Welcome to The Kolb Review; a daily blog covering all the pop-culture you could handle.

Expect some guest posts from our pop-culture liaison Leora Horowitz and sports and movie man Moshe Kolb.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Trivia

1) The Director has an obsession with plane crashes.
2) The Actor has big dreams to reach the moon.
3) The Film served as an ad for a sporting goods store.
Whats the film???

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One Weekend, Two Very Different Movie Experiences. (Olympus Has Fallen, The Place Beyond the Pines)

This weekend I saw two films. For those of you who are thinking it’s the Omer, yes that is true, but I have asked my Rabbi and been given the ok. So I saw two films. One hand I saw Olympus Has Fallen: a high octane action flick with Gerard Butler playing a secret service agent who must fight off hundreds of Koreans after they take the White House and the President (Aaron Eckhart) hostage. The other film was The Place Beyond The Pines, an artsy film about a Bank robbing motorcyclist (Ryan Gosling) and the cop (Bradley Cooper) who tries to stop him.

What I Expected
On the surface these films just scream two extreme opposites. On one hand, Olympus Has Fallen screams cheesy action flick. With the plot of the White House falling into enemy hands and one man with the help of the interim President (Morgan Freeman) killing all the bad guys, I expected nothing more than an entertaining film. On the flip side, The Place Beyond the Pines was screaming Oscars. With highly acclaimed director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) behind the wheel and Oscar nominated actors behind it, this was a sure hit. With some of the artsy feel of the very good Driven and the action innate to a bank robber film, I was expecting the world from this film.

What I Got
Simply put, Olympus has Fallen was an awesome film. With insanely good action, and surprisingly good acting, the film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Despite the likelihood of one man dodging every bullet, the film was surprisingly realistic taking into consideration the plot of the film. The takeover of the White House felt very real. The action is awesome, detailed and some of the best and most realistic fight scenes I have seen in quite some time.  Warning, the film is very gory and holds nothing back. This film is not one for the faint of heart. There is even a tint of humor in the film that adds some great breaks from the non-stop violence. After the horrific events in Boston this past week, the audience erupted in a clap at the end, and just a spoiler, USA comes out on top.
To say that I was disappointed in The Place Beyond the Pines is an understatement. People actually walked out of the theater and I found myself asking for the film to end. As always Bradley Cooper was great and Ryan Gosling was electrifying; but sometimes, good acting can’t save a bad film. The film was too artsy for its own good. It tried too hard to teach me a lesson. I don’t want to know when I am being given a message; I just want to get it. The film is oddly paced, split into almost three different stories, the last of which could have easily been cut out of the film and I would have never have noticed.  Had it kept the film to parts 1 and 2, I would have enjoyed/liked the film but not had many gripes with it. However, the last 3rd of the film is so absurd, predictable and poorly done, I almost forgot how decent the first parts were.

Olympus Has Fallen
Sex: None
Violence: One of the gorier films you will ever see.
Language: plenty of cursing
Rated: R
Run time: 120 min
Grade: 4 Stars

The Place Beyond The Pines
Sex: Some sexual references
Violence: Some violence and punching.
Language: plenty of cursing
Rated: R
Run time: 140 min
Grade: 2 Stars

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Some Good Movies With Horrible Endings

No Country For Old Men

This Coen Brother’s masterpiece was an otherwise great film. Sadly the film ending left us with an annoying and dragged out scene with Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) going on and on about a dream he had. I would have much preferred the film ended with the second to last scene in which our assassin Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) kills a victim and then survives a car crash despite a broken limb.

Indiana Jones & Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 
Some may think the whole movie was ridiculous, but really … a circle of crystal aliens coming to life, making things swirl around, blowing up the bad lady’s (Cate Blanchett) head before said aliens zoom off into outer space in a subterranean space ship. Without even ruffling Indy’s fedora? Get real. 

War of the Worlds 
Talk about Good Luck! We didn’t mind that it was germs that did in the evil aliens. But when Ray (Tom Cruise) arrives in Boston to find that his ex-wife's neighborhood as been untouched and his whole family there, safe, waiting for him … well, it all seems a little bit too perfect.

 LOTR: Return of the King 
It ends with Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) making it off that fffing Mt. Doom. No, actually, it ends with Aragon (Viggo Mortensen) becoming king, getting his Elf queen (Liv Tyler) and bowing to the Hobbits. No, wait, it ends with the Hobbits going back the Shire, and Sam marrying his Hobbit lady. Wait, there’s more. It ends with Frodo writing his account of his adventure. Fitting. No, wait -- for heaven sakes already -- it ends with Frodo sailing off into the sunset on some boat with Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo (Ian Holm) and a bunch of Elves. Is that it? Is it really over? Whew. 

In this otherwise awesome M. Night film about Aliens invading Earth, we were dying to know the big reveal that became MNS’s claim to fame. But when it is revealed that sophisticated Aliens are done in by nothing other than water, it felt like a sell out. Why would sophisticated aliens conquer a planet that is 80% covered by water.

As this quite interesting film comes to a conclusion, most of the characters have been killed as we are told the entire story through flashbacks. So how does this crime/military thriller end? Well basically everyone is still alive and it was all a hoax to cover up an army smuggling ring. Seriously?

Man on a Ledge
I loved the premise of the film and enjoyed 90% of it. Obviously this is an inplausible action/heist film, but the actors were great and I simply enjoyed the film. That was until of course the director essentially got bored of filming and decided to just end the film. So he has our lead, Nick Cassidly, simply jump of a building, amazingly land on a blow up landing pad, and then fight through a crowd of cops to instantly attack Ed Harrison’s villain, revealing the diamond and instantaneously earning his freedom.  I mean literally in the span of 45 seconds Nick is chased by cops, jumps off a building, proves his innocence, and then gets interviewed about how it feels to be a free man.
The Village
MNS’s premise of a colonial village being controlled by mysterious Creatures who hide in the woods was slightly intriguing. Again, as we awaiting the big reveal, we had high expectations. But then once again we are let down. As it is revealed that the village was actually just a walled in compound in modern day times, MNS sat there laughing as he duped us once again. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Biggest Blindsides In Survivor History.


This past week featured an awesome Survivor blindside. Totally cocky how the game was falling into her hands, Corinne decided to tell Dawn her master plan. But Dawn didn’t want to repeat her past mistakes and decided to use the secret info and flip the game on Corinne. She organized a coup and Corinne was totally blindsided as she was voted off. This had me thinking of the best Survivor blindsides ever.

1.      Erik (Micronesia)
In arguably the best season ever, there were turns and surprises every week. With Ozzy already voted out in a shocker Erik seem to have all the power. Then after winning immunity in the most recent challenge and with apparently all the power and resume to win it all, Erik was the victim of a massive blindside. Cirie came up with a crazy scheme in which they the women of the tribe would convince Erik to pass off the immunity necklace to Natalie to atone for his disloyalty. To all their surprise, Erik complied and handed away immunity only to be immediately voted off by the ‘Black Widow Alliance’.
2.      Tyson (Heroes vs Villians)
Tyson was Boston Rob’s right hand man until Russell convinced him to essentially vote himself off. You see Boston Rob planned on splitting the vote between Parvati and Russell, guaranteeing one them be voted off. But Russell was able to convince Tyson to waste his vote as to not make enemies. Russell then gathered the votes and had Tyson eliminated.
3.      Ozzy (Micronesia)
In another shocker in the best season ever, Cirie pulled off yet another big movie as she convinced all the ladies of the tribe to vote off the dominating Ozzy. With every challenge won and a hidden immunity idol in his pocket, Ozzy was convinced by Cirie that he was safe. Of course he wasn’t and was voted off with immunity in his pocket.
4.      James (China)
Arguably the cockiest player ever, James Clement was a dominating force. But when you get voted off with not one but two hidden immunity idols in your pockets, ouch! Amanda and Todd were able to join forces and catch the big dude off his guard. This was arguably the worst show of confidence in Survivor history.
5.      Parvati’s Move (Heroes vs Villains)
With her entire tribe in jeapordy by the hand of the Heroes, Parvati made the greatest and most selfless move ever. She plays two hidden immunity idols and saves both Sandra and Jerri, flipping the game on the Heroes.
6.      Kelly (Samoa)
Kelly fell victim to the greatest single season performance ever. With an entire tribe gunning for the infamous Russell Hanz, Russell pulled and played an immunity idol telling Jeff “Keep hope alive.” The move was revolutionary because Russell was the first to revolutionize the game. He was the one who actively looked for hidden immunity idols, which has become common practice ever since.
7.      J.T. (Heroes vs Villians)
After the Villains tribe dwindled down to just Russell, the Heroes believed the Villains tribe was being controlled by an all-women alliance. To save Russell and thereby win his trust, J.T. passed off his hidden immunity idol to the fedora-sporting castaway during an immunity challenge. Russell, who at this point had just finished filming his debut season and was unknown to his fellow Survivors, had no intention of changing sides. Once the merge came, J.T. was blindsided by the Villains and booted off the island. He handed his immunity idol to the people who voted him off.
8.      Keith (South Pacific)
As two tribes came to the merge completely even in numbers, the vote was all but a certain tie. At that point it was almost the first ever ‘drawing rocks’ in Survivor history. With it all but written in stone (pun intended), it was the lowly life-long fan Cochran who turned the game around by jumping ship and giving the opposing team his vote.
9.      Gretchen (Borneo)
The first blindside ever in Season 1 was not an actual blindside. You see, after the first merge ever, some of the players didn’t get the rules of the game and thought they should vote out who was not ‘surviving’ the best. The stronger players took advantage of this idiocy and voted off the physically strong Gretchen.
10.  Grant (Redemption Island)
Boston Rob dominated this season in every possible way. He and Grant Mattos dominated every challenge and the game’s strategy. With only his alliance left, Boston Rob made a very difficult decision and voted off his legitimate best friend Grant. This became more than a game play, it was personal.