Peppermint

When is the last time Jennifer Garner was in an action movie? I really don’t know. Quickly glancing, my guess is in 2007 when she was in The Kingdom, but I could have missed something else over the last 11 years.

She has been “mom” in so many movies for so long, it is hard to imagine her doing anything badass. Hell, she is the current voice for the Mama in Llama Llama, a simple as fuck show on Netflix.

I just cannot imagine her kicking butt and doing anything believable. I can imagine her making me cry, sure. I can imagine her caring for her kids. But the lady who made me teary in a Christian movie (a hard task), Miracles from Heaven, has to do a huge shift in momentum for me to imagine her wrecking house.

All I am saying is that Peppermint has a hill to climb from the get go.

Sad
I too may weep when it comes to the family dying scene.

Riley North (Jennifer Garner) is not a porn star name, but a young mother who just wants to do whatever she can to protect her family. That probably doesn’t make it feel less porn star yet.

Their family is struggling a bit, but they are making things work. Her daughter (Cailey Fleming) is having issues with friends. Her husband (Jeff Hephner) is trying to find additional sources of income. Some low life comes to him with an idea, about stealing from a drug dealer in a fool proof plan. He turns it down overall, but apparently the dealer (Juan Pablo Raba) already got word about it, and wants to make sure a message is sent. And that message involves being gunned down in public, taking out the daughter as well but not fully killing Riley.

Riley takes things to trial, clearly pointing out in a line up the culprits, but yet the crime lord has great lawyers, and has the D.A. and judge in his pocket.

So what’s a girl to do? Maybe get some fat stacks of cash, run away around the world, and train for about five years in combat, shooting, whatever, in order to come back for revenge to take down anyway who let this corruption happen.

Also starring John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Annie Ilonzeh, and Method Man.

Gun
Mommy’s got a gun, bad guns on the run, shoot ’em as they come.

In retrospect, Garner is the perfect person for this role. After the last decade of being a mom, in this movie, her extreme mom-ness mattered. She needed to have that loving, do anything for family look, and she has nailed that over the years. She also has some experience with action films and shows before that time, so working with stunt crews, choreography, etc would probably be second nature, even after this time. Peppermint called for a vengeful mom in order to work, and Garner fit the role very well.

Now, the film on its own does do a lot of strange things. It tells the story out of order early on, which mostly feels unnecessary. We get to see all of this build up of the case that she is so angry about, with these players. We especially got a lot of action with their lawyer. And yet when she is doing her revenge killings, we barely see any of the actual people involved getting punished. We get to see the judge get murdered, we see one of the shooters in a quick tussle, but the lawyer is completely ignored. A man who threatens her, has dialogue, is killed off screen and not even shown a death. It doesn’t make sense.

Instead most of her violent vendetta is shown against the gang itself, who sure, were involved with the death of her family. But didn’t actively do the dead or the cover up, just orchestrated it. It was very strange to not give us that initial satisfaction. They also made it way too easy for these initial things, deciding to brush it all over by turning her into some female batman who had some money and some years of training.

The film is still definitely entertaining. There are twists I tried to guess and was surprised with how they turned out. An okay film overall, one that you can reasonable accept and go along with.

And to answer the question you probably had, no, I did not cry when the family died. That probably says a lot about the film, I imagine.

2 out of 4.

Love, Simon

Love, Simon is an upcoming movie based on the book. That book was called Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda.

I don’t know anything about this film going into it, but I wish, wish, wish, it had the same title as the book. That is such an exciting title! And one that would probably turn off a lot of potential viewers. Heck, it makes me think of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Who doesn’t want to be associated with that masterpiece?

Oh well. Sometimes you have to make the money decision instead of the fun, original, cool decision.

Friends
Best friends until the very end, no secrets between them, none whatsoever.

Simon (Nick Robinson) is your typical high school teenage senior. He has regular parents (Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel), who might be a bit rich sure, and a younger sister (Talitha Eliana Bateman) who wants to be a chef. He has some BFFs for most of his life in Leah (Katherine Langford) and Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), including a new girl to their group Abby (Alexandra Shipp).

Oh, an he is gay too. Totally loves the dudes. Just hasn’t told anyone despite knowing it for years.

But then something changes. Their school/community have their own little Post Secret group that still is in use, where people can post rumors, or comments about their lives. And it turns out that someone else in their school is gay. Well, secretly gay.

So Simon decides to email him and set up a correspondence with this Blue fellow to share their feelings. In secret of course. This email turns into a bit of a fascination for Simon. He longs to hear back from his secret friend, and even finds himself falling in love with his words.

Unfortunately, the longer he obsesses over his email, the more likely he is to screw up with these emails and accidentally let his secret out.

Also starring Logan Miller, Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, and Tony Hale.

Friends Friends
What a diverse group of totally normal friends!

If I had to describe Love, Simon in the least amount of words, I would just tell you “Never Been Kissed, but gay.” For those of you familiar with that movie it should be pretty obvious. A person in school has a secret, the secret is found out, and it ends with romance! A lot of movies have similar plots, but this one really drives home these aspects.

And after saying all of that, that is not a negative on Love, Simon. I loved Love, Simon. It was cute, it felt real, it was modern and topical. Robinson as a lead had a constant look on his face to show he was hurting on the inside, unsure of how to express his feelings that are giving him so much angst. The pressure builds on him throughout the movie, once his secret starts spreading without his knowledge and consent. And finally, by the end, the acceptance of his fate, his character has different body movements and an aura about him. It is a wonderful change to process.

I hated the people that were dicks, I loved his circle of friends, and the consequences of his lies and actions went completely believable ways. This is just a nice feel good romance teenage coming of age story. I cried several times, from both being upset and sad, to happiness. It was good amount of feels. An appropriate, non groping amount of feels.

And unsurprisingly, this feels like a film I could easily watch again and again for years to come.

4 out of 4.

Mother’s Day

Garry Marshall is a man with a plan. He directs a lot of films, a lot of them women centric as well. From Beaches to Pretty Women to The Princess Diaries (and its sequel), he makes films about women for women.

But lately he has changed his mind. He has had holidays on his mind. Holidays with a lot of people and interconnecting plot lines. Yes, he is that guy. So he gave us Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve and now, Mother’s Day. There was a lot of hope that he would get super into this and give us weirder shit like Flag Day and Cinco De Mayo, but unfortunately he passed away this year and we only will get these three films.

I also could have reviewed this a long time ago. Like, end of 2016. I wanted to watch it and Bad Moms back to back, and so I watched them both to see if they would qualify for my Worst Films of 2016 list. And as you can tell, this one did not make it, it wasn’t that terrible, so instead, I just saved it for the next Mother’s Day instead.

That’s right. I am writing this in 2016. So if my site still exists in May? That would be nice. To date this review further, Obama is still president, I am 27 years old, and I have not seen The Belko Experiment yet.

Gay gay
All of these actresses are currently alive at the time of my writing this as well.

Alright, big cast of characters here we go. And don’t worry, I already decided to not tag any of the kid actors.

Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is divorced, with two kids, but she is still friends with her ex, Henry (Timothy Olyphant), and maybe curious about getting back together. Who knows. Oh wait! He is married now, to Tina (Shay Mitchell), a much younger woman. And the kids love her. And he wants them on Mother’s Day for a little bit too coming up, because hey step mom. Yayyy.

Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), is not a mother, but his wife (Jennifer Garner) is! Or was. She died, in the war, because she was a soldier. [NOTE: Garry Marshall loves having female soldiers in his movies]. He has two daughters, one of them in the mature age, but he just wants to wallow at home. He does still work, he runs a gym, and he has a large group of ladies (Loni Love, Lucy Walsh, Beth Kennedy, amongst others) who want to set him up with friends.

Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke) are sisters and sharing a house together, both working on families. Jesse is married to Russell (Aasif Mandvi) and they had a boy. Gabi is a lesbian, with her partner Max (Cameron Esposito). And their parents (Margo Martindale, Robert Pine) know nothing about the kid or the sexual preferences and show up to surprise them.

Let’s see, we also have Kristin (Britt Roberson), who was adopted and wants to learn about her mother. She is long term dating a guy (Jack Whitehall) and doesn’t want to get married despite having a kid with him. He is a stand up comic trying to win a local club event run by Wally Burn (Jon Lovitz).

And a famous lady who sells jewelry on TV? That is who Julia Roberts plays.

Mom
She is worried her boys might see too much of their new step-mom.

Mother’s Day is exactly as one would expect it. Four or five plot lines, all briefly interconnecting in a big city, all around the holiday of Mother’s Day.

And unfortunately for me, my favorite character was played by Sudeikis. The only of the leads to be a man. And yes, it is because I could relate to him most of all. But also Sudeikis makes me happy in most of larger films, so it is just more him and less me being lame and not relating to women.

Aniston’s plot line was a bit more annoying, as it made Olyphant out to be such a bad guy because it was from her point of view, when it is obvious she is overreacting and getting on our nerves. The “old fashioned parents” being anti-everything also felt awkward in this movie. Character Actress Margo Martindale was such a bad person in the film and she technically never really got better. It ends with her happily telling racist jokes to Russell’s mom basically.

Mother’s Day isn’t bad. It is just emotional drama porn. Julia Roberts is in here because she is in most of Marshall’s films, and it is a very wasted plot line.

But the good news is? It is still way better than Moms’ Night Out.

1 out of 4.

Nine Lives

Hey, everyone love’s cats. Just go onto the internet. But the love for cats comes from being cute, or seeing them do derpy things. They don’t love all cats.

Which is why the concept for Nine Lives is so bizarre. The plot comes straight out of a film from the 1990’s (Or a Rob Schneider film from any decade). Guy goes into a cat. The only way it could be really worse is if the cat itself could talk in English and spoke to the cast, but alas, it just has to meow at them.

People don’t like those sorts of films anymore. Those are the films that get mocked and burned at a stake. And here it is, 2016, with Nine Lives coming out. Sure, yeah, I did think Keanu would be a movie about a talking cat, but ended up just being a regular cat and pretty decent.

I don’t think the same sort of change can occur here while watching.

Stare
He is going to stare a whole through that cats head.

Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is what his name suggests, a walking brand. He is all about his image and his companies success. As CEO, he wants to do fascinating things and leave a permanent mark on society. And he decided that permanent mark would be the tallest building in America. Now that it is almost completed, it turns out another building in Chicago being built will easily beat theirs in height, ruining his dreams.

One of his workers, Ian Cox (Mark Consuelos) was supposed to know about this sort of thing, but he didn’t care. He wanted to take over the company and sell it for money.

All of Brand’s success means his family had to suffer a little. His new wife (Jennifer Garner) and daughter (Malina Weissman) don’t see him a lot and he forgets things, like birthdays. And his daughter wants a cat, but he doesn’t want a cat in his house. But eventually he just gets the cat.

Buys it from a weird guy (Christopher Walken), and sure enough, an accident happens putting Cox in a coma and his spirit or mind or whatever in the cats body. Knowing that the last thing he did before the accident was to actually get a gift for the daughter was a good thing, they take the cat in while he recovers. This allows Brand to try and bond with the daughter and convince them that he is a man in a cat’s body.

Also starring Robbie Amell as the son who is trying to help Brand’s company while he is in a coma, Cheryl Hines as his ex-wife, and Talitha Bateman as his ex-wife’s new daughter.

Keys
Oh ho ho, the human is on all fours. What a role reversal!

Jennifer Garner almost had the worst year ever. She had three movies come out, and I have seen two of them. Nine Lives is beyond terrible and Mother’s Day (which I haven’t seen) was blasted by critics as well. She is down right lucky that Miracles From Heaven ended up being a relatively decent Christian film, and not a standard tacky/corny over the top Christian film. It would have been real close to being just a complete fail of a year.

There isn’t a whole lot to be said about Nine Lives that isn’t already out there on the internet. What the hell was everyone involved thinking?

There are very little surprises in this film. Spacey, Garner, everyone just phones it in. When things start feeling the bleakest, it was because they made the son character a passive, dumbass. He seemingly refused to fight and it didn’t make sense. So why did it happen? Oh, so the son could do a bigger distraction near the end of the film, in order to end on a bigger note. So yeah, temporarily changing how a character works, because the writers don’t know what the hell they are doing to get to the finale they want.

The cat looked terrible when it had to switch to CGI, which was whenever the cat had to do anything special. So a giant chunk of the movie.

Walken was in this movie, and he has been in mostly shit for years.

There is just nothing really positive to note. It has a weak script, weak plot, weak acting, and at under 90 minutes it still feels too long.

0 out of 4.

Miracles From Heaven

Miracles From Heaven is the latest close to Easter Christian film release to happen this year, the first being Risen, and the next one after this being God’s Not Dead 2. I figured I should tell you that these all exist, because it is easy to get lost in it all.

Miracles is by the people who brought us Heaven Is For Real from a few years ago, also based on a book based on a true story. And of course, Heaven is in both titles. They want you to know right off the bat what you are getting in to.

Sure, I almost never rate Christian films highly, because they are all pretty similar. Overacting, cheesiness, non realistic situations, straw men, whatever. But what annoyed me in particular about this one ahead of time was the marketing. I barely saw anything for it, but I did see a viral post on the Facebook. At the risk of giving this random person more views, here it is if you haven’t seen it.

Now, first of all, yes it is just the trailer. And the trailer is cut off on the left and right due to the actual size of the post. But this trend of having text on the top and bottom of gifs or videos is incredibly annoying. First of all, it takes away from the original creators of the gif/video, and puts someone else’s mark on it. It usually changes the distortion of the video and makes it smaller. But lastly, what an annoying thing to even write on just a trailer to get people to share. It feels underhanded and deceptive almost. I hope I don’t start seeing more of these, because people will fall for this way of advertising apparently and not realize how crap it is.

And of course, you also have to see the trailer for this film, which tells 100% the whole damn story of the movie.

Doctor
Oh hey. That guy. I like that guy. Never mind, I need to see this movie!

Let’s journey back in time to a few years ago to Texas. Near Ft. Worth, not near Dallas. We will meet the Beam family, which is a strange last name to hear a lot as you will assume bean half the time. The patriarch is Kevin (Martin Henderson), a veterinarian, who recently convinced his wife, Christy (Jennifer Garner) to let him open up a bigger clinic. They have a lot of animals on their large farm, but also three daughters: Amy (Brighton Sharbino), Anna (Kylie Rogers), and Adelyn (Courtney Fansler).

Anna is our main girl though, the middle child, because she has stomach pains and no one knows how to help her. Eventually they figure out that her intestines are not working, they are basically bloated and paralyzed, so she cannot eat any solid foods. She has to switch to liquids. It is a disease with still no known cure, so it is mostly about making her comfortable through all the pain and living with her for the few months or years she may have. But Christy will not accept it. So no matter the cost, no matter the strain on her family, she will help her daughter. They even get her into the best doctor who works with kids with these sorts of problems. Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez)! Except he is in Boston with a long waiting list.

Well, they will get through this. No matter who loses faith. No matter who gives up on life. No matter what strange accidents that might occur eventually and cure the disease surprisingly despite no known cure.

Also featuring some smaller roles from Kevin Sizemore, Queen Latifah, Bruce Altman, and John Carroll Lynch as the preacher.

Family
Damn this family just looks perfect.

Okay here we go. Miracles From Heaven was not as bad as most other Christian cinema. It wasn’t overly cheesy, nor was it overly preachy. The acting was average to good, only poor acting coming from some random extras. It also did a lot better at connecting to the viewer on an emotional level. It doesn’t make it a great movie, it just makes it better.

Now of course, I am still a relatively new father. So movies that are about the potential (or actual) loss of a child, especially a girl, really get right up into my brain and make me feel the sad feels. So yes, Miracles From Heaven made me cry. Not just once, or twice, but several times. Just getting caught up in all of the emotions, the sad and the happy. After all, once you start flowing, it is hard to really stop. So obviously the film did a wonderful job there of jerking the tears.

In all honesty, a lot of me just seemed to feel bad for Kevin, who had to try and hold everything together, working long hours, still taking care of the kids and missing out on events, while trying to be an emotional rock for his family.

But enough about that. This movie did feel too long. And if you saw the trailer, there is not a whole lot of reason to see the movie outside of an emotional experience, because you see how she even gets healed. There were a lot of unnecessary scenes without any real payoff, like Queen Latifah’s character. You could cut her out of the movie easily and you wouldn’t miss out at all. It felt like there were several potential ending points, which kept me feeling tied down. And of course story wise, there isn’t a whole lot of plot.

Only one “prayer” scene felt really awkward or out of place, and that was when Christy was losing her faith and yelling at the sky. There was also a heaven scene that got really strange, but I guess it was required to happen.

Oh well. A decent recounting of the true story of a girl who had issues who then lost them after getting into an accident. What it doesn’t try to do is prove that Jesus is real through the story. It is only a small part. Unlike Heaven Is For Real, which is all about trying to prove it with terrible evidence, this is a story about a family going through a tough time and becoming stronger on the other side. Miracles is now the new film that I will compare all future Christian films to.

2 out of 4.

Danny Collins

Danny Collins is a movie that sort of just sneaked into theaters. It wasn’t heavily advertised, it didn’t have more than 1 screening, and I honestly had never heard of it.

I might have even watched it when it came out, if it didn’t come out against Insurgent. Come on. Teen high school dystopian dramas > everything, am I right?

My biggest concern for this movie is actually Al Pacino, once a great actor, now a guy in a lot of bad movies, like Jack and Jill and Stand Up Guys. He is becoming a bit of a box office turn off for me, just like Robert De Niro. For the most part, they seem to be just showing up to do their scenes and not putting any heart to it, getting their easy pay checks. That is the one thing I will mostly look for in this film. Can Pacino try harder?

DC DC DC
This guy fucks.

Danny Collins (Pacino) used to be a big star. He was wildly famous in the 70s, with lyrics that compared to John Lennon and he was on top of the world. Now, 40 years later, he is still rich and famous and touring, but playing all of his old hits to old fans and kind of just going with the motions and never giving it his all. Huh, sounds a lot like something I talked about not to long ago.

Either way, his long time manager Frank (Christopher Plummer) let’s him know for his birthday that he found a 40 year old letter, written to him by John Lennon that never made it to him. A letter that basically would have changed his life and told him that money and fame aren’t everything. Well fuck, now he is old and feels useless. But there is still a chance. He should just leave his young cheating wife (Katarina Cas), check himself into a hotel and no longer worry about music but instead worry about his life.

So he is going to live in a Hilton hotel, to constantly hit on their manager (Annette Bening), and try to hook up the main receptionist (Melissa Benoist, who is in everything now) and the main valet (Josh Peck). But that isn’t his main goal, no of course not! He actually has a son, Tom (Bobby Cannavale, who is in everything now), whom he has a rocky relationship with. So he wants to fix that up real soon before someone dies and ruins it all. This means he also will have to befriend his wife (Jennifer Garner) and finally meet his granddaughter (Giselle Eisenberg).

Good. A man with a mission. A man who might go back to money fame drugs and playing for old people if he can’t fix his real life before it is too late. Also featuring Brian Smith as a booty call, and Nick Offerman, who has like, a minute of screen time only at the start, but looks cool enough to mention in this review.

couple
At least the casting department got something right. Cannavale could totally be Pacino’s son.

There you go Al Pacino! If you play a part that in some way mirrors your own career for the last five years, you might put some effort into it!

From Pacino I saw passion and I saw an actor who cared about playing his character. Great! And his own enthusiasm made me enjoy the performance and overall, enjoy the movie.

I thought the relationship aspects between Collins and his family felt realistic and avoided tons of cliches. The most unfortunate part about the family was Jennifer Garner though, who had a character that didn’t do a whole lot in the film, so it felt odd for someone of her talent to be used in such a way. This happens a lot with the mom role in films, for whatever reason, but since they had her, one would guess her role would be more substantial.

I was also very impressed with Bening, playing a hotel manager or something. She was able to pull off the professional/dealing with a huge celebrity/not caring about said celebrity really well. And of course, Cannavale was great for many reasons as well.

Danny Collins, a movie that I was afraid would be a bad VH1 made for TV movie, ended up having quite a few strong characters and a unique enough plot to really enjoy. Based loosely off of a real story, but I don’t care about that story, so I didn’t feel like talking about it.

3 out of 4.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

When I heard they were making a movie version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I didn’t have a good or bad impression. I was more indifferent about how the quality might be. Instead, I was worried about typing out the title, or getting the adjectives all out of order accidentally.

These are the fears that I run into most often in my daily lives. And getting imprisoned incorrectly. Just those two things.

But hey, technically I have read this book before. Technically I own it. But I think, for the most part, I won’t let the book plot line bias my thoughts on the movie version. There should be differences. Should be TONS of differences. The book is just a kid, maybe 8, complaining about his day, then it getting better. I think. Sounds correct, but it has been awhile. Very simple plot. The only difference is, it looks like everyone in Alexander’s family is about to get royally fucked up by a day. So if anything more slapstick shenanigans than the book.

But maybe also a few more life lessons on how to not be an asshat?

Pan
Lesson #1: Do not drug the peter pan cast member into believing the kids in the play are actually teddy bears.

Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) is about to turn 12 years old. He has a lot of shitty days. He is generally grumpy and complains a lot too, so it is a wonder no one wants to be around him. To make matters more Terrible for Alexander, his family is perfect. His dad (Steve Carell) is an Astophysicist or something, PhD and all, but currently being a stay at home dad. His mom (Jennifer Garner) is heading out to be VP of her publishing company if this new baby book launch goes well. His brother (Dylan Minnette) is a popular junior in High School, dating a babe (Bella Thorne) and heading to prom! And his sister (Kerris Dorsey) is the lead in the Peter Pan play and just generally successful.

So Alexander is grumpy. He also found out some dick kid is throwing a birthday party the same night as his, but better with blackjack and hookers, so no one will show up to his. And there his family stands. Perfect and happy. So at midnight, he has a tiny cake with a candle and wishes his disease upon his blood.

Seemingly, the little twat has devil magic in him or something, because sure enough the family have a Horrible Day. Car problems. Oversleeping. Very Bad. Sickness. Typos. Animals. Flames. Babies. Destruction of property. No Good.

But Alexander doesn’t have a bad day. So I guess he has that going for him!

And of course there are other people! Donald Glover, Megan Mullally and Jennifer Coolidge!

Suit
What a smug as fuck look Alexander has, despite wishing he could be his brother.

OH NO THIS MOVIE DOESN’T FOLLOW THE BOOK DIRECTLY WHAT THE FUUCUCUUCCUCCKKKKK.

Just kidding. But on a related note, there was one big huge problem with this movie. Alexander. Not just the actor, who I could ignore for the most part. He was completely average, bland and annoying. Probably an actual 11/12 year old. The more annoying fact is that in this movie, he doens’t have the bad day. Just his family. Does this make the title wrong? No. But he should be having a shitty day too. Instead of having a shitty day, he becomes a weird silent observer throughout the day, every once in awhile giving a shocked face, while the rest of the movie deal with their problems and have zany adventures.

In this way, it feels like Alexander is the 5th or 6th most important person in a movie about him, allegedly. So the family? They are all pretty good. There are some good amusing parts, good clean fun for the family. Well thought out disasters for them to conquer. And Alex is a smug motherfucker just existing. Unfortunately, it ends with the birthday, which is a good experience for everyone, the bad day basically over. So it also ends with a lame feel good fest and kind of a boring note.

I am just saying. This movie already barely features Alexander. Might as well cut his role out entirely. Makes the title shorter too. Instead, we get to see a movie about rich as fuck people having a bad day. Which I am pretty sure is the plot line for lots of films anyways.

2 out of 4.

Draft Day

By and large, the trailer for Draft Day is one of the worst I have ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, give it a watch. It is two and a half minutes. It is almost mythical the way they made that trailer. It is both a trailer that gives us the entire movie while also giving us absolutely nothing at all. It is truly marvelous to comprehend that achievement.

I guess that is a negative. A terrible vague yet overly detailed trailer. It also was advertised a lot, so I got to see the same identical thing over and over again. The concept became slightly infuriating. Basically, it had a huge uphill battle to prove itself an amazing movie in my mind.

Chill
Look at how fucking laid back they are about this movie. Clearly they don’t care what I think!

A lot is going on in Sonny Weaver Jr.’s (Kevin Costner) life right now. His dad died a few days ago, one of the more famous coaches of the Browns. Ali (Jennifer Garner) runs their salary cap number stuff, and it turns out she is now pregnant with his kid. It is also 12 hours til the NFL draft, and as the GM Sonny is told he has to make a big splash tonight at the draft or his job might be done. So sayeth the owner (Frank Langella).

Good. He has the 7th pick though. Right now his choice is between a running back that fits his teams system, Ray Jennings (Arian Foster), that is also the son of a former Browns player Earl Jennings (Terry Crews). So Browns royalty, the obvious pick. But Sonny really likes this defensive guy Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman), good at sacks, can stop many great players, just might have some emotional issues.

But thanks to all of the pressure he is facing, he ends up trading for the number one overall pick for his first round picks this year and the next two. Shit. Now he can get Bo Callahan (Josh Pence), a great looking franchise QB. Their current QB (Tom Welling) has bad knees and got injured early on their last season. This pisses off the coach (Denis Leary) who feels his job is on the line thanks to Sonny’s boneheaded decision.

Yeah, then a lot more drama happens. OH WHAT WILL SONNY DO? Ellen Burstyn plays the mother, Sean Combs plays Bo’s agent, and Griffin Newman plays an intern.

Draft Room
Didn’t you know there was constant arguing and drama right before a draft pick?

If you hadn’t noticed, there are no real NFL players or coaches or GMs talked about in this movie. All of the plot points related to the Browns are of course made up. Which is why seeing Crews/Foster there was a bit weird. Oh wait, 98% of this is made up. But they also mention Andrew Luck, and that is probably the only mistake they do I guess.

Garner’s character didn’t really seem to fit the normal stereotypes of a woman in her situation. She was really calm, which is generally not how I see her in most roles. It was strange.

What they ended up doing by the end was a bit clever, but not really too realistic either. Basically, there is no reason for a certain other GM to have done what he did and that is the only main issue with it.

So overall, it is an okay movie. I am surprised it came out in April, since it is clearly just a giant commercial for the NFL, romanticizing the whole thing. The NFL is next month, so I figured they’d make it basically the same day. Most of the teams mentioned were bad, maybe to drum up support, outside of the Seahawks. I also liked Boseman in this movie. Pretty crazy. I have seen him as a famous baseball player, now a made up football player, and later this year, a famous musician. Pretty exciting film roles for this guy is all I gotta say about that.

2 out of 4.

Dallas Buyers Club

I am pretty sure since last summer, people have been hyping up Dallas Buyers Club. Basically, right after Mud came out, that is when people started to talk about the revitalization of Matthew McConaughey‘s career. After all, no one thought that in 2008 this RomCom asshole would ever really be a serious or dramatic actor.

But even Magic Mike had its strangely characteristic moments. This year is clearly McConaughey’s best. Besides Mud, he was also in The Wolf Of Wall Street, about to star in an HBO show True Detective, and of course nominated for Best Actor with his role here. Yet all I really knew ahead of time was that he lost some mad weight.

Weight Loss
For comparison, let’s look at him chiseled up and erotic dancing!

Way back in the 1980s lived a man, Ron Woodroof (McConaughey), a man who liked to gamble and ride in rodeos. Then he was diagnosed with AIDS. AIDS? How can that be? He hates the gays, definitely isn’t one himself! Must be a mistake. Fuckin’ doctors.

Well, it wasn’t. Dr. Eve (Jennifer Garner) predicted he would have only 30 days to live. She put him in a trial, where half of the patients would receive ACT and the other half placebo, and he started to feel like shit. Cocaine that he started didn’t help either. Eventually, when he is almost dead, he finds himself at the hands of Dr. Vass (Griffin Dunne) in Mexico, who lost his license. He hooks Ron up with some better drugs than ACT, stuff that actually works, and wouldn’t you know it, three months later, he is still alive and kicking.

After being alive, he realizes that the hospitals suck, and that he could sell these drugs in America for sweet fat cash. You know, saving lives at the same time, but also that cash. The drugs he uses aren’t legal, just not FDA approved, so it is totally doable. With the help of his now transgendered woman fellow AIDS friend, Rayon (Jared Leto), because she has contacts, they set up the Dallas Buyers Club. You just pay for a monthly membership, and the drugs come free.

That’s some straight up U-S-Mother Fucking-A right there, I tell you what.

Denis O’Hare plays another doctor, trying to fuck over Ron for fucking over his tests, and Steve Zahn plays an old friend of Ron’s, pre-AIDS.

Leto
And now for a fun game where we play “Spot the Leto!”

Jared Leto hasn’t been in a movie since like, 2009. So he decides to go back into some acting and what do you know, he wins a shit ton of awards. And yet still, that is still not as surprising as McConaughey’s rise to dominance. Much like people are now saying it is weird to say that Jonah Hill is a two time Academy Award nominee, soon we might ignore the fact that McConaughey was in Failure To Launch.

But I talked about that enough.

Yeah, there is some incredible acting in this movie. And it is a fucking good story. True story, sure, but the story itself is a good one. The loopholes, the fights with the FDA, the drug smuggling, the SURVIVING. Ron survived for 7 years after they said he would die, thanks to his actions, which also helped saved the lives of many more people.

The fact that it was nominated for so many things shouldn’t be a surprise I guess. I liked it a lot, and I guess so did the rest of the world. Fantastic performances, did I mention that?

4 out of 4.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Marry Christmas! Because those jerks at the local theater wouldn’t give me Black Nativity, I was left without a movie to review on Christmas.

So I decided, fuck it, lets think outside the box.

I bought a DVD version of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past some years ago at a Black Friday sale, but never got around to watching it. So of course, this RomCom, is some weird alternative telling of A Christmas Carol.

Bridesmaids
Basically 100% identical, but this one has attractive women fawning over our main character instead of money.

Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) is a successful photographer of models for magazines. He is with a different woman every week, and then moves on, never getting in love, never getting serious, only having fun. Turns out he learned it from his mentor, Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) after a bad prom in high school.

But now, his brother (Breckin Meyer) is getting married to the love of his life (Lacey Chabert), of which Connor doesn’t approve. It is not like Connor is going there to mess it up, he is just going to highly suggest it. Also at the wedding is his former fling, Jenny (Jennifer Garner), who he knew most of his life.

Either way, during the weekend wedding, for whatever reason, he learns he is going to get visited by the ghosts of girlfriends past. No, don’t worry, they didn’t all die or anything. It is just that they will appear to him in visions and talked about briefly. Of course girlfriend is a vague term, because he didn’t date any of them, he just hung out with some for about a week or two, and sexed a lot. Will a look into his past, present, or future sway his lifestyle and make him go for his one true love?

Emma Stone plays the ghost of girlfriend past, Noureen DeWulf of girlfriend present, and Daniel Sunjata plays an eligable bachelor who is interested in Jenny.

Cake
Lacey Chabert you recognize from Mean Girls. You are welcome.

It is strange going back to 2009 to see a movie of this nature. All because of Matthew McConaughey. Pre-2010 he had these roles a lot, like Failure To Launch or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (both of which feature him leaning on the cover, fun fact). But now he has evolved into a much deeper actor. Bernie. Magic Mike. Dallas Buyers Club. Mud. The Lincoln Lawyer. So many damn movies.

But this is RomCom Matt, and he follows the formula perfectly.

In fact, this movie follows it way way too easily, and it doesn’t feel too important. He only one does one big act of love near the end. Everything else is jut playboy flirting. But I guess Jenny always loved him and never moved on, so it was easy to get her back at the end? Seems a bit silly.

It would make more sense if everyone knows the journey he went on over the three days, but they dont, that shit was all in his mind basically. Everyone didn’t get transported back to his awkward middle school years. Personal journeys don’t mean squat when no one can really see that you have changed outside of saying “Oh yeah, I have changed!”.

So I guess that’s my disappointment, as a man who tends to enjoy a nice RomCom. This one is a bit weak. It is original in the RomCom world (but obviously not itself, original) so that is cool. But it wraps up everything too neatly, even for RomCom standards.

2 out of 4.

1 2