Archives for posts with tag: Shea Whigham

The “based on a true story” film genre is often a worst-of-both-worlds purgatory that mixes fact and drama to the point that both are weakened. “City of Lies” (2021), a dormant film about the even-more-dormant murders of rap icons Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, would have been better either as a documentary or as a completely fictionalized police procedural with “names changed to protect the innocent,” as they used to say on the old LAPD television shows. Conspiracy theories surrounding the unsolved murders have reduced Biggie and Tupac to abstracts, like Amelia Earhart. This film clouds the narrative even further.

Ever heard the story about the bisexual baseball player and World War II spy who either bravely confirmed that the Nazis weren’t building an atom bomb or recklessly allowed the Nazis to continue to try to build an atom bomb? Yeah, well, there’s a 2018 movie called “The Catcher Was a Spy” which is “based on a true story,” meaning that only part of that first sentence is true and I don’t know which part. It’s interesting, yet unsatisfying. Honestly, I preferred a New York Times article that I read years ago about the subject of the film, Moe Berg.

Whenever I’m watching a movie like “Beirut” (2018), where nobody changes clothes for days and the sun is beating down, I’m thinking how bad I’d be smelling and how much I’d want to take a shower. But I also pay attention to the plot, because it’s like a big game of poker where the winner is always the person who doesn’t give a shit the most. If I were Jon Hamm, I’d be pretty happy at my transition away from TV (and far away from “Million Dollar Arm”) to a starring role in a major espionage thriller alongside Rosamund Pike.