Rating: 4 out of stars
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Run Time: hour, minutes, Rated PG-13
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford
Written & Directed by Brian Helgeland (The Order, A Knight's Tale, Payback)
There's no question that Jackie Robinson was one of the most important people of the Civil Rights Movement, becoming the first African American ball player in Major League Baseball (MLB). In the film 42 (opening this weekend, named after Robinson's jersey number), we learn that there were other very important, yet perhaps over-shadowed figures involved in his historic achievements on and off the field. As much as this is the Jackie Robinson Story, it is the story of several revolutionary, forward-thinking individuals who were determined to change the perceptions of popular culture at the time.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Genre: Comedy, Sports
Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Live Schreiber, Alison Pill, Marc-Andre Grondin
Directed by Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight, Fubar)
From the opening shot of Goon (really? A gargantuan black hockey player??? [Note: It was later pointed out that this was a cameo from real NHL enforcer Georges Laraque]), there is not a single shred of authenticity. On the surface, it will appear to be a hockey movie, and it isn't, really. It appears to be a comedy, but it isn't very funny. And for those that may say it is authentically a Canadian movie may want to re-consider...our neighbors in the north should be wary of a film like this being associated with them.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Sports Drama
Opens locally Friday, September 23rd, 2011
Run Time: 2 hours 13 minutes, Rated PG-13
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt
Written by Steven Zaillian (American Gangster, Gangs of New York and upcoming Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) & Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, TV's The West Wing), based on the book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game" by Michael Lewis
Directed by Bennett Miller (Capote)
"Moneyball" should be seen by any fan of baseball...but I won't use cliches like "it's a home run" or anything. It does have an A-List cast, with 2 of the best writers in the business, featuring a director who's 1st and only feature film, 2005's "Capote," earned him a Best Director Academy Award nomination. Think of the cast and crew of "Moneyball" as the NY Yankees, an all-star assembly of the best talent money can buy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Opens locally on Friday, September 9th, 2011
Run Time: 2 hours, 19 minutes
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison
Directed by Gavin O’Connor
There’s something about an underdog story. In “Warrior,” we get the very familiar premise of the down and out fighter and his unlikely rise to the top, powered by sheer will. When done poorly, this kind of film becomes a Rocky-wanna-be…it could have been a contender, but falls into the clichés of the genre. When done well (think last year’s “The Fighter”), it can be a gripping example of overcoming the odds, inspiring us to think that we can accomplish anything.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Drama, Boxing
Opens locally Friday, December 17th, 2010 (Rated R)
Run Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams
Directed by David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings)
"The Fighter" has the plot and configuration of a standard "boxing movie," but an incredible cast and a strong focus on character development helps it to transcend the genre. It was just nominated for 6 Golden Globes, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Wahlberg), Best Supporting Actor (Bale), and 2 nods for Best Supporting Actress (Leo and Adams). Christian Bale and Amy Adams also were both awarded wins from the Detroit Film Critics Societyfor their roles here.
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