Category Archives: thomas jane

Quickies 9-15-2010

Drag Me To Hell ~ A young loan officer arbitrarily refuses to extend an old gypsy woman’s mortgage and is cursed, hilarity ensues, as they say. As the lamia, a goat-like demon from Hell, pursues the young woman, she tries desperately to break the curse. This is a fairly scary new entry from writer/director Sam Raimi finally getting back to his horror roots. Except for the casting of Justin Long and a couple painfully cartoony moments, this is an excellent scare-fest, worth seeing, but keep the lights on.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ~ The first filmed part of the Millenium Trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson is much more streamlined and exciting than its literary counterpart, no slow or dense parts like the book. Good mystery, good action, well cast with great soundtrack – recommended. It’s so perfect, I am almost dreading the American version coming next year.

Nanny McPhee Returns ~ Also known as Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang overseas, this family film sequel, based on the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand, is a bit formulaic, but still a lot of fun.

Jennifer’s Body ~ Taken as a black comedy, this one is actually rather good. It has a very Kevin Williamson tongue-in-cheek feel to it, but is actually written by the infamous Diablo Cody, who brings her own unique sensibility to it. Quirky and more real than a lot of horror of this kind, this was a lot better than I thought it would be. Check it out.

61* ~ I’m not a big baseball fan, and I’m even less of a Billy Crystal fan, so I was surprised I liked this baseball flick directed by Crystal. The HBO movie recounts the summer of 1961 as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle both strive to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record. Thomas Jane is terrific as Mantle. Recommended.

Komodo Vs. Cobra ~ This low budget SyFy special features bad writing, bad CGI effects and bad acting that would make porn actors blush. It stars, along with badly realized giant reptiles, Michael Pare from the decades ago Eddie and the Cruisers and reality TV star Jerry Manthey from “Survivor” who seems to want to prove she’s a better actress without a script. Miss this one.

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Quickies 10-5-2009

The Mist ~ Combining the horror and paranoia of the trapped-in-a-bunker and what’s-in-the-dark concepts, this Stephen King short story is brilliantly brought to the screen by writer/director Frank Darabont. Thomas Jane is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors between this and “Hung.” Be warned however, whereas the story it’s based on had no ending, the movie has an amazingly crappy ending, one of the worst I’ve seen in years. Better no ending at all than this one – it literally ruins the rest of the flick.

The Ghosts of Angela Webb ~ Wow, this one was terrible. Filmed on videotape and badly paced and acted, I could not wait for it to end. Remember back in college, that friend who wanted to be a filmmaker and had all of his or her friends be in their low budget flick? Well, this makes that look like Scorsese.

Max Payne ~ There’s a prejudice that movies based on videogames are either all style over substance or just plain bad. I have to admit that there’s much to the statement. In the case of Max Payne, it’s a little of both. It’s visually exciting, but a convoluted and sometimes boring plot takes away from it, and the enticing soundtrack. Pretty but empty.

Disaster Movie ~ In the loose tradition of Airplane!, Amazon Women on the Moon and mostly the Scary Movie series, this is a lowest common denominator parody of last year’s blockbuster flicks. I laughed. I’m a little ashamed I laughed, but I did. If you didn’t see the movies referenced however, you might not get the jokes.

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I’d never really thought of Thomas Jane as funny before. At least not intentionally funny, although he does come close to unintentional in stuff like Deep Blue Sea, The Mutant Chronicles and especially 2004’s The Punisher. In HBO’s new series “Hung” he is surprisingly subtle and sly in his humor, much the way the show slips in all the double entendres into the dialogue and backgrounds.

“Hung” follows the path of down and out teacher Ray Drecker (Jane) as he tries to put his life back on track by utilizing his greatest asset – look at the show’s title and use your imagination – and becomes a male escort. The pilot does move a bit slow and it doesn’t seem as though the series will really get rolling until the second or third episode. It should be something Jane is used to, just like a superhero story, you have to do the origin first. This slowness is partially induced by all the hype HBO has been giving the show. Before it aired, we all knew the premise, and now it becomes a waiting game before we actually get there.

That said, I really enjoyed it, and can’t wait for more, even if it’s a while to get to the ‘meat’ (sorry) of the story. Also in the cast is a wasted Anne Heche (unless they plan to give her more to do soon) and Jane Adams who I think has a lot of potential here. And that’s what it’s really about with “Hung,” waiting and potential. I hope it lives up to the hype.