Archives for posts with tag: Elijah Wood

There’s no quiet like the quiet following a winter storm. I’ve lived through ice storms in the Northeast. They’re not pleasant. Neither is “The Ice Storm,” director Ang Lee’s 1997 meditation on 1970s mores. Groovy, earth-toned freedom is stripped to its decadent core. Then the forces of nature have their way, leaving emptiness. This might be one of the most perfectly cast films ever, from Kevin Kline’s waspy obliviousness to the fumbling, freckle-faced innocence of various teenage boys. And then there’s Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver, teaching us the difference between the ice that numbs and the ice that burns.

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“Radio Flyer” (1992) is a heartwarming tale of child abuse and a possible suicide. Even better, it’s narrated by a dad who is telling this heartwarming tale to his own kids. Even better still is that the dad is Tom Hanks. Who thought this was a good idea? The film is filtered through a wistful haze of sepia-toned memories, supported by a fanciful musical score. Ohhh, so it’s a fairytale story of child abuse and a possible suicide. That makes it OK. The only positive is the abused young boy who (maybe) commits suicide grows up to be Frodo Baggins.

“Forever Young” (1992) is like a labradoodle. It’s a harmlessly cute cross-breed (the result of mating romantic comedy with science fiction). What’s amazing is how easily this film could have become mutant offspring. You’ve got Mel Gibson as a 1939 test pilot who agrees to get cryogenically frozen after his girlfriend falls into a coma, then gets accidentally thawed out after he’d been accidentally forgotten for 50 years. Hijinks ensue: culture shock, military conspiracies, awkward romance, etc. Thankfully, every time the plot could have crashed and burned, the filmmakers pull back on the throttle, so to speak. “Forever Young.” Labradoodle.