Archives for posts with tag: Jennifer Connelly

He’s become a modern-day Chuck Yeager, a test-pilot behind the times yet riding the bleeding edge, racing into a void so he can ignore those of his own creation. Tom Cruise introduces us to this complicated man at the beginning of “Top Gun: Maverick” (2022) and then somewhat shoves him aside for the typical testosterone, posturing, good guys and bad guys of the Jerry Bruckheimer action machine. But all that old machinery, it still works pretty darn good, with an extra-large helping of emotional exploitation. Maverick becomes Yoda. He finds his Luke and they go on a Death-Star-like suicide mission.

There’s a common movie construct where an innocent person becomes party to an ill-gotten gain (they witness a bank robbery or find out where some dirty money is stashed, something like that). The innocent and a bad guy end up having to rely on each other to grab the stash before even badder guys can get it. Meanwhile, the bad guy becomes angst-ridden and a decision must be made. “Blood Diamond” (2006) manifests this construct in Sierra Leone, with Leonardo DiCaprio as the conflicted protagonist. A good, not great, film where the setting is more interesting than the story itself.

It’s hard to keep up with all the different movies that have been made from Marvel Comics characters. A good rule of thumb is that if Robert Downey Jr. isn’t in it, it’s probably not any good. Take “Hulk” (2003), not to be confused with 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk.” Yes, “Hulk” was so bad they took a do-over five years later. Eric Bana proves that green is just as one-dimensional as white. Sam Elliott is army green and also perpetually angry. Nick Nolte looks like he just had his mug shot taken. Watery-eyed Jennifer Connelly plays the only likeable character.