Day 150: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside-Llewyn-Davis1For the 150TH film on the 150TH day of the year, I wanted to watch something special. I have been on an Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) fix since I first saw him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A friend of mine has been telling me to catch his film Inside Llewyn Davis and today the film was on so I watched it and its today’s film. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a folk singer who is just trying to navigate his way through life with his folk music in Greenwich Village in 1961. You see he is now a solo artist and all he wants is for his music to be heard, but there are things that get in his way from a pregnant friend, a label that isn’t doing anything for him, ignorance against folk music, losing a friend’s cat, and facing the inevitable which is his future possibly without music. The film also stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Roland Turner, Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Al Cody, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) as Jean, Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog) as Jim, Max Casella (Ed Wood) as Pappi, Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers) as Johnny Five, Stark Sands (11:14) as Troy Nelson, and the film was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

download (2)This film was a perfect example of what happens to artists who try to stay true to who they are and are never willing to compromise. For Llewyn Davis, it’s one setback after another that keeps him away from seeing the big picture or accomplishing the his dreams. He is told over and over again in the film that basically folk music isn’t profitable and that there isn’t any future in it. That doesn’t stop him for a while, but after a certain amount of time he begins to believe the noise. The film is very melancholic in tone where it seems that one thing after another happens to this poor guy who sleeps on friends couches. One of the amazing things about this film of course is the music and the fact that everyone that looked like they were singing on screen in fact were singing the songs. One of my favorite songs in the film is Please Please Mr. Kennedy which is sung by Timbelake, Isaac, and Driver. The reason I love it is because the song is absolutely hilarious. It’s one of the funniest moments in the film that I think everyone should check out. Of course, it helps that the acting was amazing and Isaac’s was a real stud in the film with his performance. Of course having the great John Goodman was a definite added bonus as well as the man of few words in the film Garrett Hedlund. One of my favorite things about this film is the way that it ends. I am not going to give it away, but let’s just say that a young version of a folk legend shows up to play at a club that Llewyn Davis is walking through. The film is airing on The Movie Channel and it’s also available on the Showtime Anywhere App. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 113: Brothers (2009)

maxresdefault (3)For today’s film, I chose one that for some strange reason I had only seen bits and pieces of it because something always pulled me away from it. The film that I chose for today is called Brothers and it stars Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) as brothers Sam and Tommy. They are two brothers who took distinctly different paths in life with Sam (Maguire) being a marine and Tommy (Gyllenhaal) always being someone in trouble. While in Afghanistan, Sam and another Marine (Patrick John Flueger) are captured by the Taliban. The two are presumed dead and to comfort his family, Tommy will step in to take care of Sam’s family. While Sam’s wife Grace (Natalie Portman) is hesitant at first, she allows Tommy to spend time with the girls and to fix things around the house. That is until, she finds out that Sam was saved and is still alive, but Sam has a lot of demons inside that he is battling and things become unnerving at home. The film also stars Sam Shepard (Swordfish) as Hank Cahill, Mare Winningham (Turner & Hooch) as Elsie Cahill, Bailee Madison (Just Go With It) as Isabelle, Taylor Geare (Dream House) as Maggie, Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek) as Major Cavazos, Carey Mulligan (Drive) as Cassie Willis, and the film was directed by Jim Sheridan (In The Name Of The Father).

image68I have to be honest in saying that I used to try and avoid watching Tobey Maguire films only because I wasn’t a huge fan of the last two Spider-Man films he was in. So, I have to admit to everyone right now that this was definitely one of his best performances. There is so much passion in the role and there is one scene that he makes me a believer that he is a soldier fighting inner demons. In my opinion, it was just so convincing that I felt bad for him even though I know it’s just a movie. Jake Gyllenhaal I recently started becoming a huge fan of his and he doesn’t disappoint me in this film and Natalie Portman does a terrific job as well. The film really reminds you that if you’ve never been in the military and been to war then you will never know what these guys have been through. You are always just on the outside looking in and you feel as helpless as Sam’s family in this film. The scenes in Afghanistan aren’t as bad as they could’ve made it out to be, but there are some scenes that may be hard to handle. It’s hard to pick an MVP in this film because not only did Gyllenhaal, Maguire, and Portman do well, but there kids in the movie did an amazing job being kids that are having a hard time adjusting to this different version of their dad. While it may not be the greatest movie ever made, I really enjoyed watching this film. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.