Tag Archives: Take Out Theater
by Tim Barley
This Independence Day Weekend, I’ll give you a top five “America!” list to enjoy while relaxing
Hello, everyone! Welcome to 4th of July 2014! Yes, it’s going to be a loooooong weekend with July 4th sitting on a Friday, so things are going to be hectic here. Three day weekends are great, but can be a real drain on the body, especially when you get to be our age! And you may find yourself with a few moments of down time in which you just want to watch a movie and kick back with a cocktail while your kids play with illegal fireworks outside.
So, in honor of our Independence Day from the tyranny of tea and crumpet eaters, here’s my top five for chilling and yelling “America, Fuck Yeah!” (that’s a hint) I didn’t choose movies that would be obvious (aka dramas that make you think) such as The Patriot, Lincoln, Rocky IV or Born on the Fourth of July. I chose movies that you can relish in their “American audaciousness”. And until my screenplay Killibuster gets green-lit (go ahead ask me about it), these are choices. And. Here. We. Go.
By Tim Barley
James Mangold’s mystery thriller provides one twist after another until the very end
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away… – “Antigonish” by Hughes Mearns
If you know that poem, then you understand right away that James Mangold’s Identity is going to be a thrill ride. And, yes, anyone who’s watched enough whodunit’s can guess what’s really going on. But, the movie is still fun to watch to this day, even after you know its secret. It’s a mystery packed with some great performances by some great character actors all given a chance to shine, playing 10 strangers facing a killer while stranded in a Nevada desert hotel during a thunderstorm. If we had a dime for every time we heard this story… Yet, Mangold’s directing skills are able to take Michael Cooney’s script and turn it into a crisp “who’s doing what.” This week’s Take Out Theater selection is Identity. And if you’re too wired after, thinking about the big reveal at the end, we guarantee you that the accompanying cocktail should have you well on your way to forgetting what just happened and a good night’s sleep…
by Mike Reyes
Speed Racer Is The Closest Thing To A Living, Breathing Anime
In 2008, when Speed Racer took a bath at the box office worldwide, The Wachowskis had transformed their careers into the form you see today. Once labeled as “visionary” and adored by most, their stars started to fade with what most considered were subpar sequels to The Matrix. While those films hold up to a certain degree, depending on who you ask, the “wow” factor of the first installment was definitely gone. However, in my opinion at least, I thought those sequels were actually rather good. Speed Racer was the first movie they produced where The Wachowskis weren’t a financial lock at the movies. Instead of making a film that could easily make its budget back, they decided to make a movie that was artistically wealthy. Critics might have panned it, and audiences didn’t exactly flock to it (which was kinda hard with Iron Man minting the Marvel Studios brand, and The Dark Knight casting a shadow on the horizon), but Speed Racer will always have a huge place in my cinematic heart.
Let’s get this engine started!
by Tim Barley
For a young Kurt Russell, “It’s all in the reflexes”
As creator and current president/Supreme Overlord of Cocktails and Movies, I have an extensive knowledge of odd, weird and fun films – some of them great, most of them bad, some of them seen by millions, others only viewed by the most ardent of film purveyors in little art houses across the nation. It’s those movies that we try to bring to everyone, to share with them something they might have missed. And then, once in a while, when housesitting, I get a chance to flip through some of the channels I don’t have at home and there comes on a movie that I remember thoroughly enjoying for its crazy fun, big story and quotable scenes. It’s in that vein, that I present to you a movie that I first saw in high school (yes, I AM that old) and is one that I can still watch again and again. But, now I do it with cocktails.
It’s a movie that any 80’s child will tell you encompassed the rise of Asian Culture, John Carpenter at his best, the youth and machismo of Kurt Russell and a whole lot of fun.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this week’s “Take Out Theater” selection, Big Trouble in Little China.”
by Tim Barley
LA Story celebrates Los Angeles in a well-written, funny, layered look at the City of Angels
Recently (two recently’s, actually), LA had a small earthquake, which reminded me of the scene in LA Story at lunch where everyone just sat around while it happened. And that made me think of one of my favorite movies. Personally, there is no other movie that made me want to move to Los Angeles than the smart, funny romantic comedy LA Story, written by Steve Martin. When you spend your time walking from one lecture hall to the next at the University of Wisconsin in -5 degree temperatures, you cling to the hope that the love story set in the warmth of Southern California on the screen in front of you is real and that it CAN happen to you. It’s a remarkably funny, smart and when taken apart, upbeat look at life and love in the City of Angels. The movie takes a lot of pokes at the “culture” of Los Angeles, from restaurants, celebrity (before the advent of the internet, sex tapes and “instant celebrity”), art, architecture, weather and yes, even Shakespeare. Martin is quoted as saying that it took him over seven years to write this movie and in that time, LA went through a lot of social and cultural change. It’s all there on the screen, with a great supporting cast, including a freeway sign that has lost its voice. This week, Cocktails and Movies shares with you one of our favorites about Los Angeles and it’s warm, sunny “culture.” This is “LA Story…”