Tom Basham

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page


In New On DVD on January 24, 2013 at 12:34 am


I finally saw Looper.  I thought that I had seen it before in a past life, like when Bruce Willis was looking for Twelve Monkeys and ran into his younger self, but this movie was Brad Pitt-less.  Anyways, I am a sucker for time travel movies.

So there are these people called “Loopers” – and no Bill Murray,  they are not golfers.  These Loopers are bad people who do bad things for 30 years, and then they are bagged up and sent into the past to be disposed of.  There are a bunch of these folks, and for some reason they send the old Bruce Willis back to be killed by young Bruce Willis, who, with lots of makeup looks just like that guy from Third Rock from the Sun (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).  And then a whole bunch of stuff happens and they try to fix things in the past so the future will be nice and less loopy.

They do a nice job in keeping the technical side of time travel a mystery, and that’s a good thing since Jeff Daniels is in this movie and he played Dumber in “Dumb and Dumber”.  They also do a decent job in showing that time travel can be good, especially when you can kill bad people who do bad things like time travel.  There is a paradox there somewhere.  I give this movie 3 stars out of five as I think the movie worked, and is a decent watch, but it will not change your life, unless somehow in the future…

Hansel & Gretel

In This Just OUT on January 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

hansel-and-gretel-imax-post Every fairy tale should be seen in 3-D Imax with rock music blaring.  I watched this today at the Regal in Manassas with a total of six other people, four of whom were by themselves.  I would have talked to them, but the kind of people who see “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” at noon on a Friday are not the sociable type.
This movie had me at the edge of my seat, until about 10 minutes in when this babe jumps up on the stage in the middle of the town square and bellows, “My name’s Gretel,” and she hefts the wicked ancient assault cross bow from her shoulder, “And this is my brother Hansel”.  Well, that put me and everyone in the town in our place.  And I kept looking for the bread crumbs. That’s right – spoiler alert – there are NO bread crumbs.

As the non-stop commercials have informed me, this was a twist on the old story. So I got what I expected – the new Hollywood formula that takes anything with brand recognition and turns it into an action movie. I am fully expecting “The Wonder Bread Killer,” served up just in time for Christmas with the catch phrase, “This guy is toast.”

So, we got Jeremy Renner as the bad ass Hansel.  Ever since he was in that bomb movie that did not bomb, he has blown up.  If he can elbow Matt Damon out of the “Bourne” series and Tom Cruise out of the “MI” series, he can certainly put a witch in the “Hurt Locker.”  While I never pictured Gretel with breasts and using the F-word, I can’t stop myself now after watching Gemma Arterton.  She has been in some other movies but I would not recognize her now without her crossbow and sprayed-on leather pants.

These kids grow up to kill witches and save bad women.  In fact, Hansel saves him a redhead for a nice skinny dip scene later on.  Gretel ends up with a troll, much like Julia Roberts did when she married Lyle Lovett.  For some reason that we don’t find out about until we need to, Witches’ magic does not work on Gretel, but oddly their right cross and kicks to the chest do.  I have never seen witches’ with such ninja-like moves.  Which reminds me, I saw a great trailer where that guy who was caught between a rock and another rock, breaks free and goes to Oz to take on the Wicked Witch.  He should take Gretel with him, and give Hansel the week off.  Anyways, H & G are doing great until they run into the baddest witch of all played by Famke Janssen.  What’s worse, they try to take her down while she is having this big meeting with all her witch friends, just like that last scene in “Jerry Macguire” when he walks into that divorced women’s group.  I just got the worst chill.

Just when I thought there were none of the lessons learned from the old story, H & G find themselves at the old Witch’s house and Hansel says, “Whatever you do, don’t eat the F-ing candy.” And for that reason, I give this movie 3 out 5 stars.  It delivered on it’s promise to twist an old story so I would not recognize it.  “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” will not change your life, because you will be able to find it in the parking lot where the birds ate all my bread crumbs.  Oh, and I am not really a fan of the whole 3-D thing, but I snuck my glasses out and wore them on the drive home.  It was like I was in a real 3-D world…oh Gretel where are thou?

To Have and Have Not

In Classics on January 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm


If you are looking at me kid, then you are looking at a Bogart fan.  “To Have and Have Not” is my favorite Bogart movie, but there are a half dozen others right behind it.  This movie gets notice mostly because this is where Bogart, then 45, met 19 year old Lauren Bacall.  So add to that the novel is by Hemingway, the screenplay by Faulkner and Howard Hawks directed.  The only thing that could make this better is Walter Brennan playing an old rummy.

Like many of his movies, Bogart plays the reluctant hero.  He’s also a tough guy, and this is in a time when men were men and women were never as ‘slim’ as Lauren Bacall.  Did I mention that Hoagy Carmichael plays piano in this movie, because if you ever made it into the Flintstones Cartoon I will be your fan for life.

Bogart gets to do all his favorite things in this movie, including drive a boat, smack a guy, fight injustice, duck the law and get the girl. He does it all with a wry smile, a gravelly drawl, and a cigarette hanging from his lip. The dialogue in this movie is right up there with “Casablanca,” and maybe I like this movie better because of the happy ending and seeing Walter Brennan dance a jig. Catch this movie on TCM, or Netflix or come by my place and we can watch it together. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and I would give it more if it were mathematically possible.

New On DVD

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

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In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

This is an example of a page. Unlike posts, which are displayed on your blog’s front page in the order they’re published, pages are better suited for more timeless content that you want to be easily accessible, like your About or Contact information. Click the Edit link to make changes to this page or add another page.