Saturday, March 16, 2013

I don't deserve to be sitting at your table.

I've had some bad Thanksgivings. The three worst ones, in no particular order, go something like this:

#1. 1993. As is tradition, my family gathered around the TV to watch the Cowboys game. In an unusually snowy Dallas, the Cowboys looked to have the game in hand against the Miami Dolphins. I won't go in to much detail, but the words Leon and Lett are forbidden on Turkey Day. A special f--k you to my friend Haspe on this one.
#2. 1997 or 1998, not really sure which. I was in college, and ended up having Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house. Things are going well, plates are being cleared, when all of a sudden, my uncle bursts in with his gigantic then-girlfriend/ex-wife. Both of them are all smiles. We just got married! [again]. The vibe in the room went from actually joyous, to canned happiness at best. My grandmother's cooking skills were unrivaled, but her acting skills? Anything but.
#3. 1990. My sister was born. And while that's a really good thing, accidentally seeing my mom completely naked in the hospital later that day wasn't. Damn you, bathroom mirrors, damn you. She was peeking around the door, but I had inadvertently taken a bad angle, to say the least. [sorry, Mom]

It's fair to say that my trio of less-than-awesome family gatherings doesn't really compare with the Thanksgiving shenanigans in Deadfall. I mean, yeah, the Cowboys loss might've made me want to jump out the window, but at least I didn't get tackled through it. And while my aunt and uncle ultimately ended up divorced again, at least they weren't brother and sister. And my mom? Nope. Not even gonna try to connect that one.

While I almost opted for House at the End of the Street, at the last minute I decided to deny myself the bouncy goodness of Jennifer Lawrence and rent Deadfall. Being that I had never heard of it, I was swayed by a shorter runtime and a solidly eclectic cast. Eric Bana, though criminally absent from a lot of mainstream flicks, has always been a favorite.

Over a snowy Thanksgiving, siblings Addison (Bana) and Liza (the sexy Olivia Wilde) find themselves wandering through the woods after the car they were riding in crashes. Seems they've done something unsavory, as there's a large amount of money to gather in the wreckage. Larceny aside, something else is amiss as Addison's gaze lingers a little too long on his sister as she adjusts her short skirt. Oh, and you wouldn't like him when he's angry as he kills everyone he meets, too. Other than that? He's a good dude.

Meanwhile, Jay (Charlie Hunnam, who I've never heard of), a former Olympic boxer, is released from jail and decides to head home for the holiday. He's got issues with his dad (Kristofferson), but Mom (Spacek) is eagerly awaiting his arrival to their small town. Jay, still stewing about his time behind bars, gets involved in something almost immediately after being released, so he's looking over his shoulder the whole time.

As you might guess, these two stories will intersect, and things will be resolved at what is likely one of the worst Thanksgiving dinners ever. At ours, someone usually unloads their bitterness, not their shotgun. Well, so far anyway.

Always hoping for holiday fireworks, are the Yays and Boos. But since we live closer to my wife's family, they've been let down repeatedly. Yeah, turns out their the sane ones. Bor-ing!

Whoa. I just found out she was in The OC. Hottest cast ever?
  • Still reading? Well, the biggest Yay of them all would go to Olivia Wilde and her willingness to appear nude in this film. Like being hungry on Thanksgiving, you wait, mouth watering, and just like that - it's over. But. It was good while it lasted. Shit. Now you've got to clean up. (too far?)
  • Anyway, seriously, the cast is very cool. All the aforementioned people deliver, espeically considering this is basically DTV.
  • I've always love a good scene when the main character f--ks with the wrong guy. Even if they ultimately win, it's nice to see some unexpected ass kicking from a nameless pawn.
  • Wow, Bana always plays the toughest of dudes. I mean, if someone cut my friggin' pinky off, pretty sure it's going to do more than slightly piss me off.
  • Jeez. Speaking of, the hot and cold remedy for lost finger actually made me look away. 
  • But the ultimate moment of averting my eyes came later at the dining room table. I'm still shaking my hand and thinking no f--king way could anyone do that.
  • And finally, as cliched and silly as this film ultimately is, it moves briskly and has enough violence and action to satisfy (with the right expectations). Oh, and did I mention you get to see Quorra's boobs?
I feel like this could be a still from Hanna [review].
  • As much as I liked the cast, it's not all good. I think most of the leads weren't speaking their native tongue, and it's painfully obvious. It's like everyone is working on their Batman voice.
  • Treat Williams. Sir, I will always love you after the awesomely bad Deep Rising, but you play the worst character ever. Is there a scene when your Sheriff Becker isn't a huge dick? Fine. Other than that one.
  • Oh, and your daughter, the lovely Kate Mara? Awful. Not only is every man on the force a huge douche to her, but her arc is the weakest in the film. She's basically considered a shitty officer because, get this, she's a girl! But, shhh. Don't tell anyone. She's actually the best.
  • Now, I know that realism left town awhile ago, but two things irritated me. The barbwire trick (pretty sure he didn't have time to pull that one) and the complete absence of seeing people's breath in a frickin' snowstorm. But, I did see a boob, so I'll let Deadfall off with a warning. This time.
  • Personally, I've always felt awkward saying grace at dinner. Well, here, it's about 900 times worse.
  • During the final scene, Sherrif A-hole McGee pulls off the worst tactical move ever. His strategy to get the killer? Jump into the room and shoot someone in the back. Fingers crossed it's the right guy!
  • And finally, how does this kind of cast create something that ends up as Redbox fodder? Unacceptable!
Well, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. You know, two hundred and fifty seven days from now. 


  1. Oh God I hope you'll see House at the End of the Street because your review of it would be hilarious!

    After reading this I think I'm gonna give it a shot, I really like Bana, Wilde and Spacek and the film seems entertaining. No wonder you let things slide because of Olivia's boobs - my God she is so pretty! One of the very few reasons I watched House MD for so long.

    1. Ha - thanks. I will definitely check that one out, you know, for serious reasons.

      Okay, she is insanely pretty. I never really got into House, but I wouldn't change the channel if she was in the scene. Yowzers.

      I'm pretty sure you're going to hate the shit out of this movie, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

  2. My worst Thanksgiving was the year my father-in-law's funeral fell on Thanksgiving weekend. It was a horrible tragedy -- he was a great guy. But the mood was lightened considerably when my sweet-faced six-year-old daughter loudly and proudly informed EVERYONE in the room that she knew the "F word." God, my kids are awesome.

    Sorry, I ramble even worse than usual when I have insomnia.

    This doesn't sound like my kinda movie, but as usual I loved your review. Like you, I'm impressed with the eclectic cast. And it sounds like a potentially fun flick, even if you have to suspend disbelief a lot. And it sounds like the opportunity to see boobs covers a multitude of sins. :-)

    1. Well timed profanity is the ultimate mood lightener. Can't wait till my son drops some innocent F bombs. Hopefully, the timing won't be under similar circumstances to yours. Major Boo right there.

      That's okay! I was up too.

      It's not just boobs, it's who they're connected to. I never thought Ms. Wilde would do such a thing, so I was pretty shocked when it happened. It was magical.

  3. Hmm.. I read the beginning of your review (you always have the best anecdotes) and skimmed a bit down but I think I’m interested enough based on what I’ve read so far to check it out (eventually) and then return to read the rest of your review. Good work!

    1. Please, skimming most of what I write is the correct move - always.

      Let me know what you think!

      Thanks. That means a lot, coming from somebody associated with the juggernaut of awesome that is FTS.

    2. I only skimmed because I wanted to avoid getting too much info! Not anything to do with the quality of the review haha. It sounded interesting from the start so I wanted to keep things vague for when I give it a watch.