Captain Spaulding's Cinematic Catalogue

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The Long Goodbye
(Robert Altman, 1973)
(Starring: Elliot Gould; Sterling Hayden; Nina Van Pallandt; Mark Rydell)

When I hear the name Philip Marlowe, I immediately think of Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep, fedora on his head, cigarette dangling from his mouth, as he and the beautiful Lauren Bacall exchange some of the greatest and most sexually-charged dialogue ever written. What I don't think of is Elliot Gould and his missing cat and his yoga-practicing nudist neighbors. Nobody can compare to Bogey, who is as effortlessly cool and magnetic as any leading man ever to grace the big screen, but Gould's embodiment of the iconic private detective is something completely different: a sharply-dressed Rip Van Winkle in a world of bikinis, out of his element and out of touch with the times, walking around with a bemused smirk on his face as he mutters aloud to himself about the strange characters and situations he encounters, all of which is completely alien to the black-and-white noir from which he appeared.

But, as Marlowe would say, it's okay with me.

As I watched The Long Goodbye, I was reminded of an interview I saw with Quentin Tarantino, where he discussed how the plot of Jackie Brown can get in the way of the movie itself. On a first watch of Jackie Brown, instead of relaxing on the couch with Samuel L. Jackson and sharing a bong with Bridget Fonda, the audience is more concerned with the money and the complicated double-cross. Once you know how things play out, however, you can re-watch the movie and just sit back and hang out with the characters and enjoy their conversations. The Long Goodbye strikes me as a similar situation. While watching it, I found myself distracted by the case. Instead of just being a spectator and enjoying the movie's free-flowing spirit and all of its idiosyncrasies, I was too consumed with uncovering the culprit behind the murder of Marlowe's friend. I watched The Long Goodbye as if I was reading the Raymond Chandler novel. That's not the proper way to view this movie. Just like Jackie Brown was Tarantino's unique spin on the world of Elmore Leonard, The Long Goodbye is Altman's unique spin on the world of whodunits. If McCabe & Mrs. Miller was Altman's anti-western, The Long Goodbye is Altman's anti-noir.

I won't lie: I was slightly disappointed by The Long Goodbye. I went in with high expectations, knowing how much most of you love this movie, but I was underwhelmed. However, I don't blame the movie, but myself. The Long Goodbye strikes me as a movie that will only grow in my estimation the more times I re-watch it. I look forward to sitting on the beach with Gould's Marlowe and Sterling Hayden's re-incarnation of Ernest Hemingway while having whatever he's having. And I'll gladly join Marlowe at three o'clock in the morning on an errand for cat food. Or strip down do my yellow trunks with a young, freakishly muscular Arnold Schwarzenegger. But on my first watch of this beloved classic, I found myself preferring Altman's other films, like Nashville and Short Cuts and California Split, that don't have even the tiniest semblances of a plot for me to stumble over, allowing me to focus solely on the characters.

The Long Goodbye is a very good movie, perhaps even a great movie, but I'll have to re-immerse myself in its world, hopefully with the right mindset, before I can make that verdict. As of right now, however, there is a slight disconnect between me and this movie. I can see why so many people love it. And I love parts of it. Maybe next time I'll fall in love with all of it.


Your review is fair enough, it's certainly an unusual movie. I would compare it to The Big Lebowski in its overall cool style with little focus on plot. I love both

Your review is fair enough, it's certainly an unusual movie. I would compare it to The Big Lebowski in its overall cool style with little focus on plot. I love both
That's probably an apt comparison. It took me a second viewing to fall in love with The Big Lebowski. I imagine the same will probably happen with The Long Goodbye.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Why is it a good movie, Captain? Because it's idiosyncratic" Because it's cool? Because it's pre-Tarantino or pre-Coen Bros. in some form? What are your actual reasons? I know others can come forward, again, and talk about their reasons, but I didn't really get why you think's very good or great and are going against your gut, which my gut agrees with (and rates much lower) but has no need to qualify,
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
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A system of cells interlinked
I agree with the point that the first time through, I wasn't a blt to relish all the little details as much as on subsequent viewings, but that is sort of how Altman films are, I guess. I always tend to like his stuff more each time I see it, as i get to really appreciate all the character quirks etc. For the record, I love The Long Goodbye.
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP

Why is it a good movie, Captain? Because it's idiosyncratic" Because it's cool? Because it's pre-Tarantino or pre-Coen Bros. in some form? What are your actual reasons? I know others can come forward, again, and talk about their reasons, but I didn't really get why you think's very good or great and are going against your gut, which my gut agrees with (and rates much lower) but has no need to qualify,
Why is it a good movie? Because it features Arnold Schwarzenegger in yellow trunks! 'Nuff said.

I browsed through an Altman thread last night where you rated almost all of his movies a
or less. (Yet, if I remember correctly, Popeye had one of the higher ratings. Go figure.) Obviously his movies don't jive with you for whatever reason. I'm not as big of an Altman fan as some others on this forum (although I've yet to see several of his films, especially the lesser known ones), but I've enjoyed everything I've seen from him to some extent, with the exception of Countdown, which probably shouldn't count since he was fired from that job, and M*A*S*H, which was a result of me expecting more of an out and out comedy (and that's my fault for having preconceived notions going into an Altman movie, since the man defies conventions).

It's difficult for me to quantify why any movie is "good." I mean, a person can recognize great performances or great writing or great camera work (all of which The Long Goodbye has) and other technical aspects, but ultimately it just comes down to whether or not you like it. If someone asks me why cheeseburgers taste good, I don't know what to say other than "because they're delicious?" I mean, should I break down the texture of the bun for you? Trace the pickle back to when it was a cucumber? Talk about the quality of the hay that the farmers fed to the cow before slaughtering it? I can't tell you why I think The Long Goodbye is a very good movie. All I can tell you is why I enjoyed it.

I've seen someone--- it may have been Holden Pike on this very forum--- talk about how Altman doesn't really work within genres. Yeah, he might make a western, but it's not going to be like any other western you've seen--- it's distinctly Altman. Same goes for noir in The Long Goodbye. Altman only works within the genre of Altman. If you watch enough of his movies, you start to notice certain distinctive traits, whether it's the overlapping dialogue or the voyeuristic camera, that are signatures of Altman's trademark style. Just as I admire a writer who develops his own unique voice (Ray Bradbury only writes like Ray Bradbury, for instance; William Faulkner only writes like William Faulkner), I have a great admiration for directors who are so masterful behind the camera and who are so unique in how they approach a film that you can immediately point to the screen and go, "Oh, yeah, that's Altman, alright," without even seeing his name on the opening credits. So a small reason why I enjoyed The Long Goodbye is simply because I've come to admire Altman's unique qualities and stylistic trademarks.

I also think it takes a bold director to resurrect an iconic character like Philip Marlowe, then drop him into a movie that's completely alien to the old-school noir that made him a household name. Obviously Marlowe's morals and ideals clash with post-Vietnam California and its bohemian vibe. (After all, the character is used to cigarette smoke wafting in the air, not marijuana smoke.) But I thought it was clever how even Marlowe's exterior was symbolic of that contrast. While most of the characters are walking around in bathing suits (or, in the case of his nudist neighbors, dressed in nothing at all), Marlowe is always in a suit and tie. While the rest of California and its inhabitants are colorful and sunny, Marlowe is always seen in black and white, as if he just stepped out of a 1950's noir. And while the other characters are practicing yoga and worried about their health, Marlowe is still chain-smoking cigarettes as if he hasn't heard the news that cigarettes cause cancer. Everything about his character is out of place and dated. When we see him wake up in the opening scene, it's as if Marlowe has been asleep for the past 20 years. I found that very clever, and it's part of the reason why I enjoyed the movie.

(Brainfart alert: The scene near the end of the movie, where the gangster forces everyone to strip off their clothes, including Marlowe, just flashed in my mind. I'll have to re-watch the movie to decipher the context and exact symbolism of that scene, but I'm pretty sure it ties in with what I was just talking about. See? This is partly why it's a very good movie. The more you think about it, the more layers you see.)

I also loved Sterling Hayden's performance. I didn't even recognize him from the films I know him from--- like The Asphalt Jungle and Johnny Guitar. With his boisterous personality and a constant drink in his hand, it was seriously like watching a resurrected Ernest Hemingway. The scene where he and Marlowe share a few drinks on the beach was my favorite scene of the movie. Even Hayden's character gives Marlowe a few puzzled looks in that scene as he tries unsuccessfully to carry on a conversation with a private detective who has apparently stepped out of a time machine. Their contrasting natures were really highlighted in that scene.

I enjoyed some of the blink-and-you'll-miss-it humor. For instance, the scene where the guy in charge of trailing Marlowe's character quickly disposes of the "used" tissues on his dashboard from where he's been watching Marlowe's nudist neighbors through binoculars. I also found the opening scenes of the movie quite humorous and cute, and I was extremely disappointed that even the damn cat betrayed Marlowe. (Although I like how Marlowe's relationship with the cat is symbolic of what's to come later on in the movie with Marlowe's supposedly dead friend.) The scene where the gangster breaks a coke bottle over his girlfriend's face was a great scene, just due to the shocking violence of it and how it illustrated the gangster's dangerous, unpredictable nature. And even if I didn't laugh out loud a ton, I had a smile on my face during most of Marlowe's bemused reactions to the events and characters around him. Overall, I found The Long Goodbye to be an entertaining movie.

So those are some of the reasons why I enjoyed it. Do those reasons make it a good movie? Maybe. Maybe not. But it irks me that you seem to be implying that my
wasn't truthful or that I wasn't listening to my gut---- as if I disliked the movie and I was just trying to appease the people on here who love it. If anything, my rating was too low. I loved a lot things about The Long Goodbye. But I went into it with very high expectations. Given all the praise that the film receives on this forum, as well as my adoration for several other Altman films I've seen, I expected it to be an automatic shoo-in for the top-10 on my 70's list (right alongside Nashville), but it wasn't that. Most likely, the movie was a victim of hype. We should all watch movies with no expectations or pre-concieved notions, but it's difficult to keep ourselves unbiased. I also think that The Long Goodbye, like all great movies, requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate.

I'm very fond of movies that have a relaxed, laid-back approach, where the viewer is allowed to put their feet up and just hang out with the characters. Pulp Fiction is like that. So is Dazed and Confused and Rio Bravo. My favorite Altmans--- Nashville, Short Cuts, California Split--- also have that approach. I love all of those movies. Like I stated in my initial write-up, however, The Long Goodbye is more similar to Jackie Brown, in the sense that both movies, despite having that same "hang-out" quality, also feature a lot of plot that you have to pay attention to on a first viewing. That can distract a viewer from all of the smaller things happening in each scene, which is why you have to watch those movies more than once to appreciate everything that's going on outside of the plot. Now that I can push aside the whodunit side of The Long Goodbye, I expect to enjoy it even more.

Or maybe I'm just biased against The Long Goodbye because I'm a fan of The Big Sleep and refuse to accept anyone other than the guy in your avatar as the true Philip Marlowe. Who knows?

Sorry for writing you a novel. You'll only be able to watch nine movies today instead of ten because of how long it'll probably take you to read this gargantuan post. Hopefully I answered your questions and gave you enough "actual reasons." Now do you mind returning the favor and telling me why you dislike Altman so much?

The next four entries--- Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid; Noah; Straight Time; The Passenger--- are reviews I previously posted in the Rate the Last Movie You Saw thread, but I'm copying and pasting them here so that Yoda can add them to the awesomely revamped Reviews section. In the case of The Passenger, I'm raising my rating from a
to a
since the movie has continued to grow on me in retrospect.

Everyone has different criteria for their ratings. Some reviewers are way too generous. Others are way too strict. I try to rate movies based on quality and not personal enjoyment, although it's often difficult to separate the two. For perspective, here's my definition for each rating:

: Masterpiece
: Excellent
: Great
: Very Good
: Good
: Average
: Below Average
: Bad
: Mannequin, which is a synonym for Terrible
: I'd Rather Be Sodomized By a Rusty, Ten-Foot Steel Pipe Than Re-Watch This Movie
: Mannequin Two: On the Move, the deepest level of Hell, where Hollywood Montrose sodomizes me with a rusty, ten-foot steel pipe while Sexy Celebrity stands to the side and spouts the brilliance of Mannequin for the rest of eternity.

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
(Sam Peckinpah, 1973)
(Starring: Kris Kristofferson; James Coburn; Bob Dylan; Jason Robards)

From the very first scene--- a sepia-tinged "flash-forward" that reveals the fates of both title characters--- the inevitability of death hangs in the air like "a long, black cloud coming down." The characters know it, but they have no need to acknowledge it or try to avoid it. Due to their lifestyle and the times in which they live, death is always around the corner. One second you're laughing in the bed with a prostitute, the next second you're bleeding on the floor with a bullet in your chest. The most remarkable thing to me, however, is the bold way in which these characters stare death in the face and then go on about their business. Nobody begs or cries or questions why. They've all accepted their fates. The film was almost like watching a two-hour death march disguised as a revisionist western, yet it's more beautiful than depressing, more poetic than somber. It's the cinematic equivalent of a drowning man who ends his futile thrashing and instead allows himself to drift deeper and deeper into the abyss, embracing the inevitable with a calm, inviting smile on his face.

My only quibble with the film is the casting of thirty-six-year-old Kris Kristofferson to play twenty-one-year-old Billy the Kid. I admire Kristofferson as a singer/songwriter, but his limited acting range is better suited for supporting roles, like in Scorsese's criminally underrated Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, or in bit roles, such as his minor, but important part in Peckinpah's phenomenal Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Kristofferson's version of Billy the Kid is jovial and fun, the kind of guy with whom I'd love to share a beer, but he lacks the aura that turned the Kid into a legend and caused so many people to gravitate around him.

Personally, I got a big kick out of Bob Dylan's performance. He's not much of an actor, but his lines are minimal. (When asked, "Who are you?" he responds, "That's a good question.") He also provides the music for the film, including the oft-covered "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," and his songs are the perfect companion to the film's wide-open, dusty settings. In my favorite scene, Pat Garrett (played by James Coburn) orders Bob Dylan's character to read aloud the cans on the shelves while he interrogates two other men about the whereabouts of Billy the Kid. As the tension mounts and we wait to see which man is going to pull his gun first, Bob Dylan's trademark voice and diction can be heard in the background, going, "Beans . . . Baked beans . . . Salmon . . . Lima beans . . . Beans . . . Succotash . . . Quality beans . . ." It's hilarious.

I've become a big fan of Sam Peckinpah in recent months. I don't think Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is quite as strong as The Wild Bunch or Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, but it's still an excellent, one-of-a-kind western: a poetic, bloody tale of changing times and dying lifestyles. It's pure Peckinpah through and through.

(Darren Aronofsky, 2014)
(Starring: Russell Crowe; Jennifer Connelly; Ray Winstone; Emma Watson)

Aronofsky, why hast thou forsaken me?

Noah was one of my most anticipated movies of the year, not because of the story, but because of the man behind the camera. With the exception of The Fountain (which is in dire need of a re-watch), I've loved everything Aronofsky has done. He's one of the most exciting filmmakers of this generation. But I was worried that Noah, with its 125-million-dollar budget, wouldn't feel like an Aronofsky movie. I was right.

What does it feel like? A movie with schizophrenia. Part Hollywood epic, part art-house. It's the result of an atheist director giving his own take on a biblical story, then, for fear of offending the religious right, restraining from his full artistic vision. Never is that more clear than during the "creation" sequence. We're treated to a beautiful montage that begins with the big bang and shows the evolution of the universe and the origin of life. We start at the bottom of the family tree and watch as a single-celled organism adapts and evolves over hundreds of thousands of years. Once we reach the "ape stage," I sat up in my seat, wondering if he was about to cause an uproar with the Christians in the audience, but once again Aronofsky restrains himself by interrupting the montage to show humans "created in His own image."

Many Christians will probably be upset by the overt fantasy elements in the movie (yes, I understand the irony in that statement), as well as the unlikable portrayal of Noah. The trailers have been very careful to omit the stone giants that play a prominent role in the film. They look like something from The Never Ending Story. (And speaking of never-ending stories, the movie is way too long and drags mightily in the last act.) Even though the stone giants initially threw me for a loop, the movie gives a satisfactory explanation for their presence which fits perfectly into its religious themes. Honestly, the stone giants were one of the most interesting parts of the movie, and their battle as the flood ensues was the most exciting part of the movie, even if it did feel like a deleted scene from The Lord of the Rings.

Everyone in the cast not named Russell Crowe is relegated to background furniture. That's unfortunate, since Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson really shine during the few opportunities that they get. I also thought that the CGI was way too noticeable at times. The script is overloaded with ideas and the whole film is a mess. Despite all of that, however, there are brief moments of brilliance. Several scenes are strikingly beautiful. There's some great imagery, especially during Noah's visions, which are the most Aronofsky-like thing in the movie. Ultimately, however, the film crumples under the weight of its own ambitions. It's too unorthodox to appeal to the religious crowd, but too Hollywood to appeal to the director's fan base.

Straight Time
(Ulu Grosbard, 1978)
(Starring: Dustin Hoffman; Gary Busey; Harry Dean Stanton; Theresa Russell)

I've always had a problem with authority. If someone tells me to do something, I immediately want to do the opposite. My attitude has led to a few unpleasant encounters with authority figures in the past, whether it was teachers and principals in high school, or police officers and security guards nowadays. I find that people in such positions often abuse their power; they begin to think that they are better than everyone else, when often they're just clowns in a uniform. The parole officer in Straight Time fits that bill to a tee. He's a smarmy, sleazy a**hole who makes life unnecessarily hard for Hoffman's character, Max Dembo. When Dembo reaches a breaking point and attacks and humiliates the parole officer, I felt a great sense of glee. 'This is a movie that gets it,' I thought; 'no wonder we have so many repeat criminals when this is how you treat them.'

That key moment in the plot marks a transition both for Dembo and the tone and direction of the movie. In the first half, we watch Dembo, fresh out of prison, try to go straight. Despite being harassed and unfairly treated by the parole officer, Dembo tries to re-join society by finding employment and a place to live. He even establishes a relationship with an attractive young woman at the employment agency. Although he spends time with friends who are former criminals and drug-users, he resists their temptations. Dembo's desire to live a normal life and leave crime behind seems earnest, so we, the audience, sympathize with him and root for his success.

Then everything changes. After he lashes out against the parole officer, his "straight time" is over and he reverts to his old criminal ways. At first, it seems like the system has left him with no other choice. I viewed Hoffman's character as a victim. But the movie has already revealed that he's been a lifelong criminal, in and out of jail since a young age. Crime is in his blood, and that becomes increasingly evident as he commits more and more crimes less out of necessity, but because of an internal lust that requires fulfillment. The monster behind his eyes is a demon no different than that of an alcoholic or a drug addict. As it rears its ugly head, the meek and humbled Max Dembo of the first half seems like a stranger, a put-on, and I felt a bit foolish for relating to him so strongly.

The quiet, understated, engrossing character study of the first half transforms into a slightly more conventional, somewhat predictable crime film in the second half. But even if the later scenes of heist-planning and bank-robbing look familiar, there's an extraordinary depth to the characters and their actions, thanks to Hoffman's phenomenal performance and the strength of the script in the first half, that isn't seen in most movies of this type, making Hoffman's character all the more real and frightening and heartbreaking.

The Passenger
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975)
(Starring: Jack Nicholson; Maria Schneider)

I admire verbose writers like Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, whose sentences tend to go on and on and on (and then on and on some more), but sometimes I prefer to read a writer like Hemingway, with his less-is-more philosophy, who practices a spare, sparse style devoid of bells and whistles. Antonioni takes the same minimalistic approach. This script, in the hands of a different director, would've played like a fast-paced thriller, but Antonioni slows it down. He allows each scene to breathe, emphasizing silence and drawing attention to the wide-open spaces. As a result, this would-be thriller turns into something deeper and more existential.

I think many of us, myself included, occasionally grow bored with the day-to-day monotony of our lives. So what would it be like to leave everything behind--- all of our demands and responsibilities and baggage--- and swap lives with someone else? Instead of being the driver of your own life, you can let go of the wheel and become a passenger in the life of someone else. Imagine the sense of freedom and re-birth and the endless possibilities that open up in front of you. No more nine-to-five. No more nagging wife. No more bills to pay. Every day becomes an adventure.

Jack Nicholson's character seizes such an opportunity when a man bearing a slight resemblance to him dies in an adjacent hotel room. Unfortunately for Nicholson, however, the man is a gunrunner for rebels in a nearby civil war. What should be an open door to a life full of new and exciting possibilities instead turns into a dangerous race for survival. Nicholson gives an excellent, understated performance (no 'crazy eyebrows' here), which isn't surprising, since this film was released during his unheralded string of hot-streak performances in the 70's. One of my only complaints is that some scenes--- particularly the more typical action-oriented scenes--- feel a bit out of place in the picture, probably due to the differences in tone between the script and Antonioni's approach to the material.

No doubt that this is quality film-making, however; the kind of film that deserves and invites multiple viewings. There is a seven-minute tracking shot near the end of the film that is easily one of the most beautifully-constructed and technically-proficient scenes I've ever seen. This "forgotten" film deserves a wider audience, even if it's just for that one scene alone.

I've got to make sure I watch Pat Garrett and The Passenger; they weren't on my radar.

I really enjoyed Straght Time as well.

I'm not very interested in Noah; I could watch it when it comes to cable.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
(Bryan Singer, 2014)

I watched this movie several days ago, and I've been meaning to write a review for it, but I just haven't been able to muster the desire. I guess that's indicative of how I feel about the movie. I'm not a big fan of superhero films in the first place, but I've enjoyed the X-Men franchise more than others in the genre. (X-Men: First Class is, in my opinion, one of the greatest superhero films ever made.) Days of Future Past is another solid entry into the franchise, but it isn't as great as everyone is making it out to be. I was worried that the time travel element would be shoehorned into the movie as a cheap ploy to get the First Class cast to share the screen with their older counterparts. That isn't the case. (Although the time travel element does serve as a convenient excuse for Singer to hit the reset button on X-Men: The Last Stand.) The schizophrenic relationship between Magneto and Professor Xavier feels more forced than ever. Quicksilver is the highlight of the movie, but he's given very little screen time compared to the other mutants. The stakes are high for the characters, but I never felt that Singer properly conveyed that level of excitement and dread and tension to the audience. When the underwhelming climax finally arrived, I greeted it with a shrug. Maybe I'm just experiencing franchise fatigue, since this makes the seventh X-Men film, but I think it's time for the mutants to put the spandex in the closet and leave it there.

Machete Kills
(Robert Rodriguez, 2013)

I've enjoyed the recent revival of exploitation-style movies--- Planet Terror, Death Proof, Black Dynamite, Drive Angry--- but Rodriguez's Machete was my least favorite of that bunch. The trailer for Machete was more fun than the movie itself, and, in similar fashion, the trailer for Machete Kills Again . . . in Space! is more entertaining than the full-length movie that follows. It's the same problem that plagues many Saturday Night Live movies. What works as a short skit doesn't necessarily translate into a full-length movie, and the one-joke premise of the Machete movies is stretched thinner than the intestines that Machete rips from his villains. Don't get me wrong, I still get a kick out of all the gleeful violence and over-the-top gore; the cameos are fun; and the multiple one-liners are so corny that I can't help but smile. But if the movie had been ninety minutes or less instead of nearly two hours, I would've enjoyed the carnage so much more.

Labor Day
(Jason Reitman, 2013)

The only thing that made this overly earnest and sentimental melodrama worth watching is the pairing of Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. The duo is talented enough to plug some of the holes in the contrived script, making their romance more convincing that it otherwise would have been. This is an easy film to make fun of, however. I mean, it's ridiculous enough that the woman houses an escaped convict and falls in love with him after only three days, but she's also willing to pack everything up and move to Canada in the blink of an eye. Her thirteen-year-old son wears only one emotion on his face during the entire movie. Apparently making one peach pie as a kid gives him the master baking skills to grow up and open his own baking shop. The movie also feels oddly incestuous. This is the kind of movie that feels harmless enough while you're watching it, but when it's over and you reflect on it a bit, the weaker it seems.

I hated Labor Day as well. I kept waiting for the twist that she knew him previously somehow. It is the only way I could have possibly been on board with her motivations, even then I am not so sure. I also thought the performances were the only redeeming quality but only gave them one star for the effort.

I've got to make sure I watch Pat Garrett and The Passenger; they weren't on my radar.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is one of those movies that has two versions: the studio's version and Peckinpah's version. If you watch it, make sure it's the latter. You've probably watched more 70's films over these last few weeks than anyone else on the forum, so your top 25 will be tough to crack, and I can't see Pat Garrett being one of those films to do so. I know I liked Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia considerably more than you did, and I think it's a superior film to Pat Garrett. But who knows, you might love it. Are you a fan of The Wild Bunch?

I hated Labor Day as well. I kept waiting for the twist that she knew him previously somehow. It is the only way I could have possibly been on board with her motivations, even then I am not so sure. I also thought the performances were the only redeeming quality but only gave them one star for the effort.
I'm not one of those viewers who typically points out character motivations or questions whether someone in real life would do the same thing. I mean, as unlikely as something might seem in a movie, you can turn on the news and discover that somebody did something far more ridiculous in real life. But yeah, Labor Day strained credibility to the point where even I was rolling my eyes.