Tag Archives: john goodman

Another Side of Llewyn Davis

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“there’s a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I’m too tough for him,

I say, stay in there, I’m not going

to let anybody see

you.”

– Charles Bukowski

The Coen Bros. latest flick “Inside Llewyn Davis” literally hit close to home for me. For starters, a few scenes were shot in my neighborhood – and with that I’ve followed the shooting progress chronicled on the numerous local daily blogs adding to my already growing anticipation since 2011. But I’d rather not get into or bore you with my own private Idaho, because its real allure is that I too have a fondness and romanticism for the bygone era of those bohemian Greenwich Village days of the late Fifties and early Sixties when it rivaled the art scene of 1920s Paris. To think that on any given night back then you could catch the likes of Miles, Woody, Mingus, Lenny, Coltrane, Ginsberg, Dolphy, Cosby, or that hack hipster Kerouac just to name a few. It seriously must of been like living in Jazz Heaven whereas now it’s just turned into an extension of the NYU campus.

inside llywen davis

Anyway, as you know for every one of these prominent cats there are countless others who have fallen by the wayside and it’s this framework the Coen Bros. have concocted the character Llewyn, the struggling folk musician who has recently lost his singing partner after he committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Now left out in the cold we follow and piece together a few day odyssey in the winter of 1961 stumbling along couches, ex-girlfriends, coffee houses, recording sessions, road trips, shabby record label offices, estranged family members, auditions, dark alleys, a couple of cats, folkies, merchant marines, professors, junkies, music managers, beatniks, and of course the arrival of Bob fucking Dylan.

inside llywen davis

As usual with the Coens, the production design, clothing, characters, and music are all spot on. And even without sky fallen Roger Deakins – replacement Bruno Delbonnel’s talents are finally recognized because, let’s face it, Harry Potter and Dark Shadows are the usual Hollywood crap.

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It’s good to see John Goodman back after over a decade long absence from the Coens. I only hope that Carey Mulligan never returns, because she’s already in one scene too many playing her usual cocksucking self. As for Oscar Davis, even though Llewyn Davis’ character is seemingly narcissistic and frustrated, he emboldens his character with an underlying integrity to his music of interpretation of folk tunes, which in a way is an art form in itself and apparent when he performs. The irony is that the times are a-changin’ and the advent of the singer songwriter artist is just around the corner leading to fame, success, and vision.

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I initially thought about using the oft Dylan quote to begin this with “there is no success like failure and that failure is no success at all,” but considering the Coen’s have alluded to Llewyn Davis to be loosely based on Dave Van Ronk I’d like to think that unlike many of the critics that have the impression that Llewyn is a selfish arrogant folk purist (one who’s not even political?!) that he eventually, like Van Ronk finds his niche. Mainstream success never comes but he will at least find his direction home just like that cat Ulysses does in the end.

inside llewyn davis

“Holding up my purring cat to the moon I sighed.” – Jack Kerouac

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Skyfail

A fucking moron could have told you don’t drink and fly before wasting 2 plus hours watching Robert Zemeckis’ Flight. But maybe it’s still worth the price of admission for the first 30 minutes alone which are riveting. And I’m not just talking about that spectacular plane crash but also the opening shot of the flight attendant’s T & A, Denzel’s butt crack, and the bump in the morning that proceeds the wreckage before this movie literally takes a nose dive.
In the wake of this, Denzel, who plays an alcoholic commercial airline pilot, struggles to pick up the pieces and along the way picks up a strung out woman (Kelly Reilly) recovering from an overdose of hillbilly heroin in one of those hotspot hospital stairwells. But this subplot romance is just an excuse to have somebody count all the fucking empty bottles of booze Denzel consumes and nag him to attend AA before his upcoming criminal liable investigation – where because of a defective mechanical part he saved the majority of the passengers, drunk as skunk, by using the old flying – the plane – upside down – trick. Though what was really defective was the old alkie father – estranged  from his son – trying to repair the relationship – trick. I mean we’ve all seen that before, and being that it is a big budget Hollywood movie we all know that corny redemption ending of course. As well as the loveable comic relief drug dealer, John Goodman, for all those pinheads in the audience still hung up on the silliness of such make believe characters in Argo. But maybe Goodman is on to something, with shades of Walter Sobchak, in that he’s able to be more animated than the other supporting cast that just read as a bunch of uptight corporate stiffs that represent the airlines interest in Denzel. At least his co-pilot was memorable as a Jesus freak.
If I was in Denzel’s shoes when asked who drank the vodka, I would’ve just simply said, “I don’t know” to the prosecutor – and rather than be behind bars, hit the bars after instead. And then order me up a vodka martini shaken, not stirred, to get myself in the mood to see Skyfall in IMAX this Friday! So fuck y’all!

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ARGO FUCK YOURSELF!


First, let’s just get this out of the way, the only reason why the CIA gives a rats ass about Iran is the fact that it has one of the largest proven oil reserves. That being said, Argo begins with a montage of stock footage and a brief narrative history lesson on Iran’s political chaos and succession of dictators/supreme leaders in the 20th century leading up to the year of the infamous hostage crisis that we all know lasted until the minute after Reagan was sworn in – immediately arousing suspicions of a conspiracy, known as the October Surprise Theory. But that’s another story, probably for the limousine liberals like Oliver Stone and Michael Moore.

Anyway, Ben Affleck not only struggles to convince us that he is to be taken seriously as filmmaker, but also that this so-called taut, suspenseful, political caper thriller of six American diplomats who evade capture and are holed up in Iran is “based” on a true story – when in fact the actual escape depicted in this movie orchestrated by super shaggy exfiltration CIA expert, Tony Mendez, (played none other than hero Ben) was a complete fabrication and distortion (with maybe the exception of the shuttle bus engine not starting right away) and just an excuse for him to create nonexistent tension with cross cut editing and extreme close ups of all the diplomats sweating bullets trying to board a plane out of Dodge.

But don’t trust me, the side by side stills comparing images of 1980 vs. Ben’s vision during the end credits are proof positive on just how accurate this romp was or it’s sad attempt for authenticity. And yes I understand it’s only a fucking movie and the concept of dramatic license, but if you can believe this than you probably believe that Ben and Matt actually penned Goodwill Hunting.

To be fair I did find the cover story of a phony Hollywood sci-fi movie production to be fun and amusing, but it was killed by contrived snappy, cute dialogue delivered by Alan Arkin and John Goodman.

But it was credible enough to enamor all those old fogies like Rex Reed who’s year’s favorites include Hope Springs, and also able to distract them evil Iranians who were busy playing aliens and shooting finger space guns at each other before they jumped into cars attempting to chase a down a 747 plane as it’s taking off. Whoa, that sure was a close call! For a minute there I actually thought that they would paint the plane into a corner and kill them all! But thank God Ben saves the day and God Bless America.

“It’s a little like masturbation. You gotta know what you want, know

where you are going, it’s intuitive.” – Ben Affleck on directing himself

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