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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice review (Quick Reviews Spoiler Discussion #1)

Here’s this week’s episode of Quick Reviews, the first episode of Spoiler Discussion. Rather than a straight review, this episode features a spoiler-rific rant on specific points of the plot to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  You’ve been warned!
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Great Movie Moments – Dogma: But you didn’t say “God bless you” when I sneezed!

 

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“This scene is so great. I cannot even mention how great it is aloud.”

Sometimes, a movie has a scene in it that transcends the movie itself.  Dogma has several of those scenes, but here’s my favorite. “But you didn’t say ‘God bless you’ when I sneezed!” is one of these Great Movie MomentsRead the rest of this entry

Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons Cast as Alfred in upcoming Batman-Superman Movie

I’m sure everyone has heard by now that Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor and  Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in upcoming Batman-Superman movie (that is rumored to be delayed because either Ben Affleck hurt his leg or they need more time to finish special effects).  I’m sure by now everyone is over their Batfleck trauma (note:  I was never effected by this as I’m an Affleck fan, if not always a fan of the movies he appears in) and Jeremy Irons sounds like a fine choice to play Alfred, but for some reason, I am anticipating the most controversy over Eisenberg’s casting.  I think he’ll do a fine job and probably provide levity as well as menace.  Still, I didn’t see this coming – although I probably should have…

Argo (quick movie review)

argoI’m trying to squeeze in all of the best picture nominees before the Oscars – I’ve already seen Lincoln, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook and yesterday, we saw Argo, the latest joint from Ben Affleck, who is not nominated for Best Director or Best Beard, and he really should be nominated for both. Read the rest of this entry

Reindeer Games – on blu ray?

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The only thing that would be crazier than paying ten bucks for Reindeer Games would be a bunch of people thinking there was a need for this flick on blu ray and then actually going ahead with it…  What?  That happened?  That’s insane!

(Reindeer Games is at 25% on Rotten Tomatoes)

Bradley Whitford: From Bad Guy To Smart Guy

bradley whitfordYou know who I really like that doesn’t get enough play?  Bradley Whitford.  You know who I mean?  He was Josh Lyman on The West Wing, but that’s not where I first saw him.  Way back when 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting came to TV, Whitford was playing Mike Todwell, the bad guy – and this is where he got type cast for some time.  Think about any old movies you’ve seen Whitford in; remember Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise?  Also came out in 1987, also features Whitford as a bad guy.  And you know what?  He’s awesome at it.  It’s not like Ben Affleck’s early career as a baddie (Dazed and Confused, Mallrats) – Aflleck is huge and looks like he can kick your ass in those movies, where as Whitford is playing the asshole and doing a great job at it.  Then, in 1995’s Billy Madison, who’s playing the bad guy?  Yep, it’s Bradley Whitford again, doing that awesome weasel laugh!  Just awesome, I love this guy!

Jump over to 1999 and boom – it’s West Wing time and now Whitford is playing the role he’s probably best known for:  Josh Lyman, an adviser to the President!  He’s a good guy and he’s awesome, delivering his lines (it helps that they’re good lines, probably written by Aaron Sorkin) with impeccable timing.  Maybe it’s not fair to say, “just like that,” but just like that, I had forgotten who Whitford was every time I saw him and accepted him against type.  It’s that easy, because he’s that good.

Bradley Whitford is awesome.  He’s a character actor, the ultimate supporting guy, and he deserves more play.  Too bad Sorkin couldn’t find a spot for him in The Social Network – he deserves the exposure.  Hey, if anyone is looking for somebody to play a character in their flick and want an actor who can do smart, funny, whitty and asshole all at the same time, give Bradley Whitford a call – he’s the man!

The Company Men movie review

First, watch the trailer for The Company Men:

Looks good, right? In fact, this is one of the most promising trailers I have seen in a while – although keep in mind I just saw the Transformers 3 trailer… just awful. (I hope NASA is as pissed off as I am.) But yes, it looks like there are all the elements of a good story here along with a promising cast, including Ben Affleck as the guy who lost his job, Tommy Lee Jones and as Chris Cooper his former coworkers, Craig T. Nelson as their boss, and Kevin Costner as Affleck’s brother in law, who is sporting a Boston accent – guess he heard I was ripping on him for not doing a British accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

spoiler alert

 

 

The problem with this movie is… well, it’s just not very good. If somebody pitched the idea of doing a movie about downsizing on a corporate level, it sounds like the stuff Oscars are made of, right? The problem here is I don’t believe this movie for a second. The characters are one dimensional and largely unsympathetic. I’m sorry, I love Tommy Lee Jones as much as anybody, but it’s pretty hard to believe that Maria Bello would have an affair with him – and what’s with the totally random shot of her rack? I love rack as much as anybody, but there was no need to include a shot of her rack while she was getting dressed. It felt like they were there shooting the movie and a producer called the director’s cell and said, “Hey, do me a favor: get some tits into this movie any way you can. Nothing says authentic drama like tits.” Its that kind of movie; you find yourself wondering, what the hell is happening here? Isn’t a million dollar home excessive for an executive that makes under $150k a year? I don’t understand the way Affleck’s character was written – it’s like they were thinking about doing the five stages of grief with him after he lost his job, but in the end, they decided, “Fuck it, lets just do denial, a little anger, and a dash of acceptance.” Why is Cooper’s character the flattest, least interesting character ever? His suicide isn’t a surprise; you’re waiting for it. In the first five minutes of the movie, his character promises to “take an AK47 to the place” if they fire him… The guy is literally throwing rocks at the office building after he gets fired… it’s the most inauthentic thing you’ll ever see on film. When Affleck gets a job working with Costner as a carpenter, you expect it to go somewhere, for Affleck to learn something besides his brother in law isn’t so bad after all. Or, maybe he’ll get good at carpentry. Or maybe that his Porsche and his country club membership weren’t so important after all. But no, that doesn’t happen. Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Jones leaves his wife after he gets fired… presumably because she bought a really expensive end table (like over $10k) in a previous scene… or because he’s having an affair… I don’t know. There just isn’t enough content in the movie to explain it. Then he decides to start his own company and he hires Affleck and they are pretty much back where they started before they got fired and the movie ends. There is no rivalry with the old company – I was thinking it might have been interesting to do a “you were doing business the wrong way, we’re doing it the right way and we’ll be more successful than you,” sort of angle, but it can’t because the movie is over. (And not a moment too soon, it’s a long 104 minutes.) The movie just always leaves you feeling… I don’t know, flat. You never feel what the movie intends for you to feel – when Cooper’s character dies, you don’t fee bad – he was a miserable man, you’re sort of glad he’s dead so you don’t have to listen to him complain anymore.

OK, I’m going to leave it there. The movie isn’t unwatchable, but on a whole, it just doesn’t work. The characters are crappy and the plot is kind of pointless. It’s an ensemble drama that wants to do character portraits, but it doesn’t devote hardly enough time to any of the characters, not even Affleck, who is the star of the damn movie. Nobody really learns anything, nobody changes… There are some good performances in here (sorry, Chris Cooper – I know they wrote you into a corner, but your sad-sack whining just wasn’t working here), but it’s not enough to save the movie. I am neither recommending nor endorsing this movie – its crappy, but if there are no other movies to see, it’s watchable. It’s like the Coors Light of movies.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

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