Movie Review: Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher”

Published 12/30/14 by:

Foxcatcher Poster

  Eccentric millionaires seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but in the late 1980s, the general public was much less aware of their existence. So when John “Golden Eagle” du Pont (one of many heirs to the DuPont chemical manufacturing empire) requested the presence of 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Schultz (a freestyle wrestler from Palo Alto) at his Philadelphia estate, Mark understandably had to ask John who he was. And so, the strange legacy of Foxcatcher began.

    Mark, and his brother Dave Schultz, were both extremely decorated athletes. The brothers had dedicated their professional careers to coaching, and competing in the sport of wrestling. In 1986, Mark found himself in a financial lull, as Olympic wrestlers were not a hot commodity for lucrative sponsorships, or coaching positions. That’s when Mr. John du Pont called him. John was an avid athletic supporter, and thought that the sport of wrestling, and the wrestlers themselves, deserved bigger paychecks and more prestige than they currently were receiving in the United States. Mark was easily persuaded to move to Philadelphia and train at the first class facility John built for U.S. wrestlers to use. While Dave was invited back in 1986, he declined as he and his family were already established in the community he was coaching in. This left Mark (according to the film) in a vulnerable position, which is what the bizarre tale “Foxcatcher” focuses on.

    Steve Carell paints a haunting portrait of John’s essence: lonely, millionaire ornithologist. His awkward movements and gestures suggest someone who rarely leaves the comfort of his own estate, and is not used to hearing the word no from anyone. His obsession with winning, wrestling, and befriending Mark (ruthlessly portrayed by Channing Tatum) will make you cringe, but simultaneously sympathize with this peculiar man. It isn’t until Mark’s training gets derailed by John’s hard-partying ways, and insensitive outbursts that Dave Schultz (played by everyone’s favorite human teddy bear: Mark Ruffalo) finally arrives at Foxcatcher Farms.

    The dynamic between Carell, Ruffalo and Tatum is phenomenal. Carell is able to effortlessly demonstrate John’s sense of ownership over Mark, and the other wrestlers training at Foxcatcher, while Tatum flawlessly executes the psychosis of a fierce competitor being mentally toyed with by his mentor/proprietor. As the movie progresses towards its crescendo (the 1988 Olympics), we see Ruffalo’s ability to depict what a respectful coach and older brother should look like. While some moviegoers may deem the film as being too slow, or having the majority of the action in the last 40 minutes, Carell’s performance alone is worth seeing on the big screen.

Movie Grade: B-

twitterpinterestrsstumblrinstagramby feather
facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrby feather

No Comments on Movie Review: Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher”

The Ultimate Role…If I Were An Actress

Published 5/28/14 by:

 

Dream Role Photos

 

I recently watched a YouTube video in which the absurdly beautiful cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf was asked what character past or present would be their dream role. The answers ranged from Rachel Green in “FRIENDS” to Neo in “The Matrix”. As someone who has been an avid film and television enthusiast since first falling for The Muppets at the ripe age of three, I’ve been thinking about my choices for days. Here’s the rub, though: I’m not an actress. I’m making my choices purely based on things like cast chemistry, the writing of the show, and how fun it would be to play that character. I did not approach the creation of this list with any type of thespian knowledge or prowess. That being said, I think I made some really educated decisions. I’d also love to hear what inspired choices all of you would make! Let me know in the comments!

 

1. Carla Tortelli from “Cheers” –  Carla is the perfect example of a Bostonian waitress; She’s quick-witted, snarky, and can talk sports with the best of ’em. She doesn’t put up with any bull, because if that’s what she wanted, she could just stay home with her thousand kids. I envy her one-liners, and the cast of characters that Cheers pulled together in that bar where everybody knows your name.

 

2. Penny Lane from “Almost Famous” – I don’t think a cooler girl has ever been written in a film or television show. Not only does she embody rock and roll, but she loves it in a charming and enveloping way. I don’t think I realized what a rock and roll lifestyle was, until I encountered Penny. Her credo “it’s all happening” makes every moment seem thrilling. I’d love to play someone so adored, complex, and free-spirited. In terms of cast: who wouldn’t want to hang out with Russell and William all day? And maybe squeeze in a moment or two with Lester Bangs? Sigh.

 

3. Kate Austen from “LOST” – This was a really hard decision because I only wanted one totally hardcore chick on the list, and my alternative choice was Sidney Bristow from “Alias”. Ultimately I went with Kate because she’s a rebel with a cause, and I dig that about her. Kate is the polar opposite of who I am, and I think it would be so incredible to play a girl who’s so adventurous, agile and intuitive. Additionally, I wouldn’t balk at the opportunity to kiss Jack and Sawyer. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

 

4. Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years” – There can only be one girl next door on this list, so Joey Potter didn’t make the cut. Winnie is smart, approachable and has great headbands. Her family suffers the loss of a brother to the Vietnam War, and she seamlessly transitions from awkward pre-teen to lanky, beautiful teenager throughout the show. She’s an every-girl, but with the benefit of an awesome era to grow up in. This might be my dream role. Also, it would be really fun to “TV date” the same boy from ages 11 to 18, because not many folks get that experience.

 

 

twitterpinterestrsstumblrinstagramby feather
facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrby feather

2 Comments on The Ultimate Role…If I Were An Actress

Movie Round-Up For 2013

Published 1/3/14 by:

I love going to the movies, and so do all of my family members, as well as my closest friends. In 2013, I saw twenty movies in the theater (what’s more notable is that most of them were seen June-December). If you’re anything like me, you’re not wooed by quantity, so in order to give you a quality control barometer, I’ve provided three of my favorite scenes from film below so that you know I can be trusted. If you like what you see, or recognize the scenes just from their YouTube titles, then I think you should peruse Netflix/Hulu/Redbox/Amazon with my lists provided. My distinction between “Must See” and “Should See” is this: if I think you must see it, then you should be loading up one of the films in another tab on your computer as you read this blog post. If I think you should see it, then you can wait until there’s a snow day, or a lull in your busy schedule to view it. In the event that you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, I’ve linked each movie to its trailer so that you can accurately determine which movies fit your personal requirements.

 

Note: Foul language is used in these clips.

 

 


Shag Contest

Shag

— MOVIECLIPS.com

 

 

 

Must See:

Frozen

The Great Gatsby

Fruitvale Station

The Spectacular Now

Dallas Buyers Club

The Internship

The Wolf of Wall Street

American Hustle

 

 Should See:

Despicable Me 2

Captain Phillips

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Way Way Back

About Time

Iron Man 3

Star Trek Into Darkness

Place Beyond the Pines

 

Don’t Bother:

Monsters University

The To Do List

The Hangover Part III

Zero Dark Thirty

 

twitterpinterestrsstumblrinstagramby feather
facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrby feather

1 Comment on Movie Round-Up For 2013

Movie Review: David O. Russell’s “American Hustle”

Published 12/25/13 by:

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 1.55.54 PM

 

 

Plunging necklines, gold chains, a soundtrack boasting Elton John, and hairspray by the ton. This is the footprint of “American Hustle”; It’s what you see on the surface. As you dig in to this movie, you soon realize that it’s not your average heist flick. Most films of this genre revolve around one major heist – usually “the last big hit” before all the savvy criminals bail out and attempt to retire on a tropical island far away from their seedy pasts. Some of that rings true in “American Hustle”, but for the most part, it’s people trying to dig themselves out of the hustles gone awry.

When we meet Christian Bale’s character Irvin Rosenfeld, he’s at the peak of his hustling. He calls himself a con artist, and he meets his match in Sydney Prosser, played impeccably by Amy Adams. They are drawn to each other, and start hustling people through a loan business they set up. They’re in love, and they flaunt it in fur coats and tinted shades. The movie doesn’t really heat up until the two are caught, and forced to help the FBI sting four people in fraudulent business. This is when the hustles start layering one on top of the other. The more aggressive the FBI (specifically Bradley Cooper’s Richie DiMaso) is, and the more convoluted their operations become, Irving’s agitation arises, which leads to his romantic and professional relationship with Sydney being at risk.

Throughout the movie you’re left wondering who can trust each other, what people’s true feelings are, and what’s intentional or unintentional.  The cast is very character driven, as they all have their quirks and punchlines. Jeremy Renner was superbly cast as a blue collar New Jersey mayor trying to rebuild Atlantic City, and Louis CK is a deadpan FBI supervisor (a glorified paper pusher) whose mundaneness is noteworthy. While Bale’s performance was transcendent – I mean, I actually forgot I wasn’t in 1978, where microwaves were aptly referred to as “science ovens”, it’s Jennifer Lawrence who steals the show. Lawrence plays Bale’s neglected, house-bound, sarcastic wife. She’s hilarious, terrifying, delusional, and beautiful simultaneously. I wouldn’t be shocked if she pulled off another Golden Globe this awards season.

For those of you looking for a typical heist movie, this isn’t it. If you like good one-liners, a nice perm, and quirky characters who may con you out of a free breakfast, then this is for you.

 

Kaitlin’s Grade: B

twitterpinterestrsstumblrinstagramby feather
facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrby feather

No Comments on Movie Review: David O. Russell’s “American Hustle”

Recent Tweets