You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Jon Hamm’ tag.

“The Town”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It looks like Oscar season is officially upon us, and Ben Affleck is more than ready to prove that Gone Baby Gone wasn’t just a one time fluke. With The Town, he not only proves his point, but also manages to somehow make an even better movie at the same time, which is an impressive feat since he added actor to his already long list of duties on this film. I will admit that I’m not the biggest Ben Affleck fan. And, I have made my fair share of jokes about him writing, or lack there of on Good Will Hunting. But, I must say he’s proving himself to be one heck of a director. Gone Baby Gone was a nice simple story with some outstanding performances, but The Town is stepping it up in more ways than one. Once again set in the gritty real world of a Boston borough, bank robber Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), a second generation criminal, finds himself capturing a glimpse at an honest life; ironically thanks to the help of his last victim. In an uncharacteristic move, Doug’s team takes a young bank manager, played by Rebecca Hall, hostage, only to release her moments after their getaway. It’s not until later that they find out that she’s a local, living in their neighborhood, and might just possibly be able to identify them after the fact. The hot tempered and violent member of the group, brilliantly played by Jeremy Renner, would like to just simply kill her. But, Doug wants to see if she knows anything first, and puts himself in a position to befriend her. As you can guess this is where things get complicated. Unlike Gone Baby Gone, the story this time around is much more multi-layered. There are multiple relationships being explored here, as well as some fantastic action sequences, which is an impressive addition to Affleck’s directing résumé. The movie also has an outstanding performance from Blake Lively, as a drugged out ex-girlfriend of Doug’s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Oscar nomination come her way for this role. I wasn’t familiar with her work on Gossip Girl, but when I found out that that was her in this movie, I was blown away. Some might say it’s a little heavy handed, but I think Affleck has a real knack for getting these gritty performances from his actors. To top the whole thing off, we also get one hell of a finale, as Doug and his crew attempt to pull off one last job, and steal from the cathedral of Boston itself, Fenway Park. I’ve got to tell ya, I grew up just outside of Boston, and have been to a many a game in that beloved park, and this was definitely a highlight for me. To see a heist movie sequence shot in the actual substructure of Fenway was amazing! I can only imagine that it was a dream come true for Affleck to shoot as well. I really can’t wait to see the behind the scenes footage of that shoot, on the DVD. I never thought I’d be saying this… But, Ben Affleck is proving to be one hell of a director.

Rating:


Advertisements

“The A-Team”
a review by Darby O’Gill

When you have a problem and no one else can help… Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait for the sequel, because The A-Team movie is just about how they get there. This is an origin story, with a modern update. When I first heard about them wanting to bring The A-Team to the big screen, almost 15 years ago, I thought what a huge mistake. But, when I saw the final choices for the cast, I was more than convinced a feature film version just might work. And, I’m very glad to report that I was absolutely right.

In this modern re-launch of The A-Team, we see the team meet for the first time and ultimately get framed for the crime they didn’t commit. Let’s just take a moment to talk about this A-List cast. First, we’ve got the man with the plan, Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, played Liam Neeson. I think he was the hardest to see in the role, but once I saw a production still I was totally sold. Up next, is a team member with one real bad attitude, Sgt. B.A. Baracus, played by former UFC fighter, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Without a doubt the hardest shoes to fill in the movie, but Jackson is perfect! Much like Mr. T, Rampage embodies a little of B.A. himself honestly, and doesn’t have to force a performance, which is great! Because the worst thing that could have happened to this movie is if someone like Taye Diggs was cast in the roll and did a cheesy job of trying to play Mr. T. Dare I say, “I would pity the fool that fucked up this role.” And what would a yin be without its yang? That brings us to the sanest crazy person that can fly anything, Capt. H.M. ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock, played by District 9’s very own Sharlto Copley. Easily the second biggest pair of shoes to fill on The A-Team, it’s very hard to play crazy, but Copley masterfully knocks it out of the park. Last but by no means least, we come to the pretty boy of the group. No lady can resist his charm, and there’s nothing he can’t get. Of course we’re talking about Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck, who’s perfectly played by The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper. Like I said, this is truly an A-List cast for the best possible A-Team movie. Well done, Hollywood… for once.

Over the last few months, I’ve started watching some old episodes of The A-Team again, getting myself that much more syked for the new movie. It was then that I realized just how much the old show still holds up to my wonderful childhood memories. If I had just one complaint about the new movie, it would be that they don’t help anyone other than themselves. Wait! Don’t start writing your comments yet. I know that this is the origin story, and they’re not in that business yet. It’s just that helping the town that’s being terrorized by the big bad biker gang, was such a huge part of the old show and I really missed it. The good news is that the sequel will be even better, and this one was pretty damn good. I’m also looking forward to the introduction of the fifth member of The A-Team in the sequel, that of reporter Amy Allen. And, if I could be so bold, I’d like to offer my suggestion for the best actress for the role, Evangeline Lilly. Oh, man! I’m so screwed. The A-Team hasn’t even had its opening weekend yet, and I’ve already got “The Jazz” for the sequel. I guess I’m just going to have to see this one a few more times then. Oh, and be sure to stick around after the credits, to see a few cameos.

Rating:


“Shrek Forever After”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, Shrek and the gang are back… again. Only this time they claim that it will be the last time. I guess only time will tell, but with a Puss in Boots spin-off already in the works, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Oh, did I mention it’s in 3-D? Did I need to? I thought it was a given that all animated movies are made in 3-D these days. I don’t even think it’s possible to make a 2-D animated movie any more. Never the less, Shrek Forever After doesn’t really need to be in 3-D. A few scenes work, but over all it’s just another reason to increase the movie ticket prices once again.


In this, the fourth installment of the Shrek trilogy saga, Shrek finds himself going through a mid-ogre-life-crisis, and wishing that his life could be more like the good old days. Thanks to Rumpelstiltskin that’s exactly what he gets. And by exactly, I mean not at all. Not only does he get to be a real ogre again, but due to oversight in the fine print, he finds himself having never been born; which means he’s never met Donkey, or even saved Princess Fiona from the Dragon’s Keep for that matter. All of which, changes Far Far Away into Rumpelstiltskin’s own personal kingdom. I don’t want to sound like a prude, or that old man that says back in my day, but I do have a parental problem with the movie. Not that I have kids mind you, but you’ll see what I mean in a second. In order to break his deal with Rupelstiltskin, Shrek needs to get Fiona to fall in love with him again. So, what does Shrek do to win her heart? Why he tries to kicks her ass of course. Look, maybe I’m over reacting here, but do you really want your kids to think the way to a woman’s heart is by punching her in the face? I do realize that in the context of the scene, Shrek and Fiona are sparring, but I think it still sends the wrong message to young kids. And when movies like this are used as babysitters, and are watched over and over to no end, I really think it’s the filmmaker’s responsibility to take that into consideration when making the film. Okay, I’m going to leave it at that because I’m starting to feel like a crotchety old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn.

Shrek Forever After is not a horrible movie it’s just not nearly as good as the first Shrek. But, its way better than Shrek the Third, which was so bad I wouldn’t watch it again if you paid me. The thing that worked so well in the first two movies was their clever usage of the classic fairy tales. In the last two movies it seems as if they’ve turned their backs on that approach, which is sad, because that was the whole charm. I also miss the once creative Mike Myers. I want the So I Married an Axe Murderer Mike Myers back. He seems to just keep regurgitating the same old same old these days. Not even Eddie Murphy’s Donkey can save these movies any more. The bottom line here is that they should have stopped making these movies after the second one. But as with everything else, they’ll keep milking the dead cow as long as people are still willing to pay for the milk. And if you truly think this is the last you’ll see of Shrek and the gang, you must really enjoy the “reality” of reality television.

Rating: