The Life of JaWS

A blog by Jason Sansbury

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Moviefest Weekend

So as I have said, weekends are bad when you are new to town and do really know anyone. So this weekend, I worked on unpacking (some) and watching movies. Here are the verdicts so far.

World Trade Center (Seen on Friday afternoon at the Bellevue 8, right near my apartment.)
I really chose this movie mainly because of time. In general, I am a fan of neither Oliver Stone (the director) nor Nicolas Cage (the main actor). But on the whole, I enjoyed this film.

For starters, I found it to be very a-political. As everyone knows, 9-11 has become a very divisive thing. The right wing of the world talks about the declaration of the war by terrorists on us all. The left wing of the world generally bashes the right wing and says we shouldn’t be in Iraq, etc. And with a director like Oliver Stone, it had the potential of being a piece of propaganda. Surprisingly, it wasn’t.

The story focuses on two main families and what happened when their Port Authority husbands went into the Twin Towers just before the first one collapsed. I thought for the most part, the story was told extremely well and it helps to understand the sacrifice that the people like police and firemen make all the time. I would classify it as a solid rent, while it didn’t have any great acting performances, it did have a story that deserves to be told.

The Greatest Game Ever Played (Seen on DVD Saturday morning)
Again, a solid rent. I am a big fan of young Shia LeBeouf, who has the potential to become one of the key actors of this next wave of people. It is basically the story of the 1913 US Open golf tournament and a local player who participated. Again, nothing great. As a bonus, Bill Paxson, star of the hit movie “Twister”, served as director and has some hilarious lines during the special features section. Suffice it to say, Bill may be a little too big a fan of his own movie.

(Side rant: The Sansbury theory of the Bills- I am of the belief that Bill Paxson and Bill Pullman are absolutely interchangeable in all of their roles. Not that casting one of them would make a movie better or worse. I mean you would get the exact same performance. Put Bill Paxson in “Independence Day” and imagine the speech near the end; no change. Same exact performance. Put Bill Pullman in ‘Twister” and you get the exact same performance. So, if you are a Hollywood casting agent, bring them both in and get a bidding war going. Cheaper Bill wins. And neither is a great actor but neither is a terrible actor.)

The Matador (Seen on DVD Saturday night)
Dangerous admission #1: In the 1980s, I was a big fan of the television show “Remington Steele.” There I said it. I was a fan of a show that is most likely in reruns on the Oxygen network. But I was a fan of it in large part because of the comic genius of one Pierce Brosnan. Before he became James Bond, Brosnan was a great comedic character, and in this movie, he gets the chance to show those chops.

The basic premise is that Brosnan plays a contract killer (“a facilitator of fatalities”) that on his birthday goes through a mid-life crisis and wants to become a regular guy. So he befriends a regular Joe while in Mexico and begins a friendship that results in a pretty decent dark comedy.

It bodes well for Pierce Brosnan. He has the chops to become in his older age a Michael Caine, working in a diverse number of roles and opportunities, from serious to comedic. (If you were going to remake “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, Brosnan would be a perfect older guy ala Michael Caine. Of course, if you re-make it, some idiot casting director would give the younger guy role to some like Ashton Kucher and ruin the whole thing.)


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