Month: February 2022

Movie Review – The Worst Person in the World

Category : Movie Review

Director: Joachim Trier

Starring: Renate Reinsve

Year: 2021

If I wanted to watch a two-hour montage of bizarrely-terrible decision by an otherwise-normal young woman, I’d log into Facebook and scroll through some updates from random people I knew in high school, who probably didn’t know what they were doing then and definitely haven’t learned it since.  In other words; I didn’t really like this movie.  Amelie it was not but was desperately trying to be; in stead it was simply depressing and unnecessary, with only a few redeeming characteristics.

Julie from Norway doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up; not so bad, most of us don’t, hang in their Julie.  But she also doesn’t know who she wants to be now, and simply looks for the next major, the next career, or the next man to define her life, since she sure as hell can’t define it for herself.  The result is a rather upsetting form of wanderlust in which she never sinks into anything nor really enjoys much beyond fleeting fun.  Will she ever find her calling or her place?  It’s doubtful.

First, the positives I guess, cause there were a few, though not the great number that most film critics are slobbering to tell you about.  No, this isn’t the best movie of the year, no it’s not a masterpiece, and no it’s not gonna change your life; it’s an artistic piece with a few things to say and to show, some nice scenes with some nice messages, but really a short rather than a full film.  It’s otherwise boring, overworked, stolen from better, and not that endearing, as I didn’t find myself caring for Julie’s sad existence one bit.  She’s just a girl making poor, snap decisions, and I don’t need that in my life.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

 


Sports – 2022 NFL Free Agency

Category : Sports

With the 2021 season behind us, the Super Bowl over, and the reality of zero football setting in, it’s never too early to look ahead to next year. The 2022 season kicks off with the HOF game in Canton in August and the NFL Opener in September, but before that there are two major events that will change your team’s future.  One is the Draft in April, and the other is Free Agency in March. There are veteran players out there for the taking, and they could help your team right away with their talent and experience. Here is a look at some of the top NFL Free Agents of 2022:

 

QB

  1. Jameis Winston
  2. Teddy Bridgewater
  3. Tyrod Taylor
  4. Cam Newton
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick

RB

  1. Leonard Fournette
  2. Melvin Gordon
  3. Chase Edmonds
  4. Cordarrelle Patterson
  5. James Conner

WR

  1. Davante Adams
  2. Chris Godwin
  3. Mike Williams
  4. Odell Beckham
  5. Michael Gallup

TE

  1. Mike Gesicki
  2. Dalton Schultz
  3. David Njoku
  4. Rob Gronkowski
  5. Zach Ertz

OL

  1. Terron Armstead
  2. Ryan Jensen
  3. Orlando Brown
  4. Brandon Scherff
  5. Laken Tomlinson

DL

  1. Akiem Hicks
  2. DJ Jones
  3. BJ Hill
  4. Calais Campbell
  5. Quinton Jefferson

EDGE

  1. Von Miller
  2. Chandler Jones
  3. Jadeveon Clowney
  4. Randy Gregory
  5. Haason Redddick

LB

  1. De’Vondre Campbell
  2. Dont’a Hightower
  3. Ja’Whuan Bentley
  4. Foyesade Oluokun
  5. Chritian Kirksey

CB

  1. JC Jackson
  2. Carlton Davis
  3. Stephon Gilmore
  4. Darious Williams
  5. Casey Hayward

S

  1. Jesse Bates
  2. Tyrann Mathieu
  3. Marcus Williams
  4. Quandre Diggs
  5. Marcus Maye


Sports – 2022 NFL Coaching Carousel

Category : Sports

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it’s not too early to look ahead to the 2022 season, especially for those teams who have already undergone a lot of change. Nothing says a fresh start like a new head coach, and many NFL teams made the switch after tough losses or tough years in general. Here is a look at the new faces and their new teams:

 

Miami Dolphins – Mike McDaniel

Houston Texans – Lovie Smith

Jacksonville Jaguars – Doug Pederson

Denver Broncos – Nathaniel Hackett

Las Vegas Raiders – Josh McDaniels

New York Giants – Brian Daboll

Chicago Bears – Matt Eberflus

Minnesota Vikings – Kevin O’Connell

New Orleans Saints – Dennis Allen


Movie Review – When Harry Met Sally

Category : Movie Review

Director: Rob Reiner

Starring: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal

Year: 1989

When Harry Met Sally is the greatest rom-com that ever stole its way into our hearts, and it’s really not even that close.  No other film exhibits this much magic in the telling of a singular, comedic love story, and, given the genre and how hard that appears to be to do, that feat is even more impressive.  Rob Reiner, Nora Efron, and all involved deserve a special award made just for them with their names on it, to be handed down to any (and few) who are able to accomplish the same; crafting a plot based on love that’s funny & heartwarming in exactly these right ways.  Simply put; this movie is a masterpiece.

At first, they hated each other; well, Sally hated Harry, cause he was hitting on her and seemed to be the most negative human in the entire world.  But there was more to Harry than his unhappiness, and there were darker parts to Sally that she just hadn’t had enough disaster to identify.  Somewhere through the years, these two unlikely allies became friends, and then something even more; potential lovers with a thousand reasons to not give it a go.  But love is not quiet, sometimes it’s downright rude, and it came bursting through for this New York City pair, despite the promises they made to themselves.

This story is magic; hooray Nora.  And the direction is seamless; way to go Rob.  AND the acting is terrific, so just, nice job everyone.  This is about as close to perfection as you can get, combining mood, music, scenery, dialogue, side characters, love, loss, and true passion into something lasting that will never lose its power.  When Harry Met Sally watches as well now as it did then, tells the same romantic story with fervor, and delivers the same classic lines over & over until you know them by heart and love them all the more.  This is what a classic looks like, this is how filmmaking should flow.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 


Movie Review – Spencer

Category : Movie Review

Director: Pablo Larrain

Starring: Kristen Stewart

Year: 2021

Spencer is Jackie and Downton Abbey, but not nearly as grand as either.  It’s simply not a very good movie, and Kristen Stewart is simply not good in it; that she became the belle of the ball this Oscar season is perhaps predictable but still quite confusing.  Stewart is obviously not just Twilight, we’re far past that, she’s a legitimate young talent with a bright future, but this film is not that fact on display; it’s one of her weakest, oddest, most affected efforts, and I’m surprised that more critics aren’t doing their jobs and being critical of this misstep.

Labelled as a fable of what could be a true story, Spencer is an imaginary look into the private life of Princess Diana, on the eve of her decision to divorce her husband and run away with what life she has left.  Living with the Queen and all the accoutrements that go with her during the Christmas holiday, Diana struggles with her own mental & physical health while trying to put on a face that the royalty and the public both want to see.  With her boys by her side, she begins to imagine taking a leap of faith toward an uncertain future.

Casting Stewart here was a mistake; I don’t normally care if an American is British, or a Brit American, but it simply didn’t work here.  Everyone else around her fit like a finger in a glove, but she stood out; as an outsider, as fake, as oddly-accented, and as disingenuous.  Her breathy manner was both odd and tiring, always feeling like a performance and never like a human being.  And the film itself was bizarre; dreams, fantasies, visions, secrets, and meanwhile Diana throwing up her food.  Jackie is by far the superior Larrain film, far superior, and to try to capture that magic again with this actress and this mood was disastrous.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

 


Movie Review – National Treasure

Category : Movie Review

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha

Year: 2004

Inherently silly but undeniably fun, National Treasure is a mix of some ridiculous entertainment and an unbelievable adventure, to the point that you’ll find yourself  watching whether you want to or not.  I personally can’t stand Nicolas Cage; I do not think he’s so bad he’s good, I do not enjoy his over-the-top style, and I do not think he has an ounce of talent in his entire Coppola body.  BUT, I will say that I like National Treasure despite the fact that I shouldn’t, and I always find myself laughing at the antics of this group of players who do NOT belong on the stage.

Benjamin Franklin Gates has been taught his entire life that a secret treasure lies behind the legends of the Founding Fathers of early America, that they hid a Templar/Mason fortune so vast that no one man or one nation could resist its corrupting power.  Now he’s on a mission to find it, before the bad guy does, and the first clue he’ll have to steal in order to get on the right track is a document so valuable that it’s virtually un-thief-able; the Declaration of Independence.  But Gates is a smart cookie, and the journey beings, with history behind every move and danger around every corner.

Well, it’s no Mummy, which is the superior goofy adventure, but it’s sure better than Sahara, so jump into the genre and have some fun, just know what you’re landing in.  This movie is silly, it’s nonsensical, it’s poorly-acted, and it’s bizarre, but it sure is a hoot, and I guess that’s the point.  Younger audiences will fall hard, more discerning tastes will find problems, but maybe we can all agree that some films are just good times, nothing more.  Cage is still a buffoon, can’t take that guy, but even he is somewhat likeable in this story, and he exhibits the true history & the make-believe plot pretty well, considering.  National Treasure is almost a b-movie icon, and that’s OK; just remember that it’s not actually good.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

 


Sports – NFL Picks 2021, Super Bowl

Category : Sports

Here is my Super Bowl pick

(6-6 for the postseason, 163-108-1 for the regular season)

 

LAR @ Cin

 


Movie Review – Friday the 13th (2009)

Category : Movie Review

Director: Marcus Nispel

Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Jared Padalecki, Travis Van Winkle

Year: 2009

This version/reboot/chapter/whathaveyou of the Friday the 13th franchise is about as uninspired as a blob of fake blood and about as forgettable as accidentally stepping in it.  It’s just another teen slasher, which are worth less than a dime a dozen, and somehow it can’t even muster up the energy to find a fun angle to play from, checking the boxes instead, and boring us out of our minds.  Horror franchises are done to death anyway, we know that, that can be entertaining I guess, to watch recycled trash that you know is trash, but that’s not the experience here; this is super skip-worthy.

A group of friends travel near Crystal Lake for a wild weekend at a luxuriant cabin, but they are definitely not alone in the woods; Jason is on the prowl.  But so is a strapping lad looking for his sister, who went missing with her own group of friends in the same forest, and none of them have been heard from since.  Probing into the dark corners of the neighborhood will reveal the dread secrets of the infamous camp killer, and awaken him from his slumber, but maybe this time the kiddos will be victorious and the slasher will get slashed.

It’s just silly fun, I know that, I don’t expect anything more; we know what we’re getting into when we watch standards of horror.  But I guess this isn’t that, this is a re-do of a standard, which definitely makes it much, much worse.  It’s bad all around, and usually not in a good way.  There are some boobs & blood splatters, that’s all to the positive, but there isn’t enough real substance to grab onto, making this remake a big dud.  Maybe we need to let some of these old monsters die with dignity, and not keep exhuming their bodies whenever we feel like we can make a quick buck.

My rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 


Movie Review – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Category : Movie Review

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid

Year: 1989

John Hughes does it again, writing perhaps the most iconic Christmas film since Rudolph, and one of the dumbest, funniest family comedies of the 80s & 90s.  And somehow, not only is this movie silly, but it’s also so realistic, showing how each one of our darkest Christmas nightmares could come true and ruin the entire season.  That’s what makes this film great, that combination of goof and honest doubt, wanting your week to be great while, like Clark, desperately holding out against the probability that it definitely won’t.

We know the Griswolds from their disastrous family vacation, but now we visit them during the holidays, when they are expecting multiple family members and numerous household disasters.  Clark is the ultimate optimist, but even his edges get frayed when ruin after ruin strikes the homestead and the Christmas cheer; sewer gas, dry turkey, rabid squirrels, unwanted relatives.  But with his lovely wife Ellen by his side, and his kids Audrey & Rusty to take care of, Clark will push through the pain and have fun no matter what; Merry frickin Christmas!

So much festivity, so much insanity.  This is all my holiday nightmares combined into one long disaster, and it’s so nice that Clark has to deal with it and I don’t.  He makes every awful thing hilarious and bearable somehow, and that’s his greatest strength, pushing through with a smile on his face through literal shit.  Poor guy, but he’s the everyman, he’s us, and that’s so cool, what a great concept; thanks John.  Also, the holiday spirit has arrived, because this is the movie to get you in the mood (for next year) and check all your Christmas boxes.  It’s so fun, packed full of quotable moments, iconic in every way, and excellent every single time you sit down in front of it.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

 


Book Review – Dreamcatcher

Category : Book Review

Author: Stephen King

Year: 2001

Dreamcatcher is known as a very bad movie version of a King work, which is not uncommon, but it’s also known as a bad King work period, and that’s not typical at all.  Hell, even King knows that it’s no good; he told Rolling Stone that he didn’t like this book very much and that he was doped up on Oxy when he wrote it.  This was right after his accident, he was going through a rough time, so he can be forgiven, and he was hyper-focused on Dark Tower stuff as well, so that can be excused.  Doesn’t stop Dreamcatcher from kinda sucking though.

Four friends head to their yearly trip to hunt in the woods, though this year is a little different because the aging men are all dealing with their own life troubles, all falling apart just a little without each other and without the childhood companion who bonded them stronger than they ever thought was possible.  That odd connection to a special boy back home will perhaps be all that keeps the world from ending, as something disastrous happens near the cabin and threatens the entire Earth; alien bacteria with mind-control powers.  That’s right, and that’s not an easy thing to beat, so our heroes better think fast, remember the magic they all share, and work hard, because we’re all counting on them.

This is a bizarre book with an even stranger style and a cast of kooky characters; it’s pretty obvious that King wasn’t writing up to his potential.  He was also really working his Dark Tower magnum opus, including penning novels connected to it on the side; someone probably made him release this book just for the money.  It’s not that it’s all bad; the flashbacks are interesting, one character having his mind taken over but fighting that hostile action from the inside was fascinating.  But the alien plot points were a little silly, King is never at his best when he deals with aliens, it’s just maybe not quite his forte and doesn’t fit quite perfectly into his genre.  This is one that isn’t extremely necessary and won’t delight many; even King has troubles, and thankfully he ended up kicking the habit and getting himself healthy, which is what really matters.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

 


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