Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph
Stars: Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner
I’m NOT a sports fan, so I was pleasantly surprised when this film turned out to be enjoyable. It revolves around the day that NFL teams name their new players from the roster of college athletes. Kevin Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who grapples with his choice of #1 pick. Toss in a strong cast of “team” players, a romantic detour with Jennifer Garner and a bothersome sidetrip with his mom (Ellen Burstyn). There’s essentially no football footage. Most of this drama revolves around the wheeling and dealing that determines the final selection. Accomplished director Ivan Reitman has pulled a winning performance from Costner and added a split-screen gimmick to help boost the talky script. Even though I was sometimes confused by the sports talk, I still found it an absorbing game.
GAY ANGLE: There are a few hot football players, but no “locker room” scenes.
Director: David Ayer
Writers: Skip Woods, David Ayer
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard
Arnold Schwarzenegger heads a gritty group of DEA agents who are being hunted down and brutally murdered. This was written/directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Training Day) and it’s shows off many of his best traits: hard-edged violence, dark dealings, witty banter and tons of testosterone (even in the women). The macho cast creates tuff, enjoyable characters with Mireille Enos (best known for “The Killing”) hilariously hardcore and against type. The snappy pacing and sharp banter propel this film forward until the last third, which slows a bit before the final blowouts. Still, there’s plenty to enjoy.
GAY ANGLE: Thankfully, Arnold keeps his shirt on, but this cast is loaded with mean macho men (but Max Martini is the only one who shows it off).
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.