‘Thin Ice’ (original called ‘The Convincer’) is a bit disjointed

[rating=2]Starring: Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, David Harbour, Lea Thompson
Director(s): Jill Sprecher
Writer(s): Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher

Greg Kinnear and Billy Crudup co-star in 'Thin Ice'
Greg Kinnear and Billy Crudup co-star in ‘Thin Ice’

One of the many reasons Mel Brooks (who is not associated in any way, shape or form with this film) is a genius is because of something he was smart enough to ask for and get.  Remember that and we’ll revisit that fact and where the original title came from, after we look at Thin Ice.

The title could very well be a metaphor for the life of Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear), a Kenosha based insurance salesman, who we find at a convention of insurance agents where he’s leading a seminar on how to strike up conversations with potential clients.  That his best line is apparently the time-tested “Do you happen to have the time” speaks volumes about his abilities.  Hoping to sell enough policies to win a trip to his company’s anniversary retreat in Aruba, he decides to hire a go-getter who was at his seminar by the name of Bob (David Harbour) who was about to accept a job with one of Mickey’s competitors who happens to out-do Mickey by a wide margin.

Read more‘Thin Ice’ (original called ‘The Convincer’) is a bit disjointed

2005’s ‘Bad News Bears’ is actually just as good as original

[rating=3]Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Writer(s): Screenplay by Bill Lancaster, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa; Based upon the film written by Bill Lancaster

Sammi Kane Kraft (left), Billy Bob Thornton (center) and Timmy Deters star in 'Bad News Bears'
Sammi Kane Kraft (left), Billy Bob Thornton (center) and Timmy Deters star in ‘Bad News Bears’

Remakes. I want to bang my head against my desk every time I get word that another one is coming to theaters. Yet it is even more frustrating when they’re good. Ugh, that drives me nuts.

That’s what happened with 2005’s Bad News Bears. Dammit, it’s good. In fact, it’s quite good. Funny and charming, with a great performance by Billy Bob Thornton. Director Richard Linklater successfully captured the spirit and fun of the original, crafting what is not just a good remake, but quite simply a good film.

Damn him. Damn them all.

Read more2005’s ‘Bad News Bears’ is actually just as good as original