The Cell (2000)

Looking back at J Lo in this reveals and/or reminds the appeal she had even in 2000. She’s a detective out to catch a serial killer and he is quite elusive indeed.

The Cell

The Cell

“An FBI agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.” -IMDB

Cast

Jennifer Lopez Catherine Deane
Vince Vaughn Peter Novak
Vincent D’Onofrio Carl Stargher
Colton James Edward Baines

Directed by

Tarsem Singh

Written by

Mark Protosevich

Other Info

Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
R
Fri 18 Aug 2000 UTC
107min
IMDB Rating: 6.3

The most important thing to note about this film is its visuals. They are creepy at least and horrifying at most. The visuals make this more than just a serial killer cat and mouse chase. Through a new technology, we get to see inside his thoughts, even through the murders themselves.

This movie may be hard to watch for some who are not open to its avaunt garde approach. It’s surreal and not always clear as to where people are or what is really happening.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Even by today’s standards, the effects in this are stunning. The acting and stories are not the best in this genre but they aerve the story well enough to make the film a fun ride. Despite it’s few flaws, I recommend it.

8/10

Pollock (2000)

Jackson Pollock was an American painter with a very eccentric personality. This film is his story. It has great acting and realistic, interesting story about how his odd pieces of art made it into the textbooks.

Pollock

Pollock

“A film about the life and career of the American painter, Jackson Pollock.” -IMDB

Cast

Ed Harris Jackson Pollock
Marcia Gay Harden Lee Krasner
Robert Knott Sande Pollock
Molly Regan Arloie Pollock

Directed by

Ed Harris

Written by

Steven Naifeh, Gregory White Smith

Other Info

Biography, Drama
R
Fri 23 Mar 2001 UTC
122min
IMDB Rating: 7.0

Ed Harris plays Jackson Pollock and also carries the job of director. I usually don’t care for films where the lead actor directs himself because I think it comes off as self serving. That’s not the case here. Harris presents to us a vivid story with vibrant characters and a thought-provoking script. Some may be put off by a slow pace at times. Not all scenes seem to fit together as important. Nonetheless, I found it enjoyable and entrancing.

Besides great directing and acting, there is a mesmerizing musical score in this film. It weaves in and out of the film and adds a lot of color to what’s happening. The film tells the story of Jackson Pollock and carries it through nine years to show how he achieved success and the effects of that success on his relationship and mental health. Pollock is well known for a type of painting that looks simply like splattered brushes across a canvas. This film helps show how he is much more of a painter than that and there is much more to his art.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The theme of art and a strong, alluring musical score make this a winner with me. Would you like to get a peek into the mind of an incredible artist? This film allows you that. For fans of art and art history around the time of Pollock, I highly recommend this film.

8/10

 

Designated Survivor (2016)

Keifer Sutherland stars in a new series that may prove quite interesting. Since it’s a story about a lower member of government taking over as President is raises a lot of questions about politics. Besides that, it’s exciting.

Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor

“A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.” -IMDB

Cast

Kiefer Sutherland Tom Kirkman (22 episodes, 2016-2017)
Natascha McElhone Alex Kirkman (22 episodes, 2016-2017)
Adan Canto Aaron Shore (22 episodes, 2016-2017)
Italia Ricci Emily Rhodes (22 episodes, 2016-2017)

Directed by
Written by

David Guggenheim

Other Info

Drama, Thriller
TV-14
2016
60min
IMDB Rating: 8.0

Apparently there is something in the laws of government in the USA that has a designated survivor in a certain remote location during the State of the Union Speech. Sutherland is in that place when the white house is bombed. The premise of the show is that he assumes leadership of the country that night.

It’s weird how quickly everyone in the White House accepts him as the new President. Immediately they address him as such. There are some characters in the story who are not behind him though, specifically the military general. This makes for good drama, Sutherland does a good job being statesmanlike and making tough choices immediately on short notice.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I probably won’t be watching this show, despite the fact that it seems well made. I’m not a fact of political dramas. I would recommend to those who are though. I think it has a lot to offer in that genre.

7/10

The Zookeeper’s Wife

This is a historical film showcasing the Warsaw Zoo that protected and hid over 500 jews during the holocaust reign of Hitler. there is excellent acting that makes an average script shine.


The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife

“The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.” -IMDB

Cast

Jessica Chastain Antonina Zabinski
Johan Heldenbergh Jan Zabinski
Daniel Brühl Lutz Heck
Timothy Radford Ryszard Zabinski (Younger)

Directed by

Niki Caro

Written by

Angela Workman, Diane Ackerman

Other Info

Biography, Drama, History, War
PG-13
Fri 07 Apr 2017 UTC
127min
IMDB Rating: 7.3

I love the scene where the Zookeper is bringing in a new Jew to the zoo and he is stopped and questioned by the Nazi police. They pass through but later on he shares with his wife he didnt know if he was going to be shot. its a powerful sequence and illustrates well what it must have been like.

To summarize this based on a true story plot, a small family run the Warsaw zoo. They get along with the animals incredibly well. Whenthe bombers of war attack, war is evident. the Zookeper and his famoly take in Jews and give them a place to be safe.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I loved the light cadence of this film. Chastain’s performance is nothing short of marvelous. The story drags a bit at the beginning but the final scenes makes it worthwhile.

7/10

Pulp Fiction (1994)

This is the highest earning film to date for director Quentin Tarantino. There is a good reason for that: it’s a lot of fun to watch!

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

“The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.” -IMDB

Cast

John Travolta Vincent Vega
Uma Thurman Mia Wallace
Samuel L. Jackson Jules Winnfield
Bruce Willis Butch Coolidge

Directed by

Quentin Tarantino

Written by

Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary

Other Info

Crime, Drama
R
Fri 14 Oct 1994 UTC
154min
IMDB Rating: 8.9

Minor plot spoilers ahead:

This film’s plot consists of 4 stories that intertwine. My favorite one features Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames. They start off under the auspices of Rhames’ character, a mob bookie, ordering Willis, whose character is a fighter, to throw a fight. When the fighter wins anyway and runs off with bet money, Rhames starts tracking him. What happens later concerns them both randomly being captured in a gun shop. Rejects in the basement attempt to rape the 2 men. It twists the situation to where they have a common enemy and it works when Willis escapes and kills the sickos. If you’ve seen this, how messed up is the “Gimp?”

The film is outrageous in so many ways. There are hitmen, drug addicts, drug pushers, and outlandish characters in every scene. The techniques of filmmaking that Tarantino showed us in his early films, like Reservoir Dogs, are all there and they work wonderfully.

FINAL THOUGHTS
For me, this stands out as his best. He had a big idea and used well crafted techniques to make this film. I think the characters are bigger than life and aren’t meant to be realistic. They are comic-book-like. There is some violence but most occurs off screen. I highly recommend this, but still I caution some may be offended and the profanity and violence. Give it a chance I say!

8/10