Stephen Dent’s Bad Moms Review

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Get ready, I’m about to do something that is not very Stephen Dent-like, review a chick flick movie! Not only that I’m here to say it was a pretty solid movie. I have to confess I did see it during mandatory date night with the wife but that doesn’t take away from the movie – it is very watchable and entertaining. For those of you with kids you will really sympathize with the main characters and as a man you will realize that a lot of the same complaints that were risen of Jackie’s husband in the movie were valid. So here is the backstory. Jackie catches her husband cheating on her online and finally gets fed up with trying so hard to be good mom and starts to neglect her duties as a mother. Along with her friends they go up against Christina Applegate who is basically the lead trophy wife at the school and the President of the PTA. Jackie runs against her while running into some problems of her own, which leads to her daughter getting kicked off the soccer team – but we find out it was really Christina Applegate who set up the daughter in order to keep her position as the PTA President.

Some of the high points of the movie are the comedic relief that Kathryn Hahn brought to the role. She is a lesser known actress then Mila Kunis and Kristin Bell but she really steals the show with how funny she is. Her mom character is the trashy one who doesn’t show enough love to her son, but that all changes in the end. Kristen Bell’s character is a bit underused here but that makes since because she plays a quieter than a church mouse type of mom who does everything for her husband. When she finally fights back against her husband and tells him to “deal with it” after he asks her to come home while watching the kids, it’s a real powerful moment and really represents what the movie is talking about – the women are so sick of doing everything that is why they ultimately choose to be bad moms. Of course this doesn’t last and in the end there is a more of a balance in each one of the mom’s parenting and lives.

Do you think I was missing anything in this review? If you have any suggestions or comments please email them to stephendentreviews@gmail.com.

The Force Awakens Review – Courtesy of Stephen Dent

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I am a rabid Star Wars fan but this movie could have been WAY better! I have to get this off my chest! Disney, in their greed, erased the expanded universe. The problem with this is that the extended universe was signed off for! In my mind that is where the franchise should have gone. Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, Jorus Cabooth, Jacen Solo being the bad guy, and so on. But alas, that is not what happened. We have instead Kylo Ren who loses a fight to an untrained girl in her first lightsaber battle, no less! Pretty pathetic for a bad guy, methinks. And what happened to Captain Phasma – Gwendaline Christie was vastly underused in this. Watching her in Game of Thrones I know what a great actress she is! Now I have to give some props to JJ Abrams. He did execute the movie well, even if it feels very similar to the originals (mega weapon destroying planets and so on).

Stephen Dent’s Spoiler Alert: Han Solo dies. It’s tragic but true. Dead by the hands of his evil son Ben aka Kylo Ren. The best part of the movie is the reintroduction of Luke Skywalker. I really hope Rouge One can deliver because I was dissatisfied with this movie.

Stephen Dent’s Big Lebowski Review

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I just watched this movie for the first time last night. I had seen parts but never had made it through the entire film. Boy was I glad to do so this time. What a great movie! The story is entrancing and the visual effects and the filmography makes the movie (at times) a psychedelic experience. Now the main character The Dude mentions that he has done Acid before so the dreams that he has every now and then are like a crazy acid trip. And the movie is quite the same. Oh the premise starts out normal enough. A laid back loser called The Dude, likes to bowl with his friend Walter, a pissed off Vietnam vet, and Steve Bushemi – who only says a couple of words the whole movie. Now here is where the story takes a strange turn. Apparently the Dude shares the same last name of Lebowski with a richer Lebowski and this gets him pulled into a strange predicament – two thugs come into his house and demand money. Apparently Jeffrey Lebowski’s wife owes this guy Jackie Treehorn some money. Of course the dude doesn’t have a wife so he’s of course not the guy that the thugs want. Before they leave one of them pees on the rug which “really tied the room together.” The Dude talks with his friends at the bowling alley about it and is convinced to go to the other Lebowski’s house and demand a replacement. The millionaire Lebowski doesn’t think much of the dude and send him on his way advising him to get a job and make something of himself, not look for the charity of others to satisfy his life. In wicked fashion, the dude lies to Lebowski’s assistant and takes a rug anyway.

The dream sequences in the movie and the Walter character really make this movie entertaining for me. The dude is cool but John Goodman’s Walter character tends to steal the show at times in fits of crazy veteran induced anger, including pulling a gun on a bowler who was going to record a false score.

Stephen Dent’s The Revenant Review

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First off I have to start this with a disclaimer. I don’t want to write a review that is like everyone else praising this movie but I can’t help it. The writer in me wants to love this movie. The visuals are spectacular and you really resonate with Leo’s character and despise Tom Hardy. So the protagonist and antagonist angles are in. Conflict? There is plenty. The film opens up with Indians attacking the trappers. The fight scenes are pretty cool – especially the arrows flying through the air and the unique camera angles that put you right next to the horse Leo is riding when he is escaping the attack.

As the movie progresses the trappers are trying to make it back to their fort and first start by water but then decide to walk the rest of the way. It’s then that Leo gets mauled by a bear, after being separated from the group. The group finds him and ultimately two people stay back, Tom Hardy and a young impressionable trapper. Tom Hardy soon realizes that it would just be easier to kill Leo so he can get back to the fort and get his money for staying behind. But that plan runs into a hitch as Leo’s Indian son catches Hardy and yells out for help. But Hardy quickly stabs the boy to keep him silent and hides the body. Hardy decides to make up a story that the Indians are coming and him and his trapper buddy take off to leave Leo on his own. Of course, our main character recovers and finds the body of his son and is determined to kill Hardy for what he was done, but there are several roadblocks in his way. A hostile group of Indians catch up with Leo while he is sleeping one night and ultimately drive him off a cliff. This scene really stood out to me from the sheer direness of it all. Leo’s horse died in the fall but it was freezing so he had to take drastic measures, that meant cutting out the horse’s insides and Leo jumped into that horse to keep warm (those of you who watched the movie know what happened). This is one of the stronger survival scenes I have seen in a movie lately…if hadn’t done it he would be dead – but it’s just a crazy thing to have to do to survival. You can see how cold Leo is – and that’s because the director didn’t want CGI – the actors were miserable – and they are supposed to be miserable! They are trapping in the old days in the middle of winter and keep getting attacked by Indians – it was a rough life. This movie is ultimately about the human desire to survive in relentless conditions and it was a massive undertaking to effectively show that.

Now for the negatives. Even though The Revenent is Stephen Dent certified, the film was kind of slow at parts. It took a while to draw me in, even if there was a really cool battle. The film is kind of quiet. The wilderness can wear on you as a watcher of the movie. If you can get over all of that – and I’m sure you will – you will deeply enjoy this movie.

Moving on. The ending of the film was actually the best part because you desperately want Leo to find Tom Hardy and kill the bastard. He is just that evil. How it happens is that Leo and the captain of the trading company ride after Hardy, who had run off after he realized he was going to be found out. As they follow horse prints (which they rightly attribute to Hardy) the man ambushes them and shoots the Captain dead, quickly fleeing into a better position. Now what Leo does next is genius. He puts the Captain’s body on the lead horse and hides on the second horse in the back with a blanket over him. When Leo proceeds to ride up after Hardy, he hears a shot. Thanks to the bait and switch, Hardy’s bullet hits the dead Captain and Leo makes his move, popping out from underneath the blanket and shooting Hardy – but he doesn’t kill him! Leo gives chase and both him and Hardy end up fighting hand to hand. Leo ultimately stabs Hardy but lets the newly arrived Indians kill the man.

The Revenant was a vast undertaking by Alejandro González Iñárritu , the director, but I think he did some powerful work. Leo won the Oscar for best actor for this movie so if that doesn’t tell you anything I don’t know what else will.

Any ideas for the next review?? Please send them to stephendentreviews@gmail.com.

Stephen Dent’s Game of Thrones Review

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The Battle of the Bastards (Season 6, Episode 9)

I’m sure most of you have heard of Game of Thrones by now…The one with the swords and the dragons? The one taking over TV and making reading books cool again? Well that’s the very same one good ole Stephen Dent is going to cover today. I could go on and on about every season of GOT (there have been 6 total now) but it makes the most since to simply review the most recent season, Season 6. And to narrow it down even further, I will be talking about The Battle of the Bastards: The huge battle where Jon Snow finally gets to kill Ramsey Bolton (or does he?).

Now if you have been watching the groundbreaking TV series you know that the show makes a habit of killing people off. The whole world cheered when King Joffrey was killed (remember that sadistic little bastard who somehow became the King of Westerios?) Well for this episode we finally see Ramsey killed off (who just happens to be another sadistic little bastard…I’m seeing a trend here!) But the killing doesn’t happen as you might think it would.

The Battle of the Bastards kicks off Jon Snow vs Ramsay Bolton. Now killing Ramsay would clearly be no easy task as the man controls a much bigger army than Jon Snow’s. When the fight starts out things seem to be going well for Jon who is somehow not dying under a hail of arrows. But things quickly turn south as Snow’s whole army is surrounded by dead bodies behind them and an advancing nearly impenetrable wall of spear men. Luckily for Jon, however, Sansa hadn’t listened to him when he thought his army would be enough. She apparently and snuck away and recruited some more men and came back just in the nick of time (only on TV right!). The cavalry stomps Ramsey’s men to death and leaves him with an incredulous look on his face as he retreats back to the keep. I kept thinking as I saw this fight unfold that this may even hold its own against great movies like Braveheart, which was the last time I saw such a great medieval fight with plenty of blood and gore. The funny thing that GOT isn’t a movie, it’s a TV show! For a TV show episode to rival Braveheart or even to stand close is quite a remarkable feat.

Next, their lone troll succeeds on breaking the gate of Winterfell and somehow, someway we see Jon facing off against his arch rival. After fighting off Ramsey’s arrows with his shield and ever advancing, Jon beats him to a pulp but shows remarkable restraint in not killing the man. Sansa gets the last laugh as she allows Bolton’s savage dogs to do her dirty work; the same dogs whom Ramsay used to kill so many of his enemies. Justice is finally served – that’s what makes this episode so satisfying. I think everyone watching who has following his season cheered when Ramsay got ripped apart. That’s the making of good entertainment – something that draws you in and makes you root for the good guys – and really despise the bad guys.

Stephen Dent’s Animal Kingdom Review: Get Your Crime Fix Here

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Stephen Dent Reviews Brand New Show Animal Kingdom

animal kingdom

When I first saw the commercials for this show a few months ago I had a feeling this was going to be something special. I have to admit, I was intrigued. I have seen Scot Speedman on the big screen so I already knew he would bring a good performance, but there is another actor who is a little lesser known than him named Shawn Hatosy. Hatosy has been on numerous TV shows like Southland and was also great in the movie Alpha Dog where he played an intense criminal (something he is doing right now for Animal Kingdom). This guy is a very underrated actor and I knew that if he brought something from that Alpha Dog character to this role that it was going to be good.

Basically the character dynamic in this show is just one big dysfunctional family, one that is run by an attractive older woman whose nickname is Smurf. Smurf controls the gang, made up of her sons. She loves her kids and certainly takes care of her boys. The group sustains themselves by stealing and running criminal jobs. When the boys try to run their own side jobs (selling drugs, stealing safes full of money) Smurf blows her cool and quickly turns lukewarm on her boys, basically kicking them out of the house.

The “gang” is controlled by Scot Speedman’s character (named Baz) who is a little big arrogant and is two timing on his girlfriend. None of the other brothers really like Baz (especially Pope who is jealous that Baz is in charge). The two closest brother of the bunch are the two middle brothers, Craig and Deran, (the only main characters with beards) who team up together in the beginning of the series. Craig even gets himself shot by an off duty Police Officer during one of their crazy heists! The two start doing their own thing as the show continues, however.

The family is thrown into slight disarray when Joshua Cody gets taken in by Smurf when his mother dies of a drug overdose. Josh comes into the group very young and innocent but quickly grows up and even starts to steal and collect back money owed to Smurf.

Shawn Hatosy finally comes into the picture when he returns from jail to find out Josh is sleeping in his room and his family sold his apartment while he was in jail. But it doesn’t stop there, he is even shunned by his family who says that he shouldn’t sleep at the house because he has a parole officer and they don’t want heat drawn to the family’s criminal enterprise. It’s no surprise then that Pope starts to do his own thing (staging his own robbery with Daren and Josh) behind Smurf’s back.

There are so many things that I could write about in this initial review but let’s just leave it at that for now. If you want plenty of sex, drugs, violence and more criminal action, this is the show for you!

If you liked this review stay tuned for more from yours truly.

-Stephen Dent