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 58: Friday Night Lights (2004)

friday night lightsThis could just be a sign that I miss football season even though it’s only been a couple of weeks or so since the big game. I have always been a fan of the sport and films about the sport of football so it was only natural for me to pick Friday Night Lights as today’s film. The film is based off of the book  Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream which was by H. G. Bissinger. It tells the tale of a football team from deep in the heart of West Texas in Permian High School. There is a lot of pressure on the team to win a championship as the film focuses on it’s coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thorton) and five of his players Boobie Miles (Derek Luke), Mike Winchell (Lucas Black), Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund), Ivory Christian (Lee Jackson), and Brian Chavez (Jay Hernandez) as well as the struggles they all go through with all the pressure. The film also stars Lee Thompson Young (The Famous Jett Jackson) as Comer, Tim McGraw (The Blind Side) as Charles Billingsley, Grover Coulston (The Lone Ranger) as L.V. Miles, Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights-TV Series) as Sharon Gaines, and the film was directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor).

aThe guys who wrote Varsity Blues (also based in Texas) must have read this book because they borrow some of the elements. The guy who wrote the script for When The Game Stands Tall must have been watching this film. How do you ask that this could be possible? The star player with all the division one scholarships goes down with a knee injury, does that sound familiar? The father who is so obsessed with football that he literally gives his kid a hard time, does that sound familiar to you? You might be saying no way can Friday Night Lights and When The Game Stands Tall be the same because they are both true stories that took place at different times and different states. I know that, but you probably didn’t know that Alexander Ludwigs character of Chris Ryan was made up. In fact, he is a combination of guys that played for the team. This was an amazing football movie that shows how quickly a team of guys can bond over a season. It also teaches you about brotherhood and what that really means. Now the film isn’t as crazy and over the top as Varsity Blues was, but it had plenty of drama in it. The film was so amazing that it would spawn a television show that Connie Britton stars in as well as the coaches wife once again. If you love football movies, then give this one a shot because it is that good. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.