Posts Tagged ‘Josh Brolin’
Monday, May 30th, 2022
Before TOP GUN: MAVERICK, director Joseph Kosinski did a movie with a few of the same actors that did not receive as much attention. Released in 2017, ONLY THE BRAVE is the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite fire fighter crew in Prescott, Arizona specializing in clearing fire-fueling plants and starting controlled burns to cut off the spread of wildfires. Warning: the story is tragic, and this is a crier. But it’s a great movie.
It’s technically impeccable. As on his previous movies TRON: LEGACY and OBLIVION, Kosinski has Claudio Miranda as his director of photography. Miranda also shot THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and LIFE OF PI, so obviously he has chops. I don’t know what amount of pyrotechnics vs. cg they use, but many fire scenes are much more convincing than THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD (though I liked that movie). It’s a high level of filmmaking craft, but the thrills and adventure and shit are honestly backdrop for a story about people, with uniformly strong performances and very effective characterization in the script adapted by Ken Nolan (BLACK HAWK DOWN and, uh, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT) and Eric Warren Singer (THE INTERNATIONAL, AMERICAN HUSTLE, an episode of Æon Flux) from the GQ article “No Exit” by Sean Flynn. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Andie MacDowell, based on a magazine article, Dylan Kenin, Eric Warren Singer, firefighters, forest fire, Geoff Stults, Jake Picking, James Badge Dale, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, Joseph Kosinski, Josh Brolin, Ken Nolan, Kenneth Miller, Miles Teller, Natalie Hall, Rachel Singer, Ryan Michael Busch, Scott Foxx, Scott Haze, Taylor Kitsch, Thad Luckinbill
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 12 Comments »
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
It really didn’t occur to me, when I decided to finally rewatch MIMIC, that it was a movie about a pandemic. One of the main characters is the deputy director of the CDC! But it’s not at all similar to the pandemic we’re currently in – “Strickler’s Disease” seems to only affect children, putting them in comas. Because it’s spread by cockroaches, aforementioned CDC guy Dr. Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam, THE NET, AMISTAD, THE INVASION) recruits a brilliant entomologist, Dr. Susan Tyler (then-recent Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, between ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION and THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS), who comes up with a novel plan: she genetically engineers a new bug called the “Judas Breed” that infiltrates cockroach colonies and pukes up a bunch of enzymes that increase their metabolism so they starve to death. Give the roaches a disease to stop them from giving us one.
Three years later, Strickler’s disease has been wiped out, the two doctors are married, and everything seems fine, except weird shit is happening under Manhattan. A mysterious vagrant type guy drags a priest underground, and only an autistic kid named Chuy (Alexander Goodwin) witnesses it. Chuy’s guardian Manny (Giancarlo Giannini, BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA) is a shoe shiner, so the kid has become affixed on people’s footwear, and for some reason he calls this attacker “Mr. Funny Shoes.” I don’t know why, but that’s one of my favorite details in the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alix Koromzay, Charles S. Dutton, Dan Laustsen, Donald A. Wollheim, F. Murray Abraham, Giancarlo Giannini, Guillermo Del Toro, James Costa, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin, Matthew Robbins, Mira Sorvino, Miramax, Norman Reedus, Ole Bornedal, the god damn Weinsteins
Posted in Horror, Monster, Reviews | 23 Comments »
Monday, June 8th, 2020
June 7, 1985
I have long held a stance on THE GOONIES that was highly controversial: I found it annoying. I don’t think I’m alone on that anymore, but it used to get me into trouble because of how many people of a particular age group hold that movie as a sacred relic of childhood.
For most of my writing career I’ve had a policy of being ambiguous about my age, because I wanted to seem like a crusty old man, regardless of how little that seemed to fit with the particular things I was knowledgeable about. As I get closer to being authentically old and crusty I’m starting to be more lax about that, so at last the truth can be told: I am exactly the right age to have grown up loving this movie. In fact, I did grow up loving this movie. And I’ll even go you one further: I saw it twice in one day. My mom took me and my friends to see it on my birthday, and since there wasn’t room in the car for my siblings, she brought them to see it later in the day, and I went that time too.
But when I saw it again as an adult I learned something disappointing: those fucking goonies never fucking shut up! This despite one character putting their hand over another character’s mouth to shut them up being a major motif. It’s a movie starring a group of pre-teen boys, and though they’re not quite as naturalistic as the kids in E.T. (which I think they were deliberately modeled after) they do have an accurate 12-year-old-boy energy, which means they’re constantly joking and giggling and bickering and yelling over each other and telling each other to be quiet. I was less patient with them than my mom must’ve been with my carload of friends, so for years after that viewing I would say that GOONIES feels like being tricked into chaperoning somebody else’s kids at Chuck E. Cheese. I didn’t remember that Martha Plimpton’s slightly older character actually sums up the movie well when she says something similar: “I feel like I’m babysitting except I’m not getting paid.”
Fast forward to today. The futuristic year of 2020. That figurative trip to Chuck E. Cheese was considerably longer ago than the double-screening birthday party had been at that time. Since then I’ve learned things. I’ve been through things. My tastes have changed. The world has turned more goonie. I was kind of excited to see it again and find out if I still hated it. I had no idea if I would. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: adventure, Amblin, Anne Ramsey, Chris Columbus, Corey Feldman, Dave Grusin, Jeff Cohen, Joe Pantoliano, John Matuszak, Jonathan Ke Quan, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton, Mary Ellen Trainor, pirates, Richard Donner, Robert Davi, Sean Astin, Steve Antin, Steven Spielberg, Summer of 1985
Posted in Family, Reviews | 52 Comments »
Monday, July 2nd, 2018
SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO, like its predecessor SICARIO, is a bleak, uncomfortable peek into a hellish world of violence depicted near our southern border. Cartels go about their business with savage brutality. U.S. agencies blur and push and blatantly leap across every legal or moral line they ever heard of. The Americans hire a Mexican lawyer turned killer to do the dirty stuff because he wants revenge on those who murdered his family. But they also seem pretty okay with doing the dirty stuff themselves.
Criminals, cops and soldiers all ride on the backs of humvees or pickup trucks or in helicopters, some of them caravanning across the border with impunity, wrapped in armor, strapped with high capacity rifles, hiding behind their sunglasses and gritting their teeth until something pops off and then they pound hundreds of rounds through glass, metal and meat, leaving the wreckage of vehicles and their inhabitants to bake under the hot sun on the pavement or in the dirt. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Keener, Josh Brolin, Matthew Modine, Taylor Sheridan
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 19 Comments »
Monday, April 30th, 2018
(Honestly it would be hard to spoil everything major that happens in this movie, because it’s hard to keep track of it all. But this review is loose and reckless with SPOILERS)
I learned in 2012 when THE AVENGERS came out to never underestimate Marvel. So on the third AVENGERS movie, INFINITY WAR, I figured they could pull it off – they could combine most of the main characters developed over 17 previous movies (people from the IRON MAN movies, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the CAPTAIN AMERICA movies, the THOR movies, the AVENGERS movies, the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies, DOCTOR STRANGE, SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING and BLACK PANTHER) into one big super hero monster mash. But back when I had first learned that lesson, when they introduced the purple CGI space monster villain Thanos after the credits, I gotta admit I was still skeptical. I didn’t know how they were gonna make that guy cool.
They did it. To me he’s their best villain outside of Killmonger. It’s a cliche to say that comic book characters are the Greek gods of the modern age, but Thanos (Josh Brolin, JONAH HEX) is the villain that most lives up to that description. In fact, one minor problem I had with the movie is that he seems so convincingly powerful I wondered what the hell the Avengers and the Guardians thought they were doing repeatedly going after him. Like, come on Star Lord (Chris Pratt, ZERO DARK THIRTY), why are you pointing a laser gun at this guy and acting like that’s gonna do anything? Are you stupid? (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anthony Mackie, Anthony Russo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Olsen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Brolin, Letitia Wright, Mark Ruffalo, Marvel Comics, Robert Downey Jr., Sam Hargrave, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana
Posted in Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews | 104 Comments »
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
GANG IN BLUE is a made-for-Showtime Melvin & Mario Van Peebles father-son directorial collabo from 1996. Mario plays Rhoades, a righteous cop surrounded by corrupt racists in a secret cop gang called The Phantoms. Please think of these “Phantoms” as dudes in white ghost hoods, not purple tights and skull rings. Their only uniform, though, is their regular police one or their tattoos or their softball jerseys and jackets, ’cause their softball team is also called The Phantoms. There must be some naive soul on the force who sees the tattoos and thinks “Geez, those guys are really into softball.”
Rhoades talks about hiring diversity and minority policing of minority neighborhoods while his co-workers are talking about “ching-chong” and “homeboys” and “ooga booga” and “the jungle” and calling people “animals” like Trump always does. His presence fucks everything up when they go to shake down an illegal casino. Despite all the anti-racism talk the only Asian we see after these stereotypical gangsters is a thickly accented officer at headquarters who’s kind of a doofus. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Cynda Williams, J.T. Walsh, Josh Brolin, made-for-cable-movies, Mario Van Peebles, Melvin Van Peebles, police brutality, Stephen Lang
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 5 Comments »
Monday, October 19th, 2015
Here we go yo, here we go yo, so what’s a what’s a what’s a sicario? In Mexico, the onscreen text tells us, it’s a hitman. And the movie SICARIO is a nightmarish portrait of the byzantine conflict such a hitman would be in the middle of. Literally that would be the War On Drugs but metaphorically, it’s easy to think, it could be about the War On Terror, or any number of seemingly intractable cycles of violence. This is, after all, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (PRISONERS, ENEMY) making an American movie about Mexico. It’s international and cross-cultural.
Our guide into Hell is Emily Blunt (EDGE OF TOMORROW, LOOPER) as Kate Macer, a new but talented FBI agent who raids a drug house in Phoenix and accidentally finds where a cartel has been stashing bodies. Next thing you know a meeting room full of mysterious higher-ups recruits her to aid in a vaguely defined interagency mission they say will lead her to the people responsible. She finds herself at an Air Force base with a couple dozen macho CIA, Delta Force and US Marshal tough guys who all seem to go way back and know exactly what’s going on and do this kinda mission in their sleep. And next thing you know they’re cruising over the border meeting up with militarized Mexican police forces and God knows who else. Nobody tells Kate anything. She just has to stay quiet and keep up. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Benicio Del Toro, cartels, Denis Villeneuve, Emily Blunt, Jon Bernthal, Josh Brolin, Mexican border, Roger Deakins, War On Drugs
Posted in Action, Crime, Reviews | 25 Comments »
Monday, December 1st, 2014
I’m not saying I liked SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR exactly, but it wasn’t as bad as reported. Considering that its two directors’ last films were THE SPIRIT and MACHETE KILLS, which I would consider among the worst things I’ve ever paid to see in theaters, this almost seems like a real movie.
It has all the same problems as the first SIN CITY without the novelty of being a weird new approach to a comic book adaptation, and with very little technological or stylistic advancement considering it was done 9 years later. But I think maybe things bugged me about the first one that people overlooked at the time and now are having a problem with, so they’re being harder on it than me. I don’t know. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bruce, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Frank Miller, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Lady Gaga, Powers Boothe, Ray Liotta, Robert Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson
Posted in Comic strips/Super heroes, Crime, Reviews | 36 Comments »
Monday, March 14th, 2011
I can dig a good western, and alot of critics have been saying that JONAH HEX is even better than TRUE GRIT, so I thought I should check it out.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. Also it’s not at all true. Armond White doesn’t count as somebody seriously for real liking JONAH HEX. But I’m a positive individual so I was trying to put a good spin on it. Believe it or not though I don’t have to delve into too much negativity for this review. JONAH HEX is not as bad as I was expecting, or as people have said. It definitely doesn’t work, but I don’t consider it a total abomination. It is beautiful in God’s eyes, it’s only on this earthly plane that it gets bullied because of its deformed face.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aidan Quinn, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, John Malkovich, Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon, Nevildine/Taylor, Tom Wopat, Wes Bentley, Will Arnett
Posted in Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews, Western | 189 Comments »
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Jeff Bridges makes a great Rooster Cogburn – weird froggy voice, sloppy beard, aura of laziness, legitimately kind of disgusting as he’s introduced taking a shit and later casually pisses himself. If you don’t know the character from the novel by Charles Portis, or from John Wayne’s Academy Award winning portrayal in the 1969 version, or from the considerably less Academy Award winning sequel, or perhaps Warren Oates in the TV movie version, or obviously the episode of Scooby-Doo where Rooster has to figure out which Harlem Globetrotter has been replaced by an evil Moon-man, then let me fill you in: Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn is an eccentric, one-eyed civil war vet turned U.S. Marshall who “really knows how to pull a cork” and has a reputation for unnecessary but high quality shootings of suspects. So he’s the bounty hunter of choice for 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who wants to “finish [her] father’s affairs” by chasing down the drunken ranch hand who killed him and fled into Chocktaw territory with the Lucky Ned Pepper gang.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Barry Pepper, Charles Portis, Coen Brothers, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon
Posted in Reviews, Western | 106 Comments »