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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Need more Olympics? 5 golden movies worth downloading:

Olympics 2012

Ready for the Olympics? Here are some flicks that are not only some pretty solid films (sorry American Anthem) but also capture the Olympic spirit (sorry Munich).

Chariots of Fire (1981)
Racing, in slo-mo, to the top of the list is the film that won four Oscars, including Best Picture. Worth another visit just to hear the somehow-timeless, electronic score by Vangelis. Extra points this year for being a British film.

Miracle (2004)
Miracle gives me goose bumps every time. The story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team, of course, who took home gold medals after defeating the seemingly invincible Soviet Union team. And no, it doesn’t matter if you know how it ends. 

Blades of Glory (2007)
The comedic team of Will Ferrell and Jon “Napolean Dynomite” Heder are somehow not that much sillier than actual Olympic synchronized swimming or men’s gymnastics, but the duo find comic Gold in Olympic 
ice dancing.

Without Limits (1998) Based on the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine. Rent this over the Jared Leto version.

The Jesse Owens Story (1984) Biopic of the most profoundly successful athlete at the pre-WWII Summer Olympics of 1936.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


seth macfarlane

Written by, directed by, and costarring the Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as the voice of the title character, Ted is exactly the type of comedy you’d expect from him. Summarizing the movie is kind of like describing most 12-year-olds: mostly crass and sometimes quite charming.

The charming bro-ship between Mark Wahlberg’s John and talking CGI bear Ted is quite a feat. Oddly, you can feel the love whether they are in a fistfight or riffing off each other in a drug-fueled talkfest.

And thank you, Seth MacFarlane, for not making us endure a story about everyone discovering a talking teddy bear. Refreshingly, Ted has already been famous and, as an adult, he’s mirroring Gary Coleman’s career path.

The big screen allows MacFarlane to push the limits of raunch to his heart’s content. And yes, he #*@*#ing goes there.  However, as the movie runs out of steam, you realize that the small screen suits MacFarlane’s one-joke-after-another humor a bit better than a 106 minute-long film. But the hits were worth the misses and  #*#!, I laughed a lot.

Simply put:  Seth MacFarlane’s Ted is a refreshing, but raunchy comic treat. Definitely not for kids.

Award potential: Not a #*#ing one.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield new spiderman movie alan eskew dallas

This is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a photographer who is bit by a mutant spider and….oh, wait, I guess you know all of that from the 2002 film Spider-Man. Yes, The Amazing Spider-Man revisits the origin story, again, just ten years later. And it takes 136 minutes to work through it all again.

I wish that The Amazing Spider-Man would have taken a cue from a franchise like James Bond, and introduced a new cast without putting the audience through another origin retelling.

On the plus side; The new director, (500) Days of Summer’s Marc Webb (no pun intended), weaves an solid rom-com story with Garfield and the amazing Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. This is a slick Hollywood product, a professionally-made film and generally likeable. But in the age of The Dark Knight series and The Avengers, another slick Spidey origin movie was doomed to fall flat.

Simply put: The new cast is solid but I wish they would have skipped the origin and spun a new story.

Award potential: My spider sense says “no”.

The ten buck review: Not worth ten bucks