So this past weekend I ended up watching quite a few movies. So instead of writing up a review for each one, I’ll just cram them all into one post for your reading delight. So, without further ado and in no particular order…
All The Way
This is the story of when Lyndon B. Johnson became president and had to delicately juggle influence in order to establish civil rights in the 1960’s. It’s a historical retelling and I absolutely must comment on the two major standouts here; Bryan Cranston as LBJ and Anthony Mackie as MLK. Bryan Cranston is one of my all-time favorites, ever since I first saw him in Breaking Bad, I’ve just adored him. With a little special fx, he becomes a visually impressive LBJ. Anthony Mackie as MLK was also a stunning depiction of the man. I had no idea who Anthony was until he appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then I started to realize all of his other roles he’s been in and I was able to appreciate his talent so much more.
|All the Way (2016)|
|Rating: 7.6/10 (4,745 votes)
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: Robert Schenkkan (teleplay), Robert Schenkkan (play)
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Bradley Whitford, Melissa Leo
Runtime: 132 min
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Released: 21 May 2016
|Plot: Lyndon Johnson becomes the President of the United States in the chaotic aftermath of JFK's assassination and spends his first year in office fighting to pass the Civil Rights Act.|
All in all, All The Way was pretty good. I mean, LBJ was kind of a jerk, but the entire film is sprinkled with great actors and actresses and powerful depictions of real life pioneers and activist in the civil rights movement.
The Legend of Tarzan
This is a telling of the story of Tarzan after he left the jungle, got acclimated into society, then had to go back to the jungle to save the day. Ok, let’s be honest here, this should be geared towards kids, I mean it’s Tarzan. However some of the subject matter isn’t entirely kid friendly, hence the PG-13 rating. The story was kind of mediocre, the acting was ok but nothing great and the animation used was well below acceptable. Alexander Skarsgard got himself into incredible shape for this role, however regardless of his extraordinary physique, he is a considerably a one-note, singular talent actor. He was fantastic in True Blood, but beyond that he hasn’t impressed me even once. On the other hand, Christoph Walz stars in this Leon Rom, and Christoph Walz is chillingly brilliant. Lastly is Margot Robbie and Samuel L Jackson, both of which play supporting characters who really should have had stronger leading roles.
|The Legend of Tarzan (2016)|
|Rating: 6.5/10 (50,627 votes)
Director: David Yates
Writer: Adam Cozad (screenplay), Craig Brewer (screenplay), Craig Brewer (story by), Adam Cozad (story by), Edgar Rice Burroughs (based on the 'Tarzan' stories created by)
Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens, Christoph Waltz
Runtime: 110 min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Released: 01 Jul 2016
|Plot: Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.|
All in all, if it wasn’t for Christoph and Margot, I would have almost completely not enjoyed this. Frankly, the CGI was kind of crap and Alexander was subpar and it just wasn’t terribly entertaining.
Free State of Jones
This is the story of Newt Knight and his defiance of the confederate Army during the Civil War. Seeing as there are virtually no one who actually reads my blog, I can write just about whatever I want and maybe a handful will ever see it unfortunately. With the being said, I am so incredibly disturbed at the fact that at any point, anyone thought it was acceptable to own other people purely because of their skin color. I mean what the hell?!?! I watch something like this and think “oh, this is a piece of history”, then I turn on the news and it’s nothing but race fueled this and racial tension that. Seriously? After hundreds of years, some people still have a mindset of racial superiority? Get over yourselves and realize that WE are called humans and WE are humankind. We wage war against each other, kill one another, and for what, for nothing. It’s stupid, ignorant and just plain pointless. Stop hating, stop killing, stop being terrible humans.
|Free State of Jones (2016)|
|Rating: 6.7/10 (3,627 votes)
Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Leonard Hartman (story), Gary Ross
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell
Runtime: 139 min
Genre: Action, Biography, Drama
Released: 24 Jun 2016
|Plot: A disillusioned Confederate army deserter returns to Mississippi and leads a militia of fellow deserters, runaway slaves, and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.|
All in all, this movie was so incredibly powerful on so many levels. Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell and so many other terrific actors. It’s a period piece, a historical reenactment, and it was gripping and terrific. I highly recommend it!!!
Swiss Army Man
This is a seriously original and bizarre film. Here’s the gist, a guy is stranded on an island and finds what he thinks is a dead body, but that dead body turns out to be an extraorindary person who can perform all sorts of unearthly activities such as expelling gas from his rectum (basically he farts) powerful enough to be compared to a jetski, can regurgitate fresh drinking water, can fire projectiles from his mouth like a gun or canon and has a penis that acts as the compass of desires from Pirates of the Caribbean.
This movie almost entirely stars Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. They develop a very strange relationship that bounces back and forth between being brotherly to being chimerical lovers to being best of friends. Let’s be straight forward here, this is an incredibly strange movie and a majority of it makes you question so much that’s going on. Is this real? Is he dreaming? What the hell? Things like that.
|Swiss Army Man (2016)|
|Rating: 7.5/10 (12,558 votes)
Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Writer: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Stars: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Antonia Ribero
Runtime: 97 min
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Released: 01 Jul 2016
|Plot: A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.|
All in all, this may be a really unusual movie, but it is beautifully shot, wonderful direction from Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and the acting is just superb. Paul Dano is one of those actors that I think a lot of people recognize as that one guy from that one movie they saw that one time, however hardly anyone knows the poor guys name. Hopefully with this leading role that can change enough that people will say “oh, that’s that guy from the Daniel Radcliffe movie!” (proceed to slap forehead now…). I surprisingly enjoyed this despite having a lot of unanswered questions by the end. As long as you don’t mind a little flatulence and crazy people, you’ll like this!
There is this video game called World of Warcraft. I have a quick story I’d like to share. So I had this manager once upon a time and one day I walked over by her desk and she was laid out in her office chair, sound asleep. Obviously I called over every single person in the department to witness the manager snoring away, but she woke up after the first few people. Come to find out, she was a VERY avid WoW player and was up much too late playing this game. Well they finally made a movie based on the characters, story and world of World of Warcraft. The story is fairly simple, a medieval land is invaded by orcs from another world/realm/dimension and they have to either fight to survive or find a common ground and establish peace.
I went into this not expecting much. However, I was delightfully impressed by the CGI for the orcs and the magic of the movie. The orc characters had depth and weren’t just mindless brutes, but instead a race that has deep roots in respect, lineage and history. The humans and live action actors on the other hand, quite frankly looked like really poorly thrown together cosplay actors. I do love me some Ben Foster, I’ve really enjoyed his previous roles. Travis Fimmel was over-dramatic about everything and despite being a hardened warrior, got winded from going up a flight of stairs, classic. Dominic Cooper is perfect as Preacher but was just plain boring as the King of the lands.
|Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)|
|Rating: 7.2/10 (122,100 votes)
Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Charles Leavitt (screenplay), Duncan Jones (screenplay)
Stars: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper
Runtime: 123 min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Released: 10 Jun 2016
|Plot: As an Orc horde invades the planet Azeroth using a magic portal, a few human heroes and dissenting Orcs must attempt to stop the true evil behind this war.|
All in all, like I said, the live action portion of this felt like a really bad cosplay. I would expect in a fantasy setting that the clothes would have a more handcrafted feel to them, not all perfect and non-faded/worn and pristine. If you’re a huge fan of Warcraft, as I have heard from some, this is pretty outstanding movie. If you’re not a fan of Warcraft but enjoy fantasy movies, ok, but don’t expect to be impressed. And if you’re not a fan of Warcraft, don’t bother, go watch Lord of the Rings or Willow instead.