Tag Archives: Joan Allen

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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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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The Bourne Supremacy (Erin: 3 Stars, Bret: 3.5 Stars)

When he asks for a security deposit, just hand it over; it’s for the best.

When last we left Jason Bourne, he had hung up his ninja skills to retreat to a peaceful life of operating a scooter rental service in a tropical paradise with a lady that kind of looks like a guy.

His story continues in The Bourne Supremacy, the second installment of the Bourne series which — SPOILER ALERT — involves some kicking.

The Bourne Supremacy, of course, narrowly beating out other potential nonsensical titles like:

  • The Bourne Absorbency (too dry)
  • The Bourne Complacency (too meh)
  • The Bourne Infancy (too pre-quelly)
  • The Bourne Meteorology (too weathery)
  • The Bourne Intimacy (too creepy)
  • The Bourne Corpulency (too fat)
  • The Bourne Endocrinology (too medical)
  • The Bourne Insolvency (too sad)
  • The Bourne Oceanography (too wet)
  • The Bourne Psuedopregnancy (too weird)
  • The Bourne Supersecrecy (too perfect)
  • The Bourne Immunodeficiency (too ill)

The crazy part? That’s a video, they are just moving too fast for the human eye to perceive it.

The movie was not as good, in our opinions, as its predecessor, but if you like watching fight scenes that move so fast you’ll have no idea who was hitting whom, this is the movie for you. Still a high-quality flick which received 3 Stars from Erin and 3.5 Stars from Bret.

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