My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, October 15

The Judge

We went to see The Judge despite the luke-warm reviews. The reviewers seemed to be unanimous, saying that the story was only fair, too predictable to be good, but that the acting of Robert Downey, Jr., and David Duvall took it beyond average. Yup on both counts. It was a movie we both enjoyed but wouldn’t remember for very long. Duval played the judge of the title, sitting on the bench in a small Indiana community for forty-two years. Downey, the judge’s middle son, is a cutthroat defense attorney in New York, defending clients whether they were guilty or not, winning most of the cases he takes. As we first see him, he’s not a likeable person, turning away from a urinal when the prosecutor in his present case tells him what a dirtbag he is, pissing on the man’s leg. I can’t believe how many tv shows and movies have fallen in love with the act of urinating in public places. Anyway, that pretty much sums up what we’re supposed to feel about him as the film begins. He gets a phone call just as his case is about to begin, telling him that his mother has just died. The judge grants him a continuance so that he can return to his hometown in Indiana. He is in the middle of a divorce, which also suggests that he’s not a very nice person. When he arrives, we learn about the division between him and his father. They seem to despise each other, the father despising the son more than the son despising the father. We learn, bit by bit, the reason for their division: Downey was a bad son in his youth, getting in all kinds of trouble, causing a car crash that injured the oldest son Glen, ruining Glen's shot at big league baseball, on the road to small-town hooliganism to such an extent that his father sentenced him to four months in the state prison for youthful offenders. When he got out, he left for college where he graduated first in his class from Northwestern Law. And became the big time, big city schmuck we first see. His father is in failing health, forgetting basic things like the first name of his bailiff of twenty-two years (ah ah! Alzheimer’s), stumbling, falling, shitting himself in the john (ah ha! chemo therapy for colon cancer). The judge apparently strikes with his car and kills a local badass. He is arrested and is tried for first-degree murder. The local lawyer he hires is obviously out of his depth, spitting up on his shoes every time before he enters the courtroom. It’s obvious that despite the old man’s objections about having his son defend him, Downey will be the one to win the case. Then we also have the requisite backstory with Vera Farmiga as his old high school punch, with a daughter who may or not be his child.
I first saw and fell in love with Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air, then again in Bates Motel, and here she was again, looking as soft and sexy as ever. Admirable roles for Downey and Duvall, but not up to Oscar standards. When Duval announced, angrily, that he was seventy-two and deserved to be old and decrepit and forgetful, it caused me great pain to think that I’m almost ten years older than he was supposed to be. I hope to God I don’t look as bad as he did. My mirror may be lying to me when I see my youthful image there. I hope not.
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