Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Breaking News

Opinion

December 26, 2013

Movie Review: The Spectacular Now

Knoxville — “The Spectacular Now” is the best coming-of-age high school movie I have seen since “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” 

In this film, we follow the story of Sutter (Miles Teller), a fun-loving high school senior with a broken heart and a drinking problem. He begins to be tutored by Aimee (Shalene Woodley), the smart and sweet, but shy girl. The two bond and Sutter, noticeable to the audience, uses her to fill the void left after being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, Cassidy (Brie Larson). 

Teller's range was great and through most of the film, he comes across as a hybrid of Fred Savage and a young Vince Vaughn. I haven't seen him in any other films, but as a lead, and in this character, he does a remarkable job of carrying this one. 

Woodley is equally superb as Aimee, who never really loses that “girl next door” persona, even though we see her transition from being removed from her own shell, to providing a shell for Sutter when things go wrong. 

Kyle Chandler is not on screen much, as Sutter's estranged father. His performance as a self-absorbed, basically older version of Sutter, is strong and is the pivotal role in the film. 

One of the lessons from this movie is the important role a father has in a child's life, and the lingering effects his absence can have. Sutter's addiction, fear and problems with the real love of his life, Cassidy, can all be traced not only to the lack of a father figure, but the poor image of a man that Chandler's character does provide. 

I loved this movie. The one aspect of it with which I was most uncomfortable was part of the overall design. This discomfort is dealt with in an appropriate fashion and is used to illustrate the message of the film. As usual, there is bad language and a couple of love scenes, but I don't think any of it is gratuitous. It's easy to look beyond these things to see the love that is poured on Sutter, his opportunity for redemption and realizing the importance of appreciating what we DO have, versus what we think we should have or our delusions of how great the things that we don't have, are.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • The Rules of the Road By Jill Pertler I do not consider myself an excellent driver. I am good, or maybe just okay - around a B-minus to a C-plus if I were giving out grades. I am not great at maneuvering into tight parking spaces or knowing when it is my turn at a four-wa

    March 21, 2014

  • Steve mug Creativity rules! I've noticed as a married man that there are times in our marriages when it is just nice to be right. Take for instance Monday night. By the time I got home from the council meeting, I was pretty hungry. I didn't grab anything to eat before my evenin

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frankford mug Acute Temporary Comfort Rejection Syndrome By Phillip Frankford Acute Temporary Comfort Rejection Syndrome

    March 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shivvers pic 21st century overwhelm, beginning with shampoo I was in a hurry and needed only one more item at the grocery store. Shampoo. I wanted shampoo to wash my hair. But I found a hazard course - and couldn't remember how I got through the last time. What should I do? Would it be simple "anti-itch liqui

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Next time ... To the Editor: While surfing my Facebook page, I came across this message: "I Shall Continue To Do What I think Is Right Whether Anybody Likes It Or Not." -Harry S. Truman. After reading this quote, I decided to tell my experience. I was walking to m

    March 21, 2014

  • Protecting Iowa's children A topic that most Iowans prefer not to acknowledge nor discuss is human trafficking. However, it is a serious matter in our society that we can no longer afford to ignore. With the I-80 and I-35 corridors that crisscross our state - and the I-29 corr

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter: Disagrees with Shivvers To the Editor: I read, with interest, Ms. Shivvers' comments in her opinion piece "Another View-Breaking Bad in Iowa" in the Feb. 14, 2014, edition of the Knoxville Journal-Express. It is the first time I have heard today's agriculture compared to th

    March 6, 2014

  • Slices of Life: Things we should do more often By Jill Pertler Live. Love. Laugh. Stop and smell the roses. See the glass as half full. Shoot for the moon. There are the familiar (cliché) activities we know we should engage in more often. But, for those of us not wanting to be cliché, there are

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor-Bravo To the Editor: I'd like to take a moment and say, "Bravo!" to Charlotte Shivvers for her insightful column of February 14, "Another View - Breaking Bad in Iowa." Speaking truth to power happens rarely these days and when it does, it's cause for celeb

    February 27, 2014

  • Frankford mug Another Log on the Fire: Highs and Lows By Phillip Frankford I've heard it said that the mark of a good story teller is the ability to take the listener or reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions. He or she will abruptly lead the way from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a

    February 27, 2014 1 Photo

Features
AP Video
Boston Officials: No Bags at Marathon Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women New York Police End Muslim Surveillance Program Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions T. Rex Gets New Home at Smithsonian Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Which service of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce do you believe is most beneficial for its membership?

Events
Legislative lobbying
Promotional material publication
Educational programs for the community
Other
     View Results