Archives for posts with tag: Jon Lovitz

After Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner schemed and competed to put out movie versions of the Wyatt Earp saga in 1993, I was surprised to see them teamed as Elvis impersonators gone bad in the 2001 shoot-em-up/caper/comedy/road flick “3000 Miles to Graceland.” Then again, they double-cross each other about 3,000 times in this movie, so maybe art imitates life. The special effects are horrible (with all the gunplay, too bad the editor wasn’t shot) but the story isn’t half bad. Lots of familiar faces in small roles (Ice T! Paul Anka?). Courteney Cox steals the show as a redneck grifter.

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Garry Marshall died a few months after the release of “Mother’s Day” (2016) and I can assure you, he took no sitcom-style plot conventions with him to the grave. They’re all here: the younger and sexier second wife, the wacky parents, the sassy black friend, the wedding scene, the hospital scene, the graveyard scene. He did everything but have Fonzie jump a shark again. But that was Marshall’s gift. He could take boilerplate romantic comedy material and pan fry it in enough schmaltz to clog an artery, yet it would always come out satisfying (not great, satisfying). It’s cinematic comfort food.

People who only know Whoopi Goldberg as the old black lady that runs her mouth on talk shows are missing out on the fact that she was once a pretty good actress. A prime example is how she rescues the dopey “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and turns it into a halfway decent, escapist romantic comedy. A great example of making chicken salad out of chicken poop (or as Whoopi would say, motherfucking chicken poop). The plot involves spies, lonely women and a 1986 version of instant messaging that will make you feel really old if you remember computers with green screens.

Kevin Spacey makes movie-watching fun. Maybe he just does a good job of picking movies. Like “Casino Jack” (2010), which tells the story of Wasington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who ended up in prison for, um, lobbying. I guess he did it wrong or something. I was too busy enjoying the witty dialog, Kelly Preston, Jon Lovitz, the dude who played Dale Earnhardt in that ESPN movie, and adorable redhead Rachelle Lefevre to have any kind of moral epiphany. I already know Washington is sleazy and all politicians are hypocrites. But thank you, Mr. Spacey, for making it seem so fun.