Category Archives: Flics Worth Ropin’

Evie Taloney is a film reviewer who writes up reviews with her husband Cowboy Clay

Evie Taloney’s “Flics Worth Ropin” – “Lilyhammer”

Run, don’t walk, to view “Lilyhammer” the original series on Netflix.  Well, in the spirit of the thing, you should shush not snowshoe since it takes place in the little town of Lillehammer, Norway site of the 1994 Winter Olympics.  And there is a whole lot of snow there, you betcha. And every conceivable kind of character from tree huggers to ice skating Muslim immigrants.

Steven Van Zandt (of the E Street Band and “The Sopranos”)  stars in this dramedy about a mob guy, Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, who goes into witness protection and asks to be relocated to Norway.  Figures no one will find him there.  But as the series continues, a series of flukes and flukey characters like a cop who moonlights as an Elvis impersonator may test that theory.  His theory that this is a peaceful idyllic place is also tested from the get go as he has to “fix” a situation on the train ride from Oslo to Lillehammer. Continue reading

Evie Taloney’s “Flics Worth Ropin'” (and some that aren’t) – The Hairdo That Ate The World

I couldn’t take my eyes off her hairline.  As I watched “The Iron Lady”, a disjointed yet disturbing movie, starring Meryl Streep, I became mesmerized by her head.  First it was the hairline that attached a massive Eighties’ hairdo to a massive forehead.  As I watched the flic, the head got larger and larger like Helena Bonham Carter’s head as the Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland”. Continue reading

“That City is Real Nice”: A Review of “Midnight in Paris”

I am happy to report that after 15 years, Evie Taloney is back in the saddle writing “Evie Taloney’s ‘Flics Worth Ropin'”.  Her sidekick Cowboy Clay is also loping alongside her.  Her latest review is on Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”.

Cowboy Clay and I just got done watching Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”.  It’s a treat, I’ll tell you,  for the eyes and the ears.   You can’t watch a movie about Paris without thinking about food and drink though.  So I was wondering what kind of food best describes this movie and, at first, I thought of a bonbon.  But that doesn’t fit.  This movie is not a small confection.  But it’s no Croque Monsieur, either.  There is no ham in this sandwich.  This is a genuinely funny movie with a timely message.  So, it’s more like an inverted Creme Brulee.  It’s got a hard crunchy truth underneath it’s warm creamy custard surface.

This is a movie about Gil played by Owen Wilson who has a job.  But he hates his job.  Unlike most Americans though he makes a lot of money at this job. He writes screenplays and his screenplays are indeed bonbons and don’t make him happy.  He wants to quit his job and work on his novel.  Yes, he wants to work but not at a job.

So what’s to stop him?  Well it’s his fiancee, Inez, played by Rachel McAdams and her rich parents played by Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller.  Gil sees Paris as the place where great artists and writers have found their muses.  He loves the city.  Inez and her parents see Paris as a place to shop and hate the French. Inez wants to go home and decorate their future house in Malibu.  Gil wants to stay and live his dream of writing a great American novel.  For Inez, it’s what Gil earns not what he does.

Most people here don’t have the luxury to choose meaningful work over a job.  And people like Gil often have the luxury but don’t have the courage to act on their compulsion.

So what compels him forward?  I’m not going into detail but it involves hanging out with Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and a bunch more characters from the 1920s. Gil finds out how much impact these writers had on him.  “T.S. Eliot? Prufrock is like my mantra.” And so he dreams of having an impact on writers to come.

You don’t have to be a film major to enjoy Gil’s encounter with the Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel or an English major to laugh out loud at Zelda who is a pistol and Ernest “Have you ever shot a charging lion?” who is very very earnest.

In the end this film is not about Gil but about Paris.  Paris compels.  It compels because people in Paris sit in cafes and drink coffee and wine and talk for hours.  They play the game of bolls and talk while they play. They philosophize.  They fraternize. They read essays and take the time to discuss ideas.  They take the time to talk to each other rather than sit in front of TVs.  They live for these hours of talk.  This cafe life is primary.  Their jobs are secondary.

They can do this partly because they work 8 hour days and have simple and easy commutes.  They don’t arrive home dog tired after fighting traffic.  They run up the stairs to their apartment, put on some fresh makeup or a quick brush to the hair and off they go for their evening of cafe life.

When I asked Cowboy Clay what he thought, he said “That city is real nice.”  You betcha.

4 Spurs

Et Tu, Zuckerberg?

I’m in the movie business and I don’t go to the movies much anymore.  It’s only partially because I live 70 frickin’ miles from a multiplex, but more because the movies have been really sucky of late.  Sometimes a “Michael Clayton” studio movie comes along.  You know, a movie with dialogue and some sort of social conscience like “Network”.  Yes, we fortunately have the Cohen brothers for creepy yet thrilling character portrayals and Pixar for joy.  But mostly we get a lot of hurling; large pieces of car flying at us or guys throwing up a lot.

So I’m happy to report that even though this is a movie about a bunch of narcissistic guys who invent a way to avoid social contact, “Social Network” about the origins of Facebook  had me laughing one minute and on the edge of my seat in another.  Yes, it was worth the 2 hours of driving, (although driving on Interstate 90 in Montana is sheer bliss with little traffic and kick ass scenery.  You know the whole eagles soaring deal above the Yellowstone River and against the backdrop of the buttes.) I could kick myself for not asking the young Montanans there what they thought of the excess of Harvard life.  I mean those Harvard dorms rooms are mighty swanky.  Their refrigerators are filled with Heineken.  Loads of it.   And the women’s underwear in the first party scene?   Oh boy, did I feel like I needed to go shopping.

The movie was a kind of me generation “Othello”  with the Othello character (nice Brazilian roommate Eduardo Severin played by Andrew Garfield)  becoming the supporting player and Iago (Mark Zuckerberg) becoming the dark maladjusted leading man.  The movie starts out with the Desdemona character Erica (played by Rooney Mara) being condescended to in a Boston bar by  Zuckerberg (played to dark perfection by Jesse Eisenberg) and finally dumping his sorry ass, thus ending that Othello comparison.  (The movie theater I was in had a sound problem and the first couple minutes we couldn’t hear the dialogue which made us a bit rebellious. So they started the whole movie over and I’m glad they did because the movie starts off with such a bang that to have missed it would have been a sin.)

Every performance is dead on.  Eisenberg provides the strange hypnotic but sad center.  While Garfield provides its only beating heart.  The Winklevoss twins played by Armie Hammer with body double Josh Pence are the epitome of privilege who are impossibly handsome, smart and , oh yes, are on the Olympic crew team.  You start off hating them, but end up loving every minute they are on the screen. And just when you thought you were having all the fun you could stand, in walks Lucifer minion Sean Parker, played with astonishing dash and complexity by Justin Timberlake.  A seducer of the first order, he lures Zuckerberg away from this best friend Eduardo into the Silicon Valley version of decadent paradise.

The direction of David Fincher couldn’t be better making even the scenes in the law office fraught with danger.  The Aaron Sorkin script is fast, almost dizzying, but still luscious and spare at the same time.  The first scenes are actually flashbacks.  We then are shown the present which is a law office where the depositions are being taken of the people suing Zuckerberg over whose idea Facebook was.  Who would have thought you could get that much drama in deposing people?  And who is telling the truth? I’m probably not the first person to remark that Sorkin used the “Rashomon” structure to brilliant effect.  Who is telling the whole truth?

The women’s roles are not so much.  This is a movie about young masters of the universe in the making and their whirling neon drug and alcohol filled world of whoopee. If we let them, they will continue to infect our innate sense of community with a crapolistic sociopathy that will be the end of us.    But somehow, thank goodness I saw another possibility.   I ended up hoping that  Erica was happily talking philosophy with her good friends at a Boston University hangout. She was not  sitting with a bunch of assholes basking in their perceived glory or alone collecting friends on her Facebook page. Who will be the winners in this battle for a real social network?  Tune in.