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The Company Men

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

The Company Men

Director: John Wells
Writer: John Wells
Starring: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper
Review By: Klash

When business man Bobby Walker gets laid off from GTX due to corporate downsizing he is faced with the difficulties of finding employment. With no foreseeable job opportunities and a lack of options he is forced to move his family into his parent’s home and take a job working for his brother-in-law as a carpenter. Next there is Gene McClary who is a company man and friends with the CEO of GTX Jim Salinger. Gene who is more concerned for the employees than he is profits is let go due to several disputes he has with Salinger on this topic. Finally there is Phil Woodard, a man who started at the very bottom of the ladder at GTX and after many years of service earned his way into an executive position. Unlike Walker who is still fairly young, Phil is in his sixties and finds that in his later years getting a new job is nearly impossible.

Through the movie the viewer follows the struggles each man faces and how they come to realize that they still have lives which are not run by the normal grind of the nine to five they once lived by. This was a movie, that’s about it. I couldn’t bring myself to feel bad for any of the characters when I think about real people who are actually struggling with unemployment or still have jobs and can’t make ends meet. The story of three fictional characters that went from being successful and making immense amounts of money to making nothing and being unemployed isn’t something I really care about. I would have just assumed watched a bad eighties action flick and would have been more entertained.

Rating: One Guy

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The Company Men

The Company Men

Director: John Wells
Writer: John Wells
Starring: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper
Review By: Scotty

The Company Men revolves around the lives of three men, who through corporate downsizing, lost their high paying jobs.

Bobby Walker(Ben Affleck) was the first to get fired.  Bobby tries to stay upbeat but is beaten down at every turn and soon has to downsize his life and he and is family end up living with his parents again and Bobby takes a job hanging drywall.  Although this is a shot to the gut financially Bobby finds a family that he has ignored and begins to realize what is truly important in life.

Phil Woodward(Chris Cooper) is next and at nearly sixty years old it is difficult for him to find work.  Phil based his whole life on his job and has nothing to grasp as it falls apart, although he has a wife and daughter.  Phil’s demise is inevitable and you are just waiting to see how it is going to go down.

Finally,  Gene McClary(Tommy Lee Jones), the company man that is at odds with his long time friend and CEO of the company about the process of downsizing.  Gene has the employees in mind as James Salinger, the CEO of the company, is thinking about nothing but profits.  Gene’s journey is the most profound and interesting.  Gene has an empathy that comes across on screen through subtle gestures and dialogue that seems to glue the whole picture together.

This movie pissed me off a little. I found myself saying poor rich guys with beautiful houses and assets. I had a hard time connecting with these characters.  I mean really, there are starving people in Ohio, and you want me to watch a bunch of spoiled executives complain about their lot in life.  As I watched the movie though I connected to the characters humanity and soon forgot about my feelings of anger towards them. The moral of the movie seems to be there are more important things in life besides new cars, fancy dinners, expensive suits; family, honesty and integrity is where true happiness lies.  I give it 1 and 1/2 guys.

The Company Men

June 12, 2011 Leave a comment

The Company Men

Director: John Wells
Writer: John Wells
Starring: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper
Review By: Griff

Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is a well off business man who finds himself the victim of corporate downsizing after the stock market crash of 2008. Bobby is unable to find a job and when his severance pay runs out he is forced to work for his brother in-law as a carpenter.

There are several other side plots to this one as well. Tommy Lee Jones plays Gene McClary, the number two executive at Bobby’s company GTX. Gene is also fired after several insubordinate interactions with the company CEO over the firing of employees. Gene is not facing the same dire financial situation as Bobby but is lost and searching for direction after he is let go by the company he has worked for all his life.

Phil Woodard (Chris Cooper) is a lifer at GTX who crawled his way up the corporate ladder. He started working for the company in the shipyard doing welding and worked his way up to an executive position with the company. He is also let go and now in his early 60’s he finds it impossible to find work.

We follow the lives of the three men as they struggle to not only find employment but also to find an identity for themselves now that they are not defined by their jobs.

This was on ok film. There were some interesting characters and some fine acting but, I have never been an advocate of the multiple plot lines. Rarely does this work. There simply isn’t enough time over the course of a two hour movie to fully develop all the characters and as a result, we are usually left with a skeleton that never gets fleshed out. The Company Men is no exception.

I feel like this would have been a much better film if they had spent more time focusing on just the story of Bobby Walker. I would love to have seen more of the interaction between him and his brother in law, the relationship with his son, his wife, and his parents. Instead, we are left with short little scenes that are supposed to lead us to believe that the conflicts have been resolved. I felt dissatisfied with resolution of Bobby’s journey. The director seemed to be trying to drive home the idea that Bobby is a happier man now that he focuses on his family and not on work. At the end however, he goes right back to the corporate grind,
and I was left feeling like Bobby hadn’t really learned anything.

The Company Men is a good movie but it could have been a great movie with a tighter, leaner script. Chris Cooper is a great actor but his part in this movie should have been eliminated. The Tommy Lee Jones role should have been shortened and we would have been left with a much better film.

The Company Men gets 1 and half guys from me.

The Company Men

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This weeks movie is The Company Men. Check back on Sunday for the 3 Guys Reviews.

Trailer 

IMDB