Archive for February, 2010

Gamer — For a movie that requires a lot of urgency in both style and story, Gamer has absolutely none.   It attempts some over the top social commentary that succeeds only at being tedious and unoriginal.   The movie has a shockingly well known cast, bu tthat’s about it’s only strong point.   If you ever wanted to see Gerard Butler vomit vodka into a gas tank and then relieve himself in said tank, then Gamer‘s the movie for you.   If that’s not the case, then steer clear of this one.   It’s not even worthy of being called a trainwreck, since it’s more like a really long, boring trainride that induces coma-like sleep.

Speaking of Bettany, Legion also stars him and, well… it’s just sort of middling.   Bettany’s pretty wooden as the archangel Michael, and the story’s a snoozer.   It’s entertaining for what it is, given that the supporting cast turn in performances that are watchable, but let’s face it – if you’re watching Legion, you’re probably watching it for angels with machine guns.   Legion does deliver that.   (And the popcorn at the movie theater was tastier than normal, so that was a win, too.)

Wimbledon – Paul Bettany has to be given some credit.   Hugh Grant cornered the market on the charmingly befuddled, lanky Englishman type with few challengers to the throne (Colin Firth, I think, could potentially shank Grant one of these days and usurp the title).   Bettany pulls a pretty boring and thankless role off with affable charm and sweetness.   Kirsten Dunst is … okay, and Sam Neill as Dunst’s father is fantastic in his prickliness.   it’s not one for the record books, but Wimbledon is a romantic comedy that I strangely didn’t mind, considering I have issues with so many of them.

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I’m telling y’all what I told my mom about Top Gun: it gets better the more you realize that the movie’s just a simmering cauldron of gayness.

(Brings ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ home, I think.)

I refuse to provide a synopsis for Top Gun, mainly because unless you’ve been living under the heaviest rock in existence you’re at least somewhat aware of the plot.

Let’s face it:  Top Gun‘s strong suit is not really the plot; hell, it’s not even Tom Cruise.   This may have been the cinematic moment Tom Cruise tipped from being Tom Cruise, actor into Tom Cruise, celebrity who buys into his own special brand of bullshit.   Indeed, Cruise has some gigantic, awful moments in the movie – they involve fist-pumps, hugs and displays of bravado – and even after Maverick reaches his moment of fighter pilot enlightenment, it’s hard not to view the character as an emotionally stunted frat boy allowed to play with multi-million dollar pieces of equipment.

No, the real joy of Top Gun is two fold:  realizing Tom Cruise may be the only guy not in on the gag, and realizing every other actor realizes how totally fucking gay this movie is.

I mean that in the best possible way:  I wish they’d make an actual movie about gay fighter pilots.  Sadly, Top Gun is about as close as it gets but God bless Val Kilmer for playing it the way he saw it.   (I vaguely remember someone asking Val Kilmer if Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s Perry was the first gay character he’d ever played when he was doing press; Kilmer answered along the lines of, “You mean besides Iceman?”)  The movie’s rife with moments of shirtless guys in locker rooms and stares between Iceman and Maverick that really… kind of make you wonder.   Let’s also not forget the hilarious, wonderful insanity that is the Top Gun beach volleyball scene.   It’s all oiled guys with flexing pectoral muscles grabbing each other’s asses and chest-bumping and shit.

Tom Cruise believes this is totally macho, y’all!

It is Kilmer who really shines in this movie.   He steals scenes from Cruise right and left, frosted hair be damned.   He is endlessly entertaining, probably because Val Kilmer didn’t give a shit.  This is why I will always love, love, love Val Kilmer, no matter how bloaty he gets, no matter how far out there he goes, no matter how many trees he starts hugging; you have to appreciate the fact that even when the man doesn’t give a shit, he still rocks.

Plus, Top Gun has Michael Ironside.  Nothing that has Michael Ironside in it can be said to be totally irreedemable.

The movie is an essential piece of 80s cheese.  The love story will make you laugh (oh, dear, Kelly McGillis) and Tom Cruise will make you cry (from laughing).   For heaven’s sake, if you haven’t seen it, what the hell is your problem?

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