Tag Archives: Billy Bob Thornton

Cinema Dispatch: Bad Santa 2

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Bad Santa 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Broad Green Pictures

Directed by Mark Waters

Well this certainly seems necessary, right?  I mean, who WASN’T clamoring for Billy Bob Thornton to don the red suit once again and try to catch lightening in a bottle twice!?  Comedy sequels are already a bad idea to start with, but when we get one that’s not only this many years after the fact but also for a movie that’s REALLY freaking good?  What the hell is the point!?  Is there really much more that we need to learn about Willie that wasn’t already covered in the first film?  I mean, we DO get his mother this time around so maybe it will fill in some of the gaps of how he ended up as a drunken piece of trash, but it’s hardly necessary considering how well the role was fleshed out the first time around!  Still, maybe there’s some hope for this one!  After all, at least they didn’t completely recast the damn thing like Kindergarten Cop 2 or The Tooth Fairy 2 (ugh…), so maybe that’s a sign that they actually care about this one!  Yeah… the bar is still really low and I’m not expecting too much from this.  Will this at least be funny enough to justify its existence even if it can’t match up to the original, or was this just a cash-in for everyone who could be bothered to come back?  Let’s find out!!

The story follows the exploits of Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) who it turns out DID NOT have a happy ending as he ended up going back to the bottle and pissing away whatever goodwill he built up with the last movie.  Well… ALMOST all the goodwill as Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) still thinks he’s the bee’s knees and brings him sandwiches whenever he can.  Unfortunately ham and cheese on wheat don’t seem to lift Willie’s spirits as much as you’d expect they would, but after a series of suicide attempts he’s given a chance to sort of get his life back on track.  It turns out that Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox) just got out of jail and needs someone to help him with a heist in Chicago that’s being set up by a third party associate.  With nothing else to do other than drink another bottle and suck on a shotgun, Willie decides he might as well put his safe cracking skills to use and agrees to join him… but it turns out the mysterious associate is actually his mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) and they have a… complicated history.  With only a few days before they have to steal a shit ton of money from a local charity, will they get their act together long enough to not get caught?  What about Thurman who wants nothing more than to spend Christmas with his favorite Santa and is still unaware of just how awful of a human being Willie is?  IS he finally gonna get his heart broken by the one person on Earth he’s somehow idolized all these years?  Just what kind of charitable organization was dumb enough to hire these three scumbags!?

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“Why is your bucket so heavy?  We’ve only been out here an hour!”     “I’ve been pissing in it.  If those bastards want to feed hungry kids, they gonna have to prove how bad they want it.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Well Our Brand is Crisis didn’t do much for everyone involved, but I’m SURE it will work better when you do it with Tina Fey!  What, that’s not enough?  Okay… let’s make it war film too!!  Movies about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (especially comedies) are not easy endeavors for anyone to undertake, but we have gotten some good films along the way such as The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Messenger, and Brothers just to name a few.  With this being somewhat of biopic of a journalist who spent several years in the country, it definitely has an interesting premise and a good excuse to get a strong message across as it’s from the point of view of someone whose job it is to find answers and tell the world about what’s really going on.  Will this be a successful mix between a talented comedian and a topical subject, or is this a mash up that was not meant to be?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the story of Kim Baker (Tina Fey) who works for a news organization and volunteers to go to Afghanistan as a war correspondent as she’s found herself in a rut in her life.  When she gets to Afghanistan (Kabul specifically) she meets a colorful cast of journos, photographers, and other personal that she will be sharing a home with for the next couple of years as she slowly grows to appreciate the country for what it has to offer and starts to grow accustom to the risks and dangers of being a reporter in this environment.  Her newfound friends include a guide Fahim Ahmadza (Christopher Abbott), the only other female journalist (at least the only one we see) at the place that Kim is staying named Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) and a Scottish photographer named Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman) who quickly grows attached to the new member of their little club.  Along the way, she’ll have to deal with the US military, primarily through General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton), and with the a high ranking official in the Afghani government Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) in order to get the stories she needs to keep the war relevant to the news organization she works for and to keep her from being reassigned to another desk job.  Will she be able to hack it as a journalist in this country that doesn’t look too kindly on Western intervention?  Will she find what she’s looking for in the Middle East, or will she get sucked into this world and lose touch with what’s waiting for her back home?  This isn’t going to be TOO offensive, right?

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“You know, I’m starting to get it.”     “Are you now?”     “Yeah!  I can wear Kevlar under this, or I hide a camera if I want to.  I can even drink beer without anyone seeing!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Our Brand Is Crisis

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Our Brand Is Crisis and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by David Gordon Green

I’m pretty sure I saw a trailer for this before every single movie in the last four or five months.  Now that we finally get a chance to see this political dramedy about campaign management, does it actually turn out to be any good?  Well this is basically a hodgepodge of people we like but who don’t always make the best career choices, such as Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, David Gordon Green as the director, and even George Clooney who’s producing this and will sometimes have a misstep.  Will this be another great film from people we know can make great movies, or is this gonna be one big disaster that we only sometimes expect from them?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Sandra Bullock as Jane (colloquially known as Calamity Jane) who was at one time the best campaign manager in the United States.  She won many elections in her career but along the way she developed a drug habit and became an alcoholic to the point that she started to become a laughing stock in her field and eventually checked into the Betty Ford clinic.  The movie picks up several years later and she’s spent the intervening time alone in the woods in exile or something until two campaign managers Ben and Nell (Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd) who are working on a campaign in Bolivia and are so far behind that they’re desperate enough to try and call Jane out of retirement.  When she finds out that their opponent is being managed by her rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) she agrees to go there and help out, but is quickly unimpressed by what she finds.  A candidate who seems checked out and disinterested, a staff composed of idiots who can’t even speak Spanish, and polls that put the guy over twenty points behind their opposition.  Can Jane get back into the swing of things and whip this campaign into shape, or will she end up losing herself again throughout this whole ordeal!?

“What do you think our chances are?”     “Honestly?  I think Rick Santorum had a better chance of winning the presidency.”     “2012 Santorum, or 2016 Santorum?”     “Does it matter?”     “I guess not.”

“What do you think our chances are?”     “Honestly?  I think Rick Santorum had a better chance of winning the presidency.”     “2012 Santorum, or 2016 Santorum?”     “Does it matter?”     “I guess not.”

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