#36 – Mr. Holmes – by Nick Andersen

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Mr. Holmes is a 2015 drama mystery film directed by Bill Condon and written by Jeffrey Hatcher based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. Now retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes struggles with his fading memory as he recounts the unsolved case that led to his retirement with the help of his housekeeper’s upcoming-detective son. The film stars Sir Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes, Laura Linney as housekeeper Mrs. Munro and Milo Parker as her son Roger. This is no ordinary story about Sherlock Holmes. In fact, we have never seen him like this and they explain it quite well. No wonder the tagline for this film is, “the man behind the myth.”

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#35 – A Walk In The Woods – by Nick Andersen

A Walk In The Woods pic review

A Walk In The Woods is 2015 R-rated adventure comedy biographical film, directed by Ken Kwapis based on the memoir by the same name by Bill Bryson. The film stars Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. It follows Bill Bryson, a successful writer in his 60s deciding to hike the Appalachian trail, with his rotund friend Stephen Katz whom unexpectedly contacted him after many years without seeing each other, asking to tag along. The last film that I laughed so much out loud, must have been Ted (2012) and before that it was Pineapple Express (2008). With Ted it was because the humor was for the first time outrageous, and with Pineapple Express, it was hilarious watching two dumb stoners which James Franco and Seth Rogen nailed. A Walk In The Woods’ comedy is nothing like that. It’s honest and doesn’t force absurd or unlikely situations, which I believe has been the mistake many comedy films have made in the past. Reading and thinking now after watching it that it’s a biography, makes it that much funnier. Robert Redford himself said he had never laughed so much from reading a book.

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The film is a fun treat. The long-lost friendship between Redford and Nolte is great and Nolte’s character adds a lot to the story. He is so out of shape and his face is red almost throughout the entire film looking like he’s about to drop dead. He is the opposite type of person to try and hike a 2,000+ mile stretch. The screenplay is the winner here as it is hilariously good! Especially Katz’s remarks and comments to the small moments in each scene. At one point my face literally hurt from laughing so much. This is definitely a feel-good film. Besides the hilarity, the cinematography was stunning. So much forest and for so many miles all over. It was beautiful to see and learn about the Appalachian trail. I will certainly read the book and hope to get a good laugh out of the read as well. I highly recommend this one to anybody who’s looking for a good hour of fun. This biopic film will NOT waste your time.

Thanks for reading my short review!

– Nick Andersen

#34 – We Are Your Friends – by Nick Andersen

We Are Your Friends pic review

We Are Your Friends is a 2015 R-rated musical drama directed by Max Joseph in his directorial debut and written by himself and Meaghan Oppenheimer, based on a story by Richard Silverman. The film stars Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski, Wes Bentley, Shiloh Fernandez, Alex Shaffer, and Jonny Weston. The film follows Cole Carter, a struggling 23-year-old DJ in the (EDM) electronic dance music scene, who meets and becomes the apprentice of an older DJ, simultaneously falling in love with his mentor’s girlfriend. Being the psytrance lover that I am, this film was fun to watch and see the process into building a track and a name for yourself, since there aren’t many DJ films out there; but for a Hollywood version, I have to say I’m impressed. When it comes to EDM you’d expect a European take on it, so when I read it was going to be American I immediately thought about all the comercialism that it could go through (like the title), but it’s not so present. Go watch the first trailer they released. It’s pretty good; and like the trailer, so is the film.

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#33 – Dawn of The Planet of The Apes – by Nick Andersen

Dawn pic review

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. It stars Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The film is a sequel and is set 10 years after the events of Rise of The Planet of The Apes (2011). The film follows a group of people in San Francisco struggling to survive while Caeser tries to keep the balance over his community of intelligent apes. You may have seen Tim Burton’s terrible attempt at a remake of the original film, back in 2001 and felt disappointed, but a lot has changed in the special effects department since, and this film is definitely mind blowingly good.

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#32 – World War Z – by Nick Andersen

World War Z pic review

World War Z is a 2013 action horror film directed by Marc Foster, written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Max Brooks. It stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a retired United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop the worldwide zombie epidemic. Before you discard this film because you’re not into zombies, hear me out. I am not into the whole zombie hype that has taken the world by storm these past couple of decades. Usually anything with zombies in it, I ignore. Heck, even when this came out in theatres back in 2013 I looked the other way. But I was wrong to do that, at least with this particular film.

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#31 – Meru – by Nick Andersen

Meru-pic-review

Meru is an R-rated 2015 documentary about three professional climbers and their journey as they attempt to climb Mount Meru, one of the most dangerous and never-before-reached summits of the Himalayas. Directed by one of the climbers, Jimmy Chin, with Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk as the other two. Meru is no ordinary climbing documentary; it isn’t a reenacted version of a climb that has already happened. Strapped with GoPro cameras, we get to see and experience firsthand the journey these three men take both physically and mentally, as they prepare and struggle on a mountain that has no conqueror. While most of the film is off of the mountain, it is nevertheless an exciting and impressive story, with glimpses into the obsession of these three famous climbers and their personal battles. Three years in the making, Meru delivers breathtaking visual proof of what we non-climbers can only dream of. Unless you’re a climber, you will never get this close to experiencing the thrill, pain and fears that these extreme athletes go through all for the love of the sport.

Thanks for reading my short review!

– Nick Andersen

Film Trivia: 33 Epic Star Wars Facts

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With only 10 days left until the 7th instalment of the saga is released, here are 33 facts about this epic franchise:

1. Star Wars has made over 3.5 Billion dollars.

2. A New Hope (1977) is the second highest grossing film of all time in the US.

3. George Lucas came up with the name R2-D2 while filming American Graffiti. A member of the sound crew asked him to retrieve reel #2 of the second dialogue track, which in the parlance would be, “Could you get R2-D2 for me?”

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#30 – Trapped Magic – by Nick Andersen

“Trapped Magic is a short dark fantasy loosely based on the myth of Sally the Dunstable Witch and the Bottled Curse and is angled as a relative to the BBC series ‘Merlin.’ The film was spurred from my love for all things fantasy.” – Heather Aspinall (director)

From the two minutes of this short preview of Trapped Magic, I will share my honest opinions. The first thing I noticed and immediately liked was the cinematography. Great location, angles, lighting and that fade filter it has over the picture. The second thing I noticed and was thrown off by was Claire Pulpher’s acting. This troubles me, especially if this project will be turned into a film. Her acting is noticeably fake or theatre-like; as if she were in front of an audience, playing the part too hard so for those in the back of the crowd, could hear her. I feel like she overacted her part. Now, when it was Callum Wernyj’s turn to speak, it was quiet and disconnecting. Yes that may be because of his shy character, but it was very obvious since his performance is such an extreme opposite to Claire’s loud one. I hope this scene doesn’t set the stage for the rest of the film, because so far, I have no interest in watching the eventual completed film. I have spoken with Abdiel about this, and we watched it for the first time together, and he also shares the same experience as mine. I don’t mean to bash on someone’s hard-worked creation, but they have reached out and asked us to do a review on this short clip, and these are our honest thoughts about it.

Thanks for reading our review!

– Nick Andersen & Abdiel Galindo

 

#29 – The Last Stand – by Nick Andersen

The Last Stand-pic-review

The Last Stand is an R-rated 2013 action film directed by South Korean Kim Jee-woon in his American directorial debut, and written by Andrew Knauer. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro and Eduardo Noriega. The film follows a small town tough sheriff and his inexperienced deputies who must stop a dangerous drug lord from escaping to Mexico. This was Arnold’s comeback after 10 years since Terminator 3 (2003) and it wouldn’t be an Arnie film without his one liners! This is a great example of a fun, feel-good, action-packed 90-minute film and I highly enjoyed it!

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#28 – The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – by Nick Andersen

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a 2015 action comedy spy film directed by Guy Ritchie and co-written by Lionel Wilgram and Guy Ritchie, based on the 1964 TV series of the same name, which was created by Ian Fleming, Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe. The film stars Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant. In the 60s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin unite for a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which works to create nuclear weapons. Thinking the entire time that it had a James Bond feel to it, I later discovered that Ian Fleming (creator of James bond) is one of the three who created the film’s original TV series. You know it’s going to be good if the director is well enough known for his selective and distinct films. Guy Ritchie is that kind of director, where you see his name and go, “Oh that guy! He’s made some interesting films!” Not so many, but the few that he did do, have all been successful and this film is no exception. A great cast, stunning cinematography and wardrobe, good action, excellent music and a subtle but brilliant sense of humor.

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