Archives for posts with tag: John Cusack

It’s presumptuous to announce in April the worst movie of 2017, so let’s just say “Arsenal” is the leader in the clubhouse. (Spoiler alert: It’s not about the soccer team.) A bunch of B-list actors (Cage, Cusack, Grenier) and some meathead I never heard of (Schaech) perform a Mississippi Delta white trash version of the good brother, bad brother film conceit. Awful dialogue. Bad (Cage, Schaech) and/or indifferent (Cusack, Grenier) acting. Obscenely bloody, stylized violence that seems geared toward 16-year-old gamers. Question: Why would they watch this crappy movie when pretty much any bloodbath video game is better than this?

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.”

As you watch “City Hall” (1996), there’s a feeling this plane is on autopilot. Al Pacino is the mayor of New York. He plays it like pretty much every speechifying New York Guy character he’s ever played. John Cusack is deputy mayor. His Louisiana accent and backwoods backstory are more a distraction than a distinction. (Former South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings has a cameo, BTW.) The tired plot’s a retelling of the young idealist learning the hard way that political morality is painted in shades of gray, not black and white. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have any soul.