Tag Archives: Kevin Costner

Draft Day **1/2

DRAFT DAY

“Draft Day” stars Kevin Costner as the general manager of an NFL football team. It depicts the last day before the NFL draft. We follow Costner’s character, Sonny Weaver Jr, as he manages his personal life as well as his job. His team has the number one pick in the draft. The film is positioned as a lighter version of “Moneyball” which is a shame because it is a fairly entertaining film just in a different way. The ladder film focused on the harsh business where this movie is trying to be more of a generic dramedy.

Besides Costner, the film stars Jennifer Garner as his assistant and secret girlfriend, Denis Leary as the teams coach, Frank Langella as the team owner and Ellen Burstyn as his mother.

During the day Costner will make a series of movies that could make or break the team. Those aspects of the film were what interestsed me the most. The parts that didn’t were involving his personal life. Those scenes felt heavy handed and unnecessary.

The director is Ivan Reitman, who is clearly seasoned in these types of movies. Maybe he is too familiar at this point because this film seems sort of phoned in. Anyway it is not a bad film just not a must see.

3 Days To Kill

 

 If you have not had your fill of actors over 60 turning to the action genre than may this movie will help you get your fix. Kevin Costner joins the likes of Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan and Sean Penn as these actors try to rebrand themselves as action heroes. Neeson seems to of perfected the art but Costner actually comes pretty close.

Costner has the acting chops to make this a somewhat classy affair. Well about as classy as a Luc Besson production can get. “3 Days To Kill” is a mindless action thriller that is some what entertaining and could suffice for a nice friday night at home.


Man Of Steel ***

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“Man Of Steel” is a reboot of the Superman franchise. After the disaster that was “Superman Returns”, Warner Bros. decided to start the franchise over with a new director and cast. Christopher Nolan was brought in to come up with a story and produce the film as his “Batman” films have shown us just how amazing a superhero movie can be. His vision for Superman is to imagine what it would be like in todays world if he existed. He then brought in Zack Snyder, the director of films like “300” and “Watchmen” to bring it all to life.

The result is a fairly engaging and some times exhilarating Superman movie. I think this is the film that fans were hoping for when they said that “Superman Returns” did not have enough action. This film has all the large scale destruction that one would want from a summer blockbuster. But it also tells a story that has dramatic weight and meaning.

The film opens on the doomed planet of Krypton. Jor-El, played by Russell Crowe, is trying to convince the planet’s government that their home world is going to fall apart and they must evacuate as soon as possible. He is interrupted by General Zod played by Michael Shannon, as Zod stages a coup igniting a massive battle. This sequence is exciting and epic. It is one of the most visionary battles put to the screen since “Avatar. After seeing multiple movies taking place on a futuristic earth, it is a pleasure to visit a different place in the universe.

As Krypton starts to crumble, Jor-El sends his only son, Kal-El, to earth. Kal-El grows up to be Superman, aka, Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill. As a boy he is raised by Jonathan and Martha kent played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. Jonathan thinks it is best to keep his origins and powers a secret because he believes that the people of earth would fear him. One sequence has Clark saving his schoolmates from a bus that has fallen off a bridge into a river. Jonathan says that maybe he should of let them die to keep his secret

As an adult, Clark spends his life as a drifter, occasionally saving lives then falling off the map. Eventually he finds his way to his fortress of solitude and learns the truth about his heritage. This happens just in time to greet General Zod, who has arrived on earth to find Clark for reasons I will not spoil here.

Now amazingly, Snyder is able to dial down his signature visual trade marks in favor of telling a more straight forward story. He focuses on the story of this young man as he quests to find out his true purpose in the world.

The performances were the real highlight of this movie for me. Cavill in particular as Clark Kent, plays it more dramatic that Christopher Reeve did in the original. He is more of a man of action with little time for light hearted humour or romance.

Costner and Lane as his adoptive parents are particularly effective as they attempt to raise an alien with essentially human values. Crowe is also very good here as his biological father, who has instilled his consciousness in the fortress of solitude as a helpful guide.

Michael Shannon, who play’s Zod here, takes on his first major role in a blockbuster film. After giving some powerful performances in independent films, he gets a chance to make a mark in a major studio tentpole and he does not disappoint. His Zod is maniacal but not without purpose. He truly believes that he is attempting to save his own race by basically wiping out all humans.

All the action sequences are top notch, especially when Superman battles Zod and his minions. There is much destruction starting in his home town of Smallville then spanning the globe. My only concern here is the amount of lives that are lost during these battles are way more than you would expect in a Superman film. The city of Metropolis is literally turned to rubble. Skyscrapers topple over on top of each other. The 9/11 imagery is evident in almost every one of these scenes.

So compared to other super hero movies, “Man Of Steel” holds it’s own. I still prefer the Iron Man and Batman series simply because I find their stories to be more complex and interesting. But coming from someone who never really got in to Superman growing up, this movie is pretty great.

Revenge *

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“Revenge” really left me at a loss for words. I was not sure which characters were really trying to get revenge to be honest.

Kevin Costner plays a fighter pilot who retires and heads down to Mexico to stay with a long time friend played by Anthony Quinn. Just so happens that Quinn is a dangerous gangster. Costner then begins an ill-advised affair with Quinn’s wife. He falls in love with her and the two travel away together in secret. When Quinn finds out he has Costner beaten and left for dead in the middle of nowhere.

If you can’t figure it out then you have not seen enough movies. Costner recovers and comes back to kill Quinn and his men. During his quest all I could really think about is how he had that beating coming. His character was so arrogant and Quinns wife so needy that they both left me wishing that they deserved each other.

The story here is so straight forward and off the shelf that the movie never has any suspense or surprises. Director Tony Scott brings nothing new to the tale at all. His visual style is evident from start to finish and the production is well directed, it’s just that the story is agonizingly predictable.

Field Of Dreams ****

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“Field Of Dreams” is one of my favorite movies. It is about as pure as cinema can get. From the opening moments, where a man walks out in to his vast corn field and hears a voice telling him “if you build it, he will come”, to travelling through time, to seeing the ghosts of former baseball legends playing in your back yard, this movie make no excuses for it’s fantasy. They simply ask that you come along for the ride.

Kevin Coster plays the farmer who hears the voice. He then gets a vision of a baseball field. Amazingly, he gets the blessing of his wife to build a field. She bucks the stereotype that movie wives will battle their husbands. Instead, Amy Madigan is allowed to play the wife as loving and supportive. Maybe thats why she is able to see what happends next for herself.

After the baseball field is built, Shoeless Joe Jackson appears. He is followed by the a few more players from the 1919 Black Sox. This leads Costner on an Odyssey through time, following leads and putting together a grander picture.

The movie was directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who simply allows the story develop in a natural and absorbing way. Everything here is over the top but i was drawn in by the fearless way in which it is told. The actors all play their roles perfectly as well. This is one of those movies that is wonderful from start to finish.