By: Hawk Ripjaw –
LET’S GET HIGH AND TALK ABOUT MOVIES!!
I can’t be the only one that saw Brad Pitt gunning down Nazis in a lavish public place and had an instant flashback to Inglourious Basterds. Porno mustache, neck scar, and wherever-the-hell-he’s-from accent aside, you could tell me Lieutenant Aldo Raine died and respawned, and I might be inclined to believe you. As it happens, this is (likely) not the case, although the first 15 seconds of that trailer are highly suspicious. What this actually turns out to be is the latest film from Robert Zemeckis, whose highs include Back to the Future and Romancing the Stone, and sparse lows such as The Polar Express and The Walk. Look, I actually had to stretch for the latter. Zemeckis is a great director, which is why my excitement for Allied has been building steadily for the past few weeks. What would you do if you were told that the person that you love was working for the opposing country in history’s most violent war? The obvious solution would be to not love anyone–wisdom that I live by every day of my life–but Brad Pitt and his possibly traitorous wife are long past that, at which point he is tasked with figuring out whether she truly is a German spy. The great thing about this trailer is that you have no idea, which is pretty intriguing.
Also Marion Cotillard is really attractive.
Bad Santa 2
I loved the original Bad Santa. It was a solid snapshot of a scumbag who knows he’s a scumbag, and hates himself for it, but can’t muster the self-respect to pull himself out of that pit. It’s something that many of us feel, and most of us try to hide it as we sit around with our friends, laughing and passing the joint, swallowing down the profound fear and sorrow that keeps us from reaching our fullest potential. Every day we tell ourselves that we will do better, we will be successful, but it doesn’t happen. And years later, we scramble to identify that tipping point at which we knew there was no turning back. The whiskey tastes like water.
So, that got dark. Back on track, I’m pretty sure Bad Santa gets slightly less funny the further I get from high school, but a couple things it will always have in its corner is the Coen Brothers as producers and John Ritter as a great secondary character. With the former MIA and the latter no longer of this mortal coil, the sequel isn’t shaping up to be much–even the writers have been replaced, which seems to explain why Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates appear to be so uncomfortable in a sequel to a film that had its own clearly-defined, satisfying arc for its main character.
However much the original might not age well, it’s got an effective story that didn’t need a sequel.
Not content with relying on Pixar to do the heavy lifting in the animation field (and following Disney’s failed absorption of Pixar), Disney’s been steadily fueling the train for years with a series of quality animated films. Moana looks like another notch in the belt, with silly humor and beautiful animation, and just enough references to appear cognizant of culture while also introducing enough goofiness to shit all over that artificial goodwill. Even the ten or so minutes of Lilo & Stitch that felt genuinely respectful of island culture felt more realistic than this, although it is just a trailer. Even if they do fuck up the cultural aspect (which is something Disney never does…right?), you can still stay for the beautiful visuals, The Rock goofing off and what still looks like a heartfelt story. There’s really not much you can say about Disney films before seeing them (unless it’s a Cars movie and that’s Pixar anyway), so all you can really do is watch it and tell all of your loser friends what they’re missing out on.
It’s a Disney animated film. How many times have they missed the mark in that department?
Rules Don’t Apply
Warren Beatty’s latest film in God-knows-how-long is a quirky-looking romantic comedy about a devoutly Baptist actress going to LA under contract to Howard Hughes, and falling in love with her driver, who is also very religious. This is something that makes them take pause, because as everyone knows if you’re Christian and you do the sex before you’re married, you will go to Hell where demons will stomp on your genitals and give you uncomfortable blow jobs (and whatever the lady version of a blow job is) AT THE SAME TIME. Not to mention, it’s apparently a rule of Hughes’ that an employee can’t date an actress, which sounds less like a true Hughes attribute and more like a very specific plot device. In any case, the movie actually looks surprisingly charming. When the rounds were made for monthly reviews, I saw “blah blah religious conservative” and placed the movie below a Disney animated musical, a sequel about an alcoholic Santa Claus that steals money while arguing with a black midget, an obese teenager, and his mother, and a period drama about two people who like to end a night of Nazi slaughter by getting it on where the neighbors can see. Not that I have a problem with religious conservatism in my movies, but I could just go to my church and get the same message for free.
The nearest Redbox is inside a McDonald’s, which is way more convenient that I can possibly illustrate right now.