Tag: Amy Ryan

Monster Trucks

When the first trailer for Monster Trucks hit the scene, the internet latched onto it and immediately made it feel bad for existing.

I was a bit excited. Yeah, it could have been a shitty kids movie. It could have been made as a concept just to sell toys. The fact that it came out in January could mean something.

But I was just impressed that they came up with an original concept. Good or bad, clearly this is them trying SOMETHING different. Something that could be cool. Something that could spawn them a television series and make them money.

Who knows, maybe this movie will be so good on a minor level that it will try to run for president one day. What do I know?

Oh no a selfie? Clearly this is a work of millennials and must be made downtrodden!

Tripp (Lucas Till) is your average high school kid. In that he is bad at school and works in a junkyard shop. Not entirely sure if that is average or not, but it has a high percentage of appearances in movies. His dad (Frank Whaley) is an oil field worker, this is North Dakota by the way, and his mom (Amy Ryan) is dating the town’s sheriff (Barry Pepper) who is always on his ass.

Well, while junking in his yard, a mysterious amphibian looking animal scares him! Ahh! Miles away, at a fracking site (and thus, evil), while drilling under a lake, and these creatures came out of the drill site and messed things up. This company, led by Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe), is able to capture two of them, but one of them escapes, as we know. And there is also a geologist (Thomas Lennon).

Anyways, basically this alien or prehistoric lifeform that likes oil becomes friends with Tripp. And he merges into Tripp’s big truck that he is building that doesn’t have an engine. And through prehistoric lifeform magic, he lives happily around the truck and it is used to help them run from the bad guys. You know, typical stuff.

Also featuring Jane Levy, Danny Glover, and Holt McCallany.

How could they do that just go and have an alien orgy in a PG movie like this?

Monster Trucks, honestly, could have been a really fun film. But they took the creatures and did what? Well, hid them in a truck mostly. They made a truck behave cooler than normal and that on its own isn’t fun.

If that truck shot out laser beams or had rocket boosters? Maybe. But this thing could like, jump higher. Higher than normal trucks, because trucks on their own don’t jump without ramps.

And yeah, this film is just a complete drag. The conflict is all of the same, shady people trying to get their monster back, kid doesn’t want them to get the monster back. I am not saying he is in the wrong, it is just. Yeah, boring.

Monster Truck should have done something to really give more to the monsters in the movie. Slightly abnormal trucks are not worthy of their own movie.

1 out of 4.

Central Intelligence

It has been well noted that for every movie, there is an at least equal if not better movie out there that would exist if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was included in that film. Just look at any franchise that didn’t have The Rock in it, then added The Rock to it. It is pure, unadulterated science, like Mathematics.

At the same time, films that add Kevin Hart as a co-lead tend to suffer. Sure, maybe they make some money, but basically everything that has Hart at co-lead has been mediocre at best, and generally terrible. The only films that excel with Hart are those that limit the Hart to a supporting actor role.

So this begs the question. What about a movie that has both Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in it, as co-leads? Which side will win out? Can Johnson elevate it to greatness, or will Hart drag it down to mediocrity?

Central Intelligence was made just to answer that one question.

Just imagine averaging the two and seeing whose size is more extreme.

Back in 1996, The Golden Jet, Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) was king. Homecoming King and the coolest kid ever, and a nice guy. During a final pep rally, some bullies threw a fat kid, Richard (Dwayne Johnson), naked into the gym and everyone laughed at him. But Calvin gave him his coat to cover him, Richard ran away and was never seen again.

Now, twenty years later, Calvin didn’t go and do anything sexy. He is an accountant (a good accountant), but not one that leads his own company or anything. He is still with his wife, Maggie (Danielle Nicolet), but they never had kids. And tomorrow night is his 20 year high school reunion. He is just not feeling it though.

Then he gets a Facebook friend request from someone named Bob Stone. Turns out it is Richard, from high school, and he wants to hang out! Sure! But now Bob is ripped as fuck. Quirky and weird, sure, but he got fit and he got tall.

But it also turns out he is in the CIA. Or used to be. He might have killed a man. He might be framed, he might be crazy. Either way, Calvin is now involved with Bob, and they are on the run, finding clues, and dealing with international finances. All before the reunion!

Also starring Jason Bateman as old bully Trevor, Amy Ryan and Aaron Paul as CIA people, Ryan Hansen as office coworker asshole, and Thomas Kretschmann as potential terrorist.

A moment of silence for the CGI crew who lost their lives to create this fat Rock.

And who won in the Rock Hart showdown? Well, apparently a positive beats a negative and I laughed an unreasonable amount of time in this film. That Johnson is just so damn entertaining. And since he played against his normal tropes, it was better than normal. Yes, it was technically the same joke over and over again. Big strong guy, but nerdy and super optimistic and putting Hart on this pedestal. But he went to the extreme and kept it and it totally worked.

And as a comparison, it reminds me of Terry Crews‘ character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but only in the strange strong man role.

Hart wasn’t terrible either, because despite being the main character, he still felt limited. His character was just along for the ride (not like Ride Along), so he was a very supporting lead character.

The plot? Not the best, but it wasn’t terrible. I was incorrect with my guess on the twists technically, so it got me there.

This isn’t a movie you watch for that. You watch it for laughs, decent action, and because everyone has a crush on that big manly Rock like man.

3 out of 4.

The Infiltrator

I tried to go into The Infiltrator blind, like a perfect critic, but I ended up reading the IMDB page for both a brief plot analysis and actors. I’m sorry, I failed, I’m not perfect.

The film is directed by Brad Furman, who did Runner Runner and The Lincoln Lawyer, both vary different films in terms of quality and subject matter. Given the cast involved, I certainly hope this is more of a Lincoln Lawyer than a Runner Runner.

Shit, why is this movie not an alliterative title? He could have a thing going. I, Infiltrator would work. Or Informative Infiltrator, that would be fun. But we couldn’t do Informant + Infiltrator, that is too close to just The Informant.

Money Deal Cash Yo
Just looking at the image makes me feel 10 monies more worth.

Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston), totally a real dude, was a U.S. customs agent who worked in Tampa, Florida in the 1980s. He was one of those guys trying to get Pablo Escobar, to stop so much cocaine from getting in to the US, because Reagan said so. He is getting old and could retire, but he finally has a good idea to “Get these guys!” for good. Despite what his wife (Juliet Aubrey) wants.

He is going to follow the money. Which sure, seems obvious now, but apparently his idea was cutting edge. He got approval from the boss (Amy Ryan) and has to team up with Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo), a kind of crummy agent but who currently has an undercover role in the organization to get him in.

Robert just has to pretend to be a money launderer. Once he gets in the ground level of the business, like with the Gonzalos (Rubén Ochandiano, Simón Andreu), he can then get to Javier Ospina (Yul Vazquez), then a big name like Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt) and his wife (Elena Anaya)! Speaking of wives, Robert said he only had a fiance, so they had to bring in an agent (Diane Kruger) to pretend to be that as well in order to keep his story straight.

Another agent is played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, some corrupt bankers by Art Malik, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Tim Dutton. Olympia Dukakis is his aunt, Joseph Gilgun his actual bad guy body guard, and Michael Paré with a smaller role.

I was just wondering why that “guy from Miss Congeniality” didn’t have a bigger career. Now look at him, drug lord!

Halfway through the movie I still wasn’t sure what I thought about it. My mind was going everywhere. The acting was good from Cranston, Leguizamo, Bratt, and Kruger, yes. But the story felt like it was full of annoying cliches that kept getting on my nerves.

Of course, given that this is a “True Story” I don’t know how many of the cliches ended up being real or not. But one that really bugs me is that since The Sopranos, it seems that every drama story needs to have extreme marital tension or drama, potentially up to divorce. From the text at the end of the movie, it looked like all of that was completely added in for shitty tension and it gets old.

We had silly lines like the wife needing a promise that this would be the last mission (of course, because he is old and we need the movie) and Cranston becoming someone completely different (despite going undercover a lot). There was a terrible scene involving a wedding cake that just was cringe inducing and took me out of the film, it just seemed so silly to drive a simple point home.

Dumb cliches and scenes aside, the ending really drove this movie home into something better. The event where they were able to get a lot of the criminals under one roof was very emotional. They turned these “bad guys” into real people, with families, reason for working with drugs and more. And they all got busted equally. It didn’t drive home the point enough that the War on Drugs in itself is a complete failure, but it makes sense that Robert Mazur wouldn’t mention that in a book where he is the hero.

Pretty good acting and a strong ending. Maybe the film is a bit too long with some cringey moments, but overall it was really enjoyable and a good couple of hours.

3 out of 4.

Don Verdean

Nacho Libre. Napoleon Dynamite. Gentlemen Broncos.

Two of these films are well known. Both of them are universally hated or loved, with barely any room for middle ground. And Gentlemen Broncos was unfortunately never widely known on the radar, despite it being the strongest movie of the three for me. I also hated Dynamite, and loved Libre.

Well, now Jared Hess the director is back after a six year directing absence. Don Verdean. Bringing back a few actors he directed in Broncos.

And honestly, this should be enough information to give it a shot regardless of what it is about. Just for the experience. Just for the really quotable lines.

Surveillance does. I hate those

Don Verdean (Sam Rockwell) is a world famous Biblical archaeologist. He made his fame finding actual places and items from the Bible, helping Americans ignore faith and base their religion on facts! Like the scissors that cut Samson’s hair!

I should have said “was” instead of “is” because times are hard now. He is mostly now just selling books and touring churches around the US, with his assistant Carol (Amy Ryan). That is until Tony Lazarus (Danny McBride) a pastor self proclaimed back from the dead, with his reformed stripper wife (Leslie Bibb), want to finance Don Verdean!

You see, they are losing followers and they need something big and splashy in order to get people back into the faith. So they will pay for his next expedition, the wife of Lot! But that is just the tip of the ice berg.

Either way, Verdean has the right frame of mind. He wants to help people, even if it involves lying. Then he gets too involved in his lies, and one of his Israeli workers (Jemaine Clement) finds out the truth, extorting Verdean. At the same time, a local priest, who used to be a Satanist (Will Forte) and his scientist friend (Sky Elobar) don’t believe any of it. They want to prove he is a faker.

Also featuring Steve Park as a rich Chinese Christian man who also wants to get in on the action.

McBride seen here is of course discussing the size of Goliath’s dick.

This is the type of movie where you should know exactly what you are going to get. If you saw any of the last three, it is very similar in terms of exaggerated characters and ridiculous lines. And for the most part, I loved it.

I was cackling to myself as I watched it, both due to the “clever” lines and the “clever” situations. Just seeing McBride as a pastor makes me laugh, because the casting choice is that brilliant. I was surprised by Ryan’s character, because she did the timid/obedient Christian thing very well, and honestly, she rarely has big roles in what she works.

Clement made me laugh the most. It might be the first time a New Zealander has played an Israeli, taking his already strong accent and morphing it into an even stranger Israeli accent. It as so think, basically everything was comical. Rockwell did a fine job in the leading role, although I feel like his motivations were shaky throughout. I couldn’t tell if he was intentionally lying every time or not.

My biggest gripe with the movie is unfortunately the ending. When things became more chaotic and things began to unravel, it just didn’t feel like the same movie. It started to lose a bit of my interest and seemed to focus less on the funny characters and more on the “action.” Quotes of course, because there isn’t actually a lot of action, but it was still higher stakes and running and a couple of gun shots.

3 out of 4.


I feel strange reviewing Goosebumps in the month of December. THAT’S NOT THE RIGHT THEME.

Well, I had to cancel my eventual trip to see Goosebumps in theaters back end of October. Things were crazy. And now things are crazy, but a bit less. So while some people are thinking of Star Wars or Christmas, I can think about scaring little kids.

After all, what are the holidays, if not for scaring little kids?

Back to the film, I read probably 75% of the main Goosebumps books when I was a youthful lad, and I watched every episode of the TV Show. Hell, I’ve been watching the episodes on Netflix slowly for the past two years. It is great to see how shitty the effects are now, but how much they scare the kids. And occasionally you get to see Ryan Gosling out of nowhere, so that was fun.

Needless to say, I was nostalgia-ing pretty hard, so I couldn’t wait to see what weirdness they went with for the new film.

A whole lot of white people. Makes sense.

Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mom (Amy Ryan) are moving to the best place to be a kid. Discovery Zone! Wait no. He is actually now in Madison, Delaware.

New school, new high school life. And a crazy aunt (Jillian Bell) who is way too energetic also now nearby. What’s not to love?

Oh hey, his neighbor is a teenage girl. That’s a plus. Because he is a boy and boys like girls. Hannah (Odeya Rush) is homeschooled and her dad (Jack Black) is very protective and won’t let Zach interact with her. Fuck.

Let’s cut to the chase. The dad is totally R. L. Stine. Yes the “real one” who wrote all the Goosebumps books. And he has original manuscripts of all of his books in the house locked up. What’s that? If they open it up, the bad creature comes out! Holy fuck, shenanigans! Magic and stuff! And eventually Slappy, the doll is released (also voiced by Jack Black), and he decides he should open all the books around town, burn them so they cannot be recaptured and fuck all the shit up. Because Stine wasn’t letting them wreck things. Fuck that small town up, hard.

Also with Ryan Lee as the weird male friend and Ken Marino as creepy gym teacher.

All these monsters and the scariest one is still the clown.

Okay, without taking off the nostalgia glasses, I can say I was a bit disappointed. Especially when “all” of the books are unleashed upon the town into one big army, my main thought was “Yes! Let’s see all the other bad guys! Even the lame ones!” But no, they added only a handful of villains, with mostly zombie hordes to make it look bigger. So I was disappointed I didn’t get to see more Goosebumps staples. I am mostly shocked I didn’t see a haunted camera and there was only a vague reference to a mask. Bring out the props, damn it!

Nostalgia glasses back off. On its own, the film felt relatively safe. It had a few in jokes for adults more aware of the series that would fly over the heads of new kids. Hell, there was an R. L. Stine cameo that I found incredibly hilarious and well placed. But for the most part, nothing too crazy or unexpected happened. The main character was generic.

There were still a few good scenes though. The abominable snowman in the hockey arena was very tense. The first lawn gnomes attack was great. And I enjoyed the shocker and the werewolf. Slappy makes since as the big bad guy, only in that he has a voice, but he didn’t do enough creepy things on his own.

I will say this. When the first trailer released, I made a guess on a twist that would happen near the end of the film, and I ended up being correct. It is something that avid Goosebump readers might also have figured out before the movie, due to book plot lines and character names. It was just one of those tidbits that just popped in my head, seemingly out of nowhere. So once the twist occurred, it didn’t land too strongly.

As I was saying. Perfect Christmas film.

2 out of 4.

Bridge of Spies

Lies have got to be very sturdy. Lies can make a foundation for buildings and relationships, so lies have a lot of use. The more you lie, the more weight it can hold, I guess.

After all, you can have a throne of lies. So they must be able to support your weight and be at least a little bit comfortable.

I just don’t know if I’d trust a bridge of lies. Bridges usually have to hold dozens of cars at once, including the things that cars hold. Those bitches need to be super sturdy.

I’d want more than lies. I’d want some cement too. And I dunno, a couple engineering and psychology students to supervise the mixing of cement and lies. And if that isn’t enough, the actual physical embodiment of lies, to make it mostly a Bridge of Spies. Then it becomes something I’d stand on to hang out and shit.

I wasn’t even considering weather. Snow can add a lot of weight to it all.

In the 1950’s, everyone was afraid there would be a Nuclear Holocaust across the globe thanks to the cold war. Hell, people (including me) still are hugely afraid of this occurring. But back then it was new and caused kids to cry and shit. The information age was rampant, so there were spies everywhere. We sent guys over there, they sent Keri Russell over to us.

They also allegedly sent to us Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). He did some USSR spy stuff. He was also found by the US Government, so everyone in America collectively wanted him dead for being a traitor. But to prove we are better than them, we have to put him on trial with a real lawyer. They settle on James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer who did some criminal stuff in the past. Thankfully, Donovan is a good man and he does the fuck out of his job to defend his client, even if all of America hates him for doing his patriotic duty.

Since this is a true story, allow me to go further. As Donovan is the only man that Abel is willing to trust after awhile, Donovan starts getting used as a pawn by the USA government. He is brought in to try and trade Abel for a captured US Soldier, Francis Powers (Austin Stowell). He has to go to East Germany right as the wall is being built, while the East Germans have captured a US college student, Frederic Pryor (Will Rogers). That is two FPs. I smell a conspiracy. And Donovan wants to get both of them back, and not leave one to torture or worse.

Man, what’s a scumbag insurance lawyer going to do? How bout be a hero! FOR AMERICA! And one Russian spy.

Amy Ryan plays his wife, Alan Alda his boss, and Sebastian Koch / Mikhail Gorevoy are his main negotiating partners. I was going to mention the main US Agent in East Germany too, but I can’t find him on the list at all. Generic white dude.

Lawyer up
That perma-frown face, if turned upside down, somehow stays a frown.

Steven Spielberg is the main reason I wanted to see this film. He hadn’t directed a film in about three years, and damn it, I wanted more. Lincoln could only hold me off for two of those years. He is a magical little man that can make phenomenal movies.

With Bridge of Spies, he tried a little bit hard and didn’t come across as honest as some of his past films. Maybe done intentionally, given the subject matter. The filter to make the film look like it was “set in the past” generally bugs me, and this time was no different. Despite the color scheme, the film was beautifully shot. I especially enjoyed the rain scene.

The acting from the big names was acceptable, but Rylance stole the show. Quite a few realistic jokes and an unflinching sense of awareness that nothing he could do could change his situation. Nothing ethical, a least from his point of view. Hanks was pretty good too, but the last third of the film just featured him playing sick with coughing during negotiations. The character itself was annoying at that point, somehow making it seem like he both didn’t care about the exchange and cared more than anyone else.

My overall complaint with the film is that it just felt far too long. The true story subject is quite a long one, but it seemingly skimmed over areas I thought would be more prevalent (court scenes), and spent far too much time on other plot points(the US Pilot training to be a spy, in particular). Thankfully they didn’t also spend a lot of time trying to humanize the college student. The one scene before he gets arrested felt like it was too much already.

A decent movie, but one that only excels in smaller doses and doesn’t feel as grandiose as the subject matter deserves.

2 out of 4.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

I really wanted to do some clever parody of Spoonman to start this review, but those lyrics kind of suck. Didn’t give me a lot to work with, outside of obviously changing Spoonman to Birdman.

But let’s talk about this great title. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) is the full title and so we should say it every time in public as such. Such a provocative title on its own right, and given that some of the people in here play strange fake versions of themselves, it gets even crazier.

And the movie itself is very pseudo-meta. In the quickest description, it is about a man going through a midlife crisis, who used to play a very famous super hero, but stopped and hasn’t had great work since then. That person is looking for a comeback into the public fame and risking it all to succeed. Michael Keaton of course used to play Batman, and after Multiplicity, well, who cares? And now he is in a very similar situation. Awesome. I am stoked.

And Norton plays a great actor who others can’t stand and is hard to work with. Hey!

To reiterate, Riggan (Keaton) used to be a hot commodity. He played BIRDMAN, the best super hero, people loved him. But then he stopped. He didn’t want to do it anymore.

Now look at him, middle aged, divorced, and putting on a play. A play?? Yes. On Broadway, an adaption of a a short story that he is writing, directing, and starring in. Why? Hard to say, could be the crisis, could be because he likes the author, could be anything. But it is happening and soon. But at the same time, his life is falling apart. His relationship with his daughter (Emma Stone) is strained. He is putting all of his wealth into this production. His lead performers are either bad or egotistical. He might have gotten someone pregnant. He has to deal with critics with a vendetta. And bad things just seem to keep happening!

Did I mention mid-life crisis? Because Riggan is also having trouble, when he is alone, perceiving his own reality. He almost sees reality in a different light than everyone else. They just couldn’t understand.

Also featuring Zach Galifianakis as his lawyer, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, and Edward Norton as his actors, and Amy Ryan as his ex-wife.

Also starring that guy, played by some Harvey or something like that.

One of the coolest things a director can do is have a few “really long shots” in their film, where the camera never leaves the scene, where there are not cuts, just a lot of dialogue and a lot of acting. The Master had an intense one of those, Before Midnight had a few, Tarantino does it a lot. It is awesome and shows a lot of great acting during these sorts of scenes.

I don’t know a lot about the director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, except that I have reviewed only one of his films, Biutiful, but I am convinced that this man is a genius. The ENTIRE FILM is made up of incredibly long scenes. I’d say the camera must have only cut away under ten times the whole film, which is about two hours long. That is incredible.

And just so we are clear, this is not a movie with only a handful of locations where the camera is just watching a few people talking for 10-15 minutes at a time. No. People walk and people move from room to room of this tiny Broadway theater, from main stage to dressing room, to balcony, to the streets below. So the entire film is so meticulously planned that the whole thing is like a Rube Goldberg machine. Actors have to come into rooms at the right time, also props, sight gags, everything has to fit in correctly. Given that this is a comedy, timing is key for half of the laughs, so it was an incredible feat. It is almost as if they tried to convey this movie as if it was a play, where real acting had to occur.

Speaking of real acting, there were so much incredible talent in this film, but Keaton and Stone knock it out of the park. Obviously Keaton will get most of the fame, and rightfully so, most likely earning a Best Acting nomination nod for his work here. But I want to make sure that people know that Stone was also fantastic and had a monologue or two to convey intense emotions through.

The film had a great plot, it kept me guessing, and shit, even the soundtrack of “mostly just drums” worked really fucking well. Go see Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) and then maybe go see it again.

4 out of 4.

Escape Plan

Arnold Schwarzenegger must be living a good life. Look at how he has aged, fantastically. He is a fit guy, he was Governor (of a now failing state), and now he has all this free time for chilling, making movies, and spending loads of cash.

Because of that, I have decided to talk about Escape Plan from the point of view of Arnold, not the actual main guy in the movie. That’s right. Fuck the police.

I am mostly doing this because I love his beard in this movie.

Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is current locked up in a beyond illegal prison somewhere in the world. He really doesn’t know. But the prison is not your standard prison. They live in glass boxes, and they are suspended along stair cases, not in a normal rows and columns. There are a plethora of armed guards, who all wear masks so that they are not identifiable. Their isolation rooms are tiny boxes with bright hot lights, not dark rooms like the normal. No, just a little bit in that room will teach you to fuck around again.

But then, this Porthos (Sylvester Stallone) character comes waltzing into his prison. He notices him instantly, always looking at the guards, inspecting shit. Rottmayer considers himself a favor guy, so he offers to help Porthos out, see why he is being weird. According to Porthos, he gets paid to get put into prisons, look for weaknesses, and break out of them. But something is wrong this time, all of his normal criteria is off, things have changed, his evacuation code isn’t working. Someone has set him up to fail and get locked away for ever.

Looks like these two masterminds, one a criminal, the other not, have to work together to beat the system. But can they really trust each other?

Jim Caviezal plays the warden, and you may remember him as Jesus from The Passion of the Christ. Amy Ryan, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Vincent D’Onofrio play members of Stallone’s team (member, tech guy, accountant, respectively), Sam Neill plays another doctor, Vinnie Jones is head of security, and Faran Tahir as another prisoner.

Note the bar code on their shirts. They…really didn’t explain any of that.

Wait, 50 Cent?! Yesss, another movie where I have him in it. This one was purely an accident! Note to self, review more 50 Cent movies. He should be the highest tagged actor on this site, damn it.

Sorry, I keep getting distracted by the actors in this movie.

Well, strangely enough, I had fun with this movie. It wasn’t meant as a comedy, but having Stallone/Schwarzenegger in a situation where we have to assume they are smart comes with a few laughs. Especially when they both deliver their normally cheesy lines. The difference between the two is that in this film, Stallone says it all with a serious face, like he is the BAMFest BAMF, while Arnold is willing to grin more with his character and enjoy the moment.

I am saying Arnold was the better of this two in the film. His distraction scene in German in the film is almost worth it for the chaos it produced alone.

In terms of twists, some of them are obvious, and I think the film even makes fun of how obvious they are, but not everything is obvious. This is more of a thriller action movie, with most of the violence comes near the end when they actually attempt their escape. Accidentally hilarious moments like sudden waves of armed guards, more than should be at the prison, getting mowed down with a machine gun make this movie worked.

I am not sure if I really liked this movie, or if I just liked it more than Carrie and The Fifth Estate, which also came out this weekend. Even if that is the case, fuck it, it was more enjoyable than Stallone’s recent work.

3 out of 4.

Gone Baby Gone

I feel like a bad Ben Affleck fan. Here I am, talking about his greatness, despite having finally seen Pearl Harbor, but I have not seen a third of the movies he has directed. That means the first movie he directed, Gone Baby Gone. I might not have really known it existed. Whoops. Of course he has his brother in it, but it is nice to know his first work that lead up to Argo, right?

Damn straight. Forgive me Affleck Fans 4 Lyfe, my former Myspace group that I was in. I have redeemed myself in your eyes I hope.

But maybe not in the eyes of Ben’s brother.

Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) is a private investigator, with his long term serious girlfriend Angie (Michelle Monaghan). On the news, there is a story of Helene (Amy Ryan) who’s child has been abducted, and she is pleading for the police to find her quickly! The police chief (Morgan Freeman) is super sympathetic to the cause, because he has lost a child himself, and has made child protection his number one goal as head of the department.

The next day, Patrick and Angie get a visit from Beatrice (Amy Madigan), the sister of Helene, wanting to hire them to find the child. This is a special case, they do specialize in finding missing people, but that means people on the run, not people who have been kidnapped. The last thing they want to do is find the child in a ditch somewhere, kind of ruins the mood. Eventually, they agree to help Beatrice, Helene, and Beatrice’s husband Lionel (Titus Welliver), while also trying to not get in the way or ruin the police investigation at the same time.

What follows is the dark paths their investigation take them on, the reprecussions that follow, and the many months of aftermath of uncertainty and grieving. You know, without giving too much away. Ed Harris and John Ashton play cop guys, and Michael Kenneth Williams is of course a drug dealer.

Gone Baby Blloooood

To fully enjoy Gone Baby Gone, you definitely can’t multi task through it. There is a lot going on in this thriller, with many layers of information coming in at different rates. But it is also not your typical mystery to figure out the ending, because it is actually the last thought on your mind while watching it.

Nay, loyal readers, the main point of this is the characters themselves, and their lives as they are all affected by this simple child abduction story.

But then again, personally, I did think it was going a bit slow early on, after they agreed to take the case. You know, because clues are hard to find then. I just didn’t expect so much of the movie to take place after the case had been “solved”. Solved in quotation marks can mean lots of things, so stop guessing!

Either way, it is a well acted drama/crime movie, I just think it could have been a little bit more entertaining (or quicker?) with certain developments.

3 out of 4.

Win Win

I first thought this movie would be some lame Indie movie that was just trying to be like real life and bore me. But actually it got pretty interesting after the first ~15 minutes. Paul G is a volunteer wrestling coach at a high school, and lawyer. He also becomes the official guardian of an old dude and puts him in a home…as his grandson he never knew about comes to down to escape from his pseudo messed up mom (Played by Beth from Detroit Rock City. Whoaaa).

I am pretty sure that is the original draft of The Simpsons as well.

Anyways, the kid joins the wrestling team, does good, and continues to have family issues. Was a very real story, but super interesting. Movie has some comedic elements, but the kid actor really did fantastic in his role. I IMDB’d him and he has only done this role. Never acted before this. Used to be a great wrestler himself but had some spine injury or something. Alex Shaffer would be a very interesting person to watch to see if he continues to act, because he was very believable.

The ending had everything just fit into place, almost forced, but overall just a very enjoyable film. Of course before then everyone gets mad at each other, the kid doesn’t do as good at wrestling, and almost leaves his small town. But thankfully not only does he find a new family to live with, he also finds something he can excel at, and enrich the lives of others. You could even call it a Win Win situation.

I see what you did there fry
“I see what you did there.”

Also, the wife is played by Michael Scott’s lover in The Office.

3 out of 4.