I can’t say it was a big week of pop culture viewing for me this week, but I did revisit some old friends. As always, beware the spoilers…
Out of Sight
This movie is Elmore Leonard at his coolest. I enjoy everything the man writes and this movie is probably the best example of his writing translated to film. His characters just ooze coolness and this movie was perfectly cast.
The scene with Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney in the car trunk is a classic example of “Elmore Leonard cool.” I also love the scene where J-Lo visits the boxer at his home (that guy eventually went on to Grey’s Anatomy, ugh). He gets a little frisky with her, until she whips out her collapsible baton and breaks his wrist without a hair on her head getting misplaced. “You wanted to tussle. We tussled.”
Elmore Leonard’s books are filled with crooks and heroes that bumble and stumble, run out of ammo, and argue about every little thing. One of the most memorable moments in this movie is a perfect example–poor “White Boy Bob.” Watch that last step, it’s a doozy.
And Samuel L Jackson appears in the prison van scene in an uncredited role at the end of the movie! Such a great flick.
Watching Inglorourious Basterds and Out of Sight, put me in the mood for some Jackie Brown this week. This is another one of Tarantino’s “slow” movies, which I seem to be appreciating more these days. It’s a fun throwback to the films of the 70’s and Pam Grier is great if you can get past her sideways smile.
Samuel L. Jackson is at his best in this movie, but I’m beginning to think he gets too much credit for his acting ability, because how hard can be to remember your lines when every other word is motherf***er?
This movie is actually based on an Elmore Leonard novel, and it’s fun seeing what Tarantino did with it, but I think I’m ready to pop in Reservoir Dogs next.
Because Sniper 1 was so scary good, they actually made another one. Who knew? I stumbled across this on HBO and was too lazy to move on. Actually, that’s not entirely fair. I really did like the first Sniper movie, but this one just seemed like an 80’s TV movie, you know, the ones where cars explode in massive balls of fire when they get into fender benders.
One of my all time favorite Saturday afternoon movies is Shoot to Kill which starred Tom Berenger, Sidney Poitier and skinny Kirstie Alley. I’ve seen it dozens of times, and it is a great action flick from the 80’s. I guess one of the reasons why I stuck around for Sniper 2 was that I was hoping to see some of that vintage Tom Berenger, but he never showed up. Now he’s just old and sporting a goofy-looking crew cut.
Oh, and Bokeem Woodbine is just lousy, and gives one of the worst death scenes I’ve ever seen. Avoid this one if you can.
I love this movie! I cannot help but laugh when I think of Frank “the Tank” streaking to the quad. This is by far, my favorite Will Ferrel movie (I know, that’s not saying much), but every time he’s on the screen, he cracks me up. Vince Vaughan is also great, especially when he is in the full clown suit at his kid’s birthday party, and Luke Wilson does a good job playing the straight man. Good comedies are rare these days, but this one is way up there for me.
The Hunger Games Trilogy
Okay, so I finished my latest foray into teen-angst literature. I feel it’s my duty as a pop culture fan to be informed about things, so that is how I justify hitting the teen section of Borders. Here’s my in-depth, old man’s analysis of the series: these three books really sucked. I honestly don’t understand the praise these books have received from all the high-falutin’ book reviewers out there. Sure, it’s a gripping adventure story, filled with viscious beheadings, but I must really be missing something. If I ever see these books on high school reading lists, I might actually have to join the PTA.
I honestly think that Suzanne Collins didn’t know how to end the series in a way that would satisfy everyone and ended up making a real mess of it all. MAJOR SPOILER: Katniss ends up basically killing the leader of both factions and then gets sent to solitary confinement while everyone else figures out how to move on with the world. The trilogy’s heroes are all dead or have moved on to a boring life. Really?
Hollywood recently announced there will be four movies based on this series. Four! I can see it making ONE pretty good R-Rated movie, but only if they went all Sucker-Punch on it. These books read more like a movie script than a novel anyway, so I can see a good movie being made, but not four. And I am 100% sure that Hollywood will change the ending to more triumphant.