Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wednesday Horror: A Cure for Wellness

Film: A Cure for Wellness
Format: DVD from Sycamore Public Library on The New Portable.

There are a handful of movies that I have checked out from a library any number of times and haven’t pulled the trigger on watching. There are probably at least half a dozen that I have checked out in the double digits and simply haven’t watched. Until today, A Cure for Wellness fell into that category. I’m not sure exactly what prevented me from watching the film aside from the fact that it’s long and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much time on a movie that got such mixed reviews. I don’t live and die by what critics or audiences have to say about a movie, but sitting for nearly 150 minutes for a movie that racked up a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes is a hard sell.

But, knowing that I had once again check the movie out and that it was due in the morning finally lit the fire underneath me that I needed to sit down and watch it. Now that I’ve seen it, I’m not entirely sure what to think of it. I hate to say that I need to watch it again, but that might be the case. Standing in the way for me is the presence of Dane DeHaan front and center. There’s something about DeHaan that I find upsetting. I’m not sure if it’s the giant eye bags that make him look like he wandered head-first into a wasp nest or the fact that his head is shaped like a garlic bulb, but there it is.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Power Corrupts

Film: Vice
Format: DVD from Cortland Public Library on The New Portable.

I’m going to warn you off the bat here: this is a political movie and I have political opinions. If you were a fan of George W. Bush or the current American president, you’re going to have problems with this review. This isn’t because I’m going to go on some kind of rant (I hope), but because Vice shows a precise template for exactly how, over the last 20 years, the American right has done everything it can to damage the democracy that we still enjoy. If you’re going to have a problem with me saying exactly that, the door is over there. If you’re going to go on a screed in the comments and use words like “libtard” and “cuck,” I’ll be deleting your comments. You’ve been warned.

Vice is more or less the biopic of Dick Cheney, who hovered around the halls of power during multiple Republican presidential administrations. While I can’t be sure, my guess is that Christian Bale was selected to play Cheney because he was able to slightly modify his Batman voice to be a little more understandable. Bale looks staggeringly like Cheney in a good portion of the film as well, something that can be mildly said for Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and not at all for Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mediocre White Men

Film: The Wife
Format: DVD from Rock Island Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

How do we live in a world where Glenn Close doesn’t have an Oscar? Seriously, this is someone who has had such a substantial career playing virtually anything conceivable, and doing it so well as to be believable no matter what the role. In that respect, her role in The Wife is perhaps the one that she has been destined to play. This is a story where her character has lived her entire life in the shadow of her husband, always in the background and always overshadowed.

Our main couple here is the Castlemans, Joe (Jonathan Pryce) and Joan (Close). As the film begins, Joe Castleman is nervous and restless. The reason is soon evident—the phone rings and he receives the news that he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, and suddenly their lives are thrown into a strange and surreal moment of turmoil. People naturally come out of the woodwork to congratulate him, and to a much lesser extent, his almost cliché-level long suffering wife. We also learn that their daughter (Alix Wilton Regan) is pregnant and their son (Max Irons) is beginning his career as a writer.