Tag: john cusack

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Love & Mercy (2015)

love-and-mercy-poster
“I want you to leave, but I don’t want you to leave me.”

N.W.A were a legitimately dangerous, exciting and revolutionary force in music.  Yet, for all of that, when they were given the Hollywood biopic treatment, Straight Outta Compton ended up being surprisingly vanilla, predictable and rose coloured.  Straight Outta Compton might be the box office winner when it comes to 2015 musician biopics, but the one that should be remembered is the story of  Beach Boy Brian Wilson that made a musician seem genuinely dangerous, exciting and revolutionary, in Love & Mercy.  


Split between two specific periods of Wilson’s life, there’s 60s Brian Wilson (Paul Dano).  Despite their many hits, he’s decided that the music of the Beach Boys needs to evolve beyond the cheesy surf sound they pioneered.  So while the rest of the band tours the world, Brian stays in the studio, meticulously building what will become Pet Sounds.  When it is a critical success but commercial bomb, he retreats even further into musical experimentation and psychedelics. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Love & Mercy (2015)

love-and-mercy-poster
“I want you to leave, but I don’t want you to leave me.”

N.W.A were a legitimately dangerous, exciting and revolutionary force in music.  Yet, for all of that, when they were given the Hollywood biopic treatment, Straight Outta Compton ended up being surprisingly vanilla, predictable and rose coloured.  Straight Outta Compton might be the box office winner when it comes to 2015 musician biopics, but the one that should be remembered is the story of  Beach Boy Brian Wilson that made a musician seem genuinely dangerous, exciting and revolutionary, in Love & Mercy.  


Split between two specific periods of Wilson’s life, there’s 60s Brian Wilson (Paul Dano).  Despite their many hits, he’s decided that the music of the Beach Boys needs to evolve beyond the cheesy surf sound they pioneered.  So while the rest of the band tours the world, Brian stays in the studio, meticulously building what will become Pet Sounds.  When it is a critical success but commercial bomb, he retreats even further into musical experimentation and psychedelics. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Bob Roberts (1992)

Bob Roberts
“Don’t smoke crack. It’s a ghetto drug.”

The concept of the mockumentary is more present than ever, through TV shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family.  On the big screen, the patron saint has always been Christopher Guest, for his involvement in movies like Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Might Wind and This is Spinal Tap.  I love those movies and almost anything with Guest’s name attached to it.  But I realised something today, his documentary approach is pretty fast and loose, and easily abandoned for the sake of a good joke or getting an important plot point across.  I realised this after watching the meticulous documentary-like approach to Bob Roberts.


Tim Robbins is the titular Roberts, a folk singing, ultra conservative Republican, running for election.   He has built his own legend as a conservative rebel, singing songs to adoring supporters about how proud he is of his self made wealth, and his dedication to wiping out the drug problem in America.  Aboard his combined campaign bus and stock market trading office, Roberts is making his way across the country, one stump speech at a time, one scandal (about himself or an opponent) at a time. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

midnight-in-the-garden-of-good-and-evil-poster

“I’ve only been here three days and it’s just a shooting, but give it time, okay. This place is fantastic. It’s like Gone With the Wind on Mescalin.”

Based on the movies of his I’ve seen as a director, Clint Eastwood doesn’t make grand, luscious movies.  Sure, he can make big movies, like the companion pieces of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima.  But even at their biggest, they’re still gritty and dirty and free of pomp.  He’s a director with a reputation of coming in before schedule and under budget.  Which is why it’s so inexplicable that he made a movie built so entirely on excess, as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.


John Cusack is John Kelso, a journalist sent to Savanah, Georgia to write a story for the society papers about a famous, annual party, thrown by local antiques dealer, the flamboyant Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey).  Given a crash course in the ways of the South, Kelso meets a parade of colourful characters.  Including Williams’ blustery lawyer, Sonny Seiler (Jack Thompson), drag queen and lounge singer Lady Chablis (Chablis Deveau), and shit kicking rent boy, Billy Hanson (Jude Law). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | One Crazy Summer (1986)

One Crazy Summer

“Why am I talking to you? You’re not a man, you’re a cat! Go back to your feline world!”

John Cusack was king in the 80s.  And he earned that reign fair and square, with awesome movies like Better Off Dead, Say Anything and Stand By Me.  I always assumed anything starring Cusack in the 80s would be pretty much certified gold.  But it turns out there’s been a real turd out there, laying in wait all these years, to take some of the shine off Cusack.  And that turd, is One Crazy Summer.


After finishing high school and missing out on a basketball scholarship to college, Hoops McCann (Cusack) decides he has nothing better to do, than to travel to Nantucket with his best friend George (Joel Murray) for the summer, to stay with George’s grandmother.  On the way, they save guitar the wielding Cassandra (Demi Moore) from some bikers, and it turns out she’s on her way to Nantucket as well.  Once on the island, Hoops is introduced to George’s childhood friends, including Bobcat Goldthwait as one half of the Stork twins, and Curtis Armstrong as Ack Ack, the pacifist son of an overbearing, militant father. (more…)