Maybe it’s a side-effect of just watching The Fighter, but the title Frost/Nixon makes this film sound more like a prize fight. The comparison is not wholly inappropriate. David Frost (Michael Sheen) was a media bantamweight trying to move up in class while Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) was a political heavyweight looking for an easy tune-up for his eventual rehabilitation from the Watergate scandal.
Films directed by
The Da Vinci Code
Let me get this straight. Jesus got hitched, had a kid and all of Western civilization conspired to cover it up?
Ron Howard has a reputation for excessive sentimentality in his films. I’ll reserve judgment on whether this is deserved for another time, but if it is true, Howard was the perfect director for Cinderella Man. This mostly accurate story of real life boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) needs a filmmaker willing to yank on the heartstrings like a team of Clydesdales. This film is so consciously old fashioned that it really ought to have been filmed in black and white in the old 4:3 Academy aspect ratio.
Don’t come into Apollo 13 expecting a deep, acutely insightful portrait of the inner lives of astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert. Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon are basically playing stock Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon characters, and this is probably a good thing for a big budget summer movie like this one. Real astronauts are invariably cool, hard-to-ruffle, by-the-book kinds of people. Sometimes it seems you could set their pants on fire and it would barely raise their pulse. This makes for successful space missions but not for a particularly exciting movie.