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Fish, Fire and the Fifties at the Movies

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 1, 2004 4:08PM

Hollywood incinerated the post-summertime trash last weekend in preparation for some tried-and-true formula pictures releasing today.

Cartoons always bring in the kids (and their parents) so Shark Tale is probably going to do some big business. Finally, a movie that answers the question: “What would The Sopranos be like as a two-hour cartoon but with fish instead of humans?” Chicagoist just wants to know how on Earth they managed to get Martin Scorsese to do the voice of Sykes, the puffer fish.

The buzz on Ladder 49 is that it’s Backdraft but with an emotional center that film lacked. Inevitably, this results in the character you like the most dying in the second act. We hate when that happens. Still, it’ll be worth it to see Robert “T-1000” Patrick back on the screen again. The guy’s been slumming it in B-movies and lame TV work for a while but with the right part he can be a compelling actor.

Also, two film classics start tomorrow at the artier movie houses in town. Marlon Brando’s performance Courtesy of in On The Waterfront can be witnessed in all its tough guy glory during some matinee showings at The Music Box. Everybody knows the “I coulda been a contenda” speech but the payoff comes when Rod Steiger pulls out the gun and sees Brando’s face…oof. Heart-wrenching. Less well-known but equally heartbreaking is the noir-ish In A Lonely Place on tap at the Siskel Center. Fans of the genre will be surprised by the way the film subverts itself to deliver an honest gut puncher of an ending.

(In case you’re wondering why Chicagoist didn’t mention the existential detective story I Heart Huckabees in this post, it’s because we can’t figure out the HTML code for the little heart symbol. No, seriously…it’s only opening in VERY limited release. LAist and Gothamist get to enjoy all the head-trip fun until its wide release on October 15th).