‘When The Game Stands Tall’ Review

When The Game Stands Tall

When The Game Stands Tall Is An Enjoyable Movie, Despite Its Manipulativeness

Have you ever watched something, be it a movie or TV show, and knew you were being manipulated? And I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. All media—including news, much to my dismay—is designed to elicit a reaction from the persons viewing it.

Though what separates great filmmakers from the merely good is that those that we admire the most are fluent in the language of controlling reactions. 

Which means that, as a viewer you just roll with it, as opposed to feeling hoodwinked and cheated somehow.  

For instance, if you’ve seem Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s a scene involving Groot at the end of the movie that’s very cute, and designed to evoke certain feelings.

And it works, because you’re so into the movie that you barely notice that you’re being played.

In other words, Thomas Carter is a good director, but not a great one because When The Game Stands Tall, taken as a whole is for a lot of its running time blatantly obvious in its intentions.

Which isn’t to imply that the movie isn’t sometimes thrilling, inspirational, or even sublime, but only that it tries too hard, when it would have been better off chronicling what happened in a less partial fashion, and let viewers come to their own conclusions about everyone involved.

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Click Bait: Paul Rudd Edition

First off, let me begin by saying that Paul Rudd is one of my favorite actors.  He reminds me a lot of Chris Pratt, minus the occasional athleticism and seemingly boundless optimism.

I mention him because recently a bunch of sites–such as Deadline: Hollywood, though I am sure there’re others–have featured pictures of Rudd from Marvel Studios’ upcoming Ant-Man and…

Is it Rudd in the Ant-Man costume?  Perhaps facing off against Yellowjacket? Something to get fans over the seemingly earth shattering debacle of Edgar Wright being replaced by Peyton Reed?

No, it’s Paul Rudd being…Paul Rudd.  How awfully lame.  And I get it.  It’s supposedly a picture from the Ant-Man set, but how can you tell?  It could literally be a picture of Paul Rudd wondering anywhere, who’s to know?

Turtle Power Dominates Weekend Box Office

A few months ago I misread that prospects of Disney’s Maleficent, so I have been a bit leery about trying to predict the success of films that I don’t care for (in other words, just because I don’t think much of Angelina Jolie as an actress doesn’t mean that the films she stars in will necessarily be unsuccessful.  After all, I feel nothing but disdain for what Keanu Reeves calls ‘acting,’ yet it hasn’t stopped him for being quite successful at it).  So, imagine my surprise to learn that Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles earned an estimated $65 million from from Friday to Sunday.

I just don’t see the attraction myself, but clearly there are lots of people that do.

Guardians of the Galaxy is still performing quite strongly, earning $41.5 million.

And speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy, last week was James Gunn’s birthday, and what Marvel gave him was the Infinity Stone from the Guardians, which Gunn directed.

What an awesome gift.

James Gunn Birthday Gift from MarvelThe Infinity Stone from Guardians of the Galaxy

 

‘Let’s Be Cops’ Review

Let's Be Cops poster

Let’s (Not) Be Cops, And Say That We Did

When I saw the trailer for Let’s Be Cops I genuinely enjoyed it.  It not only looked funny, but stars both Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr, who are also in the Fox sitcom New Girl (which is funny), whom I assume since they knew each other already, that that chemistry would transfer to the movie.

And it doesn’t.  Not at all.

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t any funny moments, but considering how many jokes there are in this movie, the likelihood of a few hitting their marks is high.

Mel Brooks is one of my favorite comedy directors, and–particularly in his earlier work, such as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety–often revolved around a normal person put in situations that a way beyond their control and things are actually played relatively straight.

Here there are too many attempts to be funny, and more often than not, nothing is less funny that someone trying to be funny.

Then there’s the logic problem:  Despite Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr) having no real-world experience being policemen there’s no sense of danger about anything, despite the two putting themselves in threatening situations A LOT.

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Origin: On The House – ‘Wing Commander 3: Heart Of The Tiger’

My God, This Trailer Looks Really Bad

Origin, the video service from EA, is offering a copy of Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger for free.  I haven’t played the game before, though I did see the movie based on the video game franchise.

It had some interesting special effects and spaceships (and David Suchet, who’s awesome) but I don’t think that I liked it all that much.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s only available for Windows (though their last offering:  Plants Vs. Zombies: Game of the Year Edition, was for Mac).

Now that I think of it, I think that I will try to see it again soon.

3 Hurdles Marvel’s ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Overcame To Be One Of The Biggest Movies Of The Summer

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy opened in the United States last week, and looks to have a very bright future, seeing that based on advanced buzz along, Marvel has already locked in a sequel for 2017 while Thursday it earned $11.2 million, besting established franchises like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier for a Thursday debut.

Worldwide, its earned over $160 million; pretty impressive for a movie that’s based on a bunch of characters literally no one was familiar with before the movie.

Though what’s most interesting is how risky a venture it actually is, for I think three reasons:

  • First, there’s nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Marvel Studios features, from Iron Man to The Avengers, have always featured a balance of action as well as humor.  That’s has always been a part of the Marvel formula, but Guardians is different.  Some have described it as a comedy, and while there’s plenty that funny, it’s more a case of viewers caring and being invested in the characters–particularly Groot and Rocket–that they come off as fully-realized characters that just happen to be a raccoon and an alien tree, as opposed to just a bunch of pixels.
  • Second, as many have stated prior, there are no recognizable characters in Guardians of the Galaxy (other than Thanos, and I think it’s reasonably same to assume that no one is seeing it for him–which is something that Sony should keep in mind before doing a movie based on The Sinister Six, most of whom are unknown to most viewers and whom are also villains) which goes without saying is a huge risk, made even more so when you take into account that it was directed by James Gunn, who prior directed two smaller films, Slither and Super, which cost 17.5 million to produce.

For both movies.  While Guardians cost $170 million.

And when you combine this fact with the fact that Gunn doesn’t particularly like making movies (around the 12: 58 mark) then the odds were more than even that Guardians could have potentially been Marvel’s weakest performer, if not a box office failure.

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‘Into The Woods’ Trailer

When I saw this trailer, I wasn’t terrible impressed.  That being said, Meryl Streep is part of the cast, and she’s awesome.  I want to say that this movie isn’t going to do all that well, except that I said the same thing about another Disney film, Maleficent, which I got pretty wrong.

So while I am not particularly into Into The Woods, I have don’t have a real feel how it’s going to do either.

I should also mention that Johnny Depp is in this movie, and while you never see his face in the trailer, I am willing to bet that he’s hidden beneath layers of makeup.