Monday, June 24, 2013

Quick Shots 24 Part I

Title: Argo.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Rory Cochrane, Kerry Bishe, Kyle Chandler, Victor Garber, Scoot McNairy, Christopher Denham.

Brief Synopsis: During the Iranian revolution, the American embassy in Iran was overtaken and those present were taken hostage. Six, however, got away and took 'sanctuary' in the residence of the Canadian Ambassador. Without wanting to start something in Iran, the CIA and Canada set up a joint operative to get the six out, led by Tony Mendez (Affleck), whose idea to put on a fake movie - with the help of Hollywood types John Chambers (Goodman) and Lester Siegel (Arkin). A crazy idea, that needed to look real.

Opinion: This film was nominated for an Oscar for a reason, and Affleck really continues to impress ever since Gigli and his breakup with Jennifer Lopez. I love these type of Based on a True Story films, and this one is no different. All of the characters were very well done, and I honestly didn't even recognize Rory Cochrane, great transformation. Obviously dramatized a bit, but it still had you on the edge of your seat as you hope Mendez and his fake movie idea works.


Title: Django Unchained.

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson.

Brief Synopsis: Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) is a bounty hunter who comes across a line of slaves. He frees one in particular named Django (Foxx), who he befriends and agrees to help find his wife, Broomhilda (Washington). Django and Schultz work together bringing in bounties and making money before finally tracking down Broomhilda on a plantation run by Calvin Candie (DiCaprio). Hoping to outsmart Candie, the two try to purchase Broomhilda without him technically knowing that is who they come for.

Opinion: I would probably rank this right around No. 3 as my all-time favorite Quentin Tarantino films. Inglourious Basterds and Pulp Fiction still have to go ahead of it - but that is still great company. As much as I loved Waltz in this film, DiCaprio certainly stole the show for me. I feel he deserved the nod in the Supporting Actor category. Tarantino may go over the top on most of his movies, but they certainly prove to be entertaining. And, I absolutely despised Jackson's character in this film - which means he just did a great job.


Title: End of Watch.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Natalie Martinez, Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera.

Brief Synopsis: Brian (Gyllenhaal) and Mike (Pena) are partners on the South Central LA police force. A bit off the book they sometimes put themselves in more danger than they need to, whether making busts without back up or saving people in a fire - they took chances, but they were good cops. But, after busting a drug and human trafficking house, a hit is ordered on them by the drug cartels.

Opinion: Pretty interesting take, and occasionally shot in the Southland-esque way of shaky came as Brian was filming for his vlog. I would have to say a pretty life-like look of a cop on the beat in dangerous neighborhoods. And, as the two felt they were invincible, it proved to be incorrect.


Title: The Last Stand.

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Jaime Alexander, Luiz Guzman, Zach Gilford, Genesis Rodriguez, Johnny Knoxville, Peter Stormare.

Brief Synopsis: A small-town sheriff and former LAPD officer, Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) is looking for a nice, relaxing day off - until the FBI tries to transport Gabriel Cortez (Noriega) and he is able to escape. Now, he is armed with an extremely fast car and is trying to cross into Mexico through Owens' jurisdiction, and he and his crew may be all that can stop him.

Opinion: Excluding his small role in the original Expendables this was Schwarzenegger's first large role since he became governor of California. I think the film was unnecessarily panned, I got exactly what I wanted out of this. It had great action, some humor and those crazy one-liners Schwarzenegger is so well known for. I thought it was a pretty good first outing since exiting as governor.


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