Tag Archives: movies

First Friday – Redbox Reviews

With storms and chilly weather, it’s nice to spend a night at home. Check out what we’ve been watching this week!

Morgan – Need For Speed
Okay so if I’m being honest, I didn’t rent a movie this week because I saw that Need For Speed had become available on Redbox. I saw it in theaters when it first came out and I never got to tell anyone how great it was! I seriously enjoyed this movie, even though at first I wasn’t super stoked about it. Aaron Paul is what got me sitting down in the theatre. Otherwise, it would have been just another racing movie to me. Basically, Toby (Paul) is framed and goes to jail. After he is released, he makes it his mission to get invited to this super exclusive race to get his revenge. If you win the race you win the opponents’ vehicles, which ends up being like, billions of dollars altogether. I like this movie a lot, mainly because it is realistic as far as racing movies go, and you can tell Paul is actual driving, which is rad. Also, Kid Cudi is in it and is hilarious.
Bottom Line:
 it’s your typical action movie, but better than usual and definitely worth a rent. Plus, Aaron Paul ❤
Rating: 4/5

Jordan – Belle:
I have been wanting to see this movie since it came out earlier this year. The story centers around a girl named Dido Elizabeth Belle (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw). When her mother (a free black woman) passes away, her estranged father (a captain in the Royal Navy) brings her into his family. He leaves Dido with his uncle and aunt to be raised alongside her cousin Elizabeth of the same age.
As the two girls grow up, we see tension arise around Dido’s ethnicity. She is welcomed as a full member of the family until guests visit. Even though she has a larger dowry compared to Elizabeth, men are hesitant to court a “mulatto.”
The plot takes a very predictable turn when a young clergyman’s son takes an interest in Dido. He is idealistic, radical, and blunt (did someone say Fiddler on the Roof?). He is lobbying on a high-profile case involving the treatment of slaves.  Dido has to deal with the Sophie’s choice of picking between a pretty decent guy and the right guy.
All of the actors played their parts well. There is a lot of tension and depth that they all have to deal with. However, I’m not a big fan of the fluffy talk of some period pieces – this can get very Pride and Prejudice at moments. 
Bottom Line:
All in all, I liked the movie. History, race relations, romance, Draco Malfoy. It had everything I like.
Rating: 3.5/5

Kurtis – Oculus:
Since it’s October, I thought it was the perfect time to rent a horror movie for this month’s Redbox post. Oculus came out last year, but is back in Redbox with Halloween coming soon. The plot device is a little over done; there’s an object (in this case, a mirror) that causes someone to go crazy. Tim Russell was just released from being in protective custody after ten years for the murder of his parents, but his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) is determined to finally prove that it was the new mirror their father bought that caused their parents’ deaths. Kaylie tracks down the mirror, investigates its past owners and learns of their similar fates. Tim and Kaylie eventually find themselves fighting off the malevolent powers of the mirror. Like I said, the device of a “haunted” object tearing a family apart is pretty overdone, but directors Mike Flanagan and Andy Ross mix current day scenes with flashbacks of the family’s first go-around with the mirror and that helps to keep the movie fresh. I really enjoyed that Oculus doesn’t rely on “jump out” scares but attempts to really mess with your mind, playing tricks with perception. Oculus leaves the door open for sequels, and this could a good first film in an even better series of films.
Bottom Line: Oculus is a subtle horror movie, gradually building with dread, suspense and psychological tricks. It’s a quality entry into the genre and horror fans will be satisfied once this one’s over.
Rating: 3/5

What have you been renting lately? Have you tried Redbox Instant yet?

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Fall Movie Preview!

Goodbye summer, hello fall!

It’s the one season with everything: sweater weather, ASU football, pumpkin-flavored everything, and of course great movies.

Here’s what we’re excited for, skeptical about, and just downright not going to see this fall:

Jordan:
Most Excited to See: The Theory of Everything – Nov 14 (Trailer)
This looks like an amazingly beautiful movie about how Stephen Hawking met his wife Jane at university. As their love blossoms, however, he is diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live. I’m sure I will sob all the way through it, seeing as the trailer made me cry.

Skeptical, But Probably Still Gonna See It: Into the Woods – Dec 25 (Trailer
Another popular musical is adapted to film. We’ve seen this go well (Les Mis) and okay (Jersey Boys). I’m not super emotionally attached to this play. Maybe going in with low expectations will make me enjoy it.

No Way Am I Seeing This: The Boxtrolls – Sep 26 (Trailer)
I was originally intrigued when I saw the first trailer, because the art and design is so breath-taking. But since then I’ve seen more plot in other trailers and it does not look good at all. Disappointing.

Kurtis:
Most Excited to See: Fury – Oct 17 (Trailer)
Just from the trailer, the visuals and the acting in Fury look amazing. Based in Nazi Germany, Fury looks to be the perfect kind of historical fiction; capturing the grittiness of war and marrying it with a sensational story that feels unlikely and entirely possible at the same time. I’m going to have to check this one out in theaters.

Skeptical, But Probably Still Gonna See It: Dumb and Dumber To – Nov 14 (Trailer)
When I first found out they were making a sequel of one of the funniest movies of all time, and that it’d be starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, I was so excited. Then the trailer came. There definitely seem to be some aspects of what made the original so great in tact but the Farrelly brothers seem to have added a whole lot of extremely crude and sexual humor this time around and that’s not really my thing. I’m probably going to see it but I don’t have very high hopes that it’ll even come close to the original.

No Way Am I Seeing This: The Judge – Oct 10 (Trailer)
Talk about a movie that’s trying way too hard. It looks to be about the most cliched movie ever made and I really want nothing to do with it. This is also by the director who made I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry back in 2007, so take that as you will.

Morgan:
Most Excited to See: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Dec 19 (Trailer)
I think this series has been my most anticipated movie for the past like, four years. Or at least since they announced the project. I wasn’t as big a fan of the second as I was the first, but I still have high hopes for the remaining installments.
Honorable mentions: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1The Maze Runner

Skeptical, But Probably Still Gonna See It: The Book of Life – Oct 17 (Trailer)
The first time I saw the preview for this movie, I thought it could be okay. The second time around it looked less appealing. I’m not really sure why. I think the idea of Channing Tatum in an animated movie kinda freaks me out. But I’ll see it anyway, mostly because I think Jordan will make me. 😉

No Way Am I Seeing This: The Interview – Dec 25 (Trailer)
I can’t exactly put my finger on it but there’s just something about Seth Rogen that drives me up the wall. I just can’t stand him, and I usually don’t enjoy his movies. I think this movie will definitely have some good humor, but I’ll probably be the only person not to see it.

Monday Night Football Movies

It’s fall and football is back in all its (recent off-the-field-stuff aside) glory. We’ve already looked at the greatest baseball movies earlier this summer, and now it’s time for us to turn our attention to the best football movies ever made. At first blush, it might be hard to recall that many great football movies but the more I thought about it, the harder picking a top 3 became. But, here it goes:

Morgan:
3. The Waterboy (1998)
Because every list needs a class clown aka Adam Sandler movie. And because this little guy is usually almost always in my head: “Water sucks. It really, really sucks.”

2. Friday Night Lights – TV series (2006-2011)
I know, I know, it’s not a movie but I’m including it because I can. And to be completely honest, I haven’t seen that many football movies. It’s just great. FNL can make you laugh and cry in a single episode. Plus, it’s football set in Texas, which is a recipe for trouble, greatness, and, of course, southern accents. It’s also (sort of) how the blog got it’s name. If you haven’t watched it, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

1. Remember the Titans (2000)
This particular movie deserves this spot for many reasons. Not only is it simply an inspiring story of triumph in sports, but also in racial equality. It’s a truly emotional, heartwarming story. Also, baby Gosling is in it (swoon). So there’s that.

Jordan:
3. Little Giants (1994)
The early 90s were the height of sports movies for kids – The Mighty Ducks in ’92, The Sandlot in ’93. Then finally in 1994, we get our own football movie. Becky isn’t allowed to join her uncle’s football team because she’s a girl. So she gets her dad (90s icon Rick Moranis) to coach their new ragtag team. Classic.
Bonus: Buzzfeed’s Where Are They Now?

2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Okay, okay, this may be bending the rules. But I would argue that football plays a major role in this Silver Linings Playbook’s plot. Robert DeNiro is a huge Eagles fan, extremely superstitious and cannot turn down a bet. His gambling problem gets so bad that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (both amazing in this film!) have to make a bet with the bookie about their dance competition. Really fantastic movie.

1. Remember the Titans (2000)
Do I really need to explain this? So many amazing actors. Too many lines to quote all of them. (Left side! Strong side!) Historical sports films will always be my number one.

Kurtis:
3. The Replacements (2000)
Based on the 1987 NFL strike, The Replacements follows the Washington Sentinels team of scab players that cross the picket lines to play the greatest sport in America. This replacement team is made up of misfit characters; a convenience store security guard, two rappers, a sumo wrestler, and a deaf player. Basically the team is a complete joke (which is what helps make this movie so funny) and is led by former Ohio State QB Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), the only one with true experience, and coached by Gene Hackman. The team learns how to play together and by the end of the movie become a legitimate team with a chance to win. It’s a little cliched, but it is funny and has some heart. Definitely a movie that has repeat watching value and survives as a great sports comedy.

2. Rudy (1993)
Sean Astin plays the title role in this incredible telling of the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, an undersized football player who always dreamed of playing for Notre Dame. Told his whole life that it would never happen, Rudy is determined to make his dream a reality. He didn’t have the grades, the skills, or the money to attend Notre Dame but gets into a nearby private college and gets his grades up JUST enough to move to Notre Dame as a transfer student. No where near making the team, Rudy starts working as an assistant groundkeeper to pay tuition. Everything is stacked up against him, but Rudy is too full of determination to let anything stand is his way. Rudy is full of sentimentality, yes, but stands as a testament to the power of the human spirit. One of the most inspirational films ever made.

1. Remember the Titans (2000)
Overcoming racism, football, Marvin Gaye songs, and Ryan Gosling; is there anything else you need in a sports movie with a powerful message. Remember the Titans follows newly-hired head coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) navigating a newly integrated political landscape, all while trying to coach a team of high school students with some preconceived racial notions about one another. The team, the coaches, and the city learn how to live as one and celebrate all of life’s victories with one another. Where this movie really shines is that it doesn’t make all the white players and coaches to be evil and the African-American players and coaches to be the noble saints. Instead, it focuses on both sides of a newly integrated school simply learning to be better, more compassionate people and drop all of their prejudices by the wayside. The performances, across the board, are truly inspirational and when it’s not Denzel wowing the audience in his usual way, it’s the students (Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst, Donald Faison, Ethan Suplee). Remember the Titans is one of the greatest movies ever made and easily finds itself right at the top of the list of the best football ones too. It’ll be easy for you to catch as it’s probably playing on TNT right now.

What’s your favorite football movie? Comment below! #gopackgo

First Friday – Netflix Reviews

Every month Netflix gets a whole list of new titles to watch! Check out what’s worth your time this week.

Kurtis – Cool Runnings:
Okay, this movie just hit Netflix September 1st and it’s important you all know about it. Cool Runnings is now streaming on demand, any time you want it. If you thought the addition of the Mighty Ducks was a big deal, now there’s even more mid-90s goodness to enjoy. For those unfamiliar, Cool Runnings is based on the true story of the rag tag group of Jamaicans who dreamed of being at the Winter Olympics as a bobsled team. There were some problems to start, but eventually, the first Jamaican bobsled team makes their way to Canada for the Olympics. In the freezing weather Derice, Sanka, Junior and Yul are laughed at because no one can take a Jamaican bobsledding team led by a previously disgraced trainer seriously. But, like so many other Disney movies, we learn that heart and character help all heroes overcome. Starring John Candy as the coach and featuring so many quotable lines (“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!”) this movie features some powerful nostalgia for all of us who grew up in the 90s. If you look at this from solely a technical standpoint, it doesn’t blow anyone away. It doesn’t have an incredibly unique story, the writing, while funny, is pretty straightforward and nothing particularly interesting is going on with the direction. But it’s a kids movie, and it’s fun, and it’s funny and heartwarming, and it stirs great memories of when you actually had to go to a store to borrow a movie you didn’t own. So don’t miss this blast from the past on Netflix.
Bottom Line: If you grew up with this movie like I did, you owe it to yourself to revisit it. If you’ve never seen it before, go in expecting something light and entertaining, and I think it’ll totally hold up.
Rating: 3/5

Morgan – Forces of Nature:
This week I watched Forces of Nature, with Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck. And let me start out by saying that it was bad. So, so, painfully bad. The storyline is okay; it’s about a guy named Ben who is about to get married, and on his way to his wedding his plane crashes (sorta). He meets Sarah (Bullock) on his flight, who is also trying to get to Savannah, and they decide to take the rest of the trip together. After that, just about everything goes wrong. From then on, he takes it as a sign that he isn’t supposed to get married, and every one and everything is telling him he shouldn’t. I thought I would maybe slightly enjoy this movie, despite the fact that Netflix predicted it as a 2/5 stars for me. I mean it’s a rom-com, what’s not to love? I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I just hated it. I feel like it was trying to hard to be more than it was. It wasn’t really that funny. It was pretty boring, even though I felt like a lot happened. It doesn’t end how you think it should, which I hated, but was also kind of happy about.
Bottom Line: There were few things I liked about this movie, totaling seven minutes, maybe. However, not worth your time. And I love Sandra! Just skip it.
Rating: 1/5

Jordan – Jerry Maguire:
I always love when Netflix adds new movies. It forces me to try something new. Or in this case, something twenty years old that I’ve never seen. Jerry Maguire popped out to me because Kurtis said part of it was filmed in Arizona, and I’m all about AZ pride right now. Starting the movie, I realized I knew nothing about the movie other than the one liners. The story opens with Jerry (Tom Cruise) as a big shot sports agent who grows a conscience. His firm fires him and snatches all his clients except Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). An accountant Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) also leaves the company with Jerry. As they start working together, Jerry bonds with Dorothy’s son Ray. Dorothy is totally enamored and they start a relationship that can only be described as toxic. The two leads are not my favorite actors. And instead of being together, I think their characters need counseling.
On the other hand, Jonathan Lipnicki is a diamond in the rough. He is adorable. Cuba Gooding, Jr. and his movie wife (Regina King) are phenomenal and steal every scene. The famous lines are way better with context, for sure.
Bottom Line: if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch! Get some major pop culture. If you haven’t seen it in 20 years, watch it and enjoy the 90s nostalgia.
Rating: 3.5/5

What are you watching on Netflix? Tweet or Facebook us with #fnbnetflix.

The first rule of Fight Club is: Stop quoting the same line over and over.

In case you missed it, Edward Norton celebrated his 43rd birthday this month!

You know what that means…

Jordan:
Most Popular – Fight Club (1999):
This may seem pretty obvious. When you think of Edward Norton, you think of Fight Club. And inevitably the rules of Fight Club. But it’s definitely still a cult classic. A lot of people know about it, but may have never seen it, or not for a long time. And there are lots of bigger blockbuster movies that Ed’s starred in that have made way more money: Red Dragon, The Incredible Hulk, The Bourne Legacy.
Not that I’m saying those are his most popular by any means. Just playing devil’s advocate.
Worst – Kingdom of Heaven (2005):
Edward Norton is a great actor. He shines even in bad movies. Seriously, google “kingdom of heaven edward norton” and it will all be articles praising his name. Even though the movie is super long and super boring.
Most Underrated – Keeping the Faith (2000):
Keeping the Faith is the type of movie you watch when TBS shows it on a Saturday afternoon. I’m sure that’s how I saw it the first time. And then probably the next ten times. I love this movie. It deals with love, friendship, faith, temptation in a funny and relatable manner. Plus, it sounds like the beginning of a corny joke: So a priest and a rabbi are in love with the same girl…

Kurtis:
Most Popular – Fight Club (1999):
It was between this and American History X but Fight Club has the much broader recognition. Fight Club was basically an instant classic and really cemented Norton’s place in our generation as an exceptional actor. It’s amazing to look at his filmography and see so many great films/roles and nooooot that many duds. David Fincher’s adaptation of this novel is a dark comedy with plenty of social commentary to spare. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are both perfect in this movie and it’s absolutely worthy of its 96% user rating on RT.
Worst – Down in the Valley (2006):
Honestly, it was hard to choose a worst for Edward Norton because he’s really good about selecting quality roles, there’s just not that much “bad” to choose from. Down in the Valley was a bit of a miss for me though. It’s got an intriguing enough premise, but the second half gets really jumbled and loses steam. Edward Norton plays a mysterious drifter who falls in love with 18-year-old Evan Rachel Wood. Eventually she starts to see Harlan (Norton) for what he really is. This indie film could’ve been so much better.
Most Underrated – Keeping the Faith (2000):
Both directed by and starring Edward Norton, Keeping the Faith is one of the most underrated comedies of Ben Stiller and Edward Norton’s careers. Stiller, playing a rabbi, and Norton, playing a priest, both fall in love with the same girl they knew when they were in grade school. Norton blends the themes of friendship, love and faith seamlessly as a director and shines in his role as an actor. It’s light, upbeat and straightforward; a kind of film that is seriously lacking in our modern comedies.

Morgan:
Most Popular – Fight Club (1999):
This 100% goes to Fight Club. In fact, Fight Club is probably one of the most popular movies ever. It’s so quotable and a cult classic for our generation.
Worst – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014):
Maybe it’s just because I dislike Wes Anderson movies in general, but Norton was just eh for me. He wasn’t bad, because he never is. But definitely my least fave.
Most Underrated  – The Illusionist (2006):
This movie was okay for me. I think it’s Ed’s most underrated though because it was so overshadowed by The Prestige. They came out the same year and have similar plot lines. I love The Prestige and for that reason I never had a reason or wanted to see The Illusionist. But when I finally did, it was better than I assumed it would be.

If you read this, tweet us using the hashtag #hisnamewasrobertpaulson.

#BWAHM (Leo in the 2010s)

We’ve made it the present! Leo has been in so many good movies recently that it was hard to narrow it down to our favorites! What’s your favorite ’10s Leo Movie? Answer in the poll down below.

Kurtis – Shutter Island (2010):
This is a psychological thrilled that gets better with every viewing. It’s only then that you start to pick up on all of Scorsese’s intricate and subtle details. The story starts out simple and grows more and more complex as it moves forward, bringing you to the point where you don’t know what to believe. Leo plays Teddy Daniels, a detective called in to search for a missing inmate at Shutter Island, a prison for the criminally insane. It becomes clear that the authorities at the prison are withholding information from him and his partner (Mark Ruffalo) but Teddy keeps digging to find the truth. It’s a race to unravel the hidden truths of this place before Teddy goes crazy himself. It’s Leonardo DiCaprio in 50s clothes, when has that NOT made for a successful movie. Honestly, the first time I saw this in theaters, I left feeling somewhat underwhelmed. But now that I’ve seen it a few times, it stands amongst Leo’s best films. It has a great story, good cinematography, an awesome score, and enough small little foreshadowing details to keep you coming back looking for more clues. It’s a movie that invites you to participate with it, to be your own detective trying to solve the puzzle before the movie makes a reveal, and those are the best kind of suspenseful thrillers you could ever watch.

Jordan – Inception (2010):
Leo has been in some really amazing in this small time frame, but this is for sure my favorite. Judging my timehop in recent weeks (Inception was FOUR years ago?!), I could not stop tweeting/posting about it. I’m pretty sure I considered getting a totem so I could tell whether I was dreaming. And I say BWAHM whenever it even loosely fits. It’s not just me; every one loves this movie. Especially rappers.
If you haven’t seen it, I think you’re missing out. There is a slew of awesome actors (mostly Christopher Nolan’s favorites). Great action sequences, sweet graphics, a sick soundtrack, and a weird Matrix-y plot.
PLUS THE ENDING. AMERICA STILL WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, NOLAN.

Morgan – Inception (2010):
My favorite Leonardo DiCaprio movie from the 2010s is Inception, hands down. When it first came out, I saw it in theatres twice within the same week. Embarrassing, I know. But it was so dang good that I didn’t even care. This is actually the movie that made me really like Ellen Page. Everything about this movie is incredible. First, I learned that Ellen Page rocks. Second, the rest of the astoundingly amazing and superior cast: Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Third, the soundtrack. Even though we (Jordan, Kurtis and I) joke around and imitate it (BWAAHHM), it really is epic and unlike other soundtracks from its time. And last but certainly not least, good ol’ Leo. He really delivered a perfect performance for this mystery/Sci-Fi thriller, and keeps you intrigued and entertained until the very last second. Inception was a true work of art, thanks to Christopher Nolan, DiCaprio, and everyone else involved.

 

Last Week: ’00s Leo Movies ————————————–——————— Next Week: Leo Month Finale

Guardians of the Blogalaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) | Trailer
Run Time: 121 min
Rated: PG-13 (For intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.)
Directed By: James Gunn

Jordan: 
I have been pumped to see this movie since the first time I saw the trailer. I had no background knowledge of the characters or story line. I think the soundtrack and Chris Pratt as the leading man were insanely smart choices. I could just tell that this movie was going to be just a good time all the way through. I feel like even though it uses many of the usual superhero tropes (orphan far from home, band of misfits, don’t let the weapon fall into the wrong hands), it encases them in a unique universe. Each of the characters shines on their own. Chris Pratt transforms the charming jock into a lovably sweet character. Bradley Cooper is a genius in any role including this annoying raccoon. And it’s always nice to see a non-white (green still counts!) woman who is a badass on her own. Zoe Saldana, you can play the main lady in all sci-fi movies from now on. The tone of the film, in general, is so much lighter than the recent superhero/fantasy movies of late. More heart and humor, less scowls and machismo. And I love it.
Bottom Line: I liked Guardians better than The Avengers. And I hope it has a super long legacy so I continue to geek out.
Rating: 4.5/5

Morgan:
I had never even heard of Guardians of the Galaxy until my boyfriend started trying to get people to call him Starlord. (I think he thinks that he’s Chris Pratt). Anyways, I actually ended up really enjoying GOTG. I think that Pratt is perfect in anything he does; yes, even his brief part in Her. I thought Groot and Rocket’s characters were going to be stupid, but they ended up being some of my favorites in the movie. I won’t spoil anything but they make you feel all the feels. All the characters and their banter keep you laughing throughout the entire movie. While there’s a bit of story to follow along with, there’s enough action to keep you from being bored. It’s much different from other superhero movies that have come out this year, and therefore hard to compare. I don’t think it’s as good as Captain America for example, but it’s still an entertaining and fun watch.
Bottom line: I think it’s worth it to see in theatres. Either way, give it a shot.
Rating: 3/5

Kurtis:
Marvel’s latest film delivers heart, wit and plenty of action. Guardians of the Galaxy was highly anticipated despite not being one of Marvel’s popular franchises and it lives up the hype quite nicely. The film follows Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) from miscreant outlaw to justice-keeping leader. After finding himself on the wrong side of a bounty, Quill gets locked up in prison with the people that are after him and it leads to the creation of a VERY unlikely team. Visually, Guardians is perfect. The landscapes and space skies director James Gunn and his team created are just stunning. It’s exactly the look you want from a space-epic. Can’t say enough good things about the performances in the movie as well. Pratt as Peter Quill was even better than expected, delivering a performance that’s funny, heartwarming and pretty bad ass too. Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista all shine in their roles as the Guardians and it’s pretty plain to see that the casting director knew what they were doing.
Bottom Line: The opening scene sets the stage for all you need to know about this movie, and it delivers all the way through. This’ll be a movie you definitely want to see a second time before it leaves theaters. Go see it now!
Rating: 4/5

AGGREGATE RATING: 3.8/5