Simpleton Luck of the Logans

 DATELINE:   Hunh?

Untitled

What have we got he-yah? When you go with a Channing Tatum movie, you never know what’s inside the movie box of chocolates. Logan Lucky is pot luck and a spin of the wheel of fortune.

In this film, paunchy Channing looks like he put on 30 pounds from eating boxes of chocolates. It might be a fat suit, but on him it is a shock.

A rather extraordinary cast dumbs down their typecast Hollywood looks. We’ve seen these actors playing sharper and more sophisticated roles than the denizens of Hooterville in the Hills.

It’s all in fun, though we aren’t quite sure if hayseeds will be offended by the sincerity of the actors.

Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play a couple of down-on-their luck dumb and dumber brothers who are disabled veterans and abused and neglected good ol’boys. One limps and one has a prosthetic hand.

Yes, it’s a comedy.

This is the story of genuine brothers who don’t need a bromance to seal the real deal.

You have to like them, even when Boss Hogg Daniel Craig shows up with a Southern drawl and platinum hair to tell them they are simpletons. They plan to break him out of the Big House to help them blow up a safe. For James Bond this is a grit of hominy.

It’s part of Tatum and Driver’s charm that they will use their abused lives to disabuse a race course speedway payroll. Hillary Swank is an investigating FBI agent.

Well, of course, we are in the deepest darkest land of speedway race-cars and going ‘round the bend means a life of watching cars careen around a track several hundred laps.

These hillbillies make nice folks like the Clampitts seem like rocket scientists. When the brothers seek a computer expert, he boasts he knows “all the Twitters” with a twang.

The plot holes are in the heads of the characters. It’s a caper movie with a twist of moonshine.

How could you resist this trifle truffle?

 

 

Paterson: Busman’s Holiday

 DATELINE:  Nouveau Jersey

 Paterson

Jim Jarmusch has put together a film without a white-haired protagonist. Paterson is both the city in New Jersey and the name of an understated, amiable bus driver.

Jarmusch may be trying to illustrate that lives of quiet desperation are infinitely improved when there is a dose of quiet creativity. Though lives are falling apart all around him, Paterson relies on his poetic works to maintain balance. His wife is flaky and more prone to artistic pretension than art. He accepts all with Zen mastery.

His days may be more pedestrian as he takes the same route daily, and ends each day with a walk of the dog and a single beer at the local pub. Yet, there is magic everywhere, as evinced by the twins he always encounters after his wife makes an off-hand observation.

Indeed, Paterson’s dog Marvin, an English bull, makes yet another dog companion in recent movies that proves a boon companion. He steals the show and the movie is dedicated to the memory of Nellie who portrays Marvin.

Paterson does not solve the problems of those around him, but seems to suffer their pain in sympathy. Like Emily Dickinson, mentioned in passing in one scene, he lives without fame or acknowledgment of his art.

One lesson is simple. There are no chance encounters, and every meeting has meaning.

The poetry in the film resembles that of William Carlos Williams, but its mundane nature suits the goal of Jarmusch and of Paterson, poet and place. This could be the only film to give poet Williams recognition in the credits.

Many viewers will complain that seven days in Paterson offers no escape from ennui, but Jarmusch has woven together images and ideas that display deep meaning in detail. Paterson has a rich history that may surprise you.

The main performance by Adam Driver is sublime. He is sensitive and sad, kindly and a man who rises above his bus stop.

A rather special film, you must discover this one for yourself.