Speak Loudly & Carry A Little Cigar

Darkest Hour
Puff, Puff, Pass
Official Site | Trailers & Mo
PG-13 | 125 min

How do you like your war movies?  Things that go boom?  Or do you prefer endless talking, in a cloud of endless cigar smoke?  If you prefer the latter, then STEP RIGHT UP to Joe Wright‘s Darkest Hour, which can certainly talk the endless talk, but the movie has zero WALK.  OK, that’s not true – there’s a LOT of walking.  If the Winston Churchill of this movie had a Fitbit on his wrist, he would be so proud by the amount of steps taken by the end of the film 

But would the real Churchill be proud of the performance that Gary Oldman attempts?  LARGE SHOES (and not juss cause Winnie’s overweight), and Oldman can always go larger than life (or shoes), but I didn’t buy it at all.  The whole time watching, me like – is that what Winston Churchill was like?  Some dude in terrible make-up, who’s prone to overracting in order to get Gary his 2nd ever Academy Award nomination???? No thanks  

Also, in this war movie – WHERE’S THE WAR?????  What went on in Dunkirk gets a mention, and when it does, me like – man, I wish I could juss watch Dunkirk instead of this!!! 

Lost in all the blubbery make-up (and the really dumb and cheesy secretary character played by Lily James) are two things I really liked – learning what happened to Neville Chamberlain (a scared looking Ronald Pickup) after he stepped aside for Churchill, and seeing what a restrained Ben Mendelsohn looks like.  He plays King George VI, without much of a stammer, but I loved the performance.  A better acting exercise woulda been to scarp this movie and juss remake The King’s Speech, but with Mendelsohn stuttering instead of Colin Firth.  I mean, they made two Capote movies, and both were great!  They could have named the Mendelsohn one – Gawd Save The Qqqqqqqueeen

Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badgers

Darkest Hour clocks in today in limited release

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…


It’s Sorta Him, Babe

Bob Dylan
Mavis Staples
Beacon Theatre
November 21

I never wanted to see Bob Dylan.  I respect Bob Dylan, but I’m not a giant fan, and everyone always said how awful he was in concert anywayz.  But when Tom Petty died, I was like, OK, let’s not mess around here – Bob aint gonna live forever (and probably has already lived longer than any of us have ever thought he would) – and I need to see him before he goes.  HAVE TO!

To my surprise, a Bob Dylan show is wholly and udderly musically enjoyable.  His band is incredible!  And Bob totally seems with it, switching between piano jangling, and straight-up crooning, with a microphone stand in hand.  And shockingly, he sounds like Bob Dylan!  The problem?  He’s not singing the Bob Dylan songs the way that the Bob Dylan songs sound, or at least on how they are suppose to sound.  Also, he didn’t play guitar, AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF BOB????  Look, he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants to do with his music, and while I’m not a deep Dylan catalog guy, the songs I knew that he played, I could barely recognize.  Oh, that was ‘Tangled Up In Blue’?  FOOLED ME!!!

Still, it had to be done. And while the concert was nice, it almost felt more like a chore, which I can now add a giant check mark next to…  

see Dylan before he dies

Real best part of the show?  Opener Mavis Staples.  Long security line made me miss 2 of her 7 songs played, but the 5 she beautifully belted made me wish that she was the headliner, and Dylan the opener

@mavisstaples did it. she took us there. she really did

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Dylan Setlist – Things Have Changed / It Ain’t Me, Babe / Highway 61 Revisited / Why Try to Change Me Now (Cy Coleman cover) / Summer Days / Melancholy Mood (Frank Sinatra cover) / Honest With Me / Tryin’ to Get to Heaven / Once Upon a Time (Tony Bennett cover) / Pay in Blood / Tangled Up in Blue / Soon After Midnight / Early Roman Kings / Full Moon and Empty Arms (Frank Sinatra cover) / Desolation Row / Thunder on the Mountain / Autumn Leaves(Yves Montand cover) / Love Sick’

Encore – Blowin’ in the Wind / Ballad of a Thin Man

it’s sorta him, babe

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Gold As Ice

I, Tonya
Blades of Teal
Official Site | Trailers & Mo
R | 121 min

When you catch certain glimpses of Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding in the movie I, Tonya (like the image above), you go, my gosh – she, Tonya!!!!  And then when you sit thru all the other parts of the movie, you keep thinking, this storytelling is a little too slick, and everything is laid on A LOT too thick.  It’s like a wannabe paranoid part of Goodfellas, that also feels like the wannabe GoodfellasAmerican Hustle mixed with the stupidity of the stupid people of Masterminds

But faults aside (like too much of a soundtrack – like for realz, every scene doesn’t need a top 40 hit in it), I liked that they made a movie that sympathizes with Tonya Harding.  But I also liked the 30 for 30: The Price of Gold doc MUCH more, and I suggest you see it over the movie cause the true events themselves were so highly sensationalized to begin with, that a movie sensationalizing the sensation ends up being too much for the senses.  Stick to the facts, and the real deals, with the real players, and the real player haters

Although the acting in the film IS fantastic and worth seeing – especially Allison Janney as Tonya’s ice cold bitch of a mom, and Sebastian Stan as dumb Ned Flanders/Jeff Gilooly‘s mustache, and Paul Walter Hauser eating his way thru whatever he is incredibly doing as Shawn Eckhardt.  Sure, Robbie and Janney are GREAT – but give the Oscar and the buzz to the fat guy!

Go fat guys!!

Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badgers

she Tonya today in limited release

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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