Monday, June 9, 2014

If only you'd been a little faster.

No thanks, I'm good.

That's what I would say, whenever anybody offered me a ride. There I was, trudging home in the blazing Hawaiian heat, seemingly miles from my house, turning down a ride. Minutes before, I would be quietly praying that someone would offer to pick me up. But sure enough, whenever it did happen, I'd politely refuse then kick myself (and a rock, usually) the entire way home. And while I always thought it would be the walk that would kill me, who knew it might've been the ride?

In 2003's Mystic River, it's an accepted ride home that kills someone, not a half-mile walk in nice weather. Oddly enough, the death occurs decades later, but the beginning of the end (as it were), can certainly be traced back to that tragic day many years prior.

Set in Boston, this Clint Eastwood directed (and Oscar nominated) film tells the story of three childhood friends, Jimmy, Sean and Dave, who are all thrust back together, following the murder of Jimmy's 19 year-old daughter. Sean (Kevin Bacon) has grown up to be a homicide cop, and is unfortunately tasked with telling his old (former?) friend Jimmy (a Best Actor-winning Sean Penn) that it's indeed, his daughter that has been murdered. On the sidelines is the reclusive Dave (Tim Robbins, also winning an Oscar here), who may or may not be involved in the death.

Seeing this film for the first time as research for Fisti's Twice a Best Actor series, I was kind of disappointed with the end result. By reputation alone, I was thinking this movie was going to devastate me, in a good way, but I finished it with a shrug and sigh, instead of really giving a damn. Maybe it's my cold and empty heart, or maybe, this one simply hasn't aged well.

While maybe the direction is to blame (blasphemy, I know, but did you ever see Trouble With the Curve [review] um, not that Clint directed it or anything), or maybe the cast (double blasphemy, well, if that's a thing) is the true culprit (at least some of their dialogue anyway), I sure as Hell won't blame the story. On paper, and by that I mean the novel the film was based on, things are pretty solid. An intense story about grief and loss ignite old demons, unleashing Hell on all those involved. Seems like in capable hands we'd have a winner, but in my opinion, not quite. 

Both Oscar-winning performances seem overdone and at times, silly, and the pacing of the movie seems to let some of the overacting stagnate. At times, everything seemed too staged or showy, when all I wanted was something real. Penn's Jimmy is intense, sure, but's kind of all or nothing. Bacon, as the cop, isn't really given anything to do, and the bit with his wife made me cringe. But really rubbing me the wrong way was Dave, played as a nine-foot goofball by Robbins. He sort of wanders the Earth shifting from crazy to more crazy at the drop of a hat. Clearly, I'm wrong in every way possible, but looking back, I can't shake it. This one felt like it would make the best MST3K episode ever.

What wouldn't make a good anything are the Yays and Boos. The three of us were really down on all things Boston, but Papi crushed one off Joba tonight, and we're right back to loving that dirty water, you know?

You know who called the cops? Yep. Mr. Hand.
  • The Savage Brothers. Whether it's a clever nickname or not, who knows, but what I do know for sure, is I like these f--kers and that lovably insane Townie mentality they do everything with.
  • What-what-whaaat? Ari Graynor is in the for thirty seconds? Awesome.
  • Liquor Store Guy, Mr. Looney. Not only does this guy sound like every one of my uncles, but he owns a liquor store, so he probably really knows every one of my uncles.
  • Subtitle Guy. Whoever typed this shit up was really picking and choosing, which oddly enough, I respect. Seriously, this dude doesn't believe the deaf and hard of hearing need to read all the curse words, because he took out nearly half of them.
  • Concurrent Investigations. Near the end, it's pretty cool as the shit hits the fan in two different locations at the same time. I guess that's shits hitting the fans, right?
  • Empty bars. I don't drink, at all, but even I know it's not going to end well if the bar my angry friend takes me to is totally f--king void of witnesses people.
  • Confessions. Man, they are the worst. But also, the best.
  • And finally, the ending. In a word, f--k. Well fine, let me elaborate: Aww, f--k!
So handsome, right? (I'm talking about the banner)

  • I got this at the library. Yeah, it's pretty much 1985 around here. Always. Worse? DVD (what, no blu ray?) and FULLSCREEN (the f--k?).
  • FULLSCREEN. Yeah, I know. It's getting two. F--k you, it's my site.
  • Rester Street. Well, not the street actually, living on the street. Because it's far away. And you need a ride to get there.
  • No more, please. Says the kid. And us watching. At home. On a FULLSCR--okay, I'm done. Promise.
  • I hate flashbacks that show us something that happened like, four minutes ago. I know I look stupid Clint, but trust me, I'm...okay, okay. Nevermind. Flashback away, kind sir.
  • Emmy Rossum plays Jimmy's daughter, the one that gets killed. While she's a Yay, she shows up at the local pub and proceeds to dance on the bar. While the Sox game is on. 
  • Brendan's mom. Holy shit, this lady is the worst person alive. Why couldn't someone murder her? Oh, right. 'Cause then this movie would have been hilarious.
  • Dave. Dude, that was the worst bedtime story ever. 
  • Marcia Gay Harden. As a rule, I hate her (it's her character in The Mist, I can't let go of that bitch), but here, as Dave's wife, she's pretty good. But there's a scene where she hurriedly walks away from Officer Sean that is so awful, you just might have to see it. Now.
  • Play it again. Don't play that 911 tape again, or ever. Not only was it confusing, it was also incredibly poorly done.
  • Boston Wives. They either call and won't talk, or are totally okay with you killing someone. Shit. I think it turned Linney on, actually.
  • And finally, the end. Not the early part of it, you know, where it should have ended, but the actual end. I swear they left it opened for a sequel.
So, even though I didn't like it, at least I completed my assignment for Fisti's project. But while I watching a movie about a father dealing with the murder of his daughter, I thought, what the f--k, man? This ain't exactly my cup of tea, you know, with my precious little angel sleeping up in her crib. For a minute, this film was rally getting to me, honestly. So if anyone ever asks me to watch this (or something like this) again, you know what I'm going to say?

No thanks. I'm good.


  1. I'm glad that there are no other horrible movies like this (subject wise) in the least I don't think...maybe I should think about it...nope, you're good!

    And yes, this is awful.

    I know what you mean too, about how having kids changes what you can stand to watch. I hate watching things like this. I just hate 'going there'.

    1. Ha. Yeah, I'm not blaming you or's just an awful subject.

      Which I know you have girls, so you probably went there, too. Ugh. Anyway...that Sean Penn, huh? What a performance! And stuff.

  2. I saw this and liked it way back when but didn't get all the Oscar hype. Most if my memory of it has faded but I liked it enough to buy it. So its been taking up space in my collection for years without so much as a re watch. So how much could I have liked it? I'll stop since I'm just confusing myself.

    1. You know, I used to buy movies. A lot. Now, I can't even fathom the idea.

      As for this one, I don't know, really didn't work for me. It might have been all the recognition setting me up for something that would knock me on my ass, instead of just chap it.

      Now, I'm confusing myself.

  3. I haven't seen this one yet, but as a big Clint Eastwood fan (yeah, I even liked Trouble With the Curve) I'm going to eventually get around to checking it out someday. I don't have any kids of my own yet, but I'm a bit of a father-figure to my girlfriend's daughter and if anything, god forbid happened to her there won't be anything standing in my way of getting revenge on her killer. Over the last couple years since she's been in my life, I've noticed I've been more selective in what I watch. For example, I liked the movies Ransom and The Green Mile, but I can't manage to make it entirely through either one of these without having that "WTF" feeling.

    1. Yeah, man. I hear you. I didn't really know what this one was about beforehand, but there were parts that were pretty tough (my daughter is 10 months old). In any movie, well, any decent movie, I think you're supposed to ask yourself what would I do if that were me?, right? And here, I felt the same way as you. Revenge. It's the only option. (but this movie kind of ruins that idea)

      Anyway, if you like Eastwood, you should definitely check this one out. I love the guy...but this one (and especially Curve) didn't really work for me.

  4. What a minute now, Clint didn't direct Trouble With the Curve! Can't fault that man for that lazy flick :)

    I like Mystic River more than you do, but, as always, your review was a hilarious and engaging read. Those Savage Brothers are amazing, aren't they? Such perfect Bostonian bastahds. You hate Marcia Gay Harden? Oh man, I didn't know that. I love her. Although yeah, she was fuckin' nuts in The Mist.

    1. Damn it, man! Here you come, being all totally correct and shit. What the f--k, man?

      Anyway, glad you bother slumming in these parts, and it's good to see we both appreciate the seedy side of Beantown. As for MGH, I only hate her because her she often plays characters that annoy me, but she's talented (and according to my wife) and a very nice person. I can be swayed man, very easily.

      Oh, I fully changed that bit about Clint's just that if I see him in a movie, I assume that he's calling the shots, you know? Like, who the f--k could tell Dirty Harry, um, let's try that again?

  5. Awww, I love that movie! I actually adore Bacon when he is playing the good guys and his character here was such a great guy. Robbins and Penn did overdo it, though. Robbins was just impossibly weird, his scenes were so awkward.

    1. Really? You love this one? Nice.

      Bacon is great, good or evil, but it is nice when he gets to play a halfway decent person. What was with the whole mute wife thing?

      Robbins! He played his character like every scene was his first footsteps on planet Earth.