Accidental uncovering’s of conspiracy and crime brings about the essential core of Coma. Healthy patients are given strange complications and shipped away to some strange and distant institute. Surely, there is more to this than meets the eye. Michael Crichton directs a paranoia-induced cast through those late-1970s aesthetics with confidence. But confidence does not always equate to quality. While these performers are confident in their abilities (and its director confident in his own), Coma has the intrigue, the desire, and the surprising ensemble necessary to work a chilling little horror. But this is far away from the message Crichton and Robin Cook embed within their writing. What they set out to say and what they end up doing are two different hurdles, neither of which are vaulted with much confidence.
Albert Camus once said: “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” My mind, ravaged by alcohol and deprived of rest, associated this quote with the rise, fall, and second coming of Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld). Bee Movie follows Benson’s struggle as he simply tries to fit in. He is teased by the outer world of the hive and what it has to offer. You could say he is not “beeing” the ideal bee. Bee Movie is now a great meme machine and a culturally notorious piece for a generation, not through quality, but because of character and heart. It is difficult to evaluate the true merits of innovation and craftsmanship here. Everyone is quick to mock a 150 million dollar movie until they realise that’s the budget for Bee Movie, a movie about bees reclaiming their rights and their honey.
“When the going gets tough, give up”, is what a presumably wise man once told Gene Hackman. Perhaps it was his agent or his financial adviser after taking a look at the books. To conquer it all, to reach the great peak and touch the sun, it is hard to consider what comes next. Where is there to go when you are at the highest rung? A twilight year can-can of Academy Awards darlings and a respectable final decade as the man audiences and critics alike come hand in hand to praise, puff-up and plead with for more? Or, as Hackman decided, the only acceptable consequence of having it all is to lumber your way into a leading role alongside Everybody Loves Raymond Romano and drift peacefully off into the sunset of retirement to spend the rest of your days writing short novels and narrating war documentaries. Quite the well-deserved break for the titan of Hollywood, but he had just enough time to cough in the mouth of his loving fans with Welcome to Mooseport.
To refuse the charms and cohesion of Hercules is to invite hate and harm into your life. A bold man would write Hercules off as charming fun that doesn’t hit the highs they’d hoped for, but a truly brave man would go for the jugular, denounce it as whimsical mediocrity and have no more to do with it. The latter may be dangerous, but it’s truthful also. For while this loose adaptation of Greek mythology plays well for the nostalgia shot people often look for in Disney flicks, it doesn’t match well with contemporary eyes. That same animation style of the glory days is there, the allure of big names on the cast appears also, but Hercules is missing one key ingredient. Heart.
Casting David Bowie of all people as an alien who, in the brief moments we see of him trying, cannot sing, is possibly one of the funniest circumstances within The Man Who Fell to Earth. A truly strange romantic drama that sees Bowie come to Earth in search of water, a vital resource that will save his home planet. He soon falls in love, becomes a businessman and spends his time trying to figure out how he can reroute some water to his catastrophically dehydrated home planet. Quite the unique entry into film, and considering this is one of the first times Bowie had taken to the big screen, The Man Who Fell to Earth could have become a complete disaster.