The Master vs. Trouble With the Curve vs. House at the End of the Street

Kenny D September 21, 2012 0
The Master vs. Trouble With the Curve vs. House at the End of the Street

Well friends, it has been a long drought and we are nearly out of it. For nearly two months we have had to deal with average movies. I didn’t say we were out of it yet, I said nearly, but October is shaping up to be a great movie month. This weekend we are being overwhelmed with movies (a very good thing) but two of the movies I wanted to see were not screened locally (a very bad thing). End of Watch, a “Cops” footage style thriller follows Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as two cops trying to make it out alive of the LA’s projects as they are chase down by drug cartels. Looks rental worthy. Dredd is the movie that no one wanted or asked for but it is the one I can’t wait to see. I will pay to see this one in theaters. The reviews are great and describe it as unapologetic for its over the top violence and great action. I’m ready to wipe all memory of Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd from my brain.

Trouble With The Curve
amy adams, clint eastwood, baseball movies, baseball scout, father, daughter
“Don’t ask me how I was cursed with a ginger daughter…”

Poor Clint Eastwood. It is going to take a long time for him to live down his infamous RNC empty chair display. Which is really too bad. He is one of the greats. He has given us the Dollars trilogy, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry, and Gran Torino. He’s a legend, but as of a month ago he may have outlived his bad-assery.

In Curve, Eastwood plays a professional baseball scout at the end of his long successful career. He is quickly losing his eyesight and is about to be cut from the club. Amy Adams plays his daughter, who has always had a distant, spiteful relationship with her dad. He has one last chance to prove he’s a worthy scout, so Adams joins him for a week to be his eyes. The two of them try to be civil to each other and Adams nags him about why he abandoned her. Justin Timberlake plays a young competing scout with past ties to Eastwood. He spends half of the movie courting Adams, but consistently fails.

For two characters who can’t stand to talk to each other, Eastwood and Adams display great chemistry. You start to see why each of them behaves the way they do and soon realize that each are too far gone in their ways to make dramatic changes for each other. Timberlake plays Justin Timberlake, basically. I didn’t dislike him at all, but the only role I’ve seen him actually disappear into a character is The Social Network.

Honestly, general audiences will like this movie. They will not love it because there is nothing to get excited over. Even as the movie follows the baseball games, it’s not exciting because the potential star is very very unlikable. The laughs come early and leave fast as crazy Clint swears under his breath constantly about everything around him, he even slams against midget carpenters…for shame.

This movie makes for a good rental for the demographic of 37-64 year olds. I think I would have liked it more but the ending was just too perfect. I don’t mind happy endings but they shouldn’t tie a bow around it and shove the sappiness in your face. Rent this one.

 House at the End of the Street
jennifer lawrence cleavage, hot katniss, butterface, hot jennifer
Elizabeth Shue and Candace Cameron

Don’t be fooled by the picture above. At no point, does Elizabeth Shue look that haggard, and at no point does Jennifer Lawrence look so cute. The death of this movie will be the title. It will forever be confused with Silent House, Last House on the Left, and possibly House on Haunted Hill. Last Silent House on the Left of Haunted Hill anyone?

So Katniss and Shue move into a quite country house, one they are renting for cheap because a double murder happened at the house next door only 4 years previous. Apparently a young girl savagely murdered her parents and disappeared. Katniss befriends the surviving brother/son who still lives in the murder house and the plot goes from there. I can’t ruin anything for you, even though I should save you the money.

This movie is being billed in the horror genre, but don’t be fooled, it’s barely a thriller. I went to this expecting to at least jump out of my seat a few times from cheap scares. But instead had to follow an oddly paced movie that ruined every twist 20 minutes before it means to. As far as predictability goes, I compare it to an episode of Law & Order. You know exactly who the killer is from the start, but then it throws you for a weird loop, but then the killer ends up being exactly who you thought it was from the start.

I’m sure you’ve already forgotten the title, so do yourself a favor and forget this movie. Come on October, bring on Sinister!

The Master
joaquin, phoenix, best actors ever, academy awards, scientology,
“Would you be so kind as to get off my lawn….?”

I saw this movie over a week ago and it still lingers in my brain. Compared to the rest of the movies releasing this weekend this will be the one no one really knows about. But come next February, around Oscar time, this will be the movie people are sick of hearing about.

How to describe The Master? It’s incredibly difficult because, as weird as it sounds, it cannot be narrowed down to one particular story or theme. We follow Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Freddie Quell, throughout the movie. He is a war veteran and a sex addict with a pretty rough temper. He drifts through his wasted life fueled by moonshine and odd jobs. He happens upon an up and coming preacher/novelist/professor Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd takes Quell under his wing as he travels and meets with growing groups of believers. The two never quite see eye to eye, but that can hardly be blamed on Dodd. Quell is such an enigmatic character, that you can’t pin him down with any particular condition.

The acting in The Master is second to none. I hate to jinx him, but Phoenix should and will win the Academy Award for Best Actor this year. At no point did I just see crazy Joaquin Phoenix, instead you see Freddie Quell and you are almost afraid of his unpredictability. Philip Seymour Hoffman once again proves to be the Meryl Streep of male actors. Playing the nice, charismatic leader compared to Phoenix’s underlying rage, makes Hoffman the only likable character in the movie. That is the point. We are all supposed to be swept up in Dodd’s message, because he commands every room he is in. Amy Adams (2 releases this week) plays Dodd’s controlling wife. Congratulations to her for going against her typecast roles. She is such a strong character, she’s almost scary. It’s a welcome change from her Trouble With the Curve character.

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite directors. One of my all-time favorite movies is Magnolia. He knows how to craft a beautiful movie. Now here’s where the problem comes in, his movies are so gorgeous and thought out, that they have now become slow and off-putting. This movie makes There Will Be Blood look like it has the pacing of Transformers. Anderson is almost daring audiences to like this one.

I recommend this film for movie buffs and film students. But general audiences beware, you will hate this. I am glad I saw this movie, but similar to There Will Be Blood, it will be a one time watch.

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