By: Henry J. Fromage –
This week was another smorgasbord of random films and television sandwiched around a whole lot of real world work. Some good stuff, though.
93. The Beach Bum
This is a real hard film to characterize, outside of perhaps saying that’s it’s almost exactly what you’d expect to come from Matthew McConaughey playing a hedonistic, gleefully trashy named Moondog and latter day neon, Florida-obsessed Harmony Korine. It’s a damn blast, if not something you should seriously even pretend like you’re getting any life lessons from. Two Beers.
94. True Detective: Season 3
This season of True Detective, as always a contained story which is why I count it here, may well be its best, almost entirely due to Mahershala Ali’s commanding performance and character work across three eras- the 1980s when a crime takes place, the 1990s when his obsession with the case is cemented, and the present day, when he’s losing his memory and seeking closure. Commanding television. Two Beers.
95. Escape at Dannemora
Ben Stiller gets into the dramatic miniseries game with this story of the prison escape of two convicts in upstate New York in 2015 and the ensuing manhunt. Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano star as the convicts and Patricia Arquette as the civilian shop supervisor who aids them in their escape and all of their performances are detailed, humane, and even a little grotesque in interesting ways. However, it’s Stiller putting on as many filmmaking hats as he can to show off his chops and his influences that makes this as riveting as it becomes. Two Beers.
96. Robin Hood
I can report that this latest franchise non-starter is about as bad as you’d heard, from its interesting in concept but clumsy in execution parallels between The Crusades and Iraq to all the Antifa imagery that probably played like gangbusters in the pitch meeting but seems odd to hang on a 100 million dollar piece of entertainment that nobody really liked. Five Beers.
Tim Sutton, who made the enigmatic arthouse film Dark Night, turns his gaze on something more conventional and, frankly, less satisfying in this Trump country parable of crime and violence leading to a melee in the woods where the single victor stands to take home a life changing amount of money. What you end up with is a grey, dour, exceedingly violent film where Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo (who I, no shit, thought was Jon Bernthal for far too much of this film) to chew some scenery. My favorite part of the movie? Getting to imagine it’s a dark sequel to Billy Elliot. Four Beers.