Archives for posts with tag: Matthew Modine

“Full Metal Jacket” (1987) is the Vietnam movie that gave us memorable-but-now-impermissible phrases such as, “me so horny, me love you long time,” and “only steers and queers come from Texas, and I don’t see any horns on you.” It’s also the Vietnam movie that is often credited for coming the closest to capturing what combat was actually like in Vietnam. I wasn’t there. I won’t judge. I will say that from a cinematic standpoint, it is better as a work of art than a piece of entertainment. I think writer/director/producer Stanley Kubrick meant for it to be that way.

Wow, positive thinking really does work. A woman, getting dumped on from all directions, finds her husband in flagrante delicto and absurdly dark comic hijinks ensue in “Breaking News in Yuba County” (2021). It’s not Shakespeare, but if “A Comedy of Errors” met “Hamlet” in small-town Kentucky… maybe not, but there’s definitely a full-on competition between cases of mistaken identity and cases of homicide. Allison Janney convincingly connives atop an ensemble of bad daughters (Awkafina), bad cops (Regina Hall) and bad sisters (Mila Kunis). If you think almost all the characters are annoying – I know I did – just be patient.

Matthew Modine wrote a screenplay for a movie. That he directed. And starred in. What could go wrong? The road to straight-to-DVD hell is paved with films like “If… Dog… Rabbit” (2002). I’m sure the intentions were good. Just like Modine’s character, the cliché son from a white-trash family who is back from prison, vowing to stay clean. And just like the carefully planned caper that Modine gets sucked into because, well, because that’s how these movies go. It would be a harmless B-movie, except it (meaning Modine) doesn’t realize it isn’t any better than that. Just like Modine’s character.