DVD reviews from The Movie Snob:
The Commitments (B). This movie has been sitting in my collection, unwatched, for a long time. This afternoon, after our tennis match got rained out, my cousin Diane and I gave it a spin. It was good, but not as good as I remembered. The plot is strongly reminiscent of that modern-day classic That Thing You Do!. Out-of-work Irishman Jimmy Rabbitte dreams of managing a soul/R&B band in modern-day Dublin. He puts an ad in the paper seeking musicians, and against all odds a quality band—The Commitments—emerges from the chaos. But centrifugal forces go to work almost immediately: the sax player really wants to play jazz, the lead singer is a monstrous buffoon, and the trumpeter is bedding all of the female back-up singers. Can the band hold together long enough to catch their big break for stardom? Take a look and find out.
Days of Thunder. I continue to plumb the depths of Nicole Kidman’s oeuvre, and I pray that I have now hit the bottom. This earthbound remake of Top Gun is absolutely terrible. Tom Cruise plays Cole Trickle, whose name alone should have led to an immediate lifetime ban from NASCAR. But no, in the alternate universe inhabited by this movie, a goofily named maverick from the left coast can take NASCAR by storm, at least if he’s backed by the engineering wizardry of cornpone-spouting crew chief Harry Hogge (played with unseemly enthusiasm by Robert Duvall). A fiery car crash puts Cole in the tender care of a female neurologist played by Kidman (who was no more than 22 when this thing was filmed). He quickly takes the good doctor’s breath away, but problems loom when Cole tries to get back into the danger zone. Can he overcome his loss of nerve, sponsorship, and girlfriend, beat the cocky iceman who has replaced him as NASCAR’s darling, and win the Daytona 500? Your tolerance for pain will have to be very, very high if you want to find out. Even NK’s ethereal beauty is compromised by her massive mane of permed red hair. Movie grade: F. Nicole grade: C.