Tag Archives: jake gyllenhaal

David Gordon Green quietly made another very good movie: STRONGER

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

A Jake Gyllenhaal movie about the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing is coming out this weekend, and it’s currently within a few percentage points of a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s both wrenching and uplifting as it grapples with the idea of heroism and the expectations that come along with it. It debuted on the prestigious fall festival circuit. And hardly anyone seems to be talking about it. Welcome to the serial underestimation of director David Gordon Green, where even an accessible and critically acclaimed drama can fly under the radar.

Part of Stronger’s high marks is just that old Tomatometer math where if enough critics give a movie a pass, it has a “higher” score than something more divisive. Hardly any critics I’ve read on Stronger seem to prefer it to, say, the less universally beloved mother! Indeed, I don’t prefer it to mother! either. But given my lack of excitement when I heard that Green was prepping a movie about the Boston bombing – concurrently with Mark Wahlberg booster Peter Berg, no less, whose Patriots Day came out last Christmas – and the lack of buzz around the finished product, I was taken aback when I saw Stronger by just how damn good it is. It tells the story of Jeff Bauman, a genial Beantown fuckup who attended the marathon in an uncharacteristic show of dedication to his on-and-off girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslaney), hoping to cheer her on. The bomb went off next to him, and he lost both his legs, attaining an unsettling kind of celebrity in the process.
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The Best of You, the Worst of You: The Year of the Doppelganger in Film

Sara is big into reading and writing fiction like it's her job, because it is. That doesn't mean she isn't real as it gets. She loves real stuff like polka dots, indie rock, and underground fight clubs. I may have made some of that up. I don't know her that well. You can tell she didn't just write this in the third person because if she had written it there would have been less suspect sentence construction.

NOTE: Spoilers abound.

2014 is a little more than half over and already several cinematic trends have surfaced: the continued dominance of superheroes at the box office; Scarlett Johansson’s uncontested reign of hotness; the continuing Michael Bay pillaging of Saturday mornings of yesteryear. But most intriguing might be the mini-boom of doppelganger movies that have appeared, dare I say it, like unexplained copies of one another in the past few months: Enemy, from Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve; The Double, from ex-IT Crowd star and budding auteur Richard Ayoade; and The One I Love, from first-time filmmaker Charlie McDowell. Each of these three films uses the concept as a jumping off point to tell a unique story. But why the sudden interest in stories about unexplained doubles? What does it say about the anxieties of identity in the new millennium — the way we see ourselves? A deeper examination of each entry in this year of doppelganger in film might provide some answers.

Continue reading The Best of You, the Worst of You: The Year of the Doppelganger in Film