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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