Archives for posts with tag: James Caan

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s page in Hollywood history will not talk about art. It will explain his contribution to the genre known as summertime blockbuster action films. “Eraser” (1996) might get mentioned because it’s a perfect example. Arnold must protect a federal witness (Vanessa Williams) from the four horsemen of action movies: pyrotechnics, technology, organized crime and double-crossing government officials. There’s beauty, humor, helicopters and explosions. The climax is just as implausible as the rest of the film and don’t ask me about Arnold’s accent. Just eat your popcorn and enjoy the air conditioning for two hours. It’s hot as hell outside.

I could tell “A Fighting Man” (2014) was filmed in Canada. The trees didn’t look American. Like Canada, this film is quieter and less interesting, but in an acceptable sort of way. It’s a cliché boxing movie about a washed-up pug with one last chance for redemption. Or something, I couldn’t tell for sure what. The script was trying so hard to be self-consciously profound, it made me cringe, remembering back to when I was an obliviously crappy 22-year-old fiction writer. Ever wondered what an exact 5 was on a 1-10 movie quality scale? Then go see “A Fighting Man.”

Technically speaking, I shouldn’t review “The Program.” After all, I was in the movie. (What? You didn’t see me in the upper deck during the Georgia Tech or Mississippi State games? Look again. This time don’t blink.) In my humble opinion, it’s the finest movie ever made. No? How about best sports movie ever? Best football movie? Of 1993? Best movie that I am in? (FYI – I’m also in “Spring Break.”) Seriously though, it’s an even-handed though cliche-heavy look at big-time college football circa 1993. Omar Epps is good. James Caan is surprisingly nuanced as a morally conflicted head coach.