Friday, November 22, 2013

Quick Shots 26

Title: Lincoln.

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris.

Brief Synopsis: Abraham Lincoln (Day-Lewis), during the Civil War, tries to push the Emancipation Proclamation through to free the slaves before the end of the war. He feared that it would be tossed out if the war had ended before its approval. 

Opinion: These biopics are always done pretty well, but with Day-Lewis in as Lincoln - he transforms into our 16th president. But, as good as he was in the role, the secondary characters were just as good. To me, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader particularly stood out in a film with tons of well-known, great actors.


Title: Identity Thief.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, T.I., Gensis Rodriguez, John Cho, Morris Chestnut, Eric Stonestreet.

Brief Synopsis: Sandy Patterson (Bateman) becomes a victim of when someone steals his identity. A woman (McCarthy) takes his identity and soon Patterson is wanted in Florida for missing a court date and also apparently is wanted for buying drugs. Detective Reilly (Chestnut) obviously believes Patterson and gives him the opportunity to track down the thief to clear his name. 

Opinion: This wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I guess I don't really understand the fascination with McCarthy. She is ok, but I didn't fall in love with her in Bridesmaids. In fact, I recently came to the fruition that she is my least favorite part of her show, Mike & Molly. But, I like Bateman and McCarthy does have some comedy in her bones - and I actually did have some good laughs in this film. Much more than I thought I was going to.


Title: Pain & Gain.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Rispoli.

Brief Synopsis: Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) is a personal trainer and is hired by Sun Gym's John Mese (Corddry) to drum up more business - which he is able to do. Inspired by a motivational speaker, Johnny Wu (Jeong), Lugo recruits Adrian Doorbal (Mackie) and Paul Doyle (Johnson) to kidnap and ripoff Victor Kershaw (Shalhoub). 

Opinion: This has to be one of the craziest films I have seen in a really long time. And, it somehow worked - a little. I still can't believe how crazy and dumb these characters are. But, even though the characters didn't mean it, their stupidity made the film pretty darn funny - so outrageous it happened to make me laugh.


Title: 42.

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Lucas Black, Alan Tudk, T.R. Knight, John C. McGinley.

Brief Synopsis: Yet another biopic, this one on the first African-American Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson (Boseman). Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Ford) tries to break the color barrier in professional baseball by bringing Robinson on the team. The film follows everything that Robinson went through during that time - all of the racial bigotry he faced from fans, opponents and even his teammates. 

Opinion: I have heard some people didn't really enjoy this - but I really liked it. Most people, even non-sports fans, know the story of Robinson. But, even I didn't know everything that he had to go through. And, seeing this made me respect him even more.


Title: This is the End.

Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson.

Brief Synopsis: Jay (Baruchel) arrives in LA to visit his friend Seth (Rogen). Baruchel is not really comfortable with a lot of Rogen's new friends, but begrudgingly accepts an invite to go to a housewarming party for James (Franco). While at the party, the end of the world occurs and most of the world is killed. However, Jay, Seth, James, Jonah (Hill), Danny (McBride) and Craig (Robinson) mange to stay alive and hold up in James' house hoping to ride out the apocalypse. 

Opinion: This was one of the 10 films I wanted to check out in the theater this summer, but it was one of only two (I believe) that I wasn't able to get out to see. That being said, I think the hype on this one ended up ruining the first watch for me - which means I definitely need to look in on it again. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and thought it was very funny - but I thought it was going to be even funnier due to the response it was getting from everyone.


Title: Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Melanie Lynskey, Nina Dobrev.

Brief Synopsis: Charlie (Lerman) has some issues and he is starting his freshman year of high school. On his first day of school the only friend he makes is his English teacher, Mr. Anderson (Rudd), due to his love of books. Soon, though, he befriends two seniors at a football game, Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Miller). The rest of the film is really the three of them fitting in at high school, with their friends and those that are not their friends. We also get a lot more of Charlie's back story - one thing we know is he lost his best friend to suicide the year before - and we see flashbacks of the death of his Aunt Helen (Lynskey) when he was just seven years old, which has effected the way Charlie has grown up. 

Opinion: Honestly, I think Watson is going to be one of the greatest actresses of our generation when all is said and done. It's strange to say the young Harry Potter actress could do that seeing we have seen her grow up from such a young girl. So, I went into this really because of her. But, the entire film was outstanding. I really enjoyed it, and I thought Miller was also a great actor.


Title: Drive.

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac.

Brief Synopsis: Driver (Gosling) gets odd jobs as a getaway driver for criminals, while also being a part-time stuntman and mechanic at Shannon's (Cranston) garage. Driver is, well, an outstanding driver - he gives the criminals a small window of time, and wants nothing to know about the actual crime. He just drives. Knowing how great he is as a driver, Shannon persuades mobster Bernie (Brooks) and Nino (Perlman) into purchasing a stock car for Driver to race. Driver, though, has befriended his neighbor Irene (Mulligan) and her son Benicio while her husband Standard (Isaac) is in jail. After his release, Standard is beat up because he owes money from protection in prison. So, Driver agrees to help him rob a pawn shop - and soon the shit hits the fan. 

Opinion: First off, Hendricks being in this film was almost a complete waste for her - but so cool that she did it. If you've seen it you'll understand. Pretty darn good movie. A lot of great action scenes and the acting is superb.


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