Film Review Sunset Limitied
Director: Tommy Lee Jones (2011)
A white guy called White and a black guy called Black sit in a small inner city apartment. White happens to be a suicidal Tommy Lee Jones and Black happens to be a religious Samuel L Jackson. The two start debating each other’s beliefs, arguing over bits of philosophy and tell stories from their own lives for an hour and a half. There you go, plot summary done in much quicker time than usual. Can probably leave this review here.
Oh wait, is it any good you didn’t ask. Well if that sounds like an intriguing concept and you know why any of the following are famous, Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Haruki Murakami, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anne Widdecombe (Spot the facetious late edition to the list) then you’ll love this. If your idea of a healthy debate is The Only Way Is Essex vs. Geordie Shore or you love Samuel L Jackson because he had a purple lightsaber in those awesome star wars films then give this one a miss. Maybe go lie down and watch Freddy Got Fingered instead.
Personally I thought it was pretty good, hugely deep and ever so slightly pretentious. It’s dialogue heavy and pretty much every line is important so I recommend taking a good few breaks and also make sure you’re not feeling suicidal before watching it, that’s some very intense stuff involved. It’s two quality actors and the camera work is deftly subtle, focusing on the conversation and avoiding arty pitfalls. That’s pretty much all I have to say, it is what it says on the tin and all depends on where your interest in life lays, I do however have two tangents to finish on, so if you don’t like when I do this then stop reading now, and maybe don’t bother with any of the others, cause tangents are my thing baby!
- Tangent 1
Even in his least empowered, most realistic role, Samuel L Jackson cannot help but seem badass. In Sunset Limited, Black is basically an old run down preacher whom no one listens to, and yet, he still has moments that just scream ‘one bad motherfucker’. If you do watch this film, check out the way he sits on a couch, no one has any right to seem so badass when sitting and yet somehow he manages it, touché Mr Jackson
- Tangent 2
I drop subtle and unsubtle mentions whenever possible but in case you’ve not read it elsewhere I’m an atheist, a proud one too. One thing that annoys me about these debates is that the religious side always seem to think they own happiness. Somehow religion seems justifiable because it makes people happy whereas atheism is just cynicism and depression. Well I want to state now, that is utter bullshit. First of all there are tons of misguided religious none-questioners around the world that are miserable, and very often their own religion is the cause or at least a major addition to their misery. Am I, an atheist, less happy than a young Saudi Muslim girl whipped 90 times for taking a mobile phone to school? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1244689/Saudi-girl-13–sentenced-90-lashes-took-mobile-phone-school.html (Disclaimer, in no way is the previous link intended to show approval of the daily mail and it’s cack handed approach to ‘journalism’). Fuck no! Likewise are all atheists Nietzsche styled narcissists determined to suffer a miserable pointless reality? Fuck no. The misguided need to stop assuming their happiness is in anyway superior to an atheist’s happiness. And I have to say, I’m not sure I could be happy knowing I was part of an organisation that has in a single decade been shown to defend/cover up paedophilia, help the spread of the H.I.V virus and to have participated in the massacre of hundreds of thousands in Croatia in World War 2. Even Samuel L couldn’t make all that seem badass.
There we go, normally I’m nowhere near this politicised so I guess Sunset Limited got me thinking. Touche Jones and Jackson, touché.
Written By Sam ‘It’s only when you combine atheists with moustaches they go evil’ McKinstrie