They are literally putting millions of people in danger.

Vaccinate your kids.  Don’t put other kids at risk.

You’re putting your kids at risk by not vaccinating them. You’re putting other kids at risk. You’re putting the elderly at risk. You’re putting the sick and recovering at risk. You’re putting every immune-threatened person or person with a condition that can be aggravated by other diseases at risk.

(Source: sandandglass, via impishtubist)

The Judge

I was lucky enough to catch an advanced screening of The Judge in Boston tonight. Reviews out of TIFF were pretty mixed, so I had an idea of what I was getting into: it wasn’t going to be a perfect film, but would it be worth watching? The film is constantly attached with the label of ‘ocscar bait’, but in reality, any dramatic film released between September and December should earn this label.

The truth is that The Judge is not without its flaws: it relies far too heavily on clumsy tropes (the mentally challenged brother who records nostalgic memories on Super 8, the raging storm outside as metaphor for the crucible of a father and son’s strained relationship coming to a head, hydrangeas as the most clumsiest obvious word to link together a late mother and son), the editing was not as tight as it could be (both ends of the film could have been significantly shaved down for a tighter narrative and slimmer running time), there was a distinct lack of focus and too many stray conflicts and unnecessary subplots (including a brief appearance by the soon-to-be ex-wife whom we never see nor hear from again and some random unresolved incest plot that is played for humor but is ultimately one big WTF?!), the sentiment often tipped well into sentimental and cloying.

And yet.

The Judge is still really, really enjoyable in spite of these things. RDJ and Robert Duvall are powerhouse actors (in absolutely different ways) and it is an absolute joy to watch these two tangle with each other each other. Hell, it would be entertaining to watch RDJ read the phone book because he just has that much charisma and magnetism. But RDJ and Duvall are fire and ice and their interactions are explosive and heart-wrenching. Their performances are the heart of this story and it is very easy to forgive this film its weaknesses on the merits of its very significant strengths.

The whole cast (which is stellar) turn in lovely performances in often overlooked roles. Vincent D’Onofrio could be mistaken for background dressing (along with his movie family), but he is a presence with weight and soul. Vera Farmiga is ethereal in a role that could be all too cliche, but she has the kind of mournful/old soul gaze to elevate it into something better than what it honestly is.

In the end, it’s an ambitious film that probably tries to do far too many things and they are all individually interesting things in their own right (is the big city boy just a small town Indiana boy at heart? Is he his father’s son? Is he still in love with his ex-girlfriend he had abandoned as a boy? Is he a good man because he is unrepentant about defending known criminals? Is his marriage over for good? Is he the selfish brother who abandoned his older brother to care for the family when he left for the big city?), but it comes together somewhat sloppily. Nonetheless, RDJ and Duvall shine in this film. They are lovely in this, and I’d see this film again based on those two alone.