Monday, August 30, 2010

Reel Insight Episode 12 - Drew Barrymore

Rachel and I had a good time discussing our predictions for the Emmys (wow, were we not good at it!) and then the career of Drew Barrymore.  One thing I'm going to try to add to these posts is a brief description of the "new" movies I watch because of our "star of the week".  I've watched quite a few in the past few months, and usually I'd review them in a DVD Round-Up, but I think they'll make more sense grouped here.  Just short blurbs.  Also, we had a winner in our summer Quotable Quotes game.  Congrats!  And keep playing.

Everybody's Fine - The vehicle for Robert DeNiro follows the recent widower as he tries to reconnect with his kids, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell, and another adult child, David, we never meet.  DeNiro has some health problems and since the death of his wife, the communicator in the family, he has felt disconnected from his kids.  He embarks on a trip (train, plane, bus, etc.) to visit them all.  He goes to David's in NYC and he's not home, then to Beckinsale's in Chicago where he finds her husband not at home, and a grandson nothing like he'd been told (poor grades, etc.).  He brushes off these inconsistencies and doesn't challenge her about lying to him.  His visit to Rockwell sees him as a  symphony percussionist rather than the conductor his dad thinks he has been.  Again, no challenge to the lies.  Drew Barrymore's character was the most confusing.  A friend asks her to baby-sit, and later we find out the baby is Drew's and the friend is her girlfriend.  I didn't see that until it was explained at the end of the movie.  DeNiro is terrific, finally calling out his kids and trying to put everything on the table.  The others have weak roles and none rise above (though Rockwell is good). 

Donnie Darko - I can see why this is a cult classic.  It's crazy.  Reminded me of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, with it's time shifting, and mystery voices, etc. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a high school kid who is crazy, hears voices, and knows the end is coming.  However, he's also surrounded by lots of strangeness so it's hard to tell the difference.  Drew plays his English teacher, trying to teach them to think and experience the world creatively.  It's a good role for her.  The movie is weird, but I'd watch it again.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind -  This movie also starred George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and next week's Reel Insight star of the week, Sam Rockwell.  It's a fictionalize account of Chuck Barris' (Rockwell) memoirs where he hints that in addition to being a TV producer, he was an assassin for the CIA.  Drew plays Penny, Barris' girlfriend and wife.  She starts out as a crazy wild child, but she puts up with his crazy too.  However, then she grows up, and he doesn't.  She's actually a great character, though the movie is kind of odd too.  Roberts is a fellow assassin, and Clooney plays the guy who recruits him to the CIA (and directed the flick).  Excellent directing, particularly given that it's his first time out. 


The Mad Hatter said...

I'm the Mad Hatter and I endorse this podcast.

Nick said...

So... winners of this month get guest host privileges, too, right? :P