Monday, July 09, 2012

Netflix Reviews Back - With a Special Guest Blogger

It has not gone unnoticed that the only thing I've written about lately (although it does seem to be popular) is the "95 Songs of Summer" series.  So Son #2 offered to write some reviews of the ever-increasing backlog of movies that we've seen on Netflix.  Sounded good to me; so tonight we start with the first of what will be quite a few.  Son #2's review comes first, followed by any comments I might have to offer.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992, dir. By James Foley).  Brilliant. Brilliant acting, writing, swearing, you name it, this film probably has it. The film stars Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Jack Lemmon as four real estate salesman who work without consciences (and filters) and find different times to disrespect their exasperated boss played by Kevin Spacey. The film centers around two days in the life of these men; they’ve just been threatened by a higher-up that if they don’t meet a sales quota then they are going to be fired. Thus the panic ensues. Harris imbues his character with an angry, “it’s not my fault I’m unsuccessful” attitude and his encounters with the other characters are tense and explosive. Arkin’s character is at the total opposite of the spectrum as an unconfident failure who just hopes to keep his job. Lemmon and Pacino occupy different spectrums as well as Lemmon is the defeated man still hoping to make a living and Pacino as the success he once was. The movie is best remembered for the monologue from the higher-up played by an arrogant and unforgiving Alec Baldwin. The film, simply put, is brilliant.

JV's comments:  Can't disagree with anything here.  The movie is brilliant, and while I won't quibble with Al Pacino's Oscar nomination, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin probably deserved one more.   A lot of people today believe this is Lemmon's best performance, which is saying quite a lot when you consider his history.  And some might quibble that Baldwin was in the movie for less than 10 minutes, but trust me - they are 10 of the most incendiary minutes ever committed to film.  The acting is so good in this film that one could reasonably argue that Kevin Spacey gives the 6th-best performance - behind all those mentioned above, as well as Jonathan Pryce, who plays a nice enough guy who gets suckered by Pacino into buying something he doesn't want, doesn't need, and probably can't afford - the name of the game, with this crew.

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