Another Round, Perhaps another run at my top 10

Another Round written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg, who according to IMDB, is one of the Danish forefounders of “dogme95, a set of rules dedicated to reintroducing the element of risk in film-making,” is best known to me from his direction in the great Thomas Hardy adaptation from “Far From the Maddening Crowd”.
Another Round passes the great movie litmus test of evoking a mood or feeling that reverberates long after the movie ends…in this case a feeling of mindfulness over reckless abandon. After witnessing several men and teenagers lose their control over moderate drinking habits, I was left with the ‘watch what you’re doing’ self-observation even in the reality that I fall under the CDC’s guidelines on healthy average weekly drinks.
The acting is top notch; Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen (four time winner of Best Danish actor), Magnus Millang, and Lars Ranthe portray a bros before hoes gang who, like my never to be seen or read screenplay “Buck Up” get together and decide to re-claim their identities through a drinking experiment.
A universal truth, for me, and evidently the psychological study’s founder Finn Skarderud, I believe having a tiny buzz certainly adds to my extroversion and ability to speak my mind. It helps shut off my rigid self-consciousness. What I definitely DON’T believe in is doing this 24-7, which also led to the demise (spoiler alert) of the four men.
The film is a scathing look at alcohol misuse and abuse by both young and old, and yet I see dumb asses who are billing this film as a “delightful comedy” (Sean Burns WBUR, and Hollywood Reporter Scott Roxborough). They must also think Leaving Las Vegas was a laugh riot spoof. Lord, send breathalyzers to both these folks.
To end on a positive note, Thomas Vinterberg helps bring up our society’s overuse of alcohol and yet, to give Burns and Roxborough a break, since no children were hurt during the film and since we do collectively like to giggle at drunks-Otis Andy Griffith, your ‘drunk Uncle’, he possibly sanitizes the negative results a little too much.

The world might be back in order: The D Train and Far From the Madding Crowd

Jack Black is back to dark quirky roles in “The D-Train”, where he plays a desperate man looking for friendship intimacy while rejecting the familial kind. The film’s uniqueness is due to the genuine nature of the character’s actions. We all screw up in real life, get caught up doing embarrassing things for meaningless connections, wanting to please, yearning to be the person all others seek out and admire.
Jack Black

In “Far From the Madding Crowd” (directed by Thomas Vinterberg), may I say that the romance (as old as the Thomas Hardy novel is from 1874) did not seem farcical? And this is coming from the female version of Mikey in the old Life Cereal commercials when it comes to romance (“She won’t like it, she hates mushy’).

Much like D Train, there are times in our lives when we also get caught up in the old adage ‘flattery will get you everywhere’ whirlwind attraction. I was riveted to her marriage to Tom Sturridge, when she realizes on her wedding night, in that all of his charm is the equivalent of smoke obscuring a needy and weak human being. I’ve only disliked one of Carey Mulligan’s roles (Inside Llewyn Davis in which her character was just a horrible foul mouthed misandrist) and LOVED her in Drive and Shame. She’s perfect in “Far From…”, an all natural no-nonsense 1870’s gal.

Tom Sturridge was panned for his role of the bad boy soldier that Carey’s character marries and while I wanted to see the movie and say it ain’t so (I was moved by his Broadway performance in Orphans), tis pity tis true that he just falls flat. I think there’s a way to show charm and not seem vacant to keep us as fooled as Carey’s character was, but his character lacks the ability to trick the audience. I hope he’ll eventually get the role that shows the talent of which I witnessed, or perhaps he is better with live audiences. Time will tell.Tom Sturridge

So beyond Black’s choice originality, Vinterberg/Mulligan’s believable, yet old romance, as proof that the world is righting itself is a trailer I saw before “Far from the Madding Crowd” with Johnny Depp finally in a macho talent worthy role as Whitey Bulger upcoming in “Black Mass”.

Summer truly is the best time of the year.