Deep Water- Not to be confused with Deep Water Horizon this documentary follows the story of an inventor who tried to sail around the world despite every one (and his sailing skills) indicating that he shouldn’t. This is a well-documented story with a lot of the participants still around to speak clearly on it not to mention the ship logs and camera diaries he took. It’s a full of hope and melancholy.
Baywatch- Like CHiPs, I’m pretty sure I laughed once at this movie. The Rock, Rob Huebel, Zac Efron, and Priyanka Chopra are all great but there’s nothing much for them to do except dumb around inside this plot. My big takeaway is that Efron has three muscles on the outside of his elbow that I don’t think exist in most humans. I got a D+ in Human Anatomy but I’m pretty confident here that he’s abnormally fit.
The Pawnbroker- Rod Steiger again throwing his acting weight around. There’s a lot to digest in this story. Steiger plays the titular character who is trying to run a business in his gang controlled neighborhood while also dealing with the PTSD of having survived the holocaust. It’s a complex movie that will reward those truly paying attention to its details. I believe this is the 4th Rod Steiger movie I’ve seen this year so he and Natalie Woods should be neck and neck.
MOVIE OF THE WEEK:
Road House- Some movies you know about before you ever watch them. They are part of the zeitgeist, the general awareness of mankind. Road House has to be include here. I once watched the epic end fight because I already knew, without ever having seen it, that someone was going to get their throat ripped out. I’m also going to double down on that claim and say that Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel was directly inspired by this movie. Swayze’s bouncer character Dalton is revered by a network of bouncers and, like Gustav H. in Budapest, they are aware, and in awe, of his every action. This movie is well known for a reason and should be seen to be believed and enjoyed.
Side Note: Obviously, Swayze is the main attraction but long, gray haired ass-kickin’ Sam Elliot is a beautiful thing.
The Beatles: 8 Days a Week- I’m having trouble remembering if I gleaned any major new information from this. I am not an overt Beatles fan but I like them and think I know as much about them as most humans on earth. Ron Howard directed this so it’s meticulous and comforting. The Beatles are the score sooooo that’s familiar. It’s well made and that’s about all I got here. Beatles.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension- Why do they keep doing this to us? Better question: Why do I keep doing this to myself? I loved the first one for its ingenuity and genuinely inventive way of telling a story cheaply. It was the new Blair Witch and like that movie the effectiveness has lessened with each outing. But unlike that movie it has tried to tell a story and stay part of a cohesive whole which it both succeeds and fails at each time. This entry returns to the house from the third entry with new technology and old monsters. As far as the subtitle goes, I don’t recall them ever mentioning a dimension full of ghosts or there even being any. It’s all demons, right? I will never watch another Paranormal Activity until the next Paranormal Activity comes out. And I mean it.
The Void- Conceptually, certain things scare me in movies. Dogs in danger/dying. Torture. Those bother me. I’m also slightly disturbed by Lovecraftian idea of galactic, inter-dimensional monsters. Event Horizon and In the Mouth of Madness touched on those somewhat. Even Hellboy kind of talked about it. This movie starts out as “Assault on Hospital 13”, but VERY quickly turns into some Dead Space-type other shit. Like, even Pinhead is slowly backing up at the weirdness and sudden deaths. Then it just gets worse.
The Mummy- I have basically been watching Tom Cruise movies all my life. I’ve a running not-that-controversial theory that he’s either A) Never been in a bad movie or B) Never been bad in any movie. He is also one of most, if not the most, bankable actors in the world so I hesitate to offer the following advice for Tom Cruise who is definitely readin this. Run. Run like you run in every one of your movies. Escape the spotlight and dive into independent cinema. Actors (vs actresses) are fortunate in that with age bankability probably goes up but the effectiveness lessens when you are doing something ridiculous like hanging on to the side of an airplane. The opposite is true for someone like Liam Neeson who no one expected to be doing things like that but Cruise’s age is starting to show. He has always been a good actor but glimpses of greatness (Magnolia, Tropic Thunder, Collateral, Born on the 4th of July) have shown that he can go down as more than just a death(and movie insurance agent) -defying actor. Abandon this Dark Universal Monster Madness and make an indie film with Gus Van Sant in the middle of the desert. Do only student films. Run the other way, Tom.
Logan Lucky- Because Steven Soderbergh wrote, directed and (probably) did the lighting on Showtime’s The Knick I will forever love him. It is the most beautifully shot and scored show I think I have ever seen. Not to mention the acting, costumes and subject matter. It goes without saying that despite the show’s demise I was happy to see his return to film and the anticipation was most likely my downfall. I liked it fine and everyone in it was great. There were really excellent moments but, as the movie itself references often, it’s a knock off of Ocean’s Eleven (also Soderbergh) and not much else. It’s not a failure but the allure of the Ocean’s series was the style and subculture of the criminal underworld. Logan is about Nascar and brute force would have been a better fit for a world based on loud noise and big engines.
Manhattan Murder Mystery- In the wake of all these Hollywood scandals, I don’t really understand how Woody Allen can walk around free let alone openly make questionable commentary on them. Is there a statute of limitations on dating your adopted daughter or is he just beyond reproach? EVERYONE fucks with him like his actions aren’t questionable but Kevin Spacey was done in a day. Maybe he’ll be back but Allen never had to go to rehab for his actions. Anyway, this movie is basically a follow up to Annie Hall where their lives have gotten stagnant so they meddle in other people’s shit and Alan Alda hangs out too. It’s good, but not “forgive him” good. No one is that good.