From last night, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Campaigning" is above. Probably the comic that best captures the re-election effort of Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, WTF? Every time I see a movie these days, WSWS is as well. And I don't usually see this many movies. But I saw the awful Arbitrage this weekend. I used to have a huge crush on Tim Roth. Back when he was tight with Uma Thurman's ex -- Gary Oldman. He was a really interesting actor. So I wanted to see it for that reason and also because, in the commercial, Susan Sarandon looked like Susan Hayward, circa 1967, when she did Valley of the Dolls and her career -- like her character's wig -- ended up in the toilet.
Susan Sarandon is indeed Susan Hayward when the career failed.
She can't act. Those bug eyes are more frightening than ever (I was reminded of all the bad reviews Pauline Kael gave Sarandon) and the pounds she's packing do not make her look shapely, just matronly. She needs to give it up. It was awful. And she can't act anymore.
Developing a late in life sexuality allowed her to be interesting onscreen briefly. That's gone. She's just dull and matronly.
She should either start playing housekeepers or retire. Oh, she's awful. Richard Gere is miscast in a Michael Douglas role (the film really could have used Douglas) but Gere isn't embarrassing. Sarandon is.
Here's Joanne Luarier's take:
As a thriller, Arbitrage is dull despite its slick, shiny look. Most of the film’s drama is squeezed out of the legal hassles Miller unwittingly sets in motion for Jimmy. Although Miller’s woes are presumably the product of the 2008 crash, little about that experience or its aftermath makes its way into the film.
While the 25-year-old Jarecki may have wanted to capitalize on current anti-bank sentiment and interest, the film’s muddy, ambivalent attitude toward financial tycoons helps account for its untextured aesthetics and flat storyline. Those social criticisms Arbitrage does make are tepid and tinged with secret or not so secret appreciation.
In other words, the writer-director wants to have it both ways. On the one hand, Miller’s character is surely meant to tell us something about Wall Street swindling and criminality. On the other hand, out of Jarecki’s equivocation, the director reduces that aspect of his story to something of a sidebar.
The storyline reflects this. While Julie’s death is tragic, there is no organic connection between Miller’s life activity, as a banker-“oracle,” and his handling of the fatal car accident, much less Jimmy’s persecution. All sorts of people might find themselves in such circumstances. The result feels artificial as the filmmaker pumps the drama up into a phony, personal crisis.
As a whole, Arbitrage offers a templated portrait of a man who thinks he’s king of the world and can get away with anything. Any sharper insight generally gets lost in the clichéd melodrama.
So there you have it, we both give it a thumbs down.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"