Short Movie Thoughts

All the President’s Men

Based on the true story of the journalist duo that pursued the truth behind what happened at the Watergate hotel, All the President’s Men is like catnip to aspiring journalists.

But this one feels more like a police procedural than that of crusading journalists relentlessly pursuing the truth along the lines of Walter and Hildy from His Girl Friday. This one shows Woodward and Bernstein pursuing leads, getting doors shut in their faces and going down blind alleys in the quest for a story. It also gives a hint of the frustration of waiting for things to come in, all while the ticking clock of deadline looms above.

And yet for all of that, the film is never dull. A lot of the credit goes to director Alan J. Pakula and the script by William Goldman. Even knowing how it all ends, it’s still compelling to watch how it all unfolds.

My high school journalism teacher showed this to us in class over the course of several days. Back then, we came away shocked that she’d be allowed to show us a movie that used the f-word this much. This time around, I’m impressed by the acting, writing and directing.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

I’m not a huge fan of Spongebob, but after seeing the preview for this one, I was absurdly excited to see it.   I wish I could get that feeling back. The movie is good, but it’s not nearly as clever as the preview made it out to be.

When the secret recipe for Krabby Patties is destroyed, Bikini Bottom becomes A Road Warrior like realm of various parties trying to survive and blaming SpongeBob for the lack of patties. The movie involves time travel, a fish out of water story and a lot of other absurdly silly things that, quite frankly, got a chuckle out of me.

And then the movie passes the hour mark and our heroes get 3-D animated and suddenly the momentum comes to screeching halt. Once the characters get out of the water, things become less fun. And yet the live action sequences with Antonio Banderas leading up this were some of the highlights of the film.

It could be that the real stars of this one are the talking sea gulls. They’re like the minions of the SpongeBob movie universe.

A Few Good Men

I don’t think I’ve seen the entire movie since I saw it in theaters when it was first released.

I’ve seen bits and pieces on cable and who can wander past the final court showdown between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson and not stop to check it out.

The movie brought Aaron Sorkin onto the radar of many and his trademark quoteable dialogue is on full display here. The story is solid, the acting top mark and the direction is solid. And yet coming away, I can’t help but feel this is a movie that has a superb final couple of scenes that left me admiring it more than it deserved. Part of it is that the film telegraphs what Cruise’s character is going to do with Nicholson on the stand a few minutes before, ruining some of the drama. And part of it could be that we’ve had so much more Sorkin in our pop culture universe that his tricks start to show through a bit.

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