Tag: parker posey

MOVIE REVIEW | Irrational Man (2015)

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I couldn’t remember the reason for living and when I did, it wasn’t convincing.

Woody Allen makes movies so regularly that you can almost set your watch by them.  And with his regulatory and prolific output, comes plenty of derision.  Every movie is either heralded as a return to form, or condemned as proof of him being long past his prime.  But here’s the thing, even when he doesn’t make amazing movies, Woody Allen makes really good movies.  Which is why I’ll watch everything he makes, including the pretty universally shrugged at Irrational Man.


Able Lucas (Joaquín Phoenix) is a college philosophy professor who has hit a wall.  He drinks, has a reputation as a philanderer, and is a tittle on the self destructive side.  But he finds a reason to be via one his students, Jill (Emma Stone).  She’s smart, confident, engaging and fascinated by the tragic, older man.  Their friendship gains the attention of other faculty and students, but Abe is determined to make sure things stay on the up and up. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Ned Rifle (2014)

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“It is impossible for every perfect good to be compatible with every other perfect good.”

Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy gets a lot of love for making a franchise out of a very non-franchise style of movies. Three movies over almost 20 years, telling the single story of a single relationship. It’s a great achievement and Linklater deserves all the praise he gets for it. But now, as I get to the end of another indie-infused, quirky franchise, made over many years franchise, the Before series seems a little tame and middle of the road. Because with Ned Rifle, Hal Hartley wraps up a franchise that makes Linklater’s movies look like Michael Bay crowd pleasers.


Continuing on from the events of Fay Grim, Fay (Parker Posey) has been convicted of terrorism and imprisoned for life. While her son Ned has spent the last decade or so in witness protection living with a devoutly Christian family. Coming of age, Ned decides he needs to find his father (Thomas Jay Ryan as Henry Fool) and kill him as revenge for ruining Fay’s life. Along the way, he asks his uncle (James Urbaniak as Simon Grim) to help track Henry down. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Fay Grim (2006)

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“You see? They have to bludgeon a man into obscurity before they’ll acknowledge his genius.”

When I finished watching Hal Hartley’s 1997 movie Henry Fool, I thought, “Henry Fool is a movie that should be hard to like, because its characters are people that should be hard to like… Yet, for all of that, Henry Fool makes you care about all of them and wish for them to find some sort of happiness and fulfillment.” What I did not think was, jeez, I’d love to see these characters a decade later, mixed up in some spy thriller hijinks. I may not have known I wanted it, but Hartley gave it to me anyway, with Fay Grim.


Henry Fool ended with Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) giving the titular Henry (Thomas Jay Ryan) paperwork to use Simon’s identity to flee America. Now, almost a decade later, Simon is in jail for aiding and abetting Henry’s escape. While Simon’s sister, Fay (Parker Posey) is raising the teenaged son (Liam Aiken as Ned) fathered by Henry. Simon is still a world famous, award winning poet, even if he has to write from behind bars. While his editor, Angus (Check Montgomery) thinks they can cash in on Simon’s incarceration by finding and publishing Henry’s epic novel and self proclaimed masterpiece, something he called his Confessions. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Henry Fool (1997)

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An honest man is always in trouble, remember that Simon.

Hal Hartley is a name I’ve known for a long time. Well, at least, I think I’ve know his name for a long time. And I think I’ve always associated it with a certain kind of independent, art house American cinema. But maybe I haven’t known his name all that long, because I had never actually seen a Hal Hartley movie until now. He’s made over a dozen features since the late 80s, none of them hits. But you don’t get to make that many movies without either hits, or building a reputation as a true artist. That’s a lot of assuming on my part, I know. But I’m hoping those assumptions prove true by watching Henry Fool.


Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) is a garbage man, and he’s about as satisfied with his lot in life as you’d expect a garbage man to be. He supports his sister and mother, the former (Parker Posey as Fay) staying at home to look after the latter. One day, the bombastic Henry Fool (Thomas Ray Ryan) arrives and begins renting their basement apartment. A self described genius writer, Henry has never had anything published, but has been working his masterpiece, something he calls his Confessions, for years. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | SubUrbia (1996)

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“Oh man, I feel good. Whoo! I feel good ‘cuz I’m hangin’ out with you guys, man. You know? I mean, I forgot what it was like to just hang out!”

I just realised something about Richard Linklater.  As a story teller and film maker, he’s obsessed with those seemingly small events that perfectly sum up a very specific moment in time, while somehow representing something bigger.  Slacker, Dazed and Confused and the Before trilogy all take place in a matter of mere hours, usually overnight.  And as grand as the idea behind Boyhood was, those 12 years of filming still ultimately come down a collection of small moments.


It also means that a lot of Linklater movies are intrinsically linked to when they were shot.  He doesn’t just avoid his movies looking and sounding like the era they were shot in, he embraces it, he heightens it, he exploits it.  And somehow, the results is never a movie that seems dated, they always just seem like a little time capsules.  And even if IMDB didn’t list the year of production next to every movie title, there’d be no mistaking the 90s world of SubUrbia. (more…)