Archives for posts with tag: Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton makes some weird Christmas movies. John Cusack just makes weird movies, period. These two superheroes of uncomfortable humor join forces in “The Ice Harvest” (2005) as a pair of moderately sleazy dudes who plot to steal money on Christmas Eve from an exceptionally sleazy dude (Randy Quaid). Noirishly comedic hijinks ensue, replete with double- crosses that might have been coincidences – or might have been triple-crosses. It comes off a little flat. It’s a Harold Ramis film, which probably explains why the opening credits font is the same as the one used at the end of “Animal House.”

Were John Hughes still alive, and had he figured out how to make movies starring grownups (stop cultivating the delusion that “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was a good film), he would have made a movie like “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (2016). Tina Fey stars as a frustrated journalist who tries her hand as a war correspondent. Afghani hijinks ensue. And people get blown up. And there’s a love interest. And the music comes in at all the right times. And it so patiently, deliberately tells its story, you remember what it was like back when comedies actually had plots. Thanks Tina.


If you watched “Primary Colors” when it first came out in 1998, you focused on John Travolta and Emma Thompson playing fictionalized versions of Bill and Hillary Clinton. If you look back at it today, focus instead on the elitist black aide with stars in his eyes. The movie uses him as a vessel to carry the story. Now pretend he’s a young Barack Obama serving at the feet of masters so that someday he may beat them at their own game. Interesting, isn’t it, how a movie can tell a story that didn’t exist when it was originally told?