Blog Archives

The Descendants

I’m going to admit to something that has rarely happened to me in the movie theaters. I was almost brought to tears by The Descendants. I had to walk out during the showing for a few seconds to compose myself. It came out of nowhere for me. One second, I’m laughing at something and in the next scene I was so moved I got choked up. That’s the kind of movie The Descendants is. It’s a movie about life and the surprises that can change everything in an instant.

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Director Spotlight: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

“For that you traded your ever lasting soul?……Well, I wasn’t using it.”

Continuing our look at the movies of The Coen Brothers this month, this week we’re looking at 2000’s O, Brother Where Art Thou. I am a big fan of The Coen Brothers and I had never seen this movie. I am not too sure why I had never gotten around to seeing this until now. I think it might be because in my head I thought of this as a different movie. To me it was always a musical and I really can’t stand movie musicals. I think the only musical I actually like is Spinal Tap.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: The American

Clooney is a little too comfortable with that gun.

At no point in my mind did I envision The American as being an action filled, hitman thriller.    The footage that was presented did not imply or intimate any such thing.  In fact, I was expecting something along the lines of The Professional, mixed with a touch of Grosse Point Blank, only with much less action and comedy.  Instead, the film is a case study of a man that is looking for a reason to leave his lamentable career, but has difficulty mustering the courage to do so.  Read the rest of this entry

The American

Clooney is a little too comfortable with that gun.

At no point in my mind did I envision The American as being an action filled, hitman thriller.    The footage that was presented did not imply or intimate any such thing.  In fact, I was expecting something along the lines of The Professional, mixed with a touch of Grosse Point Blank, only with much less action and comedy.  Instead, the film is a case study of a man that is looking for a reason to leave his lamentable career, but has difficulty mustering the courage to do so.  Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: The Men Who Stare at Goats

Finally, after all of these years, we get to see what Star Wars might have been like, if it starred George Clooney, took place on Earth, and was fueled by loads and loads of LSD. Of course, the LSD thing could be true about the original Star Wars. From a production standpoint, that is. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Up in The Air

This is a tough time in America’s history. Recession means bankruptcy, and unemployment runs rampant as factories close and their roles are filled overseas. Unlike anyone else in the country, for Ryan Bingham, these are the glory days. His job is traveling to and fro between just about every city or town on the map, and giving loyal workers the professional boot. Many stories concern those who walk “the road less traveled”; Bingham takes that road, along with several thousand more. He doesn’t relish this task; he’s like the garbageman, only the garbage asks him how he sleeps at night. What he does relish is the act of flying itself, as he feels more at home in the airport terminal than the address on his driver’s license (which I suspect he doesn’t have or need). This is a one-of-a-kind character, in a one-of-a-kind movie. The movie is Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, and it’s one trip well worth undertaking. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 7: Up in The Air

In this episode Devil’s Advocate Spencer Diedrick joins Mike to discuss the George Clooney/Jason Reitman project. We discuss the merits of webcam firings and the appeal of the Fantastic Silver Fox himself.

Listen to the episode and we promise to send George Clooney to fire you in person.

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Up in the Air (Lil Devil)

This is a tough time in America’s history. Recession means bankruptcy, and unemployment runs rampant as factories close and their roles are filled overseas. Unlike anyone else in the country, for Ryan Bingham, these are the glory days. His job is traveling to and fro between just about every city or town on the map, and giving loyal workers the professional boot. Many stories concern those who walk “the road less traveled”; Bingham takes that road, along with several thousand more. He doesn’t relish this task; he’s like the garbageman, only the garbage asks him how he sleeps at night. What he does relish is the act of flying itself, as he feels more at home in the airport terminal than the address on his driver’s license (which I suspect he doesn’t have or need). This is a one-of-a-kind character, in a one-of-a-kind movie. The movie is Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, and it’s one trip well worth undertaking. Read the rest of this entry

Awards and Award Season: Golden Globes 2009

Most people usually see the Golden Globes as the pre-cursors and foreshadowers of the Academy Awards, but there’s one big difference: Best Picture is divided into Drama and Musical/Comedy. This allows for a lot of variety, plus two winners in each of the biggest categories: Picture, Actor, and Actress. The Director, Screenplay, and Supporting Actor/Actress awards are lumped together, so it becomes a bit more prophetic of the Oscar race than the others (for example, the winners of Best Actor were Sean Penn (the eventual winner) and..ahem…Colin Farrell). This year’s three front-runners for Best Picture-Drama (and the coveted Best Picture Oscar) are Up in the Air (likely for Screenplay), The Hurt Locker (likely for Director, unless the “King of the World” has any say about it) and Precious (which is more actor-driven than production), with blockbusters Avatar and Inglourious Basterds weak competition. The Best Picture-Musical or Comedy section has the same variety: indie darling (see my piece on the Spirit Awards) vs. big-budget musical (the most viable candidate) vs. silly comedies (The Hangover? way to defy expectations, you snooty critics). Here’s the full list: http://www.goldenglobes.org/nominations/ Read the rest of this entry

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is a departure from what the lauded indie director has built a career upon, but through all of the distractions Fox is a film distinctly his own. Read the rest of this entry

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Mr. Fox (George Clooney) gave up his life of chicken-thievery when his wife (Meryl Streep) told him she was pregnant. Two years later (that’s twelve fox-years), he impulsively moves his family into the base of a tree bordering on the three meanest farmers around: Boggis, Bunce and Bean (Michael Gambon). He also starts stealing again, triggering a slowly mounting feud with the farmers that becomes the major crisis of the film. But equally important are the family dynamics present: Fox has become reckless, endangering those around him as he tries to relive the thrills of his past and causing a schism in his marriage. His son Ash (Jason Schwartzman), who wears a cape and has no athletic ability whatsoever, also has an ongoing rivalry with his visiting cousin Kristofferson, a “golden child” in terms of physical prowess but with a sadness that comes to those with a firm moral compass in an immoral environment. Read the rest of this entry

The Men Who Stare At Goats (Devil’s Advocate)

In the 70’s and 80’s, the U.S. Army did research into the paranormal as part of a possible program to train psychic spies to beat the Ruskies. It was largely unsuccessful, but some elements did reach the American public, such as the use of the theme to Barney the Dinosaur in torture methods. This is the story of one man’s search for those behind this movement, and where they are now. At least, this is the premise of The Men Who Stare at Goats, directed by Grant Heslov and starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. It’s not the sharpest of comedies, especially when it attempts to satirize the war in Iraq, but when it utilizes its own absurdity and the deadpan seriousness of its performances, it definitely has its moments. Read the rest of this entry

The Men Who Stare At Goats

Finally, after all of these years, we get to see what Star Wars might have been like, if it starred George Clooney, took place on Earth, and was fueled by loads and loads of LSD.   Of course, the LSD thing could be true about the original Star Wars.  From a production standpoint, that is.  Read the rest of this entry

The Men Who Stare at Goats

There was DARPA who experimented on soldiers with LSD and now there’s ARPA who scrutinize peoples gates and perform mind control experiments on people. All government funded. It’s all true they just don’t talk about it….Well i’m not sure where this new George Clooney movie lands but it sure looks funny. George and a myriad of other stars act as the new generation of psychic soldiers, alongside reporter Ewan McGregor. Check it out: