Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dream House

Just a day after Footloose, we went and saw Dream House so I could regain my man card! Dream House is a suspenseful thriller about Will Atenton (Daniel Craig), a man who moves his family into a new house. His neighbors all act very weird towards him and it becomes known that some gruesome murders took place with the family that lived their before. This is not your typical horror cliche of a haunted house that a family moves into and is haunted by the dead family. Not by any means. The story is much deeper and much more interesting. And for those who do not like horror movies, this is not one. There is a lot of suspense and maybe a jump or two. But this is by no means a scary movie.
It's hard to give this movie a strong synapsis without ruining the movie. If you saw the movie trailer for this film and it seemed to give away too much, it did. The original trailer for this film gave away a huge plot spoiler. I won't ruin it here, but if you saw the trailer and feel like you know how the whole thing ends, you do, sort of. I would still rent it, but it will not satisfy you the same way as if you hadn't seen the trailer. If you haven't seen the trailer...DON'T!!! Go into this movie with no knowledge of the story and no expectations. I think then you may like it. It is hard to say, because the trailer ruined part of the movie for me. I still enjoyed it but I think if I saw it with fresh eyes I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
Daniel Craig always gets extra points with me because I am a James Bond fanatic. This was a good movie though. Definitely not worth the $12 I spent or the $16 I spent on popcorn and drinks (don't get me started!!), but I would rent this movie when it comes out. Turn off the lights, pop some $1 bag of popcorn and enjoy free water or a $1 Coke, and enjoy a very interesting thriller!

Movie Poster from: http://0.tqn.com/d/horror/1/0/K/x/0/-/Dream-House-poster-2.jpg


Every once and a while, a man must make a sacrifice and see a movie he is less than thrilled to see because his wife puts up with action flicks, horror movies, and football weekends!! However, my wife has proven to me that she will only drag me to movies that she knows I will love. Two years ago I was dragged to what I would call the sleeper summer hit, Mamma Mia. Singing and dancing is not very realistic, but that was a fun movie.
Footloose is this years dancing surprise! I assumed I would sit through two hours of singing and dancing but then on Sunday we would go see a horror movie. Not so- this movie was great! After so many action packed, intense, and suspenseful movies, it's nice to have a relaxing and just fun movie! The story was identical to the original and there are some very fun nods to the Kevin Bacon classic.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Footloose is about a small town that endures a tragedy when some kids get killed in a drunk driving accident. The town decides to follow the leadership of one of the victims fathers, the town minister. In this movie, the minister is played by Dennis Quaid. The minister decides to work with the city council to introduce laws banning dancing, drinking, and playing loud music. Everyone seems to either follow the new laws or break them in secret but when an outsider arrives and starts school he challenges the local authority the minister has by encouraging his fellow students to dance and have fun. Of course this would not be a classic story if the main character doesn't fall in love with someone. To complicate the town's struggle at balancing fun and safety, the newcomer rebel has fallen for the ministers daughter who is still coping with the loss of her brother.
The cast was really impressive. For a cast of relatively unknowns, the acting was good, the comedy light, and the dancing incredible. Kenny Wormald plays the main character and rebel outsider Ren MacCormack. Kenny has had minor parts in You Got Served and Center Stage but in this movie he takes the spotlight and has some incredible scenes. Julianne Hough plays the attractive ministers daughter, Ariel Moore. Julianne is best known from Dancing with the Stars. Unfortunately her attractiveness is constantly up front on the screen but her dancing talent took more of a back track to Kenny's character. And Miles Teller plays the funny best friend Williard. The comedy that Miles brings to the movie makes the movie easier to swallow for men. Having someone that funny in the movie makes you forget you are watching a movie about dancing. But even as a guy, you can appreciate the dancing, especially during the final scene. Some of the things the back up dancers were doing were absolutely mind blowing.
So men, grab a Daiquiri and watch your wife's Footloose DVD while she is out with her girlfriends one night. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and will realize at the end, you kind of had fun!

Movie Poster from: http://www.onlinemovieshut.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/footloose-movie-poster.jpg

Real Steel

No one should enter this movie with high expectations. It's a movie about Wolverine fighting robots. But just wait until the kid comes on screen. This kid makes the movie and sets the emotional tone of innocence, perseverance, hope, and love. Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a deadbeat dad who abandoned his family when the kid was born. He was a boxer but was discarded when robot boxing put him out of a job. Now he uses scrap heaps to enter illegal or small time boxing matches to earn beer money. After losing another robot in a bull fight at a local fair, Jackman is confronted by lawyers telling him his ex-girlfriend died and he needs to attend a custody hearing.
By a twist of fate and a money making opportunity, Kenton gets the kid, Max Kenton (Dakota Goyo) for one summer before he has to give him up to his aunt and uncle. Max finds a sparring robot at the junkyard and decides to train it to fight. After losing his last robot, Charie allows his son to enter his hopeless sparring robot into some small competitions. This robot was not built to actually fight, just train the other robots. However the heart and technical skill of Max and the tactics of the former boxer help get this underdog robot into the professional ring.
While the movie looked to be just average, most people will be surprised how emotional you get into the movie. Even with robots fighting, by the end you are reminded of how you watched the first Rocky and could not get off the edge of your seat during the final fight.
While the robot is not fancy or able to convince you to fall in love with it, the human characters get you on their robots side. Hugh Jackmans flaws as a human make him relatable and gives you hope he will find redemption through the robots victories and his child's admiration. Dakota's character gets you emotionally involved through his hope and faith that his dad will love him and his robot will win.
This was a fantastic movie and is definitely one to watch! I would not say it's a must see on the big screen, but an afternoon matinee would be a great choice.

Movie poster from: http://www.daemonsmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/real-steel-movie-poster-01.jpg


Money ball is an interesting story about the general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) of the Oakland Athletics through their more troubled, post-Ricky Henderson years. He struggles as it becomes apparent his team has become the "farm team" for the rest of the league. With his team bleeding talent and a tight budget he co-designs a groundbreaking budget with new comer Peter Brand (Jonah Hill). The plan uses a numbers and points system to determine the probability of a players potential which differs from their actual worth in the MLB. This allows them to see hidden or untapped talent and buy it for cheap before others figure it out. With this limited budget they are able to put together a rag tag team that ends up catapulting them from obscurity to the division playoffs!
This true story is an interesting one even for only minor fans of sports. The movie is more than the typical sports movie because it focuses on the management of the team and not necessarily the team itself. Brad Pitt is excellent as usual and Jonah Hil is great as is sidekick. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is also fantastic as the arrogant coach who is one of the more tangible antogonists.
Some people do not enjoy sports movies because of the often corny, tearful endings when the team pulls out the incredible win. This movie is so much more than the game though. It focuses mostly on the management of a sports team and how to afford a successful one on a tight budget.
This movie is not necessarily a must see in theaters but it is a must see. While I wouldn't expect Oscar nods, it should definitely at least make some people consider it. While a little long at parts, it is overall a great and very insightful film into how Baseball is behind the scenes.

Movie poster from: http://images.moviepostershop.com/moneyball-movie-poster-2011-1010711003.jpg