They’re OK

Sometimes I’ll watch a movie and it will hit a grey middle ground for me. It wasn’t one I was blown away by and not one that had me shaking my head the entire time. There was enough good in it that kept me entertained, but not enough to make me want to sound off the trumpets, rewatch it and recommend it.

Admittedly, I’m placing these movies in a very broad (and perhaps unfair in some cases)  definition by labeling them as ‘OK’ here. I’m not giving these movies a  complete pass, but I don’t want to just dismiss them. One might have just narrowly missed getting an enthusiastic declaration of ‘I Liked It’ from me, while others might have been able to just barely scrape by and avoid me saying ‘I Didn’t Like It’ – or even worse. They’re all mixed in here. This is just my lazy way of categorizing these movies with one word.

So simply these are movies I watched and they accomplished passing the time. Someone else might like or dislike these films more than me, but I’d just say they were ‘OK’.

Hooper (1978)

Burt Reynolds Hooper 1978 action comedy stunt man movieSonny Hooper (Burt Reynolds) is the top stuntman in the business. But age and years of injuries on his body are catching up to him. He’s keeping himself together with painkillers and the knowledge he’s a the first to get the call for the most dangerous stunts needed.

His girlfriend Gwen (Sally Field) wants him to stop his stuntman career. His pal Cully (James Best) wants him to stop. And mentor, former stuntman and Gwen’s father Jocko (Brian Keith) knows Sonny’s time in the limelight is nearing its end. This is reinforced with the arrival of younger, more audacious stuntman Ski (Jan-Michael Vincent) on the scene.

But Hooper wants to manage one last epic stunt before he hangs up his pads. The question is can he survive it. READ MORE

Chaplin (1992)

Robert Downey Jr as Charlie Chaplin 1992It’s an expansive docudrama that explores the extraordinary life of film legend and icon Charlie Chaplin played by Robert Downey Jr. .

The film covers seventy years of Chaplin’s life, from his poor childhood in the late 1800’s to his honorary Oscar at the 1972 Academy Awards. The film encompasses a whole lot: his political beliefs, his romances, his friendships, his family, the scandals, the criticisms he faced, his dedication to his work, his comedy genius, his fame, his expulsion from U.S. soil and the legacy he left behind.

Whew! And that’s the main problem with the movie. It’s an admirable effort, but it tries to bite off much more than it should have. Instead of presenting a more focused portrait of Chaplin, Richard Attenborough’s film becomes an expansive cursory glance at all the major events and people in Chaplin’s life. It’s fine if you’re looking for all the highlights of his life to be recounted and mostly breezed over, but it doesn’t create a portrait of him making me feel like I knew him any better than before I saw it. READ MORE

The Dream Team (1989)

The Dream Team 1989 comedy Keaton Furst Lloyd Boyle Four mental patients with different issues take a road trip from their NJ sanitarium to New York city to see a Yankee game. Their doctor Dr. Weitzman (Dennis Boutsikaris) feels getting out will do them some good so he loads Billy (Michael Keaton), Henry (Christopher Lloyd), Jack (Peter Boyle) and Albert (Stephen Furst) into a van and are headed for an outdoor therapy trip.

Weitzman’s plan gets thrown for a loop when he inadvertently stumbles into a crime by some corrupt cops, is rendered unconscious and is taken to the hospital – leaving his four patients out on their own and unsupervised in the big city. They now have to depend on each other to find their doctor, save his life, expose the bad guys and somehow survive the city. READ MORE

Sneakers (1992)

Sneakers Robert Redford 1992An eclectic group of security breakers get hired by the government to retrieve a very special item. Team leader Robert Redford accepts the deal and the gang plan the heist, execute it and make off with a very unique item.

However, they soon learn they’ve been duped! The government imposters snatch that item from their hands, Redford’s past and a distant old pal come bubbling back, the team looks guilty of crimes and everyones lives are threatened. The only way to clear their names and ensure the world is safe is to steal that all important item back! But with the security at its highest level can they manage doing it again? READ MORE

Elvis & Nixon (2016)

Elvis & Nixon 2016 Kevin Spacey Michael ShannonIt’s the meeting of the century. Two of the most famous men on the planet come together for a secretive meet and greet.

It’s December 1970 and Elvis Presely (Michael Shannon) is troubled by the state of the country. He wants to offer his own unique help to the President of the United States Richard M. Nixon (Kevin Spacey) to fight the drug wars that are corrupting our nations youth. Plus, he wants to get a really cool Federal badge from the President too!

So The King shows up at the White House to request a meeting with President Nixon. What follows is a humorous dramatization of what would become a unique meeting and an event that will be immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives – the day when Nixon met Elvis. READ MORE

Gilda (1946)

Gilda 1946 Rita Hayworth sexyI always thought if they use a characters name for the title of their story, then that character better be damn good. There better be something about that character that makes them compelling and awfully interesting if they think they’re deserving of their name in the title. They better be intriguing enough to want to learn more about them and want to see how their story unfolds.

And so we have Gilda, a film-noir drama that launched Rita Hayworth to superstardom playing a character that would become her most identifiable role. Her performance would leave male audiences breathless and would cement her status as one of the sexiest actresses during the golden age of cinema.

Although it’s never been one of my favorites, Gilda is half of a really good movie. READ MORE