Do you like Paul Giamatti and wrestling? Well, probably not at the same time since Giamatti and spandex don’t mix that well, but Giamatti and uplifting stories do! And that’s where Win Win comes in. It’s a sweet, touching tale and it’s a shame you didn’t see it in theaters. No, don’t try to act like you did, I know you didn’t. Lucky for you, it’s coming out on Blu-ray and DVD August 30th. Just go pick it up as soon as you can and pretend like you saw it four months ago. It’s okay, no need to be embarrassed.
Full press release:
Los Angeles, CA (June 21, 2011) – Laugh, cry and win when WIN WIN comes to Blu-ray and DVD on August 30, 2011 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. WIN WIN is not just another sports movie; the unconventionally uplifting film combines action on the mat with the hilarious highs and heartbreaking lows of a new kind of family. Indie film writer-director Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) guides a celebrated cast including Academy Award® nominees Paul Giamatti (Sideways, “John Adams”), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) and high school wrestling star and newcomer Alex Shaffer in this quirky coming-of-age tale.
Academy Award® Nominee Paul Giamatti* stars as a lovable yet long-suffering lawyer and high-school wrestling coach who takes us on a brilliantly heartfelt journey through the game of life...where you can't lose ’em all. When Mike Flaherty (Giamatti) comes across a teenage runaway who also happens to be a champion wrestler, Mike’s luck turns around in spectacular fashion. But his win-win situation soon becomes more complicated than he ever imagined when the boy’s family affairs come into play. Co-starring Oscar® Nominee Amy Ryan** and directed by Oscar® Nominee Tom McCarthy†, this touching and funny comedy will leave you cheering.
WIN WIN also highlights the critically-acclaimed performances of Bobby Cannavale (Sex and the City, “Third Watch”), Burt Young (Rocky), and Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development,” The Hangover).
WIN WIN Blu-ray and DVD Features:
Mike Meets with Mrs. Tedesco
Family and Leo Drive to Courthouse
Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni discuss WIN WIN
David Thompson at Sundance 2011
In Conversation with Tom McCarthy and Paul Giamatti at Sundance 2011
"Think You Can Wait" Music Video by The National
WIN WIN will be available on Blu-ray and DVD August 30th. Pre-book is August 3rd.
One third family drama one third socioeconomic commentary and one third inspirational sports comedy writer-director Tom McCarthy’s Win Win is a delight to behold even though its conclusion reinforces the notion that nice guys still finish last. But hey it’s true and though a handful of recent films have tried to reflect on the pulse of the nation this bittersweet dramedy may be the closest thing to an honest depiction of the state of contemporary American communities.
Guided by easily executed but entertaining performances from Paul Giamatti Bobby Cannavale and Amy Ryan the film centers on Mike Flaherty a disheartened New Jersey attorney struggling to keep his practice afloat in this volatile financial climate. In his spare time Mike jogs with his best friend Terry and moonlights as coach to a fledgling high school wrestling team but his life changes dramatically when he pursues a questionable opportunity to score some quick cash. Before long the teenage grandson (Alex Shaffer) of one of his clients (Burt Young) shows up at his doorstep and that’s when things get complicated and interesting.
The script is the films core strength combining likable characters and cool middlebrow comedy with a touching and relatable story. McCarthy’s writing subtly tickles the funny bone without taking away from the movie’s moral dilemma and discretely balances its poignant and humorous moments. Even at its most dramatic point when young runaway Kyle’s rehabilitating mother (Melanie Lynsky) enters the picture in an attempt to take her son and unhinged father (plus his money) back to Ohio the filmmaker never gets melodramatic. He honors the integrity of his characters and the themes of his story by letting the action play out candidly a stylistic trademark of the man behind The Visitor and The Station Agent.
Like those past productions this film’s cleverly crafted characters are the kind you’d instantly warm up to. Individually they’re flawed but endearing; collectively they put the “win” in Win Win. Giamatti’s everyman is a respected pillar of his community who struggles with the decision to use a client for his commission and the Oscar-nominated actor gives Flaherty enough of a conscience to keep you rooting for him even if you can’t condone his actions. Cannavale steals most of his scenes as the blunt and charismatic Terry who starts to live vicariously through Kyle and the wrestling team as a way to cope with his own problems. A McCarthy alumnus he got the writer’s funniest dialogue and delivers it nonchalantly turning in an effortless and infinitely enjoyable portrayal of a down-on-his-luck divorcee. I was very impressed with newcomer Shaffer who nails the disaffected teen bit while managing to be somewhat unpredictable. He was in good company on this movie and was able to hold his own with some great actors so I’ll be following his next moves with interest.
It’s not a standout film technically speaking but Win Win has a whole lot of heart; enough to lift the spirits of any moviegoer who might find themselves in Mike’s shoes. But as an examination of the consequences of one’s actions it also avoids a cookie-cutter conclusion that would detract from its realism. There are very few easy resolutions in the world and even less in this movie but that’s life. And though it's far from a “feel-good film " Win Win definitely feels right.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.