May Movie Guide
Your final collection of cinematic selections…
This is it, folks: the end of a gosh-dang era. While it’s been fun indulging myself writing about movies (almost) every month in ways that probably only I find amusing, I do hope that at least one reader — if there are any — has enjoyed this half as much as I have. Perhaps one of my colleagues will pick up the guides in my stead, if only to fill some space every four weeks. But if not, just know that we’re going out on a low note because there’s not much worth anything coming out this month.
This film marks the third collaboration between Jason “Son of Ivan” Reitman and Diablo “Hey, Remember ‘Juno’ Please” Cody. Well, technically the fourth, but you’d have to count “Jennifer’s Body” which starred Megan Fox and Reitman only produced, and nobody is quite sure what a producer does anyway.
Charlize “One More Oscar” Theron stars as a mother of three who finds her burden lightened when she hires an insightful nanny played by Mackenzie “Marry Me” Davis to take care of her newborn.
“Please, Oh Please One More Oscar” Theron reportedly gained 50 pounds to play the role of a recently pregnant woman in a move that in no way should be construed as her begging for one more Oscar.
I will not even attempt to synopsize “Terminal,” but what I will do is print, in full, the IMDB summary of the film because it is bonkers in its dramatization:
“In the dark heart of a sprawling, anonymous city, TERMINAL [sic] follows the twisting tales of two assassins carrying out a sinister mission, a teacher battling a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor and a curious waitress leading a dangerous double life. Murderous consequences unravel in the dead of night as their lives all intertwine at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind hell-bent on revenge.”
Margot Robbie stars as the curious waitress, hot off the accolades of “I, Tonya” and seemingly eager to phone it in for another middling thriller. Simon Pegg plays one of the assassins and honestly, it’s good to see Pegg becoming a Hollywood fixture. He was delightful in his brief appearance in the delightfully undelightful “Ready Player One,” and he deserves all the work he gets. Can someone put him in a Marvel movie?
Robbie also produces the film, so maybe she can tell me what a producer does?
Are we still naming superhero sequels with numerals in 2018? Yes? Is it, like, part of the self-referential joke thing? Maybe? All right, cool.
Ryan Reynolds is back as the Merc With a MouthTM and this time he’s got a posse. Josh Brolin debuts as Cable — the time-traveling, gun-toting, pouch-wearing, metal-arm-having mutant along with Zazie Beetz of “Atlanta” fame to form X-Force. Negasonic Teenage Warhead returns from the first film to round out the team, and are only mentioned here mostly because I still can’t believe Negasonic Teenage Warhead has now been in two-thirds as many blockbuster films as Wonder Woman.
Director Tim Miller does not return for this sequel, citing “mutual creative differences” with Reynolds who is also a producer on the film. Somebody, please. The differences seemed to center on Miller wanting to make an actual movie and cast Kyle Chandler as Cable, while Reynolds wanted to make more jokes about his balls. David Leitch will handle direction, presumably because he’ll allow Reynolds to riff for as long as he wants on how Wolverine’s healing factor would affect his anal elasticity.
“Solo: a Star Wars Story”
I know what you’re thinking: “David, you said there wasn’t much of anything coming out this month, but a new Star Wars movie is surely something. How could you lead us so astray?” To that, I say, “Show me a worthwhile ‘Star Wars’ prequel, and I’ll show you a swift kick in the pants, compadre.” I’d say it just like that, too.
To be fair, this particular Star Wars prequel looks pretty good. The direction looks stylish, the sets have that signature lived-in “Star Wars” vibe and there are points in the trailer that invoke “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the highest praise you can give a modern action film.
Alden Ehrenreich steps in for Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Plain and simple, Ehrenreich has a stupid face. A certain senior sports editor may try to justify this by saying Ford, himself, also possesses a stupid face. This is a fair point, but Ford also has charisma: something Ehrenreich lacks, at least in the film’s trailer.
Hopefully making up for this fact is Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Billy Dee Williams — who originated the role in “The Empire Strikes Back” — is the only man who could make malt liquor look classy, so Glover has big, goldfish-filled platform shoes to fill. But if anyone is up to the task it is Glover, who may just be the most talented man alive at the moment.
The production was plagued with trouble, losing directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller six months into shooting due to “creative differences” — there’s a lot of that going around. But old pro Ron Howard stepped in to fill the void which should be … fine. Howard has also done his fair share of producing, so maybe he could tell me what a producer does? I have a DMS degree, I feel like I should know.