Archives for posts with tag: Kevin Bacon

Grade C-

A family of four, including an autistic boy, takes a trip to the Grand Canyon and the boy falls into a cave that contains five stones that keep five ancient demons at bay.  The boy picks up the stones, puts them in his backpack, and joins the family and everybody goes home and weird things start to happen.

Strange noises, putrid smells, wild animals appearing suddenly, handprints…things escalate rapidly and the boy is blamed; but the parents wonder  maybe there are ghosts, but maybe it’s just the boy and he is becoming dangerous, then again maybe there are spirits, but the boy is acting funny and started a fire and almost burned down the house…the family can’t seem to make up its mind on what to do with the autistic son.  So he stays in the house and more weird but violent things happen.  The daughter knows there is something supernatural going on; the mom (played by Radha Mitchell) finally catches on and does research on the internet about paranormal stuff; and the dad (played by Kevin Bacon)…ha ha, good luck trying to convince him there are evil spooks in his house.

Oh, somewhere in the 2nd act, the daughter is revealed to be bulimic; Mitchell falls off the wagon and resumes her drinking problem; and Bacon is revealed to have cheated on his wife in the past and he has to deal with a hot assistant who is tempting him — all subplots that are completely unnecessary and makes the movie wander around and lose focus.  I believe the writer and director were trying to convey how the family was falling apart because of the influence of the evil spirits; but these things could have easily been cut out and made the story leaner and tighter with a better pace.

Back to the focus of “The Darkness”: the five demons are slowly using the boy to create a pathway for them to enter our world and destroy it. Why?  Um, it’s not mentioned, so I have to assume that they are just being demons.  Bacon and Mitchell must find a way to figure out what is going on and how to stop the evil from getting through, or else the world is doomed.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Darkness” is the scene when the portal opens up fully and instead of the spirits coming out, the autistic son goes in and the spirits are taking him deeper into the cave where the stones were originally hidden.  Huh? What?  Aren’t the spirits supposed to enter our world and destroy it?  So why are they retreating further into the cave where they have been trapped for hundreds of years?  Maybe I missed something but I don’t think so.  It just doesn’t add up.

“The Darkness” is well acted, well directed, has a decent plot, and provides a few scares that are mostly cheap.  From a technical point of view, it is mostly competent, the way a base model Honda Civic is competent at its job…but no way in hell does a Civic give you the same excitement and joy and fear as driving a Lamborghini Aventador will.  Understand?

— M

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“R.I.P.D.” comes in very much alive and kicking; and places high in the list of action/comedy, buddy cop movies.

Ryan Reynolds plays a psuedo-dirty cop who is partnered with all out, dirty cop played by Kevin Bacon.  The two have split chunks of gold they came upon during a drug bust, and Reynolds decides to turn his loot in so that he can have a clear conscience and be the good man who his wife thinks he is.  The Bacon man — having other ideas — uses an AK-type weapon and a crap-load of bullets to silence Reynolds forever.

Reynolds’ soul is quickly taken up by a vortex in the sky, and he joins many other souls that are going up to a bright light so they can be judged.  But…other factions in the afterlife have other plans for Reynolds.  He is pulled aside — literally — and given the choice of joining the “Rest In Peace Department” (responsible for apprehending dead souls who have managed to escape the vortex and judgment and remained on Earth) to make a better case for himself before he is judged, or to just go to judgment and take his chances.  Reynolds joins the heavenly police force, not just to give himself a better chance of going to heaven; but to also see his wife again.  You see, Reynolds, as a member of the R.I.P.D., comes back as a physical being on Earth, and his beat will be his hometown where his wife is.   Unfortunately, as explained to Reynolds by his new R.I.P.D. partner played by Jeff Bridges, he won’t look or sound like anything he was when he was alive.   Plus if Reynolds tries telling his wife what happened to him and who he really is, it’ll come out as garbled words.

Well, with that idea of reuniting with his wife gone to hell, Reynolds focuses on his new job bagging the dead who roam the Earth.  Jeff Bridges, playing one of the best roles in his career, schools Reynolds on how things are done; and they find themselves on a case involving an ancient artifact that can reverse the vortex and bring a rain of dead souls upon the Earth.  Wow.  And I thought 10 inches of snow in NYC last Thursday and Friday was bad!

When I saw the trailer for “R.I.P.D.” last year, I thought it was going to be a stupid movie despite its interesting premise.  Well, I was very wrong.  This is a highly enjoyable movie that didn’t get its just due in the theaters, but hopefully it’ll find its footing in home video.  Reynolds and Bridges are perfectly cast as partners in the “R.I.P.D.”  And in the buddy-cop genre, that is extremely important.   Bridges does an excellent job transforming himself into a lawman from the 19th Century — very believable and funny even though his character doesn’t mean to be funny.   The Bacon man also deserves kudos for his portrayal of the main bad guy, playing him with just the right amount of evil and charm.  Add to all this a funny, lighthearted script that has good pacing and a director who knows what the hell he’s doing, and you have a movie that should’ve been a hit.  I don’t know what happened.  Oh, yeah, we live in a crazy world where untalented idiots make millions with their “reality” t.v. shows, and people still believe in what politicians spew out of their mouths.

Well, believe this part: my most memorable, movie moment of “R.I.P.D.” is the scene when Reynolds finds out that his Earthly body is of an old, Chinese man; and the Earthly body of Bridges is of a very tall, blonde, Victoria’s Secret model.  Haha!  God does have a sense of humor.

M

With talents such as Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, writer Dan Fogelman and directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, it’s no wonder “Crazy Stupid Love” is one of the best rom-coms I have ever seen.  This goes beyond being a movie and enters the realm of artwork.  The movie’s characters show us how love can be crazy, stupid and wonderful; and usually it’s a mix of all three at the same time, which is why our lives usually goes into a tailspin when we do fall in love.  Caveat emptor.

Carell is being divorced by Moore, Moore is having an affair with Bacon (sounds like a kinky, porn flick, huh?), Stone is unhappy with her boyfriend and seeks the comfort of bar hopper/ladies man Gosling, Carell’s babysitter has the hots for him, Carell’s son is in love with the babysitter, Carell meets Gosling and Gosling decides to turn boring Carell into a sharp dressed, ladies man (and the transformation is impressive), Carell still is in love with his wife…in the hands of lesser talents all this would have turned into an undercooked meal that would’ve given people diarrhea.  Instead, “Crazy Stupid Love” is a movie you should not miss.  I love this movie.  “If you love this movie so much, why don’t you marry it?” you ask.  I did the next, best thing: I bought it.

The biggest message this movie gives is that we have to work hard at our relationships.  Not just at the beginning, but always.   If you want to be with someone, and you think that person is worth it, you put the effort to make it work.  Don’t fall into the trap of being lazy and not paying attention to your significant other’s needs and wants.  I know.  It’s very hard to do all that when you’ve been married for decades.  But it’s still a good message.

My most memorable, movie moment is the scene where Carell, with the help of his kids, tries to get back with his wife; and 3 unexpected visitors show up.   The first visitor took me by surprise — which is a good thing because most movies are predictable.  That’s all I will say about the first visitor because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen this movie.

So, don’t forget to fight for what is important to you.  Fight for love, for justice, for friendship.  Don’t fight over that parking space some jackass just swiped from you right in front of your face.  Unless you think it’s worth going to prison for.  Then you’ll have crazy, stupid love with a 300 pound monster named Bubba while your face is buried in a pillow.

M

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