Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Thoughts on 5 Recently Released DVD's: Part 4

1. Year One - This film could have been a satirical comedy about history and the origins of religion (the obvious inaccuracies of the bible etc) - Yet, in actuality it is a lame excuse for a comedy that was mostly hard to watch (i.e over the line gross-out humor like Jack Black eating shit and Michael Cera urinating on his own face). The film cost over 60 million dollars to make which must have been a huge pay check for Jack Black, because the production value was amateur and cheap looking. I feel sorry for Arrested Development alums Michael Cera and David Cross. I also cringed when Olivia Wilde appeared on the screen - why would she stoop so low? I literally did not laugh once. Could possibly be the worst film of the year.

2. State of Play - So, this film had the impossible task of re-telling the sublime BBC mini-series in a feature film (basically, it had to cram 6 hours of an intricate story into 2 hours). Why was such a task ever green-lit to begin? It is obviously going to fail. It wasn't a horrible film - it just had no point. The film basically "dumbs down" the original and only focuses on two aspects of the story which is the representation of politics in the media and corporate conspiracies. I also have to say that the original cast was far superior than this film (the original had James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Kelly McDonald, Polly Walker and Marc Warren). Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe (ew), Robin Wright (Penn?) and even Rachel McAdams were all very dull and ineffective in creating any real suspense.

3. Management - Not even a remotely realistic love story. I'm not sure how many women would answer the door for a strange man knocking on their hotel room door, let alone let them in. I'm also pretty sure if that same man showed up at their work (which is across the country), that any sane woman would call the police and report a stalker. So, if you get over that fact (which I just can't), the film is o.k. It's sweet, quirky and earnest thanks to an endearing performance by Steve Zahn. Jennifer Anistons character bothered me because she was so bland, which I don't think she was supposed to be (otherwise why would Zahn's character fall in love with her?). I think Jennifer Aniston's interpretation of "normal" women is "dull" women. She basically recreated her character in The Good Girl, just dressed nicer.

4. Away We Go - I loved this movie. It was actually a lot better than I expected. The chemistry between Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski was surprisingly great. I was highly impressed with the acting abilities of these two non-movie stars. The biggest achievement in the film was their ability to create such realist, flawed characters. The plot was about a young couple trying to find their place in the world after learning that they are going to have a baby - they travel to different places to decide where they want to "settle down". Each place they visit ends up being a sort of a lesson of "what not to do" as a parent. While it was pretty obvious where they would end up, the ride was extremely entertaining filled with very colorful characters - my favorite being Maggie Gyllenhaal as the free-spirit, "new age" mother.

5. Lymelife - Critics called this film a copy of The Ice Storm, while I see the comparison (suburban angst) - I do not feel like they were the same film at all. The biggest difference is that I actually didn't like The Ice Storm, while I found this film very interesting. I absolutely loved the characters, adored the Culkin brothers, was delighted by Emma Roberts and found the ending exciting.

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