Daniel's Critical Corner

November 3, 2008

Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Changeling”

Filed under: Reviews — Daniel @ 8:08 pm
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Barack Obama by you.
Did I Hear Someone Say “Change” ?

~ Hello Everyone ~
 Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Getting My Vote Today:  Changeling

Director Clint Eastwood is back, and older better than ever in a new
cinematic nail-biter that will leave you breathless.  “Changeling” is an
epic 1920’s period piece featuring action, suspense, gore and even a
couple of flappers !  (No, I’m not talking about Angelina Jolie’s lips.)

Yes, Angelina Jolie stars in this Oscar-worthy flick, and (going against
type) she actually refuses to take a free kid !!!  Where on Earth is
Madonna when you need her ?

It all begins when Christine Collins (played by Jolie), is asked to go
into work on her one day off…  She leaves her cute young son, Walter,
home alone with nothing but a sandwich and a prayer.  BIG MISTAKE. 
When she comes back, Walter is gone baby gone.  Of course, Christine
runs around the neighborhood in a panic, and finally calls the police.

Turns out, calling the police was not a good idea…  If you read the
history books, you will see that some cops in her region (Los Angeles,
California), were a vile, corrupt group of cowardly curmudgeons in  
the days before the Great Depression.  Hmmmph !  I don’t know why
they called it  “Great”.  Sounds like it was just AWFUL to me.

Anyway,  after dragging their feet, the police show up to her house
and file a report.  They act like they just don’t care, leaving Christine 
with no hope whatsoever.  Not even Bob Hope.  (He was unavailable 
due to a prior commitment on the Vaudeville circuit).

  

changelingpic3[2] by you.
Why Are You Asking If I’ve Had Collegian Injections ?

 

Feeling neglected and alone, our heroine’s fortune takes a stunning turn
for the better when Christine realizes she is part of a secret society of
assassins !  She hops on top of a moving train with a loaded gun, and  
then exacts her revenge by shooting people (in slow-motion) !  Morgan
Freeman shows up, helping her at every turn by…  Um…  Hold on a  
second…  Oops !!!  Wrong movie !  Sorry.  Where was I ?

Oh yes… Neglected and alone, Christine has nowhere to go.  Her sad,
pathetic plight is noticed by a real high-profile radio station preacher
(played by the amazing John Malkovich), and it all starts to equal bad 
press for the incompetent Los Angeles PD….  Desperate to quell an 
awful situation, the police manage to find her “son”.  She bursts into 
tears of joy hearing this news on the phone, but all that glitters is not
gold.

When her alleged son is brought to her (five long months after his
disappearance), she is shocked to see it is NOT Walter.  The police
say that he has “changed” physically because of neglect, abuse and
starvation.  They actually tell her (and this is a true story mind you)
Walter’s now three inches shorter because “all of the stress made his
spine shrink” !

Here is some of the SHOCKING dialog from that scene.*
*(As best as I can recall)…

~

Christine:  “His spine shrunk ?  You want me to
believe that ?”

Officer:  “Yes ma’am !”

Christine:  “But why is he speaking Italian ?”

Officer:  “He saw a couple of foreign films !”

Christine:  “Why does he have a HUGE mole on
his chin ?”

Officer:  “It’s just dirt ma’am”.

(The kid screams as the officer rips the mole off).

Christine:  “Why is he a Yupik Eskimo ?”

Officer:  “He’s VERY cultured now after traveling the
world”.

Christine:  “For crying out loud, this child is 46
years old !”

Child:  “Hey lady, I’m only 39 !  Damn !”

Christine:  (Gasps) “My child doesn’t swear !”

Officer:  “But we swear this is your child !”

~

Needless to say, Christine refuses to believe the bad cops, so she 
rushes straight to the newspapers with her story…  Panicked, the 
police respond by promptly throwing her into a mental institution.  
They claim that being separated from her son for so long made her
go “mad” and that’s why she does not recognize the boy.

At first, it looks like Christine has found a friend in a pretty young
 blonde nurse at the institution…  But that is not the case !!!  The
nurse rips poor Angelina Jolie’s clothes off and hoses her down in
the showers !!!  That terrible scene goes on for what seems like  
forever, but just when you think it’s over, the crazed nurse grabs 
the dreaded RUBBER GLOVE !  What a naughty, naughty nurse !!!

More hijinks ensue at the nuthouse, and just WAIT until you get a
load of Christine’s new roommate.  (I’m sure we have all had our 
fair share of bad ones, but this gal will make anyone else seem
ideal). 

On the outside, Christine’s radio friend is working to get her free,
solve the mystery, and expose the bad guys for what they are… 
I was transfixed with the storytelling and acting at almost every 
moment.

 

angelina-jolie-changeling[1] by you.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show”, Here I Come !

 

Angelina Jolie does a superb job showing us Christine’s growth and
transformation as a character.  In this film,  She becomes stronger
 over the course of a few months…

The change does not happen overnight…  But when it does, it is
profound and powerful.   Jolie’s performance has a duality that
will leave an impression on me for a long time.  From a meek and
scared woman who is all alone, to a strong and forceful person
ready to take on the LAPD.

 In contrast, many movies have characters “grow” over the course
of just an evening or a week.  I haven’t grown much in the past
week to be honest with you…  (I have, however, managed to    
somehow get better looking) !!!  Yes, movies often try and    
force “character development” on you in the most absurd ways…
 Not the case with this flick ! 

Clint Eastwood knows how to tell a story.  Plain and simple.  Since
 his very impressive directorial debut in 1971 with the frightening 
“Play Misty For Me”  (still one of my own personal favorites), he has
proven to be the master of his craft. Once more, Clint has created 
a very fluid piece of entertainment.  Seamless in every way. 

Nice to see Mr. Eastwood still has it at 78 !!!  Some fellows his age
are just “deadwood” or even “limpwood”, but Dirty Harry is going  
strong.  You won’t see him borrowing Robert Redford’s Viagra in 
the near future !

So, grab a fistful of dollars and check out “Changeling” tonight ! 

~

Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “10” out of “10”

 

 

20 Comments »

  1. Ah, first comment, I feel so accomplished. I still couldn’t believe this movie got a ten! Oh and I am still trying to convince you know who to go watch it. I have to throw in that I couldn’t help but burst out laughing when you mentioned Jolie refuses a free child. It was a long day so it took me a while to get it, but once I did it was all over from there! Oh and really he is 78?! My goodness where the time goes!!
    E&C

    Comment by Vanessa — November 3, 2008 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  2. Yep. Mr. Eastwood is pushing 80 ! Mickey Rooney was about 10 years old when
    Clint was born in May of 1930… The best picture of 1930 was “All Quiet on the
    Western Front” !!! Fun Clint Eastwood trivia: His first acting role was in 1955’s
    “Revenge of the Creature”, a sequel to “Creature of the Black Lagoon” ! He was
    a lab technician, with just three or four lines… (Now, the guy has three or four
    Oscars) ! LOL ! 🙂

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 3, 2008 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

  3. Love Clint Eastwood’s work. Aren’t we all sure if he’s doing a movie it is obviously a good watch and Oscar-worthy! Waiting for this one still . Is it out on DVD yet?

    Comment by Chirag — November 3, 2008 @ 11:28 pm | Reply

  4. I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Eastwood. Some of my favorite Eastwood films
    (as an actor, director or BOTH): “A Fistful of Dollars”, “The Good, the Bad
    and the Ugly”, “Play Misty For Me”, “Paint Your Wagon” “Dirty Harry”, “The
    Outlaw Josey Wales”, “Escape From Alcatraz”, “Every Which Way But Loose”,
    “Unforgiven”, “Mystic River” and “Blood Work” !

    There are many other notable movies NOT on the above list. Yes, one can
    expect a certain quality from this talented individual. It is just shocking to
    me that “Changeling” has movie critics divided ! Some, including Mr. Roger
    Ebert, LOVE IT… Others, have all but torn it apart. Go figure…? This film
    is a masterpiece !

    No, it’s not on DVD yet. “Changeling” just got its wide release in movie
    theaters last Friday (Halloween), so it may be a while. 😦 I will tell you
    this much, I am going to buy it the day it comes out !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 3, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  5. Eastwood…
    Now there’s a person who had a dual career, and I doubt anyone could say which career is better! It’s amazing how so much creativity can be in one person like that.

    Jolie (and Brad) is not one of my favorite actors. She (they) isn’t someone I run right out to see the movie. No particular reason, she just doesn’t interest me like someone like Kate Hepburn does.

    Comment by deslily — November 4, 2008 @ 5:09 am | Reply

  6. Give this movie a shot, you just might have a change of heart about Angelina Jolie !
    Also, I KNOW you will appreciate the references to 1920’s/1930’s Hollywood that are
    featured throughout the movie ! (The film, a Universal picture, starts off with the
    classic black & white globe logo) !

    No one can really compare with “Kate the Great”, I will agree with you there ! She
    has always been, hands down, one of my all time favorite actresses !!! My top five
    favorite Hepburn films: “Morning Glory”, “Alice Adams”, “Bringing Up Baby”, “Woman
    of the Year” and “The African Queen” !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 4, 2008 @ 7:20 am | Reply

  7. I rarely tear up when I watch a movie in theaters but this one came really, really close. (That and my friend was BAWLING beside me.)

    “Yes, Angelina Jolie stars in this Oscar-worthy flick, and
    (going against type) she actually refuses to take a free
    kid.”

    I seriously LOLed when I read that!

    Comment by Franz Patrick — November 4, 2008 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  8. I almost choked up myself… But NOT because of the tragic story…
    This movie was so good on every level, that just the direction and
    cinematography was enough to start me weeping with tears of JOY !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 4, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Reply

  9. Thanks for checking out my review Daniel! I definitely need to see this movie asap.

    Comment by Adi — November 5, 2008 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  10. You are welcome Adi ! I am confident you will enjoy “Changeling” ! 🙂

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 5, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  11. Sounds like a fascinating movie… Jolie refusing a free kid CRACKED ME UP! Seriously how many does she need?!

    Comment by Russ — November 6, 2008 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

  12. Thanks Russ !!! I’m not sure how many she needs,
    wants, has or doesn’t have… All I know is it looks
    like she’s finally hit TILT ! LOL !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 6, 2008 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  13. Yeah…sounds kinda depressing. But anything with Jolie in it is usually pretty good! This will probably be a rental for me and the wife somewhere down the road…

    Now…about that shower scene…

    Comment by Alan — November 8, 2008 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  14. LOL !!! 🙂 I’d recommend seeing this on the big screen if
    at all possible… The cinematography is just breathtaking !

    Yes, Jolie is almost always awesome. She gets TOUGH in this flick,
    but she never quite goes all “Lara Croft”, (which is a good thing).
    Christine is just a mother on a mission, and the transition seems
    very real because her motivations are legitimate.

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 9, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Reply

  15. lol, and I love how you artfully left out the shocking twist!

    Comment by dennisjansen — November 11, 2008 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

  16. LOL ! It’s more like I shockingly left out the ART !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 11, 2008 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

  17. Funny stuff. Enjoyable read.

    Comment by chasness — November 12, 2008 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

  18. Muchos Gracias ! 🙂

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 12, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  19. Daniel!!! I am getting caught up on your Critical Corner this weekend!!! It is so CRITICAL that I do!! Love ya and I will leaving some comments.

    Comment by Terry Brokeback — November 30, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  20. Thanks Terry ! Love you too, and I can’t wait
    for your AWESOME comments ! Keep ’em coming !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — November 30, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Reply


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