Movie Review Roundup

I was traveling 12 hours yesterday, and I had the chance to watch three movies while I was underway. So before I traipse off to Comic Con, I’m here to let you know what I thought of the films. Ready?

City Slickers was shown on the bus ride from Augusta to Boston. The screen was tiny, but I watched it anyway, mainly because it was something to do. I think I’d seen pieces of it here and there over the years, but never the whole thing from start to finish. It’s a Billy Crystal movie where he and two of his lifelong best friends decide to go on a cattle drive, despite all of them being confirmed urbanites. Hilarity ensues. Overall, it’s a decent comedy. Some really funny parts, along with a feel good message about the importance of family and living in the moment. That said, there were multiple times it just dragged on with too much silliness. Action sequences that overstayed their welcome, etc. 3/5

Concussion was a movie I’ve wanted to see for quite some time and I really enjoyed it. Will Smith stars as the doctor who discovered the adverse effects football can have on the human brain. It’s compelling from start to finish, and I particularly appreciated how they didn’t just film a “football is evil” plot. True, many of the NFL people aren’t presented as anything other than money-grubbing weasels, but efforts are made to show not just the violence of the sport, but the beauty too. I’m a huge college football fan, and I would be very sad to see the sport die. But at the same time, it needs to be played in a way that is safe for the players. This isn’t ancient Rome. By including clips from the early 2000s, it’s interesting to see what the approach to football used to be little more than 10 years ago. Big hits. Hard hits. Vicious hits. All celebrated, because “it’s not like it’s hurting the players.” They had helmets on, right?

I’m not a doctor, and I’d be interested hearing what a medical professional thought about the movie. It did a good job conveying to me what was going on, but I wondered how accurate it was.  I’ll give it a 5/5, but realize that it’s pretty much right up my alley. If someone’s not a fan of football and research, this might not scratch all the right itches.

Tomorrowland is another movie I’d been wanting to see, and I never got around to seeing it. George Clooney stars in a Disney adaptation centered loosely around various Disney ideas. In a nutshell, it focuses on how fifty years ago, when people talked about the future, they talked about the awesome things that were coming. It was a Jetsons future with flying cars and easy jobs and robots to do all your housework. But today, people talk about melting polar ice caps, global catastrophes, and dystopias. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to that version of the future where we all thought it was going to be incredible?

It’s a nice sentiment, even if I feel like it oversimplifies the matter a great deal. Sort of like people wishing for the wistful days of the 1950s, when life was simpler . . . and some people’s lives were absolute misery because sexism and racism and other -isms abounded. But I digress.

There are some plot issues the movie has, mainly with characters who do things for little motivation or explanation, and a few gaping plot holes, but overall I really enjoyed the movie. The future it presents isn’t a future like the Jetsons. It’s an inclusive Utopia, and I can get behind that. I wasn’t sure for the first while if I’d give the movie a 3 or a 4, but I think it stuck the landing, so it’s a 4/5 for me.

Any of you see any of these movies? Any thoughts?

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