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. 

Thanks for reading! Please give me your feedback and suggestions! Remember you can find a full list of the archives here:

(In combination of course)

Thanks for reading! Love you all! Please send your feedback!