Monday, March 7, 2011

Movie review times two

When I was a young man I loved movies where the old dudes got the younger women, it gave me hope that when I got old I'd get hot young babes too. Then as I grew older and I watched Woody Allen age and play the 'romantic' lead opposite leading ladies who kept getting younger as he got older, I got queasy seeing stuff like that. And I learned that the guy in his late 50's/early 60's never ever gets the hot young woman in real life. Which brings me to this film:
Yes, it was good. Yes, I enjoyed all of the performances in it. Yes, it didn't end like I thought it would, which was good. But I had one major problem with it. As soon as I saw how quickly Maggie Gyllenhaal fell for Jeff Bridges character, I had trouble believing it. His character is a repellent, greasy, chain smoking, old man who would have trouble getting a truck stop hooker with green teeth interested in him, much less a smokin' hot babe like Gyllenhaal's character.

She might be nice to him because she was brought up to be respectful to her elders but holy hell, there no way she'd drop her drawers for him in real life. It bugged me through the rest of the film. Now, if the female lead had been in her 40's maybe I could see it, but with someone as young and pretty as Gyllenhaal, no.

However, I didn't let that stop me from enjoying most of the rest of the film. Bridges does a fine job singing and if that was Colin Farrel's real singing voice, then he good for him. All in all this was a good film but I'm not so sure Bridges deserved an Oscar for it.

I love the novels of Jim Thompson. He wrote white hot crime novels in the late '50's and early '60's. He populated his books with sexy females who were just as bad as their conniving male counterparts. And his male leads were oh so deliciously bad. His novels are full of amoral antiheroes that get etched in your memory forever more as you read about them. I've loved most every film adaptation of Thompson's novels and I love this film adaption as well.

Casey Affleck plays a small town law enforcement officer who, after years of keeping it down, finally lets his psychopathic side out. He starts out small but as the film moves forward the events he's behind spin out of control until they engulf him and many others.

It's hard to watch at times but boy howdy, this film is a fine one. It's violent and a lot of the violence is directed against women, specifically Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson's characters. It's creepy as well, but one would expect that in a film about a sick twisted lawman who uses his profession to do harm.

Affleck is particularly good in this film. His 'aw shucks' banal evil persona is chilling to no end. He's totally believable as amoral killer/paragon of upright law enforcement. Alba and Hudson, well, wow, they're both smokin' hot and I flinched each time they got hit and abused by Affleck.

This film has more twists and turns than a mountain road and despite the violent content, I highly recommend it. But be aware, it's not by any stretch of the imagination a date movie.


erin said...

Thanks Doc! I have two movies to watch tonight.

I have a thing for Jeff Bridges though, so is this movie going to turn me off of him?

Violent movies are our cuppa tea! It's strange...our first date movie was Pan's Labyrinth which is on my top five list of fave movie's of all time.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Thompson write the novel upon which "The Grifters" was based? That was hard to watch, too,but man was it a good movie. I'll have to check out The Killer.

Margaret Benbow said...

I accepted--sort of--Gylenhaal's quirky character going for washed-up old Bridges. But you're right, there's a limit even to Quirky.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Nah Erin, Bridges is a decent but flawed guy in this film. You'll still like him afterwards.