Monday, February 20, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge is Gripping!


2016 Action, War, History, True Story, Oscar Nomination for Best Picture

Director: Mel Gibson

Andrew Garfield, Richard Pyros, Jacob Warner III

Mel Gibson's love of war, family, faith, and death is highlighted in this terrific film about Desmond Doss who saved 75 men on the battlefield. A true story of Doss as a combat medic who refused to carry a gun or fire a shot. The battlefield scenes are horrific, painful and violent, but its needed to tell the heroic job Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, did during the war. I can't think of anyone else better than Garfield to play Doss. The blanket party he gets in basic training is classic! Doss is the first conscientious objector to be awarded the medal of honor!   If you don't understand war and the toll it takes, you have to watch this film. Gibson deserves the nomination for best director as well as Garfield for best actor.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie is Exhausting...

2017, Animation, Adventure, Action , A long 1 hr 44 mins.

Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson

Director: Chris McKay

I felt like I ran a marathon after this movie! And my fat ass doesn't run! This is a noisy movie so sit in the back of the theater. Not sure why "The Lego Batman" flick is getting the accolades, but I was ready for this one to be over. Obviously a predictable ending and of course Batman and friends are saving Gotham City from all of the villains, including the Joker, Riddler, and a cameo by Superman who shuns Batman by not inviting him to a super hero party. The start of the flick starts off promising with Batman, voiced over by Will Arnett, narrating the opening credits, which are slightly humorous.  Batman must deal with his inner feelings over the years being the solo crime fighter. New police commissioner, Barbara Gordon, daughter of Retired Commish James Gordon, voiced over by Rosario Dawson, carries this flick. I admit Chris McKay made Barbara Gordon into a hottie of a lego babe! That sounded so weird.... Anyway, this flick is way too hurried, is loud, and stuck in the proverbial black hole in the sky that ends this dull sequel. Ok for home use, but don't waste $10 bucks!




"Arrival is the Clear Oscar Winner!


2016; Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi   2hrs. 

Director: Denis Villeneuve 

Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forrest Whitaker

Not really into alien movies, in fact I can't stand them because most are cast as villains. Not so fast says Denis Villeneuve. A masterful piece of directing in a non-linear story line. DON'T go to the bathroom or get popcorn, in fact just buy or rent this thriller and watch it at home. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner turn in a brilliant performance with Forrest Whitaker a bore in the background. 

The synopsis is simple. Aliens arrive on earth and the world powers take them as a threat. Who wouldn't. I mean 12 giant cucumber like space ships just evaded earth. It takes Adams (a linguist) and Renner (a math wizard) to interact and find out why they are here. Not your normal looking aliens either. Can't say anymore without giving the middle and ending away. SEE this movie. A front runner for Best Picture at the Oscars! 


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hell or High Water Hits the Mark

2016

Director:

David Mackenzie

Writer: Taylor Sheridan

Stars: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges


Two brothers protect their late mother's farm by robbing the mortgage company who holds the lien, then laundering the money at casinos. They have a deadline to pay off the debt before the bank repossess the property because oil has been discovered. Jeff Bridges is a old school, past his time Texas Ranger seeking justice against the brothers. Jeff Bridges is brilliant in this film, who refuses to give up in catching the bad guy. The second half of this movie is flat out amazing. Intense, sad, and set for a sequel. Rotten Maters has this film at 98%, which Pik a Flick agrees! Go or rent this thriller.


OSCAR NOMINATIONS 2017

WHO WILL WIN BEST PICTURE FOR 2016?

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey AffleckManchester by the Sea
Andrew GarfieldHacksaw Ridge
Ryan GoslingLa La Land
Viggo MortensenCaptain Fantastic
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Ruth NeggaLoving
Natalie PortmanJackie
Emma StoneLa La Land
Meryl StreepFlorence Foster Jenkins
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mahershala AliMoonlight
Jeff BridgesHell or High Water
Lucas HedgesManchester by the Sea
Dev PatelLion
Michael ShannonNocturnal Animals
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Viola DavisFences
Naomie HarrisMoonlight
Octavia SpencerHidden Figures
Michelle WilliamsManchester by the Sea
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
DIRECTING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Theory of Everything is Brilliant!

The Theory of Everything
Released: November 17, 2014

Drama, limited release
Not Rated; 2 hrs 3 mins

Directed: James Marsh

Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

When I rented this from the Box, I knew I would have a hard time watching this flick. Seeing someone in a wheelchair, dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, is painful to take in. I knew little of Stephen Hawking other than he is a brilliant man. I wanted this flick to be a documentary of his life and I didn't get it. What I got was a sensitive, brilliant, story of a genius, his wife, and family during a difficult time in the 60's. Jane Wilde, played by Felicity Jones, is equally as brilliant, with Redmayne, who won the Oscar for best actor. Critics need to understand that Hawking's story is still fluid and its hard to bring this man's contribution to mankind in two hours. We know Hawking is a smart man, but Marsh wants us to focus on Jane's relationship with Hawking and how she coped with his disease. Marsh accomplishes his goal in a tantalizing fashion. If released again in the theater, I would see it...again! The Theory of Everything is convincing and desirable portrait of a genius!

Depp Strikes Again...as Mortdecai

Mortdecai
Released: January 23, 2015

Rated R: Comedy, Adventure, Action
1 hr  49 minutes

Directed: David Koepp

Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum, Ewan McGregor

 After watching the disaster 'Get Hard' and 10 hours of the Marx Brothers, I plugged this flick called Mortdecai. Let me say upfront, I was privy to the glamorous reviews Mortdecai received...yes I'm being facetious! My friends at Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster, and critics all around the world aren't kind to Mr. Koepp, Depp, and the rest. A play on Sherlock Holmes, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau/Pink Panther fame, and Benny Hill. When Depp hit the screen, the first person that came to mind was Peter Sellers...and I thought this flick was funny! Of course after watching the debacle of Ferrell/Hart anything flick would be a hoot!

Mortdecai, played by Depp, is an art thief who has fallen on hard times and owes the Queen millions in back taxes. His wife, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, are forced to sell their fortunes to pay back the debt, but Mortdecai refuses. A famous painting comes up missing and a Scotland Yard Detective, played by Ewan McGregor, solicits Mortdecai to find the painting.

The best actor on the flick is Paul Bettany, who plays Jack, Depp's bodyguard, side kick, and British gigolo to all beautiful women! Bettany is your typical GI Joe Doll and Stretch Armstrong...takes a beating but not by the bad guys, by Mortdecai himself! Shot three times during the flick, he remains loyal to his boss and saves the day at the end. Toss the horrid reviews aside, spend two hours and see if you get a good laugh...could be worse...you could watch 'Get Hard'.....