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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

North/South Film All-Time Team: Football

Chris and I have assembled the best of the best from football movies.
Links will jump you to some great videos, so click away and enjoy,

The North/South Film All-Time Team


QB Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) - Any Given Sunday - Steamin is a perfect run n gun QB. 
Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell) - Best of Times - Endorsement deal for the white shoes.
Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) - The Replacements - Doesn't live on a boat anymore.
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves)- Point Break - Missed his window and looks just like Shane Falco.
RB  Gayle Sayers (Billy Dee Williams)- Brian’s Song - A real player is cheating though.
RB Wendell Brown (Eliel Swinto) - Varisty Blues - He’s got Grambling comin’ to see him!
Julian Washington (LL Cool J) - Any Given Sunday - Still a soft showboat.
Ernie Davis (Rob Brown)- The Express - Again, cheating, but he was a boss.
Boobie Miles (Derek Luke) - Friday Night Lights - God made Boobie beautiful. 
Gavin Grey (Dennis Quaid) - Everybody's All-American - Great while he still had it.

WR Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.)- Jerry Maguire - One WR to go across the middle.
WR Jimmy Sanderson (Bill Bellamy) - Any Given Sunday - And one WR to stretch the field
Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey) - Dazed and Confused - Calming clubhouse presence.
Charlie Tweeder (Scott Caan)- Varsity Blues - Welker type. Small, fast and hard to cover.
Phillip Elliot (Nick Nolte) - North Dallas Forty - Veteran who has done it all. Great hands.

TE Brian Murphy (David Denman)- The Replacements - Crowd noise doesn't rattle him.
(How many other movie tight ends are there? Clearly, the most unglamorous position.)

OL Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) - The Blind Side - Just too hard to resist a real life star.
OLBilly Bob (Ron Lester) - Varsity Blues - Numerous concussions, but I still give him a 10!
OL Louie Lastik (Ethan Suplee) - Remember the Titans - Great singer and dancer with size.
OLBud-Lite Kaminski (Abraham Benrubi) - The Program - Hard worker, keeps a second job.
OLManumana (Peter Tuiasosopo)- Necessary Roughness - 2 way superstar and a romantic.

DEFENSE:  (Like all the best Defensive Coordinators, we run a 3-4)

DL Julius Campbell (Wood Harris) - Remember The Titans - He's gonna get his.
DL Andre Krimm (Sinbad) - Necessary Roughness - Best sack dance in the league.
DL Ivory Christian (Lee Jackson) - Friday Night Lights - If you need a big stop, look no further.
Phillip Finch (Tab Thacker) - Wildcats - Multiple holdouts due to contract disputes.
Samson (Richard Kiel) - The Longest Yard - Broke a dude's neck with a clothesline. Nuff said.
Steve Lattimer (Andrew Bryniarski) - The Program - Lots of hazing and steroid incidents.

LB Booby Boucher (Adam Sandler) - The Waterboy - Best defensive player in league history. 
LBDaniel Bateman (Jon Favreau) - The Replacements - Lots of rage issues.
LB Luther "Shark" Lavay (Lawrence Taylor) - Any Given Sunday - Retired, but still shows up. 
LB Charles Jefferson (Forest Whitaker) - Fast Times at Ridgemont High - Flies in for games.
Becky “Icebox” O’Shea (Shawna Waldron) - Little Giants - Decided not to be a cheerleader.
Alvin Mack - The Program (Duane Davis) - Crazy trash talker. Kill 'em all!
Gary Bertier (Ryan Hurst) - Remember The Titans - Strong side! Left side! 

DB Stefen Djordjevic (Tom Cruise) - All the Right Moves - Still getting too many penalties.
DB Dr. Death (Vister Hayes) - Best of Times - Lots of problems with the new protection rules.
DB Trumaine (Wesley Snipes) - Wildcats - Will knock boots in his coach's house.
DB Spike (Sam Horrigan) - Little Giants - Skipped high school/college to turn pro at 13.
Petey Jones (Donald Faison) - Remember The Titans - Outplayed Ryan Gosling!
Brian Chavez (Jay Hernandez) - Friday Night Lights - Tries to be perfect every day. 

K Lucy Draper (Kathy Ireland) - Necessary Roughness - Early ‘90s Kathy Ireland? Sure.
P Derrick Wallace (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.)- The Waterboy - A one man special teams unit.
KR Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)- Forrest Gump - Run! Forrest! Run! . . . Stop!
Practice Squad: Jamie O'Hara (Vince Vaughn) - Rudy - Could have made All-American . . .

Head Coach: Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) - Any Given Sunday - Best pre-game speech ever.
Off. Coord.: Herman Boone (Denzel Washington)- Remember The Titans - Split veer time. 
Def. Coord.: Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight) - Varsity Blues - Ferocious/crazy like a fox.

Cheerleaders: Central High School - Wildcats - Nothing better than a great "your mama" chant.
Mascot: Texas State Armadillo - Necessary Roughness - Gotta love an armadillo with a gun.

Friday, January 24, 2014

North/South Film Awards Part II

Time to talk about all the best (and worst) from movies in 2013.
We've divided our awards into three parts and have over thirty categories to cover.
Click To Read Part One
Click To Read Part Three
The links will jump you to some cool videos or articles.
So click away and enjoy!

Best Moviegoing Experience

North: Gravity- Ninety-one minutes of filmmaking perfection. Possibly the greatest 3D film ever made (depending on how much you like Avatar). Most thrilling trip to the theater in years.

South: 12 Years a Slave at The New Orleans Film Festival - the movie is, of course, brutal (though great), but the premiere I went to with director Steve McQueen and the cast (and getting to interview them also) was awesome. Read about it here.
I also saw Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 silent masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc in New Orleans' famed St. Louis Cathedral with live organ music accompaniment from an acclaimed French musician. It was pretty surreal. 

Worst Moviegoing Experience

Prisoners- Loved the film, but it was long and the theater was hot. Oh and a drunk girl and her boyfriend sat right behind me, beginning this saga: Drunk girl "whispered" non-stop for the first hour. She was immediately and completely befuddled by the film. Drunk and lost, not knowing what the hell was happening on screen, she tried to figure it out at full volume, ruining the movie for everyone in the audience. At one point someone dared to shhhh her and she became louder and more irritated. The boyfriend finally got fed up and left the theater. Her phone then rang loudly four or five times times. She answered it on speaker, it was the boyfriend, he said, "You're completely wasted and you're embarrassing. I'm leaving, if you want a ride, leave now." She cursed him out and literally stomped out of the theater. Easily the worst in-theater experience of the year, but it was so funny by the end that I'm glad I was there for it.

South: R.I.P.D. - I went to a press screening for this. I was late because of traffic (there was a car accident) and it was pouring down rain. So I finally get to the theater, and lo and behold, the movie is excruciatingly awful, and then after, it was still raining like a monsoon. So basically, I wasted two hours of my life and I was soaking wet.

Best Scenes
The Funeral Dinner- August: Osage County- Powerhouse actors going for the jugular.  
The opening of Gravity- It's a long take that will be talked about and dissected for years. 

The hanging scene in 12 Years a Slave, the Britney Spears "Everytime" scene in Spring Breakers, the final scene of Captain Phillips, "Please Mr. Kennedy" in Inside Llewyn Davis,

Worst Scenes

The sex scenes in The To Do List- Really handled poorly and all disgusting. Instantly reminded me of Roger Ebert's great one star review of Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Also, all of Movie 43Identity Thief and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Nothing worse than a bad comedy.

Every single second of The Canyons. But for a specific scene, there is one in the middle of Fruitvale Station (a decent, but not great film) that completely ruined the rest of the film for me. The scene in question is when Oscar is pumping gas and witnesses a dog getting hit by car. The entire scene (obviously made up for the film specifically and not based on the real life story) is just so heavy-handed and out-of-place. The director explains it by making the connection between society's pre-judgement and abandonment of both pitbulls and young black men. I get the symbolism (how could you not), but it is just terribly mishandled.

Most Underrated Movies
Ender's Game- A well shot, pure sci-fi film. Too bad it won't become a franchise.
Girl Most Likely-  A 20% on Rotten Tomatoes but it made me laugh and had some heart.

Every year, there are tons of overlooked films. My Top 5 Under-Appreciated Films Of 2013:
The Place Beyond the PinesShort Term 12Prince AvalancheStoker, and Side Effects

Most Overrated Movies

Pain and Gain- I would put this at the very bottom of my Michael Bay List. Truly hated it.
The Bling Ring- Huge Sofia Coppola fan, but it was a boring and un-filmworthy subject. 

South: The Great Gatsby and Oz, The Great Powerful (I have no idea why Dan likes this movie so much) (Dan's Note: I thought it was funny and beautiful. Full review here)

Most Underrated Performances

Bradley Cooper – The Place Beyond the Pines- Better here than he was in American Hustle.
Shailene Woodley - The Spectacular Now- Subtle and real. Glad she won a Gotham Award.
Asa Butterfield - Ender's Game- A difficult role and his performance carried the film. 

Daniel Brühl – Rush Brühl deserves to be a much, much bigger star.
Bradley Cooper – The Place Beyond the Pines - Cooper was nominated for the wrong film.
Brie Larson - Short Term 12 - Larson has been delightful for years and she definitely gave one of the best performances of the year in this overlooked indie.

Most Overrated Performances
Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks- Awesome actress, but this was one-note/easy for her.
James Franco- Spring Breakers- Love Franco and it was fun, but awards buzz? C'mon now.

South: Christian Bale - American Hustle - It is not that he is bad in the film (far from it actually), it is just not even remotely worthy of his Oscar nomination.
*And James Franco is beyond phenomenal in Spring Breakers, shame on you.

Best Cameo

North: Michael Cera- This Is The End- From slapping Rihanna's butt, to blowing coke in Christopher Mintz-Plasse's face, to getting impaled, this was some glorious work from an always hilarious dude.

South: Michael Cera was certainly a standout in a film full of great cameos (Emma Watson too), but the best was Channing Tatum's - also from This is the End - for two main reasons: it was a complete and total surprise - and - it was so damn weird and self-deprecating.

Worst Cameo

North and South:
Most of the ones in Anchorman 2- Liked Jim Carrey and John C. Reilly. The rest? Yikes.

Best Cast

North: Prisoners and August: Osage County- Scared of everyone in both films. 
South: 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street a distant second.

Worst Cast
North and South:
Gangster Squad- Chris and I usually love all of these actors (especially Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone), but this thing was brutal from start to finish. Sean Penn went so over-the-top I was waiting for someone to grab him off-screen with a big hook. This movie wanted to be L.A. Confidential so badly, instead it was just a waste of time and talent. 

Thanks For Reading Part II
Read Part I Here
Read Part III Here
Part III Coming Soon
Follow Us On Twitter For Daily Movie Links and News: @NorthSouthFilm

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Tom Hanks delivers one of 2013's most visceral performances in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
As the ship captain who is taken hostage by pirates with machine guns, Hanks and his character journey through the emotional spectrum. At times it is hard to watch. There is no room for swashbuckling, this film is gritty, thrilling and claustrophobic. When the bullets fly and ricochet, it's too close for comfort and the intense results are put on display.

Newcomer ( I hate/refuse the term, "non-actor") Barkhad Abdi is also stellar as Muse, the leader of the pirates. His life is a horror story which unfortunately is all too real, as the film is based on actual events. You can't really blame Muse for his actions or delusions because his situation is unimaginable. He's another victim in a film full of them. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS has a spot in my Top 10 of the year and if you want more, here is a full review from our pal The South.

Cate Blanchett is mesmerizing in BLUE JASMINE. She's a widow descending into madness after the loss of her husband and ritzy life. However, this is not a tale of redemption, in fact, I don't know if you are rooting for a single character in the film to succeed. Instead you are here to watch a train wreck from start to finish. The film is directed by Woody Allen who always has something real to say about the human experience, and this time he chooses not to say it through laughs. It's tough, sad and will definitely hit close to home for many, however the Blanchett showcase is well worth any potential discomfort.

Thanks For Reading!
Follow Us On Twitter For Daily Movie News and Links: @NorthSouthFilm

Friday, January 17, 2014

North/South Film Awards Part I

Time to talk about all the best (and worst) from movies in 2013.
We've divided our awards into three parts and have over thirty categories to cover.
The links will jump you to related videos or articles.
So click away and enjoy!

Best Trailer

North: Gravity- Not only was it the best trailer of the year, it's one of the best in history. In 3D it was anxiety inducing. Isn't that the purpose of a trailer? ElysiumWorld War Z and The Great Gatsby all turned in nice trailers as well.

South: Gravity - Dan is right, just a great, great trailer. Also, The Wolf of Wall Street (Leo, Scorsese, Kanye. So good.) and the first The Secret Life of Walter Mitty trailer .

Best Poster

North: World War Z- Kinda of a cool takeoff on the classic JAWS poster. 
Best Non-Studio Poster goes to Man Of Steel (Mondo Poster by Martin Ansin)
I think it's official that artist prints have surpassed anything the studios put out.


South: Nebraska perfectly reflects the film's old-school/indie/off-kilter feel, Side Effects relays its premise extremely well, and with its instantly recognizable Disney glove and script, Escape from Tomorrow, is tremendously perverse, mysterious, and intriguing (unfortunately the film did not follow through). And though the movie does not come out until next year, this X-Men: Days of Future Past poster is fantastic.

Best Action Movie

North: Iron Man 3- Shane Black delivered. IM3 is easily one of the best movies in the Marvel series and if anybody thinks it's bad I guess they don't remember Iron Man 2. Condolences to Zack Snyder's action-extravaganza, Man Of Steel. The Krypton sequence in was incredible, but as a whole, the film was no match for Tony Stark and his suit collection.

South: I will second the praise of Iron Man 3. The 90s more than proved that Shane Black can do action and he clearly has not slipped in the years since. But I would also like to give a shout out to the recently released Lone Survivor (technically a 2013 film despite hitting theaters in 2014). The middle act of the film is essentially one, long, extremely well-shot action sequence worthy of praise.

Worst Action Movie

North: A Good Day To Die Hard- Nothing good to say about this movie, it's really bad from start to finish. I would have declared it a tie with G.I. Joe Retaliation, but the mountain fight was pretty awesome. I also saw Fast & Furious 6, which was so absurdly bad and unrealistic that I kind of enjoyed it.

South: After Earth - just a bad movie all around.

Best Comedy

North: This Is The End- Pretty damn funny in a really, really weak year for Comedies. The other movies that delivered with lots of laughs were The HeatThe Family and Girl Most Likely.

South: This Is The End - I agree with Dan, not great year for Comedy, but this one would have had me stitches no matter what year. The World's End and Nebraska (somewhat surprisingly) were also full of laughs.

Worst Comedy

North: Movie 43- Truly awful. Almost turned it off multiple times, but had to see how bad it could get. It's like they took a dozen rejected SNL sketches and made a movie out of them. Laughed once at Naomi Watts in the first sequence and then endured hell for the next ninety minutes. Brutal.

South: I really make it a point not to watch many bad films, especially comedies. I did not see Movie 43, The Hangover III, The Internship, Grown-Ups 2, or any others that people have been saying are really bad. So... I will go with one (or all) of those movies... that is my best non-answer for this category.

Best Sequel

North: Star Trek Into Darkness - 5 months ago this was my favorite movie of 2013. It couldn't hold onto the top spot, but it made my Top 5 and I still think it's better than Wrath Of Khan. I think J.J. Abrams has done an incredible job with his two Trek films and it gives me great confidence for him to be successful at reviving the Star Wars franchise.

South: Though I am really not sure if it is considered a sequel, but Richard Linklater's Before Midnight was truly great. And, Hunger Games: Catching Fire - I was not sold on this YA-book-series-turned-blockbuster-movie-series when it was first announced and it took me a while to watch the first film (which was good). But after this year's second effort, consider me a full-blown convert to the Hunger Games mania (Jennifer Lawrence's presence helps). Heck, I may even read the books.

Worst Sequel

North: The Hangover Part III- Almost sad to watch this. The Hangover was a fun comedy, but let's be honest, it's no classic. However, it made such ungodly amounts of money that they had to go back to the well for two sequels. Part II was a bad rehash, but this was just phoned-in and unwatchable. 

South: Same thing goes for this category as it did for Worst Comedy. I have no desire to see bad movies. Occasionally, I do (or am forced to), but I guess I just lucked out this year.

Best Soundtrack

North: Frances HaGood movie, great soundtrack. Shouts to Disney's Frozen for some great originals, like "Let It Go". To American Hustle's use of "I Feel Love", which is an absolute banger and mixtape staple for me and to Lana Del Rey for "Young and Beautiful" from The Great Gatsby.

South: Inside Llewyn Davis easily. The Broken Circle Breakdown, Frances HaThe Bling Ring, and Her are all great too, but the best musical moment goes to Spring Breakerspoolside cover of Britney Spears' "Everytime."

Best Score

North: Prisoners- Haunting. This movie was like going through a house of horrors. The further you got, the scarier it became and this score by Jóhann Jóhannsson added a lot to the terrifying ambiance.

South: All these are great: Clint Mansell for Stoker, Arcade Fire & Owen Pallett for Her, and finally, Dave Wingo for the double dip of Mud and Prince Avalanche (with Explosions in the Sky).

Thanks For Reading Part I
Click Here For Part II 
Click Here For Part III
Follow Us On Twitter For Daily Movie Links and News: @NorthSouthFilm

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chris's Review: ‘Lone Survivor’ is intense and dramatic ode to soldiers and brotherhood

Actor-turned-director Peter Berg has a speckled history as a filmmaker, with his fair share of bad (Hancock, Battleship) sprinkled in with good (Friday Night Lights). A few years ago, he made somewhat of a forgotten and underappreciated film set in the Middle East in the midst of the War on Terror called The Kingdom.

With The Kingdom, Berg proved himself a more than capable action director. Its success likely led to him landing those previously mentioned, big budget, studio-action films that were not so well-received. With his new film, Berg returns to the kind of smaller-scale action film that better suits his cinematic style.

Lone Survivor tells the real-life story of the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wings,” where four members of U.S. Navy SEAL Team 10 were tasked to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. When their mission in a remote village is compromised by chance, they must rely on one another and their training to survive.