Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - No Good Deed

The new thriller, No Good Deed hits theaters this week, and that alone is just flat out too bad.  What a thud.

Idris Elba is a great actor, who I have liked in a ton of movies, but this is not his finest hour.  Elba has seemingly taken his Brinks Truck full of cash from Thor, and other hits, and has decided to start producing his own movies like this one.  It's a shame this choice was a terrorizing women movie. And with current events happening in the real world, this is ill-timed, and certainly ill advised.

Elba stars as Colin.   He is an escaped con, who gains his freedom by killing a DOC guard, and an elderly DOC driver on his way back from a parole hearing.  He then goes on to locate his ex-fiance' and proceeds to kill her because she didn't wait for him while he was in jail.  Why do we tell you this here?  Because you know it's going to happen.   Colin is a psychopath who is violent, and is suspected in killing a lot of women in the past.

He then finds Terri. She is very nice woman living in suburban Atlanta with two small children.  After staging a car crash, Colin then comes knocking on Terri's door in need of help, which of course she provides willingly.  Her husband is out of town, and her marriage is on the rocks, so she is a bit vulnerable.  This highly educated woman then invites Colin in, gives him tea, washes his clothes, gives him dry clothes, fixes his wounds, announces her husband is away for the weekend, all the while exposing her children to a total stranger at night during a horrible storm. Who in the world would do this?  Insanely insulting.

Of course Colin then begins terrorizing her and the kids.  Terri figures it out that this stranger she was contemplating sleeping with a few minutes ago after the kids are asleep, is really a bad guy.  Hello? But why?  Well there is a plot twist at the end that tries to explain it to you, but you more than likely won't care by then.

This is just horrible on about every level.  Besides being ill-timed, and advised, the script is amazingly lame and incredibly unoriginal.  This develops the dumbest characters ever, and strongly reinforces stereotypes we are working so hard to erase all the way around.  Every character has been in every single movie like this that has come before it.   This poorly written, directed, and thought out.  The best thing that cane be said about this, is that it's about 80 minutes long.  Which is good, because I could not take much more.  This is just insulting - period.

No Good Deed.  This deed  - is no good.

Friday, September 12, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - The Drop

You can tell that the weather has changed, kids are back in school and fall is in the air.  As a result of all of this, the tenor has changed at the movies and the adult movies are here.

A new drama called The Drop is new this week and is terrific.  The fall and winter always bring out the stories that are big on story, acting and direction.  And The Drop is here to usher this new wave of great movies in for 2014.

The Drop is a great story that takes place in Brooklyn - modern day.  This is the story of Marv (James Gandolfini) and Bob (Tom Hardy).  They are cousins that have a bar called Cousin Marv's that is a local neighborhood joint.   Years ago, Marv and his gambling ways, lost the bar that carries his name to the Russian mob.  Although he still has his name on it, it's not his, and is used as a "drop bar."  A drop bar is a place where cash is dropped off every single day that is illegal in one way or another.  Then at the end of the day, the Russian mob comes in and picks up the money. 

Bob and Marv are essentially owned by the mob.   Problem is, Marv is longing for the good old days when he was the local crime kingpin, and he was getting rich off other people's misfortune. So he decides to double cross the Russian mob, and reclaim at ton of cash as his life is closing in on him. And who is Bob?  A seemingly quiet young man, afraid of life and women.  He finds an abandoned puppy, and through this encounter meets up with Nadia.  She is a local girl looking for love as well. But who is she? And what about Bob?  And who will be caught in the crossfire, if the Russian mob finds out who is duping them?

It is so good to see the late Gandolfini on the screen again. He is amazing and perfectly cast in a role that was made for him as the washed up, and frustrated Marv.  I am also a big Tom Hardy fan, and he is wonderful as the reluctant Bob.  We don't see Hardy in many movies, and I love him in about everything he's in. The supporting cast is wonderful and this is a great, great story.

This movie looks terrific.  This really propels you to the bowels of Brooklyn and you feel like your part of the old neighborhood. This is a movie that is a true slow burn suspense thriller.  It takes its time telling you a great story, but it's pacing is really strong.  You feel like you are in the room, and watching it all play out with you as witness. There is some isolated violence that is necessary, but this really uses its head and keeps its credibility from start to finish.  This is in limited release, but worth a drive to find it.

The Drop.  One of the years best so far.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DVD - New Streaming and DVD's September 16

This week there are two distinctly different movies out, but both really big hits. And movies that depending on who is watching them, will be viewed many times over.

Keep in mind we only feature movies here that are major motion picture releases, and not any that are straight to DVD, or TV series.  Where applicable, I will link you back to my original review from the theater run to give you all the information you need before you rent, buy or hit pay on your remote.

New This Week

The Fault In Our Stars -

Very heavy drama dealing with teen cancer. Predictable at times, but this found a big audience.  Nice young cast and a nice mix of veteran actors too.

Godzilla

The reboot of the original from 1954 of sorts.  This was Godzilla's 29th starring role, and this was a major hit bringing in 96 million it's first weekend.

(Also out)

Draft Day -

The movie about the Cleveland Browns and their fictitious college draft. Kevin Costner stars, filmed in Cleveland.

scott@wqmx.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - The November Man

Pierce Brosnan is back on the screen in The November Man.

This is a good example o a movie that critics are going to find reasons to hate.  And those that go to see it, are going to really like. Yes there are some holes in this, and this is not perfect. But so what? For heavens sake it's a September movie, and a nice change of pace at the theaters now.

Brosnan plays a former CIA agent who has left the agency after a job goes horrible wrong.  But he is called back into the game being asked to pull out a female CIA agent who is deep undercover in Russia. In fact, she is the right hand woman for the man who would be the next Russian President.

The trouble is, the CIA has rogue motives and agents within, and suddenly the CIA is at war, with...the CIA of sorts.  Our hero ends up being a patsy, and at direct odds with his younger protege.  He also is trying to smuggle out the key witness to many horrible crimes within Russia.  She could be the key to the Russian elections, and the balance of power between the USA and Russia.  Problem is, a ton of people are trying to kill them.  Will they make it?

As you watch this movie, it does have a James Bond feel to it.  But, it's clear they are trying to develop a great character for Brosnan, all while being careful not to steer to close to his Bond days.  Brosnan is very good in this movie.  I am a fan by the way.  For the most part he chooses good projects (although I didn't need to see him, or hear him sing in Mama Mia.)  He is likable and has a nice way on screen.  This movie is certainly not perfect, but it's a good way to get Brosnan back on screen, and re-kick start his career.

This has plenty of action and moves along nicely and checks in at about 100 minutes- tidy!   If you miss this during its theater run, this would be a real nice Saturday night viewing on your streaming service in a few weeks.

The November Man.  Not an award winner, but nothing really wrong here.

MOVIE REVIEW - Boyhood

The new nostalgic drama Boyhood is a small Indy flick that has been around for a few weeks now, with some nice success.  This is an award winner, and has enjoyed wonderful critical reviews in very limited release.

Boyhood might be the best example in years of how you will potentially receive this movie, as it is dependent on where you are in life, and who you are.  Up front, with its length, and its subject matter this is clearly not for everyone.

Boyhood is the story of a young boy and his sister who are growing up in the early 2000's culminating in the modern day.  They are being raised in Texas by a young, single mother, who has a long history of making bad decisions in life.  Their dad, is also a non-qualified parent who shows up a few days a month to see his young kids and be a Disney dad on a shoestring budget.  

We watch these kids grow up before our eyes, and see all the really lousy stuff many young people have over the past generation or so. Constant mistakes being made my self-absorbed parents, who insist on putting their needs ahead of the kids.  This movie is a very loud commentary of the state of some parenting today, and it's not pretty.  This movie is not saying that all parents and all situations are this bad, or complicated.  But it's nearly impossible to watch this and not feel like you are, or know someone in the movie. And that's great movie making.

This movie gives parents and grandparents more than a quick glimpse, it gives you a full on stare into the parts of typical kids lives you may be afraid to confront.  But it's worth it.  If you've ever had a real question about why some kids are the way they are, this movie goes to great lengths to give you the reasons why.  The whole time you are wondering if these kids are going to be alright despite all the junk they've been through.  Will they be?  Who knows?  It's still a work in progress.

This is a groundbreaking movie that takes the time to tell an interesting story. And that is also part of the problem. This is 2 hours and 45 minutes.  This is a movie goers movie.   Meaning, if you go to the movies twice a year, this is no your flick.  But this is powerful, effective and eye opening.  For some this will be a horrible indictment on modern parenting. And for others, they will see themselves as the kids, trying to grow up in a world or turmoil, drama and insane decision making.

Again, this movie will say very different things to different people.

Boyhood.  Well done.  A very strong movie, told very well. Tough story, great movie making.







Thursday, August 28, 2014

LOCAL GOLF - Dewsweeeper Golf Course Review - Manikiki

Course:  Manikiki  (MetroParks)

Location: Willoughby

Directions:  Off of I-90, easy access from 90 and I-271.   30 Min from Cleveland, 45 from Akron

Dewsweepers Tee Time Was:  7AM

Manikiki Website

Save money on LOCAL GOLF by clicking here

One of the really nice stops we have on the Dewsweeper Tour is this amazing, historical golf course now in the MetroParks, Manikiki.   This is terrific, beautiful golf.  And make no mistake, this is tough golf as well.  Manakiki is an old course that at one time was private course designed by the incredible golf course designer Donald Ross. Professional events were once played here, and so did some of the games great players in the 50's and 60's.   This is not a long course,  about 6,200 yards but very tough.

This is nestled in hills and trees and winds its way around and flows nicely from first hole to last.  Manakiki is not a long golf course but do not let that fool you.  This is tree lined, with plenty of protective sand traps, some water, and tons of sloping fairways that make second shots very challenging. There are few flat lies on many fairways.  The greens are fantastic with great speed, and true rolls.  As where they are mostly flat as compared to the fairways, the greens are tough.  And today the pin placements were difficult. 

Joe Red continued to do what he has been doing. Getting off to slower starts, but finding it more and more as the round wears on.  Red shot a 48 on the front, but rebounded very well by tossing in a birdie on 12, (of which we were treated to hard to watch celebration dance)  and a bunch of pars to steady the ship shooting a nice 42 on the back.  His play got better and better the further we got into the round.  good recovery.

Tex had a tough time off the tee today, and that has not been a problem lately, but we all have those rounds.  Here, you must drive the ball well as the second shots are tough enough, as this is a second shot course.  We've all been there, and today was his turn.  But, he putted the ball well, and that's not small feat here.  He hung in there posting and even 100.  He won't be the only one that shoots that here. This is a tough course.

Beef blistered that front mixing in a nice bunch of pars, along with a birdie on 5, and shot a 39 on the front. Well done.  The back caught up to Beef though. After a great par on the brutal number 10, a couple of  doubles found their way on the card and string of bogeys too, giving him 45 on the back, 84 on the day.  Pretty good on this course, although he was in a place to shoot a bit better, but it's tough out there.

I birdied the first hole for the second straight week, and that was fun. Then took a ridiculous double on 2, and a even sillier triple on 8 giving me 44 on the front.  5 over on just 2 holes!  Then the back was better as I played a bit more consistently firing a 41 giving me 85 total.  I too could have shot better, but let a low number slip away.  2, 3-putts, and those two goofs in the front.  But this is tough and these thing happen.

Course highlights?  Number 2, nice uphill par 4, 350 yards.   Numbers 6 through 10.  Great holes that can destroy your round if you're not careful.  Especially number 10, brutal par 4, thin, uphill, tree lined, very difficult.  8 is no bargain either, 375, par 4, thin, tough fairway, brutal driving hole, very professional difficulty, both holes.  And the fantastic number 18, one of the most beautiful holes you will ever play.  Downhill, uphill par 4 going back to the clubhouse.

Manakiki is tough, but fair.  This is not beginners golf, so this may not be the best place to be introduced to the game. But if your game is fairly good, and you don't mind an drive to a wonderful golf destination, this is totally worth it.  This is one the best courses we play all year.

Scores

Beef  -  84
Wynn  -  85
Joe Red  -  90
Tex  -  100

Next week we tee it up and make our Dewsweeper debut at The Dales Course at Tamoshanter in Canton!

Here are some other courses we have played are reviewed recently.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - When The Game Stands Tall

The new high school football bio-pic, When The Game Stands Tall is out this week and sadly it fumbles.  You know when you see a ton of hype before a movie on TV? That usually means there is trouble - and there is.

Let's defend it up front first though.   This is a great real story, that focuses somewhat on a really amazing man and football coach, Bob Ladouceur at De La Salle High School in Oakland, California.  He deserves a much better movie than this, and that is the shame of this whole thing. This falls under the category of "big chance missed."  This ends up being formula.


Ladouceur has been the head football coach at this high school for over 30 years.  De La Salle has won 151 games in a row which is the longest winning streak in any organized sport ever.  The streak comes to an end, plus the coach has a heart attack, and one of the teams most popular players is killed in a senseless shooting.  How will these young men adapt and cope with all this at once?  That is the story they put out there for you to think you will see.  And you will. But sadly, they missed the boat.

The real amazing story is of Ladouceur.  He is an incredible football coach that in today's world is a total throwback.  He believes deeply that his role in this world is to prepare young men for life with football as the catalyst and not the main focus.  Many of the kids he coaches are from horrible backgrounds in blighted areas of Oakland.  His priorities are profound and somehow he successfully transfers this to kids who would seem reluctant to absorb such a message.  

The sad part is that the script is so bad that they fail to really convey that to us until the very end.  The written dialogue is very bad, even clunky at times. The story wanders into areas that it doesn't belong time and time again.  This needed a better write, and a much sharper focus.  And maybe the biggest flub is that for a movie about a guy that honestly believes and preaches that his whole focus truly is NOT football -  there is a whole lot of football in this movie.  Seemingly endless football scenes that make us grow weary. But, you have to have them for fans to go.

Ironically, the ending credits are where were really learn how great a guy he is.  Wonderful footage of the actual coach preaching his beliefs in great candor. Then an amazing endorsement from NFL legend John Madden calling Ladouceur the greatest football coach at any level in the country.  ANY level.  Sad that the movie makers didn't catch on till it's too late.

There are some nice elements to this, and there are a few emotive parts that keep you engaged, but it's not what it should have been.  This has been compared to Remember The Titans, but it's not as good. This also was badly cast in it's major roles, Titans has Denzel Washington, this does not.  This needed some star power, and has none.   

When The Game Stands Tall.  Bob Ladouceur is an inspiration and an incredible man. He deserves better than this.  Hope to see a documentary on him sometime.  We could really get to know him.