Category Archives: Movies

Reacher Shrinks and Drives

Lee Childs' Jack Reacher series of novels are great beach reads featuring a strong protagonist, fun – if predictable – good guy/bad guy plots and tight writing. There are several things that make the Jack Reacher character quite distinctive, his physical size and his aversion to any material possessions. Here's how he's described on Wikipedia:

Reacher is a giant, standing at 6' 5" tall (1.96m) with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds (100–115 kg). He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He has very little body fat, and his muscular physique is completely natural (he reveals in Persuader, he has never been an exercise enthusiast.) He is exceptionally strong but is not a good runner.[3] Reacher is strong enough to break a man's neck with one hand (Bad Luck and Trouble) and kill a villain with a single punch to the head (Running Blind and 61 Hours) or chest (Worth Dying For). In a fight against a 7 foot, 400 lb steroid-using thug (Persuader), Reacher was able to lift his opponent into the air and drop him on his head…

Since leaving the Army, Reacher has been a drifter. He wanders throughout the United States because he felt he never got to know his own country, having spent his youth living overseas on military bases. He usually travels by hitchhiking or bus. As a drifter, the only possessions he carries are money, a foldable toothbrush and, after 9/11, an expired passport. He wears his clothing for 2–3 days before discarding it, usually purchasing new clothing cheaply from chain outlets. He has no steady income and lives on savings in his bank account and part-time jobs. At various points during the series, his bank account is supplemented by taking money from his enemies (this occurs most notably in Bad Luck and Trouble). Reacher knows how to drive although he is admittedly not a very good driver. He has never possessed a driver's license.

Combine the fact that all 5'7" of Tom Cruise was cast to play Reacher, with the sight of Reacher driving a car in the trailer for the first movie based on the Reacher character, and it would seem that the movie folks aren't exactly intent on hewing to Reacher's well-documented traits.


What Reality TV Hath Wrought

Every decade or so – maybe more often, but I'm too tired to research it – a movie comes out that seems to capture the zeitgeist in America. Good examples would be 1987's Wall Street or 1993's Falling Down and   after seeing the trailer for Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America (definitely NSFW with a few f-bombs and mega violence) I'd say it captures our current reality-tv-fueled society quite well.

Come to think of it MIchael Douglas seems to be in a lot of zeitgeisty movies.

Bond and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In our household we used our streaming Netflix service to watch the original movie versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.  I loved them and I have to say I hold serious reservations as to whether the Hollywood version of the first movie will live up to the original even with James Bond, er Daniel Craig, in the lead role.  I just don't know how any actress can live up to Noomi Rapace's depiction of Lisbeth Salander, but I'm looking forward to seeing Rooney Mara try.  Here's the trailer:

Lazy Teenage Superheroes

In the evolving world of digital video the dollar is becoming much less important when compared to talent and imagination.  Case in point is Lazy Teenage Superheroes, a short film that the filmmaker says cost him $300 to make.  Embedded is a video of the behind the scenes action during the making of the film.  A warning about the actual film: don't watch it if you're put off by bad language, references to VD or juvenile humor of any kind.