Wednesday, January 30

The Lookout.

I found another movie on my list of “want to watch” movies the other day on TMC. I’ve found some gems on TMC rather than on the high profile channels Showtime or HBO.

The movie is The Lookout. It is a smart, tense small-town film noir that isn’t flashy or fast paced.

It’s star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, also was in the move Brick that I liked. (He is probably most well known for his part on 3rd Rock from the Sun.)

The director, Scott Frank, was writer for the movies Minority Report and Get Shorty. This is his first movie directing and I think he did a nice job.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the main character Chris Pratt. He was a well to do, former state hockey star with a beautiful girl friend and everything going for him.

In a brief, careless moment of showing off, he was responsible for a terrible car accident that killed two of his best friends and left him with brain damage.

Similar to the movie Momento, Chris’s memory loss gives him the need to write everything down in a notebook.

In particular, Chris has difficulty "sequencing" -- remembering in what order to do things. This makes even opening a can of tomatoes a difficult task, one of hundreds he faces every day.

He works as a lonely night janitor in a small bank and goes to therapy classes. He shares an apartment with a blind man named Lewis (Jeff Daniels). (Jeff is excellent as usual.)

Lewis was helpful with Chris' sequencing problem, explaining how you start with the end result you want and then step by step work backwards doing what needs to be done to achieve each level. (This is helpful at the end of the movie.)

Chris meets up with a some people that want to take advantage of his job at the bank (meaning rob it). They treat him like he is normal. All Chris wants is to meet some people that he can be friends with like before his accident.

The movie has a nice look to it. There are desolate road scenes that remind me of Fargo. The look of the quiet, rural, small town stores at night is right on – down to the yellowish glare the streetlights reflecting off the snowy streets and sidewalks.

Tuesday, January 29

FLA primaries.

The Republican Primary in Florida made me think of this song by Wilco, Monday. It's on their "most excellent" album, Being There. They take the name from the 1979 movie of the same name - which was one of Peter Seller's last movies. Trailer is below. It's worth a look.
Choo-choo Charlie had a plenty good band but he couldn't understand why no

one would go

A world record players on a tour of Japan, Charlie fixin' his van with the

left arm tan

He said

Monday, I'm all high, get me out of FLA

In school, yeah, I fooled ya, now I know I made a mistake

Blister on a turnpike, let me by, I only wanna wonder why when I don't die

Ewww, I shot ya, yeah, I know, I only wanna go where my wheels roll

Monday, I'm all high, get me out of FLA

I fooled ya, in school yeah, now I know I made a mistake

Everybody's wonderin', "where he'd go?" He must be down in Pensacola

hidin' from the snow

The world record players on a tour of Japan, Charlie's fixin' his van,

he's waitin' for a postcard

And he said

Monday, I'm all high, get me out of TLA

Well, I cut class, in school yeah, now I know I made a mistake

I made a big mistake


Yeah, alright


(Man, I've been listen to Creedence Clearwater Rivival)

Son of a.....

Wilco, Monday:

Peter Sellers in the movie Being There (trailer):

Monday, January 28

Monday night SOTU.

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

The Who, Won't get fooled again.

Monday, January 21

MLK Day.

Martin Luther King Day. U2, Pride (In the name of love):


One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you...)

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...

Wednesday, January 16

Brad Renfro 7-25-1982 - 1-15-2008.

Los Angeles - Actor Brad Renfro, whose career began promisingly with a childhood role in "The Client" but rapidly faded as he struggled with drugs and alcohol, was found dead Tuesday in his home. He was 25.

What a shame. These are four of his movies I’ve seen. I liked them all. Very much. All are a little different.

The Jacket:

A military veteran goes on a journey into the future, where he can foresee his death and is left with questions that could save his life and those he loves.

Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Ghost World:

Enid and Rebecca are social outsiders who, after graduating from high school, play a mean prank on a middle-aged geek.

Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi

The Client:

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the district attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Anthony LaPaglia, Mary Louis Parker

Apt Pupil:

A boy blackmails his neighbor after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal.

Brad Renfro, Ian McKellen

Friday, January 4



The plot of this movie is pretty basic: art dealer, Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz), meets George (Alessandro Nivola) at her gallery in Chicago. They fall in love and get married. His family from North Carolina doesn’t attend the wedding.

A few months later Madeleine hears of a folk artist in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina. He seems to have a “Grandma Moses” like potential and she wants to meet him and sign in up for his art.

This would be a good excuse to also meet George’s family. Peg (Celia Weston) is the mom, Eugene (Scott Wilson) is her husband. Johnny (O’C’s Ben McKenzie) is George’s younger brother. Ashley (Amy Adams) is Johnny’s newly wed, pregnant wife.

Amy Adams was nominated for an Oscar along with many other awards. She played a naive, inquisitive, small town girl perfectly. Reminded me of a hometown friend I had that peppered me with questions (just like she did to Madeleine) when I got back from college. None stop.

Embeth Davidtz was cast as a cultured, smart, urban woman with a touch of a British accent. Quite different from anyone in George’s family. She tried hard to get to know them all. I liked her part the best.

This is one of the more realistic families I’ve seen in a movie. There is even a scene in the movie when a character wants to tape a TV show and couldn’t because the tab on the VCR tape was broken off. Also scenes of sneaking a smoke. All so true.

And, just like in real life, the movie was it didn’t totally resolve itself at the end.