Terminator and Terminator: Judgment Day (Review)

Terminator and Terminator: Judgement Day directed by James Cameron  Starring:  Arnold Schwarzenegger  Linda Hamilton Michael Biehn Robert Patrick

Terminator and Terminator: Judgement Day directed by James Cameron
Starring:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Linda Hamilton
Michael Biehn
Robert Patrick

I’ll Be Back

The Terminator Review:

James Cameron used to be one of the most creative imaginative directors in Hollywood with knack of making great science fiction action movies. The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day are two of my favorite movies of all time.  The film is also made Arnold Schwarzenegger a movie star.  The Terminator was released in 1984 with James Cameron directing it.

The Terminator is an iconic story. Skynet, an Artificial Intelligence, sends a cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger), called the Terminator, back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).  Sarah Connor is the mother of John Connor, the leader of the human resistance that will defeat Skynet.  John Connor sends his best friend and most loyal soldier, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), to protect Sarah Connor.  The Terminator starts to eliminate anybody who is named Sarah Connor in the LA. Eventually, the Terminator finds Sarah but Kyle helps her escape. Sarah and Kyle get apprehended by the police. The Terminator shows up at the station and asks to see Sarah Connor. He delivers the classic line “I’ll be back” and wrecks havoc at the police station.  Kyle and Sarah escape and end up at a hotel together. Kyle confesses his love to her, and they end up making John Connor.  Kyle dies in the battle with the Terminator with Sarah Connor killing it eventually.

The Terminator is a great action pact science fiction movie.  The story is in genius and filled with a lot of emotional performances from the actors.  Sarah Connor is a waitress and a woman in distress. Linda Hamilton plays that role to a T. Michael Biehn plays the heroic noble Kyle Reese in a very memorable way. Michael Beihn brought a great deal of seriousness and humor to the role.  The actor gained cult status after his portrayal of Kyle Reese.  The star of the movie is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is face of the Terminator Franchise.  In this portrayal of the cybernetic assassin, he played a cold heartless killer that couldn’t be stopped. He would kill anybody that was in the way.  He had a stone face while killing everybody.  He has also delivered classic one liners like “Fuck you, asshole”  and “I’ll be back.”  Arnold’s popularity as the Terminator would only grow with the sequel.

Terminator is 5 out 5 for being nearly perfect except the time paradoxes are a headache.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator was a financial success for being an independent film.  The production company, Orion, thought the first Terminator would bomb but the movie became a financial success. People wanted a sequel and soon after the disputes to the rights of the franchise arose. Eventually, Carcolco Pictures bid and won the rights to the Terminator franchise.  James Cameron had a sequel planned out by the finish of his original screenplay of the Terminator. The movie started production in 1990 and eventually became arguably the best sequel in movie film and the most popular among fans and critics.

In 1995,  John Connor is a 12 year old kid played by Edward Furlong. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is in the mental institution after being arrested for trying to blow up a computer factory to prevent Judgment Day.  Skynet sends a new Terminator called the T-1000 ( Robert Patrick) to kill young John Conner. The T-1000 is a liquid metal artificial intelligent robot with the ability to change its form to copy any object except for complex weapons (bomb or guns). John Connor and his resistance captures a T-800, (Arnold Schwarzenegger) the model back in the first Terminator movie, and send it back in time  to protect John. Eventually both Terminators find John and the T-800 prevails in rescuing John.  John convinces the Terminator to go the mental institution to rescue his mother. They face with the T-1000 again but prevail again.  Sarah Connor has intentions of her own which it to stop Judgment Day but it could cost her life and the life of her son!

The first Terminator was more a character driven movie about Sarah and Kyle hiding from the first Terminator.  Terminator 2: Judgment Day is an action driven movie. The first scene starts with T-800 arriving back in time and busting up a biker bar to get his clothes. The story soon progresses to the pursuit of John Connor and it is straight action from there.  The special effects are spectacular and helped modernize CGI.  The acting again is top notch. Every actor brings something different to the role.  Terminator: Judgment Day was supposed to end the franchise. Other production companies, producers, and writers have attempted to continue the Terminator storyline but failed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger again nails the part of the Terminator. His interactions with young John Connor really help humanize the character. This version of the Terminator really becomes John’s father figure. Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton, really shines in the movie too. Sarah Connor is a militaristic powerful woman. She doesn’t take any crap from anybody and is a symbol for women.  Edward Furlong nails the young John Connor character. He grows into his role as John Connor.  The T-1000 is the best surprise of the movie. Robert Patrick is cold calculating as a killer. He has quite a few humorous lines in the film and his portrayal of the T-1000 is considered one of the best villains in film history.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day gets 5/5 for being a great science fiction movie.

Max (Review)

max

The Boy Dog Adventure Gets Lost in the Shuffle

Max is a military service dogs that can sniff out bombs or weapons.  Humans have trained dogs like Max to search for drugs, firearms, or other devices for centuries.  These dogs are a lot like the K-9 units in police forces except their job is a lot more dangerous.  The animal, and their handler usually bond and the bond lasts for the animal’s lifetime.

Max and his handler, Kyle, are serving in Afghanistan.  Max’s primary job is to search for weapons or other harmful objects can be used against the American forces.  Kyle is killed in action, and Max suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He is incapable of working with other military handlers. The commander of the training facility where Max and Kyle were trained contacts Kyle’s family.  The commander tells the family that Max will be put down. Kyle’s family adopts Max but it’s their youngest son, Justin, who has to take care of him.  Justin is a moody teenager that feels neglected by his father and overshadowed by his fallen brother.  However, Max is able to help Justin find to find himself but there is a threat from Kyle’s past that is dangerous and wants to harm Max.

Max is an average enjoyable movie. The dog who plays Max steals the show.  His scenes with Justin are the most enjoyable parts of the movie.  The actor who plays Justin is rather good. He shows a ton of emotion and anger but his screen time getting to know Max is cut short. Justin’s love interest is played by a good actress too. They have a good chemistry together and Max reacts to it their chemistry. The trio actually make the film watchable.  However, despite the three actors and their performances the movie is lame.

Max should be about Justin and Max; however, this plot point gets diluted by multiple subplots, cheesy dialogue, poor acting, and unlikable characters.  One of the multiple subplots in Max is that Justin illegally rips video games and sells them.  His relationship with his father is non existent because the father is a complete jerk. His character would be fine for an adult film but for a family orientated film…he sucks the enjoyment every time he is on screen.  The father played by Thomas Haden Church who is one of the best character actors in Hollywood. The mother has like 10 lines of dialogue and really has no story arch. The friends of Justin and the antagonists of the film do a poor job of acting. The friends especially take away from the Max and Justin story arch.  The dialogue can be horrendously cheesy that will make your brain spin.

Max gets 2.5 out of 5. The studio should have focused on the Dog and the Boy.

Ted 2 (review)

It’s ok!

Ted was one of the funniest comedies that has come out in the last few summers.  Ted 2 has big shoes to fill.  The film doesn’t fill the shoes.  Ted 2 stars Mark Whalberg, Seth MacFarlane, and Amanda Seyfried.

Ted 2 begins with Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) getting married to Tammy Lynn (Jessica Barth).  Ted and Tammy start to have marital problems.  Ted talks to Johnny (Mark Whalberg) about his problems, and John is suffering his own problems with his ex divorcing him.  Ted comes up with the brilliant to get Tammy Lane pregnant but she can’t because the frequent drug abuse. The couple decides to adopt but can’t since Ted is not legally a person.  Ted has to sue to become a person in the eyes of the law, but he has forces that is trying to stop him.

Ted 2 suffers from a lot of problems. The jokes are redundant and the film’s story is not like the first movie.  Ted suing for the right to be considered human is kind of boring!  Ted 2 is about to be a satirical and adult comedy. The movie takes a complete 360 shift and tries to be a drama. The tone and plot of the film go into opposite directions sometimes. The dirty jokes are not homeruns like the first movie.

Although, Ted 2 has benefits. For one, the movie in some parts will make you laugh ridiculously hard.  The chemistry between Mark Whalberg and Ted is there.  The film should about them.  Amanda Seyfried became one of the gang and she was excellent in the film.  Ted 2 has some excellent cameos and some jokes that play off those cameos. The cast includes some major nerd references such as a few Star Trek Alumni are cast in supporting roles.

Overall, Ted is ok and gets 2.5 out of 5.

The Connection (Review)

the-connection

Best Crime Drama of the Year so Far!

This critic doesn’t like foreign films so much; however, the Connection was one that hooked my interest from the first scene. The film stars two well known European actors, Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche.  Dujardin won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2012 for the Artist.  Lellouche has been in US films and mostly smaller roles but he played Marc in the Informant. The two men anchored the plot and help deliver a fantastic crime thriller. The Connection was distributed by Drafthouse Films in association of the Alamo Drafthouse.

The Connection or La French is about the French Connection from France’s point of view. Jean Dujardin stars as Magistrate Pierre Michel. His goal to stop the global heroin trade but capture Tany Zampa, the mob boss (Giles Lellouche), who supplies the heroin to everywhere.  The two men cross paths several times.  Magistrate Michael has no problems of bending the rules to capture and ensnare Zampa in the corner so he suffocates without any money coming in.  What will Magistrate Michel be willing to sacrifice to capture Zampa?

The Connection has many elements of a great crime film. The film is a fast pace action thriller.  The story takes a lot of twists and turns that the audience doesn’t see coming.  The film does have subtitles but honestly, they didn’t take away from the story. The director is Cedric Jimenez, and his next project is HHhH a film about the assassination of Nazi commander in Prague. Jimenez directed a gritty realistic crime thriller and kept it period specific too. The two main actors were amazing in the Connection.

Every actor or actress in the connection was good.  Giles Lellouche was fantastic as Tany Zampa.  He was menacing and cunning while portraying the role. He played a character based on a real life person. Zampa was sadiastic mob boss.  There is one scene in the beginning of the movie when Zampa makes his lackey sort a whole of coke for portraying him. Lellouche in that scene was super creepy and it reminded me of the Godfather scene when the Godfather threatens the director.  Lellouche portrayed a humanistic villain too. Zampa is a bad guy who loves his family too and the other people close to him. He’s definitely multilayer character like his counterpart.

Jean Dujardin is exceptional in this film. He plays the main character Pierre Michel.  Dujardin didn’t only bring a sense of hopefulness and despair in trying to combat a major drug ring but also added humility and comedy to the role. The man won the Academy Award for Best Actor because he becomes the character. He really should be a bigger name in Hollywood. He has great chemistry with the cast especially Lellouche.  Dujardin really displays a lot of emotion. His character gets very frustrated and sad at times.  His acting ability translates it well on screen.

The Connection is a must see and gets 4.5/5 from me. It is in limited release right now and Netflix might be picking it up soon.

Slow West (review)

slow west poster

A Brilliant Western!

Slow West stars Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smith-McPhee who make this film an exceptional western.  Westerns are not released often in the current Hollywood trend. Django Unchained, directed Quentin Tarantino, was the last western to do major box office success in 2012.  Independent Western films have started to spring up in the last three years because the box office results for Django showed that people still love to watch a good western.  Slow West is western financed by A24, an independent studio, that Jon Maclean wrote and directed.

Slow-West-Photo-01

Michael Fassbender stars as Silas, a former bounty hunter, who helps Jay (Kodi Smith-McPhee), a Irish immigrant, travel across the western states to find his long lost love. Rose.  Silas has very pessimistic view on the world and life.  Jay is very much a optimistic young naïve kid.   Silas has his own agenda, and Jay doesn’t realize it yet. Jay’s stars to humanize Silas on their journey but they don’t realize that they are being followed.

Jon Maclean wrote a character driven story full of action and dark humor. He also created a narrative that has twists and turns. These twists and turns make the story shift dramatically. Maclean also used flashbacks scenes which help tell the story of Rose and Jay.  The first time director brilliantly filmed scenes with a lot scenery or none depending on the story. For example, Jay meets a stranger in an empty desert. The scenery foreshadows that Jay might be in trouble.  Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smith-McPhee stand out in this film.

Kodi Smith-McPhee is 19 and has been acting for 10 years. However in the last three years, he has gained more substantial lead or supporting roles like voicing Norman in ParaNorman, the kids movie, and playing in the son of the pro ape family in Planet of the Apes.  He brought hopefulness to his character, Jay, and showed a great deal of acting ability and emotional range. He has one scene at the end of the movie when his hopefulness turns into sadness. His next role is playing Kurt Wagner, Nightcrawler, in X-Men Apocalypse.  His costar, Michael Fassbender, perfectly plays Silas the emotionless former bounty hunter.

Fassbender is always great in no matter what he is in. He might play a terrifying Magneto and sadistic slave owner on screen but the man knows how to make an audience remember him. Fassbender might be considered a A list Hollywood star, but he still does smaller independent films like Slow West.  His character Silas is a cool calm cunning outlaw. He adds a lot of humor to this movie. Silas has really no empathy at the beginning of the film. A lot of actors have a difficult time of taking an non empathic character and making the audience cheer for the character at the end of the film. Fassbender does it with ease.  Fassbender will star as MacBeth and Steve Jobs which both come out this year, and of course will be playing Magneto in X-Men Apocalypse and star in Assassin’s Creed, next year.

Overall, Slow West is quite literally fun. There are twists and turns in the story. Action isn’t a problem. The two lead actors really help make this film memorable. Jon Maclean did really good job directing a movie that could help the Western genre come back to popularity.  Slow West receives a 4.5 out of 5.  Slow West is in the bigger markets right now such as New York and LA but look for it on Netflix in about six months.

New Spider-Man and New Director announced

We Got a New Spidey!!!!

Marvel and Sony announced today their new Spider-Man, and the director attached to Make the Marvel Cinematic Spider-Man movie.  Spider-Man will be played by Tom Holland. Jon Watts, a newer younger director, will be helming the most important Marvel Cinematic Movie to date the new Spider-Man movie. Marvel Studios and Sony will be financing the film.

Tom Holland is a nineteen year old kid from England.  He starred in the Impossible with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. He earned critical praised for his acting in the film (clip above). He is set to star in Ron Howard’s new film In the Heart of the Sea coming out on December 11th, 2015 which also costars Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor. Holland is considered to be one of the best up and coming acting talents in Hollywood. His first appearance as Spider-man is rumored to be in Captain American: Civil War coming out on May 4th, 2016. (Personally, I’m hoping Spider-Man will be part of Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead role. Dr. Strange will be set in New York so it logically makes sense that Spider-Man will appear in the film. They are also extremely good friends in the comic books.)

Jon Watts is a newer director in Hollywood. He has helmed two major feature films, Clown and Cop Car.  Clown came out in February and it received praised from critics. The film is about possessed clown suit that turns its wearer into a murder. Cop Car comes out in August and has received praised from critics. Kevin Bacon stars in the movie who pursues two kids that have stolen a cop car.  Watts clearly has a background in the supernatural and crime drama.  His Spider-Man film will be an action  crime superhero flick.

The new Spider-Man movie comes out on July 28th, 2017.

Inside Out (review)

Starring:  Amy Poehler as Joy Phyllis Smith as Sadness Bill Hader as Fear Lewis Black as Anger Mindy Kaling as Disgust written and directed by: Pete Docter

Starring:
Amy Poehler as Joy
Phyllis Smith as Sadness
Bill Hader as Fear
Lewis Black as Anger
Mindy Kaling as Disgust
written and directed by: Pete Docter

Pixar Has Done It Again!

Pixar and Disney (being the financial backer) have made some of the best family films and most entertaining heartfelt movies in the last twenty years.  Toy Story Franchise, Up, Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Brave, Monsters Inc, Cars, and WALL-E are all Disney Pixar films that are incredibly good but touch children and adults on an emotional level.  Inside Out is another Pixar film will be considered an instant classic.

Inside Out’s story focuses on Riley Anderson, a 11 year old girl, who has moved from her comfortable life in Minnesota to San Francisco.  Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness(Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) are personified characters that represent Riley’s emotions. Riley is a normally a happy child because Joy is usually responsible for every memory. Joy also hates Sadness and wants her to stay away from everything. Sadness touches Riley’s core memories and causes Riley to have an emotional break down. The core memories get scooped up and sent into long term memory along Joy and Sadness. Joy and Sadness must find their way back to control or Riley lose total emotional control if they don’t.

Inside Out does a few spots when the film can drag a bit but overall, it is a heartfelt family film that kids and adults will love. The story, the animation, and the actors are fantastic. The actions really do a great job of bringing the personified emotions to life and allowing the audience to connect with Riley.  Joy and Sadness are the characters that story focuses on. Happiness and Sadness are two emotions that need to coexist with each other.  Joy and Sadness really grow as characters and the dynamic between Amy Poehler (who voices Joy) and Phyllis Smith (who voices Sadness) have exceptional chemistry together. Inside Out is also a philosophical film too.

Inside Out also is a fantastic concept.  They explain the difference of a person’s brain and their mind.  Your brain is the hard wired circuitry like in a computer. The brain controls the body and its functions.  Your mind are your thoughts, feelings, and dreams.  Disgust hates broccoli therefore Riley hates broccoli (watch the clip below).  Inside out will make you cry and feel amazing at the end of the movie.

Inside out is a exceptional movie. The movie will help question about what is going on in your mind. Inside out also deserves a sequel.  Love should be the emotion that is tackled since Riley will be around 16 maybe. Inside Out gets 5 out of 5.