A couple of weeks ago, they celebrated 25 years since the invention and launch of the internet which was the day society went forwards and backwards. The film I chose for today deals with computers, but in the form of Hackers. Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) plays Dade Williams, a kid who was arrested as a child for creating the biggest computer crash in history. He was banned from using computers until he hit the age of 18. Unfortunately, he gets pulled back into the world of hacking when a friend (Jesse Bradford) uncovers a sinister plot to steal money and blame hackers for the crime. So, Dade and his friends, will get together to try and stop an evil hacker before they are all arrested and put away for good. The film also stars Angelina Jolie (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) as Kate, Matthew Lillard (She’s All That) as Cereal, Laurence Mason (The Crow) as Nikon, Renoly Santiago (Con Air) as Phreak, Fisher Stevens (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Plague, Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas) as Margo, Wendell Pierce (The Gift) as Agent Dick Gill, Marc Anthony (Carlito’s Way) as Agent Ray, Darren Lee (Chicago) as Razor, Peter Y. Kim (Louie) as Blade, and the film was directed by Iain Softley (K-Pax).
This was such a typical 90’s film with all the aesthetics from the soundtrack, the shots, the montages with non related computer language going across the screen, etc. The computers they used in the film are so lame looking. Some of them looked like the small portable DVD players you can buy in the stores and others like bigger screened Gameboys. Artistically and stylistically it’s such a 90’s film, but it’s cool because we got some great movies from the 90’s and this is obviously one of them. It’s crazy to see Angelina Jolie in this movie with short hair (she looks sexy), but she was amazing along with her husband at the time (or after the film) Jonny Lee Miller. They definitely played a great onscreen duo because there was chemistry. I usually have a hard time taking Fisher Stevens seriously as a villain, but I feel that this film was tailor made for him. He was the perfect villain for the hacker heroes of the time. You also have to look at the people that starred in this film like Matthew Lillard (who would go on to star in Scream) and Jesse Bradford (who would go on to star in Romeo + Juliet) who was one of my favorite characters because he’s so desperate to belong among the hackers that he causes the dilemma in the first place. If you’re into checking out the 90’s scene which included outrageous attire that I wouldn’t dare touch then check out Hackers. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Sometimes there are films that come out that either get a bad review or there just not in the theaters that long that I overlook them. That was definitely the case with today’s film Hail, Caesar! which was gone before I got around to seeing it. The film stars Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Hollywood Fixer Eddie Mannix who works for Capitol Studios. Eddie has a lot on his plate with having to take a western star (Alden Ehrenreich) and shuffle him to a completely different genre, trying to hide a pregnancy out of wedlock from the public eye, and even trying to figure out who kidnapped his lead star (George Clooney) during the middle of filming a really big epic movie. It’s either that or he accepts a job to work in a completely different field. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Laurence Laurentz, Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) as DeeAnna Moran, Tilda Swinton (Moonrise Kingdom) as Thora/ Thessaly Thacker, Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) as Burt Gurney, Frances McDormand (Fargo) as C.C. Calhoun, Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street) as Joe Silverman, Veronica Osorio (Diego And Valentina) as Carlotta Valdez, Alison Pill (Milk) as Mrs. Mannix, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Communist Writer, and the film was directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen (No Country For Old Men).
I am a huge fan of the olden days of Hollywood and America at the time with the fashion, hairstyles, and just the way of life. So it’s easy for me to say that I really enjoyed that aspect of the film, but as far as the overall film was concerned, I didn’t think it was a great film. I thought the film was relatively OK for a Cohen’s brothers movie. The film for a while seemed to be a behind the scenes look at what went down in the classic Hollywood era of the big studios and the way they covered up scandals from the press. The kidnapping of George Clooney’s character to me seemed more like a side story than the main focus of the film which kind of bothered me, but usually anything that was happening it always went back to it. Some of the things I enjoyed watching was how the films were made and the big scenes that we saw like the pool scene with Scarlet or the bar scene with Channing. Those were some of the cool moments of the film that maybe people overlooked. The film was also commentary on the ideals of those times especially with the paranoia of communism. That was a big issue back in those days and the writers are the ones that organize it in this film. They feel they need more recognition than they get which was also maybe a sign of the times then. It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not great either. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. Rent it from Redbox or On demand if it’s available.
There are actors from the 1980’s that I have always thought were iconic and Matt Dillon (The Outsiders) is certainly one of them. So, when I saw that a movie of his was on sale at a grocery store for 3 bucks, I jumped at the chance to watch it. So, today’s film is the 1984 film The Flamingo Kid which stars Dillon as Jeffrey Willis. Jefferey is your everyday average 18 year old who just graduated from high school. He is certainly uncertain as to what the future may hold for him despite his parents expectations. That summer, Jeffrey gets a job a very exclusive beach club called The El Flamingo and he begins to think he knows what he wants when he listens tot he club’s prestigious gin player Mr. Brody (Richard Crenna). Brody fills his head with dreams of fortune, but Jeffrey will have to figure it out for himself on this coming of age story. The film also stars Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman) as Arthur Willis, Jessica Walter (Archer) as Mrs. Brody, Janet Jones (The Beastmaster) as Carla, Brian McNamara (Caddyshack II) as Steve, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Hawk, Leon (Above The Rim) as Fortune, Bronson Pinchot (Risky Business) as Alfred, and the film was directed by Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman).
We call it a coming of age story because the character goes in not knowing a lot and through some event, he grows and comes out smarter than before. Jefferey Willis has a coming of age story through his relationship with Carla and his experience with Mr. Brody. Her thinks Mr. Brody is the king sh**, but soon learns through an event that he’s just as much a phony as anyone. He comes out at the end knowing what’s right and what’s wrong and what he should do with the rest of his life hence the coming of age story. One thing that we can certainly say about Matt Dillon is that he puts on an incredible performance in the film as he normally did back in those days. The truth is that a lot of the actors in the film did an amazing job including the great Hector Elizondo who plays the hard working father with a dream that feels threatened by the flashy Mr. Brody. I loved how the film was set in the 1950’ss I believe with the cars, the clothing, and the music. The 50’s is definitely one of my favorite eras of history in America. The set designers and wardrobe people along with hair and makeup deserve some definite kudos from me for the good job they did on this film. Overall, this is just a great film from beginning to end and it’s definitely one you should check out if you are a fan of Garry Marshall. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Plus, How many of us out there can relate to Matt Dillon’s character when we were 18 years old? I bet it’s quite a lot!