Tag Archives: Bret 4 Stars

Crimson Tide (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

With Gene Hackman as a crusty, old-guard submarine captain and Denzel Washington as Denzel Washington with a fancy uniform, Crimson Tide tells the story of two men who are absolute in their belief that they are right in a game where the stakes couldn’t be higher — a potential nuclear war.

Through Bret’s eyes, Crimson Tide is a well-made, superbly acted thriller that demonstrates the consequences when two very different schools of thought collide, putting the world on the brink of a nuclear holocaust. To Erin, it’s just two assholes acting like children on a boat.

Oh. Well, then.

Oh. Well, then.

Directed by the late Tony Scott, Crimson Tide deftly illustrates the perils of having two different leaders with drastically different philosophies who refuse to peacefully coexist. While most movies would have found the two eventually putting aside their differences for the greater good, Crimson Tide avoids falling into that cliche with an ultimately fitting line; “you were both right and you were both wrong.”

As Lieutenant Commander Hunter, Denzel Washington puts on one of his Denzeliest performances. You really won’t know where Denzel ends and where Denzel begins. As an aside, is it considered method acting if you always play every character the same way as if you are just being yourself? In all actuality, he is quite good in the role, displaying effective chemistry with a strong supporting cast (Viggo Mortensen with a sweet flat-top haircut, James Gandolfini as a complete war-mongering d-bag and George Dzundza as the conflicted Chief of the Boat) as well as with Hackman, who really is the star of the show.

Seen here eschewing his patented “four passes before any nuclear missile launch” strategy in favor of a more aggressive approach.

In the end, Crimson Tide is a solid film with good performances that isn’t overly reliant on action, but rather on a conflict without a perfect resolution. Or it’s two assholes on a boat acting like children.

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Cool Runnings (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

We all have our differences. Be it race or religion, political views or economic stature, or whether or not we think Hilary Swank is attractive, we are different people.

GAHHH!… don’t look directly at her!

Despite those differences, we can all agree that the movie Cool Runnings is an incredibly inspirational film.

That it is based on a true story makes it all the more inspirational.

Wait, what? All the characters in the film were fictional?

Well, still, the premise of the story is what matters. The idea of three, world-class Jamaican sprinters  and their wise-cracking, egg-kissing friend falling just short of making the Olympics, only to turn to a sport to a winter sport in an effort to achieve their dreams is incredibly moving.

Huh? None of the bobsledders in real life were Jamaican sprinters, but were recruited from the military instead?

….. So what! It says based on a true story. It’s not a documentary! Besides, even if they weren’t sprinters, they still faced such a dramatic uphill climb to reach their goals. They had no money, they practiced in a push cart and they got to Calgary on what appears to be the day before the Olympics started! It’s amazing that they were able to overcome all of that!

Come again? They were funded by two Americans with a ton of money and arrived in Calgary to practice with a real bobsled on a real bobsled track months before eventually heading to Austria to compete in a few minor events to get their bearings and returning for the Olympics?

Yeah, and I bet there weren’t any real montages either, jerk.

Who cares! You are just like that creepy East German guy and everyone else, hating on the poor Jamaicans!

Oh, come on! No one hated them?! The bobsled community loved the fact that the Jamaicans were trying to qualify? They were graciously welcomed and were even given a sled by a competing team in order to help them qualify?

Ugh. Okay, so based on a true story just means that there used to not be a Jamaican bobsled team and now there is. It doesn’t dampen our enthusiasm for the movie and it certainly doesn’t lessen the moral of the story. It does, however, lessen the value of the phrase “based on a true story.”

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Cloverfield (Erin: 4.75 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

You’ll have to forgive us for our lame, half-hearted attempt to replicate the shaky-cam effect from Cloverfield at the beginning of this review.

J.J. Abrams attempt to give the U.S. its own version of Godzilla, however, scored very highly with the usually stingy Erin Rock.

The 4.75 Stars given to Cloverfield marks her fourth-highest review yet through 54 films.

Higher even than the movie that features this impossibly cool screenshot, if you can believe that.

For a movie to beat Center Stage in Erin’s eyes, it must be a high quality film (or, depending on your point-of-view, it must be better than one of the worst movies ever made).

Cloverfield falls short of being a classic horror movie (think Jaws or, if you are Bret, Halloween), but is a solid film that used the found footage concept extremely well before it became incredibly annoying. Every other film nowadays is a found-footage film and Cloverfield has to accept some of the blame for that phenomenon.

An incredible 4.75 Stars from Erin and a respectable 4 Stars from Bret.

An artist’s depiction of Erin and her Stars.

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The Bourne Ultimatum (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

The Bourne Ultimatum is a fun review of ours if only because we both come across as drunk, although we highly doubt that was actually the case.

The film itself is a good ending to the trilogy (at least until the Jeremy Renner version hits theaters later this Summer). Ultimatum has better action sequences, a tighter plot, prettier locations and a more fitting title than Supremacy, but wasn’t quite as good as Identity, at least according to Bret.

Admit it, it’s closer than you thought.

The review, however, tackles the really important questions, like “better looking, Albert Finney or Julia Stiles?” or “is it safe for Bret to yawn while Erin is talking?”

Also, stick around for Erin’s all-out attack on Russia. If Putin sees this, we may be at the dawn of a new Cold War.

The Bourne Ultimatum receives 4 Stars from Erin and 4 Stars from Bret as well.

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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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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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Batman (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars, Kyle: 4 Stars)

Holy special guest star, Batman!

Bret’s brother, and the Official Batman Correspondent for the RockMovieProject, Kyle Rock joins us as we review Tim Burton’s Batman — or as it is known in some circles, Jack Nicholson Presents: A Prince Dance Party.

Kyle is the ideal Batman Correspondent for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that he has danced with the devil in the pale moon light.

As such, he is well-equipped to help us answer important questions like:

  • Where does Michael Keaton rank in the “I am Batman” pantheon?
  • When are we, exactly?
  • More alive currently, Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger?
  • The architecture of Gotham — too depressing for words?

We also lose audio with Kyle at the end, resulting in the use crude sign language in order to document our scores, but eventually Batman receives a 3 Star review from the ever-stingy Erin and 4 Stars from both Bret and Kyle.

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Away We Go (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

Jim Halpert + beard + insecurity + sensitivity + soon-to-be-father = Erin swooning. It’s that simple, folks. And, frankly, given that he isn’t a sparkling, broody vampire, Bret accepts it.

Add some Maya Rudolph and the quirky (and sometimes incredibly depressing) people they meet on their road trip to find the place they truly belong (awwwwwwwww) and you’ve got yourself a quality movie in Away We Go.

We would also argue that Allison Janney and Maggie Gyhehehanheyahall (sp?) steal every scene they are in.

Four Stars from both Erin and Bret.

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Aladdin (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

If we had three wishes, the first would be for untold wealth (sorry, World Peace); the second would be Robin Williams’ freedom from any and all magic lamps; and the third would be for you to enjoy this review.

Part concert, part movie review, all it took was Aladdin to bring out Erin’s inner Disney Princess. Not unlike a small child, actually.

Besides, who wouldn’t love a children’s movie with seductive lyrics like “don’t you dare close your eyes” and “hold your breath it gets better”?

Four stars from both Bret and Erin.

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