The Judge: Homicide vs Cancer

Hello everybody! For this week’s new movie show, we have The Judge.

THE JUDGE

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DIRECTOR: David Dobkin

STARRING: Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Billy Bob Thornton

GENRE: Drama

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Hank Palmer is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. When His brother calls with the news that their mother has died, Hank returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral. Despite the brittle bond between Hank and the Judge, Hank must come to his father’s aid and defend him in court. Here, Hank discovers the truth behind the case, which binds together the dysfunctional family and reveals the struggles and secrecy of the family.

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I went into the Judge believing that I was ready to sit down for a great film. What I saw was far less than spectacular. What can I do though? Robert Downy Jr. was great as the estranged son, it reminded me of many of his earlier roles. His character relationships with Robert Di Nero and the rest of his brothers was superb as well. I did like Billy Bob Thornton as opposing counsel, as the personal and professional relationship between Downy and Thornton make them perfect rivals.

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Overall I decided that The Judge was a disappointment. I went into the film expecting to be blown away with the sheer amount of acting talent packed into the film, but I was let down. This is what happens when my expectations are too damn high during my first viewing. Robert Di Nero and Billy Bob Thornton disappointed me the most, as I felt their performances could have been much better. The film was quite lengthy as well, it could have been easily cut by at least 30 minutes. Don’t expect to find anything spectacular about the courtroom scenes either, as the scenes fall under the majority of courtroom tropes. But I digress.

PROS:

  •  Robert Downy Jr. performance.
  • RDJ nostalgia.
  • Character relationships.
  • Thornton vs RDJ

CONS:

  •  Supporting cast performances.
  • Film length
  • Courtroom tropes.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

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Draft Day: Kevin Costner Takes on the NFL

Hello everybody! For this week’s New Movie Show we have the interesting pre-sports drama Draft Day.

DRAFT DAY

STARRING: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Tom Welling, Sam Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Chadwick Boseman

DIRECTOR: Ivan Reitman

GENRE: Sports Drama

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

It’s draft day in the NFL and as general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Sonny is forced to come up with a big move. After trading for the number one pick, Sonny has to choose between a lower-ranked linebacker with a questionable past or a celebrated quarterback with a questionable future. All the while, Sonny is walking in the footsteps of his father and personal complications force their way to the surface.

The plot is straightforward enough, but instead of simply relying on the excitement of NFL Draft Day and Weaver’s underdog attempt to turn a number seven draft pick into Cinderella story magic, Reitman (along with writers Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph) overstuff the film with personal drama. Balancing Weaver’s larger ambitions with a frustrated (not to mention pregnant) girlfriend allows a whimsical break from pissing contests with rival ball club managers; yet, a demanding mother (who is completely insensitive to the growing likelihood her son’s career is on the line) muddles the film with unnecessary and unconvincing melodrama.

In script form, this “sports family” tangent, centered on beloved Coach Weaver, Sr., his widowed wife, and their son, Weaver, Jr., might have produced an impactful message about the sacrifices of family, but in the final film any remnants of the arc are little more than vestigial tissue that distract from what Reitman cares about most – the thrill of behind-the-scenes draft deals.

Reitman means well, and Draft Day often succeeds at reflecting sport fan sentimentality, but his execution is still pretty clumsy. Outside of the principle characters, most supporting players are thinly scripted caricatures – which also make it relatively easy to predict where all the puzzles pieces will fit as the narrative plays out. This isn’t to say that audiences will guess every plot point ahead of time, but in spite of high-powered trades, Draft Day rarely offers truly engaging surprises. Ultimately, the only genuinely shocking revelation is just how far Reitman ventures to test disbelief in the final thirty minutes.

PROS:

  • Plot.
  • Main cast performances.
  • Pacing.

CONS:

  • Unneeded melodrama.
  • Removed story arcs.

SCORE: 7.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

Bad Words: Jason Bateman at the Spelling Bee?

Hello everybody! Today we have the random American black comedy, Bad Words.

BAD WORDS

STARRING: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Ben Falcone, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney

DIRECTOR: Jason Bateman

GENRE: Black Comedy

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United States

An adult, who has been a school dropout, finds a loophole in the regulations and participates in the largest spelling bee in the USA, The Golden Quill. His aim is to take revenge for something done to him in the past. The top of a large trophy depicts a bumble bee triumphantly holding up a torch overlooks an auditorium alive with activity. Parents and their children undergoing last minute preparations for the Big Day: The 15h Annual Regional Spelling Bee in Columbus, Ohio. Students practicing words, parents fixing their childrens collars or giving last minute pep talks all being watched by Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) as he stands by the complementary food table listening to classical music. A parent lumbers over and asks Guy which child hes there to support but Guy tells him that he’s not here to support anyone.

Bad Words is an interesting film to begin with. Its another one of the films you randomly find at Redbox in the middle of the week and you pop it in for shits and giggles. While I like Jason Bateman alot, there are many of his movies that I despise. Fortunately, this was not one of them.

Bad Words is what happens when you add Jason Bateman’s raunchy comedy to something as innocent as a children’s spelling bee. This does definitely lead to some incredibly hilarious scenes, especially against his main screen counterpart Rohan Chand. His ten year old personality, tendencies, and lack of experience contrast Bateman’s genius level of experience and overall dickishness.

While the majority of the film was actually pretty funny, the film suffered from some serious drawbacks. The sheer logic behind the movie is absolutely appalling. But hey, anything to make a hilarious buck right? Don’t even get me started on the plot holes or the character motivations. Lets just say that this is the kind of film you turn your brain off and laugh your ass off.

PROS:

  • Main cast performance.
  • Character relationships.
  • Setting.

CONS:

  • Premise.
  • Character motivations.
  • Plot holes.
  • Logic.

SCORE: 6.5 / 10 

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.