Earlier this afternoon I had the pleasure of sitting down to a chat with Richard Gere to talk about his new film Arbitrage for Awards Daily. That explains this morning’s Primal Fear quote and it explains this week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude. Here is John Barry’s interpretation of three great Duke Ellington tunes – The Mooche, Creole Love Call and Daybreak Express – from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club which starred Mr. Gere as a jazz musician who gets a leg up career-wise by falling in with a gang of mobsters, only to have it all turned upside down when he falls for one of the boss’s girls played by beautiful Diane Lane.

Stay tuned for the Gere interview at Awards Daily (I’ll be linking it here, of course) and in the mean time check out Arbitrage currently in limited theatrical release and on VOD. Gere plays a Wall Streeter juggling some professional and personal misdealings that threaten to destroy his career, his company and his relationship with his family.

That’s all from me for this week. Now it’s your turn. Has anyone seen anything lately worth talking about? Lay it on me.

4 Responses to “Watercottoncoolerclub”

  1. Well I just clicked and much enjoyed Barry’s musical interlude to THE COTTEN CLUB! Great stuff! And what a feather in your cap interviewing Richard Gere! I’ll certainly check it out.

    With the conclusion of the French Old Wave Festival at the Film Forum, the theatre will now be featuring some venerated film classics for one-week runs. Among these are Port of Shadows, Repulsion, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, The Tin Drum, Wake in Fright, Brief Encounter and a 3D presentation of Creature from the Black Lagoon. Lucille and I (and the three boys for the Lloyd) attended three new releases in what a reasonably busy week. I also completed the fourth season of Breaking Bad, watching approximately 11 hours on the plasma over the past week. I hope to be able to watch the eight fifth and final season episodes that are available for PC navigation through the proper channels. The final season will also have an additional eight episodes that will be broadcast in May, making for 16 in total. My position remains that it’s one of the great television dramas.

    We saw:

    The Master *** 1/2 (Saturday night) Angelika Film Center

    Arbitrage ** 1/2 (Friday night) Montclair Claridge Cinemas

    Lawless ** 1/2 (Sunday afternoon) Edgewater multiplex

    Grandma’s Boy *** 1/2 (Monday evening) Harold Lloyd at Film Forum

    GRANDMA’S BOY is a charming enough Lloyd silent comedy, with a few hilarious sequences, but it’s not quite in the category of “special.” John Hillcoat’s sadistic western LAWLESS is so over-the-top that it’s practically cartoonish. It’s handsomely mounted and the acting is excellent (especially Oldman in a brief stint, LeBeouf and Oldman) but it seems to add up to very little. P.T. Anderson’s long-awaited THE MASTER contains some the year’s most arresting set pieces, a spectacular performance from Joaquin Phoenix, an unforgettable dissonant score by Jonnie Greenwood and a character study that leaves little by way of plot development, not that the last matter means all that much. I look forward to the next viewing of a film that surely needs to be watching again. At times it’s incomprehensible and elusive, and there’s no real emotional connection, but there is something most important there. ARBITRAGE, a Wall Street investment thriller has some fine acting on display from Richard Gere and Tim Roth, but it’s in large measure a snoozer, that is somewhat implausible and with little psychological depth.

  2. I love The Mooche. Looking forward to your interview Craig. They’re always a treat.

    I very belatedly watched The Social Network. The story and the kind of people it featured would have very little interest for me if it had not been for bravura directing (how did Fincher not win Best Director Oscar?) and writing. The casting was great – Eisenberg was born to play the lead and Garfield was also completely convincing, and together they had a genuine geeky chemistry that gave some poignancy to their falling out (though Zuckerberg was such a complete asshole that Saverin was well rid of him). And who knew that Timberlake could act? The guy totally inhabited his character. It’s not a film I’m likely to rush to see again but the all-round craft was tremendous (including the soundtrack) and it captured something I felt when in the Bay Area from 2006-08 with respect to social media entrepreneurialism – a sense of a high-octane dynamic milieu in which one could make things happen at a rapid pace if you had the right ideas, drive, and connections to exploit the then blossoming web 2.0

  3. I, too, am looking forward to your write-up on the Gere interviews.

    The only thing of note I saw this past week was an oldie on TCM: “Love and Pain and the Whole Damned Thing,” a film I’ve been wanting to catch up with for decades that stars Maggie Smith hot off her first Oscar win and a young Timothy Bottoms. It’s actually quite a good little movie, with more humor than I’d anticipated, including a few scenes with a Dali-like character – a duke played by a real duke. Check it out.

  4. Interesting Sam that you didn’t go for Arbitrage a little more. The thriller aspect of it was about average I thought, but I really liked the performances and enjoyed the angle of Gere fuse basically being lit at both ends. I also liked how it was resolved. Certainly not a movie for the ages, but entertaining and well done.

    I’m curious about Lawless. I’ve liked Hillcoat’s two previous films, but I haven’t been in a mindset where I want to subject myself to his particularly bleak brand of intensity. That’s not to say I expect the film to be bad or good (actually I assume the positive), but… I don’t know. Can’t bring myself to do it.

    Sartre, like you I think the biggest surprise of TSN for me was Timberlake. I’d seen him be fine in other things, but this was the first time I realized he’s actually pretty goddamn good. He’s a legitimate actor and not just an ex-boy band singer.

    The movie itself I liked a lot, but never really understood the unanimous feeling that it was some kind of a masterpiece. It was very well done, but the story never really resonated for me. If memory serves, I think the deck was also stacked too much in favor of Zuckerberg by making the Winklevi into complete assholes and the Saverin character I don’t think was given fair due.

    Pierre, I’ve never even heard of that one. I remember for a while there though post Last Picture Show when Timothy Bottoms was a big deal. Looking at his filmmography though, I can’t see much of significance besides Paper Chase which I actually remember better as a TV show.

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