Movie of the Day – Mystery, Alaska

Well, spring has come to Kansas City in the form of a winter storm that is more slush and annoying than anything else.  Sigh, Kansas weather is both interesting and frustrating at the same time.  Oh well, the snowfall means that it’s time to warm up and watch some hockey….well a hockey movie anyways since I don’t have cable.  Today is a little seen movie with a stellar cast I think and a good story about a small town hockey team taking on the big leagues with their pride on the line.

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Movie of the Day – Semi-Pro

I am assuming that a majority of the readers out there are rooting for their respective teams during March Madness.  Me personally, I just like watching movies about basketball.  So if Ken Burns could direct and broadcast the March Madness in a documentary form, I would watch the hell out of that.  I realize I am not in the norm with my general “meh” attitude towards madness of sports, so I will suffice with this funny movie this evening.

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Movie of the Day – Rocky IV (Snow Day Edition)

Well folks, Kansas is yet again in the cross hairs of another massive snow storm that is going to barrel through our area here in the next few hours.  Just less than 4 days ago we suffered through a State of Emergenct snow storm from Blizzard Q or whatever it was called, which dumped about 12 inches of snow on our area.  Tonight and tomorrow, Snow Storm Rocky is going beat us like he did all Ivan Drago back in Rocky IV.  So I thought that this would be an awesome time to revisit one of the best movies around, with the best montage around, in the snowiest region of Russia.  We are expecting about 12 inches again this evening, so this should provide me with ample snow to get my training on.  ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY!!!!

Stallone is back as Rocky Balboa, the heavyweight champion of the world and now good friend of his one-time nemesis, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Creed is brutally slaughtered in the boxing ring during a lop-sided exhibition match against the superhuman Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), an event that Rocky takes personally. Vowing revenge against Drago in the name of Creed and the United States, Rocky is invited to the Soviet Union for a matchup and hires Creed’s former manager (Tony Burton) to get him in shape. While Drago trains using the latest technology, Rocky’s ascetic preparations are a low-key affair of carrying logs up hills through knee-deep Russian snow. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

This is easily the best in the Rocky series, leaps and bounds ahead of the atrocious Rocky V and to be honest, it was great to see Rocky take the Fist of Freedom to those Russian dogs.  Everything about this movie is just amped up to the max in terms of the stakes.  Apollo Creed was destroyed in an exhibition match, which an exhibition match in Russia is a fight to the death.  Someone should have really gotten a translator to clear this up, but I would have saw that as a declaration of war on the part of the Russians.  So having to come out and avenge his fallen hetero life mate, Rocky decides to show them that Communism doesn’t produce shit and destroy Ivan Drago. So what better way to show American Brawn than by defeating Drago on Jesus’ Birthday on Russian soil.  AMERICA!!!!!!

One of things I love about this movie, other than watching Stallone box for freedom, is the montages.  This movie managed to squeeze in two montages that pretty much solidify the movies greatness in the pantheon of movies.  Tracked with the latest pop-synth compilation from some artist, the montages are seriously one of the best aspects of the movie.  Here is montage number one:

Are you shitting me?!  That is one of the most deep and profound montages I have ever witnessed.  You would think if he had all that shit running through his head that he could cause a massive wreck when driving around.  I don’t even like to fuck around with the radio in the car because it could cause too much turmoil in my mind, thus causing me to wreck.  Most people take a drive to clear their head of difficult decisions like “what bills to pay first” or “where am I going dump this body”.  Stallone takes the time to reflect on the past three movies and figure out how to destroy Communism all in the process.  I guess life’s little problems can all be solved with a sweet 80s soundtrack and a lot of jump cuts.

The final montage which they had to show, cause I mean how else can you explain Rocky defeating Dargo in his home country?  This is the montage to end all montages:

This montage was so long that they had to put two songs in the montage just so they didn’t have dead air while Rocky was chopping wood and out running the KGB.  I love this montage just for the sheer absurdity of the acts that takes place between the two different training methods.  Apparently Russia decided to put all their defense funds into this NASA like training center for Ivan Drago complete with a track course with installed punching bags throughout the ring.  That had to cost a lot of money since that is not regulation.  Then you get to see the typical computers with numerous lights since they decided to base their technology off of old Star Trek shows.  Those devious bastards even inject Drago with steroids, possibly made from chemicals at the Chernobyl site.

Now Rocky’s training consist of him being transported back to the 1800’s where the only way to work out was doing manual labor.  I half expected him to just start chewing tree trunks in order to bring it down.  But this shows the key point between American and Russian training, in that America doesn’t need it’s industrial and technological might to beat some ass.  All you need are a group of trainers, one black guy to nod at you in approval when you lifted those rocks well and then finish your training with run up a mountain.  Let me say that again, HE FINISHES HIS TRAINING BY RUNNING UP A MOUNTAIN.  The dudes from The Lord of the Rings couldn’t even scale a mountain and Rocky did that while evading the damn KGB agents that are ineffective in cold weather.

The final is one for the ages and the only appropriate gift one can give Jesus on his special day.  I am talking about ending the Cold War.  What did you get your wife for Christmas?  A stupid necklace, hahahaha.  Rocky have Adrian and America the end of the cold war.  They might as well have just started placing “Made in America” stickers all over the arena since we owned that shit.  Sales of American flags went up by 1000% in Russia and not because they were going to burn them.

This is one of the ultimate Christmas movies that you could ever watch.  I mean it has it all in terms of montages, boxing and Christmas spirit.

Movie of the Day – For Love of the Game

I don’t know about you guys, but I really like it when Kevin Costner stars in sports movies.  It doesn’t matter if it is Golfing, Cycling or Baseball, he just has the right look and feel for being this Joe Sportsman.  Granted he has only been in like 5 sports movies total, each one of them are incredibly touching and memorable in particular way.  I don’t much care for the shoehorned love interest angle that they have to put into the movie, but something about watching him struggle in the game he loves to play just gets the best emotional reaction.  I have already covered American Flyers, Tin Cup and Field of Dreams, so today’s is another underrated baseball movie that also happens to be directed Sam Raimi.  YES that Sam Raimi who made Evil Dead.  Who would have thought he had a touching, sentimental look at a pitcher at an impasse of his career movie in him.

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Movie of the Day – American Flyers

Now I guess I am doing movies about biking now.  Oh well, it could be worse, I could be reviewing shitty movies like I did during the entire month of November.  Now this movie, this is a gem of a film, one that is tied more so to my childhood as I remember the soundtrack more than the film itself.  I will jump into that after the page break, but suffice to say, American Flyers is a surprisingly entertaining film about feuding brothers who just bike their ass off, but mainly that fucking soundtrack was sweet and I remember that more than anything else.

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Movie of the Day – Necessary Roughness

Sorry Scott Bakula, Ziggy says you got to lead this team of nobodies to a bowl game before you can jump.  BOOM!  Fucking Quantum Leap reference.  Give me a high five Dean Stockwell!

With all the uproar about refs and bad calls and football or whatever, I decided to go back to the locker with this football that was main staple on USA network rotation and the fact that I watched the shit out of this movie with my dad who likes Scott Bakula.  Mainly I was waiting for him to leap into another body, but we all can’t get what we want.  So much like most on The Replacements, another funny football movie, Necessary Roughness is the rag-tag underdog sports movies that has nothing lose and brings some serious laughs.

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Movie of the Day – The Replacements

Nothing like an oddball sports movie to lift the spirits after a rather dismal performance for the Kansas City Chiefs.  I attended the home opening game a few hours ago and while not the biggest sports fan, I do enjoy the atmosphere of Bros and fist bumps in celebration of our teams achievements.  Well to cheer up the woes for all football fans whose teams might have tasted defeat, today I am taking a quick look at The Replacements.

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Movie of the Day – Real Steel

I kind of welcome the future of sports if Real Steel manages to become a reality.  I mean we had that awesome show on Comedy Central called “Battle Bots” which was just the nerdy mash-up I could get behind.  Man, now I really wish they brought that show back cause it was just bad ass.  Anyways, I was not the most receptive to Real Steel when it came out, although I did give it an average review score.  I mean the movie is no Robot Jox or even Arena, but after additional viewings, it’s a cheesy sports movie that is well shot and has good boxing fights that add to enjoyment of the film.  Also there are a lot of unbelievable things that kind of push to the bad, but good territory of movies that I love.  Mainly this post is an excuse to watch Battle Bot highlights cause that was the shit.  Did you know that Bill Nye lent his scientific expertise as part time commentator to the battles?  Fucking awesome.

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Movie of the Day – The Hunger Games

Thank God there is finally some type of strong, female character out for those sad, mopey teenage girls to look up to.  Christ, if that Bella Swan character is a role model for kids these days, I welcome whatever apocalypse that awaits us and soon.  I have read the series (yeah I know) and really ended up enjoying both the film and book series to a rather large degree.  I was excited to see how well a violent sport where kids kill other kids would end up playing here in America considering Battle Royale was never allowed a theatrical release here.  To my surprising, despite some cinematic faults, The Hunger Games is a worthy and desperately needed movie to get these brain dead kids some character depth and better role models.

The Hunger Games got a favorable review from me initially, as in repeat viewings kind of dragged down my excitement from a technical aspect, but overall the final product ended up being incredible.  I mean don’t get me wrong, seeing Jennifer Lawrence running around the forest for 2 hours is a big selling point for me, visually it was a dystopian landscape which I love a lot.  The action was interesting, the character colorful and vibrant, the outlook bleak and bloody, and aside from the dumb character names, I was more or less stoked for the future of facial hair in The Hunger Games timeline.


Anyways, below is an excerpt of my review I did when it debuted and also a link to the full article.  It came out on DVD and Blu-Ray so it is well worth the rent if you haven’t seen it.

If anything, the film is carried by an incredible cast of young actors and some hammy acting from a few particular characters.  But the bulk of the film is placed on the young heroine Katniss, played by the gorgeous and ferocious Jennifer Lawrence.  So delicate and melancholy is her looks and demeanor, that when pushed to the edge of her limits, you see the seething need to survive at all costs.  This is the way a strong female lead needs to be shown in films.  How anyone can look at the other young adult fiction counterpart Bella Swan and see her as anything but helpless is beyond my comprehension.  Lawrence’s pure raw emotion comes through in every scene, either when she is bucking the establishment of the Capitol or fighting to survive.  The intensity of her skills with the bow and physicality of role cement and bring to life what you imagined Katniss is like in the book series.  Continue Reading Here

Movie of the Day – Shaolin Soccer

In the back of my mind, I think if American Soccer was anything like this, then there wouldn’t be any question as to the popularity of the sport.  Then again, I think people would be contrarian for the sake of being contrarian against soccer, so it is a moot point.  Anyways, what I am getting at here is some half-assed connection between today’s movie, the state of sports fanaticism and what I will be doing today, cause I like to pick relevant movies that I like that happen to coincide with what I am doing this day.  No, I am going to see shaolin soccer as that doesn’t exist, thus making me sadder at the fact.  Yes I am going to see a soccer match tonight, so go Sporting KC.

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