Quick Takes – 03.27.11

The Tillman Story (2010)

Grade: B+ | 1st Viewing

The phrase “the man, the myth, the legend” may have never been more apt than as a descriptor of Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals Safety who quit the NFL to join the U.S. Army. He gave up a multi-million dollar contract to serve as a low-level enlistee, he loved to read Noam Chomsky and was an outspoken atheist, and he was so private that no one may never know the true nature of his soul.

I remember hearing about Pat Tillman’s death and buying into the story the media sold us as fed to them by the U.S. government. However, I don’t recall seeing any images of the family. Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary that delves into the incidence surrounding Tillman’s death shows us exactly why they were not seen. They were upset at how all of Pat’s requests were being ignored simply so the government could use his death to sell a farcical war. One of the most moving, disturbing, and fascinating parts of the documentary is when Richard Tillman, Pat’s younger brother, delivers a bitter eulogy at the funeral asserting “he’s not with God, he’s fucking dead. He’s not religious.”

I usually am not very political, but the evidence is building that leads me to believe that the Bush Administration is among the worst to have ever run this country.

Jane Eyre (2011)

Grade: B | 1st Viewing

I have never read Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel, nor have I seen any of the previous films that have preceded Cary Fukunaga’s recent adaptation so I went in with no expectations. I firmly believe that a film should stand on its own regardless of its source material and for the most part Jane Eyre accomplishes this. There is not an off-beat performance in the film and it is beautiful shot with a realistic lighting style that reminds me of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.

The only weaknesses in the film were in the script that seemed compelled to include elements of the source novel that were not entirely necessary or well-developed enough. For instance the relationship with her Aunt is so quickly glossed over that it felt like it added little value to the overall film.

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  • Jose

    “the relationship with her Aunt is so quickly glossed over…” Really? That was actually one of my favorite things from the novel (which I have yet to finish and probably won’t) so that’s kind of dissapointing.

  • I was disappointed as well because her aunt is played by Sally Hawkins. She gets about 4 or 5 minutes of overall screen time if that.

  • Haven’t watched a movie in ages, and won’t for the forseeable future.

    I’ve been spending my time watching the little-seen Starz comedy “Party Down”, and I’m currently rewatching it. It’s simply incredible: one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve also got new seasons of “Mad Men” and “Friday Night Lights” to keep me busy for the next 2-3 weeks. I do plan on watching a few Scorsese flicks I’ve never seen before (“Raging Bull” and “Taxi Driver”, for starters) after that, though.

    The last thing I saw (I think) was the Coen Brothers’ absolutely magnificent “Blood Simple”, which I think may be their best movie (“Fargo” is great, though). Stunning suspense, great acting… all around wonderful movie.

  • Brandon Cooley

    @G1000 Raging Bull is my all time favorite movie.

    I finally saw Moulin Rouge and I didn’t like it. I also just finished reading The Great Gatsby and afterwards I went online and read that Baz Luhrmann wants to film it in 3D. That’s a very bad sign.

    The Fighter: B+
    The Men Who Star at Goats: C+
    Moulin Rouge: C
    Pi: C+
    Salvador: B+
    The Town: B

  • @Brandon Cooley, The Great Gatsby is what I would call the finest piece of literature ever composed. 3D? This is a worse announcement than Ang Lee wanting to do Life of Pi 3D. It just makes no sense, there is nothing to put in 3D.

    As for me:

    The Aviator (1st time): A-, I want to love this movie more than I actually do. It feels phony at times and I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, but parts of it were perfect.

    Dogville (1st time): A, What a mind-blowing concept. As someone who has spent years in small town America, I approve of this depiction. What an ending…

  • Jose

    I didn’t see anything new this past week, just “Pleasantville for the 3rd time (B+) and Silence of the Lambs for the 20th time (A-) all good. I might feel like watching Sucker Punch this weekend to see if its as bad as a lot of people say it is, but I want to see that PG-13 cut of The King’s Speech and Insidious more.

  • Brandon Cooley

    @ Davin, The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye are my favorite novels. A list of well-known directors have wanted to do The Catcher in the Rye, but none of them can get the rights to it.

    Also, every Kubrick fan should read A Clockwork Orange and buy the Norton Critical edition. It has a good interview with Kubrick and a whole bunch of essays on the film.

  • Yes, A Clockwork Orange is a classic as well, although it helps to read twice just to get the hang of the dialect.

    I am also a huge fan of Gothic literature. Jane Eyre is very good although I prefer her sister’s Wuthering Heights. Also, I would love for a quality adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Just watched about 15 minutes ago:
    Cat People (1st time): A, what a bizarre concept: you go on a date with a girl who turns out to think that she is cursed to turn into an evil cat as soon as you kiss her. Genuinely thrilling.

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