Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mr. 3000

The late Bernie Mac plays a selfish narcissistic ex baseball player, nicknamed Mr. 3000, who on the eve of his indoctrination into the Baseball Hall of Fame, is told that his record of 3,000 hits had been miscalculated, and that he only scored 2,997 hits.  With his reputation at risk, he reenters the game to try to score 3 more hits, which might be difficult because he has gotten too old and too out of shape to be a serious baseball player.

The problem with watching any movie where the main character is self centered, is that it is hard empathize with that character.  In a movie like this there needs to be some sort of redemption of that character, and fortunately there is.  

The story, honestly, feels barely adequate, but I like the way the movie ends so I am recommending it.

Rating: * * * 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

American Sniper

The world as we know it today is an unstable place.  There are people whose interests are completely contrarian to our own:  Their beliefs are irreconcilable with ours.  The events of 9-11 showed beyond any doubt that there are people who want to hurt us.  As long as this situation continues, there will be war of one sort or another.  International politics and the war on terror are complex with no easy solutions.  Our role in combating terror has been controversial, as some people have wondered if we really needed to go to Iraq?  Regardless, we went there and put our soldiers in harm's way to fight a fight that we thought was worth fighting. 

Our soldiers are from an all volunteer military.  These people chose to be soldiers.  Some of these people didn't come back.  Some came back damaged, physically or mentally.  There is another word for people like this:  Heroes.  So it seems extremely appropriate that a movie should be made about one of these heroes, Chris Kyle, who was the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  The movie is based upon his book, American Sniper, and is directed by the 84 year old Clint Eastwood.

This movie is much more than just an intense well acted dramatic biography of Chris Kyle.  It is the story of all who fought.  It is also, in part, our story.  We as a nation have suffered from the terrible attacks of 9-11.  We as a nation chose to fight and endure the consequences of the wars that followed.  Chris Kyle was a perfect reflection of the values of the America that he came from.  He was also a man of deep conviction.  Heroes always are.

Rating:  * * * * 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Robin Williams Inside the Actors Studio Part 6

This is the best 9 minutes of the 90 minute Robin Williams interview I posted last year:


Do you like your heroes to be pure, full of virtue and never wavering from righteousness?  Or do you prefer your heroes to be flawed, morally ambiguous and unsure of themselves, in short, human?

Ig Perrish is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend.  The people of the small town logging community have turned against him and even accuse him of being like the Devil.  So one day he wakes up with horns growing out of his head.  He tries to get help, but he quickly discovers that whenever he is around people it causes them to confess and act out their most evil desires.  He uses this new supernatural power to try to discover who really killed his girlfriend.  

This is a well acted and beautiful supernatural thriller that has a very grim view of human nature.  It is clever, fresh and original.  Daniel Radcliffe is perfect in the lead role.

Horns is a supernatural thriller, dark comedy, whodunit, and horror film.  Although it combines these different elements rather successfully, this seemed to confuse many critics who didn't know what to make of the film.  The movie does not deserve its 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  

Rating: * * * 1/2

I loved it.  The trailer is fun to watch.