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The Only Game in Town (1970)
A Treat For Film Buffs and then some.
Seeing "The Only Game In Town" for the first time forty odd years after it was made is a very special treat for anyone who loves film and film history. This was going to be George Steven's last film. A great director, a pioneer. Here he's directing Elizabeth Taylor for the third time, after "A Place In The Sun" and "Giant". That alone makes "The Only Game In Town" a collector's piece. Elizabeth Taylor clearly trusted George Stevens completely and for good reason. She is spectacular. Every close up is like a personal, private experience. Warren Beatty is perfect here and he turned down "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" to work with George Stevens. Good for him. A delicious treat.
Comedy Of Horrors, perhaps
Maybe the intention was to make a terrifying comedy about, about, about...well, I'm not sure. A Mother! like that with an exclamation mark? An artist with an ego bigger than their house? Who knows. I certainly tried to cling on to something but I couldn't. It seems like a terrible confession to make but the truth is I couldn't care less about that mother because I didn't believe in her plight and couldn't understand her behavior. Jennifer Lawrence is a terrific actress we all know that but here, she screams and screams while I glanced at my watch with mounting impatience. Borrowing from other, better films, doesn't help, on the contrary, it irritates. Rosemary's Baby came to mind as well as The Tenant, Apartment Zero, Common Wealth. All films that terrified me without explicit gore and superb screenplays. Mother! seems like an interesting idea totally derailed by an out of control ego.
Game Change (2012)
It's God's plan...
I have a mind of my own, at least I want to think so, but, I was influenced enough to give Game Change a miss. I was told this was a hatchet job - I must admit that the comments came from Republicans mostly - I finally saw Game Change last night, It literally blew my mind. Hatchet job? What are you talking about? I felt for her, the film humanizes her and somehow explains without partisan hysteria, how we got there, that in a way is to explain how we got here in 2017. Julianne Moore is superb, superb! Not a single false note or cheap shot. I also felt for John McCain, the American hero who told us that Sarah Palin was ready to to be President. The torment in John McCain through Ed Harris's eyes is more eloquent that any line of dialogue. As is Nicolle Wallace, played brilliantly by Sarah Paulson. Her torment is also so real you can touch it. A special mention should go to Woody Harrelson, es Steve Schmidt, extraordinary. Writers, directors and everybody involved deserve oodles of praise. They told us a piece of recent American history about a woman who thought her Vice Presidency was "God's plan"