Fences

Fences

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
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4
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In 1950s Pittsburgh, a Black garbage collector named Troy Maxson--bitter that baseball's color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro Leagues--is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones.
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA :, Paramount,, [2017]
Branch Call Number: DVD
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (138 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,surround,5.1 Dolby digital,rda
video file,DVD video,rda

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j
JohnWK
Aug 18, 2017

This "movie" is more like a Play than a Movie, and has an incredible amount of endless dialogue in it. Action is pretty much limited to emptying a couple of garbage cans, sawing a couple of fence boards, hitting a baseball hanging from a rope a few times, and a short fight. That's about it. Almost the entire story plays out in a single house - the front, interior and back yard. Boring!

The only redeeming part is the incredible acting skill of Viola Davis who plays Rose, the amazing, one-of-a-kind wife of a stubborn, totally egotistical, unappreciative, unapologetic, wife-cheating, manipulative, self-serving control-freak who just stops short of beating his son to death with a baseball bat.

The story would have been much better if it had been from the perspective of Rose rather than her husband, Troy.

In short, I still have no idea what the whole moral of this movie was, other than show how some people can fence themselves off from themselves and those they love. So what? Not too profound! It almost seems to condone the action of the immoral, self-serving, dominating Troy. I would have rated this lower if it wasn't for the brilliant acting of Viola Davis.

s
samjenks
Aug 10, 2017

I loved counting just how many fences the characters in the movie put up. Movie done as if it were a play.

d
Douglascounty
Aug 07, 2017

Totally liked this movie!
I have to say it was slow to get into, but we are glad we stuck with it. I don't have to like the character Troy to think that this was a wonderful movie. We were seeing him exposed with all of his flaws and the "fences" he had built around his life and thinking, as well as those he was attempting to put on his family. Enjoyed the story and where it went and that it was about the characters, not fancy special effects, explosions or car chases. Acting was great. Loved the character Gabe as well. I recommend.

n
nbolin
Jul 12, 2017

Slow moving and reminded me of the play; very few characters and lots of dialogue. I liked it. The characters read like something in real life. The main character "Troy" wasn't a very likable guy but the interaction of this flawed and unlikeable guy with his family and friend made me really like the other characters that much more. I don't try to glean lessons from movies just entertainment value, and I really liked this movie. It deserved the Oscar nominations it received and it was unique to the other Oscar movies I saw.

j
JackamoJames
Jul 06, 2017

incredibly over rated drama that has nothing new to add in todays society. Sure, the acting was top notch but to sit through two hours of an extended play with no new purpose just doesn't demand viewing. Would not go see this at the theatre and come out thinking I received good value.

b
britprincess1ajax
Jul 03, 2017

Well, FENCES sure wasn't what I expected. For one, the father-son relationship plays second fiddle most of the time, despite what the trailer sells to you. Secondly, I do not like Denzel Washington's character Troy in this film. Troy seems like a petty man who doesn't want to conceive of a future for his sons that he didn't plan out himself. That's not to mention how he betrays his wife Rose. Perhaps I'm missing the point of FENCES, but I was gravely disappointed with Troy's behaviour. There's a little too much forgiveness for his actions. Rose, however, is a great character, a solid and loyal wife who works hard and is kind to and patient with just about everyone. Her heart is pure and she deserves more than what she gets with Troy who doesn't seem to reciprocate any of that loyalty. He even tries to explain away his low-down actions as if they're perfectly reasonable. He's so arrogant and selfish and completely ignorant of his own flaws, always playing victim. He shows no remorse for the regrettable things he does, which is why I see him as the scummy louse he is. If you can bear the first half of this film, filled with Denzel’s obnoxious chest-thumping bravado as Troy, you'll get to Viola as Rose, no longer complacent but confident Rose who is willing to tell Troy what's what and hand him his comeuppance. I wish Rose was a greater part of the film because every time she speaks, nay, every time we glimpse her, she steals the show. Viola is a powerhouse performer telling the story of just living life, taking it day by day and handling what's handed to her. In less competent hands, some could see the character of Rose as a small role, a bit part. But Viola makes her larger than life, a breath of fresh air surrounded by some dirty deeds and miserable losses. And without her presence, FENCES would have been so irritating that it would be unwatchable.

AL_KATI Jun 28, 2017

Didn't make it past 20 minutes. I couldn't wait to watch it--I mean, acting greats are in this--but it simply wasn't for me. I don't think it translated from the play very well.

d
DHahn
Jun 20, 2017

Outstanding vehicle for Denzel and Viola (aka "why no oscars"?). Excellent cast. Life as fences--are you in protecting yourself from what's out or preventing what's out from coming in. Reverberations of ancient greek drama--like offering the libations to the gods (pouring out the 1st sip of gin).

1
13SabreD
Jun 19, 2017

We didn't make it past the first half hour. It should have been left as a play.

n
nelsonb4821
Jun 18, 2017

Great movie!!
You have to pay attention to the dialogue and there is a lot of dialogue !
Makes me wonder why we haven't done better in improving race relations here in the USA

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Quotes

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b
britprincess1ajax
Jul 03, 2017

“Some people build fences to keep people out, and some people build fences to keep people in.”

b
britprincess1ajax
Jul 03, 2017

“It's not easy for me to admit that I've been standing in the same place for eighteen years.”
“Well, I've been standing with you! I've been right here with you, Troy. I got a life, too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot as you! Don't you think I ever wanted other things? Don't you think I had dreams and hopes? [...] But I held onto you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs and dreams, and I buried them inside you. I planted a seed and watched and prayed over it. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom! And it didn't take me no eighteen years to realize the soil was hard and rocky, and it wasn't never gonna bloom! [...] You always talking about what you give and what you don't have to give. But you take, too, Troy. You take and don't even know nobody's giving.”

b
britprincess1ajax
Jul 03, 2017

“I didn't know, to keep up his strength, I had to give up pieces of mine.”

j
jimg2000
Apr 24, 2017

The working man:
She charges 10 cents more than the A&P.
-A&P ain't never done nothing for me. I spend my money where I'm treated right. I go down to Bella, say, "I need a loaf of bread, I'll pay you Friday," she gives it to me. What sense that make when I got money to spend it somewhere else and ignore the person who done right by me? That ain't in the Bible.
-We ain't talking about what's in the Bible. What sense it make to shop there when she overcharges?
Well, you do your shopping where you want to, I do my shopping where people been good to me.
===

-Jackie Robinson wasn't nobody!
I'm talking about if you could play ball, then they ought to let you play. Don't matter what color you are. Telling me I come along too early.

j
jimg2000
Apr 24, 2017

The husband:
See that woman, Bono? Love this woman. I love her so much it hurts. I love her so much that if you run out of ways to love her. So I need to get back to basics. Don't come knocking here Monday morning. I'm going to be working hard.
===
When I first met this woman, I got out that place. Hitch up my pony. Saddle up my mare. There's a woman out there for me somewhere. I looked at here, looked at there, saw Rose, and I latched on to her. I latched on to her and I told her... Now, I'm gonna tell you the truth. I latched on to her and told her, "Baby, I don't want to marry. I just want to be your man." Rose told me... Tell him what you told me, Ro.
-I told him if he wasn't the marrying kind, then move out of the way, so the marrying kind could find me.
That's what she told me, "Nigger, you in my way. You blocking the view. Move out the way, so I can find me a husband."

j
jimg2000
Apr 24, 2017

The wandering man:
I've seen you looking at her.
- I look at all. Look doesn't mean anything. Nobody tells you that Troy Maxson didn't look for them.
Did more than just look. Bought drink for her.
-I bought one for you, too. What does that mean? I'm just being polite.
A drink is being polite. Buy two or three, is be watching.
-Since you know me, you've seen me running behind?
Of course Yes! Forgot you long?
- I mean, after I married Rose.
After she married, don't. That's true. This I agree.
-So okay. Case closed.
===
Incidentally, where did she come from? Came out of nowhere.
-Tallahassee. Just looking at it, you can see that came from Florida. The women there are very healthy. Grew from the soil. Has a bit of India in it. Most of Florida has traces of India.
I don't know how to be India, but it sure is pretty healthy.
-She uses some pantyhose. Legs and hips as large as the Mississippi River.
The legs are useless, just away. But the hips cushion the...

j
jimg2000
Apr 24, 2017

The father P1 of 2:
Son: Why you never liked me?
Father: Like you? Who says you have to like you? In what law says I need to like you? Go stand in front of me doing stupid question? About liking someone. Come here when I'm talking to you. Straighten up, damn it. I asked you a question. In what law says I need to like you? No. Right then. Don't eat every day? Answer me when I talk to you. Don't eat every day?
-Yes.
Deny, is at my house. Place a "Sir" at the end.
-Yes, Sir.
Eats every day.
-Yes, Sir.
Roof over his head.
-Yes, Sir.
Clothes on the body.
-Yes, Sir.
Why?
-Because of you.
Now, I know it's because of me. But why?
-Because you like me?
Like you ... Go out every morning, drain all day taking white, why I like you?

j
jimg2000
Apr 24, 2017

The father P2 of 2:
You are the biggest idiot I've ever seen. It's my job. My responsibility. A man must take care of the family. Live in my house, fill the stomach with my food, put your butt on my bed, because he's my son. Not because I like you, it is my duty to take care of you. I owe my responsibility to you. Let's just be clear, here and now, before we go any further. I don't need to like you. Mr. Rand doesn't pay me because they like me. He pays me because I must. I gave you everything you should. I gave you your life! Your mother made you, and have to love your butt was not part of the deal. Don't spend your life worrying if they like you or not. Just make sure you are observing. Do you understand?
===
Father: I don't want you to be like me. I want you to stay away as much as possible of the life I had. (to mom:) You're the only good thing I had, Rose. So I wish for him. But I do not wish anything with my life.

j
jimg2000
Apr 24, 2017

The mother:
I thought, "Rose Lee, here is the man who can open and be satisfied completely. " "Here is the man that can fill all the empty spaces in walking feeling incomplete. " When his father walked around the house, he was... ...so big. He filled the house. It was my first mistake. Do not make leave a space for me. But... I wanted a house where I could sing. And that's what your father gave me. I did not know, to keep it strong, I needed to give small pieces of me. I accepted his life as mine, and mixed our parts to the point of not giving to differentiate. It was my choice. My life. And I need not have lived like that, but ... That's what life offered me and I accepted. I grabbed with both hands and when Raynell arrived ... I do not mean that the tragedy of others was a blessing to me, but I accepted Raynell like all babies who wanted but never had. I was blessed with a small part of my life. ...

Notices

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Frightening or Intense Scenes: Intense emotional exchanges here and there.

Sexual Content: Some sexual innuendo and infidelity suggested.

Violence: Punches thrown.

Coarse Language: The N-word is used fairly often.

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King_of_the_Squirrels thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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