Archive for Danny Glover

Be Kind Rewind

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on July 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Jerry is a junkyard worker who attempts to sabotage a power plant that he believes is melting his brain. But, when his plan goes awry, the magnetic field that he creates accidentally erases all of the videotapes in a local video store where his best friend Mike works. Fearing that the mishap will cost Mike his job, the two friends team up to keep the store’s only loyal customer–a little old lady with a tenuous grasp on reality–from realizing what has happened by recreating and re-filming every movie that she decides to rent. From “Back to the Future,” to “Robocop,” to “Rush Hour,” to “The Lion King,” Jerry and Mike become the biggest stars in their neighborhood by starring in the biggest movies ever made.

What people are saying:

“inviting, undemanding and altogether wonderful…you’ll want to see it again, or at least Swede it yourself.” 4 1/2 stars

“started out ok but the ending was way too sappy. on an added note, i do miss the long gone days of mom and pop video stores. But it was Blockbuster that did them in not the internet. I think they still existed for a while in densely populated urban areas (both rich and poor) where you could have enough customers in a few blocks to support a small business.  ” 2 stars

“It’s hard to get too cranky about a movie that, at heart, is a tribute to the joy of making things with your friends.” 3 1/2 stars

“Mos Def has the screen presence of a bowl of fruit. Aside from that, the film is well shot and manages to convey a sense of nostalgia as other users have pointed out. ” 3 stars

“The film begins rather unrealistically but soon develops into a great story. Jack Black fuels the flick with humour as the comedic colossus he is and it powers on with great film references and balances it out with some heartfelt moments.” 4 stars

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Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Since we last saw Frank, he followed his dream and opened a Community Center in East Los Angeles where he mentors young boxers, not only in the ring, but in life. He often visits a liquor store run by a former hockey player, Bernie Pope. When his prized student, Manny, gets in over his head with a bad crowd and winds up dead, Frank and Bernie team up, finding themselves ensnared in one life-threatening predicament after another. Forced to escape using the only weapons they have – their wits and their fists – they must survive the onslaught of fury that is brought upon them and Frank’s new found love from a high powered, politically connected foe, Leandro (Andrew Divoff).

What people are saying:

“It’s not to be taken seriously. It’s not to be taken realistically. It’s made for fans of Danny Trejo.” 2 stars

“Not at all what I was expecting. A very warmhearted, funny action movie. Danny Trejo and Danny Glover are wonderful geezer warriors together, and there are lots of homages to my favorite movies throughout. When Trejo says, “We don’t need no stinkin'” badges, it’s the perfect train wreck.” 3 stars

“Fans of the first film and/or Danny Trejo will enjoy this sequel to Bad Ass (although you don’t need to see the first one to understand the story). A fun action comedy that’s even more ridiculous than the first one, with a good chemistry between Trejo and Danny Glover who are, literally, “too old for this s**t”.” 4 stars

“This was actually really good. I liked the first movie, didn’t know how i would stick to this one. CGI isnt great for some of it, but kinda adds to it at the same time. This is a grade a cheesy action flick, and was quite humorous and enjoyable. That said, if farting, a lot of cursing, or plain out “bad jokes” are not your thing, avoid” 4 stars

“This is what B-movie action is all about – old actors we love as the means, just enough emotional pretense to provide a motive, a cohesive and simple story as the opportunity. Doesn’t take itself too seriously, but doesn’t go so bonkers off the wall either (like The Expendables franchise or Machete 2); this one sits firmly at the uncanny peak of “so on-purpose bad it’s great.” Perfectly executed for what it was meant to be, just a fun beat-up-the-bozos flick. No Oscars will be won here, but the entertainment value is quite high. If you don’t enjoy this, B-action just isn’t for you.” 5 stars

Alpha and Omega

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Humphrey (Justin Long) and Kate (Hayden Panettiere) are two wolves from the same pack in Canada’s Jasper National Park but on opposite ends of the social order. Kate, daughter of the main Alpha male Winston (Danny Glover) and his mate Eve (Vicki Lewis), is herself an Alpha and takes her duty to the pack seriously. Humphrey, on the other hand, is an Omega wolf, the lowest of the pack, and spends his days making fun with his other Omega friends. Despite his low rank in the pack, Humphrey falls in love with Kate and is valued in the pack as a peacemaker by virtue of his affable nature.

During her youth, Kate left to begin Alpha school with her father. She returns as a fully trained Alpha but on her first hunt (the Alphas are the ones responsible for providing food for the pack), two members of the Eastern pack cross into Western pack territory due to the lack of caribou in their own land. The hunt is ruined and the packs are nearly at war with each other. The two packs have had a bitter rivalry ever since Tony (Dennis Hopper), the Alpha male of the Eastern pack, commanded his wolves to cross over into Western territory (against pack law) in order to hunt, to prevent their pack from starving. Winston and Tony meet up one night and arrange for Kate to marry Garth (Chris Carmack), Tony’s son. Kate, having a sense of responsibility and duty, wearily agrees for the good of the pack and she meets Garth at the Howling Rock.

Garth too is an Alpha and appears perfect at first in every way, until Kate hears his howl. Kate, taken back by Garth’s terrible howl, leaves the scene to “get water”. Humphrey notices Kate and surprises her. The two talk about Garth, when all of the sudden they get tranquilized by some men and taken away to Idaho. The two wolves wake up at Sawtooth National Recreation Area and meet a French-Canadian goose named Marcel (Larry Miller) who has an avid interest in golf and his caddy, a duck named Paddy (Eric Price).Kate and Humphrey learn that they were relocated to repopulate the species. Marcel and Paddy agree to help the wolves return home to Jasper.

Trouble brews back at Jasper as the two packs discover that Kate has gone missing. Tony warns Winston that on the next full moon if Kate doesn’t return to marry Garth, he and his pack will declare war for their territory. Lilly (Christina Ricci), an Omega wolf who is Kate’s younger sister, has a crush on Garth and suggests that she show him around.

After a failed attempt to get home (in which the wolves hid in the back of a van), Kate finds a ravine and attempts to cross it. She slips down the cliff, but Humphrey saves her. After that the two of them find a den for the night.

The next morning, Marcel and Paddy find the wolves and direct them to a train over a snowy mountain that will take them to Jasper. Climbing the mountain, Humphrey meets a bear cub who is unfamiliar with wolves. When they are playing, the cub gets hurt when a snowball is thrown at him. This angers a trio of bears (most likely the cub’s family) who think that Humphrey was trying to harm the cub. When Kate realizes that Humphrey is in danger, she rushes in to help him, causing them to slide down the other side of the mountain. Humphrey saves Kate, and, as the train passes by, the two wolves manage to get into a boxcar just in time.

Meanwhile Lilly and Garth are bonding. At the midnight howl, Lilly is not deterred by Garth’s less than perfect howl and teaches him to howl with his heart. At the same time, Humphrey and Kate begin to howl together as well on the train. Both couples singing in perfect unison. By this time, the full moon has come and the packs declare war against one another.

Shortly after, as the train passes by Jasper, Humphrey attempts to tell Kate how he feels about her, but the sight of the packs fighting causes her to jump off the train before he can finish. Kate stops the fight by announcing that she will marry Garth for the good of the packs, much to Humphrey and Lilly’s dismay.

The next day, a heartbroken Humphrey decides to leave Jasper and travel on his own and shares his goodbyes with Kate, Marcel and Paddy (who have arrived and decided to stay). Yet Kate feels heartbroken too after realizing how she feels about Humphrey. During the ceremony Kate stops it, declaring her love for Humphrey. Garth declares his own love for Lilly. Winston is confused while Tony is revolted that his son is in love with an Omega, which goes against pack customs. His pack starts to fight the other pack out of anger, but the conflict is cut short when a massive stampede of caribou interrupts the scene. Winston and Tony get caught in the stampede and Kate and Humphrey (who decided to return) rush in to save them. Kate is hit and Humphrey shields her with his body, and Winston and Tony growl at the passing caribou in order to protect Humphrey from getting hit. After the stampede passes, it appears that Kate has been trampled to death. Upon her seemingly apparent death, the wolves of both packs begin to howl in mourning sadness, but she wakes up to the joy and relief of the packs. Now, at long last, Humphrey and Kate reveal their feelings for each other. Winston and Tony then decided to unite the packs.

Later at the Midnight Howl, all the wolves celebrate the marriages of Kate & Humphrey and Garth & Lilly. The film ends with Humphrey and Kate singing a beautiful duet.

REVIEW:

With a title like Alpha and Omega, one would think that this was some sort of religious film, but that is actually not the case. The title refers to the position within a wolfpack.

This actually isn’t a bad film, but it does seem all too familiar. There really isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.

On top of that, why can’t anyone use hand drawn animation anymore? This might have been 10x better if it was done using traditional tactics, but instead, they just had to use computers. Don’t even get me started on the fact that this was released in 3D!!!

As far as the story goes, as I said, it is very formulaic and familair, but that is not to say that it is bad. The relationship between the leads is something to keep your eye on, even if you can alreayd guess what us going to happen. Same goes for the frenemy relationship between the pack leaders.

Voice casting is actually pretty good. In many of my reviews of films like this, I have mentioned how much that some people’s voices just annoy the snot out of me, well Justin Long does not have one of those voices. The timbre of his vocals really works for this character.

Hayden Panettiere wasn’t too bad, either, but I think her character could have been a little more femine or tomboyish, rather than flip floppingon both ends the way they seemed to have her doing.

Final verdict on Alpha and Omega is that it isn’t half bad. However the very things that make it good are the same things that keep it from being great because it never does anything different. I’m not saying this should have been something 100% all new (though that would have been nice), but they could have at least done something to distinguish itself. That being said, I can recommend this, but you’ll probaly forget it not long after the credits roll.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Silverado

Posted in Action/Adventure, Drama, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Emmett (Scott Glenn) is ambushed by three men while he sleeps in a deserted shack. In a brief gunfight, he kills all of the assailants. As he travels to Silverado, Emmett finds a man, Paden (Kevin Kline), lying in the desert, having been robbed and left to die.

Emmett and Paden ride to the town of Turley to meet Emmett’s brother, Jake (Kevin Costner), who is locked up and awaiting hanging for killing a man in self-defense. Paden is later jailed when he encounters and kills one of the men who robbed him. Emmett aids Jake and Paden in a breakout with the help of Mal (Danny Glover), a black cowboy who was run out of town by sheriff John Langston (John Cleese).

After helping a wagon train of settlers recover their stolen money from thieves, and leading them to Silverado, the group disbands to find their relatives and settle into the town. Emmett and Jake learn from their sister’s husband, the land agent for the area, that rancher Ethan McKendrick (Ray Baker) is attempting to maintain the open range, which he will dominate with his enormous herds of cattle, by driving all lawful claimants off the land. Emmett had killed McKendrick’s father years earlier in a gunfight, and McKendrick had hired the men who attempted to kill Emmett upon his release from prison. Mal finds his father Ezra (Joe Seneca), left destitute after his home had been burned down and his land overrun by cattle.

It is soon revealed that the sheriff Cobb (Brian Dennehy), an old friend of Paden’s, is on McKendrick’s payroll. After McKendrick’s men murder Ezra, burn the land office, and kidnap Emmett’s nephew Augie (Thomas Wilson Brown); Paden, Mal, Emmett, and Jake determine to defy Cobb. The four stampede McKendrick’s cattle to provide cover for a raid on his ranch, in which most of the bandits are killed and the kidnapped boy is rescued. They then return to town, where in a series of encounters, each defeats his own personal enemy. In the last of these, Paden kills Cobb in a duel. Emmett and Jake leave for California, their long stated goal, while Mal and his sister reunite and decide to rebuild their father’s homestead. Paden stays in Silverado as the new sheriff.

REVIEW:

It is no secret that I love westerns. This is one that has been on my radar for awhile, actually, and today I got the chance to view it. The question is…was it worth the wait?

If you’ve seen a western in your time, then you are aware of the basic plot they all have….introduce the characters, go out in the field/desert/hills/mountains, set up the treacherous plot, slow down to a near standstill, end with an epic shootout (usually in the middle of town).

Silverado follows that formula pretty much, with some minor variations here and there. The main thing about this film that sticks out in the plot is how corrupt the lawmen seem to be. It really makes you wonder what kind of hiring process they had back then.

First things first about this film, the music is beyond awesome! Bruce Broughton’s score rivals that of Elmer Bernstein’s The Magnificent Seven. Dare I say they are 1 and 1a. Broughton’s score captures the spirit and tone fo the film so perfectly, one can actually get lost in the lush instrumentation he uses to set up each scene.

With great music, you must have great scenery, and Silverado delivers on that front, too. Of course, almost every western does this, so no surprise here, right.

The story goes is great at the beginning and the end, but the middle section seems to nearly come to standstill. I realize they were trying to get more in-depth with the characters and all, but that was almost painful and the film nearly grinded to a halt. The shootout at the film’s end is worth the wait, though.

The acting is actually pretty good…better than one wold think. Of course if you look at the cast, it isn’t a surprise, except for the fact that this was made in 1985, before they all went on to bigger and better things.

Once scene I personally found comical was where Danny Glover was talking to his dad, a grumpy old man with a gravely voice and head full of gray hair. The funny thing is that this is Danny Glover today. Yeah, I’m weird like that. Of course, his whole character seems to be reminscent of Roscoe Lee Browne’s from The Cowboys, only he’s not a cook.

So, the final verdict on Silverado is that while it is good, the lagging middle section keeps it from being great. I rally wish I knew why most westerns feel the need to slow down so much when they’re going sat such a nice pace. It is so frustrating! Still, I wold recommend this film. Even though it was released in ’85, they capture the spirit of all those westerns of the ’50s and ’60s. This is why I recommend this film so highly.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

A Rage in Harlem

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

 The film begins in Natchez, Mississippi in 1956. During a police shoot-out with the mob leader Slim’s (Badja Djola) gang, Slim’s moll Imabelle (Robin Givens) takes off with a cadre of stolen gold. As a result, Imabelle is chased by Slim’s mob from Mississippi to New York. By the time she reaches Harlem, she is broke and has to figure out a way to ditch the trunk full of gold. She finds herself at the annual Undertaker’s Ball, where she sees the big and dumb Jackson (Forest Whitaker), a bumbling undertaker’s assistant. She spots Jackson as a mark that she can use as a cover and latches onto him immediately. She moves in with him to hide out, but Imabelle becomes taken with his innocence. For his part, Jackson falls head over heels in love with her. But the Mississippi mob catches up with her and takes her away. Jackson calls in his street-wise brother Goldy (Gregory Hines) to help him rescue Imabelle. Jackson fears that Imabelle has been kidnapped. But Goldy knows better — he still agrees to help him but Goldy wants the gold for himself.

REVIEW:

In the early 90s, I was obsessed with Robin Givens, especially after she divorced Mike Tyson, so it should come as no surprises that I wanted to see A Rage in Harlem. Sadly, at the time, I was too young to go see it by myself, not to mention the parental units thought this might be too “mature a film” for me.

After awhile, I got over Robin and this film sort of faded out of my knowledge until it was suggested by Netflix the other day. Was it worth the wait? I wish I could say yes, but that really wasn’t the case.

Don’t misunderstand me, this is not a bad flick, by any means. It does seem a bit confused, though. What I mean by that is it seems to be conflicted as to what it wants to be. At times, it seems to be trying to go screwball comedy, and other times it seems to be leaning toward crime drama.

Personally, I think this would have worked more on the comedy route, especially if they would have gone the route of another film from around the same time, Harlem Nights. I could be way off, though.

The story is a little weak for my taste. I mean, there is this heist that has happened before the film starts, followed by a shootout and getaway, which brings them crooks from Mississippi to Harlem. How they got up there so quickly is a mystery that may never be solved.

On top of that, there is this strange subplot about how random characters are related and something about a funeral…blah, blah, blah. It just doesn’t work, for me at least.

Some people may applaud the plot, and that is their opinion. Who am I to argue? I’m sure there are opinions I have that differ from theirs.

Earlier, I mentioned the crime drama aspect of this picture. Well, it does drive the film forward, and makes the “rage” in the title make sense. In a manner one would expect from a gangster-type picture, we get a shootout near the film’s end with casualties here and there. It works, but I just didn’t seem to get into it. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t buy Forest Whitaker and Gregory Hines as stepbrothers or something.

What is my final impression of A Rage in Harlem? Well, it is decent enough, especially for the time it was released, but it doesn’t have the feel of a film set in the 50s. I seems like they were going more for a modern feel, but got stuck with a retro setting. The conflicting eras ruined the picture. Do I recommend this? Well, I won’t say stay away from it, but I’m not going to be rushing to watch this again, that’s for sure.

3 out of 5 stars

Death at a Funeral

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film revolves around the funeral ceremony for the father of Aaron (Chris Rock) and Ryan (Martin Lawrence). Aaron, the older son, lives with his wife Michelle at his parent’s home. Aaron and Michelle have been trying to buy their own home and have children but have been unsuccessful. Aaron envies Ryan because Ryan is a successful writer, while he has not had his novel published, and resents his brother because he would rather spend money on a first class ticket from New York to L.A. than help him pay for the funeral expenses.

Elaine (Zoe Saldana) and her fiancee Oscar (James Marsden) are on their way to pick up her brother Jeff before heading to the funeral. To ease Oscar’s nerves, she gives him what she believes is Valium. Jeff later reveals to Elaine that it is actually a hallucinogenic drug he’s concocted for his friend. Chaos ensues when Oscar hallucinates that the coffin is moving; he knocks it over, which pushes the body out of the coffin.

Aaron is approached by an unknown guest, a little person named Frank (Peter Dinklage), who reveals himself to be the secret lover of his deceased father. Frank shows Aaron photos as proof and threatens to reveal them to Aaron’s mother unless he is paid $30,000. Aaron tells Ryan, who suggest Aaron pay the money because Ryan claims he’s buried in debt. While Aaron and Ryan meet with him to pay him, Frank starts to deride Aaron’s ability as writer and Aaron refuses to pay. Frank gets angry and tries to leave the room; Ryan attacks Frank and both Aaron and Ryan tie Frank up to prevent him from leaving. Norman comes in and sees what happened. He gives Frank what they also believe is Valium to try and calm him down and Jeff tells them it’s not Valium.

While Jeff and Norman, who are supposed to be watching Frank, get distracted by Uncle Russell, Frank jumps off the coffee table and hits his head. With Aaron, Ryan, Jeff, and Norman believing Frank is dead, they plan to put him in the coffin. While everyone is outside watching the naked Oscar on the roof threatening to jump because he saw Elaine unwillingly get kissed by Derek, Aaron and Ryan put Frank in the coffin.

Elaine calms Oscar down by revealing she is pregnant. With everyone back inside, they continue the eulogy. While Aaron awkwardly tries to do his speech, Frank starts banging on the coffin and suddenly emerges from it. The pictures fall out of his pocket and Cynthia sees the pictures, screams, calls Frank a bastard, and starts to attack him. Aaron yells for everyone’s attention as he tells them that his father was a good man with flaws like everyone else.

The film ends with Aaron and Ryan saying goodbye while Ryan gets a ride to the airport by little Martina, who Ryan has been trying to get with all day. Aaron and Michelle are finally alone and going to try and have a baby. Aaron asks where Uncle Russell is and Michelle tells him that she gave him what she believes is Valium to calm him down. In the final scene Uncle Russell is on the roof naked.

REVIEW:

First of all, let me say that if I ever go to a funeral as dysfunctional as this, I demand to never see any of these people ever again. Having said that, it is still hilarious to watch these events unfold and hilarity ensue.

Death at a Funeral is hands down one of the funniest films I’ve seen in quite some time. Now, I won’t sit here and say that it is well written, but rather the comedy comes from the most unexpected places.

For instance, who in their right mind would think Danny Glover would be one of the funniest members of a cast consisting of Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan,  and Martin Lawrence? That is the case, though. He provides your typical grumpy old man humor that works in this family atmosphere.

The plot is a fairly simple one. The main character’s father has dies and the funeral is being held. With a funeral comes all kids of headaches, especially when you have to pay for everything and make sure it all goes smoothly. Unfortunately, things don’t work that way.

I’m not so sure about this cast. I mean, separately, they are great, but together, they either work or they don’t.

First off, let me mention Luke Wilson. This guy seems like he was just there to be the “token white guy” in a cast full of African-Americans (I’ll get to James Marsden and Peter Dinklage in a second). If that was his purpose, then it works, but you have to wonder what exactly he was chosen for. I mea, he is much more talented than this. Of course, he doesn’t exactly give a bad performance. He just seems to be ab it out of place.

Chris Rock seems to be playing the straight man here. Remember the days when you would see him in a movie and expect some over the top loudness, rather than some guy who seems to have all the life sucked out of him? Rock needs to go back to that.

Martin Lawrence, at least, knows what has made him a star. His character is what you would expect…over the top and larger than life. For Lawrence, it works.

Regina Hall is gorgeous as ever. The fact that she is in “heat” for the entire film just makes her that much more desirable. I’m not so sure about her character, though. I think that has more to do with her lack of character development. At least she wasn’t a nagging, overemotional wife.

James Marsden really steals the show. He is by far the funniest guy in the entire cast…at least his character is written that way. His reaction to the vallum/acid pills leads to some great comedic moments and pretty much moves the film forward because before then it was dying a slow and painful death.

Zoe Saldana is as stick thin as ever, but at least she isn’t a nag or bitch like she ends up being in her other roles.

Tracy Morgan, like Martin, does what he does best. It works for him, so why mess with perfection?

Peter Dinklage is a totally random character who is essential to the film’s plot. The situation he’s put in prove how versatile (and humble) he can be. Although, I have to wonder what made them cast him, as opposed to a “full size” actor.

Death at a Funeral will have you rolling on the floor laughing in some parts. At the same time, it tries to get too serious at some points. Actually, the only serious part of this flick is Chris Rock. Everyone else seems to behaving fun. So, if you can get over Rock being a stick in the mud, then I highly recommend this flick.

4 out of 5 stars