Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Movie Hat Trick: Total Recall, Hunger Games and The Three Stooges

Let's talk movies.

I went to the theater to see one a couple of weeks ago and Red Boxed a couple more over the weekend; all of which are worthy of some mention.

I heard the news that someone was remaking "Total Recall" with a healthy dollop of skepticism. I generally am not a fan of remaking movies that seem quite OK as originally released. "True Grit" was an exception to this rule. Although John Wayne is a tough act to follow, Jeff Bridges was a credible Rooster, and I actually preferred all the other actors filling the main-character roles in the remake. But I think "True Grit" is a rare exception.

So, without hearing the details of the "Total Recall" redo, I was not excited. Then I saw the trailer and realized that Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are both in the remake. Are you kidding me? My prayers had been answered. The only thing that would have been better is if they had been frolicking….oops, ummm…I mean I was really stoked they were in the same movie: one a villain and the other a white hat.

I must admit that I haven't seen the original in 10 years. I only vaguely remember what it was about. I didn't even remember that Sharon Stone played Arnold's wife until I was looking for the images I stuck in this blog. I don’t' think the remake religiously followed the original script or even pretended to try. I seem to remember a dwarf in the original that wasn't in the remake, but the three-breasted hooker made the update.

The devil is in the details…

The important thing, though, is that Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale are in it! And some guy a good deal smaller than Arnold played the lead. That Aussie who used to chase around Tara Reid. Yes, I know it was Collin Farrell, but he paled when on screen with either of his lady costars. You know, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.

All in all it's a fun bit of diversion, and certainly a lot more action than I remember in the original.

For my weekend Italian night I rented "Hunger Games" and "The Three Stooges."

I must admit, I was pretty worn out by the time I got around to eating and plugging one of them in. I walked in my back door from my recent eight-day trip at 8 p.m. on Thursday evening. My cat meowed off and on all night long as she is wont to do the first night I return from a trip of more than three or four nights. I may have slept three hours that night.

I had gal pals from Illinois stop in on Friday evening on their way to Hilton Head. In addition to polishing off a bottle of Cabo Wabo via two pitchers of margaritas, we sat up and talked until after 2 a.m. Needless to say that by the time they climbed into their car to resume their southern trek to the coast after brunch on Saturday, I was exhausted.

The fact that I kept dozing off during "The Three Stooges" may explain why I didn't enjoy it as much as the several friends who recommended it. I had no real desire to see it until a few people sold me on the idea. I agree that the three guys who play The Stooges did a bang-up job, but the entire movie only coaxed three or four laughs out of me.

It was still well worth the buck I invested.

Having read the book, I fully expected to enjoy "Hunger Games" and wasn't disappointed. The writer and director managed to follow the book's storyline closely and included all the critical information. Fast paced and action packed, it kept me interested despite knowing how it was going to end.

The actors are engaging and well cast. I look forward to the next installment.

Two thumbs up all around.

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