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Showing posts from April, 2014

Railway Man

Railway Man

If you remember when male potency supplements like Viagra came out, it was clear the companies believed that men had to have their shame of admitting to having potency issues abated by addressing them otherwise as total he-men, totally potent. So we got commercials where a bunch of older guys playing golf are discussing the twenty-year olds they've bedded, and where "Viagra" isn't discussed but just flashed on the screen at the end. This film looked to be going on about the same thing -- except the issue being brought a bit more into common recognition was how experiences during war might never be shucked off.

But we'd hardly need to have Colin Firth's Eric -- a World War 2 British lieutenant -- shown first as a prosperous older man who's just romantically won himself a resplendent wife (Patti, played by Nicole Kidman), before dwelling into what he experienced in war, if what was going to be shown up close was what we've traditionally been …

Transcendence

Transcendence 

In a recent New Yorker we learned that many of those earning instant fortunes for their apps are feeling pretty guilty about it. It's pretty tough, they proclaim, to enjoy your millions when you're aware of just how hard and rewardless a life your own mother had to make due with. Specifically, though to make their apps they "borrowed office space and subsisted on a diet of instant ramen," though they knew "in the back of [their] heads […] [how] hard you worked, that you sacrificed your stability and you took on the risk of financial ruin for a long while," that "[y]ou did things that other people were not willing or capable of," it still "feels awful," for they "couldn't get rid of the image of [their] mothers in [their] cars, driving to work." The truth is, that if the only thing they had to contend with was the fact that their mothers had much harder lives, they've already amply contended with it as a so…

Bad Words

Bad Words

One of the key things we take from this film is that if you want to intrude on an exclusively prole ritual like child beauty pageants, dismaying parents and causing participants to cry, by all means go for it -- we'll chortle right along with you: films like "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Bad Grandpa" paved the way for us to feel no compunctions. But if you're intruding on a ritual being used to build up children's resumes expecting to get into the ivy leagues -- like Spelling Bs -- then you only get to half mean it. A bright child of affluent, educated parents is inserted into this movie -- purposely beset upon Jason Bateman's Guy Trilby, on the presumption that Guy won't defeat the dreams of a kid he ends up considering a friend. And though the gambit works, you sense it wasn't owing to friendship but that the kid served as a grinning "Cheshire Cat," castration-reminder afflicting him throughout the movie: this kid is of t…

Draft Day

Draft Day
The key scene in this movie is where Kevin Costner's Sonny Weaver realizes what it is about the person he's been shepherded to pick as the number one overall pick -- the Heisman trophy-winner quarterback, Bo Callahan -- that proves there's something foul about him. He notices that after being sacked twice by the same player, he isn't able to rebound but rather starts doing things like hurrying the ball -- he let a player get to him, lets himself get rattled. The linebacker who did this to him -- Vontae Mack -- is the player Sonny wanted to pick as his first pick, and from highlights of the same game, sees further confirmation for choosing him, even though no one else had accounted him the best player available. Vontae got booted from the game -- but after an official hassled him after he gave away a game ball to his sister in the stands: far from a pariah, he's a selfless person who does everything for his family and every-time-otherwise for his team -- wh…