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PAIN & GAIN MOVIE REVIEW

Truth is stranger than fiction. “Pain & Gain” is a true story about 3 dudes with way more brawn than brains. The events unfolded between October 1994 & June 1995. Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is on course to be a low income personal trainer for the rest of his life. That’s exactly what he doesn’t want.  Then is fate crosses paths with a passionate, inspirational, unorthodox & foul-mouthed self-help guru, Johnny Wu. (Ken Jeong) Daniel lives by Wu’s motto: “If I feel I deserve it, the universe will serve it.” The problem: Lugo thinks he deserves everything at all costs, no matter who gets hurt, no matter what the consequences.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is by all means getting better & better as an actor. Here he plays ex-con, Paul Doyle. A man drawn to his demons.  Rounding out the nefarious trio is Adrian Doorbal. (Anthony Mackie.) Another personal trainer who’s always strapped for cash.  When Daniel recruits these dudes, it’s about one thing: Targeting one rich person & taking everything they own. It’s a very twisted way of achieving The American Dream.

So who’s the unlucky mark? Enter local businessman, Victor Kershaw (Tony Shaloub) He was just at the wrong gym, the wrong time  with the wrong personal trainer. Hey, it happens.  As you’ve seen in the movie’s trailer, Kershaw is about to have his life turned inside out.  Over the course of the film, the criminal masterminds are anything but disciplined.  Just looking at the trio execute their crimes, makes anyone who’s ever watched any of those CSI TV shows think, “Geez, these idiots are dropping a million clues, traces, evidence & traceable steps.”  You watch, there’s gonna be a “Pain & Gain” drinking game. Drink everytime they leave a clue. Get a designated driver. You’ll be doing copious amounts of shots.

NO SPOILERS: I liked the fact the Daniel Lugo ran his operation like Ethan Hunt of “Mission: Impossible.” He was just so awful at it. What’s more amazing, is his team back him on everything, even murder.  You know it’s just a matter of time before these idiots get caught. “Pain & Gain” is a good time at the movies. Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones, Tony Stark does.



Man On A Ledge Movie Review

Man On A Ledge is a simple story about sticking it to The Man.  Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) has been kicked off the NYPD and arrested for stealing a $40 million dollar diamond from John Englander (Ed Harris).  This thing is a ROCK let me tell ya.   Cassidy must prove he’s innocent to clear his name.

The action takes us 220 feet in the air at the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown Manhattan.  He goes out on the ledge. Why?  Jumper?  Psycho?  To get answers, we need a negotiator.  This movie is cast with People Magazine’s Sexiest Negotiators Alive.  Representing the men is Jack Dougherty (Ed Burns) & the women, Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks.)

The cat and mouse game ensues.  What’s really going on here?  All the answers are across the street.  Things are not what they seem.  I thought the film had good pacing. I also appreciate subtle twists & cleverness in heists.     If you’re gonna jump in, jump in with both feet.  This is strictly a formula film and I enjoyed it.

If you’d like short, exclusive updates on movies, Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones



DVD – The Way Back Film Freak Movie Review

Imagine what it would be like to time travel back to 1940. Imagine further a Siberian Prison isolated in the middle of frozen tundra with merciless mother nature keeping you imprisoned.  Such is the harsh setting for, “The Way Back.”  This is what excites me about movie making.  Seeing is believing.  It’s the story of uber human resilience. The cast includes: Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirise Ronan & Jim Sturgess.  The only question that matters is, ‘what are you willing to go through to attain freedom?  Director Peter Weir crafts a snapshot in history with such command & finesse.   And willpower? I thought Bear Grylls was tough on “Man vs. Wild.”  These people were the epitome of toughness.  “The Way Back” takes us on a soul-searching journey inspired by the book, “The Long Walk.”  The terrain is terrifying, from snowstorms to sandstorms & everything in between.  This is a movie not to be missed.



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