Movies of the Week #20 (2021)

Tropic Thunder (2008): To be fair, I didn’t really rewatch the movie – I rewatched the director’s commentary, which is definitely a first for me. Tropic Thunder itself is a phenomenally fun ride that most likely would not be made again in this day and age, but it stands out as one of the best movies about moviemaking made this millennium. The DC also stands out as a comedy on top of the comedy, with Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. enjoying themselves at it. Downey, still in movie-movie-character as per his own movie-character’s philosophy, steals the show, so if there’s ever a commentary you should/could watch, it’s this one. 8

Extra Ordinary (2019): The one exception to my dislike for movies about possession are movies about possession that don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s the case with Extra Ordinary, which walks the fine line of being amusing and not ridiculous. With shades of Jennifer’s Body, insofar that a has-been rock star makes a satanic pact to regain his fame, the story is ultimately about significant human connections (or the lack thereof). Funny and quaint, it’s an easy watch, albeit one with scenes of violence. 7

The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020): I very much enjoyed Jim Cummings’ previous movie, Thunder Road, and his follow-up to it feels familiar in many ways. Cummings takes on the lead role once again, portraying a similar character, a police officer who has to cope with family pressures as well as a rampaging serial killer. Or werewolf, unclear. His unraveling is captivating, as is the story that comes with it, filled with twists and turns, hit and miss. Overall, TWoSH is not as sharp as TR, but it remains entertaining. 7

The Langoliers (1995): Probably the first Stephen King movie I ever saw, The Langoliers has not aged spectacularly well. It tells of a handful (or two) of people who wake up on an airline flight only to find out everyone around them has disappeared. The wider theme is about time gone by, as they are all captive in a place of past moments, stale and dying. It’s a fairly interesting premise that could have done with a better movie, as some painfully over-the-top acting makes it seem ridiculous when it shouldn’t, while dodgy special effects mark The Langoliers as a feature on VFX Artists react. Add to that the fact that it’s an hour longer than it should have been and you end up with…a fond memory from your childhood, dang it! 6

The Empty Man (2020): While there’s some flair to David Prior’s debut feature, it suffers severely with its pacing and rarely becomes interesting enough to warrant some emotional investment from the viewer. Then again, I am rarely impressed by movies about cultists and possession, so it isn’t all that surprising that a story focusing all its energy into that came off tired to me. Talking of which, most of the movie is about a detective trying to uncover how/why a young girl disappeared, with all the supernatural elements in tow. Hard to recommend this empty man. 5

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