Sunday, June 11, 2017


Year 9, Day 162 - 6/11/17 - Movie #2,657

BEFORE: Day 3 in Massachusetts, and Day 3 of this year's Jake Gyllenhaal trilogy.

Yesterday I went to the local German picnic with my Mom and a friend, and then today I just went out for breakfast and dinner with my parents, then showed them the film "Black Mass" later in the evening.  My Dad followed the Whitey Bulger story closely while Whitey was on the lam, so even though the film had a lot of profanity in it - and that's not really their thing - I figured the movie might go over well with them.

I caught up on sleep this weekend, as there wasn't much else for me to do here in the mornings, so I'm hoping that even if I stay up and watch one more movie, it won't affect my ability to get up early tomorrow morning and catch a 6:30 train back to NYC.  I also spent an hour today on the phone with their cable TV's customer service in order to get their On Demand features working again - so I hung out with the parents, got their cable fixed, there's nothing for me to do but head back to work on Monday. 

THE PLOT: A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a car crash.  With the help of a customer service rep and her young son, he starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

AFTER: For the second night in a row, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a man with a deceased wife, who then has an awkward relationship with her parents, and coincidence leads him into a new relationship.  But the similarities end there - oh, wait, also family secrets are revealed and dealt with, but that's really where the similarities end.  In "Moonlight Mile" his character essentially has to break up with her parents in order to move on with his life, and in this film, he's got to break a lot of other stuff.

Things start rolling when a vending machine won't properly dispense his candy, and this leads him to write a long, rambling letter to their customer service department.  (Why he doesn't move directly to destroying the vending machine with a sledgehammer, and cut out all the middle stuff is beyond me.)  The letters are so moving and emotional that the woman who runs the customer service department for the vending machine company contacts him, and they form a strange friendship based on their mutual dissatisfaction with life, or their mutual broken dreams, or something.

Meanwhile the man, Davis, takes his ex-father-in-law's advice literally, which was that the human heart is a thing that needs to be taken apart in order to be fixed - Davis expands this idea and starts taking apart appliances to find out how they work, only he's not so diligent about putting them back together.  The refrigerator, a lamp and a bathroom stall at work end up in pieces, leading his father-in-law, who's also his boss (OK, that was a plot point in last night's film too...) to think he's going crazy, and tells him to take time off to mourn and heal.

But instead he inserts himself further into the life of that customer-service rep, and hangs out with her while her boyfriend is out of town, and also engages in further destructive behavior with her 15-year-old son, like breaking up more and bigger things with sledgehammers and such.  Sure, there's no one way to mourn, but I have a feeling that some probably end up being better than others in the long run.  For all the destruction seen in the film, I'm glad it at least ended on a more positive note. 

Also starring Naomi Watts (last seen in "St. Vincent"), Chris Cooper (last seen in "Syriana"), Judah Lewis, C.J. Wilson (last seen in "The Intern"), Polly Draper (last seen in "The Pick-Up Artist"), Heather Lind, Malachy Cleary, Debra Monk (last seen in "This Is Where I Leave You"), Wass Stevens, Blaire Brooks, Tom Kemp (last seen in "Black Mass").

RATING: 5 out of 10 peanut m&m's

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