Michael Douglas

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Director:

Lewis Teague

Writers:

Mark Rosenthal

Lawrence Konner

Diane Thomas

Starring:

Kathleen Turner

Michael Douglas

Danny DeVito

Blurb:

When Joan Wilder is abducted while on a trip along the Nile, her boyfriend, Jack Colton, and pal Ralph rush to rescue her and retrieve a fabled jewel.

Thoughts:

There are many things wrong with The Jewel of the Nile. One of the biggest things is Michael Douglas. Not just his character, either. Kathleen Turner was right to fight not to be in this film. I own it, I know, but it’s because it came with Romancing the Stone in a collection.

I always forget just how bad Jewel is. I’ll be high off of how much I love Romancing the Stone and decide to pop it in, and I get completely deflated. The story doesn’t make sense. It’s wildly racist and sexist and not fun to watch. Unless you’re watching with a friend and making fun of it the entire time.

Jack, Douglas, is such a giant dick in this movie. He’s low-key abusive. He can’t handle Joan’s fame or that everything he ever wanted is because of her. He resents her and lashes out a few times when he feels threatened. He blames her for his problems, implies that she was sleeping with a dude, and is just an all-around douche bag.

What’s worse, the movie focuses as much on him as it does on Joan. I don’t care about him! I loved the first movie despite him. I loved it because of Joan. Focusing more on Jack made a bad story worse. They should have never wound up together. She should have spent her six months with him, realized she deserved more and left him. She could have had a different love in this movie. They do it all the time for male leads. What’s the issue with doing it here?

I don’t typically want a reboot of an older movie, but I would love to see a reboot of this series. As long as the female character was the lead and the man wasn’t a sexist dick. Maybe don’t even have a dude. Just give me an adventure movie with a female lead who’s a famous romance novelist. Is that too much to ask for???

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

-Kathleen Turner did not want to make this movie, she thought the scripted sucked, but she was contractually obligated to and was threatened with a $25m lawsuit.

-Multiple crew members died in a tragic plane crash.

-The crew got sick while filming in Morocco and were told it was hepatitis, but then told if they paid a bribe, everything would be okay.

-After hours of setting up an intense night shoot, it was discovered there was no film in the cameras, and they had to scrap the day entirely.

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

After all I learned about Romancing the Stone, I thought that the writer for it, Diane Thomas, had died before Jewel came out, and that’s why she didn’t write it. Come to find out, she was alive and well and could have written the movie, but Douglas felt she wanted too much money. They ended up bringing her in to help with re-writes, but who knows how much she actually did.

It’s a miracle Jewel of the Nile got made. Sadly, it’s a miracle I wish we hadn’t been given.

Romancing the Stone (1984)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writer:

Diane Thomas

Starring:

Kathleen Turner

Michael Douglas

Danny DeVito

Blurb:

A mousy romance novelist sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.

Thoughts:

I love adventure movies, and Romancing the Stone ticks all of my boxes. Not only is it an adventure, but it also includes romance, and it does it well. How often can you say that? Never, that’s how often. I wonder if it’s because a woman wrote it? Sadly, Diane Thomas was killed in a drunk driving incident, and we never got to see other movies from her. Apparently, she was working with Spielberg on some things at the time too. That’s two female writers in the 80s, attached to movies I love, that died…

Reviewers have compared Romancing the Stone to Indiana Jones, and I don’t see it. Apart from the fact that they’re both adventure movies, they don’t share anything else. Joan Wilder, Kathleen Turner, is definitely the main character. I don’t care what Michael Douglas thinks. Joan was the main one, and he was her sidekick.

They weren’t fighting Nazis. They were searching for treasure with a treasure map. Archeology played no part. Seriously, other than the adventure aspect, how is this like Indiana Jones? It feels like reviewers getting all pissy cause it was female-led.

Two conspiracies in one post, nice!

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

-Sylvester Stallone was considered for the role of Jack Colton. Thank goodness that didn’t happen, I can only imagine how he would have demanded things be changed, plus he’s not good with romance.

-Robert Zemeckis almost didn’t get to make it because 20th Century Fox had no faith in him after two failures. It was because of the success of Romancing the Stone that he could go on and make Back to the Future.

And that’s the end of another edition of Random Facts from the Wikipedia Article!

There weren’t many random facts this time. The film didn’t have much drama going on with it, so that’s nice.

I wish more movies like this were being made—films like this and tv shows like The Librarians. I’m hoping that because of everything that’s going on in the world, entertainment will start to veer toward a lighter fare. Bridgerton was wildly successful, proving that people want happy, predictable media right now. Please, please bring back my adventure movies. The only upcoming one I’m aware of right now is Uncharted with Tom Holland, and considering it’s based on a video game, I do not have high hopes.

I’ve written a whole long blog post about my favorite Adventure movies and my feelings on them, so there isn’t much else to say about Romancing the Stone.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Writers:

Chris McKenna

Erik Sommers

Paul Rudd

Andrew Barrer

Gabriel Ferrari

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Evangeline Lily

Michael Peña

Hannah John-Kamen

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michael Douglas

Laurence Fishburne

Plot:

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

Review:

Scott aka. Ant-Man, Paul Rudd, is nearing the end of his two year house arrest. Once that’s over he’s just going to have three years of parole, which lets be honest is a pretty light sentence for the damage he did in Civil War, especially as he’s already an ex-convict. Putting that aside, he’s got plans and it looks like his life is finally getting into order. He’s got a good relationship with his daughter, his ex-wife and her new husband are on good terms with him, and he’s got a new business that looks like it’s going to do alright.

Hope aka Wasp, Evangeline Lily, and her father, Michael Douglas, are a bit pissed at Scott right now. Because of his actions they’re on the run, but it’s brought them closer together. With the knowledge learned from the last movie they are working to find Hope’s mother who has been lost in the quantum realm for thirty years.

Basically, Hope is a bad ass who kicks some major ass. She’s incredibly confident and smart, easily holding her own with her father even though he’s smarter than she is. She’s cunning, but not cut throat. Scott is the heart, I guess. He’s smart, though, that’s not very clear in this movie. He’s capable in a fight, but she’s got all the training. He is loyal, but he often makes the wrong decision, just not in a way that makes me hate him more in a dude I get where you’re coming from just use your brain sort of way.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is significantly better than the last movie. It’s got the wonderful Michael Peña in a much more prominent role than last time. It has two villains, but really only one. I have a hard time viewing the Ghost, Hannah John-Kamen, as a villain. She was used by S.H.I.E.L.D. to become a killer and was just trying to get help for herself. Yes, she was willing to do unspeakable things, but she was in constant pain, and she didn’t actually succeed in doing them. I wouldn’t necessarily trust her a tight spot, but I wouldn’t count her a villain.

I’m excited to see Scott in Endgame, I’m curious to see if he’s the one that saves the day. I’m also looking forward to an Ant-Man and the Wasp 3. I hope they don’t just set these heroes aside, I feel like they’re owed their own ending.

4/5

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man.jpg

Ant-Man (2015)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Michael Douglas

Evangeline Lily

Corey Stoll

Michael Peña

Plot:

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Review:

Scott Lang, Paul Rudd, is a real life Robin Hood. He stole from a rich ISP and gave the money back to the consumers. He is the hero we deserve. Sadly, much like the real world, he was put in jail and is only now getting out. Optimistic that he’ll be able to find a new job fast, he’s shocked to learn that even as a really smart white man being an ex-convict closes a lot of doors, especially the Baskin Robins door. Broke and desperate to see his daughter he returns to a life of crime.

In perhaps one of the most realistic parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Dr. Hank Pym, Michael Douglas, is yet another white man with a galactic size ego. He picks Scott out to carry on the mantel of Ant-Man, though, conveniently leaves out the damage the suit has done to him that makes it so he’s unable to continue using it. He also is adamant that the Avengers not be contacted even though the world is in danger.

Alright, we’re like eleven movies into this re-watch and it’s clearly starting to get to me. I love the movies, I really do, but watching them back to back like this is really, really, highlighting their flaws. Namely, the fact that almost everyone is a freaking white man; they’ve got their little things that make them different from each other, but still… Also, most of the female characters are bad asses with a large portion of them having a tragic past.

Wasp, badass with a tragic past, mother died and her father was a dick.

Black Widow, badass with a tragic past, raised to be an assassin from a very young age.

Scarlett Witch, badass with a tragic past, though, personally badass is kind of a stretch her powers are impressive.

Maria Hill, badass.

Peggy Carter, resourceful, intelligent, badass.

Pepper Potts, rich secretary who is briefly a badass, past unknown.

Betty Ross, scientist, not a badass, father’s a dick, only in the universe one movie before never really brought up again.

Jane Foster, science badass, but mainly science. Backstory unknown and disappears after two movies.

Lady Sif, badass, past unknown, disappears after two movies is in a couple episodes of SHIELD.

Gamora, badass with a tragic backstory.

Nebula, badass with a tragic backstory.

Valkyrie, badass with a tragic backstory.

It’s not until we get to Black Panther that we get a character that’s a bit more with Shuri and she’s been in two movies so far, so hopefully she’s not disappeared. Also, I could be forgetting someone and I didn’t include Captain Marvel because she’s got her own movie, and I don’t consider her backstory tragic, it’s a pretty normal backstory for a woman of her age.

It’s just…it’s really obvious and it really shows how much the series has changed, but I hope it continues to grow. I want more. They’re superhero movies so every main character or supporting character is going to be some level of badass, for the most part, but I want some diversity in their backgrounds. I’d like them to not just be forgotten or never mentioned again. I love the universe, I hope it continues to do better, and be like the heroes they’re telling stories about.

Here is my original review of Ant-Man, after further consideration I think I’ll actually bump it up rating wise. Ant-Man is a good character, but the movie is fun because of Michael Peña.

3.75/5

The American President (1995)


The American President (1995)

Director:

Rob Reiner

Starring:

Michael Douglas

Annette Bening

Plot:

Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. President and a lobbyist who fall in love. It’s all above-board, but “politics is perception”, and sparks fly anyway.

Review:

The world was a different place when this was written. Kind of. I mean, yeah, the environment and guns were still a huge issues, but we actually thought they could be solved. We were innocent.

In the past I’ve liked this movie. It’s from Aaron Sorkin, so it definitely idealizes the American government but it’s also much more believable than the movie Dave. Now, though, it’s depressing to watch. It’s really impossible to watch and ignore the politics of everything and just take it as a romance. He’s the president, she’s a lobbyist. The politics are enmeshed in everything.

Maybe in another time I’ll be able to watch this again and enjoy it. I really hope so, I used to love re-watching West Wing. My heart just can’t handle it right now.

4/5