Posts Tagged ‘J.K. Simmons’

Burn After Reading: Deceptively Incoherent

September 18, 2008
The face that starts it all.

The epitomy of insecurity.

It’s like the good old days when all of the big star names would get together to make a nice bit of nonsense. Everyone here is great. J.K. Simmons, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins…and yes, more. Sometimes I wonder if the Coen Brothers just like to make movies with big stars just to show us they can. We all know that’s not the case.

As Antonio says, “I’m far more serious than my custom.” So are the Coen Brothers.

While watching Burn After Reading a song popped into my head, Eleanor Rigby by The Beetles. It’s a song about lonely people, Burn is littered with the people of this planet that are so lonely and depressed they don’t know how to not dig themselves into a whole. The insecurity factor in this film is so high the first place I walked to when the movie finished was a mirror in the men’s room to tell myself how great I was. Everything in this film – each action and reaction is based on the character’s inabilty to cope with their own decisions…so they make worse ones. It’s really quite amusing to watch, only because I see a lot of them in me.

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“Juno”: Anyone want a lollipop?

December 10, 2007

Juno

I’m not a fan of The Breakfast Club. For a movie that everyone claims to exemplify High School life, I found it to be very false, even as a kid. Never did I meet fellow classmates that were as singular as the characters John Hughes presented. There was never the “jock” or the “nerd” or the “outcast”, and I went to a lot of schools. What Hughes did was create simplified versions that everyone then held on to. It was all more interesting and complicated than that. I’ve always found The Breakfast Club to be the ideal example of Hollywood reality. Hughes’s other film Some Kind of Wonderful hits a little closer, and aside from the slow clap in the final moments of the film Lucas (not John Hughes) hit the head just about right (the original ending did not contain the slow clap but was more morose.) I had the pleasure of seeing Lucas screened this last year and was surprised at how well it has withstood the test of time. It’s too bad the same can’t be said for The Breakfast Club. Now we have Juno, a film many have compared to the films of John Hughes. The writer Diablo Cody has been called a writer who’s got the voice of our youth down pat. I would agree with that, at least more so than they said Hughes did during his time. When the High School characters in Juno aren’t living and breathing pop culture idiosyncrasies, they carry all the uncertain starts and stops and pregnant pauses of people who aren’t wise enough to know the right thing to say immediately or at all. They have their own language, their own way of viewing the world, one that befuddles the adults in the film. One that befuddles me to some degree – does this mean I’m getting old? It feels to me that the quantity of eccentric High Schoolers has grown over the years – at least as far as independent films are concerned.

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