Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Vow (2012)

Written by Jason Katims, Abby Kohn
Directed By Michael Sucsy
Starring Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum and Sam Neill

This was a good movie. As far as the cinematography goes, I was not impressed. Nothing stands out as far as filmmaking is concerned. I’m not sure how invested Michael Sucsy was in directing a groundbreaking film. Something about this movie stinks of a Valentines Day money grab for all those sweet hearts who need a something to do on V-Day.

The story is basically a couple have a car accident leaving one of them unable to remember their relationship. Tatum commits to nursing his damaged wife back to falling in love with him and getting their lives back to the way things were before the accident. Of course Tatum keeps forgetting how much he can’t control himself with her and she is uncomfortable with his familiarity.

Having said that, this movie was fun. It was loving and kind and interesting. The plot was solid and believable for the most part. McAdams does her usual sexy performance that doesn’t disappoint. Tatum does a great job a brooding and being frustrated with his perfect woman who has disappeared before his eyes. Tatum has for the first time taken a leading role and done a good job with it. He still holds that ken doll stature of plastic emotion but he seems to make it more authentic then in the past. He’s really come into himself in this role.

No rating. Just a solid love story for Valentines Day couples. Great clean entertainment and a sentiment to love. It’s nothing special but nothing bad, just a strong love film. 

Wanderlust (2012)

Written By David Wain, Ken Marino
Directed by David Wain
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, & Malin Akerman

I actually liked this one. Why, I have no idea! Nothing about this movie is good except it all fits together kinda nicely.

I like the story. Because of financial and employment problems this couple Rudd and Aniston, find themselves at this hippy commune. Considering this commune is much nicer then any of their alternatives they decide to give this alternative living a try. Of course with the constant drug use and change in cultural norms they find themselves stuck between two worlds.

Ultimately this movie is about love and laughter. Rudd and Aniston have very little chemistry but that’s kinda the point of this one. Love isn’t supposed to be easy and free! Love takes work and effort and compromise. This actually comes across in a positive light in this film even thought its full of good laughs and crazy characters.

No rating. All in all this was a fun one to watch and I recommend you see it. It’s not the next oscar sweeper but it has good values and lots of laughs. 

This Means War (2012)

Written by Timothy Dowling, Simon Kingberg
Directed by McG
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy

Fun, fun, fun.

I have always been a fan of Reese Witherspoon. She’s blonde, she’s sweet, & she’s silly. This one makes her look kinda ditsy because he dates two guys at once and doesn’t really bat an eye in any real way.

Chris Pine is the man! Since his performance as captain Kirk in the Star Trek Movie he has been a favorite of mine. Pine does his thing in this one. He looks cool, he acts cool, he is cool… and kind of a dick! Tom Hardy does a great job of standing on his own opposite Pine in this one. He makes a great sidekick to Pine is very loveable as a softhearted hero.

The story basically is two guys meet one girl and decide to fight for her affection so she will choose one over the other. The place where this movie falls apart is as mentioned Witherspoons inability to choose one and continually date them both. This makes everyone involved kind of a bad person.

Bottom 5 rating. I wouldn’t bother with this one. Its fun but has very little redeeming qualities. You could rent it and enjoy it but don’t bother with the theatrical release. 

Pina (2012)

Directed by Wim Wenders
Written by wim winders
Staring Pina Bausch, Rigina Advento and Malou Airaudo

Wow! 3-D. This film feels like we are going somewhere new as a people and as an art society. This has all the beautiful and human desire true film buffs look for in their movies. All the passion and pain of life is here in between the frames and in each emotional movement captured in this piece.

Unfortunate this film does have some setbacks. First of all it’s a documentary about the dancer director Pina. So in-between each dance number we hear about who she was and who she worked with. The interviews are conducted in voice over with the subject sitting their starring at the camera. I like this artistic choice but I hate how it breaks up the dance scenes and jumps our imagination out of the profound and back to the film.

I loved the use of scenes in downtown where dancers display their inner voices through movement without being beaten down by the modern world around them. I loved the use of nature elements as well. This film is so different I’d rate it with the artists as being groundbreaking and fantastical.

No rating. This film is a must see but it lacks a true message to being considered a great film. I loved it. I want to see much more of this type of filmmaking. Go see this one!!!

Man on a ledge (2012)

Written by Pablo F. Fejves
Directed by Asger Leth
Starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks and Jamie Bell

This movie is exactly what it looks like. So if you’re into that sort of thing it won’t disappoint. This one has lots of excitement and thrills for the moviegoer who enjoys the simple things.

The plot works as a catalyst for the story although it falls apart under a microscope, particularly at the end. Basically, a cop goes to jail for something he didn’t do and is forced to take matters into his own hands to get revenge and clear is name.

 Banks is awesome in this. She does a good job of being hot and cool at the same time. Worthington on the other hand, can’t speak without his Australian accent and that can through the movie off a bit.

Bottom 5 Rating. No horrible but I can’t really recommend it even as a rental. I would look for something else to watch.

Rum Diaries (2011)

Written By Bruce Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson
Directed By Bruce Robison
Starring Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi and Aaron Eckhart

Hunter S. Thomson… who isn’t a fan?

This film was good. Johnny Depp has a great way of making every character he plays a loveable character.

The cinematography is simple and plain with lots of great shots of urban living. The film progresses solidly with very little hiccups in the plot… until the very end. Depp has to decide about the love interest Ribisi, or to stay true to his journalistic morality. Ultimately he decides to merge the tow and become a strong defender of the human race through his work.

I assume this is not a spoiler alert because anyone who sees this movie knows who Hunter S. Thompson is and understands his journalistic standpoint. What’s interesting is this film / book is his reasoning behind who he is and what he is doing.

No rating. Nothing about his is fantastic or brilliant but its very interesting and a good watch. Check out Johnny Depp do an Odd to his good friend Thompson.

P.S. thank you Johnny Depp for keeping us watching you and keeping us interested in strange new things. I for one love to see each project you take on. J

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Descendants (2011)

Written by Alexander Payne, Nat Foxon, Jim Rash
Kaui Hart Hemmings (novel)
Directed by Alexander Payne
Starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Nick Krause

This is a sad movie. This movie is about a dying wife, and family falling apart and a culture slowly being run out by business tycoons and tourism.

George Clooney is the main character… of course. He is a father to Shailene Woodley and these two set off to find a mystery man who they have a quarrel to settle with. The chemistry between Clooney (51) and Woodley (21) is kinda off putting. Even with the assumed father daughter relationship the cuteness kinda turns to a co-dependence / creep vib that I couldn't really shake.

I was excited to see this movie. I heard it was really good and the reviews were uplifting.
Unfortunately this movie kinda depressed me. The entire movie is full of heartbreak and broken promises. No one is very happy with the situation and it’s slow to movie the story forward. Ultimately, you know what’s going to happen and it’s sad when it does.

The movie tries to leave you on a happy note but I was not persuaded. I assume the book was very touching and sincere but not all great books make great movies. I’m afraid I have to fit this film into this kind of category.

Bottom 5 Rating. Clooney can do better. He doesn’t need a sympathy vote. I would like to see him make a film that really expresses something in a more profound way. This film had the potential but didn’t quite connect with me.