Tag: laura dern

MOVIE REVIEW | Citizen Ruth (1996)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Even with the hindsight of the rest of Alexander Payne’s, Citizen Ruth has a fresh, unique feel to it.”

Ruth 1
“I slept in a few dumpsters. Maybe I slept on some babies.”

Besides directing segments in a couple of soft core pornos for Playboy, director Alexander Payne is definitely on the prestigious side.  He’s made six features, five of which have all scored Oscar nominations of some description.  None of which take place in America’s usual movie locations like New York, LA and Chicago.  Alexander Payne tells stories about middle America, or in the case of The Descendants, Hawaiian America.  These unusual, uncommon settings are always filled with unusual, uncommon characters.  Is he making fun of these places and their inhabitants?  Is he celebrating them?  It’s a fine line that Payne walks expertly.  And he’s done so since the very beginning, as evidenced by his feature debut, Citizen Ruth.

Unmoving and with a look of complete boredom and detachment, Ruth (Laura Dern) lays under a filthy man in a filthy apartment as he pumps away.  When it’s done, Ruth doesn’t even get the one thing she wanted from it, a bed for the night.  The man kicks her out, sending Ruth to her brother Tony, (Jim Kalal) looking for a place to stay.  Instead she gets his disgust and $15.  Enough to buy a can of spray paint from the local hardware store to get high and OD.  Taken to the emergency room, Ruth recovers to the news that she is, in fact, pregnant.  With four kids already taken away from her by the state, the fed up Judge Richter (David Graf) imprisons Ruth for endangering her unborn child. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***JURASSIC WEEK*** Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park

“Can’t just suppress 65 million years of gut instinct.”

For the last few months, it has seemed like people have been trying to convince themselves they were excited about Jurassic World.  Or at least, I felt like they were trying to convince themselves.  Then, a few weeks ago, it opened and broke the box record for highest grossing opening weekend ever.  So I guess people had been genuinely excited about Jurassic World and I just projected my own ambivalence about the movie on to them.  Then I realised that the reason I was so ambivalent while the rest of the world was getting excited, was because I’ve never seen a single movie in the Jurassic franchise.   I guess I had nothing to get excited about.  So, it’s time to join the rest of the world in getting excited about Jurassic World.  But before I can see it, I have to catch up, starting with the original, Jurassic Park.


Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neil) and Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are working on an archaeological dig for dinosaur bones when they’re summoned by eccentric billionaire, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), whisking them away to a secluded island somewhere in Central America.  Joining them is mathematician, Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).  Landing on Hammond’s island, the three doctors soon have their minds blown when they see that Hammond and his scientists have brought dinosaurs back to life. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Wild (2014)

Wild

“There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”

A movie from the director of Dallas Buyer’s Club.  A movie starring one of America’s more recent Hollywood sweethearts, Reese WitherspoonWild is a movie that should have landed with a bigger splash and made more noise.  But Wild is a movie I heard nothing about until Witherspoon’s Oscar nomination a few months ago.  And I’ve heard little more about it since.  But those few snippets of reviews I’ve read or heard have all been really positive.  So why is Wild such a seemingly ignored movie?


Witherspoon is Cheryl, a woman setting out on a 1,000 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.  Walking from Mexico to Canada, she obviously sets off with more than just the weight to her backpack on her shoulders.  Flashing back and forth from her hike to various points in Cheryl’s past, we meet her mother (Laura Dern), her ex husband (Thomas Sadoski) and her friend Aimee (Gabby Hoffman).  It’s obvious from her first steps that some level of guilt over the way she has treated these people, and probably others, is a big motivator of Cheryl’s trek. (more…)