Category Archives: True Stories

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

My Rating : 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “John Hamm + Baseball + A.R Rahman’s amazing music = A Hit. Never ever miss a combo like this!”

Craig Gillespie’s drama Million Dollar Arm stars Jon Hamm as JB Bernstein, a one-time successful sports agent who left the massive company he worked for to start in his own agency, Seven Figures Management, with his business partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi). The company is in serious financial straits, and they lose the big client they’ve been grooming.

Million Dollar Arm

In a fit of inspiration, JB believes they can go to India, find a cricket bowler, and teach him to be a baseball pitcher. In order to pay for the scheme, he convinces wealthy businessman Chang (Tzi Ma) to create a reality show titled “Million Dollar Arm” to help with his quest for fresh talent. Upon arriving in India, he is quickly befriended by Amit (Pitobash), an overly eager man who loves baseball and wants to do anything he can to help. JB also brings in retired scout Ray (Alan Arkin) to help him weed through the thousands of candidates who try to whip a baseball over 90 mph.

Million Dollar Arm

Although at first the going is rough, they eventually find a pair of eager and promising prospects — Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma). The duo travel back to the States with JB where they are then tutored by Tom House (Bill Paxton), a USC baseball coach whose approach to the game is as much mental as physical.

The two young men are finally given a highly publicized tryout in front of scouts from numerous pro teams, as well as media from around the world. Meanwhile, the fiercely single JB, whose personal life involves dating a string of models, begins to strike up something of a serious romance with his tenant, Brenda (Lake Bell), a doctor who rents the guest house on JB’s beautiful L.A. estate.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

My Rating : 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Maynot be one of DiCaprio’s best yet, but he seriously outperforms here.”

Martin Scorsese reteams with Leonardo DiCaprio for this adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir about his exploits as a crooked banker. Terence Winter provides the screenplay. Jonah Hill and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin co-star.

The Wolf of Wall Street

From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title – “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Temptations were for the taking and the threat of authority was irrelevant. For Jordan and his wolf pack, modesty was quickly deemed overrated and more was never enough.

 

Boys of Abu Ghraib (2014)

My Rating : 3.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The movie is intense, it’s either the truth or a big fat lie, but it’s true.”

Young Army Reserve enlistee Jack Farmer (Luke Moran) experiences an intense crisis of conscience after becoming a prison guard at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, where his commanding officer (Sean Astin) coerces him into using intense interrogation techniques on a terrified detainee (Omid Abtahi) who appears to have committed no crime.

Boys of Abu Ghraib

Before long, the soldier who joined the military to defend his country begins to unravel due to the inhuman treatment he witnesses in a daily basis. The film has a very good idea in using a single soldier’s perspective to explore how tension and boredom can lead to such extreme misconduct, but it doesn’t go far enough, in the end leaving a disgraceful chapter just dimly illuminated in psychological terms.

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

My Rating : 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Matthew’s transformation for the movie is so painfully professional, and his performance- simply speechless!”

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey headlines director Jean-Marc Vallée’s biographical drama centering on the story of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and who subsequently devoted his life to providing fellow HIV patients with non-FDA-approved drugs and supplements during an era when doctors were still struggling to understand the devastating disease.

Dallas Buyers Club

Defying his surprise death sentence, Woodroof set out to procure any and all non-toxic alternative HIV treatments available, and established a “buyers club” to provide the treatments to others afflicted with the disease.

But that mission quickly made him a target for both the U.S. medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry, both of which resented his defiance of government sanctions, and joined forces to shut down his operation by any means necessary.

 

The Butler (2013)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Forest Whitaker gives the best performance of his career. Masterful!”

This is sort of the story of Eugene Allen, an African-American who was a butler at the White House from 1952 to 1986. (His tenure, during which he served presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, was chronicled in a 2008 Washington Post article.) In Lee Daniels’ The Butler—the awkward title isn’t a John Carpenter–esque possessive but a legal requirement after a copyright claim—Allen’s fictionalized surrogate is Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who leaves his tragedy-laden Southern life behind to start anew in our nation’s capital.

The Butler

Much to the delight of his wife, Gloria (Oprah Winfrey), and the chagrin of his burgeoning-activist son, Louis (David Oyelowo), Cecil’s attentiveness to the needs of the civic elite earns him a job at the presidential manse. It’s there that he spends several epochal decades, observing as people of power deal with questions of war abroad and civil rights at home.

The Butler

Director Lee Daniels (Precious) teams up with Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Danny Strong to tell the remarkable story of White House butler Eugene Allen (played by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker), who served eight U.S. presidents over the course of 30 years, and witnessed sweeping social change during his three decades of service at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Butler

Inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article, the film features Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower,James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard M. Nixon, and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan. Oprah Winfrey,Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Jane Fonda, David Oyelowo, Lenny Kravitz,Melissa Leo, and Vanessa Redgrave co-star.

 

Tracks (2014)

My Rating : 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “It’s like reliving an adventure of a  lifetime. Mia Wasikowska delivers a triumphant performance with this true story!”

Director John Curran (THE PAINTED VEIL, WE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE) and the producers of THE KINGS SPEECH bring you the film TRACKS, which tells the remarkable true story of Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska), a young woman who leaves her life in the city to make a solo trek through almost 2,000 miles of sprawling Australian desert.

Tracks

Accompanied by only her dog and four unpredictable camels, she sets off on a life-changing journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she meets National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Driver) who begins to photograph her voyage. Mia Wasikowska stars as writer Robyn Davidson in this dramatic account of Davidson’s arduous 2000-mile trek across the Australian desert.

Tracks

With only four camels and a loyal canine to keep her company on the journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, Davidson discovers the value of solitude while being reminded of how it feels to be truly connected with the world.

Tracks

In order to fund her epic adventure, Davidson reluctantly allows prolific National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) to capture it on film. Although at firstDavidson’s desire for solitude finds the disparate pair at odds, over time their adversarial relationship evolves into an abiding friendship.

47 Ronin (2013)

My Rating : 3.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Great sword fights and VFX, a perfect mixture without fading off the importance of either.”

Based on a true-life 18th century tale, this fantasy epic tells a dramatic tale of clan warfare and revenge surrounding a band of 47 loyal samurai seeking vengeance after their master is murdered. Keanu Reeves stars in the Universal Pictures production, written by Hossein Amini and Wanted‘s Chris Morgan

47 Ronin

After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai—a half-breed they once rejected—as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors.

47 Ronin

As this exiled, enslaved outcast becomes their most deadly weapon, he will transform into the hero who inspires this band of outnumbered rebels to seize eternity.

Lone Survivor (2013)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Peter Berg delivers a cut-throat thriller of an epic military manhunt. My next best manhunt flick after Zero Dark Thirty!”

Based on a true story, director Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor stars Mark Wahlberg,Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, and Emile Hirsch as four Navy SEALs whose sensitive mission into the Afghan mountains is unexpectedly compromised, leading to a fierce skirmish with a small army of Taliban soldiers. The year is 2005. In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, the War in Afghanistan is well under way when military intelligence learns that a senior Taliban member is hiding out in a remote village deep in the Hindu Kush mountains of the Kunar Province.

Lone Survivor (2013)

Convinced that his capture or killing could turn the tide of the difficult war in favor of the United States, the Navy SEALs hatch Operation Red Wings. The goal is simple — send a select team of soldiers to stake out the village from the surrounding mountains, and move on their target when the time is right. Under the leadership of Lieutenant Michael Murphy (Kitsch), Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg), Matt Axelson (Foster), and Danny Dietz (Hirsch) reach their checkpoint, and quickly realize that another nearby hill will provide a better vantage spot.

Lone Survivor (2013)

Shortly after arriving at that new location and getting a positive ID on their target, however, the soldiers are caught off guard by three wandering shepherds, including a young boy. Ultimately, a heated vote over what to do with the captured shepherds leads Lt. Murphy to decide that the best course of action is to abide by the rules of engagement, meaning that the soldiers will abort the mission, release the captives, and retreat to their extraction point.

Shortly after the shepherds are set free, however, the four SEALs find themselves surrounded by dozens of Taliban soldiers, and engaged in a fierce gunfight that — with the aid of some truly brave villagers — only one of them will make it out of.

The Conjuring (2013)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “This movie packs a good story, old school scares and strikingly evil demons; after all they say it’s a true story.”

A demonic entity lays claim to family living in a secluded farmhouse, prompting them to seek the aid of two renowned paranormal researchers in this tale of possession inspired by actual events. The story gets underway as paranormal researchers Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) evaluate a mysterious doll discovered by a trio of young roommates in 1968.

The Conjuring (2013)

Believing their house to be haunted by the wayward spirit of a deceased young girl, they give the girl permission to inhabit the doll, and soon their lives become a waking nightmare. Informed by Ed and Lorraine that they have fallen victim to an inhuman spirit (aka a demon) seeking a human host, the roommates entrust the doll to the Warrens, who place it in their personal museum for safekeeping.

The Conjuring (2013)

Flash forward three years to Harrisville, RI, where the Perron family have just moved into their country dream home — an 18th century farmhouse that offers plenty of space for parents Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston), as well as their five daughters Andrea (Shanley Caswell), Nancy (Hayley McFarland), Christine (Joey King), Cindy (Mackenzie Foy), and April (Kyla Deaver). It seems like the ideal place to raise a family until a series of unsettling events leave the Perron family convinced they are not alone.

Terrified, Carolyn reaches out to the Warrens for help, and learns that a demonic entity has attached itself to her family, and has no intentions of letting them go. Meanwhile, the deeper the Warrens delve into the farmhouse’s history, the clearer it becomes that this spirit has a murderous agenda, and that no one will be safe until it is driven back into darkness.

 

Jobs (2013)

My Rating : 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The one thing I like about this movie is that it’s like Idris Elba’s Mandela, it not only show’s how historic the characters were but exposes their dark sides too.”

Swing Vote’s Joshua Michael Stern takes the helm for this biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, and tracing the Apple co-founder’s career from his early years in that Palo Alto garage to his rise as one of the computing industry’s most admired innovators.

Jobs (2013)

By focusing on the key moments that drove Jobs’ success and the conversations that made him such a controversial figure among critics, Sternand screenwriter Matt Whiteley present an intimate portrait of a driven, deeply complex man who dedicated his life to revolutionizing the way we use computers.Josh Gad, Matthew Modine, Lukas Haas, and Dermot Mulroney co-star.

Jobs (2013)

It only takes one person to start a revolution. The extraordinary story of Steve Jobs, the original innovator and ground-breaking entrepreneur who let nothing stand in the way of greatness. The film tells the epic and turbulent story of Jobs as he blazed a trail that changed technology — and the world – forever.