Friday, January 18, 2013

A League of their Own (1992)

Number Rolled: 46
Movie Name/Year: A League of their Own (1992)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 127 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Penny Marshall
Writer: Kim Wilson, Kelly Candaele, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Actors: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Straithairn, Garry Marshall, Bill Pullman, Megan Cavanagh, Rosie O’Donnell, Tracy Reiner,Bitty Schram, Don S. Davis, Renee Coleman, Ann Cusack, Eddie Jones, Freddie Simpson, Anne Ramsay, Pauline Brailsford, Lynn Cartwright

I was around nine years old when this movie first came out. It was before I broke my wrist, before I fell in love with soccer, and I was playing baseball in a mostly all boys little league. As well as I eventually did in that league, it meant I had to deal with a lot of comments from the other guys on my team. At that age, words meant a lot more than they do now in that context. This movie quickly became my favorite and I watched it about once a week for three or four years. Even now, when it pops on TV I find it difficult to want to change the channel.

This movie is based around the creation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. In real-life, this league came to exist when the majority of males that were old enough to play, in the leagues we are more familiar with, had to go overseas to fight in World War II. The movie goes into the lives of Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller, sisters who are scouted into the league and what happens to them after the fact.

I’m not so sure I would use comedy as the primary genre for this movie. Don’t get me wrong, there are some hilarious moments, but because the script concentrates on the sibling rivalry and the near failure of a league that a lot of women relied on during a time when husbands, sons and brothers of the members were risking their lives at war, one would have to expect more drama than comedy.

It’s one of my all-time favorite movies. I have the majority of the script memorized, even now, when it’s been at least a year since I’ve seen it last. Something I would suggest to pretty much anybody, regardless of whether or not they like baseball.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

She’s All That (1999)

Number Rolled: 44
Movie Name/Year: She’s All That (1999)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Robert Iscove
Writer: R. Lee Fleming Jr.
Actors: Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook, Matthew Lillard, Paul Walker, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Kevin Pollak, Anna Paquin, Kieran Culkin, Elden Henson, Usher Raymond, Kimberly Jones, Gabrielle Union, Dule Hill, Tamara Mello, Clea DuVall, Tim Metheson, Debbi Morgan, Alexis Arquette, Dave Buzzotta, Chris Owen

One of my very favorite things about rolling a popular movie from the late 80’s or the 90’s, is the nostalgia involved. Taking a look back at the beginning careers of actors or actresses that are really well known now, or just revisiting those that have dropped off the face of the Earth, is amusing for me. Hell, Sarah Michelle Geller has an uncredited five second part that you’ll miss if you blink.

The plot is your basic recipe ‘ugly duckling’ story line. Popular guy enters into a bet. Bet is that he can make the most ‘uncool’ girl at the school prom queen. He proceeds to start falling for her in the process. Blah, blah, blah. You know this story. Even if this isn’t your usual genre of movie, I’m sure you’ve at least accidentally come across it in your entertainment travels.

Rachel Leigh Cook is very attractive before the inevitable movie make-over, they basically just give her a haircut and contacts. Not impressed. You know what would be impressive? Doing it to Sloth from the Goonies. THAT would impress me.

The movie is utterly generic. The acting is fine. The script doesn’t bother me. It’s completely forgettable. Nothing in it really sticks to my memory, and I just finished watching it about a half hour ago. The best character in the entire thing is the main character, Laney Boggs, little brother Simon – played by a very young Keiran Culkin.

Not much else to say. It didn’t suck. It wasn’t great.

Overall Opinion – 2.5/5

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Number Rolled: 64
Movie Name/Year: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Genre: Romance
Length: 104 mintues
Rating: PG-13
Director: P.J. Hogan
Writer: Ronald Bass
Actors: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco, M. Emmet Walsh, Rachel Griffiths, Carrie Preston, Susan Sullivan, Christopher Masterson, Raci Alexander, Jennifer Garrett, Kelleia Sheerin, Bree Turner

I feel the need to remind everyone that this blog represents only my own opinion of the movies I review. I feel that need because I know that I’m unjustly bias against this movie and most movies like it. It has nothing to do with the actors or the director; it has to do with the story line in general. So, in these cases, I guess I blame the writer.

I hate movies that make it seem like men and women must be in love if they’re best friends. Either in love or one party is gay. It makes me want to literally throw tomatoes at the screen. My very best friend is a male. We are both fans of the opposite sex; we just don’t see each other in that way. Before you go ahead and assume I friend-zoned him, I should tell you, we started out as more than friends. We were even engaged at one point. Our break up was the healthiest thing ever and we have been friends since with no interest in relapsing to that romantic point. We have simply always worked better in the platonic sense.

Movies like this plant into people’s minds that it is not ok to befriend someone of the opposite sex unless you are looking for romance. Which would really suck for me, if that was true, because I think I have four female friends in total. I simply prefer the company of male friends, I tend to have more interests in common with them.

For the actual review I’m going to try to put my personal view aside, but I’m finding that very, very, difficult.

This movie is about a woman who learns that her best friend is about to get married and suddenly realized that she’s in love with him, so she goes down to attend the wedding and break up his relationship. Quite frankly, the movie is only worth it if you’re interested in getting to the ending that you can probably already figure out. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys the trip as much as the destination, this might work for you. If you prefer to be surprised, move it along.

The movie opens up with a musical number that doesn’t include any of the characters from the actual movie. Which is stupid, in my opinion. A beginning musical (song and dance) sequence is only excusable in a movie from a musical genre or a movie in which the main character starting the story is a producer/director/actress/etc.; neither is true in this case.

The actors/actresses, however, did a lovely job in making me care. I think Cameron Diaz was a little too over the top, but I’ve known actual people like that so I can’t really say it was unrealistic. The ending was a joke, but there were some amusing moments throughout the rest of the movie otherwise.

If I ignore my glaring personal issue with the movie, it was fantastically average.

Overall Opinion – 3/5