There 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.
Mark 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.
I think I have discussed this before where there is so much anticipation for a film that I just have to see it when it comes out. As far as Disney Animated films are concerned, Zootopia was definitely a must see film for me. Zootopia is a place where predators and prey can live in harmony among each other in this big city. For Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), she has dreams of being a cop in the city of Zootopia and not being just an ordinary bunny. When she finally achieves her goal of being a cop, she is not taken seriously among her colleagues. That is until she is told to solve a missing animal case, but there is a catch to it. She has 48 hours to solve the case or she has to turn in her badge, but she’ll do it with the help of a sly fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). The film also stars Idris Elba (Thor) as Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate (The Lorax) as Bellweather, Nate Torrence (My Best Friend’s Girl) as Clawhauser, Bonnie Hunt (Cars) as Bonnie Hopps, Don Lake (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as Stu Hopps, Tommy Chong (Up In Smoke) as Yax, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Mayor Lionheart, Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Duke Weaselton, Shakira as Gazelle, Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) as Mr. Big, Raymond S. Persi (Wreck-It Ralph) as Flash, and the film was directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush.
This is by far the number one movie for the month of March and it is giving Deadpool a run for it’s money on the Top 25 of the year. This film is a classic case of what you see in the trailer is exactly what you can expect from the film. The film is full of laughs as well as the necessary drama that all Disney films have and it has it’s heart warming moments as well. While all of the animals in the film are living in an anthropomorphic world, they are very true to their animal like selves if you get what I am saying. The foxes are sly creatures in real life and Nick Wilde is exactly that. You would kind of expect a Yak to be a free spirited yoga obsessed animal with flies that won’t leave him alone. The city of Zootopia is even divided by sections like the rainforest section or the desert side and you should see how they have it work. There was a lot of detail that was placed into the film and it pays off because it’s cool and very fun to watch. There are references to famous TV Shows and films like Breaking Bad and The Godfather (not that kids will know what that is) which is a little treat for the parents to enjoy while watching it with their kids. This film is definitely one of the best animated films out there in the past year or two. I definitely suggest watching it and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I don’t know how to follow up the amazing Deadpool since that was the best film viewed yet, but we’ll have to try. I continued down the comedy road and chose a film by the world famous Coen Brothers (Fargo). The film is called The Ladykillers and it stars the amazing Tom Hanks (Philadelphia) as Professor G.H. Dorr PHd, a smooth talking eccentric southern man who is looking to take advantage of an old woman named Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall) because her property lies within his master plan. You see, Dorr wants to rob a Casino boat, but in order to do that, he has to build a tunnel underground that leads to the casino with a rather unlikely team and pose as a classical duo in the meantime to fool the old lady. The film also stars Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) as Gawain, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Garth Pancake, Tzi Ma (Rush Hour) as The General, Ryan Hurst (Remember The Titans) as Lump Hudson, Diane Delano (The Wicker Man) as Mountain Girl, George Wallace (Funny People) as Sheriff Wyner, Stephen Root (Office Space) as Fernand Gudge, Jason Weaver (Drumline) as Weemack, and Walter K. Jordan (Life) as Elron.
I didn’t know going into the film that it was a remake and with that being said I’d actually like to see the original version. The film isn’t super amazing, but it’s actually pretty decent and at times it’s funny. The part that is funny to me is the fact that these are five guys who have really no business being a team and it shows throughout the film. You want to talk about a motley crew, these are definitely them. You have a punk wannabe street thug, a demolitions expert with a bad case of IBS, a Vietnamese general with a smoking habit, and a jock whose dumber than a box of rocks. That is where the real comedy in this film lies and it once it gets towards the last 20 minutes of the film is when it gets really good as it all falls apart. The soundtrack to the film is actually pretty good as it mixes some gospel music with music like The Nappy Roots, and so much more. It was also supervised by T Bone Burnett who you may remember for O Brother, Where Art Thou?. I definitely think it’s a film that is worth checking out if you are a fan of Tom Hanks, The Coen Brothers, and T Bone Burnett. Marlon Wayans was definitely the comedic relief of the film, but Hanks provides some himself. I am going to give The Ladykillers an B for a final grade.
Instead of doing Super Sunday on the other blog, I am bringing it here for a film that I sort of boycotted back when it was first released (I’ll explain my reasoning below). Spider-Man 3 was the third and last installment of the Sam Raimi (Evil Dead)/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man series. Things appear to be going quite well for Spider-Man (Maguire) as all the residents of New York love and appreciate him and he has the girl of his dreams in Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). That all begins to change when a strange black entity from another world appears and bonds with Parker. It starts to drive certain urges in Spider-Man that we are not used to seeing from him as he battles new villains and some new problems because of it. The film also stars Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) as Eddie Brock, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as Harry Osborn, Thomas Haden Church (Daddy’s Home) as Sandman, Bryce Dallas Howard (50/50) as Gwen Stacy, Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man) as May Parker, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as J. Jameson, James Cromwell (The Green Mile) as Captain Stacy, Dylan Baker (Trick ‘r Treat) as Dr. Curt Conners, and Elizabeth Banks (Zack & Miri Make A Porno) as Miss Brant.
The reason I avoided this film to be perfectly honest back in 2007 was that I was frankly sick of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and I did not agree with the casting choice of Topher Grace as Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom. Topher Grace just wasn’t my first choice to play a bad ass villain, but nevertheless they went with him and I decided to check it out today. While this is definitely not the best film of the Sam Raimi three, it’s definitely not the best of all the Spider-Man movies that have come out including the two Amazing Spider-Man films. The film was just all over the place and there is this one sequence that was just unnecessary and it’s when Parker is walking down New York like he’s John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. That had to be the cheesiest moment of the whole film, but there are some redeeming values in the film. I wasn’t completely disappointed with the way Venom looked and Topher Grace was OK. I was impressed with him through most of the film when he was just that annoying Eddie Brock trying to top Peter Parker at The Daily Bugle. I loved the film’s choice for Gwen Stacy in Bryce Dallas Howard as she brings beauty to the role and the battle scene towards the end was pretty good as well. One thing they messed up on was the film seemed to abandon the subplot between Parker and Osborn who has basically ruined Parker’s life. After he regains his memory, he goes on a hellbent mission to destroy Parker, but after a little tussle in the lab, it’s over just like that? There’s also one more problem towards the end that I had, but I won’t give that away. So, let’s just say it has something to do with the Sandman. It’s definitely a film that could have been so much more than it was, but Raimi dropped the ball on this one. I am giving the film an C+ for a final grade.