Saturday, May 13, 2017

Two Wise Guys at the Movies (5/11/17)

Debra Winger & Tracy Letts (r) star in The Lovers

This week: "Wise Guys" Arch Campbell and Bill Newcott chat about new movies, including The Lovers, starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as a long-married couple who, having found other lovers and on the verge of divorce, suddenly find themselves in a red-hot affair with each other.

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ARCH: I really liked The Lovers. It’s especially good to see Debra Winger performing as a mature actress.

BILL: I agree. Especially about Debra Winger. It seems like she’s been gone so long. I know she’s been busy on TV and in small roles, but I think it’s been decades since she had a starring movie role.

ARCH: There are some scenes, especially toward the end, that are really quite moving, especially for anybody who’s a real grownup.

BILL: For me, the most moving scene is one near the middle of the film, when Letts’ character is shopping at a supermarket meat counter, and Winger’s lover walks up and tells him she’s going to leave him. Letts has this moment of great screen acting, as all these emotions (shock, sorrow, regret, guilt, and maybe a hint of relief) sweep across his face in a few seconds.

ARCH: There are some scenes that don’t seem to ring true, especially after the couple’s son arrives. There’s that one, where he gets kind of overwrought and does one of those moves where he sweeps everything off the coffee table with a big crash.

BILL: I agree. He hadn’t been around for the first three-quarters of the film; and then all of a sudden, he’s throwing stuff. Chill out, man.

ARCH: Nobody does that, except in the movies. I broke a couple of plates once in anger, and my wife just stood there and laughed at me.

BILL: I once threw a fake Hummel figure against a fireplace. Same response.

ARCH: I think The Lovers is a great example of a foreign-feeling film made in America. And it’s good to see Debra Winger again.

BILL: What’s your hottest Debra Winger movie moment?

ARCH: Oh, without a doubt, with Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman. When they first get together in the sack... oh my gosh. I remember watching that in a screening, and everybody just held their breath. Of course, there’s also that scene in Urban Cowboy, when she rides a mechanical bull. I realize I sound like a teenage boy now.

BILL: Well, giving equal time, what’s your hottest Tracy Letts movie moment?


BILL: Yeah, I know.

Vin Diesel stars in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

ARCH: I loved this. What I really like is they make fun of the form - they take pokes at Star Wars and all the films that super fans take so seriously. Plus, the mix of music from the 80s is just delightful.

BILL: I’m looking at the playlist from the movie now. “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO,”Brandy” by Looking Glass,” and Southern Nights” by Glenn Campbell.

ARCH: Without giving too much away, there’s a scene where one of the characters gets ready for battle to the tune of “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans. It gives you goose bumps! Most of those superhero films are aimed at teenagers; but there’s an adult aspect to Guardians of the Galaxy, that just makes it delightful.  


ARCH: What are you watching on TV now? I am just entranced by The Americans (F/X, Tuesdays 10 PM ET) with Keri Russell as an embedded Soviet Spy in the 1980s in Washington, DC. The things they do on behalf of Russia... and of course, that kind of resonates now, doesn’t it?

BILL: I don’t watch as much TV as I should - imagine what my mother would say about that - but the one thing I’ve been watching for about three years now is The Blacklist (NBC, Thursdays 10 PM ET) with James Spader. There are scenes in that show when he’s just riding along in a car, and you could watch that face for the whole hour. In some ways he’s too good for the show.

ARCH: So many great actors and actresses are finding themselves on television and on events that are streaming. I never cease to be amazed at how good television is.

BILL: Arch, I think we’ve got too much stuff for one column. We’ll have to save some of it for later; bank it for when we can’t think of anything to talk about.

ARCH: Exactly! How do you think I lasted so long on TV?