Premise: It’s very simple. Jim from The Office in a Michael Bay movie about Benghazi.
Premise: Tom Hanks stars as master baker James Bonovan, who in the cold war must bridge the gap between the delicious German blachindla and the savory Russian vatrushka in order to create a sense of – oh wait… That’s Bridge of Pies. Sorry. Tom Hanks stars as master spy James Sonovan, who in the Cold War got in a heated dispute with rival Soviet spy about a missing vatrushka from his apartment and – no, wait… That’s Fridge of Spies… I am sooooo sorry. Tom Hanks stars as master food builder James Fonovan, who – Ok, wait, before we waste any more time, that’s Ridge of Fries we’re talking about, and you know it. Which one in particular are *you* looking for a premise to? Bridge of Spies…? Oh, OK. Tom Hanks stars are master insurance lawyer who must negotiate a deal to trade two opposing spies during the Cold War.
Since this was such a huge movie that surpassed all reason and logic for normal movie reviewing, and since there’s so many characters involved, I thought that I’d avoid comparing whether I liked the explosion 12 minutes in more than the explosion 47 minutes in, and just rank all the characters from best to worst. Plus, the more I think about it, the one 47 minutes in was way better.
Not to take away from the film itself, but my favorite moment during my screening of Winter Soldier came from the audience. I actually went and saw this on Saturday night, which I rarely do. As anticipated, I had to sit next to a stranger, and not once, but *twice*, I had to smell someone else’s fart waft past my face. I’ll be going back to my 11 am screenings next time, when everyone sits 15 seats away from each other, thank you very much. Anyway, during the villain’s first real appearance, immediately after he blows up a car and the film goes dramatically silent for a few seconds; about three rows behind me a (possibly ponytailed, possibly unwashed) nerd said in a slightly above regular volume voice to (I assume) either his naive girlfriend or possibly disappointed mother with all the plugged-nose, smarmy gravitas you’d expect to hear at a Magic: The Gathering tournament… “THAT’S the Winter Soldieeeerrrrr.” I wanted to bottle that moment up and store it away until it ages to perfection, popping the cork in 2025 when Avengers 7: The Return of Bucky comes out so I can savor those saccharine, contemptuous flavors for just one more glorious day.
Premise: Liam Neeson is an air marshal, and also an alcoholic, who has a daughter, and is tired of doing his job. All of this is revealed in the first 45 seconds of the movie; as he sits in his car, takes a swig of whiskey, touches a picture of his daughter, and acts morose about going into work. *That’s* how you character develop shit, son! Anyway, someone from aboard the international overnight flight accesses Neeson’s restricted cell phone line, and starts texting him threats that one person on the plane will die every twenty minutes until he delivers $150 million to a bank account. This is followed by NON-STOP UH-OHS.
This is my third year in a row going over the Oscar nominated animated short films, and in the previous two years I predicted the correct winners, so I feel like there’s some decent credibility for my cartoon watching building up here. That will only make it that much more hilarious when I totally get it wrong this year. Because this time around, surprisingly, not a single entry was terrible, but nothing really stood out as a super clear front-runner either…
Premise: Four Navy SEALs (played by Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, and the only guy whose name wasn’t surprisingly hard to spell, Ben Foster) get sent on “Operation Red Wings” in Afghanistan, a mission designed to assassinate a top Taliban leader in a remote mountain village. Then things go awry when they run into a trio of sheep farmers in the wilderness. When they let them go and not kill them, one of the turds immediately runs down and rats them out to the Taliban jerks, and the SEALs go under heavy attack. Seems like with our government’s military spending, we should have turned this into DRONE Survivor. Am I right, folks?! No? Ok. Whatever. I’ll just copy and paste that joke into my “Send to Jay Leno” Word document. Go to hell.