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Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

pointbreakMy movie website cohort and good friend Benn Farrell knows that I am not a fan of remakes in general. They tend to be remade for the wrong reasons.  I will already tell you that I will not like the new Ghostbusters film that is coming out in the summer of 2016.  The reason why I will not like it is because if the film is awesome, which it won’t be, it can’t be better than the original.  So if it can’t be better than the original why make it?  Knowing my feelings about this Benn sent me to this film.  But I have never seen the original Point Break with Patrick Swayze and surfer dude Keanu Reeves.  So I have nothing to compare this film to other than the few clips I have seen over the years.  So I am a blank slate for this film and yet while I was pessimistic at the start I was pleasantly surprised at how not awful it ended up being.  I will have to see the original now for comparison.

Utah, played by Luke Bracey (The November Man,) is a former extreme sport motocross rider turned potential FBI agent after a friend of his died falling off of a cliff falling Utah on his bike.  The FBI are dealing with some extreme sportsmen who are also committing crimes on U.S. corporations around the world.  Utah realizes that the people committing these crimes are also attempting to complete the Ozaki 8, a list eight extreme ordeal to honor the forces of nature.  Because of his background Utah is sent to see if he can infiltrate the group and gather information.  In doing so he meets the leader Bodhi, played by Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum,) who suggests Utah look into himself to see why he left the sport, among other things.  Utah also begins a relationship with Samsara, played by Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies,) and begins to earn the trust of the group as they do so bring him along on another one of their missions to honor Ozaki.

The biggest thing that got me to like this movie is the filming of the extreme sports that the guys do in the film.  Even if most of it was green screen those action scenes had a lot of excitement for me.  For whatever reason as I have gotten older I have acquired a fear of heights.  Not on an airplane or if I am standing in a tall building.  More along the lines of when I see people mountain climbing in general, especially without ropes, or seeing some of those geniuses climbing to the roof of the skyscrapers to do balancing acts on the edge and so forth.  I guess as I have gotten older I like my life a lot more than those idiots even though they are younger and have more of a life to live.  There were many scenes that had me stressed in the film watching.  One of the two worst ones was when the five guys were paragliding I think?  Granted a lot of it was green screen but I would assume some of it wasn’t and it was cool to watch them fly through the air as they were falling to the ground.   But of course the one that had me the most was when Utah was chasing Bodhi and another guy up a mountain and they were all climbing up the mountain without ropes or anything.  Once at the top Bodhi purposely falls of the waterfall and Utah follows him down.  I actually had to fast forward it a bit because it was stressing me out.  But that is more on me than it is on the film.

My biggest issue is that there seems to be no real conflict or bad guy.  At no point did I believe Utah wasn’t going to stop being an FBI Agent and join these guys on their quest.  Bodhi was the bad guy but as bad guys go he wasn’t horrible.  He is a modern day Robin Hood and I thought we are supposed to like those guys.  So I guess I am saying that none of the characters were really developed one way or the other for me to root for or against them.  I also have an issue of the character of Samsara.  It would appear there was no purpose for her role other than to show some skin and be a mild love interest for Utah.  Even at that there is no real belief that the relationship is going to go anywhere.  Her only purpose was to explain what actually happened to Ozaki and his life meaning.  Other than that there is nothing so when Utah ends up shooting her during a failed bank heist there is no real sense of loss for me.  Don’t get me wrong Teresa Palmer is hot, even if she wasn’t one of the actresses that had her phone hacked a couple of years ago and had all sorts of nude pictures of her out on the net, she would still be hot.  But there is no purpose for her character in this film other than showing a hot bodied woman.

POINT BREAK

Lastly the last issue I had was that the reason why these guys were committing the crimes was because of some Zen connection between the Ozaki 8 and giving back to the earth and the commitment level they had at doing both.  The problem using that is that the climactic scene in the movie is fairly anti-climactic.  The above mentioned chase between Utah and Bodhi on the cliff was that scene.  Other than freaking out the audience member like me, it didn’t do anything to help the story.  Both jumped off the cliff and Utah showed back up and it was assumed by the other FBI that Bodhi was lost in the river even though Utah knew he survived.  Then we flash forward seven months later when a storm creates the conditions for the remaining trial that Bodhi needs to do and Utah catches up to him and tells him that if he goes out and does the trial he will die.  Bodhi tells him basically that is the beauty of it.  I don’t get it.  So needless to say the ending is lacking.

I will say that the actors in the film were the other reason why I enjoyed the film as much as I did. Both Bracey and Martinez did the best with what was given to them.  Hell for that matter so did Teresa Palmer.  They could only do so much with what was given and it was clear this movie focused more on the stunts then the script.

This is not a good movie but it isn’t horrible.  The extreme sports kept me in the movie but the story and lack of character development destroy what good there is in the film.  Like I said I will have to see the original so I can see the differences but I can say that I won’t watch this movie again unless there is nothing else on.  It was better than I thought it would be, but I was expecting garbage.  I am guessing I will have to wait for the new Ghostbusters to give me a garbage remake.

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Sisters***This is a movie review challenge from that man known as Benn Farrell. I would use harsher words but his kids might read this someday and I don’t want them knowing how horrible he can be.  But if there is karma in this world they will all become Justin Bieber fans.***

I am convinced that in the future on the TV show Jeopardy the question to the answer, “Who is Tina Fey” the question will be “Who made Saturday Night Lives’ Weekend Update lame and not funny?” I have never liked Tina Fey.   I would hope that this question would never come up because she would have faded away by now but unfortunately her politics is right in the wheelhouse of Hollywood so I am sure we will get many more hours of unfunny movies like Sisters.  The one downer for me is that I am a fan of Amy Poehler and these two friends seemed to be joined at the hip and I will rarely get to see the two of them separate.

Maura Ellis, played by Amy Poehler (Baby Mama,) is the younger and much more responsible sibling to her older sister Kate Ellis, played by Tina Fey (Baby Mama.)  Maura in fact may be too responsible as she is always trying to help even if people aren’t asking for it.  However she makes up for her older sister Kate who is they stereotypical (I should say stereotypical from a liberal’s point of view,) white trash woman who was so busy partying and banging dudes that even her only daughter doesn’t want to live with her because she is more responsible than Kate.  Bad news strikes the sisters when they find out that their parents are selling their childhood home in Florida and are forced to come and clean out their old rooms.  Instead of doing that the sisters decide to through one last through back party with all of their old friends they went to high school in the 80’s.  Supposed hilarity and jolly good times ensue until secrets are revealed and sisters get angry with each other.  Will one grow up?? Will one relax??  I wish I didn’t know.

One thing that I don’t like about the movie right away us all of the unnecessary swearing in the film.  Now I have no issues with dropping F-bombs in delivering a great joke or to apply meaning to a funny situation. However, I fucking don’t fucking like dropping fucking f-bombs for the fucking sake of fucking forced fucking humor.  Shit!  Especially when the words we are using would be straight out of the mouths of 15 year olds who are saying these things anonymously thanks to the Internet.  Not only that but the words are not your basic Seven Dirty Words but more of the bodily function all over bodily orifice. And shockingly (<-Sarcasm,) it is Kate with most, all though not all, of the fun descriptive words in the movie.  Other then this the other attempts at humor were situations that involved 40+ year old women trying on 20+ year old clothes with 20+ year old sales girl being disturbed as she says “You look amazing” and situations involving drunk hijinks.  The supporting cast wasn’t exceptionally funny and especially bad was Dave, played by John Leguizamo (John Wick,) who was unfunny as the first sexual conquest of Kate.

The other lesson the film tried to give us was the standard personal growth from the irresponsible sister.  The effort for it was like the rest of the film, to easy and not at all convincing.  But it revolved around Tina Fey’s character and my dislike for her could be blinding my judgement.  I did like Amy Poehler in the film although it wasn’t a fabulous performance.  She didn’t have a whole lot of laughs even though the scene that involved her love interest James, played by Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors,) and her music box was somewhat entertaining.

Overall the only reason why I am watching this film is because Benn is a rat…fatherless child.  He knew I would dislike this movie and sure enough I didn’t.  But making Benn think about Arnold Schwarzenegger for a month is torture for him so I can put up with Tina Fey for two hours, every six months or so.

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terminatorgenisysI was excited to see this film, at least I thought I was, when I saw the trailers for this film. It had the great one in the film and in a typical roll for him as the terminator.  It had Khaleesi herself Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor.  Yet the Terminator franchise has become so mediocre to poor since Terminator 2 I chose discretion as the better part of valor and decided to wait.  So I waited, and waited and waited.  I waited over a year and finally I decided to watch as Benn and I have chosen April 2016 to be Arnold Schwarzenegger month.  Well I chose it because he lost the monthly challenge so I made him watch a bunch of Arnold films.  As for this film I am a fan of it even though the story and plot make no sense but the action was fun and I hope they finally put to bed this once great franchise.

Terminator Genisys begins right before the events of the original Terminator movie from 1984 but starts in the future with John Conner, played by Jason Clarke (Everest,) once again sends back in time Kyle Reese, played by Jai Courtney (I, Frankenstein,) to protect John’s mother Sarah Conner, played by Emilia Clarke (TV’s Game of Thrones,) from the terminator sent back to kill her.  However, just as Kyle is getting zapped to the past, he witnesses John get attacked by a terminator.  (This is where the timeline gets all crazy.)  Kyle is sent back to 1984 but is attacked by a T-1000 terminator sent for him and he is saved by Sarah and her guardian the Terminator T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Maggie.)  Her guardian was sent to protect her as a child when Skynet sent a T-1000 to kill her as a child.  The three of them destroy the new T-1000 and are sent to the future to destroy Skynet but not to the year 1997 when Judgement Day happened but in the year 2017 when the computer program Genisys goes live.  In 2017 Kyle and Sarah run into some unexpected complications when they try to destroy Skynet and will have to fight and kill an even more powerful terminator in order to survive.

The biggest weakness for this film is the story and how it destroys the timeline and does so while making no sense what so ever.  Stories involving time travel are always dicey and especially the Terminator franchise because there are a lot of which came first the chicken or the egg scenarios.    But this movie really doesn’t explain how Skynet sends another Terminator to kill Sarah as a child and only explains who sent the guardian Terminator by saying its memory was wiped in order to prevent the person who does it from being hunted.  Then in the new 1984 if both the T-1000 is destroyed as is the original T-800 with the young Arnold is destroyed then why do we still have to worry about the 1997 Judgement Day because they destroyed the technology that Cyberdyne used to create … see my point?  The story of wiping the old timeline and creating new one gets bogged down in questions that go beyond the realm of being answered.  It definitely brings the movie down.

emiliaclarkeThe biggest enjoyment I had in watching this film was watching actress Emilia Clarke.  While Linda Hamilton will always be THE Sarah Connor, Emilia was a joy to watch taking on the iconic gritty roll of Connor.  Maybe it has been her years as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones that has given her practice as a tough as nails yet still feminine beauty that she portrays in Terminator Genisys but whatever it is she has become a favorite of mine.  I can only hope that she continues to do films and that she will continue to refine her craft and start getting some larger roles, after G.O.T. is over of course.

Arnold is approaching 70 years old and that is hard for me to fathom.  I mean I know I get older every year but that doesn’t mean I want my child hood heroes to do the same.  Much like Bruce Willis doing John McClane, Arnold doing Terminator is as natural for him as breathing is too us.  He never gives a bad performance as the Terminator, even if the films are God awful, so he is never the weak link in these films.  Sometimes its hard to imagine that he has been doing this character in one form or another for 32 years.  I have no issues with him in this film either but I am biased.   He may be almost 70 but I would argue that he is still in the top 5 or 6 action film stars still today, which says more about the state of non-comic book action movies and stars than it says about Arnold.  Speaking of other action stars I have no real issue with either Jai Courtney or Jason Clarke’s performances in this film.  I can’t put my finger on it but there was something unnerving about Jason Clarke’s look in this film.  I haven’t really seen any of his other films but there is something just odd about him.

There is some humor spread throughout the film because this is an Arnold Schwarzenegger action film and that happens a lot.  Most of it is standard Arnold as the Terminator trying to act human and not being good at pulling it off with his awkward full teeth smile and his politeness.  There is a scene that is downright hilarious and that is when Sarah, Kyle and the guardian are arrested and have their mugshot taken.   Unfortunately I can’t find a good set of pictures or the scene on the internet but it’s funny to watch them go from the 6’1 Jai Courtney to the maybe 5’2 Emilia Clarke and then back up to 6’2 Arnold.  Emilia’s expression is priceless as if she knows how silly the three of them will look in the scene.arnold emilia

I am a fan of this film although I will say it isn’t the best.  Doesn’t come close to the first two Terminator movies but is miles ahead of the rest of the Terminator movies.  I will own this movie I have decided which says more about me and my fanboy attitude about Arnold than anything else.  If you haven’t seen it don’t be afraid to rent it on Netflix, you can do a lot worse.

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maggieWhen I first heard of this movie I was very excited to see it. It has Abigail Breslin in it and she is a much respected young actress and an absolutely manly and totally awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger in it and he was actually forced to act, like in a drama.  Seriously.  So I was counting down the days in early spring 2015 as I saw the release date of May 8th pop up.  Unfortunately as we got closer to May 8th it became apparent that it wasn’t going to get a wide release.  I live in the Chicago metro area and it had a showing at the large downtown theater, and that was it.  It was released to Video On Demand on the same day, so I made sure to order it not knowing what I was going to get.  I personally think it deserved better than a one weekend release and is much better than most of the crap that has been released this year.  Now it’s not the best film, truth be told it isn’t a good film, but it’s adequate and the problem doesn’t have anything to do with the actors involved.  But I do see this through biased eyes.

Maggie, played by Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine,) is a teenager in the Midwest that has become infected by an outbreak of a disease that over time slowly turn the living into cannibalistic zombies.  After initially running away from home, her father, Wade, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan the Barbarian,) brings her back determined to look out for her until the end.  Given an eight week time frame before she turns, Maggie, Wade, and Maggie’s step-mother Caroline, played by Joely Richardson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,) attempt to enjoy the time they have together.  However, as Maggie slowly starts to show signs of the virus taking over, Wade is put in the difficult situation of wanting to protect her daughter while his wife, doctors, and the local police, try to pressure him into sending Maggie to quarantine and the danger she may start to become.

This is not a horror film at all.  The TV show The Walking Dead has more scares in a slow character development episode then this movie has from beginning to end.  There are a grand total of 3 zombies, 4 if you count the flashback attack on Maggie although you really don’t see much at all, and we do get to see Wade kill 2 of the 3.  The third one he does kill but it is a four year old girl so we don’t see him actually do it.

I see this movie as an attempt to talk about the struggles of parents dealing with the slow death of a child by some sickness.  Now this movie takes the odd approach of having it being a Zombie outbreak which takes away from the message.  The movie is also a discussion about euthanasia.  But the writing of the film really provides no direction and so the messages get lost in this unique way of showing these issues. Plus there are a lot of scenes with no dialogue where we are watching the story take place with the back drop of some very lovely but very sad music.  It gets to be a little overkill because it’s constant music and constant sadness and we don’t need it all the time.  I will say that there are a few scenes that are appropriate but in general it’s too much.

Now, don’t laugh, but I felt the acting was a strong point of the movie.  Abigail was wonderful as this lost teen who is trying to cope with the fact that she is dying and there is nothing she can do.  It would have been nice if we could see more of the struggle that she was going through.  But the writer didn’t write enough of it into the story.  Arnold did the best he could in this dramatic roll.  At no time did I feel he was over acting and he made an honest attempt at trying to portray how a father would feel as he slowly watches the death of his daughter.  Now we are never going to confuse him with Tom Hanks, but as this being his first real attempt at a roll that requires emotions that aren’t anger and violence.  I may be biased but I liked it and there was nothing wrong with his performance.

This movie could have been so much more but the director and the writer failed at this movie because they couldn’t make this idea work.  This isn’t the worst movie in the world and it deserved a fate more than a one week release.  It had a very small budget and I feel it would have made it back if it had a minimal advertising and larger release.  But the producers of the film chose not to do it and so this stays hidden, which is a shame.  Don’t be afraid to rent this film, I think it will be worth the money.

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concussionI did not really care to see this film on DVD let alone at the movie theater. I would say I am not sure why I am not interested but that’s really not true.  I know why I had no interest in this movie and that’s because that no matter how good the movie is two things that I will come away with is that this film will highlight that the NFL is evil and nothing it can say will not change how much I love the NFL. But I still wanted to watch this film because of my love of the NFL has been so long I wanted to see what this movie had to say.  It’s really a good film and it should have been nominated for an Academy Award for movie, best actor, supporting actor even, maybe screenplay, but it wasn’t and while I don’t know why I’ll take an educated guess later.

Dr. Bennett Omalu, played by Will Smith (I, Robot,) is a Nigerian born Doctor of pathology and neurosciences who was working at the City of Pittsburgh morgue as a forensic pathologist as well as being a student working on a MBA.   Because of his school work he is in charge of the department on the weekends and is given the responsibility of finding the cause of death of Mike Webster, played by David Morse (The Hurt Locker,) who was an offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their Championship days of the 1970’s.  Dr. Omalu is trying to figure out why a healthy 51 year old former NFL player appeared to go insane even though there were no signs of it in the CAT scan and initial autopsy.  As he digs deeper into Webster’s brain he discovers the damage that happens to the professional football player after repeated trauma to the head.  As he starts to bring attention to the issue he faces the full force of a multi-billion dollar organization that is trying to keep what it knew quiet.

I continue to be amazed that the one time Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an amazing actor.  In this movie he was completely believable as a Nigerian immigrant doctor.  Not only with the right sounding accent but with the mannerism of a man who is constantly doubted for what he says and where he comes from.  He should have been nominated for the Best Actor award but he is beginning to get to be like Tom Hanks for me, whenever he shows up on screen there will be an amazing performance.  I take him for granted as an actor and I shouldn’t.  He was clearly the star of this film.

There were other performances that were also very good.  Dr. Cyril Wecht, played by Albert Brooks (Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World,) was very good as the Chief pathologist of the city of Pittsburgh.  Although he had a small roll, watching Morse as Webster was painful but not in his acting but in his portrayal of Webster.  The other actor of note that was enjoyable to watch was Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October,) who portrayed the former Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor, Dr. Julian Bailes.

The story was very compelling for me for obvious reasons.  I loved how this screenplay was based on an article in a magazine.  It was somewhat unnerving seeing all of these gladiators coming up fragile as they were going crazy.  Webster wasn’t the only player the movie touched on which is the same as the research.  But this film also showed what happened to Dr. Omalu as he was trying to bring the information forward.  While he was never discredited he was forced to leave Pittsburgh in order to live a normal life.  It wasn’t until the suicide of Dave Duerson, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World,) who was a former player and NFL executive officer and denier of the doctors work, who in his suicide note asked for his brain to be examined .  It was his death that marked the change of events that brought the concussion problem front and center.  This story does a good job of explaining the events and again, all from an article.  One part of the story that was a little annoying was the relationship development between the doctor and his future wife Prema Mutison, played admirably by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Jupiter Ascending.)  The only reason why I didn’t like it is because it took me away from the story about the research.  Mind you it was important to set up what would happen to the family when he took on the NFL, but still it was mostly fast forwarded by me.

Oh, and I don’t think Will Smith didn’t get nominated for an Academy Award because he is African American.  He didn’t get nominated because he is in a movie that talks about a sport that most of Hollywood detests.   So they could care less about the sport and that’s why, in my opinion.

I played organized football for 7 years in some capacity.  I played from the 8th grade and all the way through high school and two years of college, although I never made it out of two-a-days in college.  I was 2nd team all-city for my high school when I played Center my Junior year and Offensive Tackle my Senior year.  My senior year I was the long snapper on the punt team and after I snapped the ball I ran down the field, very slowly may I add, but none the less, I was in position to make the tackle.  As I put my arms around the ball carrier, a fellow teammate came from the other side and we hit the ball carrier but slammed into each other helmet to helmet.  I know this because I watched the film of the game the following Monday.  I was knocked unconscious on the play.  It was a Thursday night game and I don’t remember waking up on the field, or being taken to the locker room, or my math test the next day.  I vaguely remember going out with my girlfriend that weekend.  Every time I get an eye examination with a new eye doctor they ask me if I have had some kind of head injury.  When I tell them I played football they give me a knowing shake of the head.  I’m guessing that in those 7 years I had one serious concussion but a few smaller ones.

If you asked me if I would go through it again I would tell you that not only would I go through it again I would work harder so I would have had a better college career and hopefully just made a practice squad in the NFL.  Many of the past and present NFL players would say the same thing.

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the big shortWhen I got done watching this movie I went to the website for my credit cards and started reading the fine print on all of the contracts. I also decided that on my next day off I am going to go Barnes & Noble and look up personal finance books.  Probably start off in the …For Dummies section.  The Big Short is one of those movies that make you want to reexamine whatever aspect that these kinds of movies are dealing with in your life.  On a side note, if you are a bid Bernie Sanders for President fan then this movie validates your beliefs of Wall Street and capitalism as a whole.

In early 2006 stock investor Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale (Exodus: Gods and Kinds,) discovers that the housing market is about to collapse because of the way the big banks are selling too many bad mortgage loans called Sub-Prime mortgages.  He takes his money to the banks and buys short on these mortgages, basically he is buying insurance on these mortgage funds that when they fail he gets paid on them, he does it this because the banks are giving great odds on the insurance because mortgage funds have never failed. Jared Vennett, played by Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March,) gets wind of Burry’s plan and after investigating on his own, he looks for people to invest with in the same fashion and finds Mark Baum, played by Steve Carell (Bruce Almighty,) who investigates what Vennett has to say and when he confirms what he has said, invests money with him.  Another group of investors also do the same with help from Ben Rickert, played by Brad Pitt (Fury.)

Adam McKay, who was the director and co-writer on the film, did a great job of slowing down the movie to explain these complicated ideas to the movie going office.  The one I knew of before I even saw the movie was when he put the actress Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall street,) in a bubble bath explaining the basic concepts of the mortgage bonds and sub-prime mortgages.  Oh if you don’t know who Margot Robbie is, she is portraying Harley Quinn in the new Suicide Squad movie.  Anyway, here is her bit in The Big Short.

They also used Chef Anthony Bourdain in another scene and some economist and Selena Gomez in another. Not only did these people break the fourth wall but Gosling’s character would sometimes break the fourth wall to explain something as his character.  He also was the voice over for parts of the movie serving the same purpose.  It seems like that is a lot of explanation but in reality it isn’t.  I’m no genius but I’m not a dummy either but when I was watching it on DVD I had a hard time following what they were saying when describing the concepts of everything so I had to turn on the subtitles so I can read what they were saying to understand what was going on.  My deafness didn’t help the problem either but reading the film helped.  This leads into the last thing I will say along these lines and that is you can’t be distracted and watch this movie, if you get up and deal with kids or bathroom breaks or drinks or whatever, you can easily lose track of the film and get lost.  If you want to enjoy this film you must not have any distractions, this is a thinking person’s movie.  Oh and this movie won the Academy Award for writing in 2015.

I like the performances of both Steve Carrel as Mark Baum and Christopher Nolan as Michael Burry.  In an interview Burry, who is the only actual person in this movie that is a non-fictional character as all the others are combinations of the actual people, had said that is son has Asperger’s Syndrome and Burry believed that his son got it from him and he believes he has it as well.  Nolan I would have assumed picked up on this as he does a wonderful job of portraying this genius with numbers who show the traits of someone who has the syndrome.  His performance is not as good as say Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Rain Man as an Autistic, but it’s up there.  Carrell’s performance is exciting because I have never seen him do a performance like this, even though he has been doing more of these rolls recently.  It was nice to see him with the inner conflict that his character had who was trying to save the world but in some degree he was saving it from people like himself.

The only thing I didn’t like about the film, and its nit picking here, is that it was a little too heavy handed with the showing of the effect of the common man by these evil Wall Street Bankers.   The scene that involved Mark Baum’s associates Danny, played by Rafe Spall (A Good Year,) and Porter, played by Hamish Linklater (42,) were looking at a newly developed neighborhood in Florida and Danny visits a house to find the owner who is 90+ past due on the mortgage and ends up talking to a renter who is shocked to hear that the home owner is behind even though the renter is making all the payments.  The guy, who is the picture of the blue collar working, starts acting all scared and asking Danny if he is in trouble and what should he do.   I don’t think we need to see this because the housing bubble crash happened less than 8 years ago and we all those who would watch this film know what happened and whom it affected the most.  But, like I said, this is nitpicking.

This is a great movie, and a somber movie, and if you have the focus and ability to sit for 2 hours and pay attention, you will understand this movie and enjoy it, and be a little more sad or angry depending on your politics.  Like I said at the top, if you love Bernie then this movie will reinforce your desire to tear down the system and embrace socialism.  If you are like me, you will not believe the system is broken but believes that the people who break the law should be punished, harshly, and therefore keep people from wanting to do this again.

If you want to see by movie review partners take on this movie click here.

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SpectreSo I should never get my expectations high for a movie because rarely are they met when they are high. Although, truth be told, some parts of this movie met and exceeded my expectations.  But then again a lot of the movie had me shaking my head with a quizzical look on my face.  So while I liked the movie, and I have it on Blu-Ray, it left me wanting a lot more.

James Bond, played by Daniel Craig (Golden Compass,) is back and after years of trying to find the organization responsible for his beloved Vesper Lynd’s death as well as the old M.  It looks as if he is finally making headway after the old M, played by Judi Dench (Casino Royale,) leaves a death message via video to tell him to find a particular man in the event of her death.  Despite the orders of the new M, played by Ralph Fiennes (Hail, Caesar!,) not to go anywhere he begins the final hunt to find the organization known as Spectre and its leader Ernst Blofeld, played by Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bastards.)

The first ten minutes of this movie sets up my emotions for the entire film.  The opening scene, which is always that trademark James Bond action sequence, is probably the best Bond opening in the history of Bond movies.  It was ridiculously exciting watching these two guys fight in a flying helicopter.  I can’t remember a scene that was that fun.  Even before that when he shoots a briefcase in a building that ended up having a bomb in it which destroys that building that causes it to fall on the building Bond is in, which collapses the roof and sends him sliding down and ultimately land comfortably on a sofa was hilarious.   So the beginning was starting off brilliantly.  Then as if to ruin everything we get the opening title sequence with three minutes of tentacle porn ( to give credit where credit is due, the phrase comes from Screen Junkies Honest Trailer Spectre, but it’s awesome so I am using it,) with a title song that just gave me derp face.  I was sitting there listening to this song that musically was wonderful and Bond like, but then Sam Smith started to sing and my face went blank (not a fan of his voice at all.)  Then the lyrics sounded as if we are giving a eulogy to Bond…The Writing are on The Wall…really?  Compare this one to the one from Skyfall from Adele and it’s no comparison.  Yet the Academy nominated this song for Best Original Song.  I don’t get it.

But again, this is the whole movie for me.  Time after time I am watching this great action scene and then it’s followed up by borderline boring plot and story development.  The first time we get to meet the bad guy is at a meeting which is painful to watch but then right after it, we get awesome car chase in the streets of Rome ( I think its Rome.)  Another time we get 10 minutes of heading to and meeting the new Bond girl, Madeleine, played uninspiring by Lea Seydoux (The Grand Budapest Hotel,) which is slow, but then we get awesome chase scene where Bond rescues her from the bad guys by chasing their cars while he is in an airplane.  Awesome stuff!  So the entire movie I go from excited school boy to watching something akin to Pride and Prejudice where I have a permanent confused look on my face.

Perhaps the biggest travesty of all is the final scene.  We have 20 plus minutes of great action where Bond saves the girl again.  Bond tracks down the bad guy and shoots down his helicopter and Blofeld is literally on the street, waiting to be taken out by Bond.  New M has sealed off the entire block, Bond can gleefully get revenge for the man responsible for killing his love Vesper and his boss and making his life hell.  All he has to do is pull the trigger and bam, we have come full circle and closure.  What does he do?  Looks at annoying new Bond girl who is judging him for wanting to kill the bad guy and decides to throw his gun down and walk away.  Really? So all those deaths mean nothing now?  Can we get no revenge or satisfaction?  Apparently not.

This movie also committed a foul with its bad guys.  I didn’t get enough of Blofeld and I wanted more of him.  I get that if you go back to the old Bonds, you rarely see him.  But in the Danial Craig Bonds we get to see the bad guy a lot so I was hoping to see him more.  Blofeld’s henchman Hinx, played competently by former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy,) was killed off ¾ of the way in the movie.  It was a great fight between him and Bond, but I was hoping to see him make it to the final fight and it didn’t happen.  The last comment about the bad guys is that I do not know if there has ever been a more obvious bad guy in the history of bad guys then the character C, played by Andrew Scott (Pride.)  After his first scene, I felt like he was going to be one of those annoying politician types that get in the way.  But after the second scene he was in I realized that he was totally a part of the world wide evil organization.  It was obvious and yet we had this big reveal at the end of the movie that I assumed stunned no one.  It’s just odd to have that obvious of a bad guy who I think wasn’t supposed to be that obvious of a bad guy, if that makes sense.

As much as I am hating on this movie, I did like it.  The action was really fun and the story, as slow as it was, seemed to follow a logical conclusion, except for the whole revenge killing of course.  I loved the supporting cast of Q, played by Ben Whishaw (The International,) and Moneypenny, played by Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.)  Don’t mean to interrupt the love with more hate but I did not like seeing and old looking Monica Bellucci in the film.  I know she was supposed to play the grieving widow but…yeesh.

bellucci

Anyway, I like it enough to own the movie.  I am interested in seeing if Daniel Craig does indeed follow through with his promise of not doing anymore Bond films.  If that’s the case I will be mildly interested in seeing where they take it.  As much as I didn’t like the direction they took the film when Casino Royale came out, it has grown on me and I am more of a fan of the Daniel Craig Bond then I was in 2006.  But Clive Owen still would have been a better Bond.

To see my movie review compatriots review of Spectre click on the link here.

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