Movie Monday: Did You See and Agree?
It’s Monday! I saw a movie! Let’s discuss.
Let’s just start with the obvious. Any movie with Robert Downey Jr. is awesome because he’s Robert Downey Jr. I can’t think of one thing I’ve seen him where he disappointed me, unlike some other actors who started in the 1980s (Cusack, I’m looking at you). He’s a really good actor. REALLY. And watching him in scenes with Robert Duvall was like watching a master class. If you think of not seeing this flick, see it for the two of them, as Peter Travers said in Rolling Stone (and I agree).
The story mostly revolves around Hank (RDJ) and the Judge (Duvall)’s father-son relationship, misconceptions, misunderstandings, hiding behind hurt/anger/pain. It’s emotional and I thought it was true-to-life. The other people in the cast — Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, and others — were good, but I found some of the story unnecessary and clichéd. Hank and his old girlfriend reminiscing felt especially old and worn out. There was even a scene of Hank and the Judge arguing with the threat of a tornado outside — wind blowing, them huffing and puffing through their most intense argument. After the storm, they began to lay the groundwork for understanding. That imagery has been done a million times, movie peeps. My only other complaint: twas a wee bit too long.
I’ll give it 2.5 stars out of 4. If they had cut the length and the cliches, and focused more on just RDJ and Duvall and it would have been a 4. Great actors, compelling emotionality that could have been overwrought and ruined by less capable performers. And still, it’s better than the three Oscar-nominated flicks I’ve seen this year — Birdman, Whiplash, and Boyhood (btw, is Boyhood over yet???).
(In case you’re new, I catch everything on DVD and am about 6 months or more behind everybody else).
If for nothing else, see it for RDJ in his old Metallica shirt. Go back with him briefly to the 80s, then watch him own the courtroom scene with his dad circa now. Amazing.
Movie Monday is my extremely infrequent movie review series. Click the tag or the category to read more reviews.