This week at the movies

Bowling, Gambling, MLB, Nostalga, Patriotism, Soccer, Television, Movies

Being a gentleman of ample carriage, I am not a big fan of 90+ degree days.  That said, we really didn't do a lot the past week while temperatures exceeded 100 degrees (Side note; this was a bad time for excessive temperatures, as I love the patriotic activities of Independence Day).  Couch potatoing gave me ample time to attend and/or watch a bunch of movies from home.

Right as Summerfest started, (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Daughter, Gooey, said that she had won some free tickets from a radio station, and asked me to pick them up from the station after work.  When I walked into the office, the receptionist was finalizing another ticket winner (and assuming she won Summerfest tickets, too) I exclaimed "I'll have what she's having".  The receptionist mentioned the lady had won movie tickets, and I said that personally, I'd rather have movie tickets than Summerfest.  She chuckled, went into the other room to get the Summerfest tickets, and said that she appreciated my humor, and gave me a sneak preview pass.

The movie was Savages and the sneak preview was Monday.  Thus started a week full of movies..

S.A. Vegas - (Side note; Despite the actual name of the movie, it looks like Vegas in the title, and it would have been WAY better if it was set in Las Vegas, so it has been redubbed.)  The movie wasn't bad, if you like Oliver Stone movies.  I get his movies, but sometimes the over-the-topness is distracting.  Being over the top was what made Natural Born Killers, but a lot of it was unnecessary in this movie (Side note; That being said, I don't know if the violence was unrealistic or not, as I haven't [yet] grown the perfect weed in California then rejected an overture from the Mexican cartel to become partners).  The plot itself was OK, but at 2:10 it was about 20 minutes too long and a lot of the love triangle and double-ending could have been eliminated to shorten the movie.  On a scale of 1 to 4 Soccer-Bowling balls, S.A. Vegas gets 2 Soccer-Bowling balls.

The Artist - Friday evening, still wilting with temperatures in the high 90s but going stir crazy (Side note; We didn't get the opportunity to see that movie) so we took the opportunity to head to the Budget Cinema to see this 2012 Best Picture winner.  I liked that it was a silent movie (Side note; We didn't get the opportunity to see that movie, either), though My-Sugar-Na was not as impressed.  I thought the score was a little too loud in parts, and I would have expected more of a 1920s era score instead of a current one.  Also, I think they spent a little too much time showing George Valentin (played by 2012 Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin) in his melancholy, but overall I had a very enjoyable evening.  3 Soccer-Bowling balls.

Major League - I love this movie.  Not only the scenes of Milwaukee County Stadium in its magnificent glory, but similar to a Simpsons, there are just so many quotable lines.  From Pete Vukovich's Clu Haywood saying "How's your wife and my kids?" to manager Lou Brown's "Ricky, Give 'em the heater" and Eddie Harris telling Pedro Cerrano "You trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?"  This movie, like The Hangover and Mamma Mia, I could almost watch it every time it is on HBO.  It was a great way to start a Saturday morning. 3-1/2 Soccer-Bowling balls.

What to Expect When You're Expecting - Back to the Budget Cinema for another afternoon of cheap entertainment with a second run movie.  This is mostly a chick flick (despite the appearance of Chris Rock) but I was with Gooey, and she is like a chick...  Anyway, you had all possible combinations of pregnancy (planned, accident, one night hook-up, adoption, osmosis) and all possible outcomes (miscarriage, twins, complications, delivery by sneeze) without any of it being too morbid.  Actually, in the Quality of Movie Department, the Dudes Group led by Chris Rock was a subplot that could have been cut without damaging the film (though doing that would make the movie about 46 minutes long).  Still, there have been worse expenditures of $2, like that one time I had to bail the Devil Incarnate out of jail2-1/4 Soccer-Bowling balls.

The Big Year - I had never heard of this movie before Saturday night, but although the heat wave had broken, we were still in bunker mode and looking for something to kill a couple of hours.  This is a movie with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as bird watchers, all going for the title of who can spot the most species of birds in a calendar year.  Steve Martin has changed up his career to be that grandfatherly old man (and not nearly as well as how Robin Williams became a regular creepy character).  Jack Black kind of annoys me, and Owen Wilson will forever be Hutch singing Don't Give Up on Us, Baby.  But I figure the three of those actors wouldn't put out a bad movie, right?  Well, define bad.  It had no real comedy, no reason to care about any of the actors, kind of silly situations to put the birders off course, and although bowling and soccer can be considered niche sports to some, after all, it is bird watching.  I would have been disappointed to pay theater money for this.  1-1/2 Soccer-Bowling balls.

Eight Men Out - "I'll take Late 80s Baseball Movies for $200, Alex".  Of the four that came out in a two-year span, this one was by far my favorite.  Not only because it nailed 1919-20 on the head, but because of the story of the Black Sox... the conspiracy that gamblers Bill Burns and Billy Maharg dream up, pitches to Abe Attell (Arnold Rothstein's "ears") and when Rothstein declines then Attell steals his money to do it himself. Meanwhile, Roy DeSoto living in Boston also wants Rothstein's money to bankroll the fix, and when Rothstein does, Roy steals his money, too.  All the double crossing - which includes most of the players not actually getting paid for the fix - makes this the type of Law and Order episode you need to watch four or five times to understand.  And I do - with pleasure - each time it is on.  4 Soccer-Bowling balls.

Hopefully winter will come soon... I'd like to do something other than listen to the air conditioner hum.

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