Theatrical Releases: Pain and Gain & Mud

PAIN AND GAIN || April 26th, 2013

AtAnyPrice-poster Normally, “At Any Price” would look like your run-of-the-mill Midwestern drama, but there’s something rich in this film that breathes from it’s trailer, not to mention the rave reviews pouring out for this film, not just from the late Roger Ebert, who calls director Ramin Bahrani “the best new American director of recent years”, but from many others including one from New York Post’s Kyle Smith, saying “maybe the best film I’ve seen this year”. Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron are never huge sells for me, but in this case, I’ll likely make an exception. RENTAL
TheBigWedding-poster Not much good has been said about “The Big Wedding”, but with an ensemble cast of people I generally enjoy, including Robert De Nire, Robin Williams, Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, and Topher Grace, I will be seeing this film regardless of its merit.
THEATER
PainAndGain-poster Entertaining yet never quite exceptional, Michael Bay’s foray into the comical and violent true story of three Miami bodybuilders turned criminals starts off strong but fizzles off into a stylized and indulgent farce of an action film. Mark Wahlberg does his best to keep the momentum going, but with the macho, dimwitted dialogue burdening the entire film, there’s little he can do to save it from itself. Though I am glad Michael Bay was allowed to make his passion project, I look forward to his return to big budget blockbusters like “Transformers 4”.

ArthurNewman-poster Emily Blunt is a fantastic actress and no matter what roles she takes, she brings a fresh voice. She and Colin Firth are also not afraid to do a small film such as “Arthur Newman”, about a fading golf pro who changes his name to start a new life as both of these strangers hit the road. Blunt looks sexier than ever and Firth looks like he’ll knock this role out of the park. RENTAL
Graceland-poster “Graceland” looks intense. This Filipino film has some awesome looking sequences and a darkness that only a foreign film could provide.
25% MAYBE
KonTiki-poster2 A masterfully crafted adventure film, “Kon-Tiki” elaborates off the true story and Academy Award winning documentary about a man bent on proving his theory that in pre-Columbian time, South Americans could have sailed to Polynesia on wooden rafts and settled there. With impressive visuals and graphics throughout the entire film, including sharks and whales that rival that of “Life Of Pi”, and a completely convincing and powerful performance from Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen as Thor Heyerdahl, “Kon-Tiki” is easily one of my favorite foreign films of the year.
MidnightsChildren-poster “Midnight’s Children” is an epic Indian story based on the 1981 novel by Salman Rushdie. The visuals in the trailer look stunning but as the subject matter holds little weight with me, I’m afraid it’s a lack of interest that will keep me from seeing it. PASS
Mud-poster Marking the career best performance of Matthew McConaughey, “Mud” is a slow burn, heavy hitting drama with themes of coming of age, family systems, and the reality of love. McConaughey displays a deep seeded understanding for his character and becomes him. His stern face and cold, Southern drawls steal you in and never let go, as you begin to anticipate the boys going to see him again, so you too can experience his mystery. Dramas don’t get any better than this.
TheNumbersStation-poster With a cast like John Cusack and Malin Akerman, you’d expect something better than your average thriller, but it appears that’s what “The Numbers Station” is. Cusack is popping up everywhere these days and since I’m a huge fan, this will definitely come my way. As far as Malin’s concerned, this might be a step up from her recent television pilot forays.
RENTAL
AnOversimplificationOfHerBeauty-poster Not sure where this trailer was going, but I checked out. You can tell me it’s from Jay Z and other people I’m supposed to know, but that does not change the fact that “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty” flounders around its idea in the trailer and is of poor quality. Even the best gift in the word can be gift-wrapped horribly, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to open it.
PASS
ParadiseLove-poster Interesting premise, but uninteresting presentation. Several women travel to Kenya to sleep with the men on the beaches. “Paradise: Love” is apparently the first of a trilogy and specifically follows one woman in her attempt to find love from these men to no avail.
PASS
TheReluctantFundamentalist-poster You don’t get a cast like Liev Shreiber, Keifer Sutherland, and Kate Hudson by not being a somewhat interesting film or at very least, screenplay. Riz Ahmed’s star is on the rise, best known from the comedic role in “Four Lions” and also, a role in the film I am still meaning to check out, “Trishna”. With a 9/11 tie-in and a strong dramatic presence, I will definitely be seeing this film. And will Riz Ahmed is officially on my radar.
RENTAL
SeeGirlRun-poster You had me at Adam Scott. I am a huge fan of Scott’s. Granted he’s had his major motion picture roles, but where he feels most at home is these small independent films like “See Girl Run”, a film starring Robin Tunney as she struggles with what could have been with a former flame. This quirky romantic comedy is the bread and butter of independent film-making.
RENTAL
SunDontShine-poster Too distracted by the poor quality of this film, “Sun Don’t Shine” completely missed its mark with me and for that it will be unmemorable.
PASS
TaiChiHero-poster “Tai Chi Zero” is currently in my Netflix Instant queue. Once I get around to viewing that, I will base my decision to move on from there. However, steampunk and martial arts appear to be a perfect blend, with action and comedy all mixed in. Toss in Peter Stormare as the perfect villain, and “Tai Chi Hero” peaks my interest.
50% PROBABLY

THEATER

  • The Big Wedding
  • Mud
  • Pain & Gain

RENTAL

  • Arthur Newman
  • At Any Price
  • Kon-Tiki
  • The Numbers Station
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • See Girl Run

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Tai Chi Hero

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Graceland

PASS

  • Midnight’s Children
  • An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
  • Paradise: Love
  • Sun Don’t Shine

HELL NO

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