Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reel Insight - Episode 29: Vince Vaughn

Usually I try to come up with my own description of our episodes or pretty much, but this week I laughed out loud reading Rachel's description, so I'm just flat out stealing it - I hope she'll forgive me.

"And we're back to our regularly scheduled program with Plugs, Feedback, Movie Minutes, TV Talk, Actor of the Week and Quotable Quotes. Jess dared to watch The Last Airbender after hearing my thoughts on last week's episode, while I'm still gnawing on the good scraps from 2010 with the other facebook movie, Catfish. As for new television, Jess finally gave in and started watching the old series Veronica Mars, while I dove in head first into the newer version of Doctor Who, after wrapping up the final season of Angel, of course.

Then we jump into the Actor of the Week with that tall fellow, Vince Vaughn. We branch out into some of his more serious or obscure roles, but we must come back to the recent crap too."

New movies I saw with Vince Vaughn this week:

Clay Pigeons - Vince befriends Joaquin Phoenix who has come into some trouble when his girlfriend's husband shoots himself and frames Phoenix.  Then the girlfriend shoots his new girlfriend and he has to make the body disappear.  He and Vince are fishing when another body appears.  Eventually we find out Vince is really a serial killer and Jeanne Garafalo is the FBI agent out to find him.  The movie is really uneven, but Vince does a pretty good job acting throughout.

Into the Wild - Vince plays a very small part as a corrupt farmer who befriends Emile Hirsh on his incredibly selfish journey of "self-discovery".  The other small parts - Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook - are terrific, but this movie made both Rachel and I so angry because he's just a little asshole throughout.  Here's a paragraph from an e-mail I sent a friend after I watched it.  "Okay, I watched Into the Wild this morning (Vince Vaughn week).  I kind of knew his story, but didn't really realize what a kook he was.  I'm sorry he died (because he was stupid) but so many people tried to give him some wisdom or help and he even idolized people who had good ideas. His behavior was insanely selfish and it was hard to see why he would want to abandon society and yet accept work from Burger King or McDonalds?  He met some great people who were doing similar things and yet was so pathologically anti-social that he would not do anything for them.  Hal Holbrook was awesome, Catherine Keener was awesome.  Even Vince Vaughn did a pretty good job.  Emile Hirsh is less annoying in this than other movies, but he doesn't make the character any more appealing.  I get why people might consider him someone worthy of emulation (as Wikipedia reports about others who have tried to live off the land) but I think he was mentally ill to have let himself die rather than seek help.  Getting down to 67 lbs (according to Wiki) doesn't happen overnight.  It would have taken months of barely eating.  Which means he probably would have had enough time to walk around enough to find people or get himself out.  I can believe dying in Alaska in fall or winter, but in August?  Really?  This movie made me mad.  His attitude about rafting down a river without a permit and the idea that "rivers should be for everyone to use, permits are for right-wing government fascists" pisses me off as an environmentalist who knows that it's the only way to preserve the river.  End rant."

Thumbsucker - I keep thinking about this movie - it's odd, trying to be very indie, but missing the mark somehow.  Vince plays a high school teacher and debate coach who befriends the hero (the thumbsucker - diagnosed by his dentist, Keanu Reeves).  He thinks the Thumbsucker can be a great debater, and he is - with the help of some ADD drugs.  Strange movie about finding your self-esteem and growing up, but again Vince is good not being himself.  


Rachel said...

Ha! No worries; I shan't be suing you.

Rachel said...

Btw, the extended Catfish spoiler discussion that got cut was 10 minutes! And that infamous dead silence lasted 10 whole seconds before you said something:)