Archive for Kathy Bates

Bad Santa 2

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Boozy scoundrel Willie Soke returns for another holiday season as a department store Santa, assisted by his elfin crony, Marcus. This time, Willie and his potty-mouthed mom conspire to defraud a charity.

What people are saying:

“This film is far from perfect, but it made me and some other terribly frightened folks laugh for a while in the dark.” 4 stars

“…vulgar, nasty and offensive, but it has flawed aspects also so raunchy, you may feel the urge to wash your ears out with soap, not that the language is the only dirty thing about it…” 2 1/2 stars

“Equally as its predecessor Bad Santa is hilariously side splitting and an emotional roller coaster nail biting exciting and funny movie. Tony Cox is a hoot along with Kathy Bates and of course, Billy Bob Thornton and his adopted son screwball partner.

“The original Bad Santa is a comedy classic the sequel unfortunately doesn’t live up to the reputation of the first film. And a lot of it has to do with the weak writing and weak plot. Billy Bob Thornton is still fun to watch and still gives off Great performance. All of the cast does a decent job. Some of the jokes work and a lot of unfortunately don’t. It’s not the worst sequel out there but it’s probably not something you’re going to want to watch again like the first bad Santa.” 2 1/2 stars

“This really is not a bad movie. It came out probably 10 years too late (the original classic was in 2003) and Lauren Graham wasn’t in it due to the filming of “Gilmore Girls,” but the movie had a lot of laughs. It was good to see Willie back and still doing terribly, and Thurman Merman is almost as good as he was in the original. Christina Hendricks also was a good addition to the cast in lieu of Lauren Graham. This movie isn’t going to be on any Top 10 Best Christmas Movies of All-Time list, but it was good for 90 minutes of laughs if you aren’t expecting much.” 3 stars

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The Boss

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The story follows Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry who is sent to prison for insider trading, denounced by her former lover, Renault, who still holds a heavy grudge towards her for their breakup, after getting a promotion a few years ago. After doing her time, Michelle emerges, ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, but not everyone she steamrolled is so quick to forgive and forget. With nowhere to go and no one to scam, Michelle is forced to move in with former assistant Claire and her young daughter, Rachel. Now at her lowest point, Michelle wastes no time in devising a winner-take-all plan to rebuild her empire.

What people are saying:

“Even though The Boss is co-written by McCarthy and her husband, director Ben Falcone (who should know his wife’s strengths better), the film often strands its title character in shrill one-note caricature, mostly unchallenged.” 2 stars

“A very disappointing movie – its cast should be able to pull off a comedy with this premise, but to call the script and/or editing lackluster would be an understatement.” 1 star

“You’ll know what brand of comedy you’re going in for before the movie even starts, but ‘The Boss’ did enough for me to keep me around and entertained.” 3 1/2 stars

“Funny, but not hilarious, flick from McCarthy. Strangely distracting with the turtle necks, scarves and high-neck blouses McCarthy was wearing throughout the film” 2 1/2 stars

“Formulaic comes to mind. Bad person with redemption in the end. Try and true archetypal story. It had it’s entertaining moments, but just did not catch me with the story. Melissa just was not nasty enough in her Martha Stewart’ish role. If the movie started out with her mean at the beginning; then slowly filled in the back-story, it probably would have been better. Kathy Bates had that meaness that was needed. Always happy to see Dinklage on the screen-but it will not go down as one of his finer performances. Kristen Bell did a fine job; for some reason I am slowly warming up to her.” 3 stars

Tammy

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In Murphysboro, Illinois, Tammy Banks strikes a deer on the way to her job at Topper Jack’s (a fictional fast food restaurant), causing significant damage to her vehicle. Once she arrives at Topper Jack’s, her supervisor, Keith, fires her for repeatedly showing up late for her shift. Upon leaving, Tammy indignantly causes a scene by contaminating or stealing food. After her car dies on the way home on Illinois Route 13, she eventually arrives to find her husband, Greg, eating a romantic meal with their neighbor, Missi. Upset, Tammy leaves and walks two doors down to her parents’ house.

She tells her mother, Deb, about her plans to leave and takes her grandmother Pearl’s car. Pearl requests to come along. Tammy initially refuses but ultimately agrees when Pearl proves that she has a large sum of cash. Tammy has beer with Pearl, and the next morning they wake up near a park where Pearl convinces Tammy not to go back home. Pearl wants to go to Niagara Falls with Tammy since she hadn’t gone as a child. Along the way the two stop in a bar in Louisville, Kentucky, Tammy meets Earl and his son Bobby, and Earl hooks up with Pearl. Tammy and Bobby begin to make a love connection as Pearl and Earl drunkenly make out in the car. Bobby gives Tammy his number to call him so he can pick up Earl. Back at the hotel, Tammy is forced to sleep outside. The next morning, Bobby picks up Earl, and the two leave. Tammy, infuriated with Pearl, leaves her, but returns after feeling guilty. Tammy and Pearl are arrested after Pearl gets caught buying a case of beer for underaged teenagers as well as shoplifting a pint of whiskey for herself. Tammy is released, but Pearl stays at the jail for possessing illegal prescription drugs.

To bail out Pearl, Tammy robs a Topper Jack’s, where she converses with employees Becky and Larry. Finally having obtained the money, she rushes to the prison to bail her out, but Bobby has already bailed out Pearl. With the help of Pearl’s wealthy lesbian cousin Lenore (who made her fortune off of a small chain of pet supply stores), they destroy the car to hide the evidence from the robbery. The two then stay at the home of Lenore and her wife, Susanne. At a 4th of July party thrown at the house, Pearl gets drunk and humiliates Tammy by making rude comments about her weight and appearance in front of all the guests. After Tammy runs off to the dock on the lake by the house, Lenore follows her to both comfort her and offer her some tough love, telling her that she has always been complaining about her life, but has never done anything about it. She tells Tammy that if she wants to make things better for herself she needs to work hard to make it happen.

Later in the morning, Tammy brings coffee to Pearl, who is presumably asleep outside. After repeatedly trying to wake her, Pearl does not wake up and Tammy assumes she is dead. She, Lenore, and Susanne grieve Pearl’s death, but Pearl suddenly awakens, much to everyone’s shock. Pearl was actually unconscious due to the large amount of alcohol she drank the previous night. Tammy is relieved, and she tearfully demands Pearl to get help for her drinking problem. The ambulance arrives and takes Pearl to the hospital. The police arrive as well, and Tammy is arrested.

Tammy is released from prison 38 days later, and her father, Don, picks her up. He offers to kill Greg for her, though she declines. Returning home, Tammy finds that Greg and Missi have packed Tammy’s belongings. She and Greg agree to an amicable divorce. She walks down the street to her parents’ place and finds out that Pearl is now living in Brookview Retirement Home. Tammy goes to Brookview to break her out, but Pearl is actually happy there. She has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at the home, and she is dating one of the men there. However, they do still take a trip to Niagara Falls.

At Niagara Falls, Bobby surprises Tammy there and they kiss. Tammy tells him about her choice to move to Louisville to get a fresh start in life and get closer to him. The last scene shows Missi leaving Greg to be with Keith Morgan and Tammy befriends Becky and Larry

REVIEW:

I have a confession to make. I have a small crush on Melissa McCarthy. Judging by some of the comments and reviews she gets, I think I may be the only person besides her husband that actually is a fan. Tammy does not afford her the opportunity to show her beauty, but we do get a toned down version of what we have been getting from her of late. Is this for the best, though?

What is this about?

Pushed to the limit after losing her job and discovering her husband’s been cheating on her, Tammy agrees to flee town with her alcoholic grandmother. Their destination is Niagara Falls, but the journey offers some unexpected pit stops.

What did I like?

Buds. Both Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon are no stranger to these buddy road trip movies, as they both have starred in critically acclaimed films. Having said that, I still don’t think I would have paired them together (originally, I believe it was supposed to have been Shirley MacLaine, if you can believe that), and yet somehow it works. There is some nice chemistry and back and forth between the two that really captures the audience’s attention. Are they going to get along? Do they really hate each other? It is an interesting dynamic.

Grandma. I know Susan Sarandon is getting on up there in age, but that Mama’s Family hair wasn’t working for me. Ignoring that, though, she gave arguably the best performance of the film. Striking a solid balance between comedy, drama, and a hint of tragedy, she steals the show from her “granddaughter”. Also, she can still pull in the men, which I imagine is true in real life, as well.

Victims. Melissa McCarthy’s character needs to make some $3,000 or somewhere thereabouts, so she decides to rob a franchise restaurant from the chain that fired her. In the process of doing so, she stops just short of making friends of the people working there (which apparently does happen, judging by the post-credits scene with all of them in a hot tub. What I like about this arrangement is how it just naturally flowed and wasn’t awkward. The three of them could probably make a sitcom together. As a matter of fact, I believe the blonde was on McCarthy’s show, Mike & Molly once.

What didn’t I like?

Fast food. I really don’t mean to judge, especially in this economy, but how and why is it that an apparently 30-40 something year old woman is flipping burgers or whatever is it she did at that place? Tammy isn’t shown to have any ambitions or anything, but surely she could have gotten a better job doing something…anything else.

Tara? Toni Collette is too fine an actress to be relegated to the role of I guess you would call her mistress? I say this because she is in 2, maybe 3 scenes and says little to nothing. Tammy’s husband is some no name actor, why did they feel the need to bring in someone like Collette to pair with him. Surely they could have found another no-name out there that would have been just as good, but cheaper.

Nice guy. When a love interest appears in a film, they usually have some defining characteristic about them that audiences use to remember them. This isn’t the case for Mark Duplass’ character, as he is 100% forgettable. Part of that is the fault of the script. We are privy to little to no information about this guy, but are expected to cheer for him as he tries to win McCarthy’s hand. It just doesn’t work. The guy may very well be too nice.

Final verdict on Tammy? Well, it seems to have more heart than many of McCarthy’s previous outings and doesn’t have her doing the fat comic thing. As a matter of fact, with the exception of one dramatic scene, her weight isn’t even mentioned. There are some genuine funny moments and some apparent comedic scenes that don’t work. The introduction of Kathy Bates’ character helps the film keep moving forward before it can devolve into monotony, though I’m not really sure why she had to be a lesbian. Do I recommend this? I think so, but only because this is one of those rare films today where you get to see the acting side of McCarthy. Give it a go, then.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

P.S. I Love You

Posted in Chick Flicks, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Holly and Gerry are a married couple who live on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They are deeply in love, but they fight occasionally. Gerry dies suddenly of a brain tumor and Holly realizes how much he means to her as well as how insignificant their arguments were.

Deeply distraught, Holly withdraws from her family and friends until they descend upon her on her 30th birthday. They are determined to force the young widow to face the future and decide what her next career move should be. As they rally around Holly and help organize her apartment, a cake is delivered, and with it is a message from Gerry. It proves to be the first of several meaningful messages — all ending with “P.S. I Love You” — which he had arranged to have delivered to her after his death. As the seasons pass, each new message fills her with encouragement and sends her on a new adventure. Holly’s mother believes that Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past. But they are, in fact, pushing her into the future. With Gerry’s words as her guide, Holly slowly embarks on a journey of rediscovery.

Gerry arranged for Holly and her friends Denise and Sharon to travel to his homeland of Ireland. While there, they meet William, a singer who strongly reminds Holly of her deceased husband. He then dedicates a song to her but on hearing it she leaves the place because it was Gerry’s song for her. During the vacation, while on a fishing trip they get stuck in the middle of a lake without any oars to steer their boat with. At that moment Denise announces she’s engaged and Sharon reveals that she is pregnant. This news causes Holly to relapse emotionally and again withdraw into herself. They are eventually rescued by William and he decides to spend the night with them. That night William and Holly get involved physically and Holly tells him about Gerry’s family when William reveals he is actually Gerry’s childhood friend. This causes Holly to freak out but William calms her down and starts to tell stories about his and Gerry’s childhood. Next day Holly visits Gerry’s parents and while there she also receives a letter from Gerry reminding her of their first meeting.

Holly eventually enrolls in a fashion course and discovers that she has a flair for designing women’s shoes. A newfound self-confidence allows her to emerge from her solitude and embrace her friends’ happiness. While on a walk with her mother, she learns that her mother was the one whom Gerry asked to deliver his letters after his death. She takes her mother on a trip to Ireland and, as the film ends, it appears that Holly has opened herself up to the journey that the rest of her life will be, and wherever it takes her; she finally abandons her fear of falling in love again.

REVIEW:

Gerard Butler in another film where he doesn’t kick ass. On top of that, he only in the first 10-15 minutes, and yet P.S. I Love You may be one of his most endearing roles. A good friend of mine from high school has the hugest crush on him so, in a way, this review is inspired by her.

What is this about?

When she loses her beloved husband, Gerry, to a brain tumor, grieving widow Holly Kennedy learns that he left a series of letters behind to help her cope with the pain of living without him.

What did I like?

Story. Based on the Irish novel of the same name, this is a story that is meant to pull on the heartstrings. I didn’t feel anything, but I’ve also been said to have a black hole where my heart is supposed to be, so my lack of emotion should to sway you one way or another. I did like how Gerry was able to keep his memory alive through these letters. I wonder, if I ever find out that my time is coming, if I could do something like this.

Believable relationship. In so many films and television shows, we see couples in relationships that don’t really seem like they’re in love, or were ever in love. Gerry and Holly, though, seem like the real deal. I was really sold that not only were they a fairly newly married couple, but also that they were having issues with their in-laws and felt the tension in their fight.

Swank. I don’t think anyone who has ever seen a film starring Hilary Swank can question her acting talent. Well, maybe The Next Karate Kid, but everyone was horrible in that abomination. Swank does not exactly have the most feminine look, but after Gerry’s death, she really shows some emotion, and after getting these letters, gets girlied up a bit, which is a nice change of pace for her.

What didn’t I like.

Death. After the film’s opening scenes, where we see the fight between Gerry and Holly, the opening credits role, and we are thrust into the future to Gerry’s funeral, for lack of a better term. The problem is that we don’t really know how he dies. He doesn’t seem to be in any kind of ill-health in his earlier scenes, but he ends up dying of a brain tumor, as mentioned later in the film. I kind of wish they would have gone more into this, but I also feel that this would have dragged things down and made this flick a bit more depressing than it already is. Not to mention, the character of Gerry seems to be a happy, jovial fellow, so it probably is best to not see him on his death-bed, if you ask me.

Many loves. After Gerry’s death and Holly’s depression, she slowly gets back out there with a couple of guys. The first is some guy that works in her mother’s bar as a bartender (even though he was a successful businessman of some sort before his divorce), played by Harry Connick, Jr. Connick does a good job, but I just don’t think he had great chemistry with Swank. The second guy, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, she meets in Ireland and was actually a good friend of Gerry. He even played in his band. Contrary to Connick, Morgan seems to have some nice chemistry with Swank. On top of that, he seem to bear a slight resemblance to Butler. It is my understanding that his character is not in the book, so they could have very well made him a brother rather than friend. I wonder why they didn’t.

Typical. As with any woman, there is always a gaggle of bitchy friends fluttering around and influencing her every move. There are two here, Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow. I don’t have any issue with Gershon, other than the way she drops her pregnancy bomb on them, but Kudrow is the true definition of the bitchy friend. She even became a Bridezilla. I’m surprised she didn’t reject that shows that Holly made after taking that shoe making class.

P.S. I Love You is a film that screams chick flick. This is one of those estrogen-laden flicks that drives us guys nuts. That being said, there were parts that I enjoyed…more than I care to admit. Do I recommend this, though? Yes, especially to those that actually have emotions. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, so check it out sometime!

4 out of 5 stars

Arthur 2: On the Rocks

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) is still rich and still drinks too much, but he and Linda (Liza Minnelli) are now happily married. The one thing missing in their life is a child. Seeking revenge, billionaire Bert Johnson (Stephen Elliott), the father of Susan Johnson (Cynthia Sikes), the wealthy woman whom Arthur jilted at the altar, takes control of Arthur’s inheritance, leaving Arthur broke and homeless. Susan wants him back and is willing to break up Arthur’s marriage if that’s what it takes.

Arthur tries to sober up to rise up to the occasion and find a job, knowing his financial plight could ruin any chance he and Linda have of adopting a baby. Linda assures a representative from the adoption agency that, despite his drinking, Arthur would make a good father. Through an elaborate scheme, Arthur plots to get even with the Johnsons and get his money back. In the end, he not only is able to adopt a child, but Linda discovers that she’s pregnant.

REVIEW:

Widely panned by critics, audiences, and even the cast, Arthur 2: On the Rocks is the ill-timed sequel to the original hit film Arthur (not that surely crappy remake that was recently foisted upon us as vehicle for Russel Brand).

While everyone is hating on this film, I actually think I preferred it its predecessor. No, that isn’t me trying to go against the norm. I actually did prefer this one, as a whole, but the original had the better story.

I say that because this one seems as if they just randomly up and decided to bring all these characters back and give them something to do, but not really thinking about how they should actually make it worth the audience’s time.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Dudley Moore’s Arthur character is about as annoying as any character can be. As bad Russel Brand is in person, one has to think that he fashioned his persona after Arthur. If that wasn’t bad enough, Arthur seems to rub off on Liza Minnelli’s Linda, at least when they’re together, as she is just as annoying.

However, in the few scenes when she isn’t attached at the hip to him, we remember that she is an independent character, even if she is a far cry from what I remember her being in the first film.

Speaking of recurring characters from the first film, Arthur’s jilted bride, Susan, who was originally played by Jill Eikenberry, has been replaced by statuesque Cynthia Sykes. I’m not sure what the reason for the change is, but it could just be bad timing or a pregnancy, or it could be that she just didn’t want to come back because f the script. I don’t believe it is truly know what the reason, so all we can do is speculate.

Her replacement, though, holds her own, and actually seems to be more villainous that need be. At times, she comes across as some type of cartoon villainous along the lines of Natasha from Rocky & Bullwinkle, for example. If this was that type of movie, then it would have been great, but that isn’t the case, and she just was out of place with her characterization. Not to mention the fact that this was a whole different Susan than we saw in the original. I almost want to say they should have gone with a story like she had plastic surgery and it twisted her mind so that all she wants is revenge on Arthur.

Now, the whole riches to rags and back again thing was actually not that bad, especially when you consider how frivolous Arthur and Linda, to a lesser extent, seemed to be with their money, but the adoption thing, which somehow seemed to be all but forgotten for most of the film.

Yes, the adoption thing is supposedly only a subplot, but I felt like it could have been more of the major plot with the money thing being secondary. I’m sure there are those that agree with me, on that, and those that disagree.

The comedic timing throughout the film rests squarely on Dudley Moore’s Arthur and his antics, with a little bit on Linda, but not much. Kathy Bates gets a few zingers in, but I just couldn’t get over seeing her skinny, to be honest with you.

Final verdict on this film? I still wonder why people are such haters, but I guess they just need to be hateful. My personal opinion is that this is a decent flick, but I think all the parties involved have done much better work. The end result is a film that is enjoyable, but forgettable. There is a good reason no one talks about Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Yes, I liked it better than the original, and don’t quite understand why everyone dislikes it so, but that doesn’t mean it is a great picture. Should you see it? Well, it won’t hurt you to watch it once, but any more than that and you may just end up torturing yourself.

3 out of 5 stars

Little Black Book

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy), an associate producer on a daytime talk show (syndicated out of Trenton, New Jersey), is convinced that her boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) is the right man for her, though he has an apparent phobia of commitment, and he’s vague about his past relationships. Taking the advice of colleague Barb (Holly Hunter), she looks at his Palm Tungsten C and its record of the names and numbers of three ex-girlfriends, a French supermodel, a gynecologist and a cook.

She sets up an interview with each woman, in an attempt to learn more about and get closer to Derek. However, Stacy’s plan suffers a setback when she develops a friendship with one of the women (the cook).

Stacy is eventually betrayed by Barb, when she, Derek and the ex-girlfriends are brought together on stage for a live broadcast during sweeps season. During the show, Stacy comes to the realization that she is not the right one for Derek and lets him go. On the way out, Barb, clearly out of her mind, tells Stacy that her actions were not premeditated and goes on to call the “event” a masterpiece. With a live camera behind her, Stacy responds with, “I should tear your eyes out right now. But how will you be able to look at yourself in the morning?”, which the audience cheers on. Stacy, then, departs from the studio, as the camera stays on an emotionless Barb.

In the end, Stacy winds up earning her dream job working for Diane Sawyer and meets Carly Simon.

REVIEW:

So, I’ve been getting e-mails as to why it is I never review chick flicks. I think the last one was some Katherine Heigl flick that I can’t even remember the name of. Anyway, I was planning on something else going right here, but I caved and watched this instead.

Little Black Book is a story of one woman’s insecurities involving her boyfriend and his secretive life.

The plot follows Stacy, a wide-eyed, naive associate producer of a local daytime talk show in New Jersey. With the egging on of her coworker, who is as cynical as they come, she decides to sneak a look at her boyfriend’s palm pilot, which he happened to leave behind while he is away on a business trip.

This leads to her finding out that he still has contact with his exes, one of which is a supermodel.

After some creatively funny scenarios, all the women and the boyfriend are lured onto the Kippie Kahn show for what cold very well have been a Jerry Springer type moment, but instead turned into one of those scenes where women grab their box of Kleenex.

The funny moments in this film are more plentiful than I thought they wold be. I happen to think this has something to do with the comedic genius of Brittany Murphy (R.I.P.)

I look at Ron Livingston and then I see these women he’s hooked up with and I have to do a double take and wonder how? It is kind of like how it is Shia LeBeouf manged to get Megan Fox and Rosie Hntington-Whitely in the Transformers movies or ho Adam Sandler has been able to hook up with the likes of Kate Beckinsale, Brooklyn Decker, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Drew Barrymore (more than once), and Salma Hayek in his movies. These are things that just defy logic, I guess. Of course, the guy also had a young Jennifer Aniston in Office Space, too.  How does that make sense?

Holly Hunter is a great actress, make no mistake about that, but I just could not stand her in this role. I’m not sure if it was because of how this character was written, or her attitude, or what it was, but she just rubbed me the wrong way from the first time she appears on-screen and what she does at film’s end just made me hate her. That’s ok, though, I still love her in The Incredibles.

Kevin Sussman, who I know best as Stuart, the comic book store owner from The Big Bang Theory, actually has a fairly serious role here, and does a  really good job of it. He just has the look of someone people would walk all over. I would have liked for something good to happen to him in the end, but I guess the filmmakers thought differently.

I’m actually a little surprised in the ending here. Two names were dropped left and right all the way through the picture, Carly Simon, who does appear at the end, and Diane Sawyer. Strangely enough, there was no Diane to be seen. I guess she couldn’t be bothered for a 10 second cameo.

So, what do I ultimately have to say about Little Black Book? Well, for a chick flick, it was more than entertaining. Granted, it isn’t something that I’m going to go out of my way to see, like say, The A-Team, but there were some good moments, and these women are more than a pleasure to see. On top of that, how can you not like a film where Brittany Murphy is just being her normal cute self? I highly recommend this, but please don’t get any ideas, ladies! It might not end as well in real life.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Blind Side

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

For most of his childhood, 17-year-old Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) has been in foster care with different families throughout Memphis, Tennessee. Every time he is placed in a new home, he runs away. His friend’s father, whose couch Mike had been sleeping on, asks Burt Cotton (Ray McKinnon), the coach of Wingate Christian school, to help enroll his son and Mike. Impressed by Mike’s size and athleticism, Cotton gets him admitted despite his abysmal academic record.

At his new school, Michael is befriended by a boy named Sean Jr. “SJ” (Jae Head). SJ’s mother Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) is a strong-minded interior designer and the wife of wealthy businessman Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw). After a late night Thanksgiving school play, Leigh Anne notices Michael walking on the road, shivering in the cold; when she learns he intends to spend the night huddled outside the school gym, she offers him a place to sleep at her house. The next morning, when she sees Michael leaving, she asks him to spend the holiday with her family. Slowly, Michael becomes a member of the Tuohy family, even as Leigh Anne’s rich friends wonder what she is doing. One even suggests that her teenage daughter Collins (Lily Collins) is not safe around him, much to Leigh Anne’s disgust.

When Leigh Anne seeks to become Michael’s legal guardian, she learns he was separated from his drug-addict mother when he was seven and that no one knows her whereabouts. She is also told that even though he scored low in almost every category, he is in the 98th percentile in “protective instincts”.

After his grades improve, Michael is allowed to join the school football team. He has a shaky start due to his polite and gentle nature, yet after some encouragement by Leigh Anne to tap into his “protective instincts” and regard his teammates as he would members of his family, Michael dominates on the field. SJ sends out videos of the games to college coaches around the country. Leigh Anne discovers that to get a NCAA Division I scholarship, Michael needs a 2.5 GPA, so they hire a tutor, Miss Sue (Kathy Bates). Some of the teachers help out as well, and Michael ends up with a GPA of 2.52.

When coaches come to recruit Michael, Leigh Anne makes it clear that she prefers the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) as both she and her husband are alumni. Miss Sue, another Ole Miss alumna, tells Michael (who dislikes horror films) that the FBI buries body parts under the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium for research; Leigh Anne particularly loathes that school. Michael commits to Ole Miss.

Subsequently, Michael and the Tuohys become the subject of an NCAA investigation. The investigator tells Michael that the Tuohys and Miss Sue are fervent Mississippi boosters, who are subject to special restrictions, and his high school coach got a job at Ole Miss after Michael chose the school. Michael confronts Leigh Anne, asking her if she only took him in so he would play football for her alma mater. Michael then goes to his birth mother’s apartment in the projects. His old friends welcome him, but their leader makes crude remarks about Leigh Anne and Collins. In the ensuing fight, Michael dispatches three thugs and then flees the scene.

Leigh Anne searches for Michael. He finally calls her, and they meet. Leigh Anne tells him she will support any decision he makes. Michael satisfies the investigator by explaining that he chose Ole Miss because his whole family has gone there.

Later, Leigh Ann and her family take Michael to the Ole Miss campus to begin college. The film ends with an emotional goodbye between Leigh Anne and Michael. The closing credits show the 2009 NFL Draft with the real Michael Oher being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. Photographs of Oher and the real Tuohys follow, with Oher’s success in the NFL detailed. The credits include a dedication to director John Lee Hancock’s father, a football player and coach who died in 2009.

REVIEW:

This film has been called a non-football football movie. I didn’t even think that was possible, really, but apparently The Blind Side does just that.

This film is the life story of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher and how he was adopted by the Tuohy family, started playing football, and eventually made it to the NFL.

Initially, I thought this was just going to be another one of those boring dramas, just with a football theme. Thankfully, that isn’t what this turned out to be. Much in the same way I was shocked by how interesting Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire turned out to be surprisingly interesting, this film followed the same pattern and made me wish I had actually given it a chance back when everyone was all gaga over it.

As with all biopics, the thing that has me the most curious, is how much of this really happened, and how much was done just to make an “interesting” film. For instance, there is a scene during one of the few football games they show that Big Mike picks up a linebacker and takes him all the way across the field, dumps him over the rail, and gets asked by his coach where he was taking him, to which he replies that he was taking him to the bus and that it was time to go home.

It is little inserts of humor that keep this from being the total snorefest that one would expect from a drama, though.

The acting here is really great, of course almost all of the cast is actually from the south, so those accents weren’t too much of a stretch, save for having to adjust to Tennessee twang.

Sandra Bullock did such a great job in this role that she won an Oscar for it. Do I really need to say more?

Tim McGraw has really come into his own as an actor over the years. While he doesn’t have much to do here, the few scene he is in are pretty good.

Quinton Aaron had the intimidating task of being Big Mike and I think he did a good job of it. He didn’t do the gy any injustice. You have to wonder, though, how mch pressure was on this guy to play someone who is still alive and in the prime of their life. Oher is currently playing in the NFL. Normally, biopics are made of people who are dead or up there in age. I say this and just remembered that there was some kind of movie about Prince William and Kate Middelton on last night.

I do have a slight issue with the casting, though, and that is when they show what the Tuohys during the credits, they are nowhere near as attractive a couple as Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. I know that they were cast for box office draw, well…Bullock was, but you’d think they’d have found someone who resembled these people more. They had no problem finding some fugly woman to play Michael’s mom. I’m just saying.

Each year, I come across a drama that makes me sit up and take notice, it seems like. I guess this year’s version is The Blind Side. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, in spite of its lack of football. I highly recommend this to any and everyone. It truly lives up to the hype!

5 out of 5 stars