Saturday, September 18, 2010

An American Airlines Production; with Sam Elliott as 'The Stranger'

Well, the pacification of the American moviegoing public continues unabated. The old joke in one of those Woody Allen movies where a news man said some group declared death "a good thing"... it's supposed to be here! Anyway, you know the drill: time is limited, we have to live like we're dying, be with your loved ones, get married, have kids. Some movies seem to think that people don't know how to live anymore.
And then, of course, there's employment. Movies generally try to avoid dealing with specific prices and wages now, lest they be made obsolete by inflation somewhere down the road. Not like the old movies when ice cream cost fifteen cents. Lost in this handful of memes shoved down our throats all the time is our relationships with our respective employers. Up in the Air does pretty good showing the modern relationship between employer and employee, using actual fire-ees in the midst of their emotional crises. All those years of service, and what do they get for it? Don't go away mad, just go away.
Perhaps because of Nebraska being the film's home base, and with Rolfe Kent on music duties, I was reminded of About Schmidt. Both films are about older gentlemen finding their worlds turned upside down; Clooney's not quite as traumatically. Spoiler alert! Clooney's the one who's supposed to be doing the downsizing! As with Michael Clayton, Clooney brings authority to the role, but alas, even the best of us are approaching 50. Your clock's ticking too, buddy! Unfortunately, 2009 wasn't as good to George Clooney as 2005 was in terms of Oscars, and damn! This thing got, what? Nine nominations? ...nah, just six. Don't worry, Reitman, just keep cranking out a movie every two years, and the Academy's bound to catch up with you. You're still a young man eager to win and they sense that. Pretend like you don't want it... better and harder than now. Most of the usual rolling stock of The Jason Reitman Players are on hand: Jason Bateman, Garth Pancake, and Sam Elliott... I guess that's it.
Oh, I should add that Clooney's relationship in the movie did turn out unexpectedly, so I must've been enjoying myself. Usually when I don't, I try and outguess the movie. Sorry, but I can't always live in the now, or say goodbye to yesterday, or donate every dime I have. But if airplanes were stars to wish on... I mean, it's good knowing Ryan Bingham's out there over our heads, taking it easy for all us sinners, and helping to distribute jet fuel more evenly in the world's soil... I just realized! The poor bastard never left the U.S.! Must be bedtime for Bonzo. I gotta go.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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