Sunday, April 17, 2016

Everybody Wants Some!!

★★★★★ | A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"Do you notice everything around here is a competition?" That's a hilarious quote from Blake Jenner in Everybody Wants Some!!, one of the funniest films of the decade. Jenner plays Jake Bradford, a freshman at Southeast Texas University in 1980. He is a new pitcher for the baseball team. When he gets to the dorm house for baseball players, he meets his teammates: Kenny Roeper (played by Ryan Guzman); Glen McReynolds (played by Tyler Hoechlin); Finnegan (played by Glen Powell); Billy Autrey, AKA Beuter Perkins (played by Will Brittain); Coma (played by Forrest Vickery); Plummer (played by Temple Baker); Brumley (played by Tanner Kalina); Nesbitt (played by Austin Amelio); Dale (played by J. Quinton Johnson), along with 2 transfers: Willoughby (played by Wyatt Russell), a stoner from California; & Niles (played by Juston Street), a kid from Detroit with a 95 mph fastball  & an extremely arrogant attitude. Jake also becomes infatuated with Beverly (played by Zoey Deutch), a performing arts major. Eventually, all of them try to make the most of their last 5 days before class starts.

The film was hilariously amazing. The acting was excellent, considering that they were all virtual unknowns, & I expect great things from the cast in the future. The direction & screenplay from Richard Linklater was brilliant, & I think it's one of his best films, along with 1993's Dazed & Confused, & 2014's Boyhood. And the soundtrack is excellent, & is definitely the best film soundtrack since the 2000 classic film Almost Famous. This is an excellent film, & one of Richard Linklater's best films.


★★★★★ | A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"I find I'm suddenly starting to notice things I never saw before. Well, maybe I saw them. I just wasn't paying attention." That's a deeply emotional quote from Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition, one of the best films of the year so far. Gyllenhaal plays Davis Mitchell, a successful banker who loses his wife in a car crash that leaves him unscathed. However, he doesn't feel any emotion at all. This startles many people, including his father-in-law (& boss), Phil (played by Chris Cooper). After being upset at a vending machine not working in a hospital, Davis writes a letter to the vending machine company, eventually spilling the beans about his life & the death of his wife. Eventually, Davis receives a call from Karen Moreno (played by Naomi Watts), a customer service representative from the vending machine company. She admits that she was moved to tears by his letter, & listens to him & offers sympathy. Karen is going through problems as well. She is trying to deal with her rebellious classic rock-loving son Chris (played by Judah Lewis), who is trying to come to terms with his sexuality. Davis befriends Karen & Chris, & helps Chris come to terms with his sexuality. Davis is also beginning to notice things he never saw before (or wasn't paying attention to), & is now trying to feel emotions.

The film was brilliantly done. Gyllenhaal was excellent yet again, proving that he is one of the greatest actors of the century. Watts was also excellent, along with Cooper. But the real star here is Judah Lewis, who in his feature film debut, gives an excellent performance, & I expect many things from him in the future. The direction & editing from Jean-Marc Vallée is excellent, & it is one of his best films, along with 2005's C.R.A.Z.Y., 2013's Dallas Buyers Club, & 2014's Wild. The screenplay from Bryan Sipe is excellent, considering that this is only his second film script. Overall, this is not only one of the best films of the year so far, it is one of the best films of the decade so far, & I wouldn't be surprised if this ranks very highly in my top 10 films of the year list at the end of the year.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


★★★★★ | A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"I mean, I am just a dumb bunny, but we are really good at multiplying." That's an excellently hilarious quote from Ginnifer Goodwin in Zootopia, one of the best animated films of the 21st century. Goodwin plays Judy Hopps, a bunny from the small town of Bunnyburrow who dreams of becoming the first bunny cop in Zootopia. After a lot of training, she becomes the first bunny cop. She is looked at with disdain by the other cops, & she is assigned parking duty by Chief Bogo (played by Idris Elba). During a shift, she meets Nick Wilde (played by Jason Bateman), a con man. She abandons her post to go after a thief who only stole onion bulbs, & is reprimanded by Chief Bogo. Judy then finds out about 14 unsolved missing mammal cases, & she & Nick team up to solve the cases, eventually uncovering something a sinister plot to destroy the predators who try to kill their prey. 

The film was excellent. Goodwin & Bateman were great, & they had a lot of chemistry together. Elba was menacingly good. The direction from Byron Howard & Chris Moore was great, along with the screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston. But the best thing about it were its themes of prejudice, police bias & stereotypes, which reflect well with today's society. It's sad that those are all too prevalent in society today, & it's up to us to end it. Overall, it is an excellent animated film with excellent themes.

The Boss

★★★ | A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"Oh! That batch is burnt!" That's a hilarious quote from the always hilarious Melissa McCarthy in the new comedy The Boss, a funny film that does disappoint at times. McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a Martha Stewart-type businesswoman who proudly says that she is the 47th-wealthiest woman in America. She was adopted & returned 3 times in her childhood, eventually giving her a will to succeed & a vulgar sense of mind. Her enemy & former lover Renault (played by Peter Dinklage) finds out that she has been committing insider training. Right after leaving an interview, she is arrested & convicted for insider trading, & sentenced to 5 months in prison. When she leaves, she discovers that her assets have been frozen, & she must now find a new place to live. She then decides to move in to the Chicago apartment of her former assistant Claire (played by Kristen Bell). After doing nothing & sitting on the couch for 3 weeks, Michelle is told by Claire to take her daughter, Rachel (played by Ella Anderson) to a Girl Scouts meeting. After realizing that the girls don't profit from selling cookies, Michelle decides to start her comeback by creating a brownie empire. Claire reluctantly agrees to help out, & Michelle & Rachel gather recruits to start her comeback.

The film was funny, even though it did fall apart in the second half. Melissa McCarthy was hilarious once again, proving that she is one of the funniest women out there. The direction from McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone was solid at best, & mediocre at worst. The screenplay from Falcone, McCarthy, & Steve Mallory was good. Overall, this is a good comedy that does have several faults.