Friday, January 28, 2011

Catching Up - 4 DVD's I Recently Watched

1. Grown Ups - I admit: I am not really an Adam Sandler fan. He used to be super funny - back in the Happy Gilmore days, but now I think he is sort of a one-note comedian. He basically yells a lot, insults people and oozes insecurity so he never really offends anyone. I am not really a fan of anyone in the cast (except maybe Chris Rock - who can kill a stand up show but can not act at all). Rob Schneider and David Spade, like Sandler, used to be funny back in the 90's but seem to continue the same ole shtick and Kevin James? - kind of a dud. The film was amusing (at best) but I hardly laughed out loud and found most jokes to be cliched or predictable. It didn't help that it just made me feel old, which I am guessing any middle age guy (I assume that to be the target audience) would feel even older - not exactly what one wants to achieve seeing a....what's the male version of a chick flick? Is there an official word? held my attention, had it's cute "boys will be boys" moments, but I can't think of anyone I would recommend it to.

2. Twelve - Wow. I never thought the sound of Kiefer Sutherlands voice could be so...grating. Seriously, within minutes I wanted to turn the sound off. The narration was unnecessary, awkward and caused my consensus of the film to go from bad to awful. Getting past that (I honestly can't) - the film itself really had no point. I think it was supposed to but it went off into a direction that was surprisingly unpredictable (I guess unless you have read the book - which I had not), but was also just plain weird. Did our main character, white Mike (yes, that is his awful nickname) learn anything? Did he change in any way? Did anyone? I'm gonna say no. The ending was almost a disservice to the entire film because it pretty much voided all of the bad decisions that these spoiled, narcissistic, self-indulgent kids made. I honestly could not bring myself to care about any of them - they are literally wasting their lives away so why does it matter if they live or die? Chace Crawford wasn't horrible, but I still saw a lot of "Nate" in his performance (his Gossip Girl character) probably because Chace just isn't a good enough actor yet - he is however very pretty to look at. Speaking of pretty - I just love Emma Roberts. While her character lacked depth or intensity (more from a writing and dialogue flaw than an acting one) I still think she was the best part of the film. I'm not even going to comment on 50 Cent as an actor - he scares me.

3. Eat Pray Love - Oh the many adjectives that describe this film...I'm not sure where to begin. Boring. Pretentious. Self-indulgent. Offensive. Contradictory. Boring. Anti-feminist. Hollow. Intolerable. Unrealistic. Did I say boring? So, the plot (if you want to call it that) is about a woman who suddenly finds herself in a loveless marriage (and then a tumultuous relationship with a younger man), decides to "find herself" by traveling the world. She has gone from one relationship to another her entire life and realizes that is an unhealthy way to live. She travels to Italy and eats a lot. She travels to India and prays a lot. She travels to Bali and then falls in love. So basically she "finds herself" for less than a year and then ends up in the exact situation- in a relationship. As a happily single woman, this is offensive - "love" doesn't necessarily mean "finding a man". It would have served the film better to end with her falling "in love" with... living. Plain and simple. I also think anyone who is religious would be offended by the characters actions - spending a few months praying everyday doesn't make you a spiritual person. Plus, how many people do you know that can literally take a break from life and travel the world to find themselves? Seriously. It hurts the film to have a character that 99% of it's audience can not relate to. It also hurts the film to literally bore its audience to tears. I want to cry just thinking about how painful it was to sit through. The only thing that saved the film is Julia Roberts - her charisma on-screen is undeniable. Ryan Murphy, how can you makes something as witty as Glee and then make this garbage? It just doesn't make any sense.

4. Paper Man - It seems to be a running theme in films I have been watching...self-indulgence. It's the best way to describe this film. Yet, it was done in a way that made me interested instead of angry. I knew the film was about a middle-aged man forming a bond with a young girl and at first I had no interest (seemed like Lost in Translation territory...what an awful film). But then I heard the cast and my interest peaked. Some of my favorite young actors - Emma Stone, Kieran Culkin and Hunter Parrish in one film?! Yes. Please. So...I might have to spoil some of the story to fully give my opinion - so *SPOILER ALERT*: I knew that Kieran's character was not real from the moment he entered the screen. Which is ultimately why the two main characters bond (although they never know that they both have imaginary friends). They do both realize that they are lost souls (for very different reasons). It recognizes the fact that depression has no bounds - it effects people for different reasons and sometimes no reason at all. I am pretty sure it is supposed to a surprise when it is revealed that Kieran is in fact not real - so in that respect the film fails miserably. However, I actually like the bond that is formed between our two "real" characters. I also appreciate that this bond is short-lived but significant enough to heal them both. Emma Stone gave an amazing performance - some award recognition would have been well-deserved. My big question is how does Hunter so easily transform himself into such a douche? He is seriously awesome at it (as can also be seen in 17 Again and sometimes Weeds). He might need to work a little on his Long Island accent (it sounded a little too Boston...) but now I am just nit-picking.

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