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POINT BREAK REMAKE & THE DANISH GIRL

An Eclectic Double Feature Review of the POINT BREAK remake and THE DANISH GIRL
POINT BREAK REMAKE: As distant memory serves, since POINT BREAK was never a favorite, there was a Zen thing going on with Patrick Swayze's bank-robbing, President-mask wearing, and most important, soul surfing thief who, with a band of fellow crooked cohorts, went to other extremes, like skydiving. But this reboot is like comparing a colorfully vapid Mountain Dew commercial to a bland yet edgy Energy Drink ad, the grayish cinematography making just about all the extreme sports look and seem and feel the same, from climbing canyons to riskier sky-leaps to a daring dirt biking stunt, the latter where we begin with a CLIFFHANGER style prologue involving Keanu Reeve's replacement Luke Bracey as Johnny Utah, an ex professional biker as opposed to a former college football quarterback, who becomes a brilliant rookie FBI agent in the blink of an eye, figuring out how the idealistic antagonists work before quickly joining undercover ranks with the extremely mellow Édgar Ramírez as Bodhi, who uses his powers like a combination of Robin Hood, Al Gore and any subliminally heart-of-gold villain you choose, causing collateral damage in the process of trying to save his perspective of the world's demise.

Some Actual Surfing
At one POINT during this banal film that doesn't BREAK for an instant, our two leads give each other a big hug following an adrenaline-pumping bonding experience, and yet there's absolutely no chemistry between either to merit more than a limp handshake. And while the original multi-caper mostly dealt with surfing, that always-cool sport opens and closes this picture in a nostalgic fashion rather than holding any major significance to Bodhi's ultimate goal, which makes absolutely no sense to anyone but himself... on purpose. Guess that's the epitome of a character "making a movie," but this mannequin, no matter how much he risks and what he's trying to save, doesn't have the pulse to carry a film, much less his futile surfboard.

year: 2015
THE DANISH GIRL: The Transgender movement has become as extreme as the sports in the last review, with once Olympic Wheaties box-boy Bruce Jenner turning himself into a woman, thus providing THE DANISH GIRL a last-minute, historically significant closing line reading "this is based on a true story," which is the most intriguing thing about it.

Set during the 1930's in... somewhere European... an artist wife of a more introverted artistic husband, played by Eddie Redmayne, who she dresses up as a woman they both call "Lily" having to complete a portrait, does more than goad her husband into becoming what he eventually feels is his true sex, making the few scenes where she's torn and heartbroken completely meaningless. And with absolutely no urgent suspense in Redmayne's Einar Wegener's transition, starting out with a secret male kiss and winding up under the surgical blade, this PC melodrama, not allowing "Lily" to be torn by an otherwise controversial and downright risky decision since that would be questioning the overall virtue of what's now considered completely normal and media-celebrated, seems like Eddie's attempt to pull a Tom Hank's double-Oscar after winning last year for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. But if the golden statue ranks performance alongside a dull propaganda piece that lacks soul, charm and the price of a ticket, than someone else will take Oscar home. Then again, THEORY was just as dull, and had its own agenda that trumped EVERYTHING else, including the overrated lead performance... So God knows what might happen, but if Will Smith has already seen this movie, he's probably far less nervous than poor Michael Keaton was.

POINT BREAK: **
DANISH GIRK: *1/2
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