There was a time in some parts of the country whose history was very dark and very shameful. In the 1960’s, the living conditions for African Americans were not very ideal as racism and segregation were at it’s peak especially in Mississippi. For today’s film, Mississippi Burning, we explore the atrocities that mankind committed during the civil rights movement. Two drastically different FBI agents, Allen Ward (Willem Dafoe) and Rupert Anderson (Gene Hackman) are sent to Jesper, Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of three civil rights activists. The only problem is that they can’t seem to get anyone to talk out of fear and for some of them it would mean implicating themselves. That doesn’t stop the two agents from moving forward and not in reverse as they try their best to bring justice. The film also stars Frances McDormand (Fargo) as Mrs. Pell, Brad Dourif (Child’s Play) as Deputy Clinton Pell, R. Lee Emery (Full Metal Jacket) as Mayor Tillman, Gailard Sartain (The Outsiders) as Sheriff Ray Stuckey, Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day) as Clayton Towney, Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Frank Bailey, Pruitt Taylor Vince (Monster) as Lester Cowens, Kevin Dunn (Warrior) as Agent Bird, Tobin Bell (Saw) as Agent Stokes, and the film was directed by Alan Parker (Pink Floyd The Wall).
This was an excellent film that featured excellent performances by just about everyone in the film. Even Darius McCrary who starred in the hit 90’s TGIF TV show Family Matters was very good in the film so it’s hard to choose an MVP, but for me it would go to Gene Hackman. His character and his performance were bad ass and you were rooting for him the whole entire time hoping that he would get to do things his way. I do have to say that Willem Dafoe was a good balance to Hackman because he represented doing things by the book while Hackman was all man and did what he felt was right. It’s hard to believe today that people thought and acted the way they did like they did in this film. Some parts of the county were pretty ignorant to the idea of human rights.You see the KKK in action in this film and you see how hateful they are. I looked it up and this film is loosely based on a true story. Loosely based because they changed the names of people and they created a fictional town in Mississippi. If you want to look up the facts on the real story, then click here. Like I said before, this was an amazing film and if you are a movie fan and a fan of history then this is the film for you. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade, it’s playing on Starz/Encore this month.
There are times where I thank myself for starting this challenge because it gives me opportunities to see some amazing films and sometimes not so amazing of films. Ever since Marvel and Disney had announced that the third film for Captain America was going to be Captain America: Civil War, I couldn’t wait to see it. When The Avengers have to go in to a city and save the day, who has to answer to the people and the victims of the aftermath? Who is held responsible and who is to be held accountable? That is one of the many questions that Secretary Of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) have presented to the team after a mission in Nigeria has some terrible consequences. With Bucky Barnes still on the loose and now wanted for the murder of King T’Chaka (John Kani), Captain America (Chris Evans) looks to prove that Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is innocent even if it means he has to go rogue. The film also stars Paul Bettany (Priest) as Vision, Scarlet Johansson (Lucy) as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) as Sam Wilson, Don Cheadle (Crash) as War Machine, Jeremy Renner (The Town) as Hawkeye, Chadwick Boseman (42) as Black Panther, Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla) as Scarlet Witch, Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) as Ant-Man, Tom Holland (Locke) as Spider-Man, Daniel Brühl (Rush) as Zemo, Frank Grillo (Warrior) as Crossbones, and the film was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
I am seriously trying my best not to spoil anything for anyone who has not yet seen this film. I am seriously going to try my best, but just in case spoiler alert: do not continue to read in case of any details slipping through. I am going to start this off right away by saying that I truly loved the film and was totally not disappointed by it at all. All I can really say is that there are some small questions that are answered in this film that play a big role overall in the film. Not to mention, there is some bad ass action sequences in the film and some really cool appearances by certain characters like one Spider-Man and Ant-Man. I really loved Spider-Man’s interactions with Tony Stark and the Avengers team in general. The film really does a terrific job with character development and if you are looking for a character driven film, then this is it. All of the action sequences are amazing and all of the fight scenes are worth the price of admission. Chadwick Boseman making his debut as Black Panther was absolutely awesome and the drama was well written. The conflicts hit you really close especially if you are a fan of a certain character. This is definitely one of my favorite films of the year besides Deadpool so I am going to have a hard time with ranking these films. Check out the film, choose a side, and see if you made the right choice for yourself. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade because it had the right amount of drama and it sneaked the comedy in at the right times plus everything I mentioned above.
For today’s film, I chose a film that had a lot of buzz back in the time that it was released in 2015, but I never had the chance to see it then till now. Joel Edgerton (Warrior) pulls triple duty for The Gift which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just moved from Chicago to LA to try and start a new life in a new setting. One day the couple run into an old acquaintance of Simon’s named Gordo (Edgerton) who randomly starts bringing the couple gifts. One of those gifts is that he unwraps a secret from 20 years before that is going to affect Simon’s relationship with Robyn for the worst as details start to unravel. The film also stars Allison Tolman (Krampus) as Lucy, Tim Griffin (Star Trek) as Kevin, Busy Phillips (White Chicks) as Duffy, Adam Lazarre-White (War Of The Worlds) as Ron, Wendell Pierce (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2) as Det. Mills, Beau Knapp (Southpaw) as Det. Walker, Nash Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge Of The Sith) as Frank Dale, and Mirrah Foulkes (Sleeping Beauty) as Wendy Dale.
First of all I have to start this paragraph with how much I enjoyed Joel Edgerton’s performance as Gordo the Weirdo (That is what Bateman’s character calls him). At times, he seems as innocent as can be then there are times where he can start to look really weird. What I can tell you is that the twist in the end is something I should have seen coming, but I didn’t. I am obviously not going to give away what the twist is just in case you were looking to watch the film. Jason Bateman is as brilliant as usual as he delivers a serious performance as the manipulative Simon. Rebecca Hall does great as well as the woman who begins to put the pieces together when she cannot get the answers from the one source she needs. The film has suspense at times during the film, but it really starts to kick into overdrive in the last 10 minutes of the film. I however did enjoy the writing because the story was pretty solid in my opinion and the filmmaking aspect of the film was solid as well. Joel Edgerton did a pretty good job for someone who was directing his first feature length film and the overall aesthetic/tones of the film was dark. I am starting to see the maybe Hollywood is starting to go with more original ideas which gives me hope for filmmaking. I enjoyed the film, you know exactly what you’re getting when you watch it. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
This was one of those films that came out last year that I never had the chance to see and when I saw that it was available on Redbox, I jumped on the chance. The United States has been fighting the war on drugs on every single (Local, State, DEA, FBI, etc.) level ever since the Reagan administration. Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is sort of a straight laced, by the book FBI agent who is knee deep in the war on Mexican cartels in Arizona. After an incident where she found tons of bodies, she is recruited by a government task force that is led by an unconventional CIA agent (Josh Brolin) and a mysterious Latino man (Benicio Del Toro) working with the CIA to hunt down a drug lord. The mission is tough for Kate as she begins to notice that they’ll do anything to catch the man. The film also stars Victor Garber (Argo) as Dave Jennings, Jon Bernthal (Fury) as Ted, Daniel Kaluuya (Kick Ass 2) as Reggie, Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) as Steve Forsing, Raoul Max Trujillo (Riddick) as Rafael, Julio Cedillo (The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada) as Fausto Alarcon, Bernardo P. Saracino (Frontera) as Manuel Diaz, Maximiliano Hernandez (Warrior) as Silvio, and the film was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners).
I am going to come out and say it and that is I am a huge fan of Denis Villeneuve films because they are dark, intense, and they keep you on the edge of your seat. I think just about everyone has seen Prisoners which was dark and intense, but if you haven’t seen Enemy, then you need to. You also need to see this film if you haven’t because the last half of the movie gets really intense. There’s this one scene when they are preparing to go forward with a mission that the score gets as intense and suspenseful as the scene. That is the perfect marriage between score and film which is what we all aim for when making a film. It’s really hard to choose who the MVP of the film is because Josh Brolin is as amazing as usual and Benicio Del Toro is pretty intense in the film too. For a while, you are trying to figure out what an assassin has to do with the story, but once you get it, you really get it and you move forward. I am going to warn you that at times some of the images you may see on screen can get pretty intense, but we are dealing with the Mexican Cartel after all and they’ve done some pretty nasty stuff. This could be a contender for movie of the year, but it’s hard because 2015 was a really good year for films. Anyways, I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade so check it out for yourself.