Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I think of this as the great gay pumpkin.  I hope you're all having a terrific Halloween. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I don't want to say that Insight into Entertainment is on hiatus, but I haven't been able to watch much beyond the TV I enjoy (Dexter, Project Runway, and about 20 other shows) and a few movies a week to keep up with our Actors of the Week for Reel Insight.  The real reason is that my dissertation is entering its final days and I have no creative energy left to come up with anything interesting.  I've been enjoying all the podcasting and Reel Insight will return this weekend, and I'm the first guest on a new podcast, soon to be released.  Stay tuned - creative energy will return. 

Me washing my clothes in a river in Gabon, after collecting data for the soon-to-be-finished thesis.

Monday, October 25, 2010

No Reel Insight this week

I was away for the weekend so we didn't get a chance to record Reel Insight this week.  To make up for it, we're going to do a super episode next week with the winner of October's Quoteable Quotes, and a two-fer "Star of the Week".  Make sure to catch it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Funniest thing this week

I'm catching up on last season's 30 Rock.  Tina Fey hallucinates her ex-boyfriends are the nurses at her doctor's office.  Just to explain this hysterical clip.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Releases: Easy A and RED

I have seen a few new movies in the theater lately, but haven't been keeping up with my reviews, so here's two for one.  Easy A is as good as everyone says.  If you've listened to the podcasts I've been on lately, you'll know I loved this movie.  I got to see it all by myself in a theater - one of the benefits to living in a rural area, it's possible to get a private screening on occasion.  In case you've missed it - Easy A is the story of Olive Pendergast (Emma Stone), a high school student who makes up a date with a college student, and when her best friend asks her about it, she pretends they had sex.  This starts a rumor that flies through the high school that Olive is easy.  One of her friends, Brandon (Dan Byrd), is getting bullied because he's gay, and asks her to pretend to have sex with him so raise his reputation.  They pretend at a big party and it changes everything for both of them.  In English class they're studying Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter", giving a theme to the movie and to Olive's life - she starts dressing like someone easy, and puts a scarlet A on her hootchie clothes.  it escalates to include many of the dorky guys in her school, and of course eventually she has to put a stop to the lies and everything comes out.  Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci play her hippie parents who love her and are hysterically inappropriate, but the best parents on screen in a while.  The rest of the supporting cast is terrific - Lisa Kudrow, Thomas Haden Church, and surprisingly Amanda Bynes.  The movie is really, really funny but has a ton of heart without going into cliche or smaltz.  Definitely check it out.  4.5 of 5 stars/lambs

** No spoilers ** The other terrific movie I saw recently was RED, starring Bruce Willis as a retired CIA agent who is trying to figure out what to do with his life.  They did a terrific job with the trailer because it doesn't reveal too much, and focuses on all you need to know.  Willis falls for Mary-Louise Parker (in a nicer role than her "Weeds" character, but quite similar).  However, just as he's going to meet her, a team comes in to kill him.  The rest of the movie is their trek to figure out who wants to kill him and how to stop it.  They enlist the help of other retired agents, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich (in a perfect level of crazy), and Helen Mirren (totally badass).  Since I liked it so much without actually knowing the details, I won't spoil it.  I'll just say they did a near perfect job of putting incredibly strong actors into a movie that could easily have turned campy and stupid, but instead is just right.  It's funny, action-driven, with lots of guns and death.  Definitely recommend it highly.  4 of 5 stars/lambs

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reel Insight 19 - Ryan Reynolds and guest

We had our second guest today and decided to let him choose the star of the week.  Nick from Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob (who my mom called "Demented Dooknob Nick" when I said he was going to record with us).  He chose the career of Ryan Reynolds, which has some ups and downs and hasn't really settled upon a single character.  But definitely go see The Nines

Just Friends - This romantic comedy hits most of the cliches about high school, a guy and a girl getting stuck as friends, and a fat suit.  It's so bad, it almost comes back around to be good, but mostly it's just bad.  Amy Smart plays Reynolds' love interest, and she just can't be convincing as the popular girl who has guy friends who are in love with her.  Chris Klein is a big part of why this movie stinks, he's the other friend who wanted more in high school and is now trying for the "revenge screw".  Skip this. 2 of 5 lambs/stars

Foolproof - I was surprised by how much I liked this heist flick.  Afterward I kept thinking it must have been a direct to DVD because Reynolds and David Sucher are they only major stars in it, but the story is terrific.  Recasting it, the main girl would have been stronger if Katee Sackoff had played her, and the loser friend could have been played by half of Hollywood.  The concept is fun - watching this group plan heists and then act them out, but not actual break the law.3.5 of 5 stars/lambs

Waiting... was horrible.  Too much SUPER gross-out humor.  'Nuff said. 1 star/lamb

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Film Community Potluck - Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead

Over at Anomalous Materials, they've started a Potluck of movie swapping.  The idea is that people will nominate a film to watch (from Netflix Instant Streaming, to make things easy for now) and then all the people who participate are assigned a film to watch and either chat about in the comments at AM or even write a review.  I nominated the film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo because I finished it and wanted to hear more discussion of it.  In return, I was assigned Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which I knew was a film by Tom Stoppard based on his stage play of the same name.  I remembered reading the play many years ago, and knew it was based on the characters from Hamlet who befriend Hamlet and then are ordered by the King of Denmark to take Hamlet to England and have him killed (which we know doesn't work out well for R & G).  What the movie creates is sort of Hamlet from their perspective.  However, now being Stoppard characters rather than Shakespearean characters, they discuss the meaning of life, death, being on a boat, flipping coins, etc.  Made in 1990, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are R & G respectively.  We meet them traveling on horseback, in period, and R has found a coin and he flips it several dozen times and it keeps landing on heads, sparking discussion between them about the nature of flipping a coin.  Soon enough they come upon a group of "tragedians" (the players who go perform the play within a play for Hamlet) led by Richard Dreyfus.  They're sort of magical and can play anything as long as it suits the audience.  Then they're transported to Hamlet's castle and now R & G have to figure out who they are and what they're supposed to do.  We see the play Hamlet being acted out but only when R & G are present.  Finally, they're on the boat, transporting Hamlet to England, but the pirates arrive to take Hamlet home and kill R & G. 
Tim Roth is great as the one trying to make sense of it all, while Oldman is just bumbling through.  Stoppard plays on what was actually written by Shakespeare, which made R & G out to be bumbling idiots, but Stoppard takes it a bit further but also makes them metaphysical geniuses.  It's a bizarre movie, but trying to understand it and what it means in relation to Hamlet is terrific.  The acting by all included is superb, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much clearer the play becomes by being able to see it.  Still bizarre and will require rewatchings and perhaps and rewatching of Hamlet itself.   Now it's time to watch Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are UNDead

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lambcast 42: Whatcha been watching?

Kai, Nick and Dylan and I do what we do best - b.s. about our recent film watching experiences, spanning from The Boondock Saints 2 to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and more. Also on tap:

* Listener Feedback
* LAMB of the Week: Rachel's Reel Reviews
* Trailer Talk: I Am Number Four
* Last LAMB Standing

For the LAMB of the Week, we take a look at LAMB #43, Rachel's Reel Reviews.  Check it out on itunes or listen below.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guest on the MILFcast

Rachel and I brought our podcasting skills (and coincidentally recording skills) to the MILFcast this week.  After a terrific session on Sunday that was lost, here is the new version, new game, new questions, new movies, we only recycled our celebrity impressions (with interesting results!)  Check it out here or on itunes.  Thanks Kai!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Archives are finished!

This is the first part of organizing Insight into Entertainment.  I wanted to see how many different movies I've reviewed, and while this post will stay up, but I've also added it as a permanent page entitled Archives at the top, so you can always see if I've already reviewed a movie.  I'm hoping to put together a similar page for TV shows I've watched and enjoyed or not.   What a crazy list - there are 325 movie reviews, with lots of movies I've seen, but never mentioned.  I'll try to update the list as I watch new movies. 

I went back through all my reviews of the past three and a half years.  Many were reviews of my first viewing of the film, but others were from the Monday Musicals or Tuesdays Top Grossing Movies.  I couldn't believe how many there were.  Some have links directly to the review and some are links to the many reviews I've done mentioning a film. Enjoy.  This showed me lots of gaps in my reviewing, if not viewing, history and I hope to rectify this soon.  If there are really obvious omissions, please suggest what I should see now.

    17 Again
    2 Days in Paris
    27 Dresses
    3:10 To Yuma
    50 First Dates
    (500) Days of Summer
    A Christmas Carol 3D
    A Chorus Line
    An Accidental Husband
    Angels and Demons
    A Serious Man
    A Single Man
    As You Like It
    Aurora Borealis
    Away from Her
    Away We Go
    Ballet Shoes
    Bee Movie
    Because I Said So
    Becoming Jane
    Blades of Glory
    Blood Diamond
    Botany of Desire
    Bride Wars
    Brideshead Revisited
    Bright Star
    Burn After Reading
    Cadillac Records
    Catch and Release
    Charlie Wilson's War
    Charlotte's Web
    Children of Men
    Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
    Coco Before Chanel (Coco avant Chanel)
    Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
    Confessions of a Shopaholic
    Couples Retreat
    Crazy Heart
    Crazy People
    Dan in Real Life
    Date Knight
    Dear John
    Death at a Funeral
    Death at a Funeral (2010)
    Deja Vu
    Did you hear about the Morgans?
    District 9
    Donnie Darko
    Down in the Valley
    Driving Lessons
    Eagle Eye
    Eat, Pray, Love
    Elizabeth: The Golden Age
    Encounters at the End of the World
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Extraordinary Measures
    Everybody's Fine
    Fame (2009)
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Forrest Gump
    Four Christmases
    Freedom Writers
    Frozen River
    Funny People
    Get Him to the Greek
    Get Smart
    Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
    Ghost Town
    Good Hair
    Gone Baby Gone
    Gran Torino
    Green Zone
    Guys and Dolls
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    Happy, Texas
    Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    He's Just Not That Into You
    Home Alone
    Hot Fuzz
    Hot Tub Time Machine
    How About You
    Howard's End
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    I am Legend
    I Could Never be Your Woman
    I hate Valentine's Day
    I love you man
    I'm Reed Fish
    Independence Day
    Inglorious Basterds
    I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry
    In the Land of Women
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    In Her Shoes
    In Bruges
    Iron Man
    Iron Man 2
    It's Complicated
    I've Loved you So long (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime)
    Jane Austen Book Club
    Julie and Julia
    Jurassic Park
    Keeping Mum
    King of Kong
    Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
    Knocked Up
    Kung Fu Panda.   
    Lars and the Real Girl
    Leap Year
    Lions for Lambs
    Little Children
    Little Shop of Horrors
    Live Free or Die Hard
    Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    Made of Honor
    Mad Money
    Mamma Mia
    Man on Wire
    Marley and Me
    Martian Child
    Michael Clayton
    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
    Miss Potter
    Monsters vs. Aliens
    Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
    Music Within
    My Best Friend's Girl
    My Sister's Keeper
    National Treasure: Book of Secrets
    New in Town
    New Moon
    New York,I love you
    Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist
    Night at the Museum
    Night at the Museum: The Battle for the Smithsonian
    Nim's Island
    No Country for Old Men
    No Reservations
    Ocean's Thirteen
    Out of Africa
    Over Her Dead Body
    Paper Heart
    Paris, Je t'aime
    Paul Blart: Mall Cop
    Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightening Thief
    Phoebe in Wonderland
    Pineapple Express
    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
    Playing by Heart
    Post Grad
    Pride and Glory
    P.S. I Love You
    Public Enemies
    Rachel Getting Married
    Revolutionary Road
    Role Models
    Run Fatboy Run
    Saving Private Ryan
    Sense and Sensibility
    Sex and the City
    Sex and the City 2
    Sherlock Holmes
    Shrek II
    Shrek III
    Simpsons Movie
    Snow Cake
    Spiderman 3
    St. Trinian's
    Star Trek
    Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
    State of Play
    Stomp the Yard
    Sunshine Cleaning
    Swimming Upstream
    Sydney White
    Terminator 2: Judgement Day
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    The Astronaut Farmer
    The Blind Side
    The Bourne Ultimatum
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
    The Boys are Back
    The Bounty Hunter
    The Brothers Bloom
    The Bucket List
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Counterfeiters (Die Falscher)
    The Dark Knight
    The Dream Team
    The Duchess
    The Edge of Love
    The Expendables
    The Express
    The Golden Compass
    The Good Shepherd
    The Great Debaters
    The Hangover
    The History Boys
    The Hulk
    The Hurt Locker
    The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
    The Informant
    The International
    The Invention of Lying
    The Kids are All Right
    The Kingdom
    The Last King of Scotland
    The Last Mimzy
    The Last Station
    The Little Mermaid
    The Lives of Others
    The Lookout
    The Losers
    The Maiden Heist
    The Messenger
    The Namesake
    The Nanny Diaries
    Then She Found Me
    The Other Boleyn Girl
    The Painted Veil
    The Princess and the Frog
    The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
    The Proposal
    The Pursuit of Happyness
    The Queen
    The Reader
    There Will Be Blood
    The Secret Life of Bees
    The September Issue
    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
    The Soloist
    The Sorcerer's Apprentice
    The Spiderwick Chronicles
    The Station Agent
    The Time Traveler's Wife
    The Town
    The Ugly Truth
    The Visitor
    The Wind That Shakes the Barley
    The Women (2008)
    The Year of Living Dangerously
    The Young Victoria
    Toy Story
    Toy Story 3
    Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
    Tropic Thunder
    Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna)
    Up in the Air
    Valentine's Day
    Vicky Christina Barcelona
    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
    Wendy and Lucy
    Where the Wild Things Are
    What Happens in Vegas
    Whip It!
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    Yes Man
    Young @ Heart
# 325.   Zach and Miri Make a Porno

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diane Lane follow-up: Secretariat

After we recorded the podcast over the weekend, I went and saw Secretariat.  My mom LOVES horses, and it's always been a family tradition to watch the Triple Crown, so I've always known who Secretariat was.  I wouldn't say I was eager to see the movie, but definitely interested - if you read this blog regularly or know me at all, I'm sure you're not surprised.  Diane Lane plays Patty Chenery Tweedy, the daughter of a Virigina horse farmer.  She lives in Denver with her family keeping house, but when her mom dies and her father isn't able to run the farm, she goes home to take care of things for a bit.  There's the issue of a capable, intelligent woman in the late 1960s not fulfilling her potential as a housewife and mother, and Lane takes on the challenge of getting her father's farm back in order.  We learn a fair amount about the ins and outs of raising horses.  The lineage of purebred horses is important, and it's really expensive to get the "stud rights" to a winning stallion to knock up your mares.  So her father has had a deal where he knocks up two of his mares, and instead of paying the stud owner, they each get one of the foals.  Lane has to show up and choose on behalf of her father which of the foals she wants, so she studies all the lineages of the parents of the foals and thinks she's found the perfect combination (and of course she's right).  We then follow her challenge of finding a trainer (she gets Lucian Laurin (John Malkovich in on of his least annoying roles lately), and then a jockey, and figuring out how to make sure everything goes well.  They manage to create a fair amount of tension without too many contrivances (Secretariat loses his first race because he had an abscess in his mouth), and I'll admit to tearing up when the final race took place (it was just an amazing victory for any sports fan).  Overall, enjoyable movie, perfect for kids (rated PG) but not bad for adults either. I didn't think of this until afterward, but since this movie didn't focus on the jockey, and on the actual way to run a race, I wasn't reminded of Seabiscuit at all, but that might just be me. 3 of 5 stars/lambs
BONUS: Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette from "True Blood") is terrific as Secretariat's stable hand)

The other movies I watched for Episode 18 of Reel Insight: 

Fierce People - This movie was on Netflix watch instantly and starred Donald Sutherland and Anton Yelchin (one of my new favorite young stars).  Diane Lane plays a drug-addicted mother, who decides to save her son, and herself, by getting a job in the Hamptons as Sutherland's masseuse.  They move out there to his family compound, Chris Evans is his grandson, Elizabeth Perkins is his daughter, and Kristin Stewart is his granddaughter.  Anton falls for Stewart and befriends Sutherland, taking Evan's place in a hot-air balloon race.  After the race, Anton is attacked and raped (you find out it's Evans, but they never really explain why he's so screwed up), and Lane finally realizes she should be a better mother.  It's not a good movie, poorly made, strange story that doesn't make much sense, and odd acting. 

Unfaithful - Rachel and I both checked this out for the first time this week, knowing you can't talk about Diane Lane without discussing this film, and we were both very pleasantly surprised that it's awesome.  Lane is married to Richard Gere and is a stay at home mom.  She's in NYC one windy day and meets Paul (Olivier Martinez).  He lives in a bookshop and helps her with a cut on her knee - he's so insanely sexy that she goes back to see him a few weeks later (after seeing a book he gave her) and they start having an extremely hot affair.  She becomes obsessed with him, and Gere hires someone to track down why his wife has changed.  I won't spoil the ending if you haven't seen it, but the acting is terrific, by all concerned.  Gere plays the suspicious but loving husband, and is destroyed when he finds out what's going on.  Martinez does a terrific job being hot and smoldering (so it's not surprising he's doing it with lots of people), and Lane deserved her Oscar nomination for her conflicted, but passionate performance.  Check it out if you missed this one. 4.5 of 5 stars/lambs

Rumble Fish - This Francis Ford Coppola flick from the early 80s is beautifully shot, has interesting visuals, but the story, about Matt Dillion (who I haven't ever liked in a film) as a punk who just wants to be in a gang fight in the 50s like his older brother, The Motorcycle Boy (a young, unrecognizable Mickey Rourke).  Diane Lane plays his girlfriend and she's young, pretty, and annoying.  Overall, I really didn't like the movie, but it was neat to see a young Lane, Nicholas Cage, Chris Penn, Laurence Fishburne and Sophia Coppola.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reel Insight Episode 18 - Diane Lane

Rachel and I had some fun times doing podcasts this past weekend.  Sadly, only one of them survived for posterity (Reel Insight, thankfully), and the MILFcast will be recorded a second time later this week, but keep a look out for that.  Enjoy.  My further reviews of all the Diane Lane movies will be a separate post including a review of Secretariat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Best of Insight: September

The most popular posts for September are now available on The Best Insight.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Return of TV: 2010

It's a strange time to call it the return of TV when there have been new shows beginning and ending in the time since we last saw a new episode of Grey's Anatomy or The Office.  The summer shows are picking up steam for a lot of people, some continuing into the fall so there's not a lot of time between new episodes of TV.  However, now there's an infusion of lots of great TV, so I thought I'd give you all my thoughts a few weeks into this season. 

For returning shows, nothing has done a terrific job of jumping back into it, but nearly all have delivered solid returns.  Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Parenthood, The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory, Castle, and Private Practice have all been just fine - good, even. 

There are a few shows that are in their new seasons and have bumped it up a notch.  Cougar Town started off last season as an odd concept that would lose it's appeal quickly.  I think in an attempt to ride the pop culture use of the term "cougar" this show was put on the air without anyone actually knowing much about it.  It's easily one of the funniest shows on TV and I laugh out loud nearly every episode.  The season opener with Jennifer Aniston playing Courtney Cox's insane therapist was terrific.  The entire supporting cast keeps the funny going - especially her son, Dan Byrd (recently in Easy A) and her neighbor's husband - Ian Gomez, with his man-crush on Cox's ex-husband.  See, even describing it, you're more than a little curious, aren't you?

There are a few shows that I've watched in the past that I think I'm giving up on, particularly Fringe.  They figured out the second dimension issue, but it's strayed too far from the original crazy stories of Fringe science and crazy episodes - they need more standalone episodes. 

Of the new series I've seen this year, none of the ones I was looking forward to made much of an impression.  Hawaii Five-O, Detroit 1-8-7, The Undercovers, Running Wilde (with Keri Russell and Will Arnett) were all fine, but I don't think I'll keep watching any of them. 

The new series I do like I had no idea were arriving - Raising Hope and Blue BloodsRH comes on right after Glee and stars Matha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt (a TV regular), as the parents of newcomer Lucas Neff as Jimmy who inherits his infant daughter.  Made by the people who did My Name is Earl, it's part Earl and part "Arrested Development".  A kooky family, Cloris Leachman is the demented grandma, that we watch trying to keep themselves together and raise this baby.  They have some really funny moments and crazy family interactions.  Check it out.    Blue Bloods is a cop drama on Friday nights, starring Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, and Will Estes, as a NYC cop family (Moynahan is an attorney).  So far, it's got good writing, and an interesting story and terrific acting.  Hopefully it'll survive the Friday Night curse. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reel Insight Episode 17 - Anthony Hopkins

Chaplin - This might seem like an odd movie to see for a week based on Anthony Hopkins, but he plays the editor of Charlie Chaplin's book.  Most of the movie is told in flashbacks while old Charlie helps him edit the book.  Given my general love for Robert Downey Jr., I was really excited to see the movie that gave him his first Oscar nomination, which I think he deserved, though not to win in an amazing year where Al Pacino took the award for Scent of a Woman and Clint Eastwood was nominated for Unforgiven, and Denzel Washington for Malcolm X.  Charlie Chaplin was not a saint, but he really seemed to like making people laugh.  He was brilliant because he figured out how to do that without saying a word - his career declined after movies began using sound.  He was one of the most famous people in the world before WWII because his films "translated" into any language.  He had a rough home life with 4 supposed wives and at least 11 children, though possibly more of each.  The Tramp, his most famous role, made dozens of movies, and is a beloved character in film, and the movie Chaplin tries to pay homage to that.  RDJ does a pretty good job bringing him to life - though I think he'd do an even better job today.  Good movie, though fairly confusing with all the jumping around and the vast cast of characters. Looses some of the flow with the flashbacks.

84 Charing Cross Road - Netflix has assumed I would love this movie for a long time and it's been in my queue.  Starring Anne Bancroft as a New York City author right after WWII who requires and desires out-of-print British books and writes to a British used bookstore where Anthony Hopkins writes.  Most of the story is told through their letters.  This device works sometimes, and fails at others.  A few times they drop into the technique of narrating their letters directly to the camera as if it's possible to have a conversation with overseas letters.  Judi Dench also plays Hopkins wife who is a bit jealous of the correspondence.  It goes on for around 15 years or so - including with the rest of the staff and includes a lot of minor information about the differences in day to day life after the war - rationing in England and abundance in the US, etc.  Good movie, not great, but a fun period piece for book lovers (or an Anne Bancroft lover).

Bad Company - starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris RockExpected this to be really, really bad, and so I was pleasantly surprised when it was just bad.  Rock reigns it in a bit and isn't over the top in every scene and Hopkins isn't unbelievable as a spy.  Rock is asked to serve on a CIA mission after his twin brother is killed.  He has 8 days to learn how to walk, talk, and act like his well-educated, well-spoken, wealthy brother.  Of course it all works out okay and there's some humor along the way, some action that didn't really make sense, a few mistaken identity gags, and a happy ending.  Better than I expected.

Hearts in Atlantis - I'd never heard of this movie, but there it was in Hopkins roster, also starring Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin so I gave it a chance.  In the late 50s/60s, Hopkins comes to stay at Davis' boarding house.  He hires Yelchin to read the paper to him as his eyesight isn't good.  It turns out he can also see the future with his bad eyes.  He sees a few accidents coming and wins some money gambling and befriends fatherless Yelchin.  The climax occurs when Yelchin's best friend, Carol, gets beat up in the woods and Hopkins sends Yelchin to rescue her.  At the same time, Davis is away on a business trip with her boss who rapes her.  So of course, when Davis arrives home to see Hopkins taking care of the little girl, she assumes the worst and throws him out.  He helps her see that not everything is about her, and this little girl and boy are good and will grow up well.  Not a great story, Hopkins demeanor makes you think terrible things are going to happen.  Yelchin is really good though.  I'm glad Star Trek  has continued to improve his career.

The City of your Final Destination was just boring.