Howdy folks! We sincerely hope you all are staying safe during these uncertain times. Humans are resilient folk, though, so as long as we’re smart and do our civic duty (social distancing social distancing social distancing), we will certainly make it out the other side of this.
Speaking of social distancing, there’s a good chance that you’re going stir-crazy while we’re all quarantining ourselves and preventing the spread of COVID-19. One way to get past the corona blues is by way of bingeing media, from movies we may haven’t visited before to TV shows we’ve neglected to start. But where to begin?
To help you navigate the vast array of film and movie choices out our fingertips, that’s where Take 5 comes in, a new weekly column where we’ll give brief, bite-sized movie and TV reviews to let you know our general reactions to the various viewing options out there. And if you agree or disagree with what we have to say, let us know in the comments!
Let’s get right to it!
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Where director Ang Lee’s Hulk tripped on its own feet in attempting to incorporate comic book tropes and storytelling techniques in its film, they work perfectly in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, based on the comic of the same name. Maybe because they’re different tonally. Or maybe because Lee’s Hulk felt like it was trying too hard. Further, this might be Michael Cera’s finest work outside Arrested Development, playing a guy who has to fight his paramour’s seven exes to be with her. Scott’s journey is one that we see mirrored in so many people we know (maybe even our own), dealing with the ghosts of partners past, including ours. As such, we both want to root for him and also acknowledge he’s not perfect, as none of us are.
As Good As It Gets (1997)
I vaguely remember this movie being marketed as a quirky romantic comedy, but anyone who caught any clip of it prior to its release knew that wasn’t the case. I’m not sure if we were supposed to cheer on Jack Nicholson’s writer character or not for speaking his mind. Were we meant to hope he overcomes his worst impulses and be happy when he stopped being a bastard who mocked his fans, was a disgusting misogynist, and spouted homophobic slurs? All that film did was manage to mock mental illness and make me frustrated. Big ol’ pass.
Superman Returns (2006)
How about Clark Kent as a deadbeat dad? Oh, and has anyone done a plot with Lex Luthor and land? They have? Eh, just go with it.
But here’s the thing: Actor Brandon Routh plays a damn good Superman. Maybe this is blasphemy, but I enjoyed him more as the Man of Steel than I did Christopher Reeve. Routh was just hung up by an awful story, clunky script, and Bryan Singer’s less-than-stellar directing. His criminal misuse was redeemed in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths TV event.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Sam Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) mocks the style and knowledge of what a good suit is of Lester Diamond (James Woods) to Sam’s wife Ginger (Sharon Stone). (Ginger is having an affair with Lester.) Sam is trying to figure out where Lester and Ginger spent all of Sam’s money.
It’s a little thing, but so in character: Sam has to get in that dig about Lester’s suits as just another reason Lester is the worst. Expert writing and acting.