Let’s face it, I think most people will agree that Haywire, Magic Mike and the Girlfriend Experience are not going to make any of his “best of” lists. Frankly, much the same could be said of his fluffy Ocean’s films. But in contrast, he’s made some good films, too. Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Traffic, Solaris (I think so) and The Informant! are among them. And now, the sharp thriller, Side Effects.
As the trailers might have you believe, Bullet To The Head is a throw back to the mis-matched partner cop movies of the 1980’s. You know how much we loved those, right? Chock full of action and hilarity. But that usually relied on both the partners being interesting in their own way. When one of them doesn’t own up to their responsibility, well, then the movie gets pretty boring pretty fast. And so we have Bullet To The Head.
In Stand Up Guys, you get to spend 95 minutes with Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. You could do worse. Alan Arkin shows up for a fun bit of business in a highly flattering role. And it’s pretty fun.
More January celluloid fun! Hey, you know I’m a Jason Statham fan, and therefore I had an obligation to go see his new movie, Parker. Usually Statham’s movies are directed by some purely action oriented director, or a more obsurce foreign director. But Parker is helmed by Taylor Hackford who directed An Officer and a Gentleman and Ray. Yep. That can either bode well for us, or tells us that the script is lame and maybe Hackford just wanted to work with Statham.
This is one of those weird unexpected films. I didn’t expect it to be nearly as good as people said, while it is simultaneously not as good as the Academy says. This film has Shakespeare In Love syndrome. There’s nothing wrong with Silver Linings Playbook, at all. In fact, it’s rather good. But Oscar good?
Once again into the offal of January films, and this time, you get what you expect. Written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, the man that gaves us the delightful Dead Snow, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is all style and fast food, and not nearly enough depth to make us really give a damn about anything going on in the film.
Ah, the delight of the films released in January. I admit it, I love the smell of bad celluloid early in the year. And Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first full film since leaving politics? Oh, I knew this would be a treat, a craptastic actioner to savor in these cold barren weeks of movie oblivion. What I hadn’t counted on was that The Last Stand wouldn’t be as bad as I expected.
I proved to myself that I’m a forgiving person by watching Billy Bob Thornton’s new flick Baytown Outlaws. I recently read his autobiography, and was able to let bygones be bygones. After all, he did cowrite one of my favorite movies, The Gift. While Billy Bob’s involvement in Outlaws didn’t quite make us even, it didn’t make me regret my forgiving nature either.
I read an article about this film that was interesting, but focused on how they thought it was portraying slavery in an unrealistic way, as if it was doing some kind of disservice to history. I’m thinking, “yeah, probably so, if you could take ANY of Quentin Tarantino films as historical fact!” Seriously, if anyone anywhere thinks there is much historical accuracy to Tarantino’s films, then they really don’t know much about Quentin Tarantino and his films.
No other single event has changed the course of my life more than the attacks on September 11, 2001. Like many Americans, and others throughout the world, I was questioning my purpose in life. I was hosting game shows and telling jokes. What was my contribution to society? It felt like that unless I was a firefighter, cop, or health care professional, my life was a waste. This was an extreme reaction, but then again there was no air traffic for five days. So when I saw the news in the restaurant on May 1, 2011 I sat in disbelief. Maybe it was because I just finished moving for the fourth time in three and a half years. Of course I was tired, but I had a sense of relief. Osama Bin Laden was dead.