Foxcatcher stars Channing Tatum (The Eagle, Step Up, The Vow, GI Joe & many more!), Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble) and Steve Carrell. Look out for appearances by Sienna Miller and Vanessa Redgrave.

A movie focusing on a particular sport is like a sword. It can be very sharp or not strong enough to cut even sponge! It depends mainly on the storyline and what you’re focusing on.

This is a film based on actual happenings; where a wealthy man hires Olympic champions to help train upcoming wrestlers.

Mark Schultz (Channing) needs to find his own way, as people notice his older brother David (Ruffalo) more than him. He can’t seem to get ahead as his brother has already done it! Now an offer from a Mr DuPont (Steve Carrell) might be the lifeline he needs.

So DuPont gives him bed and broad in exchange for training upcoming wrestlers, then Mark gets an offer to join DuPont’s wrestling team.

Mark wants his brother to come, but David declines putting his family first. Mark excels and is soon getting some decent rewards for his labour. However they start dabbling in drugs. Then Dupont reveals his tragic past, his distant mother.

Then Dave arrives as Dupont chases him to join. Poor Mark goes alone and he’s afraid his brother will be more successful again.

And so and so on and so on…

The movie started out well but by the usual sorry tale of maternal unlove and drug use, it was getting a little preachy. I was hoping for an epic drama but alas all I got was a headache. The plot just boxed itself in. Not really giving us a true story worth watching, but more a like a TV drama that concentrates on the negatives.

If this was a true account all I can say is what a very sad tale. But I don’t got to the movies to see Eastenders on the big screen.

Perhaps Channing wanted to do a ‘serious’ film, hopefully that’s the only reason he wanted to do this. Ruffalo probably chose it to stop people shouting out ‘HULK – Smash!’ (Like that’s going to work!)

3/10 from me. Now I’m off to the shops for some retail therapy!

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Film Review: White House Down

White House Down
White House Down stars the amazing Channing Tatum! This film is so outrageous – it’s a thrill ride. Like a rollercoaster on speed, once you’re sat down – you’re in for the whole ride.

What I loved about this movie was that was just pure enjoyment. The action got bigger and the explosions got louder! You can disengage your brain for a while and get lost in what’s on the screen.

The basic plot, of John Cale (Channing) arriving at the White House with his daughter and somehow ending up trying to save the President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) from a gang of terrorists, does not do this film justice.

Cale has been turned down by the secret service before. Big mistake. As he leads a one man fight back against the forces threatening the White House.

It’s not like a Die Hard film, it IS a Die Hard film but without John McClain (John Cale is hardly original!). But despite the similarities and simple plot – this one is an enjoyable ride. It’s not better than Die Hard or the more recent one with Gerard Butler earlier this year – but I’d watch this one again and again.

Channing gives us a likable hero, one easy to root for. Foxx plays the President like an action hero, shooting guns and everything! The terrorists attacking are stereotyped but do the job. Giving something for our hero to shoot at! None of them stood out for me though. But unless the film was about Cale trying to stop radioactive blobs from marauding the White House, there’s gotta be human baddies.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays secret service agent Carol Finnerty, whose having the day from hell was entertaining. Car chases, helicopters blasted into atoms, weapons of mass destruction – it’s all used here to maximum effect.

That’s what makes the film so entertaining, there’s no let up. Although there’s the daughter – there’s no mushy sentiment – in fact she’s rather like Inspector Gadget’s niece with the things she knows and can do. All that was missing was a clever dog. (Come on director there’s Uggie!)

I didn’t feel I was in the cinema for over two hours, which is rare. Even in some of these epics you can kinda feel time moving on. But this action feast just absorbs your concentration! (Whether that’s good or bad – I’ll let you decide!)

I’m was very happy with everything. Which lately I haven‘t experienced. The chemistry between Channing and Foxx was brilliant. They worked really well together and I would like them to do another film like this or something else. It’s so rare two people click so well.

Maybe it’s Channing’s personality? That I had a hero I cared about and was rooting for? Foxx’s savvy action pumping president? Or how things just got so mad?

I don’t know! There’s only one thing I do know – this is getting 9/10 from me!


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Film Review: This is the End

This is the End
This is the End tries very boldly to blend two very different styles together. Mad cap humour meets end of the world. Rather like chalk and cheese and this is the main problem the film has. Most would avoid contrasting themes but this offering ploughs on regardless and things just get lost.

One minute eternal doom and mayhem, followed by laughter then back to the explosions and more mayhem…

Rather like the new Battlestar Galatica – ‘EastEnders in Space’ but in an episode where Apollo would take a happy pill. “The Cylons are coming! We’re all gonna die! Yippee! Let’s ride a Viper! Wheeee!!!” Hmmm…

It was largely an excuse for Seth Rogen, James Franco and others to act stupid and get paid for the privilege. The scriptwriters must have declared a holiday for this picture and left it to the stars themselves to plot. You could see the gags coming a mile off.

Emma Watson, Channing Tatum, Rihanna plus Jason Segel make appearances and that annoying Jonah Hill who seems to be popping up everywhere like those annoying IKEA gnomes! Nearly everyone was trying to get their faces in. No wonder, they were getting paid lots to act stupid! Now why wasn’t this film listed in the job centres?

I remember a show years ago that was a BBC comedy, the first episode featured the death of a character. Hardly laughing material and it was done in a way that was crass and very unfunny. Death might be a funny thing, but it has to be handled correctly.

I hated Dumb and Dumber but that leaps ahead of this effort. But for me I was more disappointed by James Franco. Once again he chooses a vehicle that doesn’t show off his talents. From the greatest film of all ‘Rise of the Apes’ to this??? He is very good but his current choice of roles is pause for concern.

Lacking in any style and plot, it was just a series of mismatched apocalypse style sketch scenes. This might work on programmes such as The Fast Show or The Peep show but as a big film it’s just awful. I was cringing.

Although many will like the silly gags, Rogen’s facial expressions and debauchery. I for one like something solid in my choices. It was a like a rebel without a clue. I’m amazed at some of the positive reviews I’ve read about this. I’m like – say what?

For me, this is one show I would ask for a refund if it were possible. Only 1/10 from me. If I want to see a bunch of people acting stupid I know where I can do that for free!

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Film Review: 21 Jump Street

"Channing Tatum", "Jonah Hill", "comedy", "movie review", "film review"Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have to be one of the most unlikely comedy double acts in recent years. On the one hand you have Tatum, a big screen tough guy who can get away with doing a love story every now and then, and on the other you have Hill, a comedy actor still struggling to make himself comfortable in Hollywood. In 21 Jump Street though, the two blend together with sublime comedy effect.

Hill and Tatum play Schmidt and Jenko, who are partners on the police force. They’re best friends, but when they were at high school it was a very different story. Now the two police officers are given a special assignment to go undercover as high school students to try and bring down a drug ring.

For those of a certain age, 21 Jump Street is actually based on an American TV series from the 80s, which coincidentally launched the career of Johnny Depp. This doesn’t really mean much though, as Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall write a hilarious script that stands up well by itself. In fact it does more than stand up, it runs around screaming like a crazy person. If we’re to look at this film in terms of plotting and structure, then this film is a total mess. But of course this is a comedy so the only question that matters is – is it funny? And the answer is a resounding yes. Hill and Bacall throw gag after gag at the audience at a ridiculously quick rate, so naturally some of them won’t get much of a reaction, but those that do generate a laugh will be well worth the wait.

The big surprise here though is Channing Tatum. Coming into this movie, you would be forgiven for expecting him to look like he’s in too deep, and overacting to try and make a gag work. Tatum actually takes to comedy like a natural, taking it very easy and allowing the material to speak for itself. Hill once again puts in a great comedy performance, and the two together make an unlikely comedic duo.

What’s the most appealing about 21 Jump Street though is its bravery. The high school comedy genre has been used a few times, and even attempting to make something new out of that is commendable. But here we have a film that’s experimenting with the whole idea of creating complete and utter madness, and seeing what happens. Sure, it is a little hit-and-miss at times, and it does lose its way towards the end, but that doesn’t prevent it from being one of the best comedies of the year so far.

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