Movie Double Take

Movies Are Good!

Guest Review with Bob's Dad: Mr. Holmes and Mad Max: Fury Road

Summer's ending but there's still time to catch up on some of the bigger releases. Here's a movie single take from Bob's dad on two movies Bob and Allie didn't get to see.  

 

Mad Max:Fury Road

 I must admit that I cannot remember the original Mad Max.  It is the movie that made a star out of Mel Gibson. I saw this movie at my favorite movie theater, the Crandell in Chatham, NY. It was the last week that it was showing there, my wife was out of town, and (spoiler alert)it is not the type of romantic-comedy to which my wife usually drags me.  I saw the movie in 3-D.  Let me say a few things about this movie:  (1) it was one of the best movies I have seen all summer.  (2) There is no reason to see it in 3-D.  The movie takes place in the desert, and sand looks pretty much the same in 2-D or 3-D. (3) 

If the people who made this movie made the original Mad Max, no one would have ever heard of Mel Gibson.  (In lightof his recent problems, some people might think this would be a good thing, but you have to admit those Lethal Weapon movies were great fun.)  Tom Hardy plays Robin to Charlize Theron's Batman in this movie.  (Ironically, he was in one of the Dark Knight movies.)  He is not really the star. She does all the really cool things, and she is the driving force (pardon the pun) behind the movie.  It is a chick flick on steroids, but a really great one.  And she looks good even with a crew cut and missing an arm. I just wonder if she is going to regret doing that just to get a role.

Stars: 4 and a half out of 5

What to Bring: Soda!  It takes place in a desert, and you will get thirsty.

Big Bob's Oscar Prediction:  Charlize Theron will be raising the Best Actress Award in her left,er, right hand on Oscar night.

 

Mr. Holmes:

I can tell you three things about this movie.  It is a very good movie, it has great acting by the two leads, Ian McKellen and Milo Parker (as the young boy), and I can't remember the third thing.

It is not like any other Sherlock movie you have ever seen.  This is not the astute and clever detective you are used to.  This dude doesn't have a clue. Literally. Instead, it is about an aging Sherlock near the end of his life.  He is retired and living in the English country side at age 93,  35 years after his last case.  The movie employs flashbacks to relive that case, which would put the sleuth at about 58. Since Sir Ian is 76, it is a little bit of a stretch because it is an unnecessary distraction.  Since he doesn't ever look any different, you forget that you are supposed to be in a flashback from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Although a great actor, if you buy this old geezer as  a fifty-something, you must have gone for Beta and 8-track tapes. He could step into the Rolling Stone Tour and no one might notice if he could play an instrument. I guess he could play the tambourine.

For another recent movie that had flashbacks, “Love and Mercy”, the director used CGI very effectively to seamlessly have John Cusack play both the older Brian Wilson and the young Beach Boy).  If I didn't know a little bit about movie magic, I wouldn't have known how they pulled that off.

Speaking of CGI, which I just did for no reason, I read one of those web articles entitled “20 things you didn't know about Jurassic Park. Apparently, they used CGI to create the dinosaurs.   No sh*t Sherlock!   (See how I tied that tidbit into this review.) Steven Spielberg left post-production of Jurassic Park to start Schindler's List.  Wayne Knight was in the former, and a in a very memorable Seinfeld episode featuring the latter.

If you are confused now , you are as confused as Sherlock was in this movie.  Sherlock is writing his memoirs about his final case, while suffering from senility. Instead of a Holmes mystery, I was reminded of a reboot of “Memento” at times. Slowly, very slowly, Holmes begins to remember the details of the final chapter of his illustrious career that has haunted him all these years.  It devastated him and due to that case, he retired to a self-exile in the English country side.  While he is trying to remember, he is also forming a relationship with his housekeeper's son.  These two interlocking stories form the basis for the film. It is the life lessons that he learns from both of these experiences that really lift the picture.

Stars: 4 out of  5.  It could have been higher if it was about an elderly Holmes solving one last case, (which I was expecting), instead of trying to desperately to remember one from 35  years ago. If you are looking for a Sherlock “mystery” movie, stay home and find one on Netflix or Amazon.  If you like a period piece with great acting, beautiful scenery and a feel good ending, this might be for you.

My Oscar Prediction:  Ian McKellen should stay home on Oscar night.  He is great in this but if he thinks he looks 58, I have a high school prom to attend.

Bonus Oscar Pick: Milo Parker will win the Shirley Temple Award as best new actor under three feet tall.  (You may remember Tom Cruise won the same award for “Risky Business”.)