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Movies you shouldn’t have overlooked: Locke

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Movies you shouldnt have overlooked Locke

As always, no spoilers.

Tom Hardy in a car having conversations on the phone for 85 minutes. That doesn’t sound like the kind of movie anyone would want to watch, and, as it turned out, very few did. Locke grossed $1,375,769 at the domestic box office, which is less than many movies make in the first two or three hours after they’re released.

But when I saw it received a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and noticed that I’d never even heard of the movie, I knew it was worth checking out. One thing that should be noted to anyone considering seeing it is that it’s listed as “Drama, Mystery & Suspense” on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a drama. One can say that it’s a little suspenseful, but not the way most “suspense” movies tend deliver. Go in knowing nobody’s trying to hunt him down, there are no dead bodies in his trunk, and if he breaks the speed limit while driving, we aren’t made aware.

As true dramas go, it’s stellar.

Some may say it’s too gimmicky. After all, being able to hold an audience’s interest for an hour and a half with a man driving a car and talking to people is some feat. In this case, the execution of the gimmick itself is excellent because Hardy is able to deliver. His smooth transitions between private rage and soothing calm when he takes a call is magnified by a flawless Welsh accent. We believe that he’s passionate when he rages and we accept his sincerity when he’s calm.

The film was essentially a play that was performed over and over again with cameras in different places inside and outside the car. Then, they’d piece it all together for the finished product. It’s one of the few films where direction was much less important than good writing, which is why it’s a good thing that writer/director Steven Knight is much better known for his writing than directing.

Hardy’s acting is complimented by a strong mix of voice actors, including some pretty heavy hitters like Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, and Tom Holland, but of the voices on the other end of the line, it was Ruth Wilson who stood out as exceptional.

If you go in thinking a man in a car having phone conversations sounds too boring to watch, then Locke probably isn’t for you. There’s a Marvel movie or another installment of Fast and Furious coming out any moment that better suits your tastes.

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Entertainment and Sports

Can the DCEU be fixed?

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Can the DCEU be fixed

As a fan of DC Comics over Marvel Comics, I’ve been a man without a valid argument. I want the DCEU to be better than the MCU, but it’s not even close. Other than Wonder Woman, there hasn’t been a glimmer of hope that we’ll be able to have a real debate about which cinematic universe is better.

For a while, I’ve felt like it can’t be fixed. By “a while,” I mean one year. That’s how long it’s been since I saw Justice League and had to rein in desires to chuck Milk Duds at the screen. The only thing that held me back was that the Milk Duds were the only enjoyable part of the experience.

It was awful. Even worse than Batman v. Superman. Even worse than Suicide Squad. At least with the latter, we could dismiss it as a failed attempt to emulate Guardians of the Galaxy.

But there’s hope, according to this video from Screen Rant. I’m not 100% bought into the notion, but I have to hold onto it. Otherwise, I might as well trash my Aquaman posters and relive the glory days of the Dark Knight Trilogy.

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Entertainment and Sports

Fred Savage owns Deadpool in Once Upon a Deadpool trailer

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Fred Savage owns Deadpool in Once Upon a Deadpool trailer

I’ll admit, I didn’t even know this was a thing. When I heard about it, I assumed it was a spoof, probably put out by Ryan Reynolds to catch a few Christmas laughs. I was wrong.

Once Upon a Deadpool is a new edit of Deadpool 2 made with a PG-13 rating. Fox has been pushing for Reynolds to do a PG-13 version for over a decade, but the star has refused until now. He had two requirements. First, he Fox to donate money from the movie to a charity of Reynold’s choice. Which did he choose? A charity Fox is referring to as “Fudge Cancer,” though the charity’s real name would be better served in the R-rated version of Deadpool.

The second requirement is that Reynolds needed permission to kidnap Fred Savage.

Reynolds got both of his wishes and Once Upon a Deadpool was born. It’s due for a limited engagement next month.

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Theismann ‘turned away’ after seeing Redskins QB Smith hurt

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Theismann turned away after seeing Redskins QB Smith hurt

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Alex Smith seemed to know immediately this was bad. Really, really bad. He covered his face with both hands, then a white towel, before his fractured right leg was placed in an air cast and he was carted off the field.

One of his predecessors as quarterback of the Washington Redskins, Joe Theismann, was at Sunday’s game and sensed the same — all-too-familiar with what a season-ending broken leg looks and feels like.

Exactly 33 years to the day after Theismann’s gruesome injury during a nationally televised game , Smith went down with breaks to his right fibula and tibia midway through the third quarter of Washington’s 23-21 loss to the visiting Houston Texans on Sunday and was replaced at QB by backup Colt McCoy. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Smith would have surgery “right away.”

“I saw a pile of people go down, and then I saw Alex’s leg in the position it was in. And I turned away after that. It brought back vivid memories,” said Theismann, hurt when hit by Lawrence Taylor during a Redskins’ victory over the New York Giants on Nov. 18, 1985.

“This date has always been a day in my life that I’ll never forget,” Theismann said in a telephone interview.

“My immediate thought was that my heart went out to him. I feel so bad for him. I know the road ahead. We’re somewhat similar in age (when the injuries happened). He’s not 25 or 26 years of age. I was 35; he’s 34. How long will it take to come back? What is the severity?” Theismann added, saying he sent Smith a text message of support. “I worry less about Alex and his football career than I do Alex and wanting to be able to do the things in life he wants to do.”

Smith was in his first season with the Redskins after arriving in a trade from the Kansas City Chiefs. He had thrown two first-half interceptions Sunday, one returned 101 yards for a TD by Texans safety Justin Reid, as Washington fell behind 17-7.

McCoy helped Washington score a pair of TDs, including on his 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed on the backup QB’s first pass in a regular-season game since 2015.

Now Gruden will have a short week to help McCoy make his first NFL start since 2014: Washington (6-4) plays at Dallas (5-5) on Thanksgiving Day with first place in the NFC East on the line.

“I’ve still got to knock a little rust off,” said McCoy, who went 6 for 12 for 54 yards passing and ran five times for 35 yards after replacing Smith.

McCoy tried to lead the Redskins to the go-ahead points, but their last drive stalled, and Dustin Hopkins tried a 63-yard field goal that fell well short.

The injury came when Smith was first hit by cornerback Kareem Jackson, then by defensive end J.J. Watt. Before Smith was driven off the field, players from both teams left the sidelines to offer well wishes. He waved to spectators as he was taken away.

“We’re all gutted for Alex,” Watt said. “I feel absolutely terrible for him. It sucks. It’s the worst part of the game.”

With Smith headed to injured reserve, McCoy is the only QB on Washington’s roster, so the team will need to find a backup somewhere. Gruden said he hoped to have someone signed by Monday.

McCoy hasn’t worked with the first-team offense for the past few years, but Gruden said he still thinks his new starter at quarterback has a “great comfort level, I believe.”

“He hasn’t played a whole lot. So we’ll see how he does,” Gruden said. “But I have confidence in Colt. Always have.”

___

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter.

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