Category Archives: Jack_Goes_Confidential
Give credit where credit is due… Matthew McConaughey can change his physical persona better than any other actor I know. Definition of persona: the outer personality or facade presented to others by an individual. Think about it. From FOOL’s GOLD to … Continue reading
From the outset “WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL” looked like this year’s “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS” A closer look however reveals that the Sony release is pointed more in a faith-based sports direction. With its emphasis on character, hard work and love, the film’s … Continue reading
Two new fantasy adventures on tap this weekend…
The first is a high concept romantic sci-fi fantasy thriller based on a short story by Philip K. Dick of TOTAL RECALL, MINORITY REPORT and BLADE RUNNER fame.
In THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU actor Matt Damon stars as an ambitious politician on the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate when he meets beautiful ballet dancer Emily Blunt. But the closer he gets to her the more interference he begins to experience from the forces of the Adjustment Bureau!
Who are these guys?
The second fantasy-adventure on the docket this weekend is RANGO…
It’s an animated fantasy tale of a displaced lizard-chameleon. A dude with a definite identity crisis who finds himself out of the restrictive confines of his terrarium and in a waterless western dessert (critter) town called Dirt.
Got all that?
There he discovers the hero inside him, becoming its new sheriff and trying to get to the bottom of the water shortage with all signs pointing to a corrupt local banker.
It’s difficult to properly describe RANGO. Suffice it to say it’s got both kid and adult appeal!
It’s been a while since we’ve last heard from the Farrelly Brothers—the original pull-out-all-the stops writing, producing and directing team that hit it big with the cult classic THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY.
And how can we forget DUMB AND DUMBER?
Well, they’re back and this time with NO Filters!
In their latest over the top outing, HALL PASS, they team Owen Wilson with Kansas City’s Jason Sudeikis.
The pair play best friends with plenty in common and now pretty well past their days of wedded bliss.
But they’re convinced that IF they were single, they’d be able to pick up any woman they come in contact with.
For this extended President’s Day weekend, the studios are serving up six new movies at area theatres, and I’m picking three of them: one wide release and two limited engagements.
First – and citywide – the action-thriller Unknown starring Hollywood’s "new Harrison Ford," Liam Neeson.
Here, he plays American botanist scientist Dr. Martin Harris who, with his wife (played by January Jones), are flying to Berlin to address an international biotech conference at the swank Hotel Adlon.
But when he accidentially leaves his briefcase at Tegel airport, he hails a cab to take him back to the arrival hall to find his lost luggage. Oops,then there’s an accident! The cab ends up in the Spree river leaving Neeson hospitalized in a coma.
When he eventually returns to the hotel his wife doesn’t recognize him. Making matters worse, there’s a new Dr. Martin Harris alongside the Mrs.!
JUST GO WITH IT is one of those high-concept romantic comedies that can easily be described in one sentence:
The power of the wedding ring….(go ahead, you finish the sentence.)
You don’t have to be an Adam Sandler fan to get a kick out of it—but it helps.
Here’s the concept: It’s 1988 and an often made-fun-of young boy with a Karl Malden-like dick-shaped nose eventually has it surgically altered. Now fast forward some 22 years and the boy is now a successful plastic surgeon spending his weekends bedding hotties.
His schtick: Pretending to be unhappily married and about to get a divorce.
Let’s see now. With the SINGLE WHITE FEMALE-like psychological thriller THE ROOMMATE not screened for critics and the action thriller SANCTUM’s screening snowed out this past Tuesday, my critical options were limited this week.
THE COMPANY MEN is a star-studded low profile drama taking on today’s new realities of American life.
In THE COMPANY MEN, Ben Affleck is living the proverbial American dream. Great corporate job at the mighty GTX conglomerate. Beautiful family. Country club membership. And a Porsche in the garage.
But all that is about to go down the drain. It’s called downsizing and leaves Ben along with co-workers Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones jobless. Three men at the top of their game now forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands and fathers.
Two opposites attract—at the boxoffice, that is!
It’s Hollywood’s current major action star Jason Statham in this weekend’s face-off with actor’s actor Anthony Hopkins who’s practicing exorcism on this go-around. With both practicing what they do best; desperately trying to overcome basic B-movie material.
First off it’s kick-ass Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop—a.k.a. THE MECHANIC—a top of the line assassin described by his mentor Donald Sutherland as "a goddamned machine." A totally detached hit-man who’ll do any job if the price is right.
Statham’s latest target—his mentor (Sutherland). Will he actually go through with it?
Damn right he will!!
Just one major new release this weekend...
It’s a romantic comedy exploring the eternal question: What do women REALLY want?
In NO STRING ATTACHED they apparently want to be like men—having their sexual needs fulfilled without those nagging constraints of a relationship.
Natalie Portman plays a busy young doctor who’s on-and-off friends with TV writer Ashton Kutcher. And guess what? She ends up in bed with him.
Getting THE GREEN HORNET to the big screen has been a long and winding road.
Creative differences, budget and screenplay disagreements kept this property in ‘turnaround hell’ for decades.
It finally arrives in theatres this weekend and could very well become the year’s first post-holiday hit despite the mountains of negative notices from critics.
THE GREEN HORNET of course based on the old comics and short lived TV series which first introduced martial arts legend Bruce Lee as ‘Kato’ to American audiences.
Does anyone even remember who played the actual Hornet in the series?
It’s a soft opening weekend since the first batch of major new studio releases for 2011 doesn’t roll into theatres ’til next week.
In the meantime we’ve got COUNTRY STRONG which will make some of ya’ll wonder whether you haven’t seen it all before.
As a matter of fact, you sort of did in last year’s CRAZY HEART which also picked up midway through a country music performer’s fallen career. However, that was a much better film.
This time around, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow as self-destructive Nashville star ‘Kelly Canter’ who’s just coming off a stint in rehab following an on-stage meltdown in Dallas.
But her husband/manager Tim McGraw can’t get her back on stage fast enough, foregoing the warning signs from her caretakers.
After all he’s got to get those lucrative t-shirts selling again.
If you’ve been wondering what’s become of great performances by gifted actors, here’s your movie!
THE KING’s SPEECH tells the little known but true story of the Queen of England‘s father and his remarkable friendship with maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.
Following the death of the domineering King George V and his older brother’s abdication of the throne in favor of marrying American divorcee Wallis Simpson, the crown was handed by default to George VI—known to his close friends as Bertie.
There was just one problem…and it was a big one!
Bertie suffered from a major case of mechanical difficulties with his speech. Translation: Severe stuttering.
Critics can be extremely cruel to convey their distaste for a movie across to their readers or listeners.
One of the most extreme examples we’ve seen lately is the opening paragraph in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s review of the new comedy LITTLE FOCKERS.
Allow me to share.
"LITTLE FOCKERS is focking dismal. Clearly nothing but a paycheck project for all concerned, this is definitely the least and hopefully last of a franchise that started amusingly enough a decade ago but has now officially overstayed its welcome."
Ever since it became public knowledge that Paramount was redoing director Henry Hathaway’s 1969 western TRUE GRIT, purists have been up in arms.
After all, this was the film that won John Wayne his only Oscar–even though some might suggest that it was merely a career achievement award.
But if there was any filmmaker (or filmmakers) who could successfully attempt a remake of this classic western, it would be Joel and Ethan Coen.
No, but they didn’t actually remake the movie! They crafted a new film of the Charles Portis book by transferring the novel directly to the screen – lifting its period dialogue verbatim and staying TRUE to its grit.
Every so often Hollywood rolls out one of its super star romantic ensemble comedies.
Most of the time they work—like last Christmas when Universal paired Meryl Streep with Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Rita Wilson and Mary Kay Place in IT’S COMPLICATED. Or think back to Disney’s THE PROPOSAL with Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson.
Now Sony’s gone and done it with HOW DO YOU KNOW.
They’ve teamed perky Reese Witherspoon with Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson and Kathryn Hahn. Quite a payroll! On top of that, they put one of the industry’s true heavyhitters James L. Brooks (AS GOOD AS IT GETS, BROADCAST NEWS, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT) behind the camera to produce, direct and write the screenplay.
There’s just one problem here. This movie doesn’t work!
I usually don’t pay much attention to Golden Globe nominations..
But when it comes to THE FIGHTER, they got it right!
Earlier this week the film was nominated for Best Picture and
Mark Wahlberg is in the running for Best Actor. Christian Bale is a Best Supporting Actor nominee. Amy Adams is nominated for Best Supporting Actress. And David O. Russell was named as one of this year’s five Best Directors for the film.
Looking for a picture perfect postcard / travelogue bursting with beautiful people?
Then THE TOURIST is your movie.
For everything else…read on and be warned.
There isn’t a day that goes by that someone asks me, "what’s good at the movies," or "what should I go see this weekend?"
Tough questions! What I like may not be your bag.
But since this is an in-between weekend at the movies with no major studio releases set to open in K.C., I’m spotlighting my choices in various genres from amongst all motion pictures currently showing throughout the metroplex.
Remember this is a great time to play catch up before the holiday fare starts to hit next week.
There’s no denying that Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle is not an everyday predictable moviemaker.
He proved it at the last Oscar ceremony when his SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE was crowned Best Picture.
So what’s Boyle’s follow-up act? Try 127 HOURS on for size.
It’s his gripping adaptation of Aron Rolston’s heart-pounding book ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ in which he documents his incredible perseverance and ultimate shattering action that, in the end, saved his life.