Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's Not a Sure-Fire Hall of Fame Pick But It's Not a Bust, Either: Our Review of "Draft Day" (2014)

Directed By: Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters

Starring: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Chadwick Boseman, Denis Leary

Rating: PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references

Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Synopsis: Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) is facing a hectic day. It's the first day of the NFL Draft, his girlfriend and co-worker shares the news that she's pregnant, the owner of his team wants him to make a big splash, a stud prospect keeps badgering him and his new head coach keeps butting heads with him. When Sonny does end up making a big splash hours before the draft it has ramifications for how the rest of the day will play out.


Andrew: Hello readers! A couple of days ago (ok, like 4 days ago) we went and saw Draft Day directed by Ivan Reitman, the comedy director of such classics like Ghost Busters and Meatballs, and starring Kevin Costner (Man of Steel), Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) and Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man), just to name a few. 

In Draft Day Costner stars as Sonny Weaver, Jr., the beleaguered General Manager of the Cleveland Browns and we see all the trials and tribulations Sonny has to face during the biggest day of the year for him. 

Right from the start we find out that Costner’s Sonny Weaver, Jr. has lost his father, who just happened to be the former head coach of the Browns that Sonny recently fired, and that his girlfriend and co-worker, Ali (Garner), is pregnant. And all of this is spelled out in the first 3 minutes of the movie. 

To kick off this review I'll admit that while Draft Day had been getting a surprising amount of positive buzz I thought the marketing was terrible for it, so I didn't really intend to ever see this in theatres.

Sarah: Which shocked me, actually.

A: Well the trailers and the commercials for this movie didn’t make me want to see this movie. What about you?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cap is Back and Better Than Ever in Maybe the Best Marvel Movie Yet: Our Review of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014)

Directed By: Anthony & Joe Russo (Community, Arrested Development

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout

Run Time: 2 hours, 16 minutes

Synopsis: 2 years after the Battle of New York, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Evans) is working for Nick Fury (Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. as he continues his adjustment to the modern world. After a particular mission disturbs Rogers all hell breaks loose when a mysterious assassin called The Winter Soldier sets his sights on Nick Fury, resulting in Captain Rogers and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow going on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D.


FAIR WARNING: Some possible spoilers will be discussed in this review. If you're not familiar with the Winter Soldier storyline or haven't seen this film yet, maybe best to wait to read this until you do.

Andrew: Hello dear readers! Last night we were able to catch an early showing of the latest installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Picking up a couple years after the events of The Avengers this new film is also obviously a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers/Captain America and Captain Rogers is still trying to acclimate to today’s world. 

Cap is now working for S.H.I.E.LD. alongside Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. The Black Widow, under the leadership of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). There are some new additions to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, too: Robert Redford plays Alexander Pierce a senior executive of S.H.I.E.L.D, almost the chairman if you will. And Anthony Mackie joins the MCU as Sam Wilson who later to becomes The Falcon.

Sarah: Cobie Smulders comes back as Maria Hill, too.

A: Yep! So some old faces and some new faces. But the big deal about this one is that this movie is really more of an conspiracy thriller of sorts as well as a political/military movie. It's completely different from any of the other Marvel movies that have come out so far. 

So, Sarah, I know I was looking forward to this, and I would assume you were looking forward to this as well because you had Captain America: The First Avenger as your favorite of the non-Avengers Marvel movies so far.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Light-Hearted, Perfectly Muppet Movie: Our Review of "Muppets Most Wanted" (2014)

Directed by: James Bobin (The Muppets

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell and The Muppets

Run Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Rating: PG for some mild action

Synopsis: Following their reunion in The Muppets, a business manager named Domonic Badguy (Ricky Gervais, and pronounced "Baajee") convinces the Muppets to hire him for a world tour. In reality, Badguy is the #2 associate to "the most dangerous frog in the world" named Constantine - a perfect doppelgänger to Kermit with the exception of a well-placed mole. When Constantine escapes prison he switches places with Kermit so he and Domonic can steal the Crown Jewels and frame it on the Muppets.


Andrew: Hello readers! So last night had a nice little dinner-and-a-movie date and saw Muppets Most Wanted, the sequel to 2011's The Muppets. This one is a direct sequel to the previous film, I mean it literally picks up where the other one left off. This time without the involvement of Jason Segel and Amy Adams, however. 

It was directed by the same director, James Bobin (Flight of the Concords), it was written by Bobin and Nicholas Stoller, who wrote the first one with Jason Segel; and the music was all done by Bret McKenzie, who also did all the music for the first one and even won the Best Original Song Academy Award for "Man or Muppet." 

So a lot of the same talent came back and obviously all the Muppets came back. Muppets Most Wanted involves a relatively simple plot where Kermit lookalike Constantine, the most evil frog in the world, busts out of a Siberian Gulag and switches places with Kermit in order to steal the Crown Jewels with his #2 man, Dominic Badguy (Gervais), who has replaced Kermit as the Muppets' business manager. So easy-peasy plot but overall, what do you think Sarah?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two Tickets For... Trailer Talk (Week of March 23, 2014)

Andrew: Hello readers! Today we have a very special treat for you - a new feature! And we're actually going to try and make this a regular feature, as in once a week! We know!

We're simply calling it Trailer Talk because we're super original. In this feature we'll take a look at a few new trailers that have been recently released and give some fresh takes on them - what we liked, what we didn't like, what we saw, etc. And then we'll grade each of them old-school style with actual grades. Pretty simple, but we're looking forward to doing it on a weekly basis. Let's get started with the big trailer that came out this week. 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

A: Okay Sarah, I'll kick things off. First and foremost SENTINELS! The big antagonistic conflict in the film is that a military scientist named Bolivar Trask creates these robots called Sentinels for the express purpose of hunting down mutants. We didn't really see them in the teaser trailer but they're all over the place in this one. Heck, it looks like Halle Berry's Storm might get killed by one right from the get-go!

S: Yeah this trailer was awesome sauce. When the first trailer came out, I was excited but there wasn't anything new, It really just felt like a logical, methodic step to follow First Class. BUT, then this second one aired. And, WOWZA! Totally new and exciting! I mean, it opens with a totally destroyed NYC and a very sci-fi feel.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Eva Green Is Having a Bloody Good Time: Our Review of "300: Rise of an Empire" (2014)

Directed By: Noam Murro (Smart People

Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro

Rating: R for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language

Run Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Synopsis: Told alongside the tale of King Leonidas' defense at Thermoplyae against the Persian Army's invasion of Greece, Admiral Themistocles leads the Athenian navy in a water-based defense against the Persian forces, who are themselves led by the warrior-woman Artemesia (Green).


(Editor's note: We originally saw this film the weekend of its release. Our apologies for the delay!)

Andrew: Hello dear readers! We just got out of seeing the LONG awaited sequel to Zack Snyder's hit 2006 film 300, this one aptly named 300: Rise of an Empire.

Sarah: Wow, it's been 8 years since the first one came out?

A: It’s been that long, yes. And this one was actually more of a side-quel to Snyder’s 300 as opposed to a direct sequel.  It takes place before, during and after the events with Leonidas and his 300 Spartans. 

300: Rise of an Empire stars Sullivan Stapleton (Cinemax's Strike Back) as Themistocles, the general of the Athenian navy; Eva Green (Casino Royale) as Artemisia, the commander of the Persian navy; as well as Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro reprising their roles as Queen Gorgo and Xerxes, respectively.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Two Tickets For...'s 16 Most Anticipated Films of 2014 (Or the Next 10 Months At Least)

Andrew: Hello readers! First off let me apologize by saying we're sorry we haven't had a chance to sit down and really hash our our reactions to this past Sunday's Oscars. Mayhaps we'll get to that this weekend. Secondly we want to say Thank You for checking out our Oscars Live Blog! We think it was rather successful and we've enjoyed doing it the last 3 Oscars and we look forward to doing it next year, too.

Now on to today's post! Now that the Oscars are over we wanted to take a gander at the films still to be released in 2014 that we're most excited to see. We do realize that we're already two months into the year but let's be honest: January and February are still generally the time of year when studios dump their worst movies.

Sarah: Right?! We're excited about this list we've put together, there are SO many good movies coming out this year! It was really tough to rank them!

A: But rank them we did! For clarification these are the films that we are looking forward to the most as of today. There will be plenty of films that come out this year that aren't on our radar, most likely some Oscar-worthy films. That said without further ado, in descending order, here are Two Tickets For...'s 16 Most Anticipated Films of 2014!

16.) Horrible Bosses 2 (November 26th)
S: A comedy that involves Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston as bad guys…again. Done.
A: We thoroughly enjoyed the first film and with a hilarious cast that brings back Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston...well, that's just a damn good cast.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Two Tickets For... Live Blogs the 86th Academy Awards!

Andrew: Hello readers! Tonight's the night, and at 8:30pm EST the 86th Academy Awards will begin! We're here with our third annual Oscars Live Blog and leading up the start of the show we'll be here to chat about predictions, fashion on the red carpet, movies in general, whatever!

The live blog starts at 7:00pm. We'll be back then to chat!

86th Academy Awards Full Predictions!

Andrew: Hello dear readers! Tonight is the big night! The 86th Academy Awards a.k.a. The Oscars are tonight in Hollywood, and for the third year in a row Sarah and I will be competing against one another to see who can correctly predict the most awards.

Sarah: The past five days we've had fun posting articles breaking down a number of the bigger categories and then giving our predictions for them. Today we're posting our full predictions prior to our Live Blog of tonight's show!

A: For reference's sake, last year I correctly predicted 18 out of the 24 categories and Sarah correctly predicted 17 of the 24. Here's to hoping we both do better this year! Check out all of our predictions after the jump!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

86th Academy Awards Analysis & Predictions: Best Picture

Andrew: Hello dear readers! It's Day Five of Two Tickets For…'s analysis and predictions and we're only one day away from the 86th Academy Awards. This week we've given you our analysis and predictions for all four acting categories, both screenplay categories, director, special effects, score, song and animated feature. Tomorrow we'll post our full and final predictions, but today we tackle the big one - Best Picture.

Best Picture

The nominees for Best Picture are:

12 Years a Slave
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Gravity
- Her
- Nebraska
- Philomena
- The Wolf of Wall Street

A: Okay Sarah, before we get to talking about the nominees themselves I just want to take a second and explain how the voting for Best Picture goes again, which will be instrumental in explaining my prediction later.

Friday, February 28, 2014

86th Academy Awards Analysis and Predictions: Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay & Best Director

Andrew: Hello readers! It's Day Four of Two Tickets For...'s analysis and predictions for this Sunday's 86th Academy Awards! Yesterday we covered a couple of the biggies in Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress, which you can read HERE if you missed those. Today we continue discussing some major awards as we tackle Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director. That will also be the order we go in, so let's get to it!

Best Original Screenplay

The nominees for Best Original Screenplay are:

American Hustle, by Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, by Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her, by Spike Jonze
Nebraska, by Bob Nelson

A: Okay Sarah, I think this is actually a pretty competitive category as I could see four of these nominees being legit contenders (Nebraska being the only one not). Give me your thoughts on Best Original Screenplay.