Category Archives: Samuel L. Jackson

My Most Anticipated Releases of November 2013


Alexander Payne has been on a hot streak basically since the beginning of his career. After “Sideways” and “The Descendants,” “Nebraska” brings the director back to his home city of Omaha for what seems like his turn even further into dramatic territory. Plus, Will Forte has a shot to show his dramatic chops (I know that they are there) and generally awesome person Bob Odenkirk gets a big role [Note: Saul Goodman was supposedly relocated to Omaha at the end of “Breaking Bad.” Hmmm…]. For great, little character-driven stories and perfect dark humor, Alexander Payne never disappoints.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I have yet to read any of the novels in the “Hunger Games” series, but I was a big fan of the first movie, which was a thoroughly entertaining dystopian blockbuster. Since I have no background knowledge of the story, I am excited to see where “Catching Fire” brings the story next. Also, this will likely only increase my love for Jennifer Lawrence. Let’s just hope that the baboons that I saw in one of the commercials are less ridiculous than the giant mutated dogs from the first installment.


Ever since the moment I heard that Spike Lee was directing a remake of “Oldboy,” I had no clue what to make of it. Why mess with Korean perfection? Could anybody ever recreate the pure shock of the octopus or hammer scenes? Still, I can’t help but be more curious than angry about this remake. It has a stellar cast (Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson), and its easy to forget that outside of his often annoying media presence, Spike Lee is an incredibly talented director. Let’s just hope this is more “Inside Man” than “Miracle at St. Anna.”

No Country For Oldboy: Josh Brolin, who looks like he’s auditioning to play Bruce Wayne stuck in the pit in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Movie Review: Django Unchained

For any of you who think I have a severe Quentin Tarantino bias, let me just say that I disliked “Death Proof.”

Now that that’s out of the way, “Django Unchained” may have just stolen the top ten list of the year in one fell swoop. It may lack the audacious perfection of “Inglourious Basterds,” however this messy masterpiece is bold and brilliant in its own right.

“Django Unchained” rightfully opens with the theme music from 1966′s “Django,” a film that is similar with this Django only in name. This is the first time that Quentin has made a Western that actually takes place in the appropriate era and locale. This is not modern-day Los Angeles, Tokyo, or Nazi-Occupied France. This is Texas in the years just before the Civil War.

Django (Jamie Foxx), a quiet slave with a sharp tongue and a deadly grin, is freed by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Foxx is fantastically deadpan and unpredictable as Django. Unsurprisingly, Waltz displays his incredible way with words as the verbose dentist-turned-bounty hunter. There is a giant tooth on top of his carriage. I don’t why any of that is important, but it sure is funny.

Like Quentin’s other films, “Django Unchained” is less a story and more a series of cause and effect vignettes. Schultz at first frees Django because he is the one man who can help him identify and track down the ruthless Brittle Brothers, whom he is hired to kill. The mission allows Django to prove himself to be a great shot, as Quentin opens the doors of a slave revenge fantasy of the highest sort.

As his career progresses, Quentin’s films have gotten bigger and more ambitious. During a stretch of the film that is surprisingly quiet on a Tarantino standard, “Django Unchained” takes a beautiful detour into the American frontier as Django and Schultz cross the country.

“Django Unchained” is also Quentin’s funniest film. A scene involving an attempted lynching by a proto-KKK group (which includes Don Johnson and Jonah Hill) quickly dissolves into pure farce. Even with all of the gruesome violence, what shocked me most about “Django Unchained” was all of the moments I found myself laughing and feeling giddy when I probably shouldn’t have. The film is full of comic moments framed around serious moments. Laughing at these demons helps remove their power.

More than any other of his past films, Quentin has challenged himself here, by making a film that takes place before movies. Without the cushion of his typical pop culture references, he goes to some new and interesting places. Surfer movies and Elvis are traded for The Three Musketeers and German fairytales as “Django Unchained” is a mashup of western, southern, and European legends. When Django asks Schultz to help him rescue his wife, Schultz remarks that the name of his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), is the name of a character from Germany’s most famous folktale.

Just when the film couldn’t get any more exciting, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the Mississippi slave master who currently owns Broomhilda is introduced. Candie reminds me of the villain that Waltz played in “Basterds” but on a whole different level of delusion. DiCaprio, so good at conveying southern hospitality, making Candie seem like a kind and reasonable man even when he clearly isn’t. It is this charm that makes him even more terrifying. He hosts slave fights and doesn’t blink an eye when he orders the violent execution of a rebellious slave. There were many times I forgot that it was even DiCaprio in the role. In a perfect world, the Academy would just hand an Oscar over to him already.

Without the cushion of film, Quentin delves deeper into overanalyzing historical issues with excessive dialogue. Several scenes are so good, yet so dense, that I have to watch them again. His dialogue can explain simple things in such eloquent ways.  Without pop culture, you can see Tarantino’s dialogue for what it really is: a cross between indulgence and intellectualization.

Very few films have been made about American slavery. “Gone with the Wind” and “Roots” are the only ones that have truly stuck, and even those feel a little outdated. Even if it carries some extreme historical inaccuracies, “Django Unchained” is the most interesting and complex portrayal of slavery ever put out by Hollywood. Even when Tarantino intentionally overlooks historical truths, he does wonders with the details. Every costume and set is given so much loving and painstaking detail that I I felt myself becoming deeply immersed in the era. Tarantino shows the slave owners as white trash in fancy outfits, and their accompanying women are exaggerated southern belles.

And then there is Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen, an old slave who is also racist. This character totally topples the terrible archetypes in American fiction of the “Magic Negro” and the “wise, old black man.” Stephen has been Candie’s slave for so long and is so close to the man that one might argue that he believes that he is white. However, I think it is deeper than that, and it greatly shows why Tarantino’s history benders are so marvelous and so filled with depth. It is as if slavery rewarded those with loyalty by creating an immense fear of the outside world, and immense comfort on the plantation. Stephen is more than just an excuse for Samuel L. Jackson to curse and say the n-word a lot. Though, watching him do both of those thing is predictably entertaining.

“Django Unchained” does to slavery what “Inglourious Basterds” did to Nazis and The Holocaust.  It is also the most perplexing and entertaining film of 2012. Nobody combines high and low brow as well as Quentin Tarantino. Only in one of his films could a Mexican standoff segue into a conversation about racism and French culture. After 20 years as a filmmaker, Quentin still knows how to pull the rug out from under the audience. “Django Unchained” constantly change our opinions of who the bad guys are. It may not totally rewrite history or change the way movies are made, but it does go way past the point in which it should have ended, and then gives great reason as to why it does just that.

How I Rank Quentin Tarantino’s Films:
1. Pulp Fiction- Still Tarantino’s best film, “Pulp Fiction” is still as brazen and funny as it was when it first came out. This pop culture tribute has become an indelible part of pop culture.
2. Inglourious Basterds- Jews kill Nazis. Christoph Waltz is introduced to the world. History is rewritten. What’s not to love.
3. Kill Bill 1 & 2- Part one is a breathtaking action spectacle. Part two is the most emotional film Tarantino has ever made. Altogether it’s the film that kicked off my movie obsession.
4. Reservoir Dogs- The place where it all began. Still one of the best directorial debuts ever.
5. Django Unchained
6. Jackie Brown- This was not loved when it first came out, but it’s hard to follow “Pulp Fiction.” “Jackie Brown” holds up well on repeat viewings.
7. Death Proof- This is where Tarantino went a little off the rails. It’s the weaker half of “Grindhouse.” This ode to trashy cinema forgot to be fun.

Movie Review The Avengers

At one point, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) describes what is basically the film’s premise, in which a bunch of superheroes are put into a room in order to see what happens. What he just described could also be a pitch for a new MTV reality show called “Real World: Superheroes.”

At its worst, “The Avengers” is cheesy and derivative. At its best, it is fresh, funny, and exhilarating. There was never one moment in which I wasn’t in some form of awe at what was occurring on screen.

Before this review goes any further, I will admit that I am only a half-committed comic book fan. I read “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” comics pretty passionately when I was younger. I relish the new “Batman” movies as well as the first “Iron Man.” Yet, I never saw the “Hulk” reboot, “Captain America,” or “Thor.” I lost some faith in movies based on comic books after seeing “Iron Man 2″ and witnessing the “Spider-Man” movies go under. I will be as accurate as I can be in this review. “The Avengers” doesn’t necessarily make me want a slew of new comic book movies in the future, but it is certainly a worthy addition to the multimedia-spanning genre.

“The Avengers” will leave those who missed the last few big comic book adaptations scratching their heads. “The Avengers” allows us to catch up on bigger details, but it expects the audience to come in already knowing about the character and the worlds they inhabit. The truly amazing thing about Marvel Comics is the way that characters from separate stories can inhabit the same world. Over the years, each movie has built up to a sort of common universe usually only seen in Quentin Tarantino movies. However, each new entry into the universe should be able to be enjoyed even through a fresh pair of eyes.

“The Avengers” are the superhero dream team, “The Westminster Dog Show” of superheroes, as Roger Ebert described it. With Earth under threat, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calls seven of the most qualified superheroes alive. There’s Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who shares her namesake’s stealth and deadliness. However, her greatest skill is the ability to get information out of someone without actually interrogating them. Captain America (Chris Evans, or the secret scene stealer of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) somehow ended up in the future and is now adjusting to life in the present. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) came down from whatever planet he’s from. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), well, I don’t really know much about him. he’s a skilled archer.

But there are two superheroes who’s backstories I actually know about. Tony Stark a.ka. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) moved bases to New York City with the innovative Stark Tower. He’s still as cheeky and pompous as ever, with most of his dialogue consisting of “okay, [insert character from pop culture that looks like Thor, Hulk, etc.]!” It gets a little annoying after a while. And then there’s Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Banner has been traveling the world for some time, trying to find ways to keep his rage from getting the best of him. Hollywood finally solved its Hulk problem with Ruffalo. This is the most entertaining and personable Hulk yet. That’s probably because a Hulk who smashes things is more entertaining than an existential and moody Hulk.

Through a series of clunky lines that are supposed to come off as cool, we learn that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wants to take over the world. He wants to teach humans a lesson [Editor's Note: That's why you always leave a note] that freedom is an illusion and Loki is a boot and humans are ants. Until Nick Fury points out that Loki is actually the ant and The Avengers are the boot. See what they did there? Just about every other character will somehow repeat that line throughout the movie.

In order to defend the world from Loki and the mysterious energy he is using against Earth, Fury and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) assemble a team of heroes whose abilities can help end this mess. It never feels like The Avengers are just thrown in together. Each member (with the exception for Hawkeye, the least developed of them) feels like they are there for a reason. On the scale of “The Magnificent Seven” to “Some Terrible Standard Blockbuster,” the assembling of the team sequence ranks out about a 6.

Let’s Go to the Mall!
“The Avengers” is directed by Joss Whedon, one of the gods of Comic Con. Among many achievements, Whedon is responsible for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly.” The latter is one of the best modern sci-fi television shows. As director, Whedon treats the Marvel universe with love and respect, and he shows his knowledge of the mythology. Yet, in both writing and directing, he adds a self-aware nature which proves at times to be the movie’s saving grace. However, it’s strongest point is the visuals, which often resemble the panels of a comic book coming to life. 
While I am sure Mr. Whedon and the rest of the writing staff put a lot of time into crafting this story, but the writing proves to be the biggest downfall of “The Avengers.” While the writing doesn’t seem to be the biggest draw of this movie, or the reason that most people will see it, the clunkiness of some of the dialogue does have an impact. Imagine reading a comic in which the dialogue bubbles sound downright terrible. It wouldn’t be readable. Some of the movie’s dialogue should have been given a closer listen before it was filmed. 
“The Avengers” will make a lot of fans of the previous comics and movies very happy. However, it may leave others confused. Black Widow and The Hulk are the most fun to watch, because Black Widow is convincingly intelligent and The Hulk smashes things just as The Hulk is supposed to do. Yes, it is awesome.
After “The Avengers” ended, the first comment I had was about the writing. My friend argued that nobody is really coming to see this movie for the writing. In a way, he might be right. But no matter what, everyone is coming to see a movie for the way it is written, and the entertainment value is hinged on the script. Obviously, the world the Avengers occupy is not a real one, but it still must seem plausible during the entire viewing experience. 
For example, The Hulk has been praised widely, but there is a flaw in him. At first, Banner does his best to never get angry and when he does, he has absolutely no control over what he does as The Hulk. Suddenly, Banner says “I’m always angry” and immediately turns into The Hulk and whilst The Hulk, he shows emotional change and even the ability to have a conversation. This goes against the rules set up at the beginning in an unexplained way and therefore, took me out of the world.
Now that “The Avengers” has been out for a week, this can serve as both a review and a reflection, because I can’t really encourage people to see or not see it now that it’s already grossed over $200 million. With a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Avengers” has been labeled by most critics as an ideal summer blockbuster. While it is definitely a very good one, that does not excuse its flaws. I wish the movie was clearer to those who aren’t already so aware of the universe, and I wish it didn’t try to resolve so many plot lines, and fight so many villains at the end. “The Avengers” might be memorable now but once “Prometheus” and “The Dark Knight Rises” roll around, the “ideal summer blockbuster” will be truly defined.

The Plot of Quentin Tarantino’s Next Movie

Two posts in one night? I must be crazy. No, this only happens when something truly newsworthy comes along.

The plot for Quentin Tarantino’s next film, entitled “Django Unchained,” has been released today. All that was known before was that it was a slave revenge film. Here is what that actually entails:
Django is a slave who’s liberated by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter and taught the tricks of the trade by his mentor. Django’s major goal in life is to recover his wife, and to do it he needs to get past the villainous ranch owner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), who runs Candyland, a despicable club and plantation in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in “mandingo”-style death matches. Candie is a slave’s worst nightmare, and that [sic] is where Django’s wife Broomhilda is an abused slave. [Deadline]

Yes, whenever Quentin says he is making an historical epic, it is not just some historical epic. Earlier this week it was announced that Jamie Foxx would play the lead role. While he did win an Oscar for “Ray,” he also starred in “Booty Call.” Then again, this is from the same director who turned John Travolta into a hitman after starring in “Look Who’s Talking.”

The rest of the cast is enticing. Of course, Samuel L. Jackson will be fantastic, as long as he is given a Bible or some dialogue that he can shout unnecessarily loud. While I have never seen DiCaprio play a flat out villain, his acting has improved with each film he does, so I have a feeling he can do this. As for Christoph Waltz, I have a feeling the German bounty hunter role was written directly for him. And yes, he can act his way out of a paper bag.

For now, it seems too hard to tell what direction this plot will take the film in. Is Tarantino aiming for a classic Grindhouse experience like “Death Proof,” or a classier revenge fantasy like “Inglourious Basterds”?

Something that I wonder even more about, however is what Tarantino will do filming in a time period before movies even existed. In “Basterds,” he was able to find conversation in the films of G.W. Pabst, but what will the 19th century characters of “Django Unchained” discuss? Maybe the characters can sit around a southern manor and discuss the significance of “Moby Dick.”

Whatever he decides to do, I will be there on opening weekend.

The One Tarantino Rumor I Hope is True

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about Quentin Tarantino. And over the past few posts, I’ve mentioned “Inglourious Basterds” at least once. You’re probably so sick of the name by now. However, this is one piece of news you just may have to hear.

I don’t know how entirely truthful this piece of news is. It comes from Tarantino himself. The man does have a knack for bringing up film projects he never seems to follow up on. Over the years, he’s brought up the possibility of a Vega Brothers movies, a “Basterds” prequel, and a third installment of “Kill Bill.” Those sound all like great follow-ups to such great movies. Then again, we are talking about Quentin Tarantino, one of the most original directors working today.
That is why today I was thrilled to read a story today on FilmDrunk (originally from the New York Daily News) that Tarantino is throwing around the idea of doing a film based on the Underground Railroad during the days of American Slavery. He’s defining it as being sort of like a Western, but called a “Southern.”
I’ve been hoping that someday, Tarantino would do a pure Western. However, I’m also invested on how he’s taken the Western ideology and implanted it into Nazi-Occupied France, Japan, and the greater Los Angeles area.
I can already picture Tarantino’s vision of slavery now. Like “Basterds,” it will take place in a slightly altered alternate universe and likely center around a slave rebellion. One slave will escape his plantation and seek brutal revenge on their former owner. Meanwhile, another group of escaped slaves will seek their own form of revenge by destroying plantations, and scalping lots of white people. Samuel L. Jackson will play a badass slave seeking vengeance, and Christoph Waltz will play a harsh yet charming slaveowner. Daniel Day-Lewis will have a minor, but affecting role as Jefferson Davis (just because he needs to be in a Tarantino film already).
I have a bad feeling this project might go the way of that Vega Brothers film. Let’s hope not. As much as I really want to see Tarantino save the Western by making a true one, I am enjoying seeing the ideas of the Western get inserted into other aging dramas. Has there ever been a good, tasteful film chronicling American slavery besides “Gone With the Wind?” I remember once watching an 80s version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in school. That’s about it.
Then again, if there was anyone who could make a movie about American slavery and do it right, it would be Quentin Tarantino.
More information on this here and here.
Side Note: If you must understand the true roots of my Tarantino obsession, read here.

Movie Review: Inglourious Basterds

Who said history has to be accurate? Don’t tell that to Quentin Tarantino, who pulled off his newest masterpiece in a brilliant revisionist style. “Inglourious Basterds” is the work of a world-class auteur at the top of his game.

When I first heard years ago that Tarantino was developing a war film, I was hesitant, unsure of whether Tarantino’s directing style could fit into a war movie. But then I realized, it is the perfect genre for him. 
Of all of Tarantino’s films, “Inglourious Basterds” has the most traditional narrative structure. While all of his other films hop through time in no particular order, this one moves through time in order with only a few brief flashbacks. What’s extremely unconventional about it though, are it’s multiple different stories that only loosely connect. 
The first story starts in the early days of World War II, in Nazi occupied France. Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), is a French Jew who narrowly escapes death at the hands of brutal Nazi Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Four years later, Dreyfus is still living in France under a pseudonym, operating a movie theater and hoping to one day get revenge on the Nazis.
The second story focuses on a group of Jewish American soldiers also in France. This troop, nicknamed the Basterds, also plans to get revenge on the Nazis and their reign of terror. The troop is led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). Raine commands his soldiers to attack the Nazis with absolutely no sympathy. He also demands that each man bring him 100 Nazi scalps (and he gets his scalps).
Now, where do these two stories connect? Well, both are revenge missions, and both seek their revenge in the exact same place. Shosanna and the Basterds never meet face to face, but all I can say is that if they ever were to meet, they’d all be pretty good friends.
In almost every way, “Inglourious Basterds” shouldn’t be a good movie. It has long expanses of meaningless dialogue, little action, and major historical inaccuracies and politically incorrect stereotypes. It’s kind of like “Lawrence of Arabia.” But these things don’t serve to make the movie worse; they end up making it even better. Only a mind like Tarantino can take flaws and turn them into idiosyncrasies. Only Tarantino could capture people talking and turn it into amazing, real conversations about the meaning of life. The dialogue is harder to quote because most of the film is spoken in either German or French, However, Raine and Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz (Eli Roth) give more than enough catchphrases to go around. 
Oh, and that dialogue. No matter what language, Tarantino’s dialogue is always so pleasant to listen to; not a single word out of a character’s mouth ever seems corny or contrived. 
And yes, the movie is violent. Very violent. On the Tarantino violence scale, it would rank slightly higher than “Pulp Fiction” but slightly less in “Kill Bill.” The violence is often ridiculous, but is also somehow the most realistically violent of all of his films.
Tarantino has a habit of reviving the careers of many once great actors (John Travolta, Michael Parks, Pam Grier, David Carradine). The careeer revived in “Inglourious Basterds” is that of Christoph Waltz. Much has been said about Waltz’s performance, and every accolade is well deserved. He plays Landa as both friendly and creepy at the same time. He can seem friendly by making small talk and then intimidating by doing something like ordering someone to get him milk. He is never a villain who seems psychotic, he just seems scary because of his overstated friendliness. It is without a doubt that Landa’s Cannes winning performance will also get nominated for an Oscar.
The true villains of World War II, Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, are played here with perfect inaccuracy. Martin Wuttke plays Hitler as  a whiny baby and Sylvester Groth plays Goebbels as a soulless zombie and something of a suck up. While Waltz has gotten the majority of praise, a large amount of it belongs to Groth. Through Groth’s eyes, Goebbels doesn’t seem like a zombie just from the things he says, but also from the things he does. In one scene, he shakes Shosanna’s hand but he doesn’t quite give it a tight grip. In fact, he barely grabs it with his cold, white hand. It looks almost like a skeleton who can walk and talk. 
Also scoring points are the Basterds. I always knew Pitt was talented, but not even his performance in “Fight Club” can top this. His Aldo Raine comes from Tennessee, and he talks in a perfect Southern droll. Roth is also a scene stealer. Roth is known for directing torture porn like “Hostel.” However, he should stick to acting. His overly hammy Boston accent becomes one of the funniest parts of the movie. And yes, the movie is funny. Tarantino’s sense of humor is one of the darkest in cinema; many of the jokes here are dark as ever. However, many are as light and hilarious as Raine’s horrible grip on the Italian language. A scene like that almost feels like something out of a Sacha Baron Cohen movie.
Tarantino is known for referencing hundreds and hundreds of movies in everyone of his films. In this one, he often draws references to his own films. The opening scene reminded me something of the Royale with Cheese scene in “Pulp Fiction.” Like Jackson, Waltz first disarms the character through light banter before suddenly unloading on him. The revenge mission feels almost like The Bride’s in “Kill Bill.” 
Tarantino also references many of his favorite movies. You can see a shot that looks like “Scarface” or a camera movement that feels Hitchcockian. What’s referenced most here though is Spaghetti Westerns. Spaghetti Westerns were Italian westerns that were made in the late 1960s popularized mainly by Sergio Leone. As I watched “Inglourious Basterds” I realized what it truly was: a Spaghetti Western presented as a war film. There are Mexican standoffs and a score that often resembles the brilliant music of Ennio Morricone. 
The plot of “Inglourious Basterds” is almost directly based off of the plot of “Once Upon a Time in the West.” Like “Once Upon a Time in the West,” “Inglourious Basterds” is about two different people getting revenge on the same person for different reasons. Both reasons however, have something to do with the loss of family or brotherhood. “Inglourious Basterds” also contains long stretches without much action. However, while Leone reveled in long silences, Tarantino revels in lots and lots of talking.
“Once Upon a Time in the West” is also the best western ever made. “Inglourious Basterds” is one of the best war movies ever made. Not only that, but it is also the most audacious for daring to change the face of history. It really makes sense as to why “Inglourious Basterds” is so revisionist: every Tarantino movie exists in its world with its own interconnecting characters and its own brands. Even though “Inglourious Basterds” doesn’t take place during modern times, it feels as if it could’ve taken place in the same world as any other Tarantino film.
“Inglourious Basterds” was one of few movies I’ve seen recently where I left feeling reinvigorated, feeling as if all my faith in cinema had been restored. Only someone like Quentin Tarantino can do this. He reinvented the crime drama, the kung fu film, and now, the war film. Being a great director doesn’t involve any film school, just a great imagination and a love for movies. And not to mention, a strange and interesting view of the world.
One more thing: we never find out why the title is misspelled. Tarantino says he’ll never explain why, and in a way it’s better like that. The spelling is a part of Tarantino’s world, and we’re lucky that we even got this good of a glimpse of it.
If you liked this movie, you’ll also like: Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Dollars Trilogy, Carrie, Scarface, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Grindhouse, The Wild Bunch, No Country for Old Men