Reluctantly, my girlfriend dragged me to go see the new Channing Tatum movie Side Effects last night. I saw the preview a bunch of times and wasn’t that impressed. It just seemed like an uneventful, suspense drama about a girl with psychological problems that no one could explain. I didn’t know who the leading actress was, but I noticed that the preview showed flickers of another famous actor Jude Law as the doctor. Besides his role in Sherlock Holmes, I can’t remember the last time he was ever in a movie. I guess the big draw for this motion picture was the presence of Tatum.
As the open credits began to roll, I noticed that this was directed by Stephen Soderbergh. I really didn’t know the movies he has done before, but his name rang a bell and gave me a bit of excitement. The first few minutes were pretty slow, but I was already getting drawn in by the love relationship between Channing and his wife Rooney Mara. It started to pick up soon after, and I have to say I was on the edge of my seat for the entire time.
I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so I won’t give away any spoilers. I loved the way this movie was shot and have never seen it done like this before. Everything was so clear that you could actually see every detail in the actors’ faces. It wasn’t shot from a far away angle, but instead up close as if you were actually there. It even felt like you were inside this girl’s head and battling all the problems she was going through. The acting was superb and nice to see Tatum in a serious film, since I’m still catching my breath from laughing so hard watching 21 Jumpstreet. Another surprise was seeing Catherine Zeta Jones in this film. Maybe I’m too young, but I don’t remember ever seeing her act except for in the T-Mobile commercials. She nailed her role and put on an amazing performance. However, the breakthrough star of the movie had to be Jude Law. I never really was a fan of his earlier work, but this has now made me be on the look out for his next roles. Maybe it was his British accent or his facial gestures, but I just loved his acting as the shrink. He carried around a very professional demeanor, but then you get to know him personally and see his true self shine through. I hope to see him play more roles like this in the future.
Side Effects should be on everybody’s must see list for 2013. Not only was it shot beautifully, but all the actors were excellent. They made you really connect to not only the storyline but the people they were portraying. I actually believed Jude Law was a practicing psychiatrist and not some famous actor. If you have a feeling of what this movie will be like, trust me that you are wrong. This suspense has so many twists and turns that you will not be able to keep your eyes off the screen until it is over.
Nothing gets me more pumped up than to see an epic showdown in sports with great story lines. It was the end of a career of one of the most prolific defensive players to ever step on the field. I thought it was funny that Ray Lewis has been playing for so long that his first sack ever in he NFL was against the coach of the opposing team Jim Harbaugh. He has been admired for his eye-catching antics before games and motivational speeches, but that was overshadowed by his personal problems he encountered in earlier years. One of the best safeties in the league Ed Reed might have played his last game in a Ravens’ jersey, even with helping his team to a Super Bowl victory. On top of one player having the possibility of being let go, the MVP and quarterback of the Ravens Joe Flacco will be looking for a big payday on his new contract. His heroics and leadership definitely was a big contributor to the successful season his squad had. However, my favorite headline of all had to be the quarterback situation in San Francisco. Not only did they let go of Heisman winner Troy Smith a couple years ago, but they sat their first round draft pick in Alex Smith to start the phenomenal, rising star Collin Kaepernick. Despite losing, his performance in last night’s game definitely showed there is a lot more to come from this young quarterback. Also, I forgot to mention that the two head coaches playing for the ultimate prize in professional football were brothers! The game definitely lived up to the Super Bowl hype, and I couldn’t have asked for a better performance. Here are some of my thoughts on the game.
- While I didn’t really have a favorite team playing, I always like to root for the underdog. The 49ers definitely got my attention with the gutsy decision to start a pretty much rookie qb. And the best part of it all was that the criticized choice paid off for them more than they hoped. They also have some of the best players for their position in Frank Gore (very underrated), Vernon Davis, and Patrick Willis.
- The first half was not what I had expected at all. I was hoping to see Kaepernick throw a couple deep passes and break away for twenty yard gains. The Ravens’ defense pretty much dominated the 49ers’ offense. Baltimore marched up the field with ease as they built up a 21-6 lead before the half. I was hoping this wouldn’t end like the dreadful BCS Championship game.
- Despite the first half being one-sided, the most excitement came when a fight broke out among the players. Unfortunately, the NFL had to preserve their integrity and pan away from the action. This really bothered me because I found myself not even paying attention to the game until I heard a brawl had started. I wish it was more like the NHL and just let the players take out their anger on each other.
- I enjoyed the half time show but I wasn’t really wowed by it. For years, this performance is supposed to be the ultimate spectacle in entertainment. I wasn’t thrilled by the choice of Beyonce either. Don’t get me wrong, she is one of the best artists around and has the showmanship and dance moves to back it up. I just felt like it was short and not as crazy as I anticipated. I loved the stage and the cool images they simulated on the screen as Queen B was shaking it. The fact that she reunited Destiny’s Child for part of the show made it even more impressive, despite the fact it seemed like their mics were turned down to not be louder than Beyonce and they were on stage for probably a minute. Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like I’m looking for more from these shows and question the choices for the half time performance. I guess nothing can live up to Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s memorable act.
- The kick return in the beginning of the second half threw me back into my seat. I couldn’t believe the Ravens had just added another seven points to their lead. I was hoping for the comeback team I saw in the 49ers with their come from behind victory against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship. I was ready to pack it in and start surfing for reruns to watch.
- Then the unforgettable “Blackout” happened. I don’t think any fan minded a delay in the game because it just meant more time to keep drinking and watching football. But the players were definitely concerned, especially the Ravens since they had the momentum. I don’t know if it was an accident, a planned way to turn the game around, or a unexplained miracle; but it was exactly what San Francisco needed.
- And then the team that I had known started to come alive. Kaepernick was throwing deep passes, maneuvering his offense, and breaking away on runs towards the end zone. The defense for the 49ers started to show why they are considered one of the dominant forces in the NFL too. They began to slow down Ray Rice and Joe Flacco, and held the Ravens from scoring. The swing of momentum was in the favor for my team, all they had to do was capitalize on this drive in the last two minutes.
- This play will live on forever in the history of professional football. On fourth down in the red zone, Kaepernick threw up the ball to Michael Crabtree. Any person that wasn’t blind could have seen the Ravens’ defender holding him. I jumped up in the air and screamed, “Yes! The ball is coming back”. I waited a good few seconds and still saw no flag. I couldn’t believe it as I watched the head coach of San Francisco have an aneurysm on the sideline. The refs had been favoring Baltimore the whole entire game, but this play had just proved it. Even though a game as important as the Super Bowl shouldn’t come down to the officiating, it almost felt like they robbed the 49ers of their victory.
- It honestly didn’t bother me about the end of the game, I was still excited to see the Ravens celebrate. Before the game was even over, Ray Lewis was crying on the sideline. I think that a tissue company should definitely contact his agent and give him a endorsement. I was happy to see Flacco finally get his ring after years of criticism and saying he wasn’t an elite quarterback. And even if Ed Reed doesn’t get resigned to Baltimore, it was great to go out with a victory the last time he wore that jersey. Also, the 49ers might have lost but it shows the true potential they have for years to come. The best part about everything is the Super Bowl lived up to its hype and will be remembered for years to come