Josh Brolin, son of the veteran actor James Brolin, has been following in his father’s footsteps since he first appeared in Goonies over 30 years ago. Brolin has matured into one of the most reliable character actors in Hollywood (even though that character is usually some variation on either an oily creep or an affable modern cowboy, he still manages to make either one work very very well). Brolin has been part of extremely talented ensembles in memorable films like Sicario, Only the Brave, American Gangster, and In the Valley of Elah. A favorite of the Coen Brothers in films like Hail Caesar!, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, Brolin is capping one of the more memorable summers in recent memories with three big sequels in less than two months. The most memorable film moment so far in 2018 was Brolin’s in Avengers: Infinity War as his uber-MCU villain Thanos’s “Snap Heard Across the Universe” still has comic fans breathing into paper bags.
Continue reading Josh Brolin’s 10 Best Movies
Tommy Lee Jones has a career of crusty and cantankerous curmudgeons stretching back nearly 50 years. From working oil rigs in Texas, Jones ended up at Harvard rooming with eventual US Vice-President Al Gore. Despite some early successes in The Coal Miner’s Daughter and The Executioner’s Song, the veteran career actor really didn’t become a star until the early 1990s: after over 20 years of putting in his dues. Lonesome Dove, JFK, Under Siege, and then his Oscar-winning turn in The Fugitive turned him into one of Hollywood’s most reliable actors. Jones’s Texas roots always give him a grounded authenticity whether he’s playing a Man in Black, an ally of Lincoln, a military man or a grieving father. He is a master of economy with emotional range, allotting just enough for what the scene requires, but always leaving the audience with a feeling that there’s more going on behind his steely gaze. Quite simply, if you see Tommy Lee Jones is in a movie, you have to pay attention to it.
Continue reading Tommy Lee Jones’s 10 Best Movies
CineFix is back with another great list looking at one of my favorite movie genres: the thriller. As always, CineFix does such a fantastic job with their lists (which you can find an archive of at their YouTube channel if you click here). Their top 10 lists aren’t so much just straightforward lists, but a breakdown of the different elements that make up their topic, then picking one outstanding example of each element to put together their 10 selections. For example: with the thriller there are films that rely on tension, physical danger, comedic suspense, film noir, etc. As always, they usually pick as one of their considerations what I would have chosen as the actual number, but they do such an educational job of moving through film-not just recent movies but the entire history of cinema-that I always learn something or find a film I need to add to my watch list by perusing their picks. If your first experience with Martin McDonagh’s particular brand of dark humor was Three Bridges Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, then you really need to go back and watch Seven Psychopaths and on of CineFix’s picks: In Bruges. What did you find missing, not just from the honorable mentions, but from the list entirely? As his Annihilation opens today, I thought the exclusion of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina was particularly glaring, but what stood out to you?
CineFix is, again, for film lovers, one of the best content producers on YouTube, constantly throwing up thought-provoking lists that are unique that each entry on it tends to summarize an entire category. For example, for this Top 10 Shootouts List, there’s battles, international films, science fiction films, westerns, etc. While their lists don’t always line up with what mine would be, I often learn a lot, and at least four from their list would undoubtedly make mine including their #1. First, as a content warning, this is a top ten list about gun violence so it is obviously violent and thus fair warning is given. Continue reading Top 10: Movie Shootouts of All-Time
There was a recent article I read that said that Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is the most accurate portrayal of a psychopath in film history. I don’t know if that’s a compliment to Bardem or, if you watch this film in close tandem with Skyfall, a reason to scream if you ever see him coming at you. In both performances, as he is always, Bardem is astounding and deserved his Oscar for this film.
No Country for Old Men may be one of the most frustrating films that I’ve ever seen. The first hour is perfect, then something goes horribly awry and the back-end of the film is an incoherent mess leading to one of the worst endings in any “Best Picture” I’ve ever seen. You can’t deny the perfection of the “Coin Toss” scene, though. It’s tense, brilliantly written and a completely iconic moment for Chigurh’s character. No matter how frustrated I become at the movie’s second half, I could watch this scene a thousand times. The Coen Brothers are hit and miss with me like that. Their latest, Hail Caesar, is getting good reviews and should be something to check out when it hits theaters this week.