Monday, November 14, 2016


Year 8, Day 318 - 11/13/16 - Movie #2,488

BEFORE: I'm starting to understand the appeal of binge-watching TV shows, I've tried to avoid it because that's what the hipster Millennials all do - but I'm halfway through the second season of "Mad Men" now, and it's moving along well, I can see the appeal of not having to wait a week for the next episode.  Last night I watched the first three episodes of "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" in a row, and I'm very intrigued.  It's been so long since I read those Douglas Adams books that I forgot all the plot details, so I'm not judging the show by how closely it hems to the books, I can just take it for what it is.

At the same time, I've managed to stay current this season on shows like "Gotham" and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", while adding new shows like "Westworld", "Timeless" and "Frequency".  You know, geek stuff.  And I stayed no more than a week behind on all may talk shows during the election.  Most other shows are still being archived on VHS, and after I go on movie break in 2 days, I can start catching up on those - I'm still in late August on those back-burnered shows, but I should be able to start making some progress later this week.

Another film about fighting the Mexican drug cartels, and Benicio del Toro carries over from "Savages".  Even though I tried to avoid the political films last week, considering how much time one candidate gave to Mexico and building a border wall to keep out the "bad hombres", I think I landed back on point anyway.

THE PLOT: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

AFTER: I don't know if I just have movie fatigue, or I wasn't in the mood for this type of story, but this one just sort of left me feeling numb.  I mean, technically there's a set-up, conflict and resolution here, but I didn't feel all that connected to it for some reason.  Mostly I felt there was a lot going on that I didn't understand, or perhaps there were a lot of story fragments, and I had trouble putting them together.  I felt the need to review the whole plot on Wikipedia immediately after viewing, and that's not usually a good sign - but whether this lack of understanding was the movie's fault or my own, I'm not sure.  

I get that two FBI agents are asked to join a task force run by the CIA, and ultimately they find out that they were only asked along to legitimize the operation's actions within the U.S.  I guess the CIA can't operate within the U.S.?  I'm not an expert, so this was a bit unclear.  But then the task force travels into Mexico, where the FBI has no jurisdiction, so I felt even more lost - if they have no jurisdiction there, then why are they there doing stuff?  I feel I might need a flowchart. 

But this film does raise an interesting point about the Wall that we keep hearing about - spending $15 billion on a wall at the US/Mexico border seems awful silly, when the wall can be circumvented by a $1 million tunnel.  Just sayin'.

Also starring Emily Blunt (last seen in "Edge of Tomorrow"), Josh Brolin (last seen in "Planet Terror"), Victor Garber (last seen in "Argo"), Jon Bernthal (last seen in "Fury"), Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan, Bernardo Sacarino, Julio Cedillo (last seen in "The Life of David Gale"), Maximiliano Hernandez, Raoul Trujillo.

RATING: 4 out of 10 Indian Creek cigarettes

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