Snakes On A Plane
An internet meme in search of a plot. Slightly more enjoyable in the airborne Die Hard stakes than Air Force One, but less so than Passenger 57.
A quite fun late-80s oddity, with John Cusack and Tim Robbins as a pair of slackers who set up their own video production business. It mostly pokes fun at music television (it was produced by ex-Monkee Mike ‘MTV’ Nesmith), but there’s also crooked politicians and a pair of long-forgotten sixties soul stars and sweary English punks (“Don’t be a cunt, Dick!”) and Doug McClure as an uptight dad and Jello Biafra playing an FBI agent who arrests our heroes whilst warning “Remember what happened to Jello Biafra” and a big concert at the end.
Another Frat Pack/Judd Apatow comedy, with Will Ferrell as a redneck NASCAR driver. There’s John C Reilly, Gary Cole and Sacha Baron Cohen in there too. It’s quite fun, just too familiar – all the tropes of struggle-against-adversity sports star biopic are there, with lashings of Top Gun homoeroticism, and underwritten parts for any women on the set.
Burn After Reading
The Coen Brothers do spy intrigue. I had no expectations, and was very pleasantly surprised. Lots of WTF?! moments out of nowhere. George Clooney, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt riff on stupidity, John Malkovich bursts blood vessels all over the shop as a CIA analyst sacked for having a drink problem (“You’re a Mormon! We’re all alcoholics to you!”), Tilda Swinton does alabaster-skinned, redheaded ice queen with a potent line in withering contempt, JK Simmons has a brief turn as a bewildered spook chief.
Blades Of Glory
Cf Talladega Nights. Same deal, this time in the world of figure skating. Replace John C Reilly with Jon Heder, Gary Cole with Craig T Nelson.
Mike Judge posits the notion that evolution, fast food, dumb TV and blind patriotism all help to create a nation of imbeciles. Heh.
The Manson Family
Odd low budget treatment of Mad Charlie and his hippie kids, bookending a mostly straightforward version of what happened back then with a retrospective by a (fictional) journalist, who is being stalked by modern day Charlie-lovers. Like an episode of The Night Stalker spliced with The Snoop Sisters and directed by Gregg Araki.