Life Itself Review

I checked out the Documentary “Life Itself” – The story of one of the biggest fixtures in movies Roger Ebert.

Check out my review and my comments below.

This was Directed by Steve James and he just took us on an amazing venture from the beginning of Ebert’s life to the very last days of his life.

Hearing stories from his wife Chaz Ebert, his battles with Gene Siskel, listening to how Martin Scoresese talk about how Ebert reviewed his films or just watching him as he was so inspirational during his final months and still beating on like nothing was wrong.

This is a must see documentary by not only film junkies like myself but for those who just even heard the name Roger Ebert.

The Purge: Anarchy Review

I had the chance to check out an advance screener of The Purge: Anarchy and have filmed a little video given my thoughts on the film.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction

I saw Transformers: Age of Extinction tonight in IMAX 3D and here is my review of the film.

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Edge of Tomorrow Review

So I took the time to go see Edge of Tomorrow last night. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I saw the trailer; I just was really intrigued in seeing it and thought it had some real potential. Tom Cruise has been solid in his last few films Oblivion, Jack Reacher (fantastic movie) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. After seeing it, I will give you the Good and the Bad of the movie.

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An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a ware with an alien race. His skills increase as he face the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

Spoilers may follow, so be cautious.

The Good –

Tom Cruise – Cruise plays Bill Cage a PR executive with a witty tongue and kind of arrogant guy. He stays in the spotlight but far away from the front line as possible. I enjoyed how the introduction of Cruise’s character transformed throughout the film. Starting as a scared and clueless guy on the front line, which after time he learned progressed and just started kicking some serious ass.

The movie started off with some classic things with Cage (Cruise) as he was slowly trying to figure out what the hell was going on, he of course would “die” and come back to life. One of my favorites was near the beginning he would roll out of PT and goes under a Jeep, well in his first attempt at said venture he rolled under and got run over by the car. I literally couldn’t stop laughing, it was just hilarious.

Another thing I enjoyed is the repetitive (on purpose of course) banter between Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and Cage (Cruise). As each time would go back and have to replay the scene, Cage would increasingly become a little more obnoxious and just pick at Farell (Paxton). It really made for some great humor, which was never over the top like it can be in films these days. It didn’t “try” too hard to shove the comedy down your throat, they just let it play its course and it happened when it did.

Emily Blunt – She plays Special Forces legend Rita Vratski, a just kick ass chick in a robot suit. First I want to throw it out there, I never realized how hot she was until I saw this film. Perfect fit for this role, believable bad ass with some sure-fire good looks. But off that and onto her character, only one thing I didn’t like about her character early on and I’ll hit on that in the Bad section but Blunt was fantastic and the chemistry between her and Cruise was there.

Supporting Cast – Paxton obviously brought some funny scenes to the movie, Brendan Gleeson is still killing on the screen so many years later. The group of people who played the characters that help lead to the final take down were well casted and all provided a good little punch to the film.

Doug Liman – Has an impressive list of movies he has directed, From Swingers to Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I enjoyed all 3 movies. So knowing he has done such a great job, I knew we could be in for a real treat here and he did not disappoint. Very well-directed film from start to finish, taking two characters and with this script having to watch them be repetitive and keep the interest of a movie goer was a hard task and I feel he did a great job of pulling it off. While Cage (Cruise) kept going back and repeating after every death, he made sure to keep it interesting every time he went back, whether it was with some great witty humor or when it came down to Cages character getting pissed off and acting like a man on a mission, it worked for me.

The Cinematography in the film was fantastic, some great visuals throughout the film and another thing that really stood out to me was the films Score. That was absolutely fantastic and to me a very important key to an action flick. I have to feel the Score to really dig into a good action flick and they did a great job of incorporating it in this movie.

The Bad –

While I understood when they introduced Rita Vratski they made her look somewhat like a bad ass and then they killed her. Obviously done for perfect reasoning, but you kind of built her character as the bad ass super robot Legend and her first appearance she was only a little impressive and died. I wish she would’ve kicked a little more ass at the beginning before we had to kill her off would’ve made a little more sense to me.

Not nitpicking the film at all but I would say around the 45-50 minute part of the film it was a little slow, while only for about 10 minutes, it was kind of on cruise control.

The Final Verdict

*** ½ out of 5 stars

Look I really don’t care what anyone says about Tom Cruise; dude is a star and shows it in this film. People knock this guy down so many times and he fires back with good film after good film. He and Blunt made the perfect pair in this film and did a great job in both their roles. Doug Liman brought us a fun action packed film that I think is going to get lost in the summer shuffle and that’s quite disappointing as this film is fantastic.

Edge of Tomorrow is in theaters now

Neighbors Movie Review

So I had the opportunity to see a Screener of Neighbors, which is something I was very pleased to get ahold of as I have wanted to see the film ever since I saw the first trailer. I had high hopes going in and was really hoping that we had our first big time funny comedy to kick off the summer season. So after seeing the movie, I will give you the Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the film.

Again thank you to @Cinemit for the passes.

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A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

The Good

Hilarious – The movie was just funny from start to finish. Some classic one-liners that will be spoken about a ton after you see the movie. From what you see in the trailer is exactly what you get in the movie. Just raunchy R rated comedy. The air bag scenes I watched 50 times in the trailer and laughed and when I saw it in the movie I laughed even harder. The whole entire cast was great.

The pairing of Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne – They play Mac & Kelly Radner a middle age couple with a new-born baby. The instant you saw these two on the screen you knew they had something special going on. You could see the chemistry and instant laughter that will ensue when the movie started. The baby in the picture of course brought another element to the picture that would really bring another funny element to the movie. These two killed it as a pair.

Seth Rogen – Lets just throw it out there that this guy is on another planet of funny during his last two films now. Last year’s This is the End was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. So following that up was going to be a bit hard to be honest and well he brought his A game to this movie as well. He is just laugh out loud funny in this. You couldn’t help but slide down into your chair in laughter after certain scenes (Including a scene where he and Efron are fighting and he bounces on a trampoline to throw an elbow and he hits a ceiling fan). The chemistry he and Rose Byrne showed in this film was killer. They were the perfect pair for this movie.

Rogen is just so good at what he does, the little things just add up.

Speaking of Rose Byrne (Kelly) she was fantastic. She has previously played in a few movies that I have really enjoyed (The Internship, Get Him to the Greek and Place Beyond the Pines) but I wasn’t sure how she and Rogen would do together in this film. But she was in there with the big boys and she knocked it out of the park and held her own. She was just funny. Nothing else that really can be said about it.

Zac Efron – Let me go ahead and put it out there that this is one of the future mega stars in the movie industry. He is good and after watching That Awkward Moment the other day and now this, he is going to be money for years to come.

He played Teddy Sanders the president of the fraternity that moves in next door to Mac & Kelly. They couldn’t have casted a better person for the role. His exchanges with Rogen were some great stuff. There is one scene that really stuck out for me and that’s based around the scene when Rogen called the cops on Teddy and the fraternity. You’ll understand when you see it.

Dave Franco – Franco played Pete opposite of Teddy Sanders (Efron) as the VP of the fraternity. Look this guy is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. He like Efron has a bright future in front of me. Franco wasn’t actually in this as long as I would’ve hoped but when he was in it, he was on. His De Niro impression as Jack Byrnes from Meet the Parents/Fockers was amazing.

Supporting Cast was fantastic as well. Anywhere from Christopher Mintz-Plasse to Lisa Kudrow to Craig Roberts as Assjuice they all brought some good stuff to this movie.

The Bad

One thing about Seth Rogen his go to is “smoking pot” in his comedies. While I don’t hate it at all just the act is going to start wearing thin soon.

Andrew Cohen & Brendan O’Brien – This is definitely not a big complaint as they wrote a really funny film but there were some serious plot questions throughout the film. Again I understand that this is a comedy and sometimes the plot can fly off the handle, which is okay. I just think they could’ve tidy up the film a little better.

The Ugly

Nothing

Overall Thoughts

4 out of 5 stars

This really would’ve been the perfect comedy without the plot holes but that didn’t damage the overall movie for me too much. It had so many funny moments in it that it made up for the holes. It is really nice to see Rogen back to his old ways of being funny, Bryne really was the star of the show and Efron really showed up for this. The supporting cast as well was amazing. Very fun time at the movies and would recommend a theater visit for this.

Neighbors is in theaters Friday

Noah Movie Review/Random Thoughts

So I decided on a Thursday night to take a stroll on out to the movies and check out Noah. While the trailers have shown promise, I thought this could actually be a good little early spring movie. Darren Aronofsky tabbed as director and really enjoyed his last film (Black Swann) and he paired up with Russell Crowe who I’ve enjoyed in various movies over the years. I had a little fun and tried a little something new while reviewing the movie and I hope you enjoy.

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Plot: A man is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world.

6:45 There is more people in here already for the early showing then I thought there would be.

6:48 Someone please tell Andrew Garfield to ditch the beard. He looks really weird.

6:51 They are taking me onto the set of the new action packed thriller “Divergent”. I rather you didn’t.

6:58 This guy in front of me is growling while eating his popcorn. I am quite terrified.

7:01 Fargo original show on FX looks interesting.

7:08 Well how about that 4-year-old Drake Sprite commercial

7:09 Oh look a new Johnny Depp movie no one will go see.

7:16 Hercules trailer looks so awesome!

7:26 We are getting a history lesson to start the movie.

7:30 Looks like Noah is left to fend for himself, daddy just got murdered. Wait is this Batman or Noah?

7:34 Wow Jennifer Connelly is still acting?

7:40 Trying to figure out if Russell Crowe is playing Noah or Russell Crowe.

7:43 A Rock (Not to be confused by the Wrestler eitherjust comes out knocks out Noah. The Rocks are now talking….. Sorry they are the “Watchers”, not the “Rocks”.

Crowe didn’t learn much from his time singing in Les Miserable, he just can’t sing.

Methuselah was a straight boss.

7:56 This is really slow to start. Slow pace, the score is great but Crowe is just underwhelming and boring.

7:57 Noah came up with a brilliant idea to create an arc.

The “Creator” just created a forest out of no-where.

8:02 How you doin’ Emma Watson?

Okay so some mysterious voodoo just killed the bird.

I get the story but not sure I can get over the just horrendous acting.

Uh-oh Ham with the almost heel turn.

8:12 Time to fight over whether or not the “creator” is real or not.

8:17 That’s a crap ton of animals to throw on the arc.

Insert crying by Emma Watson as she can’t offer the things for her man.

8:22 I like how Noah just sneaks into the camp and no one notices who he is. Why would he leave his family knowing there are hundreds of people coming for his arc?

Ham is a little upset because he won’t be getting any, anytime soon. I feel bad for the kid

The score of the film has been rather enjoyable. One of the lone bright spots of the film so far.

Methuselah (Hopkins) got jokes. His search for berries got a nice chuckle from the audience.

Now he is passing out blessings to Ila (Watson).

8:39 Tubal-Cain (Winstone) has been a so-so protagonist. Speech was nice leading up to heading for the arc. Powerful and believable.

Time for the Watchers and the people to do battle.

8:45 I wonder where Noah got his awesome fighting ability from?

Awesome scene as the water overtakes the men and the arc.

8:55 We are getting another history lesson.

9:00 Ham is helping Cain, no real plot twist here.

9:05 Growling popcorn man is out cold.

Crowe and Connolly have been downright dreadful in this. Just uninspiring and just forgettable throughout.

So that’s how we found out about babies back in the day, no peeing on a stick. Random things say you are pregnant.

Noah isn’t too thrilled; maybe he wishes the kid was his.

9:09 Noah just stated “This is painful”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some sort of weird snot like stuff is all over Naameh…. Gross!

“A man is not ruled by his heavens, he is ruled by his will” – Cain - Winstone is stealing the show every time on-screen.

9:13 HOLY MOLY it’s been 9 months or this a miracle baby.

Shem was ready to fight off ol pops so he didn’t kill the kid.

Cain/Noah fight scene!!!!!!

Spoiler Alert: WE’VE GOT TWINS!!!!!!!!!

We are going to name it North and South East right?

Two girls? Noah is going to slay them.

Ham saves the day and Cain pronounces him a man.

9:25 Emma Watson has cried more than she’s actually had to act. And someone please tell me why this isn’t over?

9:32 And we get to see Noah’s ass, woo hoo!

9:35 Growling popcorn man is alive!!!! Maybe the creator got to him too!

9:37 WE HAVE THE CREDITS!

Some quick thoughts about the movie.

In a movie like this you would think it would be a movie easy to direct and translate to the big screen and Aronofsky just doesn’t put the pieces together. He really couldn’t come back after such a rough start. The casting was good but they just didn’t translate into the roles.

The big thing in Hollywood is long movies now and a 2 hour and 18 minute run time is far too long for this.

Overall rating

2 out of 5 stars

The film really suffered by the lack of great performances. Crowe/Connelly were just not that good at all and every time Watson was on-screen she was just crying. Anthony Hopkins played this role well and had a few one liners that were funny. Ray Winstone really stole the show and was a big time breath of fresh air in the movie. The CGI and effects were great, visual the movie was a sight to see for sure. The score (by Clint Mansell) was phenomenal, which is sad because the movie wasn’t on par with it. But it comes down to the pairing of Aronofsky and Crowe, both truly disappoint and really couldn’t take this film to the next level.

This is definitely a movie you can skip and wait for Redbox.

 

Divergent Movie Review/Ramble

So I saw Divergent today and I review/ramble about my thoughts of the movie.

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So Divergent was dumb, stupid, Travis fell asleep and when he woke I had to explain what was going on. Which was hard to do since I was awake and completely confused.

The guy in the movie was named “Four” and all I kept hearing was “Thor” which had me totally confused.
The chick in the movie had a weird shaped nose and we were waiting for Macklemore (who I had no idea was in it) to bust out and start singing, which actually didn’t happen and I was pissed off.
Ashley Judd was in it, I mean who knew she still made movies?
The president from “Scandal” (Tony Goldwyn) was in it and he made all the dumb facial expressions he does in the tv show.
Oh hey Miles Teller was in this and he played a jerk.
Did I mention this movie sucked? No? Well it did. I wouldn’t waste a free redbox code on it. Hell I wouldn’t use any DVR space either.
I’ve seen 4 bad movies in my last five (This, Non-Stop, RoboCop and Need for Speed), I am upset on the inside. I love movies.
So basically this chick is “Divergent”, which I still don’t have a clue what that means. Thanks for explaining that one, winner.
The guy at the flea market read Travis and my shirts to us out loud and I felt like saying “Good Job reader”.
Why is this movie so long? It’s painful! This movie is going to make a boatload of money and someone will finance a sequel. Good lord.
Still with me? Whew y’all are troopers…. Is “y’all” even a real world? Am I becoming southern? Is my punishment having to watch the rest of this movie?
So wait Eric (Jai Courtney) plays a hard ass in this movie and bust Tris (Shailene Woodley) balls the whole movie but when Tris disappears to see her family, Eric is nowhere to be found to give her a hard time? This is so dumb.
Okay so Kate Winslet was once in Titanic a movie about a sinking ship, now she’s playing in this movie which well is a sinking ship.
See what I did there? Yeah no worries I won’t quit my day job.
Get this: Peter (Miles Teller) plays a “bully” like character and at the end of the film he is seen running towards the train with everyone? Okay?
Still reading leave a comment about how I wasted a solid 20 minutes of the day reading this but you’ll thank me by not wasting 2 and half hours by seeing this train wreck they claim is a “movie”.
Well the movies over, how exciting. 2 and half hours of my life I can’t get back.
Overall
0 stars out of 5 
Macklemore (Jai Courtney) was a lone bright spot with his witty banter with “Four” or Thor (Theo James).
Bad Acting. Terrible story. Plot holes the size of the United States.
Moral of the story….. Don’t see this crap.

300: Rise of an Empire Review

So I had the opportunity in seeing 300: Rise of an Empire over the weekend. After seeing the original in theaters and going into it with knowing what to expect, I came away amazed by what I saw. 300 opened the doors for a ton of movies that we have watched over the last 8 years. Zack Snyder knocked it out of the park. This time due to some timing issues Snyder gave Noam Murro the director chair but wrote and co-produced the film.

While we had to wait 8 long years for a sequel this weekend it hit the theaters and here is my review of the movie.

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The Good

Snyder did not let us down visual at all. The film had amazing scenes, he brought back all the visuals from the original and then some. The biggest reason the 1st one was so succesful was due to the groundbreaking visual CGI that Snyder brought to the big screen. He did it again and the movie that is great on the eyes.

The epic fight scenes were back and as good as the first one. The art and motion that goes into the fight scenes in this movie is so fun to watch. Between the sword fighting, arrow shooting and just down right killing, you can just sit back and enjoy the ride and that’s what I really liked about the film. Just vicious blood, guts and gore all over the screen and was really fun to watch.

I loved the story it told and the background they gave us on Xerxes and how he became a god-king, we got flashbacks on how the overcome the 300 and destroyed them in battle.
Xerxes character is so cool on-screen and you felt how important he was every time he is on.

Artemisia (Eva Green) is Xerxes Navy Commander and plays a huge role in the film as the movie progresses. I really enjoyed the development of her character throughout the film and the story behind how she went from a Greek prisoner and rose to Queen of the Persian’s. Green played a fantastic villain in the film and was definitely a driving force behind what made this film good.

The Mediocre

Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) was the lead protagonist and while he wasn’t as good as Butler or Fassbender from the first film but he held his own. His performance lacked in powerful meaningful and believability the others brought to the table. Some of his better scenes is when he was on-screen with Artemisia.

The Bad

Predictability of the film was annoying as you could see the ending coming a mile away. It lacked any suspense in the film and that took away from it being a great film.

Overall

*** (3) out of ***** (5) Stars

300: Rise of an Empire is a fun movie that includes all the blood and gore that I liked in 300. Artemisia really stole the show and is a performance you’ll remember when leaving the theater. Snyder/Murro brought a very enjoyable movie to the big screen and did not disappoint one bit. If you enjoyed the first one, you should have no problem enjoying the sequel.

300: Rise of an Empire is in theaters now

The 1st Annual Sports Script Oscar Nominations

The Oscar season is right around the corner which is easily one of my favorite times of the year. I like reflecting on the movies from the years past and comparing the movies nominated to what I liked. I always watch the movie nominated no matter what type of movie it is or if it even looks interesting to me. I do this every year but this will be my 1st annual The Sports Script Oscar picks. January 14th is the day the nominations are announced and today I will give you who I think should get the nominations as well around March the 2nd (before the award show) I will give you my picks on who I think will win that were actually nominated. So here we go.

*updated 01/06/13 after watching Dallas Buyers Club*

The 1st Annual the Sports Script Oscar Picks

Best Picture

Captain Phillips
The Wolf of Wall Street
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
Prisoners
American Hustle
Out of the Furnace
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Director

Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Scott Cooper – Out of the Furnace

Best Actor

Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Hugh Jackman – Prisoners

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett – Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
Carey Mulligan – The Great Gatsby

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyongo – 12 Years a Slave
Octavia Spencer – Fruitvale Station
Oprah Winfrey – The Butler
Jennifer Garner – Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks – Saving Mr. Banks
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Woody Harrelson – Out of the Furnace

Original Screen Play

Fruitvale Station
American Hustle
Saving Mr. Banks
Gravity
Her

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips
Rush
12 Years a Slave

Best Score

The Great Gatsby
Gravity
Rush
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave

Best Song

Young and Beautiful – The Great Gatsby
Love is Blindness – The Great Gatsby
Atlas – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Let It Go – Frozen

Best Cinematography

Gravity
12 Years a Slave
Rush
Captain Phillips
Prisoners

Best Visual Effects

Pacific Rim
Gravity
World War Z
The Lone Ranger
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World

Best Make Up and Hairstyling

American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Lone Ranger
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Costume Design

The Great Gatsby
American Hustle
Oz the Great and Powerful
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

There you have it my 2014 Oscar picks, make sure to watch the Oscar Nomination show on January 14th and check out my latest piece here at the Sports Script where I review every movie I saw in 2013.

Disagree? Agree? Movie I am missing? Hit me up on twitter @rickygangster and let me know.

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