Ron Howard

Little Opie's made some big movies in his day. Some are good.

Splash (1984) -- Not as funny and great as everyone seemed to think it was when it came out (or now), but still funny enough, mostly because of the comic actors (Tom Hanks, John Candy, Eugene Levy) who are just funny to watch anyway. C

Cocoon (1985) -- A touching little movie. Good. (See Daniel Petrie for the sequel, Cocoon: The Return.) B

Willow (1988) -- When I saw this at the theater when I was thirteen, I declared it my favorite movie ever. It's not anymore, but I still think it's pretty good, in spite of it's faults. The movie is basically a mix of every fairy tale ever written, which of course will produce both good and bad results, but the good makes up for the bad (the "bad" mostly being an overall sloppiness to the developments). Warwick Davis finds his perfect role in this movie, even better than Wicket the Ewok (though he was also great as Reepicheep in the Narnia BBC movies). It's also worth watching for some very early versions of the special effects we're used to these days (morphing, etc.), if you're into that kind of thing. Lots of the movie you can thank/blame George Lucas for, maybe even more than Ron Howard, since lots of it looks like a Star Wars parallel world side project (right down to using wipes between scenes). B

Parenthood (1989) -- For me, this movie basically spawned the catch-phrase "slippin' in some guts" which we use around here all the time, but other than that I don't remember being too interested in it. Too sappy or heartwarming or kiddy or something. C

Far and Away (1992) -- One of those movies I didn't really want to like, but I did. I tend to hate epics, but this one worked for me. B

Apollo 13 (1995) -- Probably Ron Howard's best movie to this point, one which works better than I ever thought it could. I remember thinking about this movie for days after seeing it. It's pretty exciting, which is always a hard thing to do when you know what's going to happen, proving that movies really are magic in the way that they make you forget for a little while that everything's going to be all right (maybe this time I watch it they won't make it home, maybe this time they'll change history). I also love all the little accidents that happen off the shuttle, like people dropping things in their houses. B

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) -- Some advice: just stick with the Chuck Jones animated version. This is a piece of shit. This is coming from someone who never compares movies to previous versions or books or anything like that. I just think it's crappy. It's one of those cases where writers will try to make kid movies "that adults can enjoy too," but end up making jokes that neither like. Example: everything that everyone says and does. All the "hip" 90s always-already-funny (supposedly) catch phrases that shouldn't come out of anyone's mouth, much less a beloved character. Unfortunately for this movie, production design isn't everything. F

The Da Vinci Code (2006) -- Has lots of the lameness that you'd expect from Ron Howard by this point, but mostly it's a fun movie with lots of little puzzles within puzzles to keep it interesting... though don't tell that to the guys sitting outside the movie theater with signs like "I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: I reject The Da Vinci Code," as if this has any more historical fact than, say, National Treasure did.  The main thing for anyone to get their panties in a wad about is that the movie is sort of the "for dummies" version when it does use historical backdrops or codes that they fear the audience just might not get if not painstakingly pointed out (though it should also be noted that other bits of the movie are simply confusing).  Ian McKellen steals the show and the movie lights up the moment he comes on the screen (even when it's just his voice over an intercom for the first few minutes).  A movie that's sure to tickle anyone with an inner doofus wanting to be let free. B

Copyright (c) Nov 2001 - Jun 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies