Thursday, May 13, 2010

Air Force One

Who among us can resist an action movie with Harrison Ford? Not me, that's for sure. It's on TV tonight. I hadn't noticed this before, but the theme music seems evocative, just slightly, of Indiana Jones. Otherwise, it's just the usual action pic with the hero saving the day, or, in this case, America, Air Force One, and the world from Terrorism, this time in the form of kidnapping the President of the United States and the ransom is the release of very, very bad men (I keep hearing what's his name from Seinfeld with the waving finger who got deported to Pakistan in my head). Ah, if it were only true. The film was made in 1997. If we only knew. The cast includes not only Harrison, but my fave Gary Oldman, also Glenn Close, and Dean Stockwell. Oh, and the wonderful William Macy. I give it a B for effort. By the way, music by Jerry Goldsmith.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man II

I had the pleasure of seeing Iron Man II on Saturday with a friend. I haven't seen the first movie yet but I enjoyed the sequel so much, I'll have to correct that soon. Without spoiling anything for anyone, if you do see the movie, don't leave until after all the credits are over.... there is a final scene after that. Reminds me of one of my favorite television shows: Vicar of Dibley, a Britcom starring the inimitable Dawn French. I love this show. It's hilarious, it's a bit ribald, it's absurd and has the craziest cast of characters to ever populate a village. After the credits, there's always a joke. But I think I've digressed.

The movie, in case you are unaware, stars Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johannsen, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L Jackson all show up. Oh, and Sam Rockwell. And a few others. The best part? It's only two hours and five minutes long. Not one of those three hours to get the point across movies. It may not be Oscar worthy (hey- after this past year, who knows what will be nominated?) but it's fun. I give it a B+ for fun and action.
Happy Popcorn!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Football, Football Movies and Jane

The other night I had the TV on (like I do now) to keep me company while I perform various tasks, hang out, read, or do stuff on my computer. The only watchable program at that time was the movie We Are Marshall. Which got me thinking about football movies. And that I actually liked football movies. And that I actually liked watching football at all. Actually.... I like watching the New England Patriots. So, this past football season, when the Pats' season ended, the football season ended. Fini. Done. No reason to watch the superbowl, it wasn't going to be super. But I digress. Back to football movies.

I find that from time to time certain football movies are on TV and I watch them. But before I started the post, I wanted to look up football movies. I was surprised by how many there have been and how many I have seen. I giggled at the very first football movie (to be disclosed at the end of the post). On to the discussion!

The first football movie I ever saw was Brian's Song, the made for TV movie that aired in 1971 when I was just a tiny babe. Well, maybe a little older. It's the story of the friendship between Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, players on the Chicago Bears, and the illness and eventual death of Brian Piccolo from cancer. I remember liking it and the whole community had as well. It was the talk of the school. This was remade in 2002 but I didn't see this version. Would I watch either one on TV? No. Way too depressing.

I saw the remake of Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty, which was made in 1978, on TV as well. In this version he plays a quarterback who is in an accident and dies before his time due to an overly anxious angel. It's a fairly good film. The "bad guys" get their comeuppance in the end. Everything turns out right in the end. Good TV fare.

Remember when VCRs first came out and we all started renting VHS tapes and it was a big thing? I rented All the Right Moves, a Tom Cruise movie. He plays a high school football player, living in a steel town. He has a girlfriend (of course!),there's some sort of moral to the story, someone has to make a decision, etc. The movie was made in 1983, I think I saw it in 1986. Would I recommend it? No. Would I watch it on TV? Not if anything else remotely interesting was on. Including Home Shopping Network.

Ahhh, but Tom redeems himself to the American female population. I've never asked what the American male population have thought of Jerry Maguire. This is a much better film than All the Right Moves. I'm not sure what I really think of this movie now. It has become so trite. It was the big boost Renee Zellweger needed and brought Cuba Gooding, Jr. the exposure he needed. It was one of Tom's finer performances. And the little kid was great. Again, I'd pass over this for something else on TV. Too overexposed.

Here's the one I regret not seeing yet: Any Given Sunday. Why? Al Pacino. It also looks like a grown-up film. So, its on my Netflix list.

The next three are the ones I watch a lot on TV. Haven't grown tired of them yet.
We Are Marshall, Remember the Titans, and The Replacements. The first two are based on true stories. Remember the Titans deals with the race issue and integration. The primary star is Denzel Washington but the various players are very engaging. We are Marshall deals the plane crash that killed all but five members of the football team, its coaching staff and some supporters. Matthew McConnaughey, David Strathairn and Matthew Fox are in the cast. The Replacements deals with a football strike and the men hired to replace the strikers. Actors are Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves and the inimitable Rhys Ifans who is showing up everwhere. When they show up on TV again, will I stop and watch? Sure! Unless something better is playing.

There is one more football movie that I've seen and discussed here. The Blind Side. Very enjoyable. Will I stop and watch it again. Sure, I'll add it to my list. It has humor and humanity. And it's true.

So, the very first football movie ever made, according the site I checked on the internet? (Not guaranteed by me!)

Horsefeathers. The fourth Marx Brothers movie.
Thanks for spending time with me.