Ian Thomas Malone

A Connecticut Yogi in King Joffrey's Court

Monthly Archive: July 2020

Monday

6

July 2020

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COMMENTS

Money Plane is a complete disaster

Written by , Posted in Blog, Movie Reviews, Pop Culture

There is no single element that a film needs to fit the broad definition of “good.” Trainwrecks like The Room and Sharknado are entertaining despite the absence of competent acting, writing, or directing. Bad can in fact be, good.

Fitting for its setting, Money Plane circles around the runway of this territory. Written and directed by Andrew Lawrence, youngest of the Lawrence brothers trio, the film firmly squares itself in B movie territory, albeit with an impressive roster of recognizable faces, including Adam Copeland, Kelsey Grammer, Denise Richards, Thomas Jane, as well as Andrew’s brothers Joey and Matthew.

The film centers around the efforts of Jack Reese (Copeland) and his team to rob the titular “money plane,” an aircraft of debauchery for high-stakes gamblers. Reese follows the orders of Darius Grouch the 3rd, also known as “The Rumble” (Grammer), who blackmails him by threatening his wife, Sarah (Richards). The film mostly centers itself around the heist, both on the plane and through some action sequences on the ground.

Money Plane is sunk mostly through two major issues. Copeland is absolutely terrible in the lead role. He isn’t a bad actor, as his time on Vikings and as Edge in the WWE have shown, but he looks absolutely bored out of his mind in the film. Copeland delivers a wooden, muted performance that’s painful to watch. His obvious disdain for the role can’t help but permeate to the audience.

The other big issue lies with the script. Lawrence is an abysmal writer with no ability to craft dialogue that any human being would actually say. Too many sequences come across as so bizarre that you actually feel uncomfortable watching, as if a five-year-old wrote the script based off how he might think grown-ups talk when he’s not in the room.

The script may not have been as big of a problem if Copeland wasn’t so bad in the lead role. Grammer and Lawrence’s brothers fare much better, putting forth outlandish performances that are among the film’s only highlights. One can forgive the low budget nature of the set, a supposedly luxury plane featuring a poker table that looks like it was purchased at Walmart (complete with cup holders), but if the lead actor isn’t having any fun, it’s hard to care.

Money Plane could have been a fun disaster of a film, but Copeland’s obvious boredom sucks all the air out of the cockpit. Lawrence assembled a moderately compelling cast, but the film is too much of a mess to make for a pleasant ride. A tragic shame.

 

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Thursday

2

July 2020

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TTTE & Chill: Thomas Gets Bumped

Written by , Posted in Blog

Grab your mail train and your backing signal, it’s time for Thomas the Tank Engine & Chill. Join Ian & Tara as they dissect this peculiar VHS collection, featuring the return of Diesel and the introduction of Duck’s branch line. The Vicar’s garden party was conspicuously under-promoted before Edward swooped in with the assist. How does City of Truro talk? All of those answers and more in this exciting episode.

This VHS collection includes the following episodes

 

  1. Thomas Gets Bumped
  2. Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party
  3. Diesel Does It Again
  4. Gordon and the Famous Visitor
  5. Donald’s Duck
  6. Percy and the Signal
  7. Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train

For more Thomas fun, be sure to check out all of our other TTTE & Chill episodes.

Photo credit: The Britt Allcroft Company

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Wednesday

1

July 2020

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Wonder

Written by , Posted in Blog

Today we are joined by Gabriel Furman and Javier Molina, writer and director of the short film Wonder. Wonder has been a favorite on the festival circuit, winning awards at Outfest, RiverRun, and the Oxford Film Festival among many others. The film follows Sammy, a gender nonconforming child who wishes to dress as Wonder Woman for Halloween, a desire that causes some stress in his father Frank (played by Furman).

Gabriel and Javier share many insights into the filmmaking process, including the extensive work that went into portraying LGBTQ issues sensitively and authentically. Their film is a valuable addition to the broader conversation surrounding LGBTQ representation on screen.

Wonder is available on HBO, including its services HBO Max and HBO Now

To learn more about the film and its cast & crew, check out their website https://www.realtalkfilms.com/wonder

You can also follow their Instagram page @wondertheshort

Ian’s review of Wonder: https://ianthomasmalone.com/2019/07/wonder-explores-the-unique-challenges-presented-to-gender-diverse-youth/

Poster credit: Kristin Zahra

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