Saturday, March 11, 2017

Movie Time - Kong, Jackie, and Bette

Watched three movies in recent days.....

I was there for the first performance on Friday of the new biggie, "Kong: Skull Island".  Yet another adventure featuring the most lovable movie monster ever, King Kong.  As the title suggests, this one takes place on Kong's home turf, Skull Island. Yes, adventurers come to the small uncharted island in hopes of finding, well, I'm not sure what, but who cares?  There are prehistoric beasts, a giant ape, and, yes, a pretty girl.  

Kudos to this movie for the amazing technological processes that produces these amazing creatures, and it is fun seeing these Creature vs. Creature, Man vs. Beast contests.  As for the intricacies of the plot, well, forget about it.   About a quarter of the way through the movie, I began preparing a mental check list that went something like..."this guy is going to die, this guy is going to die in a really grisly manner, this guy will make it...", and I was pretty much on target.

As for the acting, lots of scenery chewing.  John Goodman chews scenery in the Carl Denham-type role, Brie Larson (she won't win an Oscar for this one) looks good in a tank top, and Samuel L. Jackson plays, well, Samuel L. Jackson.

Two and one-half stars from The Grandstander.

Last night we watched "Jackie", a biopic of sorts about the former First Lady, Jackie Kennedy.  Natalie Portman is excellent in her portrayal of Mrs. Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of her husband.  The movie centers around an interview that she gave within a week of her husband's death and how she used that interview to control and establish her husband's legacy and, to a lesser extent, her own.

If you are old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination, it is no doubt one of the seminal memories of your life.  You probably also have a warm memory of the First Lady, and this movie may make you a bit uncomfortable and maybe even resentful of how it portrays Mrs. Kennedy.

It is also a movie, not a documentary, and the fine print in the credits makes the requisite statement that some of the events depicted have been altered for "dramatic purposes". So for me, anyway, I wasn't real crazy about some of the things portrayed in this one.

Two stars from The Grandstander for the movie, but four stars all the way for Natalie Portman in her terrific performance as Jacqueline Kennedy.

And speaking of terrific performances, they don't come any better (five acting Oscar nominations) than the multiple Oscar winner "All About Eve" (1950), which we saw on the big screen earlier in the week as a part of the TCM/Fathom Events series.  I first wrote about this movie two years ago, and I will refer you to that write-up for a fuller commentary:

I will say once again, however, what an absolutely knock out performance Bette Davis delivers in the role of Margo Channing.  She was completely and totally mesmerizing in the role.  Just a great performance and a terrific movie.

Four stars from The Grandstander on this one.

By the way, the month of April will bring us two more TCM/Fathom Events movies on the local big screens - Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" and one of my all time personal favorites, Mike Nichols' "The Graduate", and, by the way, can you believe that "The Graduate" is now a FIFTY YEAR OLD MOVIE????

Be there!

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