Hello everybody, we got’s a new update for your asses. It’s a nice little week, with a nice mix of looking to the past and looking at today. And we got a movie still fresh in theaters for you guys, isn’t that fun for all. And it’s good! It’s a nice mix of genres and quality, with a link to an in depth look at a movie with an interesting history. So give it a go guys. And fair warning. This week coming up is Comic Con week, so the post may be a bit lax. Just a fair warning. But I hope this is good enough for today and we’ll get to next week when we get to it.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (September 27th, 2015)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie, and Bernard Miles
So a few weeks back I had broadened my scope of Hitchcock a little but by watching the original version of this movie, knowing that he had remade it a few decades laters. And that original one was a decent little movie, but a bit unremarkable, especially in comparison to the work he would go on to do. And know having watched the remake, I can say that he bettered that original film. If anything, having James Stewart in it is a big positive over that original. And just having more movies on his belt help make the movie a better production to make the story work a little better. And it isn’t an exact remake. It’s loose, with the simple story of a couple getting sucked into an assassination plot and their son is kidnapped. The difference is that this one is a bit bigger in scope, going from Africa to London with the main characters being Americans. We don’t get a real sense of what’s going on for a while, being in Stewarts shoes of being out of the loop and just trying to figure shit out. Sadly the movie this time out essentially just neuters the wife role, making her more a shrieking harpy than the tough as nails equal who shoots the bad guy. No, this is essentially Stewarts movie and he does it justice. And the movie is longer so it gets more juice in it, getting deeper into the stories and heightening the tension. He actually manages to top the Opera scene. But sadly, no massive shootout at the end, but has a nice little tense ending. Although it wraps up a bit too nicely and has too much disbelief to swallow and a significant lack of Peter Lorre, the movie is a fun watch.
Cop Car (September 29th, 2015)
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, and Shea Whigham
The movie was getting raves and the director would be tapped to make a new Spider-Man movies and Kevin Bacon rocks a stellar stache, so I was on the road to seeing this anyway. And I got the chance to do so and enjoyed it a good deal. Watts shows a good eye here, making a good looking movie out of a really small scale. It’s nice to see a guy make a super low budget indie actually look good in a classically cinematic sense instead of the handheld bullshit dirt* that accompanies the many indies released into the world. And the story is pretty cool and low key and really well written. Two kids haphazardly running away from home come upon a seemingly abandoned cop car and take it for a drive. But that’s Kevin Bacons car and he was in the middle of doing some crooked shit. So he has to find these kids. And the movie manages a good feat of being fun and tense as shit. He does that by separating the kids from Bacon and having the kids on their own be fun and the Bacon stuff tense with some black humor in both stories until they collide into some real dark territory. The ending gets really tense and settles that up pretty nicely, although it ends in a kind of obnoxious ambiguous ending that I don’t much care for. But the stuff before that is really good. Bacon is amazing and is way too underrated in this day and age. The kids are actually good and feel like real kids, ie stupid as fuck but in a real way. It’s quick too and it just moves. But the lack of a killer ending and some juicer material in the beginning of the movie keep this down from being a great. But this is a nice little movie to hopefully signal a good beginning to a good career.
Lock Up (October 1st, 2015)
Director: John Flynn
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Sonny Landham, and Tom Sizemore
Sometimes you just need a big dose of testosterone to finish out your day. And what a good piece of super macho cinema to end a day with than a movie with Stallone in prison. Is this, technically, a good movie? Not really. It’s cheesy and filled with uber macho dialogue and some nasty little moments in service of a story featuring a typical uber capable hero in Stallone. It’s no awards winning movie by any stretch. But is immensely entertaining. Stallone manages to temper some of his superstar ego in this one giving a pretty good performance, playing more every man than his usual action movie performances. The character is too capable to be an everyman but his performance helps sell the idea. The cast is around him does really good work too, making the inmates around him feel like real criminals in a supermax prison. And the performances make them more 3 dimensional than they could be. Landham makes a good villain in this, imposing and psychotic. Sutherland is too, despite really not doing much. His motivation is pretty solid too, something you can easily see a prison warden doing. The pacing may be a little too slack in places and some of the slower parts may be a bit cheesy, but it handles the tonal shifts pretty well. Going from dark crime drama to somber little character piece to cheesy bro flick. It’s an underseen little gem in Stallones filmography, something restrained and gritty without too much ego involved. The script is well done and the acting is real good. Gotta give it a recommendation for those that like this stuff.
Live and Let Die (October 2nd, 2015)
Director: Guy Hamilton
Starring: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour, and Bernard Lee
For more on this movie, click here.
The Martian (October 3rd, 2015)
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Bean
For a full review, click here.