Archive for October, 2012

Winnebago Man

Six years ago, a man named Jack Rebney became an internet phenomenon for his infamous outtakes from a Winnebago promotional video from the 80s. Director Ben Steinbauer wants to track down the famous (infamous?) salesman to find out what has happened to him, but runs into a series of walls. Eventually, with the help of a private detective, Steinbauer is able to contact and setup an interview with a man the internet has proclaimed “the angriest man in the world” in his remote home in the woods in California. At first, Rebney is very calm and polite and claims to have no care in the world for his popularity on the internet.

Upon returning home, Steinbauer receives a phone call from Rebney admitting that he had been a phony in their first encounter and was really upset about the video. Steinbauer again goes to visit Rebney who recently has become blind.

Rebney is the single most cantankerous person I’ve ever seen. He uses the f-word like Picasso uses the paint brush. Yet, despite his prickly personality, there is something genuinely sweet about this crazy old man. Besides that, the scratchy 80s video that the film is based upon is side-splitting.

The film is, for the most part, well made. There are a few questions that are left open. There are areas that are left untouched – I’m not sure if this is because Rebney wasn’t cooperative or because they weren’t asked. There are a few interesting tangents involving how viral videos have made life miserable for other internet celebrities. I think a more interesting movie would have been to have a few different subjects with the shared storyline of the downsides to becoming an internet icon. Overall, though, if you can get beyond the foul language, it’s a movie that will make you laugh and is definitely worth a peek.


out of 10


10 2012

Retro Review – The Evil Dead

This review originally appeared on on February 26, 2004

“We can’t bury Cheryl. She’s our friend.”

If you looked in Webster’s dictionary under the term “cult classic,” chances are you would find (or at least should) find at least one reference to the Evil Dead trilogy. Filmed in 1979, The Evil Dead is one of the first movies to combine the genre of comedy and horror. If you’re a fan of the original Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elmstreet, or Halloween movies, do yourself a favor and skip the rest of this review and head on down to the video store right now.
The first thing that must be mentioned about Evil Dead is the “look” of the movie. While it’s hard to explain, there are many shots, camera angles, and other low budget special effects that are rather fresh looking 25 years after the movie was first shot.
The plotline to this movie is rather cheesy, but that should almost be a given when you think about the genre it comes from(80’s horror…) Anyways, five friends go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. While there, Ash (played by cult classic icon Bruce Campbell) finds the book of the dead and a tape recorder. When playing back a recording by the professor who used to live in the cabin, they awaken the “evil forces in the woods.” One by one, the teens start being turned into zombies known to followers of the movies as “deadites.” Eventually, it is learned that the only way to truly kill one of these deadites is by complete body dismemberment.
Which brings me to my next point… this is definitely one of the bloodiest and goriest movies that I’ve ever seen. While it’s not done in a realistic style a la Saving Private Ryan, it still is either really gross or really funny, depending on what way you look at it.
If you take Evil Dead for what it is, it’s a really enjoyable movie. While Bruce Campbell is never going to nominated for a lifetime achievement award by the Academy, he does a good job of playing the hero Ash. It’s a fun movie to throw in with your friends at 2:00 in the morning. Definitely give this one a chance… especially if you are a horror fan.

Video & Sound
It was shot in 1979 and it was on a tight budget even then, so you know it’s not gonna look prestine. In some ways, though, the old look almost adds to the feeling of the movie. There are a couple short clips that look especially bad, but as a whole, the video is watchable. Definitely not something you’d put in to show off your new hi def tv to your friends, but it works. Surprisingly, the audio is very good especially when you consider it has a Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby 2.0, French Dolby 2.0, and two commentary tracks. While it obviously wasn’t shot in 5.1 surround, it has been remastered mastefully (hehe).

The most important extras on this DVD are the two commentaries. The first, with director Sam Raimi and producer Rober Tapert, provides quite a bit of background information as to how the movie was shot, where it was shot, what was going on the day of the shoot, who was smoking wacky weed while shooting a particular scene… it’s pretty entertaining and worth a listen. As is often the case, I think the commentaries to low budget movies are the most interesting to listen to some of the shortcuts they had to take. The second commentary features Bruce Campbell who also is quite interesting. He has a few interesting stories about both the making of this film and also how being a bit of a cult icon has affected his career. One interesting story he had was about someone who got a piece of the rock from the cabin which he signed at a film convention. I prefer the Bruce Campbell track myself, but both are worthy of a listen.
Also included on the disc are 18-minutes of behind the scenes footage and outtakes. Many of these are funny and while they won’t add much to the film watching experience, they are at least good for a laugh.
Also included on the disc is a 26 minute featurette about Bruce Campbell. Being that he is a cult hero, many of his fans are a tad bit on the extreme side (think… kinda like Trekkies). His interactions with fans are hilarious as a few of them are a bit akward and a bit too exciting to meet them (think… kinda freaky). It also is nice to see him away from the spotlight because it shows a totally different light. If you’re a fan of the movie, I think this is a must see.

Closing words…
While it’s not the scariest movie I’ve ever seen, it’s a good flick. If you are looking for the version of the dvd that I reviewed, however, beware! Never has a franchise of movies (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness) been re-released so many times. I counted as many as 4 versions of The Evil Dead, 3 versions of the Evil Dead 2, and as many as 7 (can that be right!?!) versions of Army of Darkness.

Movie – 7
Video & Sound – 6
Extras – 6
Overall – 6


10 2012


I recall going to see Apollo 13 as a teenager and being excited to come home from the theater and asking my parents what they remember about a story that surely was one of the biggest events of their youth.

They’d never heard of it. I was shocked. How could such a big story be such a non-event to most people? How was this even possible? How many other things are going on every day that we are completely unaware of.

Directed by Ben Affleck, Argo is based on the real life rescue of six hostages from Iran. Tony Mendez (Affleck) is brought in to sneak six hostages out of the country. The story was to pretend the six hostages were six Canadian filmmakers in Iran to scout potential film locations for a fictional sci-fi movie named “Argo.”

The movie is extremely well done. The story is fantastic, the look is authentic, and the dramatic moments were were almost perfect (I’ve got one small beef near the end, but I can’t go into it without spoiling big parts of the movie).

After making the brilliant “Good Will Hunting” in 1997, Ben Affleck has seen his stock rise and fall. He had his fair share of failed movies as well as some high profile failed relationships. It seemed that the tabloid media loved to watch this guy fail the same way they enjoy writing stories about Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan today. However, in 2007, he released the under-the-radar Gone Baby Gone. The masses weren’t expecting much, but it was critically acclaimed. Three years later, he released the ridiculously awesome The Town.

As a director, Affleck is batting a perfect 3-for-3 and has joined the ranks of Tarantino, Nolan, and Scorsese in the category of “must watch” directors. Like Clint Eastwood, Affleck’s directing style seems to be simplistic and a throwback to an older (better?) era of movie making which focused on the story. Unlike Gone Baby Gone and The Town, the characters in this movie actually wind up being almost underdeveloped. I appreciated this approach, though, because further developing the characters would’ve done very little to move forward the plot. In fact, it very easily could’ve been a distraction that caused the flow of the movie to feel almost clunky (see another Affleck movie Pearl Harbor for an example of how trying to develop characters can kill a movie). In a strange way, minor characters – played by big name performances such as John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, and Alan Arkin – are more developed than characters who spend more time on the screen.

Argo is one or two minor missteps from being a brilliant movie. As I mentioned before, there is one really minor scene near the end that I thought was a little overly cinematic, but it isn’t even close to ruining the ending of the movie (a la He Got Game). As someone who catches a lot of movies on dvd, I highly recommend getting out to a theater to check this one out.


out of 10


10 2012

That’s My Boy

Adam Sandler. What happened to this guy? While he’s always been criticized for being sophomoric and dumb, some 15-20 years ago, he was actually funny. Some day, 15-20 years from now, my daughter will likely see Adam Sandler

After making Mr. Deeds, a movie that was critically panned (but admittedly, I enjoyed), his production company (Happy Madison Productions) has been a part of 23 films. On average, Rotten Tomatoes has given them around a 24 (which drops to 20 if you remove his two dramatic films – Reign Over Me and the unfunny Funny People). However, they’ve pulled in an average of $136 million for a grand total of over $3.1 billion. $3.1 billion for nary a good movie. Unbelievable!?!

However, when the previews for That’s My Boy came out, I didn’t have my normal reaction to seeing a trailer for a new Adam Sandler movie. Simply, I didn’t want to throw up in the back of my mouth. I actually really like Andy Samberg (Hot Rod was great and his work on SNL was always enjoyable). The director – Sean Anders – was responsible for one of the funniest movies of the past couple years (Hot Tub Time Machine) along with another underrated comedy (She’s Out of My League). Sandler, instead of playing the goofy guy in the PG-13 movie, went back to his juvenile, R-rated roots that everyone who grew up in the 90s loved (admit it… you loved “The Goat,” “At A Medium Pace,” and “Ode To My Car”) Kevin James and Rob Schneider weren’t in the credits. On paper, this movie looked like it had a tiny chance of actually being funny. Then, the movie came out, financially bombed (a rarity for anything Sandler-related) and got panned by critics who claimed it was “an ugly, tasteless, deadly and mean-spirited piece of filmmaking” and “vulgar, trite, sexist, misogynist, hacky, tacky, gross, sentimental and stupid, with occasional flourishes of racism and veiled homophobia thrown in to boot.”

That’s My Boy was certainly all of these things. Only, unlike anything else Sandler has touched in the past 10 years, it’s also really, really funny.

That’s My Boy is the story of Donny Berger (Sandler) who is a teenage boy who gets his teacher pregnant. She is sent to jail and their love child – Han Solo Berger (Samberg) – is raised by Donny until he moves out of the house and changes his identity. Donny Berger becomes a teenage star. Nearly 30 years later, Donny is broke and no longer famous. He finds out he needs to make a $43,000 payment for back taxes or else he’s going to jail. Donny tries to reunite with his son who has changed his name and is getting married.

As with any of the really good Sandler movies (yes, these exist), the plot is pretty pointless. We aren’t talking about highbrow comedy or an art house storyline. Had someone watched Sandler on SNL, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy, suffered a massive head injury and been in a coma for 14 years only to come back awake in time for the release of That’s My Boy, it would completely fit in with the narrative of his career. In fact, many times when I was watching this movie, I kept thinking that That’s My Boy felt like it had the spirit of an R-rated Billy Madison.

Surely, That’s My Boy will be unfairly be clumped in with the (many) steaming piles of poo Adam Sandler has lent his name to over the past 10 years. There are a few scenes (particularly those with Dan Patrick, Vanilla Ice, and especially Rex Ryan) that are brilliant. Chances are you’ve long since given up on Sandler movies, but if you’ve enjoyed some of the funnier “hard R” films of the past few years (Hot Tub Time Machine, any of the Apatow movies, etc), I suggest giving this a chance. At the very least, you’re out $1.50 from the Redbox.


out of 10


10 2012

Spirit of the Marathon

Spirit of the Marathon is a 2007 documentary about six runners training for the Chicago Marathon. The runners range from contenders to win the race (Deena Kastor and Daniel Njenga) to competitive amateurs, first timers, and back of the packers. All six runners share a common bond of loving running.

Watching Spirit of the Marathon, a few things stood out to me. First of all, the movie is extremely well made. You can tell they had a little bit of a budget and access with cool things like crane shots, overhead shots, etc.

The second (and most important) thing that stood out about this movie is the love of the marathon. I haven’t run a marathon in over 5 years. After about five or six really good years of running, my own running has wavered due to many reasons (increased responsibilities being a dad/husband/coach/employee, etc.). In the past year, though, I’ve really recommitted to my running. As I was watching this movie, I could see on the screen some of those things that I love & hate about running that sometimes can be difficult expressing to others.

The marathon is a race that you is difficult to describe if you haven’t gone through it. It would be like explaining what the color blue is to someone who is color blind. Running a marathon is equally the most miserable and soul-filling experience I’ve ever done. I simultaneously love it and hate it. There is no denying the race is painful (understatement of the year?) whether you are a five hour runner or, as is shown in the movie, a world class runner such as Deena Kastor. The sense of achievement of not only finishing a marathon, but everything that came before it with the training is hard to describe unless you’ve been through it.

The movie does a good job of showing all the surrounds the marathon. Watching Spirit of the Marathon, you are subjected to a little bit of history of the marathon (as well as a history of each of the featured runners) along with a view of everything that goes into the training and preparation from long runs every weekend to preparing your outfit, bib, race chip, and food the night before the race. You experience the excitement moments after the gun goes to the agony almost every runner is feeling about 20 miles later. The filmmakers have done a fine job showing and conveying all of the emotions that surround the experience of running a marathon.

If you are not a runner, you probably aren’t going to enjoy this quite as much as I did. However, if you are a runner and you can relate to the love/hate relationship with running, Spirit of the Marathon is well worth a watch.


out of 10

Check out the trailer here


10 2012

Retro Review: The Breakfast Club

This review originally appeared at on May 16, 2004

I can’t talk about The Breakfast Club without sounding like I have a non-sexual man crush on John Hughes. I’m not exactly sure if this is my favorite 80’s movie, but its probably the most fun to watch. They’ll replay this on TBS probably about 5-10 times a month (just a guess), and if I see it on, I’ll drop everything and watch the end of the movie. I’m still amazed that until this year, I had actually never seen the start of this movie.
Five high schools who have little to do with each other are forced to spend a Saturday in detention in the school library with only Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) to supervise them. Among the five students are the jock Andy (Emilio Estevez), the nerd Brian (80’s legend Anthony Michael Hall), the bad kid John Bender (Judd Nelson), the popular girl Claire (Molly Ringwald), and the outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy). At the beginning of the day, the five want absolutely nothing to do with each other. By the end of the day, they have a complete understanding for each other even though they may not go on to be the best of friends throughout the rest of their high school careers. Their day together in detention has taught them that even though they come from different backgrounds, they still are much more similar than they could have ever imagined.
I think the real beauty about this movie is the characters. As stereotypical as they might be, they all are very easy for almost anyone to relate to. I even found that as I grew older, I started to even feel sympathetic towards the principal and the janitor. Even if you yourself was more like Claire (the Molly Ringwald character) or Andy (the Mighty Ducks guy), you can still relate to both the nerdy Brian and the tough guy Bender.

Video & Sound
While it “looks good for an 80’s flick”, I definitely wouldn’t hold the re-release of the Breakfast Club up next to any of the new stuff being released on DVD these days. It is presented in anamorphic widescreen and it’s good enough that you can throw away your copy on VHS. The sound, while presented in DTS and Dolby DIgital 5.1, is average at best. You’ll never hear Simple Minds “Don’t Forget About Me” sound better, though!

Nope… nothing other than trailers for the other John Hughes movies.

Closing Thoughts…
You’re not going to find a nicer slice of 80’s nostalgia than this! I’d imagine almost everyone has at least flipped through this movie on TBS at least once. If you’re a fan of the 80’s, you’ve gotta buy this up on DVD!

Movie – 8
Video & Sound – 5
Extras – 0
Overall – 6


10 2012

Ballplayer: Pelotero

Miguel Sano is the object of Ballplayer: Pelotero - a documentary about baseball in the Dominican Republic

Earlier this summer, I was feeling rather down on my Minnesota Twins. I was checking out TwinDaily (which I check, quite ironically, daily) hoping to read about some great prospects (mainly: Miguel Sano) that are going to save the Twins and turn them back into World Series contenders three years from now. I was really interested when friend of the blog (and former little league coach Seth Stohs) posted a review of Ballplayer: Pelotero, a documentary that focused highly on gem of the Minnesota Twins farm system Miguel Sano. Instantly, I wanted to see the movie, but kept dragging my feet. I’ve nearly purchased it no fewer than 10 times on iTunes. One time, I was planning to purchase to watch it on a bus trip only to find out I didn’t have enough free space on my phone to watch it.

Finally, since it was added to Netflix two weeks ago, I got around to seeing Ballplayer: Pelotero. It’s a story about how the Dominican Republic baseball system is set up. Currently, around 20% of the major league is made up of players from the Dominican Republic including stars like Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Ubaldo Jiménez, José Reyes, Sammy Sosa, Vladimir Guerrero and many more. However, the Dominican baseball system is setup very differently than it is here in America. Players are signed once they turn 16 on July 2nd. Big signing bonuses are handed out to the most elite prospects with everyone else grabbing whatever signing bonuses they can. Kids enter training camps in their early teens and spent hours training in hopes of one day impressing a major league team at tryouts. Most of these kids are poor and can’t afford to pay for training, so deals are struck among the trainers – often also the agent for the players – who often receive up to 35% of the signing bonus in exchange for the past few years of training.

Ballplayer:Pelotero focused on two major prospects. Miguel Sano (called Miguel Angel throughout most of the movie), trained by Vasilio Tejada, is thought of as the prize prospect in all of the Dominican Republic likely to receive the largest signing bonus in DR history. Jean Carlos Batista, trained by Astin Jacobo, is thought of as an elite prospect who hopes to get a signing bonus in the $1.5 million range.

Quick tangent – I don’t pretend to be a great baseball talent evaluator, but I couldn’t have been more impressed with Miguel Sano. His swing reminds me of Manny Ramirez… it is just looks good to the untrained eye.

As July 2nd nears, Miguel Sano and his family is informed that he is being investigated by the MLB for possibly lying about his age. Name and age falsification have been a major problem for years in the Dominican Republic (google “fausto carmono name”, “miguel tejada age” or “david arias”). New rules have been put in place where a player who is found to have lied about their age will be suspended for a full year. Players, in search of the biggest signing bonuses possible, along with families, trainers, and many others will falsify documents or, in some cases, completely swap families in order to appear to be younger than they are.

I won’t spoil what happens in the movie, but the age concerns play a huge part in the final third of the movie. Of course, we know Sano winds up with the Twins and has destroyed the minor leagues thus far.

My lone complaint about this movie is I think they could’ve added one more scene at the end of the movie. Show Miguel Sano living in the United States. Talk to him about what changes there are playing professional baseball. They easily could’ve added 20 minutes about his first professional season which would’ve allowed the movie to come a little more full circle.


out of 10

Watch the trailer:


10 2012

Retro Review: The Spanish Apartment

This review originally appeared on on September 22, 2004

Xavier (Romain Duris) is a graduate student from France who is trying to find his place in life. His parents sort of boss him around and his girlfriend (Amelie’s Audrey Tautou) isn’t the most pleasant towards him. He’s at a crossroads in his life and he’s confused at to what to do next. After taking some of his father’s advice, he decides to move to Barcelona to finish up his economics degree with an emphasis in Spanish.
On his way to the airport, he runs into Jean-Michael (Xavier De Guillebon), a brain surgeon, and his new wife Anne-Sophie (Judith Godrèche). After figuring out he doesn’t want to live with a friend of his mother, he gives Jean-Michael a call and moves in with them temporarily sleeping on the couch.
Eventually, he finds an apartment along with a few other “Erasmus” students all from different countries. Wendy (Kelly Reilly) is a quiet redhead from England. She’s also joined later by her loudmouth brother William (Kevin Bishop). Isabelle (Cécile De France) from Belgium is probably Xavier’s best friend in the house and also is studying economics. Alessandro (Federico D’Anna) doesn’t seem to do a whole lot other than hang around the house, but he’s from Italy nonethless. Rounding out the house is Lars (Christian Pagh), who is from the Netherlands, and Soledad (Cristina Brondo), who is from Spain, are a couple living together.
To be honest, not a whole lot happens in term of plot. The group of people get closer. There are fights, cheating, crushes, and just about everything else that goes along with any good episode of the Real World. Actually, the Real World analogy is almost appropriate for this movie. Much lke the Real World, most of the characters will be forgotten as soon as you turn the movie off, but it still is a cute, fun movie. I found myself relating to Xavier quite often. I’ve oftened found myself questioning if what I’m doing with my life is right. Part of me wishes I would’ve went over to Europe for a full year during college. Think of this movie as a European version of the Breakfast Club. It’s smarter than your average teen movie, but it keeps all the fun of one.

Video & Sound
While it didn’t look unbelievable, the look of this film was good. It actually looks like a well-shot indie film. Both 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1:33 full screen are available on this flipper. The language is in 5.1 French, but there is also quite a bit of Spanish and English thrown in as most of the characters are bilingual.

Nothing… not even a trailer.

Closing thoughts…
The movie tries to spit some knowledge on the viewer about how Europe needs to be more unified. In the end, it’s not an unbelievable movie or anything, but it’s better than 95% of movies you’ll see in theaters here on this side of the pond. It reminds me about the memories I have just hanging out with friends not doing much of anything.

Movie – 8
Video & Sound – 7
Extras – 0
Overall – 6


10 2012

9.79* – 30 for 30

I’m a huge follower of track and field (as evident by my blog RunLoft). The very first summer Olympics I remember was the summer of 1988. Besides being old enough to know what was going on for the first time (7), my little sister was adopted from Seoul, South Korea just 8 weeks earlier. Our family took a particular interest in the opening ceremonies and just about everything that surrounded Seoul because we were so starved to see what Sara’s home country looked like. It was the first (of many) Olympics that would become required viewing in the Hanson household.

We enjoyed watching FloJo, Janet Evans, and Matt Biondi. I recall watching Roy Jones, Jr demolish somebody from South Korea only to be robbed of his gold. But one specific event stands out to me even to this day – the men’s 100 meter dash. It was a showdown between Carl Lewis – the flamboyant and cocky pride of America against the stoic (and beaked out of his brains) Ben Johnson of Canada. Anyone who has see the race knows Ben Johnson came out of the blocks like a freight train and sprinted ahead of the field for gold. Over the next few days, it came out that Ben Johnson was, in fact, doped to the gills and the gold was awarded to Carl Lewis.

The movie is a look at the final. All 8 finalist are interviewed along with prominent officials and coaches. Although the film certainly vilifies Johnson, his coach Charlie Francis, and his doctor Jamie Astaphan, there also is the cloud of drug use suspected from other competitors, as well. Basically, the doc shows the first days of the current day we live in where just about every professional athlete is suspicious. Drug testing officials and coaches tell stories of mass drug test failures, diluted urine samples, and masking agents.

I saw a majority of the film 9.79* on BBC (1 hr version opposed to 90 minutes for the 30 for 30 version) a week before the London Olympics this year. I was impressed with the look and quality of the doc and especially the fact they got so many people, including all 8 competitors, to be so candid about the race that changed sports culture the way we know it.

Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson, the two central figures in the race, don’t disappoint in the film. After watching the various versions of the film twice, I don’t know whether I really like Carl Lewis or not. There certainly is a likable quality about him and he’s more of an open book that I thought he would be. The brutally honest commentary from Lewis – for example when the still-brash Lewis says “[before he started doing drugs]…Johnson just wasn’t that talented” – was really enjoyable. At the same time, the documentary (perhaps unfairly?) paints him as a possible drug cheat who didn’t get caught (even when he did get “caught.”) Johnson, on the other hand, is certainly a cheat. There are a few confusing scenes where he admits to all his use and then follows it up by blaming a friend of Carl Lewis for spiking a drink. Johnson, somewhat surprisingly to me, comes across as somewhat likable despite his flaws.

9.79* probably isn’t the greatest of the 30 for 30 films, but it’s definitely in the upper echelon. Director Daniel Gordon has done a fabulous job making the definitive documentary about one of the single biggest sporting events of an entire decade.


out of 10


10 2012


In 2009, Joseph Gordon-Levitt somewhat randomly showed up on the biggest little movie of the year “(500) Days of Summer.” I used to know him as the other squinty guy on “3rd Rock from the Sun”. I hadn’t seen him for about 10 years since he starred in a movie that remains one of my favorite guilty pleasures – “10 Things I Hate About You.” I found the movie maybe not quite as good as a lot of people had built it up to be, but was really impressive with his performance. Since that movie, he’s been in movies that have hauled in nearly $1 billion at the box office (around $2.3 billion if you account for overseas). Needless to say, I’m not the only person that has taken notice.

50/50 is a story about Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt), a 27-year old radio journalist who finds out he has a malignant tumor. After doing a little research on the internet, he finds out his chance of survival is 50% (hence, the movie title). The story is based on Will Reiser (writer), a friend of Seth Rogen (who plays Adam’s friend Kyle) who was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. Upon the diagnosis, Adam is referred to see a young and inexperience therapist Katherine played by Anna Kendrick.

Everything about this movie looks and feel real. From the emotions (and sometimes outward lack of emotions) displayed by Adam to the nervousness of Katherine to the overbearing scenes involving Adam’s mother (Anjelica Huston), every single interaction between characters seems firmly rooted in reality. Seth Rogen, who in other movies has been a little over the top, was a perfect comic relief release valve from this movie that could otherwise be emotionally draining.

The fact that 50/50 was largely ignored by the major awards is criminal. I haven’t seen all of the 2011 Best Picture nominees, but I challenge anyone to watch The Descendants, War Horse, The Artist, or Midnight in Paris and claim it’s a better movie than this. I just don’t see it. Bottom line, especially given how many of us are personal touched by cancer all the time, 50/50 is a fantastic movie that is more than deserving of a watch.


out of 10


10 2012