Category Archives: Movie Reviews

G. Hunter’s Movie Reviews

Man-Acting: The Path of the Righteous

“There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.” Now… I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You’d be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking: maybe it means you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here… he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. And I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.”

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Man-Acting: The Alec Baldwin Conundrum

Kudos to James Schaffer for bringing up Alec Baldwin as a candidate for our Man-Actor series

Man-Acting 102: The Alec Baldwin Conundrum

Baldwin was at one time was one of the dominant forces in Hollywood, starring in blockbuster movies like “The Hunt for Red October”, “Beatlejuice” and “The Shadow.” Baldwin also had smaller, more impactful roles like this quintessential Man-Acting cameo from “Glengarry Glenn Ross”:

A personal favorite was his turn in the James Lee Burke adaption “Heaven’s Prisoners” as the Louisiana detective and recovering drunk Dave Robicheaux. Link to the preview trailer here.

So, where did badass Man-Actor Baldwin disappear to? In the late 90s he started to drift into comedy cameos on shows like “Will & Grace” and “Friends.” Hosting gigs on Saturday Night Live started to pile up. He crossed over to full time comedy with “30 Rock.” A divorce kept him in the media’s harsh spotlight, and, in a defense mechanism similar to Orson Wells and Marlon Brando, Baldwin started to gain weight. With his glory days of Man-Acting behind him, he’s become a pure comedic phenomenon.

There is nothing inherently wrong with going full comedy. Robert De Niro crossed that Rubicon and is making Hollywood bank. And for Baldwin, he’s probably receiving more positive press than he ever did as a straight actor. But, as a Man-Acting connoisseur, there’s a tinge of disappointment with this career move, because unlike a De Niro or a Pacino, I don’t know if Baldwin could ever tap his early career mojo again. A shame.

The Greatness of Man-Acting: The 101 Course

InPraiseOf introduces a new editorial series, “Man-Acting Greats,” featuring the best in the art of Man-Acting in movies and television. In this post, we help define the art of Man-Acting.

“You better be real careful how you navigate around this one.” -Clay
“Or what, you’ll put a bullet in the back of my head too?” Jax

A select group of men are privileged enough in this life to act for a living. Of these, an even more elite few have the talent to Man-Act. Continue reading

G. Hunter’s What’s On Netflix-True Stories, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Night of the Iguana

Now that work has let up a bit, going to get the blog going again, both in long and short form posts. To catchup, here’s a few movies I’ve watched in the last few weeks via my Netflix.

1. True Stories (1986)
Strange but beautiful yarn written and directed by Talking Heads leadman David Byrne, focusing on a day in Virgil, Texas, a small town preparing for the state’s 150th anniversary with a “Celebration of Specialness.” John Goodman stars in the established lead role as a bachelor in search of a wife, but ‘True Stories’ doesn’t much rely on plot. Instead, it’s strengths are in its spacious cinematography and eerie tone, leaning n a haunting Big Sky Texas country as a canvass, populating it with absurd but sympathetic misfits. Not big for people who enjoy linear storytelling, but a wonderful artistic endeavor.

2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Unlike Seth Rogen, I believe Jason Segel could pull down women like Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis. He’s a few months of personal training from Hollywood hunkdom, ramping up the plausibility. He also wasn’t afraid to 1) pose naked 2) write himself as a big sensitive wuss with enough mojo to still bag the hotties. The Apatow road show cast is all here (Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Will Heder) and the jokes are both sweet and manic. The non sequitur jokes I enjoyed the best, especially Segel’s heartbroken rendition of the theme to “The Muppet Show.” This Dracula rock opera song is another good example.

3. Night of the Iguana (1964)
I’m biased here, since Tennessee Williams is my favorite classic American writer, and this is my favorite of his work. It’s also directed by another great, John Huston. More bonus points, the anti-hero, drunken ex-minister T. Lawrence Shannon, shares my last name. Said Rev. Shannon has fallen from the cloth, and is working as a tour guide, tromping church women around Mexico in a broken tour bus to various locals. On the verge of a mental breakdown, he abandons himself at friend Maxine Faulk’s rustic seaside resort, where he meets fellow traveler Hannah Jelkes and her aging father. The story’s heavy lifting takes place in this local, as Shannon struggles spends a night struggling to discover his sanity, and his soul. It’s vintage Williams, all heat and lust and unfulfilled desire channeled into unhealthy direction. But ‘Night of the Iguana’ also offers a semblance of understanding of all this, portrayed in a confrontation between the Rev. Shannon and Hannah. The movie does justice to the Williams lines (he was actually on set in Mexico to help with the script), and it also captures the sexual subjexts Williams wrote about with just the least bit of censorship.

InPraiseOf: Rewind – Joe Bob Briggs’ “MonsterVision”

Note: Busy busy at work right now, though hopefully I’ll get to an original essay soon. Anyways, here’s a piece from my backlog, about an old late night TV hero of mine:

If you were a loner like me back in the late ’90s, you spent most of your Saturdays chillin’ at home, with maybe a book or the TV to occupy your time. Luckily, Turner Broadcasting, TBS and TNT respectively, would hit full bloom during those times. Continue reading