September 23, 2011, - 5:25 pm
It’s kinda like a three-fer weekend because there’s a fantastic family movie and a so-so movie from Hollywood that actually portrays Muslims for the murderous, anti-Western scum that they are. Yeah, Jason Statham! I knew I liked that dude. And the sports movie starring Palestina Jolie’s wife ain’t bad either. I did not see “Abduction,” starring “Team Jacob” a/k/a the talentless Taylor Lautner because they did not screen it for Detroit-area movie critics. Since they screened even the horrid “Creature” (read my review) for us, you know what that means.
* “Killer Elite“: The best thing about this movie is when Muslims get a hitman to kill an innocent men, and when he confronts them, one of the Muslims responds with a dismissive laugh and says, “Such is allah’s will.” You know that’s how all Muslims think whenever an innocent non-Muslim (or even an innocent Muslim, of which there are very few) is killed. And I’m glad Hollywood is finally letting a movie actually have dialogue in this. Must have snuck past the HAMAS CAIR Action Network censors of all reality and facts. The second best part of this movie is when Clive Owen gives a Muslim sheikh treatment similar to (but more delicious than) the Navy SEALS Team Six treatment for Bin Laden.
Jason Statham and Robert De Niro are elite hitmen who kill for a living. But when Statham almost kills a kid, he decides he’s had enough and retires to the Australian outback. De Niro stays in it . . . for the money, and that’s his downfall. One day, Statham finds a photo of De Niro being held hostage and he must go to the kidnappers to find him.
The kidnappers are a dethroned Muslim sheikh, who is the exiled leader of a Gulf state, and his spoiled son, the prince. The sheikh looks like a cross between the Shoe Bomber and Bin Laden at age 80. The Oman-based sheikh and his son tell Statham that he must kill the three British men from the SAS (Special Air Service) who murdered his three other jihadist sons (in Iraq or Afghanistan or somewhere). If he does that, and provides proof, plus their admissions of killing his sons, then De Niro can go free. If not, well, you know what these Muslim royals do when they don’t get their way from infidels: they slaughter us. Spoiler Alert: in a ripped-from-headlines kind of twist there is a British oil deal connected with all this. Hey, remember the British release of the Lockerbie bomber in exchange for oil deals?
This movie has lots of action and chases, but I didn’t really like the clumsy, herky-jerky story in this movie. It wasn’t tightly written and seemed a little long. Plus a lot of the stunts just weren’t believable. It was also very bloody and violent. And I just wasn’t that into it. Even the reality check on Muslims wasn’t enough to make it a good movie. It was just okay.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Dolphin Tale“: Aside from the presence of TrAshley “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Judd, this is a great movie for family viewing. Great for kids, great for your whole family, and the adults will like it, too. I enjoyed it. And it’s also patriotic, with a military element. It’s based on the true story of the dolphin that got the prosthetic fin, when its real fin had to be amputated due to injuries.
A young boy who is shy and introverted sees a beached dolphin, caught in a crab trap, on his way to summer school. He tries to help the dolphin and the whale responds with affinity. After the dolphin is rescued by the local non-profit marine hospital, he visits the dolphin and develops a relationship with it (this is strictly platonic, G-rated stuff) and becomes friendly with the young daughter of the marine biologist (Harry Connick, Jr.) who is trying to help nurse the dolphin back to health. The formerly introverted boy comes alive in this setting. But the ailing dolphin’s tail must be amputated, and the marine hospital is struggling financially. After a hurricane, it’s unlikely the hospital will remain open, and no institutions want an amputee dolphin.
Meanwhile, the young boy’s cousin, a state swimming champ and Army soldier, is wounded in Iraq (or Afghanistan–can’t remember which). The young boy visits the military hospital, meets a doctor (Morgan Freeman) who specializes in prosthetics for soldiers, and the wheels start turning.
The movie is far more charming than can be conveyed in this brief review. It’s wholesome, cute, and very entertaining. If I had one problem with it, it’s that, per usual, the kid has an absentee “bad dad.” We’re told that the boy’s dad just left one day when he was young and they never heard from him again. “He doesn’t call, he doesn’t write,” the boy says. Since this is based on a true story, I wonder what actually happened to the real-life boy’s dad.
Also, in real life, the doctors (plural) who saved the whale by getting the prosthetic tale were two White doctors, that were combined into one Black guy in the movie. Yes, at the end, they show photos of the doctors, and I noticed they are obviously White. Racial politics? Probably. That’s Hollywood.
But other than that, it’s fine and enjoyable.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Moneyball“: Even though I loathe Brad Pitt a/k/a Angelina Jolie’s trophy wife and find baseball to be almost as boring as curling, this was still a decent movie, though a little long and slow. Jonah Hill a/k/a Jonah Hill Feldstein was the best part of it. Even when he’s not supposed to be funny, he’s funny. The absolute best dialogue in the movie is at the beginning, when a baseball scout for the Oakland A’s voices his opposition to the drafting of a particular player because the player’s girlfriend is ugly (“only a 6”), and that shows the player has no confidence. The movie is based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis.
It’s the early 2000’s, as the Oakland As lost the World Series, and all of their great players have signed for bigger money elsewhere. Pitt is Billy Beane, a former teen baseball phenom who chose the money over a scholarship at Stanford and didn’t make it in Major League Baseball. He became a scout for the As and is now general manager of the team. With a smaller budget of only a few tens of millions, there is no way the As can compete with rich teams like the New York Yankees until . . . until Beane meets Peter Brand (Hill), who is an employee of another team and has an economics degree from Yale.
Beane hires Brand away and makes him assistant general manager of the As, where the two of them put together a team of underrated (and, thus, low-paid) players with proven records of getting on base through walks and other non-hit methods. It’s known as “sabremetrics,” even though I can’t remember hearing that term once in the movie, and it’s based solely on statistics, complicated mathematical formulas, and computer number-crunching. Beane has to fight a recalcitrant scouting and coaching staff as he puts into play this new method. Will it work? Will Beane win the World Series with the As? Google it, read the book, or see the movie. Your pick. Or, you can read this column, “The ‘Moneyball’ Myth,” by the Wall Street Journal’s Allen Barra, which says it’s not true.
I could have done without the part at the end, in which Beane’s young daughter (he is divorced) sings to him that he’s a loser. But I guess he is, because–Spoiler Alert–after all this, he turned down a $12.5 million to become GM of the Boston Red Sox.
Enjoyable and entertaining even if you don’t like sports. It’s no “The Natural, ” but good enough.
Watch the trailer . . .