Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

F32: Dallas Buyer's Club- Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

"I swear it, Ray, God sure was dressin' the wrong doll when he blessed you with a set of balls."

We have a winner. Several, hopefully. Packing the force of a Mike Tyson right cross, this small 4 million dollar budgeted film is a force to be reckoned with. 34 days of filming. 47 pounds shed. And just a shade over 20 years to rework a screen play that culminates in Matthew McConaughey's epic role as the mercurial Ron Woodruff. I flat out loved this movie. The rawness. The grit. The assertive truculent way that the story unfolds. And then you have the acting. Holy tornado is there acting. After 5 minutes into Dallas Buyer's Club you forget you are watching a movie. You become swept up with the events onscreen and feel like you are parked outside a bay window with binoculars watching this man's life. There is something beautifully haunting about watching a train wreck and this movie is no different. McConaughey is cadaverously brilliant in his portrayal of a man who, faced with the grim atonement for the plethora of poor decisions he made in his life, fights with every fiber of his being for the chance of redemption.

Ron Woodruff is a drifter. Foul mouthed, homophobic and derelict he works his way through life at a break neck pace. Working at a rodeo outside of Dallas, in Ron's world he has it all. A little cash in the pocket, a liter of Jack in his belly and a legion of drugs crawling through his veins. His world unravels when his mild headaches morph into episodes of seizure and unconsciousness. While at the hospital he learns that he has HIV and is given 30 days to live. This death sentence galvanizes Ron's life and ironically, finally gives him purpose. He travels across the border to Mexico and begins smuggling untested, but effective drugs back for redistribution amongst fellow HIV/AIDS patients. Throughout his mission of reeducating people of how best to treat their illness he meets Rayon. Played exquisitely by the musically inclined Jared Leto, the two find comfort in their efforts and incidentally form the most improbable of friendships. 

Overall this film blew me away. After hearing about it for months, I was finally able to squeeze it in before the big awards show this coming weekend. With all the big budget movies it will be up against, I really hope that it gets the recognition that it deserves. While the Academy awards are not the end all for how successful a movie was, you just hope this movie gets what it deserves. The commitment of McConaughy to lose that amount of weight is astounding. He was on Actor's Studio discussing his role and how he stayed inside for 4 months to achieve supreme paleness and what his diet consisted of. Amazingly enough, he mentioned that despite all the muscle mass he lost, he felt extraordinarily acute and hyper observant to everything happening around him during filming. He felt like he became Woodruff and it definitely showed on camera. If you have time this week, find your way to the box office or check the In Theaters tab of your pay per view movie downloadables and watch this amazing movie. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

F31: Monuments Men-Directed by George Clooney

"Let's get outta here."

I really wanted to love this movie, but it stunk. With a sterling cast including Matt Damon, John Goodman, George Clooney and Bill Murray, I had really high expectations for this film and it was a major disappointment. Historical drama is just about my favorite genre of film and this one plotted around the Nazi ransacking of Europe's most famous art treasures had the promise of being memorable. Memorable it was not. It had the feel of watching a M*A*S*H marathon, complete with a score that was abhorrently annoying. This biggest problem with Monuments of Men was that it lacked the gravity of what a picture on such a topic should have embraced. It was too fatuous, too disjointed and poorly edited.  It was a collection of scenes loosely stitched together, set in entirely in different keys. Drama? Comedy? Thriller? Character study? Bollocks. 

Frank Stokes (Clooney) assembles a team of art enthusiasts to tromp around Nazi Germany in an attempt to reclaim over 1,000 years of high jacked culture. The biggest prize being the Madonna and Child statue of Bruges sculpted by Michelangelo. Our team of heroes bumble around unearthing caches of paintings and do everything they can to restore rightful ownership. With the war coming to a close and news of Hitler's Nero Decree to burn everything looming, the treasure hunt becomes a race against time. About the only positive thing that I can say about this film was how it made you think of how demonically unstable Hitler really must have been. Here is someone who loved painting and truly enjoyed an affinity for art, only to become hell bent on eradicating many of the world's greatest artistic treasures. Outside of that thought, stay away from this movie. Don't even bother renting it.  Enjoy the trailer posted below and the unfulfilled promise of what could have been a great movie. C'mon Clooney, you are better than that.