Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home Alone

Home Alone (1990)
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Written by: John Hughes
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara
Rating: PG
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

When you don't write in your blog, it's amazing how a week can turn into almost a month! I watched Home Alone  a couple of weeks ago with my fiancee, and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. I have about four more on the list to do after this one, also. All of them are considered "Christmas movies" so I really need to crank them all out before December ends, at least!

I acquired this movie VERY recently. I had the sequel from a few years back, but only this year did the original drop down into the Wal-Mart $5 DVD bin. From there, I acquired this gem and insisted my fiancee didn't know what she was missing, and that we had to watch it!

I had been familiar with this film for quite some time before this most recent viewing. I watched it multiple times a year every year as a child. Each year, Harry and Marv got a little less scary. It was only in the most recent viewing that I realized it was directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) and written by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Chris Columbus has an extensive resume of directing children, family, and ultimately great films  The PG rating was appropriate, but only because you have to check the subtitles on Harry a couple of times.

Brief Synopsis:

Kevin (Macaulay Culkin; The Pagemaster) is the youngest member of his large immediate family (and the second youngest of the extended family) the McAllisters. We find that Kevin holds some anger towards his family, mostly because he feels ignored, isolated and bullied by his siblings and cousins. The night before the McAllisters leave on their Christmas vacation to Paris, Kevin has a huge fight with his whole family, especially his mother (Catherine O'Hara; Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) and before going to bed, wishes that he would wake up to find them gone. Due to Kevin's wish/his parents inability to get up on time or count heads, he gets his wish. Lately, however, there have been a lot of burglaries from the notorious "Wet Bandits" Harry (Joe Pesci; GoodFellas) and Marv (Daniel Stern; City Slickers), which is bad for Kevin....or maybe it's bad for them!


This movie is so much fun! Kids and adults alike will chuckle at the slapstick shenanigans of Kevin and the Wet Bandits (looking for a band name? HELLO!!). I gave this movie a high rating because it's just fun. It's not exactly Oscar material (although it WAS nominated for the soundtrack category) but it's fun for the whole family, and has some good lessons in there too. As a 23 year old, I still enjoyed every minute of it. I had forgotten how much plot exposition exists in the first one, and how little fighting the bad guys there is, but nonetheless, an enjoyable ride.

Some highlights for me include the movie within a movie "Angels with Filthy Souls", which has a sequel that premieres during the Home Alone sequel, and the John Candy cameo, when he appears as Polka band leader who offers Kate McAllister a ride back to Chicago. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern give a brilliantly comedic performance as our now-favorite blundering burglars, and Macaulay Culkin....well. He was nothing special, except insight on the kids who act out today. But ultimately he shows to be a good kid who has been parented decently to that point in his life, despite being left at home by accident.

If you are a lover of slapstick, you HAVE to watch this! Especially if you have not. 'Tis the season!

What Can We Learn From This?

1. Don't wish your family matter how mad you are. You will miss them if they're actually gone.

2. Don't let Fuller have Coke before bed.

3. Call the police if your house is being broken into.

4. Do a double headcount before boarding an international flight with a family of 14 or larger.

5. Michael Jordan cardboard cutouts WILL convince people you are home. Especially combined with Jingle Bell Rock.

6. Buzz's girlfriend....WOOF.

Okay. This has been fun but seriously. You shouldn't wish your family away. It would be a good lesson never to go to bed angry.

Another lesson that Kevin learns (which has been a valuable lesson in my own life, as well) is to form one's own opinion. Buzz told Kevin terrible stories about their neighbor (who, I'll admit, is a bit scary looking) but Kevin eventually meets him, forms a friendship with him, and it pays wonderful dividends later..for both parties. This movie encourages you to stray away from your first impression and really get to know someone.

Final thought:

If you're looking for a good Christmas movie to watch that doesn't involve Santa, getting the present or the girl at the end, or a heart that grows three sizes (more on that later), watch this movie. I've said this a lot, but it's fun for the whole family. The writing and directing is done by two established artists and the veteran actors like Pesci and Stern make this a must-see. If you've made it this far in your life without seeing it, I suggest you remedy this immediately. Trust me on this one. You won't regret it.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I will try to get the other Christmas themed entries up at least before the end of the year. That's the standard grace period for Christmas related things, isn't it?

Again, thanks for your time and minimal effort! Please click the clicky buttons below if you feel one (or three) is appropriate, and your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 

Thanks for reading, God bless!!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 1829054309 out of 5 stars (again, my blog)

Forgive my blatant disregard for the five star rating system. I can't help it, really. This movie tops Nick Hogan's list of the "Greatest Movies of All Time". There are two others atop that list, but we shall cross that bridge when we come to it. I actually may be bored enough/persuaded to write a blog entry on my top 10 favorite movies of all time...thus far, of course. We'll save that for another time :)

This is not my first review of a film written and directed by John Hughes. You can find the first one here.

I got this movie on DVD for Christmas when I was in high school. Because I was obsessed with movies on DVD, and this was my favorite. I've had the same disc all this time and it's in good condition, because it's my favorite. You might read "it's my favorite" a lot during this post.

My most recent viewing was a couple of weekends ago with my brothers, fiancee, and future sister-in-law, who was watching it for the first time. I feel it's always more magical when you are with someone who has never seen it.

Basically, I look down on you if you have yet to see this movie. Want to make eye contact? Watch it. You won't regret it.

Brief Synopsis:

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick; Tower Heist) is an incredibly popular high school student brimming with confidence (Nowadays, he sounds like a huge jerk but he's very lovable in this role because, well, he makes school the "dark side" and that's awesome). He decides he wants to take a day off so he fakes out his parents, but his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey; Dirty Dancing) isn't fooled. His parents leave for work and Jeanie leaves for school. Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones; Sleepy Hollow), Dean of Students, also isn't fooled and wants to nail Ferris for skipping school. Ferris, meanwhile, gets his hypochondriac best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck; I Love You, Beth Cooper) and his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara; Legend) alongside him for an unforgettable day off.


I love this movie. It's my favorite like smiling is to Buddy the Elf. I think that Matthew Broderick (despite having become a nerd in his old age) plays this character brilliantly. Most of his cast mates never had stellar careers, Jennifer Grey fading post-nose job and Alan Ruck being brilliant on Spin City, but he's (arguably) the second most famous cast member in present day. That being said, all of them were great in this movie. I could be biased because A) it's my favorite movie ever and B) I've loved it since I was a child, but I like to think I'm pretty objective about things like this. There are also some great cameo guest appearances by Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots) and Ben Stein (Expelled). Ben Stein's cameo could possibly be one of the most famous movie scenes of all time, quoted today by people who don't even know where it comes from. Charlie Sheen's set the stage for the rest of his life! (LOL, see what I did there?). It's the best John Hughes movie I've ever seen, and I've always admired the characters, and never not found this movie funny. The comedy is still relevant, and while the fashion and technology of the times fade, some classics like these never will (or at least, I pray that they don't). Hopefully, FBDO will continually be showed in schools on the day before Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring, and Summer break for YEARS to come. 

What Can We Learn From This Movie?

Any life lesson that is important, you learn in this movie. When you say "All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten" you are wrong! It's "All I really needed to know I learned from watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off"!! 

..Seriously though. There are so many lessons in impressing girls, singing on parade floats, eating pancreas, faking illness, being friends, not taking school TOO seriously, and most importantly: not taking LIFE too seriously. 

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it"- Ferris Bueller

^^^ Words to live by, people. Words. (wait for it) live by.

I once wrote a paper using a nearly page long example from this movie and another from Accepted. AND...I got an A! Just another testament to the educational value of this, particular cinematic achievement. (Tired of saying "this movie":))

Ferris Bueller's Final Thought:

I realize that this movie is rated PG-13 and probably not appropriate for all ages. I honestly probably saw the film too early, but I taped the TV version to keep around the house so my brothers could enjoy it with me. As a teenager in America, everyone should have seen this. I feel like you are cheating yourself if you reach age 20 and have not seen it.

It's funny, and the message overall is great. 

Finally, I want to get serious for a moment.

This film is a reminder to all of us to live our short, earthly lives to the fullest because we know not when they'll end. I lost a friend this week. She was one of the kindest people I knew. She made an impact on so many people just by being friendly. The fact that she is gone so young is another testament to enjoy your life while you can, and cherish one another. Life moves pretty fast, (too fast for some) so please, stop and look around once in a while. I beg you not to miss the beauty of this life before it's gone.

Thanks for reading. Comments and Feedback are always appreciated. Thanks again! Even share with your friends if you deem necessary! Love you all!! And remember "Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive". 

God bless,


Monday, November 26, 2012

Dunston Checks In

Dunston Checks In (1996)
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Written by: John Hopkins, Bruce Graham
Starring: Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Eric Lloyd, Rupert Everett, Graham Sack
Rating: PG
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I'm running behind a little again, but I've been trying for a couple days to get caught up. This is what I will finally be able to do with my vacation time! I first watched this movie because we got it somewhere when I was a child. We had it on VHS for years (probably inside Goodwill or Sans Souci somewhere now) but I bought it sometime during my college years out of the $5 dollar bin at Wal-Mart. Many of my purchases, in case you haven't noticed by now, are nostalgia driven. (Hate me all you want, I <3 Power Rangers).

My most recent viewing of this film was a couple of weekends ago. I was with my brothers and my lovely fiancee. My brothers and I had watched this movie a lot growing up, but none of us had watched it anytime recently. It had been probably at least ten years. A lot of things I remembered vividly and others I had completely forgotten, but came back to me like time spent with an old friend. It feels weird at first, but after awhile you're just as in sync as you were when you were together every day.

Anyhow, brief synopsis: 

Director Ken Kwapis (He's Just Not That Into You) brings us the story of Robert Grant (Jason Alexander; Seinfeld) who is the manager of the Majestic hotel in New York City. He is widowed and has two kids named Brian (Graham Sack; The Miracle Child) and Kyle (Eric Lloyd; The Santa Clause). The annual "Crystal Ball" is approaching, which is their biggest hotel event of the year, and Robert's boss, Mrs. Dubrow (Faye Dunaway; Network), is in town with word that they have a judge in their hotel who will decide whether or not they go from a five to six star hotel. With two young boys in the hotel, this becomes difficult enough for Robert, but it gets worse. Lord Rutledge (Rupert Everett; Inspector Gadget) has just checked in with his burglary companion Dunston (who is also an orangutan). Dunston is a fun-loving monkey, while Rutledge is all business. Needless to say, Rutledge has never cared for his monkey, and when the going gets tough, Dunston gets going! He befriends Kyle rather quickly, and they have quite an adventure ahead of them.

My thoughts:

I have always really enjoyed this movie. I know that The Nostalgia Critic talks about this movie and why movies with monkeys aren't funny, but come on. Monkeys are funny SOMETIMES!! I think that maybe I was more fond of this movie as a child, but I still enjoyed it this time around. There is some adult humor, and an S-bomb (not really sure how that still landed a PG rating, but I'll take it), and still plenty of silly monkey humor and slapstick moments for the kids. Jason Alexander always has a little bit of Costanza in him, and I could see it here. There were also standout performances on the comedic end from Paul Reubens (Mystery Men), Glenn Shadix (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and Nathan Davis (Holes). Eric Lloyd was a pretty successful child actor in the 90's, and he did a pretty great job in this movie. Though he was about 10 years old when it premiered, he looked quite a bit younger and it worked well for him in this case. 

I've always been a big fan of slapstick humor, monkeys, and Jason Alexander. If you are too, this is a good way to spend your time. I definitely recommend watching it with your kids, but maybe if it's on TV, so that there's no S-bomb you have to explain to them. My parents were concerned when I watched this movie as a kid, but without just a minor word or two in there, it's a great experience for all involved. That's the one part of the movie I could've done without, merely because it expresses lack of commitment to chosen genre. 

What Can We Learn?

I think the lesson in this movie is simple, really. It is one that all of us need to hear at one time or another.

In this film, Robert Grant has a lot of things that steal his focus. His kids getting into trouble, his boss, the Crystal ball, a monkey, etc. In the end, (no spoilers) he re-arranges his life so that his priorities are straight. I think this is one of the most important things people can do. Your family should come first, and then your job and all the stress that comes with it. I think (however subtle it may be) that this movie should remind us to be true to ourselves and keep our priorities straight.

Final Words:

I'd say this movie is worth a watch or two. If you haven't watched this movie a couple of times between the time you were 7 and now, like I have, then you might not be reached with the same affection for this movie as I am. But, still. Give it a chance. Especially if you like monkeys. I always give movies a fair shake, no matter how many Razzie awards they have won or been nominated for (in this case, just one). So if you need a little George Costanza, Pee Wee Herman, Kid from Santa Clause and Orangutan in your now know exactly what movie to watch. 

I want to thank all my readers as always. Please leave me any feedback..I love having movie discussions so it would really help me to hear your suggestions. I have one more watched movie from that same weekend left to review, and then I am open. I have been considering a Christmas theme, but I am limited on movies that I own in that category. I have added a few since then but please remember that my list was posted awhile back so if you have suggestions, I'd LOVE to hear them.

Thanks for your feedback in advance. Like, click the clicky buttons, or comment to your hearts content.

God Bless,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Alan Tudyk, Justin Long, Rip Torn
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Well, after this is over I'll finally be caught up on all the movies I've watched recently. If there weren't a lot of new TV on, that number would probably be doubled, but good news! I'm going on vacation in just a matter of days so I will probably have 5-10 movies worth of new material by the time I am back. Hooray!!

Anyhow. If you have not seen DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story at this point in your life I am very sad for you, because you are missing out!!

A "Quick" Synopsis:

Dodgeball is the story of Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn; Wedding Crashers) who owns Average Joe's Gym. His gym is in financial trouble and is about to be taken over by Globo-Gym owner, White Goodman (Ben Stiller; Zoolander). La Fleur finds out about this takeover when Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor; The Wedding Singer) comes from the bank to evaluate Average Joe's Gym's financial situation. It isn't good. But when Peter breaks the news to the regulars of Average Joe's, Justin (Justin Long; Accepted), Dwight (Chris Williams, Friday After Next), Gordon (Stephen Root; O Brother Where Art Thou?), Owen (Joel David Moore; Avatar) and Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk; I, Robot), they don't take the news well, and are determined to raise enough money to avoid the buyout. After meager fundraising attempts, it looks like hope is lost until Gordon discovers that there is a Las Vegas DodgeBall tournament being held, and the prize money is exactly what they needed to win. Our heroes, with the help of Kate and legendary dodgeball player Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn; Men in Black), embark on a legendary journey that does indeed turn out to  be a true underdog story. 

Some thoughts:

I have seen this movie a bajillion times. Yes, I counted. I love every minute of it. Most recently, I shared this magical movie with my brother Joshua, who also quite enjoyed himself. This movie is comedy gold. It's got a great story line that is far-fetched but not so much that you're turned off by how unlikely it is to ever happen. Everyone likes to root for the underdog, unless you're Barney Stinson.

This movie has a great core of cast members, many of whom have come into their own since making this movie (especially Joel David Moore) and it also has a ridiculous collection of cameos and bit parts played by incredibly famous people. Gary Cole (Pineapple Express) and Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) play commentators Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks, who are fantastically comical, and whose lines have been hurled at me in one too many a Halo game. Also appearing in this film are William Shatner, Hank Azaria, David Hasselhoff, Lance Armstrong (before the fall, of course), All That favorite Lori Beth Denberg, and of course, the game changing ADAA (American DodgeBall Association of America) judge, Chuck Norris.

Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller deliver classic comedy performances. Stiller did a fantastic job getting his real life wife, Christine Taylor, to hate his character in the movie. Stephen Root's character acting is especially outstanding in his role here. Justin Long, as a young actor, was a great addition to this cast, and Alan Tudyk's "Steve the Pirate" is still one of my favorite minor characters of all time. Movies that require actors to be this ridiculous....gotta be doing something right. My favorite cameo is probably Chuck Norris, but I can't get over Jason Bateman. They're all really fantastic. Rip Torn has the best lines.

Really, I don't see how you can't give this movie a shot. It has great humor, a pretty good story, and tremendous cast of both characters and cameos. This is one you shouldn't miss.

What Can We Learn?

Simple. Determination and Courage can get you through almost anything. Even if you're a pirate. Oh, and the sassy black guy, Dwight, is pretty much right about everything.

Final Thoughts:

See this movie. Rent it. If you have children, do not rent the unrated version. The PG-13 version is cleaner and frankly funnier than the unrated version. If you are an adult and can look past a few crude moments to appreciate a good story and some great fun, please do. I highly recommend this movie. It's definitely in my top 30-50 movies of all time. Maybe Top 25 comedies. Even at age 23, when I hadn't watched this movie in several years, it brought the same joy and laughter it always had. 

So Stiller fans, Vaughn fans, and comedy fans in general: SEE THIS MOVIE. Don't regret it!

I know this was kinda short but I'm sleepy and I've seen this movie too many times. It's good. Go see it. 4 stars. Huzzah!

Please don't hesitate to send me feedback, movie suggestions, comments, questions, what have you. I'm always in the mood for a good movie discussion. Click my little clicky buttons. Like. Share. Be merry.

Happy Thanksgiving TAR readers, if I do not visit you before then!!

God bless!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


1776 (1972)
Directed by: Peter H. Hunt
Writers: Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone
Starring: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, Blythe Danner
Rating: G
My rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars

I know what you're thinking...and it's either one of two things. It's either "did he really give D3: The Mighty Ducks a higher rating than an Oscar nominated musical film?"



Both are true. I was infinitely more excited about William Daniels (Boy Meets World) playing John Adams than I was the rest of the film. Which may have more to say about this review than I intend it, but to address concern number 1 (The D3 one): I put a lot of factors into my reviews, but the number 1 factor is how much I enjoyed the film overall. This

I'll paint a picture really quick. We all know how this story ends. America declares it's Independence. They all sign the Declaration. Yippy Skippy!!

John Adams, played by Daniels, (whom I shall henceforth refer to as "Feeny") keeps pushing Independence on the other congressmen. They all scoff except for Benjamin Franklin, (Howard Da Silva; The Great Gatsby), who (surprise surprise) also supports independence, but is a little more chill than Adams about it. They decide that they need a third person to push independence to get anyone to listen, so they pick Jefferson (Ken Howard; J. Edgar) know...the guy on the nickel...

Anyway Jefferson is young and energetic, so that works out a little better for them. Of course, I won't go into great story detail because there are too many actors that none of you (or me, for that matter) have heard of. I don't want to do that character research that no one cares about, on real people whose story you should (unless you're a bad American) already know! SO THERE!

My Thoughts:

I see this movie's value. I was supposed to watch it for my Musical Theatre History class in college during my last semester....oops. I read the Wikipedia entry and listened to the first 10 seconds of about 3 songs and wrote a report like I was supposed to. And got an "A". We're missing the

The Point (of that last bit):

I read the Wikipedia entry and thought it sounded like a good musical. I purchased the DVD for cheap, used, and had it sent to me at Lipscomb...only to watch it for the first time....last week.

Back to "My Thoughts":

Anyway, it sounded good. I was disappointed. 

I liked the story. I mean, it was a familiar story so maybe they didn't have to drag it out as much. It was a 2 hour and 20 minute movie...and we all knew the basic plot already. There's probably something that could've been condensed. Anywhoooo..

I liked the acting. Howard's Jefferson was exactly how it was intended, and Feeny's Adams was extremely Bostonian and a joy to watch. Da Silva's Franklin was good, but he was the only one that seemed to be exaggerated for the musical theatre aspect. At times, I SWORE that Yogi Bear was playing Franklin....

The music....was just not good. I mean, it was tasteful and artfully done..but it did not stand out and was not memorable in the slightest. 

The best part about this movie was the writing. The dialogue in between the songs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I actually think that this movie holds the musical record for number of minutes between songs. It's close, anyway. The lines in here are patriotic GOLD, and I did find myself laughing a considerable amount. Like this, which is sad but hits a little close to home:

"A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere, or a cataclysmic earthquake, I'd accept with some despair. But no, You sent us Congress! Good God, Sir, was that fair?"- John Adams

That was just one of many gems that came out of this movie, and the reason it went from 1 to 2.9 stars. Ultimately, the length and boring music kept me disinterested, but I held on due to good acting and great writing.

What Can We Learn?

I watched this the day after the election, and there's SO much you can learn in that mindset. I think that overall we just need to keep in mind the gravity of our founding fathers moves. Especially with all this secession talk, it's a reminder that at one time, representatives from 13 different colonies found a way to stand up and fight for something that they could all get behind together. I think that America today could take about 85 lessons from these men and what they stood for. While this movie isn't ENTIRELY historically accurate, it's still important.

(Jerry Springer's) Final Thought:

Even though in all honesty this movie bored me, and was not the most entertaining movie I've ever seen, I would still recommend it. It was nominated for an Oscar and several other awards, and the stage musical was as well. The actors were primarily Broadway actors, and those are good ones to watch. Hopefully, I will have some friends joining their ranks some day. Even Feeny played Adams in the Broadway version, and that had to have been something special. 

I still say it's worth a watch. Go into it with an educational instead of entertainment mindset. Your cultural horizons will expand and you may awake with a little more patriotism than you had yesterday.

Let me know your thoughts on this one. Seriously. I love you all. God bless you and God bless America.

Comment, clicky box, or whatever you gotta do.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

D3: The Mighty Ducks

D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
Directed By: Robert Lieberman
Written By: Steven Brill, Kenneth Johnson, Jim Burnstein
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Shaun Weiss, Jeffrey Nordling, Elden Ryan Ratliff (Henson), Kenan Thompson
Rating: PG
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I'm a little behind on this one. I watched this nearly three weeks ago (same weekend as Cool Runnings, The Benchwarmers, and The Avengers) with my brother Joshie.

I won't make this too long, because there really isn't a whole lot to say, so I'll start with this: I love me some Mighty Ducks....and it's KNUCKLEPUCK TIME!!!

The Premise:

The Mighty Ducks (or Team USA) all get scholarships to Eden Hall Academy, a local private school, to become their freshman hockey team. Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez; Young Guns) then tells team captain Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson; TV's Dawson's Creek) that he will no longer be their coach, and that the school's regular freshman coach, Ted Orion (Jeffrey Nordling; TRON: Legacy). Charlie and the rest of the ducks aren't too receptive to this idea at first. They want to play "like they always have" and Orion wants to improve their game. He shakes things up by not naming a captain (at first), putting Adam Banks (Vincent Larusso; The Mighty Ducks) on the Varsity squad (they're a bunch of jerks, btw) and removing Greg Goldberg (Shaun Weiss; Heavyweights) as goalie. The Ducks (now "Warriors") are also down 1 "bash brother" as Fulton Reed (Elden Henson; Cast Away) has been left behind by Dean Portman (Aaron Lohr; Newsies). The Ducks fall further and further from grace, until their long-time supporter and friend, Hans (Joss Ackland; Lethal Weapon 2) passes away, which brings them together for the funeral (including Bombay). Of course, when Bombay returns, things start to look up for all of them.


This is a great, heartfelt way to round out the trilogy. So many of the comments online say "they should've stopped at two", which would've been fine, but this movie is a good one, too. All of your favorite Ducks are back, like Charlie, Connie, Guy Germaine (who is Fulton's real life brother, btw),  Russ, Dwayne, Goldberg, Averman, Banks, and the like are back for one last go round. Bombay isn't around as much as the cover makes him seem, as this movie is mostly about the coming of age and maturing of the Ducks, primarily Charlie. This is a heart-warming, predictable, fun story about the Mighty Ducks that we have all grown to know and love. The acting is predictably Disney, but honestly not the worst I've seen from a Disney film. Estevez and Jackson are really pretty good, and the rest take to their roles as they should. Nordling was a standout in this one, as well. 


The moral of this one is simple. We must learn to grow up. We cannot always keep things the same. We must evolve, we must continue to build on the skills and strengths we have. If we want to stay Captain, or Goalie...we must fight for it. We may not always simply continue to receive it. 

Final Thought:

Yeah...Final thought sounds a little "Jerry Springer" for me. Any whoooo. Watch this movie. If you haven't seen the others, watch them first (I'm sure I'll get to reviewing them eventually, but faster if you request it :)) and this is a trilogy worth having copies to show your kids one day. I'm confident that you'll enjoy it just as much watching it now, or with your children, as you did when you saw it for the first time when you were a child. I was 7. I'm now 23. 'Nuff said!

Thanks to you all for reading. I have more on the way still and I appreciate all your feedback. Also, I'm looking for someone to get me a Mighty Ducks jersey with one of the players names on it for Christmas, so if you want to be my new best know what to do :)

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope this was long enough to satisfy but short enough not to bore!

Feedback in any way you want (don't forget about Facebook likes and clicky boxes)

Thanks and God Bless!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings (1993)
Directed By: Jon Turtletaub
Written By: Lynn Siefert, Michael Ritchie, Tommy Swerdlow, Michael Goldberg
Starring: Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, John Candy, Raymond J. Berry
Rating: PG
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I told you guys. I (we, my baby bro Josh included) watched a lot of movies over the weekend. This isn't even the last one. But I just thought of a way better way to start this here goes.


If you haven't seen this movie before, that should be all you need to read to head straight to Amazon Instant Video or wherever you need to go to watch this movie. But I'll do a review anyway :)

Synopsis Time:

This movie is actually based on a true story. I had no idea, until I was doing my research. Of course, the actual story happened much differently, and this version was very...disney-fied. This movie is about a Jamaican sprinter, Derrice Bannock (Leon; Get Rich or Die Tryin') who is the favorite to win the summer  trials and represent Jamaica in the Olympics. He is in competition with a few other Jamaican sprinters, including Junior Bevil (Rawle D. Lewis; Spy Hard) and Yul Brenner (Malik Yoba; Why Did I Get Married?). But as the three aforementioned sprinters are out to an early lead, Junior trips, in turn tripping both of them, and crushing three Olympic dreams with one fall. Derrice, however, is not ready to give up so easily. While "demanding" a re-trial at the Jamaican office, he sees a picture of his father with Irv Blitzer (John Candy; Uncle Buck) and is told a story about how Blitzer thought that Jamaican sprinters would be great at bobsledding. Derrice then seeks out Blitzer, and with the help of Bevil, Brenner, and his "best pushcart driver on the island" best friend, Sanka Coffie (Doug E. Doug; Shark Tale) (who is also the comic relief), Derrice sets out for the Winter Olympics....and is met with adversity on the way!

Thinking Time:

The last time I saw this movie was probably in 6th or 7th grade. I distinctly remember watching at one of those "you're a good student" parties that I rarely got to attend. But as far as movies go, it's actually really great. Of course, as I said before, It's a Disneyed up version of a true story, but the story is still an inspirational one. The comedy is clean, fun, family friendly, and it's an enjoyable movie altogether. It's quotable, and has that certain nostalgic quality about it. ABC-TV described it as "Rocky on Ice!" and that's a description that's hard to argue with. The acting is pretty great, actually, because most of these men aren't, in fact, Jamaican. These are things that occur to me now that never did in the 7th grade. It's altogether a really well-made film, despite its cheesiness (which is only amplified by being in 2012, as opposed to 1993). This, also, was one of the last movies John Candy made before he passed away. Some other current film-industry greats that take part in this movie include Hans Zimmer, who did the soundtrack for this movie, well before he was made famous by Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jon Turtletaub, who has gained a lot of fame since his bobsled days by directing the National Treasure franchise. There is a lot of quality film industry work put into this movie, so those are definitely two more in the "watch" column.

What Can We Learn From It?..Time:

What I learned from this movie is simple. Besides the traditional "follow your heart" "stand up to your father" "underdogs rule!" sort of motif that Disney has always got going on, I took this away:

Sometimes, your life will drastically change course. The way you've assumed that you're entire life is going to go just trips you up, and you have to use your only skill set and start over completely. I can relate a little bit, and I know that I'm not the only one. Sometimes, as this movie proves, the change can work out for the better. If you roll with the punches like these guys did, you're probably going to be alright. I make no guarantees, but...probably. :)

Also, I learned that half naked guys will sometimes be belly-surfing on a skateboard down your hallway in your dorm, at your Christian college, singing the bobsled song....


Okay. I really think you've heard enough (Sorry about that last mental image, though). Add it to your list if you've never seen it, and even if you have, you're probably about due for a re-watch. I've got a copy right here next to me if you're interested :) Watch this movie. Pay homage to John Candy, and find out what the heck these other guys are doing now-a-days. The whole thing is quite a trip. 

Thanks for reading, guys. Please, as always, leave your feedback, comments, and clicks on the clicky buttons. I really appreciate it! 

God Bless,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Benchwarmers

The Benchwarmers (2006)
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Writers: Allen Cover, Nick Swardson
Starring: Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder, Jon Lovitz, Nick Swardson
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This past weekend was kind of a "movie weekend" for me. After a Friday night with The Avengers I moved on to a sillier weekend. This is one of my all time favorite "stupid" comedies, The Benchwarmers.

I'm sure most of you are turned off just by the look of it. But, Happy Madison (Adam Sandler's production company) produced this movie, so if you are a Sandler fan, well...this is right up your alley.

I saw this movie for the first time in 2006 in theatres (and owned it since it's 2006 DVD release). I believe I was finishing up my junior year in high school. I was a with a group, and don't remember entirely who I was with, except I distinctly remember that Drew Allen and Ben Bradley were there...but I digress.

What it's about:

Clark (Jon Heder; Napoleon Dynamite) and Gus (Rob Schneider; The Animal) stumble upon a kid getting bullied on a baseball field. Gus runs them off, and finds out that Clark has never played baseball, because if he went near a baseball field as a kid, he'd get bullied. They make an appointment to come back out and hit some balls, and Clark brings Richie (David Spade; Joe Dirt) who has also never played baseball, along with him. They run into some kids upon their return that are obviously bullies, and the bullies demand that the field be given up. Gus says "we'll play you for it". Even though Clark and Richie are incompetent, Gus wins the game for them. Afterwards, they are approached by Mel (Jon Lovitz; Rat Race) who wants to start a movement to teach bullies all across the world a lesson. They agree, and begin a round robin tournament with the meanest teams in the league.

What I think:

The whole movie is really, really hilarious. It has that quotable quality that only some films have. The comedy not only uses words but is also very physical, and I'm a huge fan of physical comedy. My brother Joshua and I watched this together over the weekend and laughed constantly throughout. The message (like most movies involving or produced by Sandler) is a positive one, speaking out against bullying and encouraging people to stand up for themselves. The movie has lots of children in the cast and speaks to children, so with a little parental bleeping, (or maybe the TBS version) this would be a great family movie to watch together.

Sidenote: One of the best tools this movie possesses is the former professional athletes who have roles in it, like Bill Romanowski, Sean Salisbury, and Reggie Jackson (or as Mel says "Reggie Reggie Oxen Free"). Their participation adds not only to the comedy but to the validity of the message. 

What can we learn from it?:

It's been said already: Bullying. It's happening everywhere and it has to stop. It happened to me as a child, and my self worth even into my 20's has been crippled.  One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is turn my head away from what other people think, especially about me. I am proud to say that I've recovered from that part of my life, but some scars take a long time to heal. 

I'm getting off topic a little, but I find that I very rarely disagree with a message that an Adam Sandler movie carries, and this one is no different.

To sum it up:

This movie is worth watching. It doesn't have particularly good ratings on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, but trust me on this one. If you've agreed with me on any of my other reviews, you'll enjoy this movie. It's funny, only slightly inappropriate (let's face it, movies today are way worse) and it has a good message. Do whatever you have to to watch this movie at least once. It's not Oscar quality, but then again, who cares what they think? :)

Please let me know if you read this!! I hope you enjoyed it! As always, comment on Facebook, on here, or at least click the little clicky boxes below! I have at least two more reviews coming soon, and thanks so much (again) for reading!

God bless!


Monday, October 22, 2012

The Avengers

The Avengers (2012)\
Directed By: Joss Whedon
Written By: Zak Penn, Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgard
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 6 out of 5 stars (Hey, it's my blog)

Hang on just a minute..


Okay, I had to take a nap really quick because I was exhausted after typing all of those names. The Avengers is a star-studded film, and it's probably the only star-studded film to come out this year that will be any good. I reserve the right to be wrong, of course, because if there is a sequel to New Years Eve, then, well, The Avengers, better just give up their Oscar hopes then and there.

The Avengers, for those who could possibly not know, is a Marvel comics story based on the combination of several different Marvel stories. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson; Pulp Fiction) is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who at one time was starting an initiative (The AVENGERS initiative) to put together a team of extraordinary heroes. That has since gone down the drain, but when faced with a threat from Asgard named Loki (Tom Hiddleston; Thor), he must act. He immediately loses one of his best men Clint "Hawkeye" Barton (Jeremy Renner; The Bourne Legacy) to a spell by Loki, as well as his number one scientist when it comes to the "tesseract" (which I grew up knowing to be defined as a wrinkle in time, but in this case apparently is a powerful little space box), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard; Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest). Down those two, and with a S.H.I.E.L.D. base destroyed, Fury, with the help of Agents Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders; TV's How I Met Your Mother), and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg; Iron Man 2). They call in Natasha "The Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson; He's Just Not That Into You), and she immediately heads off to Calcutta to recruit the leading scientist in his field, and occasional green rage monster, Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Meanwhile, Agent Coulson visits Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.; Iron Man) while he's with his assistant-turned-girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow; Shallow Hal). Tony is reluctant but eventually "comes in" to "assist Dr. Banner". Nick Fury visits longtime frozen super soldier, Capt. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans; Captain America: The First Avenger) and asks him to lead this team of (some say misfits, I say) superheroes, against Loki. After Loki is apprehended is when Thor (Chris Hemsworth; Snow White and the Huntsman) arrives, and that's when the real adventures/battles/avenging can begin.


That was a long one. I thought my last one had a confusing synopsis paragraph. Geez Louise.

Now for the review....

In all seriousness, I do not know where to start. 

Okay. Number 1, the first time I had seen this movie (at midnight in 3D in theatres with my beautiful now-fiancee and homely looking brothers), I had not yet seen Thor...or at least all of it. Now that I have seen it, the whole plot-line of The Avengers makes a lot more sense!

Number 2: This time I watched it with my buddy Graeme, who wants to make movies some day, so that was definitely an enlightening experience

Number 3: It's really fun to watch Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, especially while hurling Pulp Fiction quotes at the television while watching....not that I would know.

Now for the real stuff:

This movie is brilliant. The writing is fantastic. Nothing was over-the-top about it. The acting was all great, especially for playing such far-fetched characters. The bright spots for me were definitely Downey Jr. and Ruffalo. Ruffalo had not yet been in a Marvel film, and handled it brilliantly. Downey Jr. is ALWAYS brilliant, and he didn't disappoint. There were some funny moments, some moving moments, and some down right sad moments, but all of it fell together brilliantly. There was an always funny Stan Lee cameo, as there are with most of the Marvel adaptations, and it was just all around enjoyable. If you love superhero movies, Marvel comic books, or just plain entertaining action films...Go see it. I'd recommend seeing Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk first, but even if you don't, you will still be entertained.

I think that The Avengers should receive an official Oscar nomination for best picture. I'm not saying it will actually win, but it's behind only Titanic and Avatar ranking as the 3rd highest grossing film of all time. Titanic WON Best Picture, and Avatar was nominated, so I think The Avengers still deserves a fighting chance, don't you?

Anyway, thanks for reading. I know it had been about a month since I wrote last, but I'm actually like 3 movies behind, so expect some more this week sometime :)

Please comment somewhere/somehow (at least click the little clicky boxes down at the bottom and I'll be eternally grateful :)

Thanks for reading. God Bless!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

He's Just Not That Into You

He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
Directed By: Ken Kwapis
Written By: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Justin Long
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This movie is an unusual case for several reasons. One: I have seen it before the most recent viewing (ask my pal Austin Funcheon about this one, too). Two: It's been a few weeks since my last viewing, instead of a few days. Three, I'm adding a new segment to TAR's posts in some of the movies that I've seen before. This is called "what can we learn from this movie"? and this movie is the perfect one to start with.

Anyway, this is the story of about 9 different people (I may or may not have just counted the names under "starring" to get that number) that are slightly entangled in one another's lives, whether they be blind dating, best friends, co-workers, or casual acquaintances. They are all exploring the relationships in their lives. This movie (again, ask Austin) makes me CRINGE for so many reasons, but there is a lot of truth to it.

The Story:
GiGi (Ginnifer Goodwin; TV's Once Upon A Time) is actively seeking her prince charming, most recently after a blind date with Conor (Kevin Connolly; TV's Entourage), who still can't stop thinking about Anna (Scarlett Johansson; The Avengers) who gets wrapped up in an affair with Ben (Bradley Cooper; The Hangover) who is married to Janine (Jennifer Connelly; A Beautiful Mind), who works with GiGi and Beth (Jennifer Aniston; Horrible Bosses), who is not married to but forever committed to Neil (Ben Affleck; Daredevil). GiGi ends up seeking advice from Conor's bartender friend, Alex (Justin Long; Accepted), who seems to be the only one in this story with any sense. That's why he got his own sentence.

The Tangent:

I know what you're thinking, and yes, this is insanity. It's just enough to keep the plotline's pulse up, as any one of these isolated stories would flatline, and yes you're also thinking:"This piece of devil worship is where they got all those ideas for those star studded movies with no plot like Valentin'es Day and New Year's Eve", and frankly, you're probably right. I know I only gave this movie three stars, but this is still a must watch, because....wait for it....


People cheat because they have doubts, they don't call because they're not interested, they get married because they love each other and they don't get married because they don't love each other. Every day another crazy girl is born because they are seeking the best in people, or trying to force finding their prince charming. I'll tell you. I've seen this movie before, but now that I'm watching from the outside (A relationship standpoint) it all seems a little....trivial.

The Review:

This is a good movie. The acting is pretty solid throughout, but nothing special. Standout performances are Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin. Though I'm not actually sure if G.G. (see what I did there?) is a talented actress or if she's just that crazy town banana pants. Either way, she pulled it off well.

As I mentioned earlier, the plot was held together through all of the intertwining story lines, though it worked well for the film. I've never read the book so I don't know how that all works together. The writing is clever and altogether it's a "fun little movie". I mean, you'll never get the full experience without Austin being there to pause it every so often to say "YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!" ...but I digress.

The Segment You've All Been Waiting For: What We Can Learn From This Movie

I've been so psyched to write this section that it took me forever to get back here from Facebook and start again...wait....gotta like one more picture....

Okay. Now I'm ready. What can we learn from this movie? Besides the obvious, like "If a guy doesn't call you, he doesn't want to talk to you", or "he'll see you if he wants to see you". These lessons are spelled out pretty easily in the movie. I wanted to dig a little deeper.

In this movie, Alex tells GiGi that all of the stories you hear that contradict the rules I listed in quotations above are exceptions. They are the exception and you are the rule. This principle can be applied to a larger part of life. Like politics. Everyone on both political sides has sob stories that tug at the heartstrings for their argument. I won't give any examples so that I don't lose my heavily convicted right or left wing readers (all 3 of them)! But, next time you hear one think...what if that story is the exception....and not the rule?

Anyway, there's my deep "food for thought" moment of the day. I hope you enjoyed this post and I would really, REALLY appreciate your feedback. Even if you say "Hey Nick, your blog sucks, please stop wasting your time" You'd actually be doing me a huge favor. I appreciate honesty. You can always click the little clicky buttons below and comment, or feel free to Facebook or tweet me as well! (@nickyahogan).

I love you all and truly value feedback of any kind!

God Bless!

The Archives Report

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles (1984)
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes
Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, Gedde Wantanabe
Rating: PG*
My rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars

PEOPLE!!!!! We have reached a very, VERY momentous occasion. This is the first review I have written of a movie that was made before I was born. It will not be the last, but it IS the first. 

 I actually also wanted to address the asterisk (you know, the *) at the end of the PG rating. This is intended to denote that this movie was actually released before the creation of the PG-13 rating. We don't really think about this often but, the PG-13 rating was instated in July of that same year, when this movie had been released in May. Nowadays, it's pretty safe to say that this movie would be rated at LEAST PG-13, but when the gap between PG and R was nothing, this movie fell right in between. (I said that outright because I didn't want anyone showing their kids thinking "Oh it's PG" and then being...shocked). 

I came across this movie in a 3 pack with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The Breakfast Club, and I had some "Shop Your Way Rewards" points burning a hole in my pocket at the K-mizzle. So I paid about 4 bucks and I got this gem of a three pack. I haven't watched the other two yet, but I assure you I will and there will be Archives Report entries devoted to each. :)

I decided to watch because I got two from the random number generator, and asked my Twitter followers (@nickyahogan) to vote. I only got one and just against the other movie, but since it was from the wise, talented mentor and friend of mine, Beki Baker, it counted as 11.5, and it was that that swayed my decision. So after 4 paragraphs, the movie:

Sixteen Candles is the adorable story of Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald; The Breakfast Club) whose family has forgotten her 16th birthday in light of her sister getting married the following day. The story follows her through dealing with her crush, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling; Mermaids), The Geek who pays her entirely too much attention (Anthony Michael Hall; The Dark Knight) and other various problems of an ignored sixteen-year-old girl. I don't want to give away too much of the plot (in case you've been busy for the last 28 years like I have), so I'll just go ahead and give you what I thought and enjoyed.

I enjoyed the story and the progression of the film. I thought that it started out a little slow (a lot of films do) but it picked up the pace and was overly lengthy (Approx. 93 min). I realize that it was a teen movie from a previous generation, so I.. A) Won't nitpick at the clothes. I didn't like their clothes but I also wasn't alive when these things were fashionable, so I only have these movies to tell me what people actually dressed like back then. and B)....well I didn't have a B but I wanted to use make one up!!

The acting wasn't the greatest I'd ever seen (it never is) but Molly Ringwald did a good job with her character, and Schoeffling hasn't appeared on screen since 1991 but he had some things going for him, too. My favorites on this end, though, were Hall's Geek and the exchange student staying with Samantha's grandparents, "Long Duk Dong" (Gedde Wantanabe; Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Both of these actors brought something unique, fun and interesting to their characters, and had me laughing out my room..but I digress. They saved the movie for me. I also enjoyed a little role of another geek named Bryce, played by John Cusack (Say Anything; Better off Dead). He had a smaller role in this film but I know we were all secretly wondering how he got in good with John Hughes for all those other movies!

There is plenty more I could say about this movie. It's not the greatest movie of all time by any means, but it sure is enjoyable and you should watch it if you are interested in movies or if you just like ever so slightly cheesy 80's teen movies (which, I TOTALLY do). Good movie, not for kids necessarily, rent/Netflix/borrow it for sure!

I hope you guys enjoyed this! Please leave me feedback. I have a cool little button down there now that lets you mark "funny" "interesting" or "cool". If you thought that this was remotely close to one of those categories I beg you to click. It will let me know you read and give me a little boost. Also, remember that my list is published in earlier posts and if you have suggestions, PLEASE send me some. Obviously my movie selecting methods are getting a bit ridiculous. 

Anyway, thanks for reading. Click some buttons below :) and have a nice day! God bless!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Final Season

The Final Season (2007)
Directed by: David M. Evans
Written by: Art D'Allessandro, James Grayford
Starring: Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Rachel Leigh Cook, Tom Arnold, Michael Angarano, Larry Miller
Rating: PG
My rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars!

Quick story. My girlfriend (whom I love, very much) told me that she loves to read my writing, so you now all have her to thank for all of my incessant published nonsense.. :) but enough about that. Let's continue.

Last night after I finished watching Fever Pitch and my brother Joshua finished his homework (well, most of it), we, being in a baseball mood after the aformentioned movie and our Cincinnati Reds brought home yet another W, we decided to watch this movie! Great story, I know...

Anyway, I came into this movie for really cheap at some Blockbuster or Hollywood Video that was going out of business. I could tell you if I found the case somewhere, but I honestly don't remember at the moment.  Needless to say, I've had it for awhile, as both of those have been out of business in Columbus for years now....

Anyway. I liked this movie a lot. The premise was a feel-good, family friendly movie, and it sure did deliver. It tells the true story of a high school baseball team in 1990-91, whose school was going to be merged into a bigger district, for a "better opportunity" for the kids. The town of Norway, Iowa disagrees and everyone is in an uproar. The baseball team has won 19 state championships against huge schools even though they are small, and the coach, Jim Van Scoyoc (Powers Boothe; The Avengers) is a legend. He takes a former girls volleyball coach, Kent Stock (Sean Astin; Lord of the Rings) as an assistant before his last season was over, and Stock takes over for the "final season" (LOL, get it?). 

Coach Stock faced certain issues, aside from falling for one of the women on the school board side of the merger, Polly Hudson (Rachael Leigh Cook; She's All That), which included replacing graduated players and earning the respect of the current ones. One of the players recruited by Stock was big-city cool-guy transfer student Mitch Akers (Michael Angarano; Sky High), who is the son of former Norway legend Burt Akers (Tom Arnold; True Lies), who is now a big city realtor, and a widower who has trouble with his son.

They are also followed around by Des Moines journalist Roger Dempsey (Larry Miller; 10 Things I Hate About You) who seems like a nuisance at first....but redeems himself in the strangest, quirkiest way.

I don't want to reveal how the plot turns out (though, since it's a true story it isn't hard to find) but it is a bit of a feel good story. I thought some of the acting was cheesy and the story started out a little slow, but it picked up towards the end and, though less inspirational, still had some serious Remember the Titans type moments. I thought Sean Astin brough a strong presence to his role, Michael Angarano shows some serious promise, Rachael Leigh Cook is nothing more than Shawn Spencer's high school girlfriend to me now, and Powers Boothe was strong but expected to be that way. The standouts to me (acting wise) in this movie were Tom Arnold and Larry Miller. Tom Arnold showed some serious vulnerability (though it was hard to pick out at first) and Larry Miller just stole the show for me. He's always fantastic as any role he has played, but this character was one of my favorites for him (Next to Jindraike from Max Keeble's Big Move). 

Anyway, especially in family friendly vein, baseball fans, anyone who is looking for a feel good film with some pretty solid talent in it, (and some that will make you say "they're still alive?") I would see this movie. It's a cheap find anywhere and I'm sure it's available at the library. 

I don't have much more to say because it's late and once again, I have a real job to get to. But hopefully I've plenty more stuff to bring you after Labor Day weekend. Stay strong and be safe, y'all. I love you all!!

God bless!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch (2005)
Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writers: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Nick Hornby
Starring: Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, Jack Kehler
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Guys!! I'm back again!! I know you missed me. Come on...admit it. Here's some blank space for you to come to terms and admit it so we can both move forward.

Okay. How's that? Better now. Yes. I missed you too.

Tonight I got off work a little early so I decided that I would watch a movie after dinner (which turned into two movies..more on that later). Anyway, I decided that I would leave it up to a random number generator. I put in the beginning and ending numbers of my list, and the first one I hadn't seen, I'd watch. So here we are.

I acquired this movie probably 4 years ago. It was definitely my freshman year of college and I'm certain that I bought it out of the $5 bin at Wal-mart, you know, before it was filled with the classics of my generation. It has been sitting in "The Archives" forever, and I have just now gotten around to watching it.

Given the story, though? Couldn't have come at a better time.

The story is about Ben (Jimmy Fallon; Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), who is a lovable thirty year old man to whom I (and many others, I'm sure) can relate. He's a sports fan. And he's not as casual as I am. He's a die hard Red Sox fan. He discovered it at an early age and he's loved them all his life. He was left season tickets for life by his Uncle Carl (Lenny Clarke; TV's Rescue Me) He teaches high school math for a job, and as a second job he follows the Red Sox. Everywhere.

And of course, you don't have a baseball themed chick-flick without the girl half of the classic "boy meets girl" scenario. Meet Lindsey (Drew Barrymore; Never Been Kissed), who is a business woman, very much invested in her career. She is pushing for a promotion at her large corporate job, and is also a thirty year old woman troubled by her being consumed by her career, instead of sports fandom.

The two meet (WHAT!???!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!) on a field trip that Ben takes a few select students on to meet someone who has an interesting career involving math (which Lindsey does). Yadda yadda yadda, we have a story!!

Needless to say, Ben's hardcore fandom and Lindsey's career create some roadblocks for each other. They have both been focused one way for so long that it's hard to change their ways. I won't reveal too much, but trust me, it's good.

My favorite part of the story is the concept. It deals with compromise and quirks in relationships. You can't have two people as different as Ben and Lindsey without a little compromise, but for the right person, you're willing (and yet, oddly might not have) to give it all up, just for them. Let's just say...I can relate. This movie re-affirms some life decisions I've made lately, to say the least.

A nice touch: It was set during 2004, which is the year that the Red Sox broke the "Curse of the Bambino". This movie is probably a little more enjoyable with a little bit of baseball history knowledge. I have a lot of that. You would too growing up in my house.

I loved the story. I thought it was well written, creative, and altogether an enjoyable film. Jimmy Fallon has a bad rap as an actor because of his problems keeping a straight face on SNL, but I REALLY enjoyed him in this role. Drew Barrymore has always had a certain loveliness that keeps her afloat, and did well too. I also really enjoyed the performance of Al (Jack Kehler; Men in Black II) who was the narrator and played Ben's fellow season ticket holder and long-time friend. Frankly, the Farrelly brothers will always be comedy gods to me, but it's hard not to think that after Dumb & Dumber. I mean, come on! Comedy GOLD!

It's predictable, it's not star studded, and there has been better acting, but as far as an enjoyable movie, A+, Jimmy Fallon and company. Well done. Romantic, truthful, and fun. And frankly, the PG-13 rating is understandable but it's nothing compared to some others I've seen that are family friendly. 

Ultimately, this movie will make you laugh out loud by yourself. It's worth one watch, especially for baseball fans or people with things that distract them from relationships. Thanks for reading. I'll try to get the next one up soon! Also, I've decided that I'll do a "Summer 2012 Release" series, where I review some movies I saw in theatres over the summer, and that I'm going to do a review for every movie I have archived, eventually. So expect a lot more writing, and let's UP THIS BLOG TRAFFIC BABY!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!

Okay. I am an adult with two jobs to work tomorrow. Enough for now. Please leave your feedback in some way shape or form, and I'm always down for movie suggestions (especially from the list, but if you know I saw one this summer, hit me with that one too!)

Peace, Love, and God Bless,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lucky Number Slevin

Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Director: Paul McGuigan
Writer: Jason Smilovic
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Ben Kingsley, Lucy Liu, Stanley Tucci
Rating: R
My rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (Yes, I'm allowed to do that)

Here we are again, Faithful Archives Report Reader(s? hopefully)!! I have watched another movie!!! This movie comes recommended to me from my dear, dear, friend, Pat Katheeder. Patty, you da man! I found this movie at McKay's (previously mentioned as a source to pad my collection considerably) and I paid about 2.95 for it. Being one of Pat's favorite movies (Your favorite, right Pat?), I decided to go ahead and pay three nights worth of Redbox for a great friend's opinion!

I don't want to give you too much information about the plot. I always say that but seriously. Pat asked me what I knew about this movie, I said "nothing" and he said, "Good." So I pulled this from the IMDB, and just added my own little "Archives Report Touch" to it so I can give you a plot summary without giving anything away. 

Here it is:

A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin Kevela (Josh Hartnett: Pearl Harbor) into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi (Ben Kinglsey; Gandhi) and The Boss (Morgan Freeman; The Dark Knight Rises). Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci; The Hunger Games) as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat (Bruce Willis; Die Hard) and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.

There. The IMDB summary with a little bit of "me" in it. If you want the actual one I hyperlinked to the page where I said "IMDB" before this portion. :)

Now to what I thought:

It was awesome. Hartnett (though I haven't seen much of his work) was perfect for his character, Lucy Liu (Shanghai Noon) was perfect for her character, and it was a great departure from some of her other work. Morgan Freeman is also God, an prisoner in Shawshank, and makes gadgets for Batman, so I don't see how he CAN'T be awesome. Then there is Ben Kingsley, who I hadn't seen much of to be honest, but I have seen Schindler's List and heard wonderful things about his work, and he didn't disappoint. Stanley Tucci is in everything, and with good reason.

There is something to be said for the plot twists. Definitely entertaining enough to keep you on your toes, and I tend to see things coming, so you know that's a compliment coming from me. I was a tad confused at first, but the whole movie is well made, well written, and well executed. I can see why it's Pat's favorite, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. 

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