Friday, January 28, 2011

Worth Mentioning - A Place to Pick Up the Pieces

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

This week, Cody features Paris, Texas, then geeks out over a cameo in Against All Odds and questions online correspondents along with Catfish.


I'm not a big fan of long running times in most cases, so sitting down to watch a deliberately paced drama that has a two hour and twenty-plus minute running time was a disconcerting idea at first, but this one kept my interest by continually going in new directions. There are sort of three sections to the film.

In the first, we are introduced to Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) when he stumbles out of the south Texas desert, desperate for water, and collapses. A doctor calls his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell), who comes down to pick him up and take him back home to Los Angeles, California. This isn't an easy task at first, as Travis won't speak and keeps trying to walk off. Over the course of the road trip (Travis refuses to leave the ground on a plane), Travis gradually comes out of his shell...

We find out that Travis and his wife had both disappeared, going off in separate ways and leaving their young son to be raised by Walt and his wife Anne (Aurore Clement). That was four years ago.

When they reach L.A., the second section of the story begins: staying with Walt and Anne, Travis is reunited with his now seven year old son Hunter and they slowly rebuild their relationship. As the father and son get to know each other, the subject of Hunter's lost mother Jane (Natassja Kinski) is brought up repeatedly.

Eventually, Travis comes to a decision - he has to find Jane.

The final hour of the film has Travis and Hunter hitting the road to Houston, Texas and searching for Jane. When she's located, all of the holes in the story are filled in and the questions answered.

A really good film with great performances and fantastic cinematography, it's worth checking out and sticking with for all 140+ minutes.


A fit and magnificently bearded Jeff Bridges stars in this 80s noir (a remake of the 1947 film Out of the Past) as a football player who's been cut from the team because of a persistent shoulder injury. He finds alternate employment when a sleazy bookie (James Woods) hires him to find his girlfriend, who stabbed him and ran off to Mexico. He eventually finds the girl (Rachel Ward) and, as guys tend to do in these stories, falls for her, so his troubles have just started.

I was already considering mentioning this film when something great came along toward the end to really solidify the need to mention it this week. A secretary character played by Swoosie Kurtz is sneaking into an office to get some papers from a safe, but when she enters the office she finds a security guard hanging out, sitting on the desk. This security guard is played by veteran stuntman Ted White, who was Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (which was also released in 1984). White unnerves Kurtz throughout a tense dialogue scene, then Jeff Bridges shows up and a fight ensues. Ted White vs. Jeff Bridges! Tackles! Punches! Nut kicks! It's awesome.

CATFISH (2010)

A documentary about a photographer named Yaniv, who is contacted online by a young girl who likes to paint her own renderings of his pictures. Yaniv gets to know the young girl and her family through online and long distance correspondence, and he really connects with her older sister Megan. They're on the edge of being in a relationship, they hope for one in the future. But when some strangeness creates suspicion that Megan may not be who she says she is, Yaniv sets off with his brother and a friend to find out for sure.

While there's debate over whether this film is truth or fiction, it's very interesting to watch if you've ever had a serious connection with someone who you only know from the internet. It's hard to discuss this film without spoiling it, and most who see it feel the need to discuss it. I had to stop listening to three separate podcasts to avoid spoilers. So if the basic idea of this movie sounds interesting to you, definitely check it out before someone spoils it for you.

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