Archives for posts with tag: Cuba Gooding Jr.

“A Few Good Men” (1992) is a pretty good courtroom drama made special by some unique flourishes: it takes place around a military court martial and features Demi Moore with her original face and Tom Cruise with his original brain. Best of all, it stars Jack Nicholson in a scenery-chewing performance as a hard-ass Marine colonel who gets to say awesome lines. He promises to piss in somebody’s dead skull – and you believe he would do it. Because every morning, he eats breakfast 300 yards from 4,000 Cubans that are trained to kill him. You need him on that wall.

“As Good as It Gets” is not. This strange 1997 romantic comedy is very 1990s (code for excruciatingly chatty and somewhat depressing) and therefore doesn’t stand the test of time very well, despite Oscar-winning performances by Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. Groans outweigh laughs. The theme: It’s not easy being someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder; it’s even harder when you are a total a-hole; that being said, if even obsessive-compulsive a-holes can be redeemed, then there is hope for all of us. Trivia: Lisa Edelstein and Peter Jacobson from “House” play “woman at table” and “man at table” in one scene.

Is it acting if you go through an entire movie without saying anything? (Oh yeah, silent movies – I forgot.) Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a mute in “Lightning Jack,” a 1994 western starring Paul Hogan. Hogan also wrote the script, which explains why a gunslinging Crocodile Dundee has a mute sidekick – more lines for Hogan. The plot is actually kind of interesting, and Gooding does well given the restrictions on his character. Hogan, however, loves himself too much to play a murderous bank robber, so he sprinkles in just enough wincingly self-deprecating slapstick to make himself (but not me) feel better.