Eddie the Eagle- Diamond-in-the-rough alert. Taron Egerton plays Bubbles in Trailer Park Boys if he tried to enter the Winter Olympics via montages and 80s music. This is a movie designed to see the underdog rise up and it has all the tropes of an Eighties movie. Now, if you have no nostalgia or love for said decade, you may grow tired of all the training montages that go on but Eddie’s optimism in the face of adversity will hopefully break down those icy Game of Thrones style walls you’ve built around your heart. I will try to recall this movie while cringing through the Kingsman sequel.
Nobody Speak- The internet has both allowed news to flow at a faster rate and diminished its accuracy or at least our belief in its accuracy. In this era of “fake news” being thrown around in casual conversations, the Fifth Estate is under attack. This doc, which centers on the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit, is really about the wealthy attacking news organizations they don’t like. It’s a dangerous premise to endanger the already shaky foundation that newspeople stand on. If we don’t have a common agreement on facts, instead relying on bought and sold media companies, there will be no more conversations to have and truth will no longer exist. In short, this movie is terrifying and Hulk Hogan is a whore who blames his errors on his alter ego.
West Side Story- For a short time, I was a choir boy. Not in the religious or metaphorical sense but in school I sang in choir. I think I joined for a girl, was put in a different class and just stayed there for four years. Eventually, smoking and bad behavior would remove choir (and that girl, ironically) from my life but when I was there I did really like it. A lot of the music we sang, unbeknownst to me, came from West Side and it was a joy to hear the originals. Music aside, this movie is staged really well and the lighting is outstanding. I’ve started watching the people in musical scenes who aren’t singing. They make the best faces.
Under the Shadow- I used to speak Persian Farsi. It’s amazing how much time you can spend learning something like that and have it just disappear. Anyway, I can still read subtitles and this movie legit made me jump twice. Under the spectre of war, a creature is possibly haunting an apartment complex or is it the mother slowly losing her mind? There are a few red herrings here but none of them feel hollow or flippant and it’s fun to watch them get ruled out.
High Anxiety- I loved Spaceballs as a kid. Yesterday, I saw someone with the license plate LDCRSPD and it made me smile. I enjoy Young Frankenstein and rewatch it every few years. I LOVE Blazing Saddles. You know what those movies have in common? Mel Brooks is the director but not the lead actor and High Anxiety just does not work for that reason and others. Most of the jokes are cheap and undeserved with vague plot lines threading in a circular toilet bowl fashion. Pass.
One Good Thing: Madeline Kahn, even though she is suffering through the script as well.
Watch Instead: Vertigo
The Room- This is a cult movie and I can’t explain it to you because cult things have to be witnessed or experienced. If I had just watched this without knowing it was a cult movie would I have liked it as much as I do? Birdemic is a cult movie and it’s not enjoyable at all, but The Room just has these…moments of pure weirdness and insanity that can’t be contextualized or explained. Read the wiki page and watch this movie. It’s not all enjoyable but when it is, it’s great.
Ordinary Decent Criminal- Again, my question about vocal accents stands. Do people in Ireland or England, if they for some reason don’t know who Kevin Spacey is, think he’s from Ireland? I mean, the top 7 cast members in this film are not from where the movie takes place. I imagine it’s like Keanu Reeves in Devil’s Advocate. I’m not from the south and I can tell that Keanu isn’t either. Can you tell I’m avoiding actually talking about this movie? It’s okay. That’s about it.
One Good Thing: Young Colin Farrell.
Watch Instead: Confidence
MOVIE OF THE WEEK:
Altered States- Sometimes, I watch something with William Hurt and I think “Man, I miss this guy. I wish he was in more stuff.” Then I get to the end of the movie and I think, “Man, I am fullllll up on Hurt.” Altered States is a bananas movie about a group of doctors who experiment with drugs and consciousness in an isolation tank to the point of changing physical nature. The editing alone will make it worth your while. I loved loved loved this. Plus, Bob Balaban Bonus. It’s possible that it’s a bit too long but the journey to get to the end is so twisted and weird (this has some of the best hallucination depictions I’ve ever seen) it makes it worth it.
On the Waterfront- It NEVER occurred to me that this movie would predominantly take place on a waterfront. Seriously, I thought it was a metaphorical title like Heaven & Earth. I couldn’t stop looking at Brando’s eyes and what I thought to be eyeliner but my wife was convinced it looked normal. Watching this, you know that Brando is going to be a great actor but I’m obsessed with hindsight at times. Like Pacino in Panic, can you look at early works by actors, having seen later performances, and objectively view them? I always knew DiCaprio would be good, but Pitt and Clooney were more eye candy than anything so it was hard to say. Obviously, Waterfront is a classic and we all know the “I coulda been somebody” line. But when Edie says the following, it stood out to me much more in embodying frustration with one’s current predicament:
Edie: I want you to stay away from me.
Terry: Edie, you love me… I want you to say it to me.
Edie: I didn’t say I didn’t love you. I said, “Stay away from me.”