Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten Quick Thoughts on...The Beaver

1. "Heh heh. He said he was thinking about the beaver."

2. Really just an average movie. It wasn't horrible. But not incredibly effective either. Pretty much an "Eh," which might be the worst thing a movie can be. A movie about the horrors of depression that doesn't move you in any way? Could be Jodie Foster's boring, craftman-like direction? Maybe it was because it seemed like it was more about a crazy person than a depressed one? Dunno.

3. I do predict, however, that Mel Gibson will rake in a much deserved Oscar nomination for his role as depressed Dad Walter Black, who finds himself able to communicate with his family through a beaver puppet he finds in a trash dumpster. Just kidding. After insulting just about every race of people on the planet over the past few years, I have no idea who Gibson would have to kill in order to get an Oscar nomination. Maybe Michael Moore?

4. I do find it hilarious how Gibson's character could never take the puppet off. I guess it's one thing to need it to talk to your family or to deal with your co-workers, but the guy kept it on even when he was having sex with his wife. That's just nutso.

5. The story development in the movie was a little bit weak. Gibson gets kicked out of the house by Jodie Foster's loving wife archetype five minutes into the movie. He goes off to try and kill himself. Having failed, he decides to start wearing this puppet he found on his hand. He goes home, she lets him back into the house, and soon they are back making love like randy co-eds after a rambunctious senior prom. Seemed a little rushed.

6. This may have been the first movie ever where I watched Foster act and thought, "You know what, this isn't really doing anything for me." Plus, I was shocked by the lack of chemistry between Foster and Gibson. Sure, it would take a bravura effort to show any sort of emotional interest in a bigot like Gibson, but if anyone has ever seen Maverick, you know that this pair once set off serious sparks on-screen. Well, that was then, this is now, I suppose.

7. I've never really thought much of Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Gibson's emotionally distant son in the film. I've seen him in things, but none have made enough of an impression on me to even allow me to name any of them without IMDB'ing. But I did think that he showed a little bit of potential here. In other words, if you decide to produce a movie and ask Joseph Gordon Levitt to be in it, and that budding star tells you to go F yourself, Yelchin might not be a bad backup plan.

8. As Yelchin's love interest, rising actress Jennifer Lawrence makes a very good impression with a role that probably didn't look like much on paper. She is going to be a huge star. She's beautiful, she's unique (as in she is not rail-thin), she's mysterious, and, most importantly, she has already shown herself to have serious acting chops (see Bone, Winter's).

9. One of the hooks of this film is that Gibson's character, who is the CEO of a large toy manufacturer, sets the world on fire with an idea for a toy that gets the kids going bonkers: a wooden block in the shape of a beaver that comes with a hammer, a screwdriver, and other tools. In this movie's world, young kids go wild when someone sells them the opportunity to play carpenter for a day. I have to call serious bullshizz on that. No kid in their right mind would play with such a toy with a new iSomething coming out every other day. Just because you can type poppycock like that doesn't mean that it makes sense.

10. Jon Stewart, Terry Gross, and Matt Lauer all did cameos in a montage where the filmmakers showed Gibson hitting the talking-head circuit to promote his beaver-shaped carpentry playset for kids. I guess I could see Stewart and Gross agreeing to the cameo, but I was shocked to see Lauer within a ten-foot pole of the toxic Gibson. I hope he got an exclusive out of the deal.

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