Tag Archives: kevin spacey

Kevin Spacey’s Baseball Skills

I finally caved in and started watching House of Cards on Netflix. It’s a great show with great actors, writers, and directors. Kevin Spacey has won Oscars for his movie roles, yet his portrayal of the scheming Francis “Frank” Underwood is perhaps his finest accomplishment. Frank is a complex character. You want Frank to succeed even though he sometimes plays dirty. It takes a tremendous amount of acting skill to make a manipulative character likeable. He makes Frank Underwood seem like a real political figure. But every once in a while you get reminded that he’s just acting, like the season 2 episode “Chapter 19.” That’s the episode where Frank is set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Camden Yards. There’s a quick scene where he is practicing in his backyard and it becomes quite obvious that Kevin Spacey has never played Little League. He throws like a girl. His form is terrible, almost as if he’s throwing with the wrong arm. It’s embarrassing to watch. It’s distracting. Kevin Spacey’s abysmal baseball skills cause you to lose respect for Frank Underwood and that should never happen.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Moon (film, not our satellite)

Moon is a unique film. Sam Rockwell plays an astronaut working for a lunar mining company. He’s been living in isolation on the dark side of the moon for almost three years with only an A.I. program called GERTY for company. He’s nearing the end of his stint on the moon, but things hit a snag when a clone of himself shows up. Director Duncan Jones does amazing things with an actor playing two versions of the same character and a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey. It’s a down-to-earth sci-fi character study set on the moon. And it works somehow.

Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is living on the moon, working for the Lunar Industry corporation. He spends his days mining Helium-3, Earth’s main energy source. He’s alone, except for GERTY, his helpful A.I. program and taped messages from his wife Tess, who is eagerly awaiting his return back on Earth with their baby daughter, Eve. Sam starts suffering from headaches and starts blacking out and accidently crashes his lunar vehicle.

He wakes up back in his lunar base and overhears GERTY having a live conversation with Lunar Industries execs trying to keep him from going outside. And so he goes outside, and comes across the site where he crashed the lunar vehicle. He starts exploring the scene and finds someone inside the vehicle. He brings him back to base, and it turns out to be Sam Bell.

The Sam Bell that was rescued from the crash site is the original Sam Bell that we first met when the movie started, the Sick Sam. The Sick Sam thinks that the New Sam is a clone. The New Sam thinks that the Sick Sam is the clone. The New Sam is more aggressive, while the Sick Same is more passive and mellow. They try to come to grips with the situation by fighting and playing Ping-Pong. New Sam suspects that maybe they are both clones and GERTY confirms the fact.

The two Sam clones start to work together to uncover the truth behind their existence. The movie explores how you would act if you found out that your life is a lie, that your memories aren’t yours… it’s like the Truman Show meets Total Recall, but without any action and hardly any jokes. That’s a warning: there’s no action and it’s not a comedy. It’s very talky. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means that a lot of stupid people won’t like it.

Apart from glimpses of Tess and his daughter Eve and the shady Lunar Industries execs on the lunar monitors, the only human characters are both played by Sam Rockwell. It’s a real treat to see a great actor playing two different version of the same character simultaneously on screen. They bicker and fight and try to make small talk with each other. It’s as real as it gets for being such an absurd concept. GERTY is kind of a combination of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Wilson from Cast Away. He’s just an object that Sam interacts with to avoid going crazy from the lack of human contact.

This is a science fiction movie that doesn’t rely on explosions to tell a story. So a lot of people won’t like it. But it’s a unique concept and they are able to humanize it and make it relatable. Props to Duncan Jones and especially to Sam Rockwell for his amazing dual performance as Sam Bell.

Critically Rated at 15/17

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Superman Returns

Superman Returns is a very underrated comic book movie. It’s not a bad flick. It drags on in a few places, but it’s a pretty solid movie. The problem is that you either like Superman or you don’t. If you don’t like Superman, don’t watch this movie. Bran Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) directs Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel. Kevin Spacey plays Lex Luthor and a horribly miscast Kate Bosworth plays Lois Lane.

This movie is as much of a tribute as it is a sequel to the Christopher Reeve films. The title sequence is like a time machine that takes you back to the original Superman movie. This movie is a sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies and ignores the shitty third and fourth installments. Superman (Brandon Routh) left Earth to explore the remains of Krypton for survivors and returns after a five-year absence.

Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has a kid and a new boyfriend named Richard White (James Marsden), the nephew of Perry White (Frank Langella), her boss and the editor of the Daily Planet. Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is freed from jail and dupes an old lady into leaving him her fortune, and Lex is back in the game.

Clark Kent goes back to work at the Daily Planet. The only person who seems happy that Clark is back is Jimmy Olson (Sam Huntington). Lois is completely indifferent to his return and seems super preoccupied with her obsession with Superman.

Lex gets a hold of some Kryponite and devises a plot to create a new continent. Lex will get a bunch of valuable real estate and billions of people will die. So naturally Superman has to try to stop this.

Lois Lane is trying to find a story and can’t find a babysitter, so she and her son go onto Lex’s yacht and stumble into the middle of his diabolical plan. Lex catches them and holds them prisoner while he executes his plan.

The huge land mass that he creates causes some damage in Metropolis and Superman flies around saving people and preventing mass casualties before flying out to sea to rescue Lois. Shit doesn’t go according to plan and Lex gets the upper hand and Superman almost dies.

Superman doesn’t die though. He survives his coma and finds out that Lois and Richard’s son is actually his son from when he slept with Lois in the second movie. And now he has more of a reason to stalk Lois. The movie never discloses what happens to Richard. I think he killed himself. Wouldn’t you? You can’t compete with Superman, he’s fucking Superman.

This movie’s biggest flaw is that it acts sort of like an origin story, or a reintroduction to a classic character. The problem is that everyone already knows who Superman is and what he represents. Just get to the fucking action already. And Superman is a super man… it’s boring to see him face off with someone mentally rather than physically. I want to see him fight Doomsday or someone who would put up a fight. Superman versus Lex Luthor has already been done multiple times on the big screen, something new would have been nice.

Kate Bosworth is hot. She just sucks in this movie. She is way too young to be playing Lois Lane. It’s not believable that she would have a five-year old son. She doesn’t do anything to assume control of the role. Margot Kidder is way better than she ever could be.

Brandon Routh does a good job as Superman. He looks a lot like Christopher Reeve, but still does subtle things to differentiate himself. He had big shoes to fill, but he did as good of a job as anyone could do. He makes Clark Kent and Superman two different people.

Kevin Spacey is having a lot of fun as Lex Luthor. He isn’t overacting as much as Gene Hackman, but he plays him over the top at times. Sometimes he is downright scary. He can flip a switch and go from merry to maniacal in a half second. Kal Penn is his henchman for some reason.

I saw this movie in 3D IMAX. The movie was almost all in 2D except for a few scenes. A little icon in the corner of the screen would prompt you to put on your glasses and the effect was amazing. If you wear 3D glasses the whole time, the effect wears off. But if only a few scenes are in 3D, the effect is more apparent and more relevant. Only a few key sequences were worthy enough to convert to 3D so you appreciated it more.

Yeah, this movie drags. Yeah, there could have been a better villain. But it brought Superman back to the big screen and that’s worth something. This movie was not a flop. It almost made $400 million. But people still hate on it and I don’t get why. If you appreciate Superman, you should like it. It’s not the best Superman story, but it’s not the worst. It is what it is, and it’s better than a lot of comic book movies.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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