Joe Dante has always had this peculiar style that’s always helped his films stand out among everyone else’s. “The ‘Burbs” is another of his films that features the suburban unit being terrorized or working themselves up in to a stir. Dante loves to put his hands in to the perceived American norm and stir it up with some chaos and anarchy. It’s hard to believe that “The ‘Burbs” was originally a flop, as it’s managed to become one of the most highly appreciated cult classics of all time. In the face of the passing of the late great Carrie Fisher, if you’ve yet to see it, you definitely owe it to yourself to.
Steven Spielberg’s latest bad movie attempts to recapture the emotional drama surrounding the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers. One might imagine that the film would highlight the challenges and consequences faced by Daniel Ellsberg in ferrying the documents out of the realm of government classified restrictions, or the efforts of the New York Times in bringing these astonishing documents to the public. Instead, the crux of the film is curiously focused on the Washington Post, which was late to reporting the story but wound up picking up the publication of the Pentagon Papers’ contents after the Nixon White House threw temporary legal obstacles in the Times’ path.
In 2009, New Yorkers were submitted to watching what media branded “The Miracle on the Hudson,” and seven years later, director Clint Eastwood tries harder than ever to transform the very unique event in to something of a hero’s journey. Eastwood takes Sully Sullenberger’s story and transforms it in to an unremarkable and tedious drama that would be so much more appropriate as a Sunday night movie on basic cable, if Sully were played by Neil McDonough or Tom Selleck. Tom Hanks can play a role like this in his sleep, and in “Sully,” he evokes the exact same tones and character elements we saw him master in “Captain Phillips.” In Eastwoods ho hum drama, Hanks is the poor man’s Captain Phillips, sensationalized to look distressed and making very hard decisions in a very tough situation.
There’s just something about Joe Dante in where he loves to shake up American middle class. We have suburbanites fighting killer gremlins, suburbanites fighting killer toys, suburbanites fighting werewolves, and now suburbanites basically turning on one another. “The Burbs” watches like something of a sick mid-quel of “Rear Window” and “The Trouble with Harry” in where the mundane is flipped on its head and transformed in to a veritable nightmare for a bunch of neighbors in a seemingly small cul de sac.
Anyone who knows me or has even an inkling of what my reviews are like know I love almost everything Spielberg does, and Spielberg manages, through “The Terminal” to create a sense of something that all comedies lack: humanity, and through its humanity, comedy that is all so amusing and likable (I laughed aloud whenever Navorski looked into the surveillance cameras). Spielberg creates a film in the Capra-esque sensibility and it creates human characters that people can love and or feel sorry for in the process. Viktor Navorski is now a man without a country after his beloved country of Krakozhia engages in a coup and war breaks loose. His passport, visa, and anything else he owns are now deemed confederate dollar rendered basically useless. The problem is he can not step foot in America, and he can not go back home, so now he’s marooned in the airport.
Adapted from the graphic novel and based on a true story of the Sullivan family in the early thirties who are all tight knit with a rich old man named John Rooney whose known Mike Sullivan, the head of the Sullivan family since he was a child and raised him. Mike’s kids Peter and Michael (Tyler Hoechlin) soon become curious of Mike’s job. One night, young Michael follows his father on one of his “missions” and learns the gruesome secret of his job. In an attempt to protect his son from being hunted by a vicious assassin named McGuire, he sets out on the road with his son to search for salvation and dodge death.
Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the age old story of man vs. Nature! In one corner, a city man who is stranded on an island, on the other corner, a deserted island in the middle of nowhere with no food or shelter! Who will conquer? You have to watch to find out! Every once and a while, every two or three years, a movie comes along with such power, such strength, and such drama, it makes me realize maybe Hollywood hasn’t lost all of its hope in making a good movie. Tom Hanks’ role is so excellent and powerful, that he actually touches you through the screen with his performance.