Friday, August 8, 2014

1991: Leftovers

Before we get to the main courses, let's take out the leftovers.

Up until the ending, which I always thought was really stupid, Thelma & Louise is a solid, entertaining road trip/buddy picture with good performances from Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon and Harvey Keitel.  Ridley Scott goes his usual solid job of directing and while it does get a little heavy handed at times (the ending isn't some great bold original thing, every other action film in the 70's ended pretty much the same goddamn way), it's still quite good.

Not good enough to be on the honorable mentions list and not funny enough for the guilty pleasures, this version of the Robin Hood legend lives and dies by the awesome performance by Alan Rickman as The Sheriff of Nottingham.  Kevin Costner and Christian Slater are awkward casting choices (though funnily enough, unlike Costner, Slater can do something vaguely resembling an English accent) but Rickman and Morgan Freeman make the most of their roles, delivering some nice moments.  Overall, the tone of the film is a little too dark for its own good (it's sort of like Robin Hood done up like The Dark Knight) and while there are some fun parts here and there, the whole thing just isn't as good as it could have been.

Michael J. Fox and James Woods are in fine form in this enjoyable action comedy from director John Badham.  Fox is a spoiled actor who wants to break away from his cheesy action hero persona and get something a little more hard edged.  He goes to New York to research for such a role, glomming onto tough detective James Woods who is trying to nail a serial killer known as "The Party Crasher".  Woods and Fox make for a fine comic duo with Woods turning in an especially funny performance.  Stephen Lang is fine as the bad guy and Badham delivers his usual blend of humor and action.  It's a pretty decent flick.

Coming soon: The Guilty Pleasures of 1991

3 comments:

  1. EDIT: If you have an ounce of decency in you, Ed, please edit my previous comment thusly, if you can, or else simply replace the former with this one. I should proofread more, I know, but my Internet comments are make from pure enthusiasm, and limited caution:

    Flaws an' all, Prince of Thieves was a hell of a lot more FUN than the recent Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe Robin Hood, right? And, for the record, I like Crowe and LOOOOOOOVE Cate Blanchett. But the movie...just dreary. Not bad, just not fun.

    Prince of Thieves still felt like it built upon the old storybook Errol Flynn/Claude Rains versions by being more mod-- well...post-Vietnam...(but realistic, in a Lawrence Kasdan) way. And the action was fun, and the villains were cartoonish - and let's not kid ourselves, that's not a huge departure from the days of Technicolor, Hays Code, and pre-Method acting).

    What I'm trying to say is, I loved the movie the first time I saw it, and for years afterwards, it was my default viewing everytime I was sick and couldn't go to school. "Mom, rent me 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', I'd say." It was an institution for me. THE film of my early school years, even over Star Wars, statistically. To this day, I think I can still watch that movie any time. It's not great. But it's good, in an undemanding way. Even if a few of the performances are wooden and fake as hell, the ensemble makes up for it. I think it does a fantastic job of walking the line between old-school fantasy/legend adventure tale and a modern gritty/realism focus.

    Datedness be damned, I will always love that movie.

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  2. My big problem with Thelma and Louise is that, every time one of them makes a decision, she may as well have said "What's the stupidest action I can take at this moment?" because that's what both of them wind up doing.

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    1. Precisely what drove me so crazy about that ending. It's one thing to have a character pick up the idiot ball once in a while, but to actively vie for it is something else.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.