The Game Plan

The Game Plan is so cutesy and typical my mother and I predicted the last half-hour line-for-line, and a shocking thing happened! We were right! For half the adults out there who’ve had to endure all the Disney movies with their kids over the last 15 years, you should see the trailer, then write a 2-page outline of the movie, bring it into the theater, and see if you’re right! And also it suffers multi-personality disorder, one minute The Rock is doing ballet, next he’s bringing his unconscious daughter to a hospital! And despite charismatic and funny performances from The Rock and 8-year old Madision Pettis and some funny gags, it just doesn’t work.

Joe Kingman is a huge pro football star who seems to have it all – big apartment, cute dog, fame. But one day he discovers something he never knew he had – a daughter named Peyton. Her mother sent off to Africa for a month, a reluctant Joe takes Peyton under his wing. At first, naturally, he’s mean and snobbish, and yet 20 minutes later he’s performing ballet and chilling out at a doll store! And when it tries to get emotional (which happens often), it collapses under it’s own weight, with the exception of a hilarious argument between Joe and Peyton.

Overall, it’s fine for a $3 rental, but a $10 ticket? Heck , no. C-

3:10 to Yuma

Over the years, the Western has degenerated from a rousing, exciting drama (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly) to a vehicle for veteran actors to pay off their water bill. (Uh…everything from the past 10 years). 3:10 to Yuma not only offers a thrill ride not seen this year since Die Hard 4, but a fascinating character study, an action-packed roller coaster, and excellent performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.

Russell Crowe plays Ben Wade, a notorious outlaw, who gets caught looting in a town. Local rancher Dan Evans is a family man, whose financial and personal problems are escalated when people burn down his barn. And so, Dan is offered $200 to get Ben on the 3:10 train to Yuma, so he can be brought to justice. But when Ben begins to murder his captors, and his gang come after them, AND Dan’s son tags along, AND, Ben offers Dan $1,000 dollars if he lets him go, many things go awry.

This truly is a fascinating movie, with a shocker of an ending that left yours truly in semi-tears. (For me, Titanic jerks head-on tears) The idea of good guy befriending bad guy, before bad guy is to be hanged worked 50 years ago, and works in this remake. Russell Crowe is my favorite ‘appreciated’ actor, and Christian Bale my favorite ‘underrated’ actor, the chemistry is very good. I have reviewed several entertaining movies, but at that not many excellent movies. This is one of the year’s, no, the decade’s, absolute best. A