Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Game Plan |
Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Jamal Duff, Jim Gray, Hayes MacArthur, Jackie Flynn
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family
In the hilarious and heartwarming family comedy, one of sports toughest players ever takes on his biggest challenge yet fatherhood! A superstar with an ego bigger than a football field, Joe Kingman (Dwayne The Rock Johnson... more »
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A solid plan for family entertainment.
Steven Hedge | Somewhere "East of Eden" | 10/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having grown rather tired of this fall's onslaught of violent R-rated films, this movie is a welcome change and it's better than you might think.
Of course, there is nothing original about this film. We have another action actor who wants to prove he is something more than that. We've experienced this when Arnold went from The Terminator to being a Kindergarten Cop, when Clint Eastwood quit being Dirty Harry to become Every Which Way but Loose, and Vin Diesel gave up being The Fast and the Furious to being The Pacifier. Now Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wants us to forget his action hero status for a more family friendly guy in "The Game Plan" by Disney.
This film has all the traditional "fish out of water" cliches you can imagine and silly humor that is a staple in all Disney live action films; however, most are forgivable here. The "fish out of water" element is handled well-enough although very predictable. As the characters grow, it is also quite touching. I thought the humor was of the "hit and miss" variety. Miss: child lost in bubble bath. Hit: allergy to cinnamon. I have to say though in all fairness that the hits are hysterical and overshadow the misses (as annoying as they are).
The plot is relatively simple in that a self-obsessed football hero is suddenly saddled with a child he never knew he had; however, and I won't spoil it, there are some very interesting twists to this set up that are not as predictable as most of the other elements in this film. Most character in this film are stereotypes that don't development and, quite frankly, don't need to. It's The Rock's character that needs to grow and he does and does so in a surprisingly believable manner.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been a better actor than he's been given credit for being. I feel much the same way about Vin Diesel. Both of these current action stars have proven themselves in a number of films and with both now having ventured into family comedy, they are growing as actors. The Rock in this film is really quite a surprise in that we learn that not only can he hold a tune nicely, he does a pleasing take on Elvis's "Are You Lonesome Tonight", but he is also an accomplished enough actor to cry on cue. Yup, you read that right! It is not a digital effect; he actually cries on cue without a break or cutaway in the take to add fake tears. I was rather impressed with that.
I was also impressed with the surprising comic performance turned in by Kyra Sedgwick (TV's "The Closer, and A.K.A. Mrs. Kevin Bacon). She isn't over-the-top evil like Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians & 102 Dalmatians, but she is malicious and has a gift for delivering quick one-liners. She is completely enjoyable in her evil little role here.
This light fare is a surprisingly better film than I expected and it's #1 opening at the box-office suggests that I'm not alone in that evaluation. Take a break from the sex and violence currently splattering in our multiplex and go enjoy a film with your whole family that might move you more than you might expect it to."
The People's Champion Becomes The Family's Choice
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 01/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has had his fair share of battles in the wrestling ring. He was also a part of the Miami Hurricanes football team. He combines the giant ego of "The Rock" in WWE and his football skills to create Joe Kingman, a pro football player who's got everything but a championship ring. He even has something that he doesn't know he has--a daughter. On top of his game, his ego crashes hard when young Peyton (Madison Pettis) shows up at his front door. Never having any sort of responsibilities before, Kingman tries to juggle his football career, his high profile lifestyle and his new daughter. All the while his agent, a devilishly funny Kyra Sedgwick, tries to figure out if little Peyton is the real deal, or just another opportunist trying to get her hands on a piece of the Kingman pie. Will Kingman get his priorities straight, or will he succumb to the fast and easy lifestyle his lived for so long?
Rosalyn Sanchez heads up a solid supporting cast of actors and actresses who you may not be familiar with (excepting Morris Chesnut, playing a solid father-figure teammate). The story is generic and highly unoriginal, but the solid performances of the entire cast and the wholesome, family-geared direction make this story more than worthy of four stars. Everybody, even the quasi-villain Sedgwick, is likeable. Johnson shows his singing chops that wrestling fans will already be familiar with. He also has that million-dollar smile that lights up the screen. Young Pettis steals most of her scenes, even though she could be accused of boosting the sugar content a bit too much at times. Johnson's teammates are also enjoyable to watch on the screen. Their chemistry with Johnson, each other and with young Pettis is great.
If you long for the days of sugary Disney live-action family features such as the original "Herbie" films and "The Apple Dumpling Gang," "The Game Plan" is a welcome treat. It's a rare family comedy that the entire family will enjoy. Highly recommended."
"You've Been Playing a Kid Your Entire Life ... and I Just J
Erica J. Dymond | Bethlehem, PA USA | 09/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson extends his considerable talents to this family-friendly film. Though the premise is a familiar one (a self-centered playboy discovers the joys of fatherhood), Johnson's charm and sincerity make it worth the watch. Likewise, Roselyn Sanchez does a tremendous job in her role as ballet-instructor Monique Vasquez. Her real-life dance-training is showcased in a poignant performance with Johnson and the children (this is one of the more enchanting scenes in the film ... it is guaranteed maintain your attention).
Disney does a spectacular service to dancers and athletes alike. Quick-cuts between the football field and the ballet studio illustrate the rigors and grace of both. It shows how the two are not entirely dissimilar. This moment is well-crafted! And, yes, I know this has become a somewhat hackneyed trope, but a child will not view it as such.
Now, the character of Peyton Kelly (played by nine-year-old Madison Pettis) may prove a little jarring. While Pettis' acting is respectable, the writing for her character feels a little "off." While her "sassiness" can occasionally translate as amusing, it can too often seem acrid (such as when she launches into the "tone-deaf" bit after the potentially "tear-jerking" "Are You Lonesome Tonight" serenade). This becomes softer as the film progresses (or the audience simply becomes acclimated to her impudence) and it is certainly not jolting enough to prohibit viewing.
Most of the critical reviewers have panned this work (and I really do mean "most"). Yes, it is painfully formulaic (you can predict the entire film in the first fifteen minutes ... but what do you expect from a Disney film). Yes, the writing for Pettis' character is insulting (not all children are jaded and rude). Yes, portraying football players as "dumb" (especially in the case of Hayes MacArthur's character, Kyle Cooper) is both trite and unfair. Yes, it is another film with an Elvis soundtrack (we all saw "Lilo and Stitch"). And, yes, that Disney cannot manage to create a film without references to "bodily functions" is disappointing. BUT, "The Game Plan" does have moments of great tenderness: this is especially evident in Morris Chestnut's character of Travis Sanders. Sanders is both an athlete and a family-man. Throughout the film, he remains a strong example of a man who is both a gifted player and a devoted dad. (And, yes, maybe that's trite too, but it is also a much needed reminder).
While critics may not recommend this work, I believe that both parents and children will find it worthy of their time. One is hesitant to use such a word, but here it is ... the film is ... cute. So there."
"What's The Best Thing That Ever Happened To You? ~ The Powe
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 02/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The '07 Disney film `The Game Plan' is a predictable but satisfying family film starring the irrepressible Dwayne "Rock" Johnson and adorable little Madison Pettis as newly re-united Father and daughter. Joe Kingman ("Rock") is a superstar professional quarterback just three wins away from an appearance in the Super Bowl when his game plan is suddenly turned upside down when little eight year old Paige (Madison Pettis) appears on his doorstep and claims to be his daughter. Can Joe keep focused on the big prize and cope with instant fatherhood at the same time. If he has any chance to succeed he'll definitely need the right game plan.
No surprises here, just Disney doing what Disney does best, so get the family together and enjoy!"