We’ve already discussed how great Tom Hardy is, and he’s added another page to the Tom Hardy Is Great book that now that I think about it I might write. In Lawless he’s the leader of a moonshine makin’ family during Prohibition. It’s based on a true story and you’d believe he’s the actual guy and not an English actor.
And remember how in Batman he was shot at angles that made him look huge? In Lawless he underplays like crazy, he’s hardly audible most of time, and he wears cardigans. The whole movie. Cardigans. At one point, he’s wearing a sweater vest under a cardigan, and he still seems completely scary, even though he might also break into a song about being your neighbor. So in a weird mouth-breather apparatus in Gotham or a cardigan in the hills, he’s equally chilling. That’s range, folks.
Shia has a tougher time making you forget he’s a guy who talks to his car that’s also a popular toy and he used to be on Even Stevens. But I saw him on ChelseaLately and he seemed like a kind of cool hippie kid or something, so maybe that’s the way he should go. He should for sure shy away from cardigans. He’s no Tom Hardy.
How you feel about this movie is going to be heavily, heavily influenced by how you feel about Dax Shepard. If you’re like me (and I believe a good 13, maybe 14% of you are), then your feelings about him are mixed to none. I thought he was a jackass, like from the show, but it turns out it was Punk’d, and I was surprised to find he’s engaged to Kristen Bell, his co-star in this movie that he wrote and directed.
It’s kind of hard to imagine if you have the jackass image in your head, but in this movie they are really kind of adorable together and you’ll be able to kind of see it.
Another surprise in the film is that Tom Arnold is really funny and likable. I had him in my head as the tag-along OK comic who got semi-famous by marrying Roseanne and surviving. He’s way past that here, and IMDb says he’s the voice of an oven mitt, so we’ve all learned something about judging, haven’t we? Going forward, you 13, maybe 14%, let’s try to be better people. Let’s give Dax and Kristen a chance, and maybe think of Tom Arnold next time you enjoy a Jamocha shake.
Doesn’t it seem like there’s just an endless amount of stuff we can argue about? Big things, of course, but also so many little things that it doesn’t seem like an exaggeration to say there are certainly some of us who will argue over anything.
Bicycles, for example. Not whether you should ride them in the road with your spandexed buddies, but, believe it or not, whether that bike has brakes or gears or not. That’s right, fixie culture exists, and it’s ready to argue. So the movie has lots of super fast downtown traffic biking, but in between there is seething resentment that often boils over about whether your bike can go into second. These arguments are set against a race against time, and a truly scary bad guy.
Michael Shannon, who became huge with a small film called Take Shelter, is really seriously scary. Like, the other cast members probably ate lunch with him, but mostly out of fear. If you’ve never had a fear lunch at work, I don’t recommend it. They are not even as fun as they sound, but this guy, well, he seems like he (the guy, not the character, but also the character) has an unpredictably virulent streak and just might at any point do something horrifying. That’s good for a villain, not so much for a guy you’re eating lunch with.
For example, it would be best to see what kind of bike he prefers and just say that’s the one you prefer too. Don’t get into an argument with him. And if you rode to the commissary on a fixie and he’s freewheelin’ it, well, just walk back to the set.
Expendables 2 answers a lot of the questions that Expendables 1 posited. Like, how does one divvy screen time amongst a mass of pumped up prima donnas? Or, how much is too much on the botox budget? 2 does what 1 did, only more of it, which is either awesome or you’re not interested, and you probably already know who you are.
What you might not know is that JCVD is in this one and he’s a villain’s villain. We’re used to seeing him play a good guy who grudgingly has to fight once he’s pushed too far or made aware of a plight. But his Brussels Sprout accent and maybe real/maybe acting arrogance are perfect for villainy. I was only thrown off once by a question that I’ll put to you now so that it won’t pop into your head mid-movie: Does an international super-villain ever have to go to Walmart? You want to say, “no, that’s minion work” and your point is well made. But super-villains want stuff to be exact. If you’re going to (spoiler alert!) kick a knife into someone, well, you’re a stickler for details. So the minion goes to Walmart to get an extension cord or trash bags or something, think about the options! There’s almost no way he’s going to guess at the right one out of all those choices. So, does the super-villain make a detailed list? I don’t see Jean writing down- The ones with the drawstring, double strength! Double! So I’m just not sure.
If you happen to be a super-villain reading this, could you let me know? Or get a minion to tell me? Or maybe Expendables 3 will clear it up.
First, you want to know if the new Bourne is good and yeah, he is. Jeremy Renner is a good solid actor and the machine was set up in the novels to keep going even without the original novelist, so it’s all just fine. Spies. Double crosses. Blueprints. Chemicals. That thing where you jump from building to building. All the stuff is there, including something that was also in last week’s Total Remake and brings me to an important point.
If someone has implanted a tracker under my skin some place, please deactivate it. You don’t have to come get it, and I’m not inclined to cut it out myself whilst on the run. Let’s just agree that I’ll tell you where I am. I will give you my cell, which, admittedly, I leave on silent (because of going to movies, ironically) but I’ll promise to check it more. Call me, is the point. Or I’ll even do that thing where I check in to twitter and you can keep up that way.
Again, no need to find me via an implanted tracker, if you have implanted one. Leave it alone. I don’t know why you implanted it in the first place, but let’s not even get into that. Just forget about it, OK? I won’t hold it against you and I really will make every effort to keep in touch. I’ll send cards. I know where to get lots and lots of cards.
In maybe 8th grade or so every kid in America used to have to take a class where they’d teach you how to write checks and not get caught up in Ponzi schemes. The latest SYTYCD reunion movie is an upbeat and brightly colored movie for people who never took that class. It’s a dance movie for people who don’t know how rent works.
The bad guy wants to buy properties that are for sale, that’s just the kind of bad guy he is. But his daughter and her boyfriend don’t want him to buy those properties and they are going to make their point through… dance! Because dancing usually solves real estate disputes.
I’ve never had a problem that would be made better by me dancing, so I’m kind of at a loss here. But the dancing is amazing and the flash mob, Improv Everywhere style is fun. Miami looks incredible and if you’re not going there this summer, you can at least drop by for 90 minutes or so. And if any kids in the theater seem overly worried about the outcome for our cinematic heroes, you can explain how grown-up stuff works and put their minds (if not their dancing feet) at ease.
First of all, quit acting like you were such a huge fan of the first one. It was great, and Arnold pulled a thing out of his nose and a guy had a collapsible claw-arm, granted. But at the time and since the time, it wasn’t America’s favorite movie. Or even favorite sci-fi movie, so quit doing that, OK? You’re not in charge of making sure the feelings of old movies are not hurt. That’s Martin’s job.
So anyway, this is a pretty good remake in that style where it’s lots of the stuff but not all of the stuff and some stuff is added like… and this is huge… a tunnel through the core of the earth! Yes, that’s right, someone has actually dug a hole to China. Specifically, it goes from the the UK to Australia, but it does it through means of a big, big hole.
I don’t know about girls (on so many levels), but there is an age where every boy imagines digging a hole through the earth and popping up some place where there’s no bedtime or getting dirt out from under fingernails. Why this would be the case in other-side-of-the-planet society is unknown, but in the fertile boy mind, it’s a land of unlimited wonder. So you dig as far as you can get (average:18 inches) then a caring adult makes you stop. This is to get you used to idea that adults are there to stop great things from happening, a theme that will develop throughout life. But not in this movie! In this movie the dream lives! There is a giant hole to the other side of the planet! And people use it every day!
To go work. It’s a commuter hole. Because adults are here to stop great things from happening.
I saw this movie on vacation and since it’s a great summer movie, it was perfect for that. You’ve probably heard some reviews already, but let me say this: Those reviews should have said, “this is all about Tom Hardy“. If they didn’t, they were wrong. Because it is. All about Tom Hardy.
You know gravelly voice Batman, and you know he’s tortured and then, you know, rises. You can guess that Catwoman is going to be crazy hot and there’s going to be a cool vehicle. But really, no kidding, the movie is about how scary and awesome Tom Hardy can be. Which is a lot.
Check him in Warrior, where he’s barely recognizable, and in This Means War, where he’s got a credible romantic comedy touch. And by all means see him in Dark Knight, where he plays much bigger than his posted 5’10″, which in Hollywood means 5’7″. He puts this movie over the top, which is where all the Bat movies are, so that’s really saying something. Summer is almost over, because it’s August day after tomorrow. Go see this or you won’t have a summer, and that will be on you.
Here’s the weird thing about Magic Mike. At the showing I went to, the most rambunctious members of the audience looked pretty much like this. Which means they were old enough to be Matthew McConaughey’s aunts and probably old enough to be the young buck’s grandmas. My editor assigned me this gig in the spirit of “equal opportunity ogling,” but the demographic still gave me the willies, you’ll forgive the expression.
While I am not quite old enough to be a Golden Girl, I am old enough to have had this poster hanging semi-ironically on my wall in 1980. Which is to say, I like hairy chests, and I cannot lie. So the appeal of the shaven, oiled-down, shiny look of the strippers in this film baffles me.
I still enjoyed it. Chest hair or no, Channing Tatum can act and is way easy on the eyes. The guys’ costumes were hilarious, the dance routines were over-the-top, and I’m planning to download the entire eclectic soundtrack. I’m creeped out by Matthew McConaughey in an Uncle Sam hat and I cannot lie about that, either.
Reid Carolin’s story had some very sweet moments. I thought this girl was great as the young buck’s protective sister, and I hope she’ll be in more things. Apparently she appeared in some of those James Spader episodes of The Office, which were not my favorites and also can’t be lied about.
There were serious loose ends left loose at the end, so all the moms in the audience left the theater concerned about the young buck’s future. But this just in! We’ll sleep better tonight.
If you only see one movie this summer… um, it should probably be Batman. Or Avengers, if you haven’t seen it yet. But if you’re only going to see three movies this summer, then for sure see Moonrise Kingdom!
Unless you hate Wes Anderson. And if you hate Wes Anderson, why is that? I’m not sure I can help you. Bottle Rocket? Seriously, you did not like Bottle Rocket? It’s indie style, I’ll grant you, nothing blows up and there’s no CGI, but come on!
And I’m not one of those indie fans who only sees movies no one likes and won’t watch TV and won’t go to Taco Bell. Oh, I’ll go to Taco Bell, just watch me! I’ll go in there and order stuff and eat it while watching TV! I had to see this (like, 3 weeks late or so) in a rickety theater full of old people and I did not like having to do that. I wish it had been in a big, fake, plasticy multiplex where I could have gotten some frequent movie watcher points. So don’t think I’m one of those people. I like big dumb movies, but this was a small, smart movie that was also very good. And funny. And, I’m going to say it, quirky. You should go see it, it will restore your faith in whatever you’ve lost faith in.
Then you can go see Batman and that will level you out. Then have one of the burritos that have potatoes in them. They’re awesome.