Pain & Gain (2013)

Life has been a huge crazy ride in the last two weeks.  One of the many reasons a lot of plans have been sidetracked but I will get to the theatres one of these days.  I will, in the meantime, I had wanted to watch Mud but I couldn’t take something that seemed so serious and the boyfriend chose Pain and Gain.  We’re both huge The Rock (excuse me, Dwayne Johnson) fans . Let’s check it out!

pain and gain posterDirector: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Michael Rispoli

Daniel Lugo is a bodybuilder and personal trainer who believes that his life deserves more and he is willing to make things happen.  With the help of two other bodybuilders who work at the same gym together, Adrian Doorbal and Paul Doyle, they put together a scheme to kidnap and steal from a rich man, Victor Kershaw.  However, the plan gets out of hand and unexpected turnouts happen.  As they try to put things back to normal, everything gets even worse.  This all comes from one man’s desire to pursue the American Dream.

So, I’m sure after watching this one, being non-American and all, I’m not totally sure if I believe this actually happened, but hey, apparently it did.  I’m not going to go doubt it. Thinking this was a not believable actual story was about the only part where my boyfriend and I agreed with for this one.  Maybe he should have written this because he’d have more positive things to say.

pain and gain guys

I’m not exactly sure if a lot of you love this movie but I’ve read some positive reviews.  I’m not saying I hate this movie.  Its really not all that bad.  I mean, I guessing the all around praise that Michael Bay actually made a movie with like one mini explosion in the past x amount of years.  Point is, maybe more explosions would’ve made me more interested (just maybe).  As much as a lot of people say Transformers was trash, I had fun with the first one.  I almost wanted to buy a ticket to see it a second time at the theatres but I don’t do that because I don’t have that much money to do repeat viewings on movies.  Which is actually rare as I look at his directorial effort and realize thats the only one I’ve liked and seen from him.  So I guess his winning chances with me was limited for this one.  Either way, back to Pain & Gain, as ridiculous as this story was, that was the part that had me interested.  The biggest problem is that this movie could’ve chopped off say at least 30 minutes and I’d probably have appreciated it more.

pain and gain rich guy

The characters portrayal are actually the second thing that my boyfriend and I agreed with and thats where the absurdity comes in because the three bodybuilders/personal trainers are done in a pretty stupid way.  Most of the stuff they do and every part of their plan makes them look dumb to the max, you know, all muscle and no brains.  Yeah, sounds mean but seriously, thats the image I was getting.  The plan only partially worked because they were lucky for a part and then it was kind of obvious that it would fall apart. So, with that said, hats off to Mark Wahlberg for making a convincingly stupid Daniel Lugo with a ongoing pursuit and hopes for his American Dream to come true.  The Rock is always funny to watch in a facepalming, eye-rolling way and “seriously?” They were alright.

pain and gain ed harris

As for the dude they kidnapped, Victor Kershaw played by this dude that I remember seeing here and there playing annoying characters, this time around, he hasn’t changed.  Or maybe I have him confused with someone else but hmm, somehow I haven’t checked out his stuff on IMDB.  Its ok.  Same goes for Rebel Wilson.  Not such a huge fan.  Now, lets jump straight ahead and talk about an actor I totally adore (for his talent) Ed Harris.  He’s awesome in this as well.

Okay, I have nothing to say more about this one.  Its not horrible but oh so very long.  After an hour, it just started getting painful to sit through.  If you enjoy Mark Wahlberg and/or The Rock, maybe you might want to sit through this one.  I’m not going to recommend or not.  You decide for yourself 😉 I can’t decide if I’d willingly sit through this a second time just yet.

What did you think of Pain & Gain? Was it a disappointment? Do you like the “no explosion” side of Michael Bay?

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Following Argo winning best picture at the Oscars last week, I decided to watch this flick.  Ben Affleck‘s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone.  I actually saw this one in the theatres with my best friend when it came out in 2007.  Of course, I didn’t know that Ben Affleck was the director but I was intrigued by the trailer. I know I’m a week late but I’ve been running a bit slow on these reviews and hopefully I’ll catch up soon enough.

gone baby gone posterDirector: Ben Affleck

Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Amy Ryan, John Ashton

This place takes place in where a little girl, Amanda McCreedy has been kidnapped and the police have been trying to find her with all their forces.  This is when the aunt and uncle of Amanda, in desperation, goes to hire a private investigator, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and his partner, Angie (Michelle Monaghan) because they are known to have connections to the criminal side of Boston.  Much to the police’s disapproval, the captain (Morgan Freeman) however still is obliged to assign two officers, Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton). In their investigation, they learn that Amanda’s mother, Helen(Amy Ryan) is involved in a messy situation because of her way of living and people she connects to.  The further they investigate, the more secrets get revealed and it drags them deeper and deeper into a situation that they can’t turn back anymore.  (Did I make that sound really dramatic? But thats how I felt it was..)

This movie is all about the secrets so I had to be really short with the summary so you get an idea but not really spoil this flick if you haven’t seen it.  I’ve seen The Town and I probably won’t end up catching Argo until a few months later when it might *crosses my fingers* drop a bit in price. This is an intriguing suspense drama.

gone baby gone 2

Its packed with awesome performances from the cast.  Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris was amazing as usual.  This is the only movie I’ve seen of Casey Affleck and man, he’s a pretty good actor.  He had me intrigued the whole way, dragged me into every tight situation and carried every intense moment on his shoulders.  Michelle Monaghan looks really familiar, I think she was the chick in Eagle Eye and maybe some other ones that slip my memory.  She was good too although I’d have to say that she didn’t really have much to say in my recollection of it now.  I still think she did pretty decent.  I really need to start digging up some more of Casey Affleck’s roles.  Any recommendations?

gone baby gone 3

This was adapted from a novel (from what I’ve read) with the same name by Dennis Lehane.  It has now been added to my to-read list.  I’m sure that if the movie can be this intriguing, the source material is probably going to be 20 times better.  At least thats the usual case, we’ll see when I get to check it out. The story was just so captivating and mysterious.  The intensity was over the top crazy.  At the end of the movie (for those who know it), it had me and my boyfriend thinking a lot.  We even engaged in a discussion about the ending at 1am  or something, which is not very often that it happens.

gone baby gone 1

I would definitely recommend this movie.  I don’t know if Argo can beat it but this movie ranks higher than The Town to me so far.  The story is suspenseful, the cast is fantastic and it’ll bring you for an unpredictable and intense ride and possibly leave you with a good amount of thinking at the end.  Affleck’s career as a director is one that I respect a lot right now and I hope to see more movies from him that are as great as this one.