No Sudden Move, the latest film from director Steven Soderbergh, is an old fashioned train heist Western hiding in the plain sight of mid-century Detroit. However in this adaptation, horses are American-made cars, the loot is automobile blueprints, and banks are automakers.
Featuring an ensemble cast and focusing on two low-level criminals (Don Cheadle and Benecio Del Toro) looking to leave town after one last score. NSM could fall prey to the many tropes it revolves around, but like Butch Cassidy, NSM finds a way to avoid the pratfalls that could bring the whole operation crashing down.
Of course, the fabled last job zigs when it should have zagged, and that is where the fun starts.
Surprisingly humorous with more than touch of noir and camp, this film is chock full of double crosses, cheating spouses, scorned lovers, gun battles and racial tensions, all set against a painstakingly beautiful backdrop of a city, state, and country in the midst of gentrification.
Classic cars, suits and fedoras, ornate Victorian homes, neon signs, and a vibrant downtown office building (so bizarre in the midst of the Great Resignation), are just a few of the details that, like the Westerns before it, instantly transfer the viewer to another place and time.
By the end of the film, the audience is even treated to an old school ‘Mexican Standoff’ featuring rival gangs, saboteurs and the law. Regardless of who emerges victorious from this predicament, the film’s message is driven home moments before the standoff begins. That message? America is a corporation whose employees (citizens) are separated by caste, and the rich always win. ALWAYS.
This message, delivered in an incredible soliloquy by Matt Damon, comes from the opposite viewpoint of the famous rant in the classic film Network, but is every bit as good. The fix is in and the working class gangsters, whose job it is to double cross, steal and lie, clock in and clock out every day, just like the rest of us. And while we work, the ultra-rich gentrify our cities, destroy neighborhoods, and poison the environment while keeping the documents proving their misdeeds hidden from us all.
And how do they get away with it? Because they have all the money.
See this movie, and see it now.
SIX FEET UNDER
Earlier this summer, the acclaimed HBO show Six Feet Under celebrated its 20th birthday. Through their dysfunctional family dynamic and wild adventures, the Fishers, America’s favorite family of funeral home directors, broke all of the rules and SFU became appointment television.
The deft writing and direction of series creator and show runner Alan Ball (True Blood, Banshee, American Beauty) combined with an incredible ensemble cast (Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall, Lauren Ambrose, Richard Jenkins, James Cromwell) commanded that the audience root for the Fisher family, in spite of their faults.
However, one character remains truly reprehensible and needs, even after 20 years, called on his shit. I am speaking of Nathaniel (Nate) Fisher Jr.
In my 20s, series lead Nate (Peter Krauss) APPEARED to be a rebel who wasn’t afraid to call out family, community and the funeral industry on their shit. He seemed to cares about his family, was a champion of small business and railed against society’s ills.
However, I am now in my 40s and as I recently revisited the show, I now see Nate as a self-centered and self-destructive narcissist with a crucifixion complex.
Tom Joad? More like Tom Choad.
Perpetually crying the blues, and looking through the lens of 2021, Nate was the epitome of privilege: a handsome, young, white, debt-free, small business owner who was constantly being offered obscene amounts of money to sell to competitors and unburden himself from the family business.
If those attributes couldn’t make Nate realize how easy his life was, nothing could and the result was a perpetual Polack (I’m Polish and can say that) pity party. QUIT bitching about how hard your life is, dude!
If the show took place in 2021, Nate would be a teetotaling, vegan, CrossFit instructor (not that there’s anything wrong with that) who would undoubtedly chastise those who weren’t while complaining about how hard his life was. And THAT is unforgivable.
So, with that said, I will present the five worst atrocities committed by Nate Fisher.
5) STROLLS BY GRIEVING TEENAGER S3 EP
Nate always presented himself as the emotional support to clients who chose Fisher & Sons to take care of their loved one’s final needs. Nate was neither front-of-the-house or back-of-the-house, holding instead a position as consoler-in-chief. Man, was he full of shit.
As the family business becomes too overwhelming for Nate, he quits mid-shift and completely ignores a teenage boy grieving the loss of his mother. In this boy’s greatest time of need, Nate smirks as he walks by not even offering his condolences. How hard would it have been to spend 10 minutes with the kid and offer banal platitudes?
4) SLEEPS WITH LISA S2 E17
He knew he was going to sleep with her when he booked his initial return to Seattle. He had slept with Lisa previously, knew she was in love with him, and took advantage of the situation.
Geez man, just get a hotel.
3) DOES NOT TREAT RICO AS AN EQUAL (entirety of series)
Rico, a coworker turned co-owner, buys in with his own money, is the best artist on staff, pays attention to detail, and has transformative ideas about growing Fisher & Sons. At least Fisher brother, David, listens to Rico’s ideas whereas Nate does the exact opposite, almost always at the expense of the business.
2) WHOREMONGERING WHILE HIS WIFE IS MISSING (S2 E12/13)
That is pretty self-explanatory. While Nate’s wife Lisa is missing and presumed dead, he sleeps with a client who is burying her father, is a complete asshole to her and immediately proceeds to sleep with another woman he picks up at a bar. Oh yeah, the deed happens at the random woman’s house, and she has to kick her elementary school-aged son out of the living room so Nate can deal with his grief.
Did I mention Lisa was MISSING and police were actively searching for her?
A real life garbage pail kid.
1) SLEEPS WITH STEP SISTER, FALLS INTO COMATOSE STATE, WAKES UP, TELLS SUPER PREGNANT BRENDA HE WANTS A DIVORCE, DIES (S5 EP9)
You read that sentence correctly. STEP SISTER. Dude.
A funny side note is that when Megan and I were watching this episode, her response to watching Nate flat line was, ‘Good, I hope he dies.’