That’s Life

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Frank Sinatra in That’s Life (1966):

That’s life
(That’s life)
That’s what all the people say
You’re riding high in April, shot down in May
But I know I’m gonna change that tune
When I’m back on top, back on top in June

I just finished seeing the (highly avoidable) movie Those Who Wish Me Dead (HBO Max, starring Angelina Jolie, who won an Academy Award for Girl, Interrupted), when I recalled the Dilbert strip above. 😏

I had high hopes for TWWMD, given:

Lara Croft. Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Wanted. Salt. The Tourist.

As a reviewer succinctly notes using the imagery consistent with the film:

To put it bluntly, this is the kind of film that will flash-burn today and be forgotten in a puff of smoke tomorrow.

Her most lucrative film to date is:

Maleficent is a dark fantasy adventure film, grossing over $758 million worldwide. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.

I saw Maleficent in Boston, to break the boredom of waiting at the RMV (in Pennsylvania, it is called DMV). Looking at my number on the queue, and at the processing rate, and because it is FCFS (First-Come, First-Serve) discipline, I realized that it would be over 2 hours, with sufficiently high probability, for my number to be called. On my iPhone, I found that the nearby AMC on Tremont had a showing of this movie starting soon. I enjoyed the movie, returned to the RMV, got my updated license.

This is one of the rare times that queuing models have been of practical use in my personal life!

Another disappointment of May was (#1 among US Movies on Netflix, no less), with Amy Adams: The Woman in the Window. Of course, it is not:

Rear Window is a  mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Raymond Burr. The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics, and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best and one of the greatest films ever made.

The first 20 minutes of Amy Adams’ movie (like the Angelina Jolie film) was juvenile. The next twenty minutes showed some promise, but overall, it was not worth watching (Rotten Tomatoes 29%).

As the Rolling Stone review puts it eloquently:

The source material is a bestseller. The cast is A-list. The director is British and celebrated, the cinematographer is French and aces, and the screenwriter is a Pulitzer-winning playwright. There is, on the surface, no reason to think that The Woman in the Window, the long-anticipated and even-longer-delayed adaptation of A.J. Finn’s 2018 prestige beach read, would not be the sort of movie designed to spike pulses whether you see it in theaters or at home on Netflix, on a plane or on a train, on a boat or with a goat.

Mostly, however, the playbook consists of “ape Hitchcock,” followed by blank pages. 

You go in with high expectations about what this collection of talent can do with this batshit pulp fiction. You leave feeling like you owe Brian De Palma a thousand apologies.

Likewise, I had decent hopes for Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, but that was just meh. Here is the NYTimes review:

Situating the bulk of its action in 2019, “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” updates Clancy’s 1993 novel by opening with a prologue in Aleppo, Syria, and making reference to the Russian military presence in the country. But the geopolitics and relative lack of cyber-anything otherwise date the movie to a barely post-Cold War period, while the plot mechanics grind along like holdovers from Charles Bronson’s heyday.

Ouch! What about June? Here are a few movies that may change the tune:

June 11. Misfits. June 16. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. June 25. The Ice Road. F9.

1 comment

  1. I thought “Woman … ” was OK. I haven’t seen the new Angelina movie, but all of those older ones you mention are fine. Cheers.

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