Review: Mailman – J. Robert Lennon

j robert lennon the mailman cover

Albert Lippincott is a fifty-seven-year-old mailman living in Nestor. He is a little strange – suffering from some mental illnesses and very rigidly stuck in his ways, Albert had a life of potential that went strange. He has a strict routine that he strictly adheres to, a failed marriage and a deceased lover, it all seems very strange to live in Albert’s world. Stunted familial interactions leave him relatively lonely. Mailman (as Albert thinks of himself and how he refers to himself) is a solid guy who loves his job. In fact, there is the possibility that he loves his job too much. Mailman has slipped into the little pastime of stealing some mail (or borrowing it, if you want to see it from his persepctive), taking it home, opening it, copying it, perusing it, sealing it and then delivering it. One such letter proves to be a problem though when the man he is to deliver it to, young and artistic Jared Sprain, is found dead in his apartment. Mailman panics, assuming that all mail will need to be accounted for, that if he does not return it there will be hell to pay. This is the little pebble that dislodges and causes a landslide in Mailman’s comfortable and predictable, routine-filled life.

Mailman ultimately returns the letter, though his anger issues make this (yet again) a very loud and explosive trip for him. He has a young girl watching him, and he hastily departs the row of mailboxes at around midnight, fleeing the scene. The entire ordeal plays on his mind, making him think about experiences of his past. He is jolted, however, when Kelly Vireo, the witness of the return of the stolen letter, accuses the Mailman of anger issues and tampering with mail, threatening to report him. Everything is stacked against Mailman, and he is terrified that she will make good on his threat. He starts to become a bit more paranoid, and thinks back in time. In the replays of his past, Mailman walks us through his time as a college student, his expulsion from school, his stint in the mental hospital where he met his wife Lenore, and how their marriage ultimately dissolved. He indulges us the memories of his disturbing upbringing as well as the projects he attempted to undertake in his life, such as his botched attempt to join the Peace Corps.

In the present, Mailman is dealing with severe bruising on his side from having hurt himself on his car door and later falling down in his house. His fantastic health that he prides himself on is taking a little bit of a beating, something that he is not overly thrilled about, though he is having a particularly bad week. Len Ronk, his superior at the post office, is seemingly taking a closer look at him, which makes him nervous considering the missing and later returned Sprain letter as well as Kelly Vireo sniffling around. His sister, Gillian, a washed out actress living in New York, is not a particular help to him either, seeing as everything seems like a show to him. Mailman continues his life as normal, though he is spending much more time in his head thinking back on his lover Semma, his botched marriage with Lenore, his incredible amounts of anger at the world as well as the contribution he is bringing to it. It seems that he is losing his grip on the present, slipping into a deeper depression, forgetting things about him that make him himself. Before long, though, he has a problem. It seems that an investigation  has been launched about him, and Mailman now stands on the precipice of a decision: fight of flight.

Will Mailman run, shirk the responsibilities and the consequences for what he has done? Will he ever get his obsessive need to read other people’s mail in check? Will he be able to continue in life, or has he reached the crossroads, where he either curls up or gets back up and soldiers on? What about his past has made him the way he is? Is Mailman even remotely able to make changes in his life now? What will happen with the investigation that has been levied against him?

An 8/10 for Mailman: A Novel. So this was my beloved Eric’s recommendation. I had a little bit of difficulty sourcing it, but I eventually did. Then I had difficulty getting it, because South African postal workers (ironic, I know) love to strike. It took an age to get to me, so I read a lot of other books in between it. But it finally arrived and I really wanted to know what it was about, especially seeing as it was Eric of all people that gave the recommendation. It took me a while to work through because I was reading a  lot in between it then work took over then I read nothing for weeks, and that really sucked. But irrespective of. By the way, doubtful Probies, the recommendation was a damn fine one, I will have you know! Mailman: A Novel was such a bizarre and strange read, and the main character, Albert Lippincott, aka Mailman, was just so… weird. I mean he was disgusting and disturbing and then in the same breath you cannot help but pity him, to feel so deeply for the poor man. So he is repulsive and pitiable all in one breath. That is insane! Anyhow, the book’s layout is quite cool, skipping between the week of the present, and delving back into places of Mailman’s past, exploring incidences, feelings, relationships and occurrences that he was a part of, etc. I liked that, how it was not linear, but that was all relevant and came together. Mailman’s character itself is questionable, as well as his totally grotesque relationship that he has with his sister, too. That was something that did not and does not make sense, and definitely the kind of place to employ Marty Hart’s desire not to know more than we have to. As for the writing style, it was engaging and interesting, I enjoyed how it came together. The conversations written in the book were totally bizarre and laid out crazily, but it is perfect for what this is: an adventure in Mailman’s head. His world gradually starts unraveling, and something that starts slowly and by a small thread starts to speed up and become stranger and madder by the second, doing nothing but drawing you further into the strange recesses of Mailman’s mind.


Infiltration 1.0

Zoë:

Well, today it was MY turn to take over The IPC!

Originally posted on Isaacs Picture Conclusions:

Alright folks, Zoë clocking in here. While Eric is chained up in the basement with ergot poisoning out doing some severely hardcore manual labour, I hijacked was tasked to entertain you for the day. Now I am seriously having issues as to how to go about this, but I am sure that I will find a way to make this work.

I am not going in for Disney princesses or some serious male makeout fantasies (goodness knows my blog suffered at the hands of beefcakes and boobs for a while), so I had to think about this. While my thoughts are running rampant, they have convened on the fact that I can still not really forgive Eric for hating on The Godfather. More of that will feature over at Cinema Parrot Disco at some stage though.

So enough skirting of the issue. I’m going to take my role as entertainer for…

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Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

 

dallas-buyers-club-poster-570x844

“Mr Woodroof, I’m afraid that you’re nothing more than a common drug dealer, so if you’ll excuse us…”
- Richard Barkley

In 1985 Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with AIDS after getting shocked at his job. As an electrician and rodeo cowboy he refuses to believe the madness that he has thirty days to live. He is not homosexual and thus cannot be carrying such a heinous disease. Marching out he goes to do more research, and eventually connects the dots and recalls a prostitute he had unprotected sex with years ago. He is going to have to find a way to make things work. As though it is not bad enough that he has the news he has, it soon goes around and he is rejected by society, family and friends. It reaches as far as his job, where he is ultimately fired. The injustice burns him, and soon he also has nowhere to stay. More research leads Woodroof to the information on zidovudine (AZT), which is supposed to prolong the life of AIDS patients. He demands that Dr Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) gives him some, and even offers to pay. She tells him it does not work like that. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only just approved it for human testing, and half the patients are getting the real thing and the other half are getting placebos, nobody knows.

dallas buyers club partying

“Sometimes, I feel I’m fighting for a life that I just ain’t got the time to live. I want it all to mean something.” – Ron Woodroof

Refusing to accept that answer, he brokers a deal with a hospital staff member to trade cash for stolen AZT. Upon taking the AZT, Woodroof’s health worsens. This is not helped due to the fact of his cocaine use, and ultimately he ends up in the hospital again. His doctor, Dr Sevard (Denis O’Hare), demands to know where he is getting the illegal AZT. Woodroof refuses to share the information. While inside the hospital, he meets Rayon (Jared Leto), a transvestite and drug addict. He does not like Rayon, and treats her badly. Ultimately Woodroof goes out to Mexico to get more AZT and is instead treated by Dr Vass (Griffin Dunne), who tells him AZT is poisonous and prescribes ddC and peptide T, not approved in the US. Woodroof decides to use this to make money in the States and help other HIV-positive patients. He takes massive amounts back to the States with him and eventually gets Rayon on board with him to sell the drugs. Dr Saks is starting to notice negative effects from the AZT, and is told to let it go, it will not be discontinued. Woodroof is still alive, much longer than the doctors gave him credit for, so what Dr Vass gave him must be good.

dallas buyers club selling what you got

“None of those drugs have been approved by the FDA.” – Dr Eve Saks

Deciding ultimately that there is a more legit way to sell the drugs, Woodroof establishes the “Dallas Buyers Club”, where members pay $400-00 a month for their medication, as much as they need. The Club becomes so extremely. Rayon and Woodroof have come to an understanding, and Woodroof begins to respect her and understand her, and they develop a rather good friendship. After Woodroof lands up in hospital from a heart attack, Dr Sevard realises that all his AZT patients have moved over to the Dallas Buyers Club, and he is furious. Soon the FDA, too, gets involved with hassling Woodroof about his business and how he goes about it. Dr Saks and Woodroof establish a friendship when she sees that what he is doing is not a bad thing, and agrees that AZT is a problem. The more Woodroof works his Club, the more he learns about his disease as well as what is going on with it. The Club is starting to suffer at the hands of the FDA, and ultimately starts going bankrupt. Woodroof decides he will not let the FDA win.

dallas buyers club starting work with rayon

“The man with the most honey, attracts the most bees.” – Rayon

Will Woodroof and Saks be able to prove that AZT is dangerous? How long does Woodroof have before he finally succumbs to AIDS? How is he going to stand up against the FDA, which is harassing?

filmz.ru

“What? Hook me up to the morphine drip, let me fade on out? Nah. Sorry, lady, but I prefer to die with my boots on.” – Ron Woodroof

A 7.5/10 for Dallas Buyers Club. I know that is not what most were expecting, but there it is. I did enjoy the movie, it was very dramatic and well put together. Matthew McConaughey did a very good job portraying Ron Woodroof. I thoroughly enjoyed Jared Leto as Rayon. I heard so many good things about his role, and I must say that he did exceptionally well, and was the one character that I liked from the off. McConaughey did well in taking Woodroof from a totally unlikable tool to someone we rooted for, he made huge changes in his life. I am not sure how accurate the story that we watched is in comparison to the real deal, and I have also not read into it too much, but I must say that it kept me interested the whole way through. While not an awfully long movie (coming in at just under two hours), it felt really long, but not like I was wasting my time. I honestly feel that the characters carried this story far more than the story or plot development itself, which was extremely secondary in my opinion. I liked the way social issues were addressed in this movie, as well as how people can change and see things differently when something changes in their lives, it is excellent. There were bits that made me laugh and there were other scenes that made me angry. I liked the friendship that developed between Woodroof and Dr Saks, that was pretty cool, though I loved the friendship between Woodroof and Rayon. This was a solid film though and worth checking out.


The Iconic Book Scene – The Fault in Our Stars

Zoë:

Another Iconic Book Scene submitted by your truly to the awesome Miss Natasha over at Life of this City Girl!

Originally posted on Life of this city girl:

Today’s book scene was sent to me by Zoe, who blogs over at the Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger. She has an amazing blog full of reviews on books, movies, and series. Go head over to her page and follow her if you haven’t already :)

The Fault in Our Stars is such an amazing book to read. You can read my review here and Zoe’s here. I can’t wiat to see the movie

Iconic Book Scene - Zoe

If you want to take part in this – please send me your favorite book quote at natashastander@gmail.com

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Sporadic Scene: Sinister (2012) – Lawn Work

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).


Question of the Month: Best Movie Quote

Zoë:

And Luke is FINALLY back in action after an unfortunate mishap with his technologies, and we have access to another Question of the Month… this time the best movie quote!

Originally posted on Oracle of Film:

The Oracle of Film Returns!

Yes, I am back and back for good. I thought I would start my comeback tour with the Question of the Month, because you guys have given me some amazing response and I don’t think you should have to wait another second to see everyone else’s. The question was what is your favourite movie quote of all time, and despite there being millions of the buggers to choose from, you delivered amazingly well. I am sorry it just took me so long to contain this much awesome and translate it into the mere words of mortals.

Note: I don’t think I missed someone, but I had to go through my email archives to collate them. It is possible that I accidentally overlooked one of you, so please don’t be offended if your response didn’t make it up here. I have had the busiest couple of…

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Review: Killer Joe (2011)

killer joe cover

“You ever hear of Joe Cooper? He’s a cop. A detective, actually. He’s got a little business on the side.”
- Chris Smith

Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) is in a lot of trouble. He owes a lot of money to some scary loan sharks, and they want it back. West Dallas, Texas, is not the place for Chris to be. His mother kicks him out of the house, and Chris rushes to his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) with an idea. His mother has a life insurance policy that pays out to his twelve year old sister Dottie (Juno Temple) in the event of her death. $50 000-00 no less, and he was told about a hitman to contact that would do the job for him for $20 000-00. Chris wants Ansel to get involved with the plan to kill Adele to get the money. That way his debt is set, Dottie gets $10 000-00 for schooling or something and his father gets $10 000-00, too. Sharla (Gina Gershon), Ansel’s new wife, gets involved later, too, and wants a cut. The pair calls in police detective Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to pull the job for them.

killer joe

“My payment is twenty five thousand dollars, in cash, in advance. No exceptions.” – Killer Joe Cooper

Not being home when Joe called on them at the trailer, he spent some time with Dottie. Together the go to meet Chris and Ansel, where Joe and the greedy pair discuss the terms of their arrangement. Joe will do the job… for $25 000-00. After some huffing and puffing, Chris agrees, but then the second snag is hit – Joe wants payment up front, and Ansel and Chris will only have the money after the job is pulled and the insurance pays out. Chris is so desperate for the money that he puts up a minor fight with Joe when he suggests that Dottie can be his retainer until they can pay him his $25 000-00. Eventually Chris caves, and Dottie is pretty much sold off to the police detective.

killer joe chris and dottie

“Joe, listen, we’ve gotta stop this. My sister never did nothing to nobody, I can’t let you have her!” – Chris Smith

Sharla is not overly impressed that Dottie, a virgin, has been sold off to an older man, but nevertheless sets the girl up for a “date” with Joe. Joe is obsessed with the young girl, and sexually propositions her at dinner. Eventually she caves to the older man, and they begin a disgusting sexual relationship. Chris is getting the chills about the task that he has set Joe about, and wants it to be end. Digger Soames (Marc Macaulay) the loan shark sets his boys on Chris and has him beaten badly. Chris needs to produce the money and quickly. Wanting to call the hit off, Christ meets with Joe, who takes him to see the already deceased Adele. It is too late to put an end to everything.

killer joe sharla and joe

“If you insult me again, I will cut your face off and wear it over my own. Do you understand?” – Killer Joe Cooper

Trouble hits the fan when Ansel and Sharla go to claim the life insurance money and instead it all pays out to Rex (Sean O’Hara), the man that Adele was seeing. This does not bode well for Chris at all. The loan sharks want him, and now he in for $25 000-00 with Joe, too. Chris panics, and tries to take Dottie and run, though she is now all “in love” with Joe, and wants to see him before they leave. Will Chris be able to escape from all the drama that he has gotten himself and his family involved in? Did he really allow Rex to play him for such a fool? How is he going to square things with Joe? Will he be able to make things up with Dottie, to still save her from the mess that he created for her?

A 7/10 for Killer Joe. But what the fuck?! Killer Joe had a great cast going for it that played their roles well with a disturbing as hell execution of the premise. I could get on board with the desire to kill your mother for insurance money, even hiring a hitman. I could get on board with how incredibly trashy some families are, and even smiled a bit at how much the film milked the trailer trash angle (I hear a lot about it in books and movies but we don’t really have that here). But then the secondary aspects of the premise came. The part about a grown man wanting a twelve year old girl, an adult male starting a sexual relationship with said child who initially did not even want him, that was terrified of the concept (and yeah, gonna say this), and suddenly was so experienced and enjoyed it from the off. For a girl that is not promiscuous, that should not have been her first reaction. Anyhow, let me move right on from that. Then there was her family that knew what the animal wanted and freely offered her to him. I mean what the hell, were they that desperate for cash that they were willing to pimp a child for it? However, the story was alright. Emile Hirsch was pretty good as Dottie’s brother, yet so damn trashy. I mean seriously now? McConaughey was definitely the show stealer here though, brilliant performance. The way the insurance money debacle went down was good, too, though I must say that there was a lot in this film that was just not easy to watch, that is just that. Then there was the chicken scene, and that was really pretty messed up, in all honesty. Dammit, why? The movie is unconventional, and I wouldn’t suggest you watch it with your parents/kids, it could get a little awkward. There is some pretty dark humour at times, and then there is a lot that gets uncomfortable, too. The performances are definitely worth checking out though! It is not something that I will be checking out again in a hurry in the near future, and I would definitely not recommend this to those that cannot look past the disturbing aspects of the film to see the content of it.


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