Thursday, July 2, 2015

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)


Number Rolled: 76
Movie Name/Year: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Genre: Romance
Length: 122 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: The Weinstein Company
Executive Producer: Bradley Cooper, George Parra, Michelle Raimo, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Renee Witt
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell, Matthew Quick
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, Julia Stiles, Paul Herman, Dash Mihok, Matthew Russell, Cheryl Williams, Patrick McDade, Brea Bee

Pat’s had it rough. After losing everything, he gets committed to a psych hospital. When his mom gets him out, he begins to start putting the pieces of his life back together again.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was not my first time seeing this film. Actually, it wasn’t even the third time.

I love this movie. I love it. It may very well be in my top ten movies. If I were to sit down and think about it, possibly even in my top five.

It’s difficult for me to find fault anywhere in Silver Linings Playbook. It’s quirky, dramatic, heart-wrenching, humorous, cringe-worthy, thrilling, and pretty much anything else you could want in a film.

The story is incredible. I love movies that exhibit how difficult things can get, that the world can “break your heart ten ways to Sunday,” but that you can overcome it. I believe this movie tells that story better than most.

Aside from that, Bradley Cooper (Aloha, The Hangover, American Hustle), Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Winter’s Bone), Robert De Niro (American Hustle, Killing Season, New Year’s Eve), Jacki Weaver (Gracepoint, Haunt, Animal Kingdom) and Chris Tucker (Jackie Brown, Money Talks, Friday) are all amazing actors that were at the top of their game for this film. There isn’t a single casting I would want to see different.

Once upon a time, David O. Russell (American Hustle, The Fighter, I Heart Huckabees) was hoping to castZooey Deschanel (New Girl, Our IdiotBrother, Failure to Launch) and Vince Vaughn (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Break-up, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) as Tiffany and Pat. I think he made a VERY good decision not to do that. It would have been a drastically different movie and I doubt I could have taken it seriously.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve heard so many good things about this movie. It’s been on my to-watch list for a while now. Events have seemed to conspire against viewing – from premature DVR deletion to pop-up severe weather causing power outages. This time, I showed that movie who was boss!

This film was a dramatic work focusing on the path of redemption for a man suffering from bipolar disorder, and recovering from a traumatic loss of control. It was, however, expertly sprinkled with comedy. It was a glorious balance. It swept me along for the ride.

The cast was remarkable. Of course, one would expect no less from someone like Robert De Niro (The Family, Limitless, Little Fockers). The man’s a legend; and has proven time and time again his worthiness of that status. Even in a supporting role as the slightly OCD, Eagles-fanatic father struggling to relate to his bi-polar son.

The chemistry between Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, Guardians of the Galaxy, The A-Team) and Jennifer Lawrence (Serena, American Hustle, House at the End of the Street) was palpable – even when they were yelling at each other (perhaps especially then).

Chris Tucker’s (Rush Hour, The Fifth Element, Dead Presidents) appearance in this film was a pleasant surprise. He brought an element of comedy all his own that was just right. It was definitely a more subtle performance for him than in some of his previous over-the-top roles.

I was really hoping this film would live up to the hype. I must say, I wasn’t disappointed.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 86%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.9/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.7/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

P.S. Silver Linings Playbook is based off a novel of the same name by Matthew Quick

Movie Trailer:






Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In July (2015)


10 – Boulevard (July 10)


Director: Dito Montiel
Writer: Douglas Soesbe
Actors: Robin Williams, Kathy Baker, Bob Odenkik, Roberto Aguire, J. Karen Thomas
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

This is it. The last movie starring Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, The Birdcage, Aladdin). After this, what has been, is all that will be.

As fans, there’s nothing on heaven or earth that could keep us from seeing this film. Bad or good, regardless of topic, we just want to see the legend one more time.

The final quote in the trailer is heartbreaking, given the circumstances: “It’s never too late to finally start living the life you really want.”

9 – Paper Towns (July 24)


Director: Jake Schreier
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, John Green
Actors: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Halston Sage
Genre: Romance
Rated: PG-13

The Fault in Our Stars (2014) was a tear-jerking masterpiece, both on page and on screen. Paper Towns is developed from a book written by the same author: John Green (Crash Course: World History, Crash Course: Literature, Vlogbrothers).

Regardless of writer, though, the trailer for this film is enticing and makes us want to see what happens. Mystery and romance can be a more than decent combination.

8 – Terminator Genisys (July 1)


Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier, James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith, Douglas Smith, Dayo Okeniyi
Genre: Action
Rated: PG-13

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Expendables, Junior, Total Recall) starring in a Terminator film is a huge dose of nostalgia for us. So many years later, with him returning to the film franchise opposite someone like Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Spike Island, Dom Hemingway) is awe-inspiring.

It would be impossible to not want to see Terminator Genisys. If you’re a fan of the franchise, it’s going to be an amazing chapter. If you’re unfamiliar with the original films, chances are that once you watch the trailer, you’ll want to get familiar real quick.

7 – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (July 31)


Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Drew Pearce, Christopher McQuarrie, Bruce Geller
Actors: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames
Genre: Action
Rated: PG-13

Who doesn’t get a little thrill when they hear that theme song?

The stunts in this movie look amazing. That plane sequence teased in the trailer promises to be both funny and quite the adrenaline rush.

The films are great, constant action with smart storylines and amazing acting. Rogue Nation seems like it’s going to continue to follow that plan.

6 – Magic Mike XXL (July 1)


Director: Greg Jacobs
Writer: Reid Carolin
Actors: Channing Tatum, Matthew Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Straham, Elizabeth Banks, Danny Glover, Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, Kevin Nash
Genre: Dramedy
Rated: R

We disagreed a bit over where to put Magic Mike XXL on the list. One of us thought it should be around 8, the other thought it should be higher. We compromised.

The first Magic Mike (2012) brought many to their knees with the sexy men and dance moves, but what people who didn’t watch the movie might not realize, is that it wasn’t all about making a girl’s ovaries quiver. The story line was interesting and there was a bit of action/drama in there.

It’s because of the story line that we’re looking forward to Magic Mike XXL. Oh, sure, we’re not going to close our eyes when Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Sabotage, How I Met Your Mother) or Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher, This is the End, 21 Jump Street) hit the stage, but that’s not the primary draw.

The primary draw comes from what we know of the acting skills portrayed by the aforementioned actors, Matthew Bomer (American Horror Story, White Collar, Chuck), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Slither), Amber Heard (Machete Kills, Paranoia, 3 Days to Kill) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham, Hawthorne, The Matrix Reloaded). It also comes from our knowledge of the insane comedic timing possessed by Gabriel Iglesias (Cristela, A Haunted House 2, The Book of Life) and the unique dance style of Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss (Step Up All In, Step Up Revolution, Hairspray).

5 – Self/less (July 10)


Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Alex Pastor, David Pastor
Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Natalie Martinex, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Derek Luke
Genre: Thriller
Rated: PG-13

Ben Kingsley (The Boxtrolls, Ender’s Game, Schindler’s List) is one of those actors that immediately make people want to buy a ticket. Ryan Reynolds (R.I.P.D., Safe House, Paper Man) has his own loyal following as well. The question isn’t whether or not they’ll be great in their parts, but if their chemistry will resonate.

Regardless of actors, the story of the film is incredible. A sci-fi style thriller with that much meat to the plot? Sign us up.

4 – Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (July 22)


Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Writer: Thunder Levin
Actors: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Cindy Margolis, David Hasselhoff, Bo Derek, Ann Coulter, Jerry Springer, Chris Kirkpatrick, Chris Jericho, Ray J, Frankie Muniz, Michael Bolton,
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: Unrated

The Random Review is a big fan of the Sharknado series. It’s super corny, absolutely ridiculous and so much fun it’s hard to believe The Asylum had anything to do with it.

Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

It’s because we love the first two films, that we are excited to see that Anthony C. Ferrante (Headless Horseman, Boo, Project RCVR), Thunder Levin (Atlantic Rim, AE: Apocalypse Earth, American Warships), Ian Ziering (90210, That’s My Boy, The Legend of Awesomest Maximus), and Tara Reid (American Reunion, Unnatural Causes, The Crow: Wicked Prayer) all returned to do their parts.

We don’t know how much longer this franchise will succeed, but for now, we’re all for this next one.

3 – Minions (July 10)


Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Writer: Brian Lynch
Actors: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Allison Janney, Steve Carell, Tara Strong
Genre: Family
Rated: PG

Do we need a reason other than the fact that minions are involved? MINIONS!

2 – Pixels (July 24)


Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling, Patrick Jean
Actors: Adam Sandler, Michelle Monaghan, Josh Gad, Kevin James, Jane Krakowski, Peter Dinklage, Brian Cox, Ashley Benson, Sean Bean
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

Let’s forget about the video game aspect of this film and the fact that one of the writers for this blog had a video game themed wedding. Let’s forget that the super-amazing Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Knights of Badassdom) is in it and sporting a wicked mullet. Let’s even forget that it looks like Adam Sandler (Anger Management, 50 First Dates, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry) might have gone back to his actually funny roots.


You realize the director, Chris Columbus (Rent, Mrs. Doubtfire, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), is the same man credited with writing the screenplay for The Goonies and directed the first two Harry Potter films, right?

Aside from that, the trailer looks ridiculous, in the best way.

We are taking bet on when Sean Bean (Legends, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Game of Thrones) will die. Five minutes in? Twenty? Not until the end? Let’s see some guesses!

1 – Ant-Man (July 17)


Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Actors: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stoll, Hayley Atwell, Michael Pena, Judy Greer, John Slattery, T.I., Bobby Cannavale, Stan Lee, Anthony Mackie
Genre: Action
Rated: Unrated

A Marvel movie is coming out this month, did anyone not expect to see it at number one on this list?

We think Paul Rudd (Parks and Recreation, This is 40, Our Idiot Brother) was the perfect choice for the lead role. The only concern is how to make Ant-Man a real Marvel-style film without having that parody feel.

In the trailer, you see the train set scene which looks epic… and then funny. That scene alone makes it look like they struck a decent enough balance between action and comedy to not fall into a joke-like feel.

If anyone can do it, Marvel can.

A side note? Chris Evans (Captain America, Avengers, Snowpiercer) is listed as an uncredited actor in this film. Is he going to make a cameo like he did in Thor: The Dark World (2013) or is that hinting at what we might see in the after-credits scene?

Anyone have any theories?