Its Robert Redford’s 79th Birthday. Here are my Top Ten Robert Redford Films.

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    10: The Horse Whisperer: When teenage Grace (Scarlett Johansson) is traumatized by a riding accident that badly injures her horse, her mother Annie (Kristin Scott Thomas), a high-powered New York magazine editor, realizes Grace will only recover once the horse is healed. She takes them both to a secluded Montana ranch, where legendary “horse whisperer” Tom Booker (Robert Redford) begins to heal the horse, and also stirs long-dormant feelings in Annie that lead her to question her marriage and choice of career.
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    9:Indecent Proposal: David (Woody Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (Demi Moore) are a loving couple with a bright future. David is a talented architect; Diana is a top-notch real estate agent. But when the recession hits, their finances take a nosedive. In a last-ditch effort to save their dream home, they head to Las Vegas to win their mortgage money gambling. After they lose everything, a mysterious billionaire (Robert Redford) offers the solution to their money problems: $1 million — if he can sleep with Diana.
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    8:Out of Africa:Initially set on being a dairy farmer, the aristocratic Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) travels to Africa to join her husband, Bror (Klaus Maria Brandauer), who instead spends their money on a coffee plantation. After discovering Bror is unfaithful, Karen develops feelings for hunter Denys (Robert Redford), but realizes he prefers a simplistic lifestyle compared to her upper class background. The two continue on until a series of events force Karen to choose between her love and personal growth.
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    7:The Sting:Following the murder of a mutual friend, aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams up with old pro Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) to take revenge on the ruthless crime boss responsible, Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hooker and Gondorff set about implementing an elaborate scheme, one so crafty that Lonnegan won’t even know he’s been swindled. As their big con unfolds, however, things don’t go according to plan, requiring some last-minute improvisation by the undaunted duo.
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    6:All Is Lost:During a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, a veteran mariner (Robert Redford) awakes to find his vessel taking on water after a collision with a stray shipping container. With his radio and navigation equipmentdisabled, he sails unknowingly into a violent storm and barely escapes with his life. With any luck, the ocean currents may carry him into a shipping lane — but, with supplies dwindling and the sharks circling, the sailor is forced to face his own mortality.
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    5:Three Days of the Condor:On a seemingly ordinary day, Joe Turner (Robert Redford), a quiet CIA codebreaker, walks into his workplace and finds that all of his coworkers have been murdered. Horrified, Joe flees the scene and tries to tell his supervisors about the tragedy. Unfortunately, he soon learns that CIA higher-ups were involved in the murders. With no one to trust, and a merciless hit man (Max von Sydow) close on his tail, Joe must somehow survive long enough to figure out why his own agency wants him dead.
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    4:Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid:The true story of fast-draws and wild rides, battles with posses, train and bank robberies, a torrid love affair and a new lease on outlaw life in far away Bolivia. It is also a character study of a remarkablefriendship between Butch – possibly the most likeable outlaw in frontier history – and his closest associate, the fabled, ever-dangerous Sundance Kid.
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    3:Jeremiah Johnson:A Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Woefully unequipped for the task at hand, Johnson is fortunate to come across a seasoned mountain man (Will Geer) willing to teach him the necessary survival tactics. As life continues in the mountains, Johnson finds himself a native bride (Delle Bolton) and an adopted son (Josh Albee). However, their peaceful existence is threatened when Johnson incurs the ire of the Crow Indians.
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    2:The Natural:On the way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs, young baseball phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is shot by the unstable Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey). After 16 years, Hobbs returns to pro baseball as a rookie for the last-place New York Knights. Despite early arguments with his manager, Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley), Hobbs becomes one of the best players in the league, and the Knights start winning. But this upsets the Judge (Robert Prosky), their owner, who wants Hobbs to lose games, not win.
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    1:All the Presidents Men:Two green reporters and rivals working for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), research the botched 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex. With the help of a mysterious source, code-named Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook), the two reporters make a connection between the burglars and a White House staffer. Despite dire warnings about their safety, the duo follows the money all the way to the top.
    Dan Skip Allen

Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation Review

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This is the fifth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. This has been Tom Cruises child for about twenty years now. He plays the lead character Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation just like he has in the past four films, This film starts off with Ethan Hunt fighting mercenaries on a plane. Most of the scene though is him hanging off the side of said plane. This was quite a breathtaking scene even though we have seen it in the trailers. Back in the states Jeremy Renner’s Brandt fights to save the IMF. The super secret organization Ethan and he work for. Alec Baldwin plays the head of the CIA Alan Hundley he wants to disband the IMF because there not being responsible for all the deaths and damage they cause while in the process of doing there jobs. Ethan has to hide in the shadows but also try and keep tabs on and with his fellow IMF friends. Benjamin Dunn played by Simon Pegg is stuck at his desk doing analysis and has to go through weekly lie detector tests. He gets a letter from from an unknown person to go to Vienna with tickets to the opera. He takes an impromptu vacation to Europe on a whim.

Ethan goes to a secret library for special agents of the IMF and get knocked out by nerve gas and kidnapped by his new adversary Solomon Lane played brilliantly by Sean Harris. Under the watch of his captures he meets a beautiful women named Ilsa Faust played by Rebecca Ferguson. She helps Ethan escape but she has reasons for doing so. She hopes he’ll lead her to a secret file she needs. She befriends Ethan and his fellow IMF Agents and end up working with them to find and retrieve the file they need. This leads to one of the main action set pieces in the film. Involving diving down into a huge water tank and holding his breath for three minutes while Bengy goes through the front door and through some other fail safes. After this everything leads to a huge chase seen involving cars and motorcycles.

These Mission Impossible movies have mostly been great. All but,the second have been. They all have different types of stories while all remaining faithful to the source material. The last one Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol was epic in scale. This however has more of a story based feel to it then the last one. The action scenes are breathtaking and heart stopping like others have been in the series, Especially the Burj Khalifa scene in MI:Ghost Protocol. The characters in this film though are what makes the story flow and makes it much more believable then past installments of this franchise. Simon Pegg, adds some comedy relief and Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson are both solid in there respective roles as Ilsa Faust and William Brandt. I give Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation a big See-it. This edition to the franchise is one of the better films after MI;Ghost Protocal in my opinion.

Dan Skip Allen

These are Tom Cruise’s Best Films of his career.

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#10: On my list of Tom Cruise films is A Few Good Men. Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is a military lawyer defending two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Although Kaffee is known for seeking plea bargains, a fellow lawyer, Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), convinces him that the accused marines were most likely carrying out an order from a commanding officer. Kaffee takes a risk by calling Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) to the stand in an effort to uncover the conspiracy.

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#9: On my List is Risky Business. Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose with his best friend Miles. After an attempt at securing the services of a prostitute goes slightly awry, Joel hires gorgeous Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) for a night of delight. Stunned by the amount of Lana’s “bill” the next morning, Joel grows frantic after he crashes his father’s Porsche. In an effort to raise lots of money fast, a desperate Joel turns the house into a brothel.

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#8: On my List is Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol. Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by the U.S. government, while the president initiates the Ghost Protocol. Forced to go “off the grid” — left without resources or backup — Hunt must somehow clear the agency’s name and prevent another attack. Complicating matters even more, Ethan must undertake the impossible mission with a group of fellow IMF fugitives whose actual motives are suspect.

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#7: On my List is Minority Report. Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, “Minority Report” is an action-detective thriller set in Washington D.C. in 2054, where police utilize a psychic technology to arrest and convictmurderers before they commit their crime. Tom Cruise plays (John Anderton)  the head of this Precrime unit and is himself accused of the future murder of a man he hasn’t even met. 

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#6: On my List is Top Gun. The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is sent to the school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman (Val Kilmer). But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he’s also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).

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#5: On my List is Interview With a Vampire. Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis (Brad Pitt) is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer (Christian Slater). Suicidal after the death of his family, he meets Lestat (Tom Cruise), a vampire who persuades him to choose immortality over death and become his companion. Eventually, gentle Louis resolves to leave his violent maker, but Lestat guilts him into staying by turning a young girl (Kirsten Dunst) — whose addition to the “family” breeds even more conflict. 

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#4: On my List is Collateral. A cab driver named Max played by (Jamie Foxx) realizes his current fare is a hit man named Vincent played by (Tom Cruise) that has been having him drive around from mark to mark until the last witness to a crime is dead. When the cabbie finally figures out the truth, he must prevent the assassin from wiping out his last witness without becoming the next in the professional killer’s line of casualties. 

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#3: On my List is Valkyrie. Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) serves Germany with loyalty and pride but fears that Hitler will destroy his country if allowed to run unchecked. With time running out for Germany and the rest of Europe, von Stauffenberg joins a group of like-minded, high-ranking men who want to overthrow the Nazi regime from within. With everything he holds dear in the balance, von Stauffenberg becomes the trigger man in a plot to assassinate the evil dictator. 

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#2: On my List is Magnolia. Tom Cruise plays motivational speaker Frank T.J. Mackey. On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous lost son, a police officer in love, a boy genius, an ex-boy genius, a game show host and an estranged daughter will each become part of a dazzling multiplicity of plots, but one story. 

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#1: On my List is Born on the Fourth of July. In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees as his patriotic duty. During his second tour in Vietnam, he accidentally kills a fellow soldier during a retreat and later becomes permanently paralyzed in battle. Returning home to an uncaring Veterans Administration bureaucracy and to people on both sides of the political divide who don’t understand what he went through, Kovic becomes an impassioned critic of the war. 

Dan Skip Allen

Southpaw Review

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Southpaw is the latest movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, he plays Billy “The Great” Hope. He’s a successful junior middleweight boxing champion with everything. A beautiful wife, Maureen played by Rachel McAdams, and a daughter, Laila played by Oona Laurence, and a nice house. He just wants to just continue to fight and defend his championship. He has a antagonist who wants to fight for the championship, Ramone played by Victor Ortiz, but his wife doesn’t want Billy to fight him.She wants him to take some time off from boxing and take a break. This all comes to a head when the three of them were at  a fundraising dinner and they get into an argument and Billy’s wife, Maureen,gets shot. This starts Billy down the road that is not so good because he ends up losing his house, losing his title.  He rushes into a contract with his manager, played by Jordan Mains played by 50 Cent, and he is not thinking about training he was  thinking about all his problems and the loss of his wife. Billy goes down a path of violence and self destruction.This leads him to lose his daughter to child services. He just wants to see his daughter again because that’s all he has.Naomie Harris plays Angela Rivera the child services counselor. She helps Billy get to see his daughter again by doing the things he needs to do. He gets a job at a local gym.   He ends up going to a gym where he meets a man by the name of Tigg Wells played by Forest Whitaker.  Wells doesn’t want to train Billy, but Billy convinces him that he is his only hope and that he was the only trainer that ever had a boxer that beats him even though it was a draw. Billy goes through the whole process of training and getting back on track to try to be the opponent where the other guy Ramone is the champ now.  He beat the guy that beat Billy. The movie climax is a big fight scene. This fight is a fight of redemption for Billy  and it will help him get some of his credibility back some of his greatness back from when he was a junior middleweight  boxing champion.

I give I give Southpaw a big See-it based on the great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal he gives the performance of the year in my opinion. This is one of the best  performances you’ll see this year or any other year for that matter.The brutality of the fights, just the down and dirty kind of way they film this movie. The training and all that stuff that goes into a boxing movie. Antoine Fuqua does it again. I think that this is one of his, if not his best movie to date after Training day and End of Watch. He captures the down and dirty aspects of a boxing movie in the gym in the fighting in the blood. Southpaws is up there with some of the greatest boxing movies ever Raging Bull, Rocky, Cinderella Man the Hurricane. They all capture what it is to be a boxer and what’s the lifestyle of a boxer is like.  I think this movie does it just as well if not better than the others. This is my review of Southpaw From the Fourth Row.

Dan skip Allen

Ant-Man Review

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Ant Man is Marvel’s latest stand alone film. It stars Paul Rudd as the titular Avenger. The film starts out with him getting out of prison trying to make things right with his estranged wife played by Judy Greer so he can see his daughter. Her husband played by Bobby Cannavale doesn’t want him to have anything to do with the little girl. Scott sets out to try to make things right in  his life. By getting a job at a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop.Scott has buddy Louis,played by, Michael Pena, who tries to convince him that he should get back into a life of crime. He’s got this one job he thinks would be perfect for Scott and his crew. After getting fired from Baskin Robbins Scott decides he needs money and he needs something to show his ex wife so he decides to do this one job. He ends up robbing the house of Hank Pym played by Michael Douglas and finds a suit in a vault and ends up taking the suit. He takes the suit back to his apartment and tries it on and realizes he has shrunk down to the size of an ant.  Normal tub water turns into a like a tidal wave and so he’s fighting for his life. Scott tries to bring the suit back but, Hank Pym gets in his ear because he had nanotechnology built into the suit so he could contact him. He says to him that he is the right man for the job and he wants him to be the Ant Man. With the help of his daughter Hope Van Dine  played by, Evengeline Lilly, and Hank puts Scott  through a rigorous training schedule so he can use the suit to break into Hanks company called Pym Technology. Corey Stoll, portrays Darren Cross, the head of Pym Technology and he has got his own suit called the Yellow Jacket.  He tries to use The Yellow Jacket to sell to the military and make a bunch of tiny warriors for the American government. That’s not exactly what Hank envisioned his company for so Scott and his crew Michael Pena, Louis,TI, and David Dastmalchian they all get together with Hank Pym and Hop Van Dine to try to rob Pym Technologies so they can get the suit out of the hands of Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross character.

Ant Man is a unbelievable, funny, action packed thrill ride but it has a heart. Where a lot of  Marvel films don’t have the heart that Ant-man has. This is a film about a father trying to find redemption and try to show his daughter that he’s a good father and he cares about her. There is so much comedy but the micro for photography really takes over. It’s just breathtaking to watch some of the scenes, fighting in and around a carpet or up on a little toy train set. I absolutely think that Ant-man is one of the Top Five of all the Marvel Cinematic movies.Guardians of the Galaxy,Avengers,Avengers:Age of Ultron and Captain America the Winter Soldier are the best and then Ant-man is after those in my opinion. It’s a heist movie and a shrinking movie all combined into one. Peyten Reed has really captured the essence of the character and the world he lives in with Ant-man. This is a movie for the entire family, parents, kids anybody that has a family and has struggled and specially separated families. You know you can really feel for what Scott Lang is going through so I give Ant-man a huge See-it.
Dan Skip Allen

Jack O’Connell a star on the horizon!

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Were in a new era of young stars on the horizon the last few years. With great young talents like Miles Teller,Micheal B. Jordan,Dane Dehaan and Jack O’Connell among others. Jack O’Connell though has been a little less known from the others I mention’d. He had lesser roles in 300:Rise of an Empire,Harry Brown and The Damned United as well as other smaller parts in a few more films. Three movies he has shined in though the last six months or so are Starred Up,71 and Unbroken.

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O’Connell stars as Eric Love in Starred Up a teenager transferred from a juvenile detention center to an adult prison for men. While there he runs in to his father Neville portrayed by another lesser known character actor but very good in his own right, Ben Mendlesohn. Of course they are like oil an vinegar. They instantly butt heads. Eric doesn’t like the fact that he’s locked up at all and frequently gets in fights or arguments with the prisoners and guards. He joins a group of prisoners who get together to talk about there problems and lives in and out of prison. The leader of the group Oliver played by Rupert Friend, tries to get through to Eric like no other have tried. Starred Up is a star making performance by O’Connell and he takes this role of this troubled teenager to the next level.

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O’Connell plays young British military officer Gary Hook. He and his unit are sent to Belfast Northern Ireland to quell some rioting and violence by Catholics. After getting a little to much resistance from the local people of Belfast Gary’s unit leaves him accidentally. The local IRA members find out about this and start searching the city furiously. Turning over every rock and go house to house and apartment to apartment. Gary find refuge with so local protestant sympathizers but has to go on the run again to keep the IRA off of his friends. 71 really shows how this feud between England and Northern Ireland escalated on such a violent level. The viciousness of this conflict shows in the chase for Hook through the streets of Belfast. Once again O’Connell shows he is a star on the rise.

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O’Connell plays Louis “Louie” Zmperini  a troubled teen. With the help from his older brother he starts to run to get his frustrations out. He later gets qualifies for the 1936 Olympic games as a long distance runner. When World War II breaks out Louie goes to enlist. While flying over the Pacific Ocean his plane crashes in the Ocean. His co-stars include Jai Courtney as Hugh ‘Cup” Cupper, Domhnall Gleason as Russell Allen ‘Phil”, Garrett Hedlund as John Fitzgerald and Finn Wittrock as Francis “Mac” MacNamara. A few of his plane mates survive along with Louie and they are adrift for 47 days. Until a Japanese ship finds them almost dead. They are put in a prisoner of war camp where Louie is targeted by the prison commander who was once a racing rival. Louie goes through some horrible torture at the hands of Mutsushiro Watanabe portrayed by Miyavi. Unbroken is directed by Angelina Jolie in her second go at the art f directing after In the Land of Blood and Honey. O’Connell once again shows what he’s willing to do to get the performance he needs to make the movie work on all levels. He really puts himself through a lot on this movie which makes for a better movie and a more enjoyable experience.

Jack O’Connell has proven in these three great performances that he has the acting chops to become one of the greats of his generation. With these roles you can see him get better and better at the craft of acting and as the films came out in the theaters the performances were better in each film. O’Connell will be one to watch as the days and months go by. I for one will definitely be keeping track of his up coming films

Dan Skip Allen