Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Movie Reviewz

The Founder took kind of an interesting tack to differ from a lot of biopics.  It’s about 30% “the McDonald brothers were too small-time, and it took Ray Kroc’s vision to make McDonalds what it is,” and 70% “man, Ray Kroc was an ass.”  Sticking with the percentages, Michael Keaton played Kroc as a 33.3% split of Beetlejuice, Gil from the Simpsons and Dan Aykroyd’s character in Tommy Boy.  It was an okay movie and, admittedly, a pretty effective subliminal advertisement for McDonalds.  By the time it was over, I was starving for a burger. 


I was starving for Kleenex after seeing A Monster Calls since, after many years, we have another addition to the list of Movies That Made Mark Cry.  The others are…

1. E.T The Extra-Terrestrial, the scene when it looks like E.T. has died.  Eight-year-old Mark bought that one hook, line and sinker.

2. Rudy, the whole end sequence when Rudy finally gets to play.  This whole movie is corny as hell, but shut up!  I remember watching this with my family when I was a kid and we were all bawling.  Even watching it today, I get fired up by Jerry Goldsmith’s legendary score.

3. Up, the first 15 minutes.  Aside from possibly the ending of Old Yeller (which I’ve never seen), this very well might be the single most tear-inducing sequence in movie history.  I’ve never been in a theatre audience where virtually everyone was openly crying at the same time.*  And to have that sequence OPEN UP THE MOVIE?  That’s some sort of evil Pixar genius.  It just gut-punches you right from the get-go.

* = well, except for walking out of Batman vs. Superman.  “Why did we spend our money on that?  Wahhhhhh!”

Honourable mention: Rocky’s “my whole life is behind me” monologue in Creed, which had 39 years of movie history behind it and the single-best acting of Sly Stallone’s career.  I found myself getting a little misty-eyed but didn’t cry outright, so it didn’t quite count.

And now, there’s A Monster Calls, which is not a great movie overall but is basically specifically designed to make you weep.  It is impossible to watch the ending sequence with Felicity Jones in the hospital without thinking of one of your own loved ones.  Do not watch this one without a healthy amount of tissues nearby, or else you’ll have to use your popcorn bag like I did.  The butter burned my eyes! 


Spoilers ahead!

The twist ending of Split is technically not really a twist ending.  I mean, it does take place during the credits, after all; you can watch the entire movie proper and enjoy it as a stand-alone entity.  If anything, I was more impressed by M. Night Shyamalan’s very effective red herring of a twist — when we got the reveal of Kevin’s last name as ‘Crumb,’ I was fully expecting to learn that Casey’s name was actually K.C. and she (and everyone else in the film) was just another one of Kevin’s personalities.  This isn’t an uncommon twist ending for any multiple-personality storyline, so I was preparing myself to be disappointed having “figured it out,” only to be delighted at the actual final twist in the credits.

And hey, let’s give it up to Shyamalan for regaining some of his mojo.  That guy was in the tailspin of tailspins but this movie was legitimately good and “The Visit” even got some good reviews.  This could be a bigger comeback than Cavaliers/Warriors if Shyamalan is able to get back on track as a quality filmmaker.  Maybe it’ll take a full-fledged Unbreakable sequel to get it done.

No comments: