RSS feed for aarontrites
  • Easy Rider

    Easy Rider


    A movie that’s more Important than Good. 

    At its best, the cast is raw and familiar, having honest conversation, brimming with the energy of a New Hollywood. At its worst, the lack of polish feels amateurish, and the mellow pacing drifts into a monotonous cycle of Ride / Smoke / Stare Into a Campfire. 

    And while it’s not entirely Easy Rider’s fault, there are a solid dozen elements of the movie (period soundtrack, improv dialogue, post Vietnam conservatism, crusading hippies,…

  • Tango & Cash

    Tango & Cash


    Tango & Cash delights in ticking EVERY. SINGLE. BOX. on what would eventually become the universally agreed upon Buddy Cop Checklist. Every scene is a cliche, every line a zinger. 

    I absolutely believe everyone in the cast is having a blast hamming it up, from Russell and Stallone dunking on each other for 100+ minutes, to Palance devouring scenery, to the solid ensemble of 80s character actors.

    The movie's only sin is delivering too much of a good thing, to the…

  • Charley and the Angel

    Charley and the Angel


    One of the better Kurt Russell Disney movies! 

    A workaholic dad learns that he's going to die, thanks to a tip from his eccentric guardian angel (Harry Morgan!), so he makes an effort to treat his family better in the limited time he has left. This, of course, leads to his young sons running bootleg booze, his daughter eloping with Kurt Russell (beating out her rival suitor Ed Begley Jr), and his arrest in a raid on the local speakeasy…

  • Search for the Gods

    Search for the Gods


    Plodding TV movie that feels like an episode of The Incredible Hulk, except the Hulk never shows up.

    Native American mysticism, some interesting southwestern shooting locations, and a hunt for a strange amulet that may answer all of life's mysteries aren't quite enough to make up for the wooden leads and the exhaustingly slow pacing.

    Kurt Russell, in his first post Disney role,  is enjoyable as the lone skeptic in the movie. There's shades of Jack Burton in his performance, dismissing scholars, holy men, and friends at every turn, which is charming enough that it's much easier to side with him than with the believers.

  • Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A.

    Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A.

    A Kurt Russell movie more depressing than The Deadly Tower, and that was about a mass shooting.

  • Dad... Can I Borrow the Car?

    Dad... Can I Borrow the Car?


    Surreal educational film that not only serves as an intro to driving, but to the VERY CONCEPT OF TRANSPORTATION. 

    Some cute bits of animation, including a few moments of Terry Gilliam-esque stop motion weirdness, but overall the tone of the short is so deadpan and dated it feels like an awkward Tim & Eric bit.

    Kurt Russell's narration is a saving grace, and it sounds like he was having fun with it at least.

  • Miracle



    Rock solid sports movie that manages to avoid nearly all of the feel good pitfalls you'd expect of a Disney movie. 

    Kurt Russell plays coach Herb Brooks with warts and all, in what is likely his most reserved, buttoned down performance to date. He delivers no quips, but makes up for it with motivational speeches. One of his rare straightforward dramatic roles, but Kurt plays it with a surprising amount of sincerity.

    The movie is evenhanded in balancing the "wow,…

  • The Thing: Terror Takes Shape

    The Thing: Terror Takes Shape


    Unimaginative documentary, especially considering the source material. Static shot interviews against a black background, few shots from the film for context, and very little original footage from the set.

    There's an overwhelming focus on the creature design and practical effects, and Bob Bottin is clearly a madman, but comparatively there's little time devoted to the actors, scripting, their life on set, and personal experiences making the movie. 

    There's likely only 3 minutes of interview footage with Kurt Russell throughout, so in the end there's not much here that couldn't be gleaned from a creature feature effects interview in an old Fangoria.

  • Cutlass



    Cute short film with a surprisingly impressive cast, but so intensely sentimental that it plays like a commercial for spending money on children. Mercifully short, and would have absolutely worn out its welcome as a 90 minute feature where the stakes are "will she buy a car?".

    Kate Hudson's directorial debut, though she shows wisdom beyond her years by casting her real dad Kurt Russell as her character's dad. Kurt looks like the absolute textbook definition of a dad in the 70s flashbacks, from his mustache down to his armchair. His delivery on "That'd be a bummer." may be his best work of the decade.

  • Swing Shift

    Swing Shift


    Mediocre shmaltzy period film that apparently suffered tremendously from studio / Goldie Hawn edits. There may be a "better" cut out there more faithful to Demme's original vision that actually commits to the themes it brushes against but, oops, this is the 2 dimensional version they released.

    Still a solid cast, and Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have amazing chemistry. It's more interesting watching them knowing a real life relationship was developing off screen than it was watching for the…

  • Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood


    I would have been pretty bent out of shape if any other director tricked me into watching 8 hours of driving around LA in real time. Tarantino still manages to makes everyone look so friggin' cool that it's worth the ride.

    Not as fun as his other historical fairytale films, but maybe the most comfortable, well worn, and lived in world of any of his movies.

    Kurt Russell's stunt coordinator role was almost entirely throwaway, but it was reassuring seeing…

  • Silkwood



    Well acted, well written, but enough of a bummer that it’s a bit of a slog to get through. 

    But Kurt Russell punching Craig T Nelson in the side of the head is an absolute joy.