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Wick-Quoting #51: Moneyball

“Would you rather get one shot in the head or five in the chest and bleed to death?”

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I went into the theaters without a clue about what Moneyball was about.  All I knew was that Brad Pitt was in it and that it’s supposedly good.  And it is good.  It isn’t amazing though, just a nice, good feeling film.  It may seem like a typical sports movie at times, but trust me, it’s a bit more than that.

First of all, the main reason why the movie is good is because of Brad Pitt.  He is an actor worthy of the title.  His acting skills really helps with the sympathy you’re suppose to feel towards him and his baseball team.  Also, not to mention, his accent is amusing and in this movie, just like the rest, he is constantly eating something, which I find as a funny trademark of his. These days, inspirational sports movies don’t really focus on the final winning game – instead, they give satisfaction a slightly different way, whether it be winning the semifinals and ending the movie or losing the final game, but becoming a better person from it.  Moneyball goes about it in a similar way, trying to tell an inspirational story in an unorthodox way.  This doesn’t take away anything, it just makes the movie seem a lot more realistic and believable, especially because it is based on a true story.

The film has a feeling or realistic grit, that gets you to care about Brad Pitt’s character, Billy.  He’s went through so much and through periodic flashbacks, we know he is burdened with many regrets, yet he has to stay strong for his daughter.  The story goes against dirty dealing and shows what’s truly important in life – hard work, family, and belief.

Because the film is not in theaters anymore, I’d recommend watching it online.  Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt’s chemistry works pretty well as the cool guy and the geek.  You don’t have to like baseball to enjoy Moneyball, you just have to like movies.

8.0

Quoted by MWP

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=244

Wick-Quoting #50: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

“Stupid monkey! He’ll learn who’s boss soon enough.”

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened this past weekend with relatively positive reviews from many critics and sources, successfully nabbing a “Fresh” 81% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a solid 8.0 from IMDb.  It is clear that this film was a highly anticipated prequel to the famous Planet of the Apes franchise, and for the few who are not familiar with the franchise, the Rise was a curious introduction to the hairy apocalyptic universe.  However, that is all the acclamation this film deserves.

Franco and Pinto

The Rise does contain some well known talent, such as James Franco who plays the emotionally driven scientist, Will, and John Lithgow, who plays Will’s father, Charles, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.  Other familiar talents include Freida Pinto, best known for her role in Slumdog Millionaire, Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, and Andy Serkis who is popular for his role as the creature Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  This mixture of cast mates, including Brian Cox and Tom Felton, does achieve some fine moments on film, and the digital manipulation of Andy Serkis to create the ape, Caesar, is quite remarkable, but other than that, the film has little to offer.

Caesar did something bad

Due to the fact that the Rise is a prequel, we know what ultimately happens before we even take our seats in the theater, so we are just waiting to see how it happens, similarly to how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III.  Therefore, it is the journey that is supposed to fully entertain, not the outcome.  But in this case, the Rise does not live up to its epic outcome.  The desperate Cal grad (Go Bears!…)  attempts to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease to save his father, while his boss Steven Jacobs, played by David Oyelowo, takes advantage of the potentially, very profitable drug, which leads to the demise of humans and the rise of the apes.  In addition, a lot of the screen time is taken up by the apes’ interactions with each other, which is necessary for the plot, but very boring to watch.  If I wanted to see CGI on CGI action I would have bought a ticket to see The Smurfs instead.

Those aren't real monkeys?!

Despite my critiques on the predictability of the plot and the tiresome grunting of the apes, the Rise did well in the box office results coming in first for the weekend and grossing $78 million worldwide.  Due to this relative success, there are rumors of a possible (and unnecessary) sequel.  A movie depicting the mass extinction of the human race due to a deadly virus is hardly a film I plan to waste any of my time on.  Plus, it looks like they have already made this film.  It’s called Contagion.  Go see it on September 9th if you really have nothing else to do.

6.0

Quoted by Ander

MWP: 7.0

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=232

Wick-Quoting #49: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

“I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood.  Do you have any idea where you could have lost it?”

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I didn’t have any sort of strong interest in watching Crazy, Stupid, Love. (from now on referred to as CSL).  The trailer didn’t show any sort of promise, besides the fact of having Steve Carell and Emma Stone, both being very funny people.  So I was shocked at how entertaining the movie actually turned out to be.  CSL is a lot similar to Bridesmaids – not because the stories are the same, but because both are not as popular romantic comedies that are actually topnotch in their genre.

Michae... I mean Steve Carell pulling on some moves

It is no surprise that the cast of the movie helps with the entertainment – after all, Steve Carell and Emma Stone both starred in successful romantic comedies themselves (The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Easy A respectively).  Steve Carell is always fun to watch, although in this movie he plays more of a middle aged loser than a goofy guy.  All the other actors are alright too and the kid actor, Jonah Bobo, is surprisingly not that bad.  He is not one of those kid actors who make you cringe.

The couple in question

The situational humor is pretty good in CSL and there is one moment in the movie where all the separate stories come together, creating a pretty awesome scene of confusion, anger, and awkwardness. Even though I find some parts of the story to be a bit shallow, the movie still is touching and runs on the ideal of giving second chances.  So despite the awful trailer, give CSL a second chance and watch it.  The movie is guaranteed to give you some good laughs.

8.4

Quoted by MWP

Ander: 9.2

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=225

Wick-Quoting #48: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II

“Harry Potter, the boy who lived… come to die.”

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I was pretty excited to see  the last Harry Potter movie on opening day (who wasn’t?).  But my excitement, like hunger, steadily dissipated as the movie progressed.  It was, in the nicest terms, just like the previous Harry Potter movies – the movie stayed true to the book for the most part, skipped over a couple of important scenes that audiences would have loved to see, and included a couple of scenes that it could have done without.  Like the other movies, it doesn’t drive home and completely satisfy like how reading the books do.  In a way, the wait to actually see the movie was a bit more exciting than watching the movie itself.

The last time you'll see these three in a movie together

Now, I saw the movie at a not so popular theater; yet it was still pretty full, which says a lot about the Harry Potter franchise.  The film made $168 million opening weekend in the United States alone, beating the previous record held by The Dark KnightHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is more entertaining than Part I; however, it is just an alright movie.  I feel the movie is getting high ratings from other sites purely just from hype alone.  The graphics are stunning, like every other movie with high budget CGI and the returning actors and actresses are a pleasure to watch.  Still, the movie doesn’t quite earn the phrase of being “EPIC.”

The boy who lived

Notable scenes include Fred’s death, Snape’s revelation, and the final battle between Harry and Voldemort.  While all three of these scenes should be filled with emotion, none of them get the proper attention.  Fred’s death is merely glanced over with barely any conversation about it.  While Snape’s memories do have a bit of screening time, you don’t really feel the shock and regret on Daniel Radcliffe’s face.  The impact of the fact that Snape was actually a good guy all along isn’t really there.  M. Night Shyamalan could have done a better job in giving that scene justice.

He doesn't appear that much in the movie

The movie has some scenes that could have done better without, such as Mrs. Weasley’s (Julie Walters) fight against Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter).  It’s one of those awkward scenes that make you feel embarrassed to watch.  Another awkward scene is the epilogue, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are shown as grownups with kids of their own.  It is actually quite silly and something you have to see for yourself.

Overall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is pretty good as a movie, but not good enough for a finale.  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is an example of a good ending to a popular series.  Even so, the last installment of Harry Potter is still entertaining and a must see if you are alive in this generation; just don’t expect to be blown out of your seats.

8.2

Quoted by MWP

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=219

Wick-Quoting #47: X-Men: First Class

“Let’s just say I’m Frankenstein’s monster. I’m looking for my creator.”

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I must say, the trailer for X-Men: First Class was “eh” and my attitude towards it was “eh.”  But it is spectacular; even if you are not into Marvel comics, it will still entertain.  Why is X-Men: First Class so much better than the recent superhero movies that are coming out nowadays?  It is because the movie focuses a lot more on character development along with its flashy graphics and story development.

The first group of X-Men

The film is a prequel to the X-Men trilogy, centering on the early days of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor Xavier (James McAvoy).  Both characters interact with each other very well, one being more funny while the other more bad ass. Who knew Professor Xavier had a sense of humor?  And there were a couple of interesting cameos, including Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine.

He has hair!

The main thing I don’t like about the movie is Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) – she is very annoying as a character.  She is Professor X’s little (adopted) sister, yet she has romantic feelings for him?  After he rejects her, she moves on to another guy, then after that, she sides with the group who attacked her teammates?  I guess her personality matches with her ability – a person with multiple faces.

Call me Magneto

The movie reminds me quite a lot of Star Wars: Episode III, (when Anakin turns into Darth Vader) cause you know what happens to the characters (who ends up on which side) but you don’t know how it all happens.  Like Star Wars: Episode III, X-Men: First Class can be considered a nice success, making over $320 million so far.  However, unlike Episode III, First Class is a movie worth watching.

8.3

Quoted by MWP

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=207

Wick-Quoting #45: Thor

“Whoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

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Out of all the big comic book movies that came / are coming out this summer, the only one I’d honestly never heard of was Thor.  Now having watched the movie, I still don’t feel any big need to read a comic, but… I can say I know of its existence now.  Actually sorry, that’s a bit of a harsh way to frame my opinion of the movie.

Brothers

Thor is about the titual thunder God pissing off his father and being cast to Earth to redeem himself.  He’s too hotheaded and war hungry, which his father disapproves of.  And since this is Hollywood, he’s going to meet a girl, who in this case happens to be played by Natalie Portman, and of course she’s pretty brainy but otherwise just runs around a lot and is often shocked by something or another.  Still, there’s a pretty strong cast of characters, and Loki and Thor’s relationship with each other as well as their father was the overall highlight of the film for me as it gave the movie a very real sense of emotion that I feel most comic book movies lack.  The battle scenes aren’t thrilling, but the special effects were pretty good.  Overall, the film is exciting and moves along at a good pace.  It’s not exactly the best comic book movie out there, or really anything super special on its own, but it’s pretty good for a one time feel good view to fit the summer blockbuster vibe.

Lovers

To conclude… I actually don’t have much else to say. I don’t know anything about the Thor comic books but the ending is just begging for a sequel, so we’ll see what happens there… and I probably will go watch it, if that does happen.  Also, for those of you who may know even less than me about this movie, it really has nothing to do whatsoever with actual Norse mythology.  But you probably all knew that already (hopefully) so these few sentences are just space filler.

7.6

Quoted by Sawazz

MWP: 7.7

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=189


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