Thursday, February 13, 2014

MOVIE MOVIE WEEKEND: LAWLESS & STUCK IN LOVE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have two very different movies for your consideration, and I like both of them.

The first is Lawless (2012, Rated R, Available on DVD).


Based on a true story, Lawless is about the Bondurant boys of Franklin County, Virginia, and their bootlegging business with self-produced white lightning. Authorities seek bribes from the Bondurants during 1931. They refuse. Bloodshed ensues.

This movie, understandably, is pretty dark and has moments of violence that took me aback somewhat. However, it's also an interesting character study. Forrest and Howard Bondurant (Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke) are the tough guy, stoic mountain men, while youngest brother, Jack (Shia LeBeouf), tends to be weak and cowardly. But don't make the mistake of thinking that because these men are country bootleggers that they're stupid. It's also not about Good (the Bondurants) v. Bad (corrupt law enforcement). They're all bad guys, but the Bondurants make interesting bad guys.

The acting is great. We also have some romance with Jessica Chastain holding her own as Maggie. The plot is so interesting that it inspired me to learn more about the Bondurants. The movie is based on a novel by Matt Bondurant, Jack's grandson, called The Wettest County In The World . I'm very interested in reading the book, even though Matt Bondurant never interviewed his rather frightening Grandpa Jack about his exploits. I believe the novel includes a lot of family lore, and the movie is loosely based on the "facts", which don't seem to be known in this case. The Bondurant boys didn't keep diaries under their pillows.

Here's the real Jack Bondurant, photographed in 1935:




Lawless earns The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. This movie is not for children. I'll leave it to you to decide if your teens should be allowed to watch. Lawless certainly portrays a very different time and place. I've been to some backwaters in Virginia. I felt as if I had left behind the rest of America. 

And now for something completely completely different: Stuck In Love (2012, Rated R, Available on DVD and Netflix Screaming).



Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear) is a formerly successful writer who hasn't written anything since his wife, Erica (Jennifer Connelly), left him three years ago for another man. He's so stuck in love that he still sets a place at the table for Erica on Thanksgiving, certain that she will return. He has enough money from his published works to spend his time trysting with a neighbor, spying on Erica -- he particularly enjoys it when she argues with his replacement -- and dealing with his two teenaged children, both of whom are becoming successful writers themselves. Rusty Borgens (Nat Wolff) continues to see his mother, while Samantha (Lily Collins) wants nothing to do with her. In fact, Samantha doesn't believe in love, though Rusty is willing to experiment with it.

Stuck In Love has a number of implausible points, and I don't care. I love a love story, especially one that includes authors and books. Greg Kinnear is quite amusing as he sneaks around his ex-wife's house, and she knows he's out there. Sometimes she watches him watch her. Rusty and Samantha have some very tender and poignant moments in their own relationships, as they learn about love. Best of all, we have a happy ending.

I watched this movie with Willy Dunne Wooters, and he loves it.

Stuck In Love earns The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. It's not for children. I think teens of about 15 and older can watch it, if you discuss it. The film includes casual sex and casual pot smoking (is there any other kind?). 

Happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





23 comments:

  1. I really want to see Lawless. You had me sold at "true story". It sounds like something I would really enjoy since Tombstone (the one with Kurt Russel and Val Kilmore) is one of my favorite movies of all time. I was completely fascinated with it when I was about ten and watched it for the first time (though I didn't understand all of it for many years).

    Also, Queen of Grammar, I apologize for my typos and misspelled words. My phone is being stubborn and uncooperative.

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    1. No apologies necessary. I enjoy comments from everyone who doesn't call me nasty names.

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  2. My goal is to someday, some way, earn The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. :) Both of these flicks will be added to my must see list, JJ. I'd like to see Lawless because I appreciate character study. Coincidentally I came across Stuck in Love a couple days ago while browsing Netflix movies. I've been a Greg Kinnear fan ever since Talk Soup and I urge you to watch his series Rake before Fox cancels it. It's a very entertaining lawyer show and deserves a better fate. I also love Jennifer Connelly and have seen almost all of her movies. Count me in for Stuck in Love!

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your special man, dear friend!

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    1. I'm sure we can figure out a way for you to earn the seal. After all, it's imaginary.

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  3. Good grief! I haven't seen these movies. I really need to get out more.

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    1. You don't need to get out more. I don't go out much. I watch DVDs and Netflix Screaming at home.

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  4. You're daring to recommend a Shia LaBeouf (sp?) movie? Here in lies the dilemma of separating art from artist, I suppose. I'll have to work up to that one before I can suspend disbelief, though.
    On the other hand, I am on board for Stuck in Love because of Jennifer Connelly. Labyrinth is my jam, so she gets an automatic watch in whatever she's in.

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    1. I don't know anything about Shia except he's a good actor. Is he another Bieber? I can usually allow art to transcend its creator. I still love most Woody Allen movies, and Manhattan is one of my favorites.

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  5. I like the true stories. Both of these sound worthy of my time.

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  6. I'd like the second one. Greg was fab in As Good as it Gets, I thought. I looked this up last night, and the cast looked good, and IMDB gave it 7.3.

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    1. Yeah, I think it's your kind of movie.

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  7. But they're both rated R! Good thing I've got Clear Play filtering. =)

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    1. I don't think I've ever reviewed a movie for children since I don't have any in the house. I threw mine out and told them they had to make it on their own as soon as they turned 12.

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  8. Thanks for the reviews, I am interested in seeing the first one after reading your review. The second one does not appeal to me.

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    1. I hope you like it, Inger. It's pretty violent.

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  9. I think this was recommended when I added the Morgan Freeman movie to my quay-way. So I added this one, too. However, I now have 3,456,253,974,253 movies in my quay-way. I'll be long dead before I get to them all.

    -andi

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  10. The first one looks interesting Janie. My grandfather was a bootlegger back in those days and I hear it was a pretty 'hectic' life to say the least! Some of the stories I have heard from my dad and uncles. So this just may give me glimpse of what it was like.
    Have a great weekend Janie!

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  11. I hope you post those family stories on your blog, Jim.

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  12. Both of these sound good, but especially the second one. Books? Writers? A love story? And best of all, a happy ending? Oh yeah, sounds like my kinda flick.

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