Chris Klimek

A Middling 'Midway'

13 hours ago

The 1942 victory the U.S. Navy won against a numerically superior Japanese force at Midway Atoll was fresher in memory to the audiences that made the Technicolor-Sensurround sensation Midway a hit in the bicentennial summer of 1976 than that hokey movie is to us now. The three-day battle by air and by sea was such a tide-turning triumph for the United States that it's surprising there have only been three movies named for it in 75 years.

James Cameron wrote and directed The Terminator for love. He made Terminator 2: Judgment Day for money. On his prior film, the Close-Encounters-of-the-Wet-Kind adventure The Abyss, the polymath who'd broken into the biz working for no-budget auteur Roger Corman had gone way over budget in his quest to push the envelope, as would become his habit. The Abyss was (and remains) the sole title on his directing resume that failed to turn a fat profit. After it sank, the presumptive King of the World needed a hit.

Newly-minted septuagenarian Bruce Springsteen has been firmly in legacy mode ever since he took that long knee-slide across the stage at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show a decade ago.

Had you told me even a month ago that Academy Award-nominee Jesse Eisenberg, Academy Award-nominee Abigail Breslin, three-time Academy Award-nominee Woody Harrelson, and three-time Academy Award-nominee / one-time Academy Award-winner Emma Stone were reuniting for the long-unawaited, highly unanticipated sequel to Zombieland — the 42nd highest grossing picture of 2009 and to be fair, a perfectly agreeable expenditure of 88 minutes — I would've assumed someone in the Culver City offices of Sony Pictures was embezzling.

Note: This film is now in limited theatrical release before debuting on Netflix on Friday, October 25th.

Eddie Murphy, who had name-above-title billing in a hit movie at 21, was one of the biggest stars in the world at 25, and whose imminent "comeback" has been a three-decade topic that a steady role in the animated Shrek franchise and an Oscar nomination (for Dreamgirls) couldn't silence, is an odd choice to play Rudy Ray Moore.