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Game Night (2018)


Game Night (2018)

If you are a fan of games like I am, then this movie probably looks like fun to you.  The concept of diving into the unknown and stirring up your plain everyday life sounds great, doesn’t it?  Of course it does.  That is why I had to check this movie out.  Because, it is about exactly that.  It is about a game night filled with endless possibilities, mystery, and excitement.  Also, the trailer for the film is pretty funny and I wanted to see more.  The next best thing to playing a game is being a spectator.

This movie is a comedy about a group of friends that get together for a regular game night.  Their most recent game night gets a huge upgrade when one of the friends surprises the others with a real life puzzle.  One of them will be kidnapped and it is up to everyone else to find that person by following the clues left behind.

The film is written by Mark Perez and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.  The noteworthy cast includes Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Michael C. Hall, Jeffrey Wright, Danny Huston, and Chelsea Peretti.

There have been a lot of comedies in recent history that have fallen flat.  The humor often is just not there or it is not consistent enough to warrant the genre of a Comedy.  Game Night is not one of those movies.  It is all kinds of funny.  It takes a little while to get going, but then it does not stop.

This film feels like a fun game.  The title is fitting, but for a couple of reasons.  The obvious reason is that it is about a game night, but more importantly the movie itself actually feels like a game night.  It is a great movie to see in the company of others (as comedies often are).  See this movie on movie night and it will feel just like a game night.  All the ingredients are there.  The excitement, the fun, the laughs, and the good time are all a part of it.  Buy some snacks at the concessions and you got yourself some good old-fashioned entertainment.

There is a comfortable assortment of humor in this movie; witty, dark, sarcastic, situational, and stupid.  It is a tasteful variety that is sure to make anyone laugh.

The film had a bit of a The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) feel to it.  The characters think something is fake when it is actually real and hilarity ensues.

I felt like the cast all did a superb job in their roles.  The casting department compiled an enjoyable bunch of characters.

Bateman continues to prove his versatility between comedy and drama.  Not a lot of actors are capable of drama and humor at the same level.  Jason nails it!

McAdams, who is not known for her comedy, manages to pull it off because there is also just the right amount of drama in this film.

Chandler keeps up the trend of being always likable no matter what part he is playing in an acting role.

Michael C. Hall had a great cameo performance.  I think it worked well in this film because of his excellent history as the phenomenal Dexter in the well-known Dexter (2006) TV series.

Plemons continues to prove himself as a solid actor every time that I see him in a movie (which has been a lot lately).  In this one, he hysterically steals the show.

If you are looking for an exciting comedy, Game Night is totally worth it!

I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

The Hangover (2009)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Wedding Crashers (2005)

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Trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)


The Wolf of Wall Street Poster

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street is based on a true story about a stockbroker named Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) who went to jail for 20 months after he refused to cooperate in a securities fraud case.

Jordan Belfort wrote the book that the film is based on and Terence Winter wrote the screenplay.

This film looks like it has Oscar written all over it.  Martin Scorsese directs DiCaprio in yet another film.  Once again the supporting cast is superb and includes Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Ethan Suplee, Kyle Chandler, Spike Jonze, Rob Reiner, and Cristin Milioti.

This movie is almost guaranteed to be great.  I will certainly see it in the theatre.

The film is set to release on 11/15/13.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)


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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

The poster for the movie says, “The Greatest Manhunt in History.”  It should have said, “The Greatest Waste of Time.”  The running time of the movie is 157 minutes.  They literally could have cut the running time in half and told the same story and it actually might have been entertaining.

Zero Dark Thirty Strong

The movie is about the 10 year long “Manhunt,” capture, and killing of Osama Bin Laden after the attacks that occurred on 9/11/2001.

We all know by now that the fact that it took America 10 years to find Bin Laden and kill him is an absolute disgrace.  Of course, it was a great thing when it finally got done, but it sure took us long enough.  Zero Dark Thirty plays on that fact.  The movie is a very long, drawn-out depiction of the steps that we took to finally track down America’s Most Wanted and destroy him.  The film isn’t a decade long, but it certainly tries to feel that way.  It is so boring and slow at times that I wanted to turn it off at a number of different points.

Zero Dark Thirty Dark Chastain

The other thing about this film is that it is hard to tell how factual it really is.  It is based on a true story, but do we really know all of the facts?  Unfortunately I think that people will watch this movie and assume that it is 100% accurate.  How do we know the truth about what happened?  A lot of the information about the “Manhunt” is classified.  How will we ever know the real truth?

The film tried so hard to be this big epic movie.  It failed quite miserably as far as I am concerned.

Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Sound Editing.  To me, that is so comical.  It shows that the Academy has truly lost its mind to even nominate such garbage in the first place.

Zero Dark Thirty Chastain

This movie was almost as far away from Best Picture as you can get.  The acting was mediocre at best, especially Jessica Chastain’s performance.  Not even close to top notch.    The screenplay was very un-original.  They took a story that everyone in the world knows about and turned it into a screenplay.  That is not original in my book.  There were so many unnecessary scenes that could have been cut out of the movie that it was a complete disgrace to filmmaking.  The editor should have been fired, not nominated for an Academy Award.

I’m glad that the movie only won an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.  It was better that it didn’t actually win.  It technically tied with Skyfall (2012) for Best Sound Editing.  Skyfall should have won.  I don’t know what is more embarrassing for Zero Dark Thirty, the fact that it was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and only won 1 of them or the fact that the only one that it actually won was a tie for Best Sound Editing.

Maybe the movie only got so much recognition because Kathryn Bigelow directed it.  Her film The Hurt Locker (2008) was very solid and was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 6 of them.  That film made her the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director.  Were the Academy Award nominations for Zero Dark Thirty just a sort of blue ribbon recognizing Bigelow for her participation in trying again?

Bigelow had no support from her cast which most notably includes Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Strong, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini, Stephen Dillane, Frank Grillo, and Joel Edgerton.  Maybe the cast was not of much help because their characters had way more than enough time to develop, but they never really did.

Zero Dark Thirty Chandler

Kathryn Bigelow was in way over her head when she decided to direct Zero Dark Thirty and it shows.  The film is a steaming pile of cow dung.  The only decent part of the movie is when they showed Seal Team Six raiding Bin Laden’s lair.

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I recommend staying as far away from this movie as possible.  Save yourself a precious almost 3 hours of your life and don’t watch it.

I rate this movie a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

Broken City (2013)


broken city cover

Broken City (2013)

Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe both let their presence be known in Broken City.  Each man carries himself with such tenacity and vigor that when you put them both in the same movie together, you are certainly in for a show.  Put them both in the same scene, and you are in for fireworks.

In this film, Crowe reminds us all just how powerful his acting can be.  He seemed like he was very comfortable with his part and was having a lot of fun with it.  That aspect of it was pretty obvious and made the movie more enjoyable.

broken city cheers

Wahlberg has been choosing his movie roles very carefully lately, and makes yet another wise choice.  He has definitely shown us that he can act with the best of them and delivers another very raw, intense performance.  Obviously he is the lead in this film and he was billed first before Russell Crowe, but I think that he has rightfully earned that position.  He has paid his dues and has reached the superstar status.

The movie is pretty dark.  It is filled with deceit, dirty cops and politicians, murder, and violence.  It’s almost scary how well it was all depicted.  It was all very well written, well directed, and skillfully filmed.  It was all rounded out by a superb supporting cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey Wright, and Kyle Chandler.  The latter three of those four are all very solid character actors and they were all at their best.

barry pepperkyle chandler broken city

I have noticed a trend recently.  Female lead characters have not had much of a chance to develop their characters in movies.  It just seems that more and more, actresses are not given too many lines or very big roles in larger movies as of late.  They may be main characters, but the men usually dominate the film.  Obviously this happens a lot in movies, but usually when the movie has a big budget and a high caliber cast, it also gets a couple of strong female lead characters to go with it.  Broken City continued the trend of weak or underdeveloped female lead characters.  This may have taken a little bit away from the movie, but at the same time could have contributed to how and why the male characters went off the deep end.  Their female counterparts were a little too withdrawn.

wright wahlberg broken city

Broken City was reminiscent of old Humphrey Bogart private detective movies such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), or The Big Sleep (1946).  Of course it is a new age and more intense film than those were, but it just reminded me of them while I was watching it.  Those were classic films that were fun to watch.

Overall, Broken City was a very strong, entertaining film.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you enjoyed Broken City, then you will probably like:

2 Guns (2013)

Pain & Gain (2013)

Ted (2012)

American Hustle (2013)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Lone Survivor (2013)

crown zeta broken city