Friday, September 16, 2016

Film Friday

A Most Violent Year 
This film actually takes place in New York City, in 1981.  Oscar Isaac is the owner of a heating oil company.  While his truck drivers are being preyed upon by armed thugs, he is trying to close a deal for some valuable property.  Also, his company is being investigated by an eager DA.  He's got a hot wife though (Jessica Chastain).  I give this one a casual thumb up.    

The Interpreter 
To paraphrase Immanuel Kant:  We are all interpreters; we humans who are slave to meaning. But I digress.  Nicole Kidman is  an interpreter at the UN who overhears a plot to assassinate the controversial head of an African nation.  Sean Penn is a modern, tech savvy secret service agent whose job it is to prevent the assassination.  He uses a flip phone, as modern, tech savvy men do.  The leads did well.  There's a long thriller-like sequence which was well-executed.  Kind of corny near the end.  A hesitant thumb up.               

Michael Keaton stars as a former movie star who is now trying to make it on Broadway.  He deals with hallucinations, hearing the voice of his most notable movie role - Birdman -  talking to him, a rebellious daughter, and a high-maintenance co-star.  Keaton's excellent. Edward Norton (the co-star) and Emma Stone (daughter) are solid.  I think this is a movie that tried to do too much though.  Like it tried too hard to be different or make an impression. My thumb is tilted sideways.  Perhaps in a certain light it appears to be pointing slightly upward.

Dallas Buyers Club 
Jennifer Garner stars as a doctor in 1980's Texas.  Matthew McConaughey, as Ron Woodroof,  tests positive for HIV.  Jared Leto is complicated.  Woodroof and Raylon (Leto) found the Dallas Buyers Club, a name they did not get from the movie of the same name.  The hospitals and FDA are trying to prevent HIV carriers from choosing what drugs they take.  Woodroof finds alternative drugs that aren't totally legal and gives them to people who buy club memberships.
Woodroof was an actual person who founded the Dallas Buyers Club.  But Eve (Garner) and Raylon were not real people. So this is kind of a biopic / fictional movie hybrid.  The three leads did well.  So it's worth watching for the acting.  But I'm not a fan of hybrids.  As the highway patrolman said the other day:  Pick a lane.                  


  1. i'm assuming you meant this line: "He uses a flip phone, as modern, tech savvy men do." clever.

    that last line's more impressive, though. perhaps you were driving distractedly, trying to use that flip-phone of yours.

    and yeah, i can put with or without you on there. because it's awesome. as for tori... i'm sure i could find a dozen heart-wrenching songs of hers. i just happen to like those two quite a bit.

    1. I was hoping for more eating of humble crow pie and drinking of mea culpa. But okay. I'll take this.

      I like the song. It's just become the witch costume of break-up songs.

      I just meant that she's done a lot of songs that are more well-known. Not that there's anything wrong with the ones you chose.

    2. i don't eat pie unless it's banana blueberry cream. then i can eat the whole thing by myself. and the only things i drink, really, are unsweetened iced tea and dr. pepper. :]

      but please tell me why it is i should be eating humble pie and drinking mea culpa.

      first of all... isabel makes the cd in haste, so she's just snatching what she readily sees in her music library. secondly, of my girls, she's NOT the one that goes for the obscure. her tastes are VERY much along the mainstream (though she would smack the shit out of me for saying so. several times).

      and i've never thought of that as a break-up song, by the way, but more a rock and a hard place thing. can't be with the one you love (not because s/he'd dumped you, but because you don't stand a chance) and can't be without.

    3. "no. no. that's NOT at all what i meant to say. because if you were tech savy, that would NOT be a flip-phone." - Jenn

    4. right, but ELEVEN YEARS AGO, flip phones were still fairly common...

  2. Birdman... Oh. Dear. Heavens. Watched it in the theater after its Oscar win. 4-6 people actually got up and walked out of the theater, something I hadn't witnessed in a LONG time. I stayed, but was tempted to bolt. My response once the credits rolled - What the hell was that??? I thought Keaton was great, but the movie was way out there for me. Definitely not my cup of tea. If I was assigning a letter grade - F.

    I liked Dallas Buyer's Club better. Letter grade - B.

    Have a great weekend, E Man!

    1. Ha. I guess I would grade it a C+ or B-. I agree it's a bit too weird.

      If DBC had been fiction, I would probably give it a B. But trying to have it both ways annoyed me.

    2. ericka, my dear. oscar movies generally SUCK. haven't you learned this by now?

  3. Where the hell have I been?? OK I have not seen the first 2 films but want to. I liked Birdman but it is a drug tripper. My hubby thought it sucked. The film is not for everyone. I liked Dallas Buyer's club and thought the acting was great. Any bio is usually not a true one especially from Hollywood.

    1. i know. I just thought they took too many liberties, to the point that it wasn't really a bio.