You know how there are some days you can’t explain? It’s like, the sky is azure blue, unencumbered by clouds, and the sun is beckoning you to come out and play, but you can’t because the TV weather girl — excuse me — meteorologist — has chirpily warned you that it’s going to be at least 108 degrees out, but it will feel like 125 when you figure in the THI index, and if you’re going to venture out of your air conditioned apartment, you’re going to need a sunscreen with the equivalent of a lead shield on your shoulders. So you say to yourself, I’ll stay inside today, and check out a new DVD. But then you check out the new releases, and your face drops as you realize that it may be sizzling outside, but inside, it’s a cold, dark, and dreadfully dismal world.
Today is one of those days. Let me tell you why.
Wild Hogs is this week’s blockbuster release. It’s a coming of age story of sorts, but the hook is the characters are a quartet of fifty-something men who spontaneously have a unanimous epiphany regarding their post-midlife crisis. The only way to face maturity is to saddle up the spankin’ new Harleys and take a cross-country cruise while posing as renegade bikers. John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, and Tim Allen embarrass themselves sufficiently, but Ray Liotta, as the “real” outlaw biker, shows what real midlife crises are really all about.
Anthony Hopkins is a wee bit long in the tooth to be having a midlife crisis, but that doesn’t keep him from doing yet another Hannibal Lecter impression in Fracture. In this one, he’s a man who’s killed his wife, and dares Ryan Gosling to convict him. It’s a cat-and-mouse game of words — long, long conversations that play out like the most boring chess game ever.
In The Lookout, we’re asked to believe that a mentally impaired man would have a job as a night janitor at a bank, which, conveniently enough, makes him the perfect point man for a heist of said bank. Once you get past that point, this is a surprisingly tight little thriller, directed by Scott Frank, who wrote the screenplay for Get Shorty.
The long list doesn’t fare much better, I’m afraid. There are, however, a few obscure Shakespeare tidbits, including a 1935 version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, starring James Cagney. There a few tidbits here and there, so take your time and check them out.