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Rental Roundup: Grudge Match; Knights of Badassdom; Peeples; The Big Wedding; Home Run

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Scott Roberts
Rental Roundup: Grudge Match; Knights of Badassdom; Peeples; The Big Wedding; Home Run
on May 13, 2014 at 1:13:12 pm

Here are a few movies that are available for convenient home viewing on most streaming and disc rental services that I’ve watched over the past few weeks.  i.e. crap I didn't want to see in theaters and/or pay money for.

Grudge Match







After you endure a frighteningly weird montage of Stallone and De Niro being CGI youthified (?), a simplistic film about two elderly boxers starts to unfold, where one of them (Stallone) is the poor guy with dignity whose name is literally Razor Sharp, and the other (De Niro) is the rich sell out guy who has a family that doesn't like him.  I'm gonna be honest, I watched this movie kind of late at night, and I had to turn on the subtitles after a few minutes in order to understand Stallone's dialogue on a medium TV volume.
 
I guess I compliment the movie on having two fairly different protagonists and made me care about both of them (as much as this movie could make me care).  That is, until the characters start doing ludicrously stupid things like leaving an 8-year-old alone at a bar for an hour.

Watching Kevin Hart tell bad jokes the whole movie is hard to swallow, though.  He says the term "white people" at least 15 times, if you want to know the caliber of the jokes.  I recently almost watched Ride Along for a joke review, and this little taste of Hart made me happy for deciding against that decision.  But to be fair, Alan Arkin's unfiltered old guy jokes are equally as eye-rolling.  So you can imagine how hard it was for me not to turn off the TV when Arkin calls Kevin Hart "Webster", and Hart asks Arkin "what was was like to meet Jesus?"  But nobody really expects intentional comedy in a Stallone picture anyway, right?

All in all, though, it's not an awful movie.  It's mindless, generic storytelling.  A movie for old people to watch on movie night.  But you will have to suspend disbelief the whole time that a leathery, ripped Stallone wouldn't just beat the living crap out of hunched over grandpa De Niro.  No way that would have been a close fight.

6 out of 10



Knights of Badassdom







This movie chronicles a group of LARPers who purchase a spell book on eBay, and cast a spell that causes a demon to infiltrate their group LARP, and all of a sudden they are fighting real monsters and such...  YOU GET THE IDEA.  The film stars Peter Dinklage as a stoner, the guy who played Sookie's brother on True Blood as some sort of nu-metal pretty boy, Steve Zahn as "Whoa, What's Steve Zahn Been Up To?" Guy, and Summer Glau as the eye candy girl-nerd warrior who doesn't have many lines or personality, but we're all supposed to care about her because she was on Firefly or something?

This movie must have had some weird stuff going on in the production and marketing level.  It was shot all the way back in 2010, and is just now getting released.  But as I was watching it, I kind of understood the concern a higher up could have had with what was going on.  The film has a sort of a...  I wouldn't call it amateurish...  but kind of an unexperienced sense of filmmaking.  Shots sort of go on a little too long, and there were a lot of dumb jokes that should have been cut from the film as well.  Not a lot of restraint was used.  If I had to give a compliment to the production, they chose to do a lot of practical effects and old school gore kind of stuff.  The final monster at the end of the movie was a pretty nice (for what it was) giant polyfoam and latex monster.  See how I used the word polyfoam?  I watch Face Off and Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge good.

Overall, though, I wouldn't recommend Knights of Badassdom.  It's sloppy, the script is stupid, and there isn't much of a point to it.  It's like they took all the LARPing scenes from Role Models and made them much stupider.  A lot of it being successful banks on how much you appreciate imagery of Peter Dinklage getting high on mushrooms and swinging a foam sword around.  Yes, that's kind of awesome, but a good feature-length movie that does not make.

4.5 out of 10


 
Peepels







I think this is Tyler Perry's Peeples, or Tyler Perry Presents Meet the Peeples?  I don't really know or care.  Daryl from The Office is dating Kerry Washington, and despite being so far in their relationship that he plans to ask her to marry him, he has never met her parents.  More so, she's quietly embarrassed of him (even though he he's a nice, funny guy with a successful career as a children's singer) and hasn't ever told her parents that Daryl exists.  Do you think that Kerry's dad (David Alan Greer) is a hard-ass control freak?  YOU BETCHA.  He's a judge.  Expect plenty of sexual misunderstandings, financial misunderstandings, drug misunderstandings, misunderstanding misunderstandings, and  misundisterunderandingerings.  But there was a surprising lack of fart and poop jokes.  I was *shocked* not to see a scene where Kerry Washington's mom makes a smelly bowel movement and Daryl goes in after her.  *IS* this a Tyler Perry production? (watches a guy dance in wig for three minutes) Oh, why yes it is.

There were so many times during this movie that I was literally yelling at the TV for Daryl to just turn around and go home.  It's kind of sad on may part that I got so invested in such a worthless movie, but I hate watched the crap out of Peeples.  Did I laugh once?  No.  Even chuckle?  No, I didn't do that either.  Is this an awful movie?  Yes.  Do I have anything else to say?  No.

2.5 out of 10



The Big Wedding







Hilarity ensues as the adopted son of a divorced man who is now dating a new woman has to pretend to stay married to his ex-wife so that the adopted son's long-lost religious mother doesn't frown at the thought of divorce while the divorced man's biological son is trying to have sex with the adopted son's biological sister all during a wedding weekend when the biological son's biological sister finds out she’s pregnant.  I mean, holy crap, how can a movie made for such dumb people be so freakin complicated?  The Usual Suspects has a less complex plot.

Anyway, this was an awful movie with that co-starred Katherine Heigl and Topher Grace.  You should avoid it.  Also, why was it called The Big Wedding?  Only like 50 people showed up, and they held it in their parent's backyard.  As someone who is currently planning for a wedding, I am disgustingly envious of how little money they probably had to pay.  FAKE.

3 out of 10



Home Run







I literally had no idea what this movie was about, and decided to play it on a whim from Amazon Prime because it was next to The Big Wedding on the free movie list.  I just assumed it was going to be a generic baseball movie.

Home Run is about Cory, a major league baseball player, who is such an alcoholic that he gets plastered during games.  This all stems from a flashback sequence when his drunken father throws an impressive 19 strikes on Cory in a single inning of backyard baseball.  They literally show all 19 strikes, it's kind of awesome.  I was hoping the entire movie would be his dad counting hundreds of strikes out loud as his son felt severe shame.  But one day, adult Cory accidentally uppercuts a ball boy in drunken rage (not joking), and the judge sentences him to coach a little league team (what?) in his brother's home town.  It was kind of like a non-comedy version of Eastbound and Down.  He has a tough battle midway through the film with his hotel mini fridge that was filled with GIANT bottles of liquor.  They have a 15-second on-screen staring contest.  Kenmore mini fridges are scary villains, you guys.

I didn't understand the agenda of this movie throughout most of it.  My fiance and I were taking bets on whether or not this was a secret Christian film, or just a family movie about kids winning the tourney championship with their delightfully sobering coach.  It's not until the last scene of the movie that they finally let out the big guns, when Cory cries at an AA meeting and professes his undying love for god.  Then in the credits, it was just a bunch of people holding signs that said nice things about god.  And that's the story of how I watched a baseball movie with religious undertones on the internet.

5 out of 10


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Mike Cohen
Re: Rental Roundup: Grudge Match; Knights of Badassdom; Peeples; The Big Wedding; Home Run
on Jun 2, 2014 at 8:55:35 pm

We rented none of these. Here's our recent list:

Homefront

Premise is the same is every Jason Statham movie:

A badass former cop/special forces guy/drug dealer/thug (pick two) gets involved with the wrong people and has a woman/daughter/client to protect, and needless to say, chaos ensues, lots of red shirts meet an untimely demise, and Jason wins the day. You can apply this to literally every Statham movie, and it seems to work every time.

In this one, he is a former DEA undercover agent who moves to the boondocks of Louisiana, presumably because of the film tax credits, and has a run in with the wrong people. It's kind of funny - his 9 year old daughter beats up a boy on the playground, and the whole town turns against him, including James Franco for some reason.

Brake

Stephen Dorff is in 99% of this movie, by himself, in the trunk of a car. Kudos to the director for figuring out how to make this not boring, and to Dorff for resurfacing from obscurity. I can't say any more without giving something away, so just go find this movie online and watch it. 4 stars.

Being Adam West

Documentary on the IFC channel about his career and current life. Sadly, after Batman ended, the studios wouldn't touch West with a 12 foot Batarang, so he wound up doing appearances, in costume, at car dealerships and country fairs, to make ends meet. By this time he and his wife were raising 6 kids. Finally a series of late night appearances led him to tv roles, and with Family Guy he has a renewed career as a voice actor. That plus convention appearances and art shows, and Adam West is back on top. Or at least the top of the bottom, but he seems happy. His kids petitioned for his star on the walk of fame, which was nicely portrayed.

Speaking of the Walk of Fame. I'm sure it was once an honor, but have you seen Hollywood Blvd lately? The place is gross. But popular with tourists. And homeless kids. And skateboarders. And costumed characters. And drug dealers. And families.

Turn

I at first was not interested in this AMC series about the first spy ring in 1776. But after a couple of episodes I was hooked. There are a lot of characters and they all seem to be named Samuel or Abraham, as was the case in the 18th century. But once you realize these are all based upon real historical people, it is more interesting. Plus we get to see George Washington being the commander in chief - always cool to see how he is portrayed, since he was a larger than life figure both in physical stature and in respect.

The Hobbit II

Not as good as the first one. Kind of long. And don't get me wrong, I love these movies. The whole film was a setup for part III: Smaug Strikes Back. I'll see the next one in the theater. Nice to see Orlando Bloom back in action as an elf.

Philomena

I never would have rented this on my own, but the missus was in charge of the RedBox session. Turned out to be a lovely movie about a woman searching for her long lost son, taken from her when she was a teenager in England. Inspired by a true story (not based on mind you - some elements of the real story but framed around a fictional scenario - worked for Titanic).

Out of the Furnace

Christian Bale is one of the greatest American actors. I know he's British but he plays some amazing American parts. He and Woody Harrelson only share a few scenes together, but they carry a movie with a soul and some compelling dramatic storytelling.

The Counselor

Brad Pitt advises a lawyer struggling with money problems on a scheme to smuggle money for a drug dealer. What could possibly go wrong?

Rush

A thrilling film by Ron Howard about the real life rivalry between two Formula One drivers in the 1970s.

Jobs

A somewhat interesting performance by Ashton Kutcher, depicting Steve Jobs from college through the iPod. It seemed like part 1 of 2 movies, and having read Jobs the biography, they left out some of the most interesting bits. I hear Fincher is making his own movie.

Ok it turns out there are even more, but this is a good start.

Mike


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Stephen Smith
Re: Rental Roundup: Grudge Match; Knights of Badassdom; Peeples; The Big Wedding; Home Run
on Jun 2, 2014 at 9:12:25 pm

[Mike]
Jobs

A somewhat interesting performance by Ashton Kutcher, depicting Steve Jobs from college through the iPod. It seemed like part 1 of 2 movies, and having read Jobs the biography, they left out some of the most interesting bits. I hear Fincher is making his own movie.


I enjoyed the film on Netflix. I really didn't know anything about him other then what he achieved and was surprised at how much he was a jerk. I hope he wasn't but oh well. It really did feel like part 1 of 2 which made its ending feel strange. I thought Ashton Kutcher did a good job.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mike Cohen
Re: Rental Roundup: Grudge Match; Knights of Badassdom; Peeples; The Big Wedding; Home Run
on Sep 1, 2014 at 4:08:44 pm

Here are some more movies seen recently - not worth their own threads.

Kill Your Darlings

the story of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S Burroughs and their friends, just as they are initiating the Beat Generation and altering the course of American 20th century poetry and literature. The story focuses on the relation ship between David Kammerer and Lucien Carr and the real life events that followed.

Daniel Radcliffe, though not the main focus, is the main focus since he is the biggest star in the movie. And let's just say that he used his magic wand in ways they didn't teach at Hogwarts!

Anyway, I always knew ABOUT these people but never knew what they wrote, with the exception of On the Road which I think everyone was instructed to read in high school or college.

Rage


Nicolas Cage has a record of some really good movies and a few stinkers. This is one of the stinkers. It was just really awful. I know the guy needs the money, but it was difficult to get through. Former gangster's daughter is kidnapped and he goes on a killing spree with his former gangster friends. The ending was almost worth the misery of getting there, but not quite.

Robocop

Pretty good as reboots go. We were surprised to see Joel Kinnaman in a big screen role, or at least his face and right hand. I know he is a big time Swedish actor, and of course he was awesome in the Killing (which I just learned has been resurrected for some final episodes on Netflix). Nice to see Michael Keaton back on the screen, and Gary Oldman seems to be playing Jim Gordon for life.

Happy Valley

This is a Netflix / BBC series on Netflix. Equal parts Prime Suspect and Midsommer Murders, the show focuses on a police sergeant in a small English village somewhere in the vicinity of Halifax, on the hunt for a rapist (there is more to that but I don't want to give it away). It has several great other characters, and some pretty gruesome action and shows how bad things can go when you start down a dark path. Check it out. At 7 or so episodes you can and will binge watch this.

The Fall

We just started this one - starring Gillian Anderson as a British DCI investigating a serial killer in Belfast. The villain is one of the best tv villains we have seen in a long time. 6 episodes - you can, again, watch this in a night or two. Excellent Netflision (netflix + television)

Amazing Spiderman Double Feature

My wife had not seen #1, so we watched that immediately followed by #2. I still like #1 better - #2 seemed to be channeling Spiderman 2 and didn't really offer anything new, except that we can expect to see Mary Jane Watson in #3.


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