Posts Tagged ‘Tom Cruise’

Legend

June 30, 2012

Who has seen ‘Legend’ starring Tim Curry and Tom Cruise? Not I, sir. Here is my review of it:

Satan peels on his mink leggings. Mmmmmm, they glide so smoothly and warmly over his goaty legs that he lets forth a luxurious baritone sigh. It is a sigh so fruity and intimate in pitch that Beelzebub blushes a shade of red hitherto unseen in the Chambers of Pandemonium. Mmmmmmmm. ‘Is this what it feels like to be a baby sheep?’ Satan asks.

Next, Satan moves over to his infernal dressing table, wherein he lustily eyes a hearty smorgasbord of puffs, powders, pomades and potions with which to beautify his crow-footed face. Yes, Satan is nearing the fag-end of early middle age, but he makes the best of it. A lick of mascara here, a bonk of concealer there, and Satan is a new angel. Everyone is always going on about how nice he looked before he fell. But even they have to admit, the old love isn’t doing too badly now. After a delicate swig of Lambrini and a bracing snort of blow, Satan is hot to trot!

Tom Cruise plays a rustic swain who stretches his listless length at undrentide under the cooling switches of a whistling willow. “Ah me, ah my, whither goeth my pretty maid?” he laments. A robin redbreast replies “Hark ye Young Marster Cruise, your love sporteth with the fauns of the forest”. “Crivens” exclaims Cruise, “my love is like unto the flower that swivels towards every yellow face it mistakes for the sun”. “Racist” comments the robin, but Cruise pretends he has not heard, and sets off in search of his wanton shepherdess.

On his way to rescue his love, Cruise encounters Satan, hanging fresh and loose at the crossroads.

Who are you?” enquires Cruise, with frightened curiosity.

I am the Deveeeell” says Satan, with gusto.

Who?” replies Cruise

The Devil” says Satan, with less gusto.

What you will” says Cruise “I like your leggings

Thank you” blushes Satan “they’re mink

What is mink?”

It is fluffy and magical” replies Satan, “and I will give you a mink waistcoat all of your own if you sell me your delicious, plump soul’.

Readers can imagine what happens next. In case they can’t, here is a quick summary:

Satan and Tom Cruise start a trad jazz band

While walking past a telescope Cruise discovers a comet heading straight for earth

Satan goes on a chat show and falls asleep

Brian Blessed rolls up on a foaming steed and shouts “What news Brave Fellows?”

The gang are finally reunited for one last job

The report is submitted on time

Your boss congratulates you on a job well done and allows you to have 45 minutes free time in the play area.

FINIS.

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The Colour of Money

July 2, 2010

Yesterday someone asked me if I’d seen Martin Scorcese’s ‘The Colour of Money’. I said yes, then ran away. The joke was on them, though. I hadn’t seen it at all. Tee hee hee. I do love a good prank. Here is my review of ‘The Colour of Money’:

‘The Colour of Money’ belongs to the noble tradition of ‘Rain Man’, ‘I am Sam’ and ‘Forrest Gump’. It stars Tom Cruise as an endearingly handicapped man, who, in spite of his handicap, or perhaps because of it, succeeds in brightening up the lives of the normal people around him. Dustin Hoffman provides support as Cruise’s brother, Brucie, fulfilling the clause in the Rain Man contract stipulating that he would have to ‘play the normal’ in his next film, and that Cruise would ‘get to be the disabled [sic] this time’.

When we meet Cruise’s character, Teddy Redbrown, in the first scene, his condition is undisclosed. Through the subtle inclusion of understated cues by the director, however, we begin to suspect that there is something compellingly wrong with Teddy. Note his khaki shorts pulled up to his ribs. Mark his child’s combover. Observe the way he says “Hi I’m Teddy” and sticks his hand out rigidly in a sort of actor’s approximation of a child’s approximation of an adult greeting. See how he squints at traffic lights in anxious perplexity. Teddy seems to tick every box on the movie checklist: he is really shaping up to be a Classic Hollywood Savant! I can’t wait to see what kind of scrapes he will get into! (contd. below the picture)

Tom Cruise's acting in 'The Colour of Money' was reputedly inspired by Al Jolson's performance in 'I am Sam' (pictured)

Sadly, the viewer’s (that is, my) high hopes prove (that is, proved) to be premature. Teddy’s handicap is decidedly underwhelming. He is colour blind. Screenwriters take note: this is really scraping the barrel as far as disabilities are concerned. Teddy’s distinct lack of a severe behavioural disorder and/or genetic condition make it very difficult for me to sympathise with him. A harsher critic might say that he is just a normal with defective eyes.

The plot of the film concerns Teddy’s quest to perceive the hue of an American dollar bill. “I got to know what colour that note is, Brucie” he implores, “I got to see the Colour of Money”. Brucie and Teddy set off on a road trip. Teddy finally gets to experience the vernal greenness of the dollar bill. But at the very moment that he learns what it is to be a normal, he loses all of his innocence. “We gotta go back, Brucie” he says. So they get in a time machine and go back to the time before Teddy was able to see the colour green. His innocence is successfully restored. The conclusion is somewhat confusing and inconsistent, but these are the vagaries of time travel, no?

I was very disappointed by this film. It promised to do a full Rain Man but it did no such thing. Who cares what the colour of money is? No one. Who cares how many matches fell on the floor? Everyone. Tom Cruise has the acting ability to play a convincing challenged person, but he is wasted on this film. His heart-rending squinting does little to render Teddy interesting to the sensitive and broad-minded viewer. The sensitive and broad-minded viewer knows that Teddy’s problem is only eye-deep, and so the sensitive and broad-minded viewer is thwarted in his attempt to feel sorry for him. The sensitive and broad-minded viewer deserves much better. Give us a savant we can get our teeth into, Hollywood.

Days of Thunder

May 27, 2010

I saw ‘Days of Thunder’ yesterday and I was blown away. I know I am seriously deviating from Agoraphobic Reviewer practice here, but I felt it necessary to write a serious review of it. We cannot always jest and joke. Sometimes it is necessary to lay our reputations on the line and venture a heartfelt opinion. With that in mind, here is my review:

‘Days of Thunder’ is a trenchant and timely rumination on the social and occupational pressures facing a young stock car driver. It exposes the hazards that surround this glamorous career, and examines their impact on the lives of those who live and, alas, often die by it. But it tactfully and sensibly (this reviewer thinks) avoids passing overt judgement on the racers, sponsors and motor enthusiasts who are all, ultimately, complicit in the fatalities and casualties to which the sport so regularly gives rise.

Some critics have suggested that the role of Bruce Fastman is Tom Cruise’s most challenging to date. It is hard to disagree. Fastman is a deeply complex individual, who longs for speed and visceral excitement on the track, but who needs reassurance and stability in his domestic life. In one scene Fastman is sitting behind the wheel visibly ecstatic to have triumphed over the competition in an important race. In the next he is curled in his partner’s lap, the very picture of masculine vulnerability. Cruise handles these tonal shifts with aplomb. It is a forceful performance.

It is an unfortunate truism that sports-themed films often feature substandard dialogue. Not so this film. The verbal exchanges are as quick and noisy as anything on the racetrack. Nicole Kidman’s bon mots are really something to behold. She is truly the go-to actress for top-notch repartee in Hollywood at the moment. Aspiring actresses could really learn something from her flawless diction and masterful delivery.

This film belongs to a well-respected tradition of dramas based around the conflicted psyche of the classic American male. Its forebears are ‘Citizen Kane’, ‘The Godfather’ and ‘There Will Be Blood’. It reveals the lies men tell themselves, and the truths that they daily embody in the sweat of their brows and the ache of their sinews. ‘Days of Thunder’ should be on every secondary school syllabus in the country. Someone should put a DVD copy of it in a time capsule so that future generations will know what it was like to be a man living in the twentieth century. I cannot recommend it enough.