Tag Archive: ron howard


 

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Ron Howard’s tribute to the rise of Beatlemania, is a good movie, if not a great one.

‘Eight Days a Week’ is made for the hardcore Beatles fan, which is its blessing and its curse.  If you’re invested in the mythology of the Fab Four, you know this story, and you’ve probably seen 90 percent of the footage here somewhere else, whether it be ‘The Beatles Anthology’ or one of the excellent docs that focus on John or George.  Doesn’t mean this film doesn’t work for what it is.  It’s still cool to see, like everyone else, the Beatles were working small clubs for little money before they became a phenomenon.  The focus on their brief run as live artists drive home the point that beyond the marketing and the pop stardom overdrive, these were four talented musicians. (I always thought it was cool that even though John and Paul were the obvious leads, there was always a spotlight song for George and Ringo in the early albums/shows.)

It’s not the farthest reaching comparison, but with so much info already being public knowledge, I’d like to see whoever makes the next Beatles documentary take the approach Spike Lee has done with Michael Jackson: pick one of the iconic albums, set the time and place in the world and in the artist’s career, and then break down the track list and everyone who was influenced by it.

I’m nitpicking some because we’re definitely in a golden age for documentaries.  ‘Eight Days a Week’ is still worth checking out if you love the boys from Liverpool.  On Hulu, iTunes and most digital platforms.

Frost/Nixon

 

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Finally caught up to Frost/Nixon over the weekend.  For those unfamiliar, Frost/Nixon is a highly fictionalized account of the buildup to the real series of interviews that took place between Robert Frost and Richard Nixon following the resignation of the former president.  Based on the critically acclaimed stage play of the same name, Frost/Nixon is nominated for Best Picture, and for his performance as Richard Nixon, Frank Langella is nominated for Best Actor.

Now, it’s a stretch for me to say I lived through this.  I haven’t watched the actual interviews that took place; I haven’t seen the Broadway production.  So I’ll let you decide if I’m an ideal person to review the film or if I need to do more ‘homework’ before giving you my opinion.  I can say I’ve enjoyed the work of the two leads in other Oscar nominated movies I’m fond of: Michael Sheen for his portrayal of Tony Blair in The Queen; Frank Langella for his small but important role in Good Night and Good Luck. 

I’ve seen my share of Nixon impersonations over the years, but I have to say Langella’s performance is up there with the best of them.  He really played the character from the inside-out (the Method I’m most fond of), making it his own.  In almost any other year, I’d say he’s a strong candidate to win the Best Actor award.  But with Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk and Mickey Rourke’s wrestler in the mix, it’s hard to imagine Langella pulling off the upset. 

So who do I think is going to win?  Well…stay tuned.