Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cinderella Man (Erin: 4.5 Stars, Bret: 4.75 Stars, Jesse: 4.5 Stars)

How exactly was this film not awarded an Oscar nomination for Best Picture again?

We were operating under the impression that any and all boxing movies automatically get Oscar nominations; like how any movie about sparkly vampires and their sullen mistresses automatically makes $500 million at the box office or how any Jason Statham film has to have at least 300 kicks and/or punches thrown.

Is that not the case?

“Again! But with three kicks this time!”

Okay, maybe not, but what about movies set during the Great Depression? That is an Oscar gimme, no?

To recap, this is a movie about an underdog boxer, set during the Great Depression, starring Russell Crowe (3 previous Oscar nominations, 1 win) and directed by Ron Howard (2 Oscar nominations, 1 win) and it escaped with just a well-deserved Supporting Actor nomination for Paul Giammati and a couple of technical nominations that no one cares about.

“Best Make-Up? Meh… just put it in the back with the others.”

In all actuality, we probably answered our own question in our review above (featuring the return of a product schilling Jesse Terry!).

The reasons this movie didn’t get any love from the Academy:

  • Renee Zellweger, who appears at times in this film to be parodying her own performance from earlier in the movie, especially during the excruciating locker room scene at the end.
  • Ron Howard’s goofy decisions behind the camera… did he not think we would understand that Jimmy Braddock was getting in the ring unless he used the camera to give us that point of view? Just one of a myriad of bizarre choices.

Cinderella Man is a great movie; an Oscar-worthy movie, particularly when Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti are on the screen. It receives 4.5 Stars from Erin and Jesse, 4.75 from Bret and will always be the champion of our hearts.

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Christmas Vacation (Erin: 5 Stars, Bret: 5 Stars, Megan: 5 Stars)

Barry Rock is not Clark Griswold.

To the best of our knowledge, he has never accidentally electrocuted a cat, locked himself in a freezing cold attic for hours at a time, nor has he ever broken a land-speed record during a sledding outing.

He has, however, nailed two trees together (the top of one and the bottom of another) to create, in his mind, the perfect tree.

Setting aside the fact that nailing two trees together to create one super-tree could be viewed as having a general regard for human excellence, this act (among other holiday misadventures) speaks to Bret’s father’s ability to get very close to being Clark W. Griswold; a huge reason why this movie resonates so much in the Rock household.

We are going to be honest with ourselves here — we are not good enough writers to explain why Christmas Vacation is so awesome.

That they do, Edward, that they do indeed.

The best we could do (aside from just re-printing the screenplay in this space) is just to say that, like some of the other comedies that have garnered high scores from the RockMovieProject, Christmas Vacation is just a slight exaggeration of how Christmas really is in a lot of homes.

In fact, how much you like Christmas Vacation is probably in direct correlation with how much you believe your father to be like Clark W. Griwold, Jr. As explained above, for Bret and his sister, special guest star Megan Rock, the differences  between Clark and their father are minimal.

From start to finish, Christmas Vacation is a fantastic film, that is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming (seriously).

We’d love to hear your favorite part of the movie or favorite quote in the comments!

Five stars from Erin, Bret and Megan for the movie that is truly the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.

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Children of Men (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

As dystopian futures go, Children of Men certainly portrays one of the bleakest; a world in which all women are infertile and the dividing line between haves and have nots is actually visible.

On the other hand, at least terrorism is rampant throughout the streets of London and everything appears to be a darker shade of blue.

Oh, did that not make you more comfortable?

We were trying to come up with a complete list of occasions for which hosting a viewing of Children of Men might be inappropriate (children’s birthday party, Christmas Eve, etc.), but, frankly, unless you are trying to settle for a nice, long depression, there aren’t a ton of viable options.

That said, Children of Men is another extremely well made film. The lack of much dialogue and music and the sometimes uncomfortably long shots serve the purpose of making you feel acutely aware of how intense the situation remains throughout the course of the film.

Although we cannot say we’ll be watching it again any time soon, Children of Men features some beautiful scenes, a terrific performance from Clive Owen (among others), and and interesting plot, helping the film net 3.5 Stars from both Erin and Bret.

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