Out Of The Furnace
Musician, Songwriter, Recording Artist
What is your official title/occupation?
I’ve been a musician from the age of 6 and a songwriter since I was 12. I’m lucky to have grown up in a family of artists and musicians in which creativity was fostered.
Where did you see the movie? I saw it at Koolau Consolidated Theatre.
Overall, what did you think? In the first 20 or so minutes, I saw a guy ram a hot dog down a woman’s throat, a man have his face mutilated, and a mother and child get killed by a drunken driver. It got bloodier from there. I hated it. On a happier note, gunshot victims repeatedly and miraculously resurrected themselves from what normally would have been fatal wounds.
Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? The best scene was when the younger brother, a combat veteran (Casey Affleck), visits his older brother (Christian Bale) in jail. Affleck’s character is scarred both physically and emotionally. His facial expressions, posture and curt delivery of lines were conveyed with a complexity of emotions I’ve seen in the faces of real-life traumatized soldiers. The scene was stirring. At that point, I became hopeful that the movie would follow the vet.
On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? ★
What did you think of the cinematography? Shots of the foggy Appalachians were appropriately ominous, with long shadows and acute camera angles contributing to the film noir ambiance. At other times, the cinematography was trite, such as when the protagonist (Bale) was filmed as a portrait but from a low angle, shooting upward at him. It seemed like an ill-conceived attempt to make him appear larger than life.
Was the message/theme clear? The clear message was that really good actors – Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker and the rest of the cast – should be more careful about the movies they’re in. The film did them all an injustice.
Did it remind you of any other works of film? This film strove to be the next Deliverance and failed. The characters became caricatures. The bad guys were inbred imbeciles, mountain morons immersed in manufacturing illegal substances (think moonshine revisited), bare-knuckled boxing blood baths and probably buggery. Apparently, up in them thar’ hills, the hillbillies also secrete a sebaceous goo from their pores that, when mixed with coal tar and soot, lends a waxy sheen to their asymmetric faces.
To whom would you recommend this movie? MMA fighters and aspiring para-medics.
Did any of the actors stand out? Yes. Casey Affleck presented a complex character full of anger, fierceness and vulnerability. I really enjoyed his performance.
Did you identify with any of the characters? Yes, Zoe Saldana, because she appeared disturbed by the whole thing. The movie could have been improved by more shots of her, preferably in slow motion and wearing impractical shoes.
Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film? It underscored the overtones throughout in the same way bagpipes and didgeridoos provide a throbbing drone. The music provided a nearly palpable tension and worked well to complement some of the cinematography.
What’s your favorite movie snack? I like a large red Icee. It’s a perfect setup because I love the taste and, in a dark theater, I’m not stricken by the color.
On a different note, what’s new with you? I recently released my fourth CD, Believe in Love, and the album and a song have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the Regional Roots Album and the American Roots Song categories, respectively. I’m writing songs as always and will start recording again in early January. I’m also continuing to play traditional slack key guitar. Like much of the music I grew up with in Colorado, ki ho’alu is a folk tradition, and that speaks to my sensibilities. You can find my CDs in all Hawaii Walgreens stores, iTunes, DougFitchMusic.com and other online sources.