Alpha Dog

My mother has a hilarious, yet strict policy;  if she does like not like a particular actor, or saw a film where said actor causes any kind of offense–she will not watch their movies.  I get what she means; I have had to lock away Stanley Tucci‘s performance in “The Lovely Bones” in a very dark place, and don’t even talk to me about Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” or Matt Damon in “The Talented Mr Ripley“.  So when “Alpha Dog“, the edgy star studded crime drama peaked Ben’s interest,  I decided to bow out.  In no way did I want to stand by and have Justin Timberlake ruined for me.  I want “Suit and Tie”, “Dick in the Box”, “Friends With Benefits” JT; I do not want a potentially violent thug JT.    After Ben watched the film,   I full of  questions.  Was it violent? Like really violent? Do people die? Aw, they killed Anton Yelchin? Did Justin do it? Was Justin bad? Aww so was he nice?

jt tattooed

In a nutshell, “Alpha Dog” is based on a true story about Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who had the honor of being the youngest fellah on FBI’s Most Wanted List–(and they said you’d never amount to anything, and now you’re on death row, you’ve really hit the big time!).  Some guy owed $1200, so naturally, they kidnap his fifteen year old brother, show him a good time for a couple of days before knocking him into a shallow grave and firing nine shots.  Then director of “The Notebook” thought that this would make an excellent movie.  And my husband certainly thought so.  And I’m sure it is.  But I just don’t party that hard.

alpha-dog-poster-3-721678Though I couldn’t hack the visual, I read about the Nicholas Markowitz murder, and it was a careless and gruesome crime.  It’s also an interesting morality tale about drugs, power, corruption, greed, but in the hands of tweaking twenty-year-olds.  Certainly there are fascinating character dynamics…but it’s never the thing I reach for in a cinematic situation.  And, if you hadn’t heard me loud and clear, this is not how I like my Justin Timberlake.

I know that there are many serious, important films that I am missing out on, but meh–I like feeling happy.  So, if you’ve come here looking for a review about…well, a movie I’ve actually seen, but a generally morose or violent  picture, you’ll be disappointed time and time again.  I love a well-crafted film but I also love the “so-bad-it’s good” kind of movie.  I’m going to have my own movie review show called “Cinema that Suits Me”, and discuss movies like “Someone like You” with Ashley Judd, “Serendipity” with John Cusack, and “Straight Talk” with Dolly Parton.

dolly parton

Look how exasperated everyone is with “Dr Shirlee”, don’t we all want to explore why she looks like she doesn’t care?

I absolutely respect the right for any film to be made; this is not a censorship issue. I like to check in with the parental guidance guide on IMDB not because I am a prude, but because I like to be prepared.  There have been times where I have been “Sean Penned”, stumbling across a brutal flashback “Dead Man Walking”, or the time I was “Rob Roy’d” when Tim Roth rapes Jessica Lange over a table, and I’m like–‘hands to yourself motherfucker’!  And then she’s washing herself furiously in the river, sobbing hysterically, and I just don’t want to go there, though I feel for that character.  Maybe that’s the trouble with feeling too much.  But maybe I’d just rather be watching Dolly Parton make good instead.

4 thoughts on “Alpha Dog

  1. I think that ‘Someone like you’ is a highly underrated film. Who doesn’t love them some early rom-com Hugh.

  2. I can appreciate what you are saying here. Speaking only for myself, I have become so psychologically disturbed in some movies that I’ve walked out (or at least closed my eyes and ears for the scene). I think in addition to a “family friendly” rating scale, it would be good to have “trigger alerts” for those of us with mental illnesses.

    • I can’t say enough about IMDB, the website is such a movie bible! They break down every kind of ‘disturbance’ in each film so you know where you’re at–and they even have spoiler alerts, so as not to give away too much.

      I just want to go back to the days of Hitchcock, where bad stuff happened…off camera. In today’s film, nothing is held back–so it’s not just scary or intense, it’s disturbing–with the thing I struggle with.

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