Movie Review: Southpaw (2015)

southpaw

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge
Of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the
Eye of the tiger

Ladies and gentlemen… “Southpaw”.

Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is boxer, and a damn good one at that. I mean the guy is the junior middleweight world champion. Well, he is that until something happens. Something that makes him lose everything. So now he has to find a way to work his as back up in life, and for that he takes help/training from Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker). And I have to say that rarely have the plot of a movie depressed me as much as “Southpaw”. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that Billy’s life goes from fine, to bad, to shit, to lowest low. And with his life falling down, so goes your emotional dominoes. That’s right, the plot made me feel like shit and I think that is a bit of a plus. I even have to admit that there were a few points where I almost teared up a bit. Sure, the story is cliché in a lot of ways, but the movie uses those clichés to it’s advantage and that is a good reason for me to like it.

I think it goes without saying that Jake Gyllenhaal is fucking phenomenal in the movie as boxer Billy Hope. Te guy has proven himself time and time again that he is one of the best actors working today and this is jsut another example of his talents. He commits to the role both physically and mentally and is perfect in the role. Forest Whitaker gives one of, if not the best performance of his in recent years. Rahcel McAdams is also really good as Gyllenhaal’s wife. 50 Cent is also in this movie, basically playing Jake Gyllenhaal’s manager and he is actually realld good in the role. In the movie we also have relative newcomer Oona Laurence playing Gyllenhaal’s daughter and I would say she gives a damn fine performance. I rarely like child performances, but she was really good in the movie. Everybody did a great job in the movie.

The score for the movie was provided by the late (and great) James Horner. It is emotional, it is a little thought-provoking and it is pretty damn good. And the use of all the licensed rap songs is perfect. Sure, if you’re not a fan of rap music then you might not enjoy them, but I liked the songs and I thought they fit perfectly.

This movie was directed by Antoine Fuqua and you notice that he was very passionate about this project. You can see how much effort he put down to make sure this movie was as well directed as possible. The overall direction is great, but where it excels is in the boxing scenes which are intense, fierce and brutal. I especially kind of love the first-person shots they sometimes do where you see the actor throw punches at the camera and you see it weave away and dodge, those shots were really cool. Here is a little fun fact for you: This movie was intended as a follow-up to “8 Mile”, this movie was even set to star Eminem. But since there were some scheduling conflicts, Eminem had to drop out and the part went to Gyllenhaal, which may or may not have been for the better.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 59% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Southpaw” is a movie that features a pretty cliché story that actually uses the clichés to it’s advantage while also having great emotion, great acting, great music and great directing. Time for my final score. AAAAAAAHHHHHH! My final score for “Southpaw” is a 9,84/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPOVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Southpaw” is now completed.

Did you see how much Gyllenhaal beefed up for this? Jesus Christ.

Movies left in 2015 I am looking forward to

Movies

How are you doing, guys? Personally I am doing great with summer vacation going on. Anyway, I am here to just tell you what movies left in 2015 I am excited about. And to be completely clear, these are in no particular order, these are just movies in general I am looking forward to. So let’s stop standing around like a bunch of jackasses in a circle and get this going!

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
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Let’s get the obvious shit out of the way first with what I would assume will be the highest grossing movie of this year, “Star Wars episode VII: The Force Awakens”. Just like everyone else I am looking forward a lot to “Star Wars” because it is motherfucking “Star Wars”! Some people are skeptical because of J.J. Abrams directing, I however am excited to see what he brings to the table considering his “Star Trek” reboot was fucking awesome (in my opinion). So yeah… “Star Wars”.

Ant-Man.
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Again, getting the obvious stuff out of the way first. That’s right, I am really looking forward to seeing Marvel’s next movie “Ant-Man”. If you remember a long time ago, I did put it on my “Most Anticipated Movies of 2015” list. It was fairly high on that list. And even though Marvel can do no wrong these days I might be wrong about it. I mean, I was wrong about “Blackhat” which turned out to not be that great… but this is Marvel, not modern Michael Mann, so I think it will go well.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
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You guys all know that I love Tom Cruise, he’s a great actor and I have a lot of respect for him as well for doing all of his own stunts. And this time he has out-triumphed himself with his foolishness by climbing on a plane taking off. First the Burj Khalifa, now a plane. What’s next, riding on the outside of a real life rocket? Tom, if you’re reading this… DON’T, NO!

Spectre.
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IT is a new “James Bond” movie directed by Sam Mendes who did “Skyfall” (which I have not seen yet, I know, shame on me). But I did see Mendes’ movie “Road to Perdition” and that movie was awesome and I did see “Casino Royale” so I know Daniel Craig will be great as Bond. This will probably be a great movie as well.

The Martian.
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It is a sci-fi movie starring Matt Damon (who is awesome) and is directed by Ridley Scott (who is awesome). What is not to be excited for!? Okay fine, Ridley Scott has had some missteps these past few years, but remember that this is the same guy that gave us “American Gangster”, “Alien”, “Gladiator” and “Blade Runner: The Final Cut”. Trust me, I got hope in this project. Also, come on guys, “Prometheus” wasn’t THAT BAD!

Bridge of Spies.

Next up is a spy-drama with the always successful combination of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Now they are taking on the cold war and spies. This is what dreams are made of, all of these awesome details. This will probably be great based on the earlier collaborations of these two.

Southpaw.
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This movie has such a combination of factors that it is almost unbelievable. I will try to round them up as decently as I can because this movie over the past few months has earned my interest more and more to the point of it becoming one of my most anticipated of the year.
1: The plot is about a boxer’s life going from hit to shit… that sounds great.
2: It is directed by Antoine Fuqua who made “Training Day” and “Shooter”, both of which I haven’t seen in a long time. But I remember liking them, so that’s something!
3: It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, one of my favorite actors who has proven himself these past 10 years that he is one of the greatest actors living today.
4: It is written by Kurt Sutter, the creator of “Sons of Anarchy”, one of my favorite TV-shows of all time. And I remember that show having some great writing, so that is good.
5: The soundtrack was done by Eminem. If you don’t like his music, that’s fine but don’t scold me for liking it! I like his music and I do think it might fit in this movie. And that is the final nail in this coffin.

Sicario.
SICARIO-2015

This might be the movie I am looking forward to the most out of all ones left this year. I know, more than “Star Wars” which I am still looking forward to more than you’d believe. But there is a strange allure to this movie that just makes it more interesting to me than “Star Wars”. I guess it might be because of the excellent cast including Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. It might also be because of this movie being directed by Denis Villeneuve who made “Prisoners” which most likely will stay my favorite movie of 2013 because of how amazing that is.

So those are the movies I am most excited to see in the second half of 2015. What are some of yours? Comment below and let me know!

Have a good one!

Movie Review: 8 Mile (2002)

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The world of rap music is not one I am heavily invested in. Sure, there are a handful of songs I do like. I can honestly say that I like pretty much anything by The Beastie Boys. And I am a fan of Eminem and his music too. What I am trying to say is that even though the genre isn’t one of my favorites, I still have a fair amount of respect for it. With all of that said, let’s review a movie about rapping.

Ladies and gentlemen… “8 Mile”.

So in this movie we follow Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith (Eminem) who lives in a shitty part of Detroit. He is a young rapper who recently broke up with his girlfriend. He also have to try to puzzle his life together in general because, well… everything has kind of gone to shit. He froze up during a rap battle, like I said before he broke up with his girlfriend (who got his car by the way) and his mom (Kim Basinger) is soon to be evicted from her trailer. And the plot was actually kind of interesting. The plot, while familiar, was pretty engaging. You wanted it to go well for this guy which is always a plus when you make a movie. The drama worked pretty well and never felt overly preachy, in lack of better words.

The characters in the movie… I don’t know what to say. I guess they are all decent enough. Not fantastic, but they work. Eminem is fine enough in the main role. To be fair, he was a little than I actually expected. He worked for the character. Kim Basinger as his mom was great. Also damn, she looked great for being 49! Brittany Murphy as Eminem’s new girlfriend was pretty good as well. All other actors were fine too. Also, Michael Shannon was in this movie, so that’s always a plus.

If you are strictly against rap music then you would hate the soundtrack to this movie as it is 100% rap. I however thought it was pretty good. Not fantastic, but pretty good. It worked for what it was used for. Fun fact: This was the movie that introduced the world to Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” which is actually a song I really like. And like I said, the soundtrack was fine, fit well enough.

This movie could have been directed better. Not that the direction was bad, Curtis Hanson did a good job with it, but I feel like it could have been better. The way this movie was directed was pretty simple and “regular” in lack of better words for it. But hey, at least no dutch angles! But to give some credit where credit is due, the rap battles in the movie are pretty cool. Maybe not in the way they are directed, but just in the way how they are. Those scenes have attitude and raw power and that is something I like to see!

This movie was fairly well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Song (Lose Yourself). 

“8 Mile” is a movie with an engaging yet familiar story, good performances, music that fits, decent direction/camera work and some pretty cool scenes with people having rap battles. Time for my final score. *Yo* My final score for “8 Mile” is an 8,52/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “8 Mile” is done.

You better Lose Yourself in the music, the moment…