Saturday, June 23, 2012

(30) Stars of Summer - Day 23: Kevin Bacon

The good news is that today we get to watch pretty much any movie.

You've got it by now, but once again here are the rules. Check out this list of all the month's actors with links to what's available on Netflix Instant. If you're not a Netflix subscriber, maybe this will help.

Day 1: Jimmy Stewart
Day 2: Catherine Deneuve
Day 3: Christopher Lee
Day 4: Bette Davis
Day 5: Nicolas Cage
Day 6: Diane Keaton 
Day 7: Orson Welles 
Day 8: Catherine Keener 
Day 9: Kurt Russell
Day 10: Pam Grier
Day 11: Clint Eastwood
Day 12: Susan Sarandon 
Day 13: Cary Grant 
Day 14: Barbara Stanwyck 
Day 15: Keith David 
Day 16: Frances McDormand 
Day 17: Gary Oldman 
Day 18: Marilyn Monroe 
Day 19: Dick Miller 
Day 20: Jennifer Jason Leigh 
Day 21: Laurence Fishburne 
Day 22: Whoopi Goldberg


  1. Hollow Man (2000)

    Kevin Bacon plays a brilliant yet arrogant scientist named Sebastian Caine who discovers a formula for invisibility. He pushes his team to make himself the subject and the test was a success. But once the process can't be reversed, Caine starts to lose his mind and begins killing his fellow scientists.

    This is a fun sci-fi thriller romp coming from Paul Verhoeven and also stars Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin.

  2. Elephant White (2011)

    A genre picture with pretensions of significance, the film stars Djimon Hounsou as your standard antihero with a heart of gold, who becomes embroiled in a plot involving Thailand's sleazy sex trade. Kevin Bacon is his pal Jimmy, sporting a spectacularly awful English accent. This movie is a real mess - if I were writing a longer review I'd be using the word "inexplicably" every other sentence. It supposedly wants to raise awareness of the very real problem of underage sex trafficking, but ultimately trivializes the problem by indulging in the fantasy of The Lone Hero, who not only takes on organized crime but triumphs. The film is beautifully shot, however.

  3. Wild Things(1998)

    This movie has it all: stunning Florida back-drops, the always sexy, Denise Richards, and a soundtrack that's sure to make you sweat.

    If you like twists and turns, I think this film is worth viewing for that reason alone.

  4. Flatliners (1990)

    Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin's other less annoying brother William and Oliver Platt(who presence I don't understand, I mean I like the actor but really his character could of been written out and it wouldn't effected the movie) are med students who see weird visions after purposely "dying"(hence the title) and reviving themselves back to life. The movie is overall solid even though it definitley has the "Schumacher" feel all over it, and some of the visions play of as unintentionally hilarious(like all the Billy Baldwin stuff).

  5. MYSTIC RIVER (2003)

    Patrick and I discussed this during the HEAT show. I had sort of a foggy memory of the film's grasp on morality, so I wanted to revisit it. This is a movie that would have you watch a police officer in dogged pursuit of the perpetrator of a heinous crime for two hours, only to have that officer be confronted with the perpetrator of a totally different, yet equally heinous crime and be content to enforce the law with a finger gestures. Because they were kids together. And his wife is back or something.

    This whacked-out universe isn't helped by an all-time scenery-devouring turn from Sean Penn. "IS THAT MY DAUGHTER IN THERE!?!?" gets all the flack in this regard, but, man, it permeates through out the whole damn thing. His face contorts as though there are a team of miniature elves working inside his head, cranking gears in opposite directions to get his mug to look that way.

    All that said, I think it's one of the best performances of Bacon's career.


      This is one example of the book being significantly better than the movie. In the book (which has the time and space to really get into character motivations) it's clear that Bacon's character fully intends to investigate and go after Penn's character for the murder.

      I had a mixed reaction to Mystic River. When the movie remembers it's a movie, it can be great. For example, there's that heartbreaking image of the incomplete initials in the cement, a sad reflection of Tim Robbins' incomplete person. On the other hand, the movie is filled with overly "literary" moments. I'm specifically thinking here of what Kevin Bacon says to himself when the first body is discovered. That speech sounded great in the book as an internal monologue. Said out loud, it lands with a thud.

    2. I like how often Kevin Back underplays stuff in movies (he's good when he goes big, too, like in Tremors or Super). It's especially noticeable in something like Mystic River, because there are other actors barfing up pieces of lung in the same scenes with him.

      Totally agree with Steve -- there are moments here and there that really work, but most of the movie is overwrought.

  6. Hollow Man

    It's The Invisible Man, retold with upgraded sleaze and misogyny. Bacon is very good in the lead, but what starts off somewhat promising devolves into a standard Friday the 13th-style stalk-n-slash. Lots of silly CGI, but a few effective bits. Lacks the satiric bite of Verhoeven's other, better sci-fi work.

    1. That was my big disappointment with the movie -- that it pretty much plays everything straight. Coming off Starship Troopers, I wanted crazy black comedy Paul Verhoeven. And, as Doug has pointed out, the movie only convinces us that Bacon is a monster after he kills a dog. He's already committed INVISIBLE RAPE. Possibly murder too? I can't remember. But Kevin Bacon rules.

  7. TREMORS (1990)

    This isn't my favorite movie or even one I watch often (like JB), but every time I do I have a good time and end up wishing I could meet Reba McEntire in person so I could give her a big bear hug. Between the bonkers-but-well-developed-and-executed-"Jaws"-on-land premise (which spawned many Michael Gross-starring direct-to-video sequels and even a short-lived TV series) to the perfect casting of everyone in the cast, particularly Bacon and Ward (their chemistry with each other and everybody else is half the reason "Tremors" works!), "Tremors" is a creature-feature crowd pleaser. It's just goofy and nasty-enough to both push the PG-13 rating and comfortably reside within its limits. Shame the DNR was set to '11' when they mastered the high-def release; close-ups of everyone (particularly Kevin's mug) are wax city! :-(

  8. Frost/Nixon (2008)

    This is slowly becoming "Frank Langella Month" for me as this is the third film I've watched with him in four days, but this is the best by far.

    "Frost/Nixon" is a fascinating and mostly true drama about the 1977 interview between David Frost and Richard Nixon. Michael Sheen is dead on and Langella's performance is a little broad, but slowly builds major momentum.

    Kevin Bacon provides solid support as an aide to Nixon, and probably stands out more than anyone beyond the two leads. A very enjoyable character study.

  9. White Water Summer (1987)

    Yikes. I can't believe I've never seen this, because it's the kind of movie that showed up a lot on cable when I was a kid. Kevin Bacon is a sadistic tour guide leading four kids on a white water rafting trip. He must have been very believable in the part, because he reprised the role in The River Wild. The movie is basically terrible, with reshoots galore -- scenes of Sean Astin talking right to the camera and overly comic voiceover were shot two years after the movie was initially wrapped (and after Astin had gone through puberty, which is jarring). Kevin Bacon is not what's wrong with the movie.