Open Range (2003)
One Line Description: Two cattlemen battle local corruption in the 1890s.
Officially the 3rd (and latest) movie in Kevin Costner’s directorial filmography. Costner also stars alongside Robert Duvall and Annette Bening. I have enjoyed recent cowboy movies, specifically the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma, which was tremendous. This movie was nowhere near as good. Duvall is good as always, and Costner is pretty OK. But the real problem is that this move is over 2.5 hours and is just too long. It drags a lot at points, and overall was pretty average. The best part was the gun battle near the end, which is exciting and fun. Other than that, this movie was pretty disappointing.
This Is 40 (2012)
One Line Description: A married couple battles reality as they both turn 40.
Judd Apatow brings this Knocked Up spin-off to the big screen. I thoroughly enjoyed the original and had high expectations for this one, but it ended up being a bit of a letdown. Everything I read about it being too long (it clocks in over two hours) were accurate, and it would have been much better had it ended 15 minutes sooner. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann are solid, and Mann and Apatow’s real life children are charming. Albert Brooks and John Lithgow felt like they were just cashing paychecks, and the movie jut wasn’t as funny as it should have been.
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
One Line Description: An existential detective tries to help man figure out what his life means.
I haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook or The Fighter, so the only David O. Russell experience I have is with Three Kings which I thoroughly enjoyed. This one, not so much. I was pretty sure it was a weird one, but I had no idea how weird. Jason Scwartzmann is very hit or miss for me, and other than Mark Wahlberg this cast doesn’t do it for me. I also just don’t like movies that are kind of “out there” the way this one is. Probably won’t watch this one again.
The Sitter (2011)
One Line Description: A night of babysitting gets out of control for a burnout.
Never heard of this one until I kept stumbling across it on the guide. Jonah Hill stars at the title character so I didn’t really understand why I had never heard of it, until I watched it. When I saw Sam Rockwell and J.B. Smoove in the opening credits I fully assumed this was a hidden gem. But rather, it’s only of the worst 81 minutes I have ever spent. And, yes, it’s under 1.5 hours with credits. I have nothing more to say other than, don’t see this movie.
Too Big To Fail (2011)
One Line Description: The story of the 2008 financial crisis and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s quest to prevent it from bringing down the United States.
Tremendous movie. The cast is literally a non-stop turnstile of recognizable faces. James Woods, William Hurt, Topher Grace, Cynthia Nixon, Ed Asner, Paul Giamatti, Billy Crudup, Bill Pullman, Tony Shalhoub and others. Unquestionable a Hollywooded up version of real events, this movie likely gave a lot of people the most complete look of how bad things were. Similar to a movie like Argo, some of the suspense is removed based on the fact that we know the outcome before it ends, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great and interesting movie. I would love to know the history of why this movie didn’t go to theaters because it certainly seemed like it would have put butts in seats. Obvious people with certain political feelings might dislike this, but I think most Americans would find this moving intriguing.