Thursday, November 28, 2013
I'm gonna keep it simple, RUN don't walk to the nearest cinema to see this film on the Big Screen before it is unjustly and prematurely consigned to DVD/Download oblivion. Because in the final analysis, this movie represent's actor Bruce Dern's Last Stand, an epic characterization of a sad Alzheimer's addled retiree Will Grant's meandering trek across Montana and Nebraska in search of a spurious million dollar sweepstake's winning. Sad witholding and broken by life, this part may well be Dern's Legacy, a dessicated American King Lear eloquent with every haunted thousand yard stare, with everything he doesn't say. Guided in turn, to his inevitable destination by his son Will Forte who is in every way Lear's Fool desperate to both keep his father rooted in reality while trying to keep the old man's fragile illusions alive. "Nebraska" is a sort of homage to every son with depleted aging broken father, I lived this story for three long years until last January brought the whole journey to it's end...I can pay this movie no higher praise. In fact I'm not sure there is a single off performance anywhere in the film especially among it's heavy allotment of older actors, in particular June Squibb as Dern's deceptively bitchy overwrought wife and Stacy Keach as Will Grant's gamey former partner. Hell they even found a spot for Ron Howard's dad Rance Howard.... In a Well Run Republic, Bruce Dern would be a cinch for the Best Actor Nomination at the upcoming Academy Awards...for that fact June Squibb could easily grace the Best Supporting Actress category...but if the IMDB is to be believed the film cost $13m to make and has garnered about a half million in ticket receipts to date. I have a feeling that Bruce Dern's legacy will not garner the recognition it deserves...this is a shame because the man has paid his dues ten times over starting out with Roger Corman and then soldiering thru a long list of movie psychos and epic hippies. You'd think he'd a earned the consideration at the very least. Well I am afraid this time mere transcendent excellence will have to do....
Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Boston Globe was being thoughtful and tactful in reporting the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. And then today, via the medium of a disparate collection of remarks made by the Late Robert F. Kennedy, Neil Swidey and Bryan Bender managed to read all the major assassination conspiracy tropes into the narrative with the single mindedness of an Oliver Stone. The whole grim conspiracy cast list is trotted out, Jimmy Hoffa, Santos Trafficante, Castro, Khrushchev etc etc. Bender & Swidey even manage to drag out that old dismal canard to the effect that Lee Harvey Oswald did not have the marksmanship skills to successfully shoot anyone from the Texas Book Depository... Good Ghod doesn't anyone read the Warren Report Anymore? Did Messrs Swidey & Bender?? Here...These are some relevant pages to the discussion, but on the simplest level of Occam's Razor, if there was a conspiracy, wouldn't they have bought Oswald a better rifle and given him more shooting range time? No. Why? Because there was No Conspiracy to Kill JFK, Oswald had method motive, opportunity, the advantage of lax ill thought out presidential protection and the incalculable advantage of sheer surprise. Maybe Oswald's USMC marksmanship scores weren't exceptiona, but there he was shooting over 500 yards under unrecorded conditions, in Dealey Plaza it was half that range with pristine weather and a good scope on his firearm. Lastly, I just wanna make one general point as a student of history, no conspiracy iterates complete concealment over time, sooner or later somebody climbs their perch, shakes out their feathers and sings like a canary. The fact that this hasn't happened is no tribute to the cloak around the alleged conspiracy, but rather an indicator that there never was a conspiracy to begin with, no shoe left to drop guys. And reading all this into the Sunday Globe via Bobby Kennedy's doubts, fears and grief, himself a man who cannot answer for any of it...is plainly sneaky and a little grotesque. Bad Show...Bad Show.