STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
Title - Kevin Michael Vance - writer/musician/purveyor of raw materials
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance

www.kevacho.com
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Kevin Michael Vance
Writer - Portland, Oregon


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Title: THE BUTLER
Director: Lee Daniels
Year: 2013
Reviewed: February 05, 2014

Rating:   Fast Food Meal-Third Highest Rating
[Rating Definitions]

  THE BUTLER

I do realize that me not liking Lee Daniels' "The Butler" overly much is almost akin to Jerry Seinfeld making out during "Schindler's List", but it's true... I really didn't like the movie.

First of all, I found "The Butler" to be almost too history laden. They simply fly past things like John F. Kennedy's assassination, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, the voting rights act of 1965, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the resignation of Richard Nixon, so that none of these momentous events is given any depth or weight. Just as Oprah Winfrey's character being an adulterous whore is simply shot and then forgotten. One scene where she's with her lover, and then nothing. No resolution or reveal, which left me with the feeling of, "Hay! Isn't Gloria a cheating slut? Oh well, guess it don't matter."

Secondly, the movie for me was contrite. Each seen began like this; we're all happy, everything's good, and then.... tragedy! Time and time again; we're all happy, everything's good, and then... tragedy! Heavy-handed and hackneyed. I could see the machine moving. And I don't want to see the machine moving. I don't like a movie that feels like, "Okay, here's where you cry, and lament over the tragedy and futility of life. And over here, this is where you laugh, and celebrate the beauty of it all." Made me feel cheated and patronized.

Thirdly (and this might get me in the most trouble) I am not a great fan of Forrest Whittaker as an actor. I think he overacts. Just as the reference to the machine, I can "see" Whittaker acting; see him act old, act tired, act mad, act happy. I do not feel the depth of character or pathos from him as I do from some of my more favorite actors. And for my part... whoa! too much Oprah. Her character, albeit fun and charismatic, took focus away from what was the Butler's story.

And that's why I give "The Butler" a low FAST FOOD MEAL review.

Listen, I know that Mr. Gaines, the real-life person upon which the movie "The Butler" is based, lead an extraordinary and exceptional life. And that is certainly not what I'm so arrogantly judging here. I'm simply judging a movie that was simply good, not great as it wanted, and in some cases claimed, to be. Just good.

On a happy side note, Danny Strong, the writer of said movie is one of my favorite characters, Johnathan, from the excellent television series "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer". I never knew he was a writer. Furthermore, he's going to pen the last two "Hunger Games". Good job, Mr. Strong. And congratulations on your success.
   



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