Saturday, July 1, 2017

Notes on Baby Driver

Usually when I title a post "notes on" it's a recap of a movie considered with respect to possible Oscar action. This won't be that this time.  Not that there isn't some potential for Oscarness in the movie; it's just that I'm too tired to think about that and want to get some other stuff written down.

Disclaimer: there are probably a lot of spoilers here.

Double disclaimer: there is only on baby in the movie but it never drives. There is no baby driver in this film. Fail.

Baby Driver fails the Bechdel test... I think, I was in the rest room during the one scene in which both Love Interest to Male 1 and Love Interest to Male 2 appear, so it's possible that I missed the scene where the two discuss the lack of women on the Atlanta police force, and/or how lucky they are to both be under 35.

It also breaks the 10-year rule by pairing a 46 year old Jon Hamm with 27 year old Eiza Gonz├ílez (who has the letter Z in her name 3 times) without acknowledging the age difference. If they'd cast Michelle Pfeiffer, someone I'm sure wasn't too busy to take on the role, the age difference would shrink from 19 years to 13 years. Do you suppose someone would wonder about that disparity? Here are some actresses who are more age appropriate for Hamm, who could easily pull of the demands of shooting a gun and kissing Jon Hamm, and who probably would have appreciated being in a high profile movie: Connie Britton, Shannen Doherty (oh, noes, Shannen is battling cancer, we can't have her missing treatments), Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Jennie Garth, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Lisa Bonet, Sanaa Lathan, Samantha Morton, Michelle Rodriguez, Ashley Judd, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lucy Liu, and one of the actresses that prompted me to create this rule in the first place, Samantha Mathis.

A review of the movie I read before seeing it praised the movie's driving scenes as artful and smart, contrasting them with Fast and/or Furious driving scenes that are comically unbelievable (or something like that, I've never seen an F&F movie). Compared to this or this BD's driving scenes seem over the top (although the first of those links includes scenes of a girl driving a getaway car which we all know is impossible).

The movie's blocking/choreography is wonderful and reminds me of Birdman in a good way. Anton Elgort is almost painfully cute in the title role. The rest of the cast do solid, but unexceptional, work.

The sophistication of Doc's (Kevin Spacey) mastermind planning is undermined by the ridiculously basic visuals drawn on his chalkboard and the seemingly trivial toy cars that are used as props a couple of times. The fact that, the minute it is time to clear out of the criminal lair, Spacey's character can be seen methodically packing up $4 worth of used Matchbox cars, instead of getting the fuck out of there, prompts me to ask this question using the parlance of a key scene in the movie: Is Doc retarded? It would explain the blackboard diagrams.

Who the fuck was the dude with the blue truck?

The 6 main characters were named Baby, Bats, Buddy, Darling, Deborah and Doc.

There is a TON of parking in downtown Atlanta these days.

There are some magnificent visuals in the movie: a shot that uses a side view mirror to paint a full picture in a stand-off, another of a wall filled with dryers tumbling loads of primary colored sheets are both really slick==are good justifications for ignoring the many points in the movie where people do very stupid or unbelievable things. I'm not sure a gender reversed version with Dakota Fanning or Sarah Hyland playing Baby would have been as easy to forgive. The wording is clunky on that, but the movie gets a lot of leeway for its stupidity and I doubt women or people of color would have gotten as much berth.

Kudos to whomever assemble the soundtrack and then cast Jon Spencer, Paul Williams, Big Boi and Killer Mike in cameos. Sky Ferreira is in this movie.

Musical Theater Therapy: "Enter You"

From Trick

Song of the Day: "Something Just Like This"

This collaboration between The Chainsmokers and Coldplay was featured during the NCAA basketing balls thing. It's a surprise I haven't heard it before today.



Song: "Something Just Like This"
Artist: The Chainsmokers/Coldplay

Friday, June 30, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "Home For Wayward Girls"

From Breakfast at Tiffany's the Musical

Song of the Day: "Roaming in Teesdale"

This is confusing when you factor in yesterday's song of the day... this is Black Hill & Cousin Silas.



Song: "Roaming in Teesdale"
Artist: Black Hill & Cousin Silas

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Song of the Day: "Tired Voice"

The dude from The March Divide almost died in Arizona. He didn't, but that near death experience inspired the Don't Let Me Die in Arizona EP from which this track is pulled.



Song: "Tired Voice"
Artist: The March Divide

Musical Theater Therapy: "Everything Taboo"

From Taboo

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Disappointing David Brooks, Part 413

David is disappointed and in Aspen

How are we disappointing David Brooks this week?

Well if you're a Republican politician he's disappointed that you hate Obamacare but weren't actually motivated to craft an alternative policy, you just pruned back the existing frame work. He's also a bit disdainful of the fact that you don't seem to realize the middle class is going bye bye. At least the "conservative policy johnnies" (I looked it up, and johnnies are the equivalent of "dudes" if you're George Will or David Brooks) at America's great conservative think tanks and institutes and what-nots understand that the working class is disappearing.

He also seems peeved that he's forced to bloviate from Aspen, Colorado, where he's probably attending the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is, as we all know, a festival of ideas held in Aspen. Duh.

Liberal politicians, working class Americans, civilians to the political wars, we're pretty much off the hook today... but watch yourselves (me too). Disappointing David is easy to do.

Musical Theater Therapy: "Georgy Girl"

Which is not from Georgy

Song of the Day: "Another Century"

The Church remain relevant decades after I last heard new music from them.



Song: "Another Century"
Artist: The Church

Monday, June 26, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "Picture This"

From Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

Song of the Day: "The Gold"

Manchester Orchestra isn't an orchestra.

Manchester Orchestra isn't from Manchester. (Or aren't from...)

There are no horses in Band of Horses.

I don't know what to believe any more.



Song: "The Gold"
Artist: Manchester Orchestra

Sunday, June 25, 2017