Posts Tagged ‘Robert Duvall’
You get value for your money in Robert Downey’s Jr’s new film “The Judge.” Stepping away from the superhero movies that made him a household name, he stars in a film with so many story shards and plot derivations you need a scorecard to keep up.
It’s a legal drama. No, it’s a manboy coming-of-age story. Wait! It’s also romance, a dramedy, a father-and-son tale and a mystery. The only genres missing are horror and science fiction and I suspect they will be included on the director’s cut Blu Ray.
Downey Jr is Hank Palmer, a hotshot defense lawyer. He’ll do anything to win and is proud of it. “Everybody wants Atticus Finch,” he says, “until there’s a dead hooker in the hot tub.” In court he’s Iron Man, an unstoppable force with a thick skin and a quick line. He’s the same outside of court as well, except when it comes to his father.
He’s been estranged from Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall) for years—“He’s dead to me.”—but is forced to see him when his mother passes away. Returning to his hometown of Carlinville, Indiana for the funeral Hank must confront the life he left behind—ex-girlfriend Samantha (Vera Farmiga), brothers Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Dale (Jeremy Strong) and his cold-fish father. The quick in-and-out trip is extended, however, when the Judge is accused of murder and Hank becomes his lawyer.
“The Judge” feels like Oscar bait. It’s a long movie with a wide story arc that gives its leads ample opportunity to strut their stuff. Downey hands in a solid, if somewhat familiar performance while Duvall plays elder statesman, resurrecting the alpha male feel of “The Great Santini.” Both are used to good effect and the supporting cast keeps canada goose freestyle youth vest for sale humming along despite a story that pushes credulity to the limit.
The devil is in the details and when the details, no matter how small they are, verge on silly, they become a distraction.
Most of the silly stuff comes in the form of the clues Hank pieces together while forming the Judge’s defense and the trial itself. There will be no spoilers here, but suffice to say the whole canada goose freestyle youth vest for sale hinges on a bit of information so implausible that it gives new meaning to the term suspension of disbelief. Trouble is, it didn’t have to be that way. There were any number of ways to establish the point in question (OK, HERE’S AMILD SPOILER ALERT: It involves chemotherapy and a cottage) without trying so hard, but that’s not the kind of film this is.
“The Judge” is the hardest working movie in show business. It’s a film that wants to check all the boxes and tries just a little too hard. Downey and Co. float above it all, however, touching down every now and again to introduce a new plot twist and deliver the occasional touching moment.
By Richard Crouse & Mark Breslin – Metro Reel Guys
SYNOPSIS: Robert Downey Jr is Hank Palmer, a hotshot defense lawyer. Who’s been estranged from his father Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall) for years but is forced to see him when his mother passes away. Returning to his hometown of Carlinville, Indiana for the funeral Hank must confront the life he left behind—ex-girlfriend Samantha (Vera Farmiga), brothers Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Dale (Jeremy Strong) and his cold-fish father. The quick in-and-out trip is extended, however, when the Judge is accused of murder and Hank becomes his lawyer.
Richard: 3 Stars
Mark: 4 Stars
Richard: Mark, The Judge feels like Oscar bait. It’s a long movie with a wide story arc that gives its leads ample opportunity to strut their stuff. Downey hands in a solid, if somewhat familiar performance while Duvall plays elder statesman, resurrecting the alpha male feel of The Great Santini. Both are used to good effect and the supporting cast keeps things humming along despite a story that pushes credulity to the limit. What’s your verdict? Were won over the performances despite plot holes so big not even Iron Man could fill them?
Mark: Richard, The Judge is a sprawling, square, old-fashioned movie and I loved it in spite of itself. It’s a pleasure to watch Downey act without a fifth of a billion bucks in CGI helping him out. The movie reminds us why we fell in love with him so long ago. His perfect wiseass line readings and adolescent smirk hide the softie underneath, and it’s great to watch the transition slowly unfold. As for Duvall, how can you go wrong? He’s not just an actor now, he’s everyone’s granddad. The acting in the movie is pretty flawless, and I’m including Vincent D’Onofrio and Vera Farmiga here as well.
RC: The acting is very good. It’s the story, or should I say stories that bogged me down. It’s the hardest working movie in show business. It’s a film that wants to check all the boxes. It’s a family drama! No! It’s a romance! Nope! It’s a courtroom thriller! It’s all those things, and, for me, less because it spreads the focus too thin by trying just a little too hard. Downey and Co. float above it all, however, touching down every now and again to introduce a new plot twist and deliver the occasional touching moment.
MB: You’re right; it’s all those things. And one more: It’s a John Mellencamp song. You see, he was born in a small town… Richard, let’s not forget the cliche of the big city slicker who finds out his roots are where his heart belongs. In spite of that, in spite of everything you so correctly enumerate, I still loved the movie. And although I had a pretty good idea how the thriller part was going to turn out, I was engaged to see how it would get there.
RC: Most of the silly stuff that bothered me comes in the form of clues Hank pieces together while forming the Judge’s defense and the trial itself. There will be no spoilers here, but suffice to say the whole canada goose freestyle youth vest for sale hinges on a bit of information so implausible that it gives new meaning to the term suspension of disbelief. Trouble is, it didn’t have to be that way. There were any number of ways to establish the point in question (OK, HERE’S A MILD SPOILER ALERT: It involves chemotherapy and a cottage) without trying so hard, but that’s not the kind of film this is.
MB: But it is the kind of movie where the prosecuting attorney (Billy Bob Thornton) is given a Snidely Whiplash moustache just to make sure we all know he’s the bad guy. Doesn’t matter. Still loved the movie.
“My father’s a lot of unpleasant things. A murderer’s not one of them.”
That’s how Robert Downey Jr. describes his father, the titular character in this weekend’s legal thriller The Judge. Robert Duvall plays the irascible old judge, who, when accused of vehicular manslaughter, must reluctantly rely on his estranged lawyer son for a defence in court. While he’s on the bench, he’s a no-nonsense justice who doles out old-fashioned common sense along with his judgments. In one case, he makes a deadbeat dad hand over his brand-new truck to his ex-wife, joining a long list of movie magistrates who have meted out law and order on the big screen.
Remember Fred Gwynne as My Cousin Vinny’s Judge Chamberlain Haller —his classic question, “What is a yoot?” may be one of the most famous movie lines delivered from the bench — but how about Judge Doom, the much feared judge of Toontown? As played by Christopher Lloyd in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, he presides over a town of cartoon characters, punishing lawbreakers with the dreaded Dip, a bubbling vat of turpentine, acetone and benzene that “erases” them. His mission is to pin the murder of Marvin Acme on Roger Rabbit. “I’ll catch the rabbit, I’ll try him, convict him and execute him!”
Everyone has heard the term “judge, jury and executioner,” but Judge Dredd adds one more title, police officer. Set in 2080, this Sylvester Stallone movie sees the justice system boiled down to Street Judges who enforce the laws and dole out instant justice. When Joseph Dredd is convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, he must prove his innocence. “The evidence has been falsified! It’s impossible! I never broke the law, I AM THE LAW!”
Finally, a more conventional judge is seen in Anatomy of a Murder, the 1959 Otto Preminger film about an army lieutenant accused of murdering a bartender who attacked his wife. The all-star cast — defence attorney James Stewart, George C. Scott as the prosecutor, Ben Gazzara and Lee Remick as the defendant and his wife — was presided over by real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch as Judge Weaver. Welch made several pictures, but is best remembered as the attorney who represented the Army in the McCarthy hearings and scolded the Communist-hunting senator with the famous words, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” when he verbally attacked a member of Welch’s law firm.
Appearing in one of the movies! I was in Red Alert, a short that played before the movie Wet Bum. IT’s not enough that I cover 100 movies during the fest, now I have to be in them too! I even got a review. “@richardcrouse is great in Red Alert…” Mike Bullard wrote on twitter. “I’d like to tell you I didn’t know he was a redhead but I knew… I just knew ok.”
In person Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice sounds like hot melting wax. I liked Sherlock well enough and have seen him in several movies, but for me, and I know I’m the last to get it, his performance in The Imitation Game is a game changer. He plays real-life character Alan Turing, a Cambridge mathematician who volunteers to help break Germany’s most devastating WWII weapon of war, the Enigma machine. It was a top-secret operation, classified for more than 50 years, but that wasn’t Turing’s only secret. Gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal, punishable by jail or chemical castration, he was forced to live a world of secrets, both personal and professional.
Robert Pattinson telling me about how Hollywood was before camera phones: “When I first started going to LA everyone was underage and if you were a famous actor the rules did not apply. You could be a sixteen-year-old and go into a club but now that there are camera phones everywhere that doesn’t exist anymore. That period was so weird. You’d see a fourteen-year-old actor wasted, doing lines of blow on the table. It was crazy. Now they just do it at their parent’s house.”
Julie Taymore telling me that A Midsummer Night’s Dream “It was the first play I ever saw. I saw it here in Canada at the Stratford Festival…”
Michael Moore’s answer to my question about his reaction to all the celebrity he gained after appearing at TIFF 25 years ago with Roger and Me: Asked what was going through his head while all this was swirling around him, Moore says: “Why didn’t I go to Jenny Craig three months ago?”
“I don’t know where they are,” Kingsley says about his characters, “if they’re inside me waiting to come out or whether they are outside of me. Are they hunting me or am I hunting them? I don’t know.”
Repairing Dustin Hoffman’s watch. During a roundtable interview the alarm on his watch went off several times. He gave it to me and I looked up the instructions on how to fix it on Google. “How did it you look it up on line? They have instructions to fix Timexes on line? I don’t automatically go to those things,” he said. During the interview he said: “I was told to take acting. Nobody flunks acting.” Later he said that it wasn’t such a bad choice because, for instance, “No one ever says, ‘I want to be a critic when I grow up.’”
Lowlight… waiting for BIll Murray for seven hours. (Although I love this from @ZeitchikLAT: Bill Murray, offering implicit proof on the merits of Bill Murray Day: “If this is really my day, why do I have to do so much work?”)
Sitting next to next to Boo Radley, Bill Kilgore and Tom Hagan. (Robert Duvall!)
Most quotable actors of the festival? Robert Duvall who said, about acting, “There’s no right or wrong just truthful or untruthful.” He calls Billy Bob Thornton “The hillbilly Orson Welles…” and said “Brando used to watch Candid Camera.” Jane Fonda was a close second when she said acting is great for the heart but terrible for the nerves… “Butts have become more in fashion… (since Barbarella) and “Television is forgiving to older women and making it possible for us to have longer careers.”
“I have distilled socialism in this box and am taking it back to America.” – Robert Downey Jr in my roundtable interview.
#TIFF14 socks day 3. Chris O’Dowd called them “powerful.” and Rosamund Pike said, “I’m enjoying your socks. They make me happy.”
Watching “Whiplash” knock the socks off an audience at an IMAX P&! screening. It is part musical—the big band jazz numbers are exhilarating—and part psychological study of the tense dynamics between mentor and protégée in the pursuit of excellence. The pair is a match made in hell. Teacher Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons is a vain, driven man given to throwing chairs at his students if they dare hit a wring note. He’s an exacting hardliner who teaches by humiliation and fear. This movie doesn’t miss a beat.
Love this quote: “Being in the military,” said Adam Driver of This Is Where I Leave You, “believe it or not, is very different than being in an acting school.”