On this edition of Cross the Streams we go in the ‘way-back machine’ to a time of crouching tigers, space men, a detective of pets, magic bullets, and dreams in the fields. All held up with a dose of hairspray.
About a Boy– This lovely gem of film finds Hugh Grant as a lovable self-absorbed guy who gets involved in the life of a young boy played by a baby-faced Nicholas Hoult. With a brilliant score by Badly Drawn Boy this film always manages to make me feel warm and fuzzy. Plus it led my to one of my favorite albums of all time Hour of the Bewilderbeast.
Apollo 13– Another feel-good flick, only this actually happened when the astronauts of the Apollo 13 mission reported to Houston that they had a problem. We get to see acting greats: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and the sorely missed, Bill Paxton with some help from Kathleen Quinlan and Ed Harris as they do all they can to guide the three men home. This is for sure director Ron Howard at the height of his power.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- While “wire-fu” is not used too often, you do see it usually in just one affect or two like in an Austin Powers movie, or in the Kill Bill films. But the greatest and most magical use was in 2000 with this Ang Lee masterpiece. It has it all, forbidden romance, killer fight scenes, magnificent sword myths and the afore mentioned wire work. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, give it another watch, it still holds up in this CGI-scape we are living in.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective- Some would argue Jim Carrey peaked with this breakout role as the smart-ass, keenly observant, and cartoonishly hilarious Ace Ventura. For me, along with Liar, Liar this one still makes me giggle at the clever writing, bold ending and Carrey’s sheer comedic brilliance.
JFK– This is by far my favorite Oliver Stone film. Maybe it does play fast and loose with facts and there is clearly an agenda, but I still get pulled into the story of a man searching for truth in a world buried in lies. The award-winning cinematography by Robert Richardson, the score by the legend John Williams, and the most epic of casts ever assembled puts this up there with the classics.
Field of Dreams– Just going a mere couple of years back and we get Kevin Costner as that crazy farmer who built a baseball diamond in his corn field. Another in the powerhouse of acting we get a fantastic performance by Amy Madigan as Annie (I so love her in the book censorship scene) James Earl Jones as Terence Mann, and Ray Liota as Shoeless Joe Jackson. This one has a heart the size of Iowa, and til this day, after multiple viewings, I still cry when Costner’s voice cracks asking for a catch.
Hairspray– Keeping with the theme of my favorite works, John Waters first of his one-two-punch, followed up with Cry-Baby this classic has young Ricki Lake as early 60’s teen looking to dance on TV with all her heart as she steals ours. It’s an hour and a half of campy fun, and in the process as we get a PG lesson on racism. It’s still a joy to watch.
Three Identical Strangers– This documentary by Tim Wardle from last year is filled with one bombshell after another, and it only just begins with three brothers finding each other after being separated at birth. It felt like my head exploded every 20 minutes. I just could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. It’s a solid film that goes to some dark places.
What I’m looking forward to later this month: Netflix- 3/15 Love, Death & Robots, 3/29 Highwaymen Hulu- 3/13 Free Solo Amazon Prime- 3/22 Cold War