Comedy

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)

Director:

Penny Marshall

Writers:

David Franzoni

Charles Shyer

Nancy Meyers

Chris Thompson

Starring:

Whoopi Goldberg

John Wood

Stephen Collins

Carol Kane

Annie Potts

Jonathan Pryce

Blurb:

A computer wiz woman works at a computer terminal in a NYC bank. One day she gets a strange message and breaks the code. Suddenly, she finds herself in the middle of dangerous spy business.

Thoughts:

I don’t know if I’m supposed to think of Jumpin’ Jack Flash as a romance or not. I mean, clearly, it starts as an average person being pulled into a spy operation. It’s hilarious because of all the hijinks that ensue, but at some point, it feels like it becomes something else. I think it’s when Terry, Whoopi Goldberg, goes to Jack’s, Jonathan Pryce, apartment. Then he goes from just her reading the words from the screen to his voice talking. Then, of course, there’s the dinner and how dressed up she gets. So by the end, I’m not sure if it’s still a funny spy movie or a funny spy romance movie.

If it is a romance movie, then the reveal at the end is the worst ever. Not only is Jack wearing some of the worst clothes ever, but it is clear he has no romantic feelings for Terry, and it’s all one-sided. Which is another point in the not a romance category. Of course, Terry tells her coworker that she’s already got someone and mentions being lonely at some point. She’s clearly got friends, so that comment leans toward wanting a romantic relationship.

I just don’t know. Maybe that’s part of why I like the movie? The constant not knowing if I’m supposed to believe they’ll be a couple after the credits roll. I could see a hookup happening, but Jack is seriously not cool enough for Terry. She’s a freaking badass. She’s quick on her feet and smart and rises to every situation she’s put in. Unless they worked together she would get so bored by him. Unless I’m supposed to infer from his clothes, at the end, that he’s as cool as her, but then her clothes are a style, his were 80s vomit.

It all comes back to that question. Is this a romance?

Thankfully, the movie gets me laughing out loud no matter how many times I watch it, so even with that huge unknown, I love Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

And now it’s time for Random Facts I Learned from the Wikipedia Article!

-This was supposed to be a vehicle for Shelley Long, and thank god it wasn’t. Whoopi did such a phenomenal job that I’m easily able to ignore the stuff she’s done more recently that I don’t like.

-It was Penny Marshall’s directorial debut

And that’s been another edition of Facts I learned from the Wikipedia Article!

Yeah, there wasn’t much on Wikipedia. Critics panned the movie, further proving they suck. One actually had the nerve to blame Marshall for it being bad saying some shit about her being more concerned about the décor than Whoopi’s performance. To that man, I say shut the fuck up. At least moviegoers seemed to like it. It wasn’t considered a bomb and made back almost double the budget. So that’s something.

I’m glad I own Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It started as a movie that I liked to have playing in the background and has become one that I like to watch and laugh along to. As well as try to answer the ultimate question, is this a romance?

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)

Director:

Josh Greenbaum

Writers:

Annie Mumolo

Kristen Wiig

Starring:

Kristen Wiig

Annie Mumolo

Jamie Dornan

Blurb:

Lifelong friends Barb and Star embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time – ever.

Review:

At this point in quarantine, I’m starved for new entertainment. Disney+ TV shows are nice, but I need movies. Movies that I enjoy. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar hit that mark and then some. It was over the top hilarious, and I can’t count the number of times I laughed out loud.

Barb and Star, Annie Mumolo, and Kristen Wiig, are able to maintain the heaviest Midwest accent out there with ease. They lean hard into the stereotype, and just when it could get boring, they throw you for a loop by doing something completely unexpected. All the while, taking it in stride like it was no big deal. The comfort they have with who they are and the fact that they don’t try to change their base selves is perfect.

The movie is about them getting their groove back, so to say. They’re in a rut after losing both of their husbands. When they were young, they were fun-loving and spontaneous, and that’s missing from their lives.

Barb and Star isn’t just about them rediscovering themselves. There is a mass murder plot and a romance. Seriously, the film has it all, and yet it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to accomplish too much. It doesn’t feel rushed and hits all the comedy beats. I hope to see more from Wiig and Mumolo in the future. They seem like a match made in heaven.

I watched this movie through Amazon’s Prime video rental.

4/5

The Last Dragon (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Last Dragon (1985)

Director:

Michael Shultz

Writer:

Louis Venosta

Starring:

Taimak

Vanity

Christopher Murney

Julius Carry

Faith Prince

Mike Starr

Blurb:

In New York City, a young man searches for a Master to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the Glow.

Thoughts:

I remember the first time I watched The Last Dragon. It was a memorable experience because I was at work and someone had put it on, and at one point, we were all singing DeBarge Rhythm of the Night. That moment and this movie are imprinted on my mind because of a spur-of-the-moment group sing-a-long.

Looking past that memory, the film is incredibly entertaining on its own. You have the himbo Bruce Leeroy, Taimak, looking for the next level of martial arts. He’s learned all his master has to offer, but he has yet to attain the Glow. Then there’s Laura Charles, Vanity, the super-popular video DJ attracted to pretty, nice men and doesn’t back down even when her life is on the line. There are TWO crazed villains. One wants fame and glory but can’t get there on his own. Last, but certainly not least, Sho’nuff The Shogun of Harlem makes the freaking movie. His goal is to prove that he’s better than Leeroy so that his power over Harlem is uncontested and unquestioned.

The women in The Last Dragon are a big part of why I love the movie. Laura Charles goes after what she wants and doesn’t compromise her integrity or jeopardize her career. She takes it a bit to the extreme because I’m pretty sure you’re life being threatened is a reasonable point to back down. Meanwhile, you’ve got Angela Viracco, Faith Prince, who loves a man who’s promised her wildest dream. But when he shows his true self, she stands her ground and faces off against him. The strength she displays is inspiring.

If you can’t find enjoyment from The Last Dragon, I don’t know what to say…

Instant Family (2018)

Instant Family

Instant Family (2018)

Director:

Sean Anders

Starring:

Mark Wahlberg

Rose Byrne

Isabela Moner

Plot:

A couple find themselves in over their heads when they foster three children.

Review:

Marky Mark and Rose Byrne decide that their life needs to get complicated, though, they don’t think of it that way. They’ve got a successful business, a gorgeous house, and their relationship is in a good place. Because of their age, though, they’re hesitant to add a baby and think why not foster kids. Laughter and feels ensue.

Instant Family was cute, I laughed a surprising amount, and tears were shed.

Watching as the couple rose to the challenge they’d accepted was heartwarming, though, at times a bit over the top, but that’s to be expected. I liked that it shined the light on something so important, but I feel like they could have included more on that side of things. Of course, then it would have been a lot less funny.

3/5

 

Love, Simon (2018)


Love, Simon (2018)
Director:
Greg Berlanti
Starring:
Nick Robinson
Jennifer Garner
Josh Duhamel
Katherine Langford
Alexandra Shipp
Jorge Lendeborg Jr.
Keiynan Lonsdale
Plot:
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
Review:
This movie…oh my god. This is a new favorite. I was so not expecting the absolute sweetness and all around beauty of this movie. What in the world is happening that I have now found two high school romance movies that I love? The world has gone mad!
Simon, Nick Robinson, is a normal teenage boy. He has a core set of friends he’s very close with, his family loves and supports him and he loves and supports them, and he lives an average upper middle class, probably actually upper class, life. Except he’s got a secret, he’s gay. He’s told no one, even though he doesn’t believe any of the people that matter will care, it’s not something he wants to share. He’s afraid it will change how people think of him and that’s honestly so relatable and heartbreaking.
One of my favorite romance tropes is falling in love with an anonymous person through their letters and Love, Simon does this perfectly. It takes it a step further, though, and raises the stakes. Simon’s emails are discovered by another student who then blackmails him. I wanted to destroy the kid that was doing this and for once I could understand and empathize with the angsty teenage motivation behind awkward encounters.
Love, Simon is an amazing high school romantic comedy that I would highly recommend to anyone that loves romances. It’s sweet, fun, and fills me with all kinds of warm happy emotions.
5/5