The latest on Blu-ray and streaming services, including "Best of Enemies," "Shaun the Sheep Movie," "Mississippi Grind" and "Don't Look Back" on Criterion.
At home, Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) has a business line and a personal line. You should know that because the FBI does, and so do his bosses at Archer Daniels Midland ("Supermarket To The World"™). Mark is pretty good at compartmentalizing his life, but the lines are about to get crossed a little bit.
Mark lives with his wife and kids in Decatur, IL, but he's been all over the world with ADM and he's proud of what they do, especially with corn. They make all kinds of stuff out of plain old corn, from high fructose corn syrup to lysine to ethanol -- all of which, you might say, are fuel additives, designed to juice up production of... whatever.
Celebrating ADM's miraculous line of alchemical products, Mark excitedly notes: "Corn goes in one end and profit comes out the other!" Vivid image, that. Kind of suggests Mark's chronic logorrhoea, the stream of partially digested thoughts that swirls around inside his head and occasionally gushes from his mouth. When he gets going his internal monologue (in voiceover) actually talks right over his lips and his tongue. He doesn't interrupt himself; his mouth and his brain just keep spilling over each other. I wouldn't be surprised if Damon's Mark Whitacre had a cousin named Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo.
TELLURIDE, Colo. -- In the blazing noon sun of Labor Day, on a panel discussion in Elks Park, the veteran critic Stanley Kauffmann put his finger on the kinds of films that the Telluride Film Festival does not exist to support: movies made of special effects and technology.
LOS ANGELES - Paul Mazursky, in 1980, is very much an outsider in contemporary Hollywood. At a time when the bosses of the major studios are engaged in games of musical chairs, when few studio chiefs give any thought to long-term filmmaking philosophies. When the creative deal is more highly regarded than the creative film, when bloated budgets are poured into films that will become either monster hits or complete write-offs...at a time like this, Paul Mazursky is so out of date he seems almost Victorian.
TORONTO, CANADA - About halfway into "Divine Madness," Bette Midler is doing a series of dirty jokes and somebody in the audience shouts out that she should tell the taco joke. "The taco joke?" Bette asks. "You think I'm crazy? I know what the movie audience will go for, how much I can get away with.... Remember, this is the time-capsule version."
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Michael Caine is one of the most watchable of movie actors, but why? And why is he an actor almost everyone seems to like - even though until recently, as he cheerfully puts it, "I was a star, but sort of a half-assed star"? I'm trying to figure out the answers to these questions while watching him act in a scene with a very different kind of star: Pele, the soccer player.