Tag Archives: Bret 5 Stars

The Contender (Erin: 4.25 Stars, Bret: 5 Stars)

It’s easy to watch a movie and deliver a review without thinking about the 100s of thousands of little moving pieces that it takes to make a movie successful.

Story, direction, proper casting, dialogue, lighting, sound, editing, craft service table, whether or not the star has had an affair with the married director (Kristen Stewart films) and a host of other things that we are forgetting or don’t want to take the time to mention.

They actually make a pretty cute Amish couple.

One piece that can either make or break a film is the marketing of said film. And that is where our story begins with The Contender.

The Contender is a great film. It takes a topic (the nomination of a female senator to replace a dead Vice President and the confirmation process) that isn’t all that interesting and turns it into a fascinating tale of morality, principal and trust.

What it is not is a “first rate thriller.”

The marketing for The Contender, however, is a first rate example of how even a very good film that misrepresents itself to its audience can flame out.

Although the film has an incredible cast (including Oscar nominations for both Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges with Gary Oldman being absolutely robbed of one and that’s setting aside Sam Elliott who is fantastic as well), terrific plot, excellent writing (movies like this can easily feature stilted, inorganic dialogue, The Contender completely avoids that) and is wonderfully shot and edited, the marketing of the film makes it out to be something it is not and that dooms it from the outset.

Even the title doesn’t make a ton of sense. The Nominee or something to that effect probably would have been more fitting.

“We LOVE it! People will have no idea what it’s about!” — The Contender Marketing Team

In the end, if you are looking for a tense, political thriller, you are probably going to want to look elsewhere. If you want an excellent (if slightly idealistic and definitely left-leaning) film about the political process, The Contender comes very highly recommended by your neighborhood RockMovieProject.

Four and a quarter Stars from Erin, 5 Stars from Bret.

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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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Braveheart (Erin: 5 Stars, Bret: 5 Stars, J. Alex: 5 Stars, Jesse: 5 Stars)

Fun fact: Four perfect scores from the RockMovieProject is the rough equivalent of one Oscar for Best Sound Editing.

In the year of our Lord, two-thousand and twelve, Bret and Erin Rock were joined by J. Alex Kelly and Jesse Terry to review Braveheart for the RockMovieProject. They reviewed like warrior poets; they looked like idiots and they all gave it 5 Stars.

We could bore you here by telling you that the casting is spot-on, that the story — while a bastardization of historical events — is pitch-perfect or that Mel Gibson’s direction is nearly completely devoid of anti-Semetic rhetoric.

We could regale you with our opinions about how tremendous the film’s score is; about how the film is now 17 years old and doesn’t feel even a little dated; or by explaining that there probably is no drama that is more often quoted at Rock Manor.

We could do all of those things if we hadn’t already done so in the video above. So instead, we’ll conclude by kindly asking that you watch our review and let us know in the comments how you feel about Braveheart. We love it.

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Back to the Future (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 5 Stars)

Great Scott, is it true Erin only gave Back to the Future a 3.5 Star review? We’re afraid it is, Doc. To be honest, it wouldn’t shock Bret to learn that she was also responsible for the Libyans finding you. What can we say, she’s a slacker.

A complete listing of films so far that Erin considers better than Back to the Future:

  • Apollo 13
  • 3:10 to Yuma
  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
  • 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • About Schmidt
  • A Christmas Story
  • A Few Good Men
  • Aladdin
  • Away We Go

Hello? Hello? Anyone home? Think, Erin. People are going to watch this. Do you realize what would happen if people looked at our reviews and saw that you gave About Schmidt a higher score than Back to the Future?

In all seriousness, this is one of the best movies in our collection and, if she had access to a time machine, we’ll assume Erin would go back and give it a higher rating.

Now, make like a tree and watch our review.

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Apollo 13 (Erin: 5 Stars, Bret: 5 Stars)

Houston, we have our first 5 Star review.

Apollo 13… the movie that taught us how to fit a square peg in a round hole, rapidly; how to get a space return module to operate on less energy than it takes to run a coffee machine; how to look at Gary Sinese without thinking about how terrifying it would be to have a face-to-face conversation with him; and, of course, how to look like a total badass while wearing a feminine vest. At which Bret failed miserably (thanks, Ed Harris!)

The film is damn near pitch perfect. With the notable exception of how Bill Paxton contracted space plague, the only other question we have is “ARE WE ON VOX?!”

In all seriousness no matter how much we glowed about the film in the review, there is no chance we gave it the proper amount of credit. Gets VERY dusty at Rock Manor toward the end.

Not watching this review (or this movie) is not an option.

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