Be Kind, Rewind

Over the years, I have found that Jack Black is a hit-or-miss actor.  When he hits (School of Rock, High Fidelity), it is great; when he misses (Saving Silverman, King Kong), it is not pretty.  So when I see him attached to a movie, particularly a comedy, I am cautiously optimistic.

Which leads us to this movie.

My friend, Spaldy, often talked about this as an idea for a movie, but she never got around to writing it.  I saw the trailer and thought it looked pretty cool.  So one afternoon, I headed up to the theater to check it out.

The premise sold in the trailer is that the videos in a rental store are messed up and they have to remake them.  What the movie is really about is more convoluted and ultimately depressing.  In reality, it is trying to be social commentary when we do not want it.  Even the lawsuit is stupid, since what happened in the movie would be considered parody.  I left the theater just feeling “Blah.”

My advice: catch it on TV; it has some funny moments, but is not worth the big screen treatment.

Witless Protection

I have a high tolerance for stupidity on film; that tolerance was destroyed with this movie.  I am not going to spend much time on this review.  I went on opening weekend and was alone in the theater.  At the end of the movie, I realized that I did not laugh or even smile at one thing in the entire movie.  Larry the Cable Guy should send each person in America $10 to make up for the money spent on a ticket or the mere fact that we had to see a preview or an interview about this movie.

My advice: RUN, don’t walk, away from any theater that is showing this steaming pile of celluloid and do not patronize them again until it is out of the theater.  I want the 2 hours of my life and my money back — hands down, the worst movie I have seen in 10 years.

Top 6 Sports Movies

March is filled with sports: March Madness, NBA regular season winding down, Spring Training, and prepping for the NFL draft.  So this month’s Top 6 list will consist of my favorite top 6 sports movies.  I did put some limits: no sport could be repeated.  Rather than counting down, I will list the sports field and my choice.  A couple of fields do have some honorable mentions.

So without further ado, let the debates begin:

Baseball — Field of Dreams (1989)

Truly a movie that transcends sports — Field of Dreams is really about the realationship of a father and son and the stupid things we do to ruin that relationship.  Made before Kevin Costner got a big head, this is probably one of his best roles in film.  Honorable mentions in this sport include Bull Durham and The Rookie.

Basketball — Hoosiers (1986)

This one is an obvious choice.  Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, and a team that does not know the meaning of quit.  It is a good example of an “Oscar-bait” type of movie.

Boxing — Rocky (1976)

Another no-brainer — the Best Picture Oscar is proof enough.  No kid from my generation was without the dream of being in the title fight like Rocky.  We all enjoyed Rockys II-IV; the less said about V, the better.

Football — Any Given Sunday (1999)

One of Oliver Stone’s movies that I actually liked.  Sure it is long, particularly on DVD, but it is a great story.  You get to see all sides of the business, good and bad.  Warning: it is graphic at times with the violence and results.  Honorable mentions include The Replacements and Necessary Roughness.

Golf — Caddyshack (1980)

Not only one of the best comedies of all time, but the golf movie that all others are compared to.  If you have not seen this, then you are missing out on some of the best-0filmed performances of Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray.  Honorable mention, but still not even close, is Tin Cup.

Hockey — Miracle (2004)

This was one I was not sure I was going to even watch and I am glad I did.  Sure it has the Disney spin on it, but it is good retelling of the “Miracle on Ice.”  Honorable Mention is the classic Slap Shot.

Definitely, Maybe

I do not think that there has been any other studio/production company to have as much success in the past 15 years in the romantic comedy movie genre as Studio Canal.  Even when they miss (Wimbeldon), it is not a complete strikeout.  So you can imagine how I felt when I heard they had a new movie coming out.

Of course the studios held this one until Valentine’s Day, but I was not going by myself to see this on Valentine’s Day or the weekend associated with it.  So I waited a week.  I had wanted to see it at Altamonte AMC, but the time was wrong.  So I ended up at the Seminole Towne Center Regal.  I got into my seat as the previews were playing.  I wish I remembered the movies, but I forgot to take notes.  I did see the new Indiana Jones trailer, which was fun.  There were also a couple of other movies that looked decent.

Studio Canal always finds an interesting way to tell the same old story in a new way.  With this movie, we are given Ryan Reynolds as a father having to tell the story of how he met his daughter’s mother…and no, it does not involve Barney or any of the Awesome Gang.  Instead, we hear about the three loves of his life and the stories intertwine while set against the backdrop of the 90’s.  Since Reynolds’s character had big political aspirations, we see the Clinton presidency as part of that backdrop.

I like the casting of Reynolds in this movie.  Even in Van Wilder and Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place, Reynolds has always managed to have some human depth to his characters, so that no matter how much he annoyed you, you still ended up rooting for him.  Abigail Breslin managed to follow-up her role from Little Miss Sunshine as Reynolds’ not-so-annoying daughter.  The casting of the three love interests did a lot to underscore the differences in personalities.

My advice: Go see this one with your favorite someone — it makes a great date movie.  Once again, Studio Canal hits it out of the park…