Tag Archives: movie sequel

I spy a fun film

I finally saw The Man from U.N.C.L.E. today.

I’m so glad I didn’t let the critics dissuade me.

Since the stylized spy thriller opened counter to Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, critics seemed hell-bent to compare the two.  I’ve seen both; there’s really no comparison.

MI:RN was a wonderful sequel in the Mission Impossible franchise, but the storytelling and action sequences are distinctly modern. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a homage to the 1960’s television series, and the look, feel, pacing, soundtrack — you name it — are true to that era.

I also loved the very dry, British humor that director Guy Ritchie brought to the production. I’m not sure everyone in the theater today got it, but that simply made me feel smarter…and laugh all the louder.

As the trailers promised, everyone in this film is beautiful to gaze upon. Russian spy Armie Hammer is deadly gorgeous, especially in the close-ups, and American agent Henry Cavill is so chiseled, he doesn’t seem realistic. Hugh Grant has also never looked better. He should hire the hair and makeup people and keep them on staff.

I loved Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and I loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

I am so complex.

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Gone too soon

After The Avengers: Age of Ultron opened — making a bazillion dollars the first weekend — social media exploded with unhappy campers out for director Joss Whedon’s head. He even left Twitter.

I wondered why.

I finally saw the movie today, and I know why I’m annoyed. [SPOILER ALERT]

aaron taylor johnson avengers He killed off Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

I’m not that upset that he killed the Quicksilver character.

I’m not that hardcore.

But once you include Johnson in a movie, and the audience gets used to looking at him and listening to him talk in the beautiful accent he selected for this part, it’s just heartbreaking to have him ripped away so suddenly.

Especially when sequels are pretty much a guarantee in this franchise.

I am not pleased.

Skills that kill

“…what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”
— Liam Neeson, Taken

Do you really, Liam?

Taken-3-Movie-PosterYour daughter gets abducted in the original Taken.

You and your wife get kidnapped in the sequel.

And now your wife gets killed in Taken 3?

I travel all the time, frequently to exotic ports of call, and — knock wood — have somehow managed to avoid kidnappers and murderers (although, I will admit, I have come close to killing a few airport employees from time to time).

So, tell me, Liam…

What exactly are these special skills you possess?

 

Cold justice

I was lucky enough to catch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on HBO over dinner tonight.

eternal sunshine

Such a wonderfully inventive story, and perhaps Jim Carrey’s most powerful and controlled performance.

As I watched, I questioned yet again why he didn’t win an Oscar…or even get nominated.  So I used the Google machine to remind me — who did take the prize in 2005?

The Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role were:

  • Don Cheadle in “Hotel Rwanda”
  • Johnny Depp in “Finding Neverland”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Aviator”
  • Clint Eastwood in “Million Dollar Baby”
  • Jamie Foxx in “Ray”

Foxx took home the prize; it was no shock.  His portrayal of the musical legend was spot-on. He sang and played the piano, too.  I wasn’t a fan of the film, but of him, yes.

I concede defeat.

But I would argue that Carrey’s performance deserves to be on that list as much if not more than Leo.  Or Johnny.  In fact, the list would be stronger for it.

Isn’t it funny how quickly you can become bitter about something that happened 10 years ago?

(Imagine how Jim must feel.)

Mood movies

I see a lot of movies for different reasons.

Usually it’s because of a favorite actor or genre. Sometimes the movie has Oscar buzz…or the subject matter is ‘good for me’ (meaning it’s gonna feel like homework, so I have to talk myself into going).

best-man-posterThe Best Man Holiday is none of these.

It’s a sequel of a movie from 15 years ago that I didn’t see. I just thought the promos looked light and fluffy and fun, and that’s what I was in the mood to see.

By now I should know to never trust trailers.

The plot was exactly what I expected — best friends reuniting for the holidays — but the film deals with some very real issues.  It’s saved from being throwaway by the quality of the cast who deliver genuine laughter and tears — lots and lots of tears.

I loved seeing Terrence Howard in this kinda role and movie–Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut, too.

Rumor has it they are already talking about making the third movie.  No 15-year wait this time.

I’ll be there.

Stop sign

I have never sat in a movie theater and literally boo’ed a trailer.

Until now.

It happens every time I see  the promo for “Little Fockers.”  (Yes, they went there.)

The very funny “Meet the Parents” movie beget the extremely mediocre sequel “Meet the Fockers.”  (It’s like they thought a funny title would make up for everything the script was lacking.)

But instead of quitting while they were ahead, the producers churned out a third and what we can only hope is the concluding — please, please let it be the final — chapter in this tale of a highly dysfunctional blended family.

Based on the trailer for “Little Fockers,” mediocre may even be a stretch for this one.

How many times can we sit and watch Ben Stiller hurt and humiliate himself?  DeNiro walk the line between cranky and cuckoo?  Hoffman peacock?

And is this really Teri Polo’s only acting job?

The most frustrating thing for me is listening to all the people in the theater laugh at the promo.   Judge for yourself.

Does it really take so little to tickle our funny bones?

I mean…fock.