The postmodern homo!

Rating: 8/10
I normally can’t stand Nicholas Cage. I find him to be an actor that’s losing his looks and is not dealing with it gracefully and try to cling to roles that, sadly, are not suited for him any more. Roy, neurotic, flim flam man however is a role that suits his well. He is a con artist that specializes in stealing money from medium income families naive enough to get sucked into their schemes with the help of his partner played by Sam Rockwell.
Roy is special in this role because while he can successfully pull off a con he is in dire need of his medication, without it, he becomes obsessive compulsive about cleaning, agoraphobic and replete with a whole host of facial ticks and jerks which makes him very unpleasant to deal with.
When Roy loses his medication he needs to see a new psychologist who gets him pills, as well as discusses the possibiilty of reconnecting with the money he left when she was 2 months pregnant. Now a 14 year old girl he starts entering his life, while still trying to do these multilayered cons, granted to guys who really deserve being heist. Well the worlds start to mix and before you know it  he’s bonding with her, teaching her his business, and having difficulty with what’s right and what’s wrong.
Roy has always been excellent at keeping the cons separate from the normal pace of his life and now all of it is embroiled into a mess. As the story continues we find out that while he believes he is the con master his partner/protegee have been pulling one over him, without giving away too much lets say that it’s an expensive lesson for him to learn but despite that it seems that everyone takes away with something and the ending while sweet is not overwrought.
Overall: quite enjoyable.

Rating: 8/10

I normally can’t stand Nicholas Cage. I find him to be an actor that’s losing his looks and is not dealing with it gracefully and try to cling to roles that, sadly, are not suited for him any more. Roy, neurotic, flim flam man however is a role that suits his well. He is a con artist that specializes in stealing money from medium income families naive enough to get sucked into their schemes with the help of his partner played by Sam Rockwell.

Roy is special in this role because while he can successfully pull off a con he is in dire need of his medication, without it, he becomes obsessive compulsive about cleaning, agoraphobic and replete with a whole host of facial ticks and jerks which makes him very unpleasant to deal with.

When Roy loses his medication he needs to see a new psychologist who gets him pills, as well as discusses the possibiilty of reconnecting with the money he left when she was 2 months pregnant. Now a 14 year old girl he starts entering his life, while still trying to do these multilayered cons, granted to guys who really deserve being heist. Well the worlds start to mix and before you know it  he’s bonding with her, teaching her his business, and having difficulty with what’s right and what’s wrong.


Roy has always been excellent at keeping the cons separate from the normal pace of his life and now all of it is embroiled into a mess. As the story continues we find out that while he believes he is the con master his partner/protegee have been pulling one over him, without giving away too much lets say that it’s an expensive lesson for him to learn but despite that it seems that everyone takes away with something and the ending while sweet is not overwrought.

Overall: quite enjoyable.

Comments
Argo
Rating: 9/10
Before I watched the movie I read a review that said “You know exactly what will happen at the end but you are still anxious with uncertainty.” This turned out to be very true. I love period pieces that happen in our recent past, a time that I can vaguely recall, because it invokes a sense of nostalgia. Argo takes place at the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980 when Iran had their revolution and removed the Shah that the U.S. put in place with a ruler of their own choosing. Iran was extremely upset with the U.S. and U.K. because they believed we were exporting their oil and leaving them a ruler who cared only for his own lavish lifestyle and nothing for the poor that composed the majority of the country. The movie sheds light on our current problems with Iran and the bitter animosity their people holds for our country.
The movie begins with Iranians overrunning the U.S. embassy and taking hostage most of the works but 5 were able to flee and hide in the Canadian embassy. The U.S. were afraid that if these 5 were found out that they would be killed and hatched a farfetched plot to have Tony Mendez extract them by posing as a scout for a science fiction film. The acting was superb by Afflect and the 5 hostages. They were able to capture the tension of the place and time as well, as well as the struggle to get out of the country. The dialogue was realistic and the music and set design made the whole thing feel very real.

Argo

Rating: 9/10

Before I watched the movie I read a review that said “You know exactly what will happen at the end but you are still anxious with uncertainty.” This turned out to be very true. I love period pieces that happen in our recent past, a time that I can vaguely recall, because it invokes a sense of nostalgia. Argo takes place at the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980 when Iran had their revolution and removed the Shah that the U.S. put in place with a ruler of their own choosing. Iran was extremely upset with the U.S. and U.K. because they believed we were exporting their oil and leaving them a ruler who cared only for his own lavish lifestyle and nothing for the poor that composed the majority of the country. The movie sheds light on our current problems with Iran and the bitter animosity their people holds for our country.

The movie begins with Iranians overrunning the U.S. embassy and taking hostage most of the works but 5 were able to flee and hide in the Canadian embassy. The U.S. were afraid that if these 5 were found out that they would be killed and hatched a farfetched plot to have Tony Mendez extract them by posing as a scout for a science fiction film. The acting was superb by Afflect and the 5 hostages. They were able to capture the tension of the place and time as well, as well as the struggle to get out of the country. The dialogue was realistic and the music and set design made the whole thing feel very real.

Comments
American Splendor
Rating: 8/10
This is an interesting movie that is part biography, part comedy, and part drama. Harvey Pekar has a crap job as a file clerk in the VA hospital. He has always loved comic strips and music records and developed an extensive collection. He meets Robert Crumb, a big name in the indie comic book series and becomes good friends with him. Harvey attempts to write his own comics but finds his drawing skills to be lacking. Harvey gets Crumb to draw his comics while he writes the storyline that is based on his life. The mundane stuff of working as a file clerk, and the everyday crap that comes along with being a snarky jew living in New York. His comic becomes a success but he doesn’t make enough to quit his day job so he trudges on. A woman that loves his comics develop a relationship with him when they meet and she moves in. He develops cancer and these are recorded in another series in comic books. His life is indeed strange and fascinating and while many bad things happen to him personally, his ability to keep going with his plucky, curmudgeon attitude is an engaging subject. 

American Splendor

Rating: 8/10

This is an interesting movie that is part biography, part comedy, and part drama. Harvey Pekar has a crap job as a file clerk in the VA hospital. He has always loved comic strips and music records and developed an extensive collection. He meets Robert Crumb, a big name in the indie comic book series and becomes good friends with him. Harvey attempts to write his own comics but finds his drawing skills to be lacking. Harvey gets Crumb to draw his comics while he writes the storyline that is based on his life. The mundane stuff of working as a file clerk, and the everyday crap that comes along with being a snarky jew living in New York. His comic becomes a success but he doesn’t make enough to quit his day job so he trudges on. A woman that loves his comics develop a relationship with him when they meet and she moves in. He develops cancer and these are recorded in another series in comic books. His life is indeed strange and fascinating and while many bad things happen to him personally, his ability to keep going with his plucky, curmudgeon attitude is an engaging subject. 

Comments
The Squid and the Whale 
Movie Review: 9/10
Joan and Bernard are a couple with two kids and they both write as their profession. Bernard received early fame but now finds it difficult to obtain a publisher for his more recent works. Joan, on the other hand, is featured in the New Yorker, and her book has received good critical reviews. The family decides to split because the dad is narcissistic and obsessive and Joan cannot handle it anymore. There two kids Walt and Frank are unhappy with this decision and Walt sides with his father, while the younger would rather stay with the mother. Walt emulates his father in every way. He does not do any of his own assignments in English class but regurgitates his father’s opinions instead. Walt enters in a school competition and does a Pink Floyd song as his own. Frank causes problems in school by masturbating onto books in the library and running away from his father. The problems escalate when Joan takes on a lover that is the kids tennis coach and his father allows a grad student to move in with him and they have an affair. By the end of the movie Walt understands that his father is not as great as he believed and things are being scene with more accurate appraisal. While this imperfect situation is not resolved, Bernard has a heart attack which is an opportunity for the family to come together but even his controlling ways in this situation indicates a less than promising future. 
The story line deals with a variety of problems that can occur in the family but does so in a comical way. The dialogue is quick, real, and immensely funny. Thoroughly enjoyable to watch. 

The Squid and the Whale 

Movie Review: 9/10

Joan and Bernard are a couple with two kids and they both write as their profession. Bernard received early fame but now finds it difficult to obtain a publisher for his more recent works. Joan, on the other hand, is featured in the New Yorker, and her book has received good critical reviews. The family decides to split because the dad is narcissistic and obsessive and Joan cannot handle it anymore. There two kids Walt and Frank are unhappy with this decision and Walt sides with his father, while the younger would rather stay with the mother. Walt emulates his father in every way. He does not do any of his own assignments in English class but regurgitates his father’s opinions instead. Walt enters in a school competition and does a Pink Floyd song as his own. Frank causes problems in school by masturbating onto books in the library and running away from his father. The problems escalate when Joan takes on a lover that is the kids tennis coach and his father allows a grad student to move in with him and they have an affair. By the end of the movie Walt understands that his father is not as great as he believed and things are being scene with more accurate appraisal. While this imperfect situation is not resolved, Bernard has a heart attack which is an opportunity for the family to come together but even his controlling ways in this situation indicates a less than promising future. 

The story line deals with a variety of problems that can occur in the family but does so in a comical way. The dialogue is quick, real, and immensely funny. Thoroughly enjoyable to watch. 

Comments
American Pie Reunion
Rating 8/10
This is a great way to end the series. Part of the reason I enjoyed it is that they brought back most of the entire cast. It’s difficult to believe that 15 years have past since the original American Pie was aired. I connected with that original movie because I was in a similar age when it came out and it’s nice to see how they progressed through the years. The movie is about a reunion and it was done so in such a loving manner. We are re-introduced to the antics of Stiffler, the awkward sexual antics of Jim, the reunion of the highschool sweethearts Heather and Oz, Finch the Milf-fucker finally finds a girl that’s her equal, and while Vicky and Kevin have moved apart, they created a new frienship that is still meaningful. 
Aside from the satisfying conclusion to this group, the raunchy antics still ensue. Jim’s cock and balls are on display when after a heavy night of drinking he awakes naked and covers it with a see through lid. There’s vengeful teens that get pummeled by the old class and a naked girl that needs to be sneaked around. Same old antics but lovingly revisited. 

American Pie Reunion

Rating 8/10

This is a great way to end the series. Part of the reason I enjoyed it is that they brought back most of the entire cast. It’s difficult to believe that 15 years have past since the original American Pie was aired. I connected with that original movie because I was in a similar age when it came out and it’s nice to see how they progressed through the years. The movie is about a reunion and it was done so in such a loving manner. We are re-introduced to the antics of Stiffler, the awkward sexual antics of Jim, the reunion of the highschool sweethearts Heather and Oz, Finch the Milf-fucker finally finds a girl that’s her equal, and while Vicky and Kevin have moved apart, they created a new frienship that is still meaningful. 

Aside from the satisfying conclusion to this group, the raunchy antics still ensue. Jim’s cock and balls are on display when after a heavy night of drinking he awakes naked and covers it with a see through lid. There’s vengeful teens that get pummeled by the old class and a naked girl that needs to be sneaked around. Same old antics but lovingly revisited. 

Comments
Oslo, August 31st
Anders is 34, heroin addict, and living in a rehab for the last ten months. He has been cut off from his family and friends but is approaching the end of his treatment so is allowed to go out from the facility in order to look for a job. In one day, Anders meets up with his old friends, realizes how disconnected he is from the realities of other people’s lives and how far behind he is in comparison to people he use to party with. Anders attempts to reconnect with an old ex but finds that in sobriety his connection to her is gone. He tries calling another old girlfriend whom he feels a stronger bond but she does not return his calls. His parents are in the process of selling their house in order to pay his monstrous debts, his sister sends her girlfriend to meet with him because the disappointments in the past makes her unable to deal with him at present. Anders listens to the conversations of the people around him at the park, in cafes, and on the street. He finds that he is even more on the outskirts and unable to relate. He attends a party thrown by old friends. He starts drinking. It quickly elevates to him stealing money from the checked coats. He buys heroine. The movie ends at the end of that day with him shooting up in his old house. 
The movie is extremely powerful and as a person is dealing with personal demons of addiction I can relate. I find that the bleak outlook Anders has and his defeated attitude when attempting to acquire a job indicates how low he feels. The portrayal is honest and shows how difficult it is to stay sober regardless of the support from family and friends when such people do not understand how it is to be under the bubble of the disease. 
Well done film!

Oslo, August 31st

Anders is 34, heroin addict, and living in a rehab for the last ten months. He has been cut off from his family and friends but is approaching the end of his treatment so is allowed to go out from the facility in order to look for a job. In one day, Anders meets up with his old friends, realizes how disconnected he is from the realities of other people’s lives and how far behind he is in comparison to people he use to party with. Anders attempts to reconnect with an old ex but finds that in sobriety his connection to her is gone. He tries calling another old girlfriend whom he feels a stronger bond but she does not return his calls. His parents are in the process of selling their house in order to pay his monstrous debts, his sister sends her girlfriend to meet with him because the disappointments in the past makes her unable to deal with him at present. Anders listens to the conversations of the people around him at the park, in cafes, and on the street. He finds that he is even more on the outskirts and unable to relate. He attends a party thrown by old friends. He starts drinking. It quickly elevates to him stealing money from the checked coats. He buys heroine. The movie ends at the end of that day with him shooting up in his old house. 

The movie is extremely powerful and as a person is dealing with personal demons of addiction I can relate. I find that the bleak outlook Anders has and his defeated attitude when attempting to acquire a job indicates how low he feels. The portrayal is honest and shows how difficult it is to stay sober regardless of the support from family and friends when such people do not understand how it is to be under the bubble of the disease. 

Well done film!

Comments
Gosford Park
Rating: 8/10
I attempted to watch Gosford Park years ago and I was bored and never finished it but rewatching it now, I found it quite enjoyable. It’s booked as a murder mystery, but it’s really an education on the upstairs/downstairs world of the aristocracy and their servants. This movie has a huge, all-star cast and it’s a loving homage to a lost time and place: the pre-war country estate of formal dinner, fox hunts, and drawing rooms. The story surrounds the McCordle family. The patriarch is rich, titled, and surrounded by relatives for a shooting party. He pulls at everyone’s strings because they’re dependent upon his largesse in some form or another. The attendants are at his estate for a weekend of shooting and every one is on edge because they all want something from him. The more interesting part of the story is in the lives of the servants. They are equally as invested in the lives of their masters and can move freely around the house because the guests speak freely in front of them, almost as if they don’t exist. While the movie is ostensibly about the murder of the patriarch, said murder doesn’t occur until well past the first half of the movie. A detective comes, everyone is asked to stay, and everyone wonders who may have done it. The guests assume it is likely a thief, the detective assumes it must be a guest (since no servant has enough invested to commit such a crime) but one maid discovers the truth. The lead housekeeper did it in order to prevent her son, one of the guest’s valet’s from committing the crime, and he did it because he is the illegitimate son of the victim. While the revelation was interesting, the movie kept my interest because of the variety of subplots: the unfaithful wife, the hollywood director who wants a peek into the aristocracy, and the whole host of hungry relatives nipping at the hand of their benefactor. While the movie reveals itself slowly, the cadence is pleasing and rich in detail.

Gosford Park

Rating: 8/10

I attempted to watch Gosford Park years ago and I was bored and never finished it but rewatching it now, I found it quite enjoyable. It’s booked as a murder mystery, but it’s really an education on the upstairs/downstairs world of the aristocracy and their servants. This movie has a huge, all-star cast and it’s a loving homage to a lost time and place: the pre-war country estate of formal dinner, fox hunts, and drawing rooms. The story surrounds the McCordle family. The patriarch is rich, titled, and surrounded by relatives for a shooting party. He pulls at everyone’s strings because they’re dependent upon his largesse in some form or another. The attendants are at his estate for a weekend of shooting and every one is on edge because they all want something from him. The more interesting part of the story is in the lives of the servants. They are equally as invested in the lives of their masters and can move freely around the house because the guests speak freely in front of them, almost as if they don’t exist. While the movie is ostensibly about the murder of the patriarch, said murder doesn’t occur until well past the first half of the movie. A detective comes, everyone is asked to stay, and everyone wonders who may have done it. The guests assume it is likely a thief, the detective assumes it must be a guest (since no servant has enough invested to commit such a crime) but one maid discovers the truth. The lead housekeeper did it in order to prevent her son, one of the guest’s valet’s from committing the crime, and he did it because he is the illegitimate son of the victim. While the revelation was interesting, the movie kept my interest because of the variety of subplots: the unfaithful wife, the hollywood director who wants a peek into the aristocracy, and the whole host of hungry relatives nipping at the hand of their benefactor. While the movie reveals itself slowly, the cadence is pleasing and rich in detail.

Comments
This Means War
Rating: 5/10
Cheesy romantic Comedy. Foster and Tuck are two CIA agents. They are badasses that get the job done. They both fall for Lauren, a consumer product tester, that’s simperingly sweet. They make a game of getting her and used the fed databases to find out all her likes and woo her with incredible dates. Bad guy comes along and captures her to use against the two of them. Bang Bang, she chooses one guy over the other and the other guy goes back to his ex-wife. Rom-Com with all plot lines wrapped up in a neat bow. It’s predictable, seen before in other forms and what you watch with a none-too-bright date. Maybe I’m just biased against main stream mediocre stuff life this.

This Means War

Rating: 5/10

Cheesy romantic Comedy. Foster and Tuck are two CIA agents. They are badasses that get the job done. They both fall for Lauren, a consumer product tester, that’s simperingly sweet. They make a game of getting her and used the fed databases to find out all her likes and woo her with incredible dates. Bad guy comes along and captures her to use against the two of them. Bang Bang, she chooses one guy over the other and the other guy goes back to his ex-wife. Rom-Com with all plot lines wrapped up in a neat bow. It’s predictable, seen before in other forms and what you watch with a none-too-bright date. Maybe I’m just biased against main stream mediocre stuff life this.

Comments
Rampart
Rating: 5/10
I really wanted to like this movie because the corruption of the police department regarding rampart was a huge story in the city I lived in, but unfortunately, the movie was on the dull side. I get the sense that they stuck to the events pretty closely and Woody Harrelson did a decent job with the role but I found my interests wavering. The movie had a gritty feel and Harrelson is a complex character in that he is passionate about staying on the force even though he can retire with full benefits. As a cop, he does have his own ideals of what’s right and wrong, but you get the sense that he became jaded with time. He shoots before he asks questions, takes illegal drugs from heists, plants guns on dead people. He’s also an alcoholic, pops way too many pills, and makes everyone in his life miserable. The problem with anti-hero’s is that there should be a facet for the watcher to care for him or see how he went on this wrong road, but this didn’t happen in this movie. Everyone in the movie is after their own selfish ends and even the misguided girlfriend of David (Woody) doesn’t make sense. Why is a successful lawyer, that’s beautiful, and seemingly put together dealing with this scummy cop? His family kicks him out, the other cops on the force don’t like him and he doesn’t seem to care much about it. There’s a connection to some other dirty cops that is protecting him but even they have to cut him loose. Overall, it was watchable but I just didn’t find anyway to connect.

Rampart

Rating: 5/10

I really wanted to like this movie because the corruption of the police department regarding rampart was a huge story in the city I lived in, but unfortunately, the movie was on the dull side. I get the sense that they stuck to the events pretty closely and Woody Harrelson did a decent job with the role but I found my interests wavering. The movie had a gritty feel and Harrelson is a complex character in that he is passionate about staying on the force even though he can retire with full benefits. As a cop, he does have his own ideals of what’s right and wrong, but you get the sense that he became jaded with time. He shoots before he asks questions, takes illegal drugs from heists, plants guns on dead people. He’s also an alcoholic, pops way too many pills, and makes everyone in his life miserable. The problem with anti-hero’s is that there should be a facet for the watcher to care for him or see how he went on this wrong road, but this didn’t happen in this movie. Everyone in the movie is after their own selfish ends and even the misguided girlfriend of David (Woody) doesn’t make sense. Why is a successful lawyer, that’s beautiful, and seemingly put together dealing with this scummy cop? His family kicks him out, the other cops on the force don’t like him and he doesn’t seem to care much about it. There’s a connection to some other dirty cops that is protecting him but even they have to cut him loose. Overall, it was watchable but I just didn’t find anyway to connect.

Comments
Headhunters
Rating: 9/10
Great Movie. Suspenseful, action thriller that I find more engaging than the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, but along the same vein. Roger Brown is a great actor and his role is amazing as Roger Brown, successful headhunter with a beautiful wife suffering from a Napoleon complex and stills expensive artworks in order to keep his wife in the lap of luxury. The story picks up quickly and has everything I want in a thriller, gruesome murders, rapid action and suspense without the film being hurried or showy. Roger is about to score one big heist and have enough to stop stealing, a Rubens painting housed in the inherited house of Clas Greve, a prospective client. Clas specializes in nano-technology that can be used as homing devices applied in a gel and impossible to remove. When Roger steals the painting, he finds that he is tracked by Clas, his wife is having an affair with him and his heist partner is poisoned with a device meant for him. He runs, he hides in an outbuilding and he desperatelly tries to uncover what happened. He flips his car, shaves his head when he realizes the nano devices may be applied in it and flees to his mistresses. He discovers the mistress is in cahoots with Clas and he’s on his radar for the job and not for his wife. Apparently the job will allow Clas to steal tech secrets for his company and his wife is innocent. Movie ends with a genius story to blame his ex partner on everything including killing Clas, allowing him and his wife to live happily.
I never read the book by Jo Nesbo, but a film should be able to stand alone and tell a whole story without knowing anything about the lit. that it is based on. The writers were able to succeed in doing that and doing it well. American cinema has something to learn from the dutch!

Headhunters

Rating: 9/10

Great Movie. Suspenseful, action thriller that I find more engaging than the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, but along the same vein. Roger Brown is a great actor and his role is amazing as Roger Brown, successful headhunter with a beautiful wife suffering from a Napoleon complex and stills expensive artworks in order to keep his wife in the lap of luxury. The story picks up quickly and has everything I want in a thriller, gruesome murders, rapid action and suspense without the film being hurried or showy. Roger is about to score one big heist and have enough to stop stealing, a Rubens painting housed in the inherited house of Clas Greve, a prospective client. Clas specializes in nano-technology that can be used as homing devices applied in a gel and impossible to remove. When Roger steals the painting, he finds that he is tracked by Clas, his wife is having an affair with him and his heist partner is poisoned with a device meant for him. He runs, he hides in an outbuilding and he desperatelly tries to uncover what happened. He flips his car, shaves his head when he realizes the nano devices may be applied in it and flees to his mistresses. He discovers the mistress is in cahoots with Clas and he’s on his radar for the job and not for his wife. Apparently the job will allow Clas to steal tech secrets for his company and his wife is innocent. Movie ends with a genius story to blame his ex partner on everything including killing Clas, allowing him and his wife to live happily.

I never read the book by Jo Nesbo, but a film should be able to stand alone and tell a whole story without knowing anything about the lit. that it is based on. The writers were able to succeed in doing that and doing it well. American cinema has something to learn from the dutch!

Comments