SUMMARY: A depressing ride to death through the lives of people with no hope to hold onto.
DETAILS: Sad… this film is sad on a couple of levels. Sad in that it deals with death and dying. Our main characters are on their way to the grave. But more sad in that no one in the film has a hope to hold onto… there is no afterlife, no heaven, no God, no hope. The brief glimpse of any Christian influence is done in a mocking manner of a cancer support group leader who makes a hook rug of Jesus and is portrayed in a very cheesy way. The part that I did like was the Willem Dafoe character… who really is the God character in the film. He is the author of book that our heroes love… but the book literally ends in the middle of the sentence. Our characters must travel across the sea to meet this author and ask him why and what really happened next. When they arrive they are sorely disappointed and they learn that “God doesn’t care about them or for them” or so they perceive. But in the end this God character comes to our heroine and leaves letter that she won’t read until later, a letter that brings an element of redemption. The farther I get from this movie, the more I like it… or at least parts of it. Or maybe I just like being far from it???
SUMMARY: If you love Robert Duvall, watch and enjoy this movie… but don’t look for brilliance from him or the storyline.
DETAILS: Duvall… Robert… He’s one of my favorite actors. But the storyline of A Night In Old Mexico seems a little tired and worn. There are some good moments, but things are a bit unbelievable in a film that wants to be gritty and real. The story begins with Duvall’s character wanting to end his life when a grandson he’s never met shows up. Together they end up in the adventure of lifetime with bullets, money, bad guys, and a beautiful señorita…. yeah, she’s contributes to the unbelievable part. Not her performance (which I liked) but her falling for Duvall who happens to be getting up there in age. If you love Duvall, watch it. If not, skip it.
SUMMARY: A depressing look at a depressing family… which makes What’s Eating Gilbert Grape look like happy, fun-filled, roll-on-the-floor comedy.
DETAILS: Dysfunction does not adequately describe the family in this film. A star-studded cast with great performers tell the story of a family brought back together around the suicide of the father, but nothing is strong enough to keep these people together. By the end of the film everyone will have left and the crazy, prescription-addicted mom will be all that’s remains in Osage County Oklahoma.
UPDATE: 20 JULY 2014
DETAILS: Complicated…. This is probably one of the best “Christian” films I’ve seen. It’s gut-wrenching honest dealings with issues of hidden pasts, parenting difficulties, and troubled relationships are sure to hinder the profitability in the traditional “Christian Market” for this film, but hopefully it will help it find a much broader audience who are hungry for this style of honest filmmaking. A pastor and his family move to a small town to start afresh. The pastor was once sold as the “next Billy Graham” but something has obviously changed. His daughter is dark and into cutting and burning herself, his wife hides deep secrets of their past, and his story is about to thrust into the national spotlight due to a civil liberties case. The denouement of this film is way too long, but almost necessary to unravel all the threads that make up this complicated, yet compelling storyline. Look for it next Spring in select theatres. My good friend (and editor of two of my own films) James Burgess did the editing on this film and it’s definitely worth a watch.
RELEASE: 2013 – Not Yet Released
SUMMARY: This movie will make you consider downsizing your current way of life
DETAILS: A young man who is turning thirty searches for the meaning of “home” when he embarks on a mission to build a tiny house. What begins as a summer project takes over a year of his life as he struggles to complete his undertaking. I love the ideas presented in this film of living less cluttered and more simply. I wish the film would have dug deeper into the relationship between the main guy and his girlfriend who was helping build the house. In essence, that’s the deeper, real, more human story taking place. Will their relationship survive? Will they live happily ever after in this tiny house? Those are the lines I wanted to see explored and unfortunately it was more about building their house, than building their lives.