Cinema Showdown: November 12-14

First up…

 

Two Guys

 

Contender #1: Unstoppable

 

Synopsis: After a train carrying dangerous chemicals goes haywire, a veteran engineer and his young conductor must work together to stop it before it wrecks havoc upon an unsuspecting town.

 

In Five Words: Unstoppable train is eventually stopped.

 

Trailer:

 

 

Cast:

Denzel Washington as Frank

Chris Pine as Will

Rosario Dawson as Connie

Ethan Suplee as Dewey

 Kevin Dunn as Galvin

 

Crew:

Director–Tony Scott

 Writer–Mark Bomback

 

Theater Count: 3,207 theaters

 

Critics Say:

 

“From the story itself to the way it’s told, Unstoppable is a hymn to stylish, unpretentious competence.” Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

 

“An adrenaline-infused runaway-train flick that perfectly distills director Tony Scott’s talents and limitations.” Andrew O’ Hehir, Salon.com

 

“There’s a train. It can’t be stopped. What else do you really need to know?” Ty Burr, Boston Globe

 

Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus: “As fast, loud, and relentless as the train at the center of the story, Unstoppable is perfect popcorn entertainment — and director Tony Scott’s best movie in years.”

 

Rotten Tomatoes’ Score: 87%

 

Metacritic Rating: 69 out of 100

 

Viewers Say:

 

IMDB Score: 6.9 out of 10

 

TMP Says:

How the hell did this happen? In no way, shape, or form was I expecting this word of mouth to come out of critics. It’s an action movie about a freaking train! But yet, people seem to really like it. I’m baffled, but oddly curious. Is this movie that good a movie? Or are critics just overplaying it? I guess I’ll just have to see for myself.

 

The Edge: Great cast (including star in the making Chris Pine), great word of mouth.

 

The Sharp End: Tony Scott has a rather bad track record when it comes to trains, looks rather ridiculous.

 

Showdown Score: 4 out of 5

 

Overall: Unstoppable should be seen sometime during its theatrical run.

 

Next up…

 

Big Ship.

 

Contender #2: Skyline

 

Synopsis: After peculiar lights start appearing over the city of Los Angeles, human beings begin to find themselves sucked up into the sky by a nefarious race of aliens bent on sucking the planet dry of all lifeforms.

 

In Five Words: Like Independance Day…but worse.

 

Trailer:

 

 

Cast:

Eric Balfour as Jarrod

Scottie Thompson as Elaine

Donald Faison as Terry

Neil Hopkins as Ray

David Zayas as Oliver

 

Crew:

Directors–Colin and Greg Strause

Writers–Joshua Cordes and Liam O’ Donnell

 

Theater Count: 2,880 theaters

 

Critics Say: Nothing!  As of this writing, Skyline has not been screened for critics, which of course means it’s the best film of all time.

 

Viewers Say: Once again, nothing. Did Universal do any advanced screenings for this film? Regaurdless, Twitter buzz is pretty toxic, with some calling it one of the worst films of the year. Ouch.

 

TMP Says: Yeah, can’t muster much enthusiasm for this film. Other then looking pretty good on a shoestring budget, Skyline has nothing working for it.

 

The Edge: Relatively pretty.

 

The Sharp End: Terrible viewer word of mouth, wasn’t screened for critics, lackluster trailers, directors have a bad track record,

made in some dudes apartment, unknown and strange mix of actors.

 

Showdown Score: 2 out of 5

 

Overall: Skyline probably isn’t worth ever seeing.

 

Final contestant to the ring…

 

What's the Story?

 

Contestant #3: Morning Glory

 

Synopsis: After being fired from her previous job, Becky Fuller turns to the low rated news show “Daybreak” for a new source of income.  But when the decision to hire veteran news anchor Mike Pomeroy backfires in her face, she must find a way to navigate her stressful work life well at the same time dealing with her budding romance with a fellow producer.

 

In Five Words: Devil Wears Prada–News Edition

 

Trailer:

 

 

Cast:

Rachel McAdams as Becky Fuller

 Harrison Ford as Mike Pomeroy

 Diane Keaton as Colleen Peck

Patrick Wilson as Adam Bennett

Jeff Goldblum as Jerry Barnes

 

Crew:

Director–Roger Mitchell

Writer–Aline Brosh McKenna

Producer–J.J Abrams

 

Theater Count: 2,518 theaters

 

Critics Say:

 

“Has moments of sparkle, but the screenplay disappoints and the luminous Rachel McAdams overdoes it.” Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times

 

“Morning Glory isn’t terrible. It has a lot of craft, a lot of star power, and a fair number of laughs. What irks me is that the filmmakers settle for so little.” David Edelstein, New York Magazine

 

“The rom-com equivalent of a glass half full.” Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

 

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Consensus:It’s lifted by affable performances from its impeccable cast, and it’s often charming — but Morning Glory is also inconsistent and derivative.”

 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

 

Metacritic Rating: 57 out of 100

 

Viewers Say:

 

IMDB Score: 6.6 out of 10 (242 votes)

 

TMP Says: Morning Glory is a perfect example of disposable comedy.  You don’t NEED to see it, but you may get a couple chuckles out of it.  Judging how it’s split down the line for both critics and users, it’s one of those “Like it or Hate it” movies.  And we have a word for those types of movies here at TMP:  It’s called “The Used DVD Bin.”

 

The Edge: A rather great cast, in addition to the always trustworthy J.J Abrams producer skills; The writer of The Devil Wears Prada, another pretty good rom-com featuring veteran actors/actresses being
jerks.

 

The Sharp End: Mixed reviews, rather generic, sub par trailer.

 

Cinema Showdown Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Overall: Wait a couple months and catch Morning Glory on DVD.

 

And the Pick of the Week is…

 

UNSTOPPABLE.

 

Cool guys look at sparks.

 

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that a movie about two guys stopping a train would be my Pick of the Week.  But stranger things have happend.  And to be fair, the guys in question are Chris Pine and Denzel Washington, two pretty great actors in their own rights.  And well Tony Scott hasn’t had the best track record as of late, it’s still better then his brothers.  Yes, that was a burn, Mr. Ridley.

 

I’m sorry, I love you.

 

Regardless, I can’t fight great word of mouth or Chris Pine’s whirlpool eye, so I hereby dub Unstoppable the Pick of the Week.  Congrats Unstoppable, maybe the box office grosses can go to finally separating Tony Scott and Denzel Washington from each others hip.  Seriously, how many movies is this now, 20,000?

 

Watching the...SKYLINE!

 

Well this week was pretty paltry in comparison to last week, it’s still mostly just filler until the monolith that is the second to last Harry Potter movie.  Will that film manage to overcome the competition to be our glorified pick of the week for next week?  Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait until then to find out.  Hint: Yes, yes it will be.  Damn, I shouldn’t of said that.  I REALLY shouldn’t of said that.

 

Until then, I wish you luck in your weekend movie watching endeavours, and may the cinema gods be with you!