Although this isn’t the first time I have reviewed movies in a short, quick fashion, I am officially naming this feature Pygmy Reviews, after the smaller Pygmy Hippopotamus. The goal here is to review a few movies/games/apps/shows/etc. all at once.
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
One Line Description: Mockumentary about a fictional 1980s heavy metal band.
Clearly a little dated, but still funny. Arguably the first “mockumentary”, but it likely isn’t remembered by younger people for creating the genre. Some of the jokes and whatnot aren’t as funny as they probably were at the time, but the scene where they go to 11 is still iconic. Overall most people under 30 will probably leave disappointed.
Man on Wire (2008)
One Line Description: An actual documentary about a tight ropewalker’s 1974 attempt to walk a tightrope between the two towers of the not-quite-yet-completed World Trade Center towers.
An absolutely unbelievable story. The lengths and cleverness to try and accomplish this feat is so mind-boggling. When you consider that most of the things they did would land them in Guantanamo in 2011 it’s even more amazing. The flashback scenes are reminiscent of something out of JFK. Totally worth your time just for the crazy fact this is a true story.
Be Cool (2005)
One Line Description: The sequel to Get Shorty, Chilli Palmer goes from movies to music and as usual runs into roadblocks related to his past life.
I loved Get Shorty, but this is nowhere near as good. I really don’t like Vince Vaughn and this movie doesn’t help that argument. I never really liked Uma Thurman either but she looked really good in this movie. The Rock has a weird role as well. But overall the characters are nowhere close to as compelling as in Get Shorty. I guess if you feel you need more Chilli Palmer you owe it to yourself to check this out, but I know it’s a one and done for me.
One Line Description: The smart fat kid gets picked on by the handsome quarterback who plays a prank on him that ultimately backfires.
I loved this move as a kid. What’s not to love? The smart fat kid who is “fair at football” gets his dreamgirl to the soundtrack of Green Day and Weezer1. James Van Der Beek makes his debut and is pretty good, as is Chris Owen2 as Angus’ sidekick. Kathy Bates and George C. Scott give it some respectability, but it’s still just a typical mid-90s high school comedy.
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
One Line Description: The trials and tribulations of a high school basketball star in New York City who gets hooked on drugs and drops out, before straightening his life and sharing his lessons.
It’s seems unclear whether the movie takes place in the 1960s or 1990s. The original diaries, which the movies is based on, were written by a teen in the 1960s, but besides the cars the movie didn’t have any 1960s distinguishing features. Basketball doesn’t seem to play that big of a role other than to indicate what the protagonist potentially lost as a result of drug use. It was one of Mark Wahlberg’s3 first roles and he was solid. Overall the movie was just OK.
- Including by all-time favorite Weezer b-side You Gave Your Love to Me Softly [↩]
- Later of American Pie fame [↩]
- A personal favorite [↩]