Seen this weekend:
Panic (2000): William H. Macy plays a hit man whose visit to a psychologist puts him in direct conflict with his capo father, played by Donald Sutherland. It’s a story about a man trying desperately to escape one part of his life, organized crime, while maintaining some connection to his family life, even though these two things have become dangerously intertwined. Panic is a film that should have won a larger audience than it did. Catch it on Netflix streaming.
Thor (2011): Kenneth Branagh has been responsible for a lot of great moments in movies. This isn’t really one of them. It’s more a passable entertainment that works provided that you don’t think about it critically. Chris Hemsworth turns in a good performance as the titular Thor, and the story of an arrogant ruler who needs a lesson in humility before he can become a hero is so ingrained in us as a storytelling meme that it’s hard not to be a sucker for it. Still, I couldn’t get past the idea that Thor’s ostensibly super-race of people, who command awesome technologies, would still operate on the basis of hereditary rule and medieval social arrangements. The people who actually did live under such societies saw a great deal of rebellion and instability, and let’s face it, if Henry Tudor and Richard III had possessed the kind of weaponry we see in Thor, no one would have been left alive to remember them. Somehow I doubt that any King of Asgard would have lived to a ripe old age, without eventually changing the political structure of the state so that he becomes the Former Prime Minister of Asgard. Also, wouldn’t any race that can bend the laws of space and time to transfer people instantly across intergalactic space also be able to develop a replacement eye for their head of state? Just saying.
Angels’ Revenge (1979): Greydon Clark has been responsible for many nauseating moments in movie history, and this is one of them. His recipe this go around mixes 7 hot women with questionable acting skills, two late-career character actors from 1960s TV, one Jack Palance (in his mid 1970s to mid 1980s career slump), and one Peter Lawford (who was likely too plastered to know that he was actually in the movie). There’s some nonsense about the seven busty ladies killing off the L.A. drug trade, lots of jiggling boobs, and a few scenes in which the ladies order men to strip at gunpoint. As the MST3K boys so aptly put it, Greydon Clark doesn’t have Ed Wood’s passion for this material, and it shows in the final product. Ech.