A Bit ‘o Flashback

One of the great joys of having a movie collection is getting to introduce friends to stuff they haven’t seen. This past weekend was one of those opportunities. This wasn’t about film education, it was about sharing entertainment and filling in gaps or interests in sating curiosity.

Burlesque (link)

Music, humor, singing, dance, romance, how can you go wrong. I’ve talked about Burlesque before (a couple times, actually). It surprised me the first time and it still entertains relentlessly on rewatch.

What struck me this round was how well it was edited to keep up the energy, pace, and interest. This story could have so easily dissolved into saccharine ridiculousness. Instead, Antin’s direction and script are kept clipping along… like a good burlesque show. As only his second directorial outing, it is even more impressive as it stays on pitch from start to finish.

Live Free or Die Hard (link)

OK, it isn’t really Die Hard, but it captures a great deal of the fun and is a rollicking good time on its own. And, I have to admit, it holds up well. The tense pace drives through all the bad logic and script moments. That Justin Long (Tusk) has all the best one-liners is part of the shift in feel for this film, but Bruce Willis (Rock the Kasbah) still holds his own as the world beats him up and he keeps coming on. One surprise this time round was recognizing Jake McDorman (Limitless) in a small role at the top of the film. Certainly it is far and beyond better than A Good Day to Die Hard that attempted to follow it.

Kinky Boots (link)

An imperfect and utterly irresistible film that works despite its flaws in pacing. With Joel Edgerton (Black Mass) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Martian) leading the charge, this film has heart, humor, and a great story that is wonderfully framed and holds together nicely. If you missed this one, it really is a must-see at some point.

Transporter (link)

Sure it has some humor, but it isn’t the script that really sells it. Amazing fight choreography and driving stunts are why you come to this film. This was also the film that showed Jason Statham (Safe) could carry a movie as a lead, if not win an Oscar for his efforts. The pacing is the typical Luc Besson (Lucy) hyper-beat, with moments of honesty and romance to keep it balanced… barely. And, to be honest, the ending is rushed and more than a little flawed. It goes down best with a bit of popcorn, for sure, but it still goes down well.

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