Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Alternate Best Actor 2014: Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Major William Cage in Edge of Tomorrow.

Edge of a Tomorrow is a very entertaining action film about a recently demoted officer reliving the say day over and over again just before the last stand against an alien invasion.

Tom Cruise is one of the last true movie stars around in the traditional sense where his name alone carries a certain pull for most viewers, though these days more international than USA viewers, which is isn'y always combined with  that of an actor. That is sometimes earned particularly in certain action stars, however Cruise was someone who frequently attempted to push himself as an actor even while maintaining a steady of stream of studio blockbusters as well. Now a star who can actually act creates actually a very unique opportunity that only exists with true stars, which is one can play with their expected star presence. This is something we are granted here as the film opens we are not given the typical confidant hero common for current era action Cruise. This as the film opens with his Cage as a professional PR soldier mainly there to sell the idea of the war rather than do any fighting. This is before he meets the main general (Brendan Gleeson) who wants Cage to lead a PR campaign on the front. Cruise is brilliant in this scene. This as any notion of Cruise we had become accustom to is thrown out the window. Cruise instead in a way brings a bit of that early Cruise egotistical swagger with great big grin on his face of disbelief as he hears about the general's idea. Cruise's delivery magnificent in the sort of hollowness that emphasizes a false sincerity of a selling any idea, other than himself going to the front. Cruise though going even further though in showing a different side as that smile, and falsely confident delivery, wavers a tad to reveal just a coward as he explains himself as just an ad man essentially. When the general refuses to waver though Cruise's return to the sleazy confidence as magnificent as selling again with that questionable confidence a blackmail plan to the general, which naturally leads Cage to a more severe punishment.

Cruise in that opening scene wholly subverting what had become expected of him, in such a fantastic way that managed to both grant us the sense of Cage being anything other than a hero while also just being quite entertaining in the approach. This idea continues though as Cage finds himself now setup as a private in a random squad with a particularly unsympathetic drill sergeant (Bill Paxton) watching over him. Cruise continues with the subversion as Cruise most often is seen as the expert of a given thing in most of his action films. Here on the other hand Cruise is wonderful at portraying a man being completely out of his depth. This with his slightly confused expression at his sudden railroading that slowly segues towards intense fear as they actually begin the attack. Cruise is great here because he finds the right balance between showing a guy genuinely out of his element while also being quite hilarious in portraying this befuddlement. This all though having a little extra impact as we see the usually confident Cruise bumbling around his initial action scene, only just lucking out in killing a creature before his own death, though that creature leading him to repeat each day at the time of his death. This leading to his first day back where Cruise is again wonderful this time in a different type of befuddlement that is all the more extreme as in this constant state of deja vu. Cage's initial attempts to use his knowledge of the future are great comic beats, with Cruise being essential in the sort of actual sheepishness he brings at times, as well as the genuine, though hilarious, fear at some of his upcoming demises. Cruise finding the right balance in bringing fun to this guy dying again and again.

Eventually Cage finds seems to find a path via newly minted war hero Rita (Emily Blunt) who previously had the day repeating power before losing it. The chemistry being essential to the success of the film which is not at all standard, particularly not for Cruise. This as Cruise is still this great bumbling fool as she is initially training him, and brings just the right qualities of sleaziness to Cage, personify the old Cage, which Cruise uses to great effect. The best perhaps being Cage's inquiries if the power can be transferred by sex, and Cruise's unabashed delivery of "how many times did you" try is sheer perfection. Cage begins to learn his ways about the battlefield, through much effort in his interactions with Blunt. This with Blunt being the slightly berating quality against Cruise is more sloppy manner. This though that they articulate so well in their chemistry that changes in dynamic and in that we get a greater sense of their relationship. This as Cruise begins to show a greater real confidence within the action scenes, that is particularly well earned here, we also see a greater mutual respect between he and Blunt. Cruise beginning to become the more expected Cruise presence though in a way where we see it as this natural transition to a man with a mission and purpose. This would be already a terrific turn from Cruise, however I am happy to say that it is not the end of really the strength of Cruise's work as he delays setting on Cruise control, fitting to who Cage is.

This is as Cruise's performance as much as he brought out the comedy of the situation of the man living, dying and repeating, we also find the very real hardship that would come from this. This in particular seeing Rita die again and again in each failed attempt. Cruise is outstanding in his moment of just very much moving with action, however in his performance, through his eyes and the sense of frustration  in his voice, we see the very real anguish in each death. Cruise offering a real humanity within the ludicrous idea, in portraying a true sense of the weight of the situation. This though along with Cage getting to know the hard-bitten Rita better. I love how Cruise doesn't portray it at this point with any sleaze, or even a romantic overtone. It is with this almost meek manner he just tries to insert little connections when he can, with this underlying sense that he is trying to find some comfort within his peculiar situation. An amazing scene for Cruise comes when the two seem to get a minor respite at a farm house deep in enemy territory. Cruise is great in this scene by portraying so much towards Blunt rather within himself in the sense, he portrays the whole scene as supportive and comforting as possible towards her rather than anguish within himself. This showing again so effectively this growth in Cage as Cruise effortlessly conveys Cage's emotional pain by the way he is trying to ease her away from her seemingly inevitable demise. Cruise displaying not it as this vague action cliche, but rather this genuine sense of heartbreak of it, that is so beautifully performed by him.

Before the final phase of his performance, there is an excellent scene for Cruise where Cage goes alone to attempt the mission. Cruise doesn't portray this as normal Cruise conviction rather this almost detachment in the determination as his eyes are of a man who has seen so much death that at this point he is trying just to eliminate in almost as this mechanical act. When even that doesn't work a different direction is finally taken towards the right path with Rita to potentially destroy the enemy. Here is where we get Cruise control, but some of the best Cruise control you will see. This as it is wholly earned in his moments as this time lord, and we have that Cruise delivering of Cage's knowledge that just is really this sort of perfected confidence that could only come from a performer with the presence of Cruise. Cruise though still doesn't coast as when Cage finally loses the power, leading him and Rita to have to attempt a final action with full life or death stakes, Cruise brilliantly pulls back a bit. This again showing now Cage as a man, a far better trained and prepared man, but still a man. This though with his sense of fear no longer as this selfish cowardice but rather towards the fate of Rita. This in their final conversation that is again work from Cruise that exceeds expectation. This as he attempts to dissuade her sacrifice Cruise eyes are filled with this very real empathy finally showing a changed man, not as this perfect super hero but a man who cares. This for me even making the kiss between them work not as this declaration of love, but rather a final bit of human connection in a more general, yet very pure, sense. This is a great performance by Tom Cruise. This as it is an exceptional example of him as a star, as he's magnetic, endearing and funny here, but he goes further. This as he never glides over the story of Cage, rather he brings you into each detail of his days, for laughs, but also in crafting a real portrait of a man changing, not at all unlike Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (which SIDE NOTE: I just realized both female companions to the main character are named Rita) which this film is so often compared to for obvious reasons. It's a great star turn, and a great performance, that uses that star quality in a way that would've only been possible with Cruise in the central role. This by subverting the expectation of what we've come to expect from Cruise, while also fulfilling that promise as the film goes along as well. Of course as much as this review is done, I would remiss if I did not mention Cruise's final reaction shot when Cage meets Rita for the first time, and the last time, after succeeding in his mission finally but resetting back in time. His bemused grin is just one of sheer comic perfection as a man whose been through everything, yet doesn't quite know what to say at this point.

103 comments:

Matt Mustin said...

I don't know. Maybe I should rewatch it, but I really just don't get the love for this movie in any way.

Matt Mustin said...

I will also mention though that the Groundhog Day gimmick is not really something I'm a huge fan of.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I've grown to love this movie even more than I already did in 2014, Cruise's and Blunt's performances along with it. I think my favorite moment of his performance is right after "My middle name is Rose", when he wakes up. His expression is haunting.

Calvin Law said...

Love the film. I actually think my favourite scene of his is when he's going around the dorm room pointing out stuff he's learnt from before, the fellow soldiers' names etc. That scene is the true mark of a superstar.

And yeah, love the film more and more with each rewatch. Probably one of the best action films of the past decade.

Calvin Law said...

Also, great review Louis, loved how you ended it.

Anonymous said...

Great review Louis, I want to know your thoughts on his performance in American Made?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Should have gone with my gut in predicting him over Renner. He's absolutely terrific here, an easy 5 for me upon further reflection.

Tim said...

the more often i watch this movie, the more i love it. This movie is so indescribably entertaining; whenever you think that Maybe 20 minutes had past, you are already an hour in

Tim said...

Do you look forward to the new movie cruise and Liman are making? I know i certainly am.

Luke Higham said...

Love this film.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: you can find them in the first page of 2017 Alternate Lead.

Tim said...

your thougts on "Brothers in Arms" from Mad Max: Furiosa Road? (Theme and Scene)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Alternate is missing from the header.

Mitchell Murray said...

YES!

Love this film and this performance. It is just a great subversion of what Cruise usually does in his action roles - not only with his successfully drawn character arc, but also with his exceptional chemistry with Emily Blunt.

Speaking of which, I heard somewhere that their final kiss was improvised by Blunt herself. That sort of explains the spontaneity of it, I feel.

Mitchell Murray said...

Also, I must admit that seeing Bill Paxton in this film - as with anything he did - makes me miss him all the more. I almost like to imagine his drill sergeant as an older Hudson, if he were to have survived "Aliens" of course.

Anonymous said...

Louis, have you seen any other 2020 films.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: This may've been talked about before but do you think Boyhood (Adolescence or Young Adult, whatever title you want to call it) would've been so much more compelling as an idea if it somehow was made 15 years prior when first shot and had Ethan Hawke as the lead.

Luke Higham said...

Or around the time when he did Explorers.

Calvin Law said...

Also, I'm not a gamer at all by any means outside of the occasional FIFA session, but does anyone else think this film would make an AWESOME video game spin-off? Like imagine the sort of scenarios you could build up with this?

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I think Naughty Dog would be the perfect choice to make such a project even though I'm not exactly happy with the story they've come up with for The Last Of Us Part II.

Anonymous said...

Cruise has come an awful long way since the blog first started. Never would've imagined him having three 5 performances in his career.

Luke Higham said...

I decided to re-read Cruise's reviews and not only did it make me further appreciate Louis' progression as a writer but I love it when he puts some retrospective points in his reviews.

Anonymous said...

Luke, I agree. You could certainly feel the joy coming out of his reviews when he sees a great performance from an actor he didn't hold in such regard. Gerard Depardieu in Danton for example, he waited ages to see a performance from him that was very much worth talking about.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous and Luke: 100% agree, that’s what I love about the blog, there’s so much buildup and progression throughout that makes it fascinating to read each review in succession.

Luke Higham said...

I can't wait for the Interview With A Vampire review. One of the most notable cases of fan/author backlash against a casting that turned out to be successful. However I do think Dunst will be Louis' MVP of the cast.

Luke Higham said...

Guys, Is Tabu Lead or Supporting in Haider.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I re-watched Marie Antoinette and quite frankly, it's the only film of S. Coppola's that I really enjoy. What are your ratings for the cast.

Mine are:
Dunst - 4.5
Schwartzman - 3.5/4
Torn - 3.5
Davis - 3
Coogan - 3

Lucas Saavedra said...

Does anyone know where can I find Louis' 11-20 films of 1984 and 2015, and his 16-20 films of 2013. I remember he gabe them recently, but I can't find them anywhere.

Luke Higham said...

Mortensen's reteaming with Peter Farrelly. I'm willing to give any film the benefit of the doubt before I see footage of it but why can't we get Viggo with PTA, Lynch or Fincher.

Anonymous said...

Another collab with Cronenberg would be far better than this.

Louis Morgan said...

Tim:

Naturally.

The score piece is one of the best from Junkie XL's score (how he was snubbed across the board for it is something I'll never understand), this in just truly amplifying the action in the sheer epic intensity that is basically this rock orchestral piece in the best sense of it. The scene itself is one of the many brilliant scenes within the film, and perhaps in my top 3 favorite brilliant scenes of the film. This is in that you get so many different players, in that you have Max and Furiosa finally working together, along with the wives which is glorious, the biker gang attacking, Immortan Joe dune buggy running forward, and Nux having the greatest moment of all with his hope for Valhalla broken in a heartbreaking but also hilarious instance. The entire scene is just a rush, yet so perfectly put together with each moment building on the next within the momentum, never losing track of its parties, and just realizing what is an amazing scene.

Anonymous:

No but I intend to watch Da 5 Bloods tomorrow, maybe The King of Staten Island soon afterwards, however I always struggle to inspire too much interest for Apatow's needlessly long comedies.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I mean would a better actor that Ellar "Death threats Mae" Coltrane have helped the film? Yes, but that is only one of several issues I have with the film.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Mortensen/Farrelly Part II.

Anonymous said...

Louis, what would be your 80s cast for Boyhood with Hawke as Mason Jr.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Wouldn't be my first choice for a re-collaboration. Apparently it is a Vietnam war film, which doesn't suggest it plays into Farrelly's limited strengths, but whatever. I'll hope for the best as someone again who didn't hate Green Book altogether, though yes I would prefer to see Mortensen work with someone else.

Anonymous:

Mason Sr: Chris Sarandon
Olivia: Kitty Winn
Samantha: Kerri Green

Tim said...

Basically my thoughts too on possibly my favorite Action Scene of all time; but i find it necessary to also talk about the absolutely phenomenal continuity in the Scene, as the movie just seems to think about every single moving piece it has in there, with Attention to Detail most Action films blatantly ignore

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Tabu is supporting in Haider, and she's my win in the category, with Blunt being a strong #2.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I hope she'll do really well because if she gets a 5 then all 4 acting categories would have at least one 5 per year in the 2010s.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Any other upgrades to the Edge Of Tomorrow cast.

Michael Patison said...

Big fan of the movie. Probably a strong 4.5 for me. Could get an upgrade on the next watch.

Michael McCarthy said...

As far as 5’s in 2014 supporting actress, I think Mia Wasikowska in Maps to the Stars is a candidate as well. I’m mixed on the film but she did a great job at gradually peeling back the layers of her character’s instability.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I consider Tabu supporting. And for Marie Antoinette,

Dunst - 4
Schwartzman - 3
Torn - 3.5
Davis - 3
Coogan - 3

And with regards to the female acting categories so long as Nina Hoss gets a 5 I’m happy.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Not sure what is on record, but Blunt is a 4.5, and I'd up Paxton to a 4, if at the very least for his reaction to Cage's truck "escape".

Calvin Law said...

So glad that Paxton is a 4 now. That line delivery is a classic.

Luke Higham said...

Very happy Paxton went up.

Mitchell Murray said...

Personally, my favourite Paxton line from this film is "No Sir...I'm from Kentucky".

Also, nice to see an upgrade for Blunt. She is absolutely terrific here, and along with her work in "Sicario" and "The Quiet Place", has proved herself to be a genuine action star. Matter of fact, this would be my second favourite Blunt performance after the aforementioned Villeneuve film.

Luke Higham said...

Kenneth Branagh may just've made his worst film.

Aidan Pittman said...

Luke: Had no idea he had directed Artemis Fowl until now... oh dear...

Louis Morgan said...

Worse than the Sleuth remake?....that's not good.

BRAZINTERMA said...

Hey guys!
I want to do a quiz with you called "The New Louis Winners". It works as follows: choose a year that Louis has not yet reanalyzed, choose the category (lead or supporting or both) and say who is the new Overall Rank winner. For those who did not understand the quiz see my example below ...

1931
- Supporting Actor: Peter Lorre in M
- Lead Actor: Charlie Chaplin in City Lights (I still believe that Chaplin will win one as an actor on this blog)

1936
Supporting Actor: Jules Berry in The Crime of Monsieur Lange

1942
Supporting Actor: Ward Bond in Gentleman Jim

1950
Lead Actor: Richard Widmark in Night and the City

1956
Supporting Actor: James Dean in Giant

1964
Lead Actor: Rod Steiger in The Pawnbroker

1972
Supporting Actor: James Mason in Child's Play

1998
Lead Actor: Sean Gullette in Pi or Ian McKellen in Apt Pupil

2014
- Supporting Actor: J. K. Simmons in Whiplash
- Lead Actor: Michael Keaton in Birdman

Calvin Law said...

Artemis Fowl bothers me so much. I loved the novels so much as a child and it breaks my heart to see them tear it apart.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: If you’ve seen it, how did you like season 2 of What We Do in the Shadows? I’ve binged both seasons in the past week and I’m definitely a fan.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Did you ever end up seeing Alita: Battle Angel? Randomly thought about this due to some stupid Twitter shenanigans this week (it’s neck-and-neck with Parasite in a site-wide poll for Film of the Decade due to ballot stuffing).

Calvin Law said...

Robert: That's hilarious. Does it have a huge Twitter fandom or something?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Calvin: Alright, time to tell you all about the Al*ta Army (censoring it in case they google it). It started off as a weird countermeasure in response to Captain Marvel being a “bad feminist” film and Al*ta being a good one, but then it snowballed. Suddenly you had Snyder Cut fanboys and obsessive Last Jedi haters on board. All of the sudden thousands of spam accounts using #Al*taArmy as a battle cry raid any post or poll asking generalized movie questions. You should have seen the responses to any Academy tweet asking any generic question. Now, they’ve come for Parasite.


(In fairness, it does have genuine fans. As it turns out, on the opposite side of the ideology coin, it has a sizable trans following due to perceived subtext. Personally I don’t buy it since it was directed by a man who made two Sin City movies, but whatever.)

Calvin Law said...

Man, all’s good with being passionate about films but fuck fanboys lol.

Calvin Law said...

To rectify that, the toxic obsessive ones.

Tim said...

A Rodriguez film vs Parasite? That simply sounds like some form of bad joke

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'm not a fan of Last Jedi but you don't see me going on and on and on about it.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Robert: Things like that is one of the main reasons why this blog is my favorite place by FAR to have a discussion on films and TV shows.

Mitchell Murray said...

In regards to Al*ta Army, I pretty much concur with every comment you guys are making...

I mean, I'm no fan of "Captain Marvel", and I do think there are far better films with feminist themes, but it didn't offend me to the point where I need to join some internet club and rally against it. Enthusiasm is one thing, but these kinds of hi jinks are precisely why I refrain from social media in general.

Mitchell Murray said...

I might also point out that "Alita Battle Angel" was produced by James Cameron - I.E. the man behind "Aliens" and "T2" - so that's probably adding even more fuel to the fire.

Emi Grant said...

I long for the days when DiCaprio not having an Oscar was the biggest (and seemingly only) complaint internet film buffs seemed to have.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on the voices for Hummel and Mason in these three Japanese dubs for The Rock?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrl58gqnB6s

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Da 5 Bloods and the cast with ratings.

Calvin Law said...

Watched Da 5 Bloods. A bit messy overall in terms of getting its message across and the pacing (never felt slow funnily enough despite the length, somewhat rushed was my issue) but was very powerful. Delroy Lindo should definitely be saved for a review (though I'm still ruminating on his rating). As for the rest of the cast,

Majors: 3.5
Peters: 4/4.5
Lewis: 3
Whitlock Jr.: 3
Boseman: 3.5
Thierry: 3
Hauser: 2.5
Paakkonen: 2.5
Reno: 2
Ngo: 3
Nguyen: 3

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Is Lindo Lead.

Aidan Pittman said...

Some good news in regards to the Academy: Not only are they ensuring we'll get 10 Best Picture nominees, but they're also working on new inclusion and diversity requirements which also include expanding Academy membership and increasing membership screenings. They said they'll have more details on the requirements on July 31st.These rules won't be in effect until the 2022 Oscars season for 2021 released films as far as I'm aware, but this still sounds like a big step.

Calvin Law said...

Aidan: that’s great news.

Luke: I’d consider him Lead. Peters verges on it initially as well. I’m going to watch Staten Island tomorrow I think.

Louis Morgan said...

Also watched Da Five Bloods, definitely need a little time to ruminate overall as the very least it is a whole lot to take in, as Lee's cinematic dissertation on African American involvement in the Vietnam war meets Treasure of the Sierra Madre. On just a completely cursory, "is it generally compelling?", if I had to categorize it as "Bad Lee" or "Good Lee", it'd definitely put it in the latter.

Definitely saving Lindo, who I'd say is lead, though it isn't horrible category fraud to say otherwise, as there is a strong sense of the ensemble so to speak.

Aidan Pittman said...

Haven't seen Da 5 Bloods yet, but my bet is that Netflix runs Lindo as supporting.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael:

I have been, really enjoyed both seasons a lot, I prefer it to the film (which makes sense as situational comedy is better for tv I feel).

Robert:

Never did, and the odd obsession I saw towards it probably dissuaded me honestly....or perhaps it was just the creepy CGI anime eyes.

Anonymous:

I'd say the deepest voice probably got closest to evoking what Harris was going for.

Calvin Law said...

Ended up seeing King of Staten Island because of insomnia and ended up really liking it, despite reservations with Apatow’s approach to comedy, thought all the dramatic stuff was great.

Davidson: 4
Tomei: 3.5
Burr: 4
Powley: 3.5
Apatow: 3
Buscemi: 3.5

Aidan Pittman said...

Watched Clue for the first time and enjoyed it a lot. Hilarious and loved that the cast takes full advantage of the fact that they're in a movie that's not taking itself seriously.

Curry - 5
Mull - 4
Kahn - 4.5
Brennan - 4.5
Lloyd - 4
Warren - 4.5
McKean - 5 (he deserves it for his last line reading alone)
Camp - 4.5
Ving - 2.5

Louis Morgan said...

Giving more time to Da 5 Bloods, I definitely liked it but as much had reservations, which is usually the case for Lee. Less so here for his direction where I think a lot of his choices payed off, this even including some of his enforced choices that can be sometimes a detriment for me like his obligatory dance scene, which here felt far less gratuitous than usual. Liked most of his choices here, even his more overt stylistic touches, like the film stock switches, his musical choices, and his sort of onscreen "citations". Not every choice of course, as I hated his choice involving a violent death that was so over the top it made the scene feel ridiculous when I think it was suppose to be heartbreaking, but that is more an outlier.

As is common for me his screenplay is where I get into trouble. Greatness in here, and often succeeds in his mix of commentary within a treasure hunt. I do wish he explored the titular bloods a bit more individually, as there are interesting ideas there left on the table because of that, though the central role is extremely well developed and realized. I also think it becomes a bit too predictable once it becomes obvious he's doing a "Treasure of Sierra Madre" send-up, since it is less of a send up and more of a remake by the end of it. I also HATED his near verbatim use of "Stinkin Badges" and "Madness Madness" in almost the exact same context as the lines existed originally. And of course as usual, Lee's epilogues feel less like endings, and more of a run on sentence of someone trying to get one last thought out before he is cut off. Still, when the film works, it is quite great, and it works more often than not.

Majors - 3.5
Peters - 4
Lewis - 3
Whitlock - 3
Boseman - 3.5
Thierry - 3
Hauser - 3
Paakkonen - 2
Reno - 2
Ngo - 2.5
Nguyen - 2.5

Calvin Law said...

Louis: I agree that the 'Stinkin Badges' line felt really out of place as did the violent death (especially since the sequence right after that was so great and could've been enough for the emotional stakes), and also to the development of the other bloods, maybe in the past scenes they could've had a bit more focus though I understand why they didn't. Still, it's sticking with me fairly well.

Anonymous said...

Louis: When you mean deepest voice, are you talking about the first voice? I dunno, I think the first voice sounds a little too old.

Matt Mustin said...

I thought Da 5 Bloods was great. Outside of that aforementioned death scene, which is really pretty brief, I LOVED Spike Lee's direction, so much so that I entirely don't care that the screenplay is less than great (I also hated those two moments you mentioned) because I was entirely invested in the film through Lee's work as a director. Delroy Lindo is definitely lead, in my opinion. Also, I loved the cinematography.

Lindo-5
Majors-3.5
Peters-4.5
Whitlock-3
Lewis-2.5
Boseman-3.5(could go up)
Thierry-3
Hauser-3
Paakkonen-2.5(don't really know what you're problem was with him. He doesn't really have anything to do, but I didn't think he was bad.)
Reno-2
Nguyen-3

Matt Mustin said...

Oh, and also

Whoever played the Vietnam officer-1.5

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

For me the brief note Paakkonen had to play, he did so slightly awkwardly, making his character have I think an unintended shade of villainy, rather just showing a jealous but decent guy.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on Majors, Peters and Boseman.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Majors - (More than anything a nice show of range from him as compared to "Last Black Man in San Francisco" where he excelled at playing mannered, here he is good at playing average. He brings a nice low key charm in the part and finds the right sort of investment towards the situation internalized within his performance. I'd say what is most important though are his more reactionary moments with Lindo where he does some essential things in helping to facilitate what Lindo is doing. This in that Majors helps to ensure you are granted a real understanding of their relationship history, and with Lindo hit those essential moments together.)

Peters - (As typical offers a rock solid presence with his performance. Peters of course is purposefully the most sort of on solid ground throughout the film, but does the sort of "Tim Holt" performance well. This just in terms of offering the sort of emotional devastation of moments in a more subdued fashion. Also notable though is his success in helping to craft the right chemistry within the cast, offering again the sense of his character as this pillar. Although it wasn't necessarily my favorite part of the film, in part because it wasn't developed beyond just a general idea, I think his personal scenes were well realized on his end, again in a low key but moving way. I will say though, despite trying his best, he struggles with selling "Madness Madness", but most would I think.)

Boseman - (Very much built from his charisma and rock solid presence as a performer. Boseman delivers on that more so being this idea of a hero, purposefully so, and effectively so. Boseman though thrives within that purposeful limitation to make the needed impact in creating his character as this symbol for the others.)

Anonymous said...

Louis: What do you think of the entire JK Rowling scandal that seems to have erupted last week? I've seen a lot of posts saying that the Harry Potter franchise being "authorless" now, which I think seems to ignore the somewhat problematic undertones that were present in original novels to begin with.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: Well, I'll try to be concise because I have a lot of thoughts, but Rowling clearly doesn't seem to have handled her irrelevance well. Her comments in and of themselves are definitely worth all of the criticism thrown her way- this is far from the first time she's made such ridiculously ignorant remarks, and the fact that her views only seem to have burgeoned further is just unfortunate more than anything else. I'll give Radcliffe, Watson and Redmayne credit for speaking up against her views.

Calvin Law said...

Rowling has fucking lost her marbles. Agreed that it’s good that the cast have stood up to her, and based on stuff I’ve read in interviews from him past few years it seems like Redmayne has actively tried to learn about such matters since the Danish Girl controversies.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this doesn't become a political forum *rolls eyes*

Luke Higham said...

I hate to be that guy but I really don't want to discuss this.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke, Anonymous: I don't think they meant for it to come out as something politically charged, but rather because it does kind of relate to the numerous "separating the art from the artist" conversations that we've had on here.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Well, I agree with her on the matter of biology whether you're Male or Female, but transpeople should have the right to identify and live the way they wish. I personally have a crush on Nicole Maines and find it incredibly heartbreaking that she can't reproduce children. Now, J.K. Rowling (even with the domestic abuse letter she published after the fact) should've handled it much better. Will it stop me reading Harry Potter, absolutely not but she has all the time in the world to change her viewpoint and afforded forgiveness when it happens because letting hate go on is exhausting.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: David Copperfield is up at last, any possibility you could watch it tonight.

Calvin Law said...

I don’t think Rowling is going to change her stance but I also understand people might not want to discuss this on here, for various reasons, although Tahmeed is right in that it does relate to various other convos that have been had on here.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: oh goodie. I hope Patel and Laurie will be saves.

Michael Patison said...

On Rowling: I agree with Luke and Rowling on the issue of sex at birth being a matter of biological fact. But that has no bearing on what you perceive yourself to be, which is more important (so changing your biological sex is therefore a necessity and a right for those who choose to do it). Rowling largely ignores this latter point in her latest set of statements, while not saying much of anything productive or substantive (for a professional writer it was exceptionally poorly written) and sticking by her earlier flippant and arguably cruel comments.

I haven't read Harry Potter in quite some time, and this won't stop me from doing so in the future. I also own the first 4 Cormoran Stike novels and this will not stop me from reading the 3 I have not yet read. It is very likely, however, that I will not purchase any more reading material written by her in the future.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I hope so. With the way things are at the moment, I'd at least like to see Laurie reviewed.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: I think that's a fair statement. Yours not Rowling's

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

My previous thoughts on art v artist stand firm, and otherwise I will just continue to bemoan the tendency of discourse to fall into extremes, which I think twitter in particular makes all the more prevalent as its very nature deters nuance and moderation.

Also to note, while I think political/social matters can naturally come within the context of films/tv we discuss here, and wholly support it within that context. I prefer to leave such issues in isolation to other forums of discussion that seem more appropriate for that...of which there are many more options tailored towards that topic, than there are options for genuine thoughtful and respectful discussions of film and television.

Luke:

Well if that's the case, "King of Staten Island" will be taking a backseat.

Mitchell Murray said...

Man...I heard of this whole thing with Rowling, and its just sad and frustrating to witness.

I'll keep my own thoughts on this brief; I agree with the idea of biological fact, but I also believe one should have freedom/choice in terms to their gender. Rowling's own words on this subject - regardless of intent - come across as ignorant and dismissive, and only add to her problematic "twitter" history. This also just bolsters my belief that, when it comes to discussions of this nature, social media is NOT the best platform to use.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I was going to keep my mouth shut, but I’m seeing you all talk about the “biological sex” thing as something you agree with Rowling on, so I’m going to link this article as a way to explain it better than I can on why she’s wrong: https://medium.com/@juliaserano/transgender-people-and-biological-sex-myths-c2a9bcdb4f4a Please take the time to educate yourselves on this matter.

As for Rowling, screw her. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Happy Pride Month everyone.

Luke Higham said...

I'm not going on this subject any further.

Mitchell Murray said...

Me neither. As a cis-man, it really is not in my place to speak about anyways.

With that said, let us all be considerate and respectful of one another, and continue to foster intelligent conversation wherever/whenever we can.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: AGREED.

Michael Patison said...

Robert: Thank you for posting that article. It made me think about how the arguments I've been making in good faith could be used for more malicious purposes. I'll look to incorporate what it says going forward.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Michael: Thank you for your consideration.