June 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

The Reel Deal

It’s the shank of the summer movie season, dear reader, and we must get our patooties into the nearest theater seat where we can fritter away the

Swing Vote

warmest part of the day with a gigantic soda and a serving of popcorn.
One would think that, given the political climate of the day, a comedy about the perils of our voting system wouldn’t seem all that funny. Kevin Costner plays a beer-drinking loser who, through the antics of his charming preteen daughter, somehow ends up being the one guy who will cast the critical vote in the presidential election. Oh, and Dennis Hopper is the Democratic candidate. Need I say more? Okay, I will. Its stellar cast includes the overused Stanley Tucci and the always darling Nathan Lane as well as Judge Reinhold, Kelsey Grammer and a host of personalities playing themselves, from Willie Nelson to Larry King. That alone is worth the price of a ticket to see Swing Vote on August 1.

Next, on August 15, Tropical Thunder storms its way to the silver screen. It’s a Ben Stiller film, which pretty much ensures silliness. The premise is

Tropical Thunder

that a group of hammy action stars are shooting a big budget war movie when everything begins to go wrong and they soon find themselves in the position of actually having to do the things they’ve thus far only done with stand-ins. With Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. in the lead roles, and cameos by the likes of Tom Cruise and Mickey Rooney, there’s much to be said for this movie. Unfortunately, much of what has been said so far focuses on the fact that Downey is playing a black man. You heard me. And you thought people were upset about Angelina Jolie playing a black woman in A Mighty Heart. Actually, Downey is playing the part of a white actor playing the part of a black soldier.

Lastly, coming your way on August 29 is yet another Vin Diesel vehicle, and sadly it’s not one that will drive him off permanently into the sunset.

Babylon A.D.

Diesel is playing – quelle surprise – a mercenary in the not too distant future. His job is to escort a woman from a vaguely Eastern European country to New York. Unbeknownst to our hero, his charge, a genetically altered beauty, is carrying a passenger of her own – a mysterious organism that has the power to become the next Messiah. Based on a science fiction novel called Babylon Babies, Babylon A.D.’s plot has more holes than a pair of fishnet stockings. Still, there is plenty of action and watching Gerard Depardieu attempt a Russian accent is not without its amusement factor.

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