Tag: John Carroll Lynch

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Sorkin Sorkin Sorkin Sorkin Sorkin!

WE HAVEN’T HAD A NEW SORKIN MOVIE SINCE 2017. And that was Molly’s Game, and was a little weird, because it was also directed by him. BUT THE LAST ONE JUST WRITTEN BY HIM WAS IN 2015. That was Steve Jobs, and if you don’t know about Steve Jobs, well, it was my favorite movie of the last decade, so I kind of love it. Hell, The Social Network, also written by him, also made the top ten list, and was a lot of people’s favorite of the decade.

I am a pretty big fan, I guess you can say.

So I have been waiting patiently for The Trial of Chicago 7. And it took a lot out of me to not rush to go see it in theaters, because honestly, I am not ready for that. Thankfully it was destined for Netflix and I was given the opportunity to check it out along with the rest of the world relatively soon after theaters. This one is his second directorial attempt, and I really hope it it takes the best parts of Molly’s Game and goes a bit further.

I am sure I can remain unbiased in my review.

Alright there are five people here. Are they most of the Chicago 7?

In 1968, there was a presidential election. Lyndon B. Johnson had dropped out, so a new person would sit at the head of our government, and for the Republicans it was looking like Richard Nixon. The democrats were likely to elect Hubert Humphrey, a boring choice really, and one who didn’t push enough values. A lot of people had problems with that, so a lot of people decided to go to Chicago during the Democratic National Convention and protest. A lot of groups, a lot of big ones, and small ones, and some shit went down.

Did the protestors star the riots? Did the police? A lot of evidence one way or another. But after Nixon won, his AG was sent to investigate and was charging several individuals with felonies to invite riots across state laws, and they were all being tried at the same time. So what kind of trial is this? Some sort of political trial? Is the right to protest on trial?

On trial we have Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp) were there as part of a national organization they made to help end the war in Vietnam. Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) were leaders from the Yippie organization, a youth group who did not like most of the things the US government stood for. There was David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) was a conscientious objector during World War II and went as a protestor to encourage a lack of riots and peaceful demonstrations. Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) was a Black Panther leader and not from the Chicago area, but went there to make a speech and was there for only a little bit of the time.

And those are most of our key players, outside of judges, lawyers, other people on trial, friends, and etc.

Oh them? Here are the actors involved. Frank Langella, Danny Flaherty, Noah Robbins, Michael Keaton, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Caitlin FitzGerald, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Shenkman, and J.C. MacKenzie.

Here are two more. Let’s assume this is the complete set.

It is important to note I watched this film before writing the review. I mean, that is always true, sorry. I watched this film twice before writing this review. Because I didn’t see it in theaters (as I would have had this review a month ago), I waited until it was on Netflix like the plebian I was. And I will be honest, I liked it the first time, but I never got fully immersed because I kept having to stop it, or go back, due to things going on around me. You know, Netflix problems. So I declared a better time to watch it, so I could watch it again with fewer interruptions, maybe some breaks, but less overall noise around me.

And again, despite liking it the first time, the second time was even better. Normally it’d probably be frowned upon to do a second watch before reviews, because if something is nonsensical on the first watch, I’d want to be able to talk about it. And I will say the choice of a first calm scene in the DA’s office is very odd given the little we know at that point, and it takes maybe too long to pay off, but it still does feel nice by the end.

The film spends a lot of time with exposition of news at the start to get us on the right track, and then does a quick job of introducing the main players, while also taking a real long time to explain the “Chicago 7” vs 8 people on trial part. Which again, when it does in its time, is satisfying and suspenseful.

The acting and writing is clearly the place where this movie would shine the most. I don’t even have to talk about the writing really in a Sorkin movie, but I think he tried to be more subtle in parts when he normally would hammer it along. This is shown a lot in the conversations between Cohen and Redmayne.

Cohen, Abdul-Mateen, and Rylance are the most likely to give oscar nominated performances. Rylance has never been better (on the limited films I have seen). Abdul-Mateen has to give a physical and emotional performance with limited scene time available to him compared to the rest. And Cohen, jeez, it is likely his most normal sounding character role ever and it is just nailed out of the park.

I don’t think Sorkin has mastered the art of directing just yet. But this is a step up from his directing in Molly’s Game. Still some awkward moments and weird decisions here, especially when near the end some of the characters acted like background noise and cartoons during an impactful moment that took away a bit from that impact. Based on what we learned about the judge, he would have been a lot more furious.

The Trial of Chicago 7 is fucking fantastic.

4 out of 4.


I can’t remember the last film that had as much casting controversy as Anything. In fact, this controversy is probably why it took a long time to come out, in an extremely limited release, waiting specifically for everyone to forget about it. Maybe the last movie with this much controversy was The Last Airbender. But I am sure something else was controversial between then and now. Who knows.

Anything is controversial, because Matt Bomer is playing a transgender woman. Why couldn’t they have just cast an actual transgender woman? After all, A Fantastic Woman was able to do it and it kicked butt.

The controversy is a fine point. Another point is that the woman is a sex worker, and that is just a really a stereotype that these women can’t get out of. So having it a focal point of the film is pretty much just more lazy writing.

And again, I can’t really argue with these points, but I will still try to judge this film on its overall film quality and not the controversy.

Although in this case, it is important to teach the controversy.

Early Landry (John Carroll Lynch) is not having a lot of fun at the current stage of his life. His wife died, and now he is alone. He loved his wife and didn’t really have friends, nor was he super close with his other family. He was hoping to live many many more years with her, but a car accident happened, and now he is left with nothing.
So he tried to kill himself. And it was unsuccessful, but the attempt still happened. Now he is living with his sister (Maura Tierney) and her family, but it is obviously awkward. Once he sells his old house, he has plenty of money to live anywhere, and he wants to live in…Hollywood.

A cheap place of course, he doesn’t need a big place, just a living room, a kitchen, and a bed room. So he lives in a rougher part of the city, but he wants to try something different. He needs change, or else he will just repeat previous actions.

And he immediately meets Frida (Matt Bomer), his neighbor, who expands his world view on what it means to be a nice or decent person. She is crude, she is a sex worker, and she is still for whatever reason willing to talk to this old southern cracker.

Also starring Tanner Buchanan.

And his sister is pretty much not cool with any of this.

It took awhile for Frida to appear. In fact, I assumed she might have been a really minor role, and this whole thing was a bit more overblown. But once she appeared, she really didn’t go away. Well, once, and that was for plot reasons. But she was a major player, basically a costar.

The problems with Frida is that she is basically fulfilling the “Magical Negro” trope. Instead, she is the magical trans person that introduces our regular old man to a different way of accepting people. He doesn’t go in hating and mad at this change, but welcomes it, but it is still a struggle, because she is a different person than any person he is used to. But she is there to fix his life more so than he is there to fix her life.

Basically, this is a movie about a character moving on with his life after his wife’s death, and this lady is his way to find a new purpose. So she feels more like a tool than a character, to fix him, and it feels worse given that they decided for this tool to be a transgender woman sex worker.

In other words, it is a lazy plot device, used badly, and is used as a way of building this false sort of representation. You know, without real representation. So this is certainly a movie that is skippable by most measures.

HOWEVER, I will have to point out, that Lynch is great in this role. He is very strong overall and it does a good job of showing off his skill set. It is just the other stuff that majorly brings it down.

1 out of 4.

The Founder

Michael Keaton has been on fire. Not actual fire, but his comeback has been great. Better than Matthew McConaughey‘s come back!

In 2014 he almost won Best Actor fir Birdman, but lost to Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. But hey, Birdman won best picture.

In 2015 he was probably hoping to get nominated for Best Actor for Spotlight, however he didn’t get the nomination despite doing really good. But hey, Spotlight won best picture.

So what about this year? He is the lead in a movie again, The Founder. Knowing nothing about it, I knew it was suddenly a contender for The Founder. Could he be the lead in the Best Picture film three years in a row? That has to be a record on its own. Or you know, he won’t and this is the beginning of the end of his come back.

At least the praise in the movie seems genuine!

Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) is a salesman at heart. He finds an idea he likes and runs with it, hoping to make a living out of it. His current item is a shake mixer that can do five shakes at a time, so he is traveling around the US, making money to put a roof over his wife’s (Laura Dern) head.

But he gets a strange order. A restaurant in California wants to buy SIX of these milkshake machines. So he drives over there to give it a gander. It is a small place, run by Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch) McDonald. It is called McDonalds. They have a line around the block, but it goes fast. They don’t have carhops, people have to come to the door. And the food is instant. People are waiting about 30 seconds for their food, it is cheap, it comes in paper so they can throw away their trash themselves. They can eat it on benches, in the car, at the park, wherever. And the line just moves so damn fast.

So Kroc takes the brothers out to learn how and why. Turns out they made the system themselves, took a lot of practice, and developed a system where quality is awesome, everyone is working and churning out food that the people end up ordering. Genius! But no, they don’t want to franchise.

Kroc wears them down, eventually getting a contract between them, that will let him set up McDonald’s restaurants around the US. He has to promise to maintain quality, to not let them make their own food choices, and every change has to go through them. But hey, it is a start. And when Kroc begins to churn out their restaurants, complete with the brothers idea of Golden Arches, people can’t seem to get enough of them. And that is when the power dynamic starts to change.

Also featuring Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Justin Randell Brooke, Kate Kneeland, and Patrick Wilson.

McDonalds Bros
I really wish one or both of the McDonald brothers had a mustache.

The Founder begins with Kroc trying to sell a milkshake machine to reluctant buyer. Except he is staring right at the camera, looking right at the viewer, into your soul, as he monologues. And it is a wonderful introduction to his character. He doesn’t feel like the most conniving individual, but he feels like a real salesman.

The Founder tells an interesting story that becomes easily relatable to most viewers. Everyone has eaten at a McDonald’s, everyone knows what they are like and has seen them evolve over the years. But it turns out they started as something more wholesome, like most things in the middle of the 1900’s. The scene where the brother’s tell their story is fascinating and one of the highlights of the movie.

Unfortunately, after that, it didn’t maintain its high level of enthusiasm. Once Kroc was able to get franchises off the ground, there were some problems, some successes, some shitty moments, some great moments. And despite being the protagonist, Kroc is definitely a jerk. And at times, so are the McDonald brothers. But the story isn’t one that had me at the edge of my seat like I had hoped.

In terms of his last two films, Keaton might still act well, but the film just isn’t the same caliber. Still a good movie, sure, but the second half just feels unimpressive compared to the first. This is not the film that will finally get Keaton his Best Actor Oscar, although I see the potential of nomination. Next year he will be in Spider-Man: Homecoming (which won’t win him anything), and something called American Assassin which I guess will be his next big hope.

3 out of 4.


Has there been any movies out about JFK yet?

Just kidding. Outside of JFK itself, we have had Thirteen Days, Bubba Ho-Tep (technically), and recently we had Parkland, about his assassination.

But what is with all the focus on the dead president? What about the lives that were left behind?

Jackie wants to give us an important look on his wife, Jacqueline, also told from the perspective of her life before, during, and after the assassination on her husbands life. And when I say it wants to focus on her, we mean mostly every single possible shot and with her stories.

Blood Red
See? No one else in the camera, this is about Jackie not her husband!

For the story, it takes place after the death of John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson), where Jackie (Natalie Portman) is now living out side of the White House in a big private estate. Some journalist (Billy Crudup) is invited to get an interview/update with her, knowing that she has full control over what actually gets written. And then the stories all come out.

Most of it is about what little time she had in the White House to actually try and make a difference. Jackie under went a full restoration for many parts of the white house, bringing back original antiques. And she also brings back art in the form of live entertainment, musicians at the top of the careers and instrument group, bringing back culture. She even did a show for PBS giving a tour of the White House on those new fangled television sets.

And then there is the death. The after math. Lyndon B. Johnson (John Carroll Lynch) getting sworn into office, dealing with the logistics of a funeral, telling her two kids about what just happened, while also having not a lot of time to suddenly move out of her home. I think it is great that such normal problems can elevate so much when talking the highest government position in our country.

Also featuring Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, Beth Grant as Lady Bird Johnson, John Hurt as a priest, and Greta Gerwig, Mac Casella, and Richard E. Grant.

If you look close, one of these pictures is a blood red dress, the other just has red blood on it.

Jackie was not what I expected. A drama about a woman in distress. Sure, technically that is what the film delivered. But it had another element attached. A scary element. And it all started before the first real frame. The film began with a dark screen and incredibly jarring music. It made me nervous, not just in its intensity but thinking this film might turn into a real art house flick. The same sounds continue at various parts of the movie, adding a sense of panic to a story that you already know the outcome.

Portman was of course superb. I quickly forgot it was her, she embraced Jackie with her voice, her smile, and even down to the way she presented herself in front of others. I am weaker at the Best Women acting categories (like every year), but I have to imagine her chances are the highest for the Academy. They love biopics.

I was also impressed with Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy in this movie. I don’t know a lot about him, I haven’t even watched Bobby, but he did a significant amount in this movie to not make this 100% about Jackie. I also wonder if John Carroll Lynch ever thought he would get to play a real US President in a film one day.

Jackie is not your standard biopic. Is it downright almost scary at points and shows that not all griefs are handled equally.

3 out of 4.

The Invitation

The Invitation is the latest Drafthouse Films movie to get a release. And since I live in an area with two Alamo Drafthouses, it feels almost necessary for me to see and review these film releases!

It took over a year for the movie to come out after SXSW festival and it released on only ten screens, but also on Video on Demand like many a horror flick before that. And despite having a city with one of the ten screens, I still watched it in the comfort of my home. Can’t beat that demand service, and the popcorn price at my home is way better.

Going in I knew nothing about the film. But the last dinner party thriller I watched was The Perfect Host, many years ago. And hey, that one was fun, so maybe the dinner party horror/thriller genre would still surprise me.

Hey, stop yelling. This is a damn dinner party. Use harsh whispers instead.

Will (Logan Marshall-Green) is taking his girlfriend, Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) to a dinner party. But not just any dinner party. It is being hosted by David (Michiel Huisman) and Eden (Tammy Blanchard), another couple. But Eden is actually Will’s ex-wife and he hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. They had a kid who died tragically, which eventually led to depression, suicide attempts, and divorce.

What fun! David and Eden actually met in a grief group, which is generally not a place to expect to find love.

Other guests are mostly friends of Will and Eden (played by Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle, Jordi Vilasuso, Jay Larson, Marieh Delfino). But not everyone was familiar. There was a strange girl, Sadie (Lindsay Burdge) who was extremely free spirited, and a late comer Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch).

Eventually they find out that the point of the party isn’t just food. Eden and David want to talk about their grief and how they overcame it. They found help with a special psychiatrist who talks highly of death and how to accept it and move on. A guy who actively encourages suicide as an option to leave the world, surrounded by friends and family. Whoa now.

Things are getting weird at the party. Will believes that they have joined a cult and want to convert everyone else. Hopefully that is all that they want. And nothing more sinister and deadly.

Yo dude, if you are the good guy you can’t be so creepy sneaking around.

When an independent horror film is called a slow burn, The Invitation might be a text book example of that. For 80% of this film, I would just call it a drama, maybe slightly into thriller territory, but any frightful moment is all just done by people talking and the main character getting worried. It doesn’t cross over until the final 20ish minutes and I can’t say it is entirely worth the wait.

I can handle good character build up, I just would prefer something to keep my interest occasionally throughout the film outside of waiting for the conclusion.

The cast was pretty well acted for the most part. Marshall-Green was a good lead for the film and carried tension on his face throughout it. He felt like a man who was truly hurt and still grieving. I could definitely relate to him (outside of his almost extreme paranoia). The only other person one would recognize is John Carroll Lynch who is always unnerving when he wants to be. The great thing with Lynch is that he also can go and do a nice guy role, what a diverse dude.

The Invitation is a interesting story, well acted, and a great ending. It can just be a bit painful to get through for those with lesser attention spans or people who don’t want to wait too long for some of the scarier bits.

3 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.

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.

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.

Ted 2

Seth MacFarlane is not my favorite person. And I didn’t even think his Oscars were that bad. I just think his movies have been pretty sub par as of late. In A Million Ways To Die In The West basically every joke fell flat for me.

And then of course there was Ted. Sure, there was some amusing original material in there. But as I watched it (in theaters), I couldn’t believe how date it had already felt. The humor was almost 100% focused on current pop culture trends. They had a few 80’s pop culture jokes thrown in to balance it out, but it was way too current. I knew most of the things I found amusing I wouldn’t bat an eye at in five or six years anymore.

Needless to say, I was pretty dang worried about Ted 2. Would it just be more of the same of Ted? Yeah probably. I don’t need 90 minutes of shitty pop culture in my life.

Brady Cock
But if it was entirely about stealing Tom Brady‘s semen, then we might have something here.

Ted 2 takes place some time after the original. The main difference is that John (Mark Wahlberg) is divorced, probably because Mila Kunis didn’t want to be in another of these movies. Now he is basically afraid of commitment to anyone. Ted (MacFarlane) is still married to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), but their relationship is strained. They might even get a divorce. So they decide to do the time honored tradition of having a kid to save their marriage.

Ted has no penis, so sex wouldn’t work. They work on sperm donations, but that fails too. So they decide to adopt. But the problem is, Ted cannot do it because apparently he isn’t classified as a person and doesn’t have person rights. This changes everything for Ted. Now he loses his job, his marriage is now nulled and can’t legally do most things! He is just an object! Oh no!

So, in a nut shell, that is the point of this film. He wants to fight the ruling in court, so he can get his life back. That is why they have a lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) who is chill and likes to smoke pot, hooray! At the same time, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) is helping Hasbro fight Ted in court. If it is ruled he is an object, they can take him back, find out what makes him magical, and make Ted’s for everyone around the world. Weeeee.

Also! Morgan Freeman, Sam J. Jones, Patrick Warburton, John Slattery, and John Carroll Lynch.

Hang out

The good news is that Ted 2 relied on less pop culture references to get by this time. Outside of quite a few recent Patriots references.

The bad is that the plot is kind of shit and not worth watching. Let me clarify, the plot idea isn’t a bad one. It could make a good court room comedy film. But they only vaguely focus on that. There are barely any scenes in the court room, really only two major ones at the beginning and end. The first court room scene only takes a handful of minutes, but the film would rather Ted and John just sit on a couch and tell jokes.

Ted 2 as a result just doesn’t have a lot to offer as a film. In recollection, I am having a hard time trying to remember any moment I found really funny. I was completely chuckleless. The writer only had a rough idea for the plot and maybe a couple jokes, but I assume the majority of these scenes were thought of independently of having a real place to put them. So in a way, Ted 2 was a lot like a Family Guy episode.

There isn’t a lot to say. Ted 2 just isn’t good. Not as bad as AMWTDITW, but not as good as its mediocre first film.

1 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {DVD}.

Hot Pursuit

I feel like I am constantly fighting a losing battle. Right now I only go to one pre-screening a week (two if a special occasion) and rarely see new things in theaters, unless I have a super strong desire. It seems like when given a choice every week, I will end up picking the serious drama or action movie, skipping the comedy. I have actually skipped a lot of comedies. They just don’t have the same strong pull from them to see them on the big screen. They are things that I can easily wait for a DVD release to rent at home and watch alone with ice cream.

Anyways, every time I think I am about to catch up on the last few comedies, a few more come out. I skip those in theaters and this endless cycle continues as always.

Hot Pursuit is not the end of my journey. Since then this summer, there are at least two other major comedies that came out that I am waiting to be released. Oh well, I will sally forth and hopefully giggle a bit.

A movie with two female leads and they aren’t shoving sexuality in my face? I’m not mad, just surprised really!

Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is the kind of person everyone will collectively hate. She is focused on only one thing, her career, and it enters all aspects of her life. You see, her dad used to be a cop and was the best on the force. So she grew up with just him and went on a lot of ride alongs. She learned the lingo, learned everything, she just didn’t learn how to be social. Now she is an adult and in the evidence room because she is apparently also slightly retarded despite the fact that she should be a super cop.

But now she has a field mission! Her and a US Marshall (Richard T. Jones) have to head down to South Texas to pick up two people for the witness protection program. Felipe (Vincent Laresca) and Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara) are going to witness against the cartel leader Vincente Cortez (Joaquin Cosio)! Scary! It is very time sensative, they need to be at the courthouse the next day to testify. If they go too early, they might get hitmen after them or something! Cooper gets to go, because if there is a female witness, there needs to be a female officer. Oh well, she will take anything.

Of course, after they show up, some armed intruders break in and kill Felipe and the Marshall, leaving Cooper all alone with Daniella. She can’t trust anyone, because who knows who is on Cortez’s payroll. So she has to figure out how to get her to the trial on her own, in one piece, with multiple sides now coming against us. Basically, a great first real field assignment.

Also featuring a bunch more dudes, including: Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, Robert Kazinsky, Jim Gaffigan, John Carroll Lynch, Michael Ray Escamilla, and Benny Nieves.

Oh good. Slightly better outfits for the pervs out there.

To continue with the trend I mentioned earlier, unsurprisingly, Hot Pursuit was not that funny. Honestly. One actually great scene, which is the main reason the review gets a 1. It involved cocaine and characters on said drug. Fantastic. Comedy gold. Everything else was just a slow, dull bore.

There were plot twists! They weren’t good. There were jokes in English and Spanish! They weren’t good. Witherspoon’s character was so uptight, by the book, and yet dumb! That wasn’t funny. Vergara kept trying to run away! Wasn’t funny. Maybe a scene where they badly try to act like lesbians to get out of a jam? Nope, still not funny.

Sorry for spoiling most of the movie.

But damn. If I had to give the movie any credit, Witherspoon was definitely acting like a different person. She had a strange accent and everything.

Hot Pursuit is a hot mess from start to finish and is not worthy of anyone’s time or attention.

1 out of 4.

Love Happens

Never heard of Love Happens.

But can Love Happens end the recent string of “bad movies with Love in the title?”


Burke (Aaron Eckhart) is a motivational speaker/grief counselor type person. His wife died in a car accident. He was sad over it, wrote a book. Now he is famous, and definitely over it all. Right!?

Sure. He even sees a girl, a local florist, Eloise (Jennifer Aniston). She just blows him off, eventually they get to date though. Awkward, his first date since the accident.

But yeah, that is about it. We also have Dan Fogler as his Pr dude, Martin Sheen as his dad, Judy Greer as florist assistant, and John Carroll Lynch who won’t get over his son’s death.

Sure, there may be another dramatic oh man moment or two. But I wouldn’t want to spoil that for you.

Love Happens
Hey look. They got together by the end. Just like the cover implied. Oh man.

Oh the worst feeling in the world is watching two bad movies in a row. Seriously. Damn it. It happened only once before for my website. But the liklihood of it happening I guess increases when I stop picking randomly from a pile and just go base on how interested I am in it.

Like I said, I just assumed it was a Romance movie with Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston, and it was, but it was so dang boring for me.

I think the best person in this film was John Carrol Lunch, as grieving dad, then Martin Sheen, then Aaron Eckhart. Their grief felt a lot better acted to me.

But really, I couldn’t connect with the film at all. Maybe if I lost a wife early or something it would be better? But that is a hard per-requisite for me to fill. Everything about this felt unnatural to me, especially the relationship between Eckhart and Aniston, which is arguably one of the top two important parts of the movie.

So in that regard, I almost want to claim that in the last five years, there has been only one good movie to begin with the word “Love”. Please correct me if I am wrong.

0 out of 4.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Have you heard of this movie? Crazy, Stupid, Love, it has tons of bigger names in it, and some lesser names that might be big one day! This non-R rated Comedy/Romance has a few stories in it, that are kind of connected. Not like the bullshit Valentine’s Day movie, much much less stories. I’d put a max of 3 stories for this one.

Let’s see, the movie begins with Julianne Moore telling Steve Carell that she wants a divorce. Why? Because she slept with her coworker, Kevin Bacon.

I am pretty sure most marriages nowadays have a “sleep with celebrity” clause in it though.

This causes some vehicular shenanigans, and going home early. Sure, their marriage is also in shambles out of boredom and apathy, but the Kevin Bacon part is more important. This makes their son mad, but the babysitter, Analeigh Tipton, glad, since the kid is totally being a creeper. She doesn’t like the divorce though, but goes back home to her family, where her dad is played by John Carroll Lynch, or that guy who played Drew Carrey’s brother.

At the same time, Emma Stone is having to turn down the advances of one suave ladies man Ryan Gosling, because she is dating Josh Groban at the law firm!

Man, that set up took a long time. So the movie tells of Carell meeting Gosling at the bar, and learning how to be a better man (and by better man, I mean pick up chicks and be exciting). All while Carell has to help teach his son that love is real, to pursue his dreams. I won’t get into any other complicated relationships that happen, because they are all awesome and spoil shit.

The movie goes at a much slower pace, but it is definitely worth it. Pretty much all of the characters that matter are dynamic and change throughout the film, so it is great to watch their transformation.

If I could, I would change the ending though. The big climatic ending takes place at the sons 8th Grade Graduation, which is lame on its own. I skipped mine because of the pointlessness of it. The speeches didn’t feel like they fit the rest of the film, especially since they would have been stopped in real life. Which the movie seems pretty real, up to that point.

It also kind of sweeps under the rug all the problems their marriage have, and I guess is willing to ignore them. Sure, he seemed to stop trying. But why should he have had to go crawling back because she cheated on him? Why does the guy always move out?

Not to mention the part right after the graduation where there’s some possible sex offender stuff going on.

Sexy Offenders
Remember kids, not all sex offenders are creepy. But all creepy adults are sex offenders.

Overall, the movie is probably the perfect mix of cute and sexy.

3 out of 4.