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The Foreigner – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  October 13, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  1 hour 54 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.7 out of 10

A non-spoiler review.

“A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism.  A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.”

What works:  Finally a Jackie Chan movie that allows him to act, truly act (ok, he isn’t going to get any acting award nominations), without any comedic moments between moments of action.  He may be older, but the man still has the action scenes down.  Pierce Brosnan plays a government official with ties to the IRA and is caught in the middle of law officials and a mourning father whom want information.  You get solid performances from both and there is plenty of action for everyone to appreciate.  If Rambo and Jason Bourne were to run into Jackie Chan, I feel like they all would have their hands full.

What doesn’t work:  The supporting cast, specifically the terrorists, feel very empty and the acting takes a hit.  I’m always wondering where all these people always seem to have martial arts training.  Jackie Chan’s character always seems to have a way out and we’re supposed to just fill in the blanks that he gets away and moves on.  There is a romance in the film that just doesn’t seem to fit and honestly, we could have done without that entire subplot. 

All in all, I enjoyed the film.  I enjoyed it most because this is not your stereotypical Chan movie because the story is a bit more grounded and Jackie gets a chance to act.  Yes, we get some of the martial arts flavor that we see in many of his movies, but it is toned down and fits well into the story.  Let’s hope we can see Jackie in more serious movie roles that don’t focus on what he is mostly known for, antic ridden martial arts fighting.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give The Foreigner a 7.7.  Grab some concessions and enjoy some action, Rambo style.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (October 13, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Marshall (Open Road Films) – Drama/Biography
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language.
Tag Line: His Name Means Justice
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad
Plot: About a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Rob F: Chadwick Boseman showed us the story of Jackie Robinson, and now he will show us that of Thurgood Marshall. With the ugliness of racism still far too prevalent in society, maybe this is film we should all watch and try to learn from.
Chris: Now, here is a piece of history I would like to learn more about.  Nicely cut trailer, and Chadwick Boseman is one of my new favorites on the scene today.
Wayne: Looks like a very interesting story and one I would pay to see. Buying a ticket.

The Foreigner (STX Entertainment) – Action/Thriller
Rated R for violence, language and some sexual material
Tag Line: Never push a good man too far.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Jackie Chan, Katie Leung
Plot: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Wayne: I want to see Jackie Chan in a role where it isn’t with some silly detective. High hopes for this film. Buying a ticket.
Rob F: Jackie Chan is not someone I would want to piss off, but this looks mediocre at best. Pass.
Chris:  Refreshing change of pace from cop buddy and silly roles for the talented Chan.  I am very excited to see him square off against Brosnan in what looks to be an intense film.

Happy Death Day (Universal Pictures) – Horror/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity
Tag Line: Get Up. Live Your Day. Get Killed. Again.
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard
Plot: A college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Chris: Similar feel to Final Destination but a lot less fun it seems.  I like my horror movies, but this one is not calling me to the theater.
Wayne: I’ve seen Ground Hog Day and this is a twist on it. Not so sure I would enjoy seeing this one though. I’m going to pass.
Rob: Groundhog Day meets Scream. Good laughs I am sure, and I have a free pass that I might burn on this one.

Breathe (Bleecker Street Media) – Biography/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including some bloody medical images
Tag Line: An inspiration love story.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander
Plot: The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Rob F: Looks like a good film, but not a big screen one for me. 
Wayne: An excellent cast with a compelling story. I may not see it in the theater, but it is worth seeing. Buying a ticket.
Chris: I have this feeling that we are going to be very sad in the end.  Love is complicated and beautiful even in the face of hopelessness.  I’ll wait for the small screen though.

Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight) – Biography/History/Family
Rated PG for thematic elements, some bullying, war images and brief language
Tag Line: Inspired by the true story.
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie
Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Chris: Wow, I was taken by surprise with this one.  Captured me right from the get-go, and I will definitely be seeing this one.  Decidedly not Hollywood Poo(h). 
Rob F: No thanks. Animated I can tolerate some Pooh, but not a big enough fan to see this.
Wayne: I’m not a fan of this time period but the actors have me interested. Still, going to pass.

Professor Marston & the Wonder Woman (Annapurna Pictures) – Drama
R for strong sexual content including brief graphic images, and language.
Tag Line: Meet the women behind the man behind the woman.
Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote
Plot: The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.
Running Time: 108 minutes
Wayne: I’m curious about this story only because I’m a fan of Wonder Woman, but feel this film will fall flat on viewers. I’m going to pass.
Chris:  Hey, it’s the pervy comic book creator origin story! 
Rob F: I’d probably rent it because of its relation to comics.  

Tickets Purchased: Two for The Foreigner (Chris and Wayne) and One for Marshall (Rob)

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Trailer Snark (September 22, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (20th Century Fox) – Action/Adventure/Comedy
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material
Tag Line: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
Plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Rob F: I pledge my spear and sword to Prince Oberyn of House Martell. Pedro Pascal is a phenomenal actor and he isn’t even listed in the credits. Halle Berry isn’t half-bad either. Overall, this looks like an action-packed, fun romp through “The Secret Service” comic world created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Sign me up.
Wayne: Action packed with a killer cast. I hope this one lives up to the hype. The first one was surprisingly good and has set the bar high for the sequel. I’m buying this.
Chris: The very first time I read Mark Millar’s The Secret Service #1, I knew this Kingsman property was something special. The first movie only solidified that position. We may not get Samual L Jackson’s villainous lisp, but you know what we get is going to be good.
Jim: First one was a decent actioner, this one looks to be more of the same—rental. In the barrage of images laboring to get my attention, the coolest was of Colin Firth firing from his umbrella. 

The Lego Ninjago Movie (Warner Bros) – Animation/Action/Adventure
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Tag Line: Find your inner piece.
Starring: Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armisen, Michael Pena
Plot: Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jim: More high octane humor from the Lego people, quips and gags whipping by faster than the human brain can process them. Rental.
Rob F: My six year old would never forgive me if I didn’t bring her to see this one. She’s been talking about it for months and is a huge fan of the toys and the seven seasons of the show. What’s not to love? Legos plus ninjas plus time with my youngest. Hard to beat that! It’s spinjitsu time!
Wayne: Who doesn’t like Lego’s? I don’t think this will be as successful as Lego Batman, but kids love this stuff and it has spilled over to adults with the Lego Movie. Ya, I’ll check it out. I’m buying this.
Chris: I previously doubted the Lego Batman movie based on the trailer, and was proven wrong. I am not going to doubt the creators again, but it won’t be on the big screen for me.

Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) – Biography/Comedy/Sports
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity
Tag Line: He made a bet.  She made history.
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough
Plot: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris: It’s 40 Year Old Wash-up vs. Billy Jean Tennis Queen. Yeah, I am interested, but again it won’t be in the cineplex.
Jim: Now we’re cookin.’ Two great actors in a story worth constructing a movie around.
Rob F: Emma Stone vs. Steve Carell; Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs. Based on the true story of a fabled tennis match that took place in 1973 at the Houston Astrodome. It may still be the most viewed tennis match in history. The build up was intense and showcased emerging feminism and of course it’s counterpart. “I’m gonna put the show back in chauvinism.” ~Bobby Riggs. Looks entertaining, and would definitely watch at home, but not a big screen take for this moviegoer.
Wayne: I’m old enough to remember seeing this on Wide World of Sports. I’m not certain this movie will be overly successful, but the cast alone has me sold and I’m interested in the story of how this came together. I’m buying this.

Friend Request (Entertainment Studios) – Horror/Thriller
Rated R for horror violence, disturbing images, and language
Tag Line: Evil is trending.
Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Mosely
Plot: A popular college student graciously accepts a social outcast’s online friend request, but soon finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to make her lonely by killing her closest friends.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Wayne: (yawn) Ya, not buying this. Moving on.
Chris: This is my genre, but this looks woefully bad. Deleting this Friend Request.
Jim: Laughable, but fascinating. It’s schlock, but might be worth looking at for the cheese factor alone.
Rob F: Paranormal unfriend request on Facebook. Meh. Not my genre.

Victoria & Abdul (Focus Features) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language
Tag Line: History’s most unlikely friendship.
Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal
Plot: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Rob F: Judi Dench as Queen of England and Empress of India. Based on a true and what looks to be interesting story about an unlikely friendship and the evolving human condition. Not a big screen flick, but I’d enjoy it.
Wayne: This looks like a charming story, but not enough to pull me into a theater. I will check it out when it comes to Netflix. Going to sell this.
Chris: Long Live the Queen! Judi Dench is a fantastic actress, and this one could be one of those understated gems, humanizing the British royalty. But didn’t we just see virtually the same film just a few weeks back (The Viceroy’s something or other), except that one was in India.
Jim: And one for the Mahstahpiece Theatuh crowd—Dame Judi’s always worth watching, looks worthwhile.

Stronger (Lionsgate) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language throughout, some graphic injury images, and brief sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: Strength defines us.
Starring: Jake Gylenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson
Plot: Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jim: Yeah, I tried to fight it, but it got me. I felt the lump forming in my throat about 15 seconds in.
Rob F: I can’t. I just can’t watch this. It’s too soon. When I do watch it, you can bet it will be in the privacy of my own home. #BostonStrong #FTerrorism
Wayne: This movie is primed to pull at your heart strings. I’m going to sell this though. The struggle is real for this person, but I’m just not compelled to see it in the theater.
Chris: My heart was just ripped from my chest with that trailer. Yeah, I am in.

Woodshock (A24) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for drug use, language and a scene of violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Joe Cole
Plot: A woman falls deeper into paranoia after taking a deadly drug.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Chris: I love Kirsten Dunst, but this movie looks a bit too psychedelic for my taste. Cheech & Chong meets Cabin Fever weird.
Jim: Huh?
Rob F: Pass. Not even really sure what was happening in that trailer, but I think that was their goal.
Wayne: After seeing Mother!, I’m gun shy about going into a movie that I’m not certain what I’m going to get. This looks strange and familiar and I’m not willing to put my money on the line that I’m going to get a story worth seeing. I’m selling this.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Kingsman (Wayne and Chris), One for Ninjago (Rob), and One for Battle of the Sexes (Jim)

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Trailer Snark (August 11, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Annabelle: Creation (Warner Bros) – Horror/Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for horror violence and terror.
Tag Line: You don’t know the real story.
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto
Plot: Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Wayne: I’m selling this movie. Uses so many tricks to get a jump out of you. I’m not a fan of giving a doll an origin story. 
Chris: Am I alone in not knowing that Annabelle was tied to the Conjuring series? Well, this is no Conjuring from what I have seen.
Jessica: I LOVE the Conjuring, and the sequel was okay, this looks like a big pile of poo.
Jim: Jim Asleep

The Glass Castle (Lionsgate) – Bigoraphy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking
Tag Line: Home goes wherever we go.
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson
Plot: A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Jim: Woody is awesome, but I was beaten a little too much with the Inspirational Movie Stick during the trailer.
Wayne: I’m selling this movie. A story that isn’t going to get us anywhere. I like the casting, but don’t believe this to be worth seeing in a theater.
Chris: Wake me when it’s over.
Jessica: I LOVE Woody Harrelson but this looks like a great film to take a nap to.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (Open Road Films) – Animation/Family
Rated PG for action and some rude humor
Tag Line: Get ready. Get set.  Get nuts!
Starring: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan
Plot: Following the events of the first film, Surly and his friends must stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home to make way for a dysfunctional amusement park.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Jessica: I don’t even have the words for how stupid this looks. Oh wait, I do, it looks stupid.
Jim: Was the first one even a hit? I remember seeing the trailer for the first one and hoping my daughter didn’t ask me to take her to see it. Mercifully, she didn’t. Man, this is one lame summer for movies.
Wayne: I’m selling this movie. Only a week out and now we’re seeing the push for this movie? Also opening late in the summer tells me they don’t have confidence in the film and neither do I.  
Chris: This first felt like a direct to DVD family film. I suspect this will be no better.

The Only Living Boy in New York (Roadside Attractions) – Drama
Rated R for adult situations
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jeff Bridge, Pierce Brosnan, Callum Turner, Kate Beckinsale
Plot: Adrift in New York City, a recent college graduate’s life is upended by his father’s mistress.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Chris: Mildly interesting, if only for Beckinsale and Bridges. Could be a good choice for the small screen.
Jessica: Pretentious drivel. I do enjoy Jeff Bridges, but you’d have to pay me to see this in theaters, or at home.
Jim: The good cast makes it a possible rental.
Wayne: I’m buying this. An interesting story and hey, it has KATE! 

The Trip to Spain (IFC Films) – Comedy/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line:  The two amigos are back.
Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
Plot: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Wayne: I’m buying this. While the ladies of the summer have had their share of girl only fun, time for the guys to get their chance with some old fart trip to Spain. Interesting story and will check it out.
Chris: I still have not seen the first two movies, but this one looks like a good reason to hunt it down quickly.
Jessica: I didn’t see the first two either Chris, but this looks fun, as do the ones that came before.
Jim: The Trip, The Trip to Italy, and now this. I thought the first two were a blast, this looks to be the same. Picturesque locations, great-looking food, and some witty bantering from these two likable comedians (love the Roger Moore bit). If only more movies were as enjoyable on a simple level as these are.

Tickets Purchased: Three for The trip to Spain (Wayne, Chris, and Jim) and One for The Only Living Boy in New York (Wayne) while Jessica gets caught up with a viewing of Dunkirk.

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Trailer Snark (September 4th Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week: Straight Outta Compton ruled the box office for a third week in a row, collecting another $13.2 million for a total of $134 million domestic.  And shockingly enough, its closest competition was the debuting religious movie War Room (from the makers of Fireproof), which took in $11 million for second place.  Zac Efron’s We Are Your Friends bombed with only $1.8 million on 2300 screen nationwide, leaving the aforementioned War Room as the highest debut (No Escape was technically released early on Wednesday came in fourth as mentioned later).  Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation also continued to pile heaping of cash on its haul in third with $8 million bring its total domestic to $170 million.  No Escape, starring Owen Wilson, scored nearly the same for a fourth place finish, and has $10 million in total domestic receipts.  Sinister 2, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Hitman: Agent 47, The Gift, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man rounded out the rest of the list in that order.  With four new films on the docket for this weekend, let’s check out the trailers.

Before We Go (RADiUS-TWC) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some suggestive content.
Tag Line: One night can change your whole life
Starring: Chris Evans and Alice Eve
Plot: Two strangers stuck in Manhattan for the night grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when an evening of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Chris: I’ll hand it to them….at least it does not look like a paint by numbers romance flick.  Still won’t get me to go see it.
Ken: The movie looks sappy but the track playing in the background is just too good. It’s called England, by the National. Look it up and thank me later.
Rob:  Captain America in a romantic comedy.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.
Jessica: Blah. Boo. Boring. I understand that the Capt is trying something different but this is heavily trodden ground and I could not possibly be LESS interested in watching this pile of sappy nonsense.

A Walk in the Woods (Broad Green Pictures) – Adventure/Drama/Comedy
Rated R for language and some sexual references
Tag Line: This Labor Day, Take a Hike.
Starring: Robert Redford and Nick Nolte
Plot: After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Ken: At a certain age you’re supposed to quit acting a fool. But fools have the best stories, don’t they? This sounds like a fun one.
Rob: Hiking the AT is an amazing and physically demanding adventure.  I actually have a friend doing so right now.  Not sure Nolte would be up to the task.  At least there would be some amazing scenery in this flick.  Might check it out on demand down the road.
Jessica: Redford and Nolte, hmmm …
Chris: As we move towards our own change of seasons, two guys in the autumn of their lives seek some adventure on the Appalachian trail.  Good times.

The Transporter Refueled (EuropaCorp USA) – Action
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, sexual material, some language, a drug reference and thematic elements
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, and Loan Chabanol
Plot: In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Rob:  A series that is so uninteresting to me that I didn’t even know this was the fourth film.  Generic looking action flick IMO.
Jessica: Never saw the other films but I can say that this trailer actually bored me and I’m usually all up for a good action flick, this does not look like that flick.
Chris: The action series gets a reboot with Ed Skrein replacing Jason Statham.  Meh…..
Ken: Why does the bad guy always feel compelled to give the hero 12 hours to find his loved ones before killing them? What is the motivation there?

Dragon Blade (Lionsgate) – Action/Drama
Rated R for bloody violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jackie Chan, John Cusack, and Adrien Brody
Plot: When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An teams up his army with an elite Legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius to protect his country and his new friends.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Ken: I love kung-fu flicks, but a few things in this trailer that rub me wrong: John Cusak in an action role, Adrien Brody in an action role, Jackie Chan in a serious role, everyone in Asia speaking English.
Chris: John Cusack is so miscast here, it isn’t funny.   And that one detail kills it for me.
Jessica: John Cusack, really? I can’t. Oh dear lord I just can’t. The trailer was terrible, I can only hope the movie is better than that with someone like Adrien Brody in it but yeah … Not so much. I just can’t stop laughing at the idea of Cusack as a solider here. Yeah, all sorts of no.
Rob: Looks like mediocrity on screen is the soup of the week again.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for A Walk in the Woods (Ken and Chris), while Rob and Jessica stay home admiring their massive collections of books and comics.

trail-through-the-woods-short-cut-dr-heckle-funny-wtf-memes
Inspired by this week’s Walk in the Woods film release, Ken and Chris wisely choose their own hiking trail for some Labor Day adventure!