Eddie Mannix is a fixer who works in Hollywood where he tames celebrities and keeps theirs, and movie studios', secrets out of the press - no matter how big the story. It's not the easiest job in the world, and it's certainly not always the most morally fulfilling, but it's about to get a whole lot harder when one studio, Capitol Pictures, presents him with a major problem the likes of which could be career destroying. They're working on a huge production epic entitled 'Hail, Caesar!' starring Hollywood sensation Baird Whitlock, but things go particularly awry when he is kidnapped and held for ransom by a mysterious group known only as The Future. They want $100,000, and after 24 hours, the studio aren't looking any more hopeful. Mannix enlists a feisty and beautiful female star to procure the money, while Whitlook finds himself in a most unusual situation.
Continue: Hail, Caesar! Trailer
It's quite a juicy setup: Thanks to the power of dreams, young Ben (Hawke) and Wolfgang (Phoenix -- yes, a hippy kid is playing a German) invent the impossible: A sphere of energy that can travel at extreme speeds through space when connected to an Apple IIc and a 9-volt battery. (That's nothing compared to what they invent later: a machine that spontaneously generates oxygen!) Convinced that they're destined for greatness, they team up with local outcast Darren (Jason Presson), who gets them into the junkyard where they obtain a Tilt-A-Whirl car for use in their spaceship.
Continue reading: Explorers Review
There's nothing more satisfying as a movie critic than going into a screening with low expectations and coming out tickled pink and grinning ear to ear, which is exactly what happened to me when I saw "Looney Tunes: Back in Action."
Fully anticipating another gimmick-driven shoulder-shrug of a live-action/cartoon hybrid like 1996's "Space Jam," I hadn't put enough faith in director Joe Dante ("Gremlins," "Small Soldiers"), who has been a rabid aficionado of Warner Bros. cartoons his whole life, and who poured every ounce of that enthusiasm into this screwball flick.
Although it gets off to a weak start with a studio board meeting where the humans are worse actors than the cartoons (and interact with them unconvincingly), after it sluffs off its clumsy plot establishing -- in which Daffy Duck is fired by the suits -- it becomes as truly looney-tooney as a fan of classic Warner shorts could ever dream of.
Continue reading: Looney Tunes: Back In Action Review