Movie Mayhem -Movie Monday Makeup

So, for the second day in a row I sit in my little office. It is now an extra bedroom for my sister-in-law, Allison. If you don’t know about my wife’s 4 younger sisters, shame on me for not talking about them more. Allison has a family. Check it out! Two of my wife’s sisters showed up at 4 a.m. to stay for the weekend. Before they went to sleep, they rearranged my furniture. I awoke to a changed house. I looks great, and they certainly have a better sense of style and organization than we do. The three of them are walking Disney’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler.

This leaves my son, with his newly-casted broken arm, my father  and I to a night of Monopoly, pizza and  another disappointing University of South Florida Football Game. Not a bad option really. I’m taking halftime to write another movie review. This one is of Ralph Fiennes’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.

I was only slightly familiar with the story, and the history. From the outset I had trust. I trust Gerard Butler and I really trust Ralph Feinnes. I knew this would not be King Leonides versus Valdemort-which is why I trusted it. Feinnes’s General Marcius is brutal. He is a brutal speaker, who does not mince words when an OWS type mob (complete with a moral and political compass like a rooster-style barn-top weathervane) addresses the shortage of grain in the beginning. After he single handedly defeats the Volsces, the same angry mob decides to elect him consul. When two opportunistic, media dog tribunals decide to play the mob’s fears and anxieties against them, the citizens turn on a dime and demand Marcius’s head. Marcius responds with a “Screw you too!” and the angry mob chases him out of Rome.

Having already sworn a blood feud with The leader of the Volsces, Tullus Aufidius, played by Gerard Butler, Coriolanus decides that teaming up with him would be a great idea. Feinnes sells it quite well, Butler buys it convincingly.

Butler’s strong Scottish accent interferes with some of the Elizabethan English in iambic pentameter, but it’s still cool sounding. Imagine One Two from RocknRolla giving a courtroom summation. Who gives  a shite what he said, it sounded good to me. He plays Aufidius as a paramilitary everyman with the support of the proletariat- almost a Che Guevara, minus the mass murder and selling out of his nation to the very notion he was fighting of course. Aufidious’s realization that his men are modeling Marcius, instead of him, drives him mad. It leads to another obvious but important twist of fate and character interaction between Feinnes and Butler.The play between these to great actors is the story.

I enjoyed the modernistic feel, and thought that it gave the story relevance. Many modernized Shakespeare productions only succeed in making the characters hip and leaving the audience in the dust. This production, albeit adapted, stayed very true to the original, but it did not seem archaic. Thats hard to do without having Kenneth Branagh in the conversation.

I give it 3 deceptions and a crying to mommy!



Movie Mayhem – Movie Monday Makeup

I like my little office. Problem is, my little office is moved to a local preparatory school. The one in my home has just become a museum to Hess trucks, vinyl albums and dreams of alternative rockstar guitar Prowess. It was all those things before, only I also used to writing. Over the past six weeks I’ve written very little. That feels better to say. I’ve also seen a lot of great movies, I would like to talk about them here.

One of the first movies I’ve seen since I reviewed Margarette was 2016 Obamas America. This wasn’t an extreme right wing rant as it had been made out to be. It wasn’t some crazy conspiracy theorist telling me that natural disasters preventable by government, or that the president is an Evil or incompetent man. It in fact doesn’t postulate anything. Filmmaker finish the Susa offers quite a bit of support to his argument that Barack Obama is a anti-colonialist who is not making mistakes in his presidency, rather enacting His agenda to the letter. It is not edge of your seat stuff, and it’s really not that inflammatory. If you’re a fan of the president you may disagree with the editorial that what is happening is wrong. It is down fall that if you’re a fan of the president you would disagree With the data provided. Fans of the president shaker and say yes that is what he’s doing, and I know that, that’s why I voted for him – I hope you keep doing it. It is likely that if you call yourself a Democrat you would be upset with the ways in which the present is pretrade having Hijacked that party and use it for his anti-colonialist agenda.

2016 Obamas America Love Him Hate Him You Don't Know Him
The poster is more ominous than the movie


If you’re not fan of the president this film may validate that. It gets a little tedious as the filmmaker goes into a intricate examination of Obama’s family tree, heritage and education. What an opponent of the president may take from this movie is that he is not doing a poor job. He’s doing the job he promised he would do. Is enacting exactly what he ran on. And we get to see what in his past informs That platform.

I enjoyed the fil as a whole and for an election year documentary, it didn’t sling a lot of mud. I give it 3 whit stars, and one red one.

Movie Monday- Margaret

In my little office is becoming more of a guitar and record studio than writer’s retreat. I used to have hundreds of books, but I moved them to my new classroom. I don’t blog as much as I should because I am teaching more and using that as an excuse not to work when I get home. I still watch movies so I am going to catch up on my Movie Monday reviews.

Margaret. Starring: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Matthew Broderick J.Smith Cameron

Directed and Written by Kenneth Lonergan.

The blurred Poster is on purpose, as is every other shot in this movie.

Anna Paquin is Lisa Cohen. She is a semi-spoiled Upper West Side half-JAP with loft social ideals and no safety net. She adores her mushy absent father and despised her successful yet emotionally adolescent mother. She flirts with a bus driver-en-motion, causing him to run over a lady, who dies in an excellently painful and just graphic enough scene. All Lisa wanted was to find out where he got his cowboy hat. Her selfish motives and consequence-less life so far has ended. Lisa feels responsible to avenge this woman’s death and see this bus driver, with a history of accidents, brought through the crucible. Her crusade instead only drags her through one. One after one her relationships become dangerous. WHile some girls carelessly lose their virginity, Lisa recklessly abandons hers.

Matt Damon is a naive and passionate, or cunningly manipulative, hipster Math teacher who succumbs to Lisa when she turns to (or cunningly manipulates)  him for comfort. The foreplay is shown. The sex is implied. When Mr Aaron (Damon) suggests they keep it a secret to save his own ass, she calls him a baby and says it’s only sex, then storms off. The purposefully transparent reaction is emblematic of hoe Lisa really deals with life, or avoids it rather.

Matthew Broderick is the dry Literature professor. The movies namesake heroin is revealed by him in a poem , Spring and Fall [Margaret Are You Grieving] by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The contrast between the two Matthews in interesting. Literature has room, or demand, for emotion and passion, but until the reading of this poem, we find none, and neither does Lisa Cohen. Mathematics is not usually very passionate and that is exactly where Lisa finds it, thou unrequited. Mr John (Broderick) catches Lisa and a friend getting high in The Park and refers to it as, “…smokin’ a J,” for which he is ridiculed. His attempt at caring and concern are a shot blocked.

The History, or some form of civics, class turns out to be the author’s window into the NY youth’s social debate on Islam, ethnicity and 9/11. There are salient points all around and it is in there that we see Paquin give the most life and maturity to Lisa. It is emotionally charged with hints of political and social conservatism, which contrasts the image she tries to portray on the streets.

The story is strong and leaves no stone unturned. The characters are well developed. Even in the peripheral. Ruffalo’s bus driver is solid, as is his suspicious wife. Kieren Culkin is nice to see and the New York, post 9/11 – pre-reconstruction is a character of it’s own, being highlighted many times. Margaret is a full movie, and I almost thought it was too long, if every scene didn’t drive to keep defining the character of Lisa Cohen. read the poem, or listen to it  when Broderick reads it. The end will make more sense.

The justice crusade ends poorly, without giving away too much. Lisa is in over her head inappropriately so.

And I will always watch a movie with Jean Reno. I just know he’s about to whisper, “No women, no children.” and kill someone at any time. I’ll keep praying.

This was a really refreshingly complete film, whose heavy plot served the well developed characters, instead of sacrificing them to drive a story line, which is usually the regrettable case.