Only the Brave, plus new cinema ailments

Can a movie be a nice tribute, but a mediocre film? Yes. Can there be ailments that are specific to cinema aficionados? Yes, and I’ll be the first to name them: NUMB BUM. Symptoms include: a voice in one’s head that says, “wow, this is a long ass movie” or questions, “the caption just read THREE YEARS LATER, could it really be 2020?”. Physical symptoms such as tingling or numb glutes, restless leg syndrome, eyes on wrist watch…or how about the ailment HOT CORN, symptoms include a voice burning in one’s head that says, “yeh I get they’re a fraternity of bros, I got it with the mooning and yuck yuck man pranks, I don’t need 6 scenes of this.”

This is Only the Brave written by Sean Flynn, directed by Joseph Kosinski and edited by…oh yeh, probably no one. Or no one objective.

How about a little editing folks? Did we really need the Jeff Bridges fighting city hall subplot? Or his scene where he’s country singing as yet ANOTHER old haggard western dude? In fact, please allow me this quick break to write him a letter:
Dear Senor` Bridges:
I use the Spanish Senor` as you insist on becoming an old man with an obvious dental or jaw difficulty. Why oh why? Where did Jeff Bridges go? You know the sexy one from Against All Odds or The Fisher King or even the slightly sexy in a rough way ‘dude’ from The Big Lebowski. Sure, I know you’re two years from 70, but please Jeff, do something besides the Ed Brimley selling Quaker Oats before you retire.

Ok, sorry, had to get that out of my system…the move was good, ok? Certainly the 19 men who died deserve a tribute. And I do like Josh Brolin, though his character is corny. But OMG, Josh, just looked you up assuming you were at least my age and you’re younger than my brother? Jesus, excuse me for another distraction:
Dear Senor` Brolin,
Do not become typecast like Senor` Bridges. Hire a trainer, stat!

Sorry again, sigh. Ok Jennifer Connelly, she’s ‘good’, but her character, do I really need to hear her story of her peeing her pants? I get you’re showing how intimate they were as a couple, but ew, and the lovey dovey scenes, candle lit bathtub, ‘you’re sweaty, I’m, sweaty”, that’s really only sexy in real life, not voyeuristic-ally speaking.

Star of the movie to me (and I might just have Hagiographa from Whiplash still) is Miles Teller, who kicks ass as the f-up who rises to the challenge of becoming a firefighter after becoming a father prematurely. This subolot was done well and without much corn (I didn’t need his disapproving single mom martyr). You’re the man, Miles. In fact give a lesson or two in staying hip to Senor` Bridges and Brolin. Gracias!

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Miles Teller

Saw two accomplished films this weekend, one a doc Citizenfour (Laura Poitras) and one of fiction, Whiplash (Damien Chazelle).

Citizenfour is basically cinematic voyeurism; watching a man’s last few days of freedom. While I disagree with Leonard Maltin’s hyperbolic review “has Hitchockian suspense”, I will admit it held my interest despite ‘knowing the ending’ so to speak, that Snowden remains an exile in Russia. And here’s where I want to step on the thin ice and say, hooray for Snowden, a man of principles…yet the skeptic in me thinks, can our government be THAT corrupt? Can a man simply exposing Obama’s transparency as an opaque farce, really be stripped of his passport and free citizenship? Yikes.

But I say Snowden for President as a man of true integrity. But believe me, the whispering dissenter chirps, “Can a world power exist without infringing on privacy to protect its citizens?”.

Which leads me to my presidential analogy that Miles Teller, at least in this role, (and at the risk of tying Maltin for hyperbole), is the most sincere and dedicated person on Earth. And while I’m at my electoral picks, let me propose J.K. Simmons as Secretary of State because he’d tell any bullying totalitarianism to bend over and kiss their inhumane arses goodbye. And for good measure, let’s throw in Paul Reiser as Press Secretary with his realistic chagrined father portrayal. Whiplash is a fantastic film worthy of viewing and award nominations. While I won’t discuss plot points in my pledge to tell no spoiler, I will say if the movie’s end had been a hair shorter, it’d be absolute perfection.

P.S. I’ll be posting this on every blog, but soon my website name will change to something shorter and easier to type after the new year…still pondering domain names…stay tuned.