Saturday, April 30, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - A Hologam For A King

This is the season seemingly for the small Indy movies to shine a the theaters. The big blockbusters are on the way, and these will be pushed out in a few weeks.

Tom Hanks stars in this charming little movie that dares to take us to places we seldom get to go to in the movies.  It takes us to the depths of Saudi Arabia, in its culture and in its actual environment.  This is based on a strange novel about a man who finds himself deep inside mid-life crisis, and needs a complete reinvention, although he seems to be the last one to know that.

Hanks plays a lifelong salesman who is going through a horrible divorce to a terrible woman, and has a 21 year-old daughter.  He has made a ton of mistakes along he way in all avenues of his life.  He gets a new job that takes him to Saudi Arabia where he is in charge of selling a huge new tech package to the Saudi King.  He thinks he's there to do a job, but what he's really there for is to start again, a complete reinvention in total.

This is a little, tidy movie event that checks in at about 85 minutes.  It's quick and to the point, and lets Hanks shine through.  He anchors a real nice cast, and gives this very strange little story the wings it needed.  I always score movies high that have a story you have not seen before, and that is this movie. A unique story with a nice cast, set in an area you have not been before.  This is not for everyone, as this is a movie goers movie. This is not typical Hanks, this is smaller and more focused to a specific kind a viewer.

A Hologram For A King.  Solid, not great but quite good. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - Mothers Day

Can we just stop with all these kinds of movies?  Please, just stop.

You put a bunch of supposed big name actors together and suddenly you have a great movie right?  Nothing could be further from the truth, and nothing can save one minute of this absolute dry heave of a movie, that eventually does throw up all over itself.  And eventually you.

Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Britt Robertson, Jason Sudeikis, and the list goes on, all star in this piece of junk.  It attempts to bring a few different stories together, and attempts to be topical and contemporary.  And in fairness,  there is a certain amount of realness to some of what modern parents and especially moms go through.  OK, that's enough praise.

This is so terrible, it is shocking this has made it all the way to your theater.  The writing is horrific, the acting is insanely bad, and the editing is so incredibly amateurish, it smacks of a high dollar, high school presentation.  This starts off badly, and gets worse with each frame. As bad as New Years Eve, and Valentines Day were, I fear this is the cherry on the sundae, and it's worse than them.

This isn't funny, this isn't heartfelt, this isn't anything that is good.  This is simply a waste of about 60  million, our time, the actors time, and your money.  When you see this many "A" listers in a single movie, that they know going in is this bad, it makes you rethink if these actors are actually "A" listers at all - anymore.

Roberts has her Oscar and deserved it, but this movie makes it seem so long ago. Someone please tell Aniston she's not funny, and Hudson she's not either.  Robertson is a fresh young face that I like, and I can't fault her for trying to get her career off the ground.  Sudeikis is completely unbelievable in this and that's being generous.

Mothers Day. Do anything but go and pay money to see this.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - Everybody Wants Some!!

Sometimes movies are just made as for good fun, and for no real purpose whatsoever other than make you feel good.  And that is this movie.

Everybody Wants Some!! Is a retro piece that takes us back perfectly to the fall of 1980 on a random college campus in Texas.  This is simply a movie that celebrates the times, and the simple pleasures that were that era, and of course growing up. This basically has a no name cast, that are all cast perfectly and reflect with amazing accuracy the young moments that were the dawn of the 1980's as we watched the 70's sunset fade. 

This is the story of 16 well defined guy characters, all on a baseball team living together in two houses on a fictitious college campus in Southeastern Texas.  What the plot is, really all about is these guys drinking, getting high, and chasing young women.  It's sort of like Animal House, Porky's and a few others.  But what makes this really good movie making is, they transport you back to that era with such incredible accuracy, it's almost eerie.  The performances are all spot on by all of these actors, none of them born when this movie was set.  They are all terrific.  The seperator is that Animal House and Porky's were made in that era.

The sets, costuming, and general setting is so slick that you may think you are back in the day. The written dialogue is incredible, as this is very funny, intelligent, and poignant in many places.  Of course, there is a fair amount of really bad language, drinking and recreational drug use.  But this is not targeting today's kids. This is made to take you back to a far more innocent era and remember how you (we) were, and it does.  This is very good movie making, and is a real home run in many ways. 

Everybody Wants Some!!  Take a trip back, you won't regret it. Very, very well done.

Monday, April 25, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - Elvis And Nixon

Here comes a really small movie that certainly isn't for the casual movie goer, but Elvis And Nixon is pretty darn good.  This is in limited release.

This stars Micheal Shannon (Elvis) and Kevin Spacey (Nixon) and a real nice supporting cast.  This is a straight, understated comedy that is based on an actual event in 1970.  When Elvis went into the oval office for a meeting with the President Nixon.  Elvis, for some reason was infatuated with becoming a "Federal Agent At-Large"  (whatever that means.)  Elvis had a legitimate concern at the time about America's youth and their love affair with drugs. Elvis wants to go undercover to break up the drug rings and wants Nixon to make it happen.

This is the a story of how this meeting came to be.  This is short, to the point and flat our really funny as this travels from truth to absolute absurdity.  And the whole thing kind of was.  Who knows what really happened in the oval office that day, and the days leading up to it. The story is fun to watch.   The meeting between the two is just flat out good movie making.  Shannon and Spacey are simply terrific and are really great together.  This has a nice pace, and is entertaining - every frame.

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. This movie certainly proves that. How is it these two opposites came to bond and found some common ground to spend an afternoon together discussing our nations future.  This is crazy, absurd, and wonderful insight to this really weird couple.

Elvis And Nixon. This is flat out fun.   Good day at the theater.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

LOCAL GOLF: Dewsweepers Golf Course Review

Course: Royal Crest

Location: Strongsville Area

Directions: On Route 82 about 4 miles west of I-71  

Minutes From: 30 from Akron, 10 from Medina, 45 from Kent

Dewsweepers Tee Time:  7AM


Course Info:

Royal Crest is a real nice family owned golf course that is a wonderful place to play a relaxing round of golf.  Average length par-71 with no sand, very little water, but tons of trees.  The rough is left always at a very manageable length, and the greens are never super fast, but are always in good shape.  Tight, and with lots of elevated greens, Royal can be tough in spots and let's you breathe in others.  But, if it's tough you want, play the blue tees here. They are ridiculously long and tight and change this course from relaxing to perplexing.

Round:
  
Today the Dewsweepers consisted of me, Beef, Joe Red, and Red's son, Bryan. Tex is still out recovering from hip surgery.  This was our first Sunday morning out, and with all things considered there was some decent golf.  

Beef -  It was all about the par 3's today.  He played them very poorly and that was too bad as he hit the ball well most of the day, and two birdies on the back nine.  Short game woes, but it's early.

Joe Red - First time he's touched the clubs all season. He drove the ball well all day long, and played pretty well despite a couple of bad holes. But his swing looked good.

Bryan - The driver let him down today, but overall, made nice recovery shots when he had too, and his play is always strong enough to keep him in a round.


Wynn -  Slow start, with a terrible triple bogey on the par 3, number 5.  But I recovered on the back firing a 1 over 37 that included a birdie on number 16 and a nice run of pars.

Course Highlights: 

Number 2  - 214 yard par 3, with water all the way on the left.  Number 4, long dog leg par 5, tree lined, sloped and elevated green.  Number 6, 425 par 4, uphill tree protected green.  Number 12, 220 yard par 3, tree lined both sides. Number 15, 425 doggy par 4, just tough.

Scores:

Beef -
Joe Red - 
Bryan -  84
Wynn -  81

Next Week:

We move across the street to the up and coming Hickory Nut.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - Criminal

The star studded, Criminal is new this week.  An action flick for grown-ups.

Criminal is a good old fashioned government gone wrong thriller, that has a great cast and a hint of originality that's become pretty rare these days. This stars Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and a real nice supporting cast that bring it to life nicely without wearing out its welcome checking in a one hour forty five minutes.

It's modern day technology cyber warfare.  A international hacker has cracked the USA code and can control every single aspect of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  He is demanding cash and freedom from the CIA.  Problem is there is an international nut-job and his gang that also want his program, as he wants to destroy every single nation on earth and start over. 

Problem is, the CIA operative that was dealing with the hacker has been killed, and they have no idea how to proceed.  So they revive an old CIA program that transfers a dead persons memory to a live person, in essence making that person - them again. They transfer the agents memory into Jericho (Costner). He is a complete lunatic or many reasons, some in his control and some not.  He is the one whose brain is the best fit for this risky transfer.  So, will this work, and will he survive and will the world be saved from these crazies?

The star of this movie is Costner.  All of the rest are fine, but you've seen all of them in similar roles. But this is new for Costner.  He is really strong as this crazy, damaged guy, who is in jail, then magically becomes a super CIA agent, with a new identity and that he doesn't understand at all.  This is a complex role that he embraces well, and gives a nice performance.  Sure there are problems here, as this is an April action release, and the national critics are drilling it. But being honest, this is fine.  This will find an audience that will like it, and like seeing some of their favs on screen together.

Criminal.  This could have been really great, but it's not.  But this is not a wasted night at the movies. If you're a fan, go enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW - I Saw The Light

Country Icon bio-pics are nothing new. There have been some really great ones, and Walk The Line comes to mind as maybe the best.

Nothing wrong with Coal Miners Daughter, Ray, or Sweet Dreams either.  All with great performances from our stars, some even Oscar worthy and Oscar winning.  This has a great performance, but is not quite on par with the aforementioned in an overall movie.  And that's a shame.  Although, this is good, it could have been way better with just a touch of tweaking.

Tom Hiddleston stars as Hank Williams Sr.,  and is terrific!  Great acting, did his own singing and really dove into the part.  Fact is, he is better than the movie.  This movie chronicles the wild life of Williams pretty well who died at 29.  But there lies the problem.  We all knew Williams was a heavy drinker, drug abuser, and overall led an exceptionally unhealthy lifestyle.  His womanizing and his problems with his young wife are the focal point here and not his amazing music. And that's the main flaw.

Hank Williams Sr., may be one of the most important songwriters ever.  He came prominence in the late 1940's and died in the early 1950's.  He was a "country" singer and songwriter, but he was so much more.  He was the absolute bridge between the Big Band Era and Rock And Roll (which hadn't happened yet.)  Williams changed country music forever and influenced performers for the next 50 years in that genre.  He also absolutely laid the ground work for Rock And Roll, as he put a swing and swagger into music in general that had not been heard before. He is honored in both Hall's Of Fame, and should be.  His songs are still recorded by people in all formats and is one of the most recorded songwriters ever.

That is really not talked about much here. This movies best scenes far and away are the ones where Williams in on stage singing. They are as good as the ones from Walk The Line. Problem is, there are not enough of them.  There is so much placed on his lifestyle and not his music, and that's a huge opportunity missed. Hiddleston is terrific, and it's a shame that they didn't turn him even more loose and let Williams really shine more.

I Saw The Light. This is good.  But for the giant that Williams was, this should have been great.  He deserved it.