The Gambler

The Gambler is a complicated film, despite it’s title it’s not really about gambling, it’s about a man who would rather die than live a mediocre life.  In an attempt to fill the void of his current mediocre life he gambles, he doesn’t care how much debt he builds up with loan sharks who will kill him because he would rather die than live his life the way it’s going.  Some people will not understand the theme of this film and hate it, but if you’ve ever striven for more in your life and hated the way your life was (or is) then you can understand the theme of the film and connect with Mark Wahlberg’s character.

Story

The Gambler is a complicated story, there are layers to it.  Overall it’s a very well written story, it’s not so dense that you can’t follow it but it’s deep enough that it will make you think.

Acting

Mark Wahlberg just looks like he’s someone who has given up and doesn’t care anymore, and that’s what the character called for, you can really believe that this person doesn’t care if he lives or dies.  John Goodman plays the caring scumbag part perfectly, he knows there’s a problem and tries to help but deep down is still a scumbag and makes things worse.  Jessica Lang is the concerned and tired mother, you can see the hurt that she feels and really believe that she’s feeling what the character is supposed to feel.

Music

Not much to speak of here, there was a little radio in the background style music but over all there wasn’t really anything to speak of in the film.

Conclusion

Everyone should take a gamble of this film, it’s not going to be for everyone but if you’ve ever felt out of place or incomplete in life I think you’ll enjoy this film.  Just remember that just because this film is called The Gambler it’s not really about gambling, it’s about a life unfulfilled.

Disturbed Immortalized

So I got the new Disturbed album Immortalized and I can honestly say I’m just alright with it.  I had high hopes for this album, the pre-release tracks sounded great and I was totally pumped to get this album, then I got it.  I spent half my time listening to this album wondering if I should just skip to the next track, I did listen to every track but I had to fight the urge to skip several times.

PROS

  1. The songs that are hard and fast are great, Disturbed at their best.
  2. The lyrics are infused with meaning and make for an interesting listen.
  3. The band and Draiman are faster and cleaner than ever.

CONS

  1. The lyrics can get a little preachy, Draiman’s lyrics can do this from time to time, it gets old.
  2. Sound effects in the music, like a telephone call at the beginning and and of the song with it in the background during the song.  I just don’t like that.
  3. The Sound Of Silence does not belong on a Disturbed album, maybe make it a separate special release single but this is not disturbed.  I understand artists wanting to branch out and try new things but this fell flat in my eyes.
All in all Immortalized is an alright album.  It’s not Disturbed’s best work but I can still listen to it, I’ll just have to skip a few tracks.  If your a disturbed fan like I am I’d say you should still pick it up if you haven’t already.

Sunshine

The film Sunshine written by Alex Garland was a surprise joy to watch, I didn’t have high hopes for the film based on the description but by the time I was half way through the film I was glued to the screen.  The film takes place in 2057, the sun is slowly dying causing a solar winter on earth, a team of astronauts are sent to the sun with a nuclear bomb the size of Manhattan to restart the sun and bring it back to life.  Things start to go wrong and what follows is a tense, edge of your seat thriller right to the end.

Story

I’m not going to lie, the story it’s self sounds terrible, but once you see the film you’ll understand that the basic story has little to do with the actual film.  The film is about the drama and suspense built up around the events going on during the mission to the sun.  While the idea is ridiculous, the story is well written and will entertain you to the very last minute.

Music

There really wasn’t much music to speak of here, mostly you got little bits of orchestra music to help set the tone of the scene.  I think this was a good choice, the film takes place in the vacuum of space, and the lack of music really helped give that dead space feeling to the film.

Acting

Cillian Murphy once again delivers an outstanding performance, ever since I saw him in Batman Begins I’ve been amazed at his acting abilities.  He plays the weak nerdy man who of course in the end has to overcome impossible odds, and the whole time he is on screen you believe in his character.  Chris Evens is the jock type, but still has the brain to make it believable that he would be on a highly technical space mission.  Mark Strong was perfect, the way he was shot in this film gave you just enough to feel the fear the other characters were feeling while not going over the top and drawing you out of the film, even in well lit scenes you don’t get a clear look at him only the fear on the other charterers.  Rose ByrneMichelle YeohCliff CurtisTroy GarityHiroyuki Sanada, and Benedict Wong all play their parts perfectly, helping to build suspense while keeping the story flowing.

Conclusion

Sunshine is a must see thriller film, don’t let the description fool you it’s a great film that has been overlooked.  The story is great, the acting is wonderful, and in the end you will be happy you’ve seen it.  Just to prove to you how much I enjoyed this film, as soon as it was over I bought the film and added it to my collection, I have a feeling this will be one of those films that I go back and watch again and again picking up little things I missed before.

Step Up or Step Aside

With the Black Lives Matter movement continuing to say that All Live Matter is racist I’m reminded of two things, #1 reverse racism, and #2 the boy who cried wolf.  The Reverse Racism issue is claiming that saying anyone who thinks all live matter is a racist thing to say, by saying only black lives matter your being racist against every other group of people.  The Boy Who Cried Wolf issue is just that, by claiming everything is racist eventually people are going to stop caring what you say.  It’s like car alarms, at first when a car alarm went off people would think something was wrong and do something about it, nowadays nobody even looks at the car, they just click the remote and walk away.  This is what’s happening with the term racist, when you claim everything is racist you loose all credibility and no one cares what you have to say.

Why All Lives Matter

All Live Matter because we’re all important, if I see a black baby and a white baby and both are malnourished I’m not going to only feed the white baby because it has the same skin color as me, no I’m going to feed both those babies because both lives are precious and we’re all human beings.  That’s what some many people seem to forget, we’re all human beings, our skin color maybe different but a white persons heart can be donated and be placed in a black persons chest and save that persons life, why?  Because we’re all human and we all matter.  And beside focusing on just one group only divides us and we can’t start making things better until we focus on everyone.

Is There Still Racism?

Oh of course there is, but it goes both ways.  whites hating blacks, blacks hating whites, it’s everywhere and that’s part of the problem.  We need to stop hating each other and see that we’re all in this together and that staying divided will only make things worse, and if we ever want to make progress towards ending racism we’re going to have to come together, forgive each other and work together.
The other thing that needs to happen is that people need to start taking responsibility for the actions of the people they are fighting for, blacks need to start the crimes and rioting, whites need to start the violence against blacks, everyone needs to step up and take responsibility for the actions of the people they represent.  So with that I’m introducing a new hashtag:

#StepUpOrStepAside

It’s time to start taking responsibility for not only your own actions but the actions of those you are fighting for, either you Step Up and end the bad behavior or you Step Aside and let someone else in your group do what you are unwilling to do.  If you are unwilling to take action and do something about the problem then you are part of the problem, and it’s time for you to Step Aside and let someone else Step Up and do something about it, by standing in their way you’re just contributing to the problems and slowing progress, so either Step Up Or Step Aside.
For further reading check out my post about Equality

American Sniper

American Sniper is the story of Chris Kyle, and US Navy SEAL Sniper deployed 4 times to Iraq, based on the book of the same name.  The film is an emotional roller coaster, you’ll see the highs and the lows of a warrior, and you’ll see the emotional and physical toll war takes on our warriors.  I’ve seen a lot of controversy surrounding this film and I’d just like to say that the people calling Chris Kyle a murder should also thank him for his service to this country because it’s in the United States that you have the freedom to say those things, no matter how much of a scumbag it makes you.  Look I was against the Iraq war from the beginning, but like it or not the troops were there and Chris Kyle was protecting his fellow warriors, it wasn’t his job to protest the war, his job was to do what the Commander-in-Chief ordered him to do, and that was protect his fellow warriors and take out terrorists.  Is it Hollywood propaganda?  A little.  But it’s also showing you people what warriors go though and tremendous toll it takes on them and their families.  Maybe all those who say this is Hollywood propaganda and glorifies murder should take a second look and actually watch the film and see the real story.
Protest the government, not the troops.

Story

Amazing.  Obviously it’s not going to be able to tell the whole story in just two hours, but what you see is powerful.  The horrible choices his forced to make, the toll those choices take on him, the hardship his family goes though, it’s all enough to make you want to cry.  Knowing it’s true just makes it hit you even harder.

Music

Well there really isn’t any, and I like that.  The fact that there really isn’t any music in this film just heightens the tense feelings and drama.

Acting

Bradly Cooper was fantastic, he dove into this part and really made me believe he was Chris Kyle, he didn’t even look or sound like himself, it was just amazing.  If you watch the making of documentary for American Sniper you’ll see just how much he did to play the part perfectly, his dedication to a single roll is astounding.  Truly I think Bradly Cooper is one of the best actors of this generation.  Sienna Miller was great, he could be snarky and loving and frantic all without taking it to far.  She also impressed me with her level of dedication to her part as you can see in the make of documentary.

Conclusion

A must see film.  Everyone should see this film at least once, and if you don’t get the true story about the toll war takes on the warrior and the family then you need to watch it again and understand what the film is trying to tell you.  This film is not glorifying murder, it’s exposing what war does to the people who fight it and those whom they love.  So rent it, buy it, what ever you do, just see it.  I know it’s been added to my collection.

Goodbye John Stewart

Now that the final episode of The Daily Show with John Stewart has aired I’d just like to say Thank You to John for everything, for making us laugh, for being a voice of sanity, and educating Americans.  The Daily Show will never be the same, and we all will miss you.
jon-stewart-hope-sticker
Oh and one last thing, John you have the worst timing, you leave right as Donald Trump is leading the polls for President.  It’s comedy gold and you’r not going to be there, talk about a national loss!
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 28: Chairman and President of the Trump Organization Donald Trump yells 'you're fired' after speaking to several GOP women's group at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino April 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump has been testing the waters with stops across the nation in recent weeks and has created media waves by questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Oh well, we’ll miss you John, enjoy your time off because we all know you won’t stay idle for to long, and I for one can’t wait to see what you do next.
jon stewart goodbye
Oh and by the way, this is what we’re all hoping your leaving to peruse.
JS4P
Best of luck John, with what ever you choose to do next…please run for President, please run for President, please run for President.

Grudge Match

Grudge Match is a film about a pair of aging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout, 30 years after their last match.  It’s a comedy/sports film that will make you laugh but it’s not a pure comedy.  I really enjoyed this film, I wasn’t laughing throughout the film but when I did laugh I laughed hard.  It’s kind of funny seeing De Niro from Ragging Bull and Stallone from Rocky come together for one more boxing film, only this time it’s two guys you’d never expect to see in the ring.

Story

The story was good and believable, it tugs on the right heart strings and makes you laugh at the right times.  It’s a bit like Rocky, and down and out former boxer gets the chance to prove himself in the ring and still has time to fall in love, and bring his old trainer out of retirement to help him, and in the end fight the high roller other boxer.  The film poke fun at some of the stuff done in the Rocky films and has some cheesy one liners but it holds up and never really get old.

Music

I’m just going to be honest, there isn’t much, so I can’t really say anything here.

Acting

Stallone plays Rocky, he’s just in Pittsburgh this time.  Some people don’t like Stallone but he’s a fine actor and did a fine job here.  De Niro plays the white Apollo Creed, he showboats and taunts but ultimately fights.  Another fine performance from De Niro, he really knows how to sell it.  Kim Basinger plays Adrian, Rocky’s love but this time with a little twist.  Basinger plays it fine, I’ve never been a huge fan of her work but she is fine here.  Alan Arkin plays Mickey, he even has the hearing aid!  Arkin is great, he’s a pervert and a hard ass all at the same time, I love it.  Kevin Hart is Don King, he’s an asshole and the butt of the joke.  Normally I don’t really like Hart but this time he was perfect, he made you hate him while still laughing at him.  Over all the acting was fine, everyone sold their parts and made for an enjoyable watch.

Conclusion

If you haven’t seen Grudge Match I suggest you rent it, it’s worth it.  It’s not going to be the film you want to keep going back to over and over again but you’ll enjoy watching it, you may even enjoy watching it a second time later on.  I’d say give it a shot.