This was an interesting week of oldie but goodie type of movies. I watched so much this past week–some things which aren’t in this post–I cannot believe I had time to get anything else accomplished! This post includes The Green Hornet, Mr Mom, Kingpin, Tootsie, and Speed. (Half of these were my son’s picks! I love watching movies with him. He has a great laugh and we are often in sync with our reactions.)
Written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg and directed by Michel Gondry. Britt Reid, a spoiled rich lazy adult, teams up with his father’s assistant, Kato, after his father–owner of a large newspaper– dies from an apparent bee sting. Kato not only makes the best coffee Britt has ever tasted but he also is a genius car mechanic and engineer and street fighter, too. Britt and Kato go out in disguise to deface the statue of his late father, only to “save” a couple from some thugs which inspire them to use their disguises and souped up car to fight crime. What they don’t know is, the big crime boss and the local DA were in cahoots with Britt’s dad and the newspaper to keep the city in order. Britt becomes The Green Hornet and Kato his sidekick (who does 90% of the work) and they enlist the beautiful Lenore as Britt’s secretary to give them ideas about crime fighting and reporting it in the newspaper. There’s a lot going on here. What’s important to note: Britt, played by Seth Rogen, is the perfect whiny spoiled rich guy who doesn’t know how to do anything himself, takes credit from those who do, and also emerges –after a solid character arc–as a new and improved human being. Kato, played by Jay Chou, is solid as Kato– a bit stereotyped with the accent– but still solid as the true hero doing all the mechanics, fighting, and essentially the thinking. Lenore, played by Cameron Diaz, is tough, smart, and unimpressed by either of them which is important as she remains out of the loop–somehow–until the end. The villian Chudnofsky, played by Christoph Waltz, is the crime kingpin who doesn’t seem to be scary until he is–which is often because he’s not like the usual crime boss–he does the killing himself. Anyway, all things work out.
The cool things about The Green Hornet are the cars, the fight scenes, and Chudnofsky’s mundane sounding diatribes. The cars are so amazing! They have car doors which are really machine guns when opened, the mass amounts of weapons, the bullet proof glass, and green glow. The fight scenes are well choreographed with some cringy kills perfect for this type of film. Chudnofsky delivers is speeches right before he kills with such emotional detachment as if he is giving boring instructions which adds depth to his “to be feared” quotient. Overall, I thought this movie was super fun to watch, everyone was perfect in their roles, and even though some of the plot points were a bit thin, it was still a viable story. I watched on dvd. Watch the trailer below:
Written by John Hughes and directed by Stan Dragoti. This story follows the Butler family as Jack adjusts to be a stay at home dad while his wife Caroline enters the workforce. This movie has so many great moments, it isn’t uncommon to hear someone in my house quote it from time to time. A gem! Jack, played by Michael Keaton, gets fired from his car assembly job. He struggles with his ego as well as his ability to learn how to be a stay at home dad. (South to drop off, north to pick up.) He learns quickly how tiring and challenging it is to raise young kids. Caroline, played by Teri Garr, is Jack’s wife who tries to fit in at her new job in marketing selling tuna campaigns while staving off advances from her boss Ron, played by Martin Mull. Meanwhile, Jack makes friends with Caroline’s girlfriends–playing coupon poker, going out, and fielding home repairmen. As Caroline moves up in her job, Jack loses his foothold at home and just as he’s about to make a grave mistake, he comes to and makes the change within himself to set things right. (He gets himself mentally back in charge.) Full of comedic moments and some super sweet ones. These child actors are perfection!!!
Quintessential John Hughes, complete with 80s score reminding you of an after school special or movie of the week, dialogue and situations they just don’t write anymore. I miss those days… Anyhoo, we watched on dvd but you can see on Amazon Prime 🙂 Watch the trailer below:
Written by Barry Fanaro & Mort Nathan. Directed by Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly. So, a kid is raised to be some crazy amazing bowler–who also isn’t very street smart–and gets into a situation by a mentor which changes his career trajectory in a major way. Later, he finds a similar bowler, takes him under his wing, and they set off to win the championship worth $1 million. A bunch of wacky events occur, a lot of innuendo, a couple of the MOST amazing comb-over hairstyles, and a lot of bowling. A Farrelly brothers film, which should explain all you need to know about the level of humor and where it’s derived from. This film is funny, to be sure. The match up of Woody Harrelson as the has been bowler Roy Munson, Randy Quaid as the Amish up and comer bowler Ishmael, and Bill Murray as Roy’s bowling nemesis Ernie McCracken is perfection. Of course the token female hottie, Vanessa Angel as Claudia, adds to the story to a degree but the best parts are really between the three bowlers. There are some cringe worthy scenes–sex with the landlady, the hand in the ball return–but all in all, it’s silly romp comedy centered around the riveting world of professional bowling. On Netflix. Watch the trailer below:
Writing led by Larry Gelbart & Murray Schisgal and directed by Sydney Pollack. An actor struggles to find work in New York, so he poses a woman and gets a gig on a popular soap opera only to fall in love with a co-star while the world falls in love with him/her. Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, the actor / acting coach who can’t get work due to being difficult to work with. as well as his female alter ego, Dorothy Michaels, who tough cookie persona lands her a job on a popular soap. Jessica Lange plays Julie, Dorothy’s co-star, and Micheal’s crush. A sweet subplot as we see Micheal fall in love with Julie through the developing friendship between Julie and Dorothy. Teri Garr plays Sandy, a semi-neurotic actress and friend of Michael’s who accidentally becomes Michael’s girlfriend due to him keeping his alter ego a secret. Bill Murray plays Jeff, Michael’s roommate and quasi-therapist trying to keep everything straight. Dabney Coleman plays Ron, the director of the soap and sexist boyfriend to Julie to whom Dorothy confronts on a regular basis. And sweet Charles Durning who plays Julie’s father Les who has fallen in love with Dorothy.
Dustin Hoffman really pulls this character arc off with perfection. He is clearly Micheal and conversely Dorothy. Both fully realized characters and manages to come full circle when the reality sets in and he needs to come clean. The reveal scene is a masterpiece monologue which could only occur on a soap opera. Jessica Lange, amazing as usual, received an Oscar for supporting actress for this role. Dorothy Michaels was ahead of her time in the sexism, misogyny, and inequality in the workplace theme. She stood up for what was right and she rallied a lot of women to do the same. This film came out in 1982, people. It’s 2020 and we’re still working on this? Anyhoo, everyone is fantastic and beloved in this film. A total classic. My teenage son even liked it! Available on Netflix. Watch the trailer below:
Written by Graham Yost. Directed by Jan de Bont. This action adventure follows LAPD officer Jack Traven trying to save the 13 lives aboard a city bus when it’s discovered a bomb has been planted underneath it by his nemesis. Keanu Reeves plays Jack Traven, a bomb expert, who thinks the bomber Howard Payne, played by Dennis Hopper, was killed after he and his partner Harry, played by Jeff Daniels, saved the hostages from a rigged elevator. Huh? Okay, Harry and Jack save a bunch of people from an elevator rigged with a bomb placed by Howard. Howard is mad, makes it look like he gets exploded but then comes back with a new plan to bomb public buses until the city agrees to pay him $3 million. The catch is no one can get off the bus and the bus has to stay above 50 miles an hour or it will explode. Jack manages to get on board the bus–while on the freeway–and after some chaos–the bus driver becomes unable to drive–Annie, played by Sandra Bullock, steps in or slides over to drive the bus.
This movie is fun for the sheer illogical premise of a bomb rigged bus full of passengers maintaining a speed of 50 miles an hour or greater through the metro area of Los Angeles. Having lived there, I can attest to the traffic it had to deal with as well as the 105 freeway which had not yet been completed. Keanu is so good as the tough talking invincible character Jack who keeps everyone basically together and who manages quite a bit of small talk/flirting with Sandra Bullock’s Annie who is smiling as if this is all bs until it isn’t and then is appropriately sobered up to the reality. One of the greatest stunts is the bus jumping the gap. A HUGE amount of suspension of belief is required here, I mean, there are lots of moments which need this, but this scene in particular, yes. A fun throwback action film as well as see our favorites when they were young and fresh in their careers. Available on Amazon. Watch the trailer below:
What an action-packed week! If you like these, let me know in the comments!
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