Tag Archives: Christopher Walken

Nine Lives (2016) Review

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nine-lives

Time: 87 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Kevin Spacey as Tom Brand
Jennifer Garner as Lara Brand
Robbie Amell as David Brand
Cheryl Hines as Madison Camden
Malina Weissman as Rebecca Brand
Christopher Walken as Felix Perkins
Mark Consuelos as Ian Cox
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a billionaire whose workaholic lifestyle takes him away from his loving wife Lara and adorable daughter Rebecca. Needing a present for Rebecca’s 11th birthday, Brand buys a seemingly harmless cat from a mysterious pet store. Suddenly, a bizarre turn of events traps poor Tom inside the animal’s body. The owner of the business tells him that he has one week to reconnect with his family, or live out the rest of his days as a cute and furry feline named Mr. Fuzzypants.

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I can’t believe this movie actually exists, nor can I believe that director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black films) and actor Kevin Spacey is involved with this movie. Everything from the premise to the trailer looked like a bad kids movie from the 90s. And this movie is just as bad as it looked in the trailer. It is unfunny, stupid, silly and just doesn’t make any sense. But we all knew that it would be like that, just look at the trailer.

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This movie is really lazily written with mostly unfunny jokes and is just overall not written well at all. Before anyone dismisses this movie as “just a kids film” and that no one should be too harsh on this movie, this movie has no idea what it’s target audience is. Sometimes it’s trying to appeal to kids with childish humour. Other times it’s filled with long business meetings that no kid would be interested in. Also there are some really adult stuff in this, way too much alcoholism in this movie and some jokes that kids won’t understand at all. They felt really out of place. And this film really isn’t right for kids. I’ll give an example, at one point (spoiler alert but who cares?) someone tries to commit suicide. In this movie. A kids movie. About someone who turns into a cat. This movie also has many jokes that didn’t land at all. The only points that I found the movie funny were some of the jokes that only adults would get and some moments which were so ridiculous.

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Maybe it’s just because I’m a Kevin Spacey fan but I enjoyed seeing (or in this case mostly hearing) him in this movie. However, it’s not really a good ‘performance’ and this might be the worst movie he’s ever been in. At times it sounded like he really didn’t want to be in this movie (which I admit I found a little entertaining). Christopher Walken is enjoyable in this movie, but it’s probably because he’s Christopher Walken, and his mere involvement with a movie automatically makes said movie better. Everyone else is wasted. Jennifer Garner is in this movie and doesn’t get to do much. Basically this movie is a paycheck for the actors involved. The performances aren’t good but to be fair, it’s not like they have good material to work with.

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This film is incredibly cheap. Everything feels off about this movie, direction wise. This film uses green screen so much and it is painfully obvious, which is especially shown in the first scene. It’s so embarrassing. And of course this film has a CGI cat and the animation is horrible. It is Garfield: The Movie level bad. The CGI is straight out of the 90s (which fits as this whole movie is straight out of the 90s).

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Nine Lives is really bad but everyone sorta knew that it would be that way. The acting is not that great, the writing is all over the place and not even the direction is that good. If you for whatever reason were expecting this to be a good film, it’s not that at all. But I will admit there is something fascinating about this movie, the fact that it exists in today’s world. So I can’t really say that I hate this movie, it was a weird experience for me as I watched it, I still feel confused after watching it. But yeah, the movie is still awful.

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

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The Jungle Book

Time: 105 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Contains Violence & Scary Scenes
Cast:
Bill Murray as Baloo (Voice)
Ben Kingsley as Bagheera (Voice)
Idris Elba as Shere Khan (Voice)
Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha (Voice)
Scarlett Johansson as Kaa (Voice)
Giancarlo Esposito as Akela (Voice)
Christopher Walken as King Louie (Voice)
Neel Sethi as Mowgli
Director: Jon Favreau

Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) unleashes his mighty roar. Guided by a no-nonsense panther (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited bear (Bill Murray), the young boy meets an array of jungle animals, including a slithery python and a smooth-talking ape. Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure.

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The Jungle Book was on my most anticipated movies of 2016. Although I was getting a little sick of Disney doing live action remakes of their old films (Cinderella, Maleficent, etc), this movie intrigued me enough with director Jon Favreau and the talented voice cast with actors like Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Idris Elba involved. After seeing The Jungle Book I can say that I am starting to have more confidence in Live Action Disney movies. From the acting/voice acting, to the special effects and great direction by Jon Favreau, this is definitely a movie you should check out when you get a chance.

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It’s been so long since I’ve watched the animated original, so I can’t say whether it’s faithful or not. I do recall that there are a couple changes based on my limited knowledge of the animation. The plot was pretty good, and I could follow the movie quite well, I just don’t think there’s much to talk about it. There are only two moments of singing. The first was “Bear Necessities”, which fitted in quite well. The other was with Christopher Walken’s monkey character, which did feel a little out of place. Still, it was nice to hear Christopher Walken sing a Jungle Book song. One thing that some people have noted is that it’s a little scary for kids. I’ll agree that for very young kids, it is scary, with Shere Khan and the dark imagery. But it’s not going to scar them for life, like some are making it out to be.

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The only actor appearing physically in this movie is Neel Sethi, he doesn’t have an easy job, as he had to interact with characters that he couldn’t see. After seeing this movie, all I can say that he is going places, he was absolutely remarkable and personifies everything that makes Mowgli. This movie has a huge and talented voice cast with actors including Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito. There are a couple standouts, one is Bill Murray as Baloo, who was hilarious, perfect choice. Another is Idris Elba as Shere Khan. With just his voice, he manages to convey so much menace, and surpasses the original’s version.

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The movie is very well directed by Jon Favreau. The effects needed to be applied in the right way because it needed to blend well with Neel Sethi, a human actor, it could easily turn into the Star Wars prequels where human actors are clearly surrounded by CG characters. Fortunately, Favreau handles this with ease. The special effects are also notably great, it almost doesn’t for one moment feel fake. It’s not only the effects that are great though, the visuals are beautiful whether it be of day, night, fire or rain, all of the weather conditions and lighting are expressed on screen excellently.

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The Jungle Book is filled with great effects, impressive work from its actor and voice actors and good visual storytelling from Jon Favreau. This movie made me confident that Legend of Tarzan could be good, in fact, The Jungle Book has proven to me that these live action Disney movies can be great. I’ve heard that there’s a sequel being planned and while I don’t think it’s necessary, I wouldn’t mind if it happened. The Jungle Book is definitely worth checking out when you get a chance.

Pulp Fiction (1994) Review

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Pulp Fiction

Time: 154 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
John Travolta as Vincent Vega
Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield
Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace
Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge
Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolfe
Tim Roth as “Ringo”/”Pumpkin”
Amanda Plummer as Yolanda/Honey Bunny
Maria de Medeiros as Fabienne
Ving Rhames as Marsellus Wallace
Eric Stoltz as Lance
Christopher Walken as Captain Koons
Director: Quentin Tarantino

Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are two hitmen who are out to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace. Wallace has also asked Vincent to take his wife Mia out a few days later when Wallace himself will be out of town. Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) is an aging boxer who is paid by Wallace to lose his next fight. The lives of these seemingly unrelated people are woven together comprising of a series of funny, bizarre and uncalled-for incidents.

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Pulp Fiction is one of the big cinematic classics that most people have heard of. I remember hearing about this movie for years and when I finally saw this movie I wondered how I could’ve held off this long. Everything is good in this movie with the great acting, filmmaking and the brilliant script created by director Quentin Tarantino, all of these help to make it a cinematic masterpiece.

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Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the script is absolutely fantastic. The structure is interesting, it has three stories, one with Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, another with John Travolta and Uma Thurman and another with Bruce Willis. These stories aren’t played chronologically instead they are plated during each other, a structure that Sin City would eventually use. All of the stories are great but if I had to pick a favourite, I’d pick the Jackson/Travolta story; the chemistry between those two were just so hilarious. I love dark comedy and it is well done here, it proves that death in movies can in fact be funny (not spoiling anything). The dialogue really shines here, a lot of these characters end up talk about meaningless things but they are interesting, hilarious and overall entertaining to watch. On top of that, all of the characters are well established and a lot of that is done through the dialogue. The pacing is also really good, I didn’t feel bored, the only time it felt a little slow was a scene with Bruce Willis and his girlfriend which felt a little long but that was it.

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Something that Quentin Tarantino can generally do is get the best out of his actors. It definitely helped that Tarantino’s ensemble of actors were well picked for their roles. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are great in this movie and as I said before, their chemistry was very strong. Other actors like Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis did very well. It should be noted that this movie revived John Travolta and Bruce Willis’s career, so they have Tarantino to thank. Christopher Walken is only in one scene in the film and it results in one of the funniest scenes in the movie involving a gold watch. Every actor in this movie takes advantage of any scene they’re in.

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Pulp Fiction relies more on its script and acting than it does on special effects but the technical side is done very well. The film is very stylish with the editing, cinematography and overall direction, it was all very Tarantino esque. There are so many locations and moments that are so memorable, even when there’s nothing big going on. The soundtrack was also well picked and all of the songs were edited to the right moments.

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Pulp Fiction is a fantastic movie that should be watched by everyone. The acting is superb, Tarantino’s direction is great, the film is entertaining to watch but it’s the script that really ties everything together. It’s in my opinion Quentin Tarantino’s best movie, everything fits nicely together. If you haven’t seen this classic, check it out as soon as possible. Just know that it’s more of a dialogue driven movie, so you may not love this movie as much as others.

Batman Returns (1992) Review

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Batman Returns

Time: 137 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman
Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin
Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Christopher Walken as Max Shreck
Michael Murphy as Mayor of Gotham City

After successfully defeating the Joker, the Dark Knight, known as Batman (Michael Keaton) helps to keep Gotham City a safe place. Beneath the city in the sewers, another villain emerges. Known as the Penguin (Danny DeVito), he joins up with Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) and targets the position of new mayor. Whilst Batman tries to uncover the truth behind the Penguin, the Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) also emerges with her own agenda in mind, but not without mixed feelings.

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In 1989 Tim Burton created one of the most iconic superhero movies, Batman. It changed the ways comic book movies could be made. After the success of Batman, Burton makes his return with his own personal style added to this film. Some people are split about this movie, I’m personally one of the people who likes this movie. It does have some problems but nothing to overshadow the overall experience.

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After Batman, Warner Bros gave Tim Burton the freedom to do whatever he wanted with the franchise and it definitely shows here. With the previous Batman, you are able to watch it without picking up that Tim Burton directed it but Batman Returns has Burton stamped all over it. The city does not feel like Gotham, it’s like a whole different city, a much darker city (if that’s possible) with even more gothic feelings. With this really being his movie, this film is of course much darker. The Penguin is an interesting addition to the film, the way he is isn’t quite like how it was in the previous stories and I thought that really worked. The film also shows how Selina gradually becomes Catwoman and I did like how it is shown. The only problem I had is that I don’t know how she becomes Catwoman. It’s not really a spoiler in me saying this, she falls quite a distance out the window and cats somehow bring her back to life. Despite this minor hole (and others) I thought that the film handled Catwoman and Penguin quite well.

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Michael Keaton once again is good as Bruce Wayne and Batman. Like the previous film, it doesn’t really focus as much on Bruce Wayne but more on the villains. Danny DeVito is great as the Penguin. Now this Penguin really isn’t quite the character from the comics but more like how Burton would interpret him. I would’ve preferred The Penguin was portrayed in a different way but his interpretation was done well. Danny Devito really sold the slimy and unpleasant nature of the Penguin. Michelle Pfieffer is excellent as Catwoman. As I previously stated this film shows her descent into madness and it is somehow plausible, and a lot of that has to do with her performance. Christopher Walken is also pretty good in a supporting role. The acting by some people can be over the top, in a Tim Burton sort of way, though it wasn’t really too much of a problem.

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The action scenes are as good as ever. The costumes are well designed, from Batman, to the Penguin and Catwoman. Even though this city feels more Burtontopia than Gotham, it was well designed for what he was going for. Danny Elfman’s score is once again good, even though like a lot of this movie, it feels more like a Tim Burton soundtrack than a Batman soundtrack.

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Batman Returns is definitely a divisive movie but I thought that it was overall a decent movie and I almost like it as much as its previous movie. It is definitely more of a Tim Burton movie than the previous film but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think that if you haven’t seen it already, Batman Returns is definitely worth checking out.

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

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Seven Psychopaths

Time: 110 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence, sex scenes and offensive language
Cast:
Colin Farrell as Marty
Sam Rockwell as Billy
Woody Harrelson as Charlie
Christopher Walken as Hans
Tom Waits as Zachariach
Abbi Cornish as Kaya
Olga Kurylenko as Angela
Director: Martin McDonagh

Marty Faranan (Colin Farrell) is a struggling screenwriter who involuntarily becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell) and Hans Kieslowski (Christopher Walken) kidnap a beloved Shih Tzu from Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson) – who is a gangster.

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Martin McDonagh is a writer and director to be watched. In film, he has been on a roll, first releasing the Oscar winning short film Six Shooter, before moving onto In Bruges, a fantastic black comedy and he has down it again with Seven Psychopaths. Like In Bruges, it is a dark comedy but it is somehow bigger than its predecessor. I don’t know if it is better than In Bruges but it is very close to the level of greatness.

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One of the things I like about this movie is that the main character’s ideas for writing psychopaths come from mostly the people around him. This movie is bigger than In Bruges, where as that movie mostly took place in Bruges, Seven Psychopaths take place in multiple places and has more characters that it focuses on. One of the only flaws I could find in this movie it that is lacked some character development. There isn’t as much character development as In Bruges but in this movie I didn’t mind it that much. Also like with In Bruges, it contains Tarantino violence. Tarantino violence involves is a lot of blood that has been exaggerated – so note that this movie is probably not for the faint of heart. With In Bruges, with the exception of a couple scenes, the violence mostly took place in the second half and was mostly used in serious situations. Here, there is more of it but it mostly is used for comedy. That’s also one thing that I’ve noticed, In Bruges seems to have 60% drama and 40% comedy, where as with Seven Psychopaths, the movie has about 40% drama and 60% comedy. Martin McDonagh somehow manages to pull it off. If I was asked which movie out of both of them was the most fun, I’d probably say Seven Psychopaths.

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All of the actors do a great job, the two stand outs however are Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. Christopher Walken is always fun to watch but in this movie he’s not just parodying himself. He is great and has many classic, priceless scenes. The same can be said for Sam Rockwell. This is his best performance in years and is absolutely hilarious. For me, the best scene he’s in involves a camp fire. All the actors had brilliant comedic timing and played off each other really well. Each one of them has their moment to shine to show off their talents in this movie.

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The cinematography is good as it was with In Bruges and like I said above, this film takes place in more than one place. The cinematographers really make great use of the locations. One thing I have noticed with the cinematography though that is different is the tone; In Bruges had a darker look while this movie seems to have a brighter look to it. The soundtrack has compositions from Carter Burwell but also features some other songs that fit in very well with many scenes in the movie.

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Martin McDonagh’s follow up to In Bruges really proves that he is a great writer and director. From watching his two movies alone, I’m very excited to see what he does in the future. Because of his writing and the cast’s acting this film manages to be one of my favourite movies, along with In Bruges. Like its predecessor, Seven Psychopaths was a big surprise and should be seen if you liked In Bruges.