (1997)

volcano-main-poster1In the mid to late 1990’s, the thing to do in Hollywood was to bring back the lost art of Disaster Movies that people loved from the 70’s (Airport, The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, etc.). In 1997, 20TH Century Fox released the film Volcano which starred Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) boss Mike Roark. Everything seems normal in Los Angeles except for the fact that people are outraged at a new subway line going in. That is until a couple of workers end up dying from severe burns. While Mike starts to investigate what happened, a volcano begins to erupt underneath Los Angeles and now Mike has to figure out how to save the city before it’s too late. The film also stars Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Amy Barnes, Gaby Hoffmann (Uncle Buck) as Kelly Roark, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as Emmit Reese, Jacqueline Kim (Brokedown Palace) as Dr. Jaye Calder, Keith David (Men At Work) as Police LT. Ed Fox, John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Norman Calder, Michael Rispoli (Pain & Gain) as Gator Harris, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Stan Olber, and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).

VolcanoFirst of all, I want to start off by saying that Tommy Lee Jones is an amazing actor who commands the screen no matter what role he is playing. Second of all, this is a disaster film after all which means that the special effects are going to be off the chains for these kinds of films and it was. The explosions were cool and the lava running through the city was cool. How far fetched or possible is a volcano under Los Angeles, I am not 100% sure as to how accurate that would be. With the fault lines and all the subway systems they have, it would be a scary notion if it could happen. To spice things up for the film, they trow in some racial tension because we know that was running rampant in LA at the time. You have a guy looking out for his section of town, gets the handcuffs put on him until the cop decides not to be racist anymore. Then you have a little kid who is being carried by a black police officer who looks out and says, “look at their faces, they all look the same.” A nice gesture saying that we are all human and that we should all help each other, but a sentimental part I seriously could have done without. The movie is about Volcano’s, not Rodney King or Rampart. Nevertheless, you know exactly what you are getting with these films and it’s enjoyable enough to watch. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.