Thumbnails Mar 2016
by Tony Medley
Eye in the Sky
This could be considered a remake of the 1948 Clark Gable classic
“Command Decision” updated to the 21st Century of drone
warfare, and is as good. Appropriately, an excellent Helen Mirren plays
Clark’s role as an officer who has to make a terrible decision. The
tension crackles as time is a-wastin’ while everyone passes the buck.
This is exceptionally realistic, especially the thought-provoking
non-Hollywood ending. (Opens March 11).
Eddie the Eagle
A feel good true story of unathletic Eddie, played to a T (overbite
and all) by Taron Egerton, who wanted to be an Olympic athlete and when
he discovered England didn’t have a ski jumping team, decided that was
his ticket. Egerton’s performance was so spot on that the real Eddie
cried when he saw the first screening.
The Finest Hours
Gripping, with fine special effects, but lags during the final ten
minutes when suddenly a horrendous storm and all the effects, like the
audio, completely stop, which seems somewhat unrealistic, and the film
slows interminably, exacerbated by the music which had, up until then,
been a fine addition enhancing the tension, but becomes maudlin. Still,
a fine film.
Hail, Caesar! (7/10):
at Hollywood in 1951 has lots of homages to Hollywood history. There are
references to Esther Williams (an unnamed character played by
foul-mouthed Scarlett Johansson) and Busby Berkeley choreography and
Loretta Young and the baby she denied (Judy), Hedda Hopper (a shrewish
Tilda Swinton), a singing cowboy who can’t act (take your pick) named
Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), the Hollywood Ten, and Eddie Mannix
(Josh Brolin), among many others. In fact, as to the latter two, the
Hollywood Ten and Mannix, a real life Hollywood fixer for MGM, they
aren’t just references; they are what the movie is about.
Too long, too
slow, has clumsy recreations of the sporting events, has an actor who
doesn’t reflect Jessie Owens’ pleasing personality, and replaces facts
with Hollywood fiction; Jessie deserves better.
Crazy About Tiffany’s
Director Matthew Miele follows his charming and informative documentary,
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, with this disappointing snoozer
about the jeweler, Tiffany’s. What it ends up being is a display
of highly offensive conspicuous consumption by some snooty ladies who
wear their privilege at the end of their stuck up noses.
Zoolander 2 (5/10):
This is a
sequel to the poorly received Zoolander (2001) which has apparently
achieved cult status, another way of saying that it did poor box office
but a lot of people see it on DVD or other ways. Why, I don’t know.
While the production values are very good and the music is exceptional,
the story is ridiculous, even when one recognizes that this is a parody
on the fashion industry. The cinematography provides lots of good shots
of Rome, but this is just too overdone and silly.
“Angel of the Morning” opens this movie accompanying the credits. That
was the last thing I liked. Whether creator Stan Lee knows it or not,
this is strikingly reminiscent of Stephen J. Cannell’s anti-hero private
eye, James Rockford, as played by James Garner. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds)
has the same devil-may-care attitude as Rockford and defies every
superhero rule, except the one that says he can’t be killed. If you like
superhero movies like I like private eye movies, you will probably be
entertained and get all the in-jokes. The film is egregiously violent
and has some torture scenes that are gratuitously offensive and
bothersome. As far as I’m concerned all these Marvel X-Man superhero
type films are intellectual diarrhea, filled with boring sameness. How
many times can one sit through the same thing?
Triple 9 (0/10):
profane, and violent, this is a film with no raison d’être or
moral, despite an impressive cast.