Monthly Archives: April 2012

Black Hawk Down (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

“It’s just Jeremy Pivens! Abort! Abort!”

The “feel-exhausted” movie of 2001, Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down was one of the movies that led directly to the creation of the RockMovieProject.

Legend tells of this dvd entering Bret’s collection approximately 10 years ago, yet until earlier this year, the movie had gone unseen by human eyes. Well, Bret’s human eyes at any rate.

When it was watched, we spent the next week and a half coping with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Seriously, presuming this movie is a fairly realistic portrayal of the events it documents, let us go on the record as saying we don’t need anything more realistic. Just an exhausting film to watch from start to finish, but, in the same token, an amazing one.

Things we really liked about the film:

Black Hawk Down might have taken 10 years for Bret to finally watch and he might not watch it again in the next 10 years, but it was a great film and comes highly recommended from the RockMovieProject.

Four stars from both Bret and Erin.

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Big Fish (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

True story: We were so loathe to watch Big Fish that the RockMovieProject ground to a halt for three full months before we got around to watching it — and when we did, we loved it. Go figure.

Our Big Fish review also marks a turning point in RockMovieProject history as it became the first one to ever take place in our new home.

After her third glass of wine, Billy Crudup didn’t stand a chance.

After spending a little too much time talking about how we came to own the movie and marveling at how the world has changed since we last watched a film, we get down to the review, including how it gets a little dusty at Rock Manor toward the end.

To her credit, Erin gets loaded and starts ripping on the poor kid actors, Nicholas Cage and Billy Crudup, in that order. And Nicholas Cage wasn’t even in this film.

Still, she found it in her heart to give Big Fish a 4 Star review, matching Bret’s own score.

More importantly/inexplicably, Johnny Depp doesn’t even make a cameo. We were under the impression his contract stipulates he appear in all Tim Burton movies.

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Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Erin: 2.5 Stars, Bret: 3 Stars)

Beverly Hills Cop 2: Judgier and Reinholdier!

What is there to say about Beverly Hills Cop 2 that hasn’t already been said about Beverly Hills Cop? Not much, as it turns out.

Ummm… Judge Reinhold seems to get more screen time. Oh, plus they added the guy that used to be the Geico Duck.

The plot was better in this one than in the first one, but Sherlock Erin was able to find the plot holes in Beverly Hills Cop 2, if you can believe it. No plot holes escape her laser-like focus. Unless we’re watching Twilight.

Erin gives it 2.5 Stars, Bret gives it 3, but with the “It Makes Me Laugh” stamp of approval.

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Beverly Hills Cop (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

How can you beat a quality action flick with a wise-cracking Eddie Murphy in his prime and the primary villain being an upper-class, white, art gallery owner? You add some Judge Reinhold and just a pinch of Bronson Pinchot, that’s how. Erin gives Beverly Hills Cop 3 Stars on her first-ever viewing, with Bret giving it just 3.5 Stars. He’d probably like a do-over on that one.

And now, an open letter to Eddie Murphy from the RockMovieProject:

Dear Eddie,

Please come back to us, we miss you. Not to go all “Chris Farley Show” on you, but remember that time you made decent movies? For adults? That didn’t involve you dressing up in a fat suit and playing 25 characters?

It’s probably hard for anyone under the age of 20 to believe, but there was a time when you were one of the biggest superstars on the planet. Stand-up, Saturday Night Live, movies; everything you touched seemed to turn to gold.   What happened?

The last movie you starred in that has a Rotten Tomatoes score above 50 was Bowfinger. In 1999. Thirteen years ago! And even that movie wasn’t that good.

Your most recent movie — A Thousand Words — scored a zero. Zero! Only four other movies have ever scored a zero. Jack and Jill scored a three and that movie is a cinematic abortion.

In fact, your IMDB page is so horrifying we’re thinking of projecting it on the side of the house for Halloween next year.

You probably aren’t into taking tips from a quasi-popular movie review blog, but in the off-chance you are, here are a few:

Damn, we just gave him an idea, didn’t we?

  • If you are pitched a movie where “a crew of miniature aliens operate a spaceship that has a human form” or “in the future, a man struggles to keep his lunar nightclub out of the hands of the mafia” or “a single father must journey into his refrigerator and team up with a bottle of ketchup to rescue his son and daughter from an rogue jar of mayonnaise” just say NO. We only made one of those up and our guess is that if you had heard it before, you probably would have starred in it already.
  • Should you feel the need to play more than one character in a movie, turn it down. The days of Coming to America with five different, equally funny Eddie Murphy characters are well behind us, unfortunately. 
  • Stop playing “Donkey.” In 10 of your last 21 roles you played the Donkey from Shrek. Knock it off. You literally are making an ass out of yourself.
  • Start making movies for adults again. You got an Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls and even that Tower Heist movie received some decent reviews. Quit pandering to our youth, Eddie, and start pandering to the rest of us that loved Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places.

In short, we need you to go back to being “Eddie Murphy, Superstar,” not “Eddie Murphy, Male Lead in Every Goofy Child’s Movie That Even Adam Sandler Has the Good Sense to Turn Down.”

Sincerely,

The Rocks

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Becoming Jane (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 2.5 Stars)

Fixed!

If you watch just one film this year that covers the romantic life of a pre-fame Jane Austen in excruciating detail, make it Becoming Jane.

Early in the review, Bret declares the two-hour long sojourn into the life and times of Miss Austen to be pointless, prompting Erin to launch into the Vagina Monologues or something, but, in the end, she admits the best thing this movie has going for it is that “James McAvoy is adorable.”

Despite a strong supporting cast (Maggie Smith might literally believe herself to live in 18th century England at this point), two good leads and a scene with two guys inexplicably stripping nude to frolic in a pond with one another, Becoming Jane received just 3 Stars from Erin and 2.5 from Bret.

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Beauty and the Beast (Erin: 4.5 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

Now that Bret’s Josh Lucas tantrum is over, Erin needs to get something off her chest:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, can someone please explain to me why the Beast gets no respect in Hollywood?

$20 to anyone who can tell me what that expression in the bottom photo represents.

Look at him. Seriously, does he not look like he should be a star? Even the hairier version looks like a serious ladies man. And gaze into those piercing blue eyes and that slightly bizarre look of the post-transformation beast — magnificent.

Bret pouts for Josh Lucas, but the Beast’s IMDB page is even worse. Sure he gets called on for the occasional Beauty and the Beast direct-to-video sequel, but other than that? Zilch.

Clearly he has been blacklisted by the Hollywood elite. Probably because he is illiterate, despite having the largest library in Disney history stashed in his very own castle.

Or maybe it’s because he was originally an unholy hybrid of seven different animals? So he’s a Wild Buffrilla Lionbearwolf with human eyes. Who cares? He’s still better looking than James Franco.

“It’s good, sure, but with a little more wolf it could be great.”

Look, whatever the reason, let’s pledge to help the Beast realize his potential, because if we don’t, Gaston wins.”

The film itself nets an almost impossibly high 4.5 Stars from Erin, who doles out Stars like she is on a budget. Bret gives it 4 Stars.

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A Beautiful Mind (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4.5 Stars)

Bret is temporarily suspending all movie discussion to rant about Josh Lucas, he has the floor:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, can someone please explain to me why Josh Lucas is not a movie and/or TV star? Does he have the worst agent in Hollywood? Does he have some sort of rare blood disease preventing him from being a leading man? Was that Stealth movie really so bad that it actually murdered his film career? Is he actually two midgets standing on top of one another? I don’t understand it. I am terribly vexed.

This guy can’t be a movie star, but writers script roles specifically for Taylor Lautner who looks like a llama.

Look at him. Seriously, does he not look like he should be a star? I am not romantically interested in other men, but if I could look like one other human being, it might be Josh Lucas.

He carried Reese Witherspoon to a successful romantic comedy, which is nigh impossible (Sweet Home Alabama); in Poseidon he made a remake that didn’t need to be made watchable and, more importantly, fun; and in A Beautiful Mind he acted opposite Russell Crowe and held his own. I refuse to believe he is incapable.

You want to know his last five movie role character titles?

1. ‘Cab Driver’ in a Nicholas Cage movie called Stolen, which I imagine is every bit as horrible as it sounds. His character name is Cab Driver, for chrissakes! That’s not even a proper noun! Apparently ‘Him’ was just a shade too generic;

2. ‘Neil Cassady’ in a biopic about Jack Kerouac called Big Sur. He co-stars in this movie with Anthony Edwards five years after his career was pronounced dead and Elliott from E.T. who gets cast in one film a year just so he can fill out a W-4;

3. ‘Charles Lindburg’ in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. A role which sounds juicy until you check the credits on IMDB and realize that he received 38th billing;

4. ‘Young Mariner’ in Hide Away. I mean… are they just f*cking with me now? ‘Young Mariner’? Apparently he headlined this movie in 2011. The fact that you’ve never heard of it is not a coincidence; and

5. ‘Ted Minton’ in The Lincoln Lawyer, or as you may remember it, that movie where Matthew McConaughey played a lawyer, but not the one where Samuel L. Jackson hopes people burn in hell.

That’s it. Josh Lucas has been cast in two movies that I have ever heard of in the past six years.

We live in a world where Robert Pattinson is adored (and he makes Keanu Reeves look like Tom Hanks), where Nicholas Cage stars in every third film released, where Ashton Kutcher gets paid $11 billion dollars an episode on TV, yet Josh Lucas can only get work as a character named ‘Cab Driver.’

I am exasperated, but I will not stop until this man gets his due. Josh Lucas, although I imagine you to be a somewhat infrequent visitor at the RockMovieProject, please know that I am in your corner (but, seriously, get a new agent).”

As for the film, the Best Picture winner receives high marks from both Bret and Erin (4.5 Stars and 4 Stars, respectively). Erin cops to nearly crying during the acceptance speech at the end, Bret regards Paul Bettany as being “nearly see-through,” and both proclaim Russell Crowe’s performance as one of the absolute best of his career.

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Who was the best Batman?

Here at the RockMovieProject we are always looking for answers to life’s greatest questions. Today’s? Who was the best Batman of all time?

Vote and let us know why in the comments!

Batman Begins (Erin: 4.5 Stars, Bret: 4.5 Stars, Kyle: 5 Stars)

You’ve traveled the interwebs… now you must journey onward… to what you really want to see… the RockMovieProject review of Batman Begins.

Guest star Kyle Rock joins Bret and Erin as they review the third Batman film of the collection (watched out of order with Batman Returns).

While Bret and Kyle try to have a serious discussion about the merits of the film (tremendous casting, a great plot and some of the best dialogue ever in a comic book movie), Erin keeps interrupting with her interpretation of Bale’s Batman voice, including a recommended alternative toward the end of the review; she definitely has a taste for the theatrical.

Kyle glows over the film (literally, thanks to some extra lighting on our end) giving it his first perfect score of 5 Stars, while Bret and Erin each give Christian Bale’s first go as Batman a 4.5 Star review.

Are you ready to begin?

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Batman Returns (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 4.25 Stars, Kyle: 4 Stars)

Both Kyle Rock and Batman return for the second Tim Burton Batman effort: Batman Returns.

While Kyle and Erin lament the lack of back story, Bret argues passionately that that is part of the allure of Tim Burton’s two Batman films.

We also discuss DeVito and Pfeiffer as Batvillians (good), the removal of Prince from the soundtrack (better) and Batman’s incredible dedication to building a brand (bestest).

Batman Returns nets 3.5 Stars from Erin, 4.25 Stars from Bret and 4 Stars from Kyle.

We’re still trying to get Kyle to use this as a means for waking up in the morning. Way better than an alarm clock:

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