Monthly Archives: May 2013
The Guilt Trip (2012)
The Guilt Trip follows a man (Seth Rogen) who has invented a new product and sets out on a road trip across the country trying to sell it to different companies. Before leaving, he invites his mother (Barbra Streisand) along for the ride.
I wish I could tell you that this movie was so funny that I was rolling on the floor laughing hysterically. I wish I could tell you that the chemistry between Rogen and Streisand was wonderful and that this is a wonderful comedy to watch with your mother. I just wish that I could tell you that this movie made me laugh. I cannot tell you any of those things because they wouldn’t be at all close to the truth.
I did not laugh once during the entire viewing of The Guilt Trip. The movie just was not funny. It tried so hard to be a comedy. It’s even listed as a comedy. It’s on the cusp of being funny. I almost laughed a couple of times. I scoffed a number of times, but this so called comedy wasn’t even good for a giggle. How pathetic is that? It’s a comedy that doesn’t make you laugh, at all.
The movie was a complete waste of time. It was painfully boring to watch at times and the film just seemed to drag on.
I waited to watch The Guilt Trip on DVD because I was unsure about it. It looked like it might be good for a few laughs. It looked like it could have similarities to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987), only with a mother and son instead of two strangers. I was completely wrong on both accounts.
If you have ever wondered what an uninteresting road trip with your mother would be like, then just watch The Guilt Trip. It will bore your head off.
I rate this movie a 1 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? RUN away and don’t be guilted into this unpleasant trip!
Happy Birthday to Clint Eastwood! The legendary actor/director/producer turns 83 years old today.
Not only is Eastwood one of the greatest actors of all time, but he is also one of the best directors out there. Not including television shows or documentaries, Clint has acted in 60 films, produced 30 films, and directed 32 films. He has also been involved in composing music for 7 films. Eastwood has shown us that he can pretty much do it all when it comes to moviemaking.
I have seen the majority of Eastwood’s films. He has made so many great movies that my list of favorites goes on and on.
My favorite film that Clint Eastwood produced and directed but did not star in is Mystic River (2003).
Besides “The Man with No Name” Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)), my favorite Eastwood western is High Plains Drifter (1973).
I’m not going to list them all, because as I said, the list goes on and on. Some of my other favorite Eastwood movies are In the Line of Fire (1993), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Gran Torino (2008), and Blood Work (2002).
Just writing about these Clint Eastwood movies makes me want to have an Eastwood movie marathon. I might just have to do that one of these days. That would be a marathon of awesomeness.
Thank you for a lifetime of phenomenal films Clint!
Go ahead, make my birthday!
The Iceman (2012)
The Iceman is the chilling true story of one of the most famous contract killers named Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon). He was known as “The Iceman.” Kuklinski was believed to have killed at least over 100 people. He had ties to the mob and he had his family convinced that he was a businessman.
The movie is directed by Ariel Vromen.
This is another limited release movie with a huge cast that also includes Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Robert Davi, David Schwimmer, John Ventimiglia, Danny A. Abeckaser, James Franco, and Stephen Dorff.
Why does a movie like this have such limited release? The only answer that I can think of is that a film about a real-life serial killer is not a topic that would be popular to the general public. We all know that is not true with all of the hardcore violence in movies and television these days. So, the question still remains and I don’t have a real answer for it.
I knew absolutely nothing at all about “The Iceman” before watching The Iceman with the exception that he was a real hit-man at one point in time, and I had seen the trailer for the movie. What I learned about the guy from the movie was creepy and insane. It kind of makes me want to read the book that the movie was based off of written by Anthony Bruno called “The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer.”
Michael Shannon has been a wonderful character actor ever since his first film appearance in Groundhog Day (1993). In more recent years he has successfully made the transition to making movies as an awesome main character. This trend started when he made Take Shelter (2011). In The Iceman Shannon is electrifying. His performance is nothing short of deserving Oscar gold. He was extremely convincing as a stone-cold murdering lunatic with a love for his family.
Chris Evans was unrecognizable at first, but very entertaining.
Winona Ryder made a big comeback in Black Swan (2010). In The Iceman, I think that she successfully clinched her comeback into the spotlight. She brought talent to the movie not seen out of her since the 90s. Dare I say another person from this film deserves an Oscar? She should at least be nominated.
I would say that 2012 is the year that Ray Liotta died as an actor and then was resurrected. He looked and acted like death in the unwatchable Killing Them Softly (2012). He was resurrected in The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) and he became his old bad-tempered self again in The Iceman.
The rest of the cast was there to put all of the pieces of this true serial killer story together.
As expected, the movie was brutally violent and loaded with f-bombs. What I did not expect was the strong presence that each of the main characters had on screen. They each did an outstanding job in becoming the real people that they were playing and telling their terrible story on film. Their performances made the movie powerful and worth watching.
I think that it is worth tracking down a theatre that is actually playing this movie and checking it out for yourself, that is, if you are a fan of true crime films.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
There has been some Oscar buzz around the grapevine involving Matthew McConaughey‘s performance in Mud. I think that he did a superb job in his role, but I don’t think that the role itself is Oscar worthy. They might just nominate him to give him a little bit of well-deserved recognition, but he won’t win.
McConaughey has always been a very likable actor. He carries himself well and always brings a lot of energy to his characters. He is usually in excellent shape and the ladies love him. I think that is why he has made so many “chick flicks.” Because of his many romantic movies, I think that a lot of people, including the Academy don’t take him seriously as an actor. I believe that is why he gets overlooked when it comes time to give out awards. It’s a shame because the guy certainly is capable of an Oscar worthy performance, just look at The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), Two for the Money (2005), and Frailty (2001), to name a few.
In Mud, Matthew McConaughey plays a man named Mud. He is an outlaw living like a bum on an island in Arkansas. Two teenage boys (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) get more than they bargained for when they meet Mud after they find a boat high up in the trees on the same island.
The film was written and directed by Jeff Nichols.
Mud was not exactly what I expected. I guess I didn’t know quite what to expect. The film was unique. The story was original which these days is a little rare. It was a nice change of pace to see a one-of-a-kind movie instead of a sequel or a remake of another movie.
Being basically unknown actors, I thought that Sheridan and Lofland both did an exceptional job of carrying their part of the movie.
Shepard and Shannon were both fun additions to the film.
I’m not a huge fan of Witherspoon, but I felt that she did an okay job in the film. However, I think that her character needed more screen time. That isn’t her fault. The movie could have been improved upon if her part of the story was better told. It just felt like her part was lacking something. I left the theatre thinking that the movie was really good, but something was missing. Her character could have provided that something.
The film did a fine job of developing most of its characters and building suspense. It was intriguing. It kept you wanting to know what was going to happen next and was not very predictable.
Unfortunately the movie is in limited release. It is a little bit surprising to me that the film is not in wide release. It is the first movie that I have seen in a long time that I could not sit in the part of the theatre that I wanted. I had my choice between the second or first rows. That is how packed the theatre was.
Mud is worth checking out if you are sick of the same old sequels or remakes that Hollywood keeps regurgitating for your enjoyment week after week. It’s a nice change of pace to be able to watch a movie that allows the actors to act and counts on their ability and the storyline alone to be entertaining and successful.
I rate this movie a 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Note: After watching this movie a second time, I had to raise my initial rating from a 7.5 to an 8. The film is better than I originally gave it credit for.
Pain & Gain (2013)
Michael Bay took a true story about bodybuilding thieves and kidnappers, and chewed it up and spit it out bigger and better than before. The producer and director has a tendency to go big or go home. Pain & Gain went huge with a super sized Mark Wahlberg, a bulkier Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”, and an extra beefed up Anthony Mackie.
I should not have enjoyed this movie, but I did. It is supposedly a true story, but you have to believe that with Michael Bay involved, the film could very well be far from the truth. Everything about the movie was way over-the-top.
The movie was raunchy, vulgar, and went totally off the deep end. It’s filled with drugs, cussing, nudity, and brutality. I was caught off guard at how funny the movie was though. I expected an action/adventure and I got an action/comedy. The story is pretty twisted and it needed a lot of comedy to help you get through it, so kudos to the filmmakers for recognizing this fact. The real story was probably not that funny. The real story was probably not that entertaining either.
If you are not a fan of dark comedy, then you might not like this movie. It is mostly filled with dark comedy and stupid comedy. After all, all brawn and no brains is the underlined theme of this film. The movie could also be considered very offensive. If you are easily offended, you might not like the film.
The characters were far out, but very well-acted. The casting was perfect. I don’t think that you could find a funnier bunch of giants anywhere. With that being said, if this movie had a different cast, it probably would have just been awful. I am certain that the actual people that the characters are based on are not nearly as likable as the actors who play them in the movie.
With how big Mark Wahlberg is now, if he could go back in time and fight his character in The Fighter (2010), he would beat the crap out of that guy. He gained 40lbs. to make Pain & Gain and he looks gigantic. Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” somehow became more enormous for his role. It just goes to show the dedication that these guys had to make the movie.
I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
If you liked Pain & Gain, then you will most likely enjoy:
I Surpassed 10,000 Views
I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of my readers, all of my followers, and everyone who comments on my website. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to read what I have written. Thank you for clicking on the little “Follow” button, the “Like” button, and the “rating” button. I always love reading what people have to say about what I write, and I have always done my best to respond to each and every comment in a timely manner. I enjoy any and all feedback. I hope that you will keep coming back for more. Thank you for all of your support!
When I first started writing for this website, I would just post things here and there. I didn’t really start getting into it until after about 3 months. I would procrastinate and get too lazy to write anything. A few times I went weeks without writing a thing. Then I noticed that people started reading what I had written, and this made me want to write more.
You have all been my motivation. You have all kept me constantly thinking about what to write and wishing I could somehow figure out a way to dedicate all of my time to writing. I would write about movies all day if given the chance. But, of course, that is not possible because I still have to pay the bills. If I could somehow make it work though, that would truly be living the dream.
I always feel like I have so much more to write about. This month I have tried to post at least one thing each day. So far, I have only missed 4 days. For me, that is pretty good. It’s a start. I don’t always have much time to post a whole review, so I might just post an upcoming preview and write about it. It has now just become me writing about anything having to do with my obsession with movies. Movies are what I do.
I have so many more reviews waiting to be written. I have not been able to keep up writing a review on each movie that I watch. However, I have been able to keep up on writing reviews on the new movies that I see in theatres.
I spend a lot of time critiquing what I write because I want it to be at least somewhat entertaining. I don’t want to just say that I watched a movie, it was good, go watch it, and here’s my rating. I try to give you something worth reading, but I don’t want you to get halfway through reading one of my reviews and think that I am too longwinded. I try to be quick and to the point. There is nothing worse than someone who goes on and on to the point of boring their readers. I hope that my writing is at least somewhat readable.
Yesterday I had the highest amount of views on my website in one day (424) and I surpassed 10,000 total views on the same day. (I am currently at 10,110 total views.) I am proud of this progress and I thank you for it.
I started this website on November 29th 2012, so it has been just a few days shy of 6 months. I don’t know what the future will bring, but hopefully I will be there writing about movies. Most of all, I hope that you will be there to read what I have written.
Now I will leave you with pictures from movies that I was thinking about while writing this. Can you name each of the movies pictured? Have you seen them all?
Don Jon (2013) (Click on the title for my full review.)
Don Jon is written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He also stars in the film. The rest of the main cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headley, Rob Brown, and Brie Larson.
I think that this movie reiterates once again that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not afraid of taking risks.
It’s a dysfunctional drama that hits on a touchy topic, porn. A man (Gordon-Levitt) seems to have all of his priorities straight, but he also seems to be addicted to pornography. From the preview it appears like the porn addiction has caused him to treat women differently. After he meets what just might be the right woman(Johansson), she helps him to see the error of his ways.
This isn’t a movie that I am going to rush out to the theatre and see, but I’m curious to see what direction Gordon-Levitt takes the film. It will be his first time directing a full-length movie. He is an excellent actor and I’ve liked him since Angels in the Outfield (1994). It will be interesting to see if his writing and directing is as good as his acting.
Could this be an Oscar contender because of the cast and risky topic? The Academy loves movies that bring up controversy and that are edgy.
Could this be the beginning of a long directing career for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or do you think that he will just stick to acting and maybe this is something that he just wanted to try?
I’m sure that you already have an opinion about this movie after only watching the preview. I think that’s kind of the whole point. I think that there will be more to the movie than shock value though.
Instead of discussing your views on the topic of the movie, I’m just curious to know, will you be seeing the movie or not?
Note: An interesting link that I thought of right away was that Danza and Gordon-Levitt were both in Angels in the Outfield together. That was already almost 20 years ago. Danza’s career has since tanked. Could Gordon-Levitt be helping him make a comeback?
The film is set to release on 9/27/13.
Happy Birthday to John C. Reilly! The goofball actor turns 48 years old today.
Days of Thunder was the first PG-13 movie that I remember seeing. I was 4 years old and I remember my Mom and Dad bringing my siblings and I to the theatre to see that movie. It is the first movie that I remember hearing cussing in. It’s very strange to me because I remember watching that movie in the theatre like it was yesterday. That was already 23 years ago. I remember my parents trying to cover my ears after hearing “son of a…”
John C. Reilly started his career with more serious roles, but in more recent years he has become known for his crazy humor in such films as Anger Management (2003), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), and The Dictator (2012). Later this year, he will be joining Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend Continues (2013).