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Posts Tagged ‘John Goodman’

10-cloverfield-lane

Year of release: 2016

Director: Dan Trachtenberg

Writers: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle

Main cast: John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

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Genre: Horror, thriller, mystery

Highlights: The acting for all three of the main cast (and for the most part, this is a three-hander) is superb throughout. The first 90 minutes of the film is full of tension, atmosphere and an underlying sinister tone and I loved it

Lowlights: The last ten minutes. WTF?

Overall: Brilliant – if it had finished ten minutes earlier!

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Year of release: 2017

Director: Mark Cullen

Writers: Mark Cullen, Rob Cullen

Main cast: Bruce Willis, John Goodman, Jason Momoa, Thomas Middleditch, Famke Janssen

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Genre: Comedy action

Highlights: The dog, John Goodman

Lowlights: Bruce is just churning these kinds of movies out now, and they can get a bit samey.

Overall: Enjoyable enough action romp for when you don’t want to think too much

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Richard Dreyfuss is daredevil pilot Pete Sandich, who specialises in putting out forest fires, and Holly Hunter is his girlfriend Dorinda Durston, who loves him, but worries about his safety, particularly as he shows no real caution when flying.  Pete is killed in an accident, and in the afterlife he meets an angel (for want of a better word) named Hap, played by Audrey Hepburn in her last film role.  Following her advice, he tries to help his girlfriend through her grief, and mentor novice pilot Ted Baker(!), who falls for Dorinda.

I only really wanted to watch this film for Audrey Hepburn’s appearance.  She isn’t in the film for long, but her parts are lovely, and who better than Audrey to play a serene angel?  She had largely retired from acting at this point, and died four years after this film was made, but it is a fitting role for her swan song.

The film itself was hugely enjoyable, but you will DEFINITELY need tissues, because it is a real tearjerker.  Dreyfuss and Hunter are excellent, and the relationship between Pete and Dorinda is really believable.  John Goodman provides excellent support as Pete’s friend Al, who tries to look out for Dorinda after Pete’s death.  And Brad Johnson plays Ted Baker with sympathy.  Although Pete is hearthbroken to think of Dorinda being with someone else, Johnson makes Ted such a nice guy that it’s hard not to root for  him too.

This film is a remake of A Guy Named Joe (1943), and there are also similarities with Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore film Ghost, although Always preceded Ghost.  (I mean honestly, if Unchained Melody makes you cry because of Ghost, I’m sure that Smoke Gets In Your Eyes will have the same effect after watching Always!)

Overall, this is a beautifully acted, gentle and emotional film.  As mentioned earlier, I watched it purely because of Audrey Hepburn, but it is well worth seeing on its own merits.  I definitely recommend it.

Year of release: 1989

Director: Steven Spielberg

Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Richard Vane

Writers: Jerry Belson, Dalton Trumbo (screenplay ‘A Guy Named Joe’), Frederick Hazlitt Brennan (screenplay adaptation ‘A Guy Named Joe’), Chandler Sprague (story ‘A Guy Named Joe’), David Boehm (story ‘A Guy Named Joe’)

Main cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Brad Johnson, Audrey Hepburn

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The Artist was a triumph at the 2012 Academy Awards, winning five Oscars, including Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.  It perhaps was not an obvious candidate for success, being a black and white silent movie.  Or maybe that was part of the charm….either way, it was a deserving winner, for showing that excellent films do not always require huge budgets – this was comparatively cheap to make, but provided top-notch entertainment!

The film starts in 1927, and Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a hugely popular silent movie star.  Berenice Bejo plays Peppy Miller, a young starlet, just starting out in the movies, who meets Valentin and stars with him briefly in one film.  Two years later, and talking films are the new craze, while Valentin is seen as a has-been.  Meanwhile, Peppy is finding ever more success in the movie industry.  As Valentin falls on hard times, he grows depressed and bitter.  But there may be someone who can help him….

Sometimes when films are a novelty of sorts – which a black and white silent film certainly is these days – once the novelty has worn off, there is not much underneath.  I’m happy to say that I did not think this was the case whatsoever in this film.  Dujardin and Bejo both sparkle in their roles, and have great chemistry and charisma.  Peppy (by name and by nature) is adorable, but in the hands of a lesser actress, could easily have just been annoying.  Dujardin perfectly captures the fall from grace of George Valentin – adored and revered at first, but he soon becomes yesterday’s news, and he really struggles to cope.  And of course, his beloved and loyal dog Uggy, is just adorable!

I did find it quite a strange experience watching a film with no dialogue – it’s just not something that we are used to today, where often snappy and witty dialogue is required.  However, The Artist illustrates that you can tell a charming story without speaking – the expressions and movements of the actors, together with the sets, tell the story perfectly.

There are shades of Singin’ In The Rain in this film, dealing as it does with a similar theme – that of talking movies causing problems for silent actors.  In fact, in some scenes, Dujardin really does resemble Gene Kelly, and while I don’t know for sure, I am sure that some scenes were a direct nod to the Kelly classic.

Anyway, it’s the kind of film that I think needs to be seen to be appreciated.  I would certainly recommend it, and have no doubt that I will be watching it again in the future.

Year of release: 2011

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Producer: Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume, Richard Middleton, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Jeremy Burdek, Nadia Khamlichi, Thomas Langmann, Emmanuel Montamat, Adrian Politowski, Gilles Waterkeyn, Jean Dujardin

Writer: Michel Hazanavicius

Main cast: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

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I’ve seen this film many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about it, which is unusual, as it is definitely one of top 5 films of all time (and definitely my favourite comedy).  Not only that, but it stars my all time favourite actor, Jeff Bridges.

He plays the Dude, a lovable slouch, who loves bowling, drinking White Russians (which, by the way, is a very tasty drink), and smoking joints.  After a case of mistaken identity, which causes the Dude to try to gain retribution for a ruined rug (“that rug really tied the room together”) he finds himself, together with his best friend Water (a Vietnam obsessed veteran, who definitely needs anger management lessons) embroiled in a case of kidnapping, trying to save the life of a young ‘lady’ – and I use the word lady in the loosest sense of the word! – who may or may not have been kidnapped by a group of nihilists.  The Dude is thrown from one hapless adventure into another, but all he really wants to do is go bowling…

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot; suffice to say that this is the funniest film I can remember ever seeing, and every time I watch it, I get something new out of it.  Jeff Bridges puts in an Oscar worthy performance, and all of the supporting cast are also fabulous.

Year of release: 1998

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore

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After watching this, I went and read some reviews on the internet, and it seems that most people love or hate this movie. I fall into the former category, because I really enjoyed it – it’s a very enjoyable way to pass an hour and a half.

Liv Tyler plays Jewel, a femme fatale, who becomes entangled in the lives of three men and ends up turning all of their worlds upside down, leading to chaos, confusion and mayhem. Matt Dillon is Randy, a loveable guy who is drifting through life quite happily until he meets Jewel. Paul Reiser is Randy’s rich, successful and obnoxious cousin, who thinks he himself is the best thing since sliced bread – until Jewel gets under his skin. John Goodman is a detective who becomes embroiled with these characters, and also ends up falling for Jewel.

The whole cast are excellent, and seem to be having fun with this movie.  Liv Tyler is brilliantly cast as the seductive Jewel, and John Goodman and Matt Dillon are both terrific.  However, credit must be given to Michael Douglas, who has a small role, but totally steals every scene he’s in.

The plot is cleverly laid out and the different strands are woven together well.

All in all, this is a fun movie, and worth a watch if you want something amusing and undemanding.

Year of release: 2001

Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Stan Seidel

Main cast: Liv Tyler, Paul Reiser, Matt Dillon, John Goodman, Michael Douglas

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