Tag Archives: Cuba Gooding Jr.

As Good As It Gets: Against Better Judgment

A COMEDY FROM THE HEART THAT GOES FOR THE THROAT.  In 1994, writer-director James L. Brooks went through hell with I’ll Do Anything, a comedy-drama with musical sequences. There was a lot of work behind it – Twyla Tharp did the choreography and there were songs by among others Carole King and Prince. But the … Continue reading As Good As It Gets: Against Better Judgment

Coming to America

THIS SUMMER, PRINCE AKEEM DISCOVERS AMERICA. Pampered African prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) has just turned 21 and wants more independence, taking his best friend (Arsenio Hall) on a trip to New York City where they pose as poor foreign students. Not a sequel to Trading Places (1983) but a comedy in the same vein, complete … Continue reading Coming to America

Don Jon

EVERYONE LOVES A HAPPY ENDING. Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has no problem meeting women, and Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) is one of the sexiest he has ever hooked up with… but his addiction to Internet porn becomes a problem. The star’s directing debut is all the more impressive because he manages to make a romantic comedy … Continue reading Don Jon

Selma: Battle on a Bridge

ONE DREAM CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. When Ava DuVernay was hired to direct this movie, which would become an explosive breakthrough for her after a few independent films, she focused on Martin Luther King’s speeches. She didn’t have the right to use them in Selma because the King estate had licensed the copyright to DreamWorks … Continue reading Selma: Battle on a Bridge

Red Tails

COURAGE HAS NO COLOR. In 1944, the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American fighter pilots, finally get a chance to prove their mettle in Italy. A dream project for executive producer George Lucas since the 1980s that never quite feels anchored in reality. The battles up in the air are vivid but rarely look like … Continue reading Red Tails

A Few Good Men

IN THE HEART OF THE NATION’S CAPITAL, IN A COURTHOUSE OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, ONE MAN WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO KEEP HIS HONOR, AND ONE WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO FIND THE TRUTH.   Inexperienced U.S. Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) takes a case where two Marines stationed at Guantanamo stand accused of … Continue reading A Few Good Men

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

ONE QUIET VOICE CAN IGNITE A REVOLUTION.  A brisk walk through American history and the civil rights movement in particular, as we follow a black man (Forest Whitaker) who serves seven presidents in the White House from Eisenhower to Reagan. How is the cause best served is the most important question asked in the film. … Continue reading Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Pearl Harbor

DECEMBER 7, 1941 – A SURPRISE ATTACK THAT CHANGED THEIR LIVES FOREVER. Hawaii, 1941; the attack on Pearl Harbor is coming, and two fighter pilots (Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett) are at odds over an attractive nurse (Kate Beckinsale). This was meant to be director Michael Bay’s own Titanic (1997), a lauded epic with grand visual effects and a … Continue reading Pearl Harbor

Jerry Maguire: Cruise Goes Crazy

EVERYBODY LOVED HIM… EVERYBODY DISAPPEARED. At the time of the release, Jerry Maguire received mostly positive reviews. Now that I’ve revisited the film several years later I have to say I still like it a lot. This is after all perhaps the best example of why we love Tom Cruise in spite of all the craziness. The … Continue reading Jerry Maguire: Cruise Goes Crazy

American Gangster

  In 1968, Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) sees his chance to build an empire based on cheap but pure heroin smuggled into New York from Vietnam; cop Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) builds a team to bring him down. The story about the intelligent but psychopathic Frank Lucas turns into a conventional but superb gangster flick in … Continue reading American Gangster

Instinct

ONE MAN’S MIND IS ANOTHER MAN’S MYSTERY. Psychologist Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) takes on brilliant primatologist Ethan Powell (Anthony Hopkins) who’s been imprisoned for killing two people in the African jungles. A film for Hopkins aficionados who want to see the actor combine his Hannibal Lecter with Sean Connery’s character in The Rock (1996); … Continue reading Instinct

Zoolander

3 % BODY FAT. 1 % BRAIN ACTIVITY. A fashion designer (Will Ferrell) plans to brainwash the dumbest male model around, which happens to be Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), into assassinating a prime minister threatening to close down the designer’s business. That’s the stupid story of this “frat pack” comedy, but funny it still is, … Continue reading Zoolander

Rat Race

563 MILES. 9 PEOPLE. $2 MILLION. 1001 PROBLEMS! A bored billionaire (John Cleese) hides a $2 million treasure and sends off eight people; who will be the first to find it? This is the budget version of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) – instead of Spencer Tracy we get Breckin Meyer. The … Continue reading Rat Race