Movie Review: Get Low (2009)

Enthralling character study coming to grips __ 9/10

Frank Quinn: I sold 26 of the ugliest cars in the middle of December with the wind blowing so far up my ass I was farting snowflakes into July.

Frank Quinn: You’ve been wanting a shot at sales. As of right now, you’re on commission. Remember—foot in the door, establish trust, and drop the hammer.
Buddy: I’d rather you go, too.
Frank Quinn: No doubt. But if you don’t do this by yourself, you’ll never know if you’re any good. And you’ll never be good if you don’t know that you are.

Felix Bush: They keep talking about forgiveness. “Ask Jesus for forgiveness.” I never did nothing to him.

Too bad these are the only movie quotes on the IMDb page, because the quote I wanted to present here was from the Frank Quinn character (Bill Murray)—who to my mind provides the main social thread, not to mention the low-key humor, to the enterprise. It’s a quote where he sticks up for himself as a small-town funeral home proprietor, if you will, a salesman (illustrated by the top quote above)… and proud of it. Or at least not ashamed to assert himself to the seemingly moralistic Mr. Felix Bush (Robert Duvall). Continue reading

Movie Review: The Apostle (1997)

Scary, heartwarming, or both? __ 9.5/10

You can search far and wide for movies that are authentically American, yet so unique that they defy being categorized. The Apostle would be on a very short list, possibly the only entry. You’re struck by what in the heck was going on in writer-director Robert Duvall’s life to create such a revealing and deep story of the Best of the Bible Belt.

Are these people of faith the best? Is the leader of this Fort Worth, Texas-based, richly funded evangelical church an example of the best of the best? Or are they sinners like everyone else? I’ll answer that question without giving anything away: they’re sinners like everyone else, and Sonny clearly more so. But it isn’t obvious, nor can I pass judgment on the man without fear of contradiction. Indeed, you will find that among freethinking secular persons—such as yours truly—a lively discussion emerges as to whether the preacher man Sonny Dewey, later Apostle E.F., exemplifies destructive or constructive qualities of character. Continue reading