News: In theaters now: THE MULE, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood!

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Messages - AKA23

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Eastwood News / Re: THE MULE: Production Information and News
« on: Yesterday at 08:17:12 PM »
  Do any of you in your heart of hearts really think or believe Eastwood or The Mule was going to be nominated for anything? What you are dealing with is a completely different and moronic environment in the Hollywood and media circles today from years ago..... It's pretty disturbing. To me, Eastwood made a movie @ 88 and against all odds ( including my original thoughts) and the movie ended a BO hit and that's enough. What he did was astounding. I doubt the man really cares about nominations and I certainly feel that is vindication..... Hollywood is one big bull---- place...

Did you see "The Mule," Perry? If so, I'd love to hear your expanded thoughts in "The Mule" review threads. Your opinion is quite interesting to me, since I know you didn't enjoy a lot of Eastwood's recent work, so I'd like to hear more about how you felt about this one and why.

Eastwood News / Re: THE MULE: Production Information and News
« on: Yesterday at 08:15:02 PM »
I also didn't expect any nominations for "The Mule." When I saw the critics reviews, that became pretty clear to me.

Eastwood News / Re: THE MULE: Production Information and News
« on: January 22, 2019, 07:26:28 AM »
The Oscar nominations have been announced, and as expected, “The Mule” did not receive any nominations.

Clint can never be an out-and-out "bad guy", and so I think they deliberately steered clear of showing any type of connection of Earl's drug running to "ruining lives". Of course, everyone knows the drugs are harmful, but adding that element into the film and showing it, or even just ruminating on it, makes Earl a less sympathetic figure. Clint likes his characters to be sympathetic.

Matt, this is something that I did not consider, but you may be right that Clint didn't want to play an unsympathetic character. In fact, when this film was first announced, I was wondering how Clint was going to make this film work, since he's never played a villainous character before. But when I saw the film, and realized what he actually made, I got what attracted him to the character and the film. I also agree with KC that cocaine does seem to have a less dangerous reputation than heroin, or opioids, which are also derived from the same plant from which heroin is made.

Do you agree with KC and I that the development of the familial relationships between Earl and his ex-wife and daughter felt inauthentic and not true to life, or do you have a different perspective?

I think we should wait for $100 million domestically, but I can't see how this doesn't get to above that number before the end of its run. It should be in theaters for at least another week, and it only has $3 million to go, and that's before MLK Day tomorrow.

Eastwood News / Re: THE MULE: Reviews and Features in the Media
« on: January 20, 2019, 05:48:58 AM »
While I am usually not a fan of SNL, last night they did a close to 5 minute segment on "The Mule," which I found to be pretty amusing. Here's a link:

Another thing I'd like to discuss about this film is how everyone felt about the reconciliation between Earl and his ex-wife and daughter. To me, it seemed like coming together came far too quickly and didn't really feel true to life. I was surprised by how rapidly his daughter forgave him after he apologized to her. She said something like, "I think you are just a late bloomer," and all seemed to have been forgiven.

The ex-wife also seemed to forgive him much too quickly as well. He visits her once when she has cancer, and years of bad blood seemingly just seem to evaporate for her. I also felt like there should have been some scenes of soul searching for his daughter once she found out that her father, from which she had been estranged for at least 12 years, was a drug runner for a Mexican cartel. If my father was an integral part in destroying thousands of lives, I definitely wouldn't have just said "at least we'll always know where you are," when he is carted off to prison.

I understand that this is a movie and not real life, but I'd be interested to explore how others felt about the development of these relationships in the film, and whether they rang true or not. Let's discuss!

Satu, thanks for posting your thoughts. I think that he did know that what he was doing was some version of wrong, but I'm not sure in the beginning of the film Earl knew exactly what he was doing. There is a term in the law here in the United States called willful blindness. This means that the person suspects that there is something wrong with what they are doing, but they look the other way and make no attempts to look into it any further because they don't actually want to know, and want to maintain plausible deniability.

As for your second question, I think even if Earl would have allowed his lawyer to put on a robust defense, he still would have gone to jail. The man upon which this movie was loosely based, Leo Sharp, actually argued that he became a drug runner in part because he had dementia. Leo Sharp still got three years in prison. I think he got off way too easy, since unlike in the film, he was a drug runner for at least 10 years.

I am excited that you are going to see "The Mule" in theaters. Let us know how it is! I won't yell at you, even if you don't like it. I promise  :P

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2019 Movie Discussion
« on: January 17, 2019, 05:47:32 PM »
I did an Escape Room with my best friend, who was visiting me, about a year ago. We chose what they told us was the most difficult room, and made it out! We heard a lot of people don't make it all the way to the end because they run out of time before they solve all the puzzles needed to escape. It's definitely something you want to do with a friend, preferably a smart one, who has a different skill set than you do. I doubt that I could have made it out on my own. It was a good time!

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: The Birds (1963)
« on: January 14, 2019, 01:44:23 PM »
I think some explanation is needed, since randomly having hundreds of birds attacking townspeople isn't something people would expect birds to do normally. During the production of this movie, I think there may have been an isolated incident related to poisoning that caused birds to act out, but this had already happened by the time that they wrote the short story/script for this, so that couldn't have been the reason within the movie. 

At first, I thought that the movie was symbolically intimating that Melanie's presence in the town may have had something to do with the bird attacks, for two reasons. First, because of the scene when the woman earlier in the film communicated that before Melanie's arrival in the town, this wasn't happening. Secondly, because once Melanie is severely injured by the bird attack near the end of the film, it seemed that the birds stopped their attacks and let everyone leave the house. However, the radio said that these attacks had also occurred in other areas where Melanie was not present, so what was already a pretty implausible reason initially became even more of a stretch at that point. So, as a viewer, I'm still left wondering, what caused these random bird attacks on humans, and should this be something to be expected again at some other point in the future? 

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: The Birds (1963)
« on: January 14, 2019, 07:36:28 AM »
That's an interesting theory, Matt. I believe the source material upon which this film was loosely based didn't state a reason either, so that's as plausible as any other potential explanation.

One thing that I didn't quite understand is the very end of the film. SPOILERS FOLLOW

At the very end, when Melanie is being carried out of the house, there are tons of birds all around. Since throughout the film, the birds attack the townspeople, and these birds had attacked Melanie in the attic earlier on, why did the birds not attack the group as they were trying to leave to take Melanie to the hospital? What do you guys think?

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: The Birds (1963)
« on: January 13, 2019, 07:58:00 PM »
AKA, you have seen her before ... in Marnie.

She has 84 credits as an actress in the IMDb, but she is best remembered for these two Hitchcock roles at the beginning of her career.

Thanks KC. Wow. This is the second time that I have not recognized an actor or actress that I have seen before in other Hitchcock movies. What is wrong with me these days?

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: The Birds (1963)
« on: January 13, 2019, 12:41:35 PM »
I just finished watching this. I'd never seen her before, but I liked Tippi Hedrin. Like Aline, I think I preferred her classier, understated, and less sassy personality, to Grace Kelly's performances, but they're both very attractive ladies.

I'm a fan of Suzanne Pleshette's, since I like the "Bob Newhart Show," so I was pleasantly surprised to see her in this film.

I bet most people feel differently, but I don't like how we never discover why the birds went insane and started attacking all the townspeople. Without some explanation being provided, it makes the movie seem wildly unrealistic.

To answer Doug's question, I was actually okay with there not being a soundtrack to this movie. In fact, until I read Doug's post, I didn't actually notice that the only sounds that we heard were the terrifying birds screeching.

Overall, I found it to be a very strange movie, but am glad that I finally saw it. Now whenever someone mentions "The Birds," I'll be able to follow the conversation, and maybe even contribute some thoughts.

It's up to $90.5 million in the United States alone as of this weekend. Just $9.5 million to go until $100 million. It will be party time soon! :)

While watching "The Mule" something that I noticed that is not typical of films that Eastwood directs is that it seemed to me that Clint included a lot more close ups, especially of his character, than he typically does. Did anyone else notice that as well, and why do you think that was done for this film?

It seems like everyone that has commented so far has had the same point of view on this scene, which I find to be pretty interesting. With the additional context that you all provided, the scene appears to make more sense to me now.

Eastwood News / Re: THE MULE: Reviews and Features in the Media
« on: January 12, 2019, 09:06:09 AM »
This is great, Hocine. Thanks for sharing. I find the most interesting thing about this to be that Clint appeared to sometimes forget his lines, which at his age would be expected, but would improvise instead. That shows that his mind is still pretty sharp, since that's a difficult thing to do at any age.

Another thing that I found pretty cool is that the cinematographer thinks that Clint might have another movie he's doing in the spring, and that Yves doesn't think that this will be Clint's last role as an actor.

Similar to "The Bridges of Madison County," it seems like Clint resisted including some of the big emotional scenes that other directors seeking Academy Awards for their stars might have included, and that Clint and the editor Joel Cox often chose the more light hearted scenes to include in the movie. Perhaps "this is the last one, so help me God," might have been one of the scenes that was left on the cutting room floor as a result.

I took it to mean that the new boss was going to be less indulgent in how his unusual employee would be treated.

Also, it shows the audience that these guys don't have their guns just for show, or skeet shooting: they are very capable of killing people in cold blood. It ups the tension in the scene where Earl returns to his job after taking time out to be with his ex-wife in her last days, and his handlers are supposed to kill him.

Other than the scene where the cartel boss is killed, there isn't any actual violence in the film, is there? But it's important that we recognize that the threat of violence is there.

I hadn't considered this, but I like your explanation. This scene may have been included to sow the seeds of doubt in the audience about whether Earl could defy his handlers the way he did and still make it out alive.

Something I want to discuss is the scene where Andy Garcia's cartel boss character was killed. I didn't really understand why that was included in the movie. What was the purpose of that scene? Did you guys like it and think it served the story in some way? It seemed to me like that scene belonged in a completely different movie. Then, after Garcia's character was killed, it seemed like the movie just moved on. It didn't seem to move the plot forward at all to me. 

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