Thumbnails Apr 2016
by Tony Medley
A must-see for any baseball fan, well narrated by Kevin Costner, the
film tries to determine who was the fastest pitcher of all time,
narrowing it down to Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan, and present
day Cincinnati Reds Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman. They were all
clocked, even Johnson, and the film analyzes the various clockings and
comes up with the fastest. Far be it from me to be a spoiler! I’ve seen
lots of baseball clips but there are clips in this film I’ve never seen,
including some fine clips of the legendary Johnson and interviews with
lots of players.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
One of the better war/foreign correspondent movies one will see, this
shows the free-wheeling life of a free-spirited woman in a Muslim war
zone where women are subjugated . Generally underrated as a serious
actress, Tina Fey gives another fine performance. Sharing the fun is
fellow correspondent Margot Robbie, in a terrific performance, who
defines “free-wheeling.” The writers and directors deftly mix comedy
with adventure and romance to make this an extremely well-rounded film.
Hello, My Name is
This is a film that
touches on many things in a fast 90 minutes; aging, devoting one’s life
to care of a parent, infatuation with a younger person, hording,
self-help seminars, fantasy, coming of age, and acceptance. Morally, the
movie has one huge flaw that seems to preach that the end justifies the
means. I don’t want to spoil the story but without that flaw I would
have rated it much higher. That part of the film is like a pebble in my
shoe. Sally Field should get an Oscar® nomination for a wonderful
performance, along with a nomination for Costume Design to Rebecca Gregg
for her amazing wardrobe, which should get equal billing to Sally!
Even for science fiction, this is a strange one, a combo sci-fi/chase
movie. But it starts with a bang and continues building tension until
the end and has a terrific cast including rapidly rising star Joel
Edgerton. The ending would appeal to Alain Resnais, who directed the
puzzling Last Year at Marienbad (1961). But what do you do with a
sci-fi movie? Oh well, it’s finely directed and acted, and it’s
entertaining so that’s all that matters.
I Saw the Light
What a disappointment! I don’t know why people make biopics about
musicians and ignore their music (see 2005’s “Walk the Line,”). There’s
some music here, but, like “Walk the Line,” they have an egocentric
actor, Hank Williams look-alike Tom Hiddleston, who insisted on using
his own voice instead of lip syncing to Williams’ unique voice. But
Hiddleston apparently wasn’t up to the yodeling required by Williams’
signature song, “Lovesick Blues” (that Hank didn’t write), so he
lip-synced it to, get this, the voice of Emmet Miller, not Williams!
How stupid can you be?
London Has Fallen
This movie is so inane it is literally laughable; the script can only be
accepted as camp. Nobody could write these lines with a straight face.
Miles Ahead (1/10):
already been in a number of standard bio pics and I had no interest in
making another since I found them full of contrivances and fabrications.
You know, “based on a true story.” Writer (with Steven Baigelman)-Director-Star
So what does Don Cheadle do? He makes a film full of contrivances and
fabrications. You know, “based on a true story.” Ignoring famed jazz
trumpeter Miles Davis’ music, Cheadle tells of a five year period when
Davis was totally unproductive and Don invents a McGuffin, a fictional
tape of Davis’ music that was stolen by fictional people. I didn’t know
much about Miles Davis before I saw this film. If I am to believe this
Hollywood biopic, I now know him as an unlikeable, violent, wife
beating, coke-sniffing drug addict gangsta egoist who played the
trumpet. I’ve heard that’s not far off the mark (except for the gangsta
part), so I guess Don gave us what he wanted. And he apparently didn’t