Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Dark Waters

Director Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters is a tense drama in the vein of Historical Biographies like The Post and All the President’s Men, with the twist that it ends as a horror story, one not only for the film’s characters, but the audience, as well. 

That’s because it lets everyone know that, thanks to the Dupont Company, most all of us, not just in the U.S., but all around the world, have been poisoned with a substance that cannot be eradicated from our bodies, a substance inherent to what we know as Teflon.

Worse Things for Poisoning the Living should be the motto of this Corporation, whose greed let loose this scourge, not only for the residents of Parkersburg, West Virginia, where the ground and river water was polluted, but for everyone since, who has bought for their kitchen or has eaten in a restaurant that used Teflon non-stick pots and pans.

Thanks to real-life hero Robert Bilott, the Company’s heinous secret was uncovered and, after a 15-year legal battle, at least some of the initial victims were given some compensation for their suffering.

Having recently seen some wonderful films that brought up my spirits for the Holidays, this film has brought up my anger for the injustice done to all of us.

Producer/Actor Mark Ruffalo has delivered, not only a great performance as Bilott, but a great service to anyone ignorant of the vile workings of Dupont.  Thanks, also, to Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp and everyone who participated in this fine film.

I give Dark Waters a 4.4 out of 5.

PS: If you still have Teflon junk in your kitchen, don’t pass it on, just get rid of it.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

At some point, I think it’s a good thing to let go of the regrets one has. Perhaps that’s to give space for new ones.  Well, I must admit that I have a new regret.  That is missing the importance of Fred Roger’s neighborhood in my youth.  

I never saw an episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, I guess I misunderstood that it was just for little kids.  And so, I now owe a debt of gratitude to Director Marielle Heller for her absolutely wonderful must-see film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Like Frozen II, this is as much, if not moreso, a film for adults.

Based on a true story, Tom Hanks gives an unforgettably great performance as Fred Roger’s for which he must get an Academy Award Best Actor nomination. 

What’s more, Matthew Rhys gives a deserving Best Supporting Actor nomination as an angry magazine reporter, who is given the task of writing an article about Rogers.

The jaded reporter’s initial intention is to find the flaw in Rogers’ persona until, over the course of Co-Writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster’s brilliant script, his skepticism is…  Well, I don’t want to ruin what is better than you might presume it will be.

Just see this magical film and you’ll emerge a better person for it. I give A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood a 5 out of 5 and hope it will be nominated as a Best Film of the Year.

Frozen II

If anything is sure, Co-Writers/Co-Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen II, is just as much a film for adults as it is for children…and that on an even higher level.

This story is about absolving the evils of the past in order for society to move forward and is certainly relevant to today’s world.

Christopher Buck’s music and the haunting sounds of Aurora make the score equal to if not more uplifting than the original Frozen and the back story and progress of Princess Anna and Princess Elsa is deeper and more rewarding than the original film, as well.
If you want a respite from what’s happening in the world today, I most heartily recommend that everyone see this wonderful film.

I give Frozen II a 4.9 out of 5.