He Totally Tom Cruise’d Himself: Braving ‘Braveheart’

Posted in Epic Film Quest! on November 27th, 2012 by Nick

I am prepared for the inevitable backlash that this post is going to cause me. I have finally seen Braveheart. For the first time.  Alright, already…let me have it.

I’m not really sure what I was doing in 1995 that may have prevented me from seeing this Mel Gibson-led and directed Oscar winner. Maybe I was attending the 5th grade. Maybe it was the day of the championship game of our backyard baseball league, cleverly coined as “BYB.” Maybe I was at the movies, seeing far greater films, like Jumanji or Toy Story. Dammit, I don’t know why I had never seen Braveheart, but in my defense, I was 10 at the time and once Gladiator came out, I never had any reason to watch Braveheart. One just simply rewatches Gladiator when he would like an ambitious period movie with sickass battle scenes, amazing acting and a heartbreaking finish.

Sooo, what? Oh, Braveheart. Right.

Mel Gibson has totally Tom Cruise’d himself. Even though I rather enjoyed The Beaver, Braveheart was the first Gibson movie from the past that I actively sought out. As if it wasn’t hard enough to take his sexy mane of hair and face-painted face seriously, Gibson had to rant about Jews and threaten his girlfriend and rob banks and steal children’s Halloween candy and stuff. (I may have made those last two up..) Watching his take on William Wallace, it was hard to concentrate on the actual performance simply because I know what a douchenozzle he is now. It’s the same reason I struggle with the Mission: Impossible series. I just can’t get involved in that shit.

On the other hand, Braveheart looked amazing, thanks to its Irish and Scottish filming locations, killer costume design, and medieval flair. It’s well-paced and has enough supporting characters to enrich the film with a mighty fine ensemble of characters. I just found it to be rather predictable in certain ways, unlike the best, most radically charged-up awesome fun time flick: GLADIATOR. But then again, Russell Crowe isn’t exactly the poster child for humanity either. Whatever. Braveheart won a shitload of awards that year, so maybe it is me, gentle readers, who is the asshole here.

In sum: I saw Braveheart. I saw it 17 years too late. And it wasn’t overly painful. Always striving for excellence here at The Littlest Winslow. Yep.

Oh, I almost forgot! I grade things now!

Braveheart: B
(Gladiator: A)

What next!?

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‘Rain Man’ and Tofu: A match made in delicious Heaven

Posted in Epic Film Quest! on January 27th, 2012 by Nick

This week, Zoe from Sexy Tofu once again joined the ever-pressing, noble (it’s not) Epic Film Quest! Huzzahhh! It’s always great to con friends on joining me for a flick, and this time around we doubled it up as a Vegan-Cooking-Dinner-Fest-Bonanza! Fun was had, indeed.

I was going to write this post and label it as “My Day As A Vegan,” but that’s mostly disrespectful to Vegans everywhere, since it really would’ve been more like “My 30 Minutes As A Vegan” (I also ate a LOT of cheese later that night…whoops). For dinner, Zoe cooked up a scrumtulescent Tofu Fried Rice made with brown rice, onion, garlic, peas, carrots and mushrooms.

She brought over her authentic large-ass Wok (totally need to get one) and fried that shit up with some Vegan Earth Balance “butter” spread. Oh, right, and some tasty tofu. She spiced it up with some cayenne pepper, cumin, basil, and…oh shit, I didn’t see the rest of the spices…but what’s great about this dish is that you can flavor it to your liking. As you can see from the artistic portrait above, we dumped heaping squirtfuls of Sriracha all over it. Ahhh-maaahhhzing, as Penny from Happy Endings would say. Being a Vegan would probably be pretty cool, if only for that whole avoiding meat and dairy part. Bahh, who am I kidding!? I’d never be able to do it. But not because I don’t like eating healthy and not because it’s not delicious! Rather, I just simply love my cheeses! (*EDIT* You can read Zoe’s full recipe here. It’s in step-formation, with a full ingredient listing included!)

So I hadn’t seen Rain Man. Dustin Hoffman, man. Most of his recent fare is pretty silly or unimportant or, you know, Little Focker-y, but this guy’s filmography precedes him (Kramer vs. Kramer, anybody?). His portrayal of the autistic Raymond Babbitt was nothing short of brilliant. It just really sucks that Tom Cruise was playing opposite the genius that is Hoffman.

Can we take a second (or a year) to hate on Cruise. Tom Cruise sucks. He has zero facial expressions, which really led me to exude negative 1,000 sympathy points to his character, Charlie. Charlie was a douchebag, but part of me couldn’t quite shake the douchebag that was jumping on Oprah’s couch. And Scientology!? I guess what I’m saying here is that it’s hard to distinguish Tom from the characters he portrays. And when that line has faded, it’s never a good sign for an actor.

I liked Rain Man. I just wish Hoffman had a better compadre on the field with him.

Next Up: Platoon and Midnight Cowboy

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