Just a few miscellaneous movie reviews this time:
Leonard Part 6 – We all know by now that Bill Cosby is not just a rapist but also a major hypocrite, telling everyone else how they should act when he’s being a total creep. This movie would be bad even if I weren’t watching it knowing this, though. One big problem is how slow everything is. The gags aren’t that funny anyway, but I could see kids laughing at them if they weren’t drawn out all that much.
The basic premise of a secret agent fighting trained animals seems good enough for dumb humor, but when Cosby scares lobsters with melted butter, we get it without his over-explaining it. There’s also a weird message in that the film makes a big deal out of the main villain being a vegetarian, and Cosby fights off her henchmen by throwing meat at them.
Does he have something against vegetarians, like the lady who wrote Troll 2? There’s an additional plot about Leonard getting back together with his ex-wife, with whom he’s disturbingly obsessed. Are we supposed to think it’s endearing that he’s still devoted to monogamy even after she’s left him, despite the fact that she left because he came close to cheating on her? Cos, I don’t get your moral lessons, and you usually make those painfully obvious. The title is explained at the beginning with the butler saying something about how Leonard’s first five adventures aren’t allowed to be released. Apparently the way the film turned out had to do with Cosby assuming he knew what he was doing, and not allowing much in the way of editing. It was a flop even when Cosby was popular for a reason. I feel I should point out that watching this was Beth’s idea, as she loves to force me to watch crap. Ghost Dad is also on our Netflix queue, and I had originally wanted to review them together, but shipping is delayed on it for some reason.
Cube – A group of people are stuck in a maze of cubes, some of which are booby-trapped, and are trying to make their way out. Fortunately, one of them is able to work complex mathematics in her head. Unfortunately, another one is a total jerk who bosses everyone around, kills the others for no real reason, and even hints that he wants to rape the math lady. He’s also the only black character, which has some unfortunate implications. It was an interesting enough idea, but really couldn’t carry a full-length movie.
Rain Man – Hey, another movie with a person who can work complicated math problems in his head! I’d seen this before, but I don’t think I’d ever watched it all the way through. It apparently brought some attention to autism back in the late 1980s when it was made. A psychiatrist mentions that Dustin Hoffman’s character Raymond is what used to be called an idiot savant, before that was deemed too insulting. Apparently not all savants are on the autistic spectrum, but many are. It also seems to be a given in fiction that if a character is written as really stupid, they’ll inevitably have one thing at which they’re really good, or at least the occasional speech showing unusual intelligence. I’ve been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum myself, and I did notice some similarities to the character of Raymond, like a strict adherence to routine and a lack of social skills. On the other hand, I can’t multiply large numbers in my head or memorize the phone book. The other thing this movie made me wonder is how a casino would really have any authority to crack down on card-counting. I mean, things are always set up so the house wins most of the time, but it’s not like being good at remembering things is cheating. It’s kind of what you’re supposed to do when playing games that rely on getting specific cards. Beth mentioned that Raymond going back to the mental institution at the end is likely not how the film would end if made nowadays. Tom Cruise’s character obviously wasn’t qualified to take care of him, but he DID get Raymond to open up a bit, something that couldn’t happen if he’s kept isolated. Hopefully his psychiatrist will make more efforts to get him to socialize. By the way, have you noticed how similar this movie is to the Nintendo promotional film The Wizard?