Vincent D’Onofrio

The Magnificent Seven

A tale as old as time. Seven Samuri, Battle beyond the Stars, and the 1960 version, Antoine Fuqua is bringing his take on it, it is The Magnificent 7. A film that I have been anticipating sine the very first trailer released. Hell the first frame, the first sound I was hooked and ready. And now it is finally here and I went the first showing I could make it to! And man o man was I not let down. Such an awesome and fun film!

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960’s Magnificent Seven, which is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. This go around the film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.

The Story follows Emma Cullen (Bennett) enlist the help of seven outlaws, a bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Washington), a gambler Josh Faraday (Pratt), a sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Hawke), a tracker Jack Horne (D’Onofrio), an assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun), a Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Garcia-Rulfo), and a Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Sensmeier), to protect them while they prepare for the anticipated violent confrontation. The Seven bands together to protect the town of Rose Creek from Industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard)

This movie is incredible! I had so much fun watching it. Look the story is not anything new. You’ve seen it. Not just in Seven Samurai, not just in the original Magnificent Seven, but in almost every sing western made. It’s the same basic western, but what is so good is the execution! Antoine Fuqua has such a way of delivering this film, like he has so many times before. Bet he brings such an awesome feel to the film, it is epic in size, and hooks you right from the beginning. Fuqua has done so many different films with so many different types of feels to them. This one is a classic western, with the big blockbuster take to it.

The cast is absolutely incredible. I am not going to talk about Denzel Washington, he is Denzel. Has he ever made a bad film? Or has been bad in a film? You know he is phenomenal. As always. Pratt is still Chris Pratt in this one. There are times that he feels a little out of time doing his normal Prattisms. But it still worked. I can honestly say I think Pratt is my new favorite Movie Star. That’s right, a movie star. I know the day of the star is gone, but Pratt is one of those guys I will go see whatever he is in no matter what.

Haley Bennett is amazing as well. And incredibly hot. A matter of fact, I think I am in love! Ethan Hawke is decent for what he does, I would have liked a little more on his character. He had such a cool backstory but they barely went in to it, it was really just hinted at. His running mate, Billy, played by Storm Shadow AKA Byung-Hun Lee is so cool. He really needs to be in more films because he has such a presence you just want to see me off. Sarsgaard does his normal creepy bad guy routine and it is possibly slimier and creepier then normal. He is crazy

The breakouts however are Vincent D’Onofrio, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier. Sensmier and Garcia I do not know of their work, but they were really cool, and the most intriguing characters in the film. They really kept you wanting them on screen more and more, and when they were on screen they really keep you invested. But of these breaks outs, it is D’Onofrio that steals the show. I found myself really connecting and enjoying his character the absolute most. And weather he is playing a bug like alien in MIB, or the Kingpin of Crime in DareDevil, or the Tracker of the Magnificent Seven he is absolutely incredible!

Another major plus is the score of this film. It is so good. One of the last films done by James Honer, along with Simon Franglen. Absolutely incredible, every scene every image was perfectly framed with the music, had an old school feel to it, being brought into this new era. All film long I kept telling myself I have to make sure to talk about it because it was that good, and that beautiful! And speaking on the films beauty it filmed so perfectly. Every scene is amazing and feels like a classic western.

All in all the Magnificent Seven did not disappoint. It was on my most anticipated for the rest of the year, in fact it was my number 1 and with good reasoning. Fuqua knocks it out of the park again, and the cast is incredible. From the always great Denzel, the hilarious Pratt, and beautiful Bennet. Especially D’Onofrio, so good. The score is beautiful, the images are epic, and this is one you need to go see. Hopefully it brings back a little light on the western and we can get some more.

The Magnificent Seven is getting a pretty high score Jackass Nation. We are going 3.6 guys, with a full .5 bonus for both the awesome shoot outs, and D’Onofrio! Giving us a Jeebus Score of 4.1! What say you Jackass Nation? Are you running out to see The Magnificent Seven? What is your favorite version of this story? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Universal Studios

Jurassic World: The Park is Open

So I have been a Jurassic Park fan my entire life nearly. One of my earliest memories going to the theater was going to see Jurassic Park. And I think of that memory every time I watch it. I was so scared when the T-Rex first broke loose; my dad had to take me out of the theater for a few minutes to collect myself. I can’t even imagine how many times I have watched it. I even really enjoyed The Lost World Jurassic Park. Not a big fan of 3, but I do own it, on Blu-ray. This is how big of a fan of Jurassic Park I am. So needless to say, I was super excited for Jurassic World. I hoped and prayed that this wasn’t just another rip off sequel like 3, and it got back to the heart of the series. And well, I’ll say this, I was not disappointed.

Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, BD Wong, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, and Irrfan Khan, and directed by Collin Trevorrow, Jurassic World picks up 2 decades after the original. The Park is now open and operating to full extent of John Hammond’s dreams. However people are beginning to become stale to the fact that these Dinosaurs are alive and kicking. They want bigger, badder, and meaner. So the Scientists behind the creation of these Dinosaurs create a brand new species born from crossing many different DNA codes from many different animals. When this new creation, the Indominus Rex, escapes, the powers that be must go on a hunt to stop this creature from reaching the guests.

Let me tell you, this film is really good. It is a lot of fun, but there are a lot of problems. But before I get into those let’s talk about what I loved. Chris Pratt has proven once again he is a freaking movie star. There was a lot of worry that he was just going to be “Chris Pratt” again and that he would become a Vince Vaughn like actor, only playing himself in films. But he really branches out and tones down the Prattness. He’s funny, he’s a believable badass, and he’s a fun character. Likewise I really liked Jake Johnsons supporting role as a park technician. It was great to see BD Wong back, as well as all the other Easter eggs and throw backs to the original series. This film gives you the dinosaurs like you wished Godzilla would have given you Godzilla. The CGI is crisp; I only really noticed green screening in maybe one shot.

But that’s not say this movie doesn’t have its problems. Bryce Dallas Howard is awful for about 80% of this film. She is stale, has no chemistry Pratt, and like the rest of the characters, other than former 2 mentioned, is completely overdone. She turns it around in the later act of the film and isn’t so bad, until the final shot. Vincent D’Onofro’s character is a one note cartoon villain. Complete waste of story and plot goes to the back story of the two kids. It didn’t need to be there. Every time they are dealing with what is meant to be a heartfelt story, it comes off as cheesy. Khan is the most over the top of any of the characters, and needed to tone down. Speaking of tone it is all over the place. Force feeding you comedic relief. It does not have the charm that Ian Malcolm had in that original film. The dialog is also some of the worst I have ever heard. In the original you cared about what each person was talking about whether dinosaurs were on screen or not. This go around you kind of just want them to get back to Dinosaurs. There is also never really that tension you felt in the first. The fear. Like the in the Kitchen with the Raptors and Lex and Tim. There is no deeper intense scenes, just, cool dino action.

All that said, I still really enjoyed the movie. It is a lot of fun, even though it kind of takes that approach of monster movie from that third film tried to be, rather being a film about not just dinosaurs, but the repercussions of messing with the genetics of these extinct creatures. The first film had a scene where they sit around and discuss the problems with the scientific research behind the creation of the creatures, and you cared, you bought into it. This one is kind of like, they are here, and they are scary and badass! Cool! So it doesn’t have the story and characters that grip you into the film, but it have the fun.

All in all Jurassic World was a great monster movie, and an ok sequel to Jurassic Park. Definitely better then 3, not as good as 1, and probably on par with 2. It did however get a complete .5 bonus from me, for a scene that I can’t tell you about because it is kind of a spoiler in final showdown. So with that .5 Jurassic World rounds out to a Jeebus Score of 3.9! So what do you think Jackass Nation? Are you excited for Jurassic World? Have you seen it already, or are you planning to see it? What did you think? Let me hear from you in the comments below.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The show without Fear: Marvel’s DareDevil

Marvel is pretty much running the show right now. Their cinematic universe is on the top of its game ready to roll out Phase III. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have improved incredibly since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Agent Carter was an amazing miniseries. They just seem to know what they are doing. We have been waiting for the Netflix phase to get off the ground, and they have done it. The first of, what I will call, The Defenders Series’ has hit the ground running. Marvel’s DareDevil is here. DareDevil stars Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin Wilson Fisk. Produced by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goodard and is based on the Marvel superhero of the same name. Word of warning, this review will not really have many actual Spoilers, but there may be minor details of the shows plot. SO if you want to know nothing about it before you see it, then stop reading. There will be a spoiler at the end that pertains to how a character is written, but I will mark it appropriately so you can skip that paragraph.

Marvel’s DareDevil tells the story of Marvel’s superhero by the same name. Matt Murdock is a lawyer who as a child was in an accident that causes him to lose his sight, but causes his remaining senses to function with near superhuman peak ability. Tired of seeing his city, Hell’s Kitchen, fall to criminals and dirt bags has decided to take up a quest as a vigilante. On the flip side. A near practical ghost of a business man, Wilson Fisk, has decided to rebuild the city, though while Murdock’s tactics are morally right, Fisk believes the means will justify the ends. Thus pitting the two on a collision course of mass repercussions.

I was very pleased with the casting. I was weary of Charlie Cox going in because I was not very familiar with his work. 2 episodes in and I realized he was perfect for the role. So perfect that I expect to see him in the films. I want to see Cox reprise this role in Civil War, and Infinity Gauntlet. I also would mind a S.H.I.E.L.D. cameo. Ann Woll is very functional and she grows as the series drives forward. I didn’t really like her at first but her character arc and her portrayal is great. A stand out star is Henson as Murdock’s law partner Foggy Nelson. Not just comic relief, but brings a lot of heart to the show. D’Onofrio is good in his roll. I have issues but I will get into that a little later.

Let’s talk positives. DareDevil is not like anything you have seen in the MCU. This is kind of a staple for Marvel. Each film has its own feel to it; this show takes its own identity too. It is dark, and gritty and violent. You haven’t ever seen this much violence from a Marvel property since the Blade series. It is the perfect change of pace. And speaking of, the pacing is great. It flows very well with right amount of vigilante/lawyering percentages. The story is very fluid. Filming for Netflix and being able to run everything at once lets them eliminate the “monster of the week” format that a lot of these shows can have, and lets them tell a more fluid singular story.

But I’m not just going to turn a blind eye. Remember, being a fan means being able to recognize problems. One of my issues is the character of Wilson Fisk. Kingpin is one of my all-time favorite villains. I have always enjoyed him. But to me he needed to be more intimidating then this makes him out to be. Again I don’t want to get too much into it right here, I will in a moment. Another issue I had was the lack of tie-ins to the MCU. There are a few references to New York, and The Avengers, but nothing that really made the connection strong. And honestly, that’s just about all I have for complaints. So I’m going to delve into the one thing I really found to be the main issue with show. This might have some SPOILERS! So if you don’t wish to know plot details you might want to skip the next paragraph.

SPOILERS! You have been warned. So I mentioned my issues with Wilson Fisk. That is nothing against Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance. He is great, he disappears into the role. The problem is the character himself. He is written nearly as a whiny little bitch. Through flashbacks, he is shown to have an abusive father and a poor childhood. I understand that the character along with DareDevil are two sides of the same coin. He is meant to be portrayed almost as an antihero. He wants what Murdoch wants, he just has questionable methods. Now as the season came to an end, I realized this something I hadn’t thought of. I had been thinking of this not as an origin story, but just jumping into this world. By the end you see this season is an origin. An origin of DareDevil, and for Kingpin. There is a scene when Fisk breaks out of police custody, and in that scene I saw the Kingpin I know and fear. My hopes are that in season 2, we get more of this Kingpin.

NO MORE SPOILERS! IT IS SAFE TO CONTINUE READING!

So in closing, I found DareDevil to be a great show. One that I hope will continue and mix in with the MCU for years to come. It has made me excited to see the rest of The Defenders series’ that will be coming out later this year and next. I gave Marvel’s DareDevil a score of 4.6, with a .4 bonus for its grounded, gritty dark undertones and fun action. Giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.0. So what say you Jackass Nation? Did you enjoy DareDevil? Have you binged on it like me? what else are you looking forward to from Marvel? Sound off in the comments.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, The Judge

The jury is in on The Judge

The Judge. The highly anticipated film starring acting power houses Robert Duval and Robert Downey Jr. has finally hit screens across the nation and one thing is for certain, it’s Oscar season. After last week’s Gone Girl was released and now The Judge it is clear the Oscar bait films are out in full force. And if I were one of the old guys in the committee, this one would be in the running. Among Duval and RDJ the film stars Vera Farminga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Billy Bob Thornton, Leighton Meeston, and Dax Shepard, and is directed by David Dobkin.

The Judge tells the tale of high powered Chicago defense attorney Henry “Hank” Palmer, who while in the midst of a trial, is called back to his small town home after the passing of his Mother. He returns for the funeral and to his Estranged family that include his learning disabled brother Dale(Strong), his older brother who seems to bare a small grudge toward him Glen(D’Onofrio),and his father(Duval) who he hates, and who hates him. On his way back out of town he is pulled back into a trial that has father looking at murder charges, against a man that he put away years ago. He must now find his father’s innocence while going up against a Prosecutor named Dwight Dickham (Thornton) who is determined to get the Judge put away for life.

In a change of pace I am going to start with the negatives seeing how there are so few of them. The trailers will have you believe that this is a high powered court drama, but that’s not exactly the case. The film is a lot more of a character picture then it is a crime drama. Though there are a lot of scenes that take place in the court, more often than not you find yourself dealing with this families inner workings. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a little departure from what it looked like from a marketing perspective. As well there is a small story line involving an ex-girlfriend of Hank Palmer (RDJ) that had the entire thread been taken out, you wouldn’t be missing anything. Plus the small twist that comes of the ex-love storyline is not cleared up or addressed and leaves you kind of confused. As well, Dax Shepard’s character, a lawyer originally hired by Judge Palmer to defend him, also didn’t really need to be in the film, or at least as much as he was, which still isn’t even that much.

Sounds like nitpicking? Well it kind of is. Those are really the only problems in the film. The story is riveting, and pulls at your heart strings over and over again. I did not cry, but there were a few times that I definitely teared up. It almost got me. The scenes are powerful, especially the ones that involve just RDJ and Duval. Not only is Duval one the greatest actors of all time, but this film, these scenes, remind you that RDJ is a world class actor too. He’s not just Tony Stark. I can say, that baring a few more performances, I can honestly see both of these guys getting the Oscar nod. The entire film is casted well, none of these actors took me out of the film, nor did anything from the script. The dialog was fresh and crisp, the direction was up to par. It was just a well put together film. One I truly enjoyed.

I’m going high on my Jeebus score with this one. No bonus, but still ties Gone Girls 5.4, multiple viewings required. So how about you? Have you, or do you plan on seeing The Judge? And what are your favorite performances from RDJ other than Iron Man?