Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Radar Project: Round 9

Cesar Chavez
Release Date: April 4th, 2014
One of the worst parts of American History revolves around how we treated people from other countries. The slave trade, the immigration boom, for one reason or the other, many people came looking for the American Dream. Sadly, for most, what they found was a desperate hate. There have been many figures who stood up against the hate and racism of our nation and became heroes. For the most part, movies about African American heroes have been made and now we have our first Mexican-American hero. 

A biographical film about Cesar Chavez is being made. I instantly love that Michael Pena is playing Chavez, because he's absolutely perfect for the role. Easily the best actor of Hispanic descent working in Hollywood today, Pena will absolutely knock us flat. He has the look and he absolutely has the talent. It also won't hurt that he is being joined by America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley and John Malkovich, my only hope is that this honors Chavez as a man and a figure of history. That cannot be said about every biographical movie ever made. I recently watched "Jobs" with Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs. The thing that bugged me the most about that film is that it added up to nothing more than a checklist of accomplishments Jobs had over his career. It bored me to death because it felt more like a PBS documentary than a movie. That is also why movies like "Lincoln," "Malcolm X," and "Ray" stood up over the years. If "Cesar Chavez: An American Hero" works like that, it will succeed. Let's hope it does, because Pena's about due for a Oscar nomination.

Muppets Most Wanted
Release Date: March 21, 2014
The Muppets have grounded itself as a landmark brand in American pop culture. I have always liked the Muppets, always found them charming. I think Jim Henson was a genius and it is very sad that he does not draw breath anymore. His legacy shall never be broken though and he lives on through his bizarre characters that we can't help but cherish. I loved the reemergence of the Muppets in 2011. I thought what Jason Seagal and Nicholas Stoller pulled off was a marvelous family movie that also had deep ideas about friendships, family, and what we place importance on in life. It had a powerful message wrapped in a highly entertaining bow.

I don't know if or how much of a deep message that will be implemented in "Muppets Most Wanted," but I can't help but get excited for it. I love that they are bringing back Walter from the 2011 Muppet movie. I think Ricky Gervaise, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell are just about the most perfect human leads a Muppet movie could ask for. I can't wait to spend more time with Kermit, Ms. Piggie, Gonzo, Waldorf, Rizzo and all my other favorites. But what would a Muppet movie be without cameos? We will see Sean "Diddy" Combs, Celine Dion, Salma Hayek, Zack Galifinakis, Ray Liotta, Tom Hiddelston, Christoph Waltz, Danny Trejo, Lady Gaga, Usher and just about everybody else from Hollywood. I know its too early to call it, but this sequel may trump its predecessor, but we'll see in March!

This is going to be short round tonight, I am pretty tired. More to come tomorrow!

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