Colin Farrell

Movie Issues: S.W.A.T.

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Movie Issues: S.W.A.T.

Still watching movies with the stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the guys this week get two more under their belt as they watch 2003’s action/cop flick S.W.A.T., based on the TV show from 1975. We get Sam Jackson training a team of new S.W.A.T. recruits Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, and LL Cool J, as they go up against ex-S.W.A.T. member Jeremy Renner. Yeah, it’s just as awesome as it sounds. Also get down and dirty about Star Wars and Harley Quinn. Pretty standard episode for the team. Please download and enjoy! Read On

Movie Issues: Saving Mr. Banks

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Movie Issues: Saving Mr. Banks

In the new movie Saving Mr. Banks, director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) tells the tale of how Hollywood mastermind Walt Disney finally convinced Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers to sign over the rights to make the Mary Poppins movie, which is still considered one of the greatest films to date. What is presented is an earnest, whimsical film, which makes for a sweet and sugary movie, but not a terribly interesting tale.

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Movie Issues: Daredevil

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Movie Issues: Daredevil

It’s our second week of giving thanks to good actors who have given us really bad movies! This week was Spooky’s pick and he brought us 2003 Daredevil. Yea, you know what we’re talking about. Affleck, bad directing, pointless playground King-Fu, terrible CGI and oh shall we not forget the one song from Evanescence that was played way too much. Oh it’s a fun episode of geeky goodness! Please join us for the insanity.  Read On

Movie Issues: Seven Psychopaths

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Movie Issues: Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths is not what you think it’s going to be.

You have no idea how crazy of a ride writer/director Martin McDonagh’s new flick is. McDonaugh, who previously brought us the 2008 dark comedy In Bruges, once again takes us down a dark and humorous path of crime. The movie centers around Marty (Colin Farrell), an alcoholic screenwriter in Hollywood trying to write his next big movie, and his best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), an aspiring actor who moonlights on the side with Hans (Christopher Walken) stealing dogs for reward money from their owners. On one of their typical dog-knappings they end up stealing the wrong man’s dog.

Enter Charlie (Woody Harrelson), a gangster who will stop at nothing to get his dog back. This mistake sets off the premise and characters into unknown territories with some absolutely funny and violent results.

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Movie Issues: American Outlaws

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Movie Issues: American Outlaws

This week Spooky and Leland take a trip back to the wild west to rob some banks and to be wanted dead or alive by the law. We take a look at 2001s American Outlaws. A young Colin Farrell, that guy from the Oceans movies, the Spirit and that chick from Heroes all get together and try to be the new Young Guns. Well that didn’t happen. Come watch with us and you’ll know why too.

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Comments Off on Phone Booth

Phone Booth

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In an interview on the Daily Show, and I don’t really know if he was kidding, Phone Booth star Colin Farrell said that early on, big blammo Michael Bay was attached to direct this thriller in a phone booth. Farrell claimed that Bay loved the script but wanted to know how soon they could get the guy out of the booth. This is a mistake many Hollywood directors make with good ideas. Thankfully, director Joel Schumacher understood the importance of penning Farrell into the battered New York booth. Schumacher (Batman Forever, Car Wash, Lost boys) is far from my favorite director (as my readers well know), but it’s good to know that he can retain the integrity of a decent script. And it is a very decent script. It’s a new idea, and it plays with the notions of personal responsibility and personal connection in a society increasingly desensitized to these things.

The idea, if you don’t recall after the film’s release was delayed thanks to those two guys in D.C., is that a sniper somewhere above the streets of New York has trapped Farrell in a phone booth, saying he’ll shoot if Farrell leaves or tells or displeases him. It’s a scary idea (and of course is tinged with a little lesson in conscience and retribution), and most of the film, I was pretty gripped by the whole deal. I don’t know if it’s because I saw it alone, or if the intrinsic tension of small space (see also submarine movies) was weighing in heavily, but I rather enjoyed myself. I was led neatly down a path of fear and second-guessing and generally believed everything that was happening. I enjoyed the claustrophobic camera work and Farrell’s sweaty attempts to save himself.

Getting over his scattered accent before he actually makes his fatal phone call, as well as tolerating Katie Holmes’ creepy baby voice, I had no serious issue with the film. Really! Colin was convincing in his sleaze and in his terror to make me come around to caring about him; and it’s a long row to hoe, the way he starts out. It’s not high art and I don’t imagine I would see it again, but I got exactly what I wanted out of it, which is as much as a person can ask these days from a big studio production.

Last but not least, I must say some complimentary things about Kiefer Sutherland. His is the voice of the sniper, and even completely disembodied, his tones are alternately sinister, sarcastic, wimpy, and terrifying, and his dulcet tones draw a tighter cage around Farrell than the scripted confines of their words. He sounds like he’s having fun, too, which makes his performance all the more effective. Kudos on that casting choice.

MPAA Rating R for pervasive language and some violence.
Release date 4/4/03
Time in minutes 80
Director Joel Schumacher
Studio 20th Century Fox

Comments Off on Minority Report

Minority Report

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What a great way to step back into the film criticism biz than with a great flick like Minority Report. Marketed like a latter day Blade Runner (which, in a sense it is) and banking its opening weekend numbers on the one-two punch value of Tom “Legend” Cruise and Stephen “1941” Spielberg, you might think perhaps you shouldn’t get your expectations up, because, really, how could can it be? And hasn’t Fox done enough lately to disappoint us?

Oh my Constant Readers, how pleased I am to say that this movie meets expectations very nicely. My immediate reaction was “Looks like A.I., feels like a Kubrick,” which is not meant to alienate detractors of the former. Visually, Janusz Kaminski and Spielberg have taken a lot of lessons learned from creating the visuals of A.I., and improved upon them. There is the element of the impossible cities of Fifth Element, the impersonal mechanization of Total Recall, and the dreamy technological fantasy of A.I. I even forgive Tom for making Vanilla Sky.

Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick, a famous meth-fueled author, the story deals with themes on what is reality and a sort of behavior model of the certainty principle. Even if compaing the action to this film to the whole notion of predicting movement is a quantum leap (ha ha) from the actual scientific principle, it neatly summarizes with just its dictionary definition the two main issues in this film. And, much to the wonderful screenwriters’ credit, it does it in an incredibly accessible way.

Many drug users struggle with the question of what is reality and how can I be sure what seems obvious is going to happen will happen with 100% certainty, but few struggle with such aplomb as Dick. To be fair, his stories play better when filtered through the typewriters of the sane; in this case, the laudable Scott Frank and Jon Cohen. Then of course, there’s the Spielberg Principle.

In many ways, this is not a typical Spielberg film; no music swelling over reaction shots, dangling the audience and prepping them for the real show, but the film still benefits from his extraordinary gift for storytelling and retaining the human component in an enormous story. However, it also benefits from his hours poring through Stanley Kubrick’s personal effects because the darkness is not alleviated by humor; the human errors are not forgiven. He has definitely gotten himself a bigger boat.

The design is wonderful. Set in 2054, it’s close enough to our reality (as close as 1950 is in the other direction) but far enough afield to make it still wonderful and high tech and frightening. One lesson Steve has learned that other directors (cough Lucas) have not is the best scenes are still the analog ones. A very expensive scene in a car factory, a tight, personal scene with only two men in it, a scene in a mall – it’s better because it is real. In these ways it is a Spielberg film, true, but it’s very mature and very very exciting.

I could go on and on about the superb supporting cast, but I’ll just name my favorites: Tim Blake Nelson, Lois Smith, and Peter Stormare. I admit, I had trouble with Colin Farrell – he’s the federal guy coming in and causing trouble, and he was alternately too milquetoast and too smarmy for me to get a bead on him; by the end I dug the casting completely.

It’s cool, but it’s also good, in the way Oscar winning movies are good. Go see it.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 6/21/02
Time in minutes 145
Director Steven Spielberg
Studio Fox/Dreamworks