Archive for June 27, 2021

Why didn’t I skip weekends? Never did anyone say anything about this being 30 days in a row.


This one is pretty easy, though, because almost everything in this or any other blog I’ve written has at least some mention of Oscar-winner and Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson. So, it would be really silly of me to pick anyone else for today’s post. I mean, I’ll see anything with Tom hardy, but it’s still no contest.

But which Brie Larson movie to pick? I’ve already written a lot about Marvel and superhero movies, so I should go with something else. And as anyone who has read some of my stuff already knows, I don’t like all of her movies (Go back and read my post The Crap-tacular Now if you want to see how I feel about that one, if you couldn’t tell by the title.)

I do need to say that I have pretty much written about every Brie Larson movie already, so this will be another cut-and-paste job, but I went with a very underrated one, so it should still be fun. Enjoy it and come back tomorrow for my favorite director. And check out my linktree if you’re interested, and I hope you are. Without any further adieu, Brie Larson’s movie from October 2018 (Side note on that: This was before we thought Armie Hammer was insane, but I didn’t want to edit it too much. Just know that I have since changed my stance on him):

Free Fire

I’ll talk a lot more about Captain Marvel as we move along, but this is about movies that Brie Larson has already made. Now, I’ve ragged on a few of her movies in my previous posts, but because I’m feeling such good vibes from the trailer, I decided to cover what is, to date, my favorite Brie Larson movie, Free Fire.

A lot of people probably have never even heard of this movie, and if I weren’t scouring the globe for Brie Larson movies, I maybe wouldn’t have, either. And that would be unfortunate, because it’s a totally fun, awesome movie, one that I would have loved in college during my “Tarantino is God” phase, and totally worth your time (Seriously, it’s available free with Prime now, and I when is say “worth your time,” I mean it because it’s exactly 91 minutes, and 60 of them are one, long gunfight.)

Larson herself had just come from filming Room, for which she would win critical acclaim and an Oscar, but at the time, she was just making a fun action movie alongside Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy. In fact, it was likely for the best that it happened that way, because the fame that came from her performance in Room could have possibly changed the vibe that this movie had going on, and that would have sucked, because the vibe that Free Fire had going on was that of a shoot-’em-up, gonzo, late-70’s blood bath. No CGI monsters smashing buildings or giants sky-lasers. Just people shooting each other and crawling around on the ground, wounded. And the great part is, when these people get shot, they feel it, and they scream in pain, and the people that shoot them even sometimes feel a little bad.

As a brief aside, can I just say that I am finding Armie Hammer to actually be quite an accomplished actor? I had honestly never heard of him before that horrible Lone Ranger debacle, but this dude has some chops. I love that he plays his handsomeness for comedy more often than not, where a lot of handsome Hollywood actors play their handsomeness for handsomeness.

The quick rundown of the story, such as it is, goes like this; in 1978 Boston, Larson’s Justine is helping to broker a deal between criminals for some rifles. So, of course, when you get a bunch of stupid criminals and some guns and put them together in an enclosed space, hilarity will ensue. As Larson puts it, Free Fire is simply “an action movie making fun of action movies.” That’s pretty good, but I don’t see it as “making fun,” as much as paying tribute to them, and making one that’s actually quite simple, and very good. There is of course some subtlety in the performances, of course, especially Hammer’s sweet-talking, sharp-dressed kingpin, and Sharlto Copley’s stupidly fake-smooth Vernon, and there’s some nods to the political unrest in Northern Ireland (hence the guns), but even if I didn’t see the opening minutes and had no idea who anyone was, I would have enjoyed this movie immensely.

Also, I know this may seem biased, but Larson happens to be playing the most intelligent character in the movie. She is the only female, and definitely stands out among the leisure suits and bad facial hair, but she there is also an edge to her that just isn’t seen in a lot of action movies from previous generations (She even has a great moment, while pointing her gun at one of her rivals: “We can’t all be nice girls.”) There were saucy female characters, to be sure, and there were hordes of Marion Ravenwood-esque women who could hold their own with the male bad guys, but also in the end had to be rescued by their leading men. Justine needs no rescuing, and in fact, has one up on all of them, and plainly states as much when she responds to one of the dimwit crooks when he asks if she’s F.B.I.: “I’m I.I.F.M.,” which stands for In It For Myself. I mean, Marion Ravenwood was definitely in it for the money (at least at first), but even she wasn’t savvy enough to put one over on both Indiana Jones and Rene Belloq.

I would like to say that I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but that’s really not an issue here. I guess I won’t tell you who, if anyone, gets away, but let me just say a bunch of people get shot, all of them more than once, there’s a lot of jokes and quips, Armie Hammer smokes a lot of weed, the filmmakers make great use of John Denver on the soundtrack, and assuming they have a pulse, the audience goes home happy. But don’t let the lack of plot twists and turns get you down, because, as I said earlier, there are great characters and performances in here. They are done so well, in fact, that even though they are all criminals, you kind of want them to make it. But you know that never really happens in these movies. Just enjoy them while they’re there, because it’s pretty unlikely you’ll see a Free Fire II: Guns Blazin’ anytime soon.

In closing, I would be remiss if I didn’t post my favorite gif, one that I’ve used before in this blog, but now I can give it some context because it’s from this movie, and it pretty much tells you what the movie is all about. When Vernon sees Justine for the first time in awhile, he remarks that she is lovely, but also that she’s put on a bit of weight, and hopes that no one has “put a bun in her oven.” Justine’s reply, and the only appropriate one in this or any other era:

So, yeah, see Free Fire.


I don’t always like to go with the easy pick with this Challenge. I try to go with something a little different. But since it’s later on Saturday and I have been drinking, there’s really no other I can pick for my favorite film sequel than the Empire Strikes Back.

Younger readers (if there are any) should remember that for most of my life, this was the second Star Wars movie out of three. And if you ask a lot of people from my generation, it is probably their favorite (although a lot of people may pick A New Hope, which for most of my life was referred to as Star Wars.) It’s pretty amazing to think that a three-movie franchise that started in 1977 ended just a couple years ago, and is maybe still going on if you throw in the Disney + shows. So, is this even a sequel when ten movies came after it? and can I make the not-so controversial statement that most of the recent ones were so bad that I’d like to just pretend that it ended with Return of the Jedi? And how does Rogue One fit in as a prequel?

More importantly, who cares? Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite Star Wars movie, and for a good chunk of my life was my favorite movie, period. I remember seeing it many times in theaters with my parents, grandparents and basically any adult who would take me. I had a whole bunch of the toys, including Boba Fett’s Slave-1, which was one of my favorite toys of all-time, but has apparently become a problematic name. But it’s still a cool ship.

I love Harrison Ford’s performance. I love the AT-AT’s and the battle of Hoth. I love the asteroid field scene, the lightsaber duel, what a bad-ass Darth Vader is, and yes, even the ending. It’s one of the only Star Wars movies where the bad guys don’t look like total idiots. In fact, they are pretty dominant the whole movie until R2-D2 helps the rebels barely squeak by at the end. That’s how to make a movie with a really down ending somehow seem like everything turned out okay and get you to come back for the next one. It’s pretty basic Screenwriting 101. And did I mention At-At’s?

I don;t really need to go on, do I? It’s really the only film sequel I could have picked as my favorite. Not only is it one of my favorite movies in general, but what the Hell is a sequel these days, anyway? 

And also, AT-AT’s.

Come back… in a few hours, I guess. And Linktree!