Tag: Kevin Costner

Molly’s Game

Aaron Sorkin Sorkin sorkin. If you would have told me he never directed a movie before I would have raised my finger in the air and declared “Oh no! He must have!” Sure he is known for being a writer and a great writer. But I just can’t imagine him never directing anything. Especially given the number of TV shows he has worked on.

But alas. The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, and usually that phrase is for much bigger events than this one.

Despite the fact that this is an original Sorkin directed film and of course, writer, it is unfortunately based on a true story. A true story that was written about in a book with the same name, Molly’s Game. And so even though he wrote the screenplay, he based it off of someone else’s words, and maybe the dialogue would be affected in some regards.

Or even worse, maybe Sorkin will get distracted by other things while having to direct as well.

Molly (Jessica Chastain) was very close to heading to the US Olympics as a downhill skier, doing the moguls. Her father (Kevin Costner) was an intense man, who wanted his kids to be athletes and great at school, constantly pushing them to achieve greatness at all costs. He was a bit of a dick. But Molly didn’t qualify due to a freak unlikely accident, and he life was forever changed.

Instead of the Olympics, Molly found herself putting off law school, living off of her friend’s couch until she found some job and some life experience. It led her to becoming the personal assistant of Dean King (Jeremy Strong), an asshole, a piece of shit, but she got money so whatever. This led her to running a weekly poker game he was hosting, which featured big celebrities, CEOs, high money people. It gave her a lot more in tips, so Molly began to learn the art of poker, about being a host, so that eventually she could do this on her own.

Thanks to the help of a mysterious celebrity (Michael Cera), eventually she got her foot in the door, ran a bigger game, with higher stakes, more tipping, and all legal. And yet, years later, she is arrested despite no games in a long time, with connections to mobsters, and she needs legal help to get her out of the jam (Idris Elba). Basically, a lot of shit is going down, we got flashbacks, we got a slight mystery, and we got sexy card game shenanigans and stories and gossip.

Also starring a ton of people, some playing unnamed celebrities, some CEOs, some attractive people in general. This includes Natalie Krill, Stephanie Herfield, Bill Camp, Madison McKinley, Justin Kirk, J.C. MacKenzie, Graham Greene, Chris O’Dowd, Angela Gots, and Brian d’Arcy James.

I’d let Idris Elba represent me in court, even if in real life he doesn’t know a damn thing.

Damn it, and now another recent movie has made me want to read the book. First Wonder, then The Disaster Artist, and now Molly’s Game. Although a little bit less interested in this book, as I feel like the movie must have done a great job of explaining the topic of the book. And I have fear that the narration of Molly’s Game, which is assumed to be book quotes, has been made better by Sorkin instead of left alone.

Not to mention I know that reading this book will not secretly identify any actors or celebrities who were parts of these games. These things were combed over by insiders already, and since I know jack shit outside of just movie gossip, I got absolutely nothing. Especially since this happened over a decade ago or whatever.

In terms of acting, Chastain does a really good job. She is powerful, assertive, and confident for the most part, a strong leading lady. Her cleavage plays a large role in this film as well, definitely important to the plot. Cleavage hasn’t been this important to a plot since Erin Brockovich, and this one is definitely more important. It deserves its own tag credit.

Elba is fine as the lawyer, given a lot more of the fun moments early on, and gets at least two great speeches near the end. The ending is where we get a lot more Sorkin level dialogue between the characters, especially between Chastain and Costner (who has done his best work in several years with this role).

Honestly, a fun story, it is gripping at times, it was very popular half a decade ago, yet still not quite big news. The only issues I probably have with it involve the direction. After the intro, which was wonderful, the story felt really weird. We had a lot of strange camera choices, fade overs, switching of timelines. It eventually started to come together, but it didn’t feel very coherent and great until after the poker games were already going.

Sorkin’s next film is called The Politician, also a true story. Huh, stories about the law and politics, this is strange new territory for Sorkin.

3 out of 4.

Hidden Figures

Biographies are weird. They should generally be saved for people who have changed the world or done great things in their life. But what about those great people who people don’t know about? Those are the really important biographies that we are missing and we don’t know we are missing. We don’t need another Biographical film about Steve Jobs now, for instance. And we didn’t know we needed a biographical musical on Alexander Hamilton.

And that is where Hidden Figures comes in. Celebrating the lives of a few individuals who you didn’t know you should know.

And with this regular introduction basically done, I will note this is the second year in a row with a very Pro-NASA movie, along with last years The Martian.

They wouldn’t be legally allowed to watch The Martian on a TV that small. It just wouldn’t be right.

Hidden Figures is about three women, all working for NASA at the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Katherine Goble (Taraji P. Henson) is our lead, a brilliant mathematician since she was a kid but held back by her gender and skin color. There is also Mary Johnson (Janelle Monáe), another brilliant mind. Both of them are Computers, people who check the math and solve longer problems for the “Real engineers” and workers at NASA, basically a bunch of white men.

There is also Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), a computer herself, but basically running the entire colored department without getting the job title of supervisor. Three women, all hoping to do something better.

Katherine gets a temporary assignment to be a computer for the Space Task Group, a big room full of white male engineers trying to figure out how to predict where their capsules will land AND how to get their rocket out of orbit to get their astronaut at a predicted landing. It is led by Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) who barely has time for the head engineer (Jim Parsons), let alone a colored women. Spoiler, she ends up doing the most important math.

Mary faces trying to apply to become a real engineer, but requiring to take classes offered only at an all male school, so she has to go to courts to fight for the right to take the classes. And she has a husband (Aldis Hodge) who doesn’t always agree with the fights she chooses.

And Dorothy, she really wants to be a supervisor, but her actual boss (Kirsten Dunst) continues to seemingly thwart her on every turn. Dorothy is also worried about their whole division being canned when the IBM comes online and does the computing for them. So she sets out to learn Fortran and become an IBM operator.

Also featuring Mahershala Ali as a love interest to Katherine and Glen Powell is John Glenn. Don’t get confused.

I couldn’t handle Chad Radwell from Scream Queens playing a serious role.

Hidden Figures could be renamed “That’s Just The Way Things Are: The Movie” and really drive the same point home. I lost track of how many times a white OR black character uttered something similar but it was definitely more than five times. They wanted to make sure you know these women were facing struggles, there were many opportunities against them, and it took a long, long time in the movie before they started to get any wins.

It could be coming from a state of modern day feelings, but it really dragged down the film in my mind. Making a few quick references would have been fine. But it just felt like it was piling on without letting you escape, which may have been the point, to give that experience. It just made for a less enjoyable film.

Focusing on more than just Katherine was a good idea, or else the film would have felt very repetitive. The other two plot lines gave a nice break to that, giving us something different to focus on to keep the movie from staying stagnant. Henson truly does change during in her role, playing something completely off character for her. She does a great job, but at the same time, she does a few stereotypical nerd things too many times. Including pressing her glasses back up her nose after doing something particularly impressive math wise, this happens again, at least three times.

Hidden Figures tells an important story. It highlights three women that should be known. But it gets bogged down in other messes without truly ever reaching any full potential.

2 out of 4.

McFarland, USA

I have avoided it long enough. I can tell you I didn’t want to see McFarland, USA, at all. Cross country is not an inherently exciting sports. It is a bunch of people running long distance. It is just another inspirational Disney sports movie. So the company that brought us Remember The Titans, which was and still is amazing. But they also brought us Invincible (meh), Miracle (meh, as a hockey fan), and Million Dollar Arm (big meh).

What have they done for me lately? That is what I want to know. Not a whole lot. So the prospect of another inspirational true sports story doesn’t exactly get me excited. Couple that with the sports choice, and the fact that Kevin Costner is at the lead, there is just a lot of apathy around this project. Check out my Black or White review about Costner and his recent movies, I don’t need to bring them back up here, but overall he has been on a mostly disappointing trek of films.

As for my final complaint, McFarland, USA. What? Why the second part? What state is this city really in? Did you try at first just “McFarland”? Because that sounds a bit more bold to me. Adding the USA makes it seem like some fake town on a TV show because the writers were feeling lazy.

If you expected pictures of anything but running from this movie, you are surely a dumbass.

Jim White (Costner) is your average white dude football coach. Then he got mad at his players playing like shitty players and threw a cleat at a kid.

Next thing you know, his wife (Maria Bello) and kids are moving! Guess who got fired! (It was Jim). The only job he could find was as an assistant coach in the middle of nowhere, a place called McFarland. Well, he doesn’t last long there either. No, he doesn’t get fired, but after he doesn’t let a kid who was pretty beat up get back on the field during a game, the coach has a hissy fit. So he can keep teaching his random classes, but not be on the team. Gee, well that blows.

Until Jim gets bored and decides to start up a cross country team. Why? Because he is bored and doesn’t like hanging out with his kids. He also notices a lot of these kids can run pretty fast and run home and well, let’s put dos and dos together.

Eventually he gets his team of 7 kids! Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar and Michael Aguero.

So Jim White, with his white-ness, takes a group of Hispanic boys and turns them into winners! Running winners! And college winners too! (spoiler?)

Also, I feel obligated to include Valente Rodriguez as the principal, because he made me laugh once.

Ah yes, the classic “yep, this is still a picture of people running!” follow up!

I don’t even know why they make movies about people running long distances anymore. Did everyone else not watch Forrest Gump? That dude ran forever and literally cross country. Sure, this was a true story of a coach who ended up winning a lot of cross country meets over a 14 year period and at least all the kids in the movie were real. But it still lacks the wow factor that a movie needs to have.

Inspiration is one thing. If it doesn’t entertain while it inspires, what will a viewer actually get out of it? It doesn’t help that this movie is OVER two hours long with not a whole lot going on. It is mostly a lot of “how do I reach these keeeds” type moments, which at this point is one of the most boring subsets of the genre.

Here is how you teach kids to run good. Are you ready? Well, first they already for the most part have to be good runners before you get them. Buy them some new shoes. And make them practice. A lot. All the time. Make them practice running up and down tiny man made hills and get them used to that. And then? Then you win the things.

It didn’t really feel like the coach in question was great in the film version, again, just a guy who didn’t like where he was and kept his time busy with coaching athletes which is all he really liked to do.

This film features average to okay (at least consistent) from everyone involved and stories you heard many times before in better contexts.

1 out of 4.

Black Or White

The middle day of Blackweek and also the last expected review for this theme. I had said three movies came out in January with Black in the title, and you probably could figure them out. Day 4 and 5 are a mystery though!

Black or White is the first (and only? We will seeee) of the movies in this theme to actually have anything to do with race. Who the fuck even know what Blackhat was about, title wise. Some hacking shit.

This movie however does not feature the Michael Jackson song of the same name, nor a Macaulay Culkin cameo. Such a shame.

“If you’re thinking about my baby it don’t matter if it is while watching Black Or White!”

This movie isn’t about your ordinary child custody case. This one involves mostly grandparents. Elliot (Kevin Costner) and his wife Carol (Jennifer Ehle) have been looking after their granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell). Her mom, their daughter, died during child birth due to complications. Complications that could have been stopped if hey were there, but she gave birth in secret hiding it from them, because the parents wouldn’t have approved of her relationship. Not just because it was interracial, but because of age differences and more.

Well, now Carol is dead too. So Elliot is over his head. He is also an alcoholic. Either way, he does the best he can, gets a tutor (Mpho Koaho), and takes time off work. But it might not be good enough. So, Eloise’s other grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer) wants to sue for custody. She has a big support network, has culture and experience and believes has the better interest for the girl. Heck, she eventually even has the father (André Holland), out of prison and off drugs now, ready to be a daddy (maybe).

So let the digging up of dirt and lawyer shenanigans begin!

And maybe. Just maybe. Some life lessons along the way to learn to be good to people and not be racist. Or something.

Also with Bill Burr, Anthony Mackie, Gillian Jacobs, and Paula Newsome.

I am half tempted to give a tag to “sweet ass lawyer table.”

I will just go out and say it, Black or White was better than I gave it credit for. On the outside, it looks like a cliche family movie treading very lightly on the subject of race relations. I figured it would end with everyone hugging saying “Give Peace A Chance!” and warm happy rainbows. And hey it doesn’t have a 100% happy ending. It is more complicated. People get dragged through the mud and not everyone is a great person. Fantastic.

My other concern was Kostner. Last year at the beginning of the year he had Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days To Kill, and Draft Day, all of various meh to lame movies. So when I saw he had multiple movies within a month or so of each other, I figured we were in for a repeat.

I am not saying his performance was fantastic by any means. It was okay. But the characters and the story made this a worth while movie, not Costner getting old.

3 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.

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.

3 Days To Kill

I think the thing that infuriates me the most about 3 Days To Kill is the trailer.

The trailer didn’t come out until late December, only a few months before the actual movie, but when it did it quickly oversaturated the movie going experience. I probably saw this trailer for at least 80% of the movies I watched in January and February before it came out.

The only reason why I am upset is because A) the trailer itself isn’t that good, which I will discuss further later, and B) they only had one trailer. Some films have as many as 4 trailers to help build up hype and showcase different elements. If you are going to flood me with trailers from one movie, they shouldn’t be the same thing every dang time.

You will hear a similar trailer based rant when his next movie Draft Day comes out.

Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a lifer for the CIA. He is an agent on the ground, never advancing up the ladder, but he is really efficient at killing people. During an attempt to capture The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his main hit man The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis…sigh), a lot of factors go wrong, people die, and Ethan finds out he has cancer.

Crud. He gets dismissed by the CIA, and he attempts to live out his remaining time with his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld).

But when he only has a few months left to live (5? 3? 1/10th?), Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) walks into his life, needing him to re-enlist, as the only person alive who has probably seen The Wolf’s face. She will give him a big bonus to his family, huge life insurance policy, and an experimental cure to maybe save his life. You know, if he works for her to bring down The Wolf once and for all.



Holy fuck, Lady Gaga is in this movie?

Alright, let’s go back to the trailer. It is bad for one HUGE reason. The trailer is super deceptive in its showcasing of the film. Not only does it mash up multiple scenes and dialogue constantly to tell a false narrative in the trailer (making it seem a bit hokey in my mind), but it also doesn’t match the pace or style of the movie at all. If you like the trailer for 3 Days To Kill, you might still hate the movie because they are so damn different.

Argh, bad and deceptive trailers are the worst! Trailers are usually made by advertising companies, not the people who made the movie, and sometimes they do a really shitty job. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty had an amazing trailer, partially because it was made by Ben Stiller himself.

The actual movie is also a mess. I blame most of it on timing and pacing issues. We are told he has about 5 months to live after his first faint, so he goes home a day or two later to see the wife and kids. All of the sudden, without an explanation (like his cancer being much worse? or anything?) he only has a few days left. There was no montage, there was no large passing of time, nothing.

I can’t tell if the script is horribly written, if they accidentally cut out transition scenes, or they just didn’t care.

It wasn’t just that issue. Pacing was bad all over the place, as they tried to put in the family plot that not only slowed it all down, but never felt real. There was an extremely awkward “club” scene about halfway through, and it wasn’t really brought up afterwards. The ending itself would bring up a lot of problems that they also choose to ignore.

After more research, I found out that Luc Beeson wrote a lot of this movie, and now it all makes perfect sense. All of the issues, being so euro-centric, crime plus family, all of it.

Avoid 3 Days To Kill or else you might start questioning time as you know it.


1 out of 4.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Isn’t it strange that Tom Clancy died, and within the next two days, they released the first trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit?

Isn’t it strange that this is the first Jack Ryan movie to be made not actually based on any of Tom Clancy’s books, just the character itself, as a sort of reboot?

Skydance Productions certainly has some questions it needs to answer…

You can run Skydance, but you can’t hide. Tell us what you did with Clancy!

In this story, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) was working on his PhD in Economics in London when 9/11 happened. Filled with patriotism, he decided to enlist in the marines, stopping his PhD, to help save freedom. Unfortunately, he faces an injury in Afghanistan and gets booted out early, but not before proving himself to be a hero.

After a long time in rehab, he is asked to join the CIA by Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner). He doesn’t want to make him an agent. He just wants him to finish his PhD, work on Wall Street, and monitor things in case terrorists plan to hijack Wall Street or use its money for terrorism or…something. Pretty simple. He also starts dating his physical therapist Cathy (Keira Knightley), because that is totally okay.

Turns out, years later, Jack actually finds something and becomes important@ Good old Russia is not only planning a terrorist attack, but an economical attack at the same time to bring us back to the Great Depression era and cause riots throughout the country! Ah, Russia. I missed you as a villain. Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) is a proud Russian man, and will do anything to help his country through their times of woe. So of course he is willing to carry out this plan for them.

Darn it. Now Jack has to become operational, no longer just sitting as a desk job. He has to fight for his life! All the while his girlfriend is freaking out that he kept the CIA a secret. Clearly she just wasn’t as patriotic as Jack.

You have to be super patriotic to leg kick a black man.

On an unrelated note, I realize that Jack Ryan is an established and long running character, but I am tired of Jack being used as the main character name in movies. Last year we got Jack The Giant SlayerJack Reacher, and Oblivion, which said Jack about thirty times in the trailer alone. I am all Jack-ed out. I am pretty sure no one is named Jack anymore.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ended up being better than I thought. Honestly, the trailers made it look a bit ridiculous, and almost implied that they were trying to play him off as some sort of super human with a huge brain and brawn. I guess I didn’t give enough credit to Branagh, who directed Thor, and also starred as the main villain in his own movie. That has got to be a cool feeling.

The thriller aspects for the movie are what really did it for me. They really wanted this to be a smart, intellectual thriller, kind of spy versus spy kind of deal. So they made the main character and villain smart. They had great chemistry together, a sort of battle of wits.

But I also left feeling that it all wrapped up too easily and too nicely. There was only one real “spy like” point in the movie, everything else was basically your standard mindless action. The villain lost far too easily.

If this turns into an official rebooted franchise, I do hope they replace Pine. I didn’t actually hat him in the role, but he was the fourth person to play the role in five movies, so I’d rather keep the actor carousel going.

2 out of 4.

Man Of Steel

If you have talked to me about superheroes before, you will have found out I prefer Marvel to DC. Marvel sets its characters in real cities in the real world, generally makes their characters relatable, and almost always gives them character flaws, like Tony Stark and his alcoholism.

If you had to ask for my least favorite (popular) superhero, it would definitely be Superman. The idea of his character is boring. He is hardly relatable, being an alien from another planet who has ungodly powers compared to the rest of us. He is generally unstoppable, unless somehow an even stronger force appears, or a very rare substance from his home world magically shows up. Not even Five For Fighting could convince me otherwise.

Regardless, I was still excited about Man Of Steel (Trailer). It looks like their main goal was to make him a bit more relatable to us normal folks, which is one of the harder tasks out there. So if we can get some good drama, and for goodness sake, some good action in this movie, I might just like Superman again. Basically, make it the opposite of Superman Returns. Although it only barely fits, this is also part of my Apocalypse Week, because technically it could involve the end of the world?

ChoicesI like to picture the helicopters as his Angel/Devil counterparts, telling him what to do.
Of course, they are helicopters, so they are both telling him to fuck some shit up.

The movie begins on the planet of Krypton! You see, the elders there have expended all of the planets natural resources, so the planet is kind of doomed, threatening the entire race. General Zod (Michael Shannon) is attempting a military coup to fix the mess the elders have caused, while Jor-El (Russell Crowe) has an alternative answer. He believes his newly born son has the answer to their future, and sends him off to Earth to live and grow, while the rest of his kind perish.

So, Kal-El (Henry Cavill, eventually) finds himself in Smallville, Kansas. He is raised by the Kents (Kevin CostnerDiane Lane), taught to be a good person and to hide his powers from others, who might be afraid of him or use it against him. It isn’t until much later in his life, when he is on odd job #35, that he is able to find an ancient alien space craft. There he finds the answers to his past, his race, and his purpose.

This unfortunately also sets off a beacon into space, allowing General Zod and his crew to find his location. They’ve been amassing a giant army and are looking for a new home. Thanks Kal-El, you doomed the Earth.

They show up, demand Kal-El turn himself over, or else the planet is kaput. Surely he is a man true to his word and will actually leave Earth alone, right? We also have Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Richard Schiff as random scientist FBI guy, Laurence Fishburne as The Daily Planet editor, and Christopher Meloni as bad ass army man.

Zod Zod
Not to ruin the movie for you, but the entire time I thought Zod looked a bit like Geoffrey Arend.

I’ve already wrote a lot about the movie, but hold on to your butts, I have a lot more coming.

Zack Snyder is the man who brought us 300 and Watchmen, both of which I love on their own right, and is a man fully ingrained into the superhero world now. He has the ability to make a movie visually pleasing, but sometimes relies on too many film filters to take me out of it.

I hated the filtering for Man Of Steel, but the fight scenes are quite worthy of praise. They mostly involve aliens who move much faster and hit a lot harder than we can even fathom, yet Snyder was able to create fight scenes that could both A) Be followed and understood by an audience and B) show off really cool visual effects. Often times in fight scenes, you will be stuck with blurriness in the action, just not in this movie.

It was great watching Superman doing actual super things, whereas in Superman Returns, the whole movie was him lifting progressively heavier objects.

In addition to Snyder, the film also features Christopher Nolan as a writer and producer, so he can hopefully add some deeper elements to the story that Snyder usually lacks. Unfortunately, I thought the plot and characterizations were probably the weakest part of the film.

General Zod is an interesting villain, mostly because he isn’t Lex Luther. However I think they spent far too much time on Krypton early in the film, which seemed to exist just to give Crowe even more screen time and show off lots of CGI explosions. Unfortunately right after that, we had a series of awkward childhood flashbacks while Superman is an adult hiding from the world, making the early movie feel disjointed and odd. I have to admit, I think a lot could have been cut from the 143 minute storyline to make a bit more exciting movie.

Yes, I am claiming large parts of the Man Of Steel were boring, a sad conclusion. Great action scenes, okay acting, boring overall plot and set up. I really disliked Costner’s character. That guy was an idiot and I felt nothing during his biggest emotional scene of the movie. Heck, you’d think people living in Kansas would also know that when a Tornado is coming an overpass is NOT the best place to run and hide. I know that, and I’ve lived in the Midwest less than year. That isn’t why the film got the rating, but it really grinded my gears nonetheless.

Overall, Man Of Steel is a decent showing for a DC character I hate, but it still isn’t enough to fully love.

2 out of 4.

The Company Men

Sometimes the best thing to do after watching a bad movie with Matt Damon in it is to counteract with a Ben Affleck movie you have never seen.

The Company Men cover had only dudes heads on the cover, and most of them wearing suits. It was either a giant con movie, or some modern piece about the economy and how it sucks to be a rich executive. It is the latter of course, only Matt Damon can be a con man.

dogma angels
But they both can be angels.

This movie is about orporations, mergers, getting stocks up, downsizing, and those damn engineers. Also pesky college kids working for less taking our jawbs away. (Not really). More or less it is how the different people in the ladder deal with their now layoffs, having to find new work, and stuff. Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper are much higher level executives who also eventually find themselves jobless, so we get to deal with the early retirement of old rich people as well.

I thought at the beginning “man, I bet someone kills themselves by the end of this movie.” Yep. Of course it happened.

Kevin Costner plays the step brother who works with his hands for a living for a smaller wage who teaches Affleck how to live and love a woman. (One of those isn’t true). This is hardly relatable to anyone my age, more or less just a scary thing that could happen in the future when I personally am rich and successful. It was an okay drama, little bit predictable. Including the message that corporate work is stupid, manual labor is where it is at. (Stolen from Office Space?)

2 out of 4.