This weekend has been jammed pack full of movie watching. Friday Tim and I watched The Fog of War, Midnight Cowboy, and Home Movies. Last night, after a tasty dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, McNamara’s, we watched Adaptation.
The Fog of War
Jeff and Margaret were so kind as to burn us a copy of this film. This is a documentary featuring interviews from Robert McNamara, highlighting his career from World War II to present. McNamara served as an Air Force officer in WWII, evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of bombers, and helping to plan the firebombing of Tokyo. In hindsight, he discusses how inhumane this war was toward Japanese civilians and compares the decimation of Japanese cities and populations to that of American cities. For example, the bombs that the US dropped on Japanese city X would be like destroying 33% of Chicago. And he makes these comparisons to every city bombed by the US in WWII. McNamara then argues that after all that destruction, the US still firebombs Japan, and how that icing on the cake was really unnecessary overkill. After WWII, he served as President of Ford Motor Company, and was the first president outside of the Ford family. He then served as Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and then Johnson, i.e. during the Vietnam War. The film focuses mostly on this part of his life/career. It also features audio clips of McNamara discussing pulling out of the war with Kennedy and Johnson. The most interesting part of this is Johnson’s inconsideration of McNamara’s arguments and proposed plans to pull troops out of Vietnam. McNamara also served as head of the World Bank until 1981. In the end, McNamara does not answer the interviewer’s question of whether or not he feels he made the right decisions in life. Now whether or not you agree with the positions McNamara has held, and the decisions he made in these positions, after watching this film you can’t argue that McNamara is not an extremely intelligent and emotional man. What I liked most about this film, and about McNamara, is the amount of responsibility that he takes for all of his actions and decisions. He makes no excuses, does not cut corners, and tells it like it is/was.
This film won the Academy Awards’ Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay in 1970, and was the first rated X movie to be nominated for an Academy Award, although now it is rated R. If you haven’t seen it, Joe Buck (John Voight) plays a man who escapes from troubles in Texas and moves to New York City to become a (failed) hustler. He meets Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) who at first cons him, but later becomes his best friend. This film is really a movie about Joe’s and Rizzo’s unlikely but beautiful and heartbreaking relationship. My favorite thing about his film was the dichotomy between tell and show. The characters verbalize a ridiculous amount of blatant homophobia, but the homosocial relationship between Joe and Rizzo is anything but homophobic.
Home Movies is a cartoon that has been on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim for quite some time now. In fact, it is my favorite Adult Swim show. We’ve been getting them on Netflix since we don’t have cable. This cartoon is about an 8-year-old film maker, his films, his family, friends, and adventures. It features voices from Brendon Small, Paula Poundstone, and Mitch Hedberg. If you haven’t seen this show, watch it. It’s hilarious.
Adaptation is a Spike Jonze joint. HA! Like I’m sure he’s never heard that one before. This was a pretty good movie. It is definitely not conventional, and does take a little effort to switch your mind to analytical mode. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to give too much away, and I’m not sure how to give my few cents without doing so. Basically Nicolas Cage plays screenwriter Charlie Kaufmann as well as his brother Douglas. It follows Kaufmann as he struggles to adapt the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep). At the same time, it follows Orlean’s process of writing the book and her relationship with the orchid thief John Laroche (Chris Cooper). The film Adaptation ends up being Kaufmann’s screenplay, with a very twisted ending care of his brother Douglas (hint hint).
So that's what's been going on in the Sarah-Tim-Roscoe household. Today I promise to be more productive. But what is the weekend for anyway?