Saturday, April 27, 2013
"Follow Your Hero or Become your own man
11 year old Woody(Michael Rainey, Jr) gets a crash course in what it means to be a man when he spends the day with his ex convict Uncle Vincent (Common) he idolizes.
Luv is an coming of age urban drama set in baltimore where we meet Woody an very smart 11 year old, who lives with his grandmother (Lonetta McKee) and Uncle Vincent(Common) they have breakfast, Woody ask for a ride to school from Vincent, who he looks up too.
One their way to school Vincent and Woody talk about different things until they get on the subject about girls in which he lies to Vincent about how he gets a lot of girls and because of this lie Vincent decides to have Woody spend the day with him instead of going to school.
Vincent wants Woody to be a man, even a better man then he himself is since he was recently released from prison and is trying to become a real business man who wants to start his own business, hence why he is dressed like a million bucks as Woody told him.
First Vincent gets Woody a tailor made suit and then they are off to take care of business along the way of Vincent making himself a real business man they travel all over Baltimore meeting with old friends Cofield (Charles S. Dutton) who lets Vincent know whats going on in the streets in reference about him. real business people a bank manager (Clark Johnson) about getting a loan for the restaurant that he wants to open, but that doesn't go so well.
After that meeting Vincent goes to see Arthur (Danny Glover) and they talk about the old days , but most importantly about where can he find his old street boss Fish(Dennis Haysbert) Arthur tells him and he reluctantly goes to meet with him about helping him get the money that he needs to start his restaurant business but nothing comes without a price since Fish agrees to give him the money he needs but that he has to do one final drug deal for him in order for him to get what he wants.
Luv plays similar to Training Day where Vincent teaches Woody about how the real world works, about what it is to be a man, etc. life lessons basically.
Common really shows that he is continually growning as an actor especially if you've seen him on AMC's Hell on Wheels and he really shows his range as tough as nails Vincent who wants a better life but like he tells Woody "I'm doing what I got to do" not all rappers are good at making the switch from music to movies but Common is in the class with Will Smith, LL Cool J now with his recent roles and with Luv hopefully Hollywood puts him in more Major Studio pictures.
The supporting cast is very good from Charles S. Dutton, who I believe has never giving a bad performance in any movie they man is just that good and even in the small part here he shows how good he is as the streetwise Cofield.
It was good seeing Danny Glover playing an original gangster Arthur who anybody who has older Uncle's or known some friends of their fathers that's who Arthur remind me of, I was kinda hoping for Glover to say his trademark line "I'm getting to old for this shit" but I guess that is played out now and would've been to much on the nose so actually good thing it was left not said.
Dennis Haysbert as Fish is the former street gangster turned gangster in a suit, who has his hand and eyes on everything in the city, and still is the man of the streets even if he isn't on the streets, Haysbert has always been a very good actor who should be a bigger star then what he is but he is Mr. Allstate now (Are You In Good Hands) so I guess he's doing alright.
For all The Wire fans out there I guess since that show anytime a movie is filmed in Baltimore you can't do a movie without somebody from that show showing up in it and Luv has Michael K. Williams(Omar) playing a Detective who is on Vincent's tale every step of the way.
Clark Johnson(Gus) makes a cameo appearance as the Bank Manager that Vincent goes to see, Anwan Glover(Slim Charles) plays a gangster who has it in for Vincent since he believe that years ago, Vincent killed his brother and the meeting between the two of them is a very tense and real life type of show down.
I was a little disappointed that Meagan Good who is billed pretty high in the credits has not even 5 minutes of screen time as she is the only other female of note other then Loretta McKee that's seen in the movie, It would've been good if she had a bigger part to play since she was supposed to be a love interest of Vincent and the scene between them seems very out of place with the rest of the movie.
Michael Rainey, Jr (Woody) in his first movie as far as I know does a great job as we're basically seeing what's going on threw his character eyes and this is his journey from boy to manhood in the span of 24 hours, the scenes between him and Common shows that they really enjoy working with each other, even though its always been said that child actors are tough to work with but nothing like that shows, at only 11 years old Rainey, Jr showcase alot of range that most actors wish that they could, hopefully this young man has a bright career ahead of him.
All in all Luv is a very good underrated film that should be seen by as many people as possible I believe that if it was shown on a bigger scale Michael Rainey, Jr. could've been nominated for an Oscar just like Quvenzhane Wallis since both played some what similar roles dealing with harsh realities, and tough on them father figures, so if you haven't seen this little film I highly recommend it.
Michael Rainey, Jr.- Woody
Danny Glover- Arthur
Charles S. Dutton- Cofield
Meagan Good- Beverly
Michael K. Williams- Det. Holloway
" Hell Has Just Been Relocated"
A lone spaceship proceeds on its long voyage across space, the crew are surprised to encounter a strange pyramid form. Surprise turns to horror as one by one, they discover that their darkest nightmares are all starting to become real. The pyramid has to behind it all somehow.but how can they save themselves from its influence?
I've always heard about this movie over the years mostly because its a Roger Corman produced film, also its one of the first movies that James Cameron worked on before he hit it big, but mainly heard how bad it was also.
Galaxy of Terror is an early 80s sci-fi horror flick kinda in the same vein as Alien with a space crew that finds themselves crash landed on a alien planet because of a rescue mission gone wrong. The movie begins with a older woman and mysterious figure known only as The Master playing some kind of game, Via video comlink The Master tells Commander Ilvar(Bernard Behrens) that he wants him to lead a expedition to another world, Ilvar is first hesitate to do so but he agrees too.
On board the ship we meet the motley crew of experienced crew members and a few not so experienced ones, Captain Trantor (Grace Zabriske) is known as being the only survivor of another mission gone wrong and the crew is very weary of her being on board and for good reason she takes off without most of the crew being safely seated.
As they get into outer space we're introduced to the crew Cabren (Edward Albert), Alluma (Erin Moran), Kore (Ray Walston), Baelon(Zalman King), Ranger (Robert Englund), Dameia(Taaffe O'Connell), Quuhod (Sid Haig), Cos (Jack Blessing) as the ship nears the planet where they are going, it is pulled down to the surface where Captain Trantor guides the ship down to a safe crash landing.
Cabren leads some of the crew members to the missing ship and they discover that all crew member on board are dead, but at the same time Cos is killed by some kind of creature, back on board their ship they try to figure out what else might be out there, they decide to go back out and explore the pyramid that Alluma feels uneasy about since she is a empath.
As the crew explore the pyramid they all come across strange horrors that aren't fully explained, and things get weirder as they go further inside the pyramid until the finale.
I was some what impressed with Galaxy of Terror, its not the greatest movie made but some of the special effects are noteworthy and one scene in particular stands out as a lasting one where one crew member is raped by a giant worm(I can't fully explain it, its one of those scenes where you have to see it to believe it).
Some of the acting is a bit over the top mainly Jack Blessing who screams more then any of the female characters combined which got annoying but he's the first kill so you don't have to deal with that and when he is killed I was pleased that I didn't have to hear his high pitched screams any longer.
Sid Haig was interesting to see in this movie because up until this point in his career he was known as the heavy in alot of exploration movies but here he shows range as an actor since he only has one line of dialogue in the entire movie, but his facial expression tell more of his story then whatever lines his character was supposed to have since he didn't feel that the character and his lines matched, which was a good touch on his side.
Its always interesting to see Robert Englund in playing characters that aren't Freddy Krueger especially during the time before he did the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, because he was probably best known for playing on V. and his character on the that isn't anything like what he would become known for now, but I will say he does give a little bit of Freddy in one scene here and when you see it you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
The only real problem I had with the movie was the finale where everything is explained about what is going on and but we never truly get a reason as to why, I mean the plot is a bit thin but I felt like when watching the ending and the explanation that was giving is like REALLY!!! this is why this is all happening, but ok its a Roger Corman movie, they guy did make a movie about freaky sea creatures that raped woman so this shouldn't be that much of a stretch.
I kinda don't understand why Galaxy of Terror is considered one of the worst sci fi flick or is it so bad its good thing because when watching it I noticed alot of other sci fi/horror films that owes alot to this movie (Event Horizon, Supernova, Sunshine to name a few).
All in all don't go into this movie expecting some great sci fi/horror Odyssey because if you don't you'll be highly disappointed, their are some good special effects scenes and creature effects as well, not the greatest acted nor is it the worst, where else could you get to see a movie that stars Robert Englund(Pre Freddy Krueger), Sid Haig, Erin Moran, Ray Walston other then in a Roger Corman flick. I say sit back and enjoy it or not for what it is, some times its good to shut off the brain and watch a film like this from time to time.
Bernard Behrens-Commander Ilvar
Grace Zabriskie-Captain Trantor
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
"Who Got Fat? Who Didn't Change? Who Got Rich, Who Got Hot?"
A Group of friends get together the night before their high school reunion and realize how much they really haven't changed since high school.
When I first heard about this movie I didn't really know to much about it, because even though it has a some what all star cast that includes Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long being probably the most known of the cast, it was a small independent release, that should've had a much bigger release and seen on a bigger scale then what it was.
10 years follow and intertwine between a group of friends who come back home for their 10 year high school reunion the characters couldn've easily been stereotypical with the geeks, popular kids, jocks but this movie shows how it mostly is now atleast for how my high school years were where the geeks(Justin Long and Max Minghella) would normally be outcast they are just as popular as Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Lynn Collins characters are, which is a good touch that adds to the movie.
the movie weaves in and out of a couple of the stories mainly focusing on Jake(Tatum) who is really nervous about going back with his girlfriend Jess(real life wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum) who he met after he moved away , and he has good reason for this because his high school girlfriend Mary (Rosario Dawson) shows up with her husband Paul (Ron Livingston) there is some weird tension between the two but its not what you might think and ties up very nicely in the end.
Marty(Justin Long) and AJ(Max Minghella) are the two that have stayed close friends since high school even though they have become businessman and don't see each other very often, but they see the popular girl Anna(Lynn Collins) and they spend the whole movie trying to one up each other trying to get her affection even though AJ is married, their back and forth through out the movie is very good and makes for some good humor most notably when they go to a local grocery store and by a bunch of toilet paper so they can TP a house.
Reeves(Oscar Isaac) is the musician who has hit it big and a bunch of women are coming up to him and wanting to talk to him and get pictures with him even though he seems a bit embarrassed by his fame and also nervous because he has a little secret that revolves around his hit single that everyone really likes and he seems the most of the movie with loner Elisa(Kate Mara) who doesn't really know why she came back when she did her best to avoid the crowds in high school.
Cully(Chris Pratt) and Sam(Ari Graynor) are the only ones who stayed and never moved away because they got married and had a bunch of kids, Cully who had a drinking problem and was a jerk in high school mostly to the nerds probably are the saddest part of the movie because Cully turns back into the jerk from high school but also is the reason for a few of the biggest laughs in the movie.
Garrity(Brian Geraghty) is the one white kid that used to hang with the black kids and used to act black ( if you went to a well diversed school then you knew someone like this, I actually knew a few Garrity's) but after high school he got away from all of that and his girlfriend Olivia (Aubrey Plaza) only finds out about this side of him thanks because of Andre (Anthony Mackie) and Scott (Scott Porter) who he really hung out with and even though its not said in the movie they probably had a rap group too.
10 years doesn't try to be more then what it is, its a tale of friends coming together none of them are fully functioning people because they all have their problems even though some hide it better then other, but you feel for them, you will laugh, you might cry, you might even be a little embarrassed by some of what you might seen and you might even see some of yourself in a few character( I do) and you might even know some of the characters in real life from your own friends.
I must say a few standout performances go too Channing Tatum who drops the pretty boy routine for once( I am a fan of some of his movies) but this movie shows that he really can act especially in the scenes he shares with Rosario Dawson, not so much with his wife Jenna Dewan but she really isn't the greatest actress in the world but at the same time she's not asked to do to much here either.
Oscar Isaac gives probably the best performance of all as Reeves his character is the one that's probably the most stable even though he's a musician and he brings out the little nauseous that I really related too and see a lot of myself in that character, except I'm not a big star or anything.
Lynn Collins makes a character that's normally in any other movie like this a huge Bitch, but Collins brings out the good and soft side and makes Anna very relateable because when you find out something about her you see the character for who she truly is and not what she portrays herself to be.
All in All if you like little heartfelt movies like this with a cool ensemble cast that will make you laugh, even a little emotional at times, even enjoy some karaoke singing to Digital Underground's "Same Song", then I highly recommend seeing this movie, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Channing Tatum- Jake
Jenna Dewan-Tatum- Jess
MY Rating- 8/10
Thursday, April 18, 2013
"Judgement Is Coming"
In A Violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a rookie to take down a gang that deals the reality altering drug SLO-MO.
Dredd begins with Judge Dredd giving a backstory of Mega City and how things are in this futuristic city and how crime is at an all time how, which is normally typical in these type of movies, the opening chase scene with Dredd chasing down some gangsters and killing one of them while the others run into a nearby high rise called Peach Trees before Dredd can purse he is called back to base "The Chief Justice wants to see you".
Dredd returns and has a meeting with The Chief Justice about a trainee Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) where she hasn't passed the test to be a judge but because she is a powerful psychic the Chief Justice wants Dredd to take her out and see how she does in the field and give her an field evaluation.
One their way out for Anderson's training day, they get a call about three bodies that were skinned and dropped from higher levels of a high rise building, which leads Dredd back to Peach Trees, as Dredd and Anderson look over the crime scene they are told about the gang and gang leader Madeline Madrigal aka Ma Ma (Lena Headey) she and her gang are very ruthless and are also behind the SLO- Mo drug.
Dredd and Anderson come across a drug deal in an apartment where a few people are killed and one of Ma Ma drug dealers Kay (Wood Harris) is arrested, as they are leaving to take him to jail and interrogate him, Ma Ma has a computer geek junkie hack into the system and put the place on lock down and tells all off the gangs and residents that she wants the two judges dead and that if anybody is seen helping them she will kill them.
Ok I quite enjoy some aspects of this Dredd movie, for one they didn't hold back on the violence since that's what this movie was all about, with ruthless gangs, criminals and junkies, some of the slo mo scenes even though were obviously made for 3D didn't look to bad in regular 2D and actually added to my enjoyment of the movie.
When watching Dredd it feels like an hour and a half video game because of the way its presented which isn't a good thing nor a bad thing either.
I thought Karl Urban did good job playing Judge Dredd I mean his Dredd and Stallone's Dredd are very different, I know some people seemed to like this Dredd more just because he never takes off the helmet just like in the comic book, and I say to anybody If that's your sole reason for liking this movie over the original Judge Dredd movie Is crazy because the stories are completely different hence their was no need for Urban's Dredd to take off his helmet unlike Stallone but I don't want to get to much into that so I'll movie on.
The acting overall was good, my only problem was that Lena Headey wasn't given enough to do here even though she was the main villain she didn't get to really show just how bad she was and maybe have a better final scene between her and Dredd, because I liked her character in the fact that its rare to see a female as the main villain in these type of movies and I think the filmmakers should've went that extra mile and giving us that but all in all like I said she was very good nonetheless.
Olivia Thirlby was actually good too going from the young unsure of themself rookie to the hardened veteran by the end, maybe even a showdown between her and Ma-Ma would've been good because of the fact that her character was born in a similar project like Peach Trees, and could've giving a good different sides of the same coin type of rivalry between the women.
The video game aspect of the movie kinda makes it more of a fun time then if it was done differently but my only real problem with the movie was that it only took place in the Peach Trees building when there is alot of talk about Mega City and how violent it is I felt that they kinda dropped the ball there but maybe if a sequel is made then we'll get to see more of the city itself kinda like in the original Judge Dredd.
I must admit my feelings on this movie is completely different to what it was before I watched into, because I'm not really big on the whole remake thing but at the same time when its done like this where the filmmakers are playing with what made the original film great or good in its on right, I have no problem with that but at the same time if this movie had a different name and main character with the same plot would it be better received and not already have somewhat of a negative reaction from fans of the original movie(yes some folks like the original) instead of a cash in on the Judge Dredd name?
One final thing it would've been cool if they actually played La Roux song In For The Kill in the actual movie and not just in the trailer, I really hate when they do that, because that song works perfectly with this movie which is shown by it being used in the trailer
Karl Urban- Dredd
Lena Headey- Ma Ma
Wood Harris- Kay
Warrick Grier- Caleb
Rakie Ayola-Chief Judge
Dromhall Gleeson- Clan Techie
My Rating 7/10