Tag Archives: Thriller

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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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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Air Force One (Erin: 2.5 Stars, Bret: 3 Stars)

Loosely based on a true story — in that the President has a plane and that plane is called Air Force One — Air Force One is our next film. Erin nitpicked the film to the point that we had to formally apologize to Harrison Ford. Three Stars from Bret, 2.5 Stars from Erin.

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A Few Good Men (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

You think you can handle this review? You think you are entitled to this review?

Son, we live in a world with movies and those movies have to be reviewed by someone. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Kevin Pollack?

Bret and Erin have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for About Schmidt and you curse Bret for a 2.5 Star review. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what Bret knows. That About Schmidt, while a decent film, was at best a 2.5 Star movie. And Bret’s review, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, was right. You don’t want the truth about About Schmidt because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you know it was a 2.5 Star film and you needed Bret to review if for you.

In their reviews, Bret and Erin use words like “stars,” “cinematography,” “lighting.” They use these words as the backbone of their reviews. You use them as a punchline.

Fortunately, they have the time and the inclination to explain themselves to the audience that rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very reviews they provide and then question the number of stars they have provided.

They would rather you just said “thank you,” and searched for “cat playing keyboard” on Google, otherwise they suggest you pick up a camcorder and start posting. Either way, they don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

P.S. Bret and Erin both gave A Few Good Men 4 Stars and feel terribly about it. All they did was weaken a country with this review.

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3:10 to Yuma (Erin: 4.5 Stars, Bret: 4 Stars)

Our very first film review, 3:10 to Yuma.  Erin came out firing with a 4.5 rating early.

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