Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Nonlinear Timeline

Gone Girl
On their fifth anniversary, Nick's wife Amy comes up missing. From there, the plot bounds forward while weaving in plenty of flashbacks from various parts of her life. The plot twists itself into knots but never frays in the sure hands of director David Fincher, nor those of his protagonist played by Rosamund Pike in full force-of-nature mode. Her performance is one of my all-time favorites and this is my top movie of 2014. (Full review)

Between bites of pie, I tell my brother the same thing I tell him every year: I'm not going with him to stand in line at Walmart. I can't deal with all the psychos hunting for TVs and toys.

Man, is this turkey good! It's succulent, the dressing is moist, and as usual, no one in my family touches the cranberry sauce.

Getting them out of the house this morning is a mess. You know, teenagers. They only have one speed whenever you need them to get a move on - slow.

Kill Bill
The Deadly Viper Association strolls into an out-of-the-way chapel in Texas and kills everyone involved in the ongoing wedding. Well, they kill everyone except The Bride, but not for lack of trying, as she gets a bullet in the head. Lo and behold, she lives and vows revenge on the whole damn gang. It sounds pretty forward, but it leaps back and forth through time to tell it's story. For instance, the first kill we see is actually of the second person on her revenge list. We know because we actually get to see this list and know that she isn't working out of order. You probably know that this movie is broken into two parts. I'm including them as one entry here, as the same storytelling techniques are employed in both.

I just woke up on Mama Dell's couch. Time to cut a slice of pie. Who am I kidding? I mean slices of pies. I promise I'll be done after this.

The topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves is nonlinear timelines.

I don't know why I volunteered to make a ham this year. It's way too early in the morning to be cooking. I hope I don't burn the thing.

Traffic isn't too bad out here. Actually, it's moving along quite nicely.

In Denis Villenueve's Arrival, when aliens dock ships all over our planet, we don't immediately go to war. We try to do the level-headed thing and talk to them in hopes of learning why they're here. That requires the services of the world's best linguists, of which, Louise is one. We watch her efforts to communicate with the aliens, but also see various parts of her life, seemingly from both her past and her future. Time and the way it progresses is indeed an integral part of this film. And it works marvelously. (Full review)

Since it's still Girl Week, I went with movies about women. Thanks to all of you who have joined so far, and will join before it's all over.

I'm carving the turkey even though it is a thankless job I wind up doing every year. Just once, I want someone to come up to me and say "Damn, that's a nice cut!" Just once.

It's getting late,  going to be a long drive home. I'll probably be the only one awake while everyone else snoozes all the way back. At least I finally get to pick the music.

The first thing I want to say to you all is...


  1. Ah, 3 great picks. I went for something a little diverse. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and yes, shopping during Black Friday sucks.

  2. Ah you were able to stick to the Girl Week theme on a tough week, very nice!

    I haven't seen Arrival, my disdain for Amy Adams has kept me away, but Gone Girl was a fantastic fun ride with Rosamund Pike a riveting presence in the lead. I'm much less enraptured by Kill Bill, I never watched the second because the first was too senselessly violent for me. Uma has never been better though.

    I wasn't able to hew as closely to the Girl Week idea as you but all three of mine do at least have strong prominent female characters.

    Out of the Past (1947)-Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is trying to restart his life in a small Sierra Nevada town running a filling station when a henchman of his old fremeny Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) shows up and pulls him back in to hunt down Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer) who has stolen $40,000 from Whit and shot him four times. Sterling doesn’t care about the money he just wants the girl back. And we’re off on a time jumping tale of greed, vengeance, hate and treachery. So begins one of the quintessential noirs based on the novel Build My Gallows High with two fantastic male leads and one of the queens of the genre, Jane Greer, in her best performance as black hearted pit viper Kathie.

    Two for the Road (1967)-As wealthy Joanna (Audrey Hepburn) and Mark Wallace (Albert Finney) take a three day journey from their London home to St. Tropez for the unveiling of an opulent home Mark has designed they reflect back on their now 10 year old crumbling marriage. The film follows a non-linear time table as it jumps through the various phases of the Wallace’s courtship, marriage and estrangement.

    Go (1999)- Grocery store clerk Simon (Desmond Askew) occasionally sells drugs from his cash register at work, so when soap opera actors Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr) come looking for Ecstasy on a quiet Christmas Eve, they are surprised to find Ronna (Sarah Polley) covering his shift. Desperate for money, Ronna decides to become an impromptu drug dealer, unaware that Adam and Zack are secretly working for obsessed narcotics officer Burke (William Fichtner). That’s just the set up for the crazy quilt of a film that follows. Challenging, confusing and funny.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Adams is hit or miss with me. She was amazing here, though. Volume 2 of Kill Bill is still violent, but much less so than Volume 1. You might like that one better.

      I've seen Go and had fun with it. Didn't think of it for this theme.

  3. Great picks! I didn't even think of Arrival. I feel like I dropped the ball massively this week lol.

  4. Gone Girl is one "Holy F" type film that shocked the hell out of me. ben Affleck plays stupid oaf very well but this movie belongs to Rosamund Pike. I felt bad for poor Doogie Howser. I still have to see Kill Bill and I will one day. Arrival is an excellent film and much more intelligent than I thought it would be. Great picks!

    1. This movie was definitely all about Pike. And yeah...poor, poor Doogie.

  5. Great picks! I'm hating myself so much for not thinking of Arrival as I too went with movies about women because of Girl Week.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Gone Girl really stuck to the novel so would probably have rather read the book after. Arrival was just superb. Great choices, and so wanted some turkey reading it, even though we don't celebrate it here,