Posts Tagged ‘true story’

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#67: Invictus

December 20, 2009

So what’s it about?: Nelson Mandela has become president and attempts to use rugby to unite the post-apartheid South Africa.  I guess some chaos ensues.

The Good: Well, um, it’s about rugby which is pretty unique.  So yeah.  And overall it’s a decent film with decent acting and a decent script.

The Bad: A decent film… but with a lot of problems.  Frankly, it tries way too hard to be an inspirational movie that it forgets that it “ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb!”  Yeah, that’s right, I just quoted that horribly sappy song, and speaking of horribly sappy songs, this movie is chock full of them.  Songs stuck in randomly for no apparent reason other than to have a shot at Best Original Song come Oscar time.  Too bad they are all laughably cheesy.  But there is no conflict in this film and no struggle.  And there should be!  And frankly I don’t know anything about rugby, and now I know even less.

The Verdict: If you’re ever in desperate need of a movie to watch come 2010, sure, pick this up at your local $1 rental kiosk.  But with all the other amazing films this holiday season, it’s not worth rushing out to see.

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#61: The Blind Side

December 20, 2009

Every year during football season, Hollywood joins in by releasing one uplifting movie based on a true football story that usually takes place in the South and deals on some level with race and overcoming hardships.  This year’s football movie was The Blind Side.

So what’s it about?: Based on the true story of Michael Oher who was picked up randomly by a caring family and given a chance to… play football!  Temporary chaos ensues before the required inspirational where-are-they-now credit sequence.

The Good: Sandra Bullock is freaking amazing.  She single handedly took this film into her own hands and carried it into the end zone (with a little assistant from a strong supporting cast).  And the story is naturally uplifting and makes you want to go out and do good in the world.

The Bad: It’s a little too run-of-the-mill and frankly just not intense or memorable enough to be a remarkable film.  Yeah, it’s a true story, but so is Remember the Titans and that had a lot more heart and drama to it.

The Verdict: Not a football classic, but worth seeing for Sandra Bullock alone.

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#52: Bonnie and Clyde

November 28, 2009


So what’s it about?: Bonnie and Clyde rob banks and chaos ensues.

The Good: This film is considered a classic for a reason.  It’s a good film.  The script is well written, the acting is well done, and from a cinematography stand point there were some really cool shots in this.  You could just tell the crew put a lot of thought into this film and it shows.  And it has what all good films have: a good beginning and a killer ending.

The Bad: Like I feel most older films suffer from, this movie dragged on at times from the result of its slower pacing.  And Faye Dunaway and Estelle Parsons were so annoying at times that I began to hate them both, which was definitely more the fault of the characters rather than the actresses.

The Verdict: A must see for any fan of well made films, but if you are looking for a high octane gangster movie, perhaps look for something a little newer.

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#29: Gypsy

October 19, 2009

gypsyRecently I re-instated my Netflix account, and first movie in my queue was this film adaptation of a wonderful musical.

So what’s it about?: Based on a true story, A crazy stage mom pushes her two daughters into show business, resulting in a lot of chaos ensuing and the creation of the famous stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.

The Good: Well, the story itself is a great one.

The Bad: The movie was a sad, sad adaptation of the stage version.  They made unnecessary changes to the story, added an unnecessary narration, and despite dubbing voices, still had unsatisfactory vocals.  And despite having a strong cast, the acting seemed lacking.

The Verdict: If you’ve never seen this musical ever, then see this movie.  If you had the privilege of seeing Patti LuPone’s Gypsy, stay far, far away from this movie.

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#27: Braveheart

October 19, 2009

braveheartYeah, that’s right, I finally saw this film.  And am therefore once step closer to becoming a movie buff.  It’s about time!

So what’s it about?: William Wallace prances around Scotland killing English men after they royally piss him off, with the aid of a large but always outnumbered band of Scotsmen.  Historically inaccurate chaos ensues.

The Good: I really thought I was not going to like this film, but it’s actually a really good movie!  Great cinematography, great score, great story, great acting, great script, and a whole gaggle of great moments.  And like any great epic, it has humorous moments, which is a must!

The Bad: Parts of the ending were so over-dramatic it kind of turned me off.  It was like a trailer for Passion of the Christ.  And this is definitely not a movie for horse lovers!

The Verdict: If you, like me, have been living in a box, it’s time to step out and see this movie already!  Because it’s good!

Oh, and apparently the Academy really likes a good epic movie because Gladiator is seriously the same film.  WTF Academy?

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#10: Taking Woodstock

August 29, 2009

takingwoodstockWell, it’s August 28 which means two movies came out that I’ve been waiting for what seems life forever to see:  The Final Destination (don’t ask) and Taking Woodstock.  Well, since today my mom wanted to see a movie as well, and would go see G-Force before seeing a purely popcorn horror flick, we saw Taking Woodstock.

So what’s it about?: Based on Elliot Tiber’s memoirs, Taking Woodstock is basically the story of a man who decides to host the Woodstock concert in order to pay the bills.  Chaos ensues.

The Good: Well, the main reason I was looking forward to this film is because it basically contains all of my favorite actors in one film: Jonathan Groff, Emile Hirsch, Skylar Astin, Paul Dano.  That list alone would get me into the theater even if this was a film about reading from the phonebook.  And for the most part, the acting was awesome.  And mad props to Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman, who played Elliot’s parents, for being the hands down best part of this film.  Seriously, if the movie had been solely about them it would have been amazing!  And there was one really cool continous shot a little over halfway through the film, but honestly it wasn’t near the amazingness that is the Beach Scene in Atonement.  But still pretty cool.

The Bad: Sadly, Demetri Martin, while doing an admirable job at a somewhat boring character, was the weakest in a group of stellar actors.  Honestly, somebody else could have done a better job, and Demetri Martin needs to stick to Important Things (which are def not this film).  But he definitely wasn’t the biggest problem with this movie by a long shot.  Frankly, Taking Woodstock was like watching a movie made by a kid with serious ADD.  It was ALL OVER the place.  A character would show up for five minutes, create chaos, and then leave.  And in a way I can see where this was possibly the point.  Because afterall this was a movie about Woodstock: a huge event that showed up for three days, created chaos, and then left seemingly overnight, but leaving a huge impression on history, almost (I guess) like how the characters left a huge impression in Elliot’s life.  Yeah, okay, I get that, if that was the intent.  But it results in a very choppy and disengaging film.  I had no time to connect to any of the characters except for Elliot, who was just plain boring, and his parents, who there just wasn’t enough of.  And for a movie about Woodstock, this movie had sadly a pretty lame soundtrack.  There were seriously times when I was like “Does there really need to be music here right now?”  I mean, it got to the point where it was distracting from the action.

The Verdict: Maybe this movie just wasn’t for me, but honestly for a movie about Woodstock it just didn’t seem epic enough.  It definitely leaves something to be desired, and frankly if you are really wanting to see this film, then save your money and rent the DVD (because, hey, it’ll be at a redbox oneday and then you can see it for a dollar!)

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#8: Hollywoodland

August 26, 2009

hollywoodlandConsidering tomorrow I’m seeing a slew of chick flicks and kid movies (stay tuned, it should be an awesome blog day) I figured today I’d go for something a little more… rough around the edges.  So I chose Hollywoodland.

So what’s it about?: Investigator looks into the controversial suicide of former Superman actor George Reeves at the request of his mother, as we simultaneously see George Reeves adult life play out on screen.   Chaos attempts to ensue.

The Good: The best part of this film was sadly not any of the main plot points but rather the scenes involving children and their struggles with seperating the actor from the superhero.  If they had made the whole film about that, it would have been good.

The Bad: The plotline seems played out.  Investigator gets suckered into looking at a case surrounded by controversy and consequently becomes obsessed, leading to his self distruction until he either succumbs or is pulled to his senses.  The fact that this is actually based on a true story doesn’t make it any better.  And while some of these stories may actually draw you in as well, this one is not one of them.  Ben Affleck was so uncharismatic as George Reeves that frankly I didn’t even care how he had died (and he was nominated for a Golden Globe?  WHY?).  This is too bad, because potentially this could have been a great movie.  Just not with the angle it took.  But instances like these where celebrities kill themselves or die tragically and leave the public so shocked that they must create ellaborate plots to explain what happened.  This has happened since the beginning of Hollywood and continues to happen to this very day.  And why George Reeves?  I mean, okay, maybe if this film was made over 20 years ago it would have made a bigger impact, but I’m 21 years old and had never heard of George Reeves until this movie.  Maybe that makes this film all the more tragic had it elicited any emotion from me, or maybe that allowed the screenwriters to add in plot points and nobody would know or care to know if they were true or not, but for me it just gave me one more excuse to care even less about this picture.  In fact, I’m pretty sure this film made me even more apathetic than I already am.  Joy.

The Verdict: Unless you want to become a more cynical version of yourself in the span of two hours, pass on this film.  If you want celebrity death controversy, just go pick up a copy of US Weekly.