Tag Archive: Harrison Ford

Movie Review: 42

fortytwocbfordThe true story of Jackie Robinson’s(Chadwick Boseman) first season as a professional baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers. His road wasn’t easy, even though he was a good player, the game of baseball was stuck in the old ways of segregation, a lot of the country hadn’t progressed and he faced a lot of hateful language and death threats. With the help of owner Branch Rickey(Harrison Ford) he was able to break though and wear the Dodger blue.

The story of Jackie Robinson is probably the best in sports, he is true American idol. Being the first African American in baseball was huge not only for the sport but for the country. Racism is frankly pointless and many during that time period were doing it solely because that’s “how they were raised”. The story was seen on the big screen before in the 1950’s where Robinson played himself, the movie was really bad though. This film is a much better approach to the topic and story. The films one real problem is that it so wants to be a classic the movie is filmed in an old school way. This should have been done a little differently. The film should have an edge, like the film Moneyball which to me is one of the best sports films in the last two decades.

42 works because of the two leads, Boseman and Ford are fantastic and when they are on screen together it’s fantastic. The films biggest issue is the pacing, when the film dives into baseball and Robinson of the field it’s fun and intense. One scene where a racist ball club manager vocally taunts him while he’s batting is so hard to watch you’ll find yourself wincing. Yet off the field the movie doesn’t work. We follow Robinson’s life with his wife, but there is never really any problems and they just love each other, that is awesome but we don’t need them together every other scene to push this across to the audience.

If you have kids, take them to this film, it’s a good history lesson. If you love baseball you should really see this movie, like I said the scenes in the ball park are fantastic. I just wish there wasn’t this idea of making the movie some sort of timely “classic”, everything feels old school, the soundtrack to the way it’s filmed. The movie never takes risks visually which doesn’t help, 42 feels very long, I wouldn’t be surprised if many people glance at their watch or cell phone during the movie.

This is a by the books sports film, the story is so special that families should go see it. If you’re a baseball fan this is a must but average movie goers might find this film a little bland and slow. One thing is for sure I do want to get to the ball park and see a game!

Rating: 6/10

A cowboy(Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert. No memory of where he came from or what his name is. All he has is a picture of a women he knows is important to him and a large metal bracelet attached to his arm. From there he finds a small town where his past catches up to him. He meets a gun slingling woman(Olivia Wilde) and gets mixed in with a local rancher (Harrison Ford). He quickly finds out he is a wanted man. Before things can go down old west style, aliens show up, snatch up several people and leave. Everyone must band together and track down the aliens to rescue those who have been taken.

So you read the title and automatically roll your eyes, but once you get past that this movie is frankly something very special. It basically plays with an idea everyone always mentions: “Why didn’t aliens ever invade us in the past?”. Well they play with a lot of great ideas here. First off it is a great Western. Craig’s character is just an amazing bad ass and you can’t help but smile at how old school the movie feels. We get heroes who are tough guys, not afraid to shoot their way out of a bad spot. The movie tosses a lot of character at us and it kind of can get over whelming. Director Jon Favreau who brought us Iron Man 1 and 2 just has a very smooth style. The action feels old school but always keeps us on our toes. Every scene in this movie plays up what makes Westerns great but also making us miss the good old days of adventure films.

Now the aliens are kind of been there done that. They are giant reptilian things with ships that remind us of other ships. The cool thing here though since we’re dealing with the wild west is how the aliens work with it. The use high tech wires to snatch people up which is great. We also find out that simply the aliens are here for gold. This might give you pause but then you just realize that in the old west everyone is out there for gold… So why not the aliens?

The final battle is a little but of a mess, still there are some great moments mixed in and I dug the concept of how the Native Americans got involved. Usually in a film like this they would be throw away characters, here they are actually a key piece to facing off with the aliens. I’d go on with the review but I don’t want to ruin some of the fun. This movie amazingly avoids being campy which I think people should find a miracle. It’s a layered story that is a blast, most of the jokes work, the action is solid. To sum it up Cowboys and Aliens is everything a summer movie should be and you really shouldn’t miss it.

Rating: 8/10

Movie Review: Morning Glory

The plot of this film follows Becky(brilliant Rachel McAdams), a young, decently high strung TV news producer, is hired to bring back to life a dying morning news show called Day Break. In trying to regain viewers ┬áBecky talks a snobby veteran news anchor, Mike Pomeroy(Harrison Ford), who once joining the team slows it down by not doing any of the bits they set up. He clashes with long time host Colleen Peck(Diane Keaton) who simply hates the fact she’s still on the program that is about to be replaced by old game shows. Becky tries to balance her new job with a relationship with a colleague even though her schedule is designed for her not to have a life.

The first scene of this movie really sets a tone that I love. We open on McAdams on a blind date where she ignores her date and focuses mainly on her phone. The movie is really about life choices, do you choose work, or your life? Problem is Morning Glory didn’t really know how to balance the other plot lines in the film. Still even when the film falls off balance McAdams sets things straight. Her adorable yet high strung character is just too likable. The film simply has too much on it’s plate and went through some obvious editing issues. Still the film is just very charming and witty, and never in this film do you find yourself bored. Sure there is a romance side plot but the film never allows you to get bored by the basic love story and moves on from it. This movie isn’t about the girl getting the guy, she gets him, the key is for her to hold on to him and her own sanity. Becky’s arch isn’t complicated but it works and McAdams is just too likable that you find yourself rooting for her the entire time.

The return of Harrison Ford here is very nice. Sadly as he’s aged he’s had to take on the role of “the grumpy” old man. Still he lands his lines in a way that you can’t help but laugh. I mean the guy is freaking Han Solo and you love him. His character is savior of the morning show but also the main reason behind Becky falling apart. Pomeroy is obsessed with bringing people real news and avoids doing fluff at any cost. The scenes with him and McAdams alone are so charming and it’s what keeps the movie going. There are minor problems throughout the film, the pacing if just off, and a lot of the jokes are not that funny. Patrick Wilson plays McAdams love interest and truthfully I didn’t get any connection between them. I kept waiting for another sub plot about him cheating on her to pop up, it never did but the romance between the two characters just felt off. Still the real story here is McAdams and too me this film proves she could easily be the next Julia Roberts, as long as she keeps getting the right roles. She was brilliant in The Notebook and Sherlock Holmes so I hope she continues down this road. As a commentary on television news Morning Glory doesn’t add much, the world they live in is fake. Sure morning shows have stupid bits but the film makes it seem that morning news is trying to destroy real news. I don’t actually think that is happening in the real world. Sure is American news horrible and focuses on the wrong stories? Hell yes it is, if you want real news watch BBC news. You want a very well done comedy with some very charming leads? Watch Morning Glory.

Rating: 7/10