Monday, November 07, 2005

this recruit got lost on her way home from college

What is it about cerebral men acting like cavemen that gets me all… Well, you know?

Jarhead 7/10

I loved this movie. Everyone else in my office this morning hated it. I loved this movie. This is not a great film, but it is certainly a good film. As I left the theater, I felt (though not to the full extent) the same way I felt after my very first viewing of Fight Club. Primal. If you know me, you know how I feel about Fight Club, the second greatest film ever made, EVER. So, to compare Jarhead to Fight Club obviously is saying a lot for me.

Jarhead is not a film, NOT a film about the Gulf War (I). Jarhead is NOT a film about being a Marine. Jarhead is a film about one man’s impression of duty, of service, and of meaning as influenced by the Corps. The film is not objective and though a memoir, I doubt it’s even very truthful. Yet the film conveys a moment, an impression of one man’s life and how the Corps has and will always influence who he is for good and for bad.

While this film was supposed to be Jake Gyllenhaal’s coming out party – by that I mean his portrayal of something other than the shy/nice/sad/smart/good boy we’ve all come to know and love – Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaard stole each scene they were in. Jaime Foxx was nothing short of brilliant as he ingeniously and seamlessly delivered lines that a less skilled actor would turn into ridiculous parodies or badly timed punchlines. Sarsgaard’s seriousness and dedication offset the good ‘ol boy attitude held by his counterparts.

Gyllenhaal, for his tour of duty, delivered a powerful performance. In one scene in particular, the man and his rifle, I actually thought to myself, “wow, that was Jake.” Swafford (Gyllenhaal) was the middleman of the movie. He had a bit of every character in him and was inconsistent in his reactions. Sometimes he was the level head, sometimes he was the jerk, sometimes he was the psycho killer. Gyllenhaal’s performance was just as disjointed as the character, which isn’t to be confused with well rounded.

So anyway, go see Jarhead, because I loved it. Don’t be surprised though… You’ll probably hate it.

P.S. Look for Jake’s coming out performance this Jan/Dec. Pun intended.

Good Night and Good Luck – 10/10

In a normal year, I would declare this the most important film of the year to watch, but with Syriana and Munich on the release schedule, I don’t think I can firmly make that assertion.

Leave the Middle East for a moment (just a moment) and remember back to a time when Russia or the USSR was our enemy. I was born in 1979 so I remember snippets of spite. My mother on the other hand was born in 1956. She was raised in the time when nuclear drills and communist hatred were standard operating procedure.

Good Night and Good Luck takes you back even further though, to 1953, the era of the post war American Dream. Suburbs were on the rise and kitchens were becoming modernized. There were many stories taking place that Julianne Moore would one day tell through cinema. In Washington though, a war of ideals – correction: a genocide of ideals - was underway spearheaded by Karl Rove. Oops, I mean Joseph McCarthy.

Good Night and Good Luck is a brilliant little film that plays like, well a play. It’s script and scenes are tight and its style is slick without being flashy. The cinematography, set design, the entire mis-en-scene was crafted and woven with perfection. Its message is unobscured by gloss, and its poignancy is timeless.

Clooney’s directorial debut should easily land him with a nomination, if not a little shiny statue, come early next year. The camera work is reminiscent of master filmmakers like Orsen Wells, Alfred Hitcock, and Billy Wilder. The performances were flawless. David Strathairn gave the performance of his often overlooked career and should be standing beside Clooney on a podium somewhere. The only thing I found awkward was the casting of Patricia Clarkson opposite Robert Downey Jr. While Clarkson is only 6 years Robbie’s senior, she looked uncomfortably too old to play his wife. She is a beautiful women who by no means looks like an old lady, but the role of Shirley should have gone to a woman in her late thirties or the role of Joe should have gone to someone in his fifties.

That aside, this is a great film that is less about the past than it is about the present. I’m happy that it hopped into the box office top 10 this week as everyone – especially you red staters – should see this film. After all, when an old white man who smokes a lot is outspokenly critical of the government, Washington starts listening… And so should you.

Naked Lunch (DVD) – 8/10

So I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the Criterion Collection edition of Naked Lunch. This film is beautiful, though maybe to some, disturbing to watch. The entire craftsmanship, from the costumes, to the lighting, to the music, to the creature effects are gorgeous… classic Hollywood noir.

The spiraling hallucinatory journey into and out of the Interzone is worth the watch filled with all its Kafka like glory. Will you know what’s real and what’s not? Will you even care? Does the story have a point? How many drugs was Burrows on when he wrote this novel? Are the bugs a metaphor? Does it even matter? If you have two hours with nothing else to do, let David Cronenburg take you on a vacation. Don’t worry, you’ll come back.

The Lost Weekend (DVD) – 9/10

The Lost Weekend is one of a long list of films in my netflix cue that fall into the “how have I never seen this film” category. Now, I have.

The Lost Weekend, set in New York City, follows four days in the life of an alcoholic unpublished writer as he falls off the wagon and then gets run over by it.

This film is very, very good and only mildly dated in subject matter. Having known my share of alcoholics and drug addicts, this film could easily be a documentary about four days of a man’s life. Ben found it depressing and the ending unbelievable. I found the last act a bit over top – a reefer madness spin to it.

That aside, the camera work is beautiful and rhythmic and the acting top notch. It actually gave me a desire to read the novel on which the film is based. It deserved all the acclaim it garnered in its time and deserves more attention from today’s audience.


First, let me start by saying last night’s Simpson’s is one of the worst Treehouse of Horror in years.

Okay, moving on…

Desperate Housewives 2:06 “I Wish I Could Forget You”

Last night’s DH was amazing. Eva Longoria is charging after those golden globe and emmy statues for next year as a tiny little force to be reckon with.

As Gabrielle woos her lawyer back into action after a courtroom shoot out, Lynette steps up the hotness factor to shut up the judgmental label whores in the work place.

The best moments of the night though, came from the disturbing dance of seduction between Bree and George as she works through some nerves to give “it” up to the creep. George, in his shystery pharmaceutical ways, helps her along.

And Susan, dear Susan finally gets her freakin’ upcomings for being a flighty spaz as Mike publicly dumps her – while wearing a wedding dress no less. Okay, I’m not saying Susan was wrong for putting her daughter first, but she’s a moron to try to keep Mike in her life. Susan, of course, was acting desperately.
Tonight, make sure you tune in for the return of Arrested Development. Woo Hoo


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Darren said...

Jake's getting a little too perfect. I mean, they showed a clip of him on E! playing with that new fad dog - the muggle?. He was smiling and playing with the puppy. I couldn't stop smiling while watching it. That's a feeling I don't like. He's 6'2, has a great body, hair at all the right places and is funny. And I get to see his ass at some point this week as well as December when I get to see Heath's (maybe I should become a Heathen? seems to be working for Jen Lindley) ass as well. And Anne Hathaway's tits. And Michelle Williams'.

Yeah, the only thing against Jake is that he occasionally fucks that saggy boobed girl. I think I'm ready to join GA: Gyllenhaalics Annonymous.

Maggie and Peter need to get married so they can each drop an A from their last name.

Yes, I love my Gabby. She so crazy. I'm glad people are coming around to here. And Adrian Pasdar is wicked hot. He's married to Natalie Meines? I still love Susan even though everyone hates her. Apparently, Edie's going to be getting some more screentime. I love me some Edie. She so crazy.

I love me some Angie. She so crazy. And she gave me a brief random back rub relieving me of some tension. The rest of that tension was taken care of last night, and still resides on my bedsheets. EW!

Oh well. At least George didn't rape me in my sleep. Creep.


At 3:29 PM, Blogger Mitchell - Crumrine said...

Okay first a resounding EWWWW on the you know what you know where. And they are puggles (Pug + Beagle) which I love - the dog I mean. Muggles are non magical creatures from Harry Potter my love. I love beagles mixed with anything. I'm particularly fond of Bagels (Basset Beagle Mix). Now if a puggle mated with a bagel, what would you have? A Jen Lindly?


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