Next is Val, currently languishing in grad school, wearing lab coats and gettin' in trouble. She has a brand new shiny blog called D) All of the Above. It is an exploration of all things nerdy, rather like mine, except where I spit hatred she is relentlessly cheerful and also more sci-fi nerdy. So all you Trek dorks who can't get your fix here, Val's the one you want to go to.
Some say pimpin' ain't easy. Those people aren't me.
Now on to Red! Sort of. So I re-dyed my hair for my Halloween costume and it's not quite the same pink it was before. It's so much better and also a tad darker and basically now actually looks the same shade as my character-person's hair.
So I went to see Red with Javi and Zeke and got complimented on my choice in hair color four times. The first time was a terrifyingly skinny woman who looked like there was a good chance she was a crackhead. So that raised some unsettling implications. Then two much more normal-looking ladies said they thought my hair looked good the two times I went to the bathroom, but compliments are always a bit weird when stated in a bathroom. Lastly, in the parking garage after the movie, an entire car of people whizzed by, screaming out the window that they liked my hair. I don't know what to make of that.
Red tells the story of Frank Moses played by Bruce Willis (I feel like bald hard-asses in movies are always named Frank). Frank is retired from the CIA, and spends his days waking up at 6am, pummeling punching bags (I will say this, Bruce Willis is old, but he still looks like he could legit fuck you up), attempting to keep up with neighborhood Christmas light displays and ripping up his pension checks so he has an excuse to talk to Sarah in customer service or whatever the hell her job title would be. Sarah is bored and lonely and played by Mary Louise Parker, who is unbelievably cute and I love her to bits. She has officially made my list of people I would watch even if the movie was just them chasing a kitten for an hour (see Robert Downey Jr and Liam Neeson). Anyway, her and Frank strike up a phone-friendship and just when Frank is getting up the balls to meet Sarah in person, shit gets real.
The CIA is trying to kill Frank for whatever reason, and also Sarah, because apparently the CIA knows he wants to bone her. Yeah. So Frank and Sarah end up on the run from Cooper, a ruthless CIA agent who actually ends up having some ruth after all. He's played by Karl Urban and mostly just grimaces meaningfully a lot. But it's cool, we aren't here to see him. For supporting cast we have Morgan Freeman as Joe, the lovable covert killer, Helen Mirren as Victoria, a classy lady who calls Frank "Francis" and calmly explains to Sarah that if she breaks Frank's heart, Victoria will kill her and dump her body in the woods. She's a softie.
There's also Brian Cox as this Russian agent dude, Ivan. Normally, in pretty much everything I've ever seen him in, Brian Cox creeps me the hell out. I dunno why, there's just something about him that consistently makes my skin crawl. Here though, he's not that bad and actually almost a little endearing when he starts slow-dancing with Helen Mirren.
But hands down, my absolute favorite made-the-movie character is Marvin, played by John Malkovich, being more batshit crazy than he has in AGES. Marvin is insanely paranoid and violent and we find out that when he was an active agent he was given daily doses of LSD for eleven years, which have left him kind of a mess. But he has all the best lines, moments, and this bit:
He also kills a rocket launcher with a bullet. So great. Anyway, the oldsters travel around evading baddies and when the mood suits, killing the crap out of them. It's amazing and fun and explodey and I spent the whole movie with a massive smile on my face. The characters aren't terribly deep but every actor manages to flesh them out by turning in a great performance and there's so much cool shit going on that you don't care. The whole over-arching plot against our aged agents turns out to be kind of half-baked and lame but that's the only major complaint I can think of. So there.
Also, just saying, despite the age difference, Bruce Willis and Mary Louise Parker are fucking adorable and actually rock some good chemistry. which makes their romance work, unlike some other May/December potentially icky relationships in movies I've reviewed:
So overall, this is an amazingly awesome movie filled with hilarity, explosions, and old people doing things that are generally far too awesome to be done by old people. Like high-kicking. Also Mermaid Man has a delightful cameo. Some may know him as Ernest Borgnine, but he will always be Mermaid Man to me. Some have complained that Red lacks characterization and story, and just doesn't bring enough to the table to satisfy an audience. My argument is as follows:
Four catapults out five. Go, old people!!
Ok, now it's really late and I be tired. This is Sugary Cynic, wondering why Helen Mirren isn't my grandmother. 'Night!
(There is an ominous gunshot and then we see that Marvin has shot a particularly irritating bad dude in the back)
Frank: "Feel better?"
Marvin: "Yeah. You guys wanna get pancakes?"