Tag: Patton Oswalt

The Circle

May 3rd, 2017 — 5:30am


The Circle – sp

We see on news programs accusations that politicians sometimes are not very honest. There are reports that there are deals being done behind everyone’s back which are not in the best interest of the constituents who elected them. So imagine if it were possible for a politician to decide to “go transparent” where he or she would wear a special camera 24 hours a day that would record just about everything that went on in his or her life (with some very personal exceptions) which would be accessible to everyone on the Internet who wanted to view it. In fact, imagine where other people could decide to “go transparent” and have every part of their life available to anyone who wanted to see it. Imagine also a corporation which cared so much for its employees that it would offer them world class medical care, not only to all of its employees but to their entire families including their parents. What if everyone was interconnected on the Internet so that a wanted criminal could be quickly tracked down once the details of this person with a picture were put out on the Internet. In fact, any persons’ whereabouts could be tracked down within ten minutes because everyone was so interconnected.

These possibilities and all the implications of them were part of the storyline of the novel The Circle  by Dave Eggers which was brought to the screen by James Ponsoldt who co-wrote the screen play with Mr. Eggers. Mr. Ponsoldt also directed the film and was one of the major producers. He enticed Tom Hanks, two-time Oscar winner to play Eamon Bailey who was one of the founders and leaders of this company. As usual, Mr. Hanks is very believable and somewhat reminiscent of Steve Jobs. Patton Oswalt plays another co-founder Tom Stenton who appeared a little bit more sinister.

The story revolves around Mae Holland (Emma Watson), a young woman who was thrilled to get a job at the Circle (think Google and/or Apple squared in the mathematical sense). We see her evolve from being very excited about getting a great entry job (called a guppy, remember new born teeny tropical fish) to developing into a sophisticated perhaps brainwashed worker who herself wants to go transparent. There are also meaningful supportive roles by Glenne Headly and Bill Paxton who play her parents.

We previously had read the book and liked it very much. As is often the case in such a situation, it is difficult for the movie to live up to an outstanding bpok. We tended to feel that the film was quite disjointed and superficial. The characters were not very well-developed as compared to in the book. Subplots, probably by necessity, were left out. The film served the purpose of providing a cautionary tale as did acclaimed film and book “1984” and telling us what may be in store for us in the future.

If you read the book, the film probably is not worth seeing. If you haven’t read the book, we highly recommend that it be your first choice instead of the movie. (2017)

1 comment » | 2 Stars, Drama

Young Adult

December 2nd, 2011 — 9:53pm


Young Adult-sp– Director Jason Reitman (Up In the Air, Thank You For Smoking, Juno) who was a guest at our preview screening compared his directing style to that of this father Ivan Reitman (Animal House, Ghost Busters, Twins). He explained whereas his father likes to make movies that make you feel good, he prefers films that make you uncomfortable. He succeeded in his goal using the screenplay written by Diablo Cody (Juno) and what should be an award winning performance by Charlize Theron.

She plays Mavis Gary a very attractive (of course), divorced, moderately successful writer without any meaningful relationships in her life who learns that her old high school boyfriend and his wife have just had their first child. This stirs her up and sets her off on a mission to return to her hometown, find her old boyfriend, rekindle their true love which she feels has always been there, and try to get him to go off into the sunset with her. Theron makes this unbelievable character quite believable in the most subtle manner as she picks her way through her home town, picking at her hair and showing a propensity to put away drinks. Her determination begins to get scary as she casually shares her plan with old high school friends that she meets, a visit with her parents and her meeting with her old bf (Patrick Wilson ) and his wife (Elizabeth Reaser). The depth of this character or perhaps the lack of it is highlighted in her encounters with one high school classmate Matt (Patton Oswalt) who is has been damaged physically on the outside  as much as we realize that she is damaged on the inside. There is a great musical background throughout the movie and the closing song is Diana Ross singing “ When We Grow Up” from the classic Marlo Thomas album “Free to Be You and Me” This provides the depressing mood of this film which sadly for this character highlights the line “We don’t have to change at all.”(2011)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

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