Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Review: Prom Night (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Nelson McCormick
Written by: J.S. Cardone
Genre: Horror / Mystery / Thriller
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, some sexual material, underage drinking, and language.
Released: 11 April 2008 (USA)
Starring: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup, Dana Davis, Collins Pennie, Kelly Blatz James Ransone, Brianne Davis, Kellan Lutz, Mary Mara, Ming-Na, Johnathon Schaech, Idris Elba, Jessalyn Gilsig, Linden Ashby.

Plot: Donna's senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends

Review: 2/10

My Thoughts: Senior Prom, the night that is supposed to be the best night of your life, enjoying yourself with your friends, your fellow school mates (even the one you hate) and of course your beloved high school crush, all one last time before graduation, frankly I think of it as all Bull S**. Yes, you heard me right, I was never found of Proms, never was and never will, the only thing I remotely like about a prom was a little known movie that came out in the 80’s called Prom Night (1980, ever heard of it?, no? will you should, it only starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen. It was an incredibly cheesy horror flick set in the late 70’s early 80’s with a total disco setting, hell even the killers mask had sparkles on it, and as cheesy as it I was, I still liked it, because it did what it set out to do, not like what Prom Night (2008) does, with the remake, well I hardly can call it a remake, because pretty much everything that was the original and been altered and re-written so much that there isn’t much left that resembles the 1980’s classic. What first off the part that made the killer in the original so fun to watch was the mystery, you never knew who was behind the mask until the very end, and it keep you guessing, with the remake, the killer identity is reviled to you within the first five minutes of the film, also they changed the killers background from being someone from the main character’s past, into one of her former teachers who was so obsessed with her, he went crazy.

Plus the killer doesn’t even carry the signature mask or axe like in the original. I always say when making a movie with an iconic slasher such like this, the killers appearances is always important, He /She must wear something that will have them outstand to others such like; Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, when creating such a character they must bear some kind fashion statement, something that will keep them in your mind long after the film has finished, but with the killer in the remake doesn’t wear anything special or worthy of remembrance, in fact what I did find was as soon as the film was over I had quickly begin to forget the killer, it isn’t that he wasn’t psychotic enough or cold blooded enough, no, it’s just he seemed too regular and not stand out enough like other psycho killers, I found more chills and thrills (if any) in the bad acting the actors provided on screen, and speaking about chills, the other problem this film suffers is it spends too much time building you up with anticipation for a good scare but never arrives with the goods, and while I’m on the subject, I must say; the killer spend just about all his screen time popping out of nowhere stabbing people up with random objects, and yet, there is not a drop of blood to be seen anywhere on screen!

This ether means that someone on set didn’t think anyone would notices such a thing like this or he’s got to be the cleanest killer I’ve ever seen n my life. It’s obvious they did this intentionally for a PG-13 rating from the MPAA so they could get a bigger audience (Teenage viewers) which only stirs up another question to mind; if they planned it to be made PG-13with hardly any bad language and little or no blood with zero nudity, than why the heck did every actor playing a teenager have to be over the age of 18? I mean I can’t say for sure, but all the actors whose ages are listed on their IMDB are 21 and older. So again I ask why adults must continue to play the roles of children. I mean if there isn’t anything involving breaking any laws than a kid should play the role as a kid, right? Well apparently I’m wrong according to the filmmakers and the bigwigs in Hollywood. And lastly, if you plan to make a horror film don’t go shy on the blood, a horror film with no blood is certainly not a horror film I’ll enjoy, the whole point is to see gore, to see blood, to see the unspeakable happen to someone because it’s what we the moviegoers want, and isn’t making something that will please the moviegoer the whole point of making a film in the first place.

The story is about young girl named Donna (Snow) who comes home one night after a long night with her friends only to see her whole family killed by her high school teacher Mr. Fenton (Schaech) a sickly obsessive man who’ll do anything in his power to have her all to himself, fortunately for Donna he is caught by the police and put behind bars before he could do her any physical harm, now fast-forward three years, Donna now 17 is slowly returning to a somewhat normal life living with her aunt (Gilsig) and uncle (Ashby) and getting ready to have fun with her friends at her senior prom, it may have been three years but Mr. Fenton hasn’t forgotten her and wants her even more now that he’s been locked away from her for so long, and unfortunately for Donna, he’s broken out of prison for this special evening and has plans of his own with her and her friends. Senior prom will never be the same after this.

As for the acting; I can’t stress enough how badly done the acting it, never have I seen actors give such sloppy and lazy performances in my life, Brittany Snow, an actress who I thought was going places, after seeing “Hairspray (2007)” I said “wow, this girl’s going places” but obviously I was wrong, her acting was badly off key to the moments that demanded strength and power, but instead what was given on screen was rather weak, but then again the character she played wasn’t exactly anything worthy of offering something up ether, just like her role, she was simply unlikable. Scott Porter was much ether; I expected a lot more from a guy who acts in a NBC hit show like “Friday Night Lights” but now I can’t see what others see in him, I mean he’s supposed to be portraying a loving kind boyfriend to Brittany Snow’s character, but what I got was this unlikable, and somewhat annoying character, his acting was poor, and no matter how much he tried to get you to see him as the good honest dude, I keep seeing a douche bag jock who’s only dating her so he can get into her pants, so not the knight in shining armor he was trying to be.

Dana Davis was alright, but I felt she was just way too old for the part (Age 24) and that I thought she could have done a much better job than what she did, but hey the film sucked to begin with so it doesn’t really matter right. Collins Pennie was somewhats entertaining, but still lacking in his performances, I felt that 70% of the time he was just reading lines and not trying to act them out. Idris Elba (the only real talent here) was surprisingly good. It’s just sad that his talent is wasted here. And lastly; Johnathon Schaech was not so bad in his performance, he just didn’t stand out as I hoped he would as the killer, it’s not that he’s a bad actor, it’s more like he was trying too hard to be scary than actually being scary, I mean I would have gotten more chills out of watching a monkey walk around with a loaded gun then seeing him trying to scare you… than again a monkey with a loaded gun does sound kind of scary [Laughs] .Hmmm, note to self write screenplay about monkey with a loaded gun.

Final Say: This has got to be one of the worst Horror remakes I’ve seen so far (and remember I’ve seen House of Wax (2005)) the thing that makes this film so bad is the poor acting fallowed by poor plot line, which wraps it all up with bad editing and audio, over all, don’t see this movie, save your money and the Hour twenty-eight minutes of your life doing something more meaningful like reading a book or watching flies F***, or reading a book on flies F****ing, you pick. But as always if that Curiosity of your is still picking away at you than watch at your own risk.

Copyright 2008 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008 ) [Reviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller
Written By: Jason Segel
Released: 2008
Grade: A

Just looking at the people involved with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, having anything but the highest expectations seems out of the question. Judd Apatow producing it nearly guarantees a laugh out loud film. Of course, one of his regulars, Jason Segel takes the lead on this aside from the loveable and charismatic Kristen Bell, and the beautiful and fiery Mila Kunis. Jason Segel shows such a quirky and goofy attitude through his fiercely funny acting. He shows this week after week on How I Met Your Mother as well as in Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, and his performance in Knocked Up. Not only does he give a great performance, but he wrote the film as his screenwriting debut.

Peter (Segel) has been dating TV star, Sarah Marshall (Bell) for 5 years. He is a composer and makes the musical segments for Sarah’s crime investigation drama. As she seems to be working more and more, Peter gets very anxious to see her. However, this anxiety doesn’t lead to anything good. As soon as Sarah gets back she breaks up with a completely naked and vulnerable Peter. He is absolutely devastated by this especially when it comes out that Sarah has met someone else, a raunchy out there rock star, Aldous Snow (Brand). Peter tries to get over Sarah, but he has a lot of trouble. He meets a lot of other girls and has countless one night stands. This just makes him miss Sarah more and more. It doesn’t help that he still has to see Sarah all the time in the press and even at work. His stepbrother, Brian (Hader) and his wife, Liz (Cackowski) try to help him through this and think a vacation would be best for him right now. So Peter goes on a trip to Hawaii, but he ends up in the same hotel as Sarah and Aldous.

At first this seems like a nightmare to Peter, but he also uses this situation to keep an eye on Sarah. He tries meeting friends so he can have a good time while he’s there. The woman at the front desk of the hotel, Rachel (Kunis) helps him with this. She had a long term boyfriend who she moved to Hawaii for. She dropped out of college for him and he ended up cheating on her just a few weeks later. So she knows what he’s going through. They end up spending a lot of time together. While things start not to look so good for Sarah, jealousy breaks out. This vacation has done a lot for Peter though and he begins to realize that he might be even better without Sarah. Rachel pushes him to do things that he can really be passionate about such as a musical version of “Dracula” with puppets, showing the misunderstanding and yearning for love that this vampire has, much like Peter.

The cast is incredible here and add so much to the enjoyment of the film. Jason Segel as the writer obviously had a good understanding of the film. Even beyond that, certain elements of Peter were based on experiences of Segel’s life. The “Dracula” musical seems so funny and out there, especially when it is actually performed on stage with puppets and humans on a full stage of darkness doom and fierce love. It works well and adds to a strength that Peter finds, but also further evidence that him and Sarah weren’t meant to be together. However, it makes you think why this? What even made them think of this? Well the answer is that Segel himself once attempted to make this same musical with puppets included. He also was in a similar situation to the break up that Peter encountered just with a little more dignity and less desperation. Jason Segel is just so much fun to watch. He doesn’t overplay the sadness, but does show that his character is at an extreme, the absolute low of being dumped by someone you thought loved you. Peter isn’t just there for us to feel sorry for him though. He is someone we can genuinely feel for through and through. He is just someone we want the best for and to live life with out fear or holding back. Kristen Bell is wonderful as Sarah Marshall. She nails the bitch role here, but not stereotypically. Her character does develop and we see that there is a bit more to here. Of course what she did wasn’t right and isn’t deserving of any second chances even for us as the viewer. However, we see that she is still human. Mila Kunis is as good in Forgetting Sarah Marshall as she was in her long role as Jackie in That 70’s show, perhaps even better. She is definitely more likeable as Rachel, and has terrific chemistry with Segel. Their characters have a lot in common and can help each other in so many ways. Even beyond that though, she is just a delight to watch and seems to exert some life back in to Peter. Russell Brand was quite funny as the rock star boyfriend. He is very shallow ladies’ man. His care free attitude and absurdities really added the comedy, especially since this is the replacement of Peter.

Brian Bretter of Superbad added a lot of comedy as Peter’s stepbrother. Even Liz Cackowski as his wife made the advice segments to Peter of the movie very entertaining. Jonah Hill has a supporting role as the waiter at the hotel’s restaurant adds a lot in the time he has. He plays an obsessive fan of Aldous Snow. Just his behaviors to show this fanatic admiration is humorous. His best scenes are with Segel, as he is surprised and feeling sorry for him that he is all alone on vacation eating at the restraint. Another member of the Apatow team, Paul Rudd, plays the absent minded surf instructor and shop keeper. He picks up this surfer mentality and even adds some stoner type of comedy without explicitly making it clear this is what he’s doing. Also one of the hotel guests played by Jack McBrayer who is a regular on 30 Rock is a very religious and not very sexually daring man on his honeymoon.

As far as break up movies go, this is one of the best. I really don’t have any complaints. The one warning I have is that this film is full of nudity. It is actually more male nudity than female. More towards the beginning with the lesser known actresses there is more shown, but the main focus is Jason Segel. At times, it does seem excessive, but it is justified at the same time. The nakedness of Peter shows a certain desperation and fragility, as if he has taken off all of his layers off and has no armor left to protect him. It is interesting though seeing him like this at the beginning and how a very similar situation happens at the end with Rachel. The thing is though it is completely different. He still has his layers off, but this represents him being his true self and not being ashamed of it. Rachel, unlike Sarah, accepts him in this way and even more than that encourages and embraces it. One very funny thing about the film is there is a segent where they are making fun of a movie Sarah Marshall was in that follows a very similar description to Pulse, the horrendous movie that Kristen Bell stared in. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is loads of fun from beginning to end. The acting is incredible through so many versatile and thoroughly enjoyable characters. Jason Segel has tremendously succeeded as a screenwriting with this being his first film. I look forward to seeing him as well as the whole Apatow team that seem to continuously pop up in each other’s movies.

Review: Doomsday (2008) [Reviewed By Tony-D]

Release: 2008
*** out of ****
Director: Neil Marshall
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Malcolm McDowell, Bob Hoskins

If I was living in Britain this present day, I think I would have gotten myself a passport and flew myself across the United States to live here by now. Between “V for Vendetta” and the film that I’m reviewing, England has some serious explaining to do to people who actually believe this stuff. “Doomsday,” Neil Marshall’s third film, wasn’t originally intended to be seen by my working eyes. Actually, I was planning on seeing “Stop-Loss” its opening day, but since I couldn’t sneak into that, I walked into this instead. It turns out that I liked this one just a tad bit better than “Stop-Loss,” and got a lot more than what I expected.

What you got to know before watching “Doomsday” is that it is that you shouldn’t expected seeing a lot of plot here. If you’re going to see this movie at all you shouldn’t even worry about the plot first watch. Neil Marshall’s last film, “The Descent,” did stick to me as it did to others, but it doesn’t mean it was a bad film. “Doomsday” will be forgotten by the end of the year, and it is a damn shame. It is entertainment, with a capital E. The only reason it’s not capitalized when I just typed it was because Microsoft Word sucks dick.

“Doomsday” tells the tale of Eden Sinclair. (Rhona Mitra) When she was a little baby, she was shot in the eye due to people trying to get away from the Reaper Virus. Thirty years go by – they get everyone away from the virus by building a wall. But the virus still manages to break out through the wall, and a team led by Sinclair is set to investigate for a cure. Oh, and Malcolm McDowell is in this too. He just magically appears.

Neil Marshall’s “Doomsday” is a lot different from his last two features. While they were horror films, “Doomsday” is an apocalyptic sci-fi action thriller. It is nothing that this man has done before but it is probably his greatest achievement. It’s a lot of fun, the special effects are amazing, and there are heroes to cheer for. I don’t know if you notice this, but the last time I cheered for an action hero was John McClane last summer. Before that… I don’t think I have ever cheered in an action film like this.

From the opening scenes, I soon discovered it was hard not to enjoy this film. I saw it with three other people in the audience, and I realized that I wasn’t alone. The amazing finale totally makes the film. I can’t resist bringing up the fact that the sets are in perfect condition and look real. I also can’t resist to bringing up the fact that the direction and the cinematography are fucking amazing. The film is shot in some shakey-cam. Usually, I have a problem with this, but this follows the same formula as “28 Days Later” and “Cloverfield.” It is supposed to be shakey because we are seeing this from the point of view of these guys. So there are no complaints in my book about that.

The hero, played by Rhona Mitra, is honestly the most badass hero since Seth Gecko in “From Dusk Till Dawn.” With only one eye, she manages to kick some serious ass in every scene. A scene in particular is where she battles a big guy in an arena in front of thousands of people. They, like us, consider this to be entertainment. And we watch once she gets her hands on this guy…

The biggest problem I had with “Doomsday” is that sometimes the plot was hard to follow, but I’ll probably get everything down once I view the film a couple more times. There are a few plot holes here and there also, but I’ll admit – I was too into the movie to even notice them at first watch. Maybe in second watch I can find some of the plot holes.

“Doomsday” is a very enjoyable film. It’s a lot of fun, and not too many films are like this. Although if this was released in the summer-time, I would actually think that this would have made a lot more money. It’s more of a summer blockbuster than “The Happening” will be, and will be better than “Babylon A.D.” after it comes out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Written by: Kelly Masterson
Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller
MPAA: Rated R for a scene of strong graphic sexuality, nudity, violence, drug use and language.
Released: USA 26 October 2007 (limited)
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, Rosemary Harris, Aleksa Palladino, Michael Shannon, Amy Ryan, Brian F. O'Byrne, Blaine Horton, Arija Bareikis, Leonardo Cimino, Lee Wilkof, Damon Gupton, Adrian Martinez.

Plot: When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelery store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: There is an age old question that at one point in your life will be ask of you. What would you be willing to do for money? Some would say they wouldn’t do anything involving braking the law like robbery or doing anything that would endanger someone else’s life for money, because money can’t buy everything and it certainly isn’t worth living with what you did for the rest of your life. Some will say anything so long as it won’t get anyone hurt. But the thing is none of us truly knows until we are pushed to the very edge of our limits, to a point where our very sanity is put to play, to such an edge where we become so desperately hungry for that extra buck that we would be willing to take that leap of faith to a point of no return, many of you that read this may disagree and say that you’d never do that, but in all honesty how do you truly know? How can you know until that moment when you are forced into that tight corner and the only we to get out is to do something you’d never imagine yourself doing, the very thing is what happens to the main characters in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, they didn’t know what they were getting into, only that as individuals they had burdens to bare and great struggles to fight that had gotten so loud, so controlling that it got the best of them and in that moment of truth they were pushed into a corner and the only way out was simply one thing, one that wouldn’t hurt anyone, one that would easily be forgotten in time and perhaps even laughed about in years to come, or so they thought, what they did suspect was in this plan they had set into motion was a chain reaction of events to occur that would lead to misery, regret, and ultimately their self-destruction.

I must admit I went into this not expecting much because I knew nothing about the plot or what to expect, only that it starred one of my favorite actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman, so with that said I thought it should be at least pretty decent, well what I got was more than just decent, it was a magnificent ensemble of storytelling, giving you an insight of each and every character and what their role has to offer to the plot, which of course I must point out that some may not like because the films does a great deal of backtracking for each and every one of the main characters, for example the film will focus on one particular character, like Hoffman’s character, “Andy” starting with his point of view on what’s going on, than it will backtrack to that point again, but this time with Ethan Hawke’ character, “Hank” and just like Hoffman’s character it will show his point of view of things until it reaches a certain point and then backtracks to the beginning again, essentially it will continue this cycle until it manages to bring all the main players of this flick from point A to point B, than it will repeat this cycle again but with point C to point D.

I know some will find it to be somewhat aggravating to have to see parts of the story shown over and over again, but some (Like me) will enjoy this quite a lot because it shows us how everyone is affected by the actions of another’s mistakes and how the meaning of loyalty is put to play among family, which in itself embodies the very meaning to be human, after all it is human to want more than you have, and it’s certainly human to quickly have second thoughts about your very loyalties to those you love when something with more meaning to you comes across your path, and in this particular case, it’s a combination of greed and self-preservation, the will of survival outweighs that of family, which is beautifully presented between Philip Hoffman, Ethan Hawke and Albert Finney’s character, with Hoffman and Hawke they have this older brother, little bother love that sometimes falls into bitterness between them that really resembles how most siblings are with each other, Finney and Hoffman has this bitter father, son relationship between them that feels so real that one would think the two were actually related.

The story is about two brothers, Andy (Hoffman) an executive for a corporation who have been secretly stealing thousands of dollars from his company’s payroll to support his drug addiction is in a heap of trouble when the IRS decides to do an audit on his company he soon realizes it’s only a matter of time before they discovers it was him who stole the money, he goes to his brother Hank (Hawke), who is divorced and trying real hard juggling to pay child support, his bills and trying to keep his daughter happy, all with a wage that can hardly pay for just one, so desperate for the cash, he agree to help his brother out in organizing a robbery on their parents suburban jewelry store, for them it would be a helpless crime, one where no one would get hurt, and since the store and all its stock is insured, their parents would be covered. But what they didn’t anticipate was what would accrue on that particular day.

As for the acting; Philip Seymour Hoffman was a sight to see in this one, he steals the show with an outstanding performance, which of course is what he always does, he’s what you’d call a rare type of actor, one that has the ability to transform himself into whatever role that is needed of him, some actors tend to carry the same personality in all their roles, as where Hoffman becomes the role, you’ll find that in a lot of his films the characters he tends to play are uniquely different for each other, this of course is always an A+ in my book, which is why he is listed down as a favorite of mine. Ethan Hawke was pretty good, although I felt his performance wasn’t up to pare with his previous performances, now don’t get me wrong, he’s a great actor, a fine one indeed, but I felt he just wasn’t giving it his all. Albert Finney was terrific, no matter what movie he’s in, whenever he appears on film he lights up the screen with his performance which is always nothing short of captivating and outstanding.

Marisa Tomei was wonderful, her performance very much up to pare, which was quite enjoyable, and although I’m going to regret saying this later, I felt there was an overcast of nudity in this film, she spends a good 70% of her screen time naked showing full no nudity, I thought is wasn’t really all that needed, but I guess you could say that that’s what her character was really there for, so you could say that she was bad in all the right ways if you catch my drift. Michael Shannon wasn’t too bad himself, which is saying a lot coming from me; after all I thought his performance in last year’s film Bug (2007) was downright horrible, I do remember calling the film a waste of my money and time, time that was stolen from me and I’d never get back. I had also think the very same of his acting, but despite my thoughts in that lousy film, I found his performance to be less annoying this time, and actually thought he wasn’t too bad, perhaps there’s hope for him after all. And last but certainly not least, Rosemary Harris was delightful, I adored her performance in the Spider-Man films, now more so in this film, the only sad part was she’s not in it enough.

Final Say: I had a great time watching this film, and I think it’s mainly because I had no expectations what so ever, so not knowing what to expect and not wanting to in the first place made me really appreciate this film a lot, but like I said it’s not for everyone and if you easily get confused or can’t stand having to take multiple re-plays with the story that shos a little more each time, than I wouldn’t recommend seeing it, but if you still want to take the dare and see it than I highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) [Reviewed By David Dominic DiMichele]

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
*** Out of ****
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
April 19, 2008

We are now in the midst of a treacherous tidal wave of new cinema: the lewd, crude and highly sexual cinema. It's the kind that produces movies that really hone in on the sexual world that we are a part of today; in a comedic way. With each film that comes along in this genre it's always the newest film pushing the envelope farther and farther from its predecessors. Just refer to "40-year-old Virgin," "Knocked Up" and "Superbad." Now we can add "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," a sexual breakup comedy, to this infamous list. All of these sexual comedies, especially the latter, make past movies of the same genre ("American Pie") look like child's play.

What's so cool and special about these raunchy comedies are the fact that they're made possible by the same group of people. This group of people all answers to writer-director-producer Judd Apatow. He has the knack of putting movies out to the public that involve his favorite people to work with. He gives the director here, Nicholas Stoller, his first crack at success. It shows he's a virgin to directing when the film looses its mirth in the second act.
When you look at the cast of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" it can be the cast of any of the movies that I recently stated above. You know you're in store for something daring and lewdness so crude that it makes you not want to watch their films with anybody except for your friends.
Each of the films that Apatow is at helm at, there's always an involvement of such a simple plot and a mediocre looking guy surrounded by unexplainably hot and sexy woman. Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, who wrote the script full of hilarity and current event references) is the mediocre looking guy who has the dream of creating a puppet musical version of "Dracula." He has the job of writing "ominous and dark" tones for the hit show "Crime Scene," of which his girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kirsten Bell) is star of opposite of William Baldwin's character.
We learn Sarah and Peter's relationship through ways of flashback scenes because as the movie opens she comes to his messy apartment to break up with him. This is when we receive the 'etched in your mind' moment of Peter's penis. Segel (known from the series "Freaks and Geeks"), by doing this scene, shows his balls in a different way, reacting as if his world has just collapsed from under his feet and no clue where to turn next in life.
His stepbrother (Bill Hader) has the idea for Peter to get away on a vacation to Hawaii to get away from the situation. Here he cries himself to sleep but also finds new life in a smoldering receptionist of the resort Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis). She let's him use a $6,000 condo until it's rented out by Dakota Fanning. Soon he finds Sara here with her new beau, British singing sensation Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). This sets up the bulk of the movie in Hawaii where the two couples endure late night dinners, bonfires, arguments and of course sex.
It's Brand's character who is the glue to the film. He's discharging a state of tranquility throughout the entire film even when tension is at its highest. He's trying to befriend Peter instead, like other movies would depict, of crushing him like a little bug. The two are polar opposites from looks to occupation (he's a star singer and he's a struggling one).
Along the way and around the corners of this Hawaiian resort are the familiar faces of Paul Rudd who plays a stoned surfer instructor and Jonah Hill as restaurant waiter obsessed with Aldous and also selling drugs.

All of Apatow's movies focus on men, who are really boys at heart, being dragged away from their comfort level and into a world where they feel awkward and vulnerable and how they deal with such situations distinguishes them from the norm. He has the aptitude of creating such sloppy and kiddish men and turning them into such hunks, who have the luxury to bang gorgeous woman at the drop of a hat, who occupy such deep feelings. Now Mr. Apatow lets turn the tables and focus on a mediocre looking woman who's swamped with handsome men.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review: Superhero Movie (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Craig Mazin
Written by: Craig Mazin
Genre: Parody / Action / Comedy / Sci-Fi.
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, drug references and language.
Released: 28 March 2008 (USA)
Starring: Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Marion Ross, Keith David, Pamela Anderson, Tracy Morgan, Nicole Sullivan.

Plot: A Comedy that spoofs superhero films, from Batman Begins to Fantastic Four.

Review: 3/10

My Thoughts: You know there once was a time when a Parody film meant something to moviegoers, yes boys and girls, I’m talking about the good old days. A time when people like Mel Brooks, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker and the original Monty Python crew could make us laugh so much we’d leave the theaters in tears from laughing so hard and maybe wetting ourselves just a little from the comedy they projected to the audience [Laughs], this of course was a time when we had such magnificent films like; Blazing Saddles (1974), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), Airplane! (1980), History of the World, Part I (1981), Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983), Spaceballs (1987), The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), they had made films that wasn’t just funny, no they made comedies that was intelligent, that they could get the viewer using their brains while laughing, this was back whenever you’d heard star names like; Dom DeLuise or Leslie Nielsen. You would be out the door heading to your nearest theater near you without thinking twice. Oh yes this was defiantly the golden years for spoof films, when I, and people like me who enjoy the true art of Parody films we remember those fine gentlemen as GODS of the genre.

And yes a Parody film isn’t just something dumb to laugh at, it’s an art, one that hasn’t been treated the way it should be treat and has been bastardized by today films who try to hold clam to the title Parody. I cannot stress how much it kills me to hear young people say how good Date Movie or Epic Movie was. Or how they rolled on the floor laughing while watching Meet the Spartans. I look at people like this and can’t help but roll my eyes at them and want to say “What The F*** did you just say to me?” Because obviously they do not know what real spoofing is, before whenever such a film was made, it was made to mock a specific time, place or entity within the pop culture region, which no matter how idiotic or outrageously silly it may be, it still came off as funny and had the viewer using their mind alone the way, making them come up with the conclusion to what they are spoofing and not having to explain it to you as if you’re a 4 year old which I’ve found to be very irritating in now days films and often I find myself somewhat humiliated watching such, even when I’m alone, but I do it because I’m just an informative king of guy who likes to make sure no one else has to endure the pain and suffering that is modern Parody.

Unlike the last films in its genre; Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Date Movie, Epic Movie. Superhero proves to have (well I shouldn’t say “have” because that would imply that it has something worth watching when it doesn’t) some potential to it, a few moments here and there that maybe prove to be somewhat humorous, the bad art is that all it ever is, a few moments and nothing else, which of course is sad because just like the other films it had the opportunity to be great, it had a decent concept to its plot written down, but failed horrible in bringing it to film. The problem that it suffered is the very same thing that all other films in its genre suffers in this new millennium, and that is it focuses too much on contemporary pop culture with it including every celebrity screw up that happened within the last few months, I mean come on, I don’t want to see a joke about something a crazy celebrity did just a month ago! No sir , if I want to see that I’d just go the main source and see the real thing, but it seems that these mainstream filmmakers don’t see that and continue to make crap after crap film, now with Superhero Movie what I mean by it had the potential to be good was because the idea of spoofing all these Comic book films coming out every years isn’t a bad idea so long as it is made right, which this movie fails to do, instead of spoofing all the comic book films with their own brand of originality they decide to go and not only re-enact exact scenes from films like Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Batman Begins, they go and also include the superheroes by name and costume design in the film which is by far the most lamest, saddest and unoriginal thing I’ve ever seen.

I thought about it long and hard before writing this review thinking to myself “why oh why couldn’t they make this Parody without having to stoop so low as to rip these movies off?” because there are so many ways they could have spoof these films without having to include the characters from these fine films, but then again I should have seen this coming, after all this is written and directed by none other than Craig Mazin, the man who was behind writing and Producing such horrible spoof films like; Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4. Normally I wouldn’t attack the director like this because the film directors are always under constant stress when in pre-production, during filming and during post- production, so I usually give these guys a little break, but with Craig Mazin because the man has yet to show me he’s worth a damn, anyone who’s seen his past film know all he’s good at is ripping-off other films with jokes a four year old could have done, and his work as a screen writer hasn’t been very impressive ether with the third and fourth Scary Movie films on his record as Writer/ Producer is nothing to smile about, after all it was the Wayans brothers comedy crew who made it funny and after he took over as one of the writers it fell hard down to so ridiculously dumb, which was direct mockery to what the Wayans brothers originally set up for the films. Well that’s what we get for this film, Superhero Movie, instead of taking it in a new more original direction than the past Parodies, he just does the same thing with a different name attached to it is all.

The story is about a young boy named, Rick Riker (Bell) who lives with his aunt (Ross) and uncle (Nielsen) and after being bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly, Rick Riker develop superhuman abilities like incredible strength and armored skin. Rick decides to use his new powers for good and becomes a costumed crime fighter known as "The Dragonfly." However, standing in the way of his destiny is the villainous Lou Landers. After an experiment gone wrong, Lou develops the power to steal a person's life force and in a dastardly quest for immortality becomes the super villain, "The Hourglass." With unimaginable strength, unbelievable speed and deeply uncomfortable tights, will the Dragonfly be able to stop the sands of The Hourglass and save the world?

Now as for the acting; back whenever I hear Leslie Nielsen was in a film I would go nuts and want to see it because after all he is the man when it comes to Parodies, well at least that’s what I use to think, back in the day when great Parodies were made, now whenever I hear his name the only thing that comes to mind is “oh boy here we go again with another bad film”, which is sad really, because I grow up seeing him as one of the greats, one of a legends when it came to acting in spoof films. Not only was his acting fantastic, but his choice in films where nothing short of outstanding, but like I said, that was then and this is now. And it’s depressing to see that his legacy will be the horrible films he is in these days, and not for what he was back in the day, his acting was somewhat okay, nothing worth seeing like before. Drake Bell was not too bad, but his acting still needs a lot of work if he ever wants to make his mark in the film industry, you could see that he was really trying his best, but his best just wasn’t good enough. Christopher McDonald was fantastic, I must say as bad a role as he was given to play ‘The Hourglass’ he still pulled it off quite nicely, it’s just sad that he’s in such horrible films like this, because he’s (in my opinion) probably one of the most talented actors in Hollywood.

Sara Paxton was okay, I like her acting in this a lot more than I did in Sydney White, which was nothing short of a bad headache. Marion Ross was lovely on screen, even though the film wasn’t good, it was nice seeing her on the big screen again, god I remember staying up past 1 am in the morning just so I want watch two episodes of Happy Days on Nick At Night and when I saw her in this I was wowed at seeing a friendly face from my late night T.V. childhood days back from the past, even though the film sucked [Laughs]. Regina Hall was not so bad is this, she has been known as a a queen of modern day Parody films acting in all four Scary Movie films and now Superhero Movie, and as much as I think her acting stinks, I must say her short cameo in this was not so bad, Pamela Anderson makes a somewhat small cameo as the Invisible woman, which was obviously eye candy for all these teenage boys and their raging hormones, and why is it in all these Parodies now days I’m always seeing ether Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra or Jenny McCarthy? Seriously, the first two times it was funny and pretty nice to see these fines looking women in these types of films, but to have it done in every single film? It’s getting old real fast and not even funny anymore, and I for one am getting tired of it already. And last but not least Tracy Morgan was quite funny, he’s a great comedian who always land the right jokes at the right moment, sadly enough I can’t say the same for his career, he’s acted so man horrible films I lost count, and frankly I don’t want to. If only he could start acting good comedies his career would be on the right track to greatness.

Final Say: this movie have been great and possibly even a hit, but unfortunately like all modern day films in its genre it misses, and on quite a big scale. It’s so unfortunate I had hope that it would be somewhat good but it didn’t turned out that way, perhaps one day we’ll get a great spoof film again, but until that day comes I’d recommend you stay clear from film like these, watch at your own risk!.

Copyright 2008 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Review: Resurrecting the Champ (2007) [Reviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

Resurrecting the Champ
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson, Dakota Goyo, Kathryn Morris
Directed By: Rod Lurie
Written By: Michael Bortman, Allison Burnett
Released: 2007
Grade: B+
Resurrecting the Champ is a story taken from the article published in the Los Angeles Times Magazine in 1997. The story was based on legendary boxing heavy weight champion, Bob Satterfield. Resurrecting the Champ took this article by J.R. Moehringer and built off of it through fictionalized accounts of the author’s life as well as his relationship with his interviewee, the imposter of Satterfield. Resurrecting the Champ took this idea and used it to explore the human emotions involved in this relationship and just what that translated to for the characters.

Erik Kernan (Hartnett) is a journalist who is trying desperately to live up to his father’s name, who is a very well respected himself. He feels that he really isn’t even given the opportunities to do this though. Anytime, he pitches an idea for a story that has any emotional quality, is of human interest, or has any substance whatsoever, it is immediately shut down by his editor. Not only is his personal pride suffering, but his job may even be on the line if he can’t begin to deliver some well received stories. Without this, he can’t help but feel a certain level of instability, which seems to be there with his family as well. Erik is very close with his son, Teddy (Goyo). Teddy looks up to his father in every way and Erik just wants to give him someone that is really worthy of this admiration. One thing holding them back from being a close family is that Erik is no longer with Teddy’s mother, Joyce (Morris). Erik is very much still in love with her and they continue to have a good, caring relationship. However, Erik just wants to be a real family with both Joyce and Teddy again, so he can finally feel at home again.

When Erik begins talking to an older homeless man on the street known as Champ (Jackson), since he thinks that he is boxing champion, Bob Satterfield. When this man confirms this Erik thinks this is his winning ticket to boost his career. Erik sees so much potential in this story about this man that can reminisce about his glory days and what that experience was like for him. Champ hesitates at first, but Erik ends up convincing him. Erik works on this story for awhile and it does end up coming out on the front page. He starts to get all sorts of offers from other companies as well. Erik is the talk of the moment, but it doesn’t take long for this success to fall to pieces. The son of Bob Satterfield is suing Erik and his company for printing a false story about his deceased father and giving a negative connotation to the feelings he had for him. Erik’s career of writing is over and his reputation as a journalist and even as a man is spoiled, as he is labeled as someone who does sloppy work, reporting mere lies.

The top notch acting really added a lot to this film. Josh Hartnett tackled the lead role of Erik Kernan. Kernan was obviously based on Moehringer, but a unique character was created through him. So Hartnett especially had to bring the man of Erik forward, but most importantly he had to exert his emotions. Luckily, he displayed them very well and this made the story much stronger than it would have been without this. The human emotions is really what this movie depends on. Of course, Samuel L. Jackson really gives a remarkable performance as “Bob Satterfield”. This is no surprise as he is one of the quality actors with real range, surging emotional power through the screen. Jackson was the spitting image of a homeless man trying to find something to live through. Even the voice change that he used in this was very accurate, really appearing to be one of the homeless men we see on the streets everyday. Jackson’s character was complicated as well, being the antagonist at times while at other time you can’t help but cheer for him. I can’t forget about the young and adorable Dakota Goyo as Teddy. He just lit up the screen and the sympathy was surely there for him, especially when he is in pain about the situation with his father. He didn’t want to think that his father would lie and to such a large audience, but this made him feel like a bad person as well for at one point claiming that his dad was telling the truth. Goyo does more than this through Teddy though. He really gets us to question our main character of Erik, more successfully than anyone else in the film.

Logically when a mess this big occurs, everyone looks for someone to blame. Obviously this homeless man is responsible since he went on and on about his story that wasn’t even the truth. The film displays this humanly natural tendency to shift the blame, but it quickly gets past this on a search for understanding. Why did this really occur? Champ just acted like he was the man that Erik wanted him to be. He did this for both of them even though it may have seemed selfish. He initially refused the offer, but was only persuaded when Erik claimed how desperately he needed this story. So this man gave it to him, with his knowledge of his own short lived days in boxing. For Erik, it was a formula that should have let him be everything that he wanted to while for Champ, it is just a way to escape his everyday life to be respected as an individual who once had a taste of this victory. It also helps you examine what is really is important in life. This controversy meant nothing to Champ. The only thing that really scared him was something that he had already lost; his family. Erik wants his family back, but it takes him awhile to really realize what this means. His work life has nothing to do with this. His son doesn’t need him to have any sort of reputation, he just needs him to be open and honest with him; someone he knows he can trust and count on no matter what. Champ is the one who helps him realize this and Erik in turn makes him face his fear of rejection, as he pushes Champ to come back to his family. To get to this point is not an easy path for Erik as he wants nothing more than to destroy this man for destroying his career and any stability that he might have had. Erik learns to forgive Champ and to hold himself responsible.

I really didn’t know much about Resurrecting the Champ going in to it. I knew it involved a famous boxer and that there was a journalism side to it. That was the basis of what I knew about the plot though. I think that helped me be surprised with what went on in the film. I was completely convinced with every situation, story, and character, that it really came as a shock when it turned out what we had been guided to know, wasn’t true at all. I really just got lucky though, as it is very difficult not to know what came as the major surprise to me. It is even advertised on the front of the movie poster, “Based on a true story, that was based on a lie”. Still even knowing what’s coming I think there is still a lot of enjoyment as you’re watching it. It’s a very compelling story, but the dynamic characters, the wonderful acting and the interweaving concepts and themes along with the remarkable emotion that is exerted through out this really making it an enjoyable and personal film.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Review: No Country for Old Men Movie (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen.
Written by: Joel Coen (screenplay) and Ethan Coen (screenplay).
Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller.
MPAA: Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language.
Released: 21 November 2007
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce, Beth Grant, Ana Reeder, Kit Gwin, Zach Hopkins.

Plot: Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande

Review: 9/10

My Thoughts: The legendary Coen brothers have yet again brought us another masterpiece with, No Country for Old Men which is probably one of the best films in its genre I have seen in over the last ten years or so, and believe me I’ve seen a lot of films over that time, some more than once, well I can tell you that the story alone is something that had me at the edge of my seat from the very start, it is downright breath taking and had me yearning for more each and every minute of it, the thing I liked mostly about and the story is how Coen brothers handled it, unlike other films it is hard and coldblooded, not afraid to tell it like it is even though you may not want to hear it, with it’s in your face suspense and insane action that is without a doubt guaranteed to leave you with a awe on your face, now for most of you who don’t know who the Coen brothers are, they are Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, the same guys who brought you such magnificent films like The Ladykillers (Reamke), O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski and of course how can I forget one of their biggest films of them all, Fargo. But out these are nowhere near to that of No Country for Old Men, because with No Country there is no good and evil. Just men, men fight for what’s there’s, men who running for their own survival, and men who kill for the sake of principals. There is a great deal of depth to the plot, for some this will be a golden ticket to a wonderful film that’s not afraid to be just what it is and not something it isn’t, this is most certainly something some won’t be able to fully understand because a film like so is more so than just another run of the mile movie, no, it is purely poetic in its message which reads clearly as daylight, “There Are No Clean Getaways” everyone must face their demons one way or another, and it will come to pass rather you like it or not, or more so rather you’re prepared for it or not. The film falls in a somewhat rather gray area, one that most people would have a hard time to define. I mean what would you do if a day came where you stumbled across a drug deal that went horribly wrong leaving everyone dead and two million dollars in untraceable bills left ripe for the picking? Some would say “oh no I would turn it in to the authorities”, but aside from what you would say, and with all honesty you know that deep down in your heart you’d keep it, I know because I’d probably do the very same thing without hesitation, it’s a flow in your very nature to do so or at times to think it, no doubt, but it is human to be flowed naturally? Greed is in all of us, even the ones who deny it.

Now I’m going to be completely honest with you here, I did not in fact read the book this film is based off of, however I did do research on it, I felt it would be unfair to write a review on a film I know nothing of what it was based off of, so to what I’ve learned is the movies leaves some things out, for those of you who read the book you wont need to see it because you already know the answers, but for those of us who didn’t see it, it will leave you somewhat hanging with only your imagination to answer what may or may not have happened, so I suggest you pick up a copy of the book and give it a read, even if you want to see the film first, read the book after and you’ll be able to picture the actors as the faces to the characters in the book and you’ll at least understand the full story including everything they left out, which I might add isn’t much at all because the Coen brothers combined most of the book into film quite beautifully, especially the ending which I believe some people will not be able to stomach. Now I’m not saying it’s extremely gory or anything, well actually the film itself is pretty gory, but the ending is in a way somewhat negative that some may not like at all, but those who don’t, obviously have missed the overall big picture which in itself is quite negative and like I’ve said, poetic, so take it as a love it or hate it type of films, for me, it was a love it film that has me agreeing with the Oscars that it deserved the best picture win it got this year.

The story is about a local Texas hunter named Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) stumbles across a drug deal that went horribly wrong, noticing that two million dollars in cash and none of the drug dealers are left alive but one man who is barely alive he decides to take the money and leave, however he has a change of heart and decides to help the poor guy out if he is still alive, only to find gunmen arriving to the scene looking for the money, he quickly goes on the run for his life as they are hot on his trail. Meanwhile the other a man who goes but the name Anton Chigurh (Bardem) a man who is hired to find the man who took the money and bring it back, thing is Chigurh does not kill for the money, no he kills for the principal of killing and the thrill of it all, and when he makes a promise to kill he intends to keep it, now Moss finds himself mixed in a game of cat and mouse with Chigurh, a game he might not win. And while all this is going down, a county sheriff named Ed Tom Bell (Jones) is not too far behind both of the men the whole way just trying to figure it all out before it’s too late.

As for the acting, well I can tell you this Tommy Lee Jones was fantastic, his acting and his accent was extremely authentic to the people of Texas which really show how much a great actor he really is. Javier Bardem was brilliant, when I saw him in Goya's Ghosts I thought his acting wasn’t all that good, and I knew he acted in 2004’s Collateral but to be honest I don’t really remember who he played, so I must have not been impressed with it ether, but after seeing him in No Country, I was deeply impressed with what I saw, he embodies the very evil that is in this would without even say much of a word, to do that demands a great deal of talent with body language, which is what he gives. Just seeing him on screen brought shivers down my spine that made want to know what was going to happen next and at the same time feel sorry to whoever was going to be getting it, I look forward now to Bardem next film. Josh Brolin was spot on, he gave a spectacular performance, which has a funny back story to it, you see one of the things I love to do when I’m writing a review is doing a little research on the film I saw, and what I learned was this little bit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen refused to give Josh Brolin an audition for the movie, so he asked director Robert Rodriguez to help him shoot an audition tape while Brolin was filming his Grindhouse (2007) segment (Planet Terror (2007)) for Rodriguez. Rodriguez shot and Quentin Tarantino directed the tape, which was shot in a $950,000 digital camera. Marley Shelton, who was playing Brolin's character's wife in Grindhouse, agreed to read the lines for Llewelyn's wife Carla Jean (eventually played by 'Kelly Macdonald) so when I read this I thought wow, he was really determined to play the role Llewelyn Moss, and after seeing it I can’t imagine anyone else ever playing the role now. One of the few flaws I saw in this was Woody Harrelson being underappreciated, such a talented actor who gives it his all and he’s barley in the film, it’s just a shame if you ask me, but like I said, it a small flaw in the movie, one of very few. Kelly Macdonald was wonderful she really became the role in this one which I was very happy to see.

Final Say: I just fell in love with this movie; it exceeded my expectations to such a level I never thought I’d be this satisfied, it is more than just worth the watch, it (in my opinion) is worth buying, and it is by far worthy of being called best picture of 2008. I highly recommend it.

Copyright 2008 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Review: Leatherheads (2008) [Reviewed By David Dominic DiMichele]


***1/2 Out of ****
Directed by George Clooney
April 5, 2008

Tolerable or intolerable it’s really undeniable to denounce Mr. Clooney’s contagious charm. Contagious because he’s one of the few actors whose charm jumps off of the screen and makes the audience feel the same remarkable charm. His performance here is silky smooth. In a topsy-turvy world of movies, especially recent comedies, George Clooney indulges moviegoers with a film that has smarts, charm and heart without the use of vulgar language and without showcasing a foray of sexual activities.

As director ("Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and "Good Night, and Good Luck") for the third time, he conceals any deliberate sex with such witty and slapstick dialogue that legendary director Billy Wilder used so effortlessly. That’s credited to first time writers from "Sports Illustrated" Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly. Clooney relishes the fact that how huge his superstardom actually is and with that he can make movies how he wants them to be; nostalgic. He marches to his own beat.

The idea always crossed my mind; now with "Leatherheads" my idea has seen the promise land. I always had observations that Clooney had some characteristics of the great and handsome leading man Cary Grant. Having "Leatherheads" represent the lost genre of screwball comedies of the 1940s, Grant was the master. He easily could’ve played Clooney’s role here. Some movie buffs might conjure up the fact that this film can be a distant cousin to Howard Hawks’ classic ’40s screwball that starred Grant in "His Girl Friday." What was lost is now found and possible again by Clooney.

Right off the bat Clooney showcases what will become a norm for the entire movie: settings that dazzle our eyes from packed stadiums, dark train rides, bar fights that lead to players and soldiers singing with all their heart "Over There" and a lavish hotel. All these have one thing in common and that is the aroma of musky romanticism.

Circa 1925 and college football is the high spot on the totem pole. Not to mention it occupies the biggest and best sports star of the time Carter "The Bullet" Rutherford (John Krasinski). A war hero- whose claim to fame is taking out a trench full of German soldiers single handedly- that the media pumped up to increase the support that the war needs and to create a surreal figure for people to look up upon.

Cut to another scene when the aging player/owner/newspaper writer Dodge Connelly (Clooney) and his pro football team, the Duluth Bulldogs, are hosting a game with a handful of fans, a rundown field where cows call home and with only one football. It’s a scene that indicates pro footballs rank at the time, just a hobby that grown man did to pass time. The period in time when the player’s main job was to work the mines, machineries or fields and after they would go get their booze and start fights.

As Dodge’s team is about to sink, just as the league itself, he tempts the prodigy Rutherford, as well as his conniving agent (Jonathan Pryce), to sign with Duluth in desperation that he’ll the rise the income, lure fans from everywhere and maybe find the future of professional football.

All the while this is occurring; Miss Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger) performs her role as a femme fatale Chicago journalist. Her job: to get all lovey-dovey with Rutherford and try to exploit his military stories as a lie. Of course Dodge will try to find his way to Littleton’s heart (dialogue exchange between these two is satisfaction guarantee).

This in turn creates a rivalry between the first prodigy of professional football and the first legend. Their battleground is a swamp like environment field which pits a set of newbies, with a set of new rules that will change the game forever, against the old timers, led by Dodge, who still drink heavily before every big game.

There’s a whiff of fresh air when Clooney gets behind the camera. Not only does he demonstrate a love triangle but puts his thumb on the evolution of pro football; salary cap issues, a commissioner being appointed, free agents and endorsements. A time in football when all we have is black and white photos, Clooney extracts colors from an unlimited palette and gives this history the life it needs. He knows what Hollywood is lacking, and what it’s yearning for, and serves up what he feels is the anecdote to such crude comedies that wouldn’t cut it in the 40s.