Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big Wednesday (1978)

You know, I'm no surfer; never even tried it. But I love this movie. While surfing is a big part of this movie, its mostly used as a back drop to the story of 3 guys growing up.

The movie starts out in 1962, in Malibu, CA. It follows Matt, Jack, and Leroy "The Masochist" as they change from young guys surfing and partying, through adult pressures of young families and Viet Nam. The guys are played by Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, and Gary Busey, respectively.

As they grow, they take different paths in the real world. Do they fight in Viet Nam, or fight to stay out of the war? Do they accept their responsibilities as parents, or do they run from their young families?

These 3 guys are very believable in these parts. Especially Jan-Michael Vincent, as the brilliant surfer who can't seem to stay out of trouble, or the bottle. Backing them up in the cast is the always fun Reb Brown, who played Captain America in the late 70's, and young Robert Englund, as Fly, the narrator.

A lot of laughs from these guys, and other parts that are more poignant. Overall, one of my favorite movies.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Captain America - The First Avenger

So I just finished watching the new film, "Captain America". I really liked it.

The film, directed by Joe Johnston, and starring Chris Evans, opened last week. It has made more than $100 million so far, and I have no doubt that it will be a huge money maker.

But at the end of the day, its just a fun movie. Lots of action, lots of nazis getting their butts kicked, and the good guys win. What could be better in a summer flick?

There was some controversy months back about whether the character was going to be the traditional Captain America, or were they going to make him someone more palatable to people in other countries. The studio even changed the name of the film in some countries. But rest assured, he's an American hero. All he wants is to serve his country, and stand up to the bullies of the world. Asked by the main villain what makes him so special, he replies, "Nothing. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn."

And that's the essence of the character. He just wants to do the right thing. And that's what makes him a hero.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Social Network

I just watched the film "The Social Network". Its the history of the founders of the website Facebook. It has been lauded as one of, if not the, best films of 2010. I will leave that distinction to the historians and film critics. What I will say is this, I liked this film a great deal.

I originally thought that a film about the creator of Facebook may be interesting. But not Oscar-worthy. And I'm not saying here and now that it is worthy of an Academy award. But there is some damn fine acting in this film.

Jesse Eisenberg plays the main character, Mark Zuckerberg, a socially retarded undergrad at Harvard University. He is brilliant with computer and website programming. Much less so with people, even his friends. Eisenberg embodies this awkwardness brilliantly. He was equally excellent playing the straight man to Woody Harrelson's idiot in "Zombieland", and the dry humor of "Adventureland" also played to his strengths.

While I always enjoyed Justin Timberlake in his forays into Saturday Night Live land, I never really thought of him as an "actor". Well, pigs can fly. He acquits himself quite well in this film. His part is not as large as others, but he makes a much larger impact than some of the co-stars.

Director David Fincher did an excellent job. No doubt he will be up for an Oscar, along with Eisenberg. He also directed the excellent "Fight Club", and the crappy "Alien 3". Look next for his rendition of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" coming out later this year.

I highly recommend this film. I enjoyed it a lot. I actually watched it in one sitting (setting), which is unusual for me. I have seen commercials that place it on more than 100 Top Ten lists of critics' favorite films from last year. It's certainly on mine.