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Taking the Morning Off….and Movies

December 26th, 2007 by Celeste Fremon

Still in a Christmas-y frame of mind. But will post later today, so check back.

In the meantime, a quick film-going note. After the family festivities yesterday, I went and saw a couple of movies–-Juno and The Savages. One was wonderful; the other less so.

I loved The Savages, the story of a commitment-shy, underachieving brother and sister (the uniformly pitch-perfect Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney) who must deal with their estranged father’s encroaching dementia. It’s smart,painful, heartbreaking and, at times, hysterically funny.

By the same token, Juno—about a smart, quirky, off-beat sixteen-year old who unexpectedly gets pregnant—is entertaining enough and filled with winning actors, but seemed terribly contrived and a bit too entranced with its own cleverness to be as good as it thinks it is.

Have any of you see either?
If so, what did you think?

Posted in Life in general | 15 Comments »

15 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    Why in the world would I want to see a film about a sixteen year old girl getting knocked up? It’s not so funny in real life. In the movie, as in our world, I hope that Planned Parenthood didn’t convince her to murder the baby before it was born or that she had the baby and forced the taxpayers to pay to raise it.

    Speaking of murders, my kids dragged me to a movie last night–I think the second one that I’ve seen in a year and probably the last, now, for even a longer time than that. It was terrible, even though the kids seem to have “gotten it.” The movie, a musicial comedy (comedy?), is “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” I will never go to a movie again based upon recommendations that I haven’t checked myself. Somehow, it has been nominated for a Golden Globe award, which indicates that reasoned people don’t make the nominations. Do NOT believe any positive reviews. Also, Johnny Depp can’t sing. If I want to watch blood, I’m going to pull out my old science film of “Hemo the Magnificent.”

  2. "reg" Says:

    You should have read my warning not to go to Sweeney Todd in the previous thread. Another “I told you so” that you failed to heed…
    Sigh!

  3. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    Woody, the critics actually agree with you on that one, so I’m skipping it. Saw the play in NYC years ago as a high schooler with Angela Lansbury, the classic version, and the state dynamics and singing were awesome and the distance made if funny — if it’s blood and gore in movie closeup, yuk. The thing has no plot and these disjointed things can only “live” on stage.

    I have no intention of seeing Juno — sounds as much fun as following the exploits of Britney’s real-life 16-yr old sister. (But so Woody thinks abortion is murder even if ruins a kid’s life, but if she has it she’s making it a burden of taxpayers? Assuming what, that she ends up on welfare and the kid is a criminal? When these kids have kids the burden often falls on their parents, not the state, but it’s upto the individual’s family and socio-economic situation: there’s a world of difference between a teen star having a kid at that age and a girl knocked up by a gangbanger who’s being thrown out of the house. Juno sounds too close to these headlines to be “entertaining.”)

    Savages, sounds too close to home, too, though I hear it’s good as you say, Celeste. Hoffman and Linney both seem ideal for anything where they’re required to channel anguish. I’m anguished thinking about that scenario with my siblings and family.

  4. Woody Says:

    Since I don’t usually go to movies, I don’t read reviews–even yours. However, given your track record on other matters, it might have encouraged me.

    (Since everything has to do with Iraq, including your “reviews” on it, I’ll share this.)

    LINK: Dem voters no longer fight battle of Iraq

    The successes of President Bush’s troop surge in Iraq are quieting things down in another, unexpected place: the Democratic campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    When asked, voters in the early presidential states all say the war in Iraq is important to them.

    But when they quiz candidates, Iraq seldom comes up these days – even for Hillary Clinton, who was grilled relentlessly on her vote to authorize the war when she launched her campaign.

  5. Woody Says:

    Timing quirk – last comment directed to reg, not Shadow.

  6. "reg" Says:

    Woody, unfortunately for your credibility the Sunnis taking on al Qaeda if the U.S. wasn’t seen as their main enemy is something I predicted for years and has little or nothing to do with the surge but with giving a bunch of brutal warlords a lot of money. Score one for me, just as you can score one for me on the prediction that Iran was the main beneficiary in the region of our invasion. Also, the surge has had ZERO effect where it was supposed to – in political reconciliation. I also counseled “more troops” back in 2003 – when it might have actually made a difference. So what the Fuck is someone who simply has repeated the mantra “Whatever Bush is doing is the right thing in Iraq” trying to tell me. You’re an example of the tragically clueless. And you’ve helped drag the U.S. into a ditch. That said, I’m not going to debate Iraq with someone who is proud of the fact that they’ve been part of the “Always Wrong Singalong.” You’ve supported an cheered on a needless, foolish war. You’ve got more blood on your hands than Sweeney Todd. Congratulations.

  7. "reg" Says:

    “Woody, the critics actually agree with you on that one”

    Uh…no.

    I know I’m going to get a heap of abuse – some of it probably linked to Che Guevara – for noting this in contradiction to one of my betters, since I’m uneducated and unwashed, but the major critics have with few exceptions bought into the Sweeney swindle. Among many others, A.O. Scott, Morgenstern, Travers, Ebert, Hoberman, Ansen, etc. have all praised this chop job on Sondheim’s work. Anthony Lane at the New Yorker is a notable exception, which supports my notion that he’s the most reliable critic around. Sweeney is getting consistently better reviews than Charlie Wilson’s War. Only Juno is better reviewed among major current theatrical releases.

    http://tinyurl.com/37blet

  8. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    reg, do you have to ruin every thread with your unreadable and nasty drivel and personal invectives? Didn’t the Xmas spirit rub off a little bit even on a misanthrope like you? No one cares about your tedious list to attempt to give you credibility — if you weren’t so “uneducated and unwashed” (your potty mouth especially) you wouldn’t be so insecure.

  9. Woody Says:

    Blood on my hands, reg? Funny. Bush didn’t call me once on his decisions. However, consider Kerry giving encouragement to our enemy in North Vietnam resulting in their stalling in negotiations and killing more U.S. soldiers. Where was your outrage there? Where’s your outrage when the Democrats tell terrorists to hang in until the Democrats can cut and run? Blood? Think about 48,000,000 abortions in the U.S., including those where the baby was killed after he was born. ( http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html ) Reg, your so called “points” are twisted and in your mind. Even the Democrats have conceded that.

    Shadow, I oppose both abortion and taxpayers being forced to fund baby factories. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a middle ground–which existed before Roe v. Wade and the Great Society. I have numerous friends who have gone to foreign countries to adopt kids because the supply was slaughtered here.

    Back to movies, I might be interested in Charlie Wilson’s War, except that I can’t stand Tom Hanks.

  10. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Shadow, The Savages is disturbing, no doubt about that. I saw it with two friends, and each of us had dealt with some version of the circumstance portrayed in the film, with one or both of our parents, so those issues dominated the dinner conversation between movies. In other words, it’s not exactly a slap happy romp. Much of the laughter in the film comes from anxiety. Yet, as most of us have experienced, in those awful family circumstances there are many strangely hysterically funny moments, where you laugh until you can’t breathe because of….the sheer absurdity and awfulness that facing mortality with an elderly loved one can bring.

    Juno, on the other hand, was entertaining because nothing felt terribly at stake, despite the subject matter. It had the feeling of a smart sit com, involving clever writers who were facile with snappy, up-to-the-nanosecond dialogue, recited by appealing and talented actors. Fun to watch, but not terribly affecting.

  11. "reg" Says:

    Re: “David Horowitz Shadow.” Told you so… What a nasty person. To be accused of insecurity by this bundle of neurosis is bizarre. Since I have had extended email correspondences with David Horowitz himself and ultimately had to tell him to go screw himself after suffering through serial false allegations against everybody and anybody he feels like sliming, I think I’ll take a pass on engaging his pale “shadow” further, except to note that I don’t unilaterally disarm when idiots like Woody and Maggie post their terminally obtuse bullshit. Sorry. As for “tedious lists” it would be hard to find anthing to match those “Ivy league sports” comments on a previous thread.

    Now, I’ve got things to do that don’t include go-rounds with morons steeped in self-regard…

  12. Woody Says:

    It’s not a movie, but it’s a video clip for reg:
    “Most Admired Men and Women of 2007″ – George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton top Gallup’s list of people whom Americans most admire.
    http://www.gallup.com/video/103408/Most-Admired-Men-Women-2007.aspx

    No Golden Globes for this.

  13. Woody Says:

    reg, this may be stiking news for you, but we have a representative form of government, which provides those elected with time and information to make analyses and to make decisions for the rest of us, who are busy staying proficient in our own fields. I am not expected to be an expert in all areas where you consider yourself an expert, whether you are or not. If you were running for office, you wouldn’t make the playoffs.

    You have no more credibility than Maggie or myself, but your self-regard is certainly greater. Have you considered getting a real job to see what it’s like for the rest of us?

  14. L.A. Resident Says:

    I saw “Charlie Wilson’s War”, it was entertaining, but I wish the movie had been longer and more documentary in nature. Maybe the Hollywood executives wanted to keep the movie simple and stupid for the typical American movie viewer. My other complaint is that much of the movie is dark and the picture quality is not to the usual Hollywood standard.

    After I saw the movie, I had to immediately call a friend of mine who worked on the stinger missile, electric motor, first stage launch system. Back in the 1980′s, this friend would keep count and brag about every single Soviet Helicopter and Plane the Mujahedeen fighters shot down. The stinger missile was definitely a great defense system at a reasonable price.

  15. L.A. Resident Says:

    I was also not a fan of the young Tom Hanks, but after movies like Apollo-13, Saving Private Ryan, Green Mile, Catch Me If You Can, and Road to Perdition I will watch his movies.

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