Film Review: LUCKY (USA 2017) ***1/2

Lucky Poster
Trailer

Director:

John Carroll Lynch

Writers:

Logan Sparks (screenplay), Drago Sumonja (screenplay)

Stars:

Harry Dean StantonDavid LynchRon Livingston

Harry Dean Stanton plays the character of LUCKY of the film title in a film that audiences recognize could be the real Harry Dean Stanton.  LUCKY is the nickname the ex-navy man earned after being designated the cook in the Navy while others were sent to fight and die during the War.  Lucky is 90, bitter, alone (but not lonely as he has a routine of chores to do each day), cynical, sickness free, and smokes a lot.

The audience sees Lucky doing the same things daily – visiting the grocery store with the Mexican cashier to get his cigarettes; having some drinks at the bar; having coffee at his dual diner; and watching his favourite quiz show – but with different reactions.  The soundtrack replays the tune of “Old River Valley’ on a harmonica.

The film contains a lot of musings like what realism (as explained by Lucky as real for one person but not necessarily in another occurs to another) is or even the friendship between man an animal as the latter discussion (it is apparently essential to the soul) starts.  Lucky’s friend, Howard (David Lynch) at the bar walk in to sadly announce the loss of President Roosevelt, his pet tortoise. (Lucky does not believe this….. not the statement but the existence of a soul.)  Though the latter statement seems inconsequential dialogue in the script, it is important in the way Lucky looks at life if he does not believe in the existence of a soul.

The film is directed by actor John Carroll base on the script by Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja.  The film pays more attention to the character than to plotting.  The film is also wonderfully acted by Stanton.  Director David Lynch delivers a surprisingly moving speech defending his case of leaving his inheritance to his tortoise that has apparently escaped as does James Darren how a nothing person like him transformed to one who now has everything.

LUCKY the film can be best described as a cynical coming-of age movie of a 90-year old man who has almost given up on life.  It is quite an idea for a film which is likely the story got made.  It is a film about an old fart that is not the typical Hollywood old fart film like the fantasies of old people reminiscing on their youth or having sex one more time.  Lucky confesses in one scene that he can hardly get it up any more.  Here, Lucky says in the film’s most intimate scene where he reveals his deep secret to his friend, Loretta (Yvonne Huff): “I’m scared.”  It all happens when he falls down out of feeling faint, though doctor (Ed Begley Jr.) tells him that nothing major is wrong with him.

Harry Dean Stanton passed away this year (2017).  LUCKY is a worthy swan song of an actor that has surprised audiences many a time with his wide range of performances.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YurR6xZeBCk

lucky

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TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 18

Part 18 Poster
Cooper and Diane drive 430 miles. Cooper attempts to help a troubled woman he believes to be Laura Palmer.

Director:

David Lynch

Stars:

Kyle MacLachlanMatt BattagliaLaura Dern

by Mary Cox

“Part 18: What is your name?”

Anyone hoping for a satisfying conclusion to the series is going to be sorely disappointed as David Lynch has decided to leave us with yet another cliffhanger. After Agent Cooper and Diane manage to jump dimensions (or something) and after yet another awkward sex scene, we learn that the Fireman’s
aforementioned Richard and Linda are none other than Diane and Coop themselves. So much for my Richard Horne theory, right?

Again, Mike (The One-Armed Man) gives us the ultimate question and central theme of this season: is it future, or is it past? The episode ends abruptly with an uncertain conclusion. This seems to be the fate of all of the Blue Rose operatives. Once they get close enough to unraveling the mystery of Judy and
the Owl Cave Ring, their reality is pulled apart and reshaped by an unseen force. Consider both the fates of Major Briggs and Phillip Jeffries.

Unanswered questions: What the hell is up with Audrey? I have a theory that the Peaks world we know, where Cooper is still Cooper, and Laura is dead and wrapped in plastic, exists only in Audrey’s coma mind. I think that the symbol on the Owl Cave Ring is meant to reference the concept of either looping time or infinity, but what does that mean for Cooper? Who are Tina and Billy? The only good news about the ending of this episode is that it leaves open the possibility for a fourth season. This is highly unlikely, but hey, you never know what’s going to happen in another twenty-five years.

My takeaway here is still that the majority of the episodes this season (and possibly those from the first two seasons) are meant to be read as existing in a “dreamworld,” so to speak. From the all-tooconvenient ways Dougie escapes from disasters, leading all the way up to the too-perfect reunion of the characters right at the Twin Peaks sheriff office in “Part 17,” everything that went down was a part of someone’s dream. The question posed by Monica Bellucchi in “Part 14” does remain, though: “Who is the dreamer?” As I’ve mentioned before, this “false dream reality” storytelling device is something David Lynch has used in his past works pretty consistently. We’ve seen it as a major element in both
Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway. That absolutely could be what’s going on here as well.

Ultimately, if you want to try to figure out what the hell is going on: my recommendation that you take a break from Twin Peaks for a few weeks. When you’re ready, come back and revisit the series from start to finish (it goes without saying that you also have to include Fire, Walk With Me) and see what
you think Twin Peaks is really all about. We now (presumably) have all of the pieces of the puzzle, so it’s up to you to try and put it together to see the whole picture.
 

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 17

Part 17 Poster
Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks.

Director:

David Lynch

Writers:

Mark FrostDavid Lynch  >

Stars:

Kyle MacLachlanJay AasengDana Ashbrook

by Mary Cox

“Part 17: The past dictates the future.”

A hell of a lot happened in the penultimate episode of Twin Peaks. Cooper has finally defeated Bad Coop with the help of our literal Hand of God character, Freddie. Naido is revealed to be the real Diane, who has an emotional reunion with our favorite FBI agent.

Here’s the thing: I’m still not convinced that anything that everything or anything this season has actually “happened.” When looking over how everything has gone down this season, and especially when we consider the superimposed face of Cooper as he says, “We live inside a dream,” directly to the audience, it seems like Lynch is kind of pulling a Mulholland Drive here. Everything has been too easy, or too convenient for these characters. Lynch is mocking our need for a cute and tied together ending with the scene at the Twin Peaks sheriff station where all our beloved characters, old and new, are uniting or reuniting at last.

Audrey’s appearance at the Roadhouse in last week’s episode, where the final scene was her appearing in an odd, white room, has still gone unexplained. There’s a considerable amount of unfinished business regarding the Fireman’s prophecy of “Richard and Linda, two birds, one stone,” which can only really
point to the mysterious electricity bolder that killed Richard Horne last episode.

Part of me thinks that Season 3 of Twin Peaks is a response to the demand for a continuation of the series. I’ve had this running theory that Lynch is critical of the concept of nostalgia, which is why Agent Cooper spent almost the entirety of this season as Dougie, and why the heart-warming Twin Peaks reunion scene was shadowed with doubt and unease. Lynch leaves us with the pinnacle of self-satisfied nostalgic rehashing as Cooper fulfills his ultimate goal of trying to save Laura Palmer herself.

However, as revealed by Sarah Palmer’s outburst, Cooper isn’t the only agent in this game any more. Is Sarah actually possessed by the entity Judy? Are Judy and the Jumping Man one in the same? Where the hell is Audrey, and is any of this actually happening

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 16

twin_peaks_13“Part 16: No Knock, No Doorbell”

Big Ed and Norma have a relationship breakthrough. Evil Cooper tries to reconnect with an old friend, while Dougie Jones reaches an electrifying discovery.

Director: David Lynch
Writers: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Jay Aaseng, Joe Adler

Review by Gilbert Seah

Cooper’s back! After almost an entire season of the stumbling adventures of Dougie Coop, our beloved FBI agent is awake and back in action. However, Dougie’s departure from the world leaves a few loose ends. This episode was Biore pore strip levels of satisfying.

This season has had a running theme of family relationships, like in “Part 12” when absent fathers were a major theme. “Part 16” seems to focus again on fathers leaving their families in different ways.

Biologically speaking, Cooper technically has (or had, in Richard’s case) two sons: Sonny Jim and Richard Horne. Lynch likes to play with the idea of parallels and opposites, so it’s no surprise to see both Bad Coop and Real Coop departing from their children in drastically separate ways. Real Coop did save the “seed” that is apparently required to create a new tulpa, so it’s possible that he’s going to manufacture a brand new Dougie to take his place.

Speaking of tulpas: Diane wasn’t really Diane! Does that mean that all tulpas are aware that they are manufactured beings on some level? Did Dougie know he wasn’t real? And is the real Diane alive somewhere? After that long, slow look at Gordon Cole in his computer room, I was terrified that Diane was going to kill him before his reunion with Cooper. Unfairness is out of character in Lynch’s work, but anything can happen this close to the end of the series.

Audrey is officially confirmed to exist in some kind of alternate reality! I’m still banking on this being a coma or a mental health thing, possibly attributed to her being raped and impregnated by Bad Coop while she was in the hospital. That can’t possibly be good for you. I’m relieved that Audrey didn’t actually end up as a trampled version of her former self, trapped in a toxic relationship with a tiny egg man, but it’s clear that she’s still unable to escape from whatever is holding her hostage. It might be a Josie Packard thing where Audrey’s soul is physically stuck inside of an object. Maybe it’s that one
booth we keep seeing at The Roadhouse?

There is one thread that’s been dangling all season. Way back in “Part 1,” the Fireman told Lodge Coop to remember Richard and Linda. The prior of these names has already been identified in Richard Horne, but Linda’s identity still remains a mystery. It could possibly be that Linda is the wheelchairbound resident of the New Fat Trout Trailer Park that we see referenced in “Part 6,” but even if that’s the case, we still haven’t physically seen this character appear.

Next week is the two-part series finale, and things seem to be coming to a head.

Twin Peaks is the kind of series that has a ton of rewatching potential as Lynch’s work is heavily layered and tied together, so definitely consider revisiting the entire series before the finale next Sunday night

Part 16 No Knock, No Doorbell.jpg

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 15

twin_peaks_13Episode Titled: There’s Some Fear In Letting Go””

Director: David Lynch
Writers: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Jay Aaseng, Joe Adler

Review by Mary Cox

After much theorizing about coffee and cherry pie, the key phrase that woke up Dougie Coop ended up being Gordon Cole’s name. Is Cooper trying to reenter the White Lodge through an electrical means? If so, is he finally going to get his shoes back? Who will protect him from the Mother now that Naido is on Earth?

Speaking of Naido, the collection of individuals in the Twin Peaks holding cells seems completely intentional. However, what possible situation could require an East London strong arm, an eyeless creature from another dimension, a corrupt cop, a drooly man who is heavily suggested to be Billy, and the number one falsetto songsmith in all of Twin Peaks? Fingers crossed we’re getting some kind of Josie and the Pussycats spinoff series. We also finally got confirmation that Audrey is the mother of Richard, but that’s hardly a surprise. What is weird is his acknowledgment that Audrey still has photographs of Agent Cooper in her home.

This series has a very unique way of replacing actors who couldn’t be in series or didn’t want to be.

We’ve already seen Sheriff Truman’s role rerouted, and The Man From Another Place/The Arm has been recast as a gigantic neuron, most likely due to his controversial comments and accusations towards Lynch. There have also been workarounds because of the deaths of characters, which we saw tonight with Phillip Jeffries being played by a gigantic tea kettle.

While a lot has been revealed directly in this episode, there’s still a ton of information right under the surface that you need to unpack in order to really understand. Remember the Jumping Man from Fire Walk With Me? That’s the guy with the long nose who appears inside the Convenience Store along with Bob and The Man From Another Place. In tonight’s episode, we got another glimpse of this character in a brief flash when Bad Coop is talking to Phillip Jeffries. If you revisit this footage and take some stills from it, you’ll discover that the blurred images of the Jumping Man are actually pictures of Sarah Palmer! Seriously, go check it out! This would perfectly explain Palmer’s odd behavior this season, along with her “unmasking” last week.

This theory also points to Sarah being the little girl who swallows the space bug in “Part 8” of the series. If we revisit the dates from the flashbacks of the show, everything matches up perfectly.

According to Mark Frost’s companion book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Palmer was born in 1945, which was the same year as the nuclear test in White Sands. The scene with the bug and the Woodsmen happens in 1954, when Palmer would have been nine years old, which matches up with the girl in the flashback. This makes more much more sense than the previous theory of Sarah being Bob
himself.

There were other cute moments in this episode, such as the conclusion of the drama between Big Ed, Norma, and Nadine. There were also more seemingly pointless banter between Audrey and Charlie.

Most importantly, Lynch gave us the heavy, tearful goodbye to the Log Lady that now deceased actor Catherine Coulson truly deserved.

The Body Electric

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 14

twin_peaks_13.jpg“Part 14: We are Like the Dreamer”

Creators: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Michael Horse

Review by Mary Cox

After a few particularly draggy episodes, tonight’s installment of Twin Peaks was all about action. Even though Part 14 was technically leaked when Sky aired the wrong episode last week, people who successfully managed to avoid spoilers have been decently rewarded for their wait. Fans who criticized the slow pace of past episodes will rejoice at how much actually happened tonight. Janey-E is Diane’s sister! Chad finally got thrown in jail! The Giant has a real name! Most importantly, the Twin Peaks PD have finally made it to Jack Rabbit’s palace. A vortex that was similar to the Woodsmen-filled portal seen by Gordon Cole appeared and temporarily kidnapped Sheriff Andy. After the Fireman laid a montage of truth on Andy, he and the other officers reappear in the woods in a manner that is incredibly similar to how the Woodsmen move between our world and
the Black Lodge. Between this sequence, the introduction of Freddie and his power glove, and Naimo’s arrival on Earth, it seems like the Fireman trying to assemble a team to combat the forces of the Black Lodge.

Something serious is up with Sarah Palmer. Between the visual reference to the ceiling fan, which we know is an established link to Bob, and last week’s boxing loop, it’s no surprise at all that Sarah Palmer went straight up Mike Tyson on that guy. We’re also seeing a parallel between Laura in the Red Room and Sarah in our world. It’s been heavily implied that Laura was engineered in what is almost a Messiah narrative to be the anti-Bob, and Sarah’s literal unmasking reinforces that theory.

However, not everything has been sorted out. There are still a considerable amount of untied loose ends. In another chapter of the Billy/Tina drama (that seems to be connected to much more of the story than we originally thought) we learn that Tina’s daughter saw Billy bleeding from the nose and mouth before he disappeared. We’re only four episodes away from the grand finale of this series, and it’s only a matter of time before all of the paths in this series finally cross. Once again, all roads lead to the Roadhouse.
 

We are Like the Dreamer

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 13

twin_peaks_13.jpg“Part 13: What Story is that, Charlie?”

Picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town are stunned when their homecoming queen is murdered.

Creators: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Michael Horse

Review by Mary Cox

Tonight’s episode was all about looping energy and repeating patterns. This is the most obvious in our return to the Palmer household, but it’s present in other scenes. If you revisit Sonny Jim’s gym set scene, you’ll notice that the footage of him playing is looped as well.

After a cutesy conga line with the Mitchum Bros., Good Coop narrowly avoids being poisoned and continues with his obsession over cherry pie. Bad Coop wins an arm wrestling contest, the Owl Cave Ring makes its first appearance in the new season, and Phillip Jeffries is back in the game. Audrey’s character has flipped from a confident, embittered harpy to a weakwilled, terrified child. Watching her rapidly cycle between aggression and learned helplessness makes you wonder: what the hell happened to her? Is Audrey possibly even still in a coma?

Holy shit. The Roadhouse. Some people seem to think that Lynch’s stunning choice to feature James Hurley’s “Just You (and I)” is a part of a larger commentary about toxic nostalgia, and about unnecessary returns to twenty year-old TV shows or film franchises. Certainly, last week’s episode where Lynch, as FBI Director Gordon Cole, stares right at us with a shiteating grin as a French woman does nothing for close to five minutes, would support this theory. Cooper being reduced to a goofy shell of himself who obsesses over coffee and pie also adds evidence here.

However, thinking that Lynch is somehow sneering at his fans seems to totally ignore the notion the level of detail and craftsmanship put into this series. Lynch recorded the Log Lady scenes even before Season 3 was greenlit. Mark Frost’s companion book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, is incredibly well thought-out and is rich in detail and nuance. There’s no way he’s making this series just to laugh at the people who love his work

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“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t