Monday, September 21, 2009

My Week In Movies - Hollywood Week (9/7)

Tropic Thunder (2008) The idea of fake soldiers getting mixed up in a real war is nothing new. Abbott and Costello did it, Larry the Cable Guy has done it, even Daffy Duck has gotten in over his head in the military. What sets Tropic Thunder apart from past similar efforts is the cast and their performances. Ben Stiller and Jack Black are pretty much doing the same thing they always do, but Robert Downey Jr. really is fantastic as an Australian actor who dies his skin black to play a role written for an African-American. I suppose that's why he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in this movie. Few actors can really loose themselves in a character like Robert Downey Jr. can...if you don't believe me, go watch The Shaggy Dog remake! But for my money, the real scene stealer here is Tom Cruise. I can't stand Tom Cruise for a number of reasons, but here he really lets his guard drop and plays a hilarious, foul-mouthed disgusting studio executive and he goes all in with this character. It's always a good time when you, as the audience, can tell an actor is having fun up there on the big screen. Tom Cruise lets loose with this character and it makes you wonder how good of a Saturday Night Live host he would make.

...And God Spoke (1993) A very low budget film about a couple of low-budget film makers who follow up their exploitation hits with a film adaptation of the Bible. It's not as blasphemous as it sounds. It's also not quite as funny as I remembered it having watched it for the first time in 15 years. Still, there's some funny parts and the movie moves along at a brisk pace. You also can't hold much against a film whose guest stars include Soupy Sales, Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) and Eve Plumb (Jan Brady).

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