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411 Fact or Fiction Movies/TV 12.27.13: Week 414
Posted by Ben Piper on 12.27.2013

Happy Holidays! I hope that everyone had a Merry Xmas or Happy Hanukah, and I wish you all the very best in the coming new year as well. I say that now for this will be the final Fact or Fiction of 2013, but also because there will not be an installment next week. No worries, we'll be back the week after.

But before then, we've got some ground to cover. Here to help us out with that are Jason Chamberlain and Paul LaPointe. Let's see what they have to say for themselves…

1. The Wolf Of Wall Street will be yet another instant classic from Martin Scorsese.

Jason Chamberlain: Fact. Well, when you think about filmmakers that are capable of putting out an instant classic, Scorsese is definitely on the list. He's got all kinds of goodwill built up in the film community, both from a moviegoer and critic standpoint, so his films immediately get the benefit of the doubt.

This is also another of his films with his latest 'muse', Leonardo Dicaprio. He's an actor who has really come a long way since his days as Hollywood's chief teenage heart throb, and I'm always eager to see his performances. He seems to give his all and then some to this one.

All in all, it has what it takes to be a classic.

Paul Lapointe: Fiction. Martin Scorsese in an institution when it comes to the movie industry and business as a whole but other then saying I heavily anticipate an upcoming film or documentary of his I cannot say with every picture his name is attached too that its devoid of scrutiny or trepidation. Plus the word classic for me has not been something I can say is true on my own personal tastes for what he has brought to the screen over the past few years in comparison to his earlier works. Outside of the fact that he he brings solid panache, gamesmanship and skill to every production I still can't say that though it looked great and was well acted that Shutter Island was a classic or all that great in retrospect. I also preferred the original Infernal Affairs film to his remake that was The Departed though it was very good and well acted and Bill The Butcher is a memorable performance by Daniel Day Lewis but Gangs of New York was a little over indulgent and over wrought. Martin is a wizard and loves film history as Hugo demonstrated- my favourite more modern film from him since the early 90's and with a 3 hr. run time I will judge the film once I see it rather then by the judge it by its cover.

Score: 0 for 1

2. A Good Will Hunting TV show is a horrible idea.

Jason Chamberlain: Fiction. If only because horrible is a pretty strong word. I don't think it's a 'good' idea, either. I mean, the conceit of the story, a brilliant young man dealing with the difficulties of that brilliance while living in tough South Boston, could fuel a series. But I think Good Will Hunting is one of those iconic movies, certainly of the last 20 years, that would cast a pretty large shadow over any attempted remake.

But, if Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are involved (I'm not sure if they are), who's to say they won't succeed. They're pretty smart guys and it's a story they wrote; if anyone can make it work it's them.

Paul Lapointe: Fact. WHA!!!!!? Are they serious? Unless its a spoof of some kind and its Good Will Hunting- Hunting Season then how in the hell would this make for a good series outside of name value? Hollywood tends to run out of ideas when they want to make money and try to do so without really having to think or try but this when I first heard the news of it even being possible just made me laugh out loud without restraint or care to my surroundings. I ask this, is Matt Damon returning? No most definitely not and rule Batfleck out too and even Minnie Driver so what's the damn plot? Genius janitor leaves job to be with the girl he loves and has nothing else to whine about so he...sees another psychiatrist...solves crimes with math for the CIA...does become a unibomber? The story had a beginning, middle and end, let it be.

Score: 0 for 2

3. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty will be a huge disappointment and bomb at the box office.

Jason Chamberlain: Fact. Not a personal disappointment, as I have no interest in seeing it. But Ben Stiller is one of those talents that doesn't come cheap, so I assume they have a fairly significant budget to make back. Winter isn't usually the best time for movies as it is, unless you're a huge tentpole movie like a Thor 2 or Hobbit 2. I don't know that it will find a sizable audience at a time when most people are happy to stay warm in their homes and watch Netflix.

Paul Lapointe: Fact. I do see this film being lost in the shuffle come release and though I am not a fan of Ben Stiller unless its an ensemble film I mostly do not see it being his fault the film falters. The book for which this film is based has had such a hard road to navigate en route to even getting made that unless it brings in mega bucks out the gate the headache of production would make it an achievement in principle but failure in hindsight. Early reviews as well have also said that outside of some great cinematography and an overall good feeling message the film is a pandered mess of one note riffs and posits which is a shame. I say just read the book and go back and watch Mystery Men or Heavyweights on Xmas if you want your Ben Stiller fix.

Score: 1 for 3


4. You don't expect Grudge Match to be very good.

Paul Lapointe: Fact. I can see this being a good movie but the more I see the trailer the more I want to punch Kevin Hart in the face. Two hollywood icons making a film that in the trailer says is a bad idea should not sell itself that its a bad idea. DeNiro is not in a Scorsese film and Stallone is not Rocky so the fantasy warfare idea of it is funny in theory but execution it could just one long winded joke that runs out too long like grandparents stories about how things used to be. I actually want this to be good but feel that the aspects it embraces will leave little of note that will resonate with me and leave me to focus on an earlier statement, wanting to punch Kevin Hart in the face.

Jason Chamberlain Fiction. Actually I'm kind of looking forward to it. If I was expecting a heavy hitting dramatic boxing movie on the level of Rocky and/or Raging Bull then I'm sure I'd be disappointed but the trailer is very clear about what this movie is and I think it looks like fun.

Obviously it's a bit 'meta' in that Sly and De Niro are sort of but not really playing their famous boxing characters, or heavily riffing on them anyway. The movie obviously wouldn't have the same 'punch' (see what I did there) if it featured two actors who hadn't starred in iconic boxing movies.

Score: 1 for 4

5. You'd be interested in a new Odd Couple TV series starring Matthew Perry as Oscar Madison.

Paul Lapointe: Fiction. WHY?! First Good Will Hunting and now The Odd Couple? Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau are dead and buried and may they rest in peace, so with that in mind why make them roll over in the grave and then come back to life as a pair of grumpy zombies and eat the brains of Chandler before this gets greenlit? Make something that's the exact same premise that is simple enough but do not sully the name The Odd Couple for the sake of name recognition. Plus Mr. Perry since Friends your sitcoms have all gone belly up one after another so do not titanic something revered because its an easier sell. Are you drinking again? Should we get an intervention started? Take a shot at the stage show instead, I mean the impending Matthau/Lemon grumpy Zombie buddy comedy I think would work better after all this talk.

Jason Chamberlain Fiction. No, I most certainly would not be. I always get a remake question when I do a Fact or Fiction, and my answer generally varies based on my enthusiasm for the product in question, or my understanding of the original's appeal, or perhaps simply my mood that day.

In this case I'll ask a simple question. Can it be done better than Matthau and Lemmon did it? I'm going to go ahead and answer that for myself. No, it cannot. In point of fact, there has already BEEN a TV series version of The Odd Couple. So this is Hollywood actually reheating leftovers that have already been reheated. I can taste it already...

Score: 2 for 5

6. Despite being pushed back several times, 47 Ronin will turn out to be a surprisingly decent samurai flick.

Paul Lapointe: Fact. The CGI will be crazy bad but its a film starring Keanu Reeves doing Kung Fu stuff so of course its going to be terrible but I think it will terribly bad good, like most Samurai Ninja movies are. Plus if its anywhere near as cheesy and corny and actiony as Keanu's Man of Tai Chi that came out recently, sign me up!

Jason Chamberlain Fact You're darn right it will be. Actually I'm not sure decent will cover it. This movie looks like a blast. Look, you've got Keanu Reeves kicking ass and taking names fighting samurai and various demons. I'm not sure what more you might want from a movie. Remember Balls Of Fury? Christopher Walken in a kimono equals TICKET SOLD. Keanu Reeves dropping some kung fu knowledge is the same thing.

Final Score: 3 for 6

After a slow start, Paul and Jason wind up splitting the difference. Thanks to them both for taking part, and see you again in two weeks!




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