Mike Kueber's Blog

January 25, 2014

Night at the Movies #98 – Mitt, Short Term 12, and Prisoners

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 11:41 am
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Prisoners (2013) is a crime mystery involves the search for two abducted girls.  The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a detective and Hugh Jackman as the distraught father of one of the girls.  The other parents are played by Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, and Maria Bello, and the entire cast of characters is outstanding.  The Rotten Tomatoes critics give it 82% approval while the audience liked it even better at 88%.   Although I don’t typically enjoy crime thrillers, especially one without any romance, this one is clearly above average.  But not so good to justify its 150-minute running time.  I give it two and a half stars out of four.

Short Term 12 (2013) is a well-done drama about some kids working in a group home for troubled kids.  Both sets of kids are interesting and likeable, especially the two stars – Brie Larson and John Gallagher, Jr.  The movie premiered last year at the SXSW in Austin and has been shown love by critics and audiences – 99% and 94% respectively by Rotten Tomatoes.  I agree and give it three and a half stars out of four.

Mitt (2014) is a Netflix documentary that debuted on Friday, and after receiving a friendly email notice from Netflix last night, I immediately streamed the movie.  After a few hours of sleep, I woke up to find a post from a Facebook friend, former Council candidate recommending the movie for anyone thinking of running for office.  I commented to him that his losing campaign reminded me of Romney’s – i.e., he did it the right way and for the right reasons.

Imagine my surprise, then, in reading an MSNBC review of the movie to learn that Romney’s motivation was one of the major flaws with the movie:   According to Jane C. Timm:

  • The film lacks what the campaign did: it’s unclear why—ambition aside—Romney is willing to subject himself and his family to this brutal, decade-long journey. His drive remains enigmatic, hidden behind mentions of duty to country and God. The film is almost completely devoid of actual discussion of Romney’s policy plans or hopes for change. Instead, there are vague references to a poor economy, struggling small business, and taxes.”

That comment is ridiculous from two perspectives:

  1. “Ambition aside.”  Yes, Romney is ambitious, just like all politicians, but his ambition is smaller and less narcissistic than most.
  2. “Hidden behind mentions of duty to country and God.”  Yes, Romney is more of a technocrat than an ideologue, but the sincerity of his “country and God” motivation is palpable.

My comment to my Facebook friend also included the following – “I think he offered this country more than any candidate in my lifetime, including Ike. His loss was a huge loss for this country.”

A few days ago, another Facebook friend asked me if I wanted Ted Cruz to be our president.  I responded that ideally I wanted someone to govern this country from the middle right – and that ideally that someone was Mitt Romney.  This movie provides compelling evidence that Mitt Romney is who I thought he was.  The candidate gets four stars, while the movie gets three stars because there isn’t a lot of drama.

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