Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

Beginning an attempt to dive into DC’s animated films, I start my quest with Justice League: The New Frontier because Superman: Doomsday was not available for free streaming on any of my million paid services. The film debuted on Cartoon Network in 2008.

I don’t know much about the Justice League per se even though we recently had a film about them but in this early film, the Justice League was born without much help from Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In this film, we get a basic origin story of Hal Jordan and how he becomes the Green Lantern as an evil entity that they don’t know or understand tries to released pre-historic dinosaurs on the planet. It is up to the Justice League to stop it.

That is the basis of the main plot of the movie, but to incorporate others into the story there are a lot of subplots for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash that really have to point to being part of the story.

What I didn’t like about the movie is that all the “human” male characters all looked alike. It was hard to tell the difference between Hal Jordan and the Gotham PD cops. Even the women characters like Lois and Iris had similar characteristics that made it difficult to know who was who until they said their names. These characters had very small roles. It feels like they were just trying to find ways to incorporate all the DC characters into one movie.

On the other hand, what I liked about the film was that it kept moving. The film didn’t linger too much on the who, what, and why but got to the solution quickly. 75 minutes went fast. Some people complained that the film was too short but honestly, any much longer and it may have become boring.

We Are Your Friends We Are Your Friends (2015)

I think Zac Efron has lost his hype and is finally getting into some decent films that work his acting abilities. He is no longer that guy from High School Musical and this film allows him to demonstrate that he is more than just a good looking guy.

We Are Your Friends is a film about the world of amateur DJs. Zac plays Cole Carter, who drops his perfect life in order to become a DJ. His friends or entourage are helping promote him. Cole meets a once-popular DJ and the two of them form a bond outside his entourage. Played by Wes Bentley, DJ James Reed helps him turn his music from a 100% computer-generated sound to something more organic and real.

This is not the typical start from the bottom and rise to fame film. We never see Cole make it big time. What we see is Cole connecting to his music and the tragedy that he endured and bringing that into his music at a music festival. A solid film that makes you think and feel something in between the thumping beats of the music.

Boogie Nights (1997)

From the first time I saw Boogie Nights, I fell in love with this flick. It isn’t just about the sex, my love for this is about the characters and players in this Paul Thomas Anderson film.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams, who is a high-school dropout in the late 70’s who wants to make a name for himself. He meets Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), a adult movie filmmaker and auditions for him. When Horner sees Eddie’s large manhood and stamina, everyone wants a piece of little Eddie, who changes his name to Dirk Diggler.

The film focuses on the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler, and also the industry. Some of the most interesting moments take a look behind the scenes with the Horner and the produces as the industry is moving from film (expensive) to video tapes and amateur actors. It is discussed and portrayed in a very truthful way.

Each of the characters are troubled and broken, much like the stars of porn films of the 70’s and 80’s. Drugs, sex, money… And I don’t think there is a bad performance from this all-star cast including Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Heather Graham.

I can not find a thing wrong with this film and is considered one of my favorite films of all time.

The Brave One (2007)

Part of our movie weekend included The Brave One with Jodie Foster, which we rented.

The Brave One is a psychological thriller directed by Neil Jordan, who won the Academy Award in 1992 for The Crying Game. Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) is a radio host who is brutally attacked along her fiance, who actually dies from his injuries. Scared Erica goes to the black market and purchases a gun. Due to the mental trauma she endured, she becomes a vigilante. It sounds good, right?

First off, I truly didn’t care for any character in the film. I always wondered why they didn’t dig more into why the 2 main people in the movie were so drawn to each other, other than the loss of their loved ones (from 2 different reasons). We didn’t get much back story to either of their lives, so it was hard to see why they would be so drawn to each other.

The whole entire thing lost me. I got it, but I didn’t. Jodie Foster is a remarkable actress, and I will watch anything that has her in it, but this one just was not that good. I think I will actually blame it on the screenplay though. The actors were good, but the whole entire story wasn’t. I get the concept of being a victim and being so afraid that the only thing you feel good about is exacting revenge on those less fortunate than yourself. But can you base a whole movie around it? I truly didn’t think so.

And while I did watch the entire thing…I don’t think I will be watching it again. Even for one of my favorite actresses of all time.