Posts Tagged ‘Joan Cusack’

Say Anything… – Minute Movie Review

Freitag, Oktober 8th, 2010

Review:

Lovable loser John Cusack decides to date high school valedictorian Ione Skye. Surprisingly, she actually agrees to this. What follows is a sweet story about first love, combined with some unnecessary dramatic elements and some clever dialogue. Young John Cusack is adorable and his character Lloyd Dobler might be the most sought-after guy in movie history. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, the film showcases his raw talent for emotionally touching stories, without ever achieving greatness, for it is too mired in mediocrities.

Random Observations:

Say Anything… at the IMDb

Well, will you look at that. This really has been “80s teen comedy week”.

John Cusack’s sister is played by Joan Cusack, his real life sister. Sort of like Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko. Only much earlier.

Crowe already displayed his interest in music here. An interest that earlier and later culminated in Almost Famous, the somewhat biographical film about his experiences of working for Rolling Stone as a teenager.

My Bodyguard – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Oktober 6th, 2010

Review:

At his new school, fifteen-year-old Chris Makepeace is bullied, so he decides to hire the one guy everyone is scared of, Adam Baldwin, as his bodyguard. The business relationship soon develops into a friendship as their limits are severely tested. The film doesn’t quite know what to do with the premise. It crams a few too many plot elements into the erratically told story and waivers between serious drama and light-hearted comedy. There is much promise here, but ultimately very little pay-off. Solid performances, especially from Ruth Gordon as Makepeace’s grandmother, make for an entertaining film, but it’s kind of sad to think what it could have been.

Random Observations:

My Bodyguard at the IMDb

I have to admit that I mostly picked up this film to see the début of Adam Baldwin, of firefly fame, who is decidedly not a Baldwin brother.

This appears to be “80s teen movie week”. No idea how this happened. Check in Friday to see whether it continues.

Another film with a very young Joan Cusack. And also a very young Matt Dillon. While instantly recognizable, they sure have changed a lot in thirty years.

Sixteen Candles – Minute Movie Review

Montag, Oktober 4th, 2010

Review:

A day before her sister’s wedding, Molly Ringwald’s entire family forgets her sixteenth birthday. And that is not the only trouble she has: the boy she likes doesn’t even know her and she has to fend of the advances of perennial geek Anthony Michael Hall. In short, not one of her better days, but things are definitely looking up in this classic teen comedy from classic teen comedy writer-director John Hughes, his début feature. He hasn’t quite gotten the grip on teen angst he later demonstrated with The Breakfast Club and the film is not nearly as outrageously funny as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it’s a solid first effort that is definitely worth seeing if you’ve ever been a teenager and especially if you were a teenager in suburban America in the 1980s.

Random Observations:

Sixteen Candles at the IMDb

Both Hughes regulars were only fifteen when the film was made, actually fitting the age of their characters.

John Cusack has a small role in this film as another geek – not quite the role he’ll be remembered for.

His sister Joan Cusack is also in this film. And a Beth Ringwald – Molly’s older sister. John Hughes definitely made family films…

Dear God, was Long Duk Dong ever offensive. I always thought political correctness had arisen in the early 80s.

Les Girls – Minute Movie Review

Freitag, Juli 30th, 2010

Review:

When a tell-all autobiography leads to a libel suit, both parties tell conflicting stories about their time with “Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly) and Les Girls”. Told in flashback, both Kay Kendall and Taina Elg tell about the other’s love for Barry, while third girl Mitzi Gaynor seems uninvolved. Naturally, a third story is needed. The film is quite funny, more a comedy than a musical or dance film. It’s not the most original idea, but it’s decently executed and allows all stars a time to shine.

Random Observations:

Les Girls at the IMDb

I would be very surprised to learn that Rashômon was not the inspiration for the film.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Joan Cusack by both Kay Kendall and Taina Elg, despite the fact that none of the three looks anything like the other two.

Last film for which Cole Porter wrote the music, although of course his songs have been featured in a large number of films since then.

Directed by George Cukor, possibly one of the greatest American comedy directors of all time. His credits also include films like The Philadelphia Story and Holiday.

This concludes week three of our four week focus on American Cinema of the 1950s. So far, we have seen some great suspenseful comedies and musical thrillers, while we also learned that neither Hitchcock nor Kelly make for engaging melodrama.

Hero (1992) – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Mai 26th, 2010

Review:

Small time crook Dustin Hoffman has screwed up. He has been caught selling stolen goods and now forces jail time. And while he happily steals money from his novice lawyer, he also takes her advice to visit his son to make a good impression on the judge seriously. On his way there, he witnesses a plane crash and saves all passengers by opening the door. But when reporter Geena Davis, who was on the plane, offers a million dollar reward for the hero coming forward, he is in jail and homeless Andy Garcia takes the credit. In short, things seem to be about as bas as they can possibly get, in this interesting, but flawed comedy-drama. Parts of it are just played for laughs, while other parts actually serve as an examination of human nature, the nature of heroics and so on. Some clever dialogue and a surprising, fast-moving story makes this film much better than it’s reputation. Just don’t expect a laugh a minute.

Random Observations:

Hero at the IMDb

The film was retitled Accidental Hero for the UK release. While I think the original title fits better, I understand the need to differentiate from the 762 other films called Hero.

Director Stephen Frears is today more known for his serious fare, like The Queen. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the film was at one point intended as a regular drama. Take away the tacky music and a few scenes, and little comedic is left.

Screenwriter David Webb Peoples also wrote such classics as Blade Runner and Unforgiven.

I think I shall make this Dustin Hoffman week. Expect more reviews of films with him in lead or supporting rules in the next days.