Cheadle, Linklater and…Atencio?

I realize my title is like that old Sesame Street game “Which of these directors doesn’t belong?” Read on…

A frenetic schedule forces me to do a threesome here, if only to preserve reading time for The New Yorker and Theresa Rebeck staring at me as I type.

Miles Ahead, directed by Don Cheadle took a very long time to settle into a story, reminiscent of The Big Short. Hopefully this isn’t a trend, but I do wonder if it’s a symptom our society’s over stimulation. Perhaps movie makers are like us common folk, almost needing to hover for a bit before focus can even begin.

At any rate, I enjoyed the film and post writing, need to look up a fact check of the flick. The New Yorker review intimated woe over fabricating incidents when there are so many actual events to depict.

Even though I’m a sucker for Ewan MacGregor and he’s adorable as a fumbling rock and roll reporter, I’d say Miles Ahead is an easy wait for Redbox or Netflix.

Second on the list and deserving of an equal amount of tepid level exuberance is “Everybody Wants Some” by Richard Linklater. A great line I overheard on Doug Benson’s podcast “Doug Loves Movies” is “I don’t want to see any movie that doesn’t take 12 years to make.” Meaning, it’s tough to come out with anything awesome after your release a tour de force like Boyhood.

An irony of this viewing is that I went with my son (his movie choice; also offered was Elvis and Nixon) for my early Mother’s Day ‘celebration’ since he was home momentarily from NYC. Ironic because the movies sole purpose (plot-wise) was the hunt for tail on a Texas college campus in the early 80’s.

The movie was a pleasant stroll down memory lane for me, but the film lacked many stand out actors or actresses. Two who were a smidgen impressive were Glen Powell and Wyatt Russell. Powell is due to my bias for the smart philosopher in any crowd, and Russell (omg!) in looking him up just now realized he’s Kurt Russell’s son. Russell plays the stoner with a surprise (I won’t ruin it for you) and does a great job as the grass fed Carl Sagan fan.

Last and last but not least is Keanu. Hey, if it’s a Friday night and I’ve absorbed a full day of middle school children’s emotions, capital E, a good laugh out loud silly comedy is better than a gin and tonic. And Keanu, written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens (directed by Peter Atencio) was just what the filmtender (as opposed to bartender) served. Often VERY funny with certain stupidity and corn woven in, basically a longer Key and Peele skit.

Ain’t No Holla Back for Hologram for a King

It’s tough to write a blog about film this week, since I’ve been main lining Prince music for the past 48 hours. But when your Dad calls and only has 5 hours to spend with you and wants to do a movie, you rise to the occasion. Hence, the safe Dad choice: Tom Hanks. And though Tom never fails, he has a tough time making much of a script that’s flatter than a small sand dune.

While it’s tough not to be enamored with the romance of the plot; Tom and beautiful actress Sarita Choudhury, the driver subplot could’ve have been much stronger.

I had high hopes of a Saudi version of Lost in Translation where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are elevated by Sophia Coppola, but Tom Twyker can’t resuscitate Dave Eggers. And while I loved Zeitoun (another book by Eggers), his autobiography was all over the place, making me think he’s a one trick wonder-I know harsh criticism for a girl who hasn’t published much.

But being the great Dad that he is, he didn’t complain, and instead enjoyed his large popcorn and recliner. and once home, I returned to sit shiva with Prince’s “Nothing Compares to You” and throughout a hip dancing around to “Baby I’m a Star” thinking of days and movies gone by.

This is Where I leave You- in the Dumpster

Jonathan Tropper, don’t care to meet him. He threw everything but the kitchen sink, wait no, there was a sink, too, my mood as I spent three log days watching segments before getting ill each time from utter schlock syndrome.

Sure, I’m a day late (more like a year) and a dollar short (more like my Netflix fee), but man, am i glad I ddin’t pay full price for this stinker. I’m a Fey, Bateman and Driver fan and think Kathryn Hahnido s wnright amazing, but this just reeked of hyperbole.

All I had to spy was Night at the Museum to confirm Shawn Levy’s (director) ‘credentials’.

Wasted enough of my life on this one. Gotta get a new rental ‘bookie’/advisor, bad advice on this one.

In Her Own Words

First a funny aside: “In my own words” was what I wrote at the request of the Yearbook Director as I retire from teaching this June. After writing a six sentence blurb (1 sentence per every 5 years if yo do the math), I received an email back, asking, ‘can you condense it?’. An ironic end to thirty years of love and dedication to the teaching and parenting of teens and tweeners. When I meet my maker, hopefully many years from now, don’t be surprised if my tombstone intimates I was from the state of Rhode Island, since surely I can condense that, too.(think abbreviations)

Fortunately, for a bigger star, Ingrid Bergman was gifted nearly two hours. And sure, I’m no Academy Award winner, but I think I’m worth a meaty paragraph But back to Ingrid.

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (Jag ar Ingrid) was not only a gorgeous documentary, but a neat surprise to hear that Ingrid’s first marriage was to a University of Rochester trained brain surgeon. Just to hear her say the “I stayed in Rochester” was a thrill, and that’s saying something considering the weathermen are simply begging us to stay now with temperatures below freezing on April 9, 2016.

I like that Ingrid lived her life without caring what was the current norm. While I don’t condone affairs, I really don’t see how Hollywood types can ever remain monogamous. I mean, you’re basically instructed to conjure a romance in many film plots.

She lived a full life in many different countries and God Bless her since the dreaded breast cancer took her relatively early (67). Stig Bjorkman’s documentary does sophisticated work to de-sensationalize her struggles making this film a high class biographical exercise.

Hello, My Name is Flourished (with delight!)

sally field

Hello My Name is Doris was fantastic! I was reminded of just how endearing Ms. Field is and what I could possibly do to channel some Sally! I think it boils down to this: first her name imbues joy. I’ve known a few Sally’s in my life and they’ve all been the sweetest. Second, her innocent serenity is something all of us should strive for as a personal aura.

The screenwriters Michael Showalter (and also director) and Laura Terruso have to be given large credit for tight roping elegantly that fine line between sad, pathetic old person with sympathetic ageing. Bravo!

Max Greenfield, the male lead of the film is now one of my favorites. His character on The New Girl is sometimes gratuitously annoying as Schmidt. But I’ll choose the love part of the love-hate feeling I’ve had toward the guy because due to his beautifully nuanced performance in Doris.

And I wasn’t even a Cagney and Lacy fan, yet I always felt like Tyne Daly was a beloved aunt of mine, who like Sally possesses a calm presence. Loved seeing her as Doris’s concerned, but non-oppressive best friend.

Just go see it.