Archives for posts with tag: Ron Howard

When I recall “Apollo 13” (1995), I envision a scene where Cmdr. Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) gazes out the window of his space capsule at a lunar surface he longs to touch but can’t due to his wounded ship. When I go back and re-watch the film, the scene is shorter and less poignant. As a filmmaker, Ron Howard has a way of taking things that happened and making them seem more like we want to remember (or imagine). It’s a gift and a curse, because Howard is snickered at by some who live a more ironic life. Pity them.

Ron Howard makes art for the common man, so his films like “Backdraft” don’t get a lot of credit. In that one, there’s an awkward subplot involving a behind-bars arsonist played by Donald Sutherland. The scenes, which ape “Silence of the Lambs,” seem to exist mainly to give Robert De Niro more screen time. Yet, 28 years later, producer Howard signed off on a stripped-down, straight-to-video sequel that reshapes this subplot into a standalone procedural. And it’s actually a pretty decent, 101-minute TV show. “Backdraft 2” (2019) stars Joe Anderson (who?) plus Sutherland and another key 1991 player, William Baldwin.

When I was a kid, I’d get very upset if a sports movie wasn’t realistic enough to suit me. Heaven forbid if it took dramatic license with actual events. I’m not a kid anymore, so I could appreciate all the melodrama and spectacle that director Ron Howard packs into “Rush” (2013), a based-on-a-true story Hollywoodization of 1970s Formula One racing. The rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda is exaggerated. The race results are embellished. Get over it. It’s a good story with interesting characters, providing a new take on how opposites can bring out the best in each other.