Yes, I wrote casting three times. That's because to me this is the weakest part of this film....and actually it has nothing to do with Tom Cruise. Well...maybe something, but he's not exactly my problem with this movie. Truth be told, I'm pretty ambivalent to Cruise at this point...not a lover or a hater. So let's just say we're trying to keep Cruise intact and cast the characters around him to improve the story (still...if we had a completely clean slate even more possibilities would be opened up as well.) Obviously Morgan Freeman can stay, and possibly Melissa Leo....but everyone else needs to go. The two main females are all wrong for their roles and completely lack an absolutely necessary chemistry with Cruise. While Olga Kurylenko is strikingly beautiful, that's all she really has to offer in such a pivotal role. When it's revealed that she is [SPOILER highlight to read] Tom' Cruise's wife and we're supposed to buy this deep love between the two...well it just comes off as hollow. Had an older actress that he DID have chemistry with been cast, we really would have rooted for them and the story would have gained more power [/SPOILER]
But Andrea Riseborough who plays Victoria is even worse. How did she get this role?? She was so completely bland I just couldn't understand how such an important role like this didn't go to a beautiful A-list actress in her 30's or 40's who would be more age appropriate for Cruise as a love interest and possibly have better chemistry. Possible contenders: Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Kate Beckinsale...heck even Angelina Jolie who I hate would have been better. It's hard to care about either of the female leads, but the members of the rebellion are just as bad. We have Morgan Freeman's right-hand man who is as vanilla as they come, but we're supposed to believe he's the epitome of awesome, yet somehow lacks a personality? Nah. For that, I would have cast some wisecracking cool actor like Josh Holloway from Lost.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN - At the end of the day, there won't be too much that will distinguish Oblivion from any other run of the mill sci-fi. It's kind of a heavily borrowed movie. I obviously don't have the mind of a talented sci-fi writer to offer up specific suggestions, but if something had been done to set it apart it would have been far more memorable. apart from the rest, it would go down as an absolute classic, rather than a nice entertaining film likely to be forgotten. The best thing it had going for it was its imagery of a truly deserted earth...but even later this year we have After Earth attempting to challenge the setting of an uninhabitable earth. But [SPOILER highlight to read] evil [/SPOILER] robots, cool spaceships, and [SPOILER highlight to read] clones [/SPOILER] Not much new with that. Oblivion played it safe and didn't take any risks. There was no uniqueness really to be found in its cold exterior, which is why it won't become a classic of the genre.
Really though, the film did have a lot going for it and I hope I'm not coming off as overly harsh because I did at its core enjoy it...I just hoped it would have been one of the greats...instead of one of the goods.
FINDING NEMO - After being unexpectedly captured, young clownfish Nemo finds himself as the new resident of an aquarium located in a dentist office. Coping with the utter boredom of captivity, the other fish really have nothing to do but absorb themselves in the day to day working of one Phillip Sherman. What do we learn about Sherman from their observations? Well...he's a little negligent in noticing the cleanliness of the aquarium right away, as well as oblivious to the fact that his niece probably isn't ready to take care of a fish. But the most disturbing? His handling of root canals. As an individual who JUST went through that this week, I'm glad P. Sherman of Wallaby way was not my dentist.
HORRIBLE BOSSES - Jennifer Aniston has never looked better....and has probably never played a more despicable character either. This lady dentist doesn't know the meaning of "no" as she's constantly sexually harassing her coworkers and taking advantage of her patients. She's a pretty horrible person...so it's no wonder that one of her dental assistants wants to...um murder her. Probably every single scene of her's in Horrible Bosses isn't exactly appropriate...so we'll leave this section clipless.
MARATHON MAN - Okay...I'll be honest. I've never seen this and I don't know that I ever could. Every clip I've ever seen in this film is absolutely horrifying. I hate going to the dentist as much as it is, but this film that shows it as an extreme form of torture would probably cure me for life of even contemplating the thought of sitting in a dentist's chair. The clip of the torture scene is readily available on youtube, but I'm opting to include the trailer below instead for my own peace of mind.
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER -
Hermey is without a doubt the nicest dentist you'll find on this list. But being an elf his whole life, that probably makes him the most inexperienced as well. Sure he's practiced pulling teeth on a few dolls (even ones he specially designed for the task...) and he helped the snow monster out of a jam...which is actually a huge client to have (pun intended.) But the real deal is always much different than pretend. Oh well...at least he's not maniacal right? Beggars can't be choosers you know.
pull out his own tooth, right? [/SPOILER] Okay, maybe that isn't the best showcase of his intellect or intuition while under the influence...but nevertheless his skills remain impressive. I must admit, losing a tooth is one of my recurring nightmares, so had I woken up without one...I probably would have freaked out at least ten times more than Stu did. What a pro.
GHOST TOWN - Ricky Gervais' Dr. Pincus is a man purely dedicated to his craft. Purely professional, he is almost a pleasant dentist to be around. Is there really such a thing? Wait strike that... he's kind of happens to be a big jerk in his personal life and barely talks to his patients (who likes small talk anyway?)....but you really can't deny that he knows his stuff. But don't worry, a near death experience will change all that relatively shortly...and soon he'll be a pretty decent guy to be around.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - How would it be to grow up with a strict dentist for a father? Would you rebel as much as you could the first chance you got? Would you perhaps...create the world's grandest chocolate factory after living so many years without that sweet goodness? Yeah I probably would too. But at least he got freakishly white teeth out of the deal...
Sadly, I find myself relating to many of those cinematic patients for this is just the beginning of my time at the dentist. But hey at least writing this post was somewhat cathartic...so I could get a tiny bit of revenge....not to say I'm an anti-dentite or anything... Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my list. Thankfully summer is right around the corner and the movies worth writing about will be popping up all over the place, so I won't have any excuses for these blog lapses!
All right! It's finally time to announce the winner of the Movies & Mayhem Best Sports Film Bracket! Like so many readers predicted.....the winner is............
FIELD OF DREAMS!!!
But trust me, this was NOT an easy win and, in fact, this was one of the most exciting matchups yet. Late last night it appeared that Rocky would be the winner, but Field of Dreams would have the last laugh when it roared back to complete its comeback. Sorry, Rocky fans you were so close. I'm still figuring out who is the ultimate winner of the bracket challenge, so I'll either email the winner or announce it in the next blog. Thank you to everyone who participated, this was a fun little series and I hope you all enjoyed it!
ROUND THREE RECAP
HOOSIERS VS. FIELD OF DREAMS.
WINNER: FIELD OF DREAMS. Both of these films are beloved by many and easily won in any matchup they were placed. However in the end, this cocktail of baseball and ghosts was far too powerful for any film on its side of the bracket, even the classic basketball film Hoosiers.
ROCKY VS. CINDERELLA MAN.
WINNER: ROCKY. This boxing matchup was won with ease by the champ Rocky. He took down all his competitors in the same way, and Cinderella Man, the heavyweight that it is, wasn't any exception. Now only one baseball film stands in his way.
Need a little help deciding which one wins your fancy? Let's recap each film by watching their trailer and reviewing some of their strengths.
FIELD OF DREAMS-
WHY FIELD OF DREAMS SHOULD WIN -
- It's one of the only movies I know of that can successfully make grown men cry.
- There's a whole episode of HIMYM dedicated to its greatness.
- It's extremely quotable and memorable all the way around.
- It's about more than just baseball.
WHY ROCKY SHOULD WIN-
- It's the ultimate story of an underdog
- It has one of the coolest theme songs of any sports film.
- It has some of the most memorable and iconic moments of not just any sports film, but film in general.
- Would you just LOOK at that trailer? The trailer alone is just such a great showcase of trailers for that era. Okay, that wasn't really about the movie so....I'll add it has some great characters.
So here it goes....pick the champ now! The winner will be announced sometime on Wednesday, so be sure to get your votes in before then!
ROUND 2 RECAP
HOOSIERS VS. CHARIOTS OF FIRE
WINNER: HOOSIERS. This was the closest matchup and Chariots of Fire would have come up with the upset with just a couple more votes. But alas, it was not meant to be.
FIELD OF DREAMS VS. PRIDE OF THE YANKEES
WINNER: FIELD OF DREAMS. The battle of the two baseball greats wasn't even close as fan favorite Field Of Dreams would not be denied a spot in the final four.
ROCKY VS. MONEYBALL
WINNER: ROCKY. The newcomer just couldn't hold its weight against this veteran sports classic.
CINDERELLA MAN VS. NATURAL.
WINNER: CINDERELLA MAN. Looks like another boxing film just took down another baseball film. Boom!
So with that.... here is the updated bracket!
All right guys that's it for this installment. Tune in Monday to see which two films will be duking it out for the title!!!
All right readers! It's time to reveal the winners of round 1 and see who moved on to the Sports Movie Elite 8. Then it will be time to move on to some all-new matchups to determine who moves on to the final four! You ready? Brace yourselves guys...this one is gonna be LONG since we have to cover the last round, as well as the next.
ROUND 1 RESULTS:
HOOSIERS VS. SANDLOT.
WINNER: HOOSIERS! Hoosiers CRUSHED Sandlot. Poor Sandlot, you'll always be my favorite!
No Ham, Hoosiers did.
WINNER: CHARIOTS OF FIRE! Chariots barely edged out Eight Men Out! This was one of the closer matchups.
just keep running and you'll make it to the next round! even if you run into this...
FIELD OF DREAMS VS. THE KARATE KID.
WINNER: FIELD OF DREAMS! Like Hoosiers, this number one seed absolutely killed its competition.
More chores for you Daniel-san.
RAGING BULL VS. PRIDE OF THE YANKEES.
WINNER: PRIDE OF THE YANKEES! This was definitely one I thought would be much closer, but Yankees pulled off the upset with ease.
Today he considers himself the luckiest man....
ROCKY VS. SPACE JAM.
WINNER: ROCKY! Poor cult classic Space Jam never stood a chance against this heavyweight and was completely rolled over. Not even Michael Jordan's special drink could have helped them overtake the champ.
Too late to be making bargains now Charles!
RUDY VS. MONEYBALL.
WINNER: MONEYBALL! This was the most exciting matchup of the night as Moneyball came out with the win by one single vote!
Wait a minute....wait a minute. We won???
Meanwhile, poor Rudy is over there like hey Elite Eight! Did I get in?
CINDERELLA MAN VS. REMEMBER THE TITANS.
WINNER: CINDERELLA MAN. I was kind of surprised this one wouldn't be closer because I know a lot of people obsessed with Remember the Titans, but Cinderella Man rightfully won this one by a landslide.
Sorry Ryan Gosling, not even your incredible dancing skills could help the Titans advance.
THE FIGHTER VS. THE NATURAL.
WINNER: THE NATURAL. This one was a pretty close battle as well...but The Natural came away with the victory in the end.
That thunderous left punch was no match for...
ROUND 2. This time we'll hear what the critics have to say!
Hoosiers vs. Chariots of Fire
Roger Ebert says of Hoosiers "It's a movie that is all heart."
Reel Views agrees and says "Basketball movies don't get any better."
Of Chariots of Fire, Time Magazine wrote "Like every element in this picture, the actors look right; they seem to emerge from the past, instead of being pasted onto it, as so many characters in historical movies seem to be."
Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars, and Reel Views said "Appreciation of this picture doesn't demand a love of sports, merely an understanding of human nature."
Field of Dreams vs. Pride of the Yankees -
Variety said Field of Dreams "sustains a dreamy mood in which the idea of baseball is distilled to its purest essence: a game that stands for unsullied innocence in a cruel, imperfect world."
Roger Ebert adds "Field of Dreams will not appeal to grinches and grouches and realists. It is a delicate movie, a fragile construction of one goofy fantasy after another. But it has the courage to be about exactly what it promises."
Pride of the Yankees has an impressive 92% on Rotten Tomatoes! Variety says "For baseball and non-baseball fan alike, this sentimental, romantic saga of the NY kid who rose to the baseball heights and later met such a tragic end is well worth seeing."
New York Times says, "As a simple, moving story with an ironic heart-tug at the end, it serves as a fitting memorial to the real Lou, who called himself the luckiest man alive."
ROCKY VS. MONEYBALL
Roger Ebert said of Rocky "A description of it would sound like a cliche from beginning to end. But Rocky isn't about a story, it's about a hero. And it's inhabited with supreme confidence by a star." Rocky also boasts a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The newest newcomer to the group, Moneyball boasts some terrific accolades including a BP nomination and a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. The New Yorker said it was "One of the most soulful of baseball movies -- it confronts the anguish of a very tough game."
The New York Observer says
"This is a subtle, elegant and altogether triumphant film about a subject I thought I was tired of, told with an artistry and freshness that is positively thrilling."
CINDERELLA MAN VS. THE NATURAL
New York Observer said of Cinderella Man that "The thing that ultimately makes it a classic in the pantheon of American movies is the way it reveals something about the idealism, strength, grace and grit of the American Dream."
Rolling Stone agreed and claimed that "Not only is Cinderella Man Howard's best movie, it is also his most personal and deeply felt."
Reel Views says The Natural is "Arguably the best baseball movie ever made."
Gene Siskel said "Being a baseball fan involves repeatedly experiencing exquisite pain and exquisite joy. Well, there's a lot of both in The Natural."
So which ones will get your votes? Return to find out the winners on Friday and see who makes it to the FINAL FOUR!!