Tag: jane fonda

MOVIE REVIEW | This is Where I Leave You (2014)

This is Where

“Well, I’m no expert… But I think you’re gonna have to make much larger sacrifices down the road.”

There’s a reason why the concept of the ensemble piece is almost a genre of its own in story telling. When it comes to TV or movies, these stories really do live or die based on the strength of their cast. Seinfeld might have been a show about nothing, but the chemistry between the main cast made ‘nothing’ hilariously entertaining. It’s the same in movies, the slightest, most by the numbers story can be elevated to absolutely compelling if the ensemble clicks just right. I’m not saying This is Where I Leave You is overly slight or by the numbers, but I am saying it could have easily fallen into a blurry, syrupy mess, if it wasn’t for its ensemble cast.

Judd Atlman (Jason Bateman) heads home early one day to surprise his wife for her birthday. When he gets there, he finds her being taken to the Bone Zone by his boss. After a few months of being depressed and growing a beard (the standard movie indicator of depression), he receives a phone call from his sister Wendy (Tina Fey) telling him that their father has died. So it’s back to his home town for the funeral where his mother (Jane Fonda) insists she and all of her children sit shiva, the Jewish tradition of mourning at home for seven days. So now it’s time for the Altman family, complete with repressed older brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and black sheep youngest brother Phillip (Adam Driver) to have the forced family reunion none of them want, but they all obviously need. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FONDA WEEK*** Klute (1971)


“What’s your bag, Klute? What do you like? Are you a talker? A button freak? Maybe you like to get your chest walked around with high heeled shoes. Or make ’em watch you tinkle. Or maybe you get off wearing women’s clothes. Goddamned hypocrite squares!”

Erotic thrillers might be up there as the cheapest, most slapped together genre of movies. So many think that all they need is some boobs, a body count and some sexy sax in the score, and they’ve ticked all the boxes for thrilling, erotic success. But very few become big hits, and even less endure in the history of memorable movies. Basic Instinct gave the genre a huge boost on the 90s, a million cheap(er) imitations followed, and pretty much all of them quickly disappeared. Including Basic Instinct’s own sequel. But one that has endured, that still seems to get more than just a little respect, is Klute.

A rich and important man goes missing. His family calls in PI John Klute (Donald Sutherland) to find him. Klute’s initial investigations lead him to Jane Fonda’s Bree Daniel, a hooker with a heart of gold and plenty of attitude. Their relationship starts out confrontationally, but big surprise, they end up gaining a real respect for each other, and their antithetical outlooks on life and personality traits. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FONDA WEEK*** Fun With Dick and Jane (1977)

“Interesting that the only two jobs you think I am qualified for are a secretary and a prostitute.”

Ted Kotcheff… Director of insane Australian psychological horror Wake in Fright. George Segal… Star of middeling 90s / early new millennium sitcom Just Shoot Me and amazingly hilarious, tragically under seen 70s comedy Where’s Poppa?. Jane Fonda… Sexplotation hotty who graduated into overly self important prestige pomp. What do these three people have in common? They all believe the moon landing was faked*. They also all worked together on Fun With Dick and Jane.

Dick (Segal) works for a high end aerospace company, until he’s fired. When he gets home to his upper middle class home, his wife, Jane (Fonda) is directing an army of builders and gardeners as they have a new pool and elaborate landscaping installed. She takes the news of Dick’s sacking well, at first. But it’s more to do with their own obliviousness than it is compassion. The two continue living their lavish lifestyle until all their money is gone. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FONDA WEEK*** Coming Home (1978)

Coming Home

“I have killed for my country, or whatever, and I don’t feel good about it. Coz there’s not enough reason, man, to feel a person die in your hands, or to see your best buddy get blown away.”

Actors passion projects… You’re really taking a big risk when you decide to watch one. Sometimes their passion gets in the way and they worry more about getting it made and being faithful to their passion than they do about making an entertaining good movie. So when I found out about noted anti-Vietnam war proponent Jane Fonda making a movie about returned Vietnam servicemen, I had more than few reservations about Coming Home.

Captain Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern) goes off to fight in Vietnam, leaving his wife Sally (Fonda) in California to figure out what to do with her life. Freshly arrived from Vietnam, and freshly physically crippled, is Jon Voight as Luke Martin. Staying at the same veteran hospital is Robert Carradine as the freshly mentally crippled Billy. Friends with Billy’s sister, Sally ends up visiting the hospital and meeting Luke. Initially depressed and lashing out at the world, trying to find someone to blame for his injuries, Luke’s growing relationship with Sally is the key he needs to build a new life for himself. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FONDA WEEK*** On Golden Pond (1981)

On Golden
“Don’t you think that everyone looks back on their childhood with a certain amount of bitterness and regret? It doesn’t have to ruin your life!”

On Golden Pond is a movie title I’ve heard plenty of times over the years. On Golden Pond is a movie about which I knew absolutely nothing. I wouldn’t have been able to name a single actor in it, what it was about or even make a rough guess about when it was made. Then I decided to do a week of Fonda family movies. Turns out, On Golden Pond gives me double the Fonda, with father Henry and daughter Jane playing a father and daughter.

Norman Thayer Jr (Henry Fonda) and his wife Ethel (Katherine Hepburn) arrive at their summer lake house. In the lead up to Norman’s 80th birthday, he’s obviously and openly feeling the ravages of age. In the early stages of some sort of dementia, he’s still in enough control to realise that he’s slipping. Openly disdainful of pretty much everyone in his life except his wife, Norman takes crotchety old crank to a new level. (more…)