Tag Archives: Jake Gyllenhaal

Faded tickets, magazines and Todd Barry!

The next movie on my list, or it really should be, is “Enemy” starring that doe-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal and his doppleganger or whatever.

I’ve had it on DVD from Netflix since Jan. 24, 2017, but alas it still sits atop my DVD player and probably will until the Guinness Book of World Records people show up at my door.

I honestly was going to watch it last night, but instead went down a rabbit hole of Conan O’Brien episodes (did you know he is still doing the string dance?) That prompted me to catch up on “Silicon Valley” after seeing Thomas Middleditch’s wonderfully awkward appearance.

After a day in the sun both from a long walk (I actually ran for part of it, woo!) and then lounging in my new favorite chair reading InStyle and listening to podcasts, it was the perfect evening.

I also started to think about a subject for my blog this morning and, with no material on “Enemy,” looked for inspiration by sifting through my old movie tickets.


I keep meaning to buy a scrapbook for them, especially now that some have faded beyond recognition. I saw one where all I could make out were the words “Hunt for” and I thought … did I see “The Hunt for Red October” at some point? No, it was a ticket from “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” last year. (One of the best movies of the year, by far.) Now I do have to watch “The Hunt for Red October” … but only if it is re-released in the theaters so I have the ticket to prove it.

Or maybe I can win the Guinness record as the only person who hasn’t seen it.

My ticket nostalgia continued this morning with a quick look through a box of old cards and whatnot from high school and I found the mother of all movie stubs from my senior year:


I also uncovered some mint condition magazines from the 1990’s:


Why do we save stuff like this? If anything it’s for the random moments you decide to look through old boxes and even better when you don’t know what you’ll find.

I didn’t know I kept some old magazines, especially not this one:


Oh how things have changed.

A little nostalgia from time to time can’t hurt, just remember it’s memories associated with the past that wouldn’t be the same today. My favorite nostalgia expert, John Hodgman, would tell you that.

That’s why I subscribe to his Lifestyle newsletter and then often don’t read it because I forget to check under the Promotions tab in Gmail.  (I just added him to my contacts –why didn’t I think of this earlier?– so maybe the messages will arrive in my primary inbox.) Anyway,  I did click over one tab  (tough stuff) while catching up on emails yesterday and read the newsletter, which included a recommendation for what is now my new favorite blog by musician and writer Carsie Blanton.  I purchased her album “So Ferocious,” which I’ve been listening to while working on this post, and also read her most recent blog with words of wisdom on pursuing your life goals.

It also references the (visually) aforementioned Brad Pitt after she watched “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with her husband during a cabin getaway. (They didn’t have many movies to pick from.)

The lyrics from her song, “Lovin’ is Easy” made me smile and I think my favorite tune on the album is “Hot Night.”

From “Lovin’ is Easy”:

“I’m in love with you but it’s alright/I fall in love nearly every night and it fills up my heart until I can’t keep it in/so I hope you don’t mind if I say it again.”

It’s time for other happiness news in that the Minneapolis movie in the parks schedule is hot off the presses and “Clueless” is showing on my birthday. The list includes many of the 1980’s and 1990’s classics that are a perfect excuse to get out at dusk during the heydays of summer. Now I can finally see “Space Jam” on the big screen.

And lastly, since I probably won’t write before then, I am headed off to Madison this weekend to see my favorite deadpan man Todd Barry at the Comedy Club on State.


I have his book ready to be signed and now just have to think of what to say to him. (I also need a purse big enough for it in case I chicken out, which is very likely.) Do I tell him I think it’s cute that he included his cat Sunflower in the acknowledgements or just that I really admire him?


Should I show him this selfie? There is a good chance I am going to embarrass myself, but it’s going to be great.




73 of 366: Southpaw


I’m trying to decide if Southpaw is more than just another boxing movie or if I believe that it is because I really wanted it to break out of that mold and the standard plot points of sports movies focusing on themes of redemption and revenge.

My expectations were probably too high after seeing Creed, but Southpaw does have the selling point of Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as Billy Hope that I tried to focus on over its clichés, especially that scene leading up to the big fight, game, dance routine (for all you Step Up fans), etc.

Creed has them too: the slow motion shots of a boxer jumping rope, the obligatory scene of him running through the city streets in a hoodie, perhaps with rap music playing the background, taping up his hands … I could go on.

Creed is perhaps a better movie because of the back story of its main characters and connection to Rocky, but its plot and that of Southpaw really aren’t all that different.

Southpaw, however, does stray in its format a little bit as it presents a top dog to underdog back to top dog development of Hope’s character and career as a boxer while Adonis Johnson in Creed doesn’t have quite as many ups and downs.

I’ll stop comparing the two other than to say both films also feature and focus on their boxer trying to find a new trainer, in Hope’s case it’s Tick Wills (Forrest Whitaker) who is hesitant to take on a new protégé.

Before Hope and Wills meet, he loses almost everything he had going for him in his life and is seeking redemption to get back what is left of his family and career.

The trailer for the film unfortunately spoils what happens to Hope but I won’t here because I think not knowing would have added a little more to the viewing experience.

The pivotal scene that sends Hope on his redemption quest is one of the many in the film that exemplifies Gyllenhaal’s performance and acting skills.

Plain and simple, Gyllenhaal is a good crier and can bring the emotion to any scene effectively (maybe it’s those puppy dog eyes) and the showing of the loss he experiences early on in the film made me think of that moment where Brad Pitt’s character just loses it in Legends in the Fall. You know what I’m talking about, or I hope you do because I’m about to admit the fact that I used to rewind the movie and watch that scene over and over again like a total weirdo. Boy it feels good to get that off my chest after all these years although I really just want to delete this whole paragraph. Would the redeemed Billy Hope do that? No, I think he would say you just have to accept who you are and move on.

Which, thank goodness, brings me back to Southpaw. I’ve actually been watching the final fight scene as I type this (I need to watch four movies before I work today to catch up on my challenge), and it unfortunately takes away from how Gyllenhaal carried the film with his performance by delivering a completely expected ending.

The fight is redemption for Hope and his family life, but it’s mainly just a final cliché moment synonymous with boxing films that took Southpaw down a notch for me.

I didn’t have a fitting quote connected to Southpaw to end this, so I picked a book on my shelf and turned to the first page in the first chapter.

“A man’s alter ego is nothing more than his favorite image of himself.”

Catch Me If You Can.