This one was directed by wunderkind Gareth Edwards. His IMDb bio cites the usual suspects as influences from his childhood, Lucas and Spielberg. I guess 2014's incarnation of Godzilla just might be his 1941 then. I mean... seriously? Ford Brody? You know that Tom Green's character in Freddy Got Fingered was named Gord Brody, right?
Anyway, let's get back to the task at hand here. So while Doctor Strange is just about done navigating the just as bizarre world of health care red tape, Hollywood's covert war on Uggos continues unabated. This latest attempt by Will Smith to have a non Men in Black-related hit is called American Beauty... no wait, that's the 1999 Best Picture winner that no one likes anymore. The audacity of belly buttons, guys... the audacity of belly buttons. No, this one is called Collateral Damage... no wait, that's the 2002 collaboration between Chicago's own Andrew Davis... yes, the Andrew Davis, and Austria's native son, the Guvernator of Cully-fornication, Ahnold Schwarzenegroponte... American Collateral? "The Mind of the Married Man"? Maybe I should just go back to the original page, like my doctor always tells me... okay, it's apparently called Untitled Will Smith Project Winter 2016... I mean, Collateral Beauty. Jesus. I guess "All this Useless Beauty" would've been too fraught with historical context or something. Good double bill with Seven Pounds maybe. Now, the plot of Collateral Beauty is basically this... can a brutha get some ANSWERS here? The Fresh Prince gets some of Hollywood's best and brightest to stop by and help him: Edward Norton! Kate Winslet! HELEN freakin' MIRREN, for God's sake! Take your kerchiefs with you to the 3D multi-plex for this one, I'm just sayin'.
Now, surely something this deep was adapted from the much beloved book, right? And directed by one of the greats like Bertoluc... I mean, DePalma or how about Lasse Hallstrom? He hasn't courted disaster, right? No, the director is someone named David Frankel. Lemme put it to you this way: his very Woody Allen-esque Miami Rhapsody isn't in his IMDb Top 4, and Marley & Me IS. Well, Hope Springs eternal, and perhaps that's the way it should be. The film's writer is Allan Loeb... maybe of Leopold and Loeb fame, and also the writer of an Adam Sandler pic... okay, maybe just Jennifer Aniston's half of it, to be fair. But when you get that close to Adam Sandler, and you're a non-Tim Herlihy screenwriter, your thoughts will no doubt eventually turn to tragedy, and a screenplay like Collateral Beauty will no doubt be bourne. And you will search for answers to questions like... why does God let good things happen to bad people? Or bad things to good people? Well, after the presidential election we just had, I think we find that the scales can be tipped by the media or the FBI a little bit. And I suppose that people would feel a little bit of resentment at even the most deserving parents who, say, lost their children in a house fire, but enjoyed a sudden string of successes as God moves them to a home in Beverly Hills, gives them a successful reality TV show and gets them a Nobel Prize, maybe one of them fancy MacArthur Genius Grants on top of it. And no taxes ever. And they can eat whatever they want and not gain any weight... like Defending Your Life, not the Stephen King Gypsy curse one. I mean, what does the rest of humanity get out of the deal? Dreams can come true? Don't want to cause no fuss, but what the f... heck about us?
And speaking of Woody Allen-esque, Woody Allen's latest musette Emma Stone stars with Ryan Gosling in something called Jiminy Glick in La La Wood... sorry, that was from 2005. Slightly happier times, I guess. No, this one is called La La Land. Totally different; major apologies to both films involved here.