The Underdog

One of Hollywood’s overused money-making movie plots is the underdog plot. We have a guy, who in one way or another has some problem going on with his life. Then, he is thrown into a team of players who are really bad, so bad that they are usually just scoffed as a loser team. Then, with that guy’s help (somehow), the team transforms into a fighting machine and at the same time, resolves the guy’s personal problem. We all know how the story ends: they win, they prove themselves and that’s that (or they lose yet they still proved themselves). Usually, underdog plots go to the world of basketball (see Coach Carter and The Winning Season, two underrated films), with the occasional glance at football (Little Giants). But for the sake of argument, I’m taking a look at two underdog films with a comedic touch: Rebound and Kicking and Screaming. Two different sports, same plot.

My Week With Marilyn

Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh
Director: Simon Curtis
Why do the people I love always leave me?
This movie has been on my to-watch list for an awfully long time and it’s only now that I had the time to sit through a biopic about one of Hollywood’s iconic celebrities, Marilyn Monroe. She led a rather eventful life, which came into an end when she died at a ripe age of 36. Even as years past, no one could forget the blonde bombshell that made her name in Hollywood’s limelight.


Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham
Director: Zack Snyder
This. Is. Sparta!
Back in high school, a friend of mine was raving about this movie (and most people who watched it were), but besides it being hella bloody, they said there was an ab party going on in the film. They were right; the Spartans were the epitome of men physique. They really are very chiseled. Beyond that, the film presents a part of history that seem to have jumped out from the pages of a history book and onto the big screen. As a bit of a history nut (who also prefer Roman and Greek history), this was a great portrayal of the battle.

The film is about a Spartan king, King Leonidas, leading a battalion of 300 men to block the Hot Gates. It is through this narrow road that the numbers of Persians would not be important, as there was no other passageway to Greece (or so they assume). You know how it goes in history: all but one die, because he was sent back to Sparta. The Persians move forward and now face the Athenians in battle. Because of the strategic war planning (my professor drew a graphic representation, something with the sea, etc. etc.), Athenians were able to win against the Persians in this battle. Though not an accurate reenactment of history, it gives a general historic ground for its viewers, not to mention seeing the battle commencement with our eyes makes an historical event jump out of the pages. Plus, this was based on the comic material, which also adapted part of history.

The visuals of the film are amazing. Besides the ab party going on with the men, it presents a different Greece, something far off from the recent Titan films. As for every action/war flick, there has to be someone of a comic relief, these coming from two soldiers played by Tom Wisdom and Michael Fassbender. Lena Headey looks beautiful in the film, and of course, Gerald Butler was great as the Spartan king. This was the role that placed him on the map, so kudos for him. He's really good.  The script was also well-written, and the fighting scenes were amazing. The formations, the fighting style and how they all coordinated together were good. It really looked like they were born to be fighters, protectors of Sparta. However, in the end, they were portrayed as those who fight with the heart. 

American Psycho

Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas
Director: Mary Harron

Before Christian Bale rose to fame due to the blockbuster Nolan hit Batman, he had films here and there that are worth the mention of his career. This would be one of them. All I can say while watching the film was ‘So. Much. Blood.’ Told in a narrative form, it’s a story of Patrick Bateman’s life. You know, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Lars and the Real Girl

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Director: Craig Gillespie

Of the three Ryan Gosling films I’ve watched this is my favorite, and the only one I liked so far. I’m sure he has more notable ones but those are films I have yet to see. For the two times I’ve seen this, I haven’t lost the admiration I have for it; it still stands as one of my favorite films, and something I would rave to others to watch. It’s simple and heart-warming (for a lack of a better term) and it never fails to get me whenever I think about it.

September in Film

Here's a little Perks to start things off! (source)
I've been a terrible film blogger. Really. I've been somewhat busy with work and at home. Not to mention, I'm in a blogging rut (and have just been somewhat lazy). Somewhere between my endless 30 Rock marathons and reading books, I caught a couple of movies. I never got around to reviewing most of them, but I did enjoy...well, most of them! I'm still sort of in a rut, so pardon my future posts (or the lack of them).