Tag Archives: Erin 3.5 Stars

Crazy, Stupid, Love (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 3 Stars)

To the best of Bret’s knowledge, the whole plot of Crazy, Stupid, Love is predicated on Julianne Moore cheating on Steve Carell with Kevin Bacon, then divorcing Carell, who, with the help of Ryan Gosling, beds multiple women, all the while pining for Julianne Moore. And somewhere in all of that, Ryan Gosling takes his shirt off, assuring female movie-goers will ignore the lunacy in the previous sentence, thus making this film an ungodly amount of money.

Problem solved!

In all seriousness, it’s a relatively fun and inoffensive romantic comedy/drama that has a few legitimate laugh-out-loud moments. Carell and Gosling do most of the heavy lifting, but, in the end, it’s a reasonably enjoyable film.

Provided you can get by Julianne Moore’s performance, that is.

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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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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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Cast Away (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 4.5 Stars)

There are very few times in a grown man’s life when the loss of a volleyball can make him weep uncontrollably; Bret has no qualms in saying that the departure of Wilson in Cast Away is very nearly one of those moments.

Cast Away is a tremendous film that is alternately about hope or about crippling loss, depending on whom you ask.

It also features one of Tom Hanks’ greatest performances, in which he nearly gets a volleyball nominated for Best Supporting Actor, settling instead for Best Volleyball in a Motion Picture.

“There are so many people I have to thank.”

Ever the optimist, Bret argues that Cast Away is about hope. That Hanks’ speech toward the end about the tide coming in is wonderfully inspirational and the ending of the film, while ambiguous, shows us a man who defied near-insurmountable odds and has the whole world in front of him.

On the flip side, the movie is exhausting for Erin and the idea of Chuck and Kelly losing each other is devastating. Even though, let’s be honest, it’s Helen Hunt and Tom can probably do better.

“Ummmm…. I think I’d like to go back to the island now.”

Let the record show that she has no concern for the poor kid who never got his volleyball, by the way.

Three-and-a-half stars from Erin for Cast Away; four-and-a-half from Bret.

P.S., great comic HERE.

P.S.S., not sure why we look like we are filming a shot-for-shot remake of the “Take On Me” video in the screenshot above.

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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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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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21 Grams (Erin: 3.5 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

The first of our films that neither of us had ever seen, 21 Grams best described as a “harrowing experience.” One that netted 3.5 stars from both of us. That said, Erin still needed a “mouthful of Steve Carrell” to cleanse her palette.

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