During Mrs. Stagger’s recovery from ankle surgery we’ve seen a few movies. Reviews, limited to two sentences or that neighborhood, follow.
1. Australia. We saw this because the cast contains Hugh Jackman (who Mrs. Stagger considers “The Sexiest Man Alive Except When He Plays Wolverine in Those Dumb Comic Book Movies”) and a red heeler (which we both consider the Greatest Dog Breed Alive). The dog didn’t have enough of a part (no name, no lines), but Nicole Kidman’s botoxified forehead wasn’t nearly as bad as everybody said it was going to be.
2. The Day the Earth Stood Still. The confluence of Hollywood’s top two concerns: making money and striking noble postures. A waste of every penny paid to make it or watch it.
3. The Good Life. This is a very nice and somewhat Last Picture Show-ish look at life in small Nebraska town. Can Blockbuster be believed: the only other things they’ve let this guy (Steve Berra) make are skateboarding movies?
4. Wanted. I have to agree with Mrs. Stagger here; this is a disgusting movie. The lesson for adolescent males seems to be that, if you find your life boring and insignificant, learn how to kill people.
5. This Sporting Life. A grim black and white portrait of British lower class life. See it if: a) you want extra-credit for filling in all the gaps in your film resume, or b) you can’t resist seeing Richard Harris do a pretty fair job of imitating Marlon Brando.
6. ‘Round Midnight: See “a” above; only this, if you missed it like we did, is a must-see from 1986. No plot to speak of, but a chance to see a truly unique performance and get a little education in classical jazz (something I’m badly in need of) to boot.