Thursday Night Hiatus

No movie this week. Not because I don’t love you (I do).

It’s because it’s my birthday! And I’m gonna watch the end of the Wild game (because I’m a glutton for punishment), and then start watching the first season of Community (in an attempt to finally get my sister off my back about it).

We will resume regular programming next week.

Thursday Night Movies: Triggermen

Short version: Donne Wahlberg’s finest hour.

Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all ze week. Make no mistake, this isn’t a particularly good movie. It’s a paint-by-numbers, ensemble cast, heist/gangster movie that doesn’t vary from a formulaic script. There’s some mistaken identity, and a hit gone wrong, and in the end some characters get redemption, the good guy gets the girl, and everyone more or less lives happily ever after.

However, there’s something to be said for a movie just being what it is, and this isn’t a flat-out bad movie. Pete Postlethwaite is an entirely believable crime boss, Claire Forlani (his daughter) is beautiful, Wahlberg is actually halfway decent, and I didn’t hate Michael Rappaport. The rest of the cast fill their roles well, there are no manufactured ‘shocking’ plot twists, and it clocks in at a nice, trim 95 minutes. I watched Triggermen, and while I was bored at times, I found myself, if not entirely entertained, at least not angry.

That said, there will be no repeat viewings of the movie, and I only recommend it if you want something vanilla. Official review: Meh.

Thursday Night Movies: Moneyball

Short version: they took source material that I thought would be completely unwatchable as a movie, and turned it into a movie.

Seriously. A movie about how the Oakland A’s general manager used unconventional thinking and statistics to build a winning baseball team for the 2002 season. ‘Statistics’ and ‘Baseball’ are not words that you build a dramatic movie around. I enjoyed the movie, but I wasn’t captivated by it. I feel like I enjoyed it because I am nerd enough to have enjoyed the book, and I feel like it probably has some appeal to more casual baseball/sports fans.

I do also generally enjoy Brad Pitt.

The performances were fine. Pitt was good, Philip Seymour Hoffman actually looked quite a bit like Art Howe (although he just sounded like himself), and Jonah Hill was also good. And that’s pretty much it. It was well written, and it told the story of a baseball season.

wadE and I agreed on the word ‘underwhelmed’. It’s a nice, watchable movie. Great for Netflix/Redbox prices, and a good movie for baseball/sports fans and/or people who just want to watch Brad Pitt look good for 2 hours. I’m not sure how it got an Oscar nomination for anything, let alone Best Supporting Actor In a Role about a Nerd with barely 20 lines in the whole movie. (What? It was just Best Supporting Actor? Huh.)

So, yeah. Moneyball. I suspect you already have an idea about whether or not you’re interested in seeing it, and I’m here to tell you that whatever you’ve already decided, you’re right. Stick to your guns.

Fun With Headlines

Catching up on some sports-related web browsing, and I see the following link headline from yesterday’s “football” game:

Marshall catches 4 TDs; AFC wins Pro Bowl

Upon reading this, my brain had the following discussion with itself:

Wilber Marshall? . . . No, that makes no sense. Hm . . .

Leonard Marshall! . . . No, same problem there.

Defeated, I had to click on the link to find out that it was Brandon Marshall who did the thing with the ball in the game I didn’t watch or care about. But at least I was slightly amused by that point.

Thursday Night Movies: Layer Cake

The short version: numerous good points don’t overcome a bad ending.

(But backing up, a quick intro. We’re gonna try this thing. I posted this on The Facebook this morning, that I want to make Thursday night “Movie Night”. Hopefully I’m either gonna see something in theater, or start working through my backlog of Netflixes. Even more hopefully, I’m gonna write up reviews. We’ll see how this goes…)

Layer Cake (2004), starring Daniel Craig, and featuring quite a good ensemble cast, including two members of The Order of the Phoenix (Dumbledore and Shacklebolt, if you must know). Jokes aside, Michael Gambon was good in his role, and Tom Hardy is the other ‘known’ name, although his role was smaller. And Sienna Miller was, of course, gorgeous (but that was pretty much all she had to do in this one, was look gorgeous).

Pretty straight forward Brit Crime/Gangster/Suspense movie. Well written for the most part, well paced, plenty of twists and turns in the plot, but not confusingly so. Fairly easy to keep everyone straight, which is good in an ensemble cast while characters are dying and you’re trying to keep factions and loyalties straight, etc, so on and so forth.

I enjoyed it, right up until the last 30 seconds, which were absolutely pointless. I didn’t see any of the original marketing for this film, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they teased it with the SHOCKING twist at the end. I thought it was uninspired, and honestly unnecessary.

I guess overall I do recommend seeing this if you’re in the mood for something in the Snatch/Lock Stock vein. Just keep your expectations low.