Henry and Dean Whipple (Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron) are a father-son duo that are trying to get along, while they are also trying to buy as much farm-land as possible. Henry is all about his job, making money, being with his wife (Kim Dickens), and also being able to lay-around with his gal on the side (Heather Graham). As for Dean: he’s all about racing, causing havoc, being with his gal-pal (Maika Monroe), and having the dream that he will one day become the next big, NASCAR racer. The two don’t get along and can’t really see eye-to-eye on what their lives have turned out to be, but once Henry runs into the possibility of losing the one thing he loves the most (his farm-land), the two come together in surprising ways. Sort of.
The movie’s title, At Any Price, may seem like the dullest in the world. It’s almost as if the creators had a finished-product, but didn’t know how to sell it to the big crowds, so they just decided something that seemed inspirational would work and get people interested. Not for me, which is why I was not expecting anything at all worth while from this flick and for the first hour or so: that’s exactly what I got. Then, something happens in the middle of it all, that not only changes your view on the movie as a whole, but also has the title make more sense than ever. Can’t say what it is, but it will hit you like a ton of bricks, as it did to me. Trust me.
Maybe I’m out-of-the-loop or something, but I’ve never seen director Ramin Bahrani at work. I hear great things about his movies, but just have never given any of them a chance for the sole reason that none of them have ever seemed to really interest me. However, that’s just me and as I can see from his past movies ratings on Rotten Tomatoes: the dude’s got a lovely-following. But as the movie began and the ground-work for the story was being laid; I had no idea why.
It’s not that the dude’s a dull director, actually: it’s the opposite. Bahrani finds a way to paint a portrait of this small town in Iowa that feels and looks as if it should be the little slice of Americanism that you can only get with these types of places, and that’s exactly what it seems like after awhile. He finds beauty in the most simple things, such as a father tending to the rows and rows of corn, or a mother fetching potatoes out from underneath the soil. It’s all there and it all makes you feel at home, but there’s more stuff going on here than meets the eye, and that’s the whole problem right there.
Bahrani takes the over-stuffing of useless characters and subplots, as a way of portraying conflicts among the central characters. Instead of having the character of Henry Whipple just be a guy that’s struggling maintaining a loving-relationship with his son; he’s got to be banging some chick on the side, or his one son (the favorite) didn’t come home when he was supposed to and is out, climbing up the mountains in Argentina, causing even more anger and pain for the man on the inside. But Henry isn’t the only one: Dean goes through the same motions too. Not only does Dean seem to be having daddy-issues; but he also is having problems with his racing-career, being a loyal boyfriend, and is leading a life of crime and hate.
Sounds like too much already for a hour and 45 minute movie? Well, that’s because it is.
If Bahrani left these two central-characters alone, have them face one dilemma each, and leave that be it; then everything would have been fine, dandy, and easier to take in. However, that’s not what Bahrani does and instead, adds more and more context to this story that doesn’t feel needed. Yes, some of it does round-out these characters to make them feel and seem more humane in the way they go about their days together and separated, but it also feels like unneeded melodrama that we could easily deal with if we came home from school and turned on the Lifetime channel. Also, not to mention the fact that the movie goes down some crazy-routes that not only will make you scoff, but just might have you wonder what the hell it is that you’re watching.
But it should be noted, once again, that the one crazy-route that they decide to go down is something I was not expecting in the least-bit, did not know what to make of it at first, and after awhile of thinking and contemplating what it meant to the whole story in a nutshell, I came to the conclusion that it made sense and made the movie a whole lot better as a whole. I’m so damn tempted to go down that dick-headed road and say what it is, but I just can’t. What this final-twist in the story brings to the front, is not just character’s relationships and what each one means to the other, but how they are in everything and anything together.
After all of the strange shit that Bahrani throws at us, he ends on a pretty heartwarming note that touches any person who’s ever been there for a family-member. Whether you noticed that your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, dog, cat, etc. is going through obvious problems or not; you’ve always been there for them when they needed a helping-hand the most. That’s the idea that this movie touches on and despite taking some odd side-streets to get to it’s destination; it still works. Not in the longest-time has there been a flick that I’ve seen, but relatively bored and unsurprised by it, and kick me in the ass, slap me in the face, and open my eyes out of nowhere and change my final-thoughts on the whole-product; what it meant and what message the director was trying to get across. Seriously, once the final-twist comes up: you are going to either run with it and continue to think about it, or throw it in the garbage, and forget about the rubbish you just witnessed. It’s your call. Mine was the former.
Probably the best and most memorable aspect of this whole movie, without a doubt is the fact that after all of these years of showing up in random, bloated CGI-fests like this one, or that one: Dennis Quaid finally gets a role that’s worth his time and effort. Quaid has been one of these actors (refuse to call him a “character actor”), that shows up for work, does what he has to do, and goes on with his day. Nothing more, nothing less. He barely leaves an impression on the viewer, but lets us know that he’s there, if it’s only soeley to collect a paycheck.
All of that better change now, especially after a performance like this as Henry Whipple.
What’s so great about Quaid here is that the dude never seems like he’s phoning it in. Henry Whipple, on-paper, doesn’t seem like a very-complicated character as he’s just a dude trying his hardest to make his son, his wife, and his wallet happy, and leaving it like that. However, Quaid finds a way to make this guy as complicated as ever, which was a total sight to see because with every new scene you get with Quaid on-screen, is another new scene where you find out more about Henry, and his character. You always feel for this guy whenever he’s doing something; whether it be trying to win the heart of his son back again by showing up to his racing matches, or trying to buy-off somebody’s land during a funeral. No matter what the situation may be that the dude finds himself in, you always feel for the dude and has you on-board with his character throughout the whole movie, even when he is fucking up. And trust me: he does. Quaid is amazing and I hope this gets him more and more quality roles in the future, as the dude deserves it. Screw, Meg Ryan! Team Quaid!
That’s not to say the others in this cast aren’t worth talking about, because they all do fine with their lettuce and carrots. It’s just that Quaid is the one with the real meat. Zac Efron is fine as Dean, the troubled-son who doesn’t want to take over the daddy’s business and wants to be a rebel by racing. Efron is fine in the role as he shows off his guns, his good-looks, and his attitude, but the character is thinly-written and feels like he’s trying to go for the same feel of a young-Brando or Dean. Doesn’t quite hit the same marks, but is good with what he’s called on to do.
Playing his mommy is Kim Dickens who knows what’s going down with these two when they are busy at work, and are out in their free-time, but she keeps it all to herself and is good at it. She’s very subtle, but still dramatic to make enough of a difference in the grander-scheme of things. Heather Graham is wasted here as the whore of the town, Meredith, as it seems like she can’t be a normal person without a dick in her or some form of her clothing taken-off. Lastly, to round of the troupe of women we have on display here is Maika Monroe as Dean’s girlfriend who not only likes him for what he is, but also likes his father because of the determined business man he shows to her, as well as everybody else around him. Monroe is a welcome newcomer because she feels like a young gal that’s confused and unknowing about what she wants to do with her life, but still full of love and life. Hopefully, just like with Quaid, this means we get to see more of her in the near-future.
Consensus: At Any Price is a strange movie, but not for the sake of it’s tone or direction. It’s one of those movies that starts off so dull, continues on with same feeling/pace, but ends up taking you by storm with a final-act surprise, giving us a wider-glimpse of these characters, who they are, and what they mean to one another.
7 / 10 = Rental!!
All the single, hot-to-trot mothers can never keep those hormones in-tact whenever that Scottish accent comes through. Oh, roar!
A former professional soccer player (Gerard Butler) with a weak past tries to redeem himself by coaching his son’s soccer team, only to find himself unable to resist when in scoring position with his players’ restless and gorgeous moms.
Alright, before all of you get your torches and brooms and come right to my door-step and try to burn the witch that has apparently taken over my movie-viewing control, let me just tell you that the decision to not only watch, but review this movie, was all mine. Yes, nobody other me, myself, and I chose to watch and review Playing for Keeps and because of that, I have come to terms with myself and just realized one thing: I am a fucking idiot. Yes, I am a lot happier now that I’ve realized that about myself. Thanks Gerard Butler!
I have no idea where to begin with this piece of shit other than to just focus on the director, Gabriele Muccino, and just what the hell was going-on throughout his mind during filming. This movie tries to be one-step above the rom-com genre by infusing the thrill and fun of the sport of soccer into it, but really, it’s just the same old shite we have all seen before. Dad tries to pick himself back-up from nothing, does a very good job at doing so for quite awhile, finds himself in a dilemma, finds himself back into nothing, and then, low and behold, he’s back on-top and everybody is happy, running around in fields of daisies and rainbows. Okay, maybe I just gave away the whole movie there and maybe, just maybe, that isn’t exactly what happens but seriously, if you get pissed about how the whole movie was just spoiled in one sentence and you had no idea what was going to happen, then you, my friend, should not even read my site anymore, let alone watch movies.
This movie, is as obvious, predictable, and conventional as they come, but it’s even worse because it’s so damn dull. There’s nothing new here, there’s nothing fun to really watch here, and worst of all, there’s just nothing to stick-around and watch. You watch these characters just do their thang, act like you’d expect them to, and to have absolutely no effect on you, your life, or your thoughts whatsoever. It’s almost like you’ve never seen this movie and coming from a guy who actually did waste his precious time and life seeing it: you’re probably better off that way. In case you couldn’t tell by now, this movie fucking blows and if you want to see more as to why that is, continue to read-on but if you get the point and want to just get on with your life, then leave this site and come back tomorrow when I have another review of another movie coming up. Trust me, I won’t be offended, I’ll actually commend you for doing-so.
The biggest question-mark going-on in my mind throughout this whole flick was: who’s wife did Gerard Butler fuck? Honestly, Butler must have done something terribly inhumane to some higher-up in Hollywood, because it seems like they just place him in these movies, regardless of what it is, tell him what to do, tell him to use no emotion whatsoever, and just act like you don’t really care if you’re there or not, just accept the check and be done with it. I don’t know if he cut a deal with somebody where he has to do shitty-movie-after-shitty-movie to lose the price on his head, but whatever it may be, the guy’s got it bad and what’s even worse, is that he does nothing to help this movie out in the least bit.
Butler is as dull and boring as they come and the whole time I wondered just what the hell made him so much more different from any other male-lead in these rom-coms that come-out once a week? Is it the facial hair? Is it the sexy build that has somehow decreased year-after-year since 300? Or simply, is it the Scottish accent that seems to get every gal’s panties to fly-off into the mist? I think it’s the latter and that’s a shame too, because after seeing a movie like Coriolanus and realizing that this guy kicks total ass when he gets the chance to do so, just makes this movie, his role, and his performance all the more terrible and disappointing to watch. Come on, Hollywood! Give Gerard Butler another chance! I’m sure the guy is sorry for whatever the hell he did.
What’s even worse about this flick is the rest of the impressive cast that this movie has going for it, and how equally dull they all are. Jessica Biel plays Butler’s ex gal-pal that he has a kiddie with and as hot and sexy as she is here, she is also nothing more than just a piece of cardboard here with some dialogue she has to spring-out of her. Biel, just give up on acting and do porn or something and make yourself useful. Make us all happier and stop trying to take your career seriously because honestly, nobody does. Not even, dare I say it, Justin does.
As by-the-numbers Biel is, it isn’t much of a surprise since the girl blows in just about everything but actresses like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer, and Uma Thurman!!?!?!? Aww, hell no! In the past decade, these girls have all given some of their best performances in their whole-careers and it’s such a damn shame to see them do a pile of shite like this, try their hardest, but in the end, just come-off as a bunch of obvious, walking cliches of a bunch of women that couldn’t keep their clothes on whenever some sexy, built Scottish man came strolling through their neck of the woods. It makes me very, very sad to see them all do this type of crap and what’s even worse, is that Dennis Quaid is here as well, and I don’t think I need to say anything more about that. Okay, I’m going to go and cry now.
Consensus: Playing for Keeps may have one redeeming factor to it: it’s fun to watch and make fun of if you’re reviewer like yours truly. However, if you aren’t, then you’ll probably find yourself cringing, upset, pissed-off, confused, and just plain and simply, bored with everything that occurs on-screen and wonder just when exactly you can begin to move on with your life and act as if you have never, ever seen this piece of shit. I already have, and I’m about to finish my last sentence of this review, right….about…..now! Yes!
Kevin Bacon can still dance. Don’t be fooled.
Slick and cool kid from Boston, Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves to a small town where rock ‘n’ roll and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace. However, Rev. Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) won’t stand for it and he lets Ren know about it, every step of the way.
For all of you loyal readers and followers of DTMMR, you all may be a bit shocked to find out that I have never seen the original, Kevin Bacon headliner in it’s entirety. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it, including the awesome dancing-sequences that had me inspired for a day or so, but nothing more than just that really. However, apparently director Craig Brewer has seen it all, and loved it so much that it was the one movie to inspire him to make movies. That’s right: not Casablanca, not Citizen Kane, not even The Godfather, Footloose is the one movie that made this man inspired to make such flicks like Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan, and now, this remake of his old-school passion. It’s weird, I know, but hey, if you’re going to have a guy do a remake of a classic, have a guy that loves the hell out of the movie in the first-place do it. Then maybe, most remakes won’t suck nowadays.
The idea of featuring a town that actually “bans public dancing” seems a bit too 1984 the dog days of the 21st Century, but somehow Brewer has it make sense and seem a bit believable. This is a small, earnest town that all know each other, know whats going on, and have an idea of what’s best for the whole community. They aren’t some sort of small-commune that’s sheltered-off from the rest of the world because of their hard-earned beliefs of God, faith, and religion, even if those themes do hit-hard in where this story is coming from. Still, the idea of keeping the original premise in this updated remake isn’t as goofy, as well as a couple of other ideas as well, mainly because Brewer knows what does and does not work in today’s day and age.
Brewer, like his last two flicks before this, definitely knows how to work in a great deal of Southern-grit to his stories, no matter how wholesome or sweet they may be. For instance, the opening title-sequence where we see everybody’s shoes moving around, is a trick that was pulled-off in the original but updated in a more standard, gritty way that would be expected by kids of today’s generation, due to there being a crap-load of dirty, kegs, and beer being thrown-around as if somebody was throwing an old-school banger in the middle of the corn-fields. Oh, those were the golden days. Anywho, that’s not the only aspect of this flick that Brewer updates with his gritty look-and-feel, there’s a couple of other cool instances where we see how the world around us has changed to where these kids could easily want to rebel by dancing and sticking-up for themselves, but in the end, Footloose is about one thing and one thing only: cuttin’ loose and gettin’ foot loose.
No matter how much it may seem like Brewer is putting his own, personal stamp on this story, he still never forgets to remind us that this is a dancing-movie at it’s heart and core, and that’s all that mattered to me. Nowadays, dancing movies are usually recognized by two words: Step Up. But thankfully, Brewer shoves a little bit of his fist in the way of those movies and give us a great deal of fun and entertainment to watch, as all of these kids just shake their asses off like no other. The stunts, moves, and choreography are off-the-charts and as goofy as it may be to see a bunch of 18-year-old kids, dancing like Michael Jackson on crack at their high-school prom, you still can get past it and have a great-old time no matter what.
Also, to make matters even better, the soundtrack is awesome and definitely worth a listen. They start-off things so perfectly by keeping the old-school, Kenny Loggins track in the movie, and then start to dive-away from that and giving us a rawer, southern-bound edge to music, filled with the eclectic likes of David Banner, Quiet Riot, Zac Brown Band, and most surprising of all, and probably used the best: The White Stripes. Yeah, his days of giving Terrence Howard some key rap-tracks haven’t gone away in the slightest-bit, but Brewer still shows that he’s got a knack for putting in some cool-tracks, into scenes that you would not expect to gel so well with. Basically, when you put the combination of awesome music and awesome dancing together, you are bound to get some fun and entertainment, and if you do not for one second tap your toes to at least one second of this movie, you have no soul and need to get this soundtrack, ASAP.
As fun as this movie may be, there are a lot of goofy moments in this flick that seem so damn earnest and self-important with itself, that it’s just really hard to swing-by (see what I did there?). There are so many instances in this movie where I just had to roll my eyes by how silly things were, such as when Ariel, or lead-gal, feels the need to play chicken in front of train to show how much of a lost soul she truly is. That’s stupid, as well as all of the scenes with her deuchebag boyfriend named Chuck, who comes into disrupt things between Ren and Ariel’s hormones, and does exactly that, but yet, it’s annoying as hell. Whenever the guy shows-up, he’s just hammy, obvious, and way too violent for his own-good, almost to the point of where I felt like the guy made the story a bit too dark by some standards. Anytime he shows up, and this movie tries to get all serious and dramatic with me, I rolled my eyes, scoffed at it all, and pretty much didn’t care. But as soon as the dancing started-up and the music began to blast, then I just forgot about it all and had a fun-time. Isn’t that what dancing’s all about?
Casting this movie must have been a total bitch for Brewer, considering the guy has to fill in the shoes for so many iconic stars like Bacon, John Lithgow, Chris Penn, and even Sarah Jessica Parker, among many others, but he does a nice-job in picking just the right names, for the right people, no matter how well-known or unknown they are. Kenny Wormald is a nice-fit for the rebellious and cool kid known as Ren McCormack and handles a lot of the dramatic-stuff, just about as good as his amazing dancing. His infamous infamous “freak out” dance scene seems a bit like parody at-first, but it just goes to show you just how talented this kid is at shaking his rump, and hey, I gotta give him credit for that because lord knows I’d never be able to achieve that. I just hope that Matt Damon or Ben Affleck didn’t catch a glimpse of this movie, or else they’d have a thing or two to teach Wormald about doing an official, Bawhstan accent.
As good as Wormald may be as Ren, the one who really impressed the hell out of me was Julianna Hough as Ariel, the preacher’s daughter. Her character is the most obvious and predictable out of everybody here, but the gal’s still very, very talented when it comes to dancing and being sexy, but she’s also very good in the dramatic scenes as well that makes a lot of her pain and anguish seem real and reasonable. Sadly, I don’t think the girl’s going to get many dramatically-acting offers any time soon, but it’s always good to know that there’s more to her than just a pretty face, a nice body, and a couple of sweet-ass dance moves.
Playing her old daddy O, is non-other than Dennis Quaid who is terrific as the preacher of the little town of Bomont, that not only wants what’s best for his little town, but for his daughter as well. Quaid is good in this role because as much as he may seem like a bit of a stiff that doesn’t budge on anything that concerns going against the sacred book of God, you can start to see a change in him by the end that’s as believable or moving as anything the guy’s done in the past couple of years. Seriously Dennis, you need to get back-out there, man, and show the world what they’re missing-out on. Everybody else is in this movie is interesting, entertaining, and likable, but the only one that really seemed to struggle is Andie MacDowell as Shaw’s wifey. To most of you, this may come as to no surprise whatsoever, but it’s a bit of a surprise to me considering that this chick has been acting for over 30 years by this point, and still has yet to churn-out a good performance. What the fuck, Andie?!?!?
Consensus: Some moments seem obvious, tacky, self-important, and earnest, but in all honesty, it doesn’t matter all that much since Footloose is a fun and entertaining movie that shows some nice/believable character-development, as well as a love and passion for the original source material, courtesy of Craig Brewer.
Look at that face! Honestly, would a face like Bradley’s lie to you?
Bradley Cooper stars as Rory Jansen, a struggling writer who happens upon a lost manuscript in a weathered attaché case. After he decides to pass the work as his own, he finally gets the recognition he so craved for but he soon has to face his actions when the original author (Jeremy Irons) comes to him.
After I got the chance to meet the writers/directors of this flick, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, I found out that it took them over 12 years to finally get this piece off of the ground. So, think about that: this script has been in writing since 2000 and you would think that with such a long time to be revised, edited, and perfected that we would sort of have a masterpiece on our hands, right? Sad to say this, but I don’t think 12 years were worth waiting to see this story. Great guys, though!
Needless to say, Klugman and Sternthal have definitely made a very ambitious film that people will either hate or love due to the approach. The whole framing device starts off with one older guy, reading a story about this young writer who steals this other piece of work, which in and of itself is a story about a man and the love he found in post-WWII Paris. Judging by what you read there, you could probably say that this flick is either way too pretentious for it’s own good. And I would probably say that you are right but it is very interesting to see where and how these stories come together. The whole idea of whether or not these stories reflect fact or fiction come up plenty of times throughout the whole movie and they offer some pretty interesting questions you may have about this film once it’s all over in it’s brief, 96-minute run-time.
But as interesting as this film could be with it’s clever premise and general idea about what’s real and what’s not, the material never fully comes off the page (pun intended). I can definitely see why so many people were ready to buy-out this script around Sundance last year because all of the plot’s happenings and ideas seem a lot more subtle and hidden when you’re reading it. But the problem is, that once you get it on-screen, it comes off as a bit flimsy, especially when you have a bunch of the scenes revolving around a dude just typing away on his type-writer. Trust me, I love writing, I do it almost every day, and I can’t get enough of it, but there is nothing exciting or tense about watching somebody do that. There’s plenty of that here, along with some cringe worthy lines where Bradley professes to himself that he doesn’t really know who he is anymore, and that this whole guilt-trip about him taking over somebody else’s work is getting to him too much. Didn’t see that plot-device coming at all…
Speaking of that, what the hell was even the main message behind this whole movie in the first place? It seemed like Klugman and Sternthal wanted to say how stealing other people’s work is bad and will weigh heavily on your conscience, but do they not realize that this is a known thing ever since the days of 5th grade where kids had to start writing their own papers? It’s fine to talk about something that has already been talked about before but the idea of a guy stealing another person’s work, only to find out that it is terribly wrong, does not do much for me as it may have for Klugman and Sternthal. I wonder how many papers of their’s was sent back with a big “F-” due to stealing other people’s works.
If there is somewhat of a saving grace to this flick, it probably has to be the cast that does everything in their power and will to save this muddled story from going to shit. Bradley Cooper has a very strong presence in the lead here, even if a lot of the stuff he is called to do consists of him staring off into space, looking like he’s just done something completely and terribly wrong. He did, and we get that right from the start but we didn’t need to keep on being reminded every 5 seconds whenever the guy looks sad. Zoe Saldana is fine as his beau, and brings out some great drama in a role that seems so empty and shallow once you think about why she is in the story.
The only real bad acting I could find in this flick was Dennis Quaid’s as Clay Hammond, the old dude who’s reading Bradley’s book in the beginning of the movie. Firstly, the whole story with him and Olivia Wilde comes off as terribly random and stupid and does practically nothing for the movie. Secondly, I don’t know if it’s just the fact that he’s getting older and seems a lot creepier, but the way Quaid phrases a lot his sexy lines to Wilde (who is 30 years younger than him, mind you) makes him seem like he’s doing a very bad impersonation of my dad when he tries to talk to me about girls. If you don’t know my dad, you won’t really get the joke but just think of those awkward dads that always try to talk to you about the ladies, then you’ll get my drift, hopefully.
Once Jeremy Irons comes into this flick, then everything else bad with this movie sort of just disappears because of what this guy can do. Everybody knows that Irons can play a sly mother-humper as if it was nobody else’s business and he does that perfectly here, while also being able to add some true depth and emotion to a character that isn’t the film as long as you’d like to hope. It also probably helps that his whole story about him and his lover in France was perhaps the most emotionally-invested part of the movie I had and reminded me a bit of The Notebook in a way. Not saying that I was insanely giddy by that fact but at least it was something that kept my eyes on-the-screen and not on my cellular device.
Consensus: Even with some smart ideas and good performances from the ensemble, The Words still never seems to come full-circle with it’s story or it’s intentions. Instead, it just features barely little or no thrills, and offers nothing new to what it has to say about the act of plagiarism and the guilt that comes over a person after they commit it. Well, other than it being bad and you shouldn’t do it.
Getting knocked up sucks but I guess the sex is fun, right?
This is a look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn’t always deliver what’s expected.
Once again, Hollywood has decided to give us a whole slew of stars and jam them into one rom-com. However, it’s not as bad as New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day and Gary Marshall isn’t direction so that’s good, right?
Going into this flick, I wasn’t expecting much (pun), probably because I’m a dude and dudes don’t care about all of that pregnant ish except for if the baby is theirs or not. Hate to say it, but it’s true fellas. But I was pleasantly surprised by this flick and I think a lot of that has to do with director Kirk Jones‘ way of giving every story a purpose of their own. I’m glad that this flick focused more on one certain issue to connect all of these characters with, rather than just one day or some stupid holiday, but I’m also glad that the flick didn’t really fall into the pit-falls of absolute cheese that most of Marshall’s did. Each story has their own bits and pieces of humor, but they also have some heart to it that sometimes feels fake, and other times doesn’t. It’s definitely a mixed bag here but I think I’m just going to go off and talk about each of the stories individually, rather than focusing on all of them at the same time. Let’s see what I can do here.
1) The one story between Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford, was a story that was interesting at first, then continued to lose more and more steam as it went along. The whole idea of these two having a one-night stand and wondering whether or not they’re a good fit for the other, is a pretty interesting story in and of itself, but whenever the flick focuses on it, it starts to become a major downer and just took my mind off of it more and more. It’s the one story that doesn’t go the obvious route, but that wasn’t really a good thing considering how the film handled it. Crawford doesn’t seem like he’s better than this material, but Kendrick does and that’s what really sucks to see because this damn chick was nominated for an Oscar about 3 years ago! Come on Anna!
2) The other story about Cameron Diaz hooking up with her reality show dance partner, played by Matthew Morrison, is not necessarily a downer as it’s more just bland and uninteresting every time it’s up on-screen. Diaz is a reliable actress when it comes to comedy, but Morrison seems so damn stiff with her on-screen that he makes it seem like he’s scared to be around her. Then again, I would be too, considering all they do throughout this flick is bicker and fight about stupid shit. Maybe this is how real-life couples act whenever one in the relationship is pregnant, but here, they almost never seem stop and it’s a real wonder as to how the hell these two will do when they have to worry and care about another life. Glad they weren’t my parents and it would suck even more considering I still have a chance with Diaz. I know it. She knows it. We all know it. The chick just has to come to her senses, that’s all.
3) Another story that was pretty lame was between Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro, who both play a couple that can’t have a baby, so they decide to adopt one from Ethiopia. Lopez is good, but seems like she was trying too hard to gain some laughs and Santoro also seemed very stiff every time he was around. Actually, I think the problem with his performance is that I couldn’t really understand him all that much with his Spanish accent that makes him sound like he is just learning English. Then again, maybe he is and maybe I’m just a dick. This story is also a downer and one I didn’t really care about but got so much better whenever they focused on Santoro hanging out with the “Dudes Group” with Rob Huebel, Thomas Lennon, Amir Talai, and Chris Rock as the leader of the park. Every time these guys were on-screen, I always laughed and that’s mainly because of Chris Rock. This guy always, no matter what flick he’s in, shows that he can get at least one laugh out of the crowd before the camera goes black (another pun intended), and even though he’s confined in PG-13 territory here, he still delivers on all of the laughs. Funny stuff with these guys but I just wish they did more of that and eliminated the whole J-Lo story altogether.
4) Probably my favorite story out of the whole flick, and maybe even the one that’s worth the price of admission alone, was the one with Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone, who play a couple that seems to be really struggling with pregnancy because of Banks’ hormones going up-and-down all of the damn time. Both of these stars are hilarious throughout this whole flick and made me laugh with everything they did, whereas about 5 other stars from this cast probably would have made me jump off of a bridge by how hard they tried. Banks is always reliable when it comes to comedy, but it’s Falcone who really surprised me as he showed he had great comedic timing (something else that I saw from him in Bridesmaids) and could make you care for his character just by being the sweet guy. These two have great chemistry together and easily won my heart over. Whenever they introduced the story-line between Falcone’s dad, played by Dennis Quaid, and his much-younger wife (Brooklyn Decker), I also laughed even though I think they forced the whole “dad and son are constantly in competition” thing a little too much but it still worked because Quaid and Decker both have fine comedic timing. This story was the best and even when it gets into dramatic territory by the end, it surprisingly worked which was something I wasn’t expecting from a movie like this at all.
Consensus: What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a very passable flick with some moments of genuine comedy and heart, but also isn’t very original in the way it offers a look at pregnancy and all of the problems that come along with it. My idea: get rid of every story, except for Banks and Falcone’s story, combine that with the “Dudes Group”, and keep the father angle with Quaid and Decker, and you got comedy gold. Or at least something that’s ten times better than those Gary Marshall flicks.
Was Allstate Insurance around in the 50′s?
Cathy (Julianne Moore) is the perfect 50s housewife, living the perfect 50s life: healthy kids, successful husband and social prominence. Then one night she discovers her husband Frank’s (Dennis Quaid) infidelity and her tidy world starts spinning out of control. In her confusion and grief, she finds consolation in the friendship of their African-American gardener, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert) – a socially taboo relationship that leads to the further disintegration of life as she knew it.
Writer/director Todd Haynes does something very strange with this flick that I don’t think I have seen done before ever. He takes what is the style of a 1950′s film and puts themes and conversations that would only be talked about in film’s today. It’s sort of like a confusing combination between two different time-periods but I have to say he makes it work.
This is definitely Haynes’ film right from the get-go as almost everything here is meshed-out perfectly and completley with style. Everything here fits the look of the 50′s with all of the bright colors that take over every scene and seem to pop right out at us, the costumes look real instead of making it seem like these famous people are just dressing up for Halloween, and the cinematography captures some real pretty shots that add so much more to this flick and give it this feel of beauty. The score is also done very well, almost a little too well as it constantly comes into scenes with a soaring sound, but that’s pretty much done on purpose. Haynes has a style here and he keeps to it which makes this one of those films that even a deaf person can enjoy since every shot just oozes beauty.
The screenplay, that was also written by Haynes, is very well-structured in a different way. This is very much a film that shows people in the 50′s talking about social taboos during the 50′s but still being able to talk like as if they were living in this time-period. Everybody is so corny and says such things as “aww shucks” or “gee golly” but then when they start talking about such topics as racism and homosexuality then the film gets a little edgy but in a good way and not over-exploitative. There’s a good story here as well and as it goes on, you start to feel more and more for this woman even though it may be a little hard to relate to her considering not many out there have to deal with a gay husband.
Even though the script is well-structured, there were still moments where it had its big faults. The whole racism subject is touched upon gently when it’s just Cathy and Raymond talking but when it comes to the other people and how they respond to it, well that’s where the film seems a little too over-dramatic. The scenes where other people see them together have this score music that almost makes it seem like the shower scene from ‘Psycho’ or any other horror flick to give it this hyper-charged feel. Not only was this a problem but even the scenes where we see the differences between black and white people from Hartford seem way too different to even be considered in the same film. The black scenes seem a little too modern as if they were filmed in a completley different place than the rest of the film was located and it seemed like too much of a fault to let go.
Still, this film definitely depends upon its lead performance from Julianne Moore, and she does not let it down. Moore is an actress who I think always seems to play the same type of gal in every film but she’s very good here as this very simple, nice, and sweet lady who starts to see her world crumble down. She’s curious, sad, confused, but most of all, real and that’s the type of genuine feelings I got from Moore’s performance here as Cathy. Dennis Quaid is amazing as her husband, Frank, and he gives off one of the better dramatic performances of a confused guy that I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s a real wonder as to why Quaid doesn’t do more dramas because he’s really good here.
Dennis Haysbert plays Raymond with a great deal of subtlety and restraint to give you this feel that he is totally nice dude and would never ever hurt a fly. We always see this guy in those Allstate commercials (see the pun up top) but with this performance here and as the daddy in ‘Love & Basketball’, he shows why he can really pull out some great dramatic chops with a voice that almost has Morgan Freeman running for his money. It’s also pretty funny to see Viola Davis play a role here as the nanny, Sybil, a role she would still be playing all these years later but actually getting nominated for it in ‘The Help’.
Consensus: Far From Heaven is a film that perfectly matches the style of films from the 50′s, with a great story that touches on the life-styles of the times, and performances from just about everybody involved that make this an emotional and heart-felt story, even if it seems a bit over-dramatic.
Three stories are connected in one way or another by the life-style of drugs. At the forefront are a U.S. drug czar (Michael Douglas) who learns his daughter is an addict and a Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro in an Oscar-winning role) dealing with a corrupt system. Meanwhile, a wealthy housewife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whose husband is arrested for dealing must choose to carry on the business or sacrifice her lifestyle.
Steven Soderbergh is a guy I never really watched all that much before, but for some odd reason within the past 2 months, I’ve watched about 5 of his flicks already and there’s a lot more to come by now. Keeping the streak going now with probably one of his most underrated flicks.
The idea of telling one subject through different story-lines isn’t a new approach by any means, but the way Soderbergh does it here makes it seem fresh and exciting. Every single story in their own right has a nice look and feel to it, each marked with their own layer of tension as well as insight into the drug world. We get right into these characters stories right away and the attention that Soderbergh grabs us at is what works the most considering that his direction keeps this flick moving.
It also helped that every story had a different color shaded camera to each one so that we could tell which story was which and it added a lot to the stories. The USA stories are all full of washed-out colors that look like they have been in a rain-storm for about 3 days while the stories that take place in Mexico has a very distorted color look that gives it this very yellow and bright color that seems like it came from the “Jesus Walks” video. (Wait a minute, do I hear inspiration?? Damn Kanye!) Soderbergh also uses the hand-held camera style and it’s a lot less annoying here than I thought it was originally going to be in the first place and it adds so much to the stories by giving it this documentary feel. I know it sounds crazy that I’m typing a whole paragraph dedicated to the camera-work in a Soderbergh flick but it can go a long way if you use it correctly.
Perhaps my favorite element about this flick was that as much as it may talk about the war on drugs and how we are sometimes winning and losing it, Soderbergh kind of leaves it up to us to make our own assumptions about how we feel about drugs. I thought this was a very brave and smart thing to do considering everybody is effected by drugs differently and it’s up to us to decide what is right and what is wrong when it comes to drugs, we can’t just depend on the government to save us. The flick never gets preachy and as much as Soderbergh may be showing this flick off like an anti-drug film, it still also shows the fact that drugs are really starting to take over the world, and very quickly I might add. Soderbergh does a great job by not saying anything when he could have easily made this a 2 hour and 30 minute long sermon about how he felt about drugs. Instead, he didn’t which is definitely what won me over for this flick.
My main problem with this film is that the screenplay itself seems to really be uneven. I have to say that the stories are pretty interesting as it is but they all seemed to start-and-stop in their own time and just when one seemed like it was about to get good, the film all of a sudden pops into another one for no reason. This is usually the problem with a lot of films that have multiple story-lines going on like this but for some reason here, it just felt like this film could have balanced out its stories better. I won’t say that some were more interesting than others but they all seemed to go in different paths which was a good thing and bad thing at the same time.
My other problem with this flick was that as interesting as the stories are, I could still never get into the characters that inhibited them which is where I think Soderbergh lost me with this flick. Yes, I understand this film is supposed to be a gritty, dark, and depressing take on the world of drugs that we live in, but after awhile, I just wanted to be able to root someone on let alone feel something for one person, even if it was only for a small second. Every character seems almost in one way or another, corrupt or totally idiotic and it’s a little frustrating when one character can’t seem to see the full picture, when it’s pretty damn clear in the first place. I don’t want to try and give away too much here but there was also a lot of plot twists that started going down at the end as well, that may have been a little too far-fetched but only because the plot is the one thing we were mostly paying attention to rather than the characters themselves.
The only character and performance I could really get into with this flick was actually Benicio Del Toro as Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez. Del Toro is a guy I see from time-to-time and even though I can never really get into the performances that he gives, I still know that there is something special about him and this is the flick that shows me why. Del Toro is the real moral center of this flick and shows a true, real, and compassionate character that seems so trapped, so screwed over, and so messed-up without ever taking drugs, that you can’t help but cheer his ass on. Del Toro has many moments where he just lets loose of the emotions he has wrapped inside and the way he shows it through Javier is what definitely makes this an Oscar-worthy performance even though I’m sure I need to see the other ones from the year 2000 as well.
The rest of the cast is pretty good too, but just not as special as Del Toro. Michael Douglas has his moments as Robert Hudson Wakefield but other than that he’s basically playing the same vain asshole he plays in every film; Don Cheadle is good to watch as the under-cover cop, Montel (a role that I think he’s played about a hundred times before) and his partner, Ray, played by Luis Guzmán, brings a lot of humor as well; Catherine Zeta-Jones is actually very good as Helena Ayala, the vengeful wife that ends up taking over her husband’s duties and her performance is very believable, much to my surprise; Dennis Quaid is just here as Arnie Metzger, but it’s always cool to see him around; and the two crazy kiddies on drugs are played by Topher Grace and Erika Christensen, who are both good and they play up the whole stoned act pretty well. Considering this is a Soderbergh film I’m talking about, there is probably 100 more noticeable faces in this flick that I’m forgetting to mention, but just watch it, and then you can play the “Guess Who That Is!?” game, that I sometimes win, and sometimes lose. Damn Mommy!
Consensus: Traffic does a great job by telling its one subject through three interesting stories that are all featured with great performances, no clear-cut messages on what it’s trying to say, and a bunch tension running through the whole time but there is no real emotional impact that comes together here and instead you just sort of watch a dark flick about drugs, without any people you can care about, except for Del Toro’s character.
A title that I heard this movie say about 30 times throughout the whole film.
Upon rousing themselves from hyper-sleep, Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Bower (Ben Foster), a pair of crewmen assigned to work on a spacecraft, discover startling gaps in their collective memory — including who they are and what, exactly, their mission was in the first place. The plot thickens when they realize they’re not the only ones on board the ship.
I was very surprised by this film because I rarely remember when it first came out, and the posters did nothing to help me get ready what to expect either. Thankfully, I had a good surprise with this film.
Space-horror films are always the best because they really get that type of claustrophobic feeling in and director Christian Alvart brings that here very well. I always felt like there was no way out for these characters, and that they were always in danger almost every single turn they took. Alvart’s story he creates here is something that starts off very mysterious and weird, but then turns into this action and tension-filled horror flick that kept me wondering what was going to happen next.
I like how this film had a whole bunch of confusion that lead me to wonder why all of these things were happening, and how they all happened. These questions are left open for a good majority of the film and the way Alvart leaves it like this is a very brave thing to do considering that most of this would be very hard for most viewers to just stick with, especially if they don’t understand just what the hell is going on.
The only problem with Alvart’s story here is that there are an increasingly large bunch of plot holes that come with this film and its story, which are hard to ignore really. I didn’t understand as to why if these characters knew they were going to lose their memories once they got shipped away in their pods, they didn’t just leave a couple of little sticky-notes to have themselves be reminded of certain information that would seem very important for when they finally “woke up”.
Another thing I didn’t understand was why these ships would just leave one little button for somebody just to press and mess every little thing up. The first crew of the ship in this film go crazy, and one person actually presses the button to destroy the ship after he goes incredibly nuts, or suffers as they say, “Pandorum”. Plenty of submarines have this button, but it’s really, really hard to get to but why in the hell would they just leave that button for someone to easily press for something a whole lot bigger, and something that is apparently being used for a very important mission. Hell, a mission that is apparently going to impact the rest of mankind. There are more plot holes to be found but these were the two that bothered me the most of all.
I was able to get past these plot holes though because not only of Alvart’s story and the way he tells it, but with its very detailed and artistic direction he gave it. A lot of sci-fi films keep their spaceships usually gritty and disgusting to look at, but the way this spaceship looks is actually very convincing and what a spaceship may actually look like if it were going to be around in today’s world. The sets are real and the way all of the colors, some dark and some bright, actually blend in so well with the moody atmosphere this film was given.
Even though there is some really good-looking CG used in this film, I still couldn’t help but get bothered by the CG that was used on these monsters, or creatures, or whatever the hell you want to call them. These damn things are here just for the sake of being terribly gratuitous and disgusting, and look less lie actual creatures and more like lizards stuck through a condom. Yes, I did just say lizards stuck through a condom but once you see this film, you’ll know what I mean. Lesson learned here is that making your monsters completely and utterly disgusting, doesn’t make them anymore scary.
The cast here is very small but all do pretty well with what they are all given. Dennis Quaid gets top-billing for this film and is pretty good even though at the beginning, his character is just limited to staying in the control-room but soon gets more and more involved and that’s when we see Quaid’s chops really come out. The real star for this film is actually Ben Foster playing Bower, a guy who does everything in his will-power to find out just what the hell is going and does whatever he can to get out of this place safe. This guy can really make you believe in him and seem like he’s always one step-ahead of all of the baddies in this film, which is what Foster really can do well with any film he is in. Cam Gigandet was really annoying and bad as this other dude that comes later in the film, but he’s only here for a small bit. I still don’t know what so many people see in this little shit.
Consensus:Pandorum has its fair share of flaws and plot-holes that may bother some, but the story is mysterious and tense enough to keep any sci-fi die-hard watching, and wondering just what is going to happen next.
Football is a lot more messed up than I thought.
Master director Oliver Stone crafted this look at the gritty world of professional football, capturing the trials and tribulations of the fictional Miami Sharks, a team beset by unnecessary roughness on and off the field. Stone’s brilliant ensemble cast includes Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Dennis Quaid in a full-blown assault on the senses, portraying every tackle, pass — and torn ligament — in vivid detail.
I like, and I play football. I think it’s tough, fun, and overall vicious sport that if your good at, well then be ready for the big bucks. However, sports in today’s world isn’t always the happiest place to be. Oliver Stone knows what I’m talking about.
As usual with an Oliver Stone film, this is packed and packed with a lot of information, and stories that all seem to occupy the 2 hour and 43 minute time limit. This film is very long, and I must say that if you do not want to sit by a movie for a very long time, where you may not like many of the characters, you may not want to check this film out.
There are a lot of interesting parts every once and awhile, and Stone does a great job of filming it all. The football scenes are perfect by the way they portray every hit, every cheer, every sack, and every single little piece of pain that is involved within a game of football. He also uses his crazy camera-work, that moves from story to story, and the use of loud, percussive music and rap feel like life itself and it keeps us involved with this film as well as the big game itself.
I just wish that there were more parts to this film that seemed like they were needed. I feel like Stone was putting some of these random parts in to create more compelling stories that would have us attached to all of these characters, and it just kind of got tire-some. There seemed to be more random parts then there were actually parts that were needed in this film, but I will give Stone credit for at least adding all these other elements to this film to get the full spectrum, and at least make it something easy to follow. The script isn’t so bad either, it’s just all over the place, but it is entertaining cause it shows the world we live in where the game has changed from being prideful to more commercial.
Al Pacino is perfect and exactly what his character requires: a hard-arsed, old school coach with more honor than commercial savvy. He loves the game he discovered 30 years ago and cannot face the prostitute that it has become. Dennis Quaid is great as the faded glory of the old game: tattered, bruised, bleeding and down but not quite out. Together they quantify everything that is good about sport. Cameron Diaz is surprisingly good as Al’s polar opposite: young, fiscal and dynamic. She has inherited a job she doesn’t want but cannot quit. She sees football as a game of commerce, not endeavor. She is supported by an amazing Jamie Foxx, the tough, brash youngster given a shot at the top position and grabbing it for all he’s worth. Together they quantify everything that is real about sport in the USA. I liked how the film showed how these two opposing sides faced off against each other, even though their all on the same side. It’s old school vs. new school, and you get to decide who wins in the end. There are others in this huge ensemble cast that are worth noting such as LL Cool J, James Woods, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Aaron Eckhart, Lawrence Taylor, and the man himself, Jim Brown.
Consensus: Oliver Stone’s “football movie” is a bit messy and some parts don’t seem like they belong at all, but Stone’s direction that captures the perfect feel of the game, and the perfect performances of the cast make this a film that any football fan can and probably will enjoy. It will just take about 2½ hours out of your day to watch it.
If my boss was honestly Eric, I would probably end up quitting right away.
An ad salesman, Dan (Dennis Quaid), must take a junior position after a corporate shakedown. Worse, he now reports to a much younger boss, Carter (Topher Grace), a business school grad who espouses a sales approach branded Synergy that’s at odds with Dan’s old-school style. Although they don’t see eye to eye, the two must get along, a mandate made more difficult when Carter becomes smitten with Dan’s daughter (Scarlett Johansson).
This is a very unusual film to say the least. In some respects it’s a buddy movie. In others, it’s a romantic comedy. In still others, it’s a drama about the work-place. This was all my problem with the film, cause I don’t think it quite knew what it wanted to be. There’s a lot of romance in here, as well as sad moments of people being “let go”, or these two dudes hating on each other. I thought the film’s constant changing between these ideas annoyed me, cause it never really came out coherent enough.
However the tone is what in the end, won me over. There is just a certain type of charm to this script, because it’s not trying too hard to be likable, it just is. There is a real sense of comedy within this film that works, and brings a lot of smiles to the faces of those watching, but the whole film is just so well-handled that it’s hard not to like this film.
Not only is there a great deal of comedy, but the film also touches on such themes very well like the corporate culture, marriage, people losing their jobs, and a relationship between a father and daughter. They all are touched on so well, and although the film isn’t trying to have you crying in your seats, you can’t help but to have that warm feeling inside.
Dennis Quaid is great in this lead role as Dan, who does what he always does best, and plays the strong man that doesn’t take no for an answer. But he starts to realize that his career may be fading away, and accepts this fact, and we support him as the film goes on. Topher Grace is good at playing Carter, and really does hold his weight in this film much to my surprise. The scenes with him and Quaid work well, cause you can feel a genuine chemistry somewhere underneath all those weird, and awkward looks. Also, let’s not forget to mention Scarlett Johansson who does a good job supporting job as Alex, Dan’s daughter. She’s get a lot of ish talked on her for not being a good actress, but I think she’s very good here and doesn’t try to do anything crazy at all.
Consensus: It’s change of story may bother some, but the overall charming and likable tone, will appeal to others, as well as its great performances from the cast.
Interesting look, at a guy I had no idea about.
Rob Brown stars as trailblazer Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Dubbed the “Elmira Express” because of his tireless drive, Davis also lived up to the title off the field fighting for racial equality. Director Gary Fleder’s inspiring biopic co-stars Dennis Quaid as Ben Schwartzwalder, the crusty Syracuse University coach who teaches Davis the game and in return learns much from his bold civil rights achievements.
The key to a good football movie is to be more than just a movie about football greats. Sure, the game sequences need to be authentic, but to fully capture an audience, a football movie needs to be about life, not just the big game.
Usually, when it comes to sports movies, or sports biopics, I always know a thing or two going in, about the subject. But with this one, I didn’t know who Ernie Davis was, and at the end of watching this, I think I really did get to know him, which is how all biopics should be. Davis was more than just a black football player, he was an out-spoken hero in the Civil Rights movement and we see how he fights through all the racism everywhere he goes, just to finally win the game.
However, the film does get a bit too preachy with its message about racism, mostly because the same message has been used in many other race meets sports films like Remember the Titans, Ali, and countless others. And a lot more of this film is very predictable, and basically stuff you have seen before.
Rob Brown here is good as Ernie Davis, and plays him with barely any knowledge of who this real character is, and plays it strongly. The best in the cast here is Dennis Quaid, who plays the tough-but-fair coach. He’s a dick for the whole first hour or so, and then you can see him transform as a character, as Davis starts to transform into a better human, and it all seems believable.
I think the main thing the film was going for is being influential, and it really is. It gives the viewers the look at a life, probably no one has ever heard of, and makes us feel like we can do something like he did.
Consensus: The Express is predictable, however, it features two powerful leads, and an inspiring story, about the life of a forgotten American life, that is also the most important one too.
I wish some of these people were actually smart.
An unexpected romance with a charming former student (Sarah Jessica Parker) and a surprise visit from his wild adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church) conspire to turn the life of widowed professor Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) upside down in this witty dramedy from director Noam Murro. But after nursing his bitterness for so many years, is the self-absorbed academic ready for change? Ellen Page and Ashton Holmes co-star.
Surprisingly, the film actually brings out a couple of well-earned laughs. With its sardonic tone about academics, this film may come as to be, well no pun intended, too smart for some people with its humor.
It is dark and at the same time witty. The wit barely ever loses its flavor throughout the whole run time. A movie that expresses the point that smart people too, can be quite stupid, and that a high IQ isn’t the only thing that makes you smart, there are things that can’t be learned through books.
However, how the film starts out as a witty dark comedy, starts to turn into what we call predictable hell. The last act is very very conventional among these romantic comedy terms. During the end, I kind of had a feeling where this film was going, and I must say I wasn’t too pleased cause at times when I found the film to be spot-on about dysfunctional families, it was off the mark with its romance.
Dennis Quaid really gives a very smart, and admirable performance here as the guy who wants to change his life, but strictly can’t. Haden Church basically owns pretty much every scene he’s in, and brings out this hip slacker dude that all comedies find funny. I just had a problem with Sarah Jessica Parker and found her very miscast here, cause she doesn’t show much emotion during the scenes that allow her to show it off, and when she does it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.
Consensus: Smart People is a witty, and at times dark comedy about education and family, but falls by the third act, and may achieve some problems with its romantic comedy sub-plot.
Now if Dennis Quaid was my savior, I think that would be pretty boss.
After his wife and child are killed in a terrorist bombing, Joshua Rose (Dennis Quaid) joins the French Foreign Legion. Six years later, fighting as a mercenary in the Yugoslav civil war, he saves a pregnant Serbian (Natasa Ninkovic) from a killer Serb (Sergej Trifunovic) and reconnects with his humanity.
So, basically I took one look at this film and said,”I don’t know I think I should give it a shot”. It was the one and only time that I actually listened to Netflix’s “More Like This”, and I should start doing that more often.
With the end of the cold war, most wars are regional civil wars like the one in Bosnia. The war seems insane when we watch news footage on TV. This movie does a great job of trying to explain the reason for the war. Most people of the region are decent and peaceful, but enough thugs on both sides turn their lives into horror.
The film is very violent and at times a little bit too hard to watch. People get killed in the most gruesome ways left and right, and when you see the dead bodies its even more disturbing as to how real they look. It shows the real nature of how war can be so vicious and cruel that almost everyone will die, in one horrible way or another.
The film does move very slow in a lot of parts. It almost takes forever to get from one part of the story to another, but when it actually does your glad it took so long.
I felt like the message the film was trying to bring out kind of gets taken aback by the story itself. I mean there is so much killing, violence, and revenge that I was more rooting for Quiad rather even worrying about the other people around him.
Dennis Quaid is one of the real reasons why this film works. His stripped-down, and emotionally raw performance will keep you rooting for him every time throughout the whole film. Natasa Ninkovic is also good as the young girl who really doesn’t have much acting skills but with the character she is given, she does a great job.
Consensus: Though its message may be fired away at points, Savior features a great performance by Quaid, and a visceral but true look on the war and its effects.
Does it actually take 8 different point of views to see who assassinated the president?
Moments after he arrives in Spain for a landmark anti terrorism summit, U.S. President Ashton is shot. The 15 minutes leading up to the shooting are rehashed — Rashomon-style — from the perspective of various onlookers: two Secret Service agents (Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox), a TV reporter (Sigourney Weaver) and a tourist (Forest Whitaker).
I’m not going to lie but the premise is actually quite intriguing. I was looking forward to actually seeing this movie, but it collapsed into car crashes, shoot-outs, and utterly implausible plot developments.
The one thing I liked about the film was its style. It revealed something new at just about every vantage point, and sometimes things we didn’t understand the first time, we understand somehow later on.
Then, after awhile the flashbacks really start to be annoying. I felt like I was watching Groundhog Day by the 5th flashback, cause to be truly honest, this film has way too much plot and not enough action to let us have fun with. Instead we always have to think about whats going on at that exact moment.
The one big twist to the whole film is that the president that gets shot isn’t really the real president. Yes, it’s one of those dumb look alike twists. I found this completely stupid and just put in to give William Hurt some lines to work with. Also, the cliches come out almost every step of the way. You have lines like “but you gave me your word”, and I’m thinking how could they give you their word, their terrorists!!!
The cast is well-picked but not the best acted. William Hurt does an OK job as the president, Forrest Whittaker probably gives the best performance as a lovable camera man. Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox probably play some of the dumbest security guards ever who ditch out lines so bad that I won’t even try to restate them.
Consensus: Though with an intriguing premise, Vantage Point turns into a loud, dumb, and stiffly acted gimmick of a film.
Wow, Jerry Lee Lewis is a creep.
This rockin’ biopic depicts the meteoric rise of rock and roll’s most daring living legend, Jerry Lee Lewis (Dennis Quaid). Concentrating on the years from 1956 to 1959, the film features the songs and escapades that catapulted Lewis to the top of the charts, as well as his controversial third marriage to his 13-year-old cousin, Myra (Winona Ryder), which almost destroyed his career.
Much like all rock biopics, the artists eventual rise-and-fall is documented in such a soap opera way. Look at La Bamba or The Doors, you will see these stories eventually all end up the same.
The film is one of the more exciting rock biopics. It shows the fun side of rock-and-roll rather than it’s disadvantages. Much of the energy comes from it’s great upbeat soundtrack as all the songs were re-recorded by Jerry Lee himself, and add a great deal of excitement to this film. The editing that goes a long with the music, that influences many other films today, it shows the story developing as the music continues so it doesn’t become boring.
The only problem with the film was that I didn’t quite get inside of the person of Jerry Lee Lewis, instead I got the artist who the public could always see, not the man behind the scenes. Jerry Lee’s life had a lot more problems than just a little short period of time. His life was battled with a lot more violence, sex, drugs, and drinking than this film showed me, and I didn’t quite get to know Jerry Lee as well as I thought I could.
I think the story really does run out of steam by the end. When the film goes to his marriage between him and his cousin, the film has no where to go and comes up with a really dumb ending, which was trying to stay upbeat with the whole film itself but didn’t seem like it meant anything to the whole film.
Dennis Quaid really does shine here as Jerry Lee. He is cocky, but also very energetic and brings a lot to the table, and gives the look at Jerry Lee, and becomes a lot more convincing than I thought he was, but it surely is an understated performance.
Consensus: Jerry Lee Lewis’ life had a lot more than this film gave us, but it is highly energetic and features a great understated performance from Dennis Quiad.
Never would I thought I would see my action figures come to life.
From the Egyptian desert to deep below the polar ice caps, the elite G.I. JOE team uses the latest in next-generation spy and military equipment to fight the corrupt arms dealer Destro and the growing threat of the mysterious Cobra organization to prevent them from plunging the world into chaos.
I remember when I was about 5 years old and playing with my GI Joe’s and every time I just remember making the most outlandish things happen to these guys but never could I think what I thought would happen in this movie.
Think of the craziest things that could ever happen in a film, and you have GI Joe: Rise of The Cobra. Mayhem is everywhere in this movie: in the streets, the North Pole, even in the kitchen, yeah it goes everywhere. The film is exciting and filled with so much action and fun that it really did keep my eye on the screen for long. It’s brainless but very harmful fun and being a huge fan of the toys, and a little bit of the cartoon show I was pleased.
Much of the action was stylized with some great special effects. Some may call them lackluster or inconsistent, but I call them very well-done. Much of the effects look great and actually look close to real life, there is an image of the Eiffel Tower and it does actually look like its falling, and there are really some amazing shots of chases in the sea and through the street that just look amazing.
The film does however have some big downfalls. The film borrowed a lot of scenes and inventions from other big-budget science fiction films such as Iron Man and Transformers. There are a couple of scenes of suits that just look exactly like the Iron Man suit and were never brought up in the action figures at all.
The screenplay is pretty horrendous as well. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and includes some clever one-liners, but when there delivered from Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller, and not the comedian Marlon Wayans, you have a problem. The lines were so corny and obvious that I couldn’t help but think I was watching Superman or The Dark Knight, I will give credit to Marlon Wayans who does make this film a lot funnier with his deliverance and shows he can deliver in any film.
I felt like the ensemble cast was very well-picked but juts didn’t deliver like I thought it could. Channing Tatum does a really bad job and just looks and feels like a plastic toys the whole time and his love interest Sienna Miller were not very believable as a couple and she wasn’t very deadly either. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and I was excited to see him in this film but I think just how they used him was bull and could’ve been used better anyway. Marlon Wayans and Christopher Ecceleston do well and make their scenes count even with the little amount of time they have.
Consensus: The action and mayhem is in your face and keeps your eyes glued to the screen but the cheesy liners delivered by some horrendous acting just makes this film another big-budget summer movie.