REVIEW – “THE NOVEMBER MAN” (2014)

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Let me just preface this whole review by from the beginning.. I love Pierce Brosnan..yep..there I said.  I don’t give a shit what people say..I loved him as James Bond, clearly a role he was meant to play.. And in so many more movies like ‘Evelyn’, ‘The Tailor of Panama’, ‘The Matador’ just to list a few.  So you can clearly imagine how much I was looking forward to this movie ESPECIALLY after seeing him play the James Bond video game on Jimmy Fallon last week & seeing him pitch it.. My hope of all hope was to just see Brosnan back in some sort of spy, actiony-type thriller delivering the one-liners as only he could, with a dose of good action.

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So a quick brief over of the plot – “Peter Devereaux” (Pierce Brosnan), a now-retired CIA agent is brought back into service by one of his closest friends “Hanley” (Bill Smitrovich) to help out with one last mission helping to protect someone they both know “Natalia Ulanova” (Mediha Musliovic) who happens to be Devereaux’s old flame and claims to have a information & a name that once given to them, will turn the pending Russian election for President upside down.  Turns out, much to his surprise, he is going up against his old, younger protege’ “David Mason” (Luke Bracey) whom he considered a ‘drop’ after a mission gone very bad involving the death of innocent bystanders including a child.  They are both looking for “Alice Fournier” (Olga Kurylenko) who unbeknownst to us is really a refugee named Mira from the Chechen War who has enough information to take down the man who is in line to be the next President (aka Dictator) of Russia “Arkady Federov” (Lazar Ristovski).  In between all this is a Russian hitwoman “Alexa” (Amila Terzimehic) who as far as I could tell, is trying to basically kill everyone.

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As with many others at this screening, I wanted to love this movie..I wanted it to be a great action flick with Pierce Brosnan just giving it all his witty, charming debonairness that he has.. sadly, this is not the return to super spy-ness I had hoped for. It’s more like a mediocre spin at a storyline we’ve seen way to many times done way better say 10 years ago with the Bourne series or Mission Impossible. It all seemed very dated with plot holes GALORE.  Brosnan tries, and sometimes succeeds in making the best of this character with maybe a bit of a meaner edge that say James Bond would never be allowed to have  While it has a few good moments when Devereaux is outwitting his protege’ Mason ~ for the most part it’s dull, uneven and lackluster…oh and did I mention the plot holes.. At one point, Devereaux threatens to harm Mason’s next door neighbor “Sarah” (Eliza Taylor) whom he has of course, just slept with..by cutting one of her arteries & making him choose to save her or go after him.. yet we never know what happens to her.  The ending is one you can see coming at you a mile away and just as sappy as you know it’s going to be once you see, again a mile away, whom has backstabbed who.

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I wish Brosnan’s performance here was something to write home about, and it’s okay..but not enough to make the movie pop.  Luke Bracey is no where near suave enough to up against Brosnan as a spy and does his best just to keep up here. He doesn’t carry himself of have the oompha Brosnan has, which let’s face it, is what makes him so like-able in most of his roles.  Adding even more James Bond-ness wanna be to this movie is well.. a former Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko who while she has some decent chemistry with Brosnan, you feel as though she might be suited a bit better to Bracey’s character considering you realize Brosnan’s character has a 12 yr old daughter whom she doesn’t look much older than.  But while she has a few interesting moments she really just doesn’t cut it here as in one scene especially you just want to scream out “REALLY” as while being hunted by literally EVERYONE and they all want to kill her, she stops at the public airport internet service to write up her newspaper story like it’s all the norm.  Now I know that’s the writing also, but at least try to make it seem believable..that’s what acting is after all.

Last request.. remember when Sean Connery came back for one last Bond after he’d been retired all those year..yeah..THAT is all I’m asking for.. give Pierce a chance!! #neversayneveragainpartdeux

Grade: C-  (below average)

#peggyatthemovies

Grading scale:  A = exceptional ~ Oscar worthy  B = above average – must see  C = Average  D = don’t see  F: just don’t  (+ or – gives it an edge up or down)

“EMMY AWARDS” ~ 2014 PICKS IN DRAMA

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My favourite part of any Awards shows are the Drama categories.. In the last 10 years or so, there have been some of the best shows to ever grace a TV screen done in this category.  With cable jumping into the game around that time, it’s brought us loads & loads of great writing, acting & falling in love with TV all over again.  Have they missed a few shows over the years.. yes – they have – most notably ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘Justified’. and most recently Orphan Black & Rectify.  But so it goes.. Here are my picks of the shows/people that have been nominated..

 

Best Drama Series

“Breaking Bad”

One of the best shows to EVER grace the small screen.. I lived for Walter White and Jesse Pinkman every Sunday night..

“Downton Abbey”

Downton literally swept us off our feet in it’s first season with a wonderful portrayal of an era long past, but we all found so interesting..

“Game of Thrones”

The only season to disappoint so far in this series was S2 which after the “OHMYGOD” of Season 1 seemed almost explainable.  Season 3 came back with a vengeance and it’s been just jaw-dropping once again.

“House of Cards”

I hear nothing but raves on this show.. have yet to see an episode due to the comfy couch/big screen TV syndrome I still have.. 🙂

“Mad Men”

Who doesn’t have a love/hate relationship with Don Draper..

“True Detective” – WINNER

Rust Cohle & Martin Hart.. need I say more – probably one of the most ingenious and original shows to come out of TV in a long time!! Can we say WINNER here!!

 

Best Actress in a Drama Series

 Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex”

Lizzy Caplan brings a fresh perspective to the 50’s perfunctory woman in this role..I love the show & her in it.

Claire Danes, “Homeland”

I love Homeland.. and at times Claire Danes does a wonderful job with the role of Carrie – but at others she is annoying as end all being like a contortionist with her facial expressions and that old adage that moms always tell you when you’re a child always pops to mind here – ‘be careful or your face will stay that way’  – sorry but you know it’s true.

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”

While I love the show – and her character of Mary has been through some moments – I just don’t think it’s a strong enough role to win here..

Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” – WINNER

Now we are talking… Let’s just give a slow clap first of all to the best season of ‘The Good Wife’ yet.  Season 5.  It was incredible and a lot of those kudos go right to this person here.

Kerry Washington, “Scandal”

What started off in Season 1 as an interesting premise did what Shonda Rhimes shows do and it so jumped the shark for me in Season 2 & beginning of Season 3 it’s pretty much unwatchable for me now.  Soooo over everyone trying to outfast talk the next actor.. so over this show and while I like Kerry.,you can’t compare her performance to that of Julianna Marguilies – you just can’t.

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Always have liked Robin Wright.. since way back in “The Princess Bride” – I wish I could say I’ve watched it here.

 

Best Actor in a Drama Series

 Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”

One of the best performances ever done on TV – We felt sympathy at the beginning which later turned to fear of the man that was Walter White.

Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”

Great show – great character & performance ..

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”

Again, tell me one person that does not have a Love/Hate thing for Don Draper.. it takes talent to pull that off.

Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”

It’s a hard decision for me to pick between the two characters on this show as both were just fantastic

Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective” – WINNER

But I’m going with Matthew & Rust Cohle – why..because as good as Woody was it is Rust’s character that blew this show out of the box.  Probably have never seen a character nor performance like it..so please let’s continue on with the McConaissance …please!!! 😀

Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Kevin Spacey is also a consummate professional wonderful actor.  Keyser Soze anyone?? 😀

 

Supporting Actor, Drama Series

 Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”

Bitch.. hahahahhahaha

Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”

I  can keep saying how much I love the show – but I think it’s almost too much of an ensemble to just pick one character out of it.

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

I LOVE PETER DINKLAGE.. there I said it.. he’s a spectacular actor in everything from ‘The Station Agent’ to “Nip/Tuck to  X-Men – but this role was definitely just tailor-made for him..

Josh Charles, “The Good Wife” – WINNER

Of course I would pick Josh Charles – why you ask.. because losing Will Gardner felt like losing a family member and anyone that can make you feel that.. deserves an award.

Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”

I’ve never related a ton to this character though I find him a complete necessity on the show.. I know..weird.

Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

For the whole first season of this show, I couldn’t figure out whether it was just plain brilliant or just plain bad.. I went with I like it and that’s all that matters.  Though I usually like my bad characters to have some redeeming quality to make me like them, Jon Voights character has never done that for me.

 

Supporting Actress, Drama Series

Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”

5 seasons of Skyler White.. at times we pitied her, sympathized with her, didn’t like her and at the end, we were just overwhelmed with where her life started and finished in this show.. Bravo Anna Gunn…well done.

Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”

I mean she’s Dame Maggie Smith for crimeny sakes.  The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was on TV a few years back and she was so simply fantastic in that role..as she has been in pretty much everything she’s ever done.

Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”

Oh Lena, you play the gamut in this role of roles.. but you actually kinda scare me too much!!  ha!

Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife” – WINNER

Because dammit she IS and embodies Diane Lockhart.  Nothing else needs to be said.

Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

I just don’t think she had enough in her role this past season to quantify this nomination.  Had it been last season, I would have said yes.. This season I’m sorry but the fact that Elizabeth Moss aka Peggy Olson didn’t get this nom instead is just wrong.. she blew it off the screen this year.. Christina did not.

Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”

I know this might be odd…but I think she is totally the long shot to win this and just might do so.  Her portrayal of Anna Bates was so spot on this season that in such a large ensemble cast – she stood out..waaaay out and excelled completely in this role.

“EMMY AWARDS – 2014 PICKS IN COMEDY/MINI-SERIES

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63RD PRIMETIME EMMY ® AWARDS: Logo.

As we all know Los Angeles is busy busy busy this weekend with Emmy parties galore.. With that in mind, and of course not being on the big invite list for any of these fabulous parties..*sigh*  – maybe one day – but in the meantime – here is the list of nominees and my picks to win or more so, who SHOULD win.. 😀  and with that.. pip pip cheerio and all that jazz!!  Today is Comedy and Mini-Series as it’s no secret DRAMA SHOWS are my favourite thing to watch so those I’m saving for tomorrow!! Oh and NO.. I don’t watch reality TV with the exception of Top Chef.. so if that’s nominated..then there you go..

 

Best Comedy Series

“The Big Bang Theory”

People love this show.. I can honestly say I’ve watched it maybe 7 times at the most.  It always just seemed the same storyline to me.  But its huge in ratings and the cast are now making big bucks so there ya go!!

“Louie”

While this show can be funny.. it also can not be funny in many ways.. definitely not my pick.

“Modern Family”

While this show had some great moments in the past..and every so often still throws a zinger or two at you..it’s definitely gotten stale.

“Orange Is the New Black”  – winner

This is on everyone’s ‘darling’ list.. I have truthfully only watched 1 eps. because I don’t subscribe to Netflix and truly hate watching TV on my computer.. I have a nice big screen TV and a comfy couch that I like to watch from so with that being said, listening to everyone rave about it, I think it’s going to sweep a lot of awards.

“Silicon Valley”

Didn’t watch..can’t make a call

“Veep”

While I watched a whole season of the show, and I think Julia D. is a very funny person, for some reason this show and I just didn’t go hand in hand.  I couldn’t feel myself vesting more time into it. Though again, it wasn’t horrible or anything..and once again, has a good fanbase.  ah well..

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Lena Dunham, “Girls”

Truthfully – not a fan of the show..

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” – WINNER

I love love love Edie Falco – she never fails to make Jackie entertaining season after season. Never a stale moment.

Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”

Again, while I like her and find her funny..this just isn’t my fav. show

Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”

I also like Melissa a lot, though her last few movies have pretty much been her acting the same character over & over, at least in this show it’s a different style

Amy Poehler, “Parks & Recreation”

Who doesn’t love Amy Poehler in everything she does.. including this show..While I don’t watch it all the time, the times I do she is always funny. I don’t think she will win though.

Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black”

Because again, this is the new ‘darling’ show ~ at least if she wins it’s new blood.

 

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”

Though the characters might annoy me some, and the storylines lacking for me – I know he’s always a front runner

Ricky Gervais, “Derek”

I adore Ricky Gervais – his version of ‘The Office’ had me rolling every week and while this show might not be that for me, he’s still just plain funny.

Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes” – WINNER

I know I know..if only.. but if you haven’t watched this show yet, let me just say you should.  Matt LeBlanc playing Matt LeBlanc is hysterical. And we all know he was really the funny one on ‘Friends’ I mean come on..

Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”

Can’t say I’ve watched it..

Louis C.K., “Louie”

Again, there are a few times he is funny.. but too many times he misses the bar for me

William H. Macy, “Shameless”

Bill Macy is not only a super nice guy, but a blast to drink with IRL – so it’s hard for me to not want him to win,. but alas, I picked someone else! 😀

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

Andre Braugher, “Brookiyn Nine-Nine” – WINNER

Because I LOVE THIS SHOW and Andre Braugher is so funny in it and let’s face it, it’s the only nomination it got which is pathetic.. this is my pick!

Adam Driver, “Girls”

No.. bottom line.. ha!

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”

While he’s funny.. I’m over them winning every year..

Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”

See above

Fred Armisen, “Portlandia”

Haven’t watched the show..

Tony Hale, “Veep”

Funny..but not my pick

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”

I think I’ve stated my opinion on the show and the characters already.. not a win for me though I will always love Blossom!!!

Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”

Someone new please..

Allison Janney, “Mom”

I watched the show a few times per recommendation of a friend.. I just didn’t find it all that, plus when the mom looks better/younger than the daughter on a show..I say rock on.. 🙂

Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black” – WINNER

Loved Kate in other shows.. just haven’t seen enough of this one to make a qualified decision..but again – new blood.. good for her if she wins.

Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

I always love SNL characters..

Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

I love her in ‘Hannibal’ more..

Best Miniseries or Movie

“American Horror Story: Coven”

Any show that makes Kathy Bates act as a head on the table shouldn’t even be nominated.  This show went beyond the ridiculous this past season

“Bonnie & Clyde”

Probably one of the worst mini-movies I’ve ever seen.. I couldn’t make it all the way through and I’m a huge Bonnie & Clyde fan.. but not of this version. It was terrible

“Fargo”

While this show had its moments and was acted well – it’s not my pick

“Luther” – WINNER

Is this even a question.. Idris Elba as Luther is just incredible..the writing, the acting, the storyline…it encompasses all!!

“Treme”

Good gritty drama – but The Wire did it better.

“The White Queen”

Never saw it.. sorry..

Best Actress Miniseries or Movie

Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”

As much as I like Jessica Lange – AHS jumped the shark for me

Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven”

Same as above

Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”

Not her best performace, but not her worst either which was in Les Mez

Minnie Driver, “Return to Zero”

Did not see this.. but Minnie is usually pretty good in almost everything

Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon”

Same – did not see

Cicely Tyson, “The Trip Bountiful”

eeekkk 3 i this category I missed.. I can’t really pick soooo..

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge”

Didn’t see

Martin Freeman, “Fargo”

Martin was really good in this show and I’m a big fan of his in pretty much everything since I first saw him in “The Office”

Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”

Billy Bob was also good.. creepy as fuck..but that shouldn’t surprise anyone..ha!

Idris Elba, “Luther” – WINNER

Here is my man!! Hands down the winner for me

Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”

Didn’t do it for me

Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow”

As much as I ADORE Benedict and Sherlock.. I’m sticking with Idris..

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie

Colin Hanks, “Fargo”

Decent performance.. not enough to win for me

Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart”

All of these performances were decent enough..if I had to pick from this show only, which it almost seems as if it is so..I would pick Bomer..

Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart”

Alfred Molina, “The Normal Heart”

Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”

Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow” – WINNER

This is my pick.. because he is fantastic as Dr. Watson

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie

Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven”

Again the AHS.. was one of the few characters to like in the show her crazy red haired character in the eps. I did watch..just not enough to win.

Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven”

Kathy.. you were a just a head in 1/2 of this.. I can’t ..I just can’t..

Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven”

Allison Tolman, “Fargo” – WINNER

Really great work by here.. just a great acting job of putting this character together..

Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers In the Attic”

I wish I would have seen this..

Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart”   

Julia did a really good job here..

 

 

REVIEW: “SIN CITY 2 ~ A DAME TO KILL FOR” (PREMIERE 2014)

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Ohhhh Robert Rodriguez..what happened to you since the days of “El Mariachi?” I loved that movie and the sheer basic-ness of it.  Even “Desperado” though somewhat amped up with bigger stars and all, showed you still had spirit.  “Spy Kids” was fun!! Then,..well somehow it became all green screen & well..’film noir’ if that’s what you would like to call it.  “Sin City”  a movie with so much art direction, enough decapitations to make the Roman’s say WOW! yet so very dull and uninvolving.

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” seeks to pay homage to the graphic novel  by re-imagining it as a feature film; unfortunately, the big screen and the 3D merely call attention to the aspects of the book that either don’t work or don’t translate easily from one to another because I got lost & a bit bored somewhere in there.  First of all, there’s the narration..ohhhhh so, so much narration, with so many monologues laid over soooo many scenes of people drinking, driving, grimacing or stripping without taking their bras off. (The latter being “Nancy” (Jessica Alba).  Add to all this a ridiculously thick layer of sexism, with every woman in the film portrayed as a prostitute, stripper or man-trap. There’s a policeman’s wife who dares to be over the age of 40, and is well then of course cheated on because ya know..that’s what happens to all women at that age (yawn),  a vengeance-driven dancer who has to mutilate herself to get a man to help her carry out her vendetta. Heaven forbid she do it on her own in a story like this. It seems to try to be a bit self-parody, but completely lacks the sense of humour required.

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As with its the first “Sin City”, which was a whole (gasp!) 9 years ago, this sequel sees directors Frank Miller, who also wrote the novels, and previously mentioned Rodriguez shooting their actors on green-screen and surrounding them with so much animation, hyper-stylized lighting and art direction to make the movie look as much like a comic book as possible.  It’s a clever gimmick for about 10 minutes, but then you start noticing how the actors have been directed not to move their faces much, so that they’ll look more characters on a page.  The blank expressions (and again!! that crushing narration) merely point out the fact that lines like “She didn’t deserve a second thought — and I couldn’t get her out of my mind,” probably work much better on the page than they do when said out loud as they don’t work well.

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The new hero is gambler “Johnny” (Joseph Gordon Levitt) beats corrupt politician “Senator Rourke” (Powers Boothe) in a big game at the poker table but comes to regret it. Rourke becomes a target for Nancy, because the senator killed her lover “Hartigan”(Bruce Willis) who appears periodically as a kinda passive-aggressive ghost, private eye “Dwight” (Josh Brolin) finds himself trapped by the over dramatic manipulation of his ex “Ava” (Eva Green), a femme fatale with a rich husband and a wicked soul.  While I’ve still yet to figure out what makes some think Green is so wonderful all of a sudden in the acting world because I’ve only seen some very mediocre acting, I will give it that she is the only female in this movie who seems to see through this movie’s ludicrousness and dares to one-up it. Her and Brolin’s nudity feels like it should be and they show a lot more skin than any of the strippers (thank you Josh!!:))  and she turns Ava’s greed into one of the few tangible objects in this movie made up principally of special effects. “Marv” (Mickey Rourke) brings a bit of soul to his role, a bit tough-guy with a heart.

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This being Rodriguez’s second sequel in a row now, Machete Kills being the first, in which he turns sex, violence and general exploitation into a rather dull movies at best with yes, stars galore in it.  All either movie had to be was entertaining, but neither accomplished that task; so for a film loaded with decapitations and gun-toting ladies in bondage gear, Sin City 2 gets really tedious really quickly. But this genre definitely has it’s fans and they will probably love it whether it was good or bad.  On a side note: Did anyone else notice or be a bit well..skeeved out by the fact that Rodriguez once cast 13-year-old Alexa PenaVega as a spunky little Spy Kid but now gives the 26-year-old actress roles as a stripper or a whore…hmmm..maybe that’s just weird to me and yes I know. we all grow up..but this..I dunno..was just weird for me.  So as my friend Fisher said to me when I invited him to the premiere on Tuesday…”nah..the premiere party will be a blast with all those different people showing up, but the movie won’t be” and that my friends summed it up completely. Premiere party where I got to meet Demian Bichir who happened to be there and I am such a fan though he’s not even in the movie, was my most exciting moment, the movie…was not.

Grade: C-

 

#peggyatthemovies

Grading Scale: A = Oscar worthy;  B = Above average – must see;  C =  Average  D = Don’t waste time or money  F = Just don’t see  (+ or – gives it a edge up or down)

 

 

REVIEW ~ “WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL” (2014 – SONY/AFFRIM)

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There have been a lot of really good sports movies done..especially about our good ol’ American past time, football and it happens to be a sport I do watch on occasion as it can be fun.  Some of those movies have been very memorable like “Brian’s Song” “Remember the Titans” even “Rudy” was a touching tug of the heart one.  This movie is not going to be remembered as one of those.  It’s vapid, religious based storyline is based on the De La Salle High School Spartans football team that had a pretty yes, incredible 151 game winning streak going on from 1992-2004 and then lost it.  Unfortunately, the story of how is bland, formulaic and follows every sports cliche ever done, but without any heart or soul in it whatsoever..which considering the religious aspect of the movie, was really odd.

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The events that define this movie and lead the narrative of it are the murder of their star linebacker “Terrance Kelly aka T.K.” (Stephan James), Head Coach “Bob Ladouceur” (Jim Caviezel) heart attack, and the ultimate loss of this streak but with the always true to form comeback game against the best team in the country, Long Beach Poly.  Now call me cynical, but watching a bunch of kids cry about a loss..even if it’s a big one to them when say a movie like “We Are Marshall” shows the utter loss of almost a WHOLE TEAM was lost in a plane crash makes this feel quite petty indeed.  This movie never showed us about how this streak was even started or anything that lead up to the all the events.. they just sort of happened in whatever chronological order they threw them at us.  Caviezel seems to be walking through this role like a robot, has zero chemistry with his cast, not even his wife, “Bev Ladouceur” (Laura Dern) who just wants him to be a more hands on father, or his son “Danny Ladouceur” (Matthew Daddario) who only wants his dad to be able to coach him during his final senior year because well, he’s never really been at home enough to be a dad…just a coach.

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The supporting cast of football players is simple and the norm for a sports movie.  “Chris Ryan” (Alexander Ludwig) as the best player on the team who is trying to break the long lasting record of touchdown held whose dad is  “Mickey Ryan” (Clancy Brown) one of those horrible ‘sports parents’ who you just want to punch because they are so awful, “Tayshon” (Jessie Usher) as the other superstar of the team, but the bad boy – rulebreaker type, “Beaser” (Joe Massingil) the heavy-set tackle who’s got the hot girlfriend because he’s on the football team tho because of the religious aspect of the movies, they’ve taken a purity vow,  “Arturo” (Matthew Frias) as the smallest kid on the team. 3rd string but plays one play and saves the day..yeah..I know..seen it all before.“Rick” (Richard Kohnke) and lastly the only character that really stood out for me, “Terry Eidson” (Michael Chiklis) as not only did he spark a little tiny bit of humour, but was almost unrecognizable from his various roles and just showed some range with his character in an otherwise dull sports story.

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I’m sure we can all figure out the plot of this movie..they lose..and come back to win again.  My biggest beefs were not only the plodding plot but the product placement was truly ridiculous.  When Caviezel’s character says to his son, “Would like like some of my Muscle Milk shake” with the container right there in full view, or when one of the scouting University’s, Oregon State give one of the players a pair of Nike’s with the phrase..”Here have our newest pair of Nike shoes” and those are just 2 examples.  I realize product placement is part of movies..but the way they handled it in these movies was just plain silly.  Also, I don’t mind religion, I’m definitely a supporter of ‘to each his own’ but when they blatantly show how much prayer they do before the games and how god will make them win and when he doesn’t, well they must pray harder.  That’s just so wrong to me.  And don’t get me wrong, we all see plenty of religious notes from players in sports, it’s a given, i’m not putting it down in the slightest, but in a world where people are getting killed everyday and trust me, not over football, I am truly hoping that whichever god you support, he or she has better things to worry about or do than make sure you win your football game.  Sorry to all those that think otherwise, but that is my sincere thought on the matter. It’s not meant to provoke anyone, just be honest with the situation at hand.

All in all this just isn’t a memorable, inspiring or well done sports movie and that sadly is what will make it completely un-memorable.

Grade: D

#peggyatthemovies

Grading Scale: A = Oscar- worthy;  B = Above average – must see; C = Average – should see; D = Don’t waste your time or money; F – Don’t see.  (+ or – tilts the scale up or down)

REVIEW ~ “THE GUEST” – PREMIERE: SUNDANCE NEXT FESTIVAL

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Ever wonder what happens after you leave ‘Downton Abbey’  as one of it’s most popular characters of the show..’Matthew’?’  Well this movie might answer some of those questions for you.  From the get go you wonder to yourself..’what happened to that pasty-white Brit who played as one of the Brit’s upperclassmen so very well.. cuz let me tell you..THIS Dan Stevens is definitely not that guy. THIS Dan Stevens looks amazing, someone clearly got a tan, worked out & came over to the dark side..hahahaha  This character he plays here is such a far-fetch than what we are used to seeing him in, I wouldn’t think they are even one and the same person.  Now did I love this movie..well…I will admit to being confused for a bit if they actually meant it as a serious movie, sorta like the pitch/trailer was, or what exactly it was meant to be.  It starts off creepy, goes to serious, goes campy, goes silly, goes action-y, goes just plain stupid, goes horror.  After a while you get the jist that it’s just supposed to be B or even D movie campy as anything..and if you can realize that from the beginning you will probably enjoy it more than I did the first hour because it will make much more sense.. It wasn’t till the Q & A afterwards with Director: Adam Wingard & Writer: Simon Barrett that I actually gleaned this important fact. ha!  They wanted a ‘Terminator’ meets “Halloween’ type vibe..

the guest shirtless

Serious part of the plot starts off with “David” (Dan Stevens) showing up at the front door of the of family of his deceased Army buddy Caleb’s house and within the blink of an eye, he is invited to stay by the mom, “Laura” (Sheila Kelly) in her son’s old room no less. Well Dad “Spencer” (Leland Orser) comes home to find this all out and of course has a freak out moment, which quickly passes as they share some beers, cause you know..you can trust people after you’ve shared a few beers! ha!   Luckily the daughter, “Anna” (Maika Monroe) figures out that all is probably not on the up and up with this guy, his behaviour, as she takes him to a party with her is really off..her friends start disappearing, the local gun dealer in a cameo from Ethan Embry & town dealer “Craig” (Joel David Moore)  – whoosh! gone.. her dad’s boss, boyfriend “Zeke” (Chase Williamson) gives her trouble..have no fear he gets busted after being set up by David.. NO ONE is safe it seems. Her brother “Luke” (Brendan Meyer) thinks David is great after he kicks the school bullies asses for harassing him..so the only person who ‘gets it’ that David is a complete & utter psychopath is Anna..  After she calls the military admin to check on him and they send out basically, a hit squad led by “Carver” (Lance Reddick) after David.  What ensues for the next 45min is just so over the top, though some of it was funny..but mostly it was just ridiculous as it turns out David aka “The Guest” is really part of some secret military operation so when he annihilates the whole team plus 1/2 the family in some of the most bizarro scenes of pure mayhem..I had to shake my head a few times as this was a major sub-plot that was pretty underdeveloped as it just gets sorta sprung on you..The following whole Halloween carnival scene where it Anna & Luke are fighting against David is probably the best and worst part of the movie, if that makes sense at all.. 🙂

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As for Dan Stevens performance.. some are hailing it as really good..I mean I guess since we are so used to seeing him playing these completely different Brit period piece roles… so yeah..seeing him up on the screen looking so damn good, while it could be considered well..distracting to say the least..but of course in a good way, I didn’t think the performance was great..as he played it in a restrained kinda way..when it seemed as though it should be more over the top..following in the genre of the movie, but it’s definitely not a bad performance and shows he can make his mark doing some other fun stuff, hence the reasoning behind leaving Downton.

the guest

Lastly, the soundtrack was given kudos by some..I guess you really have to like and be familiar with speed/heavy metal, which I am not as there were times it almost overpowered the scenes for me. I like soundtracks to be part of and enhance the movie..not be the movie.. Thankfully also the Q & A afterwards cleared up many points about this movie for me at least.  It was moderated by Nicolas Winding Refn of “Drive & Bronson” fame,  who while he might think out of the box as a director at times, clearly thinks he is the cat’s pajamas..(sunglasses in a movie theatre..just stop) and while I liked Bronson..well.. let’s just say I like a fun, bantering Q & A, not one where the moderator actually seems rude and is putting down the Writer: Simon Barrett & Director: Adam Wingard while moderating. Not cool guy..not cool.  Overall judgement of this movie.. I liked it, mostly because of the campy silliness, but I didn’t love it as for a supposed horror/action thriller as it was really neither and never lived up to full satisfaction of either..

Grade: C

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Grading Scale: A = Oscar worthy; B = Above average – must see;  C = Average;  D = Don’t waste your time or money;  F= Don’t see the movie  (+ or – gives it an edge up or down)

Review: “LET’S BE COPS” (2014 – 20th Century Fox)

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“Let’s be Cops” needs to be re-titled into “Let’s NOT be Cops” as it’s one of the worst, if not the worst, movie I’ve seen all year..and I’ve seen a few doozies so far this year..trust me. Sad thing is I was really looking forward to it hoping it was going to be super funny..It’s not. You know how a bit of the trailers make the movie look funny?? yeah..once they are wrapped into the movie, not even THEY are funny scenes anymore. If a 1/2 full theater doesn’t even get one single laugh during any of the movie, well you know you could’ve set the money you paid for the ticket on fire and it would probably be a better show.

The plot is so beyond pointless I’m not sure I can even take the time to get completely into it. I think that Damon Wayons Jr. who plays one half of the duo of best friends “Justin” & “Ryan” played by Jake Johnson, is perhaps the better of the two, though that’s not saying much, and predictably so, they ‘losers’ now that they are 30 with the predictable no careers or future prospects. Justin is an assistant at a gaming company who wants to try to pitch his game about you guessed it..being a cop. So he has cop uniforms which they then take to the next level and go to a party dressed in the uniforms. After this it basically turns into a shitshow of a few mediocre funny scenes which only really work because Wayons Jr & Johnson do actually have some chemistry together as shown on their FOXTV show “New Girl”. So it goes in the movie that of course they take it too far, Justin falls for the girl “Josie” (Nina Dobrev) who just happens to be a waitress/makeup artist to help them in their exploits against a mob gang lead by “Mossi” in a much-waste of a good actor role played by James D’Arcy and cop-gone-bad “Brolin” another waste of time for Andy Garcia..not even Rob Riggle raises a laugh in his role as cop-to-the-rescue “Segars”. Truly the funniest scenes seemed to be deleted and shown as the credits started..

This movie basically was 2 guys that star and have some chemistry on a sitcom together, to make a movie. To go on more about this movie is simply..well not worth the time as if you haven’t guessed by this time, you should just skip it.

Grade: D-
#peggyatthemovies

Grading Scale: A = Oscar Worthy; B = Above average – must see; C = Average – Should see; D = Don’t see; F = Definitely don’t see