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Monday, November 27, 2017

LAST FLAG FLYING and LADY BIRD

The top three films this weekend were Coco ($49 million), Justice League ($41 million) and Wonder ($22 million).  I avoid animated and comics movies, and just can't go to another Mask.  This was not the Jim Carrey version, which speaks for itself.

I was looking forward to Murder on the Orient Express, mostly because I catch the Trans-Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto next week, but timing was wrong.  The 1974 MOTOE with Albert Finney as Hercule Poiret was better rated, anyway.

So I went to see two productions that mostly depressed me.  Mind you, they were okay, but don't go if you want any kind of truly happy ending.

                                 B.O. Mojo     Rotten Tomatoes        My Rating
                                                     Reviewers  Audience


Last Flag Flying           #18               75             70                  B

Lady Bird                      #11             100             89                  B- 

Last Flag Flying was directed by Richard Linklater (he won the Oscar for Boyhood three years ago), starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishbone, who are drawn together as Vietnam War marines to meet the body of Carell's son, a marine, killed in Iraq.  This was all about the politics of unpopular wars, although God keeps coming into the conversation.  While mostly solemn, there are moments of humor.  The acting was good, but the minor roles played by two Marines, Yul Vazquez as the Colonel, and J.Q. Johnson as the war buddy of the son, stood out as outstanding.

Lady Bird left me totally dissatisfied. For such a highly rated film (not that many 100's by Rotten Tomatoes reviewers), I was fully expecting a turning point, a memorable moment, anything...and the film simply ended.  The opening scene when Lady Bird jumps out of a car driven by her mother was a shock, but it was almost non-stop bickering, whining, discord and discomfort.  I don't need that.  Only 1.5 hours long, an additional half an hour of pure entertainment would have been appreciated.  Directed and written by Greta Gerwig, 34, and already associated with a few memorable productions, this effort reminds me of Sacramento, her home town, and where the movie took place.  However, there is something about what she has accomplished thus far that has me anticipating something spectacular in her future.  But I still can't help but wonder why most reviewers absolutely loved this film.  But I'm used to being in the tiny minority.

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