Archives for posts with tag: Willem Dafoe

“A Most Wanted Man” (2014) is a pretty good spy movie that all of a sudden becomes a really good spy movie – which is exactly how really good spy movies are supposed to happen. It takes place in Germany, and the main characters are Germans, but they’re played by American actors speaking English with German accents (don’t worry – it all works somehow). Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a spy who’s seen it all. Rachel McAdams plays a lawyer who’s in over her head. The city of Hamburg plays a supporting role and reminds us American moviewatchers just how different Europe looks.

I watched “The Fault in Our Stars” (2014) at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, alone. Which means I’m pretty much a loser. Or gay. Or both. Or maybe none of those things. Maybe I just didn’t want to watch something depressing in the dark (the movie’s about cancer, you know). Except it’s not that depressing, because it’s also a love story (which I already knew). Maybe I didn’t trust the filmmakers. Maybe I thought it would be manipulative (they were, ALL these kinds of movies are, and I need to get over that). But it was also much, much more.

It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised when a movie takes the crime/mob/caper/procedural formula to another level. “The Boondock Saints” (1999) is a big, blood-splattered, hilarious Boston-Irish mess, with a dash of Willem Dafoe weirdness. One example: Irish twins bickering and f-bombing each other in an air duct above a Russian mobster’s lair just before the roof caves in and the twins go all Tarantino on everyone. Another: FBI agent Dafoe puts the homo in homicide while doing a “House” impersonation as he explains a double killing to doofus Boston detectives. Maybe you had to be there. I was. I laughed.