Tag Archives: Sam Rockwell

Iron Man 3 Trailer

Here it is, the first full-length trailer of Iron Man 3! I have to say, it automatically has a much darker feel than the other two films — which I’m a huge fan of. This one plays off of last summer’s smash blockbuster, “Avengers,” which  was very fun. At the end of that film, Iron Man goes through a hole to another world. In this, we see that’s it has changed him. And, of course, this is the first appearance of his great comic book enemy, The Mandarin, played by Academy Award-winner Ben Kingsley. This film has massive promise.


Convinced that her brother, Kenneth (Sam Rockwell), has been unjustly convicted of murder and incompetently defended by court-ordered attorneys, high school dropout Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) puts herself through law school in order to represent him in his appeal. Inspired by a true story, director Tony Goldwyn’s stirring drama also stars Melissa Leo, Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher and Clea DuVall.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This is the kind of story that is too good for a writer to make up. I loved the idea of a sister being hell-bound to prove the innocence of her brother after he was sentenced to life in prison.

The director, Tony Goldwyn, weaves a nice story, telling both the back story of the brother, the sister, and their childhood. We also get the narrative of the present, as the sister uncovers the mystery of proving her brother’s innocence. I was glued to the story and never bored. It never felt long or drawn out, despite the many legal hurdles they the siblings face throughout.

The performances in this film are excellent. Rockwell and Swank deliver memorable roles. This is a really well made film that didn’t get a lot of love. It should have.

Cowboys and Aliens trailer


Here’s the first peak at “Cowboys and Aliens,” Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s graphic novel series that is making its way to the big screen next summer through the lens of director Jon Favreau. The story features amnesiac gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), who stumbles into the Wild West town of Absolution where he’s confronted by potent enemy Col. Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and a terrifying problem: invading aliens. Aided by the lovely Ella (Olivia Wilde), Jake rallies a posse of the townspeople, Dolarhyde’s minions and local Apache warriors to fight off the extraterrestrial threat. It’s a story of enemies coming together to fight a common enemy.

Favreau has more than proven himself as a director of action-based comic book movies with “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.”   Heck, I even like “Elf.” As he did with the Iron Man series, Favreau has another stellar cast with Craig, Ford, Wild, and Keith Carradine, who was great in TV’s “Dexter” and the film “Peacock.” Carradine plays the town sheriff in this picture.  

We’ve had a string of crummy, forgettable summer action movies — from “The Expendables” to “ The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” “Clash of the Titans” the Transformers films, and the list goes on. Favreau hasn’t steered us wrong yet with an action movie, so I have faith this is going to be one of the best popcorn movies to see next summer. 


With his mother (Anjelica Huston) suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, medical school dropout Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) concocts a plan to pay her hospital bills: At restaurants, he feigns choking, waits to be rescued and later hits up his saviors for money. When he’s not scamming unsuspecting diners, Victor — who’s also a sex addict — attends 12-step meetings where he routinely ducks out to boff the equally randy Nico (Paz de la Huerta). He works as a Colonial America reenactor, finds out he could be the kin of Jesus, all while trying to find himself against some pretty absurd obstacles. Based on the novel “Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk, the writer of “Fight Club.” Clark Gregg, a longtime actor, makes his directorial debut in this film.

Rating: 8 out of 10

I was a huge fan of Palahnuik’s book by the same name. It’s one of the best I’ve read in recent years, and Gregg pays good homage to it while giving his own take on the source material.

It’s an absurd character — a guy who is a sex addict who thinks he could be the son of Jesus Christ and fakes choking in restaurants because someone will save him which makes him feel alive and he scams the people who save him for money. He’s a total bastard, but I think sometimes the best antagonists often are. Huston is sharp as his mother, a woman who has lost her memory and mind but was once a wild “artist” who would often kidnap her son from foster care and take him on trips to steal cars.

As a viewer, we have mixed feeling. Victor is a real son-of-a bitch, but he’s working hard to take care of his sick mother who has no idea who he is. He visits her while she complains that he never visits. It’s a frustration many of us have faced when we had a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. Good characters are like people, there are contradictions and character traits that push us away and keep us close. Sam Rockwell is spot on in this role, and Gregg delivers a smart, sophisticated drama that knows when to take a step back and have a sense of humor.

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Top 5 underrated actors


There are a lot of great actors that are worth the hype – Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro or Philip Seymour Hoffman. There are also some guys that are overhyped, like Tom Cruise. But this list is for the unsung actors who sometimes get accolades but not enough love. So here is some just-due love for five of our favorite unheralded actors.

5. Viggo Mortenson: Performance after performance, this guy delivers the goods and yet is very rarely talked about amongst the industries’ best. If you watch “History of Violence,” “The Road,” or “Eastern Promises,” he gets better and better with each film he does.

Here’s a nice clip from Mortenson’s Oscar-nominated roll in “Eastern Promises”

4. Alec Baldwin: He has never delivered a bad performance and is just as adept at comedy as he is at drama. If he hadn’t been such a pain in the ass to work with throughout his career he could have been one of the biggest stars ever. If you doubt his abilities, I recommend watching him in “The Cooler” or any of the times he hosted Saturday Night Live, or from his recent series 30 Rock.

Here’s a great clip of Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross”

3. Sam Rockwell: The epitomy of the great actor that no one mentions among the best. He can play characters, he can do comedy, and he can carry the leading role. His skills were most on display in “Moon,” “Iron Man 2,” and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”

Even in small roles, Rockwell steals the scene

2. Joaquin Phoenix: Before he went insane and started a career as a rapper, Joaquin Phoenix was becoming one of the great actors today. I felt he should have won the Oscar for “Walk the Line” and he was best performance in “Gladiator” despite Russell Crowe getting the statue. and in “Two Lovers” he anchored the entire film. I hope he gets his brain back and starts acting again because he’s a true talent.

Here’s a clip of Phoenix talking about learning to sing for “Walk the Line”

1. Tim Roth: This guy is a genius who is always believable no matter what the role is. He can do any style of film with any form of character and nail the performance time and time again. He’s played heroes, villains, bellhops, an ape, and other varied roles. He also handles the physical elements of acting roles in “The Incredible Hulk” and “Rob Roy.” Currently, he’s on the show Lie to Me and excels as usual. A truly gifted actor.

Roth freaks out in “Four Rooms”

Roth in the opening scene of “Resevoir Dogs”

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Gentlemen Broncos

Hoping that his novel brings him fame and fortune, high school loner Benjamin Purvis (Michael Angarano) attends a fantasy writers conference and later discovers that his masterwork has been plagiarized by an iconic author (Jemaine Clement, “Flight of the Conchords”). Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2, Matchstick Men), Jennifer Coolidge and Mike White also star in this quirky comedy from co-writer-director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre).

7 out of 10

You have to be patient to appreciate Jared Hess. The jokes are non-stop, but they’re not the kind that make you roll on the floor every second. They more make you chuckle to yourself or smile. It’s subtle but delightful. Hess makes character pictures, and while this one is not as good as 2004’s “Napoleon Dynamite,” it certainly is a fun, entertaining movie.

There are very strange but funny vignettes  where we are taken into the book Benjamin is writing about aliens removing a man’s testicles, killer deer who fly and shoot missiles and eat yeast that make them fly. Oddly enough, it works. Benjamin is a tightly wound boy with an overtly odd mother who designs insane clothing. His escape from life is his fantasy writing. When he crosses paths with his hero, Dr. Ronald Chevalier, the man who ultimately steals his work, the story takes off nicely. Clement owns this role and brings a straight-faced delivery that made me roll laughing. He made the movie, as did Rockwell.

But, like I said, the gut-busting laughs are few and far between in Hess films, but everything in between — the character development, fantasy and side characters — are like the strawberry and vanilla in Neapolitan ice cream. You’ve got to get through them until you get to the chocolate, but it’s still enjoyable.

Iron Man 2

With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, must forge new alliances — and confront powerful enemies.

Rating 9 out of 10

Tony Stark is delightfully unlikable.

He’s the rich kid with all the toys, whose so full of himself it’s amazing he didn’t spend his money and time making clones of himself rather than inventing a suit to help save humanity from war and poverty.

We see Stark as a more flawed character in this film. He’s more arrogant, more brash, and yet he’s weak. His suit is literally poisoning him, and he’s secretly trying to find the cure. He’s also botching things up badly with his love interest, Pepper Pots, and his enemy, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), is more powerful and dangerous than anything he’s faced. His business is also on the firing line as he faces serious competition from his rival (Sam Rockwell). His best friend Rhodes is also upset with him. Stark’s life is going to pot.

This movie develops Stark and the surrounding characters deeper than the first, which was forced to have an origin story. I walked out of the theater saying this movie was just as good as the first, which I gave a nine. The critics are off on this one, which have been giving it mediocre reviews.

Rating: 8 out of 10

I was sitting in the movie theater watching this film and saying to myself, “Why do I have this perma-grin when I watch an Iron Man film?”  Is it Favreu’s frenetic direction that never takes a front seat to the characters?  Is it Robert Downey Jr’s note perfect performance of the most likeable egomaniac of all time?  Is it the incredible ILM special effects that look better than ever?  It’s all of the above.

This is what a super hero sequel should be.  New characters, new challenges, and an upped ante of special effects with a more compelling villain than the first.  Speaking of the villain, there is not a better actor working today than Mickey Rourke and it’s so good to have him back.  Here he plays Ivan Vanko, the son of the man who invented the technology that keeps Tony Stark alive and he’s none too happy about the fortune and fame it has given him.  I could go on and on about the S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot, Tony’s challenges with not only his best friend but alcoholism, and the absolutely stunning Scarlett Johansson but I’ll just sum it up by saying:  Go See this movie! Is it as good as the first? No, but it’s damn close.

Top 5 reasons 3D sucks

3D films were first showed on mass scale in the 50’s, and come back every now and again, but usually to crappy movies that need a selling point, for example “Jaws 3-D” and this year’s “Clash of the Titans.”

Other movies like “Alice in Wonderland” and “How To Train Your Dragon” and most successfully, “Avatar,” joined a group of 3D films that have made up 33 percent of this year’s domestic movie gross, according to the The International 3D Society, and at one point were #1 at the box office 10 out of 14 weeks into 2010. The society also reports that opening weekend 3D ticket revenues are outpacing 2D ticket sales by margins of 2 to 1. The report states that Alice in Wonderland generated over $81 million dollars, or 70 percent of its opening weekend gross revenues, on 3D screens against $34 million in 2D domestic ticket revenue.

And we’re just baffled by it.

Here’s Matt and Brian’s top reasons that 3D is an overused, poor-quality medium.

5. Wearing glasses over glasses: We know this may sound silly, but as two people who wear glasses, it’s really annoying to have another pair of glasses over your glasses. They don’t fit over them well, bouncing around on your ears because the don’t fit well with the glasses that are already gripping your head. And having another set of glasses resting on your nose is uncomfortable. Plus, you have another layer of glass between your eyes and the 3-D glasses, so it skews the experience.

4. The cost: Depending on the theater you go to, it can cost an extra $5 to see a 3D movie. That’s just crap. The old cardboard ones worked fine, they were cheap, but more comfortable and you didn’t feel guilty about throwing them away. I can’t see why the theaters don’t just recycle the glasses, handing them off to the next audience after a cleaning. The films don’t take any special equipment, so there’s no added cost to them there. To me, this just wreaks of film studios trying to wring a few extra bucks out of crappy movies.

3. Headaches: This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens to Brian and lots of other folks. Why go to a movie if it just makes you feel crappy?

2. Poor quality:Avatar’s 3D was well done, and the list stops there. I’ve yet to see another 3D film that 1. was worth a shit and 2. was improved in any way from being in 2D. A lot of these movies have nothing added by the 3D, and we’re guessing a lot of them weren’t shot for 3D, but only to be later made 3D. “Clash of the Titans” had nothing added to it. Once and a while a pillar was in the forefront of the picture… Wow… a pillar. It’s like I’m really standing on Mount Olympus, surrounded by crappy acting and corny dialogue.

1. The movies suck:We know, we know. “Avatar,” which we had mixed reviews on, was pretty good. It was a solid movie with amazing special effects and it looked great on 3D.

But here’s a few examples of movies due out this year in 3D that will suck: “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D” “Cats & Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore” “Friday the 13th Part 2 in 3D” “Piranha 3-D” “Jackass 3D” “Saw VII” and “Yogi Bear.”

This is a trendy medium that studios are leaning on to bring in some extra bucks during a tough economy, and we can’t wait for the trend to die.