Thursday, July 28, 2016

In Retrospect: Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

In this particular retrospect I shall be reviewing the 3 hour cut of the movie, not the two and a half hour theatrical cut, to see if it is worth the extra 30 minutes. In the short term, yes it is. In the long term, let us begin. Needless to say I still love the movie, and the additional footage greatly enhances the original cut. In fact, the additional footage cleans up quite a few messes from the original cut so I am all for it. They show a hell of a lot more blood in this, which I actually enjoy because it just makes it much more realistic. So well done all around, the acting is still awesome, the fights are still great, we get a tiny bit more character arc, and I am just happy to own it. Do I recommend the 3 hour cut? Absolutely. I think you will enjoy it more than the original theatrical cut. So I say go out and buy the Ultimate Edition which is seriously a grand total of I think $4 extra than the regular movie. So until next week, where we review more DC movies leading up to Suicide Squad.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hail, Caesar!

Yet another damn good Cohen Brothers movie.

Hail, Ceasar! is a really fun and entertaining movie, although I must admit I knew very little about the actual plot. Now the plot follows the head of a motion picture studio set in the 50s, as he tries to keep everything cool, calm, and collected especially when one of the major stars is kidnapped. And an aspect I must give major props to is how in the dark you are about the whole kidnapping scheme, they did a good job to keep up the mystery. Now let's talk about the casting, dear sweet God in Heaven this is a friggin' cast man! George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, my sun and my moon and my star lit sky Scarlett Johannson, and even a few other familiar faces we have encountered here. Absolute awesomeness! Also, the look of the movie...I am in the 50s when I watch this movie both in the real life scenes and in the acting scenes. They nail how films were made back then, with extravagant musical numbers, with dancing, and aquatic ballet, the whole nine yards! Perfect! I would definitely say you should check this movie out, I think you will like it very much especially if you are an old movie fan or a Cohen Brothers fan.

Now tomorrow, we got another In Retrospect review. It kinda sets the stage for what is coming up next week so tune in tomorrow.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Dead Pool

Yeah, you read right. The next time you say you're going to watch that Dead Pool movie, keep your audience in suspense until you decide to tell them Clint Eastwood is in it.

The Dead Pool is the last in the Dirty Harry series, and surprisingly the shortest, clocking in at an hour and a half. The plot revolves around Harry being put on a hit list with several other celebrities forming the dead pool, with Harry trying to stop as many deaths as possible including his own. For the last installment in the series, it doesn't end on a bad note. The plot though simple works, and this movie really delves into the 80s tropes from the get go with in your face badass 80s music, the clothing, the hair, the workout fad at that time, a friggin' Guns N' Roses song showcased in the movie, it doesn't screw around. Now for the whole identity behind the creator of this dead pool list, it starts out good but really gets better. I give credit where credit is due, but most of the time I wonder why they add these mystery elements to the stories if they don't really play them all the way through, with the exception of this movie. I know they are more action films than detective films but still. But anyway, the cast is not half bad in this movie, Clint in my opinion really gets better with age and this is a good series to prove that, we get Liam Neeson in this movie (I am so not kidding!) and my God it's weird but really cool, and we even get Jim Carrey (Again, no joke!) in a bit part before he became super famous which is interesting to see. Really got to admit though the final ending to the entire series feels kind of abrupt, it just sort of ends immediately after the final kill. Still a good movie though, but I think it is the weakest of the series and that's the interesting thing. Not one of these movies are bad so you really just have to judge each of them on their merits and see which one you like the best. Now for next week, not really anything planned but who knows? So until next time my friends.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sudden Impact

This is the second best movie in the entire series.

It comes very close to being as good as the first, so that must mean something. You know how I said I wanted this movie to be dark? Well it certainly delivered. It literally starts off dark with some great shots of San Fransisco at night with some real badass 80s music. And then it gets darker...dear sweet Jesus does it get darker. Probably the darkest the series has ever gotten, and I enjoy it but still, I mean damn. The plot involves Harry taking up a homicide case, and you know how I said in Magnum Force there was a mystery that lasted for about 25 minutes? Well this movie's mystery lasts about 5 minutes, you know who is doing this, you figure out why a little while into the movie, and yet it doesn't hurt the film. It's a revenge story and done very very well, to the point where you don't care there isn't a mystery cause you roll with it quick. Clint Eastwood not only starred, but produced and even directed the movie and he did a phenomenal job. Harry in this movie is older, meaner, and even less tolerant of punks than he was in the past movies. The action though sparse is still done well, Harry even gets a kicking new badass gun, the music is better than the last movie I got to say, and the ending is what I wanted. So not much to complain about, it's one of the best of the series so there you have it. Really the best part of this entire movie series is the continuity, you can watch any of them, in any order and still enjoy them. Kinda reminds me of the Man With No Name movies that Clint did in his early spaghetti western parts, loose continuity, can enjoy them all, but hey we got more movie to review. So let's see if this series ends on a high note.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Enforcer

This movie was better than I remembered.

Alright so new movie, new threats, new partner with Harry dealing with some heavily armed militants and a female partner. And you know, I got to admit his partner Kate Moore played perfectly by Tyne Daly kinda steals the movie. She is a badass. When I say badass...I mean a badass, she's rad man. She keeps up with Harry, and even bests him in some departments, she is just terrific. So far these movies have been holding up pretty dang well, I mean they know what they are doing, what they want to achieve, and what is important in the story. The movie's director is James Fargo and he got what was right really right, and there was only two problems that I had with the movie, one I can't talk about cause it delves into the spoiler realm but the other just seemed odd. So basically there is this militia group raiding a weapons warehouse, and during the course of this one of them is having problems lifting weapon caches and looks like she's having some serious cramps, so I figure there will be this weird pregnancy sub-plot in the stream of things and you know what it turns into? Absolutely nothing. Just seems a bit odd to have it in the movie if it doesn't come to any fruition, no one talks about it or says anything so it almost seems like it was going to be a part of the film but they cut it. Sorry to go on that small tangent but it bugs me people! But we'll be back tomorrow with the next movie, the very first one made in the 80s. So here's hoping for some dark material and great action.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Magnum Force

The second installation in the Dirty Harry series, how does it hold up?

I got to admit it's a fantastic follow up to the first movie, with Harry encountering some mysterious murders of the most prolific of San Francisco's crime syndicate both big and small. Harry takes up the case to prove that it is not himself that is murdering these criminals, and that's all well and good...until the 25 minute mark. I mean the mystery rolls pretty good, it makes you ask a few questions, and then it turns painfully transparent who is commiting these murders. Even though it is clear what is going down, the movie really doesn't lose that much. The action is still good, Harry gets some good character development proving that he does the law his way but he still has respect for the system of law and order, Harry gets a new partner and I think he's awesome, so it certainly doesn't downgrade from the last movie. The music once again composed by Lalo Schifrin is good but very minimalistic, oh it's there but it is not prevalent in every scene. The scenes speak for themselves, and are directed very well so music is not always required. Clint gets a lot of stuff to do in the movie, he stops plane hijackers, the entire finale he doesn't even fire a single shot and wins, and he gets a little uh, hey hey...if you know what I mean. He was a good looking fella back then, so I kinda get the attraction. But anyway, good movie, watch it if it peaks your interest, and we shall continue the series tomorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dirty Harry

Yesterday I was thinking about what I could review this week, when I remembered a movie series that many people might not know is a movie series and it's a action movie so I figured why not?

So without further delay, let's look at all 5 Dirty Harry movies this week. The first movie is definitely the best one in my opinion, a true Clint Eastwood classic. The story follows San Francisco officer Harry Callahan as he tries to track down a serial killer by the name of Scorpio. The plot is your basic cop movie plot, but I'm not sure why this movie does it better than many, many other cop movies of the past few decades. Probably because it was one of the first that followed the formula of hardboiled cop, no rules to follow but his own, gets a partner he doesn't want, has to hunt down a serial killer, and all the while be a complete badass. The film was made and is set in the then present day of 1971, so of course it's going to look straight up 70s but I love that, it gives the film it's own unique look and feel to the story. The music composed by Lalo Schifrin is excellent with great female choirs, and a very almost jazz type of music that really makes the movie for me, especially the very last song. The cinematogrophy is pretty inavative for the time and sucks you into the movie, with handheld cameras, zoom ins, and sweeping shots. The acting is great with Clint Eastwood being well, Clint Eastwood in a part that fits like a glove on him. The Scorpio killer played by Andy Robinson is psychotic and creepy even though the actor himself is a pacifist and all around a nice guy. All in all, it's a great movie and I do recommend it if you are a fan of Clint Eastwood, or just like cop movies. But there is much more ground to cover this week so I will see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Rum Diary

Okay I lied, it's not a sequel it's a prequel.

The Rum Diary is set in 1960 long before the real Hunter S. Thompson started his own type of journalism, what he called Gonzo journalism. So the potrayal of him in this movie is less drug orientated, more subdued, and pretty much just another reporter (albeit with a love for liquor.). The film still stars Johnny Depp as the man himself and still does great justice to the role. True it's not as fun or as insane as Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, but don't let it turn you down. The movie isn't horrible, but it's not great either. The story is basic, with another of Hunter's psuedonyms named Paul Kemp in this movie, as he travels to Puerto Rico looking for more frequent work. In the process he meets a beautiful woman who he falls for, and is soon faced with a decision: does he continue writing almost sheer propaganda about Puerto Rico, or take a stand and bring down the monopolizing douchebags? Well if you know anything about our friend Mr. Thompson, he is not the kind to go quietly into the night. The film was made six years after Thompson's death and is actually in memory of him, and I have to say they did not screw around with the preliminary story. They got everything down right straight down to the ending. So I must highly commend them for not really taking any liberties with this particular chapter of this man's life. It's a good movie, not great but can still be enjoyed for it's merits. But if I would make a suggestion, watch this movie first. You got polar opposites with these two movies about Thompson's life, and really after watching the hilarious insanity of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, it's kind of hard to watch this movie. Although there is one drug scene and it is pretty funny, the movie deals more with what Paul Kemp is going through, rather than what he is going through in hallucinatory fashion. Final sum up, good movie, watch this one first, and last but not least buy the ticket and take the ride.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Who needs drugs when you have a movie like this?

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is a brilliant film, based off of the book by the same name written by Hunter S. Thompson, starring Johnny Depp in his slow rise to popularity and Benicio Del Toro. The story follows the real life story of Doctor of Journalism Hunter S. Thompson, named Raoul Duke in this movie, as he is sent to Las Vegas to write on a sport event but soon spirals into a drug riddled analysis of the 60s counterculture and the american dream. The very feel and nature of this movie does make you think, "Jesus what the hell did I take before this movie?". It's very out there, but not to the point where you get lost in confusion. It's a trip to say the least. There's great subtle humor in the movie almost all done by Johnny Depp in probably one of my top five best performances of his, and it takes repeated viewings to get everything that's happening, both in foreground and background. The performances feel legitimate, this ain't no Reefer Madness kind of drug acting. Actually now that I think about it the entire movie feels like a combination of uppers, downers, screamers, and laughers in terms of drugs, with higher than highs and lows of aftereffects on binging on every known drug to mankind since 1544 A.D. with laughs aplenty, and screamers full of tension. I definitely say to give this movie a chance, and see what you take from this trip of drug idled madness in the seediest city in the country.

And on tomorrow's review, it's actually almost a sequel to this movie. Still starring Johnny Depp, still based on Hunter S. Thompson, but made in 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2016

American Movie

Holy hell man, that's a movie.

American Movie is the story of an everyday man with dreams of becoming a big filmmaker, and chronicles the production of two of his real life movies and all the trials which happened during filming. It's a straight up documentary, and when I say it is the most realistic potrayal of actually making a movie I am not joking. If you ever wondered, what's it actually like to make an independent film this film is the answer to that question. To many people, this movie is their movie making bible and I can totally see why. It's about as real as it gets and I friggin' love it. You can easily attach yourself to Mark Borchardt because of his passion for his dreams, his everyday problems, and really how he overcomes all the problems to get his movies made. The documentary itself covers the span of about two years, but Mark has been working on these two movies he wishes to complete for several years. It just goes to show, if you love something you never really stop doing it. I'm very proud to see the movie, even though I was just a baby when this documentary was being filmed at the time. We all have dreams, and passion for something. In Mike's case it's movie making, in my case it's writing reviews of movies. And I'll be damned if I don't say this is one of the most quotable movies I've ever seen, I was shocked at how many lines I actually knew although there is no script. It's pretty damn awesome and I recommend it greatly to movie lovers and filmmakers both now and potential filmmakers in the future. To be honest, it really made me think of the work I do now and how much I just enjoy doing it. In a way I know, without my reviews I'm absolutely nothing. But I've done over a hundred and I don't ever want to stop so you know. Film is my life.

Monday, July 4, 2016

National Treasure 2: Book Of Secrets

And we are back with the equally good sequel to National Treasure.

All the previous notes I made in the last movie are present, with minor adjustments and a few new additions. Okay, so the plot is very much like the last a great big treasure hunt lead by our friend Nicholas Cage, followed by our companions from the last movie. I got to tell you though, the plot makes some major leaps in the grand scheme of the hunt. In the last movie it was a gradual progression of clues to the finale, and all of them made perfect sense. But this movie makes a leap from assasination of Abraham Lincoln to finding probably the most ridiculous cover up I've ever seen in my life. They get to globetrotting too, heading to England and other places. We get to meet Ben Gates's mom played by Helen Mirren, while in the last movie we just met his dad played by Jon Voight and they make the movie much more fun. Our villain is certainly a step up from Sean Bean in more ways than one played by Ed Harris, terrific actor who really nails the menace in this movie. Final sum up, a good movie with raised stakes and payoffs, a little light on the history but it doesn't hurt it, I would recommend it especially around Independence Day. Now to celebrate with fireworks! Have a happy 4th of July everybody!

National Treasure

Okay we got a double feature for you tonight, so let's dive right in.

National Treasure is a very fun, very interesting movie with lots of history interwoven in a treasure hunt starring Nicholas Cage. The plot is like I said, a great big treasure hunt is underway with our hero Ben Gates as he searches for the greatest treasure in human history. Until the second movie happens. But anyway, I just like the inner details of the story and the treasure hunt. You can tell it was very difficult and very fun to actually write the story from beginning to end, daisy chaining all the clues to the big finale. Plus I got to commend a movie that can teach very nifty american history while still being entertaining and not a snore fest. The cast is really good, Nicholas Cage is a passionate lead, his right hand man Riley played by Justin Bartha is the best part of the entire movie, you wouldn't think the comic sidekick would be the best part but he really is! Diane Kruger does great as the romantic interest, and we got Sean Bean as a villain who surprisingly doesn't die so chalk that up to good luck. All in all, an entertaining film with a fun history edge to it. In the words of Joe Bob Briggs, four stars check it out. And now onto the sequel.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Hello, My Name Is Doris

I have such mixed emotions about this movie.

It's a good movie, but the way it ends just leaves me in a state of confusion. So pretty much the movies about Doris who falls in love with this young hunk of a guy, and yes it is amazing to see Sally Field be an absolute cougar, and it changes her life for better and for worse. It's a fun little movie, really funny, full of heart, Sally Field is cute as a bug with her messy hair, her big hair bows, and her cat's eyes glasses. She just brings a smile to my face. The rest of the cast is relatively unknown, but all of them are great. The music is, in a word very hipstery but still very enjoyable in some cases. New York looks so down to earth, and it gives the film a great look. If this looks like a fun movie to you, absolutely give it a watch but if not you're not missing the movie rental of the year. It's an interesting movie, with almost a very Lost In Translation feel to it all, especially the ending but is still individual in every other aspect. So until next time, take good care of yourself and each other.