A couple of weeks ago, I made the huge mistake of going to see Ocean's 8. This weekend I discovered how I should have spent that time instead.
Considering Ocean's 8 completely sucked, I guess the answer could be "by doing anything else in the world".
Still better than watching Ocean's 8.
But I think I have a better one.
There was a far superior heist movie I should have been watching.
Sadly I had overlooked this wonderful film for almost a year... but it is not my fault!
When my wife and I first met over 20 years ago, one of the things we had in common was our love of movies. I don't mean love of the popular movies of the time. I mean all types of movies. We both grew up watching Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn on Sunday afternoon's Family Classics. We both loved the classics like The Maltese Falcon and The Magnificent Seven. In fact, on our second date we went to a famous old theater to see the 1931 thriller M staring Peter Lorre.
This is not my wife and me. I would never position my popcorn box like that.
Between that date and the time our son was born nearly seven years later, we spent quite a bit of our time in movie theaters. Before we had kids, and had all the time in the world, we would go to the movies at least twice a week. We saw everything. With that much time on our hands, it didn't matter if every movie wasn't a home run. We enjoyed the experience and then sharing our thoughts on what we had just seen.
Then we had kids.
Also not my wife and me. These people look like they both had time to take showers and put on clean clothes. What new parents do that?
Now we miss many movies that we would both like to see in the theater. And that is OK. When you decide to become a parent, you are making the conscious choice to start having a new kind of fun. Even though this new kind of fun is far better than any I have ever had before, it does mean that every once in a while, my wife and I miss a home run of a movie.
Logan Lucky was the latest victim of the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. Not only did we miss it in the theaters last August, we couldn't even find time to watch it on DVD or Amazon Prime.
Over the weekend, we remedied that situation.
All I can say is...
Better late than never!
Logan Lucky just made my list of top ten heist movies of all time. It is the type of movie that Ocean's 8 should have been. It was a very simple idea. Let's get some great actors, have them play interesting southern characters, write some fantastic dialogue and then have them pull off a fairly plausible and intelligent heist. Oh and we will set it to some country music. It will be... "The Hillbilly Heist"!
Obviously Ocean's 8 tried to do the same with the difference being "southern" was changed to "women". Sadly that is all they did. They forgot the dialogue, heist, and any intelligence at all.
But back to Logan Lucky. The movie is directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Rebecca Blunt. But here's the rub: Rebecca Blunt does not seem to exist. It is a pseudonym used by the real writer of the movie. Some believe that the real writer is Soderbergh's wife Jules Asner, the star of several E! network television shows.
But that just doesn't seem to add up. The movie is so incredibly well written that I can't believe the writer is not taking credit for it. This mystery got me thinking about the style. It reminded me of early Coen Brothers movies like Raising Arizona. Not only did it include unique southern characters spouting off some unique dialogue while planning a heist, many of the characters were quirky and funny.
I would not be shocked to find that H.I. and Ed are related to the Logans
Whoever wrote it did a masterful job. This movie shows that with the right cast and dialogue, you can take an old idea and make it your own. More importantly, you can truly entertain an audience. Logan Lucky is yet another take on Stanley Kubrick's 1956 heist classic: The Killing. However in this case, instead of thugs robbing a horse racing track, a lovable band of misfit criminals rob a NASCAR race track.
While watching Logan Lucky, I think I spent 90% of the of the nearly 120 minutes of runtime with a grin on my face. Sometimes that was due to funny dialogue or situations, but more often it was simply because I was so impressed with what I was seeing. This movie was special. The acting, casting, writing, and music were all perfect. Most importantly, the heist did not insult my intelligence.
I guess Kylo Ren simply can't ever smile. Lighten up man. It's not like your dad just died.
If anyone out there was thinking of spending your time on Ocean's 8, for the love of god, don't! Don't do that to yourself! Watch Logan Lucky instead.
And if you have already seen it, watch it a gain and see if you can figure out who wrote it. I wonder if it is someone with an exclusive deal with a studio or someone who was dealing with a scandal and their name would hurt the project?
I guess this mystery gives me a good excuse to watch it again.