Friday, December 18, 2009

My Thoughts on 5 Recently Released DVD's: Part 6

Unfortunately I was disappointed in ALL 5 of these films.

1. Funny People - I didn't hear anything great about this film and have a pretty low affinity for Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen - so my expectations weren't very high. I was really impressed by the first hour of the film. It was funny (referring to Jonah Hill as the "triple x version" of Rogen is hysterical) and touching (the life of a comedian isn't always full of laughs) and moved pretty quickly. However, the next hour was so boring and dragged on forever (it had a total running time of 2 hours and 25 minutes which was torture). The film was saved mostly by its supporting cast: Jason Schwartzman was hysterical as an actor who just got his "big break", Leslie Mann is always delightful, Eric Bana proved to have comedic skill and two Parks and Recreation actors (Aziz Ansari and Aubrey Plaza) were a nice surprise. I liked that it was a comedy but it had a real story behind it - instead of gross out humor, it just could have been edited down by 45 minutes.

2. Paper Heart - This hybrid "documentary" is by far one of the worst things I have ever watched. It stars Charlyne Yi - a girl who supposedly does not believe in love, so she sets out to create a film questioning the reality of "love". While creating this film, she meets Michael Cera and a relationship ensues. There are so many problems with this film, I don't even know where to begin. First, Charlyne has very little imagination and seems to think that "love" equals "marriage," she tries on wedding dresses, she goes to a Vegas wedding chapel and a divorce court for her interviews. The only time she touches on anything interesting is when she interviews a chemist who concurs that some people might not have the ability to love due to chemical reactions in their brain - but this is quickly dropped in order to interview high school sweethearts. Second, Charlene has got to have one of the most annoying personalities ever - from the very beginning she sets herself up as pretentious by introducing her famous comedian "friends," then she pretends like she doesn't like Michael Cera's flirtations (even though he is obvi way out of her league) and then it is obvious that she actually does believe in love because a true romantic skeptic would ask more cynical questions. Furthermore, and I know this is harsh - but the reason Charlyne doesn't know love is because any sane guy would run far away from her after hearing her annoying, fake laugh and her pretend vapidness would make any guy uncomfortable. Her maturity level was about the same as the 10 year olds she interviewed in Atlanta (which btw - she must have regretted filming a little girl saying her "dream guy" was Chris Brown). Third, the film was completely unoriginal, it didn't tell me anything new, and frankly it just annoyed the crap out of me as it would any non-believer. I don't think I would have sat thru the whole thing if it wasn't for Cera. The last reason that I hated this film is because Charlyne pretends like she doesn't have a choice when her relationship is being filmed but it is obvious that that whole relationship is fake (although rumored to be based on their actual relationship - poor Cera). She is the writer and executive producer of the film - if she didn't want to do it then she SHOULDN'T have! O.k I am done now.

3. Julie and Julia - I never wanted to see this film in the theaters because I have absolutely zero interest in Julia Child or anything involving cooking, but I figured I should watch it to see Meryl Streeps much hyped performance. The film is split into 2 different stories based on 2 different books which I find interesting. Julie is a cubicle dweller living in NYC, dealing with the aftermath of 9/11 (it is set in 2002). In order to deal with her stress, she cooks and she she decides to write a blog about cooking (yes, that is the whole story). The other story is about Julia becoming the iconic Julia Child (which probably should have been the whole film). Amy Adams is still the same character she is in every film (cutting her hair and making her look elfish didn't help...), while Meryl did a great job of course - however Julia Child's voice was incredibly irritating so watching Meryl impersonate her was even more so. The only thing that I found interesting was it's relevant look at the power of the blog. Oh and a nice surprise appearance by Jane Lynch.

4. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard - Another painful to watch comedy that had so much potential. The cast was great - Jeremy Piven, Ed Helms, Tony Hale and Ken Jeong. How could these four funny people make anything but a funny film? Right? I am not sure what happened- for the most part I would blame the screenplay. It was lame, pointless, predictable and lacked any originality. The whole mystery behind "what happened in Querquie" was completely ludicrous and the "surprise" appearance of Will Ferrell was just plain sad. I think that I laughed once - and it was within the first 5 minutes of the film.

5. Rudo Y Cursi - This film was decent, I just expected more from its key players. Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Carlos Cuaron proved to make a great team with Y Tu Mama Tambien plus Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu is one of my favorite filmmakers (21 Grams and Amores Perros are among my favorite films) and he is one of the many talented producers of this film - so it should in theory be amazing. Right? Not really. The film is about 2 brothers who both get "discovered" as talented Soccer (football?) players, although one really wants to sing. It is about how money, fame and success effects your personality and your priorities. It wasn't incredibly moving or memorable. It did have a few amusing scenes and I enjoyed the chemistry between the 2 main actors - they make believable brothers.

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