Recent DVDs: Jake and the ... gat man?
Jake and the Fat Man was a TV show, right? Like some kind of a private detective thing, maybe from the early 1990s? I'm totally guessing here, because I'm pretty sure I never watched it at all. It must have been on CBS. At any rate, in this case, Jake refers to the dough-eyed (meaning cash money) Mr. Gggyyylllenhhgallyyll, and the spat man? flat man? whatever man refers to Mel Gibson, who carries gats in lots of his movies? Gets in spats in lots of his movies? Is flat on screen? Yeah, I got nothing. Sorry. Clearly, I should have tried something else for my word play, but I'm committed now.
Brothers (B+): This is one of those movies that while you watching it, you're thinking, hey, this is really pretty good. Hence the B+. But then when you think about it later, you can't really remember what you liked about it. It's a war-at-home story about Peter Parker and his no-account brother. Tobey Maguire is a military dad with an awesome wife, played by Queen Amadala, and two adorable little girls. Tobey walks around all bug-eyed so you believe he's related to Jake Gargoylenhall, who is newly out of prison. Their dad tells everyone 100 times that Tobey>Jake. Then Tobey goes off to war, where his helicopter crashes and he's PRESUMED (spoiler alert!) dead. So back at home, Jake rises to the occasion. He remodels a kitchen, plays with his nieces, and smokes dope with his sister-in-law. Then Tobey comes home, and thanks to the rigors of war, he's even MORE bug-eyed and his neck tendons twitch and flex like they're trying to get their own SAG cards. Plus, he's paranoid and angry. So things around the house are pretty awkward for a while. And then it looks like maybe things might get better someday, and then the movie ends.
The Edge of Darkness (D): Back before Mel Gibson was a crazy person, he was this huge movie star who made blockbusters and was actually pretty fun to watch in them. It was a simpler time. This movie offers a bit of a reminder of that Mel Gibson, the one with the screen presence. He plays a Boston cop of a certain age (if you can't chew up a Bahston accent these days, you're no kind of actor; thanks a lot, Matt & Ben) who's investigating the murder of his daughter. And there are some scenes where he gets all Lethal Weapon and kicks butt, and those are kind of fun. Alas, the movie as a whole is a mess. The plot is ripped off from Payback, plus a healthy dose of Ransom and a sprinking of Conspiracy Theory. It's like a Mel Gibson greatest hits medley. The intrigue is more confusing than, you know, intriguing. There's some kind of high-level cover-up going on, with a senator and a weapons plant, and a weird British guy with cancer who switches sides whenever it's convenient, and there's the sourest milk of all time, and a handful of bad guys who are nowhere to be found when Mel's walking around most of the movie in broad daylight but show up with uncanny precision whenever he's having a secret meeting with a witness, and the whole thing is because somebody's making weapons with the wrong names on them. Pretty thin stuff.