The Eagle

I hadn’t expected to watch two movies where Channing Tatum played a pivotal role in it so close to each other. Guy just has a face that bugs me, so I usually avoid his stuff. And by pivotal role, I mean the main character this time, damn.

Tatum
Yeah. That’s the face right there.

This story is about the Roman Empire, fucking up Britain. Back in the 100s, when trying to Conquer Britain, a Roman Legion was lost and their flag standard, an Eagle, was lost with them. The leader of that division was the father of Marcus Aguila (Tatum), so there was some shame on his family. Since then he has become a commander himself, and has been sent to lead the troops at Hadrian’s Wall, a wall in GB south of where the legion had since been missing.

On like his first night, they get attacked and raided, but thanks to him they win. Too bad he gets fucked up. Oh well, honorable discharge and sent back home to his uncle (Donald Sutherland). Unfortunately he still hasn’t cleared his dads name. Gah! Once he feels better (albeit still crippled), he heads back to the wall with his slave and confidant, Esca (Jamie Bell), to go North of the wall in their own small group and try and find the eagle.

They have to deal with the natives (Britain was very uncivilized at the time), the lost legion, and friendship strains. Aww.

What!
“Bitch don’t you know you’re about to get cut!?” – Audience member

This is a pretty gritty feeling movie. And it feels like a movie set way back when. Both were probably obvious I guess? Either way, it took me awhile to really care about the main two characters. Having the big going home after the first battle, downtime, relaxation thing, hurt the flow of the film for me. I think it would have been better if he just recovered at the wall, got discharged and instead of going home, going straight into the wild to search for the Eagle. His slave friend could have came to pick him up, or whatever.

Fighting was cool though. I could actually understand most of the fight that occurred at night, which is a great bonus. A lot of movie like to do shit at night just so they don’t have to make things obvious. Thought the ending was pretty swell too.

But there were also larger more boring moments that kept taking me out of the story line, weirdly enough. My favorite moment was when Aguila saved Esca from the gladiator arena. Such a small moment, but just really really liked it.

2 out of 4.

The Dilemma

I have been told that a Dilemma is having to make a choice between two equally bad scenarios. A dilemma is not just having to make a bad choice or ignore it. My friend wanted me to make that clear for all the readers, but I will leave it up to you to decide if there is any real dilemma then.

But in other news, I have been avoiding this movie because it features prominently the Chicago Blackhawks, as they are in Chicago and fans of the team.

blackhawks
Statistically, they were not fans of them six years ago though.

Vince Vaughn and Kevin James are best friends, have been since college. James is very smart, knows all he can about numbers and statistics, and cars. Vaughn is a great talker, speech maker, and can make any sale. Together the have at dream. To make electric cars less lame, and more reminiscent of the muscle cars of the 50s and 60s. Feel that vroom in your acceleration, while also not damaging the environment. They are in the middle of making a real prototype, and if they succeed, they get a long term contract, with long term benefits. Needless to say, this is a very stressful time.

James is also married to Winona Ryder, together for almost 20 years, while Vaughn is just dating Jennifer Connelly. He wants to propose, but he has a hard time getting to that point. He also used to be addicted to gambling, which has damaged his relationships in the past, including this one a few years prior.

But when Vaughn catches Ryder having an affair with a very tattoo’d Channing Tatum? He initially wants to tell his friend right away, but he is already at a highly stressed point and if anything else happens he thinks he might explode. So instead he confronts Ryder to tell him, but apparently he also once slept with her in college (pre the dating, but still) and never told James. So she is prepared to tell James that the affair was actually with Vaughn, and he has been stalking her for 20 years, trying to get more.

Well thats weird. So Vaughn needs proof first of her affair, and then he can tell his friend! But with his sneaking around, everyone thinks he is gambling again, both men having lots of trouble working for the contract, and even James and Connelly have their own secrets! (No, not another affair). Oh, and Queen Latifah is in this movie too, if only to say things to make everyone feel uncomfortable, like “lady wood”.

Tatum
Shit gets real.

Remember when I said shit gets real? That is because this movie changes its idea of comedy throughout. It is marketed as a buddy slapstick comedy, and involving cheating women. This certainly happens in the beginning, but a large portion of the movie is much closer on the darker comedy level. Then some more slapstick stuff. I think it would have been much better if it stuck to one (preferably the darker route) than back and forth. My mood kept changing, and it felt weird.

But also a lot of the sillier stuff I didn’t find to be that funny. There is a long scene at a club where Vaughn refuses to dance with his woman, because he doesn’t dance. But then does a large silly dance with James instead. Talk about bad dating material.

I thought it was severely lacking in the humor department overall, but a weirder thing happened while watching. I cared about the characters. What?

2 out of 4.

Dear John

You can really learn a lot about the world with movies. Not the bull crap happy ending stuff, and many other lines. But simple things! Like expressions. I never heard of a Dear John Letter before (or I might have in Serious Moonlight, but can’t remember). Those are letters telling your lover your breaking up with them, usually for some other lover. That adds more meaning to this movie title (Dear John, no shit). I think about that expression and I think “Man…people do dear john texts now. Even less effort.”.

Dear John
“Now if only knew how to read…”

Let me just say that this is my favorite Nicholas Sparks movie based off one of his books. That being said, I still have only seen two, this one and The Last Song. Which I hated. So it didn’t have much to beat. The Notebook I own just…haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.

Channing Tatum starts off the movie being in the army and getting shot. He is narrating at this point, and tells of a story of him going to the US Mint when he was a child. He had a fascination for coins as a kid, and became a collector. Flash back time!

John starts off at a beach, meets Amanda Seyfried. She is in Wilmington, NC (whaaat) where he lives for spring break. In that small break, they “fall in love”. She even loves his dad (Richard Jenkins), who seems kind of crazy and invested most of their money into coins. Kind of obsessively.

A lot of this movie takes place a long time ago, like late 90s, early 2000s. Once she goes back to school they decide to write letters to each other. Once he goes back into the army the letters keep coming, albeit at a lesser pace. John feels a sense of duty to remain in the army after the 9/11 attacks, and constantly reenlists, but possibly just to escape his home life. He also gets mad at Amanda for suggesting his dad has Autism, just was never treated as such because back then, what was Autism? Just weirdness.

Eventually she sends him a Dear John letter, breaking up with him for someone else she grew to love. Fuck that shit. He re-enlists again, despite getting shot. After some more years of not talking, he finds out that his dad had a stroke and is in serious condition.

Can he forgive his dad for the years of awkward growing up in poverty, due to his obsession? Will he ever find Seyfried again (and you know, win her back despite the fact that she is married)? When will he ever leave the army? What the hell is up with all these coins?

Dear John
“They’re mine! Mine I tells ya! (Hiss!)”

What surprised me about this movie is the layers. It is not very simple and obvious, like The Last Song (which also was pretty cheesy). It has a lot more serious stuff going on, and not everything is as peachy. The plot lines between JOhn and Seyfried, John and home (with his dad), John in the army, all interweave pretty snazzylike, and I thought that was great of writer.

Obviously the acting wasn’t that great. I think Tatum needs to learn how to make his big face show more emotion. Seyfried could have probably been any girl in this movie. Half of her lines were just narrating the letters they sent. Jenkins was great as “old man who is dying and confused and autistic” though. But ehh. Everything else could have been better.

2 out of 4.

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