Given this weekend’s U.S. release of Iron Man 2 I wanted to bring to attention another Robert Downey Jr. film you’ll love and two others.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)
Prior to Iron Man, this was supposed to be the film that resurrected Downey Jr.’s career. Written and directed by Shane Black (wrote the screenplays for The Monster Squad* and the Lethal Weapon movies), Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is already hilarious as written and only gets better with Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer as Gay Perry (like Downey Jr., Kilmer’s another underrated actor). Parts detective story/comedy/Hollywood satire, the film’s a lot of fun. If you’re watching Iron Man 2 this weekend because you love Robert Downey Jr.’s humor, you should take a shot of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. *The Monster Squad: imagine The Goonies fighting monsters instead of the Fratellis. SEE THIS MOVIE!
Detroit Rock City (1999)
A bunch of high school kids go through several circles of hell to get to a KISS concert. The stoner kid wannabe quartet is great and the trouble they get into is ripe for laughter. If teen sex comedies like American Pie could be, you know, funny, you’d have Detroit Rock City. It’s great due to the actors, the script, the killer soundtrack, and specific formalistic quality: quick edits, fish eye lenses, and other special tricks to bring the laughs. Not to mention some of the slap-stick type humor that you don’t see much anymore. Have some drinks with your friends and check it out.
Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
When people talk about Martin Scorsese, you might think of Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. Not me. When I think “Scorsese,” I think of the first film I saw by him and that’s this crazy ambulance tale featuring Nicolas Cage, Bringing Out the Dead. Cage is an EMT who hasn’t saved anyone in months and he’s haunted by those he has lost. It features Tom Sizemore, John Goodman, Partricia Arquette, Ving Rhames, and even Marc Anthony, who you wouldn’t even notice as “Marc Anthony” until you saw it in the credits. The crazy, but kick ass soundtrack combined with the AMAZING cinematography (lighting and overall visual “look” of the film) are the main stars, entrenching you in the madness that Cage’s character is dealing with. The story’s beautiful sadness, cinematography, soundtrack and Cage’s performance make this cinema bliss. If you like Aranofsky, Scorsese, or Cuaron, check this out.
Got any gems worth mentioning? Leave comments below.