I am still trying to catch up on films from 2010 - can you believe that I still haven't seen 'The King's Speech"? Here are my thoughts on some recent films that I watched.
1. Devil - "I don't believe in the devil - we don't need him. People are bad enough by themselves." I am not the biggest M. Night Shyamalan fan – I am one of the few that wasn’t dazzled by The Sixth Sense – no I’m not going to pretend like I guessed the ending -I just found the film to be incredibly boring and the payoff was just simply not that great. The only thing that came out of that film was that we found out Donnie Wahlberg could act. Then, Night's follow up films have ranged from mediocre (Unbreakable) to the downright worst film I have ever seen (The Happening). I thought it was a good idea to have someone else direct this film - because Shyamalan is an amazingly original writer, it just seems like his directing style is to drag things out until they become painful to sit through. I was not expecting much from this film, but I was excited about the cast - I love me some Trey Atwood (Logan Marshall-Green). There is also the luckiest guy on the planet, Geoffrey Arend (he is married to the super sexy Christina Hendricks). Anyway, overall the film was entertaining, it moved pretty quickly and it left you guessing until the end. I think the whole ending was a bit melodramatic but that was to be expected.
2. Hot Tub Time Machine - "It must be some kind of hot tub time machine...". So obviously the film is lacking in subtlety, but the novelty of traveling back to the 80's is completely entertaining to me for about an hour. Cassette tapes, neon tube socks, "where's the beef" t-shirts, Foreigner...How can that NOT be funny? The cast had great chemistry together - and I am not really a fan of John Cusack (same character in EVERY film) or Rob Corddry (I met him and he is a complete dick - but I will admit he is hilarious). I do like the guy from The Office - his comedic timing is always off, but it somehow works for him. Of course I enjoyed all of the 80's music references but his version of Jessie's Girl just made me want to watch Glee (oh cory...). I wish Lindsey Forsenca and Lizzy Caplan were given some better material - they both seemed kind of bland. I appreciate that it didn't end with some sort of appreciate what you have message - instead the message was - yes, your life sucks...too bad you can't go back in time and change everything...
3. The Switch - "I...um, hijacked your pregnancy." I will say it again - Jen Aniston belongs on my television. Jason Bateman could join her. I heart both of them, but they lack “movie star” charisma. I enjoyed this story – it was super sweet and sugary but I it wasn’t funny like....at all. Not once did I laugh. I felt like it could have been a t.v movie for ABC Family or one of those sappy channels. Basically, the film is about a guy who is in love with his best friend who is about to inseminate herself with donated sperm - so he switches the sperm to his own (he is intoxicated at the time - so he doesn't remember doing it). The film definitely lacks character depth and a realistic plot, but it has heart. Plus, the kid was super adorable - possibly the best part of the film.
4. Toy Story 3 - "At last! I'm gonna get played with"! I'm not quite sure how this film made grown men cry - or why it was nominated for an Academy Award. It was a "sweet" film, but hardly worthy of such an honor. I think it is just one of those films that you can't say anything bad about - therefore it is considered a critical success. However, my definition of a "great" film is one that makes people think and possibly polarizes it's audience. This film definitely lacks any sort of debate - it's pretty cut and dry. The only thing that I would argue is that most kids get rid of their toys before 17. Right? Besides, my annoyance at how simple it is - I did enjoy it. It was adorable, laugh out loud and witty - especially all of the Ken & Barbie interactions.
5. Due Date - "When a day starts like this, it's all uphill from here". Entertaining from beginning to end, but never laugh out loud funny. There was a lot of things packed into the surprising short time frame, which I appreciated because it didn't give me a chance to get bored or to consider how ridiculous the plot was. It certainly isn’t a new concept…Forces of Nature anyone? It is pretty much the same film except I enjoyed Forces of Nature more (I know I am a minority in this, but Sandy B. rules). RDJ will always have my heart but Zack Galifianakis is only entertaining in smaller doses (and he plays the exact same character that he does in The Hangover, which annoys the heck out of me). I sort of feel bad for Todd Phillips because I think everyone had higher expectations (like his mega successful film The Hangover).
6. Mother and Child - "If God wanted me to be a mother he would give me a child". A beautiful story but I am not sure I understood the point (or if there was one…). It is about the adoption process - but mostly highlighted the bad part of this process (and even referred to adoption as "unnatural"). I liked that it showed the emotional implications of giving up a child and how Annette Bening's character doesn’t live one moment without wondering where her child is. The acting was impeccable as was the character development (all characters were extremely complicated to understand and their motivations were never crystal clear). **spoiler alert** - I was really upset that Naomi Watt’s character died giving birth – that was unnecessarily depressing. I really liked Kerry Washington's story line the best - but I knew that the other woman was going to change her mind and keep her child – Kerry was phenomenal (and I am not usually a fan of hers). There are also a lot of racial undertones – but the film was never overtly about race. I would recommend the film to anyone who wants to see some strong female performances - but be prepared to be depressed for the rest of your day.