Tuesday, November 20, 2007

20:07 (Grumpy Old Men)

Screenshots from the 20th minute and 7th second of movies
I can't guarantee the same results at home (players/timing). I use a VLC

Eddie: The man’s a rub down whore. Today he doesn’t want one.
Frankie: You ever do any work around here?
Eddie: It’s not my job I’d worry about if I was you.


Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with this clip, I just didn't know where else to say it - love the choice of this weeks video, Running up that Hill. I'd forgotten how much I loved the song, and how well the video fits the song. (So many videos seem to work against the song they're supposed to be selling.)

Now, back to the clip - however did you manage to sit through a film featuring...whatever it is you call her nowadays?

I remember, in all fairness, that it was a good film, and I thought Swank held her own against Eastwood and Freeman (who as usual was given too little to do.) There was a touch of racism I thought in giving Freeman the "sidekick" role (there's even a moment when he has a hole in his sock that's played for humor - a didn't Griffith have a "black man with a hole in his sock" scene played for laughs, albeit more broadly and cruelly, in "Birth of a Nation?) And having the boxer who injures Swank be "light skinned black" (or some swarthy and not quite definable non-white race/ethnicity) and come into the movie like some vicious panther seemed to me to be VERY racist.

There were also the classist undertones of the scene with Swank's family. Granted I'm sure there are people on welfare who abuse it, but obviously Eastwood hasn't spent much time downtown at bus stations, in the inner city, at welfare offices, observing people who are on welfare and are most decidedly NOT taking the money and going to Disneyland. I know he's Republican and a fiscal conservative and that's to be expected, but it was still a bit over the top.

And oddly enough, I never cried - never shed one tear and I expected it to move me. I walked out thinking it was a good movie (albeit with some racist/classist element as mentioned above), the acting was good, etc but it never once really touched me. And I'm an easy cry. I though perhaps the voice-over narration had something to do with it; v/o has a tendancy to throw the viewer - ok, me - out of the world of the film and back into the theater, and make me aware "this is just a movie I'm watching, not a world I'm entering" (which is why Von Trier used it for Dogville, although I didn't appreciate what he was doing with it long after I'd seen that film). But, Moulin Rouge has voiceover (and all sorts of other devices besides) and the first time I saw it I cried buckets at the end. So that's not quite it, either.

I guess for me, the ultimate test of film enjoyment is not "how technically good was it" but "how much did it touch me", so in that regard, MDB feels somewhat overrated to me.


Anonymous said...


I personally think this is one of the saddest movies I've ever seen. THe script has its problems, but Eastwood's artistry is so perfect and well-crafted that the movies breaks my heart. Not because the twist - it could have a different ending and it wouldn't matter. I love the way Eastwood creates an unique atmosphere of sadness. This atmosphere is there from the beginning of the movie.

People usually hate Swank, but she's very good (definitely better than Bening's hamming; my winner would be Stanton or Delpy). And people make a big mistake. The movie is not about her.

It is about Frankie's struggle to give himself a chance of being happy. With his masterful performance, Eastwood, without many words on this subject, make us love this incredibly complex paternal and selfish character, who, being a failure as a dad, tries to superprotect his pupils and stop their success. Or is abandoned and loses, one more time his new stepson/daughter.

His devastated face in the ending is just unbearable to watch. It's the face Eastwoood usually uses in his movies. The face of somebody deeply affected by the violence of life.

I love the way Eastwood puts it together as director and actor. This old-fashioned melodrama is beatifully underplayed. With his restrained style, he reaches a level of darkness that Haggis could never handle.

The only blind spots of the movie are Haggis-related. He would made a movie about Maggie. In the movie, Frankie's world works. Frankie-and Maggie is a very tender and beatiful screen duet. But Maggie alone is a failure (her family, her troubles, her underdog it's too underwritten).

Anyway, Eastwood elevates the material to a great and dark movie, in which you can feel the love that connects the characters. In my opinion, the best BP winner since... Unforgiven?

Anyway, not Eastwood's best. His is top-notch

- cal roth

Anonymous said...

Anyway, not Eastwood's best. His direction is top-notch, but his best work is Unforgiven. Then, Bird, The Outaw Josey Wales, Madison County and A Perfect World.

- cal roth

Glenn Dunks said...

One of the best picture wins of this decade that I have no problem with. Sure, I could gripe about the late-Miramax-style release date, but I still think it's a great little movie with great work by Eastwood.

Hilary Swank, however... grrr

Anonymous said...

What's the problem with Swank? Yes, shw won the Oscar, but this is far from a bad performance. I think she is kind, heartwarming and has perfect chemistry with Eastwood.

I'd her give her the Oscar a million times if I had to stop Bening from winning it for Being Julia.

- cal roth

Colin Low said...

Who's talking about Swank robbing Bening? (Yes, I know who, it's a rhetorical question.) The Oscar should have gone to Staunton, Winslet or Delpy -- all of whom were due, if not overdue.


if it means anything in retrospect I would give the Oscar to Staunton.

there've been a few of those over the years where I've rethought. there's always room for reevaluation

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Million Dollar Baby. The less I think about that film, the better.

Swank's second Oscar should be Imelda Staunton's, or, gasp, Annette Bening's.

Glenn Dunks said...

Yeah, it's not that Swank was bad, it's just that it is odd that she won a second best actress oscar for a good performance when there were amazing performances by Staunton, Winslet, Delpy, Bening and Thurman. My five best actresses of that year were Emily Barclay (In My Father's Den), Delpy, Kidman (Birth and Dogville), Staunton and Winslet with Kidman as the winner.


i really didn't set out to make this about Swank but since y'all took me there.

here's my revised top ten (always subject to change)

1. STAUNTON vera drake
2. BENING being julia
3. WINSLET eternal sunshine
4. KIDMAN birth
5. DELPY before sunset
6. COLLETTE japanese story
7. PORTMAN closer
8. THURMAN kill bill vol 2
9. MORENO maria full of grace
10. ROBERTS closer

and Swank right outside. I don't think it's a bad performance (my hate is misunderstood) it's just not award worthy... and certainly not at the expense of these women.


oh oops DOGVILLE! Forgot. i guess it's a top 11