Hollywood Odds

A blind squirrel, a stopped watch, whatever euphemism works, sometimes Hollywood gets it right. I like to throw up non political posts from time to time, like “Whatcha watching?” for current TV shows, social community recommendations. With all the junk that passes for movies nowadays, and the ever increasing ticket prices, a discriminating movie critic can be a valuable commodity. First a disclaimer, I rarely (maybe 3-4 times a year) actually go to movie theaters. I would say it is a generational thing but I got a tennis buddy, a few years older than me, from Chile, he goes at least once a week and is always recommending stuff, 95% of which I dismiss out of hand.

First, one that I saw and recommend, then one that I am enthusiastically waiting for;

Kurosawa’s classic, remade. First off all, is there a better actor out there today than Denzel? This movie was just plain fun all the way through.

And then, this;

While in college I played basketball with a conscientious objector from the Vietnam War. I was too young for the draft and he was 3 years older, but I got a chance to talk to him at length about his faith. A Christian who risked imprisonment ( he did many hours of community service and volunteer work to avoid it), but he was no coward. He taught me how important it was to stay true to your faith, even at great odds to your own safety and freedom. Courage manifests itself in many forms and this movie reveals just one of them.

A word about Mel Gibson, yeah, he is a real tool, but he makes really good movies. Because of his shortcomings in his personal life I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves in this area, I hope that changes.

As a bonus, 2 movies I saw this weekend on my free HBO preview (nope, still won’t contribute a dime to their bottom line);

The Water Divener. Russel Crowe used to be my favorite actor (one of his hidden gems A Good Year). And the other, Woman In Gold .

Next week I will do another installment of Whatcha Watching?, there is some really good Netflix stuff out.

So, seen any good movies lately?

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  1. Hal_10000

    A word about Mel Gibson, yeah, he is a real tool, but he makes really good movies. Because of his shortcomings in his personal life I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves in this area, I hope that changes

    I agree with this. I always liked the South Park quote: “Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but son of a bitch knows story structure.” Braveheart is a great movie. I’ve learned to accept that some people may be great artists and lousy people.

    For good movies, I’ve seen all of last year’s Academy Award nominees and they were good, especially “Room” and “Spotlight”. I’m also about halfway through “Creed”, which is decent. I’ve been watching a lot of classics lately like Zulu (good) and the Searchers (great).  I’ve been swamped lately but hope to start upping my viewing activity.

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  2. ilovecress

    I’ve not seen a really great movie in a while. Purge : Election year was gory fun. The Neon Demon was awful pretentious crap. The Nice Guys was a pretty good throwback to the buddy cop movies.

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  3. repmom

    Movies! One of my favorite topics of conversation. I love the whole movie theater experience — starting with the smell of popcorn even before you enter the building. And the big screen, surround sound, previews of coming attractions.

    Glad to see the good review of The Magnificent Seven. On our list of “must sees”, along with “Sully”, though we may mess around and miss the second one on the big screen.

    Can’t seem to find time to go lately. Last ones we saw were the latest Jason Bourne movie and Captain American – Civil War. Thoroughly enjoyed both.

    Recent good Netflix rental – The Finest Hours. Loved it. Highly recommend it. Great cast.

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  4. repmom

    Oops. Meant to comment on Creed. Good movie. Not great, but worth watching for any Rocky/Stallone fan. Saw it at the theater when first released.

    Wanting to see The Girl on the Train. Read the book. Depressing, but held my interest. Reviews not that great, daughter saw it, said even more depressing than book.

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  5. CM

    Yeah I only ever seem to see movie on planes these days (I used to go to the cinema 20-30 times a year at least, and see at least 10 to 15 at the Auckland International Film Festival every year, over a 2 week period). Those days are long gone. I watch a fair amount of television (because it’s way better than it was when I went to all those movies) and sport (and probably go to more sporting events). Anyway, so on the plane back from Australia on Sunday I watched ‘Midnight Special’. I love Michael Shannon (and he was really good as always) but I thought it was a wasted opportunity. It just didn’t have enough to it.

    Probably the last film I saw at the movies was a local favourite (biggest NZ film if you exclude LOTR and The Hobbit which were funded by the big studios) called ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’. I understand it’s on release in the US. Has Sam Neil in it, although the star is a 12 year old kid. Recommended.


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  6. Aussiesmurf

    Good silly fun movie was Ant-Man.

    On a more serious note, really enjoyed Going Clear, the documentary on Scientology (YMMV).

    Also Margin Call, a great, tight little movie about one night on the eve of the financial crisis (and what a cast – Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto and Simon Baker!)

    For those with kids, there’s an awesome Australian movie from a couple of years ago called Paper Planes that my (6 & 3 year old) kids can’t get enough of.

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