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I was really looking forward to the new George Clooney-directed movie, Suburbicon. I love most of Clooney’s work, plus it stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore, two of my favorite actors. It features a script that originally was written by Joel and eEthan Coen. It was promoted as a dark comedy (a favorite genre of mine) that promised to be about the seamy underbelly of America’s suburbs (right in my sweet spot, since I’ve lived in the ‘burbs virtually all of my life and hate them).

Alas, sometimes hopes are dashed and promises are broken. Suburbicon is, I’m sorry to say, one of the worst major Hollywood films that I’ve seen in years (keeping in mind that I don’t see everything) - a film so mind-numbingly bad that it almost defies description. There are times that Suburbicon seems to be two or three movies jammed into one, and not for the better - rather than moving effortlessly between plots and tones, it rather lurches between them in a disjointed fashion that lost me five minutes into the film. There are times that it is genuinely creepy, showing behavior that is so awful that one wants to take a shower - and that doesn’t even count the acts and statements of the white suburban racists who serve as a kind of Greek chorus for the main plot.

I’m not going to go into any detail about the plot. I’m just going to tell you to avoid this film like the plague.

Like I said before, I love so much of Clooney’s work. As an actor, he has shown some remarkable taste in his choice of material; it is hard to argue with an oeuvre that includes Out of Sight, Three Kings, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ocean’s 11, Syriana,
and three movies that are practically perfect: Michael Clayton, Up In The Air, and The Descendants.

But since his first films as a director - the crazed Confessions of A Dangerous Mind and the wonderful Good Night, and Good Luck, he’s been increasingly disappointing behind the camera, with Leatherheads, The Ides of March, The Monuments Men, and now Suburbicon. I suspect it’ll be a while before he directs again, and I just hope he gets back to work acting for directors such as Steven Soderbergh, Alexander Payne, and the Coen brothers.

What can I say about Thor: Ragnarok? It is exactly what I expected - extravagant, silly, colorful, funny, and filled with performances given with a knowing wink that assures the audience that this is all about having a good time while bringing a comic book to life. If you like this stuff, you’ll love it.

Had a wonderful beer the other day that was new to me - the Chronic Amber Ale made by Pizza Port Brewing of Solana Beach, California. It was so good and so refreshing … even though I was drinking it in a Redondo Beach, California, bar while watching the Dodgers go down to defeat and suffering the tsouris of my fellow patrons. Oh, well. Have another drink. Wait ’til next year.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

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