Ian’s Movie Reviews

Ian Ryan, Caboose Editor

In the Urban Legend’s first issue this year, I reviewed the biggest and baddest movies to hit the theaters; however, theaters no longer really exist. Because of that, the theme this time will be movies that I’ve watched during the quarantine.

Top Gun:
If you want a fun, action-filled, erotically-charged hour and fifty minutes, then Top Gun (1986) is the movie for you. Starring Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell of the Navy Aerial Forces, Top Gun has everything from aerial combat scenes to half-naked games of volleyball. While it doesn’t necessarily have the most substance of any movie you’ve seen, we do get to see how Mitchell deals with the legacy of his father and the inevitable deaths of his compatriots. Whether you’re returning to watch it before the sequel comes out later this year or you’re a first time viewer, expect a movie filled with excitement and fun.

Philadelphia:
Philadelphia (1993) details the plight of Andy Beckett, played by Tom Hanks, as he is fired from the most prestigious law firm in Philadelphia under the guise of “mishandling a case” when one of the partners of the firm notices a lesion on his forehead. As a gay man who has contracted the (at the time) deadly disease AIDS, Beckett believes that he has been fired because of his illness, and seeks to file a lawsuit against the firm for wrongful termination. To do this, he hires Joe Miller, played by Denzel Washington, who is initially hesitant but eventually agrees to take his case. Philadelphia details their fight against a bigoted society, while also showing the difficulties in Beckett’s fight against his inevitable death and Miller’s fight against his own bigotry. While some scenes have not necessarily aged well, it still portrays an important battle and denunciation of intolerance, showing that hope can win out in the end.

Jojo Rabbit:
Jojo Rabbit tackles incredibly difficult subject matter with success, telling the story of a young Nazi named Jojo (Johannes) and his struggle with his identity. Growing up as a boy in Germany during World War II, Jojo identifies as a Nazi; however, each experience that he has with the party leads him to doubt that identification. This is characterized by his discussions with his imaginary best friend “Hitler”, which is a visualization of the dictator. Played by Taika Waititi, who is Jewish and from New Zealand, this character shows us both the childish side and the brainwashed side of Jojo’s character. This internal struggle is amplified when he finds a Jewish girl living in his attic. While Jojo Rabbit covers very touchy subject matter, Waititi’s voice compels the viewer to find the light in the dark moments he covers without lessening the impact of the atrocities committed by the Nazi party. It may be a naive voice, one that doesn’t cover all that happened in World War II, but instead tries to show how childhood innocence.