Review: Pain and Gain

Courtesy IMDB

Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie. Throw in Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub and Rob Corddry, and what could go wrong? So much. So much could go wrong. So much did go wrong. So very hilariously wrong.

Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie play three very vascular, viscous, pumped-up trainers at Sun Gym in Miami who are at a crossroads in their lives. When he isn’t choking down protein shakes, lifting, or at the strip club, the head of the gang Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is wallowing in his own lack-of-success wondering what life would be like with just a few more bucks. His gym bro Adrian (Anthony Mackie) just wants to get ass-injected-steroid huge, and Sun Gym newcomer Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) just wants to renew his faith in Jesus…and not go back to jail. Pretty simple desires for all three, really.

Everything just seems so hunky dory until the first time Lugo proposes his plan to kidnap a rich client of his at the gym, and make him sign his assets over to the three amigos. Creepy vans, extremely covert ‘intel’ collection and halloween costumes all play into the master plan in ways that are too hilarious to even describe. After successfully black-bagging their target and getting him to the hideout – things take a turn for the awesomely hilarious when for the next 110 minutes the epic fail that is the magnificently muscular trio’s get-rich-quick plan unfolds.

Stylistic in the most possible way, Michael Bay throws a lot of effort to keep up the neon and lens flared life that was apparently so evident in mid-90’s Miami. Shockingly, Bay utilized many long takes that were less cluttered than any other movie he’s ever played a part in. In fact, theres only one explosion and no robots! Impossible for Bay? Not in the slightest. The movie flows incredibly well, even with the rare appearances of on-screen-text, shaky close-ups and the lengthy overall run time (clocking in at over two hours).

Based off of a true story, there is a ton of bad, mediocre and good jokes thrown into the dialogue to take your mind off of the seriousness of the real crimes committed. In fact, a great balance was struck between the serious ‘What the hell did they just do…’ moments and the moments that will make you repeat with a smile and laugh, ‘What did the hell did they just do?!?’ A ton of awkward mishaps guide the story to fruition, and like being caught with the drunk cussing baby Ben Stiller coddled in “Meet the Fockers“, the main characters find themselves constantly pitted against…themselves…and each other.

Ed Harris and Tony Shalhoub subtly add a completely different dimension to the story, so much so in fact, it seems as if there is a completely different story line happening parallel to the main three wise men’s tale. Harris’ character plays Shalhoub’s private detective and is as lethal and focused as Major König in Enemy at the Gates. Rob Corddry once again shows how underrated he truly is with a fantastically balanced performance, dropping hilarious one-liners, then making you almost leap out of your seat with an intensity matched only at times by Wahlberg.

It is worth noting though that in the beginning, character given narratives lazily rule the story telling, where almost every major character at one time speaks over a camera roll that at moments could be construed as the beginning to a 90’s rap video based in Miami. It also falls flat in some areas with lame duck jokes, a-typical performances by Wahlberg at moments, and overly relied upon strip club footage. Or maybe that’s a good thing for some of you? No judging here.

Apart from the faults it has, the interesting and effective cinematography, fantastic performances by Harris, Shalhoub, Corddry, and even Dwayne Johnson, save the movie from total package shrinking roid-rage. Overall I’d give it a 7/10, but I do suggest you see it.

Well, first grab a protien shake, watch My New Haircut, do a s***-load of push-up’s then go see it. Really.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer.

Shocking end to Boston Marathon: Timeline and Information

Every Patriots day, the third monday of April, since 1897, thousands have descended to Massachusetts on what has now become the biggest day in the city of Boston every year.

Today, however, over one hundred years of tradition was figuratively and very literally rocked from its foundation at 2:50pm EST when two explosions ripped through the crowds of people right next to the finish line, stealing 2 lives and injuring what is still being confirmed as 50 to 100 people.

It was clear that tragedy had struck when the first images of the bloodstained concrete on 673 Boylston Street and with information quickly erupting over social media sites, reporting casualty numbers, tertiary explosions and more devices possibly found, it was easy to read into all information as true.

Using information most accepted by news outlets, here is a direct list taken from a Huffington Post timeline of what’s happend so far (all times EST):

  1. 2:50pm, two explosions 50-100 yards engulf the finish line of Boston Marathon is smoke and chaos
  2. 3:00pm A fire breaks out in the mechanical room at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, according to the Dorchester Reporter
  3. 3:34pm The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announces suspension of several parts of the Green Line, due to police activity.
  4. 4:02pm Boston Police Department reports two fatalities and 23 injured, via Twitter.
  5. 4:08pm Officials tell NBC News that the primary cause of the explosion was a small homemade bomb.
  6. 4:12pm Police report a third blast near JFK library. – Ed Davis confirms that the explosion happened around 4:30 p.m. and it is being treated like “an ongoing event.” The Boston Police Department later reports that they responded to this blast around 4:12 and no injuries were reported.
  7. 4:15pm Officials tell NBC News that multiple explosive devices were found and at least two exploded.
  8. 4:30pm Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis announces at a press conferences that each of the two blasts had multiple casualties. “All the victims have been removed from the scene,” he says. He urges people to stay inside and not congregate in large groups.
  9. 4:30pm President Obama calls Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to offer resources.
  10. 6:10pm “We reaffirmed on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats,” the president says after offering his and Michelle’s condolences for the victims. “We’ll find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this.” He is careful not to suggest the event was an act of terrorism.
  11. 6:30pm The U.S. House is scheduled to observe a moment of silence at 6:30 p.m., led by House Speaker John Boehner.
  12. 6:30pm One of the two people killed in the blasts was an 8-year-old child, according to an NBC News report.

You can view an updating version of this timeline here.

As the smoke is swept from Boston and as it begins to dissipate from the annals of social media, some happenings are becoming more clear.

Here are the official preliminary statements from the Boston PD:

• “At about 2:50pm, on Monday, April 15, 2013, Boston Police responded to two large explosions along the Boston Marathon route in the area of 673 Boylston Street.

• The Boston Police Department is confirming two fatalities and over twenty injuries.

• At about 4:12pm, the Boston Police Department responded to a 3rd explosion or fire in the area of the JFK Library in Dorchester. Officials are working to determine the nature of the incident. There are no injuries to report in connection to that incident. At present, a multi-agency response including state and federal law enforcement agencies has been activated and is investigating the cause of the explosions. At this point, it is uncertain if the explosions are connected.”

Preliminary reports also suggested that a third explosion occurred at the JFK Library that was related to the incident at the Marathon, this was later rebuked (however still being investigated) by Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis, saying in one of many press conferences, “It may have been an electrical explosion or fire.”

Later confirmed by a tweet from @Boston_Police

Erie photos and videos also surfaced soon after the explosions, possibly most recognized at this point, the shocking and horrifying video from Boston.com – this video is graphic and may be disturbing.

The response to the explosions by emergency personell was swift and effective, also evident in many videos and reports. The good news from all of this so far was the unrelenting effort by Boston Police, Fire Departments, and EMS personell, paired with marathon volunteers, and even some runners, to help those injured and effected.

AT&T has also declared due to a high volume of traffic, many are experiencing difficulty contacting those in the area via cell phones, however you can use Google’s person finder to locate or provide information if need be.

As it stands, there is still mass confusion as the investigation starts promptly in Boston with people still lost, hurt, or displaced. According to Yahoo, here’s what you can do to help:

1) Concerned about a runner in the marathon? You can see his/her last check in on the Boston Marathon site. You can also track down a loved one through Google’s Person Finder.

2) If you were in the area, register your current status on the Red Cross Safe and Well site. This way, concerned individuals around the world can see that you’re alive and well. (Also, if you’re in downtown Boston right now, text message loved ones instead of calling. In this critical moment, it’s important to keep open as much cell phone bandwidth as possible.)

3) Donate blood. It’s important not just now, but always. You can make sure your city has enough blood in the event of a disaster by donating regularly. (In Boston? Here’s where you go.)

4) The Boston Mayor’s 24-hour hotline is 617-635-4500. That’s the number to call for information about first responders. If you were in the area and saw anything, and feel like you might have information that’s helpful to investigators, call 1-800-494-TIPS.

I leave you with just a few gut-wrenching images from Boston today, followed by a statement from Patton Oswalt’s Facebook. If there is any information here incorrect, please let me know.

From abcnews.com

abcnews.com

news.yahoo.com

npr.org

Patton Oswalt’s feelings.

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Hover…golf…?

All of the sudden I want to go golfing…

Battlefield 4 trailer…a fitting start to Video Of The Week

Let’s start this blog off with some gaming info eh? Time for the first official Video Of The Week!! A new 60 second TV ad of DICE’s continuation to the acclaimed Battlefield series has my eyes crying tears of joy and perfection…as it will have yours after watching, go ahead, try it.

Not enough? Well, here’s the 17 minute Battlefield 4 gameplay reveal – very reminiscent of DICE and EA’s 2011 “Hey, you won’t forget to buy after watching this!” Battlefield 3 reveal.

Amid the March 18th announcement that EA CEO John Riccitiello would be officially stepping down as of this Saturday, and throughout the tough save-face turnaround EA must now do after an appalling release to the new Sim City, EA and DICE are pushing out mind melting teaser videos of Battlefield 4 gameplay that would make any FPS fan’s heartbeat rise to alarming levels.

Using the Frostbite 3 engine, BF4 promises to live up to expectations created by the success of past titles, and even has been speculated to be released with a version for the so-called ‘Xbox 720’ when appropriate.

Sticking to true DICE fashion, not just one teaser was released. DICE is also showing fighting on Air, Sea and Land (not necessarily in that order, of course) which lends itself very obviously to the past appeals of other Battlefield games, but also promises to deliver with unique vehicles to each combat arena.

“The US is said to have the M1 Abrams Tank, whereas rumored Chinese vehicles include the Xian Y-20 Transport Jet, Chengdu J-20 Stealth Fighter, Chengdu Xianglong unmanned UAV, and the Type-99 Tank.” (Luke Caulfield – gamenguide.com)

Then there are the maps that hold it all together.

“In addition to its hallmark multiplayer, Battlefield 4™ features an intense, dramatic character-driven campaign that starts with the evacuation of American VIPs from Shanghai and follows your squad’s struggle to find its way home.” – (Battlefield.com) Rumors are that most of the maps will be representative of Asia and the many theaters of battle that continent contains, playing yet again so brilliantly to Battlefield’s past strength of open, multi-surfaced, shoot-your-buddies-face-off, insane multiplayer gameplay.

Although the reveal was two days ago at GDC in San Francisco, there is still much to speculate about, and of course plenty of video to drool over until the release date. Speaking of which, if you know you’ll be wanting…no, needing this game come release time, you can head here to pre-order, or wait to see what un-lockables are offered by other companies to pre-ordering customers. Might as well take advantage of the ever-growing trend, right?

Links –

Gamenguide.com article
Official Battlefield site
John Riccitiello story
SimCity release nightmare

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