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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Cooper’

Little Women

Friday, January 17th, 2020

Little women, walking down the street. Little women, bonding with their sisters but also struggling to establish their individual identities in order to find a path in life that brings them happiness

In her joyous new version of LITTLE WOMEN, writer/director Greta Gerwig (LADYBUGS) cleverly acknowledges that the book by Louisa May Alcott may be more appealing to (or more understood by) women than men. When freelance writer Jo (Saoirse Ronan, HANNA) sends stories about her and her sisters to her publisher (Tracy Letts, U.S. MARSHALS) he snidely dismisses them… until his daughters find the manuscript and freak out like it’s a new Twilight. The scene is inspired by reality: Alcott and her publisher didn’t really believe in her work-in-progress until the publisher’s niece read it and loved it.

What I’m saying is not that I, as a male individual, don’t get the appeal of this movie. I loved it. But Little Women is a “girl story” I never knew to open myself up to. I had never read or seen it, not even when it had Winona Ryder in it. I only did it this time because I loved Gerwig’s first film as a director, LADY BIRD (she didn’t direct LADYBUGS, I don’t know why I said that a paragraph ago, but it seemed amusing at the time). (read the rest of this shit…)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Monday, December 9th, 2019

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD has been promoted as a Fred Rogers biopic, and it it is true that Tom Hanks (THE LADYKILLERS) tackles the challenge of portraying the famously gentle Neighborhood of Make-Believe resident. But it’s not his life story, or even the smarter kind of biopic that focuses on one period as a microcosm of his life. Instead it makes him a supporting character in the story of a journalist coming to terms with his estranged father while working on a magazine profile of Rogers. I guess it’s kind of like SAVING MR. BANKS, where Hanks played Walt Disney as co-lead with a highly fictionalized P.L. Travers, but it’s probly more comparable to if MILES AHEAD was mostly about Ewan McGregor’s character dealing with family issues and Miles Davis occasionally gives him good advice that he rejects until the end of the movie.

So it doesn’t matter much that this is coming on the heels of a popular documentary (WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?) that it could never equal – it’s not the same thing at all. They do manage to work in a few re-enactments of famous moments (a couple seconds of his congressional testimony) and remixes of scenes from the documentary (a crowded cafe – and therefore the theater you’re sitting in – goes silent when he asks our protagonist to stop and think about “the people who loved you into being”). But if I remember right the documentary had a part where writer Tom Junod said that writing a profile on Rogers for Esquire changed his attitude toward life, and this is mostly extrapolated from that idea, with Rogers as guest star guru to writer Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys, TITUS). (read the rest of this shit…)

The Horse Whisperer

Monday, May 21st, 2018

May 15, 1998

THE HORSE WHISPERER is a drama about healing and romance and horses. It’s pretty simple and intimate, focusing mainly on three characters, but it’s on an epic canvas; it’s nearly 3 hours long and it spreads out to widescreen when it moves from New York to the wide open fields of Montana, photographed lovingly by Robert Richardson (U-TURN, THE AVIATOR, DJANGO UNCHAINED).

Sixteen year old Grace (Scarlett Johansson in her followup to HOME ALONE 3) has a horrific horse-riding accident – I was actually unprepared for how fucked up the accident is – that results in the death of her best friend (Kate Bosworth [THE WARRIOR’S WAY, HOMEFRONT] in her first movie) and her friend’s horse, plus the loss of one of her legs and the mangling of her horse, Pilgrim. (This is the third movie of the summer where a semi-truck plowing into someone is a crucial plot point, but I don’t think this one involved a tired driver.) The experts want to put the horse out of his misery, but Grace’s mom Annie (Kristin Scott Thomas, UNDER THE CHERRY MOON) never gives permission, so he lives in a barn all scraped up and violently freaking out when approached. Grace is kind of the same, hating her mom and her life and breaking down when she sees Pilgrim scared of her.

But Annie reads a magazine article about this horse expert in Montana named Tom Booker (Robert Redford [THE HOT ROCK], his first time starring and directing at the same time). When she can’t get him to come to New York she packs up her daughter and horse against their will for a long drive conveyed through the medium of longer-than-expected driving montage. Grace dodges all attempts at conversation and bonding – thankfully the movie doesn’t give Annie any horse troubles on the trip. That would be a nightmare. I don’t know how helpful a horse whisperer is when your psychotic horse gets loose at a truck stop. (read the rest of this shit…)

Money Train

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

tn_moneytrainex3-snipes“You know, we are not getting along.”

In MONEY TRAIN that legendary comedy duo of Wesley and Woody play John and Charlie, brothers who are both New York City transit cops who play by their own rules. They get into fist fights with other cops (for example over the fatal shooting of a guy who only snatched a chain), Woody has a gambling addiction, and when they chase a suspect onto the tracks it slows down the train that delivers the apparently millions of dollars of subway fare, getting them on the shit list of Captain Patterson (Robert Blake, Our Gang).

Then they get assigned a new partner. Somebody who’s uptight and doesn’t like their methods, right? No, actually she’s really cool, works well with them and even hangs out with them at the bar after work. The trouble is she’s Jennifer Lopez, so they fight over her.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Wholesome PG-rated triple feature part 1: The Muppets

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

tn_muppetsAfter watching the whole HOSTEL trilogy I felt like I had to watch something a little happier, and preferably with less torture, although that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker. Well, it just so happens that three great filmmakers of the ’70s – Martin Scorsese, George Miller and Kermit the Frog – have released new PG-rated family movies in recent weeks. So somehow I ended up watching them. And you know I am hesitant to spend too much time on puppets and cartoon animals and crap like that, but honestly these movies all have a little something to say, a little more going on beneath the surface than alot of the ones they make that are supposedly for grown adults. Maybe puppet movies and cartoons are just such a pain in the ass to make that people figure if they’re gonna do one they should try to make it worthwhile. Although that wouldn’t explain the Chipmunk movies. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Tempest

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

tn_tempestTHE TEMPEST is the story of this wizard lady named Prospera (Helen Mirren) who lives on a small island with only her cutie daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) and her monster slave Caliban (Djimon Hounsou). Also she has a slave named Ariel (Ben Whishaw) who’s like a naked sprite guy (with boobs?) who flits around and does her magical bidding.

She’s got some books and beakers and shit but this is an island made up mostly of volcanic rocks. There’s not much of a night life or anything, it’s gotta be kinda lonely. Her daughter’s never even seen a human man before, what’re they gonna talk about? Rocks? Trees? Beakers? (read the rest of this shit…)

Syriana

Monday, December 12th, 2005

SYRIANA is not the movie about the talking Jesus lion, that’s CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. CHRONICLES OF NARNIA is not the one where Vin Diesel says “I haven’t smelled beautiful in a long time,” that’s CHRONICLES OF RIDICK.

Sorry, my man Richard Pryor died this week, so the jokes are awkward. But seriously folks. “Syriana” and “Narnia” sound similar enough, and there are alot of people who space out on movie titles. There’s got to be somewhere in this great country of ours where some knucklehead mixed up the names and went into the wrong movie and hilarity ensued. Picture a guy sitting waiting for what he thinks is a political ensemble drama. Thinking, wow, I’m surprised this many kids are interested in global politics. Or vice versa. Get all the popcorn, load all the kids in, wait through the ads and the previews and make the people around you uncomfortable. Shhh, Gunnar, time to be quiet. Skyler, you too. Do you need a time out? And then all the sudden a chubby George Clooney is in the middle east somewhere trying to set up a deal to sell a missile launcher. (read the rest of this shit…)

Capote

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

In the type of acting tour de la force that everybody loves unless they’re some kind of a dick, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Truman Capote, the famous writer and weirdo. Although the use of only his last name as the movie’s title seems to imply that it will tell the entire story of his life and maybe even the entire story of the life of everybody with the last name Capote, this is actually not a full on biography. The story is narrowed down to the 4 or 5 years when he was working on his famous book IN COLD BLOOD, starring Robert Blake.

The movie starts out with a young girl discovering the dead bodies of a family murdered in a farmhouse. And before you know it Capote and his research assistant Harper Lee (author of the book TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, starring Gregory Peck) are nosing around asking everybody questions. So at first I thought this was gonna be kind of a LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN thing with famous authors going around solving crimes. I bet the Marquis De Sade did these murders. Or Edgar Alan Poe. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern reckons that ADAPTATION is absolute genius it darn near looks like!

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002

Hey folks, Harry here… Both Moriarty and Mr Beaks have seen ADAPTATION and are set to write reviews that declare it just about earth-shatteringly gob-derned whipperwill brilliant, and I lay here simmering in jealousy, because I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve been uga-bugga beating my chest about this one and carving “SEE ADAPTATION” in granite for the past year and a half. My fingers have bled, in an exisstential manner of speaking, over this one. Vern loved it. Vern’s better than both Moriarty and Mr Beaks, because Vern doesn’t fondle octogenarians. Yeah. Here’s Vern… MUST SEE MOVIE!

Boys —

You fellas will not believe what movie I saw today. It was ADAPTATION, the new picture by Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman starring Nicolas Cage as twin screenwriters hired to write a script about themselves being hired to write a script about flowers. Actually only one of them is hired and he’s not supposed to put himself in the script, it’s just supposed to be about flowers, and then his brother lives in his house and is taking a screenwriting seminar, and he’s better at picking up women. You know, it’s kind of like WES CRAVEN’S NIGHTMARE, only with Nicolas Cage playing fat twins. I don’t know it’s hard to explain it man. You guys already know anyway. (read the rest of this shit…)

American Beauty

Saturday, August 21st, 1999

To be frankly honest I almost left off the review of sam mendes American beauty because it was not really my personality in my opinion. Although i worked very hard on it I also had a dude edit spelling errors, grammar etc. for me and looking back it is really not me, it is really not VERN. Too slick, mainstream and hollywood in my opinion. I had been gone from the newsgroup after an incident of hurting a man’s feelings and going in search of myself. I wanted to show that I had really improved as a Writer however this was not very honest to have another man’s help. So please don’t read this review in my opinion thanks.

AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999)
Directed by Sam Mendes
Written by Alan Ball

AMERICAN BEAUTY deals with the ugly sins and denial carefully buried beneath the manicured green lawns of a typical suburban neighborhood. A failed marriage, a daughter’s distrust of her parents, a father’s crush on her daughter’s underaged friend. The new neighbor (Chris Cooper) beats his pot dealing voyeurist son and ignores his emotionally disfigured wife. A failing real estate agent played by Annette Bening philosophizes about projecting an image of total success, but an emotional breakdown leads to her husband Lester (Kevin Spacey) quitting his job, taking up pot and systematically tearing down the perfect image of suburban happiness that his wife has so carefully constructed. Soon all hell breaks loose and a nasty splooge of anger and violence surfaces from beneath the façade. This sort of subject matter has been tackled many times before – we’re not exactly blowing the lid off of suburbia here – but it’s well executed and draws you in almost immediately. (read the rest of this shit…)