1. Rabbit Hole - I really liked this film - much more than I though I would. I assumed that the acting would be fantastic and that the film would be sad since it is about a couple who are dealing with a tragic accident that resulted in the death of their son. But, I really appreciated that the film was more about how people handle death and how different that process can be for everyone. The two aspects that I really appreciated were that it wasn't just about the parents - it also showed how it effected the teenager who is ultimately responsible for their sons death (although it was an accident - he will forever be traumatized with guilt) and the grandmother (who lost her adult son to a drug overdose - she feels the need to compare the 2 losses). The other aspect that I really loved was that it showed how Atheists deal with death - at least I assume Nicole's character to be Atheist. As an Atheist, I honestly think that death is a little harder to deal with if you don't believe that people are "in a better place" when they die or that it is part of "Gods plan". Instead, death is an ending - there is no rhyme or reason to it. I found it interesting that the idea of a parallel universe brings comfort to her character (which scientifically is more believable than an "afterlife"). All in all, I loved the story, the characters, the acting and the sadness of the film. Really well done.
2. The Kings Speech - I will preface this review with: This film should NOT have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, in fact I'm pretty sure it should not have been nominated. Yes, it was entertaining and well-acted but overall it was a pretty simple, pretty mediocre film. It is worth watching if you are a fan of Colin Firth or Geoffrey Rush (who was pretty close to perfect). Yet, even being a huge fan of Colin - I don't even see his performance as Oscar worthy and certainly not on the same playing field as James Franco's performance in 127 Hours). It is pretty interesting that they turned something as boring as a speech impediment and made an entire film about it - and for the most part it was pretty entertaining. On a side note - don't you wish we lived in a time where we were required to memorize and recite Shakespeare? I would fucking rule at that!!
3. Blue Valentine - While I feel this films advertising was completely misleading, I still loved everything about it. I was under the impression that it was about how these two people fell in love - two hipsters finding and wooing each other in the city. However, it was mostly about how these two fell out of love and actually it was more about her falling out of love with him (and makes you wonder if she was ever in love to begin with or if their relationship was based on some pretty adrenaline and hormonally rushed decisions). I do believe that men are more romantic than women which is often not portrayed in films (because it is sooo not cool for a guy to be romantic...). The film is devastating to watch because it is incredibly realistic - the plot, the characters, the scenery - everything was very raw and felt very gritty. I will also tell you that the whole NC-17 fiasco was completely ridiculous - almost laughable now that I have seen the film. I watched Love and Other Drugs right before his (more on this in the "avoid" section of the post) and it was so much worse as far as graphic nudity and sex - yet I didn't read about anyone fussing over it's ratings...is it just because Blue Valentine was more realistic? Fascinating.
4. The Company Men - wow - 2010 was a really good career year for Ben Affleck in my opinion. He really shined in The Town (as director and actor) but was overlooked come awards season - but I am surprised that he was overlooked again for this film. It was a much smaller film, but it is so relevant to today's world and filled with amazing performances (by Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner (who I usually hate)). The film is about the downsizing of a big corporation which leads to lots of people being unemployed. I think the film did a great job at showing how difficult it is to get a job nowadays (especially if you are older), how unjust the economy is (CEO's making millions while firing hard-working people) and how difficult it is to admit that you need help. I really liked it and it had my attention for its entire running time (which is increasingly more difficult..).Avoid:
1. How Do You Know - I would compare this film to watching paint dry. It was not funny, romantic or entertaining in the least. I get that it was about "normal" people trying to meet and that it was supposed to be a bit awkward - but when your main characters have no discernible traits the audience will have not care what happens to them. The film was slightly anti-feminist because the main character consistently apologizes to men (even when she does nothing wrong) - in one scene with her and Paul Rudd's character- I counted 5 "I'm Sorry's" within a 10 minute long scene. It made her pathetic and weak. The film was also very obvious -is it really ever a doubt as to who she should end up with (i.e - not the douche)? The only part of the film that I enjoyed was that Reese's character believes that a lot of girls in relationships are pretending to be happy - which I agree with. But then if you have main character that is that astute then why is she spending the whole film desperately trying to find the right guy?
2. Case 39 - 3 words why I bothered to see such an awful film that should have been released straight to DVD.....Bradley Fucking Cooper. And let me tell you....he looked gooooood....like Will Tippen good. I actually think that the ONLY reason this film was ever even released was because of his new found Hangover success (it was filmed like 10 years ago - you can tell by the old fashion flip cell phone and the huge tv). The film is pure trash - the plot is stupid and predictable and for a "scary" movie it was void of any jump out of your seat moments. The only thing it had going for it is that children are always creepy (and Jodelle Ferland did a great job at the creepiness). The only gross moment was the hornet scene (it was also a sad scene because then I realized there would be no more eye candy...). I am really not a fan of Renee Zellweger - sometimes she can be really amazing like with the Bridget Jones films and I loved her in Chicago, but then with films like these I really hate her and her cheek implants.
3. Love and Other Drugs - Really badly advertised. Do you know what this film is about? Because it is NOT about some asshole sales rep trying to sell Viagra. Instead it is about the asshole sales rep falling in love with a girl who has early onset Parkinson's Disease and it is probably one of the most depressing things I have ever seen. They have a lot of sex and they fight a lot. That is basically the movie...there I just saved you 2 hours of your life - you can thank me later. I usually like Anne Hathaway but she was grating in this film and I am about the only girl I know who doesn't think Jake is hot (those sad puppy dog eyes do nothing for me).
4. Let Me In - It wasn't bad, it was basically the exact film as the Swedish version Let the Right One in, just slightly Americanized. I just don't understand what the point is of making another version....I guess if you refuse to watch a film with subtitles then you should see this version - otherwise see the original, it is superior in its subtlety and beauty.