Tag Archives: Bret 2.5 Stars

Bull Durham (Erin: 2.5 Stars, Bret: 2.5 Stars)

Okay, so we forgot the blog post for Bull Durham. That isn’t to say that it’s an utterly forgettable movie. As far as you know.

In all honesty, it’s a movie that Bret remembers more fondly than it turned out to be.

The baseball scenes are fun (mostly because Kevin Costner is one of very few actors that actually looks like he has picked up a baseball bat in his life); the dialogue between the teammates makes you laugh from time-to-time (“I held it like an egg” “Yeah, and he scrambled the son-of-a-b*tch”); and we suppose it gives you a pretty good sense of what minor league baseball is all about (the goofy sponsor nights, the bus rides, etc.), but in the end, it’s just not that entertaining a movie and the less said about how well it holds up, the better.

We Googled “Tim Robbins, Bull Durham, Pitching,” but it just laughed at us.

HOWEVER, if you like blistering jazz saxophone solos, watching an aging-before-your-eyes Susan Sarandon pretend to be sexy or seeing Tim Robbins achieve the world’s worst pitching form, completely disregard everything we’ve said above. You will love this movie.

Two-and-a-half stars from both Erin and Bret for Bull Durham.

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Bruce Almighty (Erin: 2.5 Stars, Bret: 2.5 Stars)

There are very few actors as divisive here at the RockMovieProject than one James Carrey — which is to say that Bret thinks he is capable of moments of brilliance and Erin wishes he was trapped for eternity in the Well of Souls from Raiders of the Lost Ark, rendering him incapable of appearing in any future films.

Not helping Bret’s argument here, Jim.

Bret’s contention is that Jim Carrey at 75 percent “Jim Carreyness” is a fun actor to watch. The problem? Jim Carrey is only barely ever at 75 percent in his movies, he’s usually at 150 percent or so, which is what drives people crazy.

He’s not an actor as much as he is an over-actor. He doesn’t chew the scenery as much as he gorges on it.

There is a moment in every Jim Carrey performance where you can actually watch him cross the line from “okay, that’s laugh-out-loud funny” to “ugh… how long is this movie again?” It happens in the blink of an eye in most cases and it’s a shame.

What is Jim Carrey capable of when he tones it down a notch or 10? How about The Truman Show which scored 90 percent among Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes? He probably should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in that film (which we’ll get to on the RockMovieProject sometime in 2014).

Look at some of the reviews of his turn as Truman:

Oh, you meant “face-pulling slapstick comedy” literally.

“Carrey is a surprisingly good choice to play Truman. We catch glimpses of his manic comic persona, just to make us comfortable with his presence in the character, but this is a well-planned performance”

“As Truman, Carrey projects a warmth and goodness we haven’t seen in any of his face-pulling slapstick comedies. He’s funny and engaging, but he also brings a touching believability to this far-fetched tale of a man whose trust and innocence were violated from the day he was born.”

“That truly makes Mr. Carrey the ideal actor for the role, since his beaming affability so often conveys an edge of secret fury. Warm, affecting and refreshingly shtickless, he occupies center stage here through sheer, beguiling force of personality. And Mr. Carrey is charismatic enough to make Trumania a nearly plausible conceit. He intensifies ordinary emotions so powerfully that perhaps this guy’s Warholian 15 minutes, on a television show of halfway satirical blandness, could have lasted 30 years.”

We only understood a part of that last one, but each review hits on the same note: “wow, Jim Carrey was pretty good when he stopped mugging so damn hard.”

For our Beverly Hills Cop review we pleaded with Eddie Murphy to start making movies that were in his wheelhouse again, the R-rated comedies and action comedies that made him the star he once was. Here we’ll do the same for Jim Carrey and wish that he would stop making goofy, high-concept comedies (like, for instance, one where he bitches so much about his life that God gives him all of his powers) and start making more grown-up, quirky movies like the The Truman Show. Otherwise Erin is going to really ramp up her efforts to lure him to Tannis.

As for Bruce Almighty, it is exactly what you would expect from a Jim Carrey movie. Moments here and there that make you laugh out loud, but otherwise, an over-the-top performance where Carrey uses goofy voices and catch-phrases that make you cringe until the credits start rolling.

Two-and-a-half Stars from both Erin and Bret.

….. okay, Erin was right.

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Boogie Nights (Erin: 2 Stars, Bret: 2.5 Stars)

There is no better way for us to describe Boogie Nights than to just flat out tell you it’s a harrowing experience.

We felt exhausted after watching Black Hawk Down because of the pure adrenaline and intensity surging through that film; we felt similarly exhausted after watching Boogie Nights, but more because of just how tormenting and agonizing the film was.

Boogie Nights’ Hero — a coked-out, potentially psychotic porn star.

Who knew that a movie about the porn industry with dozens of unsavory characters, no real, relatable protagonist and with complete disregard for a happy ending (pun not intended) could be this depressing?

But who knew that that same movie could be so incredibly well-made? With such nuanced characters? And include such a great cast?

It’s really an interesting movie in the end and one that probably would have gotten a higher score from both of us if we had waited a day or two after watching the movie to review it.

But alas, rules are rules (and, by the way, you should really check out the RULES of the RockMovieProject if you have not done so already) and we had to review it immediately, resulting in 2 Stars from Erin and 2.5 from Bret.

And now, presented without commentary for your entertainment, three and a half minutes of Julianne Moore crying in movies:

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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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BASEketball (Erin: 1 Star, Bret: 2.5 Stars)

A movie starring the guys from South Park as inventors of a driveway sport that eventually hits the big time and includes lines from Bob Costas like: “You’re excited? Feel these nipples!” ? You had Bret at feel these nipples.

Erin gives it just 1 Star, including demerits for it being low-brow (agreed) and for Trey Parker and Matt Stone having bad hair (agreed).

Bret gives it 2.5 Stars and, upon reflection, probably should have given it slightly higher given how frequently he quotes the film.

Sure it feels a little dated (Jenny McCarthy and Yasmine Bleeth still look like normal humans!), but sometimes you just need a goofy, low-brow comedy with a tremendous Unsolved Mysteries reference to get you through the night. Above all else, that is what BASEketball provides.

First you watch the review, then you get the khakis, then you get the girls.

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About Schmidt (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 2.5 Stars)

If there’s one thing we all know about Erin, it’s that she likes movies starring Jack Nicholson as he roams the countryside in an RV, meeting bizarre people, but not in a way that is all that funny more than Bret does. About Schmidt gets a 4 Star review from Erin and a 2.5 Star review from Bret. Kathy Bate’s nude scene got a negative 5 Star from both.

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