Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 6:38 pm 
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Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosnski) and The Good Boss (Fernando León de Aranoa)

TOP GUN: MAVERICK ( Joseph Kosinski) As reboots of 37-year-old movies go this is a good one. I mildly enjoyed seeing Tom Cruise return to the scene of his greatest triumph with a noble cameo from the seriously ailing Val Kilmer as Mav's mentor and protector, "Ice." At 60 Tom still has the pizazz and the smile to make the absurd courage believable, and his role nicely acknowledges, does not shirk, his age. There is movie magic in the daredevil flight sequences. The filmmakers just about manage to make the lightening maneuvers comprehensible to the ordinary viewer, even if it's hard to believe them or believe in them. The machismo and the militarism are alienating and seem out of date. Miles Teller is a blank (in a key role) and has a silly mustache, and Jon Hamm is just thick-necked bluster. The original seemed better, more three-dimensional: probably it was the reverse. I am really tired of the terminally unsubtle kind of character Ed Harris plays so well. Metacritic 78%.

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THE GOOD BOSS (Fernando León de Aranoa) Javier Bardem shines as the ironically described "buen patrón," the smug, self-satisfied head of a provincial scale factory he inherited and which he dominates, pretending to love his employees like family when he merely uses them and throws them away when he feels like it, and will do anything to get one more "best factory" award. Screenplay issues mar the material. There's too much plot or too little. This could have been honed down into a sharper sex comedy or expanded further into a mini-series about labor and management. Nobody is likable here; everybody is at least mildly obnoxious, and it's not very funny. The movie pushes class and race and gender buttons, but it's unclear why it was such a huge success in Spain, beating out Almodóvar's PARALLEL MOTHERS for local awards. Watched with a huge crowd of two dozen people, probably there for the A/C on Labor Day. Metacritic rating 65%.

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