Archive for September, 2017

Trailer Thursday 9/28

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on September 28, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

This week, instead of sharing a trailer for a film I’d recommend or have interest in seeing, let’s have a look at one that you should stay as far away as possible from. Here is the trailer for Foodfight.

Believe it or not, the movie is actually way worse than the trailer makes it seem!

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The Third Man

Posted in Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , on September 26, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

American writer, Holly Martins, arrives in post-war Vienna to visit his old friend Harry Lime. On arrival, he learns that his friend has been killed in a street accident, but also that Lime was a black marketer wanted by the police.

What people are saying:

“…an exemplary piece of moviemaking, highlighting the ruins of World War II and juxtaposing it with the characters’ own damaged histories” 4 stars

“A lot funnier than you remember it, Carol Reed’s immortal 1949 film noir seems to exist in the space between two worlds: an earlier time when thrillers were mostly serious affairs, and a future one, when such supremely witty entertainments felt passé.” 5 stars

“Boasted tremendously by a great performance from Orson Welles, The Third Man is an entertaining classic with some cool twists and turns, even though a well-verse modern film fan will find those twists to be extremely predictable.” 4 stars

“The Third Man is one of the finest noir mysteries to come out of the ’40s, however it suffers a bit from its imitators and you’ll be able to predict the big reveal LONG before it arrives. The film stars Joseph Cotten, who I was unfamiliar with, as a pulp fiction writer who travels to Vienna to visit an old friend and is astonished to find that he was accidentally killed a few days prior; or was it murder? The film plays out patiently, as our protagonist begins to dig into what exactly happened to his friend and the mystery elements truly shine, especially when he receives different accounts of what took place in the automobile “accident”. The film also stars Orson Welles as the aforementioned friend, Harry Lime, who receives top billing though he is maybe on-screen for 8 minutes total: which leads into my big problem with this film. Without spoiling too much, the reveal that arrives at about the one hour mark is masterfully done and one of the film’s more iconic scenes, but we’re never given any explanation as to what the motive was and it feels like the filmmakers were trying to be so clever, they didn’t worry about the scenario making sense. The film also incorporates a stringed instrument called a zither to score the music and while I can tell they were going for something unique, the sound is too absurd, especially in the more dramatic scenes, and the music actually sounds identical to the music used in SpongeBob SquarePants! Overall, this is an exceptionally-made film that still holds up today, but there are some questionable moments that stood out to me and it suffers a bit from what’s come out since.” 3 1/2 stars

“Delightful in how it uses the camera and its city to manipulate the viewer’s experience of the story, The Third Man is the height of the cinematic thriller, mainly because it rejects most of what makes a good thriller. Our villain is not exactly frightening and our crimes aren’t exactly disturbing as they are ingenious. In a sense, The Third Man is a tale about someone being forced to acknowledge an inconvenient truth, or a new world or idea. Dazzling music and compelling cinematography aside, really its the films final shot that the viewer will remember. Its the conversations on park rides and the excruciating nature of learning a negative thing about someone that you love and trust.” 4 1/2 stars

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A year has passed since Eggsy Unwin and the spy organisation Kingsman saved the world from Richmond Valentine’s neurological wave broadcast, and he has since taken his late mentor Harry Hart’s title of “Galahad” and is living with Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden. One day, on his way home, he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh, a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords to the explosive microchip that was triggered during the Valentine incident. Eggsy loses Charlie and his henchmen in a car chase across London, but Charlie’s severed cybernetic arm hacks into the Kingsman servers through the car’s computer system. While Eggsy dines with Princess Tilde and her parents in Sweden, a volley of missiles destroy the Kingsman headquarters and wipe out Roxy and all of the Kingsman agents in Britain.

Being the only surviving agents, Eggsy and Merlin follow the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to “Statesman”, a secret American organisation posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky. There, they discover that Harry survived the gunshot by Valentine a year earlier, but is suffering from amnesia. Eggsy and Merlin are briefed by Statesman head, Champagne, about a secret terrorist organisation called “The Golden Circle” and start their mission by following Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg. When Statesman agent Tequila develops blue rashes, he is replaced by agent Whiskey as Eggsy’s partner. Eggsy manages to plant a tracking device inside Clara, but his revelation of his mission to Princess Tilde strains their relationship. After several failed attempts to cure Harry’s amnesia, Eggsy brings in a Yorkshire Terrier puppy that resembles Harry’s late dog Mr. Pickle and threatens to shoot it, triggering the return of Harry’s memories.

Poppy Adams, head of world’s largest drug cartel posing as a pharmaceutical company, broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she laced within every recreational drug available, which causes users to, at the first stage, develop blue rashes before progressing through mania, and then paralysis and ultimately, death. She also demonstrates the antidote on a captive Elton John and offers it to the world if the President of the United States ends his country’s War on Drugs and makes her organisation immune to all convictions. The President decides to take advantage of the situation to kill every junkie in the world and has every affected user quarantined, including his Chief of Staff, Fox. Eggsy, Harry, and Whiskey head to the antidote factory in Italy after intercepting a phone call to Charlie by Clara. Eggsy manages to steal an antidote sample, but it is broken by Whiskey during an ambush by The Golden Circle’s henchmen. During the gunfight, Harry shoots Whiskey in the head, as he suspects that Whiskey is playing both sides, but Eggsy saves him with the same alpha-gel used to save Harry. Princess Tilde calls Eggsy in a state of mania, revealing that she has the blue rashes before falling into paralysis. Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin discover the location of Poppy’s hideout, “Poppy Land”, in Cambodia and fly there to steal the remote control for the antidote drones.

Upon their arrival at Poppy Land, Eggsy steps on a land mine but is saved by Merlin, who sacrifices himself while taking the lair’s guards with him. Eggsy and Harry storm through the lair and Eggsy kills Charlie while Harry destroys Poppy’s robotic guard dogs with the help of Elton. They secure the briefcase with the access code to the drones and inject Poppy with a more potent dose of her toxin, and she gives them the password before succumbing to a heroin overdose. Before they can activate the drones, they are stopped by Whiskey, who, having previously lost his wife to crossfire from two drug users, is revealed to be working alone to ensure that all drug users are eliminated. Eggsy and Harry engage Whiskey in a grueling fight at Poppy’s diner before forcing him through Poppy’s meat grinder. They release the antidote drones, saving millions of lives around the world.

In the aftermath of the incident, Chief of Staff Fox has the President impeached for conspiring to commit mass genocide on the drug victims. Champagne announces that Statesman has acquired a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild Kingsman. As a means to avoid the confusion of two Kingsman agents using the codename “Galahad”, Champagne offers either Eggsy or Harry the agent title of Whiskey, but they decline and Statesman tech support Ginger Ale steps in to take the role. Eggsy marries Princess Tilde, and Tequila moves to London to work for Kingsman.

REVIEW:

In 2015, Kingsman: The Secret Service hit the big screens and  took the world by storm. Almost immediately, a sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, was announced and greenlit. Now that this the latter has hit theaters, it is time to decide if the wait was worth it.

What is this about?

When the Kingsman headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy.

What did I like?

Hit the ground running. One thing I can’t stand about action film is when they take forever to get going. Let’s be honest, no one goes to an action flick excited to hear dialogue. We go for the stunts and explosions, am I right? The filmmakers happen to feel the same way as I do, because the opening scenes of this flick are a car chase through London with Eggsy fighting off his would be attackers while not trying to destroy half the city or kill innocent bystanders. What a way to start!

Ham and Eggs(y). In the last film, we were introduced to Eggsy and watched him go from street thug to debonair gentleman. By the time this flick rolls around, he has become much more comfortable in his skin, as it were, and seems to be relishing in the role of being a Kingsman. Of course, having a hot, Swedish royal as your girlfriend doesn’t hurt, now does it? The thing that really gets me, though, is how even through his transformation, Eggsy can still go back and ham it up with his bros.

Everything’s retro. I am a big fan of things retro. WWII era stuff is my preferred era, but when it comes to overall aesthetic pleasure, that honor is bestowed upon the 50s. Julianne Moore’s villainous CEO character, Poppy Adams and I are kindred spirits in this regard. She used her vast resources to create a 50s utopia among the Ethiopian mountains, or wherever it is that she was, exactly. What’s not to love about a place like that?

What didn’t I like?

The sweeter the Berry. Hard to believe Halle Berry won an Academy Award not that long ago, huh? The recent string of flops she’s had makes one wonder if she was given that statue just because she got naked in Monster’s Ball. I have had a crush on her, since Boomerang. Her role as Ginger Ale (wasn’t she called Ginger in her Bond movie?) reminded me of her character from that flick with her shy confidence and all. The glasses just made her more attractive, btw. All that said about her looks and resume, Berry was wasted in this role, unless they do something with her in the future. I heard a couple of rumblings about a spin-off for the Statesmen. Should that come to fruition, than I will change my opinion that she’s wasted, and replace it with they were just building her up, but until that happens…IF it happens, I can’t be happy with what I saw from her.

Foreshadowing? A president who would rather ignore the needs of the people for the good of a few. Hmmm…who does this sound like? As evil as Poppy is, the woman went all Sweeney Todd and was grinding humans for food, the argument can be made that the president is the real villain of this film. I can’t say exactly why without spoiling part of the film, but let’s just say, if you made a mistake and it were up to him to help you fix it, well, you’d be s.o.l….just like the current waste of space up there in the White House.

Give it away. In the last film, Colin Firth’s character was shot, at point-blank range, in the eye and killed. Even though he was a big reason that film was successful, the filmmaker’s killed him off. When the sequel was announced, there was speculation about how/if to bring him back. Twin brother, flashback, decoy, etc. were all ideas thrown around and I think they made the right decision with how to bring him back, though I think they messed with his character a bit. All that aside, my gripe is with the fact that he appears in the trailer. His return should have been as big a surprise to us in the audience as it is to Eggsy and Merlin when they see him but, because he appears in the trailer, that element of surprise is no longer there. Good job, marketing team, you screwed us out of a major surprise!

Kingsmen: The Golden Circle doesn’t seem to have the same magic as its predecessor, but that may be just because of raised expectations. Remember, we had none for the first film. As you see, I have a few gripes with this flick, including its use of Elton John, but there is plenty of praise to go around, as well. One thing that I think hurt this film that didn’t hurt the first is the rise of ‘R’ rated movies. When the first film came out, the violence and language was highly praised, but now it just seems like an everyday thing to see in films. So, with all that said, what is my final verdict? This is definitely a must-see, but if you want to wait a week or two until the hype dies down, that’s fine, just make sure you check it out!

4 1/3 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 9/21

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on September 21, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

This week, we lost a Blaxploitation legend in Bernie Casey. To honor his memory, this week’s trailer is one of his films (even I need to check this one out), Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

Trailer Thursday 9/14

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on September 14, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

With the immense success and popularity of the It remake. I figured this week’s trailer should be something to do with clowns. One of the horror films that is a cult classic and involves clowns is Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Check out the trailer….

I really need to sit down and watch this one day!

The Astronaut Farmer

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on September 13, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Dismissed from NASA’s space program, former astronaut-in-training Charles Farmer pursues his lifelong dream by building his own rocket. On the eve of his launch, he must battle foreclosure on his ranch, a small-town community of disbelievers, the FAA and FBI agents who want to shut him down in the name of Homeland Security–but he remains determined to reach his goal and instill in his children the courage to pursue their own dreams, no matter the odds.

What people are saying:

“While it is far too long, especially in the home stretch, The Astronaut Farmer is a heartwarming and fun story about the tenacity it takes to see a dream through.” 4 stars

“Although a fry cry from space classics such as Apollo 13, this nice, heartwarming family flick still has enough of the “man can do anything with love of his family behind him” theme to make it worth a watch, along with good performances from Thornton and Madsen. Farfetched but charming.” 3 1/2 stars

“Filled with lovely images (the opening credit sequence, of Charlie in his spacesuit, riding the range on horseback, is a beaut) and nice character turns, The Astronaut Farmer nonetheless veers too close to cliché.” 2 1/2 stars

“So many layers of awful. The science alone is completely bogus. I could write a review breaking down all of the completely improbable science in the film but it would be longer than the movie. Orbiting the earth is not exactly easy. Successfully entering the earth’s atmosphere without breaking up into a million pieces, is also not exactly easy. His pod lands on perfectly flat terrain within driving distance of where he took off, AND he accomplishes this with a lone parachute. TOTAL UTTER NONSENSE. The only redeeming value is that it’s funny to mock, that’s about it.” 1/2 star

“There’s something old-fashioned about The Astronaut Farmer that’s so conventional it feels unconventional. It follows the paradigm of inspirational movies so perfectly that even the smallest deviation seems rebellious. The movie’s orthodoxy is precisely what allows us to take such pleasure in its irregularities . . . With this movie, the [Polish] brothers have been given a giant coloring book. While both write and produce, Mark directs and Michael acts . . . and for the most part, they attempt to stay within the lines. But it’s in the few moments when they go outside those lines that the movie momentarily soars” 4 stars

An American Werewolf in London

Posted in Classics, Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After surviving a vicious werewolf attack that left his friend dead, an American backpacker in London becomes a murderous werewolf himself. Prowling the streets of London, he learns that his living-dead victims will wander in limbo until he’s dead.

What people are saying:

“…curious but oddly endearing mixture of horror film and spoof, of comedy and shock, with everything grist to its mill including tourist Britain and the wedding of Prince Charles. The special effects are notable and signalled new developments in this field” 4 stars

“Not just gory but actually frightening, not just funny but clever, ‘American Werewolf…’ has its flaws, but these are outweighed by the film’s many, mighty strengths.” 4 stars

“Once the audience realizes that the movie is not meant to be taken seriously it has already reached the halfway point of the film. Up until this point, it is difficult to connect with the two lead characters because of their frustratingly idiotic decisions and dialogue. However, once the film finally reveals itself as a form of satire, the previously dumbfounding scenes, as well as the the rest of the film, can be seen as intentional and oddly charming. All the parts of good black comedy are there, along with some stellar practical effects and designs that still hold up today. However, the film struggles with delivery and seems almost unfinished.” 3 stars

“I’m disappointed after watching this movie. I thought it was going to be way better. Way to many dreams about the dead brother, and Wolf Nazis. Also for some reason a nurse takes some one who clearly is mental home with her, and fell in love with him. Everyone is also a jerk in this movie, and all children can say is “No.” The first 15 minutes of this film was epic though. Also it was entertaining, and good I’m just disappointed.” 3 stars

“If it weren’t rated R, this movie would be worthy of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Nearly everyone in here is either unlikable, a moron, or both. The special effects were awful (from the blood, to the make-up, to the Halloween store bought masks/costumes), and people didn’t behave in believable ways. Ex: “We are 2 American tourists, back-backing in a strange country, at night, in the cold. Let’s leave the pub, and hike off in the middle of the night. And let’s ignore the warnings of everyone in the pub, and hike though the middle of the moors, instead of sticking to the road”. Or “This man is not only a patient of mine whom I know virtually nothing about, but is also apparently very delusional. I think that I’ll take him out of the hospital (against doctors’ orders) for a stroll, tell him that I live alone, then take him up to my apartment and have a one-night stand with him” Or “The ghost of my dead friend who was killed by a monster, warned me that unless I kill myself, I’ll turn into a werewolf and kill people. his warning came true, but I still won’t kill myself, no matter how many people I kill”. Teen Wolf was better than this. ” 2 stars