Tag Archives: rebecca hall

The Town’s Biggest Butthead

“It’s a town full of losers. And I’m pulling out of here to win.”-Born to Run

The Town‘s “critically” acclaimed director, Ben Affleck, earned enough praise from his Gone Baby Gone debut that this time around he’s confident enough to add a co-writer and lead actor cred too. Set in blue-collar Charlestown, Massachusetts, the “bank robbery capital of America” you’d think these bankers and FBI agents would have had surveillance or some better locks (it’s called kryptonite!) or that these gangsters would have to be a team of Ocean 11 charmers. Alas, no. The film starts off with habit masked trick or treaters, douche-bag Dougy MacRay (Ben Affleck), a reborn recovering alcoholic/drug abuser and “mastermind,” and homeboy, wildcard Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), holding up and pointlessly kidnapping “toonie” bank teller, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), who upon her release is questioned by pretty boy FBI agent, Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm). Which poses threat to these townies when they find that in this one square mile town Claire lives around the corner. So Dougy decides to creep and ask Claire out to after taking pity on her crying in a laundromat over some blood stains.

Nothing like a Dunkin Donuts to charm the pants off a girl eh? Followed by a series of  confessions about tortured pasts, “My mother left…,” “My Brother died,” these two skip the small talk and fall fast as Dougy is inspired by her volunteer gardening and assistant teaching to give up the robbing business for good.

Ben admits to wanting to do this script so that he could play the part, but picked the most pathetic of them and is out-shined by Rener who proves he can act outside The Hurtlocker, and John Hamm, who plays Don Drapper, showing no sympathy for anyone and doing whatever it takes to take down these ruffians. Even Blake Lively, who Ben wanted to “give the opportunity to surprise people as a talented actress,” adds a Boston accent to her skank whore role from Gossip Girl, to Ben’s lap. But other than that and some good car chases these Boston track suit wearing townies are leaving a story as dull as it’s title.

“Uh oh B. This just in; life isn’t a fairy tale, and happy endings are few and far between. Forget a grand entrance – Everyone knows that it’s the exit they’ll remember. XOXO” – Gossip Girl

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Woody’s Friendos in Barcelona

After the debacle of Scoop and Cassandra’s Dream, Woody Allen redeems himself with his fourth consecutive movie shot outside his beloved Manhattan. With a stellar cast, Vicky Cristina Barcelona erases the memory of Colin Farrell and Hugh Jackman. Unlike those posers, Javier Bardem tosses aside flipping coins and his captive bolt pistol from No Country for Old Men for a painters brush and an eye for beautiful American tourists (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall) vacationing in Spain for the summer, trying to coax them into a menage a trois by seducing them with their artistic notions of spanish guitar, architecture and wine. But just when you think this trio is wrought with erotic lesbian tension Scarlett finds she can’t hold her liquor, even with the additional weight of her huge ass melons, and Javier and newly engaged Rebecca end up in the dark unwittingly shagging in the bushes.

Yet this episode is just the setup for the introduction to Javier’s ex-suicidal wife, Penelope Cruz, who reveals what a true tortured romantic artist really is through her genuine latin passion, her flights of fancy and raw emotion juxtaposed to those self absorbed Americans. Rounding off this ensemble, Rebecca’s husband (Chris Messina) takes time off from his high powered, social climbing, Wall St. job with the intention of getting married in Barcelona where we see what a dweeb he is compared to Javier who makes out like a bandit by screwing all three girls before he even arrives.

However, with the standard love triangle scenario, Woody shows a different angle of clashing cultures through a brief summer love affair (shot in Spain’s gorgeous light) and how New Yorkers may be too preoccupied with their own neurotic issues of stability and identity and are out of touch with the kind of unadulterated passion and love like the Spaniards. On a sour note, what boggles me is not the use of a narration but that it’s narrated by some dude who reminded me of Bill Scott’s George of the Jungle and Super Chicken and not Woody himself, along with the repetitive one song latin soundtrack from it’s opening to closing credits by Giulia y los Tellarini to help remind you where the movie is set called, “Barcelona”.

Menage a Trois?

 

 

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