The movie challenge Hidden Gems continues with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL). An actor who’s movies brought me joy for many years. But an actor who has recently been in less movies and well, movies that I have little to no interest towards. Despite of this, JGL is still one of my favourites and he will probably remain so for many years. Yet tackling JGL’s filmography was actually a bit difficult. I had to change one of my initial random picks because I didn’t find it. But it worked out for the best, kind of…
WHY JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT?
Many of you who have followed my blog for many years know that I spend most of my early 20’s loving Joseph Gordon-Levitt! He was everywhere, he was on the height of his fame and he proved that he’s not just a teen wonder. In recent years he has done less movies, less big budget projects and I’m fine with that. He has a family, a kid!, and he’s working on his personal creative platform HitRecord. JGL is doing just fine but part of me still misses him! (Knives Out audio-cameo wasn’t enough!)
So that’s partly the reason why I picked him for Hidden Gems. Another reason is that I have avoided a lot of his movies because I either don’t know if they are good or I think they are bad. He has so many strange movies in his filmography, that it’s been easier to avoid than to experiment. This month I experimented. And here are the results.
Letterboxd lists 56 movies out of which two are short movies made in collaboration with HitRecord. Out of those I had seen 20 (including the short films) – yes, that’s how shitty I of a fan I’ve been. But most of the ones I skipped were the 90’s ones so maybe that sort of makes up for it. My favourites from JGL’s filmography are: 10 Things I Hate About You, (500) Days of Summer, Inception, 50/50 and Looper.
I’ve also seen (including cameos) Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Knives Out, The Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln, The Interview, Don Jon, Brick, The Night Before, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Premium Rush, Beethoven, Hesher, Havoc (last month’s Hidden Gem) and Morgan M. Morgansen’s two short films.
My picks for Hidden Gems challenge were random and I ended up watching Holy Matrimony (1994), Elektra Luxx (2010) and The Lookout (2007). Initially I had picked Big Breaks (2008) instead of The Lookout but didn’t find a way to watch it.
HOLY MATRIMONY (1994)
The tagline of this movie says “the hilariously sexy comedy!”… it’s neither sexy nor is it funny. The plot is basically that this sexy blonde woman named Havana (Patricia Arquette) steals money with her boyfriend and they flee back to his home. He is basically Austrian (German?) Amish and he marries Havana right before he dies IN AN EPIC CAR CRASH. Trust me, it was.. a sight to behold.
Anyway, the rules say she has to now marry his brother… who is like 12 or something played by yours truly, JGL. If marrying a child isn’t enough, there are fake German-English accents and the whole movie makes no fucking sense. I wanted to turn it off after 10 minutes and I’m a bit sad that I didn’t.
The fact that it’s directed by Leonard Nimoy, written by the guy who wrote The Rock and has JGL just makes me sad. I don’t like associating anything good with this movie because it was the worst thing I’ve seen in a very long time. And I watched Serenity for Hidden Gems last month…
No idea how, why or to whom this movie was made for. It was offensive, awful and just the poster alone is giving me hives right now.
ELEKTRA LUXX (2010)
Now this movie gave me something extremely satisfying, it gave me Timothy Olyphant. God, I love him.. which was not the point of this Hidden Gems month but I couldn’t help it. JGL’s role here was to play a latin character… (yeah, offensiveness continues) who is a huge fan of the porn star Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino). She has recently retired because she is pregnant and does these lectures for women called “How to act like a porn star in bed” or something. Anyway, at the first half Olyphant shows up and is looking all hot and distracts me for a minute.
Then he goes away and I realise, yet again, I don’t have a fucking idea what the point of this movie is!? I get the fact that she is a retired porn star looking for her place in the world. I don’t get what is happening with the side story lines nor with JGL’s character who’s Spanish-English accent is all over the place. There are lesbians in the mix, there’s a jealous fiancé, there’s a sister who wants to do porn and a TWIN. I just… oh and then Julian Moore shows up as the VIRGIN MARY!!
Honestly, I have no idea what I watched. When the movie is almost over, Olyphant is there for just a second and then poof, movie over and he nor JGL managed to save this from being a disaster.
Once again I didn’t know what was the reason for this… at all. It was just me staring at the screen thinking, why?
THE LOOKOUT (2007)
Probably the best out of the three but it’s not without its problems. Anyway, JGL plays this teen who causes a horrible car accident in the beginning and four years later we find out he has significant brain damage. It affects his memory and he has to train to remember simple tasks like showering, opening a can of tomato sauce etc. JGL’s performance here is good, he did the best he could with the material he had.
He works as a cleaner in a bank during the night shift. He has a cop friend who brings him donuts, very lovely portrayed by Sergio Di Zio. Like honestly, I was so invested in his character and he had so little screen time. Which is surprising since this movie also has Matthew Goode. Anyway, Goode’s character is up to no good and pulls JGL’s character into some trouble.
There’s also Jeff Daniels who plays a blind man. And there’s where the movie loses my respect. Daniels has two different “blind” faces here and it’s just very bad. Plus, when he says “I must be dead because nobody’s talking” is such an idiotic statement at the end of the movie.
That being said, this movie had the most potential out of the three Hidden Gems picks. The plot was actually pretty interesting with dragging a guy with memory problems into a heist movie. It didn’t handle the plot the best but the potential was there.
Second month was almost a mirror image of the first. We got two pretty bad apples and one potential Hidden Gem. Sadly, The Lookout had too many flaws to be a gem. Plus, it needed to be more crisp. In the end, it’s another bust but I still have 10 months to go!
Feel free to tweet me @MettelRay your Hidden Gems challenge if you’re participating. And I’ll add those to the next month’s post.
Previous month on Hidden Gems – ANNE HATHAWAY
Next month on Hidden Gems – JAKE GYLLENHAAL1
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Wow, out of these 3 I’ve only heard of Elektra Luxx! None of them sound overly great although I love Timothy Olyphant and would potentially watch just about anything with him in it. 😀 Can’t wait to see what you watch for March!
Yeah, I had also vaguely known of Elektra Luxx but would have never thought to watch it just because. The Lookout I hadn’t heard but it turned out better for it I think. Next month… oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! 😀
I’ve been waiting for this post! I love JGL, obviously. Of these I’ve actually only seen The Lookout, which I liked. I’ve seen parts of the prequel (?) to Elektra Luxx – Women in Trouble and I didn’t care for it. As much as I love JGL he’s made some questionable choices. One of his older ones I really liked is Sweet Jane.
I’m so glad JGL is FINALLY going to be in movies again this year. We’ve been deprived for too long.
Well he was “in” Knives Out.. just by voice so he’s been teasing us fans like… crazy. 😀
And I don’t think I will watch Women in Trouble, his earlier filmography has some questionable choices indeed. The Lookout was good BUT I don’t think it holds up that well. At least for me. It could be that by the time I saw it I was so fed up with the two other bad ones. 😀
Out of the three, I’ve only seen The Lookout. It came out after Inside Man, and they both seem to have a similar bank theft plot. I don’t remember much from it though. Can’t wait for your next month’s Hidden Gems!
I haven’t seen Inside Man but it sounds very much like The Lookout indeed. I don’t know if I will watch it but maybe. 😀
I adore Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I am itching to see him in some new releases. Looper and Inception have to be some of my favourite films of his. Holy Matrimony sounds like an absolute trainwreck of a film. The entire concept sounds creepy and the fact that Nimoy directed it both baffles and saddens me.
Holy Matrimony was AWFUL! I can’t believe it got made, horrible through and through. And same, I’m sad Nimoy directed it… he should have seen the script and been like, no way, and walked away. Everyone should have.
Jesus this is an impressive amount of shit 🙂 Tim has been in maybe 2 good movies, thank God he has Deadwood, Justified and Santa Clarita
Ah he has had some bad luck BUT I do love Timothy in Catch & Release!! That’s actually quite a good rom com in my opinion! 😛
I said it on your announcement post too but I adore this series of yours! I need to look at my own favourite actors and actresses and try to join in mid-year or something. I’m super looking forward to next month – Jake Gyllenhaal would be one of my picks for sure <3
Ah, thank you so much! It’s no need to join in like right away or all the time, just a few posts would be gun to see. 🙂
I’m looking forward for Jake’s month, I got some good random selections for him I think.
Sorry this movies didn’t really work out for you! It’s a shame that he or his management used to pick such bad projects. I wouldn’t have expected him to be interested in those types of premises.
I totally agree – cameos are not enough. I think he’s a bit of an old soul though, and isn’t into mainstream Hollywood a lot. I don’t know if you’ve checked out his TedxTalk on YouTube, but it’s pretty interesting about why he’s not visible as much anymore especially on social media.