By Paul Anthony
It is crazy to me how many options we have now to watch a good movie and sadly it is thanks to the pandemic which changed the landscape for everyone. Now more and more streaming services are having big name actors and directors attached to films that are on their platforms. During this pandemic, I have reviewed several films that were exclusively on streaming services but not too many on Apple TV+, well actually this is only the second film, the first being the film Greyhound which starred Tom Hanks. Tom Holland has become a very popular actor in the last few years thanks to him taking on the role of Peter Parker/ Spider-Man in the MCU. Which made me stumble upon this film Cherry which Tom’s stars in but this film also caught my attention because it was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Now this movie is based on the book that has the same name and was written by Nico Walker. The book is an example of Autofiction, which means its an autobiography but has fictionalized elements to it. So Nico was in the military and did rob banks and did have a drug addiction but then changed other events for the sake of the story. On another side note, he actually did write this book, while he was still in prison, just a little fun fact there. Now this film had a budget of 40 million and was bought by Apple for 40 million and was in the theaters for a little just when theaters were allowing a small amount of people back in. had this film been released in a normal year, I could see it making a figure in the low 100 million range which is good for a 40 million dollar film.
In the film we meet Cherry (Holland) and right off the bat the high school student meets his soon to be girlfriend Emily. Soon they hit it off and begin dating and even go to the same college together until one day Emily announces that she wants to transfer to another school. Cherry who is heart broken decides to enlist in the army as a medic but Emily realizes this was mistake to transfer and decides to cancel and remain with Cherry but it was too late for Cherry to back out, so the young couple decides to get married before Cherry goes to basic training and then off to war for the next two years. We do see what poor Cherry had to go through and when he returns home, he soon begins to suffer from PTSD. To help him deal with the disorder his doctor begins to prescribe him pills after pills to the point he becomes addicted to them and so does Emily. Once the addiction became so bad. Cherry begins to rob Banks to pay for his and Emily’s habit which puts them down dark paths and nearly kills Emily, She goes off to rehab but leaves early due too missing Cherry. With Cherry’s life getting out of control, he realizes what he needs to do and during his last robbery he does inform the teller to call the cops but before they arrive he gets high one more time. We find out that he serves 14 years and gets released early and when does, still his wife Emily waits for them, they walk off enjoying their life together.
Now I do think this movie being a drama more than anything was a bit long but the flip side it told a much darker story to see this fall into the drug life. Both Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo brought their A game as these druggies. Some may knock this film because it made it seems like Cherry was a victim though he committed crimes and I see those points but I also understand that these life styles are created and not made so there is a grey area. What I mean is you wanted to root for Cherry to get help because at his core he was still good just did bad things. The only knock I truly have is that it could have been slightly shorter but I did enjoy Holland performance. In the end I am giving this film a B+ for a rating!!
By Paul Anthony
I swear if these two movies were real then 2013 would have been a very bad year for The President of the United States of America because in one film you have you favorite people out of North Korea sneaking the white house then you have your vice president turn on you just so he can become president. Thank god that these cases were nothing more than movies!! Welcome back to the second edition of this blog series and from the title you can see we will be talking about two films that were three months apart. Olympus Has fallen was the first to come out and was released on March 22, 2013 and White House Down came out on June 28th of 2013. Olympus Has Fallen was produced on a budget of 70 million and made about 170.3 million and White House Down was produced on a budget of 150 million and only grossed 205 million. Now White House Down had a big studio behind it with Sony, so the budget being bigger made sense but sometimes the bigger budget doesn’t always mean better. Now Olympus has fallen came from a smaller studio with Millennium Films. Both films mostly got same reviews but why are the numbers in the sense of the box office performance so different well let’s look at the plots first and we will start with Olympus has Fallen.
This film had a pretty good cast, you had Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Rick Yune and Angela Bassett. The story starts with Banning (Butler) trying to save the president (Eckhart) from a a car accident which he does but the first lady couldn’t be saved. which during his grief the president resigns him to another department, as a way to punish him, ( Jerk move right?) Anyway one random day, when the president is having a meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister. A North Korean terrorist group sneaks into the white house which was aided by the prime minister rogue members. The group launches an air attack before their ground attack starts. This is where Banning gets back in action and finds his way into the white house. During attacks we learn the leader of the group is Kang Yeonsak (Yune) who wants America to remove their troops from South Korea which would almost lock up a victory for North Korea but also wants to turn America into a wasteland, he wants revenge for the death of his mother. I am guessing this is more personal than anything. Banning begins his attack one member at a time though he takes a beating himself in the end he saves the president and the country and even gets his old position back.
Now Let’s look at White House Down, this cast has the same amount of talent on it as the other film, here this film stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King and James Wood. Basically the plot is the same well 95 percent actually but nevertheless let’s take a look, here we have capital police officer who seems to be too busy to remember what day of the week it is decides to take his daughter on a white house tour, well sadly for them this is the day that a domestic terrorist group plans to kill the president which is played by Jamie Foxx, the plan which starts off well is to blow up the capitol building as a decoy so everyone will be too focus on that however they didn’t plan on a officer being there and kicking their ass one by one until the end. we learn that their are two men running the show to kill the president are none other then his top bodyguard basically and the speaker of the house of representatives, who would assume office because he is third in line just in case the president and vice president were killed. The goal to become the president and change the military plans. ( I guess just making a vote didn’t work) Nevertheless all the bad guys pay the price and the country is saved!!
Now Here is the thing that has been bothering me and that is I don’t know which one is better than the other. Both have the same overall cast. the leads were two average actors but great action stars in Tatum and Butler. The co leads are equal as well. The plots try to be so difficult to figure out adding layers that are suppose to create more suspense only to let us down when the story is fully told. Crazy these films are evenly matched yet one managed to become a franchise, well one fell into the abyss. One had a smaller budget and was in a period of the year where it could gain a little money without anyone noticing where the other was in the summer with a crazy high budget and though it did gross more, the return profit was much lower. In the end the winning movie was the one who had the franchise because the story was simple and not too many layers to complain about. In the end I am giving Olympus Has Fallen a percentage point better than White House Down at 69 percent to 68 percent. The thing that people will mostly remember from these two films was that they both had the white house going down!!
By Paul Anthony
It seems like back in the earlier 2000’s Billy Bob Thornton was making a name for himself with his style of acting and that being a mean and yet sarcastic A-Hole, it only made sense that he would be good in this role. 2003 was good year for him and Bad Santa was a hit and could he struck gold again? I think over time this film began to have a cult following but at the time of its release the budget was 35 million and it only grossed 34 million which would make it a failure. I wonder why the budget was so high to begin with, I would have thought this film’s budget would be around 15-20 million, because minus Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden, there really wasn’t any other big name that would command a lot of money, most of the cast was just kids or extras. A lot of times most of the budget will go to graphics or big names stars, which makes me wonder how much Billy Bob was going to get for this film. As I stated this film should have been around 20 million tops. In the end it doesn’t matter I don’t think they were aiming for a series unless the numbers really wowed the studio.
Here we meet Morris Buttermaker a washed up former baseball player who works as a exterminator and wanting to make more money because a coach for a baseball team, which are basically the wild crazy kids of the losing team. Added in the equation the Buttermaker who drinks and flirts with women actually fit in with the kids, he then realizes he needs to put together a winning team after arguing with another coach. They then get a sponsor even though it was a strip club and Buttermaker recruits a girl who is a daughter of his ex and a hot shot kid who can bat and things start to change for the team but then Buttermaker changes his ways when he realizes he is having fun and wants the kids to do the same. they make it to the championship game where Buttermaker pulls his stars. so the others could play the game and they come up just short but doesn’t matter he celebrates with the team for coming in second place with non-alcoholic beer.
Now I never watch the very first film so I can’t compare the two films, I think the best part of the film was Billy himself, the rest of the laughs were far in between with the kids not being actually funny just being kids. Which can be a hit and miss and in this cast was a miss. Now the story was good but the execution just wasn’t there. In the end the film could have been better at the time. In the end I am giving this film a C for a rating. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. Obviously the film didn’t make a profit so we never got a sequel but as I stated before I don’t think they were aiming for a series.
By Paul Anthony
In every generation there are actors that everything they do is gold and they start to show up in everything and boom they still the show for years to come and right now it is Kevin Hart’s time to touch everything and have it turn to gold. That is just one aspect because for a movie to work you need another person and that other person is Ice Cube who can do magic as well at times. Hart has been around but mostly doing stand ups and making cameos then slowing in a supporting role then made his way to being a main star. In 2014 was one of his first true main role in Ride Along which made 154 million from a 25 million dollar budget you knew a sequel was coming and two years later, we got Ride Along 2. The budget was bigger at 40 million but the profit was lower at 124 million nevertheless it made money, when the profit is lower than the first film, you have to wonder why because there are always more than 1 factor in a lot of cases.
Lets talk about the plot, the film picks up sometime after the events of the first film. Ben played by Hart is now a rookie cop but is at home helping to plan for his wedding. James who is played by Ice Cube is working another big case which he must go to Miami to solve the case which by convincing their LT, Ben gets to go with him to prove he is more than a joke, Now being James’ partner he dubs them the Brothers In Law. Which James can’t stand but in Miami they come across an important hacker played by Ken Jeong who has information to help them but they quickly learn this isn’t a easy task because the main bad guy is a high end person with a lot of connections which he uses to slow them down but nevertheless the brothers in law solves the case and Ben gets home in time for the wedding.
There was no doubt that the laughs did come in this film with the three top stars. However they could have used a few more jokes to keep the laughs going but with these buddy cop films there needs to be some seriousness some where which divides the fans up a little. the action was another case where it just needed to be more to help carry the laughs. The biggest highlight has to be their little twist with the high speed car chase in which Ben uses turn signals to make his turns only to use it against the people that are chasing them. Car chases are too common in films and it is nice to see something different in them. I believe the movie didn’t do as well as the first because one it wasn’t that much better then the first film but also Star Wars returned to the big screen and that film took a lot of the market. In the end I am giving it a B for a grade because A lot of magic was there but it just needed so much more!
By Paul Anthony
Often to to not this is the film that the general public has forgotten about. Sure in the time since it was released it does have a cult following and of course I am talking about Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. The film was released just one year later from the first film which had been a hit in the slasher film genre and it was clear that Freddy could be a big name player in the genre but this sequel was very important for that statement to become true. By it’s release date we had so many players in the game now that the genre was losing its popularity, Sure we had Jason on his fifth film, we had Halloween on its third film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sleepaway Camp and Prom Night and Amityville Horror and so many more that Freddy had to fight for his share in a market that at this point might have been dying. The film made money because of its small budget which was 3 million and grossed nearly 30 million. These numbers were down and up from the first film. The First film had a budget of 1.8 million and grossed 57 million. Critics gave mixed reviews and with fatigue kicking in, it made sense to why this film made less then the first but we also have the plot to focus on as well.
The Film picks up 5 years after the events of the first film. And we told about the events of the first film that Nancy went crazy after see her boyfriend get killed next door and so forth, though we know it was all Freddy. Here we meet Jesse who now has moved into the same house with his family and right off the bat he begins to have nightmares with Freddy in them which always causes him to wake up screaming, which annoys his sister but concerns his parents. Through the first half of the film we see Jesse in school and with his friends and girlfriend Lisa. Soon after that we start to see Jesse personality changes because now Freddy is using his body as a vessel to begin his killings again. Though for the most part we don’t see Freddy doing it just Jesse until the end when the Freddy fully emerges and taunts the teens at Lisa’s Pool party, though Freddy can’t hurt Lisa because of the love Jesse has for Lisa, she realizes this and uses that to defeat Freddy and Jesse is saved but the movie ends with Freddy’s return taking Jesse and Lisa and other school teens on one hell of a ride leaving the door open for a third film that would save the series for years to come.
Some of the knocks I think was going against this film was one it came out a year later, so everything from the story to the graphics felt rushed which hurt the quality of the film. The story seemed rushed from the start. We know Jesse’s family just moved in but there was no build up to Freddy’s return, the movie started and we had Freddy’s return. That’s the the next knock as well, very little amount of Freddy in this story and with no real build it up, It did hurt the film. This movie basically seemed like this would be a direct to Video type of movie and not a movie that would be released on the big screen. In the end I am giving this movie a D for a rating but we all know it made enough money to get us to Part 3.
By Paul Anthony
Here we are in a new time period for films because of the outbreak that the world is going through currently, three months ago when this all started a feud actually started between Universal and the largest movie theater chain that is AMC. The feud started because Universal decided to release Trolls to home rentals and saw a good number in return and this sparked them to announced that they may start to release films early and at home rentals which the average price was around 20 dollars. this prove to be a successful move but AMC took offense to these comments and this is how this feud started. now we know we would have a winner and a loser in this feud but who and could a deal be reached?
We now know that a deal has been reached and this might be a game changer in the industry. The deal is between Universal and AMC which AMC will have the film for 17 days after it is released before Universal will decide to release the film on PVOD. We know from common sense this window could last longer depending on how well the movie does at the box office. Sure the film can make money on PVOD but most likely not as much as it would in a theater. Mostly because the the cost of a ticket per person. It is a well known fact to rent a movie for 20 dollars for a family would be cheaper then buying 4 tickets or so. At the end of the day both parties wanted to make money but more so Universal needed to be smart and look at the numbers correctly but also be loyal to the fanbase that love their movies.
We now have to wonder what will follow after this deal between the two giants. Will more giants follow this path. We see already everything is right now taking a hit because of this outbreak situation. When seen films like My spy head to Amazon just so we can watch it but Big budget films have yet to be release because studios know that they could lose money by going to PVOD so theaters know that they will have the movie for sometime but the question is now for long. Studios might want to wait to see how all this plays out, no doubt that Universal has a big films coming out in 2021 and if this deal fails or hurts the studio. Then we know PVOD wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and this idea will fade.
PVOD is a nice thing but it takes away the most popular date idea in history, a Dinner and movie with a night out on the town and as Justin spoke some movies are better on the big screen. Just listen to his review of the film Becky, he clearly states this film would have been better on the big screen. Trolls may have been a fluke because it was a family movie and the outbreak just started and people needed to watch something as the fear started to sit in with people. In the end time will tell how this deal will work out with all parties.
Listening to “What is an Easter Egg??” at https://www.buzzsprout.com/285696/4704698-what-is-an-easter-egg
What is a Movie Easter Egg??
Will and Jada reaction and discussion!
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Some things should remain private but sadly not for these two! “Will and Jada Marriage reaction and discussion!!” at https://www.buzzsprout.com/285696/4613963-will-and-jada-marriage-reaction-and-discussion #WillSmith #jadapinkettsmith #FilmTwitter #AugustAlsina #Writer #podcast