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Teenagers Sean and Jessie are new to Alaska after their dad in his grieving state, leaves his life in Chicago and uproots his kids to a remote Alaska community, where Jessie settles in nicely finding interest in outdoor activities. Sean has more trouble, missing the city, his sports teams, and video games. He knows his dad is running away from his problems, contrary to what his dad always told him about "never giving up". Sean and Jessie, long disagreeing, need each other's help traversing unforgiving wilderness to find their plane-wrecked dad.
Boys Don't Cry-Based on the murder of transvestite Brandon Teena (Teena Brandon) in Nebraska. One thing that happens at one point in the movie is when Brandon is driving and John Lotter's character has him fleeing police into the country trying to get away. After they get caught anyway John tells Brandon not to ever do that again and when Brandon told him he was the one telling him to race the car that was next to them, John denies responsibility and places the blame back on Brandon for messing up.
John Lotter's and Tom Nissen's characters are flanked by enablers and bystanders throughout the movie; Lana's mother, portrayed as a severe alcoholic in the movie who clings to her daughter's close relationship with John, a former felon; Candace (name changed) who it seems is known as somewhat of a gossiper, and Kate (name changed?), who it seems, never quite trusted Brandon. Candace is portrayed as the one who originally befriended Brandon; who changes her mind about him after finding out he wrote a fraudulent check and attempting to tell the others, who don't believe her at first.
John, who is somewhat friendly with Brandon at the beginning of the movie, does the "sizing up" game with him and his masculinity from the beginning, commenting on Brandon's "tiny hands" and finally calling Brandon a wuss when he realizes Lana is falling for Brandon. John, who seems determined to save face against Brandon, is the one who approaches Candace to get the truth from her and use that as his official vendetta against Brandon. Tom brags about him and John self-mutilating in prison.
Brandon has managed to charm all of the women in their social circle which seems to aggravate John, who is portrayed in the movie as having a failed relationship, with a daughter, and longtime feelings for Lana, borne of her writing him letters in jail from a young age. When John finds out Brandon is hiding more than his identity, things turn violent and deadly. Brandon seems to trigger John and Tom in a bigger way than they ever realized.
It's unclear why Brandon got tied up in crime before his foray into this small town in Nebraska, but running from his identity, past and life was a big problem that made things much worse for him and made him have to keep running, denying, and lying whilst hoping for a new start somewhere, somehow.
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Ride(1998)-chock-full of PD-types; video director Bleau Kelly, who skimps terribly on travel accommodations for her urban stars; hiring a barely-functioning, broken-down bus and a hotel in a bad neighborhood in Miami; Freddy B who signs Charity up under the guise of wanting to help her music career and sleeps with her; and Peaches and Byrd who rob neighborhood stores and then go cross-country following Geronimo who takes the money from them. They eventually put the whole bus in danger trying to get at Geronimo by parking a van in their way. Last but not least is Brotha, the young rapper obsessed with image and fortune, who wants to deny his pregnant girlfriend to boost his popularity; while messing around with Charity.
All Dogs Go To Heaven-If dogs could be PDs, Scarface would be it. He has many minions to dole out his punishment and cause destruction just because he feels like it.
Rescuers Down Under-McLeach obviously. Another animated PD-type who gave me nightmares in childhood, who poaches eagles, eagle eggs and treats his "flying monkey" lizard Joanna with unbelievable cruelty.
Boyz N The Hood-Brenda is a PD mom who is obvious in her favoritism of her younger son Ricky over her older son Doughboy. Doughboy's FLEAS include his obvious hatred of women. You see how he is triggered by one woman in particular, the neighborhood druggie whose child is constantly seen wandering in her diaper in the middle of the street.
Friday-Deebo is the most obvious example; breaking into people's houses and using the neighborhood fear of him to take what he wants when he pleases; while living off of and abusing neighborhood druggie Felicia. Big Worm is famous for his "playing with my money is like playing with my emotions" phrase. Smoky is FLEA-riddled by his PD-mom Joanne who expects her son to support her; that plus his weed dependence lead to him stealing from Big Worm, and he takes the coward's way out by naming Craig for sharing a joint with him. Craig's dad means well but it's clear that for awhile he doesn't understand the world his son has to live in.
Because Mommy Works-Based on actual events (names changed). Ted Forman wants custody of his son and thinks he deserves it just because his divorced wife now has to work and his new wife, his uncertain flying monkey, doesn't. You see how his second wife catches the first wife's eye as they go to take the boy away after a biased court system rules in favor of the couple versus the single.
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Hurricane Streets-Chip is a good example of an ASPD-type, who gains followers like most people breathe air in and out. It becomes clear early on in the movie that Chip's prodding is what gets this group of boys into small-time neighborhood crime, including Marcus, whose mother is already in prison, and who is seen by local authorities as an at-risk youth. Mark's new girlfriend Melena is the child of a possible HPD or BPD-type immigrant father who uses force to dictate his control of his daughter in mostly age-inappropriate ways. One thing that's interesting about the movie is that at the end, when Melena muses that her dad is going to kill her when he finds her, Marcus, whose mom waited years to tell him the truth about his own father, sits silently and says nothing implying that the wall of secrecy inherited from both of their FOOs has continued another generation.
Bridget Jones's Diary movie/book-I think what's so interesting about this movie is watching it again versus when I first saw it as a young adult. What wasn't as noticeable to me then, is much more noticeable now. That Bridget's general awkwardness in the world which makes her seem to stand out so much; was the perfect lure for an avoidant and somewhat predatory man like Daniel, her boss. He triangulates, keeps women "compartmentalized", etc.
Loving Annabelle-student Cat is a glaring example from the beginning; mocking the teacher's classes/lessons, scapegoating and endlessly abusing one of her roommates Collins while attempting to size up and groom newcomer Annabelle, a non-Catholic lesbian who has been sent to the boarding school by her avoidant, emotionally-neglectful parents. Though I don't agree with the general theme of the movie; a teacher (Simone) sleeping with a student (Annabelle), it's a good example of what happens when well-meaning but emotionally-deficient teachers are in charge of students. Annabelle hits on and woos Simone endlessly, changing tactics to loosen Simone's will as the movie goes on.
Simone is dealing with her own issues; working in a school under her authoritative and possibly abusive aunt Mother Immaculata; being stuck in a heterosexual relationship with a fellow teacher while never having grieved the loss of her best friend, whom it's implied was her lesbian lover. Annabelle seems to see all of this.
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The bar owner is openly racist, paying a struggling Mexican youth, Joseph, under market wage while putting up with abuse from the longtime (racist) sheriff, and two local ne'er-do-wells, whose primary hobbies are shooting helpless dogs and throwing dynamite into creeks. It's clear early on in the movie that the sheriff has some idea of the trouble the two guys are, as they mock him when he attempts to confront them right in the bar in one scene. This is something that gives the watcher an idea that the dishwasher, Joseph, might have had some hope of coming forward despite his race and status as the child of migrants left behind to finish school, when the two guys turn their violence onto him. But the end of the movie makes it clear how little his life was valued.
The longtime sheriff, who openly refers to the migrant population as "pickers" actually tells the newly elected sheriff "that's what they are!" The longtime sheriff and several of his followers are bitter about the new election whom they blame on these "pickers". He wastes no time doing something that he knows will sour the opinion of the newly elected sheriff, before handing him the sheriff's gun.
Fargo movie/book-This movie deserves its own post, but nevertheless is a good example of various PD-types and how people communicate boundaries with body language. It claims at the beginning that it's based on a true story that happened in Minnesota, but articles about the movie liken it to both the murder of housewife Helle Crafts, as well as an unnamed car salesman who was fudging serial numbers for car-financing at one point in history; two different people but anyway.
The first time I saw this movie when I was much younger, I might've had some modicum of sympathy at the beginning for the (fictional) husband Jerry, because it's unclear at first why he is struggling so much financially, and why his father-in-law is so dismissive of him, something many married people can certainly relate to. This seems to really stress him out, so it seems at the beginning, the plea of a desperate man for a means to an end, so desperate he would have his wife kidnapped to finagle a fortune out of his father-in-law simply to save his business. As the movie goes on, it's clear that's not how it's going and his father-in-law was right to be standoffish of him.
Jerry Lundegaard has the "nice guy" act down pat. He has somewhat of a baby face, a friendly-sounding voice, a bright smile, a business-like façade, and a friendly, unassuming way about him that it's clear makes people trust him instantly. As the movie goes on though, you see how various people in his life are unhappy with him and his tactics. The first customer who didn't want the sealant on his car, that Jerry charged him for anyway; and agreed to knock 100 dollars off of it.
Jerry is trying every means to get to his father-in-law's money, coming up with schemes, including one which he pitches as an investment, but it turns out he just wants the money. His father-in-law and his business partner take the deal themselves which outrages Jerry. It's hard to tell whether the chicken or the egg came first in this scenario; whether Jerry got in over his head in business and could not handle his cash flow properly or if there were too many things he couldn't change about the car business which reflected badly on him, but it's clear that he is quite Machiavellian and calculated at what he does and that he's had years of experience doing it. When the cops show up at his hotel room at the end of the movie, he tells them to wait, making it sound like he's gotten out of the shower or is on the toilet, etc. The cops open the door to find him in his boxers trying to sneak out the bathroom window. He pitches a fit, holding onto the doorframe and wailing and continuing to scream histrionically like a victim as the cops tackle him on the bed to arrest him.
The two kidnappers, Carl and Gaear, are a team themselves. Gaear is clearly a psychopath, but so many times, he sits in a trance that is tough to differentiate between a dissociative trance, or an almost-reptilian ability to sit in silence waiting for his next prey item, or both. One thing is for sure. It clearly aggravates Carl, who does the talking throughout the movie; and makes him uncomfortable. Carl, an ambivalent histrionic or borderline type, needs an almost constant reassurance that he is in good company. He snaps throughout the movie, first joking and later attacking him, but nevertheless always bringing up Gaear's refusal to talk and then the reptilian stare Gaear uses to get his own way, such as is the scene with the pancakes, when Carl says they just had pancakes and Gaear wants more.
They're not the smartest crayons in the box; because Lundegaard hooked them up with the unregistered car in which to do the job, obviously they couldn't have expected him to act lawfully and have temporary tags on the car ready to go and not attract attention. Nobody apparently thought to put temporary tags on the car. After getting pulled over near Brainerd for the lack of temporary tags, Carl finds himself in some hot water while implying he could pay the cop off to let them go for the temporary tags, which doesn't work. The cop becomes suspicious.
This is where you first see Gaear's madness. Like a shark that smells blood in the water, Gaear's murderous side was brought to life. With blood on Carl's terrified face, you see this as an example that Carl, despite not being a terribly stand-up guy, seems to prefer non-violent methods to get what he wants. He truly sucks at what he does. Things that go wrong often happen because of Carl not working smarter. The more things go wrong throughout the movie, the more violence occurs, Carl gets more desperate and demanding, first upping the amount of money he wants from Jerry, and flipping out on the father-in-law who shows up with his own money.
Carl attempts to hide his big suitcase of money in a field; and then gets angry again when he gets back with the split amount for himself and Gaear, and Gaear wants the proceeds for half of the price of the car. That's right. This guy already got the full million and still wanted more than that! This is again where Gaear goes from silent to murderous, following Carl out to take care of him.
Let's not forget Shep Proudfoot; a parolee who probably got paid to refer Lundegaard to Gaear; who flips out on Carl after Chief Gunderson reminds him that associating with criminals could get him back in prison. Instead of just accepting that he was the one who didn't say "gee, as a parolee, maybe I shouldn't be setting people up with hitmen no matter how much I need the money"; yep, he blames it all on Carl. HE was the one trying to put him back in prison!
The town of Brainerd is shocked by this crime, when they first find the murdered trooper and the two young witnesses Gaear chased down and murdered. The pregnant chief, Margie (Marge) Gunderson is faithful to her husband, and finds out this strange murder was only the tip of the iceberg to what was going on happening through their town. The lead from the car leads her to Lundegaard's dealership. Lundegaard first plays the friendly salesman and turns snippy and angry when Gunderson questions to see his inventory paperwork. At first, it seems like Gunderson doesn't understand why he's being so nasty with her, but eventually there's a scene where she looks at him in his office and she seems to start realizing who this guy is and what he's capable of.
In between, Gunderson gets a call from a former classmate who is fixated on her and wants to meet up after seeing her on the news regarding the murder. The man, Mike Yanagita, gets hysterical talking about his wife, their former classmate who had fought hard against cancer but lost. Gunderson, though seeming sympathetic, you can see how she feels put off with this sense of intimacy with this long-estranged classmate. When he attempts to sit right next to her, she puts her foot down and firmly says she'd prefer him across from her and explains amicably that she doesn't have to turn her neck.
Yanagita soon gets upset talking about how lonely he is and how he always liked Margie Gunderson. Later, upon talking to another classmate, Margie realizes he'd made the whole thing up. He'd been fixated on this other classmate before and had pestered her to date him for some time. Margie seems put off by this turn of events.
What I find so amazing is that Margie and her husband Norm still enjoy life and stay strong together through the movie. They have lunch together; he makes her breakfast in the morning when she first gets the call about the murders, etc. They lift each other up. Yet she takes her job seriously and steps forward full throttle, chasing down Gaear, a man she'd just witnessed putting another human being through a wood-chipper and then staring at her blankly before throwing a log at her and running. She arrests him herself.
As she's driving, she puts the pieces together of who everybody was, and says "all for a little money. There's more to life than a little money. Don't you know that? And it's a beautiful day (still frigid cold). And now look at you. I just don't understand."
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Later on in the movie, there's another scene where a group of cops are all discussing which criminals they like locking up the most, and Officer Mitchell says drug dealers, and promptly baits his coworkers into a reaction by talking about how the difference between drug dealers and violent criminals/molesters, etc. are all out of personal gain versus dealers who are out for money. He more than just explains his "point". You see he really gets a rise out of talking about violent crime as though he can relate to it. He then accuses one officer who happens to be white of disagreeing with him just because he's black, and that's his big handle on this other guy throughout the movie, as this cop soon finds out Officer Mitchell lied about where he came from.
You also see near the end how Officer Mitchell's wife seems used to being stuck with all of the household work of packing and moving, how she's sick of moving (but Officer Mitchell keeps committing crime in uniform which leads to him having to keep transferring away to "get away". At the prayer vigil of his coworker's daughter, whom he victimized, he doesn't appear to realize that he's in an area full of people who have started to get wise to who he is and really seems to be milking the situation, going around and saying his goodbyes to his colleagues before hoping to transfer out.
This movie is good for so many things aside from all of this. It really paints a picture of what police officers of all colors deal with daily on the job, the fear that each day could be their last. It shows how victimized people can be so unsafe in a world that assumes that everybody has the same trust and can have the same trust in each other that requires a society to function, such as is the case with the coach knowing something is wrong after snapping at Ariel when she misses swimming practice in the days following her assault. Ariel turns his help away as well as that of her boyfriend early on in the movie and seems to lump all men together.
Of course there's the other scene in which Ariel's father is following up on a note his slain partner left him explaining that he was going to meet with a citizen who wanted to complain about Officer Mitchell. A young girl who was victimized and victimized again by Officer Mitchell for driving without a license is now being fiercely guarded by her immigrant parents who don't trust the police until he explains the situation. He also gets a wakeup call from his wife about the plight of childhood sexual abuse survivors.
Four Sheets To The Wind-Since the possible Avoidant/Schizoid/Schizotypal man of the house of this movie never makes a live appearance since he commits suicide at the beginning of the movie, it's unclear exactly how he is altogether, aside from what his wife and two children and others say about him throughout the movie. One theme that comes up is that the man never talked. His wife first tells her son Cufe that his first words to her were introducing himself as "Four Sheets To The Wind". She looks down with a mixture of shame and sheepishness almost, at the idea that she created a whole relationship with this man who never said a word and hardly participated in the family.
Cufe and Miri's grief about losing their dad is evident as is the negative effect of a lack of an emotionally-present dad on their lives. There was the story of Miri having once gone to her mom for help as a child, and her mom had told her to ask her dad. When she'd asked him, he didn't respond. Miri never asked for help again.
Cufe talks in detail with his love interest Francie about how fishing trips with his dad, shrounded in silence, were so meaningful in their own quiet way. HIs dad put the fishing poles together, and they'd fish. At the end, the narrator says that people told him he never talked much, but he just liked listening.
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