Friday, July 1, 2011

Feature Presenation--Draper, Dud, and The Devil

Mad Men Season 4

After listening to recaps on Tony Kornheiser, I was eagerly anticipating this season. Of course, I had forgotten much of what had been said, so nothing was ruined.

The opening episodes were quite depressing and having a cocktail, in the spirit of the show, was not the way to go. After two episodes, I was curled up in a corner, not wanting to come out.

Don Draper was in the quite the shame spiral as his tight knit, well constructed life unraveled quickly, and he spent a while on the bad choice mat, sleeping with his secretary, losing potential clients and allowing an award to go to his head.

Plus there were weird asides like hooking up with the doctor (to whom he reveals his real identity), journaling (goes introspective and then ditches it) and the return of his ex-f*** buddy who has become an artist (which reveals that this guy just has money to burn).

The season ends with him proposing to his secretary, which cannot end well. But we may never see how it ends as circumstances are coming together which may delay the next season, dare I say end the show. I would like them to at least go one more season and wrap up some of the loose ends but you never know.

If you’re not on the bandwagon by now, I don’t know what to tell you.

War Inc.

This could have been good as a commentary on nation building, Halliburton’s role in the military and the industry of celebrity, but ends up falling flat with a convoluted story involving the main character (Cusack), his love interest (Tomei) and his newfound daughter (Duff). The ending never seems to end and the credits are a welcome entrance back into reality.



Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

The performances by Hoffman and Hawke make this worth watching. Hoffman’s life is totally falling apart and he will stop at nothing to try to use money as a problem solver. His intensity is palpable as he lies to, coerces, and manipulates everyone around him. Hawke, usually the good looking lead, plays a timid, luckless mama’s boy who lurches from one failure to another. Everything he touches turns to shit and the key point of the film is no exception.

The film is not only what would you do for money, but the consequences of those actions, and the movie is very deliberate in taking its time towards a stunning finale.

See it.

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