Thursday, November 26, 2015
The movies you loved as a kid sometimes turn out to be classics (i.e. Back to the Future and Star Wars) while others, it turns out, were really just not very good. Ah, the undiscerning view from a child’s perspective. When you’re a kid, a movie is good or not because it has excitement, adventures, romance, and comedy. For some adults I guess that never changes. Before Robert Zemeckis directed Back to the Future, he had a big commercial success in Romancing the Stone, a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark knock-off starring Kathleen Turner as a dowdy romance novelist and Michael Douglas as a roughneck who saves her in the jungles of Colombia.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw is a little chaotically scripted by Kurt Sutter with plot points that are occasionally unbelievable, nonsensical, or irrelevant, but it is Fuqua’s most restrained directing effort I can recall and contains enough moral uplift that it just crosses the line of what’s worth watching as a minor diversion.
Jake Gyllenhaal is impressive as Billy Hope, the light heavyweight champion of the world. Hope (and Gyllenhaal by extension) is physically imposing with a ripped torso and biceps. He has an anger control problem that remains mostly confined to the ring. So that he garners our sympathies, he’s got a beautiful wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams), and daughter, both of whom he adores and dotes on. Maureen doesn’t want him to keep fighting because his style allows him to endure punch after punch until he’s angry enough to pummel his opponent. His manager (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) wants him to sign a three fight deal.